When you first start Eve Online it can be quite daunting. There are just so many things to do and so many paths to take. Therefore I decided to make a simple and straightforward beginners guide to help you take your first steps in the game. This beginners guide is going to assume that you have completed the tutorial that is available in Eve Online. You should run through it once if you haven’t already.
After the Tutorial.
The tutorial ends by directing you to the career agents. They are great to get you started in Eve Online. I highly suggest that you complete the missions for all the initial career agents. You will be able to get a small amount of ISK from it and get a feeling for the various activities that you can partake in the game. After you finish these missions the real game begins.
Choosing a Starting Career.
One of the great things about Eve Online is the lack of linear progression demand. Meaning that you can pursue a career path and if you get bored, you can change your focus without any consequences besides lost time. Having said that, there are still only a few career paths that are really viable for a rookie at the very beginning of the game. These are the activities you can do at the start while training up your skills, either to advance in your chosen career or to start a different path.
Belt ratting is the action of jumping between ore belts and killing the hostile pirates (rats for short) that can be found at those belts. While a simple way to start getting a hang of the controls and combat, it is a somewhat lackluster way to earn ISK while in empire space.
Basically, what you need to do is to equip a ship with guns, ammo, shield booster or better armor, an afterburner maybe, etc. Then you take that ship and try to kill the pirates that are located in the ore belts. The good thing about this is that you can get the hang of concepts such as optimal range, accuracy falloff, tracking speed and so forth, while not risking much ISK.
When you have gotten a basic sense of space combat, I would highly recommend mission running over belt ratting, at least while you are in empire space. Mission running will give you way more ISK and other useful benefits. When (and if) you move to nullsec space, then belt ratting becomes more sensible.
Another thing you can do is to clear out cosmic anomalies that you can find with your scanner through the probe scanner tab. To open the probe scanning tab you need to press the button near the bottom middle called scanner and then press probe scanner. These are harder than the belt rats so it’s better to get a little experience first dealing with the rats.
Running missions for agents is usually the path most people start on. There are a few different categories of missions that are suited for different gameplay and you should already be familiar with the basics of running missions after your interaction with the career agents. Mission running is a good way to start getting your first pile of ISK and gather enough for new skills and better ships.
When you start doing missions you can only do level 1 missions. You can find agents that offer level 1 missions throughout empire space. To find the agents you can use the NeoCom – Agency tab – Agent. There you can filter search results by region, faction, corporation, level and division.
To be able to access higher tier missions you must increase your standing with your selected corporation. To increase standings you must complete missions for a corporation. It might be tempting to do missions for every corporation, but it is usually a better strategy to work for a single corporation and maximize your standings with them.
Completing missions is straightforward enough, just follow the instructions and you’re good. When you complete a mission you get some standing with the agent and his corporation. After 16 missions you get a special mission which gives higher rewards and standings with one of the empire factions.
The skill Social increases the standings gained from completing missions and Connections gives you extra standings in regards to what level of missions you can access.
As a final tip, I would recommend running missions for the NPC corporations that control the current trade hubs in empire space. Higher standing with these corporations will grant you some tax relief when you are selling goods at those stations. The current NPC corporations that control the biggest trade hubs are:
|2||Amarr||Emperor Family Academy|
|4||Rens||Brutor Tribe Treasury|
|5||Hex||Boundless Creation Factory|
There is also quite a number of players that begin their Eve Online experience by mining in ore belts. This path is best suited for players that wish to focus on the resource gathering, manufacturing and research aspects of the game. This game style is also somewhat hands off, in the sense that while in empire space you won’t need to pay too much attention to what’s going on around you.
So, if you like to have Eve Online running while completing other tasks, then mining is the way to go. Just be mindful of suicide gankers, which are players that take great pleasure in hunting down and killing empire miners (among others) by suicide ganking. You can read about some anti-gank barge fits and tactics to reduce the chances of this occurring. But while you are still in a Venture you should try to stay at the highest security space and try not to be too much AFK.
Also, remember that if you lose your mining ship that such is the way of Eve Online. There is nothing wrong with suicide ganking, it is just a part of the game you need to adjust to. There is no truly safe space in Eve Online.
Having read this, if you think mining is still for you, then read my ore mining guide for a complete walk-through on how to maximize your mining abilities.
Hunting down cosmic signatures for those sweet relics and data sites can be a fun way to start your life in Eve Online. You do need a little skill training to get started, but compared to other fields the entry-level skill requirements are not that high. For a good overview of exploring you should read my Eve Online exploration guide.
I Have Some Stuff in my Cargohold, What Should I do With it?
When you have gained items, either from mining or by looting dead pirates you need to decide on whether to sell them or keep them. If you sell them you need to familiarize yourself with how the marketplace in Eve Online works. Off all the tabs you open in Eve Online, the marketplace is one of the most used.
Start by docking at any station and move the stuff from your cargo hold to the item hangar. Right-click the stuff you want to sell and select market details. That will open a window looking like this.
What this screen shows is the highest price someone is willing to buy Kernite for and the lowest price someone is willing to sell Kernite for and the respective amounts. You may need to press the little arrows at the top of the price column to arrange it by price after you open the tab.
To get the best price for Kernite through a buy order you need to fly to Esteban VIII and sell it there. Or you can set up a sell order where you are located. To do so you again right click the product, select sell this item and insert the price you wish to sell the product for. Now you need to wait for someone to buy your stuff, but if the difference between buyer price and seller price is large, it can be a better choice.
On the flip side, you also use the market to buy stuff you need. You can decide to buy things straight from a seller, by right-clicking the item and select buy this item. Then you type in the number of items you need and select ok. You can also set up buy orders, where you offer to buy a certain amount of goods for a certain price. It’s a smart choice to familiarize yourself with how the marketplace works in Eve Online.
But What Skills Should I Train?
A lot of new players agonize over which skills they should train and in what order. My take on that is rather simple. Train whatever skills helps you do what you want to do at that moment. Don’t fall into the min/max trap that other MMO games have. There is no punishment for training the wrong skills. And if at some point you want to do something else, fine, the skills you have trained will always be there. Or you can sell them and buy new ones. But if you really want a list of skills for specific activities then you can probably find them in the numerous online guides for those activities, such as on this site.
After the First Weeks.
After your first couple of weeks of playing Eve Online, you should have amassed a small pile of ISK and gotten the hang of the basics of the game. At this point, it is time to decide if you want to continue what you are doing or move to other aspects of the game.
Eve Online offers a plethora of activities you can partake in as your skills and abilities grow. If you ever start to wonder what you can do in Eve Online you should take a look at this amazing flowchart made by Altrue shown below.
As you can see, there is almost an endless amount of activities. I have played the game since 2004 and must admit that I have not tried everything on that chart. Granted, in 2004 the chart was slightly smaller, but still.
Remember that you cannot choose a wrong path. If you decide, for example, to go for capital construction, get the skills and know how to build them and then discover that it sucks for you, you can just move to another interest without any penalty, except partially misused training time. And in many cases, the activities have overlapping skills. For example, most skills that are useful for mission running are also useful for PvP. And almost every skill needed for capital construction is needed for other forms of construction as well.
So, don’t waste time worrying about what’s best, just start something and see if you like it. However, you should probably try to find some written guides on the activity you are interested in as Eve Online is notorious for having a steep learning curve.
In any case, if you found this Eve Online beginners guide useful then please share it with whoever is also taking their first steps in this amazing game. And be sure to check out my other Eve Online guides.