5 Factional Warfare Rifters For Solo Frigate PVP

The Rifter got a redesign recently. It looks better than ever.

Despite being one of the best (if not the best) looking ship in the entire collection of EVE Online ships, the Rifter is also quite versatile. You can get inside and bang it out with a brawling fit, or choose to stay at arms and pepper them with accurate shots from range. Your skills, your flying style, and your weapon preferences will largely be the factors determining what you should be trying to do with your range and tactics.

Here are 5 Ways To Fit Your Rifter For EVE Online Factional Warfare:

The Brawler

When it comes to close combat, the Rifter boasts one of the best weapon systems for smaller ship platforms. Referencing one of EVE Online ships as “small” might be a misnomer; even the shuttles, dwarfed in size by frigates, destroyers and cruisers, are mammoth in size.

Frigate-class spaceships in battle in EVE Online

But the Brawler is aptly named; the autocannon weapon system is one of the most powerful of the 200mm diameter platforms.

The falloff bonus enjoyed by Rifter commanders comes in clutch against high damage enemies that want to maneuver to get closer than 5km. In addition to the range is the additional factor of sheer destructive power. 200mm autocannons can deliver shocking damage under the right situations, and are very difficult to evade from within their impressive range.


If you’re going to get in there and bang face to face, you’re going to want to bring the thunder. 200mm autocannon IIs with Hail (S) can be a good choice for raw power, but consider other ammunition types depending on the situation.

Use a good gyrostabilizer to increase the explosive power of each volley from the autocannons. In addition to that, install two rigs; a burst aerator and a collision accelerator to really give this Rifter some knockout power.

The ammo you use is kinda up to you. Each type of projectile ammo has its own unique characteristics that must be considered when selecting ammunition for a mission.For the highest damage, use Republic Fleet rounds, or Hail. But be careful, though; Hail volleys are unreliable and a little inaccurate.

To fit yourself a Rifter in the style of a Brawler, make sure your Brawler is fit with an afterburner; not a MWD. Microwarpdrives can technically still be used within closer ranges to boost the speed of the ship to which they’re installed, but it’s usually not recommended. Within about 10km, most ships in factional warfare territory will be within range to tackle, deactivating any MWD they choose to target and preventing the escape of an enemy. If you’re good, lucky, or crazy, you could still use a MWD to catch a kiter, but once you catch them, you’ll both be locked into a 1v1 fight – until someone dies.

EVE Online ships Rifter
A Rifter with autocannons and a 5MN

The Kiter

Kiting in EVE Online is achieved by landing shots of your own while out of the reach of the weapons of the enemy. You need good speed, reliable weapons, and patience to find success with the Kiter. The Rifter is so fast that an afterburner is usually more than enough to get it where you need it. It’s got plenty of medium power slots for a frigate, and has plenty of room for propulsion upgrades and range control modules. 

Rifter dodging enemy fire from range

Even with some flexibility to the selected equipment, the speed of the rifter allows imperiled crews to escape from otherwise impossible situations. When the shields drop and the armor fails, a cool head and an overheated afterburner on a Rifter just might save you.

Fitting The Kiter

A Rifter fit as the Kiter has a 5MN microwarpdrive, a warp disruptor, and 250mm/280mm artillery cannons. Defensive manual piloting is smooth and agile, and generally the characteristics of the ship lend themselves to evasion. A small shield extender can keep you in the fight longer than the Rifter’s meager hull defenses, but don’t overdo it and put on too big of a shield.

Not only do you risk gimping your electrical system or powergrid, but installing a larger shield than you need to for a frigate can actually negatively impact the defensive capabilities of the ship. Bigger shields are easier for targeting systems to lock, leading to the absorption of more damage.

It all depends on what your objectives are; if you’re trying the Kiter in a solo frigate pvp situation, it might benefit you to emphasize speed with the limited resources of the ship. But if you know you’ve got the cavalry waiting in the wings, it might behoove you to install heavier defenses on a generally bulkier, slower ship that might survive an initial onslaught and hold the line until reinforcements arrive.

The Bird Of Prey

The Bird Of Prey is great for catching expensive stealth bombers on factional warfare missions. Many mission runners tend to believe in a certain degree of safety – in the warzone – because they aren’t actively assaulting outposts and plexes. Stay on target and keep your focus on the vulnerable expensive ships of the enemy to disrupt their process; and pay for a hundred Rifters with the loot. 

Rifter vs. Hound

But don’t stick around after the fact; not only is the Bird Of Prey extremely fragile, you won’t have the ability to communicate with the Minmatar defense/patrol fleets in space that were just defending themselves from unknown amounts of interlopers. And since you can’t talk to them, they’re going to try to destroy your ship, presumably under the assumption of mistaken identity.

Fitting The Bird Of Prey

The Bird Of Prey Rifter is barebones and quintessentially Minmatar. It boasts the lowest cost at less than 2 million ISK for a fully constructed and loaded ship. With the Bird Of Prey, good scanning skills, and quick reflexes, you’ll be catching those pesky warzone farmers before you can say ‘multiboxing.’

Constructing the Bird Of Prey hinges on these principles: (even) faster warp speed, excellent cornering, and an upgraded targeting system. Install a hyperspatial velocity rig to bend reality into a more rapidly sliding bubble around your ship through space. To everyone else, it’ll appear as if you warped a measurable amount faster.

When you land, you’re going to need the ability to acquire a lock on the target more quickly than some of the other Rifter configurations you might be used to. To unlock the ability to lock the enemy faster, install a Small Targeting System Subcontroller; with this, you’ll see a 20% reduction in lock time. 

The Uncle

If you’ve never seen UncleOnline‘s stream, you’re missing some interesting fights with some interesting fits. Some of my favorites of his are the dual repairer fitted tech 1 frigates that he popularized some time in YC123. Many enemies would assume after the initial burst of damage they inflict on ole Unc that his tiny, overmatched ship would yield to the onslaught eventually.

Dual Rep Rifter vs. Double-Team

But if you really know what you’re doing, you can claw yourself back from the brink of some pretty desperate situations with the help of additional engineering power aboard. Two repairers can allow the well-versed spaceship commander the ability to mitigate high damage, close range brawlers that rely on the accumulation of punishment to wear down enemy ships. But at the same time, a dual-repairer fitted ship can lead to a hidden mathematical vulnerability.

An artillery weapon system with high volley damage often has the ability to punch straight through the dual reps. Of course, you could manually pilot to avoid low transversal shots from long range weapon systems; but then you might not have time to manage the two repair systems. 

The weapon system is almost secondary to the repair system of this fit. Because of this, the idea isn’t to kill the enemy as quickly as possible; it’s to survive the onslaught of the enemy with superior defenses, and to wear them down until their ship splits apart from the pressure. This all sounds complicated because it is; but when it works, it’s as satisfying as an uppercut landing flush.

Fitting The Uncle Rifter

Two armor repair systems are the heartbeat of this operation. One of them should be a small ancillary amor repairer, and the other is your choice. If, in using the Uncle, you’re trying a dual-rep frigate for the first time, remember that death is a part of life in EVE Online. Don’t build the most expensive ship you can afford if the chances are that you’re not skilled enough with it yet to keep the crew alive. It’s really going to piss you off when somebody blows it all up, and a pissed off spaceship captain is way more likely to make mistakes.

Even one repair system can wreak havoc on the capacitor of the Rifter; two active at the same time will effectively nuke your electrical system almost immediately. With no capacitor reserves it won’t matter how many repair systems are installed; you’ll never be able to get them activated. 

To get around this, use a small capacitor booster with some high quality cap boosters. Capacitor boosters take up a medium power slot, meaning you’ll only have two left for the rest of the fit. You’ll need one of those slots for a propulsion module; go with an afterburner. The other will need to be used for a tackle module; choose a scrambler.

The Scram Kiter

Scram kiting is kiting, technically, but from the edge of the range of a warp scrambler. There are all kinds of ways to go about controlling the range of an opponent depending on the ship and weapon system desired, and the Rifter version of the scram kiter offers every advantage to make it a successful strategy.

Scram Kiting Rifter vs. Catalyst

Using an afterburner to increase the speed of the ship is one way to control range relative to another ship. A stasis webifier is another way; webs have the effect of entangling the opposing ship’s navigation system with a compressed web of space. Think of it as kind of like a reverse Alcubierre drive; instead of expanding space behind a vessel and shrinking space ahead of it in order to facilitate faster than light travel, it “shrinks” space, around a separate target vehicle, such that the effect is a reduction of the velocity of the target ship. A slower moving ship is a ship that’s easier to hit, and easier to maneuver around/away from

Fitting the Scram Kiter

Scram Kiting in EVE Online is a tactic you can use almost regardless of the actual class of ship in which you’re flying to do so. You need an afterburner, a stasis webifier, and a warp scrambler. You need guns with good falloff range, and the 200mm autocannons fit the bill. Increase the damage potential of these guns by installing a gyrostabilizer.

Your choice of ammunition will play a significant role in how much damage you actually do from 7-10km. Different ships have different levels of EM, explosive, thermal, and kinetic defenses, so you’ll have to become familiar with the traits of each ship.

Chances are that your target will be able to reach you with their weaponry at some point during the fight, so it’s still important to employ a robust, yet sustainable defense. A 200mm armor plating coupled with a small ancillary armor repairer is a great combination. 

The scram kiter offers a bit of flexibility with rig strategy.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there’s only one way to fit a Rifter. There are all kinds of modular configurations. Once you pick a favorite, find what you need to upgrade on it to compliment your style.

If you want to learn more about Rifters or other EVE Online ships, check out the EVE Online forums. Ever flown a Rifter? Let me know your favorite fits in the comments below.

Written by Hannibal

Hannibal is a devout freedom fighter, an accomplished space captain, a famed psychonautic explorer, and the self appointed "Lord Of Sashimi."


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