EVE Online has it all, whether it be pressing buttons to make stuff blow up, pressing buttons to create stuff, pressing buttons to find stuff or pressing buttons to harvest salty tears of other people. Its a harsh world!
So, in order to help you I’ve built this guide overview of what you can do as a new player. If you get bored, try out some of the other stuff.
Killing NPC’s is typically referred to as Ratting – this is PVE Content.
If your ship is about to blow up, warp out. If you can’t – don’t cry.
Here are the different types of combat content availble in EVE Online.
Security Agent Missions
Missions follow a scripted form and outside of defeating you (because you didn’t prepare properly) it will usually end with you getting increasingly more ISK, increasing standings with an NPC corporation and earning some loyalty points (LP’s) to use on faction items. It is the most accessible form of combat content there is and you’ll be tossed right into it at the very start of the game. Things to consider before blindly following a string of agents just because they are a means to an end (L4’s or L5’s) is this:
- Are the Loyalty Point Stores rewarding you with the items that you want/need?
- Are high-level agents accessible in a system you want/need to be in?
- Do you want several high-level agents in the same mission hub, or can you be satisfied with just one agent?
- Do your due dilligence. Don’t work blindly for any corporation just because its an option.
- Don’t get tempted by ‘ninja salvagers’, ‘thieves’, ‘pirates’ or ‘flashing targets. They are not in it for the ISK, but to harvest your salty tears and make your day miserable.
- Learning how to cope with losses, and annoyances from other players will change your experience when doing missions – particularly in very popular mission hubs.
- Learn to avoid missions towards other navy factions (vs. Caldari, Minmatar, Gallente and Amarr).
Once you have decided which NPC corporation to do missions for, here’s what you’ll run into:
Level 1 Missions
These security missions are availble to all players, even with terrible standings toward a faction/corporation. They are meant to be entry level agents for anyone who need to train up new standings toward a specific faction or corp.
Difficulties at this level would be from the system you are running missions in (if they are low or null security systems). At this level anyone can run these missions and beat them, even new players 5 minutes old.
Level 2 missions
These missions are available to players with a good derrived standing as entry level, or players that worked on level 1 missions.
You should expect fair frigate resistance and usually players lose ships in these missions due to inexperience in handling the transition to a new ship (notably frigates to cruisers) and how to deal with frigate ships while in a larger ship. Examples of this is to not bring drones to deal with scramming frigates, getting pinned down and taking excessive damage. Fitting frigate class modules on a cruiser hull (making the ship underpowered and vulnerable) and not fitting proper resistances on their tanks. Getting jammed and unable to apply damage (learn to use your drones properly).
These missions are where players find that they need to do their due dilligence and research what they will be facing during the mission.
Learn about ‘triggers’ and respect them.
Consider training corporation skills and create your corporation to avoid taxes on bounties. Also remember to actually set the tax to 0%.
Fit weapons of the same type – don’t mix. Now, group those weapons and start to bring different types of ammo for different situations – learn that volleys with that group of weapons can sometimes one-shot smaller targets or simply break the tank of larger targets.
Level 3 Missions
Usually this is where players will start to get into battlecruisers and while this is a sound advice for these missions, be aware that the cost of a good hull can be steep. Navy versions is usually 3x the price of a standard hull but comes with better fitting options. As always, don’t fly what you cannot afford to lose.
Level 3 missions is also where you’d expect to start making money on salvage from missions, so consider getting a seperate salvage ship to increase the ISK/hour ratio.
You will possibly also want to train further into Tech 2 weapons if you haven’t already. The bonus from extra DPS is definately worth considering and will do more for your mission running times than you’d imagine. You will go from not being able to break tanks on some ships, to easily taking them down. Start to embrace the fact that staying still will increase the need to tank more damage – while moving around in your ship will decrease damage taken from other ships (even if your ship seems big now, it will be even more prominent with the next step).
If you are not already fitting a Tech 2 tank and repper at this point, make it a priority.
Start training into Battleships and train to be able to fit rigs to your ships. Also start training more support skills.
Level 4 Missions
At this level, you would want a Battleship to cope with the missions. While Battlecruisers can do the job (at times) it will take ages to complete the mission and you’ll propably miss out on the mission bonus. Battleships provide a good damage platform for the type of ships you will encounter (up to and including many other battleships at the same time).
A Tech 1 battleship will do and there are many good choices. The important part is that you also fit rigs to increase survival rate of your ship and a proper tank. Do not ever bring salvage drones on your battleship, your ship should be fully combat operational to avoid silly losses. Its not a salvage platform and if you believe it is, you will quite likely lose it as some point due to not having (enough) drones to kill the scramming frigates that your battleship guns cannot hit. This advice cost you nothing, and is something many others have faced and paid for.
At a minimum you should fit:
- Tech 2 Hardeners
- Tech 2 repping modules
- Large weapons
- Bring at least 10 Scout Drones (Light) – because at some point you will experience frigates chewing through them and still scramming you – 5 won’t be enough.
- Be able to run your repper continously.
- Overtanking the missions is fine at this point – you can start to soften up the tank later on.
- Keep in mind if you want to prefer suffering the loss of a battleship or a decrease in ISK/Hour.
When you are comfortable in your tanking abilities, you can start to losen up the tanking modules and replace for more ‘Gank’ modules (Weapon Upgrades and Drone Upgrades). A good pointer is that “Tank+Gank = 1000 DPS”. You will also notice that DPS comes in waves and that you can start to manage the incoming DPS via triggers. You start to pulse your repper but your your fit is stable with the repper and hardners going continuously.
At this point you should consider getting this:
- Tech 2 guns
- Tech 2 ammo
- Tech 2 drones
- Dedicated Salvage Ship and skills (ie. Noctis with Salvage drones and rigs) – will reduce salvaging times and increase ISK/Hour.
- Hauling ship, to bring your sellable loot to a trade hub (possibly even a Tech 2 cloaky transport or an Orca) with a proper tank.
- Jita Alt – to sell your stuff on the market with minimum tax losses.
At this point you will start to realise that you propably won’t be able to fit all those nice T2 modules due to lacking powergrid and/or CPU, so you …
- Finish support skills training as they can increase survivability and DPS by over 25%.
- Train Overheating skills (which will increase your modules capabilities by 20% for a limited time.
- Apply your overheating skills and what they affect so you don’t overdo it and kill the modules you overheat – you don’t want to make a bad situation even worse!
- Start to always bring Nanite Repair Paste.
- Get and train into implants to enhance your ship even further.
- Fit Faction or Deadspace modules – some can be aquired with a slight investment, while some are steep, these will typically start to free up more powergrid and CPU so you can fit better guns.
- Start to buy and train an alt to also deal with blueprints to support your tech 2 ammo needs, make rigs, reprocessing, planetary interaction etc. – all of it to increase profit.
Later you should consider getting either a Navy Faction Battleship, a Pirate faction battleship or a Marauder for missioning in. It will increase your ISK/Hour but also your survival rates immensely.
Remember that – Not dying means that ISK/hour goes up and you don’t have to replace lost battleships worth +100 million.
These are meant to be a nice distraction from L4 mission running and provides possible faction loot.
While they are frigate specific encounters – make no mistake – these frigate are every bit as challenging as the toughest L4 mission you’ve experienced!
Only beatable in a frigate class vessel, you can still bring friends along for the ride – but they are solable in a proper fit Frigate.
Bear in mind that being able to tank the encounter is not enough – breaking their tank is just as important. The NPC’s can and will change behaviour.
Bringing friends the first few times are adviced to avoid too many and expensive ship losses.
Level 5 Missions
These agents are exclusively availble in low-security systems and null-security systems. It won’t be for everyone.
Some agents do send you to high-sec systems.
Get PVP experience, as you’ll no doubt encounter pirates at this stage and also learn how to tank L5 missions as well as pirates at the same time.
Expect more loot (in volume), more in bounties and more in Loyaly Points. Using the LP’s for profit effectively might be a challenge.
Defeating NPC ships in asteroid belts, which will get you increased security standings, ISK and (faction) loot. Warp between belts to locate them, be patient with spawns – they will spawn eventually.
DED Deadspace Complexes
These sites are open to run directly from your overview. Look for beacons to warp to when in system. You can find the correct systems by consulting your star map (default key: F10) and look for DED Complexes.
Usually you will be able to loot a deadspace overseeer item, with prices ranging from 10 thousand ISK to 130 million ISK. In high-security space you should be able to sink your teeth into some items worth several hundred thousand ISK within a few hours from creating your character.
Anomalies can be found using your on board system scanner. Your on-board system scanner covers ~14.5 AU (Astronomical Units) and can be opened using the default ALT+D. Anomalies randomly pop up on your system scanner, but you’ll have to use it to get the waypoint for it as they do not appear on your overview as some DED sites can.
Once they have been run, they will despawn and pop up in a new system in the same constellation. If they are left uncompleted they will repopulate after DT for about a week after the first warp has been attempted to it.
Remember that you can only find sites that are within ~14.5 AU so in particularly large systems you may have to warp about a few times to cover the entire area.
Anomalies can be inhabited by either Drones, Pirate Faction or Sleepers (depending on system occupancy) and reward you with various precious loot, ranging from nothing, to pirate faction drops, to sleeper tech.
While the lower level anomalies are entirely possible to complete (and die in) in an entry level frigate, the higher level anomalies can require a team effort. Sleepers are special NPC’s only found in wormhole space and drop extremely valuable loot but can also require multiple capital ships to run effectively. In W-space, capital ships make up the bread and butter of Anomaly Escalations worth over a billion ISK per site. With people residing in W-space, they also need to cover the cost of fuel for the Player Owned Stations, Corp Ships as well as paying people to farm and defend their residense effectively.
Hidden Complexes and Cosmic Sites
These require specialized equipment, starting with a tech 1 scanning frigate with probe launcher and core scanner probes and a combat ship to run the sites all the way up to a covert ops, stratetic cruiser or a team of friends with very big ships. Probe the location down, bookmark the site, come back in combat ship. Some will be unable to be located, unless you have good skills.
High-security sites can be semi-valuable but should be considered training ground for new capsuleers. Whether they contain valuables can be a bit of a hit and miss. Sometimes you’ll be lucky, sometimes not. You’ll have to be persistant. As you go deeper into lawless space, the rewards increase considerably. Do your reasearch about the system you visit. Typically, the same pirates will roam the same systems if they live nearby – they are propably out to get suckers like yourself that has been pulled in by the promise of wealth and riches. They know you’re going to visit, scan down this particular site and warp to it – so they will of course have bookmarks prepared for just such an occasion!
When out of high-sec space: If you see people in the local chat channel, prepare to be tackled. If you see many people enter local at the same time, prepare to be tackled immediately as its likely they already have a cloaked ship sitting next to you. If you see people on D-scan, warp out. If you see combat probes on D-scan warp out.
Focus on non-mining sites (ie. not ladar or gravimetric) while considering that wormhole types will take you into unknown space where people can (and will) kill you. A bit of networking in tradehubs can propably net you a few mining friends looking for ‘more’ which you can sell the location to the mining sites to. With more site trades comes more trust from your clients, and potentially more ISK.
What we know as Player vs Player encounters, exists everywhere in New Eden. There is no exception. You are not safe anywhere and you need to embrace that fact.
You can do a lot to increase your survivability though. In high-security space you’ll primarily avoid agressing anyone. If someone is stealing ore from your jetcan, don’t send your drones to attack them as they will then get permission to fire back. Don’t make yourself look like a valuable target by either putting valuable stuff in your cargo or fitting exotic faction mods or deadspace mods to your ship. Don’t fly industrial ships or go to trade hubs during Hulkageddon. Don’t mine in low-sec or null-sec without knowledge of how to properly use D-scan.
If thats your thing though, you can engage in corporation/alliance warfare in high-security space possibly as a mercenary. In low-sec piracy, ransoming ships or just blowing them up alone or with friends can (and usually is) – be a super fun – adrenaline pumping activity!
In Null-sec its often territorial alliance warfare that dominates with an unhealthy mix of capital ship fleets and very specialized fleets, while in wormhole space its a healthy mix of small-gang warfare mixed in with only a restricted number of capital ships but more often than not; strategic cruisers make out the backbone of the fleets with logi thrown in for good measure.
There is usually not enough money to be had in PVP alone, aside from the occasional faction loot drop from opposing players ships. More often than not, players fit T2 modules because there is a good chanche their ship will blow up after undocking. It is not unlikely for players to have a PVP alt – as their main character is busy making ISK for their PVP activities. Some have several pvp alts, to ensure a stady supply of PVP activities – for example being a part of Goons and part of Red vs Blue to ensure that when Goons activity levels are low, there is propably something going on in RvB and vice versa.
Suicide ganking, consist of successfully destroying a ship in order to obtain valuable loot contained within the ship. The means to obtain your loot is to use cheap throwaway ships built for point blank facemelting damage the target cannot escape. Such a method does usually not require tackle modules as the target will die before they can react or warp away, while higher value targets can be successfully caught in gate camps in lower security systems.
The setup contains assigned cargo scanners and a welcome committee at the target destination. This is typically a gate camp, or bubble camp with assisting targetters for quick and merciless pain application.
Usually cheap ships are used in this cocktail as you’d normally only go for targets that far exceeds the worth of the ganking ships. As there is a 50% chanche for a loot drop, anything less is futile.
Pointers to avoid this is to not carry obscene values in thinly tanked ships and scout in advance if you really have to. Know what type of ammo is generally used and prepare to buffer tank it. Always expect to lose everything you undock anyways. Don’t get emotionally attached to your stuff, you’ll lose it eventually. Never cry.
There are also e-sport tournaments available as content in EVE. Either the annual officially sponsored Alliance Tournament or the less prominent ones.
To join the tournaments, you’ll need to find a corporation that does these events regularly and then get recruited. Having a good PVP history will help (killboard), but also working well with others is an advantage. There is usually a lot of cost being poored into these events from the participating corps, so having a fat wallet definately helps.
Player-made pvp content is sometimes availble in the form of touraments or special events. Such as the Hulkageddon which focuses on killing industrial themed ships for donated prices or public roams with popular pvp corps. For roams you can join corps that take their corp mates out on regular roams, even high sec corps are quite popular. EVE University does a great point in training Fleet Commanders, allowing everyone to be FC for the day – and also invite experienced FC in for single roams. Other corps does public roams at times where outsiders are welcome to join in on the fun.
Fly Dangerously! o7