It’s like a Stratios, but smaller! The Astero is the Sisters of EVE frigate with bonuses to armour, drones, and scanning & hacking duties. It’s typically the big and scary frigate in the world of Covert Ops scanners and is the go-to option for cloaky frigate fighting – if you aren’t using a bomber, that is. I’m also going to be including a giveaway in this article at the bottom as a part of the EVE Partner programme. 😀
As with any other Fit Kitchen article, here’s the breakdown of the ship bonuses. It’s worth noting that this ship has a layout of 2/4/4. When you fill those two high slots with a Covert Ops Cloak and a probe launcher it becomes kind of… full. This can be quite limiting and it opens up Asteros to being quite predictable. More on that later, though.
Amarr Frigate bonuses (per skill level):
4% bonus to all armor resistances
Gallente Frigate bonuses (per skill level):
20% bonus to Drone hitpoints
100% reduction in Cloaking Devices CPU requirement
37.5% bonus to Core and Combat Scanner Probe strength
10+ bonus to Relic and Data Analyzer virus strength
• Can fit Covert Ops Cloaking Device
• Cloak reactivation delay reduced to 15 seconds
The Obvious Fits – Scanning and Hacking Asteros
Alright, I don’t normally provide much in the way of scanning and hacking fits here on my blog, but I feel it’s pretty important for this ship. Since it has ‘easy to use’ combat bonuses, the Astero is often fit with PvP and scanning in mind. This ends up being pretty terrible most of the time, but it can be done if you know what to aim for and what you might encounter.
The first fit below is going to be a ‘safe’ hacking Astero fit. One that I feel you should be able to fly around and happily hack anything to your heart’s content without worry. The idea being that a 10MN AB plus scram will get you out of most situations. Basically, you align out and heat the prop while scramming any MWD hostiles that chase you. Eventually, you will escape providing that they don’t have something like a web Loki on grid. If, however, you were bubbled and a web Loki just appeared then maybe you should have used the instawarp to get out earlier.
Wait, Ashy that isn’t a typical scanning fit! No, it’s not. The reason is that any Astero can be made into a scanner simply by fitting whichever scan bonus modules you want, a little bit of align time and that’s it. Most regular Covert Ops ships are going to avoid you because you are an Astero and most bigger things don’t care about your pathetic 99 DPS. You have to pick your fights.
Moving swiftly on, there’s another way to run a scanning Astero if you’re a bit more combat-oriented. That’s because it is a combat fit. The trick is to take off the web in exchange for whichever hacking module you would like and you won’t lose a whole lot. Other than this, the only other thing you might want to consider is to swap the T2 rep to a blingy one or perhaps go 2x standard rep instead of having the ancil there. It’s really a matter of taste. If the plan is to hunt other explorers then maybe even go scram+point or 2x scram to guard against stabs. Easy.
The only other Astero in this category that I can truly recommend would be a combat scanning fit. And it’s so bad that I won’t be linking it directly. Simply put, you need four Co-Processors, maybe and overclock, and some basic modules such as the Scan Rangefinding Array. This is how I typically prefer my newbros to run their fits since it means we don’t bump into a ratting cap without combats available.
10MN Safe Hacker
[Astero, 2021 Safe Hacking] Coreli A-Type Small Armor Repairer Damage Control II Multispectrum Energized Membrane II Navy Micro Auxiliary Power Core 10MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner Warp Scrambler II Data Analyzer II Relic Analyzer II Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Sisters Core Probe Launcher Small Ancillary Current Router II Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II Hobgoblin II x5 Hornet EC-300 x5 Hornet EC-300 x5 Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16 Capacitor Power Relay II x1
Simple Combat Astero
[Astero, 2021 Standard PvP] Small Armor Repairer II Multispectrum Energized Membrane II Damage Control II Small Ancillary Armor Repairer 1MN Afterburner II Warp Scrambler II Stasis Webifier II Small Capacitor Booster II Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Sisters Core Probe Launcher Small Explosive Armor Reinforcer I Small Auxiliary Nano Pump II Small Auxiliary Nano Pump II Hobgoblin II x5 Hornet EC-300 x5 Hornet II x5 Navy Cap Booster 400 x10 Nanite Repair Paste x80 Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16 Data Analyzer II x1 Relic Analyzer II x1 Warp Disruptor II x1 Warp Scrambler II x1
Shield Asteros and More
As for more styles of Astero piloting, I’ve seen people kite with them and I’ve seen people use them to hold tackle. That second role could be accomplished by nearly any afterburner. Kiting is a bit different, though. For an Astero you don’t have any ranges to worry about other than the 24km point range and you’re pretty much locked into doing 99 DPS or less with a set of light drones. It’s possible to knock that up to 157 DPS as I’ve seen people do on Zkill, but it requires three Drone Damage Amps. Trading 75% of your low slots for 58 more DPS seems a bit silly to be honest.
So where does this leave us? Well, a dual shield extender Astero (ignoring the bonus, I know) will reach 13.1k EHP quite easily and I do like the idea of that. It’s a brute force solution if I’ve ever seen one but if all you’re doing is emulating a kite Tristan or Algos then you might as well do a good job of it. You can do that with the fit I recommend below, but I’ve done something different with it instead. It’s passive tanked!
A passive tank Astero isn’t something that I’ve seen people flying around much and I don’t really know why since it ticks all the boxes. DPS is fine, it has a point and is decently agile, and it should tank nearly any other Astero it comes across, certainly most kiting frigates too. The biggest worry you have flying this fit is the 10% EM hole. I don’t think it’s worth fixing up, though, since that ruins the rest of your resists including this almost perfect resist against hostile thermal drones! (right). It’s also cap stable so I can’t really think of anything easier to fly.
Another Astero fit I quite like is pretty much an anti-Astero Astero (really getting the search engine optimisation in there aren’t I). I’ve dropped the Core Probe Launcher in exchange for an autocannon and beefed up the drones with a durability rig. This is a bit more on the expensive side of things but if drone wars are your game then this is the one to win it. There is also a DDA on there for the minor amount of DPS it gives. It’s entirely possible to drop that damage for another rep but that’ll bring you more towards that awful area of “oh no we can’t kill each other”.
Passive Shield Kite Astero
[Astero, 2021 Shield Passive Astero] Micro Auxiliary Power Core II Power Diagnostic System II IFFA Compact Damage Control Shield Power Relay II 5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender J5 Enduring Warp Disruptor Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Core Probe Launcher I Small Core Defense Field Purger II Small Core Defense Field Purger II Small Core Defense Field Purger II Acolyte II x5 Hobgoblin II x5 Warrior II x5 Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Management SM-701 Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Operation SP-901
Drone War Astero
[Astero, 2021 Tasteful Bling Autocannon] Corpii A-Type Small Armor Repairer Damage Control II Multispectrum Energized Membrane II Drone Damage Amplifier II Small Capacitor Booster II Coreli A-Type 1MN Afterburner X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier Warp Scrambler II Covert Ops Cloaking Device II 200mm AutoCannon II Small Drone Durability Enhancer I Small Nanobot Accelerator I Small Auxiliary Nano Pump II Caldari Navy Hornet x5 Federation Navy Hobgoblin x5 Imperial Navy Acolyte x5 Standard Exile Booster Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II Barrage S x1000 Hail S x1000 Navy Cap Booster 400 x15 Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x1000 Republic Fleet Titanium Sabot S x1000
How Not to Fit an Astero & Tips
So I did want to make a gun Astero next. Something with a pair of blasters or a pair of autocannons to really pump the DPS numbers up. Turns out that it still doesn’t go that high (about 300 DPS max) and it’s kind of depressing. This is made worse when you consider the Ishkur. The Ishkur is a pretty pathetic Assault Frigate with about a 10k EHP tank and 200 DPS with rails. It actually echoes an uncloaked Astero as far as piloting goes in many ways, but in almost every case the Ishkur is just that little bit better. It just doesn’t make much sense, especially when an Ishkur is half the price.
My next tactic was to turn to Zkill and see what other people are flying for some inspiration. Turns out that most people just die in travel Asteros to gate camps when they forget to cloak or something. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Some of those people even choose to bling the hell out of their Astero before they whelp it into the nearest T1 frigate that wants to kill them. Truly hilarious.
Really, the key to actually flying and doing well with an Astero is to make great use of an afterburner and (usually) dual reps to mitigate most of the damage you take. You can then slowly burn through the shields and armour of many cruisers and below. You could kill a buffer battleship given enough time, but those situations are somewhat rare. This is where you get fancy videos of someone orbiting a bigger ship until they eventually score a kill.
One more thing to be aware of is that you need to know what you are going to be fighting to customise your fit for purpose. An example might be that a fit aimed at killing other Asteros might use a Reactive Armour Hardener to ensure crazy amounts of resists against singular drone types. You can make that swap on several of the fits above if you like. I’ve got more tips on this in my PvP fitting guides (How 2 Fit // Fitting Fundamentals), my PvE fitting guide, and my wormhole hacking article.
Oh and another fantastic way to use an Astero would be as an escape bay frigate to save your pod. Check out my escape bay guide.
Partner SKIN Giveaway
And now for something completely different. I’m going to be running a giveaway of exclusive SKINs provided by CCP! This is the Scope Syndication SKIN that you can see in the image to the right and the only way to attain one of these is through interaction with an EVE Online Partner.
Rules to enter the giveaway are quite simple and open to nearly anyone:
- One entry per person, please do not attempt to game it.
- You must have a Discord account and should join my server to verify this. If I notice many people signing up with brand new accounts then I may change this slightly.
- Your EVE character must be at least one month old.
- Signup on this form right here: <Form removed>
Winners will be announced on my Discord and I will contact them through there with a code which you may redeem (make sure to log in with the right account). Said winners will be randomly selected and, though I haven’t decided how I do that yet, I will try to be as transparent as possible. No favouritism here.
Entries will close Friday 18th December at EVE downtime.
The giveaway has now closed. You can read about the winners and the selection method in this article.