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Rookie's Guide To Mining In EVE Online

Posted Tue, Aug 24, 2010 by Space Junkie

Mining is the most basic, accessible profession in EVE Online. To mine, one simply harvests the ore that floats in asteroid belts found throughout EVE Online. Because of its simplicity and ease of entry, many new players are attracted to the activity.

This is a guide to the most basic processes of mining, intended to familiarize very new players to the structure of the mining industry in EVE Online.

How Mining Works

EVE Online

Mining is essentially a way to convert your patience into ISK.

The idea is simple: asteroids float in fields, ready to be harvested by patient capsuleers via specialized equipment and ships. To do this, first get within range. Next, turn on the mining lasers with which you have previously equipped your ship. Each time each laser cycles, a pile of ore will appear in your cargo hold. If you deactivate the laser halfway through or the asteroid runs out of ore, then a partial load will be delivered into your cargo. Skills, ship type, fleet bonuses, mining modules, implants, and ore type all affect how much you can pull per minute. Also, more valuable ores will often require less cargo space, which is nice because that also means less time unloading into a station.

Sometimes, NPC pirates will appear and try to kill you while mining, in which case, you need to protect yourself or have someone else protect you. Depending on where you are and if your corporation is at war, you may also have to look out for human pirates.

The Economics of Mining

As a general rule, the more dangerous an area is, the more valuable asteroids there will be in that area. Mining in high-security space is one of the safest activities that you can perform while undocked. Since there is so little risk involved and so many people can do it without danger, it is not very lucrative. The minerals obtained from the high-sec ores are thus in high supply and low demand.

More valuable are the ores found in good sections of outlaw space or wormholes. The ores in low-security space are seemingly increasing in value over time (especially since changes in the Tyrannis patch) and may eventually eclipse the null-sec and w-space ores, depending on what happens with the overall macro-economy of EVE Online. Because low-security space is something of a cesspool, there are comparatively few people mining there.

Within each of these areas, there are a variety of different ores available. Some ores are only found in particular areas of space, while others are pretty much everywhere. Which ore is most valuable at any particular point is determined almost entirely by market forces, though you can be darn sure that the ore found in high-security space is not going to be worth very much, because there are so many people chugging away at mining it.

The Best Way To Make ISK From Mining

The best way to make ISK by mining is to find a good corporation with access to outlaw space or wormholes and then do your mining in relative safety there. You can probably earn enough to pay for your ship if it gets blown up, every hour or three. Other ways to boost your mining yield include maxing out your mining skills, training for mining barges, and generally, pursuing the mining career while obtaining superior equipment.

Getting the Most from your Ore

The last thing you want to do is just sell your ore on the market without refining it. People will not buy it unless it is underpriced, and the buy orders for it will be insultingly low.

A secondary industry related to mining is that of reprocessing ore. It takes a couple months to train the skills needed to get perfect refining for any given ore, not to mention running hundreds of missions in order to get high enough standings with an NPC corporation that it will not tax your reprocessing jobs. Until you take these lengthy steps, you will lose a good portion of your refined goods to waste or NPC taxes. These is a solution, however.

The best thing for most people is to centralize their mining and have one or two dedicated refiners in their corporation do all of the refining for them. This is for trustworthy player corporations only. In an NPC corporation, you cannot afford to trust anyone with your ore. Players in an NPC corporation will almost certainly keep anything that you send to them. So your choice is to either join a corporation or persist in trying to play an MMO solo, and training up your mining skills.

Something that will earn even more money than just doing the reprocessing yourself is taking the supply chain one step further and making use of the minerals to make a commodity that you then sell on the market. It is not like you were doing anything with those manufacturing slots, anyway. A good rule of thumb is that by reprocessing your ore, you add ten percent of value to it. By manufacturing a decent commodity for sale, you will then generally add at least another ten percent of value on top of that. You do the math.

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