Rat is a term used to differ between a player pirate and a Non Player Character pirate. Both can appear without warning and attack you at any time, even in the most secure of Empire space, but rats are much more common, much less threatening, and you are paid a DED bounty for each one you destroy on top of any commodities you may extract from their wrecks, making them excellent targets for hunting, or "ratting."

About Rats

Most players use the term "rat" to describe any NPC ship that is hostile to all players when initially spawned (anything that uses any version of the red crosshairs overview icon). However, there are substantial differences between "rats" spawned as part of a mission, and "rats" that are randomly encountered in asteroid belts and stargates throughout the Eve universe.

Mission Rats

  • Always spawn when a trigger specific to the mission is fired (usually upon any ship entering the mission area)
  • Always appear in distinct quantities and ship types for a given mission at the same level and with the same enemy faction
  • For NPC pirate factions, in the English language version of Eve, the names of the ships will be in a Latin base.
  • Destroying mission spawned ships will cause you to lose standings with the faction to which the ships belong (except Rogue Drones, which have no public NPC faction)

Random Rat Spawns

  • Appear at random, usually after a particular map grid has been occupied by players for 45 minutes or more (30 minutes in COSMOS constellations)
  • Are randomly generated, though they will always be of an NPC pirate faction specific to the region in which they are encountered, and their strength is scaled by the security level of the solar system (lower securuity = greater strength)
  • Always have names based on the language of the installed Eve client
  • Destroying normal rat spawns will NOT cause any change to your standings with the faction to which they belong

Rat Nomenclature

Randomly encountered rats are members of one of six NPC factions, all of which are considered "illegal organizations" for the purposes of altering standings through training of the "Criminal Connections" social skill. The names of rat ships always include a keyword to indicate the faction to which it belongs:

Faction Name Keyword
English Latin
Elite Commander
Angel Cartel Angel Gistii Gistior Gistum Gistatis Gist Arch Domination
Blood Raiders Blood Corpii Corpior Corpum Corpatis Corpus Elder Dark
Guristas Pirates Guristas Pithi Pithior Pithum Pithatis Pith Dire Dread
Sansha's Nation Sanshas Centii Centior Centum Centatis Centus Loyal True
Serpentis Corporation Serpentis Coreli Corelior Corelum Corelatis Core Guardian Shadow
Rogue Drones Drone Alvi Alvior Alvum Alvatis Alvus Strain Sentient

Rogue Drones also have an additional latin keyword, Apis, for ships even smaller than frigates (scout drone hulls).

Each faction also has a set of names for the hulls of each ship they field, indicating their status and capabilities. Many of these names are shared between factions, though they may designate different ship types. For example, a Domination Ambusher is an Angel Cartel Commander frigate, while a Domination Drone is a standard Rogue Drone battleship.

Rare Spawns

Each group of randomly spawned rats has a chance to be one of several rarer spawn types, with potentially greater rewards and sometimes posing greater risks.

Hauler spawns include industrial class ships loaded with large quantities of a random mineral type. These ships are never equipped with weapons, and will escape at the first opportunity (typically within 30 seconds if not attacked). They always spawn escorted by other rats of the same faction.

Elite rats (often incorrectly referred to as "Tech 2," a misnomer due to the fact that their wreckage only yields tech 1 salvage and never includes tech 2 modules) are more advanced versions of regular rats, often with attributes similar to or even exceeding those of Tech 2 ships. Electronic warfare, particularly warp jamming and stasis webbing, are very common capabilities in Elite rats. They also have a greater chance to drop named modules, or modules/alloys normally found in a higher ship class. Elite NPC's may also drop Dog Tags pertaining to their specific Pirate Faction, such as Angel, Sansha, Guristas, etc.

Commander rats (often incorrectly referred to as faction rats) are actual Tech 2 ships that have an excellent chance of dropping faction modules when destroyed. Their wrecks can only be salvaged by players with Salvaging skill level 3 or above, and usually yield Tech 2 salvage used to build Tech 2 rigs. Commander NPC's usually drop faction munitions as well as Tags pertaining to their designation such as Domination, True Sansha, Dread Guristas, etc. Although they are much tougher and do more damage than normal rats, they seldom have the electronic warfare capabilities of Elite rats, and so are usually not difficult to flee from if the battle goes poorly.


Officer are rare spawns that fly Tech 2 ships and with specific names such as "Ahremen Arkah". They have a chance to drop an officer named item after the ship (and, presumably, the officer piloting it) is destroyed.

Officer modules are among the most rare and sought after ship modules in Eve, typically with stats not even Tech 2 or faction modules can match, and lower fitting and skill requirements as well. They are easy to identify based on their name, which is created base on the formula "[first name]'s Modified [item type]". For example, Ahremen Arkah's Adaptive Nano Plating drop is called Ahremen's Modified Adaptive Nano Plating. Officer NPC's may also drop their named dog tags.

Faction Rare Region Officers
Guristas Dread Guristas Venal Estamel, Vepas, Thon, Kaikka
Sanshas True Sansha Stain Chelm, Vizan, Selynne, Brokara
Blood Dark Blood Delve Draclira, Ahremen, Raysere, Tairei
Serpentis Shadow Fountain Cormack, Setele, Tuvan, Brynn
Angels Domination Curse Tobias, Gotan, Hakim, Mizuro

Rat Ranks

Each Pirate organization uses the following ranking system, with the lowest ranking pirates flying the weakest ships and the higher ranking pirates flying the most powerful ones. Elite, Commander and Officer pirate NPC's will usually drop dog tags, however, pirate dog tags are still considered a somewhat rare drop.

Pirate Rank
Rank Dog Tag Example
Private copper
Blood Copper Tag
Blood Bronze Tag
Corporal electrum
Blood Electrum Tag
Blood Silver Tag
Sergeant brass
Blood Brass Tag
Blood Gold Tag
Captain crystal
Blood Crystal Tag
Blood Diamond Tag
Commander All Ranks Dark Blood Copper Tag
Dark Blood Diamond Tag
Named Officer Specific Officer's Name
Ahremen Arkah's Tag

Further Information

For further description how rats on belts work, see Belt rat spawns.