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.

If you are unfamiliar with the mechanics of player-owned starbases (a.k.a. POS) check out our guides here and here.

Praise For Planets

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A goodly portion of your POS fuel can be made on-site.

Using planets is easy, accessible to newbies, requires little in the way of training, can be run remotely without much effort even while pursuing other activities, and will significantly reduce the need to import fuel for POS.

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.

Planet Fuels

  • Coolant
  • Enriched Uranium
  • Mechanical Parts
  • Oxygen
  • Robotics

Ice Fuels

  • Heavy Water
  • Liquid Ozone
  • Strontium Clathrates (only used when POS is in reinforced mode)

Racial Fuels

  • 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.

Skills

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.

Cooperation

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The hardest part of planetary interaction is getting set up. Once you're past that hurdle, it's pretty easy.

A small tower can theoretically be fueled by a single character, although this requires a bit more micro-managing than I think most people would prefer. Two characters working together in a coordinated fashion can easily supply a small POS or medium POS. A player with multiple accounts could probably manage the fuel for a large POS, but it is more practical in that case to just supply some of the fuels.

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
Fuel Volume Cost
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
Robotics 6 m3

43,389 ISK

 

Ice Fuel Volume & Price
Fuel Volume Cost
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

325 ISK

Note that all prices are as of this writing and for comparison purposes only. Also, I round to the nearest ISK.

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