A character's Home Station is EVE's "respawn" mechanic. Wherever your Home Station is, there is a clone kept ready to be activated when your current clone dies (that is, when your capsule is blown up). For historical reasons, players sometimes refer to this mechanic as the medical clone.
When your capsule is destroyed (when you are "podded") your character will wake up immediately in a new body in their Home Station. Any implants that were in your head when your capsule was destroyed will be lost; your new body's head will be empty. Any bonuses gained from drugs drugs taken before your capsule's destruction will be lost with the dead clone, with the important exception of cerebral accelerators, which persist across clones.
You can also redeem items (e.g. from daily login campaigns) directly to your Home Station, even when you're in space.
By default, a character's Home Station will be the space academy station in the starter system where the character began life. Most pilots find it useful to designate a station or structure in whatever system they make their real home as their Home Station, so that they can respawn conveniently where their assets are stored.
Designating a Home Station
To designate your Home Station, open your Character Sheet (click on your portrait at the top left of the screen), and navigate to the "Character" tab, and then the "Home Station" sub-section. This page shows your current Home Station, and lets you set it as the destination for your ship's navigation.
Then click on "Select Home Station". You can select the station you're in as your Home Station. Player-owned Upwell structures can be designated as your Home Station, as well as NPC stations.
You can also remotely designate any station in which your corporation maintains an office as your Home Station. However, you can only remotely designate a station with a corporation office as your Home Station once per year; there is a 365 day cooldown.
If you place your Home Station in a station or structure owned by a player corporation, you might have to re-designate it if the structure is destroyed. If you set your Home Station in conquerable sovereign null-security space, you might find it inconvenient to return there if the sovereignty changes hands. You will always be able to set your original school station as your home station remotely should you ever find yourself "stuck".
|A long, long time ago...|
|There have been several significant changes to Home Station mechanics. The Home Station used to be called the "medical clone"