Datacore Farming 101

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Class Information

This chapter contains the standard information of this class pertaining to scheduling and class contents. The General Information should be sufficient to create a proper class topic for scheduling on the Eve University forum. Additional information relevant to the teacher is listed under Notes for the Teacher.

General Information

Illustration link for class description on the Eve University forum: farmingposter.jpg

How do you make over 100 million ISK every month, without lifting a finger? You plant and nurture the seeds of datacore farming, that's how.

In this class, we will explore the key questions about farming datacores: how to do it, what it's good for (not just getting rich), what resources you need to get started, and how long it takes to start seeing the ISK flow in.

  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Location: Docked up safely in any station

Class contents:

  • What is datacore farming?
  • Datacore farming skills
  • Planning your datacore farming campaign
  • Developing R&D agent relationships
  • Starting the research flow
  • Making ISK from datacores
  • Long-term benefits of datacore farming
  • Q&A

Student requirements:

  • TeamSpeak registration and access - make sure you have TeamSpeak sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up:
  • Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel

Additional information: This class is primarily lecture delivered in the Class.E-UNI channel in TeamSpeak, followed by Q&A.

Notes for the Teacher

Required materials:

Class Contents


Welcome to this class on datacore farming!

This course is designed primarily for those who are looking to establish a reliable source of passive income in EVE. After just a few weeks of effort, you can earn over 100 million ISK each and every month, forever, without having to do anything more, other than collecting and selling datacores. Datacore farming requires a few skills, a little planning, some missioning and a bit of patience, but once you set them up, your datacore farms will operate continuously, producing ISK for you, even while you sleep!

(Instructor should then introduce himself or herself - covering relevant experience level and background.)

We have a few ground rules for this class:

  • Please put your TeamSpeak settings on "Push to Talk" if you have not already done so.
  • Feel free to type any questions in the Class.E-UNI chat channel as we proceed - I will try to answer your questions as they come during the class. At the end of my lecture, we'll open TeamSpeak for any further questions or general discussion.
  • You should be docked up safely in a station.

Everyone ready? OK, then - let's begin....

What is datacore farming?

  • One of the most interesting ways to earn InterStellar Kredits (ISK), the currency in EVE, is to develop relationships with research and development (R&D) agents in non-player corporations. Once you have access to R&D agents, you can then ask them to conduct research for you on your behalf. They will produce Research Points (RPs), which you can then use to purchase datacores.
  • Datacores are a key part of the invention process in EVE (, which produces advanced technology "Tech II" items, also known as "T2" items. Datacores are consumed in the invention process for creating T2 blueprint copies, also known as "BPCs". Every invention process requires a certain amount of datacores, so they are always in demand.
  • Datacores are therefore very valuable, and can be sold on the market for ISK, in addition to being used for T2 item production. This is a very good thing, as it means that "datacore farming", once established, can produce a passive income for EVE players. Without any further action required, an R&D agent will happily generate RPs, which you can periodically convert to income.
  • With five high-level R&D agents working, and under the right market conditions, it is possible to earn an income of more than 100 million ISK per month, or more.
  • How long does it take to do datacore farming? Most players should expect to train all the required skills in one or two months. Meanwhile, you can run missions to get to the required level of standings to unlock the higher-grade agents. So, in less than a couple of months in game time, you can establish a reliable passive income stream that will last forever after in EVE.
  • There are three steps involved in becoming an effective datacore farmer:
    • Train the required skills
    • Develop relationships with R&D agents
    • Begin the flow

Training skills for datacore farming

  • The following skills are required to start using one R&D agent:
    • Science V
    • Mechanic V (or) Engineering V (or) Electronics V
    • At least one applied science skill to level I or higher
  • Different R&D agents specialize in different types of research. They won't even speak to you unless you have the required skills trained and completed, and then they will only conduct research in their areas of expertise, and only if you have trained in relevant applied science skills that match their expertise.
  • Datacore market prices fluctuate, and you'll want to select applied sciences that produce the highest datacore prices, but which also match the high-level R&D agents' abilities in the corporations that you are targeting. We'll cover how to select the optimum corporation and R&D agents in the next section. To research datacore prices, you can look them up in your market window, or use this link for a summary of datacore pricing trends: - this information is compiled from the player-contributed database of EVE market prices, EVE Central.
  • Applied science skillbooks cost 10 million ISK each - not a trivial investment. So, be sure to check the prices and market trends of various types of datacores before you choose the skills to train.
  • Note that the above skills give you access to one (and only one) R&D agent. To maximize your income, you will want multiple R&D agents working with you. The following skills are required to use more than one R&D agent:
    • Laboratory Operation V
    • Research V
    • Research Project Management I - Each level gives you the ability to use another agent up to a maximum of six at level V. Note that this skill is a 40 million ISK investment.

Planning your datacore farming campaign

  • Not all non-player character (NPC) corporations offer R&D agents, so some pre-planning about which corporations you will select for your datacore farming plan is absolutely required for success.
  • lets you search for agents. You can search by corp, by R&D skill, or just list the corps with R&D agents. You can also sort the list by number of datacores earned per day.
  • To see if you have any relationships with corporations that have R&D agents already, use this procedure:
    • Open your character sheet
    • Click on Standings
    • Click on the "Liked By" tab.
    • Scroll down to the "Corporations" section
    • Right-click the top Corporation
    • Click "Show Info" in the menu
    • Click on the "Agents" tab in the new window
    • Scroll down to the "R&D" agent list
    • In the "Available" list, scroll down to the highest level agent and do a show info on him.
    • Look under the "Agent Info" tab for one of the above mentioned research fields.
    • If none of the above skill areas are listed (Mechanical Engineering for example), move to the next best agent and repeat.
  • In order to maximize the production of RPs, and therefore to produce more datacores, you will want to work with the highest level R&D agents - level 4. (Note: there are no level 5 R&D agents - though some agent-finder sites may show them, this is an error.) The corporations with level 4 R&D agents, sorted by their associated factions, are:
    • Gallente Federation: CreoDron, Roden Shipyards, Duvolle Laboratories (a mix of research corps is needed to access all level four agents, unfortunately)
    • Caldari State: Kaalakiota Corporation, Ishukone Corporation, Lai Dai Corporation (best)
    • Minmatar Republic: Core Complexion Inc. (best), Boundless Creation
    • Amarr Empire: Carthum Conglomerate, Viziam
  • There are also some non-Empire faction corporations with a few R&D agents:
    • Thukker Tribe: Thukker Mix
    • Khanid Kingdom: Khanid Innovation
    • Ammatar Mandate: Nefantar Miner Association
  • Only level 4 agents produce datacores in useful quantities. Because the good Gallente R&D agents are scattered between three corporations, they are not an optimal choice, unless you have already started grinding missions there, or are otherwise committed to their faction.
  • Each R&D agent requires a certain level of standing with their corporation and their faction, before they are willing to talk to you. Even if you have faction standings high enough to use a normal level 4 agent, it won't do you any good with the R&D agents. To see what faction and corporation standings you need to speak with an R&D agent, select "Show Info" on that agent, go to the "Agent Info" tab, and look at the "Compatibility" section at the bottom. It will say something like: "You need a minimum effective corp standing of at least 4.80, in addition to an effective faction, corp, or personal standing of at least 6.80 to use this agent." So, even if you had perfect 10.00 standings with the agent's faction but nothing (0.00) with his/her corp, you couldn't use that agent. However, if you had 6.80 faction standing and 4.80 corp standing, or if you had 6.8+ corp standing, then you could.
  • This means that a certain amount of mission grinding with an R&D agent's corporation is unavoidable, but a high faction standing can reduce the amount of mission running required.

Developing R&D agent relationships

  • Each R&D agent requires a certain level of standing with their corporation and their faction, before they are willing to talk to you. That is, even if you have faction standings high enough to use a normal level 4 agent, it won't do you any good with the R&D agents. Earning high faction standings is generally faster than getting high corporate standings, though you can do one or the other or both, if you wish.
  • To establish high faction standings:
    • Run the tutorial agents for that faction
    • Train Social, Connections and Negotiating skills
    • Run missions with one faction repeatedly - and with one corporation in that faction with whom you intend to use R&D agents, ideally
    • Use the highest level and quality agents you can run to maximize standings increase - these tables summarize the standings you need to have with a corp to get access to different levels and quality rated agents
    • Accept and complete storyline missions when offered by that faction
    • Run COSMOS and Data Center missions for that faction
    • Don't do anything in that faction's space that will endanger your standings with them - no transporting of illegal goods, or running missions for opposing factions
    • Run missions for factions that support the faction you want better standings with. Minmatar or Gallente standings increases also increase standings wtih the other faction, just at a lower amount. In the same fashion, Amarr and Caldari standings increase for running missions for either faction. See this table for an explanation of complementary faction relationships.
    • Joining in factional warfare for a particular faction can also increase your standings with that faction, although this means dropping from Eve University.

Starting the research flow

  • Once you have the standing level needed to speak with an R&D agent, go the the station where the desired R&D agent is located, and begin a conversation with him or her. One of the options that they will provide to you is to start research - select this option. They will offer you their areas of applied science to research. Select the one(s) in which you have trained your skills. The agent will then start to produce research points (RPs) for you.
  • The formula for how many research points you'll get in a day is: ((Agent Skill + Your Skill)^2 * (1 + Effective Quality / 100)) * Area Bonus where:
    • Agent Skill: Determined by the Level of the agent. Level 3 agents will have Level III of the appropriate research skill.
    • Your Skill: Determined by your training in the research skill.
    • Effective Quality: is your effective quality (after Negotiation, Connection, etc.) with the Agent.
    • Area Bonus: Depends on the research field. Most fields have no modifier (e.g. 1), weapon-area research is doubled (2), and ship research is tripled (3). Don't worry about this one too much - as the price of datacores is scaled to the area bonus.
  • There are several additional skills that can improve the amount of RPs generated per day. These include:
    • Negotiation: Directly improves the effective quality of your agent, and is the most efficient skill for raising the number of RPs you earn each day. Negotiation IV, for example, raises Effective Quality by nearly 20 points.
    • Connections: Not terribly efficient (but very useful in grinding standing to be able to use agents), Connections can minimally raise the effective quality of your research agent.
    • Area Specific Skill (Mechanical Engineering, etc): Each level of your skill in this area increases the "Your Skill" part of the equation listed above. Train this skill to level 4 or higher.
  • - This site lets you input your skills, standings, and such and it'll show you in order which agents/skill combinations are the most profitable. You can use your real skills/standings, or experiment with other possible combinations to help with your planning.
  • Once your R&D agent is working for you, that agent will offer you a special mission once per day. Each of these R&D agent missions will reward you with one day's worth or RP - effectively doubling your ISK potential. R&D agents offer relatively safe missions, half of which are short courier missions and the other half are trade-related. There is no penalty for ignoring or declining a mission from an R&D agent, despite the warnings they may give you - turning them down will not stop their research or the flow of RPs.

Making ISK from datacores

  • You can track the amount of RPs being created each day by your R&D agents by clicking on the Journal button on your NeoCom, and selecting the Research tab. This will also tell you the amount of accumulated RPs you have amassed with each agent.
  • Periodically, go talk to your R&D agent again and tell him or her that you wish to purchase datacores. The agent will tell you how many you can afford, based on the number of RPs you have accumulated. Regular datacores cost 50 RPs each - weapon-related datacores cost 100 RPs each, and starship engineering datacores cost 150 RP each. Buy as many as you wish - unused RPs remain in your accumulated pool.
  • After ordering your datacores, transport them to a trade hub, and sell them there. Voilà - you have made ISK from datacore farming!

Long-term benefits of datacore farming

  • Reliable income stream
    • If you have chosen your datacore types wisely, you can expect a reliable income of about 100 million ISK per month, every month.
    • Monitor changes in datacore prices and adjust your research every few months in order to maximize your passive income earned.
  • Invention and Tech II manufacturing
    • If you choose to start making money by building Tech II items, which command premium prices in the market, having your own cost-free sources of datacores will improve your profit margins.
    • Datacores are consumed in the invention process. Although you can purchase them in the open market, you can save money if you can make them yourself.

Class Wrap-up

  • Thanks for attending this class!
    • I would appreciate any feedback from people on how to improve the class
    • If you enjoyed the class, please send me a tip of 1 ISK, and send me a comment.
  • Questions ?