Sand's Suggested Solutions for Surviving the Sandbox

(TL;DR at the bottom)

Greetings, fresh-faced capsuleers! I would like to offer you three suggestions for how to best survive in the great sandbox that is Eve Online. These suggestions have nothing to do with making isk, properly setting skill queues or understanding ship fitting do’s and don’t’s. As it turns out, you can bork each of those things time and again and not only survive in the sandbox, but even thrive (within reason, ha).

What I offer you are the lessons I’ve learned over my years of bouncing in and out of Eve, particularly the differences between immensely enjoying the game as I am right now versus all the times I tried the game and succumbed to either boredom or frustration and “quit” in prior attempts. I wish I had taking these ideas to heart in the past, but alas, sometimes you learn things the hard way. But maybe you don’t have to! So take these suggestions as just that, suggestions, but I pray you’ll take them to heart, weigh them, and if fitting, apply them to your own situation.

Without further ado, I believe the follow three suggestions will lead you to truly enjoy Eve online. And if you’re enjoying the game and what you do in it, then you’ve won Eve. And may your victory last for years to come.

**Suggestion #1 - Understand what kind of game Eve is. As basic as this concept is, if you read other threads on this forum, you might find that there isn’t 100% agreement on what the nature of Eve even is. All I can share is my own experience and understanding. I don’t know if this is strictly true, but I once heard that Eve is named Eve because it is Everyone Versus Everyone. In other terms, it’s PVP. And it clearly is. But that will manifest itself in many different ways in your Eve experience.

The most obvious example is when players blow each other up. When I first started, I was encouraged to go “die in a fire.” Now, that may seem harsh and even sadistic, but it was said with the greatest desire to see me flourish in this game. What was meant was, “Get out there and try to blow someone up. Don’t worry, they’ll blow you up first, so just expect it. But get out there and try!” This mentality appeals to many people. Good on them! You might designate this as “combat PVP.” This kind of PVP might find you whether you’re looking for it or not, whether you “consent” to it or not. Except for extreme circumstances, if you’re undocked, combat PVP can find you.

If that is unacceptable to you, you have a very frustrating experience ahead of you. Having said that, I do not seek out combat PVP, but part of my game experience is the thrill of knowing that I am part of a vast galaxy full of people who might try to blow me up. And so whether I’m mining or hauling or mission running, I’m going to keep a look out, play smart, and if they blow me up, well, whether or not I put a “gf” in local or not will depend on my mood, but I certainly won’t pitch a fit about it. This is Eve.

Pretty much everything else fits into what I might call “competition PVP.” This is the fact that when you sell loot/ore/products in the market, you’re competing with other players for the best prices. When you do any sort of exploration, you might literally be racing another player to the payout, and even though you never fire a shot at each other, one of you is going to beat the other. And yes, more experienced players will beat you to the goal. But that’s competition. It will happen. I could say more on this, but I hope you get the idea. Regardless of the activity, you are competing against thousands of other players and it might take a while before you start consistently winning those battles. That’s ok. You’ll get there. In the meantime, there are smaller victories to be had. This is Eve.

Suggestion #2 - Know what kind of player you are. This is going to tie into the third suggestion quite a bit, but just as important as understanding what kind of game is, you have to understand what kind of player you are. And the biggest part of this is knowing whether or not Eve is the game for you. The realities involved in Suggestion #1 or immutable. If you can deal with them, you’re in a prime position to survive and thrive in the sandbox of Eve. If you can’t, then part of this suggestion is to look for another game where you can enjoy the baseline concept of what it is.

But if you’re good with the realities of Eve, then the next step is figuring out what kind of a player you are. What floats your boat; what tickles your fancy? Do you want to be a hardcore combat PVP type? Go for it! Do you want to build your own little empire and work your way to owning your own citadel and be as self-sufficient as possible? Go for it! Just keep the realities of #1 in mind! For me, one of the major reasons I always flamed out in earlier attempts at Eve was that I refused to join a corporation. This time, I did. I randomly found this guy mining in his orca with a couple alts. I struck up a conversation. He invited me to their corp chat. Turns out all the group wanted from me in return for corp membership was to tell the group a joke. I gave them the lamest dad joke I had in my arsenal. They laughed and I was in! And this group of social and real-life-first guys has made all the difference in my enjoyment of Eve. I never knew I needed to be THIS kind of player in order to enjoy Eve. And you know what? Maybe you don’t need to be that kind of player. But I did. So I suggest that you at least check it out as an option. But YOU decide what kind of player you’re going to be then BE THAT. Why? Because this is Eve. Which leads us to the last most simple suggestion.

Suggestion #3 - Play this friggin’ game unapologetically! Now, one caveat: this is not license to be a tool-bag. And that’s only my opinion. So if you want to be a tool-bag. Be a tool-bag. But don’t ever tell anyone I encouraged you to be that. What I mean is, with suggestion 1 and 2 firmly understood, play this game the way you want to and then don’t apologize if someone else says you’re doing it wrong. Now, there’s a difference between asking advice or getting help with game mechanics and receiving that help and someone telling you that since you’re not optimized, since you’re not making the commitment that they are, then you’re doing it wrong. Never be afraid to ask for advice or that kind of help. But if someone acts like you’re stupid for playing the way you’re playing, ignore them. Actually, see if there’s anything that might be true in what they’re saying (ya know, sometimes even tool-bags can blurt out something that’s actually true), but take whatever that truth might be and make yourself better, but completely ignore the personal-aspect of their tool-baggery. Some people practically think that you’re immoral in some way if you don’t play this game the way they think it should be played. Forget them. Play this game the way you find it most fun. Why? Because this is Eve. If you’re able to do it and you want to do it, do it.

Welcome to Eve.


  1. Understand what kind of game Eve is.
  2. Know what kind of player you are.
  3. Play the game unapologetically.

This is Eve. And that is all. Thanks for reading. I hope this helps someone get over the hurdles I stumbled over so many times in the past.


Good post and advice.

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