What Aura Doesn’t Tell You: The Secrets of EVE Online

Worldshatter 2016-11-08

EVE Online is notoriously obtuse. Even after playing through the tutorial a new player has barely scratched the surface of the game’s mechanics. There are so many hidden features and UI elements which even experienced players may have never heard of. With the upcoming release of Alpha clones this article intends to give new players  some insight into EVE’s more obscure and hidden features.

Alts are a must

In EVE, unlike other MMOs, alts aren’t just an interesting option, they’re a near necessity. Abandon from the outset any ideas of just having your “main” character and nothing else. Sure, your main may fill the purpose of your combat pilot, but what if you urgently need to buy something from Jita? What if you want to do some industry work? What if you want to eventually have a character dedicated to your supercapital? It’s nigh-on impossible to do everything in EVE with a single character due to travel times and skill requirements. Thankfully with the addition of alpha clones, making alt accounts has never been easier, and you can use these free alts for simple purposes, such as trading up until the point where you can afford to finance the accounts with PLEX.

Be careful with your bonus remaps

As a new character you’re going to find a certain feature called “attribute remapping” under the “attributes” section of your character sheet. This feature allows you to change how your attributes are distributed to make certain types of skills train faster. New characters are given a number of bonus remaps on top of the normally allowed one remap per year. Though it may be tempting to remap early and often to blast out some basic skills, the reality is that you shouldn’t touch these bonus remaps until you have a very definite idea of what skills your character is going to be training over the course of the next year. You should also make sure to use a program such as EVEmon to maximise the efficiency of your remap for your skill plan when you do decide to do it. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you may find yourself eventually stuck on a poor attribute set for the skills you want to train.

Just because you can fly a ship doesn’t mean you should

A mistake many new players make is rushing the basic skills for whatever big, cool ship they want to fly, only to sit in the hull and be completely ineffective up until the point they inevitably die. It may seem like fun to train nothing but Gallente battleship I before hopping into a megathron but all that’s going to leave you with is an empty wallet and an embarrassing killmail. Take that advice from me, the guy who’s first ratting ship was a Drake. Instead of rushing into something big and shiny, focus on improving what you can fly first. As a rule of thumb, you should have all relevant skills to around IV or V, and be able to comfortably replace the full price of your ship five or six times before hopping in to fly it.

Set your drones to focus fire

If you’re using a ship that rats with drones, by default they’re going to split their damage amongst multiple targets if you leave them to auto-target. This is awful for your ratting income. To fix this, click on the little icon in the top left hand corner of your drones menu and check the box that says “focus fire.” Your drones will now be well-behaved and make you considerably more money.

Train Interceptors

If you’re going to be spending time around Null and/or Low security space (and you should—that’s where all the fun is to be had) interceptors are a fantastic ship type to train into. They are fast and are immune to the warp jamming “bubbles” players leave around nullsec to catch unsuspecting victims. Though they are not available to alpha clones, they should be one of your first major training goals after upgrading to omega and completing your foundation skills.

You can copy contracts

This is something I didn’t even know until a week or two ago. If you’re using the contracts system to sell fitted ships to people, normally you would have to go through the tedious process of remaking the contract for every ship you intend to put up for sale. However as YouTube user “Ammz A” shows us in this video, it is actually possible to make duplicates of your already made contracts. Speeding up your creation of them by an unbelievable amount.

Fixing glowy red modules

Sometimes, especially in high time dilation fleet fights (EVE’s way to slow down the game and compensate for lag) modules on your ship will not de-cycle correctly and will instead be left repeatedly glowing red with you being unable to interact with them. The simple fix for this is to drag the module to another “module slot” (the one right next to it will do) on the UI. This will fix the problem 90% of the time and allow you to get back to your space combat.

You can ctrl-click and drag to target multiple things in space

This one is fairly self-explanatory yet a great time saver for anyone interested in salvaging, and a great life saver for any logi pilots who need to target a large group of allies quickly. If you hold the “control” key and then right click and drag a box in space, the game will automatically target all of the objects within the box, be they ships, wrecks or something else. Ctrl-right click can also be used on single targets for targeting in your overview or in space.

Always be moving

If you’re sitting still in space, your ship become monumentally easier to hit for any hostile player that may engage you. That’s why no matter where you are, be it on a gate or at an asteroid field, you should always be moving in some way shape or form (for example, if you are mining in an asteroid belt, you could orbit a space rock) to give you the best chance of survival should you be engaged.

Never play EVE alone

This last point may seem like a cop-out, but it’s the most relevant of them all. Bonds formed over EVE are different from ordinary video game bonds. It’s a game that’s brought people together like no other MMO I’ve ever seen. This community has to be experienced first hand before it can be believed. Get out of hi-sec, get out of your random NPC corporation, and come play the real game with other people. Corporations like KarmaFleet or Pandemic Horde will welcome you as a new player into Nullsec life, but it doesn’t have to be just them.

Go and join a lowsec pirate corp. Go and join a corp hunting ratters in NPC Nullsec. EVE has a reputation for being boring, but it’s only boring if you try to play it like every other MMO out there. If you play EVE how EVE is meant to be played, with other people, it will be a game that has an effect on you like no other.

I hope that any prospective EVE players who read this article learned something from it, I’d like to thank the members of Gooniversity for help with topics for this article, and I welcome any experienced players to share their EVE Online secrets in the comments below.

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  • Ryan

    Thanks for your submission, Worldshatter! And newbies, don’t forget that contracts can also be renamed! Whether you want to use this information to make money or save money is up to you.

    November 8, 2016 at 10:35 am
  • Some good tips, especially: never play EVE alone. Regardless of where you interest lies, I recommend finding a group of people you jel with. Easiest way to find groups is to get active. Go to parts of space where you can shot at and meet cool and interested people willing to blow you up but also teach you how to blow things up.

    November 8, 2016 at 4:36 pm
  • Gommel Nox

    some great information here, some of which I didn’t even know about

    November 8, 2016 at 4:39 pm