Making Some ISK

Once in a while somebody makes a bad assumption and thinks I have deeper knowledge of EVE Online than I clearly posses.  I generally try to respond with what knowledge I do have, making it clear how limited it might be.

Sometimes though, it is better to open the question to a wider audience, the EVE community being the most excellent source of answers.  With that in mind, I received the following from Yolande:

I recently started playing EVE Online again and altho I have played it casually off and on (its sort of my “part time” MMO, my main one being that 10million sub cartoony one) I have so much to learn!  I have a pilot with a decent amount of SP (7Mill) and most learning maxed and yet still dont know how to make money in that game!  Any tips or could you point me to some archives in your blog?

I can answer for how I have made ISK so far in the game:

Missions – Running missions is the easiest way to get started I think.  Once you get to level III missions you actually start making enough ISK that you can invest it in other ventures.  And when you get to level IV missions the ISK really begins to flow.

Mining – The most reliable ISK generation device for me has been mining.  It starts slow and somebody (e.g. nerrellus) is going to comment about how boring mining is.  And that is true, mining is hardly exciting.  But when you have things setup right, you do not have to pay close attention to the game.  You can do something else… like write blog posts. (I’m mining ice as I write this.)  Following Halada’s excellent guide to mining will get you on the path to mining riches.

Production – Making things.  I turned to this when mining was going strong as a way to sell my minerals for more than the market price.  Rather than making 3 ISK per unit of tritanium by selling it in bulk, for example, I make produce things that sell for enough that I am essentially making 6-10 ISK per unit.  This requires some up front investment in blueprints as well as some research into the market to see what is selling and where it is selling.  The “where” is actually the more important.  I have found you can sell just about anything for a decent return if you can find the right location.  I have written about producing missiles and badgers on the blog.

I have tried other things.  I do a bit of the market speculation, buying things cheap in one area and selling them for more elsewhere. I also poked my nose into invention, but my first attempts at invention were poorly planned and cost me much more ISK than I ever got in return.

What other ways are there to make ISK?  What professions out there turn a profit?

16 thoughts on “Making Some ISK

  1. Kename

    I like mining. For all the reasons you mention and more. If I could do it without having to worry about getting it to market, that would be even better. On the flip side, I’m not very rich by doing it. I keep spending all my hard earned isk on more industrial skills to keep mining more. I keep thinking that someday I’ll train some combat skills to be able to actually run a good mission.


  2. Mynxee

    Working Unknown and Radar sites via Exploration is a good way to earn ISK, can accommodate individuals or groups, and is fun…but requires a fair number of skills.


  3. Ahnog

    Market trading is a good way to make isk. Train the market skills and place region wide buy orders. Then put the stuff back on the market with sell orders. Buy low, sell high. I make over 500m a week doing this.


  4. Kusabi

    Most of my money is made from mining, although i’ve made a good amount of cash selling stuff from unknown and radar plexes, I’m always excited when i find an unknown site because i’m guaranteed at least 50 – 100m isk from it. I rarely rat anymore, although its good to bring someone along to salvage, cause then you can produce mods from those salvage which will get you some isk. Anything you do in the game you can generally make money from it.


  5. Karox Lominax

    Most of my basic income is from missions, but I’ve hit the missioning wall recently – Im bored silly of them.

    At the moment im looking into Tech 2 manufacture, generally going from almost the ground up – I produce the construction components (I dont get the moon minerals though, I just buy them from the market) and do the invention, that way I tend to keep most of the costs low and keep whatever profit that can be siphoned off in my wallet. Problem is, its much, much slower than missioning for pure cash generation, I can maybe make 10-20 million a week or so profit vs 10-20 million per mission if I get the right one.

    Tech 1 production is even worse profit wise, I just couldnt find much that actually sold. It’s a theoretical path to riches, as you can work out how fast you can produce things, how fast you can get them to market, but the actual selling of things is the big slowdown, it can at times take me a week to shift 10 modules, but I tend to stick with slower markets, as I can’t be bothered to sit camping market orders to adjust for 0.1 isk modifications every 10 minutes that you need to do in the busy trading hubs.

    Anyway, thats a rant for later.


  6. PaJin Darox

    I made my first fortune by salvage. Selling Alloyed Tritanium Bar was my way to riches.

    Angel 2/10 complex is easy way to get lots of salvage material and only what I need was destroyer with 6 guns and 2 salvager so skill requirement wasn’t much. Normally I go through whole complex and get about 15-30 tritanium bar about an hour. If I had time I stayed on second room, where I farm wrecks until my projectile ammos almost run out.

    It wasn’t fast way to riches but for noob it was easy 200-300M in couple of weeks when Alloyed Tritanium Bar worth was about 350k ISK.


  7. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Alloyed tritanium bars! (/homer drool)

    I may have to look into that, not so much for resale as for rigging my hauler. A cargo expansion rig requires 100 of those bars after getting the BPO to ME 40 and my own production efficiency to V.

    But yes, salvage can be lucrative. Being a Caldari in Amarr space, I find that I can make some ISK selling armor plates from salvage. They go for around 200K with just a little patience. Supply is pretty strong, as they drop a lot, but demand for them is stronger.


  8. bluelinebasher

    Salvaging was well worth the investment in training time for me. Some of the items have gone down, but there are still some big ticket items that make a lot of ISK.

    I used to have a problem with being a pack rat when I first started. Be sure to work the market. Get in the habit of putting stuff out there at prices that will net you a profit, or search the market and deliver items to the best price if it’s worth it.


  9. Ezra Steel

    Ratting, plain and simple. If you are in a 0.0 system with decent rats you can pull in quite a bit of ISK. You get the bounties paid, you get the loot it drops, and you get the salvage from it. Drone regions rats do not have bounties, but the drops make up for that.

    A ratter, with decent skills can make far more ISK than most of the above listed approaches. Granted, your milage will vary depending on where you are located and your skills.


  10. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Begging on the local channel… from what I have seen, that is not such a good tactic. You’ll get advice, philosophy, insults, and threats, but very little ISK.

    Of course, the people begging have usually failed to follow the iron rule of EVE, Don’t Fly What You Cannot Afford To Replace. They lost all their assets because their shiny new cruiser went poof and they had no backup plan.

    At least that is the usual story. They might just be using any ISK they get to buy lotto tickets and Quafe Ultra.


  11. Leumas

    I have begun buying things on the market based on recycled mineral value alone. Some of the more common loot drops (frequency crystals, low end implants) sell for much less than they are worth.
    I maintain a list of items and their value in rare minerals and I set up buy orders for 3-4 jumps from my home station. Every couple of weeks, I go on a “trash” collecting run and bring it all back for recycling. I can usually get 30-50% return on my investments, with up to 70% on some items.
    I may not get as much as reselling the items in some cases, but I don’t have to go through the hassle of keeping competitive sell orders on the market. It is a good way to earn a passive income while I am not playing.


  12. inhibitor

    I’ll have to agree with Ezra…0.0 ratting will bring in a ton of isk. However, if you’re staying Empire-side, find a corp with a good R&D agent, run missions to get your standing up, and then start a research job or two. After that, sell the datacores (300k isk each). It’s not much, but it’s a fairly hands-off isk-generator while you’re doing other things.


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