Eve: for experienced gamers

This guide will be helpful for any experienced MMORPG gamer wanting to denoobify themselves quickly. It should help fast-track your exit from noobdom by explaining the differences between Eve and other MMOs, particularly World of Warcraft.

I use simple language and cut to the chase, assuming you can game.

April 2010: I'm looking for a help to find any remaining inaccuracies and fix the posts. Posted about this on Tobold's blog.

About the guide
The content is up to date for Revelations II, and should be updated for Trinity.

Read the guide pages (navigation on the right) for the main content, plus you will find additional tidbits in the comments at the bottom. I delete any comments which are misleading, and upgrade my main content as necessary.

I just read someone joking that 'Eve has a near vertical learning curve'. Pretty funny; it has some truth to it. I honestly think my guide softens that curve significantly.

Keep reading this page to understand new character choices and how skills work.

Character creation, 'levelling' and other day-one questions
Does not exist as we know it. You do not gain experience from kills and quests. You gain skills by simply choosing to learn. You continue learning that skill as time passes, whether you are logged on or not, at a rate of about 800 skill points per hour for a noob.

In WoW, your levelling speed is limited by how efficient you grind and quest.
In Eve, you gain skills at the same rate as any other noob. How many points per hour you gain are determined by your attribute points - intelligence, perception, will power and so on.

The skills you can learn all have five levels. If you have no skill in say Rapid Firing at all, it doesn't appear on your character sheet. Going from level 0 to I might require 400 points, so you can do it in 30 minutes. From I to II might be a little over an hour. Going from level IV to V can take a week. You'd just set it to learn and then do whatever you'd like to in-game, perhaps mining or missions.

Skills have ranks which tell you how quickly that skill is learned. Ranks do not mean a skill is better or worse than another, just that a Rank 4 will take four times longer to learn than a Rank 1. Even if you are a level V (that's five) in Gunnery Rank 2, you can't change its rank. It's fixed. It just means it is slower to learn than a Rank 1 skill like Gunnery.

Level 70!
There is no level cap. After playing Eve for a long time, you might have millions of skill points. You will see people describe themselves as having "15 mil SP" for example. Those points would be spread across many skills, most of which they purchased via the market and trained up over many real-life months.

You don't suck compared to old pilots
Many new pilots look at the older players who have 5M, 15M, 30M or more skill points (SP), and think "I suck, I can't compete". This is totally wrong. Some reasons why:
  • After as little as one month playing, you can be a tackler in PvP and stop enemies from flying away while your corpmates kill the target. Your now-dead opponent might have had 50M skill points, but he couldn't get away from a total noob. Read my PvP page for more detail on this.
  • A pilot with 10M SP might have trained to be a sniper in Battleships, but on the day you meet him, he's in a Battlecruiser. Sure, he'll do more damage than you can, but perhaps 6M skill points in large gun skills and battleship piloting aren't being used at all in his Battlecruiser.
  • The pilot might have millions of points in science, industry or trade skills which don't help him pwn you.

Eve doesn't have talents like Warcraft but there is a slight similarity in the way the skills have dependencies. You cannot 'respec' in Eve; you just continually build up new skills.

When you start a noob character, you will be given about 800000 skill points spread across a range of skills. They're all like tier 1 talents. A more advanced skill will often require that you have a certain level of skill in a lower tier skill. For example, Rapid Firing can't be learned until you have Gunnery II. (That's Gunnery level 2).

You find new skills in the Market. They're for sale. You don't go to a trainer.

Skill tree
There is no really satisfying way to browse the various skills available in the game, except with this must-have software EveMon. (There is an in-game setting to show all skills on the Character sheet but it's cumbersome to browse). EveMon lets you search the skills, see a diagram of its prerequisites, what items you can equip once you've learned it, and more. You can build a plan of what skills to learn over time, and thereby plan your career.

EveMon is like a talent builder in WoW, merged with an item database like Thottbot, on steroids.

It's so good, it really should be bundled with the game. Be sure to only download it from the official website though, to get the right version, because it can use your login details to download a complete copy of all the skills you've already learned.

In-game you can find what skills a ship or weapon requires before you can use it on a tab describing the item. This lets you see, for example, that to fly a Battleship you first need to learn Frigates to level IV, then Cruisers to IV and Spaceship Command to IV. This would take at least 14 days of training.

Creating a new character
Which race you choose determines which ship types you start off with. You can learn another race's ship skills later on if you want. Each race's ships has a bias: Caldari use missiles, Gallente use drones. All races have ships of every type such as freighters, battleships and surveillance, so you can't miss out by picking the 'wrong' race. While some racial ships are slightly better in certain situations like PvP or PvE, you won't be screwing yourself up by picking one over another. (See this section of my blog for more detail).

All player races can talk to each each in 'whispers' (called conversations in Eve), can join one another's Corps, and kill each other in PvP. The races are a storyline mechanic and set your initial ship skills (because each race has its own set of ships), that's all.

Starting skills

New characters you create get a distribution of about 800K skill points. This is the equivalent of having trained for about five weeks non-stop. In the interests of saving yourself time learning other skills, it's smart to pick a character which you guess will suit your gaming.

The school and specialisation you pick will determine how your initial skills are spread out, but most importantly it will set your Attributes.

It's a pretty hard decision. If you're not sure, pick a soldier or special forces character.
This detailed page on my blog shows you the initial skills resulting from each of the race and career choices you can make.

Attributes determine how fast you learn skills of a certain type. Attributes are more important than which skills you start with. It's wise to try for a balance between the attributes, and to ignore Charisma. If you intend to be a serious pilot, you can bias towards perception.

Gunnery skills require perception and will power. If those attributes are high (like a score of 12 or more), you will learn a level of say Rapid Firing in three hours, whereas it might be four hours if they were low. It varies: drone skills use memory and perception, skills required for combat, such as fitting armour or using electronic jammer, require intelligence.

You can increase your attributes with the category of Learning skills. You should do this. You will need to buy a few from the Market. You can also buy implants like +1 which cost about 150K ISK, and +4 which cost about 250m ISK.

If you have a skill training plan worked out in EveMon, it will estimate how long in total it will take. You might have 30 or 40 days' of training worked out,covering dozens of skills. Higher attributes could chop off as much as three days.

You should do the tutorial because it's fairly fast. (Note: Eve is the version 'Trinity'. Tutorials from earlier versions (Revelations I & II) took a lot longer than it does now. Old pilots might not distinguish them if you ask). Even in the days when the tutorial was really slow, it was vitally important to play through the whole thing - not only did it teach you a lot about how to operate your ship and the economy, but it gives out some items that can be used to get access to some rewarding missions.

What to read next?
Bookmark the site, first.
The guide can be read in any order.
  • To read the next page, click 'older posts' below.
  • or choose a topic of interest using the right-side navigation (at top of page).

Would you like to maintain this?

Hi all,

I'm looking for a new maintainer for this guide, to freshen it up for current content. Email me at hammerjudge@gmail.com

Also I'm now playing WoW again, and have a guide on leadership and tanking called pwnwear. Drop by!

Update June 2009: changed template, fixed dates on posts so they appeared in one line. Also posted on scrapheap requesting help.

Eve is harsh: you get ganked

Eve is a PvP game. You do not have any safety, like you do in a PvE Warcraft realm. You do not flag on PvP. It's always on.

The impact of this? Here's one example to illustrates it. Industrialists and miners haul expensive cargo around in their ships, in high-security space like 0.9, where there's lots of Concord police.

You're not safe. Every week, dozens of people get ganked in this situation.
Eve is harsh. Players will kill your hauler, knowing they'll in turn get killed by Concord, but it's worth it for their mates to come by and collect your loot.

Don't fool yourself into thinking high-sec is safe. It's not.
Below are some tips for hauling taken from this thread, written in response to a poster who got ganked and lost 600M of goods.

If the below concepts do not make sense yet, skip to other sections of my guide now, and come back to this page if you start to ferry expensive things around.

1: Consider avoiding Jita, the Caldari trade hub. Not all ganks happen in Jita, but avoiding a hub like that can do nothing but improve the chances of avoiding instadeath. There are other trade hubs (Oursaleart, Amarr) you could use.

2: If you're going to ferry 2 billion worth of stuff around in Empire,
do not do it in something weak enough to be easily suicide ganked. Do it in a ship of appropriate value and toughness. A Tech 2 transport ship (with its higher armour) is infinitely more difficult to suicide bomb than an Iteron III (industrial ship), eliminating most smaller suicide gangs all together. [Read more in my ship guide].

3: Fit armour or shield strengthening equipment ("tank") to your ship. Suicide gangs have only a handful of seconds to pop your ship, so they need to bring appropriate force to pop it. Even though an Iteron V with armour plates isn't exactly going to be winning any duels, if it can last 15 seconds instead of 5, its a success. Again, that little bit extra eliminates the threat of most small gangs all together.

4: Bring a friend. If its really valuable, have someone shadow your hauler with an empty hauler. You get popped? Have them loot the can before the gankers do. If you've followed 2: and 3:, the odds of them having enough fire power left over to gank a second hauler is pretty slim.

5: Don't use autopilot. Your cargo makes it worthwhile to fly manually. With warp-to-zero ("WTZ"), fully half of all the opportunities for gankers to scan you disappear, seeing as they can only scan you when you're aligning, not when you're slow-boating to the gate.

6: If you're carrying around physically small valuables (a couple of bits of officer loot, or a blue prints), don't use an industrial. Use a small ship (a tech 1 frigate, of the speedy variety, does fine) to courier it around. Don't use a shuttle. T1 frigs, with resistance or warp core stabilisers fittings, are very difficult to stop in high-sec. With WTZ, you can't be ganked arriving at a gate. And with the ship's speedy aligning, you can't be ganked departing a gate either. (In low-sec to 0.0, a gate camp could get you).

(See also: my Travel section for details on 'gate camps', which are like death traps, and my PvP section too.)

Missions, money and standings

They're called missions in Eve. Unlike most MMOs, the early missions are really hard to complete in your noob ship. In fact, you might not be able to complete some of them at all unless you're in a group (called 'gang' in Eve).

You can complete missions together in a gang and the rewards are split between the members when one person returns to the mission agent. You do not 'share the quest' like in Warcraft. Mostly, just one person will have the mission. Lastly, there is no 'group loot' option, as in Warcraft; it's all based on trust.

For the combat missions you need to upgrade your rookie ship to one of those from the market. They'll cost at least 50K and up to 250K.

Don't attempt combat missions in the newbie frigate, do the tutorial agent missions (they might give you a ship!), then upgrade to a proper combat frigate:
  • Punisher for Amarr
  • Merlin or Kestrel for Caldari
  • Incursus or Tristan for Gallente
  • Breacher or Rifter for Minmatar.

Missons are hard
Be prepared to enter an area, kill one NPC ship, fly to station, repair, and then return for the next one. It's quite possible you will not be able to kill all the NPCs at once. Your tanking capability will not be up to it in a Frigate.
Long-range weapons like missiles and railguns will help you hit the NPCs before they're able to hit you.

Never fit close range weapons (rockets, blasters, autocannons) for missioning, use long range weapons. While doing level 1 missions in a frigate, you should be flying around at your top speed all the time, this makes you take less damage from missiles, harder to hit with guns, and allows you to control the range.

Aggression cooldown, huh?
When you kill an NPC you might get a scary warning in the top-left corner saying Aggression Cooldown. You'd think this is being flagged for PvP or something, but it's not in this case. It just means that the NPCs want to kill you for the remaining time. Doesn't mean much, because if you're near an NPC they'll agro anyhow.

Basically it's just the game mis-using the aggression cooldown mechanic, which is actually used when you genuinely PvP.

Where's the database of missions?
This page on eve-info gives you a breakdown of what to expect in each mission. Like, how many waves of pirates there are, whether they attack you upon warp-in, etc.

About Money
You do not start off with much ISK, the game currency. It's fairly easy to earn. Older Eve players will have hundreds of millions of ISK.

To put money into context:
  • A Cruiser ship, which is your first ship-class upgrade, will cost about 4M ISK
  • Fitting it will cost at least 50 to 300K
  • Skill books from the market cost 40K for the low tiers, and 1M to 4M for middle-end, and up to 100M at the high-end
  • A Battleship, which you can fly after Cruisers, cost 50M to 180M or so.
After you kill a ship, its wreck appears. If the icon is filled-in, that means there is stuff within it to loot. If its icon is hollow, there is nothing. (In either case, you can salvage it once you have a Salvager scanner fitted with the right skills learned).
There is no faster way to loot than: open loot window, select all (use ctrl-A), drag to your cargo icon.

Earning money

A few ideas on how to make money. There are more ways. There are many specific skills you should consider learning in order to maximise each of these careers, dealing with trade, mining, refining and more.

You can earn a good income from killing NPCs in asteroid belts and deadspace complexes. They have a bounty you collect automatically from the kill. This is called ratting, it's like PvE grinding mobs.

Get the most from it by learning the Salvage skill and equipping a Salvager to your ship. You can sell what you get from salvaging the wrecks. When you're killing in 0.0, the salvaged stuff is used to make rigs - which are fitted to your ship, like enchantments to your armour in Warcraft.

Completing missions earns you ISK. It also gains you standing with the corporation who issued the mission, which eventually leads to level 2 missions and up. They pay more.

You earn money from PvP just like PvE: from the loot and wrecks of your victims. It's a good earner. You can also kill players who have a bounty on them, but it's not a consistent income earner.

You can be a pirate (generally frowned on legal within the game): victims' ships can be 'hostaged' if they're immobilised and attacked to near death. The victim is asked to pay the approximate value of the ship, or else its destroyed. Pirates also gank industrialists when they're carrying haulers around.

Pretty easy to do. There's a superb guide on it you should read for detail, but I'll summarise. Your income depends on how many cubic metres you can mine per hour. This means lots of Miners installed on a ship, jettisoning the ore (it stays safe in a jetcan) then swapping to another ship with a huge cargo capacity to haul it all back to a Station.

You can get blueprints which can be originals or copies. From these, you make ships, equipment, ammunition and so on. PvP corps require people with industry skills in order to continually replace the lost ships from operations. It's also profitable.

You can simply buy and sell anything you find for a profit. Eve lets you set up a standing buy orders. Sellers needing quick cash accept the loss and sell to you. Later you collect your goods, possibly take them to another Station and sell for profit. The Market interface only shows a Region of space, so you can sometimes profit by taking goods from one region to another.

More detail
This thread has some great information including how to recover your own wreck if you die to NPCs.

Standings: how it works
You need to pick an NPC corporation to specialise in, such as the Federation Navy. (They're the equivalent of Lower City, Cenarion Expedition, etc.) You build standings with the corp. That opens up the higher quality agents. The divisions of the corp have themes of the types of missions they give you. You can swap between divisions, but you should focus on one corp.

The corp you choose to focus on will have rewards themed to their type. So a military corp like the Navy will have combat-oriented rewards. Choose wisely.

Each division has agents who give missions. They do not refer you onto the next agent, like Warcraft does with a quest to a new zone. You have to go looking by yourself, there are various databases of agents you can use to find the next one. Check my links page.

Each mission agent has a Level (from 1 to 5) and a Quality (from -20 to +20). When you start, you can only pick negative agents. As you complete missions, you gain standing with their corp, which lets you work for positive quality agents. High quality means better rewards.

Working with an agent earns you loyalty points with their Corporation. You can spend the loyalty points in a shop. You can get very good one items with some thousands of points.

You can ignore Event agents, unless doing the Tutorial. They're basically useless; only giving small ISK rewards and storylines.

Every 16 missions completed for a corp, you are referred to a Storyline agent. They should be completed. They reward you with Faction standing, such as Gallente Federation (sort of like Horde or Alliance). You cannot use a Storyline agent unless you're referred to them, so don't travel across the galaxy under a delusion they'll help you.

Division mission themes:

Administration: 85% Kill, 7.5% Courier, 7.5% Trade
Advisory: 25% Kill, 75% Courier
Archives: 5% Kill, 90% Courier, 5% Trade
Astrosurveying: 50% Kill, 22% Courier, 22% Mining, 6% Trade
Command: 90% Kill, 10% Courier
Distribution: 5% Kill, 95% Courier
Financial: 30% Kill, 70% Courier
Intelligence: 85% Kill, 15% Courier
Internal Security: 92% Kill, 8% Courier
Legal: 50% Kill, 50% Courier
Manufacturing: 10% Kill, 90% Courier
Marketing: 50% Kill, 50% Courier
Mining: 5% Kill, 85% Courier, 10% Mining (II)
Personnel: 64% Kill, 36% Courier
Production: 5% Kill, 95% Courier
Public Relations: 34% Kill, 66% Courier
0% Kill, 50% Courier(S), 50% Trade
Security: 90% Kill, 5% Courier, 5% Trade
Storage: 5% Kill, 95% Courier(L)
Surveillance: 95% Kill, 5% Courier
Kill: Kill one or more NPCs
Courier: Move or Deliver cargo (usually less than 2k m3)
Courier(L): Move or Deliver large cargo (upto 20k m3)
Courier(S): Move or Deliver cargo (requires specialized science skills)
Trade: Purchace items on the market and then deliver
Mining: Retrieve ore/minerals
(II): Got information from a Level II agent

Original list taken from this source.
Updated for Revelations 2.

Where is the next agent?
Because you are not automatically referred to the next agent when you can use them, you need to go looking.

Mission agents: this search lets you find agents near your current station. It also works in-game. You need to click the 'query' button each time you change something to update the results it shows. This is very useful as it helps you work out where to go next.

The formula to calculate the minimum standing needed to work with an agent:

Standing = ( ( Agent Level – 1 ) * 2 ) + ( ( Agent Quality * 5 ) / 100 )

So, to use a level 3 quality '-12' agent, you need a personal, corporation or faction standing of 3.4.

This works out to be a matrix like so:

User interface

Some features are not immediately obvious.

You can make a window transparent, like a WoW guild chat, by clicking the little circle. (Like in the screenshot).

There is an anti-spam feature which makes you pay a few ISK to invite someone to a gang or message them. It's the "CSPA" charge. You turn it off in a hidden area.

In your inbox, you right click on the little 'inbox' wording. This brings up a menu including Settings. In there, you can add your Corp or Alliance to a list of allowed people.

If you have drones, you will find a variety of right-click options on the drone window below the Overview. You can send all your drones in to fight at once this way.

It's worth right-clicking on windows and objects just to see what's hidden.

Lastly, there are no addons that customise your GUI, sadly. Many MMOs have it. Eve doesn't (yet, perhaps, we hope).

Keyboard shortcuts
Yes, they exist, and they're just as important for PvP in Eve as they are in Warcraft. They're not as configurable, but are accessed by hitting your escape key to get the control panel.

Stop ship moving: CTRL-SPACEBAR
Target a ship: CTRL-CLICK
FPS, frames/sec: CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-M

To increase FPS
General effects on/off: CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-E
Turret effects on/off: CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-T
Sound on/off: CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-F12

Rookie channel
The Rookie channel you activate during the tutorial does not stay closed; it re-activates itself. It's annoying. You can't get rid of it until you've played for 30 days.


PvP is seriously cool in Eve.

PvP in Eve is amongst the most harsh of MMOs I know. When killed you lose your ship, which can be worth 100M, 500M, 2.0B or even more. You do not lose 'experience' or skill points, though. (Unless your clone is out-of-date).

PvP in Eve involves destroying opposing ships and structures. The damage caused in warfare is counted in the ISK value of what has been blown up -vs- what has been lost. A fitted ship can be very expensive, 100M ISK easily, and you cause economic damage upon the opposition by destroying ships. Most corps will help cover the replacement cost of ships lost during sanctioned PvP operations. However, the economic warfare rendered upon an opposition can crumble their ability to maintain a defence.

When you are involved in a kill as victim or winner, you receive a 'killmail'. It's an Eve mail listing what happened, who was involved, and what was destroyed. Players then post these killmails to their corporation or alliance killboards. They record all killmails. Thus, the economics of loss and gain are calculated and shown as a tally.

The scale of Eve PvP is incredible. You can have 100-a-side 'blobs' of ships attacking each other and structures. Often you'll see 10 or 15 ships in a gang, perhaps chasing one target who encroached your territory, or defending a gate. Alliances can construct player-owned structures which have huge offensive and defensive capability, but are fixed in place.

There is so much PvP in Eve.

Noobs and PvE players are protected to some degree by the police called Concord. They will actually materialise and kill an aggressor if you are in a secure system. Their guns will also attack at huge range aggressors who act near stargates in secure systems.

You can still get PvP'd though. I lost one of my first purchased Frigates when I jumped into an asteroid belt where two other noobs confused me for a threat and attacked. They didn't pod-kill me, though.

Do not feel safe in high-security space like 0.9.
You can still be suicide ganked by people who want your cargo really badly, at any cost. Read this page for more on that.

Low sec
As you move out of Empire (which is in the middle, basically) towards the outskits, you enter 'low security' space: 0.1 to 0.4. You are not guarded by Concord here. Be on your guard.

Then you enter 0.0 space which is totally unpatrolled: your PvP situational awareness needs to increase. Your risk of ganking is severe. Best to go there once you are in a Corp. Read my 0.0 section for more.

Gate camps
Read my travel section to learn how to escape from hostiles camping a star gate.

There are many roles in Eve PvP. It's surprising how varied it is, really. You do not just DPS a target in order to win the day. Other roles are crucial, such as:
  • covert ops (like a hunter, used to probe or locate enemies)
  • electronic warfare (which is like stunlocking, to weaken a target)
  • cyno generator (to create a cynosaural field for a gigantic capital ship to jump to)
  • interdictor (creating bubbles which prevent the target from warping away)
  • 'healer' for friendly armour or shields, called Logistics in Eve (you can remotely repair an ally's tank)
  • 'group buff' by using gang warfare links (you can 'buff' the speed, armour or information powers of your gang using warfare links)
  • tackler (you stop the target from escaping).
Many of these skills require intelligence or memory attributes instead of the typical will power and perception used for ship and gunnery skills. Put some consideration into these paths when you start your character, so you can lay out your attributes consistently with the goal.

The Tackler
A common job for new PvPers is to be the 'tackler'. You use warp disruptors and stasis webifiers, plus other electronic warfare gadgets, to stop the target from running away, so all your Corp mates can complete the kill.

Here is a superb training flick to help you out: Tackle Training Video (or here in low bandwidth).

The main goal of a tackler is to get to its target as fast as possible to scramble and/or web it. The warp scrambler stops the target from warping away from you. The Stasis Webifier slows their movement to 75% of normal.

Note you should be ok with getting your ship blown up a lot as a tackler. You will be in a Frigate, most likely, because it's fast.

Tacklers are dangerous to the target ship and they will do what they can to drop you ASAP. As a tackler you likely have to get in close. If you can web him he can probably web you right back and that pretty much ends most frigs once that happens (speed is your defense and once taken away there is not much left to protect you).

Most corps have a frig replacement policy for their tacklers (or all their younger players). Usually all the gear you need will be provided free of charge too.

Tacklers are the most under-estimated role in the game. Everybody wants to get to the big ships with big guns. But the truth of the matter is that without a tackler you might not even get a lock on some ships.

A few pointers...
  • Start by fitting your mid slots first. After all you are a tackler not a damage dealer. It is ok if you can't fit all the slots.. just focus on tackle (scram, disrupt, web)
  • Equip anything that a)extends life but does not use cap b)does not affect your sig radius negatively
  • You will not be targeted as often as you think unless you are a sole tackle (there should always be at least 2 tacklers and enough damage to kill the target before they both go down)
  • Set orbit to 2000m inside your optimal range the second you undock (Make sure if you fit a web that optimal is now 6000m). Orbit your target don't sit stationary.
  • Do not hesitate... Once primary target is called.. find it and attack it. The best tacklers I've got are the ones that go balls out!
  • Turn on your scrambler and disruptor while you are locking. They will activate the second you acquire lock.
  • Do not turn on the webifier until your disruptor/scramber is on them
  • Use an Afterburner, not a Microwarp Drive until you're quite experienced.
  • Create an overview that shows ONLY targets. Use ctrl+click in overview to acquire lock
  • If guarding a Stargate, bump target to un-align and keep from approaching gate again and then orbit

Suggested items to fit:
  • Mids: Warp Disruptor, Warp Scrambler, Stasis Webifier, Afterburner
  • Lows: Signature Amp (faster lock time) and Damage control unit (lots of life with little cap usage). Basic Inertia Stabilizers"(increases how fast you can turn) and "Basic Overdrive Injector System" (makes you go faster) are good choices too.
  • Highs: Anything you can fit.
Microwarp Drive?
Micro Warp Drives ("MWD") have 500% signature increase. You must turn it off once within tackling range or you'll get killed. Read the comments below for further discussion.
Much of the above information came from this forum post. Authoring credit goes to the posters therein.

The power of bookmarking
No, don't scoff. Bookmarks are like navigation upgrades. They let you survive, hide and find things. Read this superb guide from Agony Unleashed to learn more.

PvE fights

The NPC ships in missions, deadspace and asteroid belts will belong to one of the various nefarious organisations. Each has weaknesses you can exploit. (This is just like fire/frost resistances in Warcraft.)

Copy this list to your in-game notepad for convenient reference.

Key - NPC name: Damage Type it uses (Damage to use against it)
  • Angel Kinetic/Explosive (Explosive)
  • Amarr Navy EM/Thermal (Thermal)
  • Blood Raiders EM/Thermal (EM)
  • Caldari Kinetic/Thermal (Thermal / Kinetic for Temuras)
  • Concord EM/All Dmg Types (Thermal)
  • Gallente Kinetic/Thermal (Thermal)
  • Guristas Kinetic/Thermal (Kinetic)
  • Khanid EM/Thermal (Thermal)
  • Minmatar Fleet Thermal/Exp (Thermal / Exp for Darkanas)
  • Mercenary M/Thermal/Kinetic (Thermal)
  • Mordus Kinetic/Thermal (Kinetic)
  • Odamian Kinetic/Thermal
  • Drones - all Dmg types (EM)
  • Rogue Pirate EM/Explosive/Kinetic
  • Sansha EM/Thermal (EM)
  • Serpentis Kinetic/Thermal (Thermal)
  • Zazzmatazz All Dmg types (Thermal)

You should choose the right type of ammo and resistance fittings for your shield or armour for the target you're against. It can be a +50% damage boost, or more, and equivalent reduction for damage taken.

Who you're fighting?
In the Mission journal, there's a little logo - which is pretty hard to identify - that tells you the type of NPC you'll come up against. Click it. That way you can prepare before leaving Station.

Tanking in Eve is similar to Warcraft. You install fittings on your ship which boost your resistance to the damage types in Eve: explosive, thermal, kinetic and electromagnetic. If your ship has 50% resistance to explosive, it literally cuts your damage received in half.

Resistance is generally a superior way to absorb damage than increasing your hit points. Items like '200mm armour plating' just give you extra hit points, whereas 'Armor EM Hardener' boosts your resistance to EM damage on armour and 'Photon Scattering Field' does the same for shields. Resistance fittings consume capacitor, though, so you'll need a higher level of power-related skills and fittings to make up for it, such as a Cap Recharger.

PvE in Eve is firstly about tanking. It's about soaking up enemy damage, and repairing the damage that does hit you, in a sustainable way so you have time to kill the targets.

Each race's ships have a bias to either shield or armour tanking, often with specific bonuses to the effectiveness of one type over another.

You should read more about tanking and skill yourself for it as appropriate.
Read this guide for much more detail and specifics.


Joining a Corporation
Corporations are like guilds, but with many more features to organise them. There is no problem if you pick one that doesn't suit and need to change. Corps will have some kind of tax, perhaps 5% of your earnings from some activities, perhaps also a flat-rate per week.

PvP corps will have ways to cover cost of lost ships during sanctioned PvP operations, so you can enjoy it with less fear of financial loss. These corps also should have an industrial interest to manufacture ships and weapons.

Really, Eve cannot be enjoyed to its fullest outside a Corp. You should join one.

There is an in-game channel called Recruitment you can join.
There is also a web forum here which includes advertisers. That's how I found my Corp.
A new site eve-careers also links players with Corps, read about it here.

Eve University
There is an in-game Corporation you can join called the Eve University. All reports on it are good. It's a truly helpful group of people who just want to give noobs a grounding in how to play Eve. Learn more about how to join here. Like other universities, they also do a number of silly things to amuse their members.

PvP University
Another Corp, Agony Unleashed, have a paid-for PvP training regime you can read about here. Agony is currently the only corporation that trains non-members, which can be useful, since there can be a significant downside to joining a corp.

To actually join, you do not get sent an invitation when it suits you. You have to fly to the Station with an office or HQ of the corp and sign up there. After filling out the application, invitations are sent electronically and you can accept from where-ever you may be. However, don't just pick a corp out of an office and hit 'apply' - do your homework and find a good corp, get to know the members, then join.

Update July 7: it's possible that joining a corp is easier now. Rev 2 apparently made some changes. I'm going to test it shortly and update this paragraph.

A really important feature of Eve, which makes Warcraft guilds look even more pathetic, are Alliances. Corporations can band together into an alliance. You get a shared channel, enemies, combat and trade benefits.

Alliances are the unit that defends regions in 0.0 space against other alliances. When you join a Corp, you join its alliance automatically, and you will also gain all of its friends and foes.

You should check my maps page for pictures of how much control each alliance has.

More detail on Corps
The below content came from a great forum post.

1) Corporations do whatever they want to do. There are all sorts from small to large, hi sec to no-sec, PvP to Carebear, roleplayer corps to shell corps. You name it there is one out there that does it.

2) Corps need people more than people need them. Indeed a corp is nothing more than the collection of people who belong to it.

3) Some welcome noobs. Some don't. Requirements for joining are as varied as there are corps.

4) There are not too many scams perpetrated on noobs going into corps. But they exist. There is no legal judge and jury to protect the innocent! Do not pay to join a Corp! That's a scam. You might be expected to do some 'slave labour' to earn your way, so just decide if it's worthwhile. Don't put any of your own money or ships at risk beyond the taxrate, until you've verified it's a totally legit Corp.

Corps are truly the road to a more full experience of Eve. Together you can definitely achieve more than alone although going solo is certainly possible. Eve generally has some great members and while there are jerks here and there (as anywhere) they seem fewer and further between in Eve.

Ask questions, ask about their expectations from you. Ask about their policies (e.g. stance on pirating, reimbursement policy, time online reqs, voice chat necessary, corp taxes, etc.). Are they at war? Do they go to war a lot? Anything else you can think of.

And of course if you make a mistake you can always leave. Just try not to corp hop too much (some is to be expected) as future corps may wonder about that.

The downsides of corp membership
Under the social rules of EVE, corps are held responsible for the behaviour of their members, and members are held responsible for the behaviour of their corp. This means that if a member of a corp steals from someone, your corp can very quickly get a reputation for harbouring thieves. The same goes for acts of piracy, fraud, deception or rudeness. Rudeness can and will get you killed in EVE (especially outside highsec), and it can get your corpmates killed too.

Inside highsec, corporations are more vulnerable to violence than individuals. For 50 million isk (pocket change for an established pirate corp), a hostile party can issue a war declaration. This is essentially a bribe that makes CONCORD look the other way while the corporations blow each other up. War declarations have been issued due to rudeness, harbouring thieves, pirates or frauds, and for some less savoury reasons as well. An established money-making tactic is to declare war on a corporation, then demand a fee to withdraw it again.

Tips for identifying a good corp (thanks for these, Shanur)
  1. Distinctive value. A good corp has a clear vision on what it wants to achieve in the game, how it wants to go around to doing this and what it is prepared to commit to get the means to do this. Generally you will have a specific style of playing that appeals more to you than other styles. Look for a corp whose visions and strategies match your preffered style of playing the most. Even if they are not the best, at least they will cater to you enough that you should enjoy your time with them.

  2. Property and trust. Before joining any corp, ask yourself this: After speaking to the CEO or director, do you trust the corp enough to risk losing a big part of your personal assets due to their actions? Corps work most efficiently when resources are shared to a high degree. As such, trust is very important. Do you trust the people in the corp? Also see what sort of resources they have. Their ability to be worthwhile for you depends highly on what they have in the way of industrial backbone, territory and other infrastructure. Do not ask about rights to manipulate corporate assets. That is by most recruiters interpreted as you being an enemy spy planning to steal from the corp.

  3. Organization. Should be straightforward for a WoW player. Are you joining a rabble of independents or a tight knit well organized team? This also covers diplomatic relationships they might have with other corps and alliances. Friendships and enmities will affect your game significantly.

  4. Protection. As a corp member you will be a war target. It's only a matter of time. Does the corp have a military arm to protect your hauler? If you are a military player how much of your time will you be expected to fly escort for your corp mates? Does the corp have an agreement with other military or mercenary corps they can appeal to for protection? These relationships also include to what extent the corp has undisputed access to 0.0 space.

  5. Benefits. What you can do for a corp is usually pretty straightforward. What the corp can do for you in return is an entirely different matter. Will they offer ships and equipment? Profit sharing? Joint ops? Cheap refining? And how do they achieve these things? Do they have their own industrial backbone or do they rely on pacts or their alliance for that? Even a military alliance generally has some form of industrial backbone to cover replacement of their lost ships. Find out if the corp you want to join has as well.

  6. Reputation. Tricky. Typically a corp recruiter will not give you a satisfactory outline oftheir corps reputation. Partially out of pride, partially because they may not be fully aware of how others regard them. Best you can do is see if the corp discussions forum mentions the corp you want to join and in what kind of light they are held there. Also ask your recruiter about controversial activities. How are their views on piracy? On scamming? On podding? If they own 0.0 territory, do they use NBSI or NRDS? Do they have sworn enemies? All these should give you an idea how people will regard you once you join.

Starting your own Corp

Starting your own corp is difficult. Really difficult. Really really difficult. Which is to say that it's hard. Feeling discouraged about starting your own corp? I hope so.

In this lively discussion about whether newbies should create corps or not, Shanur outlined the problems you face as the CEO of a corp:

1. Your corp will be one among many. You need to have a plan to distinguish yourself from all those other corps, or no one will consider joining you. This one is a consideration in most games, only in EVE it tends to be more punishing due to some other considerations.

2. Your corp is a legal person. It actually owns stuff. Because however this stuff needs to be accessed by human beings to be put to use, it can be ripped off. Corp theft is a major issue.

3. Corps are expected to be self regulated. What this means is that where in other games you have the game itself force people to be nice to each other, in EVE all you have is trust, access rights and the ability to shoot each other. This immediately puts a bigger strain on organizing your operations (groups) better than you would in "that other game" because otherwise you will have people hogging all loot and then be shot by the rest after which all out brawls for the wreckage occur.

4. You are always open to attack. All corps, regardless of where they are located, are vulnerable to a form of non consentual PvP combat, war declarations. This means that even if you dedicated yourself to being an industrial specialist, unless you arranged for some military means to ward off raiders to your mining and cargo ships, the only place you can hide at is inside a station and prey your enemy is just after your loot, meaning he'll grow bored and cancel the dec eventually. This will prevent you and your corpmates from playing the game, however, which has in itself caused many corps to disintegrate just so people could get out of the war.

5. You have to provide. Historically, by far most people join a player run organization because they expect it to better them. Usually because it gives them a shot at loot they could not hope to obtain on their own or with a randomly recruited team. In EVE too, people will expect there to be tangible benefits, other than the friendship of your corp's members, to be offered in return for their support. Not only do you have to think up what you'll offer (collective income, ship replacement, low cost high efficiency services, etc...), but also how. You will find that in order to offer your members these benefits, it is inevitable that you have access to some form of industrial means. Even the most hard core pew pew corps either have struck up arrangements with industrial corps (usually in the form of protection vs profit sharing pacts) or have fallen apart from lack of means.

6. You are being tracked. Every corp you have joined is permanently stored on your character's record, making reputations matter even more than in other games. In WoW, going inactive for a few weeks, or just keeping out of trouble and then singling out newcomers was usually enough to get rid of any bad reputation and go right on what you were doing. In EVE, even joining a badly reputed corp like Goonswarm by mistake will haunt you for the rest of your characters existance. It's all there in white and stylesheet color on your corporate history tab. What this means is that people will be very critical of joining a corp and reluctant to join one they do not know yet due to it possibly harming their reputation. You will have to profile yourself to be appealing to at least some groups within EVE or you will have serious trouble thriving.

There are alternatives to creating your own corp. You can create a custom chat channel and mailing list. You can be a group of friends inside a larger corp. If you really want to create your own corp, then go read the CAOD (Corporations, Alliances and Organisation Discussion) forum for a bit. Read some of the threads by new CEOs talking about how they got scammed and/or wardecced. Read the responses from the veteran players that talk about how they could have avoided this problem, and what to do about it. And then (since you're obviously determined to do it), good luck.

Why Eve is casual friendly

Eve Online is especially friendly for casuals, whilst it does not compromise gaming for hardcore players. How? There are two mechanics which really stand-out.

You can learn new skills and become more powerful without having to grind.
    • Learning continues whether you are online or not, so you keep gaining skills whether you play one hour a night or five.

You can place 'buy' orders on the market.
    • This is a subtle but huge difference to Warcraft. You can place a Buy order in a market which lasts a week or more. You do not have to sit and watch the Auction House. If someone wants to get quick cash, they can sell against your buy order. You can then resell it at a profit.
    • This means you can earn good money from trading without having to be online. There is incredible in-game statistics on market prices so you can make informed decisions.
You will get ganked
However, don't think Eve is a safe PvE game. It's a PvP game. You are always PvP flagged, effectively. Read this blog entry for important notes about ganking industrialists.

Travel, maps and items

Autopilot is not very efficient. It lands you exactly 15Km from a stargate, then cruises you in. If you travel by manually warping to within zero metres of your stargate, you can activate it as soon as you arrive. Much faster. Much safer.

When you travel manually, you still use the 'set destination' feature because it will tell you which stargate to go to for each jump. The Overview panel in-game will highlight your target in yellow.

What is a solar system or constellation anyhow?
Yes, it's confusing at first. It's like this:
  • Your ship is in a solar system, which has planets and asteroid belts. You can warp to them using your ship's warp drive.
  • The 'Local' window shows players in your solar system.
  • You jump between solar systems using Star Gates. The gates are named by the system they take you to.
  • When you have waypoints set, the next star gate for your journey is yellow in the Overview.
  • Constellations are a bunch of solar systems, maybe 5 or 10. It's just a conceptual clumping with some significance for 0.0 sovereignty. You can move between constellations without realising it, when you jump between two solar systems.
  • A region is a bunch of constellations.
  • In the Star Map, the lines between solar systems are different colours to show a jump that changes consellations or regions. (Knowing this is only useful if you are about to enter an enemy-controlled area).
  • The Market interface only shows you items for sale in your region. You can sometimes profit by arbitrage between two regions.
Mission destinations
Missions often say to go someplace. You can right-click the place in the mission details, via Journal, and warp there. (See screenshot).

The warp might take you to a deadspace accelerator gate, which you then need to approach and activate.

A clever chap named Ombey has put together wonderful maps which you can print out for, say, the region you are in. Particularly useful once you settle down to 'home' somewhere. Go get them from Ombey's Maps.

Alliances take control of regions through warfare. This sovereignty map shows you the state of play. Very useful if you are trying to choose one corporation over another. Check the alliance it's in, and where they're located. That map is dynamically created and regularly updated to show changed sovereignty.

Another map here reflects the political power blocs, along with who controls each region. While the previous sovereignty map is better, this map has the advantage of highlighting overarching warfare but it can mislead you to think Eve is an overly simple battle between two mega-alliances. (It's not).

This is the process of pointing your ship towards a warp target but not actually warping. You can double clicking space around the object to align yourself with it. You do it to save precious seconds if you have to warp out in a hurry.
You might do this so that you can exit more quickly while mining, for example. You might also do it for a synchronized Warp as a Gang in tactical maneuvers. Also good if you are in missions and you know you will have to warp out.

Gate camps
In 0.0, you can find 'gate camps' where a bunch of pirates or hostiles deploy a warp disruptor zone right near a star gate, which you land in when you jump into the system. When you are in a warp disruption zone (also called bubble), you cannot warp. You cannot warp to your intended destination.

You discover you're in such a situation because you'll see a load of ships near the gate, or your overview might show the Disruptor, or when you try to warp, you get a failure message.

You can however still use normal propulsion and star gates.

Gate campers are there to kill and loot you, defend territory or extort payment from you for a promise to set you free. It's all bad for you.

(If you're trying to haul around lots of cargo, read this page for advice too.)

Note when you arrive in any system from a star gate jump, you are cloaked. It lasts about 30 seconds. This means the gate campers cannot see where you are, but they will know you're in the solar system somewhere, because your name would have appeared in Local. Experienced campers will have seen the gate flash-up to show an arrival, so they will know you're somewhere nearby.

However, you're cloaked; you have some time to organise your thoughts. Try to be calm and remember the escape techniques outlined below.

Warp disruptor bubbles are produced by deploying a 'Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor' - they could be small, medium or large - each creating larger spheres. They are deployed and anchored only in 0.0 space, requiring the Anchoring and Propulsion Jamming skills. The disruption effect lasts until the device is removed or destroyed.

Interdictor bubbles are deployed by Interdictor ships and serve the same function except that they are mostly used against roaming gangs, to prevent the target escaping. The bubbles themselves last around 3 minutes, I think.

How to escape a gate camp
Do not log out. Your ship will materialise after you've logged out, and will likely be destroyed and you'll probably podkilled too. (I know this because I noobishly tried it myself).

You have three ways to escape. The first is the only technique to use if you're a newbie.
(Note there are some subtleties to this, which are outlined in this thread).

1. Backtrack
To jump back through the star gate that you arrived from, which will be several kilometers away.
    • Clear your waypoints.
    • Right-click the stargate that's next to you - the one that goes back where you came from.
    • Set that stargate as your waypoint.
    • Wait until about 25 seconds or so have passed. Your cloak will disappear after 30s. You need time because you cannot activate a stargate immediately after arriving. It has a cooldown.
    • Then, as quick as possible:
      • Activate your microwarp drive*
      • Activate Autopilot.
    • Your ship will align, quickly move to the stargate, then jump as soon as it can.
    • You arrive in the system and should quickly continue to warp away, in case you are pursued.
2. Forward escape
If your ship is really fast, you can fly out of the disruption zone - which might extend several more kilometers - and then warp to something aligned in the direction you're facing.

This is generally only possible in an Interceptor-class ship, because they're extremely quick.
I don't think a normal Frigate at 1000m/s will be fast enough to escape hostile tacklers.

3. Cloak
If you are skilled and have a Cloak fitted, you would simply put it on and saunter out of the disruption zone before continuing your journey.

* If you only have an afterburner, you probably won't move fast enough to survive the short flight to the stargate. But, as a newbie, the first technique is still your only option.

Items in Station
In a space station, you have an 'items' hangar. If you accept a courier mission to take stuff from point to point, they put the stuff in the Items. You need to manually drag it from there into your ship's cargo hold.

You can keep stuff in the Items hangar. It's like leaving goods at home. It's safe.


Overview of 0.0 - the alliance view of 0.0
(Hammer wrote some really good stuff about 0.0, but it's very much the 'mainstream/alliance' view of 0.0. Blu's notes will be at the bottom and will reflect his history as a homicidal maniac.)

0.0 space looks just the same as the space you start in. It is a set of solar systems contested for and populated by players. Sovereignty is claimed by installing player-owned structure "POS" near the moons of the solar system. They look like towers with huge energy shields around them. POSes consume fuel to stay operational, and allow you to mine the moon for raw materials, which are in turn used to make Tech 2 items. Fuel is gathered from ice belts.

An alliance would seek to take control of a system by destroying any competitors' POSes in the system it wants. Only alliances can claim sovereignty. Battles to gain sovereignty through POS warfare are the kernel of 0.0 empire building.

Corporations can also build or conquer Outposts. These look and function just like the Stations you see in lowsec space. You dock in them, repair, buy insurance, install clones, and so on. Outposts are stations which have been built by players. This costs a fortune. Outposts however do not consume fuel.

If you're in a solar system which is controlled by your alliance, you are usually safe. You have the Local window open all the time. It shows the names of everyone in your solar system with little colour markers on their names. If they are marked as blue or green, they are allies. Your alliance will have a rule for how you should handle anyone else. Often, it is NBSI "not blue shoot it", which means those in grey are to be considered hostile. Enemies are marked red. Another alliance policy, a friendlier one, is NRDS "not red don't shoot".

Asteroid belts in 0.0 have NPC rats just like in lowsec. They have battleship-class rats. There are two types of 0.0 space: one is the mostly familiar space with pirates you'd have seen in lowsec, but there is also the dronelands which have drone NPCs. Pirates have bounties for killing them and drop great loot. Drones drop minerals which can be refined and sold, but have no bounties.

You make great ISK doing ratting in 0.0, in either type of system. Mining is also profitable.
Interestingly, 0.0 has different levels of "difficulty" just like high-low-sec, from -0.0 to -1.0. Read more on TrueSecurity.

Being in Alliance-controlled 0.0 space is a privilege, not a right. You gain the ability to earn a very strong income but are (usually) expected to also defend it from hostile attempts to take control. You will also pay taxes to your corporation.

Some systems are located at the battlefront between warring alliances and are regularly in skirmish, while other systems are deeply protected in alliance-controlled space, and consequently have much less PvP.

You can access 0.0 space outside of Alliances. There are a few locations, for example, where unknown pilots are not killed on sight (see blog comments below).

The market
The normal market interface works in 0.0, however there are fewer sellers. Generally, everything costs more in 0.0 than in lowsec. Many items which cannot be built by players need to be transported to 0.0 from lowsec, such as implants and skillbooks. You can make a profit by bringing in these items from lowsec to 0.0, however it can be a time-consuming set of jumps and could take you through hostile territory.

A manufacturer or industrialist can make a good living from making and selling items in the 0.0 market. It is possible to be a trader across many systems if you can arrange for a positive standing with the controlling alliances. Of course you would need access to an 0.0 station or POS with an appropriate production-line.

You can have ships, ammo and other important equipment made by corp mades to-order.

Before you head to 0.0, you should consider these issues and plan ahead.

Capital ships
Really, capital ships - the Dreadnought, Carrier (as in, aircraft carrier) and Titans - are designed for 0.0 warfare. Some pictures from the wonderful eveonlineships.com.

More info on 0.0, capital, POSes, outposts?
See this page of my guide. It covers how they're built, destroyed and more.

This is the Amarr Dreadnought, the 'Revelation':
This is the Gallente Carrier, the 'Nyx'. It's the bigger of the two Gallente Carriers. It's usually called a Mothership and is a supercapital.

Blu's notes on 0.0 - nullsec for homicidal maniacs

0.0 is the only place where you can deploy bubbles - also known as warp interdiction probes (launched by interdictors) and mobile warp dirsuptors (which require the anchoring skill). Bubbles are essentially warp scramblers on steroids - it doesn't matter how many warp stabilizers you carry, a bubble will stop you from warping. With an interdictor or large bubble at a gate, it becomes relatively easy to force your opponent/victim to fight.

0.0 is also the place where there is no CONCORD and no sentry guns at gates, making combat a much simpler matter than in highsec (0.5 - 1.0 security ratings) or lowsec (0.1 - 0.4).

Paradoxically, much of 0.0 is empty - if you know where the traffic is (and where it isn't), you can go AFK and set your autopilot to carry you thirty jumps. I know a guy who did that with an industrial ship and made it to his destination intact. In general, 0.0 is more extreme than other parts of space. Whether it's more extremely lethal or more extremely empty depends on the political situation.


After destroying a target, weapons will go inactive, and you have to wait for a while before reactivating them (delay depends on the firing rate). They don't switch to a new target automatically (drones might, but rather randomly :).

The only way to control what targets your weapons are firing at, is to manually change targets (by clicking on the targetted icon on the top of your screen) and activate the weapons you want to fire at this target. In the main, it's best to focus fire on a single ship.

There is no way to make the weapons automatically change target and start shooting, this is all manual control. As for the delay, this is determined by the Rate of Fire of the weapon: a gun does instant damage and no matter if the gun fires on the same target or another, the fastest it can shoot is determined by its Rate of Fire. So no, there is no way to quickly shift the fire from a destroyed target to a new.

You should be targeting as many enemies as you can so that you always have one targeted when the last one is destroyed. The ship will make the "next" target active so that you can just activate your weapons (F1, F2, ...).

The text above is credited to community members from Eve forums here.

Threat assessment

In WoW, you can look at an opponent's level to determine threat.
There is no equivalent in Eve, except deadspace complexes which have a "DED" rating, where 1 is for frigates, 2 for cruisers, and so on.

Mission difficulty is not obvious either. There is one called 'the Blockade' which is very hard as a level 1 mission, whilst other level 1 missions which are easy. In WoW, each quest has a level which is compared to your own, so orange quests are hard, yellow ones are easy, grey ones are pointless. There's no equivalent in Eve.

For threat assessment you generally just have to know the names of opponents and who poses the most risk, and/or know what each ship looks like to establish its power.

Other clues to the opponent's threat:
  • the size of the opponent's little icon in the leftmost of the Overview. Bigger ships have bigger icons.
  • the name. There are are elite NPCs. For example a Guristas Infiltrator is a normal frigate. A dire Guristas Infiltrator is an elite frigate with webifying and warp scrambling capability.
  • the bounty on the target (how much ISK you get for killing it).
  • for missions: the size of the ISK reward - if its a bigger reward than previous missions you've run, it's probably harder; and the time limit for bonus ISK - around four hours or more means it's harder.
  • for PvP: the age of the opponent player. Older pilots have more skills, and so generally they'll have more combat capability.
While you're learning the art of threat assessment in Eve, you should be willing to immediately warp out of a situation if it looks bad. Don't wait until you've killed one NPC if it's already destroyed your entire shield and there are three more remaining.

Also note if you're flying a frigate, you're in far greater danger from an NPC in a frigate than an NPC in a cruiser. Your Frigate can orbit the Cruisers at 500 meters and only get hit if the opponent can use a Stasis Webifier or similar technique on you.

My thanks to members of the Eve community who contributed to this information, here.

Death and clones

If your ship gets blown up, you end up in a little pod in space. You should have purchased Insurance for your ship unless it's your Rookie ship. The pod can warp. Once back at a station, you will get a free Rookie ship. Before you engage an enemy, it's wise to have a destination set in case you need to quickly jump in your pod or ship.

You will lose a lot of ships while you learn the ropes. When you buy a new ship for yourself, insure it. Losing a ship is a normal part of the game, with just a financial cost of refitting the ship you buy to replace it. Insurance will not cover the cost of your fittings (guns, armour, boosters etc).

NPC enemy ships do not attack your pod. Players might. If you are killed in your pod, you revert to your clone. That's a real death in Eve.

Medical clones
You start the game with a clone. They are like save-points for your learned skills. They are located in a space Station. That's where you resurrect when you're pod killed. Once you are pod-killed, your clone is activated, and you must buy a new one.

Dying without a clone means you lose a lot of skillpoints. It's really bad. If you're an experienced pilot, it might be a month's full-time training or more. You lose 10% of the skillpoints on your most invested skill.

You can move which base the clone is in, to be nearer where you are adventuring. The medical service in-Station lets you do that.

Clones have a capacity. It needs to exceed the skill points you have altogether on your character. The clone is automatically and continually 'saved'; you don't do anything for it to store the skills you've learned. They just have a ceiling on how many points they protect. Your first noob clone can protect 900K skill points. You'll need to upgrade it after a week or so.

Jump clones
First off, there is generally much confusion about the mechanics of jump clones. For starters, to install a jump clone, you must have either a personal or corporate standing over 8.0 in the station you are trying to install the clone in. The station must also have medical facilities. Jump Clones require learning the 1M ISK skill 'Infomorph Psychology'.

Once a jump clone is installed in that station, think of it as a destination. The best way to understand how jump clones work is to completely separate the ideas of your medical clones and your jump clones. What happens to one does not affect the other.

For example: You install a Jump Clone in station 'Alpha', and then leave the station and fly to another station we'll call 'Bravo'. Once you get to Bravo, you can choose to jump to Alpha, regardless of your standings with the owner of Bravo station, and regardless of whether or not it has a medical facility. When you jump, you become the clone and are instantly moved to station Alpha, and your previous clone (at origin) is left behind as a new jump clone in station Bravo, thus becoming a new destination.

You can only clone jump once every 24 hours, and it requires you to pause your skill training. You will only get the effect of implants installed in your current clone. When you are pod-killed, you will always go back to your Medical clone station, and any implants in your current clone will be destroyed. Being pod-killed does not, in any way, affect your jump clones!

(Text on jump clones from Cordova, of Vendetta Underground).

Further reading
This article from Agony Unleashed talks about suicide jumping, more on implants and jump clones.

Ship sizes, races and weapons

Which race's ships?
The races are very well balanced. You can't get it wrong.

Of course, each race has some kind of play-style bias or situational strengths. Generally, you can learn skills to become a completely balanced and powerful pilot of any race, if you accept it can take months.
  • Amarr have the best tanking capabilities of any race, which can be quite useful in PvP and PvE. Amarr were the least popular because of ship problems, that were fixed in the Revelations 2 patch (June 07), so now they'll have a resurgence. Their ships are second-fastest. (Read more on the wiki here).
  • Caldari are the most popular race, so their home-system is a bit laggy and overpopulated. Caldari ships are nearly all missile platforms, which is superb in PvE but not as popular in PvP. However, they can be great snipers or stealth bombers. They also have a few ships that can carry drones. (Wiki here).
  • Gallante generally have drones to do their damage, but can also fit guns on a ship. Gallente do loads of close-range damage and are highly regarded for PvP. Drones are incredibly versatile, but drones can be destroyed which is a weakness. They also have a great sniper battleship. (I'm Gallente, and love it. Wiki here).
  • Minmatar have the fastest ships, which makes them the most survivable race in PvP, where controlling the engagement range is critically important. Their ships do not bias as much as others, so you have a lot of versatility by choosing specialisation through skills. (Wiki page here).
For more detail, read each ships' strengths and weaknesses, on this wiki here. This is more comprehensive by far than my little summary above. The links above are to that wiki. Also, this guide is a bit biased, but worth a read for another opinion.

Visual explanation of ship classes

You start with Frigates, and gradually build your ship skills up to larger and more powerful ships like the Battleships.
  • Each class of ship has both Tech 1 (cheaper) and Tech 2 (advanced, specialised, expensive) variants.
  • There are three or four variants of Tech 1 ships, such as a Frigate for electronic warfare, close-range or mining for each race.
  • There is usually one or two variants of each specialised Tech 2 type (eg: there is only one Gallente Interdictor).
  • Bigger ships do not automatically kill everything smaller than them. In fact, bigger ships have trouble even hitting smaller ships. However when they do, it hurts.
This diagram should help explain how you can specialise in depth within a ship class such as Frigates, or in width to gain Battleship skills.

Non-combat ships
Industrial, mining barges, freighters and transport ships are all purpose-designed. Transport ships are upgraded Industrial ships; these ships carry perhaps 6000 to 36000 m3 with specific upgrades.
Freighters can haul 750000 m3 of equipment but cannot pick up any loot in space from jetcans or wrecks. They're for hauling equipment from one station to another.
Mining barges do just that: mining. Serious miners need to do jetcan mining and have a hauler to then transport all the ore back to station.

Capitals, which are used in 0.0 warfare, include the Carrier, Titan and Dreadnought. Note the Carrier holds 'drones' called Fighters, which make them a good contributor in fleet combat. The Titan is out of reach to all but a handful of players on Eve. The Dreadnought is designed to kill player-owned stations (POS), so don't be confused into thinking it's the ultimate kill-everything ship.

All ships overview
This slighty incomplete diagram drills into more detail, with ship names, and includes the combat, hauler and capitals. It is missing some Battlecruisers and probably others too. Still useful.

Pictures of the ships themselves?
If you'd like to see how the ships look, this brilliant site has screenshots of them all. Look how beautiful the Gallente Myrmidon is, that's my baby!

Gunnery range

Optimum range is the distance you want your targets to be from you. Add 'accuracy falloff' to this to calculate the range when hit 50% as much as optimum. Yes, add it. The in-game information on weapons doesn't explain this.

Small -vs- larger ship: you can miss
Size is an important issue to consider with ships. You have to match your weapon size against your target, or you will miss.

Frigates are smaller than Cruisers, which are in turn smaller than Battleships. Frigates use small weapons, Cruisers can fit small and medium weapons, Battleships can use large ones.

Ships have a thing called 'signature radius' which is usually 40 for Frigates and 120 for Cruisers. This number indicates how easy it is to hit that ship. Bigger number means it is easier to hit.

Guns also have a signature resolution. Small guns are 40, medium are 120.

A weapon with a signature of 120 will have trouble hitting a ship of 40, generally, unless the target is a long way off. The speed of the target is also a factor. Slow ships are easier to hit.

You can equip your ship with a Stasis Webifier to slow the target to 75%. This helps.

A full description and a graphical display letting you work out guns is here.

Missile and rocket range
Look up the missile itself, not the launcher, and you'll see its speed and flight duration. Multiply these to work out the range. So if it travels 2500 m/s, and can fly for 5 s, your missile range is 12.5Km.

Rockets are designed for short-range.

A graphical description and explanation on of how missiles work is here.

To determine missile range given your skills, do a Show Info (right click menu) on the missiles loaded into your missile launcher within the fittings screen (bring this up using Ctrl-Shift F, this works in space too), rather than on any old missile. The missile info for speed and flight time (which you multiply together to get range) takes into account your skills and any ship modifiers.

If you are Gallente, you should train drone skills before gunnery. Drones will do loads of damage. Train guns if you want, once you have at least 600K skill points in drones. Don't bother with missile skills beyond being able to fit a launcher and shoot a missile. That's about 25K skill points.

Drones come in different sizes and can deal every type of damage. This is brilliant versatility. You want to train to get Drone Interfacing IV. It'll give you +80% drone damage.

Tech 2
There are normal guns, launchers and drones, and then there are the Tech 2 variants for each. They usually do 20% more damage, but take lots of training before you can use them.

Ship fittings

Unlike other MMOs, it's really hard to work out your DPS and overall pwnage in-game. There are so many variables to consider.

Luckily, you can get the highly regarded QuickFit. It's crucial really. A must-have like EveMon. (Download from my Links page).

QuickFit lets you import your character's skills (which are downloaded from the My Character page of the Eve website), then choose a ship, install any equipment you want into its slots and work out the DPS you'll generate. Most importantly, though, it tells you if all those guns and upgrades will actually fit.

In Eve, a ship has a set amount of power and CPU. All items installed use some of it. Massive guns might simply require more power than your ship has. Skills like Engineering let you fit more stuff into the ship.

QuickFit takes all your fitting skills into account and tells you if the gear you'd like will actually fit within the power and CPU limits of the ship. This is how you plan what gear to buy for your ships, and what skills you'll need to use that gear.

I actually use Evemon to search the items within Eve. It's got a fantastic item database, lets you ctrl-click items to compare them side-by-side, and shows the skills required to use the item.

Eve Fitting Tool
An alternative tool to QuickFit is EFT. It is popular because of its easier user interface, however it lacks some of the sophisticated simulations in QuickFit. Download it here.

Which ship or race?
Read this section of my blog to work it out.

Ship and fitting skills you need

You start with Frigate skills, which you need to learn to level 4 before being able to pilot a Cruiser. Then you need to learn Cruiser skills to level 4 before Battleships, and so on. You also need increasing levels in the Spaceship Command skill for the larger ships.

Note that ships get slower as they get bigger and more powerful, and that bigger guns have trouble hitting smaller fast ships, so you have to consider this and your fittings when deciding which ship to take into combat.

This diagram from EveMon shows the skill tree required to pilot a Dreadnought, which is a seriously expensive ship designed for large-scale warfare. (Get your copy of EveMon from here).

You can see that to pilot a Battleship, I need 6D (six days) of prerequisites before I can begin learning Battleship skills. To start training to pilot the Dreadnought, I need 112 days of training. You can see that completing Level 1 training in the Dreadnought itself will take 2 hours, and that the skill book would cost 100M ISK. You'll see that I already have sufficient Spaceship Command skills to fly a Battleship, so don't need to learn them further.

The training time for the capital ship weapons you need for a Dreadnought to be fully outfitted would take a comparable amount of time.

It will take a full years' training from noob to being a capable capital pilot.

Most pilots learn how to pilot a Battleship, then stop, and focus on weaponry, warfare, trade, corporation management, or specialised ships such as Assault Frigates or Interceptors, etc.

Capital ship piloting is a career choice in its own right, because of the time investment required. They cost at least 1B ISK to buy a Freighter, nearly 2B for a Dreadnought, and the weapons cost 50M each or more. They're for specialised purposes in PvP.

Racial ships
See this page of my blog for details on ship race choices.

Remember, you can learn any other race's ships - they're just another set of skills. Of course, that is very time-consuming.

Really useful skills to fly a ship properly
Skills useful for all ships.
Very high priority - should be trained to a minimum of level IV.
  1. Electronics (fit more stuff)
  2. Engineering (fit more stuff)
  3. Energy Management (more capacitor)
  4. Energy Systems Operation (cap regenerates quicker)
  5. Shield Management (more shields - harder to kill*)
  6. Shield Operations (regenerate shield quicker*)
  7. Repair Systems (repair armour more efficiently*)
  8. Mechanic (more structure - harder to kill)
  9. Hull Upgrades (fit better armor - harder to kill)
  10. Navigation (fly faster)
  11. Evasive Maneuvering (turn quicker)
  12. Warp Drive Ops (warp farther)
  13. Spaceship Command (turn quicker)
* you should train shield skills if you are Caldari. Gallente or Amarr use armour-tanking, and should train Repair Systems.

Skills useful for combat ships.
High priority - train to at least III:

  • Drones (use drones)
  • Scout Drone Ops (use combat drones)
  • Drone support skills
  • Long Range Targeting (target farther)
  • Signature Analysis (target quicker)
  • Targeting (target more ships)
  • Energy Grid Upgrades (use PDS, RCU)
Gunnery and/or Missile Launcher Ops (depends on race)
  • Gunnery/Missile Launcher Ops (see above)
  • All Support Gunnery/Missile skills (as above)
  • Weapons Upgrades (fit more stuff)
  • Advanced Weapons Upgrades (fit more stuff)
  • Repair Systems (even if you shield-tank, this lets you use repairers, then don't have to pay to repair)
  • Acceleration Control (go faster w/AB/MWD)
  • Afterburner (go faster)
  • Fuel Conservation (use less cap)
  • High Speed Maneuvering (use MWDs)

Add to these the prerequisites for the ship you want to fly and the weapons you'll use (for example, Tech 2 equipment is a good aim too) plus the tanking skills, armor or shield, and you're set to start using them to their fullest.

(Sourced from this thread).