Fittings for Capsuleers Episode I – Security Mission Frigates
One of the first things you do in your fresh New Eden career is to shoot at NPC ships. One of the Eve Online career paths is to complete Security missions. These missions involve taking down NPC ships or other PVE (Player Versus Environment) situations. For some of you, it won’t be long until you are looking at what the best security mission frigates are. Frigates are fast and get the job done, even later on during higher level missions.
This article will highlight what the best frigates are to take down some NPC pirates.
Each section will have links where you can see the fittings as images.
How to start building your frigate
If I look at any security mission ship, adaptable damage type is always a key feature in deciding which ship to use. New Eden features 4 different types of damage; kinetic, thermal, electromagnetic (EM) and explosive damage. Each NPC faction has different damage resists. It is always recommended to use the damage type that the faction is weakest against. To give some examples, Guristas pirates are weak to kinetic damage and Sansha ships are weak against EM damage. If you move from one region to another, the NPC enemies will change, and so will their weaknesses.
Choosing a weapon
If you look at weapons that can provide all 4 damage types, then you are looking at missiles and drones. All main races feature frigates that can launch missiles, but not all of them can use drones. To bluntly put it, Gallente ships are absolute masters in handling drones, the others are not. Caldari and Minmatar have a lot of ships that can handle missiles based weapons. Amarr, sadly, has no real frigate drone platform, and only a single missile-based ship.
For me personally, all my PVE ships are missile or drone-based, or a combination of the two. For providing a clear path, we will stick to these two weapon systems for now.
Advantages of missiles and drones
If you look at how missiles and drones perform during security missions you can also notice some different things. Both missiles and drones have a particularly long range, compared to gunnery-type weapons. Most of the time, railguns, lasers or artillery guns won’t be able to provide the same amount of DPS over the same range as that missiles and drones can be used from.
Drones and missiles also suffer less from fast-moving targets. Where regular guns will fail to hit the target, missiles will always do damage. Drones can however miss your target, but they also never use ammo, which is their strong point as well.
Another nice feature is that drones and missiles can be used in missions where the NPC enemies jam your targeting systems. Drones have an auto-agress setting, and auto-targeting missiles can be loaded into your launchers.
The right ship for the job
Now that we have chosen our weapons of war, we need to find a good ship to put them on. The Amarr faction has 1 frigate that is proficient at shooting missiles, the Vengeange assault frigate. This frigate however is best used with rocket launchers and because of that, I’m not including it in this comparison. For now, we will stick to Caldari, Minmatar and Gallente ships.
The choice of ship is always a really personal matter, but some are undeniably the best at what they do. I’m going to highlight some ships from each of these 3 factions. I will add some Tech 2 fitting suggestions as well. If you can’t use certain modules then don’t be afraid to swap these for one of their T1 variants. For me, it’s important that the repair module itself can operate cap stable. A 1mn afterburner gives the ship more speed, without diminishing the capacitor capacity. It also helps to keep the signature radius down, which will make your ship harder to hit. It’s also important to fit resist modules or rigs to your ship, to better protect yourself against incoming damage.
Gallente security mission frigates
Gallente ships are focused on drones and hybrid weapons. Training drone and hybrid weapons skills are required to fly these ships efficiently. It is also advisable to train the appropriate support skills like surgical strike, trajectory analysis, drone navigation and drone durability.
The Tristan is my preferred ship whenever I start with a new character. It can hold 8 drones and launch 5, making this the ultimate drone frigate for players early on. It has a 10% bonus to drone hitpoints and tracking speed (per level of Gallente frigate skill), which will come in handy on security missions. You can use railguns on the Tristan, but that won’t add much in terms of DPS.
It might be strange to say but this ship, although armor-based, works better with a shield repair module. This way the low slots on the ship can be fitted with drone damage amplifiers. The ship can be made cap stable with a cap battery and the use of an afterburner.
I’ll share a fitting that can be flown by an Alpha clone character and can do almost 130 DPS, which is very decent. The DPS increases, even more, when you use an Omega character with level 5 skills and T2 modules. This fitting is also included.
The Ishkur can be seen as a direct upgrade to the Tristan, although it uses the Incursus hull. The ship can hold 10 drones and can launch 5 of them into space. It also has a bonus to hybrid weapons, so putting on some railguns is a good idea.
A fully fitted Ishkur does around 200 DPS, and can easily do level 1 and 2 security missions. You can swap the T2 small armor repairer for a Deadspace variant for 50% extra armor repair. Because the Ishkur is an Assault Frigate it can fit an Assault Damage Control module. This module can only be active for a short duration, but will drastically increase your resists and is a definite lifesaver.
The fitting provided is made to do Caldari space security missions. Edit the fitting accordingly to the opponents you are shooting. You can use the rig slots and 1 low slot to switch armor resists.
Caldari security mission frigates
Caldari ships are mainly missile and hybrid weapon platforms. There are no Caldari drone frigates. It is wise to train the missile support skills, like missile projection, rapid launch and missile bombardment.
The Kestrel can be used pretty early on in the game and is a solid entry frigate for level 1 security missions. It has a bonus to missile damage and range. This makes the ship ideal to bombard the enemy from a distance and taking yourself out of the line of fire.
It has a decent amount or DPS for level 1 security missions. The ship is also able to repair a good amount of damage. The following fitting is fully cap stable and does around 100 DPS. It is pretty tight on resources, so you might need to swap some modules for their compact variants.
The Hawk is one of my favorite ships in Eve Online. It’s a Merlin hull, but with missiles! I have used the Hawk extensively for level 2 missions. For years it was also my preferred ship to complete the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc missions with. It’s the first ship in this guide that features double resist modules. This setup can, later on, be used on bigger ships, like cruisers and battleships.
The fitting uses passive faction resists. They are fairly cheap and offer a good amount of protection. The Hawk lacks a bit of CPU, and the passive modules need less CPU than active resist modules. Another good feature of passive resists is that they do not use capacitor.
I mainly use missiles and they offer just over 200 DPS, with a 40+ km range. This ship, like the Kestrel, can fire from a distance, escaping the heat of battle. The downside of the Hawk is the kinetic damage bonus, making it almost exclusively good in Caldari space. If you switch to non-kinetic ammo, you lose around 30% DPS.
If it would have had more CPU to spare it could’ve been fitted with an Assault Damage Control module. It will however work fine without.
Level 4 security missions in a frigate? Yes, you can!
The repair strength, combined with keeping at range, can (and will) tank a level 4 security mission. It will take a very long time to kill battleships with 200 DPS, but I have done it. So it will easily do level 1 and 2 missions.
That being said, my Hawk is fitted with a Gistii A-Type Small Shield Booster. An expensive module for sure, but it really complements the ship. Compared to a regular T2 small shield booster, it repairs 40% more damage and makes the ship fully cap stable.
Minmatar security mission frigates
Minmatar ships use projectile guns and missiles. You won’t find the best drone ships here, so we’re going to stick with missiles for now. Most PVE Minmatar ships have a bonus to shield booster amount. They also don’t have the kinetic damage bonus that Caldari ships have, making them more suited as all-round security mission frigates.
The Breacher has a bonus for the missile rate of fire and shield booster repair amount. It surprisingly has a drone bay that can fit 2 drones. Because of its slot layout, you can give all-around good resists. The fitting I’m going to share is a bit expensive for a T1 ship perhaps, but it is fully cap stable. You can however swap some modules for their T1 variants. The Tristan does the most DPS, but the Breacher comes in second if it comes to dealing damage. What it does excel in is shield boosting, and has almost twice the repair strength. It lacks a bit of the range that the Kestrel has, but again, it makes up for it in shield booster strength.
I think that of all the regular T1 frigates, this would be my second favorite ship to use, because of the combination of good overall defense, high repair strength and easily changeable DPS type output.
The Jaguar can be compared with the Hawk, as it is a dedicated missile platform. It has bonuses for shield repair and missile rate of fire. It has the best repair ability of the 3 assault frigates mentioned in this comparison, but the lowest DPS. Like the Hawk it can fit two resist modules, so it’s a very versatile platform. It has only 3 launcher slots, that is most likely why it has less DPS than the other assault frigates in this list. To put it into comparison, the Hawk, fitted with ammo that is not affected by it’s hull bonus, can do the same or even more DPS.
The Jaguar is a very nice-looking ship, and it will most certainly save you in the toughest of missions, but it’s not the most efficient frigate. Because of it’s low DPS you will take longer to complete missions. If you are an avid fan of Minmatar ships then by all means use it, but otherwise, you’re better of with the Hawk as a missile platform.
Faction security mission frigates
– Caldari Navy Hookbill
The uniquely shaped Caldari Navy Hookbill has to be included in this list. You can see the Hookbill like a T1 version of the Hawk in terms of slot layout and damage output. It has bonuses for all damage types and a little bit more for kinetic damage output. It also has a bonus for missile velocity, giving it a lot of range with its missiles.
It’s a solid all-round ship, that is on par with the repair capability of the Hawk, if fitted with the same Deadspace module.
If you don’t have the skills yet to fly an assault frigate, or if you like the look of the Hookbill better, then this is the ship to go out with. It can easily do level 1 and 2 missions in any region in New Eden and is an absolute joy to fly.
For me, there is only one perfect mission frigate, and that is the Worm. A Gallente and Caldari hybrid, meaning it uses drones and missiles. It has no bonus to any type of damage, so it is proficient with everything, and can be used in any region of New Eden. If fitted properly, this little frigate can hit over 300 DPS, which can easily do any level 1 or 2 mission. It is just as tanky as the Hawk in terms of repair power. Combined with some speed and the right trajectory this ship can, inefficiently, complete level 4 security missions.
Fitting wise, the Worm benefits a lot from ‘shiny’ modules, meaning it is an expensive frigate to set up properly. If you want to go the extra mile, and have some cash to spare, you’re best off buying ‘Augmented’ drones as well. The light drones are not that expensive.
Out of all the frigates in this list, the Worm is my absolute favorite. If you have the ISK and the skills, I would highly recommend buying one. They are also really good ships to complete the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc missions in. You’ll never have to let it become dusty that way.
As the last addition, I’d like to mention one of New Eden’s newest frigates, the Skybreaker. An expensive ship, even more so because of the big price tag of the skill books needed to fly it.
To say this straight away, cost-wise this is the most inefficient frigate. You’re looking at a couple of hundred million ISK for the skills and even more for the ship. The ammo is also terribly expensive, and my experience is that I spend more ISK in shooting it’s ammo than that I get back in mission rewards. The ammo also does only EM or Kinetic damage, making it only efficient for missions with enemies weak against these damage types.
But… It’s superfast to blitz through level 1 and 2 missions. The unique weapon system of the Skybreaker does chain lighting damage and has a very long range if used with T2 ammo. In practice, and with a bit of luck and good handling, you can destroy 5 to 6 frigates/drones with 1 shot. The enemies need to be in a tight formation, and then the chain lightning connects to most of them. You don’t even need to have the other enemies targeted for the damage to connect.
The screenshots here shows how 1 shot connects to several other enemies.
An odd choice, because the base damage of the Skybreaker is very low. The repair strength however is very good, and the ship moves fast. The sight of multiple ships exploding all at once is fun to look at as well. I would recommend this ship only if you’re short on time, and you need to get a standing increase with a new faction as fast as possible. Or if you, like myself, like fancy new toys.
I found out that the Skybreaker is faster at clearing the level 1 missions than the Worm, but after that the Worm is the more reliable ship. Because of that, and the fact it is more versatile in using every damage type, the Worm is the best mission frigate out there. It deals the most DPS with a very long range and has a solid defensive tank. It can also be used for other applications, like regular combat anomalies and expeditions. It’s also very proficient in completing the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc missions.
If you want to fly an assault frigate, then I would suggest training into the Ishkur. It’s a more reliable and versatile frigate than the Hawk or Jaguar. The drones can be easily swapped and it can even carry a full set of salvage drones to increase profit. If you fit it with a Deadspace repair module it will also have the same repair quality as the Hawk.
If you’re looking for the best newbro/cheap alternative security mission frigates, I would suggest either the Tristan, the Breacher or the Kestrel. All offer reliable damage output in all damage types. The damage output on the Tristan is a bit higher than the Breacher, leaving the Kestrel last. The Kestrel however can be fitted with a medium shield repair module, meaning it can withstand more incoming fire.
Out of these 3 ships, the Tristan also has the longest range for dealing damage.
Ultimately, any frigate can be used to complete security missions. But if you want a reliable ship, that can be used for the foreseeable future, do yourself a favor and buy a good fitted Worm.
Drones as a reliable damage output
Looking at the overall outcome, drones are favorable for shooting down NPC pirates. Be sure to keep your eyes on your drones during missions. Enemies tend to switch targets from you to the drones and you might end up losing some. Don’t be shy to recall your drones to get them safe, before they get blown up.
Drones also have a very long range of operation and, when combined with good skills, can take quite the beating.
I hope this guide on security mission frigates helps you along the way to becoming space-rich in New Eden!