Supplying Starbases With Planetary Interaction In EVE Online
Player owned starbases are satellites that have several lucrative applications. Though maintaining them requires an expensive cocktail of fuels imported from Jita, you can offset that need by making your own fuel on planets.
This is probably most helpful in wormholes, which often do not have a reliable connection with high-sec or cannot use it indiscriminately. It is also handy in null-sec and low-sec, where travel between solar systems can be tear-inducingly dangerous. For most players it is therefore very convenient to generate a large portion of the fuel in-system.
Praise For Planets
A goodly portion of your POS fuel can be made on-site.
When dealing with POS, convenience and human interaction are generally the most limiting factors. So it's best to reduce the hassle of keeping one up and running by generating the fuels yourself, with minimal need for hauling and paying market markups. Though not all POS fuel can be made on planets and a good portion comes from ice mining, it is still a good idea to generate as much as you can, locally and on your own.
Understanding POS Fuels
The fuel types are a little difficult to get your head around at first, but please try to bear with me. Each POS has a fuel bay which must be constantly supplied, or else the tower will go offline. Those fuels come from planets and ice asteroids, with an additional NPC-purchased item required if your POS is in high-security space. With me so far? Good. One of the ice asteroid fuel types varies depend on what EVE race made your POS. There is also a final, special fuel that is stored separately and is only consumed when the tower is under attack. It is called strontium clathrates.
- Enriched Uranium
- Mechanical Parts
- Heavy Water
- Liquid Ozone
- Strontium Clathrates (only used when POS is in reinforced mode)
- Helium Isotopes (Used in Amarr POS)
- Hydrogen Isotopes: (Used in Minmatar towers)
- Nitrogen Isotopes: (Used in Caldari towers)
- Oxygen Isotopes: (Used in Gallente towers)
Sourcing Your Fuels
Isotopes, heavy water, liquid ozone, and strontium clathrates usually need to come from Jita or at least high-sec. It is possible to mine them yourself from ice belts, but there is generally better stuff that you could be doing with your time.
However, the planetary materials can be supplied in part or full by building them on local planets. If you're exceptionally lucky, you may even be able to set up in a solar system that has the right planets for all your needs. If you are somewhat less lucky, you may need to branch out into nearby solar systems to get the fuel types you need.
Making POS Fuels
The planetary POS fuels can be made at the following planets:
- Coolant: Gas or storm.
- Enriched Uranium: Plasma.
- Mechanical Parts: Barren or plasma.
- Oxygen: Gas, Ice or storm.
- Robotics: Plasma.
See our guide to single-planet business models for more about making the individual fuels.
Interplanetary consolidation and command center upgrades should both be trained to level four. It is also a good idea to train planetology to level four, as well.
The hardest part of planetary interaction is getting set up. Once you're past that hurdle, it's pretty easy.
In wormhole space it is particularly critical that multiple characters work together to fuel POS. For this reason, many W-space corporations will ask their members to produce fuel to offset the difficulty of running their corporate POS. Since a POS makes everybody's life easier, it seems like a fair bargain.
Emphasize The Positive
If you are working by yourself, it is unlikely that you will be able to fully supply your POS with everything. It may be best to concentrate your attentions on making the fuels that are high-volume and annoying to import, like coolant. That way you can worry about importing not only the goods that cannot be made locally, but also the fuels that are difficult to make in sufficient quantities, like robotics.
On the other hand, there have been times when it was more profitable to make robotics than coolant, which would save you more ISK. It's a trade off either way, and you need to make the call based on what works best for you.
For your reference, the volumes and prices on all of the fuel types are:
|Planet Fuel Volume & Price|
|Oxygen||.38 m3||142 ISK|
|Coolant||1.5 m3||6556 ISK|
|Enriched Uranium||1.5 m3||6450 ISK|
|Mechanical Parts||1.5 m3||6200 ISK|
|Ice Fuel Volume & Price|
|Helium Isotopes||.15 m3||487 ISK|
|Hydrogen Isotopes||.15 m3||513 ISK|
|Nitrogen Isotopes||.15 m3||488 ISK|
|Oxygen Isotopes||.15 m3||502 ISK|
|Strontium Clathrates||3 m3||420 ISK|
|Heavy Water||.4 m3||21 ISK|
|Liquid Ozone||.4 m3||
Note that all prices are as of this writing and for comparison purposes only. Also, I round to the nearest ISK.