Supporting this Guide
This guide is supported by the miners who read this guide and found value in it. If you are like one of them, please feel free to send your ISK to the Thom Aubaris Corporation with the comment of Miners Guide. Your contribution funds this guide and will stave off the need of the author to find alternative income streams, such as advertising, in future guides.
Thanks from the Author
The author of this guide would like to thank all those miners who came before him, who lit the way for him to see and whom guided him into and through mining.
Specific thanks to Halada and the Halada’s Complete Miner’s Guide from which a great deal of this work is based upon.
In the Beginning...
About EvE Online
EvE Online (EO) is different from many of the massive multiplayer online (MMO) games currently out there. Unlike most games which break off into several servers based on region, EO players all play together on the same server. Where other games may peak at a couple thousand players at a time, EO measures in the tens of thousand players.
Another area that EO separates itself is in game play. On other games you can choose between servers that separate game play between player-versus-player (PvP) or player-versus-everything (PvE) environments, EO doesn’t do this. The universe exists as an entire PvP server with pockets of PvE where PvP actions are limited in these areas. That isn't to say that you will never experience a PvP action against you in these PvE areas, just that it is less likely to happen, with some exceptions.
EO also separates itself in that player’s are immortal clones whom can easily be killed and then resurrected with only the loss of the implants, equipment, and ship that the clone had before. There isn't an experience point (XP) grind in EO. Skill points are awarded automatically every second of the day, whether online or offline. All this combines together to turn the universe into a player controlled universe.
Everything in this player controlled universe is also created by players. From the ore you the miner, to the producer taking those minerals, to the inventor combining datacores to create a higher level version of that item, to the trader who trades all these on the open and free market.
Understanding how this influences the hour to hour changes in game is ultimately important to understand as an industrialist, or a “carebear”, you, along with your mining brethren, are the greatest factor in EO, since nothing is created that didn't come from your daily activities.
Getting into Mining
Whether you have a 30 million skill point character and are looking to try something new, or you're new player who just started out this, guide contains valuable material to help you get started.
“Skilling up” is most effective when you’ve maximized your attribute scores. The two attributes that factor the most in mining are Intelligence and Memory. Maxing these two skills will decrease your skill training in mining. With this in mind, if you have yet to create your character, perhaps you are considering creating a mining alternate character (Alt), the race of Gallente Intaki maximizes the these two attributes.
Non “mining alts” will want to focus on trading skills which use the primary attributes of Charisma/Willpower combination. If you a creating this Mining/Trading type of character, the Caldari Deteis race may very well be a better choice for this type.
For those who have been playing for a while, and those who just started and don’t know, EO gives you an annual free attribute remapping token. With this token you can change your attributes for free and decrease your training time by increasing the primary/secondary attribute for the skills you plan on training in the next year.
Implants can provide attribute bonuses ranging from +1 to +6 with +3 implants being the best cost versus benefit. Implants do require Cybernetics skill to use them. Level 1 will give you access to the “Basic” implants, Level 4 for “Standard”, and Level 5 for “Improved”.
Space the final frontier
Space is divided up into sections of space. These sections of space are identified after their security status. Systems with a security status of 0.5 to 1.0 are called "high-sec" space. Systems with a status of 0.1 to 0.4 are called "low-sec" space. Systems with a security status of 0.0 or lower, are called "null-sec" space.
You are mostly safe in high-sec space from other players as you have non-player-character (NPC) ships from the CONCORD and Empire Navies who will warp in and destroy those who commit violent actions. When someone attacks you, that these NPC’s will warp in and attack and destroy those players. The time it takes to for these NPC’s to respond is based on several factors among these are: the security level of the system you are in; are there NPC’s in the system already; and are they currently engaged against another player?
In low-sec space you will no longer have the protection of CONCORD or the Empire Navies and as such is highly dangerous. You can negate this danger with several types of strategies, such as mining in a fleet with corporate or alliance mates, or otherwise with friends. Pirate players exist out there in low-sec who will ransom your ship, destroy your ship, or ransom your ship and then destroy your ship. This isn't to say that low-sec mining should be scary, but rather that you need to figure out how much you are willing to risk losing to gain the higher profits. Remember, rISK(risk = ISK).
Null-sec space is an area of space where the “big boys” play. In this area of space you’ll find that sections of space are “claimed” by various corporations and alliances of corporations. A lot of these alliances and corporations operate on the policy of NBSI (if it’s not blue, shoot it). This means if you aren’t a member of that alliance or corporation that owns that space, you’ll most likely be asked to leave, or summarily blown up just for trespassing in their space.
As you no doubt have cleverly deduced mining is the process of taking ore from asteroids (roids). As a low skilled player, if mining is a way to afford more stuff, selling the ore will be your first goal. As you gain skills, you may very well turn from miner to miner/processor since the profits from selling ore are much lower than they are from selling minerals contained in the ore.
There are sixteen types of ore in EO. Each ore also has three versions of that ore type. As previously stated, for the low skilled miner there really is only one option when it comes to mining ore and that is to sell it on the market. Actually, there is a second option and that is to hold on to the ore till your refining skills, implants, and station reputation are higher to reap more ISK-per-m3 benefit. Each of the versions of ore are sorted by their mineral output, such as standard, five percent more, and ten percent more minerals.
Some asteroids appear larger than others and size is equal to the amount of ore contained within them. For each downtime an asteroid is not mined it will grow in size and amount of ore contained within it.
What ore a belt contains is determined by system security status as well as Empire space it exists within. It tends to be true that the lower the security status of the system the larger the asteroids and higher the amount of ore contained in the roid.
In this table you are seeing high and low sec ores on the left and null sec ores on the right.
When you are scouting out systems for mining, you should try to scout away from major trade hubs such as Jita, Amaar, Rens, and Hek as these systems will most likely be stripped of ore first. Systems one to three jumps away from these hubs also tend to be well mined, often leading to “there’s no ore to mine!” It’s not true of course, because the farther you get away from the hubs, the less mining there is done. Several clusters are often mined out because they contain systems are that all interconnected. Keep jumping and you’ll eventually find ore.
As mentioned, minerals come from ores. Specific minerals come from specific ores and even more specifically in exact quantities. What are these quantities? Here’s a table to answer that question.
The table shows each standard ore type, how much ore is required to process a batch, and the amount of minerals that you will get if you have a “perfect” refine. As an example, Veldspar requires 100 units of ore, from which you will yield 1000 units of Tritanium with a “perfect” refine. A “perfect” refine depends on your skills, your standing with the station, and the station’s equipment, all of which we will cover later in another section. If you try to refine less than 100 units of Veldspar, the game will not let you do so. If you attempt to refine more than 100 units but less than 200 units of Veldspar, the game will refine the 100 units into minerals and return the leftover ore back to you. In short (too late), this table is useful for you to figure out what ore you need to mine to get the minerals you want.
If your goal is ISK and you are low-skilled open your market window and add the ore to your quickbar. If on the other hand you have the skills for a “perfect” refine then add the minerals to your quickbar. From here you can look at the various prices and figure out what has the higher price and mine that ore or mineral. The price of ore and minerals changes daily based on what is needed and how much is needed as well as how badly it’s needed. So, what you were mining yesterday might not be what you need to mine today, or what you will be mining tomorrow.
There are many tools out there that will help you in finding quickly what you should be mining. A word of warning. most of those tools use averages to show you what the current price for the ore or minerals you are mining. These averages may not reflect the price of ore in your system, constellation, or even the region you are in.
The most well known of these tools is the website eve-central.com. Right from the front page you can see the minerals index and quickly click on the trade hub closest to you to find the prices in those trade hubs. You can also click on the minerals themselves and see the market history of those minerals.
As mentioned before, mining in or around the trade hubs will not net you much ore. As such, these prices are just a guide, and nothing will beat boots on the ground intelligence which can be found quickly in the market window. If mineral or ore trading becomes your life, then you need to know what you need to mine, the prices to sell those ore or minerals at, and where to sell them. Asking someone ‘what should I mine’ is a lazy way to find out, and given the nature of some EvE pilots, you’ll be given the wrong answer for asking such a question.