In the EVE universe, the vast majority of items are manufactured by player characters and traded in a relatively free way in the marketplace. Students of economics will note that these markets are neither perfect nor efficient in the technical senses; volumes of many items are low enough that the market can be (and is) manipulated, and supply of materials and modules is partly provided by loot drops in missions, which can be adjusted without warning by the game developers. Similarly, the developers may adjust the requirements for a manufacturing process, or increase the availability of ore, or otherwise mess in the sandbox.
Nonetheless, manufacturing and selling items can provide interest and ISK profit for the careful and canny player. The player must be aware, however, that there are plenty of items which actually destroy value - that is, there are a great number of T1 items, modules especially, that are worth less than the cost of manufacture. There are many more items which can be sold at a profit, but only in a limited volume in certain markets. Manufacture in these cases may simply be an alternative to hauling stuff between markets.
Production of Tech 1 items - ships, modules, ammunition, or even components - is the simplest of manufacturing tasks, within reach of even the newest player to EVE. Although whether they will actually be able to make a profit is another question entirely. Very few skills are needed for T1 production, and the materials are often fairly easily acquired.
The following skills are useful or required for T1 production, and are found in the Production skill category. Most or all of these will be needed for T2/T3 production as well.
- Industry (1x) - 4% reduction in manufacturing time per skill level.
- At least level 1 is required to use most blueprints, and level 3 is required for further manufacturing skills. The speed bonus increases the rate at which you can produce items (and therefore, produce profit) and reduces installation costs slightly.
- Advanced Industry (3x) - 3% reduction in all manufacturing & research time per skill level.
- Recently updated, this skill now adds not only a fairly substantial further time reduction in manufacturing, but also a time reduction in all research and invention. Whilst less noticeable when building small items individually, these time-savers really add up when doing multiple runs and building large ships.
Increase number of concurrent jobs:
- Mass Production (2x) - Allows 1 additional job per level.
- By default, all characters can run 1 manufacturing job at a time. Training this skill lets you run additional jobs simultaneously from 2 jobs at I up to 6 jobs at V. Any industrialist who wants to create things will need to train this to IV or V fairly early in their plans.
- Advanced Mass Production (8x) - Allows 1 additional job per level.
- Once you train Mass Production to V, you can then train Advanced Mass Production, for a further increase in concurrent jobs. Having this skill at IV gives you 10 manufacturing lines (1 + 5 + 4), which is enough for most people. Training to V takes around 28 days, making it only of interest to dedicated manufacturing characters.
Allow remote management of jobs:
- Supply Chain Management (3x) - Proficiency at starting manufacturing jobs remotely. Without training this skill, you can start jobs anywhere in the current system. Each level in this skill gives you the ability to start manufacturing jobs an extra 5 jumps away, to the maximum of 25 jumps at level V (this may include other regions).
- This skill is more of a convenience skill than a must-have for a budding industrialist - allowing you to manage your production lines for a distance. If you invest in this skill, training to level III or maybe level IV would offer the most return on time investment. Note that you still have to haul the materials and blueprint to the relevant station.
- Buy and Sell orders will most often be the main way of acquiring materials and selling manufactured products, and increasing the number of available orders beyond the base 5 will help greatly.
- These skills will allow you to manipulate market orders without being present in the relevant station.
- These skills will reduce some extra costs from installation and market orders, increasing profit margins.
- Main article: Blueprint
All T1 manufacturing jobs require a blueprint. These come in two forms: originals (BPOs) with infinite runs and copies (BPCs) that can only be run a limited number of times. For most blueprints, a single run of a blueprint will produce a single item, but there are some exceptions - most obviously ammunition, which produces 100 units per run. BPCs are produced through copying (T1) and invention (T2).
Many manufacturers use BPCs, copied from a BPO, to manufacture from, for a variety of reasons, including security and the ability to run multiple production lines. For more details, see Why should I copy my BPOs?
Selecting a Blueprint
T1 BPOs are seeded by various NPC traders, with costs varying from 100,000 to 75 billion ISK. This can be a significant cost, especially to new players. Also significant is the amount of research time that may be spent on the blueprint. Selecting a good one versus a bad one is important!
A good blueprint will have these characteristics:
- Inexpensive Materials - The material cost should be such that you can reasonably expect to manufacture a decent number of items, and you won't be bankrupt if you lose them while trying to sell them. There isn't a rule on how much cost is too much, but if you need a number then keep the cost of an item below 1% of your net worth. This will not be a problem for players with a large wallet, but can be an issue for new players starting out in manufacturing. Loading the potential BPO into the Industry window will provide an estimate of the material cost.
- Good Profit Margins - The difference between the selling price and the cost to manufacture should be worthwhile. Be sure to compare the absolute profit (ISK) and percent profit (% of selling price) and make sure both are worth your time. What makes it worth your time? It is up to the individual, but strive for at least 10% per item. Profits of 80% have been witnessed by players as young as 2 months to EVE, but they are rare and tend to disappear.
- Good Transaction Volume - If you find an item that is extremely profitable but is only sold once per week, then it has poor transaction volume. There is no guarantee that you can capture all (or even most) of the sales of a particular item! To check the volume of an item, use the Market window. If you choose an item, click on the Price History tab. If it shows a graph, you can see daily sales volume by clicking the Show Table button in the bottom of the window. This will show you how many of an item were sold each day in the region over the last 3 months (default).
There are many items that do meet all three requirements. Finding them is a matter of a lot of research time looking for items that meet your criteria. Typically it is easiest to search through the market tab looking for items with sufficient volume, then go to the BPO research calculator to compare the prices to selling volumes. Once you choose a blueprint, the BPO Research Calculator will also tell you what faction sells the BPOs you have chosen.
Reducing the Cost of a Blueprint
- Main article: Research
Performing Material Efficiency research on a blueprint will reduce your input costs, resulting in more profit per unit. Time Efficiency research will make your manufacturing times quicker, resulting in more profits per day (assuming your other time limits - having enough input materials and enough sales - can keep up with the decrease in manufacturing duration).
Research a BPO takes time, which could otherwise be used for manufacturing - if you want short-term manufacturing, researching may not be worth it. For a serious manufacturing however, material efficiency research is always worth it, the only thing you need to find is the level of research (-1% ME to -10% ME) worth your while. Time efficiency research is less important for the smaller items that typically take an hour or so to manufacture, but can be vitally important in increasing profits when manufacturing large ships that may take a number of days to build.
System Cost Index
A cost factor which cannot be ignored in choosing where to base your manufacturing operation is the installation cost of industry jobs. This cost is dynamic, so if a large number of other manufacturers join you in the system, it may save you money to move elsewhere (weighed against the cost in time and effort of moving all your materials to a new system).
See the System Cost Index section on the Industry Overview page to find out how system cost index is calculated.
Once you have a blueprint and materials ready, and decided which system to manufacture in, it's time to produce your goods. Most of the time you'll be using an NPC station to manufacture goods.
If you have a POS available to manufacture with, then there are a few more options. Different arrays can be constructed that are able to manufacture different types of modules or ships - at a greatly increased rate and with a small reduction in material costs, compared to a station manufacturing line.
Engineering complexes and citadels with the appropriate service module online can also be used to manufacture goods. Engineering complexes provide a modest material savings (1%) and significant time savings (15% - 30% depending on size) over NPC stations; these savings can be further increased for certain categories of goods by installing the appropriate rigs to the structure.
Gather the materials and BPO (or BPC) in your station hangar or POS assembly array corp hangar, and open the industry window. You will need to find your blueprint using the drop-down selection boxes. Click the blueprint to install it to the main industry window.
Simply choose the number of runs, check the input/output locations (most of the time this will simply be Item Hangar, but if you have your own personal corporation you may be using corp facilities) and press Start.
While the job is running, you can check on its progress using the same Industry window, in the Jobs tab. Select the Jobs tab, and a list of your currently running jobs will be displayed. You can cancel the job if you want your blueprint back for some reason, but none of the materials used or installation costs will be refunded.
Finally, once the job is completed, job listed in the Jobs tab will contain a large Deliver button instead of a time remaining display; press this and the results & blueprint will be returned to the station.
|A long, long time ago...|
|You also had the option of selecting a Team to assist your manufacturing process, if there was one in the system. If the team you wished to use modified material efficiency, deciding whether to use it would be a simple matter of comparing installation cost increase to estimate input cost decrease (with the proviso that it was only an estimation, not an actual value). If the team modified time efficiency, it may have been more difficult to decide whether to use one.|
Beware of rounding "errors"!
A particular problem that can quickly cost you a million ISK or two when manufacturing T2 items is the rounding that is applied as an effect of material efficiency: a single industry job with 3 runs can use less material than 3 single jobs from the same blueprint!
Tech II Production
- Main article: Invention
T2 manufacturing requires T2 BPCs, which are 'invented' through the invention process. This is a chance-based process, requiring a lot of skill investment in advance, and you are not guaranteed to get a T2 BPCs at the end of it. Some T2 manufacturers do not invent, but instead merely buy T2 BPC packs from dedicated inventors.
The remainder of this section will deal only with T2 manufacturing, not invention. To find out how to obtain T2 BPCs, use the page on Invention.
The main difference between tech 2 and tech 1 manufacturing is the increased skill requirement, and the many more different types of input materials required. Not all T2 manufacturers will have all these skills, some may specialize in (for example) constructing only Minmatar ships, and thus have only those skills. Most of these skills are the same as those required for invention. Different blueprints require these skills at different levels, but in general: the larger the ship or item, the higher skill level will be required. Most of these skills also give a 1% time efficiency bonus per level.
- Advanced Industrial Ship Construction (3x)
- Advanced Large Ship Construction (8x)
- Advanced Medium Ship Construction (5x)
- Advanced Small Ship Construction (2x)
- Required to build T2 ships of the relevant size. These skills are not required for invention, only construction.
- Amarr Starship Engineering (5x)
- Caldari Starship Engineering (5x)
- Gallente Starship Engineering (5x)
- Minmatar Starship Engineering (5x)
- Required to build T2 ships of the relevant race.
- Required to build T2 ships of any size & race.
- Electromagnetic Physics (5x)
- Electronic Engineering (5x)
- Graviton Physics (5x)
- High Energy Physics (5x)
- Hydromagnetic Physics (5x)
- Laser Physics (5x)
- Mechanical Engineering (5x)
- Molecular Engineering (5x)
- Nanite Engineering (5x)
- Nuclear Physics (5x)
- Plasma Physics (5x)
- Quantum Physics (5x)
- Rocket Science (5x)
- Two of these skills are required to build each T2 (non-ship) item. These are the same as the skills required to invent that T2 item. Consult a blueprint to find out which skills at which level are required to build that item. Example (see right): Nanofiber Internal Structure II BPC requires Nanite Engineering and Molecular Engineering.
T2 Required Materials
Whereas the majority of T1 production requires only minerals, the range of input materials required hugely expands for T2 production - moons, planets, salvage and gas clouds are all potential sources of materials for T2 production. Not all T2 blueprints require every single source of input material, but one particular additional input required for most T2 manufacturing is a T1 item of the similar type. For example, in the T2 BPC above right, building a T2 nanofiber requires a single T1 nanofiber, some Remote Assembly Modules (Armor/Hull Tech R.A.M.s), extra minerals (Morphite) and some planetary materials (Construction Blocks).
Moon materials are produced via moon mining, which is an activity only possible in 0.5 security space and lower, and requires a Refinery anchored next to the moon mining beacon you wish to mine from and fitted with Moon Drill module. It is also very lucrative, and some moons are fought over regularly, so being able to defend your structure is necessary if you wish to maintain your moon mining operation. Moon mining is an activity carried out on the corporation or alliance level, and thus generally not possible (to run a profitable operation) as a solo player.
Moon materials - basic elements such as Chromium, Technetium and Tungsten, which can be found in the Reaction Materials > Raw Moon Materials section of the market - are mined and then reacted together in the refinery to produce advanced moon materials - such as Tungsten Carbide, Fullerides and Fermionic Condensates. It is possible however to run a profitable reaction only operation: buying the raw moon materials on the market, reacting them together in your refinery (and it does have to be in lowsec or nullsec) and then selling or using the advanced moon materials.
These advanced materials are sometimes used directly in T2 item manufacturing, but more often used in the construction of advanced components, which are then in turn used in T2 manufacturing.
Advanced components are the most common type, and are manufactured exclusively from moon materials. They are used in the majority of T2 manufacturing, T2 ships in particular using large numbers of multiple different types of component. Components come in Amarr, Caldari, Gallente and Minmatar flavours, with the icon coloured according to which race they 'belong' to. The advanced component manufacturing process is just like any other T1 manufacturing process, except that the inputs are moon materials, and one particular science skill (see list of T2 skills required above) is required for each component.
Tech 2 items frequently use these racial components as well as ships, and the particular racial component(s) they require will be the same as the racial encryption skill and the racial data interface item required to invent the BPC.
Robotic Assembly Modules
More commonly known as R.A.M.s, these are robotic assembly units that build things for you. They are manufactured from minerals just like any other T1 manufacturing process. Nine different R.A.M.s exist, for different types of construction: Starship Tech, Ammunition Tech, Cybernetics, etc.
Planetary Interaction can be done with the same character you might use for production, and thus save you expenditure on the market (although, just like minerals you mine are not free, neither are planetary materials you produce).
Capital Ship Construction
Capital ship construction can be an extremely lucrative business, although requiring a large initial investment, and, depending on what capital you are constructing, may need to be based in losec, or even sovereign nullsec.
- Capital Ship Construction (14x) is required in order to build capital ships or capital ship components. The following levels unlock the following blueprints:
- Level 1: all capital ship components, all capital modules, freighters, Orca
- Level 3: carriers, dreadnoughts, fighters, fighter-bombers
- Level 4: supercarriers, jump freighters, Rorqual
- Level 5: titans
Capital ships are built from capital ship components, which are in turn manufactured from minerals. There is no restriction on where capital ship components can be built, and apart from the increased skill requirement there is no difference from other T1 manufacturing. Freighters and the Orca can then be constructed in any manufacturing facility using the relevant T1 ship BPO or BPC, from the components previously built.
Carriers, dreadnoughts & the Rorqual are capital ships that may not enter hisec, and so you cannot build them in hisec either. They can be constructed in any station in losec or nullsec with a manufacturing facility, but apart from that restriction, are constructed in the same way as freighters or the Orca.
These ships (plus freighters, battleships, & the Orca) can also be constructed at a Capital Ship Assembly Array at a POS. This assembly array may only be anchored in 0.4 security space or lower, and contains a most excellent 25% reduction to manufacturing time and a 2% reduction to required materials.
These ships may also be constructed at a Large or Extra Large size citadel or engineering complex (i.e. Fortizar, Azbel, Keepstar, or Sotiyo) with a Standup Capital Shipyard I module installed. This module is installable in lowsec and nullsec only. Engineering complexes, and structures with appropriate rigs, will provide their usual cost reductions as applicable.
Supercarriers and titans cannot even dock in NPC stations, never mind enter hisec, and so you cannot build them in stations either. They must be built at a Supercapital Ship Assembly Array. This assembly array does not contain any bonuses to construction (supercapital construction takes an exceedingly long time). It may only be anchored in systems where your alliance holds sovereignty, and has upgraded that sovereignty to allow supercapital construction facilities.
With the advent of engineering complexes, supercapital vessels may also be built at a Sotiyo engineering complex with a Standup Supercapital Shipyard I installed. This module may only be brought online in systems where the complex owner has sovereignty, and has installed a Supercapital Construction Facilities infrastructure upgrade. (Note that while appropriately fit Sotiyo engineering complexes can build and launch supercapitals, such ships will not be able to re-dock once launched. The only structures that support supercapital docking are Keepstar citadels.)
Because supercapital ship construction must take place in a player-owned structure, this means supercapital ships under construction are vulnerable to attack, unless you can defend your infrastructure effectively. Many titans have been 'aborted' by a hostile force destroying the POS and assembly array during construction.
T2 Capital Ship Construction
Imagine a combination of invention, T2 production and capital ship construction, and you'll have a fair idea of the process to create jump freighters - the only T2 capital ship. Fortunately, because jump freighters can dock and enter hisec, you can also build them in hisec station facilities.
- Main article: Tech 3 Production
Tech 3 ships, also known as Strategic Cruisers - the Legion, Loki, Proteus and Tengu - have their own specialised construction process, which is a combination of invention using ancient relics from relic sites, and including datacores gathered from data sites - to discover the BPCs for hulls and subsystems, and then built using those BPCs with materials gathered from within w-space - including gas clouds (which are reacted in a reactor array), Sleeper salvage and normal minerals.
- ISK Per hour Very powerful windows program for T1, T2 and T3 production as well as refining.