This article is about the ships with the best active shield tank in the space game EVE Online. I will focus on a list of which ships have the highest active shield boost bonus, based on actual in-game data from early 2024. The percent value is the bonus amount repaired per skill level for the ship if not otherwise stated.
Shield booster bonuses
Naglfar 5% (boost cycle time)
Naglfar Fleet Issue 7,5%
Golem 7,5% (+100% with Bastion module)
Vargur 5% (+100% with Bastion module)
Ferrox Navy Issue 7,5% (only activation cost, reduced CPU & power requirement)
Tengu 10% (with Amplification node)
Loki 10% (with Adaptive defense node)
Reaper 15% (total role bonus)
Immolator 22,5% (total role bonus)
Shield tanking is a fitting strategy in EVE Online that focuses on maximizing a ship’s shield defenses to withstand enemy attacks. By equipping modules and using skills that enhance shield strength and regeneration, players can create formidable ships that can withstand significant damage. I will explain the concept of shield tanking in EVE Online and highlight some of the ships that excel in this defensive strategy.
In EVE Online, shield tanking involves using shield modules, such as shield extenders, shield boosters, and shield hardeners, to increase a ship’s shield hit points and resistances. These modules can be fitted to various ship types, allowing players to customize their ships based on their preferred playstyle and objectives.
One example of a ship that excels in shield tanking is the Raven Navy Issue battleship. The Raven ships are Caldari ship types known for their strong shield defenses and long-range missile capabilities. With its bonuses to shield hit points, it automatically gets an impressive shield recharge rate (especially when at 50% shields left when the recharge is at its fastest rate), the Raven can withstand a significant amount of damage while dealing devastating missile salvos to its enemies.
Another powerful shield-tanking ship is the Gila cruiser. The Gila, a Guristas pirate faction ship, combines strong shield defenses with drone-based firepower. With its bonuses to shield resistance and drone damage, the Gila can effectively tank incoming damage while unleashing a swarm of drones to engage enemy targets.
The Rattlesnake battleship is another notable shield tanking ship in EVE Online. As a pirate faction ship, the Rattlesnake boasts impressive shield resistance and a large shield buffer. Additionally, its bonuses to missile damage and drone damage make it a formidable opponent in both PvE and PvP encounters.
For players who prefer a more agile approach to shield tanking, the Cerberus cruiser is an excellent choice. The Cerberus, a Caldari ship, combines speed and shield defenses to create a versatile combat vessel. With its bonuses to shield resistance and missile velocity, the Cerberus can quickly maneuver around the battlefield while maintaining a strong shield tank. The Cerberus is one of my favorite ships. When you fit it with a Large Dread Guristas shield booster and a Multispectrum Shield Hardener II, you have a ship that is much stronger than a cruiser but yet agile as a cruiser. It slashes through almost any PVE site. For the higher DED escalations you can still do them, but apply a secret trick to mitigate incoming damage. Put down your mobile tractor unit and orbit it at 7500, you will be amazed how you can fight off 40-50 NPCs including Battleships with relative ease. With a 10mn afterburner you will reach 600-650 m/s speed which is enough to avoid most NPC damage (but make sure you make it a priority to take out any frigs that might web you). With max skills and heavy assault missiles, you reach out to 34km and just clear anything in that radius with ease and speed.
When should you use Shield tanking vs Armor tanking?
In EVE Online, players have the option to choose between shield tanking and armor tanking as their preferred defensive strategy. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two depends on various factors such as playstyle, ship type, and objectives.
Shield tanking is a popular choice for players who prefer a more passive and long-range playstyle. Shield modules such as shield extenders and shield boosters can significantly increase a ship’s shield hit points and regeneration rate, allowing it to withstand sustained damage over time. This makes shield tanking ideal for ships that rely on kiting tactics, where they stay at a distance from their enemies and use their long-range weapons to chip away at their opponents’ health.
One of the main advantages of shield tanking is its flexibility. Shield modules can be easily fitted to a wide range of ship types, allowing players to customize their ships based on their preferred playstyle and objectives. Additionally, shield tanking is generally more forgiving than armor tanking, as shields can be quickly regenerated during combat, providing a buffer against incoming damage.
However, shield tanking also has its drawbacks. While shields can be quickly regenerated, they are generally less effective at mitigating damage compared to armor. This means that shield-tanked ships are more vulnerable to burst damage, such as alpha strikes or high-damage volleys. Additionally, shield tanking modules can consume a significant amount of power grid and capacitor resources, limiting the fitting options for other offensive or utility modules.
On the other hand, armor tanking is a more close-range defensive strategy. Armor modules such as armor plates and repairers can significantly increase a ship’s armor hit points and repair rate, allowing it to withstand high burst damage and engage in close-quarters combat. This makes armor tanking ideal for ships that prefer a brawling playstyle, where they get up close and personal with their enemies and rely on their high damage output to quickly eliminate threats.
One of the main advantages of armor tanking is its resilience. Armor-tanked ships can withstand high burst damage and have the potential to repair their armor during combat, making them more durable in intense engagements. Additionally, armor tanking modules generally consume less power grid and capacitor resources compared to shield tanking modules, allowing for more flexibility in fitting offensive or utility modules.
However, armor tanking also has its limitations. Armor-tanked ships are generally slower and less agile compared to shield-tanked ships, making them more susceptible to kiting tactics and hit-and-run strategies. Additionally, repairing armor during combat requires the use of repair modules, which can consume a significant amount of capacitor resources and limit the ship’s offensive capabilities.
The choice between shield tanking and armor tanking in EVE Online depends on various factors such as playstyle, ship type, and objectives. Shield tanking is ideal for players who prefer a passive and long-range playstyle, while armor tanking is more suited for players who prefer a close-range playstyle and PvP. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and players need to consider their preferred playstyle and objectives when choosing between the two. Whether you choose to shield tank or armor tank, make sure to fit your ship accordingly and adapt your tactics to maximize your chances of success in EVE Online.
When should you fit a passive shield tank?
When fitting a passive shield tank can be a viable option in certain situations. A passive shield tank relies on modules that increase a ship’s shield regeneration rate, allowing it to passively regenerate its shields over time without the need for active shield boosters. This can be advantageous in certain scenarios where sustained damage is expected or when fitting limitations prevent the use of active shield modules.
One situation where fitting a passive shield tank can be beneficial is when engaging in long-duration battles or prolonged engagements. In these situations, a ship with a passive shield tank can continuously regenerate its shields, providing a steady stream of defense against incoming damage. This can be particularly useful when facing enemies with high sustained damage output, as the passive shield regeneration can help mitigate the damage over time.
Another scenario where a passive shield tank can be advantageous is when fitting limitations prevent the use of active shield modules. Some ships may have limited power grid or capacitor resources, making it difficult to fit active shield boosters or other active shield modules. In these cases, fitting passive shield modules such as shield power relays or shield flux coils can provide a viable alternative. These modules increase the ship’s shield regeneration rate, allowing it to passively regenerate its shields without relying on active modules.
It’s important to note that fitting a passive shield tank does have its limitations. While it can provide a steady stream of shield regeneration, it may not be as effective in mitigating burst damage compared to an active shield tank. Burst damage, such as alpha strikes or high-damage volleys, can quickly deplete a ship’s shields before they have a chance to regenerate. Therefore, it’s important to consider the type of damage expected in a given situation before deciding to fit a passive shield tank.
Additionally, fitting a passive shield tank may require sacrificing other fitting options. Passive shield modules such as shield power relays or shield flux coils consume power grid and capacitor resources, which may limit the fitting options for offensive or utility modules. It’s important to carefully consider the trade-offs and prioritize the ship’s fitting based on the specific objectives and playstyle.
When should you fit an active shield tank with shield boosters?
Fitting an active shield tank with shield boosters can be a strategic choice in certain situations. An active shield tank relies on modules that provide an immediate boost to a ship’s shields, allowing it to withstand high burst damage or intense battles. This type of tanking is particularly effective when facing enemies with high alpha strikes or when quick shield regeneration is needed.
One situation where fitting an active shield tank with shield boosters is beneficial is when engaging in PvP combat. PvP battles often involve intense and fast-paced encounters where ships need to quickly regenerate their shields to survive. Active shield boosters provide an immediate and significant boost to a ship’s shields, allowing it to withstand the initial burst damage and continue fighting. This can be crucial in gaining the upper hand in PvP engagements and increasing the chances of victory, but in PvP the mid slots are usually needed for scrams and webs which is why armor tanking is often preferred in PvP.
Another scenario where an active shield tank with shield boosters is advantageous is when facing enemies with high alpha strikes. Alpha strikes refer to attacks that deliver a large amount of damage in a single volley. These attacks can quickly deplete a ship’s shields, leaving it vulnerable to further damage. By fitting shield boosters, a ship can quickly regenerate its shields after an alpha strike, minimizing the impact of the initial burst damage and increasing its survivability.
Active shield tanking with shield boosters is also useful in situations where quick shield regeneration is needed. This can be the case when engaging in missions or encounters with multiple waves of enemies. The ability to rapidly regenerate shields allows a ship to sustain itself throughout the encounter without the need for prolonged breaks or downtime. This can significantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of completing missions or encounters.
An active shield tank with shield boosters does have its limitations. The use of shield boosters consumes a lot of the capacitor, which may limit the availability of other modules or abilities that rely on capacitor energy. It’s crucial to manage capacitor usage effectively and ensure that there is enough energy to activate shield boosters when needed. Additionally, fitting shield boosters may require sacrificing other fitting options, such as offensive or utility modules. It’s essential to carefully consider the trade-offs and prioritize the ship’s fitting based on the specific objectives and playstyle.