NPC Miners Suck

Let me clarify some key points before I go in.
I am a returning player starting in at Alpha. I was Omega for years and developed my alt to be a miner. Got all the way up into the juicy tech 2 barges, joined a corp or two to get sweet mining boost and to try mining in low-sec, gas mining, ice mining, all that stuff. I took a very long break because, at the end of the day, I just didn’t have the time or money to devote to the full game.

I came back with an itch. An itch to orbit an asteroid and shoot lasers at it. I don’t have a lot of free time these days. I just wanted to orbit an asteroid for an hour or so, listen to some chill tunes, and then go on my merry way.

Lo and behold, all of the belts in my home system were totally empty, save for these strange NPC miners I’d never seen before. I asked questions in Help, learned that they’re hard to deal with because of the ‘protection’ fleet that comes in, and with my alt being a miner, there was nothing that I could do. Being an alpha, I wasn’t even sure if I could train into a ship good enough to handle the response fleet, and after attacking one, all the rest would disappear. All of that ore they’re carrying, gone into the void.

So I checked other systems. Empty. Five systems over the course of about thirty minutes. Empty. Ten more systems after that. Empty. Yes, all in hi-sec. I don’t have the time or patience for low-sec. I don’t want to be paranoid with my eyes wide open watching for gankers when I play this game. I wanted to chill and shoot some asteroids. I didn’t want to spend hours hunting for ice or gas pockets, also looking over my shoulder for gankers. I wanted to orbit an asteroid and shoot some lasers at it from my little bumblebee venture.

Instead, I just found a TON of these NPC miners. Floating there. Doing nothing. I did finally find a belt with some asteroids and found a whole fleet of these miners with 4 lasers a piece, melting rocks faster than I could get one cycle off of my own tech 1 lasers.

I went in looking for a chill, relaxing time. Instead I left frustrated with zero motivation to get back into the game.

Yes, I’m a noob. Yes I’m a hi-sec miner. Yes I enjoy it.
No, I don’t want to join a corp. No, I don’t want to mine in low sec or null sec. No, I don’t want to gas or ice mine. No, I don’t want to be ganked or invest hours and days and weeks and months into training a ton of skills (in game and out of game) just to be better at not getting blown up by some troll that gets his rocks off on beating up noobs.

Not to mention how wonderfully helpful the Help chat was, with people berating me constantly about being ‘helpless’. All of their suggestions would involve investing more time than I have in my busy schedule. A game that I turned to to relax, of all things, is now nothing of the sort. Yeah, I’m probably in the minority. I get it. But I don’t want to have to spend 1-2 hours searching belts for one tiny rock just so I can finally get to the content that I want.

Orbiting asteroids and shooting lasers at it.

CCP, please get rid of NPC miners. They add nothing positive to the game except to give hi-sec gankers something else to shoot at.



The NPC miners deploy out of stations owned by their corporations. They go 1-2 jumps, so can be in any system within that range.

The list of current Corps involved is here (12 in total)

You can check the ingame map for the station locations (used to be able to anyway), or on Dotlan. For example, Ducia Foundary stations:

Once you know where the stations are, it’s fairly easy to avoid systems they will be in and Dotlan really helps for that too.


South or north of Verge Vendor should be NPC miners free. Get out of Solitude High sec.

This seems… incredibly implausible. I visit system after system in highsec looking for miners to gank and almost every single one is flush with belts full of ore. Maybe next to Jita some are mined out by downtime, but there are over 1200 highsec systems and the majority of which have no miners at all and have asteroid belts that are mostly untouched by players or NPCs.

Maybe your overview isn’t set up correctly? Or you are looking at anomalies not belts? But even with the NPCs I bet only a few percent of the total ore available is mined each day.

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THANK you guys. You’ve already been more helpful than the Help channel. If I have to get a new home farther away from certain areas, then I’m toooootally ok with that.

I’ll take a look at the maps and some of the lower populated hi sec areas. Thanks for helping me understand how the NPC miners work. I’ll find an area where they don’t mine.


You can also shoot the miners and scare them away for awhile. You can also gank their hauler and grab all the ore in it. Don’t fight the response fleets, they are OP.

The NPC miners also cheat. I bumped an NPC Skiff 100 km off the asteroid it was mining and it still stayed locked on and mining from 100 km out.


Tip: in highsec, don’t really mine on weekends. NPC miners are bad enough, the higher amount of people on weekends make it worse.

NPC miners are a MASSIVE problem as far as I am concerned. They do kill whole systems daily. NPC Ventures with 4 mining lasers are OP but a whole fleet of Exhumers is just wrong. The NPC miners need dialed back some.
You can scare them away with a single shot fired at them, then dock up at a station and come back in a mining ship. The NPC can be gone for 10-20 minutes and show back up. Rinse and repeat. If you don’t kill any NPC ships you don’t lose standing with the Corp/faction.


Can you guys tell me the systems this is happening so I can see if there is a way slow them down?

They are easy enough to find. Just combat probe scan a system and they show up as ‘NPC’ or a ship name with a diamond next to it. Check a few systems and you’ll find some.

These aren’t that new although I don’t know if there are more of them recently or they are behaving differently. Here is one of the original threads describing them:

I meant the systems that they were saying are being emptied.

Sorry, should have been more clear.

I’m also curious, because the miners themselves never dock, just warp off to a dead space area. So if you destroy the miners, do they come back?

Yes, they will show up again after a while. Also haulers dock and undock like normal players, only barges seem to magically appear.

Miner fleets and response fleet can be seen on dscan, and probed down with combat probes.

As for the topic - I’m hunting haulers on a regular basis and, out of hundrets encounters, I’ve only seen once maybe twice that they wiped the whole system out of rocks (actually there’s no evidence players didn’t do it instead). I’d suggest simply moving to a different location if that’s the case.

Those fleets can also drop nice amount of ore so if one gets bored with mining killing those can be a more exciting way of mining. With some caution and proper tactics response fleet can be easily soloed and it doesn’t even have to be killed.

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Also started hunting those fleets recently. Done several dozens so far. Pretty easy if you know what you’re doing. Even with battleship response fleet spawns. (Those Arbitrators though, they hit you at any distance. I mean any. 300-400+ km. Gotta do a bug report at some point…)

In systems I do my hunting there are usually 3 or 4 different fleets at any moment, Poksu, Joint Harvest, Ducia and Gurista (theres a FOB hanging there). Sometimes they suck belts dry, but strangly enough they sometimes just all hang in there doing nothing.

When they were released the skins were new and rare ones went for hundreds of millions isk. Now the best ones, the Rorqual and Orca worth around 100 mil, but 90% of the time you get Venture/Prospect/Endurance skins which are under a million. Which really makes me question if I want to continue hunting them at all. Empire NPC mining fleets that is. Pirate skins still worth a fortune.

So that I think is part of the reason why noone bothers to hunt these miners. Reward price dropped, but what do you expect if you give away permanent skins. I think market for skins is quite limited, btw given the time pirate skins will drop in price too.

The other part of the reason in my opinion is that miners themselves without a hauler are not worth killing at all. I heard they drop those nice faction mining upgrades, but I’m yet to see one and I killed hundreds of Ventures/Retrievers and dozens of Skiffs.

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sooo many words… sooo little time…

If you see them in the belt, get your trusty rookie corvette and shoot one of them, then warp out before some ships land on grid. They will be gone and response fleet will be gone too after you come back in a minute or two. All asteroids yours then.

Thats true. You can scare them off by attacking. They warpout to a safespot, then after some time they despawn along wth response fleet. But they spawn again later. If your usual play time is not right after DT, the belts might still be empty.

Got an excellent example recently. Two adjacent systems, both have Gurista FOBs in them, so Gurista Productions NPC fleet. And four(!) other NPC groups. One has 3 belts, the other has 5. Several hours after DT there are no asteroids, only those miners warping around. And they dont spawn haulers, cause theres no ore to haul. So theres no incentive to shoot them to despawn, or kill them. It wont bring back asteroids, and without haulers theres no reward.

The whole mechanics looks messy and not thought through. I mean there are whole constellations with 3-4-5 NPC miner corps in each system. Why are there so many? They either suck belts dry and hang broken for the rest of the day, or dont mine at all hanging seemingly broken. Doesnt look like working mechanics to me.

Mods from DED sites are expendable and are always in demand. The skins are permanent and you can only sell so many until they drop in price to become unprofitable to hunt for.

There are also mining drone BPCs and mining upgrades that may be THE reward really, expendable, always in demand etc., and skins were supposed to become cheap eventually. And I got 2 Harvester Drones and several Elara Mining Upgrades in less than 2 weeks hunting, so I really shouldnt complain, so I’ll stop. :blush:


Did those drop from the haulers or from the mining ships?

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Got a couple Mining Upgrades from mining ships, another couple opening boxes from haulers. Drone BPCs from boxes only so far.

I got over billions from them.