Looking for a ship to fly in the free for all Rifter Proving Grounds? Or perhaps you just want to get in on some lowsec solo PvP action. Let’s talk about the Rifter! This is a Minmatar “attack” frigate with bonuses to falloff range and rate of fire. It typically uses autocannons and goes for a scram-kiting style of gameplay, utilising its great falloff to hit targets at around 9km.
The Rifter is also the typical ship that you think of when you think of EVE Online, almost like a mascot of sorts. It’s an awesome and iconic ship design so it must be good, right? Here are the stats:
Minmatar Frigate bonuses (per skill level):
5% bonus to Small Projectile Turret rate of fire
10% bonus to Small Projectile Turret falloff
Only two lines of text in the stat block this time since we’re looking at a simple T1 frigate that you can fly on day one. In fact, I even included one in the fits over at EVE Academy! The fits over there were designed to be relatively fast and tanky to allow newbros to get onto a target and get maximum exposure to PvP before dying. The fits I’ll be presenting here should mostly work in whatever PvP you want to get into, including the Proving Grounds. In the case that you find a Proving Grounds fit that you want to use in k-space, simply change a mid slot to a scram/point instead.
One of the best ways of staying alive in a free for all Proving Ground is to keep your distance and play smart. Rushing in and tackling the first person you can is just going to wear down your tank and let the others in the arena feast on your hull when you’re done. To that end, you can make very good use of kiting fits if you want to try and stay safe. This will let you still do damage while remaining well outside of the weapon range of everyone else. These fits should theoretically work in k-space with a point fitted, but I designed them with the Proving Grounds in mind so take that for what you will.
Beginning with what most people think of when they think about projectile weapon kiting – artillery. You can make an arty Rifter work in a number of different ways, but I think the best one is to make use of a Small Shield Extender. That’s normally a pretty bad module, but when you’re already tight on powergrid, the fact that it only uses 1.6 PG saves multiple fitting modules! What I’m showing below has only 3.31k EHP, but with some very nice DPS and range for a T1 artillery frigate. If you don’t care so much about lock range, then drop the Ionics/Collision Accelerator, add on extenders and change the Small Shield Extender to T2. This takes you up to 4.58k EHP at a loss of DPS and lock range.
My favourite idea for a kiting Rifter, though, is a bit different. By using that falloff bonus you can build a Rifter to perform a little bit like the Stabber or Cynabal typically would. This solves many of the powergrid issues and lets you track much better than an arty ship would, giving you a particular niche of being the best DPS between about 12 and 20km. You still have a good tank, too, and enough DPS to punch up with someone who gets on your face. Plus it’s kind of a fun concept in my opinion – using a short-range weapon system to kite is a novel concept most of the time.
Really you can fit your kiting Rifter in any number of ways depending on what exactly you want. The combination of Sensor Booster + double ionic will let you shoot to nearly 62km with Tremor if that’s what you want, for example. And don’t let me catch you flying with the rare light missile Rifter, that’s just weird.
Arty Kiting Rifter
[Rifter, 2021 Kiting Arty] Counterbalanced Compact Gyrostabilizer IFFA Compact Damage Control Fourier Compact Tracking Enhancer Nanofiber Internal Structure II Small Shield Extender II 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Optical Compact Tracking Computer 280mm Howitzer Artillery II 280mm Howitzer Artillery II 280mm Howitzer Artillery II Small Core Defense Field Extender I Small Core Defense Field Extender I Small Core Defense Field Extender I Quake S x200 Tremor S x200 Republic Fleet EMP S x200 Republic Fleet Fusion S x200 Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x200 Optimal Range Script x1 Tracking Speed Script x1
Autocannon Kiting Rifter
[Rifter, 2021 Kiting Autos] Nanofiber Internal Structure II IFFA Compact Damage Control Gyrostabilizer II Fourier Compact Tracking Enhancer Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Tracking Computer II 200mm AutoCannon II 200mm AutoCannon II 200mm AutoCannon II Small Projectile Burst Aerator II Small Core Defense Field Extender I Small Core Defense Field Extender I Standard Sooth Sayer Booster Barrage S x1000 Hail S x1000 Republic Fleet EMP S x500 Republic Fleet Fusion S x500 Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x500 Optimal Range Script x1 Tracking Speed Script x1
Scram Kiting Rifters
So what is scram kiting? Scram kiting is when you kite someone at the edge of scram range, forcing most other small weapon systems to struggle with their own long-range ammo. It’s holding a short person at arm’s reach while punching them… with 200mm guns. I don’t expect this to be super useful in the Proving Grounds, but it’s a great way of fighting in lowsec sites providing that you don’t engage anyone who can shoot to 10km.
And also before we move forward, we need to talk about falloff range. It doesn’t really matter too much whether you bonus your Rifter towards range with Ambit Extensions, or more upfront damage with Burst Aerators/more Gyrostabilisers. Higher damage means that a large amount of DPS will fall off quickly, leaving you with x DPS. Higher range means that your lower DPS will fall off slowly, leaving you with x DPS too! The only time you need to be particularly concerned about this is if you choose to fight past the edge of falloff or, for some reason, within your optimal.
As before, I’m providing two fits below which make use of their powergrid in very different ways. The one on the left is an autocannon plated fit with plenty of EHP to absorb some hits. Decent if you know that you can get on top of your target, but also the kind of fit which just dies if anyone tried to kite it. Your choice of ammo should be Barrage most of the time, but feel free to select EMP for a 25% drop in damage (at that range) in order to hit an EM resist hole. Another alternative is to swap the web (or scram) for a Tracking Disruptor to indirectly improve your tank.
The Rifter on the right is an artillery variant. It has better DPS at 9km and some nice alpha with the tradeoff being that you lose about 2k EHP compared to the plated autocannon style. If you can survive long enough on grid then this particular boat has the nice bonus of being able to shoot back at kiting ships instead of keeling over and accepting the loss. Fun fact about the Rifter and the alpha damage it can do (which isn’t particularly special): A 692 damage volley aimed at another unplated Rifter will eat through about 80% of its armour in one shot!
Autocannon Scram Kiting Plated
[Rifter, 2021 Scram Kite Plated] Small Ancillary Armor Repairer IFFA Compact Damage Control Gyrostabilizer II 400mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates Warp Scrambler II Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier 1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner 200mm AutoCannon II 200mm AutoCannon II 200mm AutoCannon II Small Projectile Ambit Extension II Small Ancillary Current Router II Small Explosive Armor Reinforcer I Barrage S x1000 Hail S x1000 Republic Fleet EMP S x500 Republic Fleet Fusion S x500 Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x500
Arty Scram Kiting Unplated
[Rifter, 2021 Scram Kite No Plate] Small Ancillary Armor Repairer IFFA Compact Damage Control Gyrostabilizer II Multispectrum Coating II Warp Scrambler II Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier 1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner 280mm Howitzer Artillery II 280mm Howitzer Artillery II 280mm Howitzer Artillery II Small Projectile Collision Accelerator II Small Transverse Bulkhead I Small Transverse Bulkhead I Quake S x200 Tremor S x200 Republic Fleet EMP S x200 Republic Fleet Fusion S x200 Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x200
It doesn’t get much simpler than brawling in EVE Online combat. Strangely, though, it can be the most satisfying and edge-of-the-seat gameplay out there. Flying a brawling Rifter is no exception! When it comes to the Proving Grounds, too, you can get away with some very simple no-scram fits. Simply strap on a Medium Shield Extender and get to work on the person nearest to you. The first fit below should do just that and thanks to the natural shield resist it will be very punishing to anyone who chooses to use Barrage or Hail against you (explosive damage). I tried the equivalent fit with ancillary shield boosters, too, and it just isn’t very good. The Rifter doesn’t have the CPU to do that.
The same thing can be done in armour, too! A simple 400mm plate, scram/web, and we have something similar to my Academy fit which doesn’t need to be adjusted for newbros. This style of flying a Rifter is generally just kind of “ok”. You’ve got all-around average stats and in order to secure a win, you need to claw back an advantage through piloting skills. By that I mean proper ammo choice, recognition of what your opponent is trying to do, and not just throwing yourself at someone face first. You can fit an ancillary armour rep by making a lot of adjustments, but at that point it starts to become the scram kiter I mentioned earlier.
Finally, we arrive at the best kind of tanking there is – dual tanking! Fitting a Medium Ancillary Shield Booster and Small Ancillary Armour Repairer gives you a decent shield and armour tank without the downsides of either. For reference, the reason you normally never do this is because shield increases signature size, and armour decreases speed. Combining both of those really sucks and it is not synergistic with the effective use of slots normally, nor does it work under logi. This particular fit works similarly to a Breacher and makes for a relatively well-balanced fit. Total EHP if you use all charges is about 8.33k assuming that you use a Hardshell II. One last reminder for new players – use the smallest Navy cap charges you can in your shield booster, they all rep the same and you can fit more of the small ones (up to 9).
Simple Shield Rifter
[Rifter, 2021 Simple Tanky Brawler MSE] Gyrostabilizer II Gyrostabilizer II IFFA Compact Damage Control Co-Processor II Medium Shield Extender II Compact Multispectrum Shield Hardener 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive 150mm Light AutoCannon II 150mm Light AutoCannon II 150mm Light AutoCannon II Small Core Defense Field Extender I Small Core Defense Field Extender I Small Projectile Collision Accelerator II Barrage S x1000 Hail S x1000 Republic Fleet EMP S x500 Republic Fleet Fusion S x500 Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x500
Simple Armour Rifter
[Rifter, 2021 Simple Tanky Brawler Plate] Damage Control II 400mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates Multispectrum Coating II Counterbalanced Compact Gyrostabilizer 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier Initiated Compact Warp Scrambler 200mm AutoCannon II 200mm AutoCannon II 200mm AutoCannon II Small Trimark Armor Pump I Small Trimark Armor Pump I Small Ancillary Current Router II Barrage S x1000 Hail S x1000 Republic Fleet EMP S x500 Republic Fleet Fusion S x500 Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x500
Dual Tanked Ancillary
[Rifter, 2021 Dual Tank] Small Ancillary Armor Repairer Damage Control II Counterbalanced Compact Gyrostabilizer Co-Processor II Medium Ancillary Shield Booster Initiated Compact Warp Scrambler 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive 200mm AutoCannon II 200mm AutoCannon II 200mm AutoCannon II Small Transverse Bulkhead I Small Transverse Bulkhead I Small Semiconductor Memory Cell I Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II Barrage S x1000 Hail S x1000 Navy Cap Booster 50 x36 Nanite Repair Paste x50 Republic Fleet EMP S x500 Republic Fleet Fusion S x500 Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x500
Thanks for getting this far if you have. I wanted to apologise for taking a bit longer since the last article and also for shutting the site down for a while. I took a lot of abuse from the last article and I’m not very good at handling that in all honesty. I’ve also had exams in addition to two jobs so I’m sorry about that. I’ll try and get the next article written asap, though I’m not sure on what yet. As always, if anyone wants to contact me for suggestions, updates I need to make, or just to say hi then feel free to do so on Discord. The link is on the left in the sidebar.
Final extra fit, Auraus Porcaleus sent me over a Rifter fit which is pretty good as well. Enjoy.