Missiles


A Raven firing upon a target

Missiles are self-propelled projectiles intended for dealing damage to other ships and structures. While they will all hit moving targets, they are classified as Guided or Unguided, and the damage they deal can be affected by the size, signature radius and velocity of the target ship. Caldari (and some Minmatar) ships favor missiles over other weapons, although many Amarr and Gallente ships have missiles available as a supplementary weapon.

Contents

Missile Types

Missiles are available in various sizes, for a range of ship classes and types, though in order to use them a ship must have at least one launcher hardpoint in order to fit the appropriate missile launcher. There are two missile 'flavors' available for each class of ship; one being a short-ranged, high-damage weapon, and the other longer-ranged but low damaging. The former is referred to as "Unguided", and the latter as "Guided".

Note: Both types will hit a moving target, but "Unguided" missiles are not affected by the Guided Missile Precision skill.

  • Citadel Torpedo (Essentially an extra-large Torpedo, launched by Capital ships and Large Missile Sentries)
  • Friend or Foe ("F.O.F") missiles are available in standard-, heavy-, and cruise-launcher sizes. They can be fired without a locked target and will strike the nearest hostile ships or object.
  • Defender Missiles can be fired from any size launcher, though they are generally launched from cruiser-sized Heavy Assault Launchers They are used to intercept incoming missiles in an attempt to destroy them before they hit their target. Many NPC enemies make use of defender missiles to reduce your DPS output, though they are rarely used by players.

Table of Current Missile Naming System

The following table shows the relationship between damage type, name, and icon detail colour for missiles (also rockets, torpedoes etc). Each flavour of damage type is available in all missile sizes and types, e.g. there are Mjolnir Rockets, Scourge Heavy Assault Missiles, and Inferno Citadel Torpedoes etc available.

Damage Type Name Icon Detail Colour
EM Mjolnir Blue
Explosive Nova Gold
Kinetic Scourge Green
Thermal Inferno Red

If you want to read more about which types of damage you should be inflicting against different types of NPC enemies then please see the relevant section in the Damage Types guide.

Table of Archaic Missile Names

Please note: The following table uses the outdated names for the many different sizes and damage types of missiles (you can see them all here on the Module Changes page).

The changes occurred with the Crucible expansion (EVE homepage expansion page clicky) in November 2011. Please see the above section for current naming trend of all sizes of missiles in EVE.

Type Launcher EM Damage Explosive Damage Kinetic Damage Thermal Damage
Rocket Rocket Launcher Gremlin Phalanx Thorn Foxfire
Light Missile Standard Missile Launcher or
Assault Missile Launcher
Sabretooth Piranha Bloodclaw Flameburst
FOF Light Missile Standard Missile Launcher or
Assault Missile Launcher
Seeker Exterminator Serpent Firefly
Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher Thunderbolt Havoc Scourge Widowmaker
FOF Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher Stalker Eradicator Hydra Hellhound
Heavy Assault Missile Heavy Assault Missile Launcher Torrent Fulmination Terror Hellfire
Cruise Missile Cruise Missile Launcher Paradise Devastator Wrath Cataclysm
FOF Cruise Missile Cruise Missile Launcher Hunter Obliterator Dragon Phoenix
Torpedo Siege Missile Launcher Mjolnir Bane Juggernaut Inferno
Citadel Cruise Missile Citadel Cruise Launcher Thunar Catastrophe Rajas Sol
Citadel Torpedo Citadel Torpedo Launcher Doom Thor Rift Purgatory

Speculation: It may be historically interesting to note that the names "Mjolnir", "Scourge" and "Inferno" all appear in the outdated names table above and that the name chosen universally for explosive damage missiles was "Nova" meaning "new". Might there be a link between the choice of name and the fact that the devs had to or felt they had to pick a new name?

Advantages and Disadvantages

Missiles have a consistent and versatile damage output, and are capable of dealing single damage types. As such, missiles are valuable in PvP combat, as they allow a pilot to exploit a weakness in an opponent's tank. It is also impossible for a missile to miss a target, unless the target outruns the missile, moves out of range, or disengages and warps away.

However, missiles can be destroyed in flight (either with Defender missiles or with a well-timed smartbomb detonation), partially or completely nullifying the attacker's damage output. Missiles are also unpopular in fleet battles, as the missile's flight time can result in it arriving after the target has been destroyed.


Support Skills, Modules and Rigs

The following skills improve missile or missile launcher performance:

Hint: All 7 of the above missile skills have the primary attribute Perception and the secondary attribute Willpower, so if you're aiming to train these skills it makes sense to have high points in these attributes, at least whilst training them.

The following modules and rigs also improve missile performance (at the expense of increased missile launcher CPU usage in the case of rigs; see Missile Launcher Rigs):

Tech II Missiles

There are four main Tech 2 missile variants, which are available in four different damage types. These advanced missiles can only be fired from Tech 2 launchers.

  • Advanced High Damage missiles (guided), also known as 'Fury' missiles, deal higher damage at the expense of range. Due to their extremely volatile warheads, Fury missiles have powerful containment systems, which increases a ship's signature range when loaded.
  • Advanced High Precision missiles (guided), or 'Precision' missiles, deal more damage to smaller targets. Unfortunately, they reduce a ship's velocity in order to obtain a better launch.
  • Advanced Anti-Ship missiles (unguided), or 'Rage' missiles, deal massive amounts of damage to targets larger than the launching ship (due to large explosion radii and low explosion velocities, as well as shorter range. These charges also increase a ships' signature range as they share warhead containment systems with their guided 'Fury' cousins.
  • Advanced Long-Range missiles (unguided) ('Javelin's) have more powerful thrusters and larger fuel tanks than conventional charges. This means that they carry smaller warheads than normal missiles, and also require a more stable launch platform - which means the ship must travel at a lower velocity.

Damage Calculation

Unlike turrets, missiles will always deal damage to a target if they impact against it, regardless of the target's speed, radial velocity, or size (signature radius). Instead, the damage that the missile deals is affected.

As missiles do not have tracking speeds, a missile launched at a target will do the same damage if the target's speed remains the same. In other words, the damage dealt to a target orbiting the launcher at 300m/s and a target flying directly at the launcher at 300m/s will be exactly the same.

The important factor in this scenario is the speed of the target ship. When a missile hits a target, the speed of the target is compared to the Explosion Velocity of the missile. For example, if when a Scourge Heavy Missile - which has a base Explosion Velocity of 81m/s - is fired, the Explosion Velocity is much lower than the target's speed, then damage is significantly reduced as the target is outrunning most of the missile's damage.

The other factor that will decrease missile damage is Signature Radius. The Scourge Missile previously used has a Explosion Radius of 125m - if this missile is fired against a target with a smaller Signature than its Explosion Radius, damage will again be reduced, as only a small portion of the explosion is affecting the target. Although if your missile hits a target whose signature radius is greater than the explosion radius of your missile then the explosion velocity of your missile is increased by the same multiple.

While these two rules are merely generalizations, a more complicated calculator that will aid in calculating damage output against various targets is available here.

EVElopedia Missile Type Database

You can explore the whole family of missile types in the Ammunition and Charges Item Database.