Tips for New Players
Welcome to EVE Online, a game as complex as it is beautiful. EVE Online has a notoriously difficult learning curve and this page sets out some useful tips for new players to make the most out of their time in game.
Important rules to bear in mind
Don't fly anything you can't afford to lose (replace)
This is often referred to as the number one rule of EVE Online. When you undock a ship in EVE Online there is always a chance that you will lose it, even in High Security space. So do not fly any ships which would be too expensive for you to lose. Ideally make sure you could afford to replace the ship several times over. You can insure your ship which will allow you to recover some of the ISK, but do not rely on this. Insurance only covers on the loss of the hull, and not on any modules, rigs, or cargoes. It is based on the mineral value of the hull and not the market value. Due to this, many will say it's not worth insuring certain types of ships, because you're not getting back nearly enough to cover replacement of the hull. If you go for the Basic level of insurance then you're getting back ten-fold the amount of ISK you paid for the insurance if you lose the ship. Not enough to cover it's replacement by far, but you've made a profit simply on the insurance amount you paid.
Think of your ship as a piece of expendable equipment. If you're placing yourself into a high-risk environment then it's always worth insuring your ship (perhaps not at the Platinum level, since you only get 3x the ISK amount paid back, but the Basic level is a small amount to pay out and you get 10x back). Don't think of insurance as surety to replace your loss, but simply as return on ISK invested banking on the loss of your ship.
High Security space doesn't mean "Safe space"
The best thing you can do for yourself is get the idea, or assume, that "High Security" space means you should be safe, out of your head. It's the wrong assumption. The moment you undock your ship you are exposing yourself to PvP. The only thing High Security space provides you as a potential target is that your attacker has more challenges to account for should they decide to attack you (unless you're already a legitimate target to them, in other words you're "flashy" to them). CONCORD exists to punish the attacker in High Sec, not to provide you protection. Your protection is completely up to you, in your fit, where and when you do certain activities, and what precautions you take, or don't take. Many losses that occur happen simply due to the lack of taking some basic precautions or exercising some basic practices to minimize the risk. Learn these things, put them into practice. If you take a gamble to forego a precaution or practice you're only increasing the odds that you'll suffer an unwanted loss.
Scamming, stealing and unethical behaviour are allowed
Unlike many games, there are no rules preventing people from scamming, stealing, lying and so on. If someone steals from you CCP will not intervene. In fact such behaviour is often encouraged and rewarded by the game mechanics. You can check out a number of the different types of scams that occur here at Scams in EVE Online.
Support Skills are important
Even when you have the minimum skills to sit in a ship, this does not mean you should fly it, and it doesn't mean that you can fly it well. Support Skills are important skills which will improve you ability to fly various ships, and they should not be overlooked. Take the time to train into them properly.
One of the most common mistakes newer players make is thinking that moving onto the next size hull is something you need to do quickly. The thinking that "bigger is better" tends to prevail. Bigger isn't better in EVE Online. It can take exponentially more time to become trained up and effective in a higher size/grade hull. Be patient and learn why and how the various hulls are used. Small ships can take down bigger ships in PvP. This occurs often because the pilot in the smaller ship has an excellent fit (all the appropriate skills trained up), and they have experience.
A good write-up on what new players should train can be found on a page called The Magic 14.
Don't judge a book by its cover
Just because a character is newly created doesn't mean the player is new. Many players have alts, and some will use a new character to lull others into a false sense of security. Some will even go to the effort of making their new character look trustworthy, for example by joining EVE University or another new player friendly corp to give them added credibility.
The reverse is also true, just because a character was created a long time ago doesn't mean the player is experienced. They might have taken a long break from the game since they created the character, or purchased the character on the Character Bazaar.
Also with Skill Extraction and Injection, it's quite possible for a new-appearing character to have a surprisingly high amount of skills.
Tips for moving your stuff
There are special hauling ships which you can use to move large amounts of items, or even ships. These are very useful but always be careful when using them.
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A suicide ganker is someone who blows up ships in high sec in the knowledge that CONCORD will destroy their ship.
Always assume that anyone around you knows exactly what you are hauling. This is because there are items called ship scanners, which enable other people to scan your ship's contents, sometimes without you even being aware of it. This is especially important if you are going to a trade hub, as some groups will scan ships routinely from a few systems out so they know which ships are carrying expensive loot.
If the contents of your cargo hold are worth more than the loss of their ship, it is profitable for them to attack you. If they are in high security space they will be destroyed by CONCORD but they will have an alt or a friend nearby to scoop up the loot. Even if it is not profitable for them to attack you, they may do so anyway, just for fun.
Remember that CONCORD exist to punish, not to protect. CONCORD have a response time which varies with the security status of the system, but they will not arrive in time to stop someone destroying your ship, and will not aim to do so. They will just punish the person with the loss of their own ship, which is not much help to you.
Never haul PLEX
On a related note, never haul PLEX. This is an item which can be purchased with real life money and is an expensive in-game item, so it is a very tempting target for gankers.
There is absolutely no reason for you to need to haul PLEX if you are purchasing it for real money, because you do not have to redeem it straight away and you can redeem it in whichever station you are in. This means that you can buy PLEX, fly to Jita (or another trade hub) in a shuttle or any other cheap ship and redeem the PLEX there, and it will show up in your station hangar without you having to haul it. If you purchase PLEX in-game for ISK then it will appear at the station you bought it in. Again, hauling PLEX is very bad idea. You never know who is scanning your cargo. If you buy off of the market be sure it's at a station where you're satisfied the PLEX can remain for you.
PLEX can be activated and used remotely in-game for any of the in-game services provided in activating it. This means you do not need to be in the station where it's at to use it. If you are wanting to place it as a sell order on the Regional Market then you will need to be in range of the station where your PLEX is at (Marketing skill, or docked in that station if you don't have the Marketing skill trained). PLEX can also be placed back into the Redeeming system although it can only be redeemed back into the game at the station where it was reverse-redeemed from. You'd want to do this only to use PLEX in your Account Management for those services that can't be activated in-game.
Moving expensive stuff
If you want to move a lot of items, or high value items, then there are several ways to do it. Depending on the method you use it will take some time or cost you ISK, but this is better than losing everything.
- You can do several runs with a low value cargo hold which will discourage suicide gankers because they will not make as much profit.
- You can ask a trusted friend or a corp mate with a freighter to haul it for you. Freighters have a good tank and are expensive to gank so they are safer to haul items of a larger value. Remember there is always a chance your 'friend' or corp mate could steal your items, or get ganked themselves.
- You can sell your stuff and buy it again at your destination, provided this doesn't prove too expensive (check the prices first!)
- You can set up a courier contract with a freight service such as Red Frog Freight or Push Industries. When you set up a courier contract you will set a 'collateral' which covers the cost of your items in the event that they are ganked, so they bear the loss rather than you. Many player corps and alliances maintain freighting services for their members as well, often a much lower cost, and better access, than the "public" services.
Tips for using jetcans
This is when someone puts out a can in space advertising "free items". If the can is yellow then if you take the items you will be flagged as a suspect and they will be entitled to shoot you without intervention from CONCORD. This is a common trick to bait people into engagement in high security space. If it sounds too good to be true, assume that it is!
Ninja Looting and Can Flipping
This is when someone takes from cans which are someone else's. For example, if you are jetcan mining or doing missions you may have cans in space. There is nothing to stop people from taking the contents of the cans (unless they are password protected), so you should not assume it is safe until you have taken it to a station.
Sometimes this is not just theft but a way of using the game mechanics to trick you into attacking someone (Can Flipping). The person will deliberately take something from your can which will flag them as a suspect and encourage you to attack them. As soon as you engage them they will be entitled to attack you back, and he will be more prepared than you are. He may come back in a bigger ship or call in friends to assist him.
Tips for travelling
Do not fly with Autopilot
Autopilot is the action you take to follow a planned route without manually flying it. It takes a lot longer to complete the route than by manually flying it. It can be useful to fly your ship to your selected destination without your input, but this can be very dangerous. When you are flying with autopilot you will not land at zero on the outbound gate, but you will land 15 km away from the gate and slowly move towards the gate (known as slow-boating). This means it is very obvious to anyone watching that you are probably not at your keyboard to defend yourself. As a result you also travel much more slowly than you would if you were warping gate to gate (at zero), so it gives any gankers plenty of chance to attack you. The best way to use your route is to select your waypoints and destination, but then manually fly your ship along the suggested route. If you insist on flying on autopilot then at least only use it when your route isn't along common routes or into and out of trade hubs.
Using Autopilot will also land you 15 km from your destination station, and you'll slow-boat into the docking ring and then dock up. Again, this is potentially very dangerous. The only time to use Autopilot is when you have set up an insta-docking bookmark for the station that's your destination or a waypoint on your route. Once you're in your destination system you'll want to select warp-to to your insta-dock bookmark. Once you begin warping then turn on your Autopilot. You'll land at your insta-dock point and the Autopilot will then dock you automatically.
Use your Autopilot Avoid List
Autopilot also has an "avoid list" which enables you to avoid certain systems. Dangerous systems are Trade Hubs and choke points which have a lot of traffic, like Uedema and Rancer.