The Rifter: A Great Ship to Learn PVP

In this article, I compare how the stats of the Rifter stack up when compared to the other T1 frigates for learning how to solo PvP. I also look at how the Rifter can beat those T1 frigates in a solo fight and what lessons the Rifter can teach. The fits for the ships I am comparing the Rifter to can be found in this document. In order to compare the Rifter to the best PvP fits, I looked at the top solo killers’ frigate fits on zkillboard and downgraded the meta on the modules. I also assumed that the players who are using this downgraded fit would have no level V skills, but many level IVs. This shows how each ship would perform for a player with lower skill. The Rifter fit I will be using in this guide is:

[Rifter, Learn Solo PVP]

F85 Peripheral Damage System I
200mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste

1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

200mm Light Prototype Automatic Cannon, Republic Fleet EMP S
Small Knave Scoped Energy Nosferatu
200mm Light Prototype Automatic Cannon, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm Light Prototype Automatic Cannon, Republic Fleet EMP S

Small Projectile Ambit Extension I
Small Anti-Kinetic Pump I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I

The Rifter: The best frigate for learning Solo PVP

No ship teaches solo PvP better than the Rifter. The Minmatar frigate stands out from the rest of the pack due to its ability to win in a multitude of situations and its stunning cost efficiency.

No other frigate can be used in as many situations as the Rifter due to its hull bonuses as well as its usage of the autocannon weapon type. The frigate boasts an impressive falloff range of 11km with autocannons with a 700m optimal range. This allows the ship to be both a close range brawler as well as a long range kiter. Besides the boost in falloff range, the hull traits allow the frigate to make up for its limited weapons capabilities. While a DPS of 72 and 83 with heat will not win any awards; the Rifter is able to out damage other ships due to the autocannon’s ability to go long lengths between reloads. The Rifter can also tank better than most other T1 frigates. It has an EHP of 4,188HP with balanced resists across the board. The Rifter can also use its repairer as a way to take full advantage of its balanced resists.

The other T1 frigates beat out the Rifter in certain aspects, but lose out in many others.

The Amarr Executioner has better DPS of 110 and max speed 1012, but a little over half the amount of tank than that of the Rifter. It also has a much better optimal range of 9.9km. However, it uses a weapon system that is notoriously bad at tracking, managing to have only 1 dps when the target is orbiting at 15 degrees while at a distance of 1km The Rifter, on the other hand,  has a DPS of 37 when orbiting within 1km. This means that the Executioner only teaches how to maintain range; whereas the Rifter teaches how to angle the ship, so that one gets maximum damage, and how to rapidly close gaps.

The Merlin, a great brawling frigate, has a better DPS of 126 and a better capacitor, however, it has near no regen and a low falloff of 3.8km, allowing the Rifter to kite around it, staying out of its range. It also suffers from the fact that it has an insanely low shield EM resistance of 16% and is always shield tanked. This enables the pilot to tear through the ship by using the correct damage type. In this situation, the Merlin only teaches how to close the gap, whereas the Rifter teaches the pilot how to maintain distance around a target and how to use the right damage type based on the tank type and resistance.

The Caldari Condor is the best frigate for kiting. It beats every other frigate when it has the time to set up inside of a Plex. However, when this range is broken, the Condor crumples faster than every other frigate. It only has an EHP of 1357 with poor overall resists. It also is one of the few solo PVP ships to strictly use a MWD. While the MWD can be an outstanding tool for maintaining range, it can also dig its own grave if the target is able to close the gap. This makes it an outstanding ship for learning how to kite, but that’s it. The Rifter, can teach pilots how to make safes that are able to enter the Plex without the use of an acceleration gate and how to avoid bad fights.

While ships like the Comet, Slicer, and Breacher are better solo PVP ships, they cost exponentially more than the Rifter. Those ships can all crush the Rifter in speed, tank, damage, and skill cap. However the average price of the three ships is about 22 million ISK. This trio is also limited in the amount of possible ways one can fly each of them. For instance, the Slicer requires that the pilot kite with its exceptional speed. When looking only at these three, it is quite clear that for a capsuleer learning how to solo PvP, the Rifter can both teach and save more.

This does not apply solely to the top solo PvP ships. Comparable fits for the aforementioned Executioner costs 5.5 million ISK. The Merlin costs 3.5 million ISK. The Condor costs 6.5 million ISK. The only ship that can compete with the Rifter’s low price tag of 3.3 million ISK is the Merlin. But it can only teach the pilot one aspect of PvP. The Rifter can teach 6 aspects of PvP. For an aspiring solo PvPer; a cheap ship that can teach more than one aspect of PvP is invaluable. Another perk of a cheap ship for learning how to PvP is when a fight is lost. When you die, it is easier to learn from your mistakes if you are not raging over the amount of ISK you lost!

I would also like to say that I am in no way a god at solo PvP, or that the Rifter is the best solo PvP ship out there. It really is not. It is far from the best solo PvP ship, but it is the best solo PvP ship when it comes to learning. Think of it as a training hull. My main case for using the Rifter to learn the ropes is because it is VERY cost efficient and diverse in the tactics you can use to fight with it. For the low price of 3.5 million ISK, it can teach so much more than any other frigate in the same price range. It allows the player to learn lessons that they can transfer over to better solo ships. For new players with very little ISK, these lessons are much harder to learn when the player is raging because of the price of their killmail. 

About Kovy Viliana

Kovy Viliana is a student of PvP.

Check Also


FW Fitting Lab: Fed Navy Comet

Editor’s Note: The following is a love letter for the Fed Navy Comet written by ...


  1. Todays Rifter is a weak shadow of what it used to be. My Minmatar heart breaks when i see what has been done to this hull over the years. From king of all Frigates to meh.

  2. Rifter is out projected by other kite frigates and out dpsed by short range brawlers. For adaptability the tormentor or executioner have the most flexibility. Rifter just does everything poorly.

  3. i would honestly say that the comet is better although it costs more its still far more effective rail fit and has just as many uses tank cap and skill to it yes it cost 22M but that is a small price to pay especially when you can get it in Fwar for low cost with LP

    • @Kingchar23 Yeah the comet does give you a bit more margin for error if you actually would like to win a 1v1 PVP fight. If you’re in GalMil and are reasonably careful you can convert about 8 incursus hulls into comets for really not very much money. Is it as convenient and cheap as buying a rifter hull and hitting the “FIT” button? No. But the comet is a beautifully versatile ship. Come to think of it, you also get the added “learn PVP” benefit of having a fair amount of drones too which complicates things for newbies but you gotta learn how to right click and deploy drones sometime!

      • @Raktak , i would defiantly agree the drones add a interesting aspect(as well as a save your ass button if they are ECM). i currently am not in fwar so don,t know how the meta holds for them. As well as for the versatility of comet , in fitting and drone aspects. as for deploying drones i still forget in panic half the time

  4. Rifter has been nerfed to oblivion. If your going t1 then merlin, tristan, cap stable med repped breacher is good as well. If you want to fly minmatar turrets then TD scram web ab slasher 150s neut with armor buffer will be the best you get and will win almost 100% of the time against rifter. Just orbit with guns neut ab and td overloaded at 500. You will probably kill it before you have to kill heat.

  5. Comet, Slicer, and Breacher … cost exponentially more

    Why is the Breacher in this lineup? It’s not a faction frig

    • By the time you load it up with navy cap boosters for an Ancil fit and meta 4 scrams and such it’s going to be a good deal more pricey than the Rifter will. Dual MASB Breacher is a gloriously overpowered ship though.

  6. Press drone butan, win fight, think “im cool”.

Leave a Reply