Posted Sat, Jan 14, 2012 by Space Junkie
This guide examines the different ways used by most players to earn ISK in EVE Online and explains the pros and cons of each ISK-earning method. This guide focuses on methods that are available to all players.
It has been said many times: in EVE, ISK is more important than skill points. Having enough skill points to use basic equipment and attempt basic tasks is important, but once you are past that point it is your wallet that limits your effectiveness, not your skill points. Even in a worst case scenario where you have a lot of ISK and a really green character, you can use that ISK to buy a new character. Doing so is a CCP-approved option that really lets market geniuses shine, since even new players can make enough ISK to buy a character years old, if they have enough good ideas about how to earn ISK.
Most players in EVE use ISK to buy neat new ships, skill books, PLEX to stay subscribed, and/or reinvest it into business projects so that they can get even more ISK. The methods below are the most common professions used by EVE players to get ISK. They should be accessible to most players, or to most players living in a readily accessible area of EVE Online.
Missions In EVE Online
Running missions is kind of the default activity in EVE Online, especially for players that are used to other MMOs and spending all day questing. They start slow and easy, and steadily become more difficult until level four missions, which are a steady and profitable way to keep yourself rolling in ISK and PLEX. Level four missions earn enough ISK to pay for pretty much anything short of supercapital ships like titans, though I do know some people that have managed to survive that grind.
Missions are eminently accessible for casual players that just want to sit down for an hour or two, here and there. It helps familiarize players with the rules of combat, and allows them to collect piles of loot as well. Not just modules, either! There are plenty of little bonuses to be found in missions, especially of level 3 and 4. Stuff like implants and faction modules, for example. And then there is the loyalty point store, which players can use to improve their mission running ship or get eminently sellable gear and faction ammo.
All in all, missions are fine way to earn ISK, especially for high-sec players.
Planetary Interaction In EVE Online
Planetary interaction is a fantastic way to keep yourself roll in ISK. Arguably, it may be the very best, since it requires very little effort from players once they understand the area of the game and have gotten their colonies set up. Just check in every day or two, and pick up the goods perhaps a couple times a week. Despite being such little effort, a well-designed setup can produce tens of millions of ISK, each day. Additionally, it can easily be combined with whatever else you enjoy doing as a player, whether it be running missions, trading, or what have you. Slow and steady is good when it comes to making ISK. With planetary interaction, a single account can easily pay for itself to stay subscribed via PLEX.
All in all, planetary interaction is probably the best way to earn ISK in EVE Online. It has perhaps the highest payoff for the lowest effort, is simple enough for even the newest players, and can be done simultaneously with most other ISK-earning activities.