How to get into Eve Online and why it's well worth a try

It's not impossible to become a part of this notoriously difficult and epic space simulator.

No, Eve Online is not just a 'spreadsheet' simulator. I don't even know where this saying came from. I've been playing this game on and off for about a year now and the number of times I've used a spreadsheet is...maybe twice? 

And that was just to compare the prices for materials throughout the different 'regions'.  

Plenty of people are curious about this game, especially after hearing all the stories about massive space battles that have losses totalling up to $300,000 and how people have gone up the ladder in corporations before turning around and stabbing them in the back, disbanding major alliances. There's more intrigue than spreadsheets.

And why wouldn't you be curious?

This game is a huge sandbox with one realm for everyone. The major player-run corporations dictate the rules in the sectors that are far from the watch of the Concord (the NPCs, a sort of police force to keep players in line), the market, the in-game economy, the battles... it's all dictated by the playerbase. 

Seems like an exciting sandbox to play around in right? Yet most people are turned off by the difficulty of the game.

This is probably the most challenging MMO game you'll ever play.

The losses you sustain (and lose you will) are brutal and unforgiving, yet there is no other game that gives you the same tension this can offer when you another player in front of you. 

Nor is there any other game out there that will make you feel as victorious when you come out the winner. 

Just do it.

If you've been curious about trying Eve Online out, just do it. The more you read about this game, the more daunting it's going to seem. 

As I mentioned before, this will be one of the toughest games you'll play, but the moment you start playing it you'll see that success is not impossible. Tough as it is, you will learn everything, step by step.

Perhaps you may end up having a spreadsheet or two, but depending on what kind of a player you are, you decide what Eve Online is going to be to you. 

It's also worth noting that while the game has a subscription fee, CCP offer deals rather frequently that can prove extremely valuable on top of giving you the opportunity of never having to spend a cent more on this game after an initial subscription fee.

It's doable. Even if you're new to the game. All you have to do is get some research done. 

Decide what you want to be 

This seems like a running theme in space-oriented games. What do you want to be? Do you see yourself being an explorer, wishing to venture out into uncharted territories? Do you fancy yourself as a business intellect, playing the market to earn ISK (in-game currency)? Or do you want to be a pirate, making a living off of other player's misery? Perhaps you want to get involved with the factional warfare going on?

If you decide to never venture out into low-security space, you're missing almost 80% of what Eve Online offers

The list can go on and on. 

If you want to play the market, then the game will probably be a virtual spreadsheet to you for the most part. But if not, it's something a whole lot different. 

Keep in mind, though, Eve Online focuses more on the strategic part of a space flight simulator and less on the flight part.

You will not be flying your ship around with a joystick. Combat is more about adjusting your velocity to tweak the distance by which you want to orbit your target in order to get into the optimal range where your weapons do the most damage, or get close enough to engage warp disruptors among a whole bunch of other ships. Don't expect StarFox.

Trial by Fire

Alright, so you've managed to start playing this game. You've seen the warnings pop up whenever you're going to make the transition from a high-security space to a low-security one.

Like plenty of other new players, you immediately backpedal and warp as far away as you can from that place. You've heard the stories of people camping gates, looking to destroy your ship and loot it. Your ship is too precious to you. 

Remember how I said earlier that your ship will probably get blown up once you forray into low sec? It's done by people who've been in your shoes before

If you decide to never venture out into low-security space, you're missing almost 80% of what Eve Online offers. In high-security zones you'll be protected, sure, you won't (probably) have that gut-wrenching pain of losing your ship that you dumped loads of ISK into. But what's the point if you're not going to be using it properly? 

Unless you're a dedicated miner, though. But even then, if you want the minerals that are worth something you'll have to venture out of the security comfort zones. And there is only so much mining you can do before getting bored. 

It's still pretty fun!

Play around to get a good feel for the game (about 3-4 weeks).

Then throw yourself into a low-security zone and start living there. Be prepared to lose your ships, because you will. You'll walk into traps set up by other players, you'll get blown up by pirates, you'll get caught in a cross-fire between factions.

But it will all be essential in shaping you into an Eve Online veteran. And you will soon see the appeal behind the game. 


I like to think that the huge learning curve turns off the people you hate having to play with or against (trolls, harassers, etc) since they don't have the required mindset and/or skills to play this game.

It's pretty difficult to run into complete d-bags, here. Oh sure, there are those unscrupulous people who make friends within corporations and backstab them in the end, but... that's part of this sandbox experience. Plus, you don't have to worry about those until you've been playing this game a while.

Folks who play Eve Online come off as way more mature than most of the mainstream gaming communities out there. Don't expect too many toxic or reckless players.

Remember how I said earlier that your ship will probably get blown up once you foray into low sec? That's done by people who've been in your shoes before. Everyone who's ever played this game has known the frustration of getting their ship shot down for the first time and having to start again from scratch.

So chances are pretty good that they will want to soften the blow for you as much as you could, especially if you're a relatively new player. 

I had my ship blown up in low sec by a lone pirate. He messaged me afterwards and chided me for flying around low sec in an 'expensive piece of junk with a bullseye painted on that tells other players "Come get me! I can make you rich!''

Then, the guy who killed me sent me around 10k ISK along with blueprints for his own personal rifter fit.

He told me to learn how to fly it ASAP if I want to keep flying in low sec.

In a sense, there is a mutual respect going around Eve Online players simply because you're all willing to play such a brutal game. 

That doesn't mean there aren't people who'll blow you up and laugh at you. Every games has its winners and losers... Eve Online just has a pretty cut-throat way of going about it. But you still stand a much higher chance of learning from your losses here than anywhere else.

Apart from that, try to join a corporation (EO's equivalent of guilds) early on. They will show you the fastest way of getting acquainted with the game. 

And there you have it, those are the best ways to jump into Eve Online. Do give this game a try if you've ever been curious about it. It's certainly worth experiencing at least once. 

Published Sep. 2nd 2015
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