Building mission bases
This guide should help you if you feel that your assets get messed up and spread over dozens of systems so that it's hard to find the stuff you need. It explains how to choose and establish a 'base' for running regular missions efficiently in a particular system in highsec.
Setting up bases is also a way to get very familar with an area. Rather than moving around a lot and doing missions over the whole of high sec, you can stay in one location where you know all the agents and are familiar with the local tradehubs.
Choosing a Base
First you should identify an agent that suits your needs. In most cases this will be an L4 agent, as most serious solo mission-running which justifies setting up a base is L4-based. If you don't have access to L4 agents, you can identify a good one and then grind up standing with his or her corporation until you can use him or her.
- If you want to do fighting missions, use the best Security agents you have acess to.
- If you want to do transports as well, use Distribution.
- If you want mining missions use Mining.
- Remember that agents based in lower-security systems will offer greater rewards.
- If you are involved in PvP it can be useful to have access to a L4 locator agent.
- If you plan to make money from loyalty points (and you should), think about the items offered in the LP store of the agent's corp.
Don't forget that you can ask fellow players for advice on choosing an agent. If you're in EVE University see our EVE University Chat Channels.
You can check for agents that match your preferences via the in-game Agent Finder. There are systems that have e.g. multiple level 4 security agents in one system or even two agents in one station.
Look at the system your chosen agent is in, e.g. via dotlan. Neighbouring lowsec systems are usually a problem, as you will have to turn down missions which send you there to avoid being hunted down easily in your mission ship. You can also check for number of NPCs killed and player ships killed which will give you an indication of mission running and possibly ganking activity.
The chances are that any particularly good agent or group of agents will already be frequented by other players, creating a mission hub. To tell if your system is a mission hub, you can also visit and look for missioning battleships on the directional scanner as you move around or sit on the undock of your agent's station to see if there's a regular procession of battleships and marauders entering and leaving.
There are advantages and disadvantages to being in a mission hub: it may be easier to find supplies without travelling, but any clustering of mission-runners will bring ninjas and possibly lag with them. The worst systems for ninjas are systems which are trade and mission hubs, like Dodixie and Rens. Conversely, these systems are also very convenient for shopping! You'll need to make a trade-off between convenient shopping and high-quality agents on one side, and levels of harassment from ninjas on the other.
Consider the trade hub local to the system you're looking at: ask around to find out which trade hub is the closest, and look at this wiki's list of trade hubs. The distance you have to travel between your mission base and your local hub is important because you'll likely be buying ammo and selling loot and salvage there. Remember that besides the big hubs (Jita, Amarr, Rens, Dodixie, Hek) most regions have some secondary hub systems; if your chosen system is a popular mission-running system then it's likely that there will be some trade in missioning supplies there (possibly with a premium for convenience -- check prices).
If you have chosen a station, you can bookmark it to ease navigation. Create a folder inside your "Places" tab and name it "Bases". Move the bookmark there. You can use the bookmark to quickly right-click and 'set destination' without having to search for the system. Once you have assets there you can also use the Assets window for quick destination-setting.
To set up a base, you will need two things: ships and supplies. Once you have them, you may want to use containers to organise them.
There are ships you should have at every missioning base:
- Shuttles to do some easy courier jobs as well as some mission blitzing (for example Recon 1&2). They are also a fast way to move between bases.
- Fast frigates like the Minmatar Vigil are a viable alternative to shuttles, and can carry more and fit a few modules.
- An industrial to gather your stuff and possibly do transport missions
- A mission ship appropriate to the level of missions you're doing, usually this means a mission-fitted battleship of some kind.
You may also want:
- A salvage/looting ship if you plan to loot and salvage.
- A destroyer will do, though it may struggle with loot-heavy L4s.
- An agile battlecruiser (like the Hurricane) is ideal for L4s and, fitted with cargo expanders, can double as a small transport (in the 1,500 to 2,000m3 range).
- The Noctis salvaging ship is the most expensive option, but it has bonuses that allow it to quickly salvage wrecks scattered over a large area.
- A mining barge or mining cruiser if you want to do mining missions or mine at belts.
You will also need:
- Ammunition, unless you use lasers. If you use projectiles or missiles you will want different damage types for different NPC enemies.
- Drones. You will want alternative flights for different NPC enemies.
- A selection of different armor or shield hardeners, so that you can tailor your resistances to suit NPCs' damage types.
You may also want to consider a selection of tanking modules so that you can not only alter your resistances, but also increase or decrease your tank -- after a while you will learn which missions don't require your full tank, and then you will be able to dial your tank back and fit for more damage or more speed so as to complete them faster.
There are various containers in the game, the most interesting for bases are giant secure containers, freight containers, and station containers.
Giant Secure Containers
- Good for short term station use.
- They can be broken down or moved easily.
- Giant secure containers are the smallest, and can hold 3900m3.
- Can fit in standard industrials with ease, making moving them, goods and all, quite easy.
- Good for medium-long term station use, or for mining use.
- Can hold 120000m3.
- Can be broken down or moved without time requirements.
- Can be moved by a freighter, will not fit in an industrial.
- Good for permanent station use.
- Cannot be moved to another station.
- Once assembled and used, cannot be broken down, destroyed, sold, or otherwise removed for 30 days.
- Station Container can hold 1Mm3, Station Vault can hold 10Mm3, Station Warehouse can hold 100Mm3.
For a basic missioning base you could use two containers: one named "Loot" and one named "Equipment".
- The 'Equipment' container is for supplies for fitting your ships, as discussed above.
- The 'Loot' container is for all the loot you gather, minerals, ore, and everything you wish to sort out later.
To set up the containers
- Assemble them.
- Once assembled, right click the containers and select 'rename' to give them a new names for easy identification.
- If you are using station containers, then right click them again, and select 'configure container' and select default state of items as 'unlocked'.
This gives you a basic layout, which keeps your valuable equipment safe from accidental sale or reprocessing.
Place everything you get from your missions into the loot container and sort it out when you have enough stuff there. Alternatively, it is possible to sort items straight into your industrial.
You can set up more complicated sets of containers -- having separate containers for high slot, medium slot, and low slot items makes fitting new ships quick and easy, for example, while containers can also help you organise research or manufacturing.
You will probably find it most efficient to steadily run missions in your base system, letting the loot and salvage accumulate for a while before sorting it into low-value items to be reprocessed and medium/high-value items to be sold. You can then take your items for sale to your local trade hub, sell them, and buy more ammo (which is usually cheaper in trade hubs than in your base system -- but do check prices) before returning to base.
You can sell loot and salvage direct to buy orders, which has the advantage that you get the money immediately and don't have to spend much time or attention. You can also set up sell orders for your loot and salvage in your local trade hub which you can then, with the right trading skills trained, adjust while missioning in your base system. Note that your base will need to be in the same region as your chosen trade hub to do this.
It doesn't take much effort to suicide-gank a T1 industrial, so try not to carry too much value in your hold in any one trip.
If you're also trading in LP store items which need normal T1 base items for their creation, you can also haul these base items home on your return trips from your trade hub. The suicide-gank caveat applies to trips taking your LP store items to market/contracts too: if you're going to transport a lot of Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizers, consider using a fast frigate rather than an industrial.
You may want to set the location of your medical clone to your base system. This will make sure that in case your pod is destroyed in a low security system or in 0.0, you will return to your base, instead of having to travel there from the old location of your clone.
Once you're based in one place there are a number of side-activities which you can branch into.
You could investigate
- Trading -- this can grow organically from selling loot through sell orders. See here for some additional tips, and remember: as a mission-runner, you already understand the needs of one part of the market! If your trading goes well you may find it eventually scales up to exceed your mission-running income.
- Mining -- as mentioned above, if you have a mining ship handy you can mine out mission sites, or just mine to pass the time if you have to decline two missions in a row and you don't have any alternative agents.
- Planetary Industry -- PI in highsec doesn't yield high profits, but it's a fairly steady income. You could see if there are any good planets on the route between your base and your local tradehub, which would let you set up profitable operations which you can run as part of your normal travelling.
- Research and Manufacturing