EVE Online is largely a sandbox, meaning that the game designers do their best to empower players to make their own fun. Here are thirty suggested ways to spend your time inside the sandbox.
Rather than have a paint by numbers list of things to do, players can wander around and try their hand at whatever they like. The down side of this style of game is that new players sometimes find themselves at a loss for things to do. Fear not, Ten Ton Hammer has thirty ideas for you. And this is barely scratching the surface.
1. Mine Asteroids: Mining asteroid ore is one of the most approachable and peaceful ways to earn ISK in EVE Online. In high-security space, anyway.
2. Mine Ice: Though it requires a more exacting set of skills, ice mining is reasonably profitable. It may be thought of as long-form mining, with cycles taking nearly ten minutes to complete and endless chunks of ice.
3. Run Mining Missions: What's better than mining? Mining while getting loyalty points and corporate standings at the same time.
Mining is a truly noble profession.
5. Mine In A Mission: Combat missions often have chunks of low-end ores like veldspar floating around in them. This can sometimes be a handy trick if all the local ore belts have been mined out.
6. Mine In A Gravimetric Anomaly: Anomalies often have better ore than the local belts, and are not too difficult to find.
7. Mine In A Wormhole: Depending on what class of wormhole you are in, it can be a long time before you see another player. Mining high-end minerals like arkanor and bistot can make the hassle worth it.
8. Join A Mining Corporation: Mining corporations often have access to mining-enhancing ships like rorquals, as well as characters with maxed-out mining leadership skills. Joining such a corporation can give you a big bump to profit.
9. Run Missions: Running missions is arguably the best profession for earning ISK, at least when risk is taken into account.
10. Grind Up Faction Standings: Get access to level four missions, then keep going to get neat perks like reduced refinery and market taxes, jump clone access, the ability to anchor POS in high-security space.
11. Grind Standings For A Research Corporation: Datacore-producing agents are a great way to make running missions keep paying dividends, even while you are off doing other things.
12. Run Epic Missions: Whether it's the low-level mission arc offered by Sister Alitura or the level four speedboat missions that traverse null-security space, the epic mission arcs are good fun.
13. Run COSMOS Missions: If you are of a mind to try something difficult and puzzling, the COSMOS missions are groups of unique, one-time missions that give incredible faction standings boosts. Some of the rewards aren't too shabby, either.
14. Run Missions For Pirates: Running missions in low-security and null-security space is a whole different ball game. The risk can be intense, but then so can the rewards.
15. Think Big: Don't just run missions, run missions in a marauder or faction battleship. Pimp that thing out with faction modules. Think of yourself as sitting on a throne, lord and master of every mission you behold.
16. Run Level Five Missions: Though there are conflicting reports regarding their profitability and the low-sec where they are found is unsafe, level five missions are difficult and interesting to run, and require a cadre of well-honed mission runners.
17. Build Ammunition: Refine your less valuable mission loot and turn it into ammunition so that you can run more missions.
18. Build Modules: Whether they are for your own use or for sale, modules are the mainstay of production.
19. Build Ships: Ships are one of the best ways to turn minerals into sellable ISK, or to make sure you have something new to fly once your mission or PvP expedition goes awry.
20. Build Parts: The so-called "intermediate markets" leave a lot of room for profit. Things like tech two components, capital ship parts, and
21. Build Stations: If you have a surfeit of cash or a large enough group of people willing to donate, you can construct a new space station in a system that will permanently alter the game world.
Seeking the thrill of combat is as good a way to spend your time as any.
23. Join Faction Warfare: Faction war is a great introduction to PvP, especially fleet PvP. Joining a good corporation is a good way to start, though if you have some interested friends you can start your own and have it sign up as a militia.
24. Join Red Vs. Blue: The player-run red corporation is perpetually at war with the blue corporation, and either will allow anyone to join. Though the PvP usually consists of tech one cruisers and frigates, there is a constantly available supply and both sides are full of friendly people.
25. Fight On The Test Server: While faction war and Red vs. Blue are good introductory PvP, the best way to fine tune techniques and battle-test fittings is on the test server, where you can PvP without burning through ISK.
26. Lead A PvP Fleet: Ninety percent of leadership is showing up. Get some friends, gear up, and go bust a gate camp or tear down a POS.
27. Suicide Gank: If it's your cup of tea and you have enough security status, there is no shortage of potential targets for suicide ganking.
28. Belt Ratting: Killing NPCs in asteroid belts is a time honored tradition and in times past was how most inhabitants of null-security space made ends meet.
29. Run Cosmic Anomalies: Using your on-board scanner is a snap, and cosmic anomalies can make even more ISK than belt ratting. They also tend to be safer, even in null-security space.
30. Fight Incursions: Sansha incursions are a blight on the face of the EVE universe and can inconvenience hundreds or thousands of players at once. Take the fight to them by running some of the kill sites there with some friends. It's tricky, but stick to it for a while and you'll get the hang of it. This is the freshest, most bleeding edge part of EVE Online, and is definitely worth a shot.