EVE Online Drones - Your Little Helpers
Drones are your little helpers in EvE Online. Those semi-automatic little crafts can perform a variety of tasks, from providing you with additional firepower to repairing your fleet or salvaging wrecks.
Table of contents
- Drone Bay
- Drone Control Range
- Combat Drones
- Electronic Warfare Drones
- Logistics Drones
- Salvage Drones
- Mining Drones
To use drones your ship has to have a drone bay, the bigger the bay the more or bigger drones you can use. You can find information about the drone bay in the attributes tab of the ships. Drone bay is a space exclusively for drones, you cannot put anything else inside.
With drones loaded in your drone bay, you will notice a new UI element which tells you what drones you have in your drone bay and which ones are currently in space. Through here you can launch your drones and command them when in space. This window will also show you how badly damaged your drones are (just like normal ships, drones have shield, armor and hull hitpoints).
Bandwidth is a ship attribute that determines your ship ability to control your little helpers which is measured in Mbit/sec. The bigger the drones are, the more bandwidth they need and you can only deploy as many drones as your ship bandwidth can handle. You will often see ships that can carry way more drones than they can actually handle in space which gives them more choice and options when it comes to drone selection. The maximum amount of drones is determined by your Drones skill. For example, if you have Drones at level V but your ships bandwidth allows you to launch only four you will have to work with four AI buddies. This works both ways, if your ships bandwidth allows you to launch more than five drones you won’t be able to (this usually means that this ship is designed with more advanced drones in mind).
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Drone Control Range
Drone control range is the area from your ship that your drones can operate in. Base range is 20km but it can be increased greatly by Drone Avionics and Advanced Drone Avionics skill. You can enhance the range even more with proper modules and rigs such as Drone Link Augmentor or Drone Control Range Augmentor rig.
EvE Online drones are divided into 5 different types and combat drones are further divided into 7 subcategories. We will briefly go through all of them.
- Light Scout Drones - smallest combat drones used on frigates, destroyers, and cruisers. They take up to 5m3 of your drone bay space and 5Mbit/sec bandwidth
- Medium Scout Drones - Taking up 10m3 of space and 10Mbit/sec bandwidth
- Heavy Attack Drones - Largest pre-carrier combat drones. Heavy Attack Drones take up 25m3 and 25Mbit/sec bandwidth. Preferably used against battleships or bigger targets.
- Sentry Drones - They take as much space and bandwidth as Heavy Attack Drones but instead of engaging and orbiting their targets, Sentry drones deploy where they have been launched and shoot their targets from long range. Those robotic snipers have bigger ranges and falloffs than their heavy attack counterparts but have very low tracking speeds and are immobile once launched
- Fighter and Fighter Bombers are frigate-sized robots that do cruiser levels of damage that can be deployed only by carriers. Fighters can pursue targets through the warp which makes them extremely dangerous. Fighter Bombers, however, are meant for one thing only - destroy capital ships or structures.
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Electronic Warfare Drones
Electronic Warfare Drones are your mobile EWAR modules designed to tackle or incapacitate enemy ships using various electronic warfare measures. There is a drone for every type of EWAR: Tracking Disruption, Electronic Countermeasures, Sensor Dampening, and Target Painting. Additionally, you will find Energy Neutraliser drones which drain your enemy capacitor and Stasis Webifier drones that will slow your target down.
Logistics Drones - Repair bots that will fix your shield, armor or hull depending on which drone you’ll choose.
Salvage Drones - Drones that replace salvage modules, they will find scraps of useful material in enemy wrecks
Mining Drones - they mine asteroids (shockers!)
Drone combat has the highest skill requirement from all the types of weapons but considering their versatility and the fact that drones are often running along your main weapon skills it's worth getting into. There are also modules that can enhance the performance of your drones for each type of slot.
- Drone Link Augmentor: increases drone control range by 20km (very good for sentry drones)
- Drone Control Unit: carrier exclusive module that allows you to launch one extra drone
- Drone Navigation Computer: Increases your drone speed by 25%
- Omnidirectional Tracking Link: Increases your drones’ tracking speed and optimal/falloff weapon range. Just like turret tracking computer, this module can be loaded with scripts to enhance the performance of the module in certain areas.
- Drone Damage Amplifier: increases damage of your drones by 16%
- Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer: increases tracking speed and weapon range.
I hope you learned something about EvE Online drones from this brief guide. Drone combat is a very wide topic with lots of nuances, we have only covered the bare basics of it. Be sure to check our site often for more detailed guides in the future.