What are the significant sources and sinks for ISK?

Yesterday I noticed that in theory EVE’s ISK/PLEX market can collapse, most likely from insufficient supply. I doubt this will actually happen, but if it did, the early signs would be consistent with what’s happening to the PLEX market right now.

In fact I think we just have “above-trend” ISK inflation and a slightly illiquid PLEX market. This which would display the same symptoms, and work itself reasonably fast “automagically”. To verify that I need to know where ISK can enter the game, and where it can leave, hence the question in the title.

A lot of people don’t understand how RL money and/or game money work. This is because you don’t need to understand how money works to use it effectively.

Some hints:

  • Buying and selling “EVE stuff” (e.g. ships) in the market doesn’t create ISK, it just moves it between players
  • Mining doesn’t create ISK
  • Destruction of “EVE stuff” (e.g. ships) doesn’t destroy ISK
  • Paying fees and taxes to NPCs destroys ISK
  • ISK rewards from missions create ISK, but “EVE bling” like faction modules do not

Ratting creates a lot of isk


Luckily I came back to this post.

My original response was critical of your reply - but that was because I misread “ratting” as “retiring” :frowning:

Sorry about the unjustified earlier reply (now replaced by this new version), and thanks for the input!.

1 Like

Tbh now that I think of it isk if never really destroyed. Losing modules don’t destroy isk and nor does losing ships.

Sales Taxes and Broker Fees in NPC stations destroy ISK. Buying skillbooks in school stations destroys ISK.

But compared to the trillions earned by ratting. It’s barely a drop in the ocean

Yes, and even less these days because lots of ISK that used to be destroyed by Broker Fees now goes into user wallets thanks to structure markets. One of the great innovations of CCP.

If ISK in and ISK out doesn’t more-or-less balance you’ll get consistent, fairly high inflation.

Most games get someone numerate in early on. They help the designers set the game up with low inflation. Later, the game company will intervene if necessary to avoid “hyper-inflation”.

EVE had a real economist on staff for a while. There’s no way he didn’t set this up properly.

Insurance policies are an isk faucet and sink.
you spend isk for a policy… if you stay alive for the 3 months you lose isk.
if you die you recieve more isk then you paid for the policy isk created.

Buying skill books to use, bpo’s from npc vendors, and any research of me/te or invention copy fees to npc stations are also a loss of isk.

Another big loss of isk is the new asset safety mechanic. 15% on any assets moved out of a system or .5% on insystem transfers. The cost is based off current market values for items… not sure if its by region or game wide? If its by region expect this to get meta gamed… back and enemy into 1 npc station and manipulate the regional markets to gouge them even more to get their capitals outta hock.

Oh one more… Turning in Overseer’s Personal Effects which are DED loot to Concord at a Concord station creates isk aswell.

What’s the point of the post? PLEX and Skill injectors demand is higher than supply, price is rising, so what?

Look at the MER and you see where the ISK is coming from. Ratting ISK faucet is at all time high.

1 Like

Someone wants to calc some numbers to see if the game is breakable and how much it would cost to break it.

Also War Dec fees, Alliance Fees, Corp Office Fees to NPC stations, and High Sec PI Poco Fees to the Customs Officials (reduced to half with max skills in Customs Code Expertise).


I have a moderate personal interest in the RL Cash/PLEX/ISK markets, because it’s unusual.
In order to understand the in-game price of PLEX and the liquidity of the PLEX market, I also need to understand what drives the quantity of ISK.

I’ll take a closer look at the MER based on your recommendation though. So far I only looked at the “ISK Money Supply” graph Rivr Luzade linked, but it seems there’s more relevant stuff in the MER.

Actually I’m not checking to see if the market can be broken, but if I thought it was possible I might do so :slight_smile:

The in-game PLEX market is interesting because it’s weird, and because IMO it’s susceptible to “long-tail risks” (like the risks that, if handled well, would have stopped the “2008 meltdown” occurring).

the one you were asking for

1 Like

More idk in than out doesn’t always create inflation. Because it also depends if that isk gets used, and if the supply of goods keeps up as well.

Mwa, only happened once on the plex side, packs saved the day. Opiate economics has become much more integral nowadays.

for me this ^ was def. #1 way to destroy isk. a few billion for capital bpos

Not mentioned above:

  1. Contract Fees
  2. Players quitting the game (guess there are trillions of isk in player quittings), banned & deinstallation makes no difference - technically it does not always destroy that isk but it is “non-reachable” and outside the system. Removal of that character from CCP destroys the isk. Just not logging in makes it “non-reachable”

From 2012, player Tippia:


  • NPC bounties
  • NPC buy orders
  • Agent rewards: Mission rewards, Mission time bonuses, Incursion rewards
  • Insurance payout
  • GM actions: Reimbursement for lost pods
  • Character creation


  • Market taxes & fees: Broker fees, Sales tax
  • NPC sell orders
  • NPC station services: Repairs, Jump clone installation, Medical clone installation/upgrade/station change, Science and industry slot rental, Ship insurance
  • NPC station office fees: Rent, Impound penalties
  • Wardecs
  • Sovereignty fees
  • PI fees: Building PI structures, Import/export tax (from NPC-owned customs offices)
  • Corp & alliance fees: Corp creation, Alliance creation, Alliance upkeep, Creating/awarding medals, Corp registry ads
  • Agent fees: (Certain) LP store items, Locator agent services, Courier missions w/ deposits
  • CSPA Charges
  • Smuggling fines
  • GM Actions: Removal of bought ISK, Removal of insurance after ship reimbursement
  • Character deletion


There is none.