Ship fitting can be confusing, especially for the new player, there are hundreds of ships out there and thousands of modules to fit on them with varying degrees of success. Fortunately you have several tools available to you to help you plan out potential fits.
The first tool of course are the forums, Battleclinics own offers insight from some highly experienced and very successful players. Under the Eve-Online banner is a drop down menu, third down being search loadouts. Here you can filter out your search to locate only the fittings of the ship you are interested in. The filtered list will display the ships in order of rating, highest first; usually the highest rated fits are the best for the ship. These loadouts will give you ideas, they will tell you what’s been done before and indicate what works and what doesn’t.
The second tool is evemon, this is a character planning tool and can be found here: http://evemon.battleclinic.com/
. Using this you can more effectively plan your characters training. Flying a ship is about more than just being able to undock it, its also about being able to fit and fight it effectively, evemon is an invaluable tool enabling you to plan out the skills you will require for each ship you are interested in.
Third we have the various fitting tools, I prefer Eve Fitting Tool (EFT) which can be found here: http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=548883&page=1
You can update EFT with your characters skills using the API key, and from there it is a simple matter to plan out your ship fits.
Lastly there are the killboards, read them, you will be shocked by how many awfully fitted ships die very quickly to opponents they should have been able to kill.
Using these tools you can plan out your fittings, you can see what skills you need to fit the ship effectively, what skills you still need to train, how long it will take to train them. You can use EFT to tweak a ships fitting, you can tweak your skills to see what effect they will have, and you will see also what skills you currently lack for your dream fitting.
Always, always run potential ship fits through EFT before using them for the first time. It will indicate weaknesses, and will tell you if you are able to fit them in the first place. This will avoid many expensive mistakes on your part, you will still lose a ship, that’s part of Eve, but as many folk at Battleclinic say, many fights, PvE or PvP, are won and lost at the fittings screen. Fit a ship well and you vastly reduce your chances of losing it, or in the case of the PvP junkies out there, will at least give you a fighting chance of killing the other guy.
PvE vs PvP
I have seen too many fits that try to do both, don’t bother, PvE and PvP require completely different fitting requirements for almost every ship out there. You need to decide which you want your ship to do, then fit for either PvP or for PvE, fit for both and your ship will do neither very well.
Rules of ship fitting
Read your ships description, and then read it again. The ships description and bonuses will always indicate what role the ship is designed to fulfil, and the most effective weapons, tank and modules to use on it. Fitting autocannons to a Deimos for example will reduce your potential damage output by a huge margin (5% per cruiser level and 5% per level of HAC to medium Hybrids)
Decide on what you want your ship to do, and fit strictly within your design parameters. You need to determine what the ship requires in order to fulfil its proposed function then tailor your fitting to that function.
Decide if your ship is for PvE or PvP, this alone will dictate what you use for cap recharge and how many of your precious slots you will use for that purpose. It will also dictate what you tank, and how you tank, and in most cases will dictate the proportion of your lows you dedicate to damage modules over other modules.
Always fit weapons sized for the ship, fitting small guns on a cruiser almost never works unless under certain specialist circumstances. As a general rule it should be avoided.
Always use the same weapons; mixing 150 dual, 200mm and 250 mm rail guns on single ships does not work. It actually decreases your ships versatility by vastly reducing your effective combat envelope. Always use guns of a uniform size. The same goes for missile launchers, just don’t do it, its bad mmmkay?
Pick a tank type, and stick to it. Your tank will usually be dictated by the race, but as a general rule look at the slot layout, a ship with more lows than mids will be an armour tanker, a ship with more mids than lows will be a shield tanker, and a ship with equal number of mids and lows is supposedly able to do both. Tank type is also often indicated by the ships description, the 7.5% bonus to armour reppers for many Gallente ships, or the 5% shield resist bonus to some Caldari ships for example. Never ever mix tank types, its as bad if not worse than mixing guns.
Never fit warp core stabilisers on combat ships, they are useless. Ships of cruiser size or larger will not be able to align fast enough to avoid a HIC, ships smaller don’t need them. The effects they have on your combat capabilities are not worth the dubious chance of escaping a gank. Intelligence, situational awareness, and a noob alt in an Ibis scouting ahead of you will save your backside more often than a WCS.
If a ship is a specialist in a role, always fit it for that role. Fitting a Falcon or Rook to be a badass DPS boat from hell is not going to work, using all those yummy mids for a bunch of ECM however makes them 2 of the most useful ships in the game.
I am sure other folk who frequent these forums will add more to this thread, it’s kind of why I started it. I am too lazy to type out every possible bit of advice myself, and if I did this would turn out to be a major undertaking. The important thing however, is experiment in EFT and SiSi, look at the loadout section for ideas, read the comments, use the tools, and DON’T MIX GUNS OR TANKS!Highly recommended reading on how to fit ships can be found at this link: How not to fit a ship badly- by Montclair
This is somewhat more depth than this guide and is well worth a read.
EDIT: Didnt include EFT Link, fixed
EDIT: Reworded the WCS advice to combat ships only, personally I never fit them to anything, but in some circumstances I suppose a WCS or two on an Indy can be useful. My advice still remains the same though, a noob scout in an Ibis or a shuttle will save your ship more often than a WCS.
EDIT: Added link to Montclair's guide to ensure it isnt lost in the event it doesnt eventually get stickied.
Over the last few months I have seen a plethora of bad ship fits on BC, these can become somewhat depressing, partly because all the tips and advice that can be offered are easily at hand on the forums. It becomes wearisome saying the same thing time and time again. So, I thought I would rattle this little guide together and place it here; hopefully it will act as a guide to ship fitting for the new or confused player, sort of a push in the right direction rather than a dictatorial you should do such and such.