29 Mar 2012

The Correct Tools For The Job

A great way of maximising your potential in combat and especially in solo work and small gangs is to have the best tools available for the job. This is no real shock statement as such, it is quite obvious to all that the better your gaming platform and internet connection then quite rightly, the better your game will perform. Apart from running smoothly and minimising lag, it looks great too and whilst the visual aspect of EVE is cool there are other factors and equipment worth considering.

Gaming Mouse.

It is surprising how many people overlook the importance of a good gaming mouse. I can remember the first time I upgraded from my standard issue store mouse to a gaming mouse and it was quite an enlightening experience. For years I had thought of my mouse as just a point and click tool and I never really even considered the benefits that a good gaming mouse could bring to my gaming. It was only when I started playing EVE more and more that I realised how much quicker and smoother a gaming mouse makes your play style.

My current weapon of choice is the Roccat Kova +. I have tried 3 or 4 different brands but when I first used this mouse I was blown away by the feel and fluidity of it. As a recommendation I would advise not to order a mouse blindly over the net. Instead, make sure you visit a store and actually get a feel for the mouse in your hand. Some gaming mouses might fit comfortably for one person but be fiddly or too clunky for someone else. Try before you buy!

Gaming Pad.

It really isn't going to help your gaming now you've purchased your shiny new gaming mouse and you're using it on an old book or on your grubby desktop. A good mouse pad should be purchased with your new mouse. Currently I am using a Roccat Sense gaming pad. It is comfortable, feels smooth and optimises the performance of my mouse.

Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.

A mushy old standard keyboard just won't cut it when it comes to pvp. For one it feels horrible and also it will be less responsive to your input. In a fast-paced gaming arena where each clicking of a key could be the difference between a killmail and a lossmail it is vital to get your actions input as quickly and efficiently as possible.

But why a mechanical keyboard? A mechanical keyboard uses actual, physical switches underneath the keys to determine when you have pushed a key. Press a key, and you press its switch down. Press the switch down, and the keyboard sends a signal to the computer telling it that you pressed that key. In an instant, no pauses whatsoever.

Most ordinary keyboards are composed of a set of three plastic membranes, with rubber dome-shaped switches underneath each key. Press a key, and the rubber switch pushes through a hole in the middle membrane to connect the top and bottom membranes, which creates an electrical circuit that causes the keyboard to send the input to your rig. This kind of keyboard design is inexpensive and it doesn't give you as much tactile or audible feedback when you press a key, which can change the way you type and bog things down, especially when gaming.

Also, the 'thunking' sound from a mechanical keyboard is like music to the ears in comparison to the rubbery mess of a rubber dome keyboard. My advice would be to again pop down to your local store and bash some keys, it might not be noticeable at first to some, but after a few days of using a mechanical keyboard in EVE and for anything else for that matter you will never go back!

For reference, at the moment I am using a Razer BlackWidow keyboard.


Some good quality screen real estate can make for a more pleasurable viewing experience but it also makes for a better tactile approach to your gaming. A cluttered screen is bad form and the only real way to prevent this cluttered approach is to plug in a nice widescreen monitor. You don't need to go overboard by any means, something in the region of a 23" HD or LCD screen would be more than ideal.

Graphics Card.

To boost the performance of your rig and maximise your gaming experience, a top line graphics card can be more than just a visual improvement to your play time. Crisp, smooth and perfectly rendered graphics during combat is a real bonus. There is nothing worse than an old graphics card jumping or pausing when you are in a battle. There are so many different cards out there for a wide range of budgets so choosing one can be difficult. It really does boil down to what you can afford, what you want and what your machine can handle. A top range graphics card in a poorly spec'd rig is a bit like putting a 1 litre diesel engine into a Lamborghini. So choose wisely.

My current graphics card is the PNY GeForce GTX 550 Ti and it suits my machine perfectly.

I hope you found some of this information useful. It would be great to hear what other people use as their set  up and even greater if one of you tells me you pvp on your laptop. So what powers your gaming? Are there any other essentials that you can't live without when it comes to pvp and EVE gaming?



  1. Actually, I PvP on my laptop. Murder on the move :)

    It's a little fiddly, but I've gotten used to doing pretty much everything without a mouse. The only downside is that my graphics card pretty much requires medium graphics settings or it gets pissy with me :(

  2. I really don't agree that you need to splurge on your keyboard/mouse for eve. While click accuracy is pretty important, a cheap optical mouse will do as well as most high DPI gaming mice. To be honest, even when I was playing shooters competitively, I didn't notice a fantastic difference between my old MS optical mouse and the logitec 510 that I replaced it with - rather the extra buttons on the side were useful.

    Regarding the keyboard: One of the major problems with cheap keyboards is if you try to hold down multiple keys at the same time, cheap keyboards won't be able to recognize many of the keystrokes, called "ghosting". Better quality keyboards use switches for each key, or have good drivers to recognize multiple keystrokes.

    All that said, even with this problem, EVE doesn't require you to be holding down multiple buttons often, if at all. It's more important when using WASD controls where you have to hold down a multitude of keys to maneuver, select items, etc.

    Lastly, upgrading the CPU means the most for getting better performance out of EVE. This is especially true as many players like to run multiple clients at the same time. Quad core processors aren't terribly expensive these days, and I recommend an upgrade if folk have the option.

  3. Most of the time Im rocking my laptop with trackpad but I suck infinitely less when I plug in my gaming mouse. It really does make a huge difference.

  4. Is it "mouses" or "mice"?

    Also interesting how many Razer products have the same names as Eve ships: Naga, Lachesis, Ferox.

    Also, I use an old Razer mouse and a wireless keyboard whose batteries sometimes die when I'm playing.

  5. I also pvp on my laptop (Samsung RC520) until I build my mancave, I'm hoping that at least partly explains why I suck so much ;)
    I agree about using best tools for the job, but sometimes you just have to use the tools to hand

  6. Hah Nurs I put mice but then switched it to mouses to see if it would illicit a response :)

    Sard.... WHAT!? What do you mean you don't need to press multiple keys at once in eve? I confuse? When I warp in I literally bash all TEH keys and press all the mouse clicks. That's why a gaming mouse is essential. :p