What are Combat Boosters
Simply put Combat Boosters are like temporary implants, when consumed the Combat Booster will temporarily (~30 minutes base) enhance a single certain combat aspect of the pilots capabilities such as increasing armour repair amount, decreasing ship signature radius or increasing the tracking of the ships weapons.
Like Implants where you have ten slots, boosters are injected into a Booster Slot within your character. Each character has three slots and Combat Boosters can only be consumed into a free slot,.
|Combat Booster and what Booster Slot it utilises|
As a result of these slots you cannot use an Exile and Mindflood at the same time, but you can use a Drop and Mindflood at the same time. The division appears as:
- Slot 1 are Tank related boosters
- Slot 2 are Turret related boosters
- Slot 3 are Missile related boosters
Combat Booster Variants
There are eight different types of Combat Booster and they come in four different strengths (for a total of 32 available).
|Available Boosters with Bonus Type|
Unfortunately along with each bonus provided there is a chance that a number of penalties (also called a side effect) could occur whilst using the Combat Booster. The likely-hood of a side effect occurring is linked to the type of Combat Booster being consumed and each side effect has it's own probability of happening.
Only the Synth Combat Booster is free of any side effects and the probability of one occurring increases depending on the Strength of the Combat Booster being consumed:
|Available Boosters and their Side Effect's|
Example: Using a Improved Exile booster would yield a +25% increase in armour repair amount per cycle but I would have a 30% chance of one of the side effects occurring with a 25% strength.
How Do I Use Them
Firstly you must have the Biology skill injected and trained to, at least, Level 1.
Each level that Biology is trained will grant a 20% increase in duration that any Combat Booster will be active. Two additional skills, Neurotoxin Control and Neurotoxin Recovery can be used to help reduce the chance of side effects and the severity of any that you do have.
Make sure you are carrying the Combat Booster(s) in your cargohold, right click on the Combat Booster and select the Consume menu item to activate. If you look under the Augmentations section in your Character sheet you will see your active Combat Booster(s) and how much longer they have active.
Why Should I Use Them
Combat Boosters are powerful and can make a huge difference in any type of fight. Carrier pilots regularly carry the Exile and/or Mindflood variants whilst Dreadnaught pilots may carry Drop and/or Frentix when "in siege" or in "gank" configurations.
That's not to say that smaller ships don't benefit, long range sniper fits can benefit from the same Drop and Frentix whereas heavily buffered and active repair ships (i.e. Triple Rep Myrm's or ASB Claymore's) can get that extra buffer from using Exile or Blue Pill.
Boosters, especially the Improved and Strong variants can be expensive for a one-use bonus but the cost is trivial compared to a fully fitted T2 ship, Battleship or Capital Ship. And if the extra you get from a booster means you survive that bit longer and are able to kill those three or four more ships then it's worth it.
Close fights are always fun but losing a ship is never fun, Combat Boosters may provide way of making sure those close fights go your way and you fly away with the glory.
Where Can I Get Them
You will find a number of Boosters, especially the Synth variant, in the various trade hubs around New Eden however due to the legality of them in these locations it's very probable that should you buy them and undock that you will receive a fine and standing loss for having them in your cargohold.
More annoying is that you cannot create Want To Sell/Item Exchange contracts that contain Combat Boosters, in order to transfer them between pilots you have to use the Trade window and that's if they're in the same station. That said it is possible to make a type of contract where Combat Boosters can be put but it requires a Want To Buy contract that can then be filled and the transfer of Combat boosters will take place.
Due to these "restrictions" I highly recommend that you find one of the few "Combat Booster Sellers" that are in New Eden. You will have to buy in bulk but these people make the boosters and also do the delivery to null and low sec, best of all as there is no market or "middle people" the prices are very competitive and special offers are usually very enticing.
I've both made and bought boosters from many sellers, some no longer around but the one that I've used in the past and hold in high regard is Saucemeister of Es and Whizz.
How Can I Make Them
I will be covering in a future post how to source raw materials and manufacture your own Combat Boosters.