Unlike other MMOs, EVE doesn't have a levelling system based on race or time actively spent in game. Instead, there is a system of skills being trained in real time. This skill training can take a few minutes or several weeks. Training skills is essential to your progress in EVE - the more you progress in this area, the easier it is to reach your goals within the game. Thus, it is important to learn about skills and related issues.
How to Train Skills
You already have some skills when you start a new character. To take those to the next level, open your character sheet (go to the upper picture on the left menu bar) and go to the Skills section. Right-click on the skill you want to train and select Train to Level X. There is also a Settings menu, which gives you different options. One of the options here is Show All Skills, which will display all the skills available in game in your sheet. If you select this option, you will see some skills with a green check mark and others with a red cross in your character sheet. The green check mark indicates that you have the prerequisites to train the skill; the red cross shows that there are still some skills you have to train before being able to acquire this particular skill.
The skills that you don't already have in your character sheet will have to be bought from the market. They are sold by ingame factions controlled by Non Player Characters (NPCs), and also re-sold by players. Sometimes, skill books are loot drops on missions, too. Some race specific skills only get sold in the space of that particular faction, and when they are sold outside the area, they are often more expensive. Therefore, if you need a Gallente skill, for example, it is advisable to check how much it is being sold for in Gallente space. After you have bought a skill, it will show up in your hangar, where you can train it via the right-click command.
You will only have to buy a skill book once - it can be trained to the next level without having to buy a new book.
Some skills can't be trained on trial accounts. Those skills are marked in the Description tab of the info on the skill book.
Skills continue training even if you are logged off or if your account is inactive (in the second scenario you can't change skill training, though). As a result, it is a good idea to train short skills while you are playing and longer ones when you log off. If you want to switch skills, you can simply do so by starting another skill training. The points gained on the previous skill will not be lost, but you don't benefit from the training until the level is fully completed. The highest level for any skill is Level 5, but some skills also have an advanced version. Some of those advanced skills influence the same area as the basic version, others only a related area.
There is no skill point cap in EVE. You will most probably also not reach the point where you have trained all skills available, since new ones are added once in a while, and there is also a huge amount of them available. However, it is possible to max out all the skills in a certain category.
You can only train one character per account and one skill per character at the same time, but it is possible to train several ones, one after another.
In general, you will keep the skill points you have trained, and will keep piling up, but it is also possible to lose them. This happens if you get pod-killed (podded) without an updated Clone.
Pod-killing doesn't mean that only the ship is destroyed, but that the escape pod in which you are tucked away gets destroyed also. If this happens you will lose 5% of the difference between the Clone you have and the skill points trained. These points will be taken from the category you have trained the most. So, it is important to ensure that there is always some head-room between the maximum amount of points your Clone can hold and the points trained. However, it is not necessary to buy one that is significantly bigger than the points you have (so if you have 1,200,000 points you don't have to buy a clone that can hold 10,000,000 skill points).
In the event of getting pod-killed, you will be returned to your basic clone with 900,000 points. You'll have to update your clone right away! If you live in an insecure area such as 0.0, then it is advisable to have the clone in a station with a medical facility, even if this means some travelling. This way there is no danger of a second pod-kill before you get the chance to update your clone.
Updating and moving clones is conducted in a medical facility, which can be found in many stations.
When looking at the skills in your character sheet, you will see a number in parentheses. This number shows the Rank of a skill and indicates the time needed to train a skill as compared to other skills. A skill with Rank 5 will take 5 times longer to advance one level than a Rank 1 skill.
The Rank of a skill can be seen in the Attributes tab of the info on the skill book under Training Time Multiplier. However, the time needed to train a skill is also influenced by the attributes of a character, which will be the topic of the next chapter.
Attributes show the strengths of a character and determine the speed at which he/she trains skills of a certain category. Every skill has a primary and secondary attribute. The formula for the speed of skill training (points per minute) is: (primary attribute + secondary attribute/2) x (1 + 0.02 x learning skill level). The attributes used to train a skill can be seen in the Attributes tab of the skill info.
The values you see in the Attributes tab of your character sheet are rounded numbers, so the calculations for the amount of skill points trained per minute can be slightly off.
Each skill group uses specific attributes, which are:
|Group||Attributes used (primary and secondary)|
|Corporation Management||Memory, Charisma|
|Leadership||Willpower, Charisma / Charisma, Willpower|
|Science||All except Perception|
|Spaceship Command||Perception, Willpower / Willpower, Perception|
|Trade||Willpower, Charisma / Charisma, Memory|
As can be seen from this list, there are attributes that are more useful for one profession than others. Many recommend for fighters to focus on Perception and Willpower, for industrialists to develop Memory and Intelligence, and Charisma for Traders.
However, unless one is absolutely sure that a character will stick to the profession chosen, it is advisable to keep a fairly good balance in order to avoid the dilemma of either starting a new character with the "right" attributes for the new profession, or having extremely slow skill training. The basic decision of which attributes a character will have is made on the creation screen. After that there are two ways of increasing your attributes: learning skills and implants.
The skills in the Learning category all speed up the rate at which your skills get trained by increasing the attributes. You gain one attribute point per level of the Learning skills (except for the skill called "Learning" itself) and every Learning skill increases a different attribute. There are basic and advanced skills, so in total you can gain 10 points per attribute plus the skill book Learning, which improves all of the five attributes. It is advisable to train at least the basic learning skills to Level 3 very early in the game, and the other levels and the advanced skills bit by bit as you go along.
The earlier this is done, the faster a character will gather a high amount of skill points. However, since training the Learning Skills also takes time, one has to weigh the advantage of the added attribute points against the time it takes to train them. Most people only train the Advanced Learning Skills to Level 4, since it takes several years of skill training until you reach the point where you have saved more time than it took to train them. If you plan to do a lot of training in a category, it might pay off anyway. Based on the fact that the Learning Skills use Memory and Intelligence as their attributes, the following is a good training routine for a new character to get started on the learning and attribute skills most quickly:
- Instant Recall (Memory) Level 1
- Analytical Mind (Intelligence) Level 1
- Learning Level 1
- Instant Recall (Memory) Level 2
- Analytical Mind (Intelligence) Level 2
- Learning Level 2
- Instant Recall (Memory) Level 3
- Analytical Mind (Intelligence) Level 3
- Learning Level 3
- Instant Recall (Memory) Level 3
- Analytical Mind (Intelligence) Level 3
- Learning Level 3
- Instant Recall (Memory) Level 4
- Analytical Mind (Intelligence) Level 4
- Learning Level 4
After you have reached Level 4 on Analytical Mind, Intelligence and Learning, you can either train Intelligence and Memory further with the Advanced Learning Skills "Eidetic Memory" and "Logic", or start with the skills for Perception, Willpower and Charisma - depending on what section of skills you intend to focus on.
On first glance, training the learning skills might seem to put you behind other players, but in the long run you will greatly benefit from having them trained.
There are different sorts of implants, but one section influences the attribute points of a character as long as they are plugged in. Implants can't be taken out without being destroyed and if the pod gets killed, they are also lost. To be able to plug in implants, you have to train the skill "Cybernetics", and only one implant can be plugged into each of the ten slots available in your character's head.
There is a way of protecting your implants if you know that there is a good chance of being pod-killed, which is making use of a jump clone. Jump clones let you jump across the universe once in 24 hours (only you, not any ships or assets); you don't take the implants with you. In this way, they can be left behind before a potentially critical situation, and after 24 hours you jump back into the clone with the implants. However, one has to be in the clone with the implants operational to benefit from them. To obtain jump clones, you or your corporation need to have standings of 8+ with the owner of the station where you want to install a clone (NPC or player). You also need to have trained the skill "Infomorph Psychology".
when using Jump Clones, do NOT jump from the station where you already have a clone with implants. This is because you would leave your former body there and, as you can only have one clone per station, your oldest clone would be deleted with all its implants.
Implants range from +1 to +5 attribute points per implant, with some of the best ones giving additional bonuses besides increased speed of skill training and even more bonuses if a full set is plugged in. They can be bought on the market, on contract, or are given out by agents as mission or loyalty point rewards. Some implants can also be found in wrecks as loot drops.
Which Skills Should I Train for my Planned Career?
To determine which Skills you need to train, check the Req. Skills tab on the info of a ship or module. Both primary and secondary Skills need to be trained. A green square indicates that the minimum requirements are met, a red one that the skill needs to be trained. However, it is advisable to train Skills further than the minimum requirement, since you get more efficient by doing that.
Bonuses from higher levels of Skill training can be seen in the Description tab of either the item you train for or the Skill itself. In all cases, Skills stay extremely useful when trained to Level 4 at least, so it is not advised to only train the ones needed to use a particular ship or module. Some Skills to get started with are listed below.
Energy Management, Energy Systems Operation, Engineering, Electronics, Spaceship Command, Navigation, Warp Drive Operation, Trade, Social.
Skills for miners:
Mining, Industry, Refining, Drones, Mining Drone Operation, Refinery Efficiency, Mining Barges.
Skills for industrialists:
Industry, Production Efficiency, Metallurgy, Mass Production.
Skills for combat pilots:
- AMARR SHIPS: Small Energy Turret, Repair Systems, Controlled Burst, Gunnery, Energy Systems Operation, Hull Upgrades, Motion Prediction, Sharpshooter, Rapid Firing, Missile Launcher Operation, Long Range Targeting.
- CALDARI SHIPS: Missile Launcher Operation, Small Hybrid Turret, Standard Missiles, Rockets, Gunnery, Shield Operation, Shield Management, Long Range Targeting, Sharpshooter, Motion Prediction, Rapid Firing, Controlled Burst.
- GALLENTE SHIPS: Small Hybrid Turret, Gunnery, Drones, Scout Drone Operation, Repair Systems, Hull Upgrades, Controlled Burst, Sharpshooter, Motion Prediction, Long Range Targeting, Rapid Firing.
- MINMATAR SHIPS: Small Projectile Turret, Gunnery, Motion Prediction, Rapid Firing, Sharpshooter, Shield Operation, Shield Management, Missile Launcher Operation, Standard Missiles, Rockets, Long Range Targeting.
The Skill Categories
Corporation Management is especially useful for CEOs of a Corporation. Here you also find the skill "Anchoring", which is needed to anchor secure containers in space.
Drones is the skill needed to use drones as well as making them more durable, powerful, faster, or for using more specialized or advanced ones.
Electronics contains the skills for electronic warfare as well as the Skill book called "Electronics", which increases your CPU output on a ship. Here you also find the skills for targeting range and to increase the amount of targets you can lock.
Engineering has skills to improve shields and capacitor as well as the Skill called "Engineering", which increases the powergrid output on your ship.
In Gunnery you find the Skills that improve various aspects of turrets and also those that let you use more specialized turrets. Some skills here only influence a particular type of turret (like Small Energy Turret) and others help with all sorts of turrets (like Motion Prediction).
Industry gives you the Skills needed for manufacturing and refining ore and ice, as well as the mining skills.
Leadership Skills give bonuses to combat and mining in gangs.
Learning Skills increase the rate at which you train other Skills, as discussed above.
Mechanic Skills deal with armor and improve some aspects of the structure.
Missile Launcher Operation is the category where you find the Skills that let you use missile launchers and improve their various aspects.
The Skills in Navigation deal with the speed and agility of your ship, as well as giving you the ability to create cynosural fields, which are used for travelling with capital ships.
Science contains a lot of Skills needed for the so-called small professions, like hacking and archeology. Here you also find Skills for T2 production, using R&D agents and probing.
Social Skills deal with your relationship with NPCs.
Spaceship Command Skills let you use different ships and also give bonuses for them. Details on the bonuses can be found in the Description tab of the ship info.
The category Trade contains Skills that help you with trading, like increasing range, lowering charges and increasing the number of orders you can have open.
Attributes and Skills, by Tripoli:
Skill training times and calculation, still by Tripoli:
Pirate Implants FAQ, by Entity: