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Shield Tanking


Shield Tanking is the most common defensive method used by Caldari and Minmatar pilots, as well as some Gallente, and even a few Amarr capsuleers. Understanding how your shields absorb damage and how they regenerate can be essential for your survival in EVE.


  • Shields heal themselves over time at a natural recharge rate. Armor and Hull damage taken is going to sit there until it is repaired.
  • After shields are exhausted there is still some armor and hull remaining, leaving a little more room for error.
  • Active shield boosters repair faster than active armor repairers, meaning you can effectively tank more incoming DPS
  • Shield tank modules & rigs don't affect your speed or maneuverability, thus keeping you fast and agile.
  • Low slots are left free for damage modules, etc.


  • There's a smaller range of different modules to choose from when shield tanking than when armor tanking, giving you less choice in how to fit your ship.
  • Although shield boosters repair faster than armor repairers, they are also less Capacitor efficient.
  • Shield tank modules & rigs can increase your Signature Radius, that attribute of every ship that affects how fast other people target you, and how easy it is to hit you with turrets & missiles.
  • Passive resistance modules are less effective than the armor equivalents, and there is no single passive resistance module that boosts all shield resistances at once.
  • Shield tanking modules are almost exclusively fit in mid slots, competing with tackling, EWAR, and propulsion modules.

Shield Tanking Modules

For a list of modules and their purposes check out Ship Modules
For a list of rigs and their purposes check out Rigs
For a list of implants and their purposes check out Implants

Understanding Shield Recharge Rate

It is valuable to understand the mechanics for shield recharge rate before you continue. All ships have some shields, and all shields have a recharge rate so this concept applies to every ship shuttle and pod in Eve, and thus to every pilot who undocks, and is similar to the recharge rate of a ship's energy capacitor. In fact it is the same as your capacitor's recharge rate.

In a ship's information screen, on the attributes tab, under the shield heading, is listed the total shield amount of the hull, and the shield recharge time. The recharge time expresses how long it will take to go from 0% shields to roughly 98% shields when the ship is sitting idle in space and no one is repairing the shields or damaging them. That last ~2% of your shields will take much longer.

But shields do not recharge at a constant (linear) rate. Imagine a ship with a 440 shield and a shield recharge time of 440 seconds. To find out how many shield points you regain per second you might divide: 440 shields / 440 seconds = 1.0 shields per second.

That is close but not quite correct. The average shield recharge rate is going to be 1.0 shields per second but sometimes it will be higher, and sometimes it will be lower.

The actual behavior is that when the shield is near 0% or 100% it replenishes slower. The peak recharge rate will be approximately 2.5 shields per second and will occur when the shields are damaged to somewhere near 25% of shield capacity remaining.

Shield Tanking Strategies

Shield tanking comes in three types.

  • Active shield tanks
  • Buffer shield tanks use shield extenders and resistance modules (like the Multispectrum Shield Hardener, and Damage Control) to maximize the ship's EHP (Effective Hit Points) without concern for recharge. This type of shield tanking is often used in PvP fleet fits.
  • Passive shield tanks

Active Shield Tanking

Active tanking is most commonly used for solo activities such as mission/complex running, ratting, and solo PvP. Active Shield tanking differs from Passive Shield tanking in that it uses active Resistance and Shield Booster modules to actively repair damage done to the ship. You should be careful to include enough resistance and buffer to keep your Booster modules from being overwhelmed by incoming damage; frequently this means packing resistance modules (either passive or active) that compensate for the specific types of damage you expect to be receiving.

This type of fitting takes a lot of capacitor to sustain your capacitor hungry Shield Hardener and Booster modules so it should ideally include modules such as Cap Rechargers to balance out and maintain capacitor stability. Unlike the Passive Shield tank Shield Power Relays are not recommended because they cripple your capacitor recharge rate making capacitor stability difficult to achieve. Shield Flux Coils still suck for the same reasons mentioned previously.

Active Tanking uses energy from the ship's capacitor to run a Shield Booster module which repairs damage to shields. Active shield tanks are stronger against higher bursts of damage but tend to drain the pilot's capacitor over time resulting in the tank 'breaking' during long engagements and are vulnerable to capacitor warfare.

Capacitor stability is important because it allows you to leave your Tank modules turned on without ever worrying about running out of capacitor. So long as incoming damage is less than what your shield booster modules and passive recharge rate can handle your ship should be able to sustain that level of damage indefinitely. This is commonly referred to as Perma-tanking. If incoming damage exceeds your recharge capacity you will gradually run out of Hit Points and die. This is commonly referred to as having a broken tank.

For PvP purposes a Capacitor Booster can be used to temporarily supplement capacitor output to allow for short bursts of heavy tanking. The primary drawback to this approach is that unlike the capacitor stable fitting described above, when you run out of charges to run your Capacitor Booster, you quickly run out of capacitor, your tank will fail and you will die horribly.

Similarly, weapon systems that drain your ship's capacitor will effectively disable your active tanking modules. As above, your tank will fail and you will die horribly. In this case, the Capacitor Booster can be used on an otherwise capacitor stable fitting to provide emergency power to prevent being drained and destroyed.

Buffer Shield Tanking

  • Typically used for PvP, the buffer tank is based around the principle of having high damage resistance and as many hit points as possible, thus increasing the Effective HitPoints (EHP) of the ship. The concept behind this is simple, add enough EHP to your ship to outlast your opponent through the use of active and/or passive resistance modules, which complement the Armor Plate modules that add raw hit points.
  • Buffer Tanks use shield extenders and resistance modules (like the Multispectrum Shield Hardener, and damage control) to maximize the ship's EHP (Effective Hit Points) without concern for recharge. This type of shield tanking is often used in PvP fleet fits.

Passive Shield Tanking

Unlike Armor hit points, shields will recharge themselves after taking damage. The Passive Shield tank is designed to maximize this natural recharge rate without the use of active Shield Booster modules. The concept behind the Passive Shield Tank is deceptively simple: find a ship with a relatively high natural recharge rate (Shield HP / Recharge time = Recharge rate), then add as many additional shield hit points to your ship as possible using shield extenders. Because the recharge time for a given ship is a fixed amount no matter how many points of shields you have, adding multiple shield extenders not only adds a lot of buffer, it indirectly increases the recharge rate because more Hit Points are being recharged in the same amount of time. Now add passive modules that increase the recharge rate even further, such as Shield Rechargers, Shield Power Relays and Power Diagnostic Systems; and you have a monster sized Buffer tank that regenerates very quickly without using any capacitor making your defense invulnerable to weapons that drain the capacitor. Shield Flux Coils also increase recharge rate, but should be avoided because they also lower your shield hit points, which is self defeating for the same reason adding Shield Extenders improves your recharge rate.

As the name implies, a fully passive tank does not require any modules that need to be “turned on” to function, and therefore does not require capacitor. The drawback to Passive Shield tanking is the number of modules required to pull it off, which leaves very little room to fit other useful modules such as damage improvement and tackling equipment, which makes this fitting of limited use outside of mission running and bait ships.

Passive Shield Tank relies on the fact that shields will naturally recharge themselves over time. This is achieved by increasing the resistance to various damage types, increasing the natural recharge rate (by adding recharge rate bonuses), and increasing the overall size of the shield (because recharge rate is proportional to shield capacity).

Note: This fitting is more about raw hit points than it is damage resistance, but if you have enough fitting room, Shield resistance amplifiers can be added to provide a little damage reduction. Some people use Multispectrum Shield Hardeners and Shield Hardeners to improve damage resistance, but these are active modules that require capacitor, thus making your Passive Shield tank not quite passive any more. This can be problematic because the Shield Power Relays you depend on to increase your shield recharge rate also totally gimp your capacitor recharge rate. For this reason careful balancing is necessary to make the Passive Shield Tank effective. When done correctly, however, Passive Shield tanking can be used to handle tough missions with a single ship.

training/game_mechanics/shield_tanking.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/08 14:31 (external edit)