The world of EVE is inhabited by five major races: the Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, Jove, and Minmatar. All of these races are of human origin; their ancestors entered this little part of the universe thousands of years ago through a natural wormhole. Though most of the first settlements collapsed when the wormhole suddenly closed, a few survived. Today’s races are the descendants of those scattered colonies.

Playable Races and Avatar differences

Only 4 of the 5 races are playable and the only differences between each of the playable races at this point in time is:

  1. Appearance of the avatar (which you can further customize)
  2. a very minimal skillset depending on bloodline.

The appearance can be altered to some extent after the initial character creation, for example you can augment the avatar by purchasing other clothing objects in the NEX Store. The appearance is tied to the bloodlines of each race. Each race has 3 bloodlines and these will affect the appearance of your starter avatar as well as the initial skillset. Some are focused on industry, where others are combat affiliated. While they appear to be different, the truth is that skill training in EVE is for everyone and those differences can be ironed out in a matter of hours and over the course of a week will be completely irrelevant.



The skillset that your starter avatar comes with is simply a very basic set that allows you to fly the most rudimentary racial ships right off the bat. As such, it is very easy to train to fly other ships at the same level during the first few days and the skillset of other starter avatars can be aquired within a few hours of training. As any race can pick and chose any skill to train, there are no reasons to pick an arbitrary FOTM race, simply because there are none.

Amarr Gallente
Minmatar Caldari


Racial Ship Differences 

Once in-game you will find that one of the ways to easily distinguish each race from oneanother is a uniform background image. This will become particularly handy as a Pilot that specializes in Electronic Warfare (EWAR). Once you become more familiar with the different ships in PVP – their roles become important, as does their potential slot layout, weapon systems and in turn, following that … all the other differences that will help you determine the outcome of a fight or a priority of a target on a field of battle.

Amarr Amarr (Golden)
Gallente Gallente (Green)
Minmatar Minmatar (Red)
Caldari Caldari (Silver)

Racial Weapon Differences

As each race developed with focuses on different ship designs, so did their weapon systems. As a result, each racial ship design has a core design, with varying offspring to offer variety, style and pwnage of varying kind. At its core; Weapon Turrets in general has the bonus of having instantly applicable damage, where Missile Launchers require flight time (to fly to their target) and as a result comes with a delay in damage depending on distance to the target, speed of the missile etc.

While missiles offer full variety in damage (1 type at a time), turrets are mostly focused on one, two or three types of damage.

Type EM Explosive Kinetic Thermal
Laser Turret X      
X     X
Hybrid Turret     X X
Projectile Turret X   X  
X X X  
  X X  
  X X X
    X X
Missile Launcher (X) (X) (X) (X)


Racial Defenses Differences 

In general, you basically have 5 defense systems available to help you survive a fight. When referring to damage absorbtion in any MMO, we’re talking about the principles of Tanking. In EVE this comes down to these basic principles:

  1. Damage Absorbtion
    1. Active Tanking
      1. Shield Repair Modules
      2. Armor Repair Modules
      3. Hull Repair Modules
    2. Passive Tanking
      1. Shield
    3. Buffer Tanking
      1. Armor Plates
      2. Shield Extender Modules
      3. Hull (Bulk Heads)
  2. Damage Avoidance
    1. Signature Tanking
      1. Faster than enemy weapons can hit; due to …
        1. Target Too Small’n’Fast to effectively hit A.K.A “Speed Tanking”
        2. Target Too Close to effectively hit A.K.A getting “Under the Guns”
    2. Electronic Warfare
      1. ECM breaks target locks completely and makes it impossible to lock further targets for a set period.
      2. Sensor Dampening (SD) reduces an opponent ships targetting range and target locking speed.
      3. Tracking Disruption (TD) changes the effectiveness of a turret making it harder for the opponent to succesfully score a hit.
      4. Energy Vampires (NoS) or Destabilizers (Neuts) can make capacitor dependant modules unable to function – crippling critical functions of a ship.
    3. Cloaking
      1. Cloaking modules makes ships unable to be targetted (cloak can be broken if an object enters a 2km sphere around the cloaked ship)
      2. Cloaked ships are unable to engage other targets (you cannot target other ships while cloaked, or activate any kind of module).
    4. Damage Application
      1. “Your enemies can’t hurt you if they’re dead”

Each race has ships that can cater to different principles of these very general tanking guides based on the hull bonuses, while others can be effective in other principles due to their slot layout.

Race Hull Bonused weapons systems Hull Bonused Utility Hull Bonused Defenses Slot Layout 
Amarr Energy Turrets, Drones, Missiles Tracking Disruption, Energy Vampires, Energy Destabilizers, Capacitor Transfer, Remote Armor repair Armor Resistances, Armor Hitpoints Armor Tanking, Utility, Shield Tanking
Caldari Missiles, Hybrid Turrets ECM Jammers, Shield maintenance bots, Shield Transporters, Capacitor Transfer Shield Resistances, Shield Boost  Shield tanking, Utility
Gallente Drones, Hybrid Turret, Missiles, Sensor Dampening, Warp Disruption, Remote Armor Repair, Tracking Link, Armor Maintenance Bots, Armor Repair Armor Tanking, Utility
Minmatar Projectile Turrets, Missiles, Target Painters, Stasis Webifiers, Signature, Speed, Tracking Link, Shield Transport, Shield maintenance bots  Shield Boost Utility / Armor / Shield

While the gallente ships may seem like a crossover from Amarr to Caldari (Hybrid weapons & Armor tanking), don’t let that fool you. The Gallente ships hull hitpoints are best in field. When encountering Gallente ships, remember that once you get through their armor repair bonuses you’ll have another +35% hitpoints to chew through making it a seemingly weaker armor tanker, but with more of a structure buffer than amarr ships sports. You’d be foolish to think that once youre in structure, the battle is over. With a single Damage Control, those 35% aren’t that easily beatable. Many capsuleers have fallen pray to the bait that is a weakly tanked ship, only to find that once they commit to the fight, a fleet is in warp to the position. For this reason, the Ares is considered an extremely durable fleet interceptor and one of the best at doing what they are bonused for; tackling. In that role the high slots are used for self defense (vs drones/missile spewing), prop module, tackle and utility in mids and DC2 + speed modules in the lows.

Amarr usually has great armor defenses, and is a great starting point for pilots while sometimes lacking the utility slots that makes them viable for PVP and tackling. Locked to 1-2 types of damage they often are pitched into specific damage dealing roles. Some pilots make it work by fitting projectile turrets, while others turn to missiles or drones to bring in versatility in damage application. While other races has bonuses to more versatile weapon systems and slot layouts, the amarr has an ace in the form of the awesome Curse Recon Cruiser. A force multiplier in PVP. Cross trained into Minmatar you’ll be able to fly the Blood Raider ships that feasts on this type of warfare. The Bhaalgorn is one of the only subcapital ships that can turn the tide in a capital fight or break logistics energy transfer chains.

Caldari is the counterpart to Armor tankers, sporting lots of shield tanked ships and a versatile resistance aspect ratio. Theyre easily passively or actively tanked. The Drake being the most prominent PVE ships around due to high shield recharge, resistances and versatile missile system. While theyre often used in PVP as well for the ECM bonuses on the Falcon, the main purpose to train into caldari is for the Tengu Tactical Cruiser with its beastly shield tank. For boring PVE though, look no further.

Minmatar is different from the other ships due to their optimal slot loadout, innate speed bonuses and ability to utilize either shield or armor tanking as principle in PVE or PVP. While PVP fits usually sports buffer tanks, since the nature of the minmatar weapon systems are projectile with a high alpha (per shot/volley damage) people tend to increase the alpha and turn to either shield tanking for the PVE or either plated fits or speed tanking for PVP, for more utility. This makes the Minmatar exceedingly hard to compete with in 1-vs-1’s unless you encounter fleet fits (specialized role) without a support fleet. The Rifter quickly became the prime choice for entry level pvp due to the slot layout that supported the holy tackly trinity (point/web/prop).

Pirate Factions

Cross training opens up new possibilities for capsuleers, as they qualify in other racial ships you also unlock ships that require both of the skills trained up. Often the Pirate Faction ships comes with aweinspiring bonuses and slot layouts that makes everything seem that much easier, while coming at an excuberant cost. A Faction frigate starts at 20 mill and are often fitted for +100 mill, which makes the 250k ISK you pay for a Rifter hull seem … well … cheap. The cost benefit ratio is apparent though, but to learn PVP youre better off starting in a cheap ship. That way you won’t be surprised when you lose a ship worth +100 mill.

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