Ships are great
Not all ships in eve are equal.
But it's important to realize that every racial skill in eve online has one or two amazing ships in every class.
And you first pick what you want to do, then you pick the best ship to do that thing.
Only Friendship is the very best ship. :D
I go over some of these details in my Ship fitting and other documents. But I will give you a list of great ships and why they're great, broken up by race.
If you are part of Panemdic Horde, please check out my thread on Favorite ships to train in under 3 months: https://www.pandemic-horde.org/forum/index.php?threads/nbi-this-is-my-favorite-ship-3-month-skill-train-edition.3644/
Which race should I fly is wrong way to pick a ship.
But people don't listen so... :D here ya go.
You figure out task you want to do, THEN pick a ship, and that dictates the race you train towards. You will train all races of ships given enough time.
Note, I'm going to state that some ships are very similar, like bombers, force recons, haulers, freighters, HICs, covops, black ops, Titans. There are differences but any of these you want to get into are going to be good at what they do.
Combat ships, I'll try to list their ranking on zkill. Note, the Heron is 457 ranked, with venture 438, reaper 416, inquisitor 400 so maybe the worst combat ship.
These are in alphabetical order, ranked from frigate to capitals, :D If you think a ship deservers a mention, justify it to me. I'll try to name at least 3 in the major categories. Will go from T1 to T2. pirate ships are grouped with the matching weapon systems, don't get mad at this old Duder trying to keep things orderly!
And if any of these terms go over your head, click on the https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Ship_type_quick_reference and look for the ship names!
Killmarks go in different places. There is a google doc that explains all the eve online killmark places: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10QL7opbIx7acHAq2N-N_YP9YcOhpNdOtA0dpQMkokzg
Trade hub- Amarr Second largest
Weapon systems - lasers, beams long range, pulse short range, why use ammo when cap will do!
Tank - Armor, most number of average lows, few mids though, but no shield tank so lots of utility mids!
Punisher - Newbie/vet tackle. Tanky tackle, can be over-propped!
Crucifier - Newbie ewar platform, Weapon disruption, great in null sec fights. See the Sentinel if you like this type of play!
Slicer (faction) - With 5 lows, this thing can a speed demon or a brick. Can dish out great damage too!
Malediction (inty) - #6 on zkill, The best scout ship in the game, one of the best tacklers that can also do damge.
Retribution (AF) - Fleet ship, Amazing damage, amazing tank, retri fleets are awesome.
Sentinel (EAF)- a hecate's idea of a bad day. Neuts and weapon disruptions, great in small gang.
Confessor (T3D) - Great at mission running, good tank and great damage application.
Kikimora - Not an amarr ship but uses a type of laser, but the most common capital killer in the game. Tiny sig, super fast, high dps.
Omen - A brick in space. It's super tanky, has great grid of creative fits, cheap as hell.
Zealot (Hac) - AB armor fleet ship, A bit slow, but buffer tanked like crazy with GREAT damage application, this thing is a beast.
Legion (T3C) - #10 on zkill all time. Great at ganking in null sec, tanky as hell, can overprop in a pinch.
Oracle - Huge damage at great range. Great at follow up shots. Does not track well, but who needs to track wrecks.
Armageddon - When you absolutely need something cap dry for not a lot of money. Navy Geddon much better though.
Bhaalgorn (pirate) - No, really, that thing needs to be cap dry. RIGHT NOW.
Nightmare (pirate) - Speed and high damage, great at laser pewpewpewpew.
Paladin (marauder) - One of the tankiest subcaps in the game, with amazing damage output. Damage locked, but super common in PVE and PVP.
Apostle (FAX) - Your second cap in any null sec group. This gives armor reps better than anyone.
Revelation (Dread) - Time to survive + don't care about resistance locking + Damage comb is killer.
Sigil - When you need to roll a hole with a small jump budget
Trade hub- Jita The main trade hub
Weapon systems - Missiles of all kinds, along with some hybrids, railguns long range, blasters SUPER short range, missiles always hit!
Tank - Shield, most number of average mid slots, few lows, but no tank in lows so lots of room for damage.
Kestrel - The favorite ship of CCP Kestrel. Great for soloing, great damage, cheap as chips.
Heron - The cheap way to try to make money in exploration as a new player.
Worm (pirate) - One of the best frigates for low end abyssal sites.
Hookbill (faction) - Bane of small and scout navy sites, super common in Faction Warfare, super easy to fit.
Crow (inty) - #17 on zkill all time. Damaging tackl. Good tank for an inty, good damage, fast enough, great for small gang!
Hawk (AF) - The best frigate for high end abyssal sites with 2 friends.
Harpy (AF) - Tanky tackle. Fast enough, Tanky as hell, great damage, utility high.
Kirin (LF) - Logi shield frigate for small gang. Keep people alive while running away like a crazy person!
Cormorant - Snipy railgun platform that has crazy range for a super low cost.
Jackdaw (T3D) - swiss army ship. GREAT tank, great range, speedy enough.
Caracal - #16 on zkill all time. DPS. Lob missiles all day, while having great tank, super cheap to run, one of the easiest DPS ships to get into.
Osprey - T1 Logi Backbone for larger sized fleets.
Osprey Navy Issue (faction) - Like a Caracal but VERY capable! Great for small gang.
Orthrus (pirate) - Small gang tackle. One of the best tacklers in the game, nearly impossible to tackle due to it's damage application.
Gila (pirate) - The best abyssal ship in the game. You could use it for ratting, but often time a vexor is almost as good.
Cerberus (Hac) - T2 Caracal, just more expensive, got hit by a nerf bat a little, still good missile sniper.
Basilisk (LC) - T2 Logi so you can get shield for days and days. Once you fly logi, you don't go back.
Tengu (T3C) - #7 on zkill all time. Great damage application at variety of ranges, huge tank, great at killing and escaping.
Ferox - First new player doctrine ship. Great range with great application with great tank.
Drake - Our first meme ship of the list, #8 on zkill all time. Was the dominate ship in all of eve for ... 6 years?
Scorpion - When you need to jam something out and don't mind dying, it's a good choice!
Barghest - Pancake heavy tackler. zoom in, tackle something, blast it with missiles, run away clearing tackle!
Golem (Marauder) - The PVE king for high sec missions and some ratting locations. Cap hungry, but just spits out tons of missile love!
Phoenix - When you have enough target painters, you can destroy anything small.
Rhea - the best jump freighter. Don't argue.
Trade hub- Dodixie 3rd largest
Weapon systems - Hybrids and drones, railguns long range, blasters SUPER short range, drones the best at PVE, freedom...
Tank - Armor, mostly low slots, but can be shield tanked from time to time.
Atron - Super speedy, good damage, hard to tank. This is a great all around fast tackle, easy to get below 2s align.
Maulus - Damp out everything. Very capable at stopping people from being a sniper, but kind of paper thin. Great for cheap small gang.
Tristan - Tanky dps. Get at zero in Faction warfare and melt some faces! Or neuting and kiting fits, drones make it flexible!
Keres (EAF) - Long point for very very cheap. People ignore you, amazing for small gang.
Algos - New player ratting. You can belt rat with a passive shield tank in this thing and make like 12 mil an hour with drones 4.
Catalyst - The ship to use when ganking in high sec. If you see 10 catalysts show up in high sec, you're dead.
Eris (dic) - My favorite ship. It's great for professional dictor pilots.
Hecate (T3D) - Maybe the best solo ship in the game right now, probe people down, and blaster them to nothing.
Vexor - The #1 ratting ship in the game for new players. Drones 5 and you're set to clear top end null sites.
Exequror Navy Issue - Huge damage, amazing range, huge tank to run armor plated and stay fast, super low cost for what it does.
Cynabal (pirate) - #11 on zkill all time, great damage and range, built in hyperspatial so warps fast, super common in ESS.
Ishtar (HAC) - The #1 ratting ship in the game, bar none. Usable by every null sec professional.
Lachesis (Recon) - The scrambling/pointing ship for fleet fights. First target to die too, so be careful!
Proteus (T3C) - #5 on zkill all time. HUGE range on a point/scram, good cloaky or brawling, just great utility.
Brutix - The Hull tank, amazing damage at point blank range with blaster ship of your dreams.
Myrmidon - Ratting #3 maybe? Your intermediate step between the vexor and the ishtar. Good alternative to Gnosis or Praxis!
Megathron - The best looking battleship. Hi Baltec1!
Dominix - Big brother of the Myrmidon, cost of battleships is high, but still amazing for level 4 missions in high sec.
Nestor (pirate) - When you need to refit in space. Not necessarily Gallente, but ... looks neat too?
Kronos (marauder) - Just belches damage! Blaster or Rail fit, this thing is a damage machine. Against the right types of rats, destroys them fast!
Thanatos - The first capital you should train as a null sec pilot.
Nyx - The main super that nearly everyone flies.
Gallente haulers - Kryos for minerals/ice, Epithal for PI, Miamos for ore, specialists are the best.
Trade hub- Hek 4th largest
Weapon systems - Projectiles, arties SUPER long range, autocannons short range, doesn't use cap to shoot!
Tank - Mostly shield, kind of mix of low/mid, but the fastest of the group so mostly speed tanking.
Slasher - Fast tackle for cheap. A t2 fitted slasher by a good pilot can out perform almost everything.
Vigil - New player paints to make small targets HUGE. Hard to fly well, but very very useful.
Firetail (faction) - Super fast, super high damage, low cost, when you really need a good mix.
Stiletto (Inty) - #3 on zkill all time, best interceptor for a fast locker, can't tank for crap so no damage to speak of, and super speedy!
Jaguar (AF) - Tanky tackle, good enough damage, and fast enough to hold down most cruisers.
Hyena (EAF) - Webs or paints at huge ranges while staying out of the way of everyone. AMAZING for small gang.
Thrasher - The second best ganking ship in the game, super cheap, super fast, amazing dps for the size.
Svipul (T3D) - #20 on zkill all time. Great adaptability, great application, super fast, used in fleets on the low end.
Sabre (dic) - #1 on zkill all time, the only dictor worth flying in the game for 15 years, now has competition, one of my favorite ships.
Bifrost (CD) - Links for small gang. Gives Skirmish, required for kitey gangs.
Scythe - T1 shield reps for cheap! I use a scythe myself all the time, very speedy with great shield rep and survivability.
Stabber - Heavy Tackle or ESS stealer. Easy to overprop, get on top of someone, survive long enough for your friends to show!
Vagabond (Hac) - #18 on zkill all time. One of the fastest cruiser, just fantastic at tackling and doing damage, great application with AC.
Muninn (Hac) - Used to be the only ship used by 90% of null sec, it seemed. Got nerfed, now used rarely. Sadge.
Scimitar (LC) - T2 Shield reps. Super fast and nimble, it needs help from nobody, and is the first to be shot in a big big fight.
Huginn (Recon) - Main webbing ship for almost every single fleet out there.
Loki (T3C) - #2 on zkill all time, #1 recent. Used as a cloaky camper, gate camping, huge webs.
Hurricane - #4 on zkill all time. Swiss army ship. Has some amazing utility highs, great dps, great application, cheap for what it does.
Tornado - #21. The sniper to beat. Only real competition it has is the Oracle.
Tempest Fleet Issue (Faction) - SUPER high alpha of 8.5k with RF emp, great utility slots, great speed, literaly in one now!
Machariel (pirate) - #19 on zkill all time. Super speedy, great application of damage, good enough tank, expensive but worth it!
Vargur (Marauder) - The most popular Marauder, easy to change damage types, great at killing small things, great at everything.
Naglfar (Dread) - Great damage with selectable damage type, great range, great tank, perfect for hot drop.
Lif (FAX) - When you REALLY spend money like water, this is an amazing shield repper. T2 fit, not great, but active tanker it really shines. Hi Steve!