Professions in Eve
There are probably as may ways of making ISK (interstellar kredits – money, to you and me) in Eve as there are players. However, there are a number of primary routes which can be considered.
Mining: Yup, it may rot the brain and be the root cause of space psychosis, but fit yourself out with a mining ship, head out to an asteroid belt or ice field, and start the mining lasers. It’s free money. In high-sec you have little to worry about apart form the odd rat or can-tipper.Naturally, the really good ore is to be found in low- or null-sec, where things get a bit hotter.
If you have the skills you can refine the ore and sell at an even bigger profit.
Production: Take those refined materials and some blueprints, add a splash of harder to find commodities, and you can start building your own ships or modules. With good skills you can then sell these at a healthy profit.
Pirating: Pretty straightforward, this one: why do all the hard work when you can let other people do it for you, then simply relieve them? Pirates are generally hard-core PVPers who will attack ships and either destroy them for their loot and salvage, or ransom the player at the point of destruction to extract money in exchange for now blowing up the ship. Ransoms may or may not be honoured. On the other hand, there are plenty rats who attack purely for fun, mayhem, and to ruin your day.
Mission Running: A respectable, relatively safe (in high-sec) way to make ISK. Report to an agent who will give you a mission – kill some hostiles, deliver an item, whatever. On completion you are awarded a mission reward as well as loyalty points (LPs) which you can trade for goodies in the faction’s loyalty store. As ever better rewards in lower security regions, but you can make a respectable living in high as well. Part of the payout is the loot and salvage from dead hostiles…
Ninja Salvaging: …so once again, why bother doing the hard work when you can let someone else do it for you? Ninja salvaging is salvaging other peoples’ wrecks. Note that if you steal the loot then you can be attacked by the target; if you only salvage the wrecks for components you can’t. Mission runners find this intensely irritating, and may be provoked into attacking the thief. As a result Ninjas often fit for PVP in high-sec, and add the poor target’s ship and modules to their haul.
Exploration: There are many locations (‘complexes’, or just plexes) hidden in space that don’t appear on your overview. These need to be probed out with a scanner and scan probes. It takes decent skills to get good at this, but once you do you have access to many more sites than before. Additionally, they tend to be quite decent in terms of reward, and less populated because they’re off the beaten track. Radar sites, in particular, give components for R&D which are highly prized and valuable.
R&D: Most items in Eve are created by players, and most are created using blueprints. R&D is the process of copying or improving blueprints, or using blueprints to invent more advanced versions of the same item. Skills to do this well are pretty steep, but there’s good money in it if you have money to invest.
Trading: The smart money will tell you that the real ISK is to be made in trading. Buy low, sell high, is as much true in the Eve universe as IRL. Loss leaders, market manipulation, long-distance haulage – if it happens in the real world, it happens in Eve. (They even employ a full-time economist and publish regular market reports). Starting out skills are fairly light, but so are profits. As you develop your skills you can reduce your margins and overheads, and extend the range at which you can operate. As you accumulate more wealth, you can have more outstanding orders and increase the profit dealing in more expensive products.