To be a successful pirate requires patience, a steady nerve and skill. There are no rules to pirating but there are a few simple things you can do if just starting out as a pirate to help you on your way to success.
1. Combat in EvE Online is all about skills combined with the experience to use those skills effectively. This is much more pronounced if you concentrate on the lowest common denominator first. This means that you must learn to walk before you run. Train for the smaller ships first and train your skills for those ships to at least level 4. Continue to train like this until you can fly a Battle-Cruiser competently.
2. Find a ship you like to fly then specialise for that ship. Train all your skills to level 5 for that ship including the desired weapon skills. This will max out the bonuses given on that ship making you more effective in combat. Also don't forget to train the tertiary skills either as these will help you operate your ship more efficiently. Don't overlook your Engineering skills as these are usually crucial to your ships ability to maintain a healthy capacitor, and capacitor is life.
3. Make sure that you fit the ship with the relevant equipment. Note the bonuses on the ship and fit accordingly taking advantage of any weapon bonuses or shield or armour bonuses. This will greatly increase the effectiveness of your fitting.
4. Practice makes perfect. Arrange for your corporation to engage in combat with you so you can get some experience of what to expect. Obviously try not to get yourself destroyed but fight until one of you is into 10% armour then disengage. Also try to engage in combat which is slightly unfair, don’t always fight 1v1 as chances are in real combat the odds won’t be even.
Another place to test your metal is the test server (Singularity). The test server is anywhere from 1 day to 2 months behind Tranquillity(depending on the mirror of the server) so any new skills you have will not be available here until you train them again. You can still train different skills on the test server and all market items are available at 100 ISK regardless of actual value. This means you can buy skills, equipment, ships and implants for next to nothing and try many different setups in actual combat. Pod killing is forbidden on Singularity so be careful with your smart bombs!
5. Concentrate your attack. Don’t spread your firing across multiple targets as this will weaken your effectiveness in combat. Make sure that you fire on one target only. You can use your electronic warfare on multiple targets, for instance you may want to attack one target while jamming another’s weapons, and this is fine as long as you concentrate your turrets and missiles on one target.
6. Your scanner is your friend. Learn how to use it quickly and efficiently. Keep it open at all times. This also goes for the Local Chat window. Keeping an eye on this can help you avoid any other ships coming to the victims aid.Trust this guide, and your life as a pirate will be more successful and eventful.
7. Successful pirates rarely travel alone. Travelling with a wingman can enable you to split your roles so that one can ‘trap’ the target (tackler) and the other can kill and/or tank the target. Doing this makes you both a much more deadly unit as you work together to take down you opponent.
8. Ransom your targets and respect your enemy. If they decline to pay you then feel free to destroy them and their POD. If they pay the ransom then honour your prey and let them go. Don’t smack-talk local or your ‘customer’ and never allow more than 30 seconds paying the ransom as they may trying to dalay you while calling for assistance.
9. Train your learning skills to maximum. You do not need to do this straight away but be advised, the longer you put it off the more time you will have lost overall. It isn’t a lot of fun to train just learning skills immediately but once you have a few ‘fun’ skills, return to these essential skills and max them out. While training them you can always practice your techniques in combat.
10. Above all never under-estimate your enemy. Knowing the limitations of both your ships abilities and your enemies’ will help you a great deal so swat up on the most common ships capabilites (weapons, weaknesses and strengths). Always try to engage your prey on your grounds instead of theirs and always be mindful of your surroundings.
A Pirates Guide to Scanning Targets
Test Server (singularity installation guide)
Test Server (singularity patches)