All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
Module requirements and attributes
Every module has a Slot requirement and a skill requirement that must both be met in order to fit it onto a ship. Most modules also have both Power Grid and CPU requirements as well, although some have only one, and a very few require neither. Some modules are passive, while others are active with an Activation Cost that is drawn from a ship's Capacitor.
Before it is fitted to a ship, the module is considered to be "packaged" and may be placed on the in-game market. After fitting, the module becomes unpackaged, and must be repackaged in order to sell it.
The function and effectiveness of fitted modules can be modified, both positively and negatively, by Rigs installed on the ship.
A fitted module can be either 'offline' or 'online'.
An Offline module draws neither CPU nor Power Grid. It may not be activated until it is put online. The ship gains no passive benefits from offline modules, but may suffer passive penalties from having the module fitted. Modules that consume neither CPU nor Power Grid may not be put offline.
An Online module draws the listed CPU and Power Grid values. If it has an activation effect, it can be activated (which often requires using power from the Capacitor.
Changing online status
An Online module can be put Offline at any time.
An Offline module that is already fitted can be put online if...
- the ship has enough (currently) available CPU and Power Grid to run the module.
- the ship is docked in a station, OR the ship has a 95%+ Capacitor level.
Onlining a module in space requires a significant portion of the capacitor charge. Modules cannot be fitted without the services of a station (NPC or player owned).
Modules with a similar function may come in a wide variety of attributes and requirements. However, there are a few basic categories that modules may be sorted into: Civilian, Basic, Tech 1, Tech 2, Faction, Storyline, Officer, and Deadspace. There also exists "Named" variants of Basic, Tech 1, and even a few Tech 2 modules.
Modules also have a Meta Level attribute. It is a number that corresponds to the sophistication of the technology used in the module. It allows a player to generally compare their abilities with other similar modules, although Meta is a very imperfect standard and should only be considered a rough estimate of changes to comparable attributes, at best.
The lowest grade of module available. There are not many types in existence.
Civilian modules are incredibly weak and consumptive of ship resources. It is also very unlikely that a player would use a Civilian Module for more than the first few minutes of gameplay, as Tech 1 modules are much better and can be had extremely cheaply, or even free from the introductory missions.
A "basic module" is a limited version of a Tech 1 module, with reduced attributes but also often lower skill and fitting requirements than a comparable Tech 1 module. This can occasionally make them desirable for some Ship fittings.
Because of their rarity and niche usefulness, and somewhat counter-intuitively, basic modules can cost hundreds or thousands times the price of Tech 1 modules. They can be obtained only from destroyed enemies, since the Blueprints for most basic-quality modules were removed from the game (presumably to clean up the game's item database of what were perceived as useless items).
A Basic Module will usually have many Named Variants. This can be somewhat confusing, as the names of Named Basic modules can often be very similar to Named Tech 1 modules.
Tech 1 modules are the staple type of module available for outfitting a ship and are generally very affordable, especially at lower meta levels. They are not as powerful as Tech 2 or Faction Modules, but have the advantage of often being replaceable at low cost if they are destroyed. Regular (no meta value) Tech 1 modules are able to be manufactured from Blueprints.
Technically, all module types that don't specifically state another Tech level are Tech 1 modules. However, the term Tech 1 almost always refers to standard modules
Tech 1 modules will usually have several Named Variants.
Tech 2 modules have a meta value of 5 are generally far more effective and powerful than Tech 1 modules, but require higher ranks of skills (or sometimes entirely new skills) to use, are more expensive, and can be harder to find. Tech 2 equipment and ships can be clearly identified by the orange mark "II" in the top left corner on the module's icon. Tech 2 modules are often the most powerful of that type of module available, although named Tech 1 modules often have better fitting requirements.
Manufacture of Tech 2 equipment is a far more complicated process than for Tech 1 items, and requires special components and the Morphite mineral, along with extremely rare blueprints that are typically only gained through Research Agents. Invention has allowed many, many more Tech 2 modules to become available to the EVE-Online community at large. Previous to its introduction, Tech 2 modules were rather rare and difficult to come by.
See also: Tech 2 Component Supply Chain
Faction modules are extremely rare, worth many millions of ISK each. Technically Tech 1 modules, they can occasionally be obtained when fighting the particular Faction they belong to during a Mission and can be identified by the Faction name in the title of the module, such as Caldari. Many of them are also available from Loyalty Points stores. Finally, it is possible to obtain Faction modules from Pirate Factions by fighting their Commanders that spawn at random in asteroid belts.
Many of these modules are improvements even over Tech 2 to varying degrees, although overall they are not always better. The meta value of faction modules ranges from 6 to 9, disabling their use in Invention (this would be inadvisable anyway, due to the destruction of the module used in this process). Faction modules can be placed on the market, and can also be traded by other means, such as Contracts.
"Storyline Modules" can only be obtained by manufacturing them with materials that are gathered from the specialized COSMOS missions. They sometimes have lower fitting requirements and improved statistics over Named Tech 1 modules. However, it is usually better to use a Tech 1 Named variant for best fitting costs, or a Tech 2 for the best power. Storyline modules are very expensive due to their rarity.
The meta value of Storyline modules ranges from 6 to 9, preventing their use in Invention (this would be inadvisable anyway, due to the destruction of the module used in this process). Cosmos modules were once permitted to be placed on the market, but this has since changed and they must be obtained by other means, such as Contracts.
Players sometimes refer to Storyline modules as "COSMOS modules". Storyline module is the official name used in the game dialogue. Eve Fitting Tool currently has them filed (incorrectly) under "Market".
Officer modules are extremely rare, are generally about as good in quality as Deadspace modules (sometimes more, other times less). They can possess insanely high attributes. They are obtained exclusively from the wrecks of NPC Officers that occasionally spawn in Asteroid belts, and their names add the name of an Officer (such as Brynn or Tobias) to the module's name.
Officer modules have a meta value of 10 or higher, preventing their use in Invention (although this would be extremely unwise, as using them so would destroy a very powerful module to produce a less-powerful one). Officer modules can be placed on the market, and can also be sold through other means, such as Contracts.
Players sometimes refer to Officer modules as "Commander modules". This is also true in the Eve Fitting Tool. Officer module is the official name used in the game dialogue.
Deadspace modules, another rare and powerful variety of module, are sometimes obtained in higher-level Deadspace Complexes. These modules are a rough match with Officer modules for power. Their names add a Pirate Faction prefix to the module's name, such as Gistii.
Deadspace modules have a meta value of 10 or higher, preventing their use in Invention (although this would be extremely unwise, as using them so would destroy a very powerful module to produce a less-powerful one). Deadspace modules can be placed on the market, and can also be sold through other means, such as Contracts.
A Named Variant is a module that is a variation on another existing module. These modules are given a specialized name to identify them, but look just like their base counterpart. Basic, Tech 1, and Tech 2 modules all can have Named variants.
There are usually multiple Named modules to a Tech 1 or Basic module. The functionality of a Named module generally exceeds that of its parent module by some amount. Sometimes the power of the Named module exceeds it greatly, while other times not so much. The main draw of the lower end Named modules are their fitting costs, which can be drastically reduced.
There are not many Named Tech 2 modules, but some exist. One of the most notable is the Large sized Armor Repair Systems module called "Large 'Reprieve' Vestment Reconstructor II". The Power Grid fitting cost is nearly halved, while simultaneously outperforming the standard Tech 2 version.
Named modules are much more expensive than their counterparts, and often exceed the price of regular Tech 2 modules. This is due to their rarity, in that they only drop from defeated NPC enemies.
Named modules will possess Meta Levels of 1-4. Because of this, a named module can be used in Invention with greater chance of success, though the (possibly very expensive) module will be consumed in the attempt to do so.