Rifter 101

Welcome to yet another edition of Minmatar Ships 101. In this post, I will be covering the very basics of flying and fitting a Rifter. In all honesty, I’m rather hesitant to even post about the Rifter since Wensley has written the definitive Rifter Guide; however, this post will be more of a guide lite than anything else. Hopefully new players can get a taste of the Rifter from this post and move onto The Wonderful World of Wensley(TM) from here. Pencils ready? Let’s begin.

Rendered using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000

 

Overview:

The Rifter is a fast, powerful frigate. It’s very popular due to this, and rightly so. Because of this it is worth it to cross-train (if you are not Minmatar) Minmatar Frigate III and projectile weapon skills. It is hands-down the best frigate in the game and if you can’t fly one, you’re losing out on a great ship.

It has a 320m/s base speed, the fastest of any of the top-tier frigates. It also has a smaller sig radius (35m) than any. This makes it a pretty tricky ship to hit. It’s also pretty fragile, and suffers from a lack of capacitor. Thus, mobility is key. Fortunately, projectile weapons are your friend in regards to cap. Projectile weapons (Artillary and Autocannons) use no cap, allowing the pilot to use speed and ecm mods of their choosing.

It gets a bonus to small projectile damage, and tracking. This means setups tend to combine quick damage and up-close and personal style. This is not a ship for the faint of heart, but provides a thrill without compare in all of Eve. Let’s look at the above mentioned bonuses and some of the important features of the Rifter.

Bonuses:

  • 5% bonus to Small Projectile Turret damage per level.
  • 7.5% bonus to Small Projectile Tracking per level.
High Slots 4
Medium Slots 3
Low Slots 3
Rig Slots 3
Power Output 37 MW
CPU Output 125 tf
Turret Slots 3
Launcher Slots 2
Max Targets 4
Shield Capacity 391
Shield Resists
(EM/EXP/KIN/THERM)
0/50/40/20
Armor HP 351
Armor Resists
(EM/EXP/KIN/THERM)
60/10/25/35
Capacitor 250
Drones 0 m3
Drone Bandwidth  
Cargo 130 m3
Max Speed 320 m/s
Insurance Cost 84,000.00 ISK
Insurance Payout 195,000.00 ISK
 
Required Skills
Primary Minmatar Frigate III
Secondary N/A  
Tertiary N/A

The above reiterates the low skill requirements to fly a rifter. A player can easily train the required primary skills for the hull and projectile weapon skills to at least III within a few days. The Rifter is also cheap enough to lose rather consistently and not lose much isk. All these factors combine to make it a fun and dangerous ship for all New Eden pilots. Now that I’ve covered the very basics of the Rifter, lets look at some setups.

Low-Skill PvP Fitting

High
3x 200mm AutoCannons (EMP S or other close-range ammo)
1x Standard Launcher I or Rocket Launcher I
Medium
1mn MWD or 1mn Afterburner
1x Warp Disruptor I
1x Stasis Webifier I
Low
1x Capacitor Power Relay I
2x Nanofiber Internal Structure

This is a basic Rifter setup, some other fitting possibilities include:

  • Salvager in place of the Standard/Rocket Launcher (after battle cleanup).
  • Cap Recharger in place of the Stasis Webifier (cap stability).
  • Warp Scrambler in place of the Warp Disruptor (close range MWD rape).

Combat hostile webs by orbiting at 12km. Otherwise orbit around 7km to web and disrupt (or scramble) while remaining outside of normal smartbomb range. If your gunnery skills are low, you may find some difficulty hitting smaller ships at 12km. If that is the case, move into around 9km or so.

Higher-Skill PvP Fittings:

Solo PVP Rifter

High
3x 150mm AutoCannon I (Phased Plasma S)
Rocket Launcher I (Foxfire Rockets)
Medium
1mn Microwarpdrive I
Warp Disruptor I
Cap Recharger I
Low
Capacitor Power Relay I
200mm Reinforced Steel Plates I
Small Armor Repairer I

This setup is for solo work. It plays to the Rifter’s strengths — speed and quick damage. If things start to go south, the microwarpdrive will allow you to get outside the range of Stasis Webifiers, and the armor tank provides a buffer so you won’t instapop if you take on something bigger than you can chew.

As your skills and wallet increase, consider the following modifications to the fitting above:

  1. 150mm AutoCannon II (Barrage S) instead of 150mm AutoCannon I (EMP S) — better range and damage, higher skills and cost
  2. Warp Scrambler I instead of Warp Disruptor I — better tackling, higher capacitor usage
  3. Capacitor Power Relay II instead of Capacitor Power Relay I — better damage, higher skills and cost
  4. 200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten (best) or Crystalline Carbonide (second best) Plates I instead of 200mm Reinforced Steel Plates I — better speed and maneuverability, more armor, higher cost
  5. Small Armor Repairer II instead of Small Armor Repairer I — better tanking, higher skills and cost

This setup is still rather easy for pilots to access from both SP and isk perspectives. While I’m not actually a huge fan of active tanking period, this setup provides a higher level of survivability than my setups tend to experience. As your cap skills get better (or if they are good to begin with), you can drop the cap power relay and use a gyrostab instead. This setup will also appeal more to Amarr/Gallente pilots that have their armor skills trained up.

Shield Tank Rifter 

High
3x 150mm Light AutoCannon I (Phased Plasma S)
Named Rocket Launcher I (Foxfire Rocket)
Mid
1mn Microwarpdrive I
Named Stasis Webifier I or Named Warp Disruptor I
Named Medium Shield Extender I
Low
Named Gyrostabilizer I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Power Diagnostic System I

Required Skills: Engineering V, Electronics V, Weapon Upgrades V, Advanced Weapon Upgrades IV, Shield Upgrades IV, Hardwiring – Zainou ‘Gnome’ KUA1000 ( -3% shield upgrade power needs, slot 6 implant)

There are two dominant Rifter setups: extended setups and plated setups. For solo work, plated setups are probably better because they allow you to fit both a Stasis Webifier and a Warp Disruptor. I go with the Disruptor every time and pick targets that are much slower than myself. What good is a fight if they can get away easily? For group work, an extended setup is arguably better because you have increased staying power due to increased speed. This setup will probably be more attractive if you are coming from a Caldari background as your shield skills should already be rather high.

Rifter

High
3x 150mm Light AutoCannon II (Barrage S)
Mid
1x 1mn Afterburner II 
1x X5 Prototype Engine Enervator I
1x Warp Scrambler II
Low
1x Micro Auxiliary Power Core
1x 400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plate I
1x Small Armor Repairer II

This setup does require some decent fitting skills in order to work. I the T2’s don’t fit, either downgrade the size of the guns or use the best named (although that increases cost in most cases). The point of this ship is to get in a potential targets face and just commit some carnage. Overheating will add some significant damage increases, but you have to be careful about burning out those guns.

Overall, the Rifter is incredibly versitile in terms of tanking options and the situations that you can win fights. I’ve seen countless surprising outcomes in Rifter fights. A former unista that I flew with even took down a Dramiel in one (granted the dramiel pilot clearly had no idea what the fuck he was doing). So, if you haven’t already, train the skill mentioned at the start of the post and get into a Rifter!

Fly safe gentlemen.

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