Getting Started in EVE Online
- This page is a hands-on guide to your first few days in EVE Online. For a more general list of topics new players should know about, see the New Player Index.
Welcome to EVE Online! You are now a citizen of New Eden. This guide will lead you step by step on your way of surviving and even prosper in this cold and harsh place. You can read it whole or just on-the-fly while you are making your first steps in EVE. You can also go to Youtube and watch these different video series:
- EVE Online Flight Academy video series by CCP. These videos are also available in-game from the Help menu (F12, or the "?" Icon off your NeoCom) Tutorial Videos tab. These will play with the localized client language subtitles you have specified (English, French, Russian and German subtitles) and the videos are also linkable to others in game via a chat channel, etc.
- New Player Experience (Vanguard Update) video series by Jonny Pew. He does a lot of current video topics as well for EVE Online. Note that the New Player experience has changed considerably with the Ascension expansion (November 2016)
- How to Survive EVE Online video series by Seamus Donohue. Note these are out-of-date and Seamus has notated these pending an update by him.
- Also, a good read on what to expect, what mindsets are good for understanding the wider game of EVE Online for new players, and how it differs from a lot of games (especially MMOs) you've experienced check out the New Players' Survival for EVE Online forum article.
To play EVE you must first create an account. Your account name doesn't show up anywhere in game, and you can have up to three characters per account.
If you were invited to EVE by a friend (i.e. have a referral link), use it when creating your account, as you will get some free skill points (equivalent to about 1-2 weeks' training time). Additionally, your friend will receive free game time or a PLEX if you subscribe to the game (i.e. pay for an Omega character).
- If you're expecting to subscribe to EVE Online (i.e. pay real-world money to play, also called "Omega"), the choosing your race is purely an aesthetic choice, as every character can potentially learn every skill. That means that even as Amarr you can fly Minmatar ships when you get the appropriate skills. Your choice of race therefore mainly determines the look of your character and (if you choose to do so) your role-playing opportunities.
- If you're thinking of just playing EVE through the indefinite trial without paying (also called "Alpha"), you will be limited to using your chosen race's ships and weapon types. While this may seem limiting, keep in mind that you can always create a new character (of a different race) to try out other ship and weapon types, or subscribing to the game to access them all on one character.
A bloodline in EVE is a character's familial ancestry. There are three different bloodlines for every race to choose during character creation. Only minor aspects of the gameplay are affected by those choices: The only thing bloodlines determine is which of the NPC corporations your character will automatically join when no longer being part of a Player Corporation or Starter Corporation. Here is the list of which bloodline corresponds to which NPC Corporation, but keep in mind that there are no differences between any of the corporations.
The School you choose will only determine which starter solar system you start in and which Starter Corporation you will be part of. There are absolutely no differences between any of them. They will give your character a permanent list of stations spread across all of New Eden belonging to that school where you can set your Medical Clone independently from any corporation you might have joined and independently of the location you are setting your clone from.
Portrait and Name
- Main article: Character Creator
Next you have to design your character's appearance and take a portrait. Your looks depend on which race and bloodline you chose, but the tool also gives you a lot of flexibility. Do spend some time crafting your character and taking your portrait, but keep in mind that 99% of the time other players will only ever see your portrait and not your entire character model, and (unless you like spending time in your Captain's Quarters) so will you. You can change your character's clothing and re-take your portraits at any point later, but changing your character's physical appearance can only be done by paying for "Character Remodeling" with Aurum.
You then choose the following for your character:
- Ancestry (has little in-game effect)
- Education (controls which NPC corporation you start in; they are all effectively identical)
- Name. Pick your character's name carefully, as you can never change it later. Your name is part of your identity, and it will influence how your corpmates think of you. In EVE Online, most corporations make use of voice communication (e.g. Mumble) during fleet operations, and also use their voice server available for casual chatter. You will sometimes need to identify yourself with your name while using voice comms, and other fleetmates will use your name to give you intel or instructions. Having a name that is simple and easily pronounceable will make things easier for everyone. Pick your name carefully, especially your first name, as that will often be used as your callsign during fleet ops. If you pick a stupid name for yourself, you should prepare for some people to not take you seriously.
You can pick a first and last name (although the last name is optional). Character names are unique, and the game will check whether your chosen name is available before letting you proceed.
Starting your Career
- Main article: Tutorial
When you first start the game as a new character, you can go through the tutorial (also called the "New Player Experience"), a story-driven experience which gives you step-by-step instructions to the basic mechanics of playing EVE. Unless you've already played EVE it's highly recommended that you follow the tutorial, as the game has many particular mechanics which you may not be used to, even if you've played other computer games.
- Main article: Career Agents
The next step in learning to play EVE (after the tutorial) is to visit the career agents and do the missions they offer to you, which expand on what you've learned in the tutorial and introduce you to some of the main PvE activities in EVE Online. The agents are not exclusive, you can do as many of the agents' missions as you want. It's highly recommended that you do as many of them as interest you, as they not only explain many more game mechanics, but also offer some good rewards for new players.
However, keep in mind that they offer little training in PvP (which make up a very substantial part of the game). Additionally, EVE is a sandbox game, and much of the attraction of the game is forging your own path as opposed to following a pre-set path.
There are five career agents, each offering between 5 and 10 missions in a certain area:
- Advanced Military
If you've followed the tutorial, you will have flown to the station housing the nearest career agents; all five agents are always located in the same station. If you skipped the tutorial, you can locate the closest set of career agents (there are three sets of agents per faction, but they all offer the same missions):
- Open the Help menu in-game ( , or click on the "?" icon in your NeoCom)
- Look for the section called "Career Advancement" on the Support tab.
- Click on the button "Show Career Agents". This will open another window which will present you with the 5 closest Career agents to your current location.
- At the bottom right there will be a button labelled "Set Destination". Click it to plot a route to follow to get to the system and station where that agent is at.
You can do the agents in any order you like (although do the Military agent before you do the Advanced Military one). Should you run into problems where you are mid-chain, such as declining the agent (which will prevent you from progressing further with that agent) or any other technical glitches, you can open a support ticket and usually a game master (GM) will reset the mission or even the agent for you.
The Sisters of EVE Epic Arc: Blood-Stained Stars
- Main article: The Blood-Stained Stars
After you have completed the missions for the career agents, you can run the Sisters of Eve epic arc "The Blood-Stained Stars". The epic arc is a series of 50 connected missions which take you all over highsec and expose you to quite a bit of the background and lore of the game, particularly concerning the Rogue Drones and the secret Society of Conscious Thought. To start it you should go to the Arnon system and talk to Sister Alitura at the Sisters of EVE Bureau.
While doing the epic arc you should focus on continuing to train your combat skills. You can do most of the initial missions in a Frigate, but you should consider upgrading to a Destroyer or even a Cruiser towards the end. Most of the missions will be fairly easy, but some (particularly towards the end, like the infamous "Burning Down the Hive" or "Our Man Dagan") have a reputation for being very challenging for new players. If you find yourself struggling, don't be shy to ask for help in the E-UNI chat channel as many EVE University players would be happy to help you. However, be careful about accepting or asking for help in the Local chat channel, as there are some unscrupulous players who might hijack your mission objective, or bait you and destroy your ship (see also: scams in EVE Online).
- Main article: Skills and Learning
Unlike in many other MMOs, in EVE your character advances (gains new abilities, can use additional modules and ships, etc) through training skills, which are trained in real time, even when you are logged off. Therefore, you should always have a skill actively training. You can queue up skills to be trained one after the other, up to a maximum of 24 hours into the future (for Alpha characters) or infinitely (for Omega characters). Skills have five levels (I through V), and while the benefits of each additional level scale linearly, the training time increases exponentially - so it's usually not worth training skills beyond level IV in your first few days. Instead, focus on the skills which either improve whatever you're doing at the moment, or which unlock new ships or modules you want to try. As you get a feel for what you enjoy doing in EVE you can focus your training in that particular area. Skills are cumulative, and a character can potentially learn every skill in the game given enough time, so don't worry too much about training "the wrong skill" at the start of the game.
To train new skills you must acquire the appropriate skillbook. You will receive a large number of skillbooks as rewards from the career agents, the others can be bought on the market; most of the basic skillbooks are reasonably cheap. EVE University provides certain skillbooks for free to its members.
You can speed up your training time by installing implants in your character, specifically the basic attribute-enhancing implants, which add between +1 and +5 points to your character's attributes. While the better implants are extremely expensive, +1 implants are affordable even for new players. Members of EVE University can also buy +3 implants at a discount.
Fitting your Ship
- Main article: Fitting Guidelines
Ships in EVE can be fitted with a wide variety of modules which grant the ship additional abilities (e.g. weapons, which allow you to fire at enemy ships) or enhance its statistics (e.g. armor plates, which increase the amount of damage your ship can take before exploding). Learning which modules work well on which ship (and in combination with which other modules) is a potentially very deep topic, so you should approach it step by step. Basic guidelines for fitting each of the four factions' ships can be found on the following pages:
- Basic Skills and Support Skills Training support skills is the first step in flying a ship well. Read up on support skills here.
- Fitting Guidelines Some general guidelines for fitting ships.
- Fitting Modules and Rigs Guide A list of rigs and module types with short descriptions.
- Full T2 Tank Having a full T2 tank is a requirement for many ships during wartime in the Uni. If you fly anything other than a T1 frigate, destroyer, or cruiser, make sure you have the required skills and recommended support skills for the type of tank you use.
- NPC Damage Types and NPC Ship Attributes To see which resists to use and damage type to deal against NPC rats.
- Creating an Alt Hauler Having an alt hauler can be essential to be able to make shopping trips during wartime.
- Failheap Challenge The new incarnation of Scrapheap Challenge. A good place for experienced pilots to find fittings, and many threads also had tactic discussions on how to use them.
Additionally, Fitting Modules and Rigs Guide has a list of all the modules and rigs, and what they do. To find recommended fittings for a specific ship, look at the ship's page on the wiki. EVE University members can also ask for fitting advice in the EVE University PvP and PvE ship setup forums.
Join a Corporation
Corporations are EVE's version of player organisations (vaguely similar to guilds or clans in other games, but with far more scope for influencing the game). EVE is, at its heart, a social game, and while it's perfectly possible to play the game by yourself, most long-time EVE players cite the sense of community in their corporation as one of the main attractions of the game. Additionally, a well-run corporation can offer many services to its members, such as free ships and modules, missioning support, advice, a sense of banding together with other to achieve common goals, and of course, fun fleet operations.
EVE University is a corporation dedicated to teaching new players how to play and enjoy EVE. We provide a wide variety of services (beyond teaching and a very helpful community), such as free skillbooks, subsidised implants, mentors, campuses to provide hands-on experience in a wide variety of locations and environments in EVE, not to mention the awesome wiki you're currently reading. We welcome applications from all new players.
However, there are other corporations (large or small, casual or formal, located in all corners of space) in EVE who are very welcoming to new players, and every player should look around to see what best suits their interests and temperament. Corporations advertise in:
- The in-game corporation finder
- The official corporation recruitment forum
- EVE University's work fair forum
- /r/evejobs on Reddit
Advancing your Career
Now that you have completed the career agents and the SOE Epic Arc and joined a corporation you can decide what you want to do in EVE for the foreseeable future. Below are some suggestions for the most common ways of making ISK. They include a short introduction and links to further your knowledge.
Doing Security Missions is one of the two most common career choices next to Mining. In its essence you keep doing combat missions while increasing your combat skills and your standing. This then allows you to do more difficult missions with higher risk/reward. The upside of this career is, that every skill you learn for PvE is also useful for PvP. And in the end you can naturally progress to Incursions which are one of the best sources of PvE ISK out there.
The UniWiki has a basic Missions article. Pilots who wish to mission close to the EVE University HQ in Slays often run missions for a number of Gallente and other NPC corps located in or near the Highsec Campus (HSC). Many active members in that campus will assist you and have you join missioning fleets. There is a lot of benefit to running missions in fleets.
We recommend declining kill missions against the four main empire factions (Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar) to avoid having access to that faction's empire space become problematic due to negative standings that can accrue for you. Having a negative faction status will start to cause you problems when it's at an adjusted -2.0 or below. When you have -2.0 or below standing with a faction, only the Level 1 agents will be available to grind standings, which could be a lengthy process. At an adjusted -5.0 and below that faction's NPC navy will spawn attack you. Station and gate guns will also look to attack you. Unlike CONCORD you can evade these NPCs. You will know if a mission is a faction kill mission because it will have the faction's logo next to the objective.
You can check mission information before accepting or declining on EVE Survival.
If you want to find agents close to a particular system, you can use the Agent Rangefinder web application. Using the Agent Finder in-game is also a good tool. Access this via the NeoCom Menu, Business, and select the Agent Finder. You can also drag the icon from that submenu onto your NeoCom bar for quick access.
There is a database of agents available on the EVE Agents website.
Notice:Some of the entries are outdated and you should always check in-game to confirm the existence and location of the agent.
You can also use the map to see systems where you have agents available to you. Open the map (Ctrl-F10) or click on the default (beta) map icon off your NeoCom, mouse over the colored circle in the menu at the top to open the "Color by: menu. Select the "Personal" line to open the selections and click on the radio button for "My Available Agents". For the old map (F10), go to the Star Map tab, go to the Stars sub-tab, go to the My Information section and select My Available Agents. Flattening the map can make it easier to navigate. Hovering your cursor over these star systems will list the available agents along with their respective corporation, level, quality, and division.
You should also listen to these classes but be mindful of their age as some information presented can be obsolete.
- Main article: Mining
If shooting red icons is not your type of work you may want to consider the second popular profession in EVE: Mining. Mining is as straightforward as is doing security missions. You start out with a Venture and then progress to Mining Barges and Exhumers. Mining is infamous for being able to be done afk. Just start your mining lasers and do something else while your ship fills its orehold automatically.
When you become more proficient you may also try Ice Mining or even Gas Cloud Mining. You should also join the Amarr Mining Campus where you will get advice and can join mining fleets. This fleets will usually provide an Orca which will increase your mining yield. If you have no access to the AMC you should consider getting a second account in order to train a hauler and Orca alt.
After you have mined your ore you might consider refining it. This is not the default choice but needs some serious calculation. Since refining is determined by your skills and your standing with the corporation owning the station where you refine a considerable amount of minerals might be lost to the Nether if you are a new player. Unista Makie Tachibana created a helpful spreadsheet for you to determine if you should refine or just sell your ore. If you are a member of EVE University you can also use the Perfect Refine Service where other Unistas will do the refining for you.
You should also listen to these classes
If doing missions or shooting space rocks is too dull for you, you might be in for the recently updated profession of exploration. Exploration means that you look for hidden sites and go to loot them for profit. A guide to exploration is provided in the wiki.
Exploration is a very fun activity but the gain is somewhat random. While data and relic sites provide blueprints and material for production, combat sites may escalate and drop valuable faction or deadspace loot. Or not so valuable, if you are unlucky. As you get more experience you can progress from high-sec exploration to low- and null-sec explorations where the rewards but also the risks are higher. A cloaking device is most essential. If you are member of EVE University you should join exploration.e-uni for help and advice.
You should also listen to these classes
Science & Industry
So you neither want to shoot ships nor asteroids? And you do not want to endanger your ship while strolling around in null-sec? You are pretty decent in math and you want to create instead of destroy? Welcome to Manufacturing! Manufacturing is the art of using a blueprint to produce items that are then sold to the market. You can read this guide to get an overview of how it works.
Basically you will first search the market for something you want to produce. Ships, Drones and Ammunition are a good starting point since the modules you can produce have better (and cheaper) counterparts in their Meta 1-4 variations. You will then acquire a blueprint. This can either be a blueprint original (BPO) or a blueprint copy (BPC). The first one allows unlimited runs, the latter only a specific number until it vanishes.
You can also buy either unresearched blueprints from the market or researched blueprints from contracts. Research provides lower material costs and lesser production time. If you go for a researched blueprint do your math first and compare the amount of ISK you save for lower production cost with the cost of the blueprint. If you save less money then you spend its obviously not worth it.
You can also always research the blueprint yourself. The problem with that is, that you might have to wait for a really long time until a high-sec research slot becomes available.
If you are a member of EVE University you can use the E-Uni POS to do your research. You can also join Project Solitude which operates in a high-sec pocket surrounded by low- and null-sec. This has the advantage that it is far easier to get a empty research facility. You can also sell ships and modules for a premium price there.
Like Security Missions and Mining, Science & Industry comes with a steady progression. You will start manufacturing T1 items. But after a while your skills are high enough to start producing T2 items. And after that you can venture into T3 production, manufacturing the components that Strategic Cruisers are made of. You could even become a capital ship manufacturer as the pinnacle of your career.
You should also listen to this class.
What do the mission runner, the miner, the explorer and the manufacturer have in common? They sell their goods to the market. So why not be the market maker? Let the peons grind, while you sit in the station buying low and selling high? Pretty good idea! But not so fast, the entry barrier to doing business is pretty high. Experience-wise as ISK-wise. You can read this basic guide on Trading to get a good idea.
Basically there are three different types of trading with increasing difficulty.
The first one is hauling. Hauling means that you buy items at station A, put them into your cargohold and ship them to a local tradehub where you can sell them higher. You can either do this as inter-region hauling, where you exploit price differences of items in different regions. Another apporach is to set-up buy orders in mission hubs to buy the loot from mission runners. You then haul the stuff to a local trade hub and return with ammunition, ships and exotic dancers that are useful for mission runners. A third way to do hauling is to buy up stuff for cheap in the career agent systems. Especially the ships that are given out by the career agents to new players can be bought cheaply and resold in the next hub.
A more sophisticated form of trading is station-trading. This involves no time in space. Your character is just sitting in a station and buys and sells items. For this you want to look for items that have high-volume and high-price differences. You will then set-up buy orders and wait for people to sell you their stuff. You will then resell it on the market for a higher price, therefore making profits. Your biggest competition in this field are market bots that over-/undercut your prices by 0.01 ISK.
The ultimate form of trading is inter-hub trading. This combines both approaches above. You set up buy and sell orders for items in several trading hubs. You will compare the prices and volume of items in different hubs and then buy where it is cheap and sell where it is expensive. This might require additional characters in each of the trading hubs you are dealing in.
You should also listen to these classes.
If you find yourself rather lost be sure to look at the chat window in the lower left corner of your screen. You will see the names of three channels:
- Rookie Help.
You can also join the EVE University channel:
- Click on the speech bubble below the chat channel. You will see a number of folders.
- Click on "Help " and look for the channel named EVE University (E-UNI).
- Click "Join".
You are now in the public EVE University channel where every possible question you might have will be answered! Also under the Help category of channels there are localized Help channels for the supported languages (English, French, German, Japanese, and Russian). Feel free to ask for help in these channels. You probably won't find much response in Local or Corp, though it can't hurt. Rookie Help is often very "busy", meaning that the channel scrolls quite quickly with all the chat activity. Also once your character reaches 30 days you will be removed from Rookie Help. Most players find that English Help (Help), for example, and EVE University (E-UNI) are far more responsive and helpful than just Rookie Help.
- How to Survive EVE Online A series of instructional Youtube videos by Seamus Donohue.
- Category:Getting Started collection of guides on this Wiki.
- EVE University Class Library contains recorded classes that cover a wide variety of subjects.
- Industrial-Sized Knowledgebase A guide that covers almost all aspects of EVE .
- Career Chart A chart that serves as a short summary of what you can do in EVE.
- EVE-QuickSheet. A very good quick-reference sheet by Korgan Nailo.
- The Alpha's Guide to the Galaxy An excellent starting point for Alpha Clones