Hearkening back to earlier days of EVE Online, one of the most accessible ships to the Minmatar is the mighty Rifter, a versatile attack frigate capable of effectively deploying in a variety of configurations to fit quite a few roles. It has always been fast and powerful, but system resources often emerge as limitations. Despite previous design setbacks, the latest re-balancings of the hull have seen modest improvement.
This model is the most basic, cost effective Rifter-class vessel that MLF engineers can recommend as worthy of the battlefield, but it’s not always recommended that you stick with the basic model necessarily. You should always upgrade your ship when you can if you see that you’re lacking in firepower, speed, or defenses. Don’t overdo it; even the best equipped Rifter is still a Rifter, meaning it has certain manufacturer level limitations that you can likely easily overcome by using another ship entirely. Train hard to take advantage of every aspect of the Republic Frigate to access some of the most steady content in EVE Online.
Building A Republic Frigate
Creation is much more coordinated and resource intensive than destruction. You’ll need an industrial facility, minerals, and blueprints if you intend to construct the hull itself and manufacture each of the necessary modules and charges. Building a Rifter from scratch takes a little more work than buying the parts and assembling them afterwards, but it allows you to produce ships in bulk for dramatically reduced prices. If you’re just starting out in EVE Online, you may not necessarily have a firm grasp on just how much effort it takes to maintain a supply chain to achieve something like this. To simplify things, you might want to look for a job with a corporation that already has a system set up to deal with this problem if you plan on fighting for an extended period of time.
The Republic Frigate costs less than 3 million ISK and has an extremely wide variety of ships that it can successfully engage solo, from frigates to cruisers. It’s also constructed from easily sourced and common materials, allowing rapid deployment of high numbers of ships just about anywhere in low security warzone space.
In EVE Online, ships don’t come pre-manufactured to your full specifications. You can purchase a ship hull off the market, but it’ll have no modules in any of its slotted compartments when you first buy it. A ship’s hull has certain capabilities on its own without any modules fitted to it, but will likely be completely defenseless against any other ship it encounters. Modular upgrades can be fitted to the ship’s module slots in order to grant a given ship additional capabilities beyond those of the hull itself.
These modules cover a wide range of functionality, from offensive, to defensive, to stealth, to all manner of support operations. There are few limits to the combinations of modules possible on each ship hull, so trial and error is encouraged as the most effective scientific method for determining the effectiveness of a given ship.
Ideal Solo PVP Cost
Fully loaded, the Republic Frigate usually quotes for around 2-3million ISK, which is an affordable price tag for any budding soldier of fortune in EVE Online. With upgrades, an extremely well maintained version will likely cost no more than 10million ISK and be capable of killing vessels many times its own value.
The Rifter’s current configuration boasts three high power slots, three medium power slots, four low power slots and three small rig slots. The Minmatar Frigate skill bonuses Small Projectile Rate of fire by 5% per level, and Small Projectile Turret falloff by 10% per level.
The ships maximum velocity is 365 meters per second, and it is capable of reaching 5 astronomical units per second via warp drive. Its CPU output is 130.0 teraflops and its powergrid output is 41.0 Megawatts. The Rifter has 400 rig calibration points, and the capacitor tops off at 250 gigajules.
Defensively, it’s versatile: its shields are tuned to Explosive damage resistance, whereas its armor is tuned to higher Electromagnetic defenses, at the opposite end of the damage spectrum from explosive. Since both the armor and shields of the Rifter are the same base HP, defenses can be cleverly stacked to optimize against specific damage types with repeatable success.
In EVE Online the most important component of any attack vessel is its means of attack; a Rifter-class vessel can use a variety of weapons and can keep the enemy on the defensive due to its unpredictability. The Republic Frigate makes use of 200mm autocannons, a powerful gatling-style autocannon that can smash apart most lightly armored frigates with ease.
In EVE Online, autocannons use specific ammunition called projectile ammo. Projectile ammo comes in a variety of different types, each capable of dealing a specific type of damage. To increase the punching power of the 200mm Autocannon I’s, the Republic Frigate comes with a Gyrostabilizer I installed in a low power slot, along with a Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I and a Small Projectile Burst Aerator I in two of the three available rig slots.
Projectile weapons use projectile ammunition, which comes in a variety of different types. Each type is capable of dealing a specific type of damage. Not all projectile weapon types can fire all types of projectile ammunition, so you’ll need to make sure you pick the appropriate kind for the weapon you’ve chosen.
Rifter-class frigates use Small Projectile Turrets, which in turn use Small Projectile Ammo. Small Projectile Ammo comes in a spectrum of damage; EM damage, targeted effectively by EMP rounds, thermal damage, targeted effectively by plasma rounds, kinetic damage, targeted best by titanium sabot rounds, and explosive damage, targeted well by Fusion rounds.
Certain small projectile turrets can fire a specialized, high-damage version of Small Projectile Ammo, called Hail. The process of manufacturing Hail yields ammunition that grants 200mm Autocannon II’s greater damage potential at close ranges, but causes tracking issues at high velocities, with rounds tending to rattle off course not further beyond medium range. This niche limitation results in increased glancing blows and misses at falloff ranges, where the Rifter typically excels with traditional ammo types.
Although Hail offers a statistically higher damage output potential, it has limitations to tracking and range that may lead to disadvantage against small, quickly moving opponents with more quickly tracking turrets themselves. In EVE Online, inflicting maximum damage isn’t necessarily a universally effective strategy in every circumstance.
The defenses of the Republic Frigate are bolstered by a set of 200mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates, a damage control, and a Small Ancillary Armor Repairer loaded with nanite paste. This isn’t necessarily an extremely robust defensive configuration, so maneuverability, the proper application of heat, and sometimes a little luck are just as important to survival than using the ship’s tungsten plates.
The vessel’s top speed is augmented dramatically by the installation of a 5 MegaNewton microwarpdive into one of the Republic Frigate’s Medium Power Slots at the cost of fifty gigajoules of total capacitor capacity. Also in the medium power slots are a warp scrambler to tackle enemies and a stasis webifier to reduce their speed while engaged.
The Republic Frigate is extremely versatile in that it can catch other 5MN microwarpdrive equipped frigates while still having the ability to cut most brawling attack frigates down at close range. Although at a speed disadvantage to some afterburner fit ships at ranges less than 10km, its relatively high base speed and stasis webifier grant the capability to escape under many circumstances when otherwise outmatched.
Rifter-class vessels carry a bonus to the crew’s falloff accuracy range of the ship’s installed turrets. Using this bonus, enemy ships maneuvering around 7-10km can be hit consistently and reliably by 200mm autocannons. Since its engagement window is so wide and the price is so low, there’s very little consequence in taking difficult, seemingly unwinnable fights; this makes the Republic Frigate an excellent ship with which to train in EVE Online.
If ever there’s a need to catch a kiter, the Republic Frigate’s 5MegaNewton microwarpdrive coupled with the Rifter’s base speed offer excellent closing capability, but the 5MN also causes a violent ballooning of the ship’s signal radius; this, along with its relatively light defenses make the Republic Frigate vulnerable to concentrated artillery volleys from enemy ships in Eve Online.
The Republic Frigate is a cheap, versatile ship capable of engaging a wide array of enemies solo and also inflicting disproportionate damage in fleet battles. Since its materials are commonly sourced and easily upgraded, the Republic Frigate is a great vessel for any new pilot fighting in the constellations of Empire conflict, but is ideally suited to those with training in Minmatar-style tactics.