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A Hotdrop is when a group of pilots jump bridge through either a Titan or Black Ops onto a ship with a lit cyno who has tackled an unsuspecting victim. If executed well, the target is killed nearly instantly before it can react, light its own cyno, or call for backup or help. This PvP tactic is one of the most popular methods used in Nullsec since it can be easier to move a cyno ship around undetected than a large fleet of pilots.

Types of Hotdrop

There are two main types of hotdrops- Covert and Regular. While these two types of hotdrops are very familiar there is one large difference between them is that unlike a normal cyno which any pilot in the system can warp to and see on their Overview after it is lit, a Covert Cyno does not show up on the Overview and is unable to be warped to in the system.

Regular Hotdrops

Regular Hotdrops involve a Titan to light the Jump Bridge and any type of ship to light the cyno on the unsuspecting victim. Any type of ship may be involved in this Hotdrop but generally the FC will have a doctrine already set out for it since you're trying to do maximum damage in a short amount of time. This hotdrop is far less common and high risk since escaping from deep within enemy territory can be extremely difficult since Hotdrops generally do not involve any type of Logistic ships and are unable to cloak.

Covert Hotdrops

Covert Hotdrops involve a Black Ops Battleship to light a Covert Jump Bridge which is a specialized type of Jump Bridge. Unlike the regular Jump Bridges that a Titan may open this one may only be used by ships that are able to use a Covert Cloaking Device. In addition, the cyno that must be lit by the aggressor is a Covert Cyno which can only be lit by very specific ships with the ability such as: Stealth Bombers, Covert Ops, and Black Ops. This is the most common and safest form of doing a hotdrop since after the kill is done the pilots can cloak up and hide in the system until the enemies leave or, with a good scout, can take gates while cloaking in systems in between.


  • Blackops Battleship: Opens the bridge
  • Fuel: The bridge uses fuel. The specific Isotopes you need depends on which Blackops you have. Also, if you're going to jump around a lot you're really going to want a Blockade Runner to carry fuel and bombs.
  • Bait: Something with a Covert Cyno.
  • Stealth Bombers: Cheap and extremely high damage, especially with Polarized Torpedo Launcher
  • Falcons: Protects the Bombers with ECM
  • Command T3(Loki): While not necessary, these provide a GREAT boost to the Recons
  • Covert Reconfig T3 Cruisers: Don't really gain you a lot of dps compared to the cost of bringing more bombers.
  • Combat Fit Blops BS: You might have tracking issues at the ranges we go in at and if we drop on bait you're going to be instaprimary. I only recommend these if you're ONLY dropping Combat Black Ops and only if you have good intel.

Black Ops

Your primary bridge ship should be fit with nothing except Cargo Expanders in the Low Slots, Capacitor Rechargers in the Mid Slots, the jump bridge module and a cloak.

Best To Worst:

  • Redeemer
  • Sin
  • Panther
  • Widow

Things You Care About

  • How much fuel you can carry: The more you can carry the more ships you can bridge at a time and the less you have to stop to refuel. You can carry 6k or 7k of fuel in your built in bay but expander fitting can multiply that amount several times.

While the bridge module will automatically pull fuel from your cargo bay if the fuel bay is out it WILL NOT pull fuel out of a can.

  • How fast you can regenerate cap: If you have to relocate fast or if you have to bridge the gang back from a drop because of an enemy force. You'll need to regenerate cap to move yourself around.

The bridge itself uses a minuscule amount compared to actually jumping the ship.

It is HIGHLY recommended you fit things like remote armor/hull reps in your highs in case people take damage and carry extra flights of drones for recons in your drone bay. Extra highs could fit things like an Energy Neutralizer in case for some reason you get tackled (this should never happen) or a Tractor Beam for pulling cans of fuel dropped by a truck.

Train Jump Drive Calibration V if you're going to bridge a lot. Black Ops have terrible range as it is so you need to squeeze as much out of it as possible. Do NOT train the portal skill above level 1. The bonus is for activation cost and it costs nothing to activate a covert bridge except a miniscule amount of cap. I also highly recommend that you eventually get cyno 5 on your blops bs. There's a lot of awesome things you can do in hostile space if a couple of people have these.


Fuel is life. 90% of the headaches with drops revolve around fuel. The more isotopes you can move around the farther you can bridge, the more ships you can bridge, the more you can reposition to hit interesting targets, and the more often you can bridge back instead of having the burn, it's everything.

You're generally going to have 3 sources of fuel.

  • Whatever the Black Ops is carrying
  • Cans anchored in space
  • Fuel carried by a Blockade Runner

By far, the easiest way to deal with this if you're moving around is have someone dualbox a Blockade Runner. There really isn't an order of usefulness since they can all carry at least a Giant Secure Container or two of fuel, however the Prorator carries the most (you'd have to do a lot of bridges are have a very large gang for this to matter).

If you're going to drop on a regular basis in hostile territory it can help to stage some cans full of fuel. Obviously this is dependent on knowing what kind of Black Ops you are going to use on a regular basis however if you're doing your own logistics this can be helpful. You can also drop fuel in a Corporate Hanger Array in a POS, have a pile sitting in a station you're basing out of, leave it in a carrier in a POS..


Your bait ships are the guys who have to not be dumb. That being said, baiting is not particularly hard. It just take some imagination, thinking of what you would do if you were in the guy whose expensive crap you're trying to kill's shoes, and most importantly the balls to actually go out and run the risk of losing a ship. Here's a lot of words:


Cruising around like a ninja is not what bait ships do. Sure, you don't want to blunder into a gatecamp and get popped. However, the whole idea of baiting is to get shot at and no one can shoot at you if you are hiding.

Act like you want to honorably 1v1

OK, so you're uncloaked, now what? Pop your drones out and send them at anything that goes by. Unless it's a Fleet Issue Tempest 100k off a station, burn at dudes and be overly aggressive. I've seen a lot of guys do stupid things when they start getting shot at that has lead to some great killmails. You want to get any ship you are going to potentially drop on to aggress on you so that they can't dock at a station or jump through a gate. Read the wiki article on aggression and understand how it works. If you drop a fleet on top of something expensive only to have it jump through a gate, you are going to have sore fleet members.

Point Everything

Always put a point on any ship you see. I've seen guys that are unaggressed, on a station, start shooting me AFTER I've dropped an entire fleet on their friend all because I had a point on them and they couldn't warp off. As I said above, people do stupid things when their adrenaline starts going and this leads to killmails. This is also the reason I almost exclusively fly an Arazu. People will often think they are safe from single points at 20-30 km away and scrams at about 6km. Those extra few kms they have to slow-boat out of will often allow a bomber to zip out and get another point.

Don't Linger

Sitting on a gate or station pointing frigates for 10 mins is a great way to set yourself up for a bombing run or some other hilarious welp. You have to surprise people and get them to do stupid things. If you give them time to get all organized, they may be able to turn the tables on you OR on your whole gang of ninjas. That doesn't mean you shouldn't give the Kestrel you just soloed with your drones time to reship into his Tengu, but you have to deaggress yourself and be ready to bug out if they throw the kitchen sink at you.

Bomber Baiting

I'm putting this section in because there are quite a few people who seem to have cyno 5 but can't yet fly recons, or fly Falcons or Pilgrims which don't make the greatest bait ships, or are poor. You CAN use a bomber as your cyno ship, they actually have a couple really nice advantages over recons:

  • They have no sensor re-calibration after decloak so you can instantly point things that are aligned out but not paying attention, especially if you have a sensor boosted Manticore. This gets even more fun when you load up on coprocs and shoehorn a probe launcher on.
  • They're easier to move around as long as you don't get delay bubbled since they're much faster/more agile than a recon.
  • Everyone can fly them (or should be able to).
  • They're cheap to lose.
  • No one expects a bomber to do anything besides bomb or try to gank haulers or die in a horrible fire.

They do have some obvious disadvantages:

  • They're fragile.
  • They don't have a bonus to point range.
  • Their cyno lasts a full minute so once you light it you're basically committed.

Bombers are probably the best ships to use if you're going to sit in someone's system afk cloaked a lot waiting for them to get comfortable enough to ignore you. Fit a bomb launcher and torpedo launcher and you can do the usual annoying things bombers do like shooting wrecks or bombing. Then, when they bring out their expensive ships, cyno in your friends and proceed to kill them. You're not really baiting so much as stalking people.

This works really well in renter systems because they can usually only pve in the few places they have sov. One thing to note, I wouldn't whistle up a blops gang for anything short of a command ship/faction cruiser here since once you drop people this gets harder and you're much more likely to die since you're a bomber and the first on grid.

The best kind of bomber for this is a Manticore. You're going to want to fit mwd /point / 2x Remote Sensor Dampener (Scan Res Scripted) then Damage Control Unit and whatever in the Low Slots. Warp in, tackle and get damps on them as soon as possible to buy your falcon time to get on grid and get him jammed.

Stealth Bombers

Fits on stealth bombers are largely a matter of personal preference. You're going to want to fit double Ballistic Control Systems and a point. Manticores should fit a target painter in their extra mid and I HIGHLY recommend a Small Shield Extender just to give you a little buffer in case some Hurricane gets a lucky shot off at you. You can Medium Shield Extender fit if you want but the point is to squeeze as much DPS as possible out of your fit since you're all our damage. Likewise, you should always have faction ammo on you and no bombs.


  • When you land on grid you should be pointing whatever you can unless the FC tells you otherwise
  • Get out of any bubbles.
  • If it's really not feasible to point something you should align out.
  • If something starts shooting you warp out.
  • If you get drones on you warp out.
  • If you get rat aggro warp out.
  • If a Cruiser yellow boxes you warp out


  • Don't bring Bombs
  • Shoot the damn primary!
  • Don't solo tackle
  • Don't fit dampeners, ever
  • Don't fit a Warp Scrambler


Surprise is our main thing but after that wears off our tank is ECM. The more falcons we have the higher above our weight class we can hit, I generally don't even want to undock without at least two. Jammer fitting is your preference unless the FC calls for something specific. The reason you should NOT fit a plate is because plates add mass and the amount of fuel used by a blackops portal is solely dependant on how much mass is going through it. If you want a tank, I suggest an Large Shield Extender and a Damage Control Unit. If you can fit a covert cyno, please bring it. Remote reps are also highly desirable for patching up bait ships.


Other recons don't give us a huge amount of dps but they do give us some utility. My preference is to have at least one Rapier for catching ships trying to burn away. Arazus are good as well, although they're probably better as bait ships. Actually having one shield fit Arazu on the Black Ops is nice since sometimes your bait ship needs to warp out due to drones or being primary. More than one on the Black OPs is overkill.

Jam anything on the bait ship first, then things like logistics and anti-support. I'd be less worried about large ships since it can't track us and anything likely to try and deaggress that might have a chance to get away should generally not be jammed.


  • Don't hotdrop smartbombing Battleship
  • Don't waste time chasing frigates
  • Don't aggress the Black Ops or Fuel Truck
  • Don't chase ships around the system after a drop
  • Don't sit uncloaked after a drop
  • Don't run the Black Ops through gates if you don't have to
  • Don't mess around with snipers that can one shot your bait ship if you can't get close enough to actually have a chance of surviving
  • Don't play station games after a drop
  • Don't be afraid to lose all your bombers to get a nice kill, bombers are cheap
  • No not believing in yourself

Last Words

This can be immensely amusing. Baiting for one of these gangs is a rush and one of the few things in Eve that's still exceedingly amusing to me. It's also very chill for the people not baiting as you can sit and watch a movie or play tanks until there's something to kill.

The buy in is also incredibly cheap compared to Titan dropping and you don't need to mess with towers. Most of the time we drink and shit up Mumble or swap war stories until we find something to kill, then collect mails. We do care about k/d ratio, but not unduly. The only part that sucks is you can't bridge through in a Rifter.

eve/pvp/hotdrop.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/26 18:30 by conscript