Tech I Frigate
Generally, each race will have several combat frigates of varying strengths, one astrometrics frigate that receives bonuses for scanning, one logistics frigate, and one electronic warfare frigate. Unlike most other ship categories, there is also one frigate, the Venture mining frigate, designed by ORE which is not specific to any of the four main races.
Frigate Tactics (PvE)
Missions, Ratting, and Plexes
Tech I frigates are the first ship rookie pilots gain access to, and are generally used to run level one missions and level one or two static highsec plexes while rookie pilots train up support skills to use more capable vessels. They can also be used for highsec ratting, and as a cheap and disposable lowsec ratter.
The Venture is without question the best frigate for mining with its 5000 m3 ore hold and double yield bonus. See Advanced mining#Your First Ship for a more detailed discussion of mining with this ship.
As frigates are small and fast, they are ideal for running small, but highly valuable cargoes, such as blueprints, implants, deadspace modules, and the like. Even if a pirate knows the vessel is carrying valuable cargo, he will find it virtually impossible to stop the frigate with anything less than a 0.0 bubble camp, which will never be encountered anywhere in Empire space.
For the above reasons, frigates are also ideal for players wishing to travel to distant systems, but want something with more firepower than a shuttle to do so in.
Frigate Tactics (PvP)
The main advantage of using a tech I frigate in PvP combat is that they are cheap and disposable. They also play an instrumental role in Factional Warfare as Tech I frigates (as well as destroyers) are the only ships capable of entering the minor-size plexes.
A role often filled by rookie pilots, the suicide tackler's sole job is to get a point on the target and live long enough for someone else to take over. Tech I frigates are ideal for this role as they can be used in places where interceptors are unsuitable (such as lowsec gates), and against targets that are sure to destroy the initial tackle ship.
A properly fit Tech I frigate is more than agile enough to evade virtually all lowsec gatecamps, but has enough firepower and tanking ability to successfully engage lone targets in other frigates, or even some cruisers. Certain frigates (such as the Rifter) are used frequently for this purpose.
Minor Factional Warfare Plexer
Due to the low difficulty of minor factional warfare plexes, virtually any decently fit Tech I frigate can be used to run minor plexes offensively, or run any class of plex defensively. When facing player opposition in these plexes, most players fit either a conventional PvP fit and attempt to engage opposing players, or fit warp core stabilizers and simply run away and find another plex to run.
Throwaway Electronic Warfare Platform
Some ships, such as the Caldari Griffin are effective electronic warfare platforms despite the fact that they are Tech I frigates. They are generally given an inexpensive fit, and like all PvP Tech I frigates, are generally not expected to survive for long and are used in high-risk situations where their lack of effectiveness when compared to a cruiser or Tech II frigate is greatly outweighed by their low cost.
Wolfpack Frigate Gangs
Medium to large size gangs of cheaply fit Tech I frigates can pose a serious threat to even the most experienced pilots. A swarm of frigates can overwhelm a much larger ship's tank and negate their ability to return fire or escape by having each frigate mount various kinds of electronic warfare, such as warp scramblers, sensor dampeners, tracking disruptors, ECM, and the like.
One of the more common uses of Tech I frigates, they can scout ahead of a fleet and relay information back to the fleet commander, without risking an expensive tech II ship. Astrometrics frigates can even locate safespotted forces for a fraction of the cost of a covert ops frigate, though it will take them longer.
Faction frigates are beefier versions of their Tech I counterparts, usually possessing one more slot, more hitpoints, and slightly better power grid and CPU. They are also far more expensive, generally more expensive than Tech II frigates, which largely relegates them to the role of a vanity ship, rarely risked in any PvP engagement, though they are ocassionally used as minor factional warfare plexers, as faction frigs are the 'best' ship one can take into those plexes.
Tech I Frigate Hulls
This table groups the tech 1 frigates by race and role.
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