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Fit Kitchen: The Astero

It’s like a Stratios, but smaller! The Astero is the Sisters of EVE frigate with bonuses to armour, drones, and scanning & hacking duties. It’s typically the big and scary frigate in the world of Covert Ops scanners and is the go-to option for cloaky frigate fighting – if you aren’t using a bomber, that is. I’m also going to be including a giveaway in this article at the bottom as a part of the EVE Partner programme. 😀

As with any other Fit Kitchen article, here’s the breakdown of the ship bonuses. It’s worth noting that this ship has a layout of 2/4/4. When you fill those two high slots with a Covert Ops Cloak and a probe launcher it becomes kind of… full. This can be quite limiting and it opens up Asteros to being quite predictable. More on that later, though.

Amarr Frigate bonuses (per skill level):
4% bonus to all armor resistances
Gallente Frigate bonuses (per skill level):
20% bonus to Drone hitpoints
Role Bonus:
100% reduction in Cloaking Devices CPU requirement
37.5% bonus to Core and Combat Scanner Probe strength
10+ bonus to Relic and Data Analyzer virus strength
• Can fit Covert Ops Cloaking Device
• Cloak reactivation delay reduced to 15 seconds

The Obvious Fits – Scanning and Hacking Asteros

Alright, I don’t normally provide much in the way of scanning and hacking fits here on my blog, but I feel it’s pretty important for this ship. Since it has ‘easy to use’ combat bonuses, the Astero is often fit with PvP and scanning in mind. This ends up being pretty terrible most of the time, but it can be done if you know what to aim for and what you might encounter.

The first fit below is going to be a ‘safe’ hacking Astero fit. One that I feel you should be able to fly around and happily hack anything to your heart’s content without worry. The idea being that a 10MN AB plus scram will get you out of most situations. Basically, you align out and heat the prop while scramming any MWD hostiles that chase you. Eventually, you will escape providing that they don’t have something like a web Loki on grid. If, however, you were bubbled and a web Loki just appeared then maybe you should have used the instawarp to get out earlier.

Wait, Ashy that isn’t a typical scanning fit! No, it’s not. The reason is that any Astero can be made into a scanner simply by fitting whichever scan bonus modules you want, a little bit of align time and that’s it. Most regular Covert Ops ships are going to avoid you because you are an Astero and most bigger things don’t care about your pathetic 99 DPS. You have to pick your fights.

Moving swiftly on, there’s another way to run a scanning Astero if you’re a bit more combat-oriented. That’s because it is a combat fit. The trick is to take off the web in exchange for whichever hacking module you would like and you won’t lose a whole lot. Other than this, the only other thing you might want to consider is to swap the T2 rep to a blingy one or perhaps go 2x standard rep instead of having the ancil there. It’s really a matter of taste. If the plan is to hunt other explorers then maybe even go scram+point or 2x scram to guard against stabs. Easy.

The only other Astero in this category that I can truly recommend would be a combat scanning fit. And it’s so bad that I won’t be linking it directly. Simply put, you need four Co-Processors, maybe and overclock, and some basic modules such as the Scan Rangefinding Array. This is how I typically prefer my newbros to run their fits since it means we don’t bump into a ratting cap without combats available.

10MN Safe Hacker

[Astero, 2021 Safe Hacking]

Coreli A-Type Small Armor Repairer
Damage Control II
Multispectrum Energized Membrane II
Navy Micro Auxiliary Power Core

10MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Warp Scrambler II
Data Analyzer II
Relic Analyzer II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Core Probe Launcher

Small Ancillary Current Router II
Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II

Hobgoblin II x5
Hornet EC-300 x5
Hornet EC-300 x5

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16
Capacitor Power Relay II x1

Simple Combat Astero

[Astero, 2021 Standard PvP]

Small Armor Repairer II
Multispectrum Energized Membrane II
Damage Control II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer

1MN Afterburner II
Warp Scrambler II
Stasis Webifier II
Small Capacitor Booster II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Core Probe Launcher

Small Explosive Armor Reinforcer I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump II
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump II

Hobgoblin II x5
Hornet EC-300 x5
Hornet II x5

Navy Cap Booster 400 x10
Nanite Repair Paste x80
Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16
Data Analyzer II x1
Relic Analyzer II x1
Warp Disruptor II x1
Warp Scrambler II x1

Shield Asteros and More

As for more styles of Astero piloting, I’ve seen people kite with them and I’ve seen people use them to hold tackle. That second role could be accomplished by nearly any afterburner. Kiting is a bit different, though. For an Astero you don’t have any ranges to worry about other than the 24km point range and you’re pretty much locked into doing 99 DPS or less with a set of light drones. It’s possible to knock that up to 157 DPS as I’ve seen people do on Zkill, but it requires three Drone Damage Amps. Trading 75% of your low slots for 58 more DPS seems a bit silly to be honest.

So where does this leave us? Well, a dual shield extender Astero (ignoring the bonus, I know) will reach 13.1k EHP quite easily and I do like the idea of that. It’s a brute force solution if I’ve ever seen one but if all you’re doing is emulating a kite Tristan or Algos then you might as well do a good job of it. You can do that with the fit I recommend below, but I’ve done something different with it instead. It’s passive tanked!

A passive tank Astero isn’t something that I’ve seen people flying around much and I don’t really know why since it ticks all the boxes. DPS is fine, it has a point and is decently agile, and it should tank nearly any other Astero it comes across, certainly most kiting frigates too. The biggest worry you have flying this fit is the 10% EM hole. I don’t think it’s worth fixing up, though, since that ruins the rest of your resists including this almost perfect resist against hostile thermal drones! (right). It’s also cap stable so I can’t really think of anything easier to fly.

Another Astero fit I quite like is pretty much an anti-Astero Astero (really getting the search engine optimisation in there aren’t I). I’ve dropped the Core Probe Launcher in exchange for an autocannon and beefed up the drones with a durability rig. This is a bit more on the expensive side of things but if drone wars are your game then this is the one to win it. There is also a DDA on there for the minor amount of DPS it gives. It’s entirely possible to drop that damage for another rep but that’ll bring you more towards that awful area of “oh no we can’t kill each other”.

Passive Shield Kite Astero

[Astero, 2021 Shield Passive Astero]

Micro Auxiliary Power Core II
Power Diagnostic System II
IFFA Compact Damage Control
Shield Power Relay II

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
J5 Enduring Warp Disruptor

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Core Probe Launcher I

Small Core Defense Field Purger II
Small Core Defense Field Purger II
Small Core Defense Field Purger II

Acolyte II x5
Hobgoblin II x5
Warrior II x5

Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Management SM-701
Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Operation SP-901

Drone War Astero

[Astero, 2021 Tasteful Bling Autocannon]

Corpii A-Type Small Armor Repairer
Damage Control II
Multispectrum Energized Membrane II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Small Capacitor Booster II
Coreli A-Type 1MN Afterburner
X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier
Warp Scrambler II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
200mm AutoCannon II

Small Drone Durability Enhancer I
Small Nanobot Accelerator I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump II

Caldari Navy Hornet x5
Federation Navy Hobgoblin x5
Imperial Navy Acolyte x5

Standard Exile Booster
Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II

Barrage S x1000
Hail S x1000
Navy Cap Booster 400 x15
Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x1000
Republic Fleet Titanium Sabot S x1000

How Not to Fit an Astero & Tips

So I did want to make a gun Astero next. Something with a pair of blasters or a pair of autocannons to really pump the DPS numbers up. Turns out that it still doesn’t go that high (about 300 DPS max) and it’s kind of depressing. This is made worse when you consider the Ishkur. The Ishkur is a pretty pathetic Assault Frigate with about a 10k EHP tank and 200 DPS with rails. It actually echoes an uncloaked Astero as far as piloting goes in many ways, but in almost every case the Ishkur is just that little bit better. It just doesn’t make much sense, especially when an Ishkur is half the price.

My next tactic was to turn to Zkill and see what other people are flying for some inspiration. Turns out that most people just die in travel Asteros to gate camps when they forget to cloak or something. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Some of those people even choose to bling the hell out of their Astero before they whelp it into the nearest T1 frigate that wants to kill them. Truly hilarious.

Really, the key to actually flying and doing well with an Astero is to make great use of an afterburner and (usually) dual reps to mitigate most of the damage you take. You can then slowly burn through the shields and armour of many cruisers and below. You could kill a buffer battleship given enough time, but those situations are somewhat rare. This is where you get fancy videos of someone orbiting a bigger ship until they eventually score a kill.

One more thing to be aware of is that you need to know what you are going to be fighting to customise your fit for purpose. An example might be that a fit aimed at killing other Asteros might use a Reactive Armour Hardener to ensure crazy amounts of resists against singular drone types. You can make that swap on several of the fits above if you like. I’ve got more tips on this in my PvP fitting guides (How 2 Fit // Fitting Fundamentals), my PvE fitting guide, and my wormhole hacking article.

Oh and another fantastic way to use an Astero would be as an escape bay frigate to save your pod. Check out my escape bay guide.

Partner SKIN Giveaway

And now for something completely different. I’m going to be running a giveaway of exclusive SKINs provided by CCP! This is the Scope Syndication SKIN that you can see in the image to the right and the only way to attain one of these is through interaction with an EVE Online Partner.

Rules to enter the giveaway are quite simple and open to nearly anyone:

  • One entry per person, please do not attempt to game it.
  • You must have a Discord account and should join my server to verify this. If I notice many people signing up with brand new accounts then I may change this slightly.
  • Your EVE character must be at least one month old.
  • Signup on this form right here: <Form removed>

Winners will be announced on my Discord and I will contact them through there with a code which you may redeem (make sure to log in with the right account). Said winners will be randomly selected and, though I haven’t decided how I do that yet, I will try to be as transparent as possible. No favouritism here.
Entries will close Friday 18th December at EVE downtime.

The giveaway has now closed. You can read about the winners and the selection method in this article.

Published inEVE OnlineTheorycrafting


  1. Helena Tremere Helena Tremere

    Nice Article. I like blowing up other asteros with mine. It’s such a great ship!

  2. Doug Doug

    Hi Ashy! Love your articles, have learned a ton from them. I have a somewhat unique Astero I’ve been flying for a bit, below. The RF MSE+2 Explosive Reinforcer II allow the astero to survive a can explosion from a null-sec covert ghost site (which deals 9-10k explosive damage). The two nanos give sub 2s align (replace one with an inertial if you don’t have evasive maneuvering to V). The hyperspatial is because most of my explo time is warping around, and the dcu is some extra survivability for other sleeper sites. If you don’t have the PG, the hyperspatial could be dropped for something that doesn’t require any PG (nano, cargohold, etc). Just my take on the ship.

    [Astero, ShieldExplo]

    Damage Control II
    Nanofiber Internal Structure II
    Nanofiber Internal Structure II
    Limited Hyperspatial Accelerator

    5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
    Data Analyzer II
    Relic Analyzer II
    Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender

    Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
    Core Probe Launcher II, Sisters Core Scanner Probe

    Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
    Small Explosive Shield Reinforcer II
    Small Explosive Shield Reinforcer II

    Acolyte II x5
    Hobgoblin II x5
    Warrior II x5

    Sisters Core Scanner Probe x8

    • Hey! Glad you like the blog 🙂
      I’ve seen fits like that before, they’re actually really cool.

      I’ve got a good upgrade for your fit though I think. That hyperspatial accelerator is a freighter module and only gives 0.2 AU/s
      My suggestion is that you swap that to a T2 Signal Amplifier. This will help you lock the containers from further away as you burn in and lock them faster. Sig amp also makes you harder to scan down

      • Doug Doug

        That’s a really good suggestion, thanks! I wasn’t sure what to put there, but a sig amp makes way more sense than the hyperspatial!

  3. Astero Hunting Astero Hunting

    Hey, great article! I too absolutely love the hunting Astero!

    I do have a bit of a disagreement on your Anti-Astero, Astero though.

    When two PvP astero’s get into a match – it inevitably comes down to either a cap war, or a drone war.
    Many (nearly all) hunter Asteros are cap injected.

    So, the way to win this war is with a Reactive Armor Hardener, a Cap battery, and a Nos. The RAH is an incredibly powerful tool in the world of Astero hunting.

    Nos + Cloak
    AB + Scram + Web + Cap Battery
    Double Multispectrum Membranes
    NON-Ancillary Armor rep
    T1 Explosive
    Double T2 Nano Pumps (you can do Pump & Accelerator and be Even tankier – but I prefer the cap efficiency of Double Nano Pumps)

    Frankly the fit is so tanky that you could swap the two T2 rigs for cloak delay rigs if you want.

    Bling Afterburners are cheap, and that plus a 60% web means you don’t have to worry about most targets leaving.
    That being said, abyssal mods do exist so it’s worthwhile to bring an Overclocker and maybe even a Quafe with you – though these are really only useful to secure kills on a really blingy abyssal hunter Astero.

    With a reactive – you will perma tank any opposing Astero fit. Seriously. You can perma-tank a QUAD-dda Astero that drops Rainbow, Augmented drones you – COLD – you’ll need two super cheap implants (RS-601 & RP-601) and a Standard Exile in order to tank this ultra-niche scenario – but it just goes to show the tank that this fit packs.

    The cap battery + nos in the high instead of an AC means that if it comes to a cap war – you win. You’ll even win against a neuting Astero. One 200mm AC is not going to make the difference in you breaking another PvP Astero’s tank – outlasting his cap injection however, will.

    As far as the drone war goes – Navy Hornets win that if well managed.
    Since you can perma tank the other Astero, and don’t have any big issues with range control (not even against that “safe” 10mn fit) – you only have to really worry about the Drone war, which means you shouldn’t make any big blunders.

    I would suggest a flight of Navy Hornets, a flight of T2 hornets (your primary DPS flight), and a flight of (rainbow drones) which can simply include one each of every racial T2 drone, or if you want to take it another step you could use one each of the different Augmented drones).
    Rainbow drones are to mess up the other guys reactive.
    It’s very rare for someone to drop rainbow drones in an Astero fight – but it’s worthwhile to have that option in your back pocket.

    While obviously this fit really shines with an A-type rep, A-Type AB, and a Republic Fleet Cap Battery – it’s real beauty is that it is still extremely effective – against anything but a blinged AB + scram + web hunter astero – when T2 fit.

    In fact, if you are planning on just hunting explo-astero’s you may choose to swap the T2 rigs for cloak delay rigs, and swap the web for a second scram.
    You’ll catch more targets that way and explo astero’s aren’t going anywhere once you dual-scram them in an AB hunter. You still have more than enough tank to handle any non-hunter Astero.

    So in short it’s a fit that is highly effective and scales nicely from

    to ~155M (still quite cheap)

    • Some great insight there on Astero warfare. I hope people reading this article check out your comment too 😀

      I hadn’t really thought about the fights lasting long enough into capacitor problem territory for cap boosted fits. In these fights (or similar) it usually seems to turn into a true drone war and that was my idea behind having the single autocannon on there. That autocannon allows instant, good damage onto drones while also allowing you to pressure their cap more with more DPS. You could also more easily mess with their RAH by shooting one damage type with the gun then hit them with some drones.

      Overall a great post from yourself. I’d love to try out some (equivalent bling) Asteros fighting each other, gun vs nos.

      • Astero Hunting Astero Hunting

        Thanks very much!

        You are correct in that “normal” astero fights don’t have issues with cap. This is usually because it’s a hunter astero vs an explorer – and the fight is probably over before the hunter even needs to use more than one cap charge (if that).

        The cap war happens when one hunter meets another – those are the fights where you see solo astero killmails with 30k+ damage done – almost invariably the victim in those killmails has no more cap charges left in cargo.

        I think a lot of these fights end this way because most Astero Hunters are quite good at managing drones – and it is very difficult to defang a skilled Astero Pilot that uses Hornets. Once one side runs out of cap though, it’s a slow death.

        You’re correct that putting a 200mm AC, or a Blaster in the high definitely pressures their cap.
        But at the same time, a Nos will also pressure a cap injected Astero’s cap every time they inject a charge – making them burn through charges quicker, though admittedly to a much lesser extent.

        I also would typically not engage in a drone war with a RAH Astero – simply because you do not need to, they can burn away on you with full DPS all day and you’ll keep tanking until downtime.
        Just keep your own drones alive, which is pretty easy to do and pressure their tank to keep them burning through cap boosters.

        Even a 200mm AC astero – using overheated hail, and using Rainbow augmented drones to mitigate the RAH as much as possible, it still can’t break the RAH tank. In fact it probably doesn’t even make the RAH Astero need to heat its rep outside of instances where you land a wrecking shot.
        It is a scenario where the RAH Astero needs to take a Standard Exile (which it’s no problem if you get BOTH an armor penalty & cap penalty with Neurotoxin Control completely UNtrained, so there is no potential downside to taking one if needed).

        And to really drive it home, this is all using the cheap Coreli A-Type Rep (because that’s already overkill 98% of the time) – the Corpii Rep would of course make it no competition.

        So yes, more often than not you won’t need the ability to perma-tank an Astero without worrying about cap charges – but in the fights where it matters (against another hunting Astero), I would much prefer to have a RAH over a cap injeted dual rep Astero.
        Not only is it imo much more likely to win, it is also probably cheaper, and can stay in space hunting indefinitely, never having to worry about reloading cap charges – or not having enough cargo space. Cap charge space is a real pita if you’re working out of a mobile depot.

        It also helps that RAH fits are often cheaper than an injected dual rep hunter – as there is always the threat of dying to a good gatecamp, or getting blobbed by your targets friends – which is an excellent case for the high-DPS kiting Astero, which is probably the safest option – is still extremely effective against a PvP Astero, but to really work well they are fairly expensive and obviously are never going to catch a stabbed explorer which is fairly common.

        And I would love to meet up on SiSi sometime and tinker with Astero fits if you ever wanted.

        Thanks again for your articles – I absolutely love them!

        Fly safe and have a wonderful day.

  4. cheap abyssals cheap abyssals

    With Abyssal mods – you can do some interesting things with cheap mods. I often roll cheap stuff for my fits when I have extra fitting room.

    I roll a lot of T2 Gravid Small Cap Batteries.

    The last batch I rolled, it cost me a little under 75M to roll 45 of them.
    Of those I kept about 20 to use myself (decent to good cap rolls, not bricked on cap warfare, totally bricked on fitting)
    I sold the 4 best rolls for a net of ~70M
    I sold about 15 bad but no terrible rolls in two batches for ~another 20M

    So in short I ended up with ~20 cap batteries (10 of which have better cap than any faction cap battery) – and I actually made 15M, which is about the price of one Republic Fleet Small Cap Batt. And it just took about fifteen minutes of rolling and sorting then putting stuff up on contract.

    Now, obviously this is terrible isk/hr – so not something to be done for that reason. I just do it when I happen to be in Jita and don’t really feel like undocking atm.
    This works for lots of cheap mods when you happen to have extra fitting room.

    I bring this up here, because it works quite well for your Autocannon fit. Swap out the cap booster for an abyssal T2 battery, and swap to a much cheaper Coreli rep – and you now have an even more cap-stable fit that doesn’t rely on charges – which can be pretty annoying when you’re roaming.
    Even if you don’t like to roll your own mods – it would still be cheaper buying one on contract.

  5. Kieron Kieron

    Hi, do you know if the astero will fit into a battleships frigate escape bay. It would be good for traveling around

  6. Marcus Marcus

    Hey Ashy! Semi-newbro fitting my first explorer Astero, and used your “10MN Safe Hacker” fit – two questions:

    1. I copied the fit verbatim, however the “10MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner” seems to want 5 more CPU units than are available with the rest of the fit lit up, in order to put it online? Guessing that CPP has changed the requirements for something in the fit so that it draws more cycles, but can you suggest an alternative that I can bring online?

    2. You list a “Capacitor Power Relay II x1” as cargo in your fit – what’s this for?

    • Some answers to your questions:

      1. You need to train your skills. Check fitting skills as well as electronics skills etc. If you aren’t pasting the fit in game and are copying module by module then check that you haven’t made a mistake (or better yet, copy and paste). If you find the skill problem and can’t be bothered to wait, just use a compact Multispectrum Energized Membrane instead of T2.
      2. I… can’t remember. Nobody has ever asked and it was over two years ago. Normally I would detail something like that in the article itself but I guess it’s just a mistake. Thinking about my thought process at the time, I might have done this so that you can have a cap stable variant. By fitting the Cap Power Relay instead of the Multispectrum Energized Membrane you can fly around with the 10MN AB on permanently which might be useful for some reason. Likely just a mistake though, don’t worry about it.

      • Mark Mark

        Thanks very much for the fast reply – I literally hit myself in the head about 10 minutes after I sent the above regarding the first question and said, “Ugh – *skill level* you moron!” No worries on the second one, I *was* cut-&-pasting and I was expecting the other cargo to be nanite paste or something, so it made for some interesting speculation on my part!

        Last question if you have a moment – you’ve fitted the scram and from what I think I understand from the article, it’s for when a hunter capsuleer chooses to engage the “10MN Safe Hacker” fit in W-space – it’s to lock ’em up so they can’t chase you while you throw your drones at them and flee… correct?

        I’m not skilled at all with PVP but I don’t mind it – I just don’t feel like I can lose too many expensive ships practicing at this point. I’ve def given some hunters the run-around in W-space, which was fun…

        Thanks again!

        • Let’s say that you’re being chased by a Sabre, a fast interdictor commonly used to catch Asteros and such. It is always fit with a 5MN MicroWarpDrive and tries to scram and bubble its target. With a 10MN you can burn away but it will always keep up with you. By locking and scramming it, you force its MWD off and slow it down while you continue to accelerate away to safety. At some point when you get out of the bubble this will let you warp off easily.

          • Mark Mark

            Awesome – thanks! Now the question is – how many Asteros will I lose before I get this move down? 😉

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