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Capital Fleet Ships
Carriers and their larger variants, Motherships, are capital ships that can field fighter drones and effectively use capital logistics arrays. They form a critical part of capital ship operations with their ability to repair things quickly and devastate opposing fleets with fighters.
Carriers cost several hundred million ISK for the hull alone. The hull includes an innate ship maintenance bay, which allows friendly ships to refit in space, and carries smaller ships. Like other capital ships, carriers have an integrated jump drive, which allows them to jump directly to a cynosural field.
Unlike most other ships, carriers have no turret or missile slots, despite having several high slots. This means that they can not mount weapons; instead, the high slots are typically filled with other modules such as smartbombs and logistics arrays. They have the ability to fit warfare link modules and recieve range bonuses to capital logistics modules, allowing them to repair hundreds of hitpoints per second out to 45Km or more.
It's believed GoonFleet capital ship fittings are kept in the capital forum that you can read once you get a capship and not on the wiki, for security reasons.
A number of shield and armor rigs do not affect capital repairers or boosters. However, midslot-mounted shield boost amplifiers do affect capital boosters as advertised. Capacitor rigs stack with no penalties.
 Drone Control Unit
Drone Control Units are Carrier-class specific modules that give you an extra drone/fighter per module. They require Advanced Drone Interfacing I to fit, then an equivalent level of Advanced Drone Interfacing to activate additional Drone Control Units. Activating the modules requires no energy. Note that while you won't be able to activate the modules without the adequate level of Advanced Drone Interfacing, you can fit as many as you like once the fitting requirement has been met, for transport purposes.
A carrier can field up to 15 drones or fighters:
- One per level of the Drones skill
- One per level of the Racial Carrier skill
- One per fitted Drone Control Unit (which requires an equivalent level of Advanced Drone Interfacing)
 Omnidirectional Tracking Link
Omnidirectional Tracking Links only work with Fighters if they are fitted on the carrier itself and not a controller, and only when the carrier is on the same grid as the fighters. Once they leave your grid, the Omnidirectional Tracking Link bonuses to the Fighters are lost.
Drones are still limited by the normal control range.
Fighter drones combine the speed and maneuverability of an interceptor with the firepower and durability of a cruiser. Because of this, they are the largest and most expensive drones available, costing about 15 million ISK each. Fighters are different from normal drones in that they can warp around the system following hostile target ships and assigned friendly ships. Fighters cannot be warp scrambled and can be recalled at any time from anywhere in the system, making them difficult to kill without proper tactics. Fighters warp slowly, spending 15-60 seconds in warp if assigned or recalled and arrive approximately 5-10 seconds after their assigned controller/target has completed warp.
 Using Fighters
Fighters assigned to hostile targets will follow until the target or the fighter is destroyed, unless the target cloaks or leaves the system. Fighters attacking rats will pursue and kill them after despawning. Fighters can rarely hit small ships, so you should only try it if you or the controller is on-grid with the target. If your fighters are showing "Idle" after a "Following(in warp)", then it means the target has cloaked. If your fighters followed a target and are cycling between "Idle" and "Fighting", it means the target is in a POS bubble. Be wary of the drone panel as it may not always be synchronized with the status of your fighters' health. Fighters returning to the carrier or controller are very slow since they don't use their MicroWarpdrives.
 Assigning fighters to a controller
Fighters can be assigned to friendly ships to control. The number of fighters that can be assigned is limited to one fighter per controller's Drones skill. When a controller has assigned fighters, they cannot use their own drones.
Fighters sometimes warp 80-130AU out of system and stay out there up to 5 minutes. This is useful to covops pilots as they can scan them out to make new deep safe spots.
 Carrier Transportation
Carriers provide an essential logistical backbone of any serious 0.0 alliance. Their ability to move ships and cargo via jump drives allows for far faster transportation and safer movement of valuable assets. A carrier provides three ways for moving items:
- Standard cargo - A cargo bay like any other ship. A Carrier's standard cargohold is now much smaller than it once was with the advent of Fuel Bays that now hold the fuel required for jumping. Additional fuel or anything else can be stored in this bay much like any other ship. (The drone bay can also be used to transport packaged minerals in the form of drones, although this is rare.)
- Fuel Bay - A recent addition to all Capital ships, for carriers it is a 3,000m3 bay that can only hold fuel, Liquid Ozone, and Strontium Clathrates
- Corporate hangar - This corp hangar works just like one in a station or POS tower, and provides permission-based access to organize items under several tabs. It is even possible for corp directors to limit access to the carrier pilots themselves. The hangar is accessible in space to any corp member with the appropriate permissions, when within 1500m of the carrier. Carrier pilots in NPC corporations cannot use these hangar arrays. This area provides 10,000mÂ³ for a regular carrier and 50,000mÂ³ for a mothership, and cannot be reduced or expanded.
- Ship maintenance bay - Assembled vessels can be stored in here. Note that assembled vessels take up far more space than when packaged, although they can be fitted with modules but can not have anything other than ammo in the cargo hold. Carriers can hold up to 1,000,000mÂ³ of ships, and motherships can hold up to 2,500,000mÂ³.
 Carrier Comparison
For remote shield boosting, all other carriers are better than the Archon since it does not have a shield transfer range bonus, but has a capital energy transfer range bonus.
For remote armor repping, all other carriers are better than the Chimera since it does not have an armor transfer range bonus, but has a capital energy transfer range bonus.
 Carrier Attributes
|Cargo||Fuel Bay|| Corporate|
| Ship Maint.|
 Carrier Tanking
|Archon - Single Rep||3220||85||86||87||89||86.75%|
|Archon - Double Rep||3450||85||70||71||75||75.25%|
|Chimera - Single Booster||2640||66||86||79||72||75.75%|
|Nidhoggur - Single Booster||1770||48||79||69||59||63.75%|
|Nidhoggur - Single Rep||1500||87||61||67||72||71.75%|
|Nidhoggur - Double Rep||2585||84||55||62||67||67.00%|
|Thanatos - Single Rep||1900||74||74||81||81||77.50%|
|Thanatos - Double Rep||2600||80||55||67||67||67.25%|
These numbers are pre-kali, and are outdated. Resistances can be made much higher because of rigs and the capacitor increase, taking away the need of several cap modules to make the tank sustainable.
 Required Skills
Carriers require a fairly hefty skillset, although they are less skill-intensive than a dreadnought (as they do not require capital turrets or siege modules). Many pilots train carriers first, polish their capital ship skills, then make the jump into dreadnoughts.
- Absolutely Required
- Advanced Spaceship Command V
- Capital Ships III
- Drone Interfacing V
- Racial Battleship V
- Racial Carrier I
- Jump Drive Operation I
- Required to Use in Combat
- Fighters I (to use Fighter drones)
- Leadership V (Prerequisite for Fighters skill)
- Capital Repair Systems I (If armor tanking, for capital armor repairers).
- Capital Shield Operation I (If shield tanking).
- Required for Fleet Participation
- Jump Drive Calibration I (for long-range jumping).
- Jump Drive Operation at V (prerequisite for JDC)
- Highly Advisable Support Skills
- Jump Fuel Conservation (Without this at II or III jumping will get very expensive)
- Advanced Drone Interfacing (to fit Drone Control Units]]
- Cybernetics at IV or V (if armor tanking; to fit Slave implant sets)
More info: http://goonfleet.com/showthread.php?t=40596
 Stuff to be merged
Carriers are, excluding Freighters, the easiest capital ship to get into. Requiring effectively half of the skills that it takes to get into a Dreadnought to be able to at least do the basic necessities (assigning fighters), they have quickly become the most abundant capital ship in the Capital Swarm. We have gone from having around 3-4 carriers in the swarm for a long period of time, to perhaps over 40-50 now (although I do not have exact numbers).
Carriers have the unique ability of being able to use the most powerful drone in the game: The cruiser-sized, 20m isk Fighter. These fighters can do anywhere from 60 to 100dps depending on skills. Additionally, a carrier can launch anywhere from 6 (with the lowest of low skills) to 15 (at the highest skill level), with the average carrier pilot doing 12. This makes them extremely potent adversaries; in a way, you might call them a gigantic Dominix.
Like all other capital ships, excluding freighters, carriers get around by jump drive and can not use normal gates. They have the benefit of having the longest range jump drive in the game: a base range of 6.5ly, with a JDC IV range of 13ly. Additionally, they have a ship maintenance bay, capable of carrying up to 1,000,000 m3 of assembled ships. This is enough to fit ~35 frigates, ~10 cruisers, or 2-3 industrials.
Carriers serve three important functions in Eve:
Fighter delegation: Carriers also have the unique ability of being able to assign up to five fighters (dependent on skill level) to any pilot in gang in the system, who can then use them to destroy whatever is within their lock range. A 20 man gang with 30 fighters could easily destroy a 30-40 man gang with no fighters, for example.
Logistics jumping: Due to carriers having both the longest jump range of any capital ship, along with having the ability to store the largest amount of m3 of any non-supercapital, carriers have become instrumental in GoonSwarm logistics. An average carrier can carry, with a fully expanded and rigged Iteron V and Prorator in the ship bay, around 75-80k m3 of space (not counting fuel). Comparatively, a dread can only do 65-70k without rigs. If you are one of the lucky few that managed to get a carrier with GSC's in industrials in your bay before they got nerfed, you could fit up to 95-100k. Additionally, the 10k m3 corporate hangar array makes them good support vessels (as intended) for dreads, as it allows them to carry extra stront and fuel such that the dreads will not have to cyno out at the end of each POS.
Remote repairing: With the advent of shootable POS guns, along with POS shield repping in general, carriers have become even more important. Ignoring the Triage module (which gives gigantic boosts to remote repping), a regular carrier with two capital shield reps can easily rep as much of a POS's shields as 3-4 ospreys. The same can be said of armor repping pos guns and modules as well.
 Carrier Overview
Here is a brief description of the strengths and weaknesses of each carrier.
Amarr: Archon - The Archon is, without a doubt, the hardest carrier to crack. Having 7 lows, and a 5% resistance bonus per level, it easily becomes the most tankable carrier in the game. The extra low also allows it to fit one more expander for logistics work, allowing for the fitting of an extra GSC in the cargo bay. The only drawbacks are the four midslots mean you can't have as high a cap regen rate as the other carriers. But like all Amarr ships, this lack of mids is normal. Considered, along with the Thanatos, to be one of the better carrier choices.
Caldari: Chimera - The Chimera is, basically, the shield-tanking version of the Archon. It gets a 5% bonus to all shield resists, and has 7 mids to get a huge tank. That, combined with the four low slots, makes this the only carrier you can expand for logistics while also having a respectable tank at the same time. The only issue is, it has far less carrying capacity than any other carrier, thus making it not as ideal for logistics work.
Gallente: Thanatos - Long considered to be the "best" carrier due to its former 10% fighter damage increase per level, CCP eventually nerfed it down to 5%. This still allows for a very decent damage increase for your fighters, especially if you have Fighters IV or even V. The 6 lows also allow a very respectable expanded fitting to be fit, while the 5 mids allow for a decent cap recharge rate to be maintained. This is perhaps the most common of any carrier in the game, and is overall one of the best choices for carrier training.
 Further Reading
- Carrier Facts II - Useful information about the ins and outs of carriers.