InterStellar Kredits, or ISK, are the lifeblood of New Eden. And by ‘lifeblood’ we mean, of course, cold hard cash. ISK is EVE Online’s primary currency and the thing you want to possess in large quantities if you want to experience everything the galaxy has to offer.
We’ve assumed that you’ve got a little starter fund - a modest 500 million ISK - to reinvest in making yourself some serious cash (most real-life billionaires started out as millionaires, after all.) Here’s what our community advises you do next.
Manufacturing: Invest in blueprints and resources to manufacture items that are in demand. Monitor the market to adjust your production accordingly.
Exploration: Equip a ship for exploration and venture into wormholes or nullsec space to discover valuable data and relics.
Planetary interaction: Set up planetary colonies to produce valuable resources that can be sold on the market.
Moon mining: Join a corporation with access to moon mining operations and earn ISK by extracting and processing moon materials.
Mission running: Complete PvE missions to earn bounties, rewards, and loyalty points that can be converted into valuable items.
Trading hubs: Establish trade routes between different regions to take advantage of price disparities.
Invest in assets: Purchase ships, modules, or other items that are expected to appreciate in value over time.
This guide is going to straddle the line between investment and speculation. The only thing I make money on is limited-edition cosmetics. When a new pack is released, the cosmetic items will get seeded to Jita market at ludicrously low prices. Skins, clothes, you name it. I prefer clothes because they seem to be one of the hardest assets in New Eden; you can take them off and sell them. Skins are much more predictable money, though.
Let’s make this focus even more narrow.
Here’s the Luminaire Rising Skin for the Hubris. This is the only skin in existence for a dozen-billion ISK hull. It WILL appreciate, it’s just a matter of time. Buy the dip!
Buy five of the skins now, sit for a bit and sell. See how volume is starting to increase again as people get skilled into it? Enjoy. :D
A Covert Ops exploration frigate to scan and hack data and relic sites. T2 fitted, that should not be more than ~50 million ISK
A T3 Destroyer to blitz highsec combat anomalies which can escalate into DED-sites. A Light Missile Jackdaw or Rail-Hecate can also run the resulting 5/10 DED escalation, although a bit slower than a dedicated cruiser could do it. Such a T3D will usually cost less than 100 million ISK.
A Tech 3 destroyer can also probe down lost drones and MTUs that often are worth looting.
A cruiser that can comfortably run the 5/10 DED escalations with one may get from farming anomalies. an Ishtar or Cerberus can do that for ~250 million ISK. Such a Heavy Assault Cruiser can also reliably run combat missions or complete abyssal pockets.
With ~100 million ISK left, the 21 million for the Gas Harvesting skill book and a Venture with a Gas Harvester are easily affordable. That goes well with our exploration frigate.
If there is ISK left, a Sunesis can be fit to warp in less than 2 seconds and have a cargo hold of 1000 m³ - the perfect ship to ninja-loot valuable wrecks of player ships in lowsec with.”
To begin, I would fit an Astero. This would take a significant portion of my resources, but I would be able to recoup my losses pretty easily. This Astero would then be used to run any 3/10 or below DED sites in my region, along with running Limited Sleeper Cache sites. The rewards for completing DED sites and Sleeper Caches would build up a war chest pretty quickly.
In addition to running these sites, I would also be scanning empty lowsec systems in search of gas sites. Another sneaky ISK faucet is hunting belt rats in the Araz constellation for Blood Bronze tags, which are worth 10m each. Recommended Astero fit.
When I find gas sites in a suitable system, I would use a relatively cheap but well-tanked Venture to huff the gas and carry it away. Each gas site can net hundreds of millions, so even losing one venture per full gas haul is an easy trade off. Recommended Venture fit.
The goal is to make enough ISK for a Stratios to continue my exploration adventures. With a Stratios, Running Standard and Superior Sleeper caches becomes easy and I make hundreds of millions of ISK relatively quickly while also having fun with my favourite activity in the game. I estimate that I could easily be back in my Stratios in under a month of casual play.
Hunt for Intact Armor Plates in Stain. New players will learn that dying is ok in EVE, as well as the value of using their d-scan effectively and keeping an eye on local. Invaluable skills for anyone who aspires to become an excellent pilot.
Using a lowly Heron, you are able to make tens of millions fairly quickly in the Stain, Paragon Soul, and Esoteria regions of low-sec. Just be forewarned, you will die to Sabres and other interdictors; these areas of space are frequently hunted.
I would use the remaining ISK to buy Small Skill Injectors to get into Cov-Ops IV (so you can use a covert-ops) and train into either an Astero or a Buzzard asap. The initial investment might be large, but the ROI on flying inexpensive exploration ships in low-sec is impressive.
The most important investment in EVE, as in real life, is in yourself. More experienced players are able to make ISK faster and with less effort because they understand the game and the mechanics that they are limited to.
So how should you invest 500 million ISK? Use it to fund your exploration of everything the game has to offer. Take an exploration frigate into Pochven, see what the locals are up to, and salvage their wrecks. Snooping on the locals is how I discovered that you could piggy back their fleets and scoop the loot crates they leave behind:
While you’re in Pochven, learn to use the Pochven Express to safely extract your loot back to high sec. Now that you understand how to extract your loot via Pochven, why not use the knowledge to buy cheap ships that are stuck in hard-to-reach corners of the galaxy? Bring them back to safer space and sell them for profit.
These are all examples of ISK making methods that I have stumbled across during my time playing Eve with curiosity. The best way to get ahead is by experiencing the game for yourself. Get off the beaten track and you might discover something for yourself. After all, the best ISK making method is the one nobody else knows about.
And that concludes our guide to making billions upon billions of ISK in EVE Online (provided you have a few hundred million to start with). A massive thank you, as always, to everyone who contributed to the bounty request. New players: did you find these tips useful? If so, which ones and how? Let us know in the comments!