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I have just got myself a nice new ship and fitted it with some 150mm Prototype Gauss Guns which use hybrid ammunitions. There are a variety of hybrid ammunitions in game which all appear to do varying quantities of different types of damage.

I mainly like engaging my enemies at maximum range, so I can kill everything before it can hit me and thus I can minimise the damage that I take. Previously in my previous ship I have been using antimatter ammunition but I was wondering due to the varying statistics on each type of ammunition which hybrid ammunitions are the best under which circumstances?

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If you can use T2 Hybrid weapons there are only 2-3 types of ammunition that are commonly used and that I would put into my cargo (for PvP). Those are

  • (Caldari Navy) Antimatter for short range, high damage with good tracking
  • Null for Blasters, Spike for Railguns as long range ammunition (those are T2, can't be used in T1 weapons)
  • Void for Blasters as short range ammunition when fighting large ships, as it has bad tracking (also T2 only)

If you can't use T2 weapons, iron and tungsten replace Null/Spike as long range ammunition.

If you're doing missions, stick with regular ammunition. If you are doing PvP you should pay the significantly higher price for the faction munition like Caldary Navy Antimatter.

Here's an overview of the different ammunitions:

            Dmg(kin/therm)  Cap     Range   Tracking Falloff
Iron        12 8            -30%    60.0%
Tungsten    16 8            -27%    40.0%
Iridium     16 12           -24%    20.0%
Lead        20 12           -50%    0.0%
Thorium     20 16           -40%   -12.5%
Uranium     24 16           -8%    -25.0%
Plutonium   24 20           -5%    -37.5%
Antimatter  28 20            0%    -50.0%
Spike (R)   16 16            0%     80.0%    -75%
Javelin (R) 24 32            0%    -75.0%     25%
Null (B)    20 24            0%     40.0%    -25%    40%
Void (B)    30.8 30.8        0%    -25.0%    -25%   -50%

The two damage values represent the kinetic and the thermal part of the total damage, Cap refers to the capacitor use of the guns.

The data is from the Eve Online quick reference sheet, which contains a few more useful things.

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    The listed damage numbers are for Large sized ammunition. The ratio is the same for smaller sizes ( or near enough ) - just divide by 2 for Medium, or 4 for Small. – Phill.Zitt Jan 8 '13 at 20:59
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    Note that there are two types of Faction ammo for hybrid ammo : Caldari Navy and Federation Navy. One is often cheaper than the other, and they both do the same damage. – camster342 Jan 9 '13 at 20:04
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All hybrid ammunition uses the same damage types - thermal and kinetic. As a general concept, as the range bonus increases, the damage decreases. As the range bonus decreases ( and goes into negative), the damage increases. Antimatter is the highest raw damage of the T1 hybrid ammunitions, but it also has the lowest range ( with a nice fat -50% range bonus ). Iron has the lowest raw damage, but it has the highest ( +50% ) range.

As for circumstantial usage, don't bother. You will want to stick to one range of ammunition, and fit your ship to reflect that. Same reason you stick with one type of gun, and not mix meta levels on them. With rails, antimatter is fine, because you still have enough range to project DPS out to a fair distance. Plutonium or Uranium, maybe, if your Gunnery skills are a bit low to keep your distance.

  • Changing ammunition is important in PvP, you usually carry at least a set of close range and long range ammunition. Not carrying any long range ammo can be fatal if someone is trying to kite you. – Mad Scientist Jan 8 '13 at 19:59
  • @MadScientist That depends entirely on what kind of PvP you happen to be engaged in, and does not apply to all ships, either. My inference from Kalina's post was that she is engaged in PvE, not solo PvP - ( using "kill everything before" instead of 'kill everyone before' ). In missions, there should be no need to change ammo at all. – Phill.Zitt Jan 8 '13 at 20:51
  • @Phill.Zitt Perhaps hybrid weapon systems are different due to the 10 second swap time, but Amarr missioners will frequently switch ammo depending on the range of the enemy. – khrave Jan 8 '13 at 22:00
  • @khrave It makes a ton of difference - which is faster: wait the ten seconds for swap time, or spend six to eight seconds closing to range? – Phill.Zitt Jan 8 '13 at 22:39
  • Hybrids have 5 seconds ammo swap time now, only projectile weapons still have 10 seconds. If you can quickly get in range, then it might not make sense to swap ammo. But if your enemy can control the engagement range then switching ammo is important as he might force you to fight outside the range of your current ammo. – Mad Scientist Jan 9 '13 at 7:06
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The essiential differences in types of hybrid ammunition is the tradeoff between range and damage output. The conventional wisdom (which is particularly relevant with blasters) is to equip the most damaging ammunition (antimatter) and get as close as possible to your target.

However, with scram/kite and range control styles of engagement to objective is to force an engagement to occur outside of your opponents optimal range, and to fit your ship accordingly to operate favourably at that chosen range. Range control is achieved using warp scramblers to disable microwarpdrives, and stasis webifier to shut down enemy movement. Which when combined with superior propulsion on your own ship (typically Afterburner II) you can easily dictate the range of a battle. Hence, using this tactic and the common knowledge that most players equip antimatter ammo only, you can make a more judicious selection of ammunition. Thus moving your ship outside of their optimal, and keeping them inside of yours.

For example. Lets consider that you are fit with 125mm Railgun's, Warp Disruptor II, 2 x Stasis Webifier II, and 1 MN Afterburner II. This will give you favourable range control and you can easily hold your opponent at 10 or 12km with overheated webs. At this range you are best served by loading Uranium charges to give an optimal range of 9km. Placing your opponent inside optimal when in web range, and into light falloff at the extent of your range control... Had you chosen Antimatter charges in this scenario your opponent would be in deep falloff and your high paper DPS figure would simply not be applied to the target. Hence, it is the real DPS at the actual engagement distance which you need to be considering.

With the above example you need to note carefully that you are the one dictating range. There is no sense in selecting a long range ammunition (thinking that you can simply apply damage sooner, and pick them off at range) if you lack the means to keep them there. Your opponent is a proactive and tactically minded person who will not simply allow you to do this. You should plan on a longer ranged engagement only when you have the means of dictating range - and you should also have a contingency for when range is being dictated by your opponent. Hence, you need three ammunitions for 3 different scenarios.

  1. Close range, good tracking, high damage ammunition to deal with brawlers in close quarters.
  2. Optimal range ammunition for use when you dictate range.
  3. Long range ammunition for dealing with kiting ships outside of your preferred range.

For blasters, or tech 1 rails your close range ammo will be faction antimatter, and when using tech 2 railguns you have the option of Javelin. For optimal range ammo this will often be faction Plutonium, Uranium, Thorium, or Lead (in increasing order of range.

For long range ammunition null and spike ammunition can be used in tech 2 blasters and railguns respectively. For tech 1 guns (or when increased tracking is necessary) load faction iridium. Though tungsten and iron do give good range, their damage output is low that you may as well not bother. If you are forced to fight this far outside your guns optimal range you should rethink this fight. Start looking at disengagement options. These ammunitions do have their purpose, but, they are highly circumstantial.

Eg. Loading lead shot into a 425mm Railgun on sensor boosted Battleship with targeting computer to one-shot-kill frigates at 120km can be a lot of fun :)

In addition to faction and tech 2 ammunition you should also carry a reasonable stack of tech 1 ammunition. This is for shooting NPC targets, or damage application over long durations. It also serves as backup ammunition in a protracted fight.

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