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Moon Reaction DIY (EVE Online Guide)

Updated Wed, Sep 21, 2011 by Space Junkie

In the game of EVE Online there are big things and little things. Running missions is a little thing. Refining scrap for a profit is a little thing. But running a starbase reaction? That's a big thing.

I've been on a starbase kick lately. I like the idea that running one puts a lot of ISK on the table, but that it pays huge dividends. I like that it's a long-term investment. I like that it is a something that an entire corporation can work together on. I like that the more profitable projects need to take place in null-sec or low-sec. In short, I like starbases.

This is a guide to reacting moon minerals with a starbase, with a profitable and easy example.

Some Explanation

EVE Online

Starbases have many applications, but their most lucrative is mining moons for minerals and/or combining moon minerals to make more advanced materials. These minerals are then used to make tech II ships and modules. Because they are essential for tech II production, these minerals and their reaction products are incredibly valuable.

There are several barriers to entry for mining moons and reacting their minerals, including:

  • The best moons are jealously guarded by big alliances. Even middling moons are often attacked or extorted by smaller groups.
  • The starbase, gear, and fuel needed are all quite expensive as an up-front investment cost.
  • It is a lot of work doing the math to figure out what is profitable, and updating it as the market changes.
  • Finding the right moons can be quite difficult (though not as difficult as it used to be).
  • Even knowing how to set up a starbase requires a level of expertise that most do not possess.
  • The whole project could be blown up overnight if the wrong people get involved.
  • Setting up a starbase requires effort, as does keeping it fueled.

Assuming you can handle them, these barriers are actually a good thing. They mean that everybody and their grandma can't run reactions. If they could, it would not be a very lucrative activity.

Why React Now?

Some time around when alchemy was introduced, running a reaction starbase became a popular thing to do. The price and profit of running a tower plummeted. With the Dominion and Tyrannis expansions came changes to moon minerals and fuel costs, resulting in steadily lower numbers of people reacting on moons. It seems likely that the number of starbases has not gone down, but that many of them are in wormhole where it is generally impractical to perform reactions.

Also of note is the destruction of the old Northern Coalition, which had been stable for so long that there were literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of reactions taking place in their space. In any case, even some very easy reactions have become profitable again, and I recommend that serious industrialists or expansion-minded CEOs consider it.

The Plan

As of right now, it is possible to make good money with just a single starbase, on moons that are quite common. What is more, it can be done with a medium starbase rather than a large, meaning it is comparatively easy to fuel and easier to afford in the first place.

The reaction in question is Sulfuric Acid, which is made by combining Atmospheric Gases and Evaporite Deposits in a simple reactor array at a starbase. Both of those ingredients are found all over the EVE Universe, often in the same moon.

The steps of this plan are as follows:

  • 1. Find a viable moon on a web site like DOTLAN.
  • 2. Probe the moon to see if it really has the materials you need.
  • 3. Check out the solar system and see what other organizations have starbases there.
  • 4. Buy your starbase, the related gear, and a week worth of fuel.
  • 5. Set up the starbase and get things running.
  • 6. Keep fueling your starbase and exporting your product to Jita.
  • 7. Sell your product in Jita.

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