5 Tips for New Eve Online Players
We were all new to Eve Online at one point or another. Whether it was news about the Battle of Asakai and the jaw-dropping video that accompanied it, the recent brawl over 6VDT-H that gained the attention of worldwide media, or any of the other dozens of events that have happened in Eve Online over the course of its lifetime, every player remembers how it felt to be new to the most intimidating and cutthroat virtual sandbox in existence. With that being said, here are five tips that I've learned over the past year or two that should aid most new Eve Online players, whether you're just a free trial account or had your feet wet for a few months now.
1. Read The Tutorial - Educate Yourself!
Eve Online is one of the most complex modern video games on the planet. Therefore, the tutorial should be treated like a college textbook. Pay attention to what you're being taught, and pay attention when the missions put what you've been taught into practice. The tutorial does a fantastic job of teaching the basic mechanics of the game, such as navigation in space, activating modules, browsing the services that space stations offer you, and so on. However, the tutorials don't cover everything that a competent player should know, such as how to logically fit a ship, how to deal optimal damage by manipulating turret range and tracking speed, or that bigger ships don't always mean better. For topics such as these, I highly recommend finding a friend who has been playing the game for a while and knows how to explain the more advanced mechanics of the game; absolutely nothing can effectively substitute a one-on-one tutoring session. If you can't find yourself a friend, then it's time to put the Internet in Internet Spaceships.
Whenever I've had a question regarding anything Eve Online, my go-to source of information has always been Eve University's UniWiki. Whether it's how to properly fit a Brutix for Level 3 missions, tips on properly arranging Planetary Interaction factories, or optimizing my Retriever fit for maximum yield per harvester cycle, UniWiki has reliably answered almost all of my questions. Other resources for information include Eve Online's official wiki, as well as the Eve Wiki.
After finishing the tutorial, I highly recommend completing all of the career agents if you are brand-new to Eve. The career agents do a very good job of giving new players a small taste of some of the paths you can journey down. They also reward very generously, giving you plenty of ISK to invest into whatever career you think might be fun. This leads perfectly into my second tip...
2. Invest In Fun, Not ISK!
The worst mistake you can possibly make in Eve Online is to not have fun. The vast majority of new Eve Online players quit at the tutorial because it is overwhelming and doesn't hold your hand, but another large majority quit Eve Online after a month or two of playing because they find themselves not having fun. This is largely due to the misconception that in order to have fun in Eve Online, you must be rich. This is not true. Find the activity that you derive the most fun from, and do it to the best of your ability. Just like real life, if you find a career that you enjoy doing and focus on having fun, the quality of your work and the motivation to improve it will take care of any financial issues you might have (unless you're a teacher in the United States - in which case, you didn't go into the industry with money in mind!)
It doesn't matter if you're station trading and never undock once in your life from Jita 4-4, or if you think Faction Warfare is the best idea since sliced and toasted bread, or if running a few Level 4 missions after work is enough to make you enjoy the game. Do what you find most enjoyable to you. Eve Online is real, but it's also a video game. If you're not having fun, then you're most likely doing something wrong.
3. Set Goals & Strive For Them!
Eve Online is, first and foremost, a sandbox. One of the key features of any sandbox game is that the only thing the game itself does is provide the tools to facilitate the player's enjoyment; sandbox games are catalysts for a player's desires and imagination. This means that Eve Online is a goal-oriented game. It is up to you - the player - to chase after your ambitions. If all you want is a game that will hold your hand until you're in the biggest, baddest-ass ship, this is not the game for you.
So, I recommend you set a goal and you attempt to achieve it. It could be reaching 50 million ISK within a week, or it could be to fly a T2 frigate relatively well, or it could be to find yourself a nice corporation that will help you learn how to play the game. The aim of your goal is entirely up to you - but it's also entirely up to you to strive for it and achieve it. Choose your own path within the universe, and maybe one day, something you did will end up on the front page of Yahoo!
4. Make Mistakes - Die In A Glorious, Expensive Fire!
One of the most common pieces of advice you'll hear from veterans is the phrase "Only fly what you can afford to lose." This phrase is supposed to carry good intent, but also carries a negative connotation: it essentially says "If you die in something expensive, you've made a huge mistake, ruined your corporation's killboard, and single-handedly shamed your family."
Well, maybe accidentally destroying that Drake you just bought and can't replace is a mistake. But one of the beautiful things about human beings that sets us apart from the average muskrat is that we have the ability to learn from our mistakes. So, I encourage you to make mistakes. Glorious, expensive mistakes. Because the more mistakes you make, the more lessons you learn. A Scorpion Navy Issue might be expensive, but the lesson learned by destroying it is absolutely priceless.
5. Get Involved With The Community!
This is one of the most dreadful games to play absolutely alone. Unless you are truly a leper and enjoy solitude (which is completely fine, there's nothing wrong with that), I encourage you to make some friends through whatever means possible. Join a corporation and talk in corp chat. Read the Eve Online subreddit and comment on things that interest you - bonus points for asking a question you can't find the answer to! If you're bored during a long shift at work, browse over to The Mittani and read a few articles when your boss' prying eyes turn elsewhere. The best way to get excited about anything, whether it's a video game, hobby, band, etc. is to participate in the community that surrounds it. Become passionate about the game.
Hopefully these tips helped somebody out there!