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EVE Online - Combat Basics

Concise, reliable, PRINTABLE fingertip facts for EVE Online

Basic Weapon Damage Table

This table should be of great help in picking the armament mix for your ship, or in optimising ships for special combat functions. There is a fundamental difference between the various weapon damage types (EM, Explosive, Kinetic, and Thermal) in how their damage is applied to Shields and Armor. You can see the Base Shield Damage and Base Armor Damage numbers in the Show Info/Attributes screen for most weapons and ammo (yet the EVE Online Database ignores these essential numbers).

    Base Damage to:
  Shield Armor
EM 100% 40%
Explosive 40% 90%
Kinetic 60% 75%
Thermal 80% 65%

So, if your weapon does EM damage, 100% of its damage is applied to the target if you're hitting shields, but only 40% is applied if you're hitting the ship's armor. For example, a small Laser Turret with a Radio S Frequency Crystal does base damage of 5 points - if it hits the shields it will do 100%x5=5 points base damage, but if you're past the shields and working on armor, it will only do 40%x5=2.0 points. These numbers, as always, are modified by many attributes, such as ship, weapon, and character combat bonuses.

In short, EM type weapons are great for whittling down enemy shields, but are rather ineffective once the shields are down. Likewise, if you're using only explosive weapons, you may never get through the shields to do your armor blasting.

A common weapon mix on a solo ship is to install long range lasers for wearing down the enemy shields as you approach, and then weapons optimised for armor/structure in the shorter ranges.

Note: All documents on our site are .pdf files requiring Acrobat Reader v4.0 or better (available free at www.adobe.com) to open. They are optimised for printing on 8.5"x11" (ideally, in colour) and may not be as clear (or correctly oriented) on-screen as they are when printed. Print testing has been done on inkjet and laser printers, in both colour and greyscale.

If you have previously printed any of these documents, check for updates here by comparing the date on the bottom left ("footer") of each printed sheet to the (revision date) listed here behind each pdf file.

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