Returning player, need some guidance on skill plan to achieve my goals


I haven’t played Eve in many years and have two accounts with characters and I’m not sure which to focus on first to achieve my goals.

One character is a Minmatar character that (I think) is primarily combat spec with ~11mil SP (and a name that I completely hate lol).

Then there’s this account, which I want to say is my “Main” account, despite being only at 7.3M SP. Gallente character that I (think) was specced in to exploration and missioning.

With this current venture, I’ve been thinking about learning a bit more about the industrial/trading side of things, and maybe move in to manufacturing. Basically try to learn all the “non-combat” aspects of Eve and try to take advantage of the things offered here that you don’t find other places.

My focus wants to be on production & generating an income. Once I have a solid income going, I think that could help supplement my character in to combat anyway.

But I don’t think I’m too much of a fan of “grinding combat” for money (unless it’s particularly fun, but when I last played it was fairly mindless). And the “business” side of Eve sounds fun anyway. So many interesting features I know nothing about.

Problem is, I suspect I’m going to need several characters in order to do this sufficiently. And I’m not looking forward to paying too many subscription fees, I don’t really want to pay more than 1 in cash.

And I’m honestly unsure which skills I want to focus on, as I’m completely out of the loop on which ships can do what content optimally, and furthermore, I have no idea which content might be most valuable to achieve my goal.

Any advice on what I should focus on first, in regards to spending my SP?

Or which character(s) I should focus on different skill lines? Would I really need more than 1, or is it reasonable to pull off with just 1?

Any advice would be appreciated… Thank you!

The hard truth of this issue is that your stated goals are not achievable solely through skills, and in fact, your skills will most likely have very little influence.

The Skills you want to focus on depend on exactly which part of the Production and Manufacturing chain you want to be engaged in.

Starting from the very beginning of the production chain:

Here, the important skills you’ll need are those to (1) pilot mining ships, and (2) utilize harvesting equipment and upgrades.

Ship skills would include Mining Frigate, Mining Barge, and Exhumers. Equipment skills would include Mining and Mining Upgrades.

If you want to mine more specific Ores, for example, Mercoxit, you’ll also need to train Deep Core Mining.


The second step in the production cycle is to Refine the Ore that you have mined. This is a very important step and is often where most of the margins are produced. Refining is the act of converting raw Ore into Minerals for use in production.

In the Resource Processing skill tree, you’ll notice dozens of “Processing” Skills. These skills will increase the refining Efficiency when your character refines ore of that type. For example, Spodumain Processing gives you +2% bonus in reprocessing yield per level, for a maximum of +10% at Level 5.

It is important to note that at this step, there are several other factors beyond just your character’s skill. The station that you refine at may have its own bonuses (for example, an the Refineries class of Upwell structures can each be fitted with Rigs that increase Reprocessing efficiency) as well as certain Implants.

Keep in mind that oftentimes, you’ll have to pay some amount in fees in order to utilize a Refining service.

For reference, at base refining, you’ll only be able to recover 50% of the Ore’s maximum Mineral output. At (near) perfect, you’ll be able to extract around 84%. That 34% comes from Skills, Implants, and a max refining rigged Refinery, so it’s not something that’s easily accessible, but will net you some nice margins for profitability.


The third step in the chain is production. The skills you need are Mass Production and Advanced Mass Production. These two skills will determine how many Production slots you’ll have access to.

The rest of the skills are nice, but fairly specialized. For example, all of the Advanced Ship Construction skills are specifically for T2 Ship hull production for that ship size (for example, Assault Frigates are considered Small ship, Recon Ships are considered Medium).

Keep in mind that as to your stated goal of “generating an income” this step requires that you do a fair bit of research. Simply producting whatever you feel like will not mean there are people who will be willing to buy.

You’ll have to spend some time researching the local markets, checking their prices and determining whether you can produce ships with enough of a margin to make it profitable for you.

If you already know what you want to build, then that’s good news, because you can proceed to the Blueprints.

You can purchase Blueprint seeded by the NPCs at various Stations around empire space, but they’ll generally be geared towards those of that empire’s many naval faction. For example, if you want to build Gallente ships, you’ll only find Blueprints for Gallente ships seeded in NPC Stations in Gallente space.

These Blueprints are considered “clean” blueprints, as in that they have not been Reseaerched yet. Blueprints have 2 aspects that can be improved by players. These are Material Efficiency (ME), and Time Efficiency (TE). ME reduces the total amount of input materials consumed by that amount, while TE reduces the total duration of the production job by its amount.

For example, if you have a 0 ME and 0 TE Blueprint that consumes 100 Tritanium and takes 60 minutes to complete. A blueprint with 5 ME and 5 TE would consume only 95 Tritanium and take 54 minutes to complete.

In order to research these Blueprints, you’ll need to have trained the Laboratory Operations and Advanced Laboratory Operations skills in the Research skill tree. These will increase the number of Research job slots that you have.

Blueprints can only be researched up to a maximum of ME 10 (for a total of 10% Material efficiency) and TE 20 (for a total of 20% reduction in build time).


Finally, once you have mined your ore, refined it into minerals, and produced your goods. You’ll have to sell them.

Here, the only real skills you need are those that provide for Market Slots, such as Trade, Retail, Wholesale and Tycoon. If you would like to engaged in Contract work, the aptly named skill Contracting is what you want.

The rest of the Marketing skills are nice to have and can be used to help supplement any of the previous steps in the chain. For example, Broker Relations can help reduce the Brokers Fees that you incur when setting up a Buy Order in NPC stations. This can help shave off some margins when you want to purchase some Minerals or Ore that you’ll use to Produce or Refine.

Final Words

If I can #realtalk for a moment. You will never get a “solid income going” from doing production as a solo pilot. You’ll be competing against hundreds of other players, many who have alts or have social connections that boost their positions.

It’s all too common that some new(er) player joins the game with visions of grandeur, but the thing is, Production and Manufacturing is ultimately a numbers game. Every bit of margin you can save and every slight expense you shave off at each step of the chain adds up to make profits.

As a solo pilot, you’ll spend a couple of hours mining only to find out that you’ve gotten enough ISK to build a destroyer or two. Then when you build 'em, realize that people are already selling them for 8-10% below what you need in order to just break even, let alone profit.

If you really want to get into this kind of gameplay, you’re going to need to join a corporation that specializes in in so that you can take advantage of the numbers and services their offer for you.

Good luck, but I wouldn’t put my eggs into this basket as a solo pilot.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply and advice!

Regarding the “solo play” thing, yeah I figured connections would be required. Similar to “networking” IRL. That’s one thing that intrigues me about this aspect of the game actually. I’m just a bit puzzled as to where I should start first.

For example, I could focus on “Trade” first and maybe flip some other items to make money, but on the other side of it I assume it “takes money to make money”. Also I would assume trading isn’t at optimal value if you’re not trading items you produce yourself yet anyway, so IDK if it’s a good idea to go for first.

Regarding production itself, I’ve read it’s very reliant on getting the T2 blueprints and production/research going, And I assume that also needs money to make money.

Then there’s other factors I could think of, such as other means to aquired needed resources/etc.

And a whole list of features I know nothing about such as “science” in general, and how “planetary interaction” and various other features added over the years interact.

So I’m really lost as to which direction to go lol. In about 11 hours my current skill finishes and I have no idea where to head next. Not sure what type of corp I would need, or what services a corp might offer to help, I need to figure out what I’m looking for.

Also, I see so much talk about modern Eve “needing multiple accounts” so I don’t know how true that is, I’m trying to measure that in my plan as well.

Just lost a bit lol.

Apologies, it’s hard to explain what I’m looking for exactly, in a game like this that’s full of things I know nothing about.

Yeah, this is a pretty good way to start out. You don’t need much starting capital. Most of your profits will come primarily from researching what is worthwhile to invest in, then buying low and selling high.

I’ve seen success stories from people starting out with just 300m-500m or so and building up to several billion in a month or two.

That’s not… necessarily true. What I suspect is that you are misinterpreting the statements of an experienced manufacturer.

You don’t need T2 blueprints to get production or research going. But due to how easy it is get into T1 production, T2 production generally ends up being where most of the worthwhile profits are.

It adds in additional steps to the chain, for example Moon Mining, Moon Ore Refining, Intermediate and Composite Reactions with “Moon Goo”, and then production of T2 Components with the Composites. Additionally, you’ll also need to invest in Planetary Production for certain commodities that you cannot acquire anywhere else.

It’s that complexity that makes it worthwhile in profits because most people are lazy and will stay away from it, giving those who do invest into the system greater market power (in a manner of speak).

That’s really up to you, tbh. I would recommend you join up with a newbro- friendly Nullsec Corporation like Horde, Brave, Brand Newbros, Karmafleet, and the like.

There’s a lot of “grrr nullsec” on the forums but it’s mostly bad highsec players who don’t know any better.

Getting settled in a Nullsec corporation will fast track you into (1) making a lot of isk, (2) acquiring the knowledge and support of the alliance members, and (3) a safe region to do both of those in.

Getting that kickstart is a good way to get a fast grasp on the overall concept of the game. After you’ve fattened up your wallets, you’re already free to leave and try your hand at making it out on your own.

It depends on what you’re doing. If you want to just do some exploration, some combat, and dabble in a few things. You can do that on a single account.

If you want to mine your own capital fleets and build hundreds of battleships, you’ll probably want multiple accounts.

The worst thing to do is waste your money and ISK funding multiple accounts without knowing what you want to do. The best rule of thumb is to just stick with one character until you find out something that you can’t do. Then ask yourself if it is something that’ll make your life easier by having another account.

Thanks again for the response!

Well I’m still a bit lost in my 2 dilemmas lol.

  1. My higher SP char by 3-4mil SP has a name I absolutely hate. I’m not sure if I’d be losing out by not taking advantage of the character.

  2. I’m still not quite sure what to focus on first. A part of me thinks it’s still good to invest in combat a bit as it seems a lot of the “new features” added over the years at least have some form of combat requirement. On the other hand, there’s so many possibilities for exploration/trade/production/research, and I’m not sure the “sweet spot” where they become ideally profitable.

Just saying 3-4m SP doesn’t really mean anything because no one knows where those skillpoints are allocated. They could be all be in Marketing and Trade, at which point, you could just leave him in Jita as an alt to do some shopping. Or they could be 3-4m in Planetary Production, etc.

That’s really an “up to you” thing, so do whatever you want with it.

There isn’t, and you’re not going to find it by training a couple of skills. The “sweet spot” where things become profitable depend on how creative you’re able to get with your income sources. Training skills won’t help you at all with this.

If you find this I’ll pay you for the info. After 10+ years I am still looking for it :slight_smile:

You mentioned solo, I can’t say enough bad things about that choice for a new player, join a corp, then if that one sucks, don’t give up try another. Finding a good corp is not easy but it is one of the best moves any player in EVE can make.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.