Posted Thu, Feb 26, 2009 by Savanja
Jumping into any new game can be quite the challenge, but it is a little bit true that EVE Online takes challenge very seriously. Should new gamers shy away from such a game? Nah! Just grab any ole newbie guide (this one should do just fine) and get a little reading in before taking off into the big world of New Eden.
Getting in Game
If you haven't already, give our Guide to the Races a read. This will give you some tips that will get you through character creation. It's generally better to do a little research on what you'd like to play and then create your character than just jumping in blindly. Deleting a character isn't instantaneous and this is not a game that is very alt character friendly. Once you've made your choices and get logged in, you are ready to get to know this exciting new world!
The very first thing you see when you log in is your home space station. This place has everything you could possible need so you might want to make note of where you are. The next thing you might notice is some chickie talking at you. This is your Aura your tutorial guide and you will want to make good use of her by doing every single thing she says. Unlike other games where the tutorial can be ran through in a matter of hours, I found myself relying on Aura and re-opening the Help screen repeatedly over my first month of playing. Luckily she is always there if you need her, so if you inadvertently close the tutorial, you can always open it back up by clicking the "help" tab on the side bar in game and choosing the "tutorial" tab. From here you can either pick and choose topics ranging from beginning to advanced or you can choose "Beginner Tutorials" and then "Aura: Tutorial" to restart the walk through. Do the walk through. I promise you will be very glad you did.
Another life saver is your chat box. Here you'll see a "Rookie Help" tab and I suggest keeping it on that tab just to watch some of the chat spam. Good questions are asked in there, and there is always someone around to answer them. Don't hesitate to ask your own questions no matter how big or small. This channel is specifically there to assist the new player and it will only be available for your first 30 days.
Space Station: Your Home
There are stations all over the universe and each will have various features that are available to you. The one you start in will depend on your character choices, but the key elements of the stations are about the same.
Just about everything you need can be found on a space station.
Take some time to look at all your windows while you are docked. Get to know your station and if you are unsure of what something is for, click it to bring up the window and there will be a help option that will explain it.
This is essentially your character. You will build its stats, equip it, and use it to battle the bad guys just like you would with any avatar. The "Fitting" tab is how you equip your current ship and you'll notice your newbie ship has a gun and a miner which are activated by your F1 and F2 keys (or by clicking on them when you want to blow stuff up). You can add bigger and better guns (read the info on what you pick out, some will need ammo!). Shield accessories can be fitted and you get these as drops early on (find the shield booster in your items and right click to fit to current ship) and are useful during combat to give you some added protection.
While docked you can use your fittings, add items into your cargo bay, change out ships and deal in most of your ship needs. Undocked it's all about getting where you need to go and killing what you need to kill. The bottom middle of your screen you will see a big circle with buttons to the left and guns (modules) to the right and these are your spaceship controls and "health bars".
Your ship is, for all purposes, your character!
The middle ring is basic ship information. On the bottom of the ring you'll see a speedometer. One small arrow will make the ship go, the other will make it slow down or stop. I personally don't use those as I choose to point and click where I want to go, but it is a little helpful when you want to make small controlled movements to pick up cargo loot.
The middle of the ring shows your capacitor status and heat status. Certain things eat up your power such as your shield booster. Once it is used up, it'll take a bit of time to completely recharge.
The top of the ring shows the status of your ship's defenses. The outermost gauge is your shield. This recharges on its own when you aren't being blasted at and is your first line of defense. Taking too much damage to your shield will end up causing you to take more serious damage to your armor. Boosters and other shield add-ons help your shield take damage without injuring your ship.
The middle gauge is your ship's armor. This does not recharge on its own and if you take damage here, you'll have to have it repaired or repair it yourself if you have that skill. Too much damage to your armor puts your ship's structure at risk and this is where things really start to go bad. The innermost gauge shows your structure and once your shield, armor, and structure are in the red you will blow up.
The buttons you will need to worry about early on are your cargo and the auto-pilot. The cargo is your inventory where all your stuff goes. When you loot another ship that you have destroyed, you can drag and drop it right onto the cargo button and it'll go where it needs to. To see what you've picked up, just click the cargo button.
The auto-pilot is a bit of awesomeness that allows for you to travel without having to know the way. For example, if you have a mission in another system, you can open your journal, right click on your location destination and "set destination". Hit the auto-pilot button and your ship will make the needed warp travels and jumps to get you to the appropriate system. After that you only need to warp to your location. Don't make a habit of traveling AFK though as there are bad things out in the black and they will get you if you aren't paying attention!
Speaking of blowing up. Death happens and it happens often. As your ship and skills grow, you'll die less mostly just because losing a ship can get expensive and you learn a bit better what you can take on and what you cannot.
The first time you get shot to bits can be a bit startling though. When your ship explodes you will find yourself in a little pod. Don't panic! Warp your rear to the nearest space station quickly to switch out your pod for a ship! Your newbie ship is insured so you will get a replacement (read your mail after your death for more info). After you upgrade your ship you'll want to consider insuring it so that you can recoup some of your costs but early on I suggest you keep the ships cheap and basic with only a few needed fittings so you aren't tossing all your ISK out the window. Frigates with a couple of guns and shield boosters will do the trick for most of your early missions.
You can be killed in your pod. Pod death is much more severe than just getting your ship destroyed and also unlikely to happen in your early days. After training in skills you'll want to clone so that you don't lose those skill from a pod death. EVE's death penalty is pretty harsh but somewhat avoidable if you keep your clone up-to-date and choose a good quality clone so that you may keep a some or most of your skills.
Most importantly, take your time and read through everything in game and out. EVE Online provides a lot of valuable information in game and while sometimes it can be overwhelming, just remember that with time you'll slowly absorb it all. This guide will help you get started, but be sure to check back with Ten Ton Hammer for more comprehensive and advanced guides in the future!