Space combat and ISK for it

A very good afternoon,

I’ve been playing EvE on and off since 2004… mostly off ;).

First time really did not understand anything (coming from WoW). Me and my bro just fitted what we found instead of really making fittings… :P.

I’ve learned way more since then and my main (since fall of 2023) is mainly living in low sec. I’ve seen all the ganking topics and decided might as well head to low. All I do in high is missioning every now and then. Trying to evade gankers in low adds an additional dimension to the game.

For me being ganked is a ‘problem’ cause of isk… I make enough with anomalies and some clone soldiers to happily lose some frigates and even an occasional cruiser. However… with the income of just anomalies, CS’s and some missioning I’ll probably won’t get much further then that. Limited time is of course an issue (kids, job, wife… not necessarily in that order) but other then that there must be better ways for ISK.

What I mostly got out of the topics about ganking is players casually mentioning that they just moved a hauler with 20 bil in it… I mean… really!?! I suppose that is just a fraction of your wealth then and maybe these 20b’s are going to be trippled and that’s why you are moving them…

If I’d have that kind of money I’d always jump in at least a cruiser and PvP…

Why I’m mentioning this is the usual comment about how to get good in PvP is to of course just go out and do it. Research how to fly, how to fit and then go! In my newb experience there is one problem and that is ISK. Eventually you want to upgrade your ship… Why? Cause all I see when I’m hunted is Munin’s, Vagabond’s, Sacriliges and so on… I get you can be one hell of a pilot but let’s be real, a Vagabond vs a Stabber heavily favor’s the first…

So basically… how do some of you end up with billions? running Abyssal, Anomalies, ratting, missioning only get’s you so far… You won’t make billioins that way on a regular basis right?

I really want to get into space combat in this game, but ISK is an issue for me… My first billion took some serious time… 4 months or so… Loose 2 Vagabonds and you’re back to square one…

Knowing how to learn without breaking the bank is a skill. Don’t fly a half billion ISK Vagabond. Fly a few million ISK frigate. Sure you can’t take every fight, but you couldn’t anyway even if you were a Vagabond.

  1. Research and Plan (figure out your fits and what kinds of enemy fits you can take)
  2. Prepare (get the ships together at your home)
  3. Execute (go hunting or make yourself bait)
  4. Lose your ship (and make others lose theirs in the process)
  5. Reflect and learn

Concretely I recommend:

  • Third partying the FW war zones in a frigate
  • Recording your fights
  • Using the Novice Frigate Yearbook 2023 for fit ideas
  • Picking one place to live out of, and collect many ships for quick refits
  • Use zKill as intel (but you only see the fits of losses so be careful about ideas there)

Unless you’re gate camping lucrative pipes in lowsec or ganking in highsec, you can’t really earn a living off PvP directly anymore (CCP Games got rid of it long ago), and you’ll find little sympathy from carebear on this point in the forum. You can either grind PvE to fund your PvP or buy more Plex to sell for ISK.

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Personally I got wealthy in EvE by industry (production of capital modules and Upwell structures), market speculations, and participating in events for years. The last one is still a reliable source, each event you can make about ~2-5B as a solo pilot, which takes you a while in PvP. Ship down and fly what is in your budget, and/or join fleets. Smaller ships are more fun anyway.

My approach to PvP is a bit special and lazy, I’m mostly flying Hecate and Eris solo, cruise around lowsec and Pochven, and engage whatever I can catch and potentially beat. With the loot I’m about break even. I don’t look for the good fights anymore, they will come to you from time to time.

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Ah… finally a question that’s right up my alley.

Io has some great recommendations. Battlefields in faction warfare give you great LP if you can piggy back on a team that runs them. As long as you actually fight and are willing to explode, you can earn a reputation that will let you avoid your own guys popping you to reduce the payout for 30+ members on grid. Your mileage will vary on this. It also sounds like you enjoy fighting, so cruiser and frigate sized complexes also offer the even more important resource called fun when you can manage to find fights. If you don’t like the logistics of building, you can grab blueprints from the LP store and put them on contracts in trade hubs for competitive prices. Building and selling the ships is far more reliable though. Faction warfare will probably give you opportunities to make friends as well.

Buying and selling on the market is arduous and tedious but very profitable. Like real life arbitrage, buy orders is where you cut a margin, and you’ll have to manage sell orders along with your own patience. If this doesn’t sound appealing, do yourself a favor and avoid it altogether. That goes for all of these recommendations.

Rare resource harvesting is decent isk/time spent. An endurance or prospect in a wormhole or low/null site can grab gas or rare ores and avoid damage from large rats, and escape from players. Having some hauling ships & knowhow will go a long way with this when it’s time to dump your stuff for money. It can also lead you to understanding the importance of moving stuff around and how you can profit from that. Reactions are very time consuming but can you can make money if you can get the logistics sorted. Jump freighters are a huge investment but they are amazing for both courier contracts and personal use.

Other than that, mission running, DED sites, incursions, pochven stuff, PI, anomaly/belt ratting, anything making ISK in this game is going to be tedious. I’ve heard homefront missions are lucrative but also contested and require multiple accounts or buddies. I haven’t tried it and probably won’t.

My absolute #1 recommendation is to spend a little time in real life making some extra money, and buying PLEX. To keep things simple for my own simple brain, I consider 1 million ISK equivalent to .01 USD. So a 25 million ISK fitted faction frigate, to me, is like putting a quarter in the arcade machine. Of course that isn’t completely accurate, but it’s close enough for me.

This is a game and you are supposed to have fun playing it. If it’s the only game you play you can consider putting the money you don’t spend on other games into PLEX for this one. Your wallet isn’t your score unless you find joy in the challenge of learning the complexities of making ISK.

To me it sounds like you just want some cool ships to fight in. Get PLEX.


I was poor for the first three years or so. But given more time, you come across profitable activities. You get lucky and find an expensive module you can sell, or win a raffle of some Twitch-streamer for an item you can later sell. You learn and find profitable ways easier.
You may find an activity you like and can stand the grind. For me, exploration filled that role for a large part.

Over time you may also build up a network of people who can get you along activities that yield good ISK. Incursions, raids, heists, high-class wormhole farms, CRAB-beacons, Pochven, and the like.
Your skill points will also accumulate, giving access to better ISK-yielding activities. Of course with more expensive assets, you also risk more. So it kind of keeps balanced.
But you can tip that balance in your favor by PvPing with affordable, yet competitive ships.

So if you just play since late 2023, give yourself some time. People hauling 20bil likely spent some years getting there. Eve is over 20 years old after all.

Cooperating with other players.

It cannot be repeated often enough: If you play the game solo (or semi-solo with one friend only), you will always be the victim and alway be poor (compared to what other players/groups can afford/field against you). You will also miss 95% of the content and fun the game has to offer.

If you join a decent corp, learn from their veterans and take part in the content they run (be it mining, industry, ratting, incursions, whatever…) you will get rich enough to use T2 ships with T2 fittings sooner than you can skill to actually use these ships (and I mean really understand how to use them, not boarding them).

As a simple example: One of our noobs joined like 6 months ago, gone though the hard learning process of surviving in a WH-environment and lost dozens of ships during that time. Last time I checked he runs two Omegas now, at least one paid with PLEX and has double-digit billions in Assets. From scratch. Just from not playing alone.

So: Join a PvP corp, ask around what income sources they provide for their members and take actively part in there. Money will come all by itself. And also PvP skill and kills once you take part in their fleet operations.

You say you fly frigs and the occasional cruiser, which means you should have plenty of isk and it should be trivial for you to replace those ships. And then you said you made a billion and lost 2 vagabonds and now you have nothing?

Why dont you not fly a vagabond and instead just a regular stabber or stabber fleet issue instead? Thats your first step towards saving. You have to be financially frugal and responsible.

Its like in real life. If you go out and spend your entire paycheck on a single dinner or two, and then come back to us and say “I dont know how you guys save your money? I just spent a month getting 5000 dollars, and two dinners later, im down to $0”, the answer is probably “Dont spend 2000 dollars on a single dinner? Are you an idiot or something?”

You save up. Its like in real life. Save up. None of us started with a trust fund of a trillion isk… although i guess some people spend real money buying plex and selling it.

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Thanks everyone for the constructive input!

@Io_Koval I keep hearing about FW. I’ll stop being stubborn and give that a go. I really want to fly one step bigger and eventually more blingy. But I hear about FW to often not to try it. See how it goes.

@Tipa_Riot I’ll keep an eye on the calander for events, if nothing else it’s a slight change of pace when it happens. Industry is the one thing I have never checked. When the kids go to bed tonight I’ll grab my coffee and do a little research.


I don’t fully follow… If you ‘do your best’ they will let you join in/live? Or you need to do something special to not get shot by your own buddies? :slight_smile:
Market trading is probably the best way to get rich. However as you said it needs to be up your alley. Patience with stuff like that I can have… but not really good at it. Heck if I was I could probably use that same method in real life :stuck_out_tongue:
The real life money I did use some to boost the first 3 million skill points. I still fly frigates half the time, but also wanted to get to cruisers more quickly. I do enjoy anoms, missions and will start with an Abyssal today. those activities are good enough to ‘waste’ frigates and probably in the end also cruisers. But to use real life money more actively… Somehow I don’t want to. I could, but for some reason (call it OCD) I want to be able to do my in game stuff with own in game support. Might be weird but for now it is my rule.

@Syzygium The corp I’m in just started do WH. I should have some time soon to join up with then there and see how that goes. I agree 100%, the game without doing anything extra already got way more fun cause I’m in an active corp with chatter over discord.

@Solonius_Rex The Vagabond was an example, I haven’t flown those yet for the very reason you mention. To expensive right now to lose. I’d like to be able to get out of the ‘frigates and occasional cruiser’. At the moment in low sec those HAC’s are the ones I usually get chased around by. That and of course strategic cruisers. I’d love to be able to go toe to toe with them at some point. If nothing else at least the fight might last longer then! I’d like to get better but if the fights last 10 secs you don’t learn much :P.
I’m trying to figure out how some folk can apprently lose stuff like Vagabonds several times without worrying for cash. Saving up with my cash flow I can fly one per 4 months or so. Doing that means 2,5 fights per year… will take some time to learn then ;). That was the only point I was trying to make.

PS: as new user I was only allowed to respond to 2 persons per post, hence the 3 repllies :slight_smile:

Frigates arent new player ships, so theres no shame in being say, a 200m sp player flying a frigate for something. Frigs/cruisers have their uses for different areas including FW, or burner missions.

Frostpacker makes its wealth by donating raw isk to @Aiko_Danuja and in return for knowledge of how to be a real pirate just like @Uriel_the_Flame the pirate of the jet cans!

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Slight correction: anchored Audit Log Secure Container. :slight_smile:

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You can fly destroyers and cruisers. And blingy. In FW. Only you know the rate at which you burn through ISK and what is sustainable in your budget. If it’s small and you plan to die a lot then that affects your runway of funds.

In fact flying cheap cruisers may be better if you aren’t recording your PvP sessions and recognizing the rock/paper/scissors of midslots is still challenging. The fights for frigates are flashpan fights in comparison with cruisers, the latter of which have enough EHP to have a fight last longer. It’s hard for rookies to recognize this in the moment during a frigate fight but not impossible. It comes down to your learning style.

A cheap cruiser will very roughly cost about the same as an assault frigate or navy destroyer.

Keep in mind eve is more than 20 years old and people have been playing this whole time (with multiple accounts active at a time). many grind this game 15 hours a day. and clearly a lot of people buy plex, otherwise the game would have trouble existing.

Just like in real life, in eve you need to spend money to make money, and the more money you have, the more you can make. say you are playing the market, and you can make a 1% profit on an item just by reselling it. if you invest 1mil, you get 10k in profit, but if you spend 10 billion you get100mil. granted its not always this simple but you get the idea.

As a solo you typically top out around 200m an hour for a single account unless you are doing very difficult activities. t5 abyss and marauder ratting are two you might want to look at.(the ships for this take a large investment)