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To kill NPC pirates (rats) found in asteroid belts, anomalies and Complexes in order to make a profit from their bounties, salvage and loot. Once a rat is killed, its bounty gets deposited in your wallet with 20 minute intervals. It will also drop a wreck, which is filled with modules, ammo and other things (loot). Wrecks can be salvaged, which gets you salvage items in your cargohold. Those can be used to make rigs. Loot can be either sold on the market or reprocessed into minerals.

It is one of the most common and effective means of income in EVE Online. Ratting is often considered a better money making alternative than Mining because the skills used in Ratting are also useful for PvP. If you're a newbie and you're having trouble killing BS rats in our home systems, you can gang up with other newbies and rat together, or you can do lower-level anomalies instead.

Ratting should not be confused with Mission Running which involve interactions with NPC Agents to generate a random encounter.

Ratting in a system with more people than your local can display without scrolling is a good way to die

More about ratting

The lower the security status of a system is, the more lucrative killing the rats becomes. In highsec it will not be worth the effort, but once you get to 0.0 security you will start seeing NPC battleships with bounties varying between 500k and 1.8m. Higher bounties exist but they are fairly rare, and are usually given different names to indicate that they are the faction's elite.

Faction spawns (i.e. Shadow Serpentis as opposed to regular Serpentis) have higher bounties (around 6+ mil per battleship) and drop lucrative faction loot and ammo. These loots are of a higher meta level than t2 mods, perform whatever task more effectively, and have less fitting requirements than their t2 counterparts.

Officer Spawns, are the holy grail of ratting. They are high ranking officials of the faction (Estamel, Tuvan, etc.), have even higher bounties (30ish per BS) and drop officer loot. Officers have their own modules, named after them, which are even better than faction modules, and can easily be sold for upwards of a few billion, depending on the module. However, these rats are HARD TO KILL in a BC or below and do lots of damage. While you may be tempted to try to solo one, try doing them with a small gang.

Hauler Spawns are as the name suggests, hauler rats who drop a lot of minerals. They can drop as much as 1 million units of any mineral and require a hauler nearby.

Bounty and Loot

The lower the security of a system, the more bounty and loot you get.

1.0 - .9: There are no rats in 1.0 or 0.9 systems.

.8 - .5: These systems contain rats worth between 3k and 15k ISK.

.4 - .3: These systems will include frigates worth 5k to 10k, and cruisers worth 35k to 100k.

.2 - 0.0: Everything from 5k frigates to 1.8 million ISK battleships will occur in 0.0 space. Here you will find most of the faction spawns that appear. Rats in this space may warp scramble, jam, or web you. There are also Hauler spawns that drop cans that contain several million units of mineral.

Truesec: Truesec refers to the security value of a system below 0.0, ranging from -0.1 to -1.0. This will determine what kind of NPCs spawn in a system, and how good the loot they drop is. Lower truesec systems have more BS and faction spawns than higher security 0.0, and the spawns tend to drop better loot.

What ship do I need?

As discussed above, rat difficulty scales with the security of the system. In 0.0 space, you will need at least a cruiser to rat. Aim towards a Dominix. Taking some time and training for a Domi will only take 2 weeks or so and will make your ratting days in TEST a lot easier. More difficult ratting content calls for more expensive and advanced ships like the Tengu.

How to avoid getting robbed and killed

Ratting is fun and lucrative and certainly helps with negative sec status but you are in null sec and that means that trouble is around the corner. Be prepared to get the hell out of there. Seriously, stop ratting when there are hostiles in local or if you see them coming towards you via intel:

  • When ratting you should never, ever minimize local. Watch it all the time. Be either at your computer paying attention to local, or cloaked in a safespot. This is the best way to know whether you are in danger and so be prepared. Local is important. Watch local for any changes such as neutrals and red flashies.
  • Besides Local, monitor TEST Intel Channels, Report in there and help out other TESTies. This will allow you to see incoming hostiles from many systems away, giving you plenty of time to get prepared. An easy way to keep track of intel is to use the TEST Intel Map.
  • Failing to properly watch local will get you killed. If you are watching local and the Intel channels, you should know that hostiles are now present in the system. You will even see them heading toward your system via Intel.
  • When hostiles enter the system, they usually go check for stragglers in the asteroid belts. It is safe when the only peeps in local overview are green (your corp mates) and blue (those who are known to be friendly with your corp/alliance.
  • If you are uncertain, get your Drones in, reload and align. Learn to align. Ensure no asteroids are going to bump you off course and ruin your getaway. Watch for scouts which could look like neutrals in throw away ships but they will lock you and hold you long enough for the others to arrive and mess you up! *
  • When ratting in a station system in 0.0, don't warp to the station when hostiles enter local. Warp to a Safespots or a friendly POS that you bookmarked before you started ratting. This is to avoid a typical tactic used by hostile gangs, which is to have an Interdictor bubbling the station immediately to catch people fleeing to the station.

Note - Please watch local chat for corp mates that might need of assistance. It should be noted that some peeps tend to fit specifically for ratting and not for PVP. Should they be tackled, they could be in trouble. Assess the situation and get your ass and your friends' asses over to help. If you are the one calling for help make sure you provide your location, along with the numbers and types of ship tackling you. The faster you get this information out, the faster help will arrive. The quality of your intel might also affect the quality of support you receive. You definitely don't want a battleship coming to help if you are being tackled by frigs and cruisers. The battleship might just go down with you and certainly will not be at all happy. Relax and stay calm.

Tactics for killing NPCs

This is going to be geared towards low sec ratting since high sec ratting is simply lock and shoot but you can use these tactics in high sec too.

Rat behavior

  • Most frigates will close to less than 5 km, then orbit and start blasting away. Some frigates will warp jam (disruptor or scrambler) and web you.
  • Cruisers can vary but orbit around 5km-15km.
  • Some battleships orbit at close range (10km-20km) and longer ranges (35km).
  • Rats will use jammers, microwarpdrives, afterburners and some nos (drain capacitor).
  • Rats use their race's preferred weapons (e.g. Serpentis are Gallente, so they use rails and blasters and Gallente ships). Guristas are Caldari and use missiles and Caldari ships. Expect loot accordingly.
  • Just like real players, larger rats suck ass at shooting smaller targets (i.e. Frigates and drones). However, some use missiles, which will hit drones.
  • When a rat has a yellow/red flashing box around it, it's targeting you but not yet in range. If drones are launched or another player ship appears, it's possible the rat will engage that other target. When the rat is in range, the box will flash solid red and it will not engage any other target until you leave, die or it's jammed.


  • Kiting: This is the art of keeping the rats at your very high optimal range and dishing out damage while keeping the rats away. For example, if your optimal gun range is 80 km, you warp into the combat site at 70 or 100 (based on preference) and shoot the rats before they can touch you (as most rats have optimals not further than 60km with the bulk under 30km, this can work quite well). Sometimes you may need a propulsion module (mwd or afterburner) to keep range if your damage isn't too great. This technique can also be combined with Tanking (described below): getting a buddy to jump in first and having him catch bullets with his face while you blap away from a distance.
  • Using drones: There are two ways to use drones: on battleships and on frigates. Battleship: the advantage of using light/medium drones against a battleship is that it can target the drone and shoot away, never hitting it. Doesn't really work if it targets you. Frigates: 3 light/medium drones (roughly 10hrs training time) can take out one frigate pretty easily. You might want to have the frigates aggroed on you first if there are more.
  • Using Nos, Neutralizers, Jamming, Webbers (Using a warp jammer is pointless since the rat doesn't warp away - not entirely true anymore): Capacitor is the lifeblood of any ship, so if you drain their cap, their tanking ability is decreased and turret can fire less (Rats work differently from player ships, and have no real “cap,” but Nos'ing them will increase the time between armor rep cycles, and it will still give you cap). You can also jam them and web them.
  • Tanking: This is the art of repairing the damage done to you fast enough for you to destroy the rats. This is where nos can be very helpful. Search the wiki for the ship you will use for a suggested build, so people don't laugh when you shield tank when you should have armor tanked, or vice versa.

Tips and Tricks to Prevent Getting Jumped on

It is generally a good policy to have all ratters in a system fleet up. This helps you avoid getting ganked by a few means. The first is that you will have the fleet channel or Mumble to keep up constant communication. The second is that is allows the members of the fleet to warp to you, saving the precious moments of you communicating your location. It's very beneficial if others join the defense fleet even if not ratting. You are much safer in numbers.

The best way to beat AFK cloakers is to not let them disrupt your operations. In today's game we have blops hotdropping, which means one Rapier or Arazu- which used to not be such a big problem- can spawn 30 guys the second he tackles you, which would lead to not only the ratter's death but the entire defense fleet as well.

WEPRA corp, for example, has used ratters under attack twice that I've seen- probably more I haven't- as bait to draw out the entire defense fleet and slaughter 10 people for the price of one.

  • Rat in cheap hulls. Subtlety is key. Two or three T1 cruisers running in a pack are cheap and should murder belts. That and it is good practice to get used to aligning, calling primaries, and knowing when to warp out under fire, Even if its just from NPCs. Also, most hostiles won't spring their big, bad, expensive trap for Ruptures and Thoraxes. The ISK killed is not worth the loss- one stealth bomber loss can cost more than all 3 kills, and most AFK cloaky types care all too much about K/D ratio.
  • If at all possible, rat aligned to something. Make a safe in line with an object like a station or planet, and keep your right-click menu open as you fire weapons. If you see brackets on your overview, click the button and get the hell out. You should warp instantly to your safespot, if you are on the ball.
  • Don't warp to zero in belts. Warping to zero is a fast way to get fucked by an AFK cloaker, should he be in a cloaked up Sabre or similar. I know when I camp hostiles I wait about 10k off the WTZ area, and as soon as a red lands, I decloak, burn towards them and scram/web. If I'm in a Broadsword or bubble ship of any kind, bubble goes up and gangrape ensues. Make tactical bookmarks off belts, warp to them at random ranges, then warp down to asteroids. Sniping is great because you can be far away from a red even if he is on the zero marker.
  • Don't just go up or down on the belt list- randomize your belts. I don't know how many people I've wasted waiting for someone to finish with Belt 3, and setting up in Belt 4 with 3 Thrones and Arch Angel Thugs, waiting for them to point and DPS the ratter for me prior to beginning my attack. Don't let your enemy anticipate your next move. Always assume you are being watched and actively hunted.
  • Fuck your drones. Seriously. Don't lose a battleship for some Valkyries. Roll out T1s if you don't like the idea of abandoning T2 drones. I've also killed many ratters not wanting to pay 3 million ISK for new drones, that had to pay 100m ISK for a new ship and fit/rigs.
  • If drones aren't your primary damage source, pack ECM drones. They might just get a lucky jam on a hostile if you do perchance get tackled. A jammed hostile can't warp scramble you. Just align and throw ECMs and hope for the best. Spam warp so the second he loses lock you're out of there.
  • There is no shame in putting warp core stabs on a ratting ship. You're not PvPing, don't hesitate to give yourself every single bastardly opportunity to get out of harm's way.
  • If there's a local spike, don't panic and warp to station if there was an AFK cloaker. A clever trap I had a corpmate die to once, was that their AFK cloaker was actually a Sabre pilot in line with the belts on station. He decloaked and popped a bubble, and then spiked local. The blob warped to station to find our ratter landing on a bubble 50km from dock range, and raped his ass. Bubble traps can also come from rapecages on station and gates, so be mindful of slings that have been set up as well.
  • DO NOT GO AFK FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME. Ratting is boring and if you do Alt-Tab out of Eve, make sure you come back frequently to check up on local and the intel channels.

Pyfa Damage Profiles

Make sure you have the Pyfa. It will let you try fits outside of eve and for free and comes with damage profiles for ratting factions. It comes greatly recommended.

There is also a page for NPC Damage Types.

Rare Rats

Hauler Spawns

On occasion you will see a group of 6-8 rats spawn. However, some of them won't actually aggro on you, even when you shoot at them. When this happens, and it's rare, it is a hauler spawn. 4 NPC Haulers and 4 support ships (mine were frigates)

Hauler spawns are highly prized as they can drop an insane amount of minerals. My Hauler spawn dropped 6.25m Trit and 4.25m Pyerite, but larger spawns can drop upwards of 50m of Tritanium. Others may have mostly Tritanium and some Nocx or Mexallon (these will make you a fuckton of isk). Keep in mind that if you do encounter a Hauler Spawn you will need to move an incredible amount of minerals to a station. A Badger Mark II with 3 named expanders, having 11,000m³ of space still took me over a dozen trips to retrieve the minerals. A good idea is to get a friend or a passerby to help haul for a cut, since many producers would be more than glad to help for a share of minerals. Hauler Spawns do not chain, and minerals dropped will vary.

When you discover a hauler spawn be sure to kill all of the haulers first and then the escorts. If you kill the escorts before the haulers are popped there is a chance the haulers will warp away to a different belt.

Faction Spawns

Faction spawns consist of one special ship and an escort of regular pirates. The special ship will have a slightly different name. i.e. instead of “Serpentis” it will be called “Shadow Serpentis”, or “Dread Guristas” instead of just “Guristas”. The special ship usually has a bounty thats about 15 times as high as would be appropriate for their class, has better weapons and overall stats,. They can drop special modules that can be as good or better as Tech 2 modules but have way lower skill requirements as well as blueprints for pirate ships that sell for 10-50m.

Pirate faction names:

  • Angel - Domination
  • Blood - Dark Blood
  • Guristas - Dread Guristas
  • Sansha - True Sansha
  • Serpentis - Shadow Serpentis

Officer Spawns

Officer spawns consist of a named ship piloted by an officer of some faction and several (regular) ships in escort. The officer has a bounty that can be up to 50 times higher than normal. In addition, they also have a small chance of dropping incredibly powerful modules that can be sold for several billion isk (Draclira's cap recharger, Estamel's invulnerability field), a larger chance of fairly powerful modules (assorted smartbombs, damage mods) that are sold for several hundred million isk, and usually drop a number of faction modules which can also be quite expensive in their own right.

A single one of these spawns can catapult a lucky ratter into multi billionaire status. Should you happen to find one of these, consider yourself fortunate; they are the end game of belt ratting.

Beware, Officers do significant (around 1500 untanked DPS, or 500 DPS at 70% resists) damage. Make sure your tank is up to snuff, or bring a friend or two.

List of officers by faction in ascending order of value:
Blood Raiders
Tairei Namazoth
Raysere Giant
Ahremen Arkah
Draclira Merlonne
Sansha's Nation
Brokara Ryver
Selynne Mardakar
Vizan Ankonin
Chelm Soran
Brynn Jerdola
Tuvan Orth
Setele Schellan
Cormack Vaaja
Kaikka Peunato
Thon Eney
Vepas Minimala
Estamel Tharchon
Mizuro Cybon
Hakim Stormare
Gotan Kreiss
Tobias Kruzhor

The modules associated with each officer can be found by searching contracts for an exact item match on their first name: search for 'draclira' and you will be presented with a list of her modules.

Common Myths about Special Spawns

  • You have to clear a spawn completely for a faction spawn to show up.

This is false. Faction rats have been known to spawn in the same belt as a regular spawn, sometimes even when a player is already engaged with the spawn. This rule does however apply to officer and hauler spawns, which will not show up among regular rats.

  • Officer spawns only show up in -1 truesec in systems where the rat faction has sovereignty and only when the moon is half full on the eve of all hallows and only if you swing a dead cat over your head three times while chanting the names of the devs over and over again blah blah blah

There's a lot of crappy mythology about when officer spawns show up or don't. Nobody who isn't a developer knows for sure what the chances are, but they're very slim. Officer spawns have appeared in multiple systems of -.3 sec status with and without pirate sovereignty.

Know Your Enemy

NPC Ships —-

Ratting Rules
eve/pve/ratting.txt · Last modified: 2023/03/14 21:25 by flukish