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Ratting is based on the principle of finding and killing NPCs (aka "Rats") for the purpose of gathering bounties and loot. It is one of the most common and effective means of income in EVE Online. Ratting is often considered a better money making alternative than Mining because the skills used in Ratting are also useful for PvP.


What ship do I need?

As discussed below, rat difficulty scales with the security of the system. In 0.0 space, you will need at least a cruiser and quite probably a battlecruiser to rat. If you are a Caldari, you probably want to get into a Drake and then Raven as quickly as possible, from there deciding whether you want to use torpedoes (faster) or cruise missiles (easier). For Gallente aim towards a Dominix. Minmatar ratters do well in a Hurricane. If you're Amarr, anything will do as lasers rape the faces off of Blood rats, the typical progression being from a Harbinger to one of the Amarr Battleships.

Where Can I Rat?

Anywhere that is Goonswarm Sovereignty is fair game. Considering Delve is one of the best regions in the game for ratting, there really shouldn't be any motivation to rat anywhere else. You cannot rat in a belt that already has a Goonswarm member ratting in it unless you have their permission.

How to avoid getting robbed and killed

Seriously, stop ratting when there are hostiles in local, but if you must: learn how to align, read GS Intel, and help out other goons.

When ratting you should never, ever minimize local. Watch it all the time. Be either at your computer paying attention to local, or cloaked in a safespot. This is the best way to know whether you are in danger and so be prepared. Also watch GS Intel, but local is more important. Local is what saves your ratting battleship.

When ratting in a station system in 0.0, don't warp to the station when hostiles enter local. Warp to a safespot or a friendly POS that you bookmarked before you started ratting. This is to avoid a typical tactic used by hostile gangs, which is to have an Interdictor bubbling the station immediately to catch people fleeing to the station.


Ratting Etiquette 101

First Come, First Serve

The first person to arrive at a belt has the right to any rats he finds there. This includes mining ops, if you stumble into a mining operation already in progress don't fuck up their shit. You killing their rats means they have to deal with warping out and possibly losing ships to rats when they respawn instead of just tanking them with a designated ship.

Claiming Rats

While ratting please keep in mind that calling or claiming rats is not allowed. If someone gives a shout out in money that there are rats in a belt those rats are up for grabs. You cannot "call" them or "claim" them. While it is acceptable to let someone know that you're on your way, if you get there and someone is already taking care of them, move on. It is always a good idea to let someone in trouble with rats know that someone is coming wether you get there first or not.

Named Wrecks or Cans

You may salvage or loot any unattended wrecks or cans you find, unless they are named. You may name your own wrecks/cans by right clicking on them and selecting 'Name Can/Wreck'. If they are unnamed and the owner is nowhere to be found, you are welcome to them.

Ratting Blood Raiders

Damage type to do:EM and Thermal. That said, go with EM if you have a choice.

Damage types to tank: EM and Thermal. You will never see an odd damage type like in Angels.

The best way to fit a tank is to plug any EM/Thermal holes in your tank type, and then balance all the other slots you can afford to fit a hardener in with a balance of the two types of damage. If you have even resists and want to plug one more, fit EM.

Be careful of your cap since lots of Blood ships can drain you dry in a second with either Nosferatu or Neuts. If you lost all of your cap and cannot finish the fight, still try to warp off. The warp engine will suck whatever cap it can and partially jump you away.

Different Blood Raider ship types

Ratting Angels

Damage type to do: Explosive

Damage types to tank: Primarily explosive/kinetic. However, certain high end spawns do a considerable amount of thermal or EM damage, so you either need to tank these, or avoid the high end spawns (Saints, Cherubims and Seraphims).

Your best bet for tanking a raven to handle any angel spawn is most likely going to be EM hardener/Therm hardener/2x Invuln Field, T2 if possible. This gives you 70%+ resists all around. A good named Damage Control in the lows would enhance that a bit, but isn't necessary.

For armor tanking pilots, a good combo seems to be 2x Exp Hardener/1x Kin Hardener, 2x EANM (or 1x EANM and a good named Damage Control).

Different Angel ship types

Bounty and Loot

The lower the security of a system, the more bounty and loot you get.

1.0 - .9: There are no rats in 1.0 or 0.9 systems.

.8 - .5: These systems contain rats worth between 3k and 15k ISK.

.4 - .3: These systems will include frigates worth 5k to 10k, and cruisers worth 35k to 100k.

.2 - 0.0: Everything from 5k frigates to 1.8 million ISK battleships will occur in 0.0 space. There are also "faction spawns" that appear and are worth even more. More importantly, faction spawns drop faction loot that is worth far more than regular items. Rats in this space may warp scramble, jam, or web you. There are also hauler spawns that drop cans that contain several million units of mineral.

Truesec: The deeper you get into 0.0, the lower the true security rating of the system will be. While eve may tell you they're all 0.0, in fact each system has a true security rating ranging from 0.0 to -1.0 which will determine what kind of NPCs spawn in a system, and how good the loot they drop is. Lower security systems have more BS spawns, bigger bounties, and more faction spawns than higher security 0.0, and the spawns tend to drop better loot.

How to rat:

Ratting is a lot simpler than complexes so after getting my ship blown up, I headed to a station to get my free newbie ship, then warped to an asteroid belt in the system: [1]

One lonely frigate rat here so I'm targeting it: [2]

This guys pretty easy so I'm just going to mine too: [3]

Once the rat blows up, it'll drop a cargo container (ignore one of them, I jettisoned 1 trit from my newbie ship):[4]

Rat dropped an afterburner that you can use, sell, or reprocess into minerals and then sell it. Theres also Veldspar in my hold from mining:[5]

Tactics and tricks to killing NPCs

This is going to be geared towards low sec ratting since high sec ratting is simply lock and shoot but you can use these tactics in high sec too.

Rat behavior

  • 1. Most frigates will close to less then orbit around 5km and start blasting away. Some frigates will warp jam (disruptor or scrambler) and web you.
  • 2. Cruisers can vary but orbit around 5km-15km.
  • 3. Some battleships orbit close range (10km-20km) and longer ranges (35km)
  • 4. Rats will use jammers, microwarpdrives, afterburners and some nos (drain capacitor)
  • 5. Rats use weapons of their race's preferred ie. Serpentis are Gallente so they use rails and blasters and Gallente ships. Guristas are Caldari and use missiles and Caldari ships. Expect loot accordingly.
  • 6. Just like real players, larger rats suck ass at shooting smaller targets ie. Frigates and drones. However, some use missiles, which will hit drones.
  • 7. When a rat has a yellow/red flashing box around it it's targeting you but not yet in range. If drones are launched or another player ship appears it's possible the rat will engage that other target. When the rat is in range the box will flash solid red and it will not engage any other target until you leave, die or it's jammed.


  • Kiting: This is the art of keeping the rats at your optimal range and dishing out damage while keeping the rat away. For example, if you use 150mm railguns, your optimal is 12km (not taking skills or ammo into account). Therefore you'd orbit at 12km and turn on afterburners. This can also mean getting a buddy to jump in first, get all the rats aggroed and keep them at a distance, then you jump in and shoot the rats chasing your buddy.
  • Using drones: There are two ways to use drones, on battleships and on frigates. Battleship: the advantage of using light/medium drones against a battleship is that it can target the drone and shoot away, never hitting it. Doesn't really work if it targets you. Frigates: 3 light/medium drones (roughly 10hrs training time) can take out one frigate pretty easily. Might want to have the frigates aggroed on you first if there are more.
  • Using Nos, Neutralizers, Jamming, Webbers (Using a warp jammer is pointless since the rat doesn't warp away - not entirely true anymore): Capacitor is the lifeblood of any ship, so if you drain their cap, their tanking ability is decreased and turret can fire less (Rats work differently from player ships, and have no real "cap," but Nos'ing them will increase the time between armor rep cycles, and it will still give you cap). You can also jam them and web them.
  • Tanking: This is the art of repairing the damage done to you fast enough for you to destroy the rats. This is where nos can be very helpful. Search the wiki for the ship you will use for a suggested build, so people don't laugh when you shield tank when you should have armor tanked, or vice versa.

Chain Spawning

If you sit in a belt for a long time you'll notice rats that you've killed respawning. Rats spawn faster when there is already a rat in the belt. It takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes for killed rats to respawn if there is at least one rat left in the belt (normally takes around 20-60 minutes for a fresh spawn although this can vary).

Chain spawning is simply killing all of the high value rats in a belt leaving the others. You can warp to some other belt and do the same thing. Once you head back to the first belt (assuming no one shot the rat you left there), all of the rats you killed will quickly respawn.

Be aware that there is no claiming of rats at any time, even if you are chain spawning. Once you leave a belt all claim to any rats or unnamed loot cans in the belt are lost. Anybody can then come into the belt and kill/loot whatever is left.

Also make sure to let people know if they support you killing certain BS/Cruiser make ups like single to triple low value BS spawns just so they can't say you are breaking chains for no good reason

If you do break chains you are a stupendous asshole. Just move on, or wait there for the battleships to respawn. You fuck over everyone, including yourself if you break chains. If you can't beat battleship rats either go to a lower truesec system or hunt for battlecruiser+frigate spawns. Once you clean the BC/frig spawns, they may come back as more valuable battleship spawns. Once there are no BC/Frig spawns left, try killing all-but-one of the support cruisers from the battleships. That gives you something to do, and doesn't fuck over the BS ratters. Sometimes people chain worthless shit. You should not be afraid to break a 2x Angel Commander chain or really anything with a combined battleship bounty of less than one(just 1? you live in delve now) 2-2.5 million ISK because odds are it'll come back as something better. This of course depends on the truesec of the system you're ratting in.

If you warp into a belt and only see one type of rat, 99% of the time (in 0.0) that's a chained spawn. Use your brain, save yourself the time wasted locking it, and move on.


Remember, in a month or so you will be the BS ratter trying to find those spawns and bitching about newbies breaking your chains. Be conscious of that, and we all benefit. In addition, as the swarm grows, by careful grooming of spawns there are more rats for everyone to pew-pew in space.


If you want to claim a loot can, rename the can from its default by right-clicked on the can and selecting 'Change Name' from the options.

Special Spawns

Normally, a rat spawn will be between 3 to 6 ships of the type appropriate to the security rating of the system. However sometimes, there can be special spawns which are worth more ISK than the vanilla ones.

Due to the relatively high occurance of special spawns in delve, some people will skim through belts, specifically looking for these high value spawns while leaving the rest of the rats untouched. As long as they don't kill a spawn that's in a belt with you, this is a legitimate ratting strategy.

There is evidence to suggest that the quality of the rats present influences the likelihood of (a) getting good spawns, and (b) getting special spawns. Specifically, the more high quality rats there are in your system, the greater the chance of getting additional high quality/special spawns.

Hauler Spawns

On occasion you will see a group of 6-8 rats spawn. However, some of them won't actually aggro on you, even when you shoot at them. When this happens, and it's rare, it is a hauler spawn. 4 NPC Haulers and 4 support ships (mine were frigates)

Hauler spawns are highly prized as they can drop an insane amount of minerals. My Hauler spawn dropped 6.25m Trit and 4.25m Pyerite, but larger spawns can drop upwards of 50m of Tritanium. Others may have mostly Tritanium and some Nocx or Mexallon (these will make you a fuckton of isk). Keep in mind that if you do encounter a Hauler Spawn you will need to move an incredible amount of minerals to a station. A Badger Mark II with 3 named expanders, having 11,000m³ of space still took me over a dozen trips to retrieve the minerals. A good idea is to get a friend or a passerby to help haul for a cut, since many producers would be more than glad to help for a share of minerals. Hauler Spawns do not chain, and minerals dropped will vary.

When you discover a hauler spawn be sure to kill all of the haulers first and then the escorts. If you kill the escorts before the haulers are popped there is a chance the haulers will warp away to a different belt.

Faction Spawns

Faction spawns consist of one special ship and an escort of regular pirates. The special ship will have a slightly different name. i.e. instead of "Serpentis" it will be called "Shadow Serpentis", or "Dread Guristas" instead of just "Guristas". The special ship usually has a bounty thats about 15 times as high as would be appropriate for their class, has better weapons and overall stats,. They can drop special modules that can be as good or better as Tech 2 modules but have way lower skill requirements as well as blueprints for pirate ships that sell for 10-50m.

Pirate faction names:

  • Angel - Domination
  • Blood - Dark Blood
  • Guristas - Dread Guristas
  • Sansha - True Sansha
  • Serpentis - Shadow Serpentis

Officer Spawns

Officer spawns consist of a named ship piloted by an officer of some faction and several (regular) ships in escort. The officer has a bounty that can be up to 50 times higher than normal. In addition, they also have a small chance of dropping incredibly powerful modules that can be sold for several billion isk (Draclira's cap recharger, Estamel's invulnerability field), a larger chance of fairly powerful modules (assorted smartbombs, damage mods) that are sold for several hundred million isk, and usually drop a number of faction modules which can also be quite expensive in their own right.

A single one of these spawns can catapult a lucky ratter into multibillionaire status. Should you happen to find one of these, consider yourself fortunate; they are the end game of belt ratting.

List of officers by faction in ascending order of value:
Blood Raiders Tairei Namazoth Raysere Giant Ahremen Arkah Draclira Merlonne
Sansha's Nation Brokara Ryver Selynne Mardakar Vizan Ankonin Chelm Soran
Serpentis Brynn Jerdola Tuvan Orth Setele Schellan Cormack Vaaja
Guristas Kaikka Peunato Thon Eney Vepas Minimala Estamel Tharchon
Angels Mizuro Cybon Hakim Stormare Gotan Kreiss Tobias Kruzhor

The modules associated with each officer can be found by searching contracts for an exact item match on their first name: search for 'draclira' and you will be presented with a list of her modules.

Common Myths about Special Spawns

  • You have to clear a spawn completely for a faction spawn to show up, you can't chain if you want faction spawns.

This is false. Faction rats have been known to spawn in the same belt as a regular spawn, sometimes even when a player is already engaged with the spawn. This is a very common excuse for not chaining spawns, but it's been proven wrong many times. This rule does however apply to officer and hauler spawns, which will not show up among regular rats.

  • Officer spawns only show up in -1 truesec in systems where the rat faction has sovereignty and only when the moon is half full on the eve of all hallows and only if you swing a dead cat over your head three times while chanting the names of the devs over and over again blah blah blah

There's a lot of crappy mythology about when officer spawns show up or don't. Nobody who isn't a developer knows for sure what the chances are, but they're very slim. Officer spawns have appeared in multiple systems of -.3 sec status with and without pirate sovereignty.

Edit, 13Jan2010: Konno Yoshiho got a Tairei spawn in 6Q-R50. -0.11 sec with Goonswarm sovereignty.


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