The Cost of Living

I am curious what is the capsuleers’ cost of living apart from buying new ships and modules. I mean staples like food and accommodation. I saw mentions of the huge costs of living on a station but no specific ISK figures. Also, it would be good to understand a typical middle-class income planet-side for comparison. I need this information for my in-character blog where I describe how a software developer became a capsuleer. Knowing differences in income and prices before and after would help to describe his emotional reactions to the new reality.

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Generally I would say ISK -wise they’re negligible, similar to crew salary. To my knowledge there are no measurable guidelines and usually mentions of specific sums is avoided in chronicles etc.

There is surprisingly little lore about the money we all use. I’ll have to poke people and dig stuff up and also add this to the lore FAQ thread because this question is asked quite regularly.

As for the context you mentioned, it’s generally agreed that even the most destitute capsuleer from a planetary baseliner (average joe’s) perspective, is wealthy beyond most people’s dreams. Of course wealth is relative and among capsuleers if you don’t have at least a liquid 100 million you’re dirt poor.

you misspelled billion

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I don’t think it’d be strictly negligible in terms of so cheap compared to income you don’t even think about it, given the cost of living the good life is much much much higher than for a middling life. Products aimed at the wealthy are often vastly more expensive as a status symbol than for common buyers, look at the price difference between regular old rock salt from any supermarket and himalayan salt served in michelin star restaurants and available to buy for your home, the mark up despite both being chemically the same is insane. Heck, consider the isk cost of clothing available now off the market.

That said the costs relative to ships and modules I think can be considered somewhat negligible unless your pilot has some kind of expensive habit :stuck_out_tongue:

I like to imagine it’s like real world numbers. So a condo in a station(popular city) would be like 1 mil(usd) which we sneeze at while poor normies work their whole lives scrubbing station floors for like 2,000 isk a month.

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obviously, they are not scrubbing a lot in minmatar stations though

Compared to capsuleer income and then all the other expenses, costs of living are a pittance, at least in my headcanon.

Well, let’s say you make just real life conversions, you have a million dollar condo, eat fancy dinners, pay the water and electric bills for what all the roombas you need to clean for you, you spend what, some tens of thousands maybe a month? It’s been a long, long time I’ve done level 1 or 2 missions, but you can pay for all of that doing just one level 1 (or 2) mission a month, and you got that million or so ISK just doing the tutorials IIRC. Assuming payouts and the mission system are canon to some degree. So cost of living the high life - negligible, in my perspective.

Personally I wouldn’t look too carefully at the in-game market as a good tool for measuring what stuff costs, simply because it’s a capsuleer-to-capsuleer market. We probably pay premium on everything, certainly one would think so with the multi-billion ISK temp-tattoos.

I thought I remember hearing that 1 isk is the equivalent of the household income for a normal family for a year on a normal planet.

Or maybe that was 1000 isk.

Regardless… either one of those is nothing in game.

That 1isk quote dates back to the start of eve so is probably no longer accurate. the way isk is tossed around now in eve you could take it as a 1 to 1 ratio with planet dollars even. and we would still all be filthy rich given we measure income in millions per hour.

The rebuilding of myrska they posted about had a rebuild cost that suggests a 1 to 1 ratio if you want some more recent references. compare it to the cost of rebuilding Tokyo if Godzilla attacked it. Yes people have done the maths on the later.

I figure crews are covered by pilots lisence fees. Given how much isk a month they are worth.

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Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I understand no one has actually tried to express salaries and goods in ISK so far. Let me have a go at it. I am going to use Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) theory to calculate salaries in New Eden based on available commodity prices there and on Earth. As Big Mac Index is used to illustrate PPP of different currencies on Earth, I am going to use Vodka Index to compare Terran AUD and New Eden’s ISK.


An average planetside IT specialist’s annual salary in New Eden is just over 25,000 ISK. At the same time, bounty prizes for killing pirates on the first Seeker Investigation mission are 30,000 ISK. Given it takes just a few minutes to dispatch the pesky drones, even a beginner capsuleer is filthy rich compared to middle-class mortals, just as all of you suggested.

The Details

My calculations contain a lot of assumptions, and the main one is:

Salaries of average IT persons working on Earth and planetside in New Eden allow them to buy the same amount of vodka.

It’s an application of PPP theory where professional IT services are a currency and vodka is a commodity. I have also made the following assumptions:

  1. Spirits sold on New Eden markets are vodka.
  2. Net/gross volume proportion is the same for Earth’s wine boxes and for New Eden’s containers.
  3. Planetside alcohol is four times cheaper than alcohol sold on stations.
  4. Retail alcohol prices are four times higher than wholesale.

Then I combined these assumptions with facts from Earth and New Eden. Firstly, I calculated how many litres of vodka an average Australian IT person can buy:

  1. The cheapest vodka one can by at Dan Murphy’s is 30 AUD for 0.7 l.
  2. A litre of that vodka is 43 AUD.
  3. An average IT salary in 2016 according to SEEK is 100,000 AUD.
  4. Such person can buy 2333 litres of vodka.

Secondly, I determined the net to gross volume ratio for wine boxes on Earth:

  1. The volume of a 12-bottle wine box sold by Australia Post is 0.04 cubic metres.
  2. The volume of alcohol contained in that box is 0.009 cubic metres (12 0.75-litre bottles).
  3. Alcohol to total volume ratio is 0.23.

Thirdly, I worked out the price of a litre of vodka in New Eden

  1. The volume of a container with spirits is 0.2 cubic metres.
  2. The volume of vodka in that container is 46 litres.
  3. The price of a container with spirits on The Forge Regional Market is 500 ISK.
  4. The wholesale price of a litre of vodka on a station is 10.89 ISK.
  5. The wholesale planetside price of a litre of vodka is 2.72 ISK.
  6. The retail planetside price of a litre of vodka is 10.89 ISK.

Finally, I calculated the salary of an average planetside IT person in New Eden by multiplying the retail planetside price of a litre of vodka by 2333, which gave me roughly 25,000 ISK.

So, what do you think? Does it sound reasonable?

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ISK is a currency used only by capsuleer, and I think it equals to 1,000 RL monies. That would put ammo costs in the ten thousands euros, frigates in the billions euros and so forth. Empires created ISK to separate capsuleer economy from baseliner economy and we may assume a one to thousand ratio made sense to them.

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