EVE Online has unjustly garnered a reputation as being unfriendly to newbies. In actuality, there are plenty of things for new players to do. Here are five such newbie-friendly activities for EVE Online.
5. Mine Planets
Planets line the skies of the EVE Online universe like multicolored jewels, just waiting for an enterprising player to harvest them. Planetary interaction yields impressive amounts of ISK, especially for new players, and does not require more than a few days of training in order to be as good as 95% of the other players using it.
Read up on planetary interaction, find a system a goodly distance from Jita, settle the planets, and pick up your goods every so often. A set of planets can easily out-earn level one missions with only a fraction of the human effort. Leave high-sec space and the planets are even richer: even high-end ratters can, should, and do spend their time building things on planets and shipping the goods to high-sec for sale (or more rarely, selling them locally).
Planets are one way that a newbie can benefit from moving to null-sec or w-space early on: he is just as good as anybody else at harvesting, and there are no dangers that really menace newbies on planets aside from the usual ship destruction and sovereignty-change risks.
4. Buy And Sell Minerals
Even a player less than a day old can put up buy orders for minerals, with minimal startup capital. A buy order in Jita will generally get filled within minutes, but the buy prices are usually much higher than even sell prices elsewhere. Jita's advantage is the volume of minerals, rather than price. For price, go somewhere people like to run missions, such as Motsu, and put your buy orders up there. The minerals can then be resold at a competitive markup or flown to Jita and sold there since, hey, minerals in Jita are kind of overpriced.
Interestingly enough, a newbie's few buy and sell slots can work out to be an advantage over older players. Contrast the ease that a newbie with ten sell slots has keeping his orders priced competitively with the difficulty that I have, with something in the vicinity of 270 market orders. I can't bear to update all of my orders more than once every other week, and instead must try to focus on the most important orders. A newbie can update every order he has, several times a day, without going crazy, and is thus far more likely to get sell orders sold and buy orders filled.
3. Build And Sell Ammunition
As long as you are buying minerals, you may as well use them to make popular ammunition types like Scourge Heavy Missiles and EMP M, to be used or sold on the market for a profit. Don't sell them in Jita or Amarr, where market specialists have very precise spreadsheets and are counting on huge volumes of sales to make a profit. That kind of competition means the profits will be minimal. Instead, fly somewhere a bit more off the beaten track like Suroken or Orvolle, and list your goods there.
Building things necessarily involves blueprints. Blueprint copies can generally be had in Jita for reasonable prices, though if you find a particular flavor of ammunition sells well you should look into buying and researching a blueprint original.
2. Salvage For Other Players
Salvaging wrecks is most effectively done with a second character. Professional ratters and mission runners will frequently fire up a second account to take care of it, but most players are not so dedicated. These players either rely on salvaging with their combat mission ships or else return to the battle after the mission is over to clean up the wrecks. Both of these options are inefficient. For most mission leftovers, your time is probably better spent running another mission rather than mopping up after the last one.
However, if a player is running level three or four missions, it can be well worth a newbie's time to do the salvaging for him. That newbie can also contribute to the speed and success of the mission through the use of a support module such as a Target Painter or Sensor Link. The two players can split things as they like. The mission runner being happy because he doesn't need to stop running missions, while the salvager is happy because there is more loot than in low-level missions (even after giving the mission-runner his cut).
Tackling is an essential part of PvP combat. It is the use of warp disruption and/or stasis webs to prevent targets from warping out. Once a target is held down, it can be destroyed. Or if you are really old school, held ransom. Tackling is easy to get into but difficult to master. It also is the acid test for whether a player understands PvP mechanics. You need to understand transversal velocity or you will die.
The tackle put out from a tech I frigate (like a Vigil) is for the most part the same as that put out by other ships, and in a fight with a few people they are only somewhat less survivable than more advanced ships flown by older players. This survivability is not much in either case: one literal wrong turn and your ship turns into a wreck whether you are flying that Vigil frigate or a Stiletto interceptor. Thus it is generally better to use cheap, expendable ships for tackling. Getting blown up as a tackler isn't a pain, it's an honor and it means you are doing your job. So get out there, and get to work.