Tips for new pirates

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Tips for new pirates

So ye want to be a pirate? Yarr!

Sorry, a pirate has to say Yarr at least once in a conversation. They also have to say things like matey, and ahoy.....well not really.

There are a few basic roles one can play in VO, and that of a pirate is possibly one of the hardest. You will be a target for non-pirates, and even other pirates who don't honor the code. You will have to chase people down. You will have to work to make a name for yourself. Which brings me to my tips for the new pirate. For advanced tips, FBP, Maxx, Blasta, Aton, or YT can chime in with better advice. This is going to deal with getting your feet wet.

First: Read up on pirating at:

This will give you a good idea of the many roles you can play as a pirate.

Next, plugins will drastically increase your success rate:

Quickhail - ...
Supports multiple hail messages and can be bound to H.

Targetless -
See who's near you, and binds the # keys to the nearest 10 ships.

Multiaim -
Multiple reticles for you different weapons. Great for targetting that fleeing ship with flares.

A plugin suite, that among other things, allows you to follow people's jump locations quickly when within 1000 meters.

Now, on to the tips:

  • Be unique - everyone says Yarr, and shoulda paid. Find a way to distinguish yourself so you're not just another rat in grey space.
  • You WILL explode - do not get discouraged. It took me a long time to stop exploding when traders fought back. Trade ships often have a hefty amount of armor, and are heavily armed. Learn to fight against them.
  • Honor your (and your guild's) commitments - check the payment list often. It's better that a potential customer get away than to blow up someone who paid. You'll likely get another shot at them.
  • Circle your opponent while they are stopped - do not let them position the nose of their ship to face you. Many traders will try to blow you out of the water rather than paying.
  • Do not get too close until you know what they are packing. - many traders carry mines. A lightning mine hurts. As you get exposure to various traders, you will start to learn what they prefer.
  • Learn to use energy weapens and flares. - Flares are a great way to knock your opponent off balance. Use this opportunity to hit them with energy weapens. All but the worst players can avoid swarms and seeking missiles. Don't bother with them for pirating unless you're pirating in a Behemoth.
  • Ask advice! - There are a lot of variables to account for in any encounter. If you find one that gives you trouble, ask. Even non-guild pirates are happy to share their experience. Even the trader that blew you up is probably willing to give you pointers!
  • Play your game - If a trader decides to fight, don't let them sucker you into playing their game. If they have a gat turret and flares, you'll need to keep your distance. There is nothing wrong with this. A kill is a kill. Some just have a little more finesse than others.
Some tips from THC:1. Whiners

Some tips from Pirren of THC:

1. Whiners and ninnies deserve nothing more than death.
So, if you see a newb on 100 that claims he will never pay and all pirates suck, then when you encounter that s**t in Grey, kill him couple of times before asking to pay.

2. To pay is a privilege, not a right.

3. Kill more, negotiate less. If you see a free PK - claim it!

4. No "paying" lists are guarantee of being shot down in unmonitored space.

5. Don't spend expensive weaponry and ships on traders.. kill their 1M moths, SCPs and X-1 with 15k hog or vulture. Remember, that all expensive faction ships go long way from Nation space till Grey.

Excellent Advice from 2

From Aton:

Excellent Advice from 2 different experienced privateers.

My suggestions would be

1) Developing a style based on your level of skill. I know my limits and tend to focus on certain jobs - chasing traders, furballs, station bombing and yes, trading.

2) If you want to get good at the chase get a chasing ship (Hound, Hog 2, Valks are some good ones). Maxx is the master. He may have other tips.

3) Voys can provide good chasing practice. Select a voy, launch and immediately dock and cancel mission (so you don't get penalized). Launch again, chase and kill at will. Voys launching from Pel station will give you enough space on either side (heading to Dau or Sedina) to hunt. Moth heavy's shoot back - excellent dodging practice as you learn to kill heavily armoured, fast moving ships.

4) Energy managment is key if you shoot like me (badly). Get ravens, megaposis, LENBs, neut 2s - they don't consume a lot of energy (relatively speaking). Fire from same trigger or if you are in a taur III chain fire them.

5) If you pvp, fight like you mean it...up close and personal. Always bring a machine gun to a knife fight.

Be true to your RP persona.

Good hunting!


PS. and if you smoke/chew on a cigar your "pirateness" will rise by at least 50% - guaranteed! Its a state of mind.

More tips

In our long-overdue update, I'm going to address some techniques for actually committing the crime.  These are intended to keep you and your customer safe.


You're going to need something fast.  When you've established a name for yourself you can get away with pirating from an XC...or from a Centaur.  When you're new, you need something that can catch your target.  At this time, the best interceptors are:

  • Valk
  • SVG
  • Greyhound
  • Raptor UDV

Meet and Greet

When your target enters sector, get your hail off early.  Using something like quickhail is essential if you cannot fit it all in the standard hail message.  If you use quickhail, know your hail messages and send them quickly.  Give your customer as much time as possible to decide whether to pay or fight.  This is safer for you too since typing = death.  Don't put yourself in the unenviable situation of being 200m from your customer and trying to get payment requests off while they send rockets into your cockpit.  My standard procedure:

  1. Start turboing towards the target.
  2. Hail with demand to stop.
  3. Hail with demand for payment with amount (different amounts for different quickhail entries)
  4. Hail with instructions how to pay.
  5. Intercept target.

Waiting for payment

If your target hasn't stopped, or is making eratic movements, they are not paying.  You are clear to shoot them without remorse.  If, however, they have stopped.....don't leave yourself open to an ambush.

  1. Be aware that Behemoth and Atlas ships have turrets.  When dealing with a turret equiped ship, position yourself to the side of the vessel to the rear, angled in the direction their ship is pointing.  If they run, you can get a few preliminary shots in before they gain momentum, and you are pointed in the right direction to give chase.  Do not sit directly behind (or in front of a turret) a turret equipped ship.
  2. If the ship has no turrets, position yourself behind the ship at approximately 100m.  200m is preferrable if your ship is damaged.  Don't give them an easy suicide kill and let them explode in your face.
  3. Keep a sense of urgency.  If you are not familiar with the customer, a shot every 10-15 seconds into their hull will keep the urgency up and keep them from logging off or comitting suicide by normal means.  

Chasing the runners

Unless you are in a greyhound, you have a sweet spot in terms of energy consumption where you can chase and fire, but if you do too much of either your customer will escape.

High drain weapons such as dual AAP, Ravens, Neuts:  Get close before you fire.  Using dual energy will consume battery very quickly.  Close the distance and fire strings of shots from close range.

Energy efficient weapons such as Megapositron or a single energy blaster: Fire single or double shots while chasing from longer ranges.  You don't have the damage-per-second to kill them as they warp, so you need to wittle them down before they get to jumping distance.

After the transaction

Get to safety.  Turbo away.  Your customer just gave you credits with the expectation that you are not going to cheat them.  Creating distance gives them this assurance and prevents them from accidentally shooting you.

ALWAYS record the payment.  A forgotten payment is an unhappy customer.  Unhappy customers tell people when you are not trustworthy. 

Your pricing

Don't be afraid to charge a high rate.  A customer who will pay 100k will pay 200k.  A customer who will pay 200k will probably pay 300k.  You are selling protection from your whole organization, not just yourself.  Price it accordingly.  It's less work to sell to 1 customer at 200k than it is 2 customers at 100k.  If the customer wants a discount, offer them a discount for duration.  If you are charging 200k for one day, andthey want to pay 100k for 1 day, offer them 300k for 2 days.  It's a win-win scenario.  If you sell a policy for a week, contribute some to the guild to give some back to your guildmates who will not be able to charge that customer for a while.  My standard contribution is 50% when I sell a week or more.