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A Newbro Guide to Making ISK in Nullsec

ISK, or InterStellar Kredits are the in game currency of the Eve-Online universe. Items such as single rounds of ammunition can be purchased for a few ISK, but sales of rare or powerful equipment can fetch hundreds of billions of ISK.

It is against the Terms of Service to sell ISK for out of game money; however, ISK can be bought with out of game money through the 30 day pilot licenses (PLEX) sold by CCP which can then, with restrictions, be sold in game for ISK. There is also an approved way to trade time codes for ISK via the official forums.

How to stop being a space hobo

You've sold all of your assets or left them behind in highsec, packed light as you made your way to the TEST alliance staging system, started on the 30 Day training plan, and lost some test_free ships going on fleets. Now what? You probably aspire to fly something less disposable than EWAR and tackle, and that's going to cost ISK. Then you're going to want to earn ISK faster, and that costs more ISK. In fact, ISK will soon limit what you can fly more than skill points. Never fear! There are literally faucets of ISK all over nullsec.

While there are countless creative ways to earn ISK in EVE, from charging for services to scamming, this guide primarily focuses on activities common to null security space. Most of these involve some form of PvE and include activities available to most ships, from Frigates all the way through Battleships and even Carriers.
(Carrier ratting is risky and thus not recommended for beginners!)


Salvaging can provide a second source of income from ratting or be treated as a profession of opportunity. Any ship with an empty high-power slot and sufficient powergrid and CPU can fit a Salvager, but ships with many high power slots make the most efficient dedicated salvagers. Tractor Beams and a Microwarpdrive or Afterburner round out a solid salvage ship. test_free regularly stocks salvage-fit destroyers. Catalysts, Coercers, and Cormorants are most common.

If you aren't killing your own NPCs to generate wrecks, finding reliable sources of salvage can be a challenge. You may find some wrecks by warping to asteroid belts, or cleaning up after PvP skirmishes around gates and stations. For a more consistent supply of wrecks, ask if anybody is leaving theirs behind in deedeereddit or general chat on Discord - if nothing is going on, the bacon bar voice chat usually has someone willing to let you salvage. You can also ask in the Standing fleet (usually named Testagram Standing), join up with a standing fleet in common PvE systems, and ask if you can salvage the wrecks generated by ratters.

There is also a special type of salvaging, known as ninja salvaging, usually involving probing people doing L4 missions in empire space and salvaging the wrecks there.

Nullsec salvaging also exists, which generally involves finding wrecks from people who are ratting, then salvaging the wrecks produced. It may also refer to salvaging after the wrecks from a fleet fight.

Suitable ships: Destroyer*, Noctis
* Stocked by test_free

Minimum required skills for the test_free salvage destroyers:

  • <Racial> Destroyer I
    • <Racial> Frigate III
      • Spaceship Command I
  • Salvaging I
    • Mechanics III
    • Survey III
      • CPU Management I
  • Science III
  • High Speed Maneuvering I
    • Navigation III
    • Afterburner III
      • Navigation I
  • Energy Grid Upgrades II
    • Science I
    • Power Grid Management II
  • Hull Upgrades I
    • Mechanics I


Exploration is a bit of a shift from other forms of PvE. Its two major activities, Scanning and the Hacking Minigame, require you to focus on screens that obstruct your view of your surroundings. When scanning for Cosmic Signatures, you repeatedly position and narrow down the search area of your scan probes for increasingly accurate results until you identify the signature as something you aren't interested in or are able to warp to the location.

Once you have pinpointed and arrived at a Data Site or Relic Site, you approach each of several sealed cargo containers and target them with the appropriate Data Analyzer or Relic Analyzer. This begins the Hacking Minigame, which pits the strength of your Analyzer (determined by skills, ship bonuses, rigs, and module meta level) against a maze. Your objective is to locate and destroy the System Core, along with any Defensive Subsystems impeding your progress. Failing the Hacking Minigame twice will destroy the cargo container and its contents, but a successful hack will allow you to open the container and collect its contents.

Check out Joe Buddan's Newbro Exploration Guide, Noxid's Dank Guide to Exploration and Hacking 101, by EVE University for more detailed guides.

Suitable ships: Scanning Frigate*, Covert Ops Frigate, Strategic Cruiser, Astero, Stratios
* Stocked by test_free

Minimum required skills for the test_free Heron:

  • Caldari Frigate I
    • Spaceship Command I
  • Cloaking I
    • CPU Management IV
  • Astrometrics I
    • Science III
  • Archaeology I
    • Science III
    • Survey III
      • CPU Management I
  • Hacking I
    • Electronics Upgrades III
      • CPU Management II
      • Power Grid Management II
    • Science III
  • High Speed Maneuvering I
    • Navigation III
    • Afterburner III
      • Navigation I
  • Astrometric Rangefinding II
    • Science III
  • Hull Upgrades I
    • Mechanics I

An alliance app for doing exploration and being able to see if sites have already been scanned exists at


Steady but slow income. Required skills are not used in PvP, thus mining is the least recommended profession for combat pilots. test_free occasionally has Venture mining frigates in stock. Mining is pretty straightforward: find rock, shoot rock with mining laser, collect bits of rock. It's pretty boring, but you can do it in between changing diapers or watching Netflix. Mining can actually become entertaining when done in groups of entertaining people. It also provides the alliance with much needed minerals for ship production.

Ore Sites are Cosmic Anomalies that spawn with asteroid belts. These sites usually contain more lucrative ores than those in an asteroid belt in that part of space. To check a system for Ore Sites, open your Probe Scanner window and check the “Show Anomalies” box — no scanning required!

Suitable ships: Venture*, Mining Barge, Exhumer, Prospect
* Stocked by test_free

Minimum required skills for the test_free Venture:

  • Mining Frigate I
    • Spaceship Command I
  • Mining I
  • Shield Upgrades I
    • Science I
    • Power Grid Management II
  • CPU Management I
  • Afterburner I
    • Navigation I
  • Mining Upgrades I
    • Mining III

Belt Ratting

Hey! Read this! It has info on how to treat fellow ratters properly and not piss people off.

Warp to an Asteroid Belt, destroy NPCs, collect loot and salvage, then move on to the next. Belt ratting is entry-level nullsec PvE best performed in systems with many asteroid belts. Your goal is to take a fast durable ship and deal as much damage as possible, minimizing your combat and travel times. Destroyer and Cruiser sized hulls, including their variants, are okay for this.


While you won't be facing hoards of ships at once like in Cosmic Anomalies, up to five ships may spawn ranging from Frigates, often with Stasis Webifiers and/or Warp Scramblers, to Battleships(max 2). Rogue drones do not have any favorite EWAR type and the ships rarely use any EWAR other than webs and warp disruption. But drone sites and missions can contain energy neutralizing towers or drone mothers with very strong webs. Kill everything you can, loot everything, salvage everything. There isn't very much strategy involved here; simply destroy the NPCs before they destroy your ship.

Suitable ships: Assault Frigate, Destroyer, Tactical Destroyer, Cruiser, Heavy Assault Cruiser, Battlecruiser

Ideally, you should be flying a T2 fit Destroyer, Assault Frigate, Cruiser, or T3 Destroyer. Once you've skilled into Cruisers you should consider moving up to Cosmic Anomalies. This is a very inconsistent method of making isk.

If ratting is what you're doing, consider joining Admiral Squad in your requestable groups: They have a subforum and a Discord full of neat information and hints and tips about how to rat efficiently and how to help defend the place where you're ratting.

Cosmic Anomalies

Cosmic Anomalies are very similar to Cosmic Signatures, except that they're exclusively combat or ore sites and you don't have to scan for them. Simply open your Probe Scanner window and check the “Show Anomalies” box. Combat Anoms are the most consistent source of ISK in nullsec and have the added bonus of increasing a system's Military Index. This not only increases the quality and number of anomalies spawning in that system, but also makes the system easier to defend. Systems that have been upgraded with a Pirate Detection Array can have an absurd number of Cosmic Anomalies.

Combat anomalies are always a single room and consist of several waves, with some including about twenty ships. The favored approach uses speed-tanked drone Cruisers like the Vexor, Vexor Navy Issue, Ishtar, and Gila which all allow nearly-AFK ratting, though the Myrmidon battlecruiser or Dominix battleship is viable as well, although they can require additional training and more expensive fits. Most well-skilled Cruisers can begin low-level combat anomalies. Larger and more expensive ships allow for increased damage, thus increased ISK per hour, but are slower to move and require near-constant attention.

placeholder for ratting fitting resists.

Anomalies range in difficulty from Class 1 to Class 10, and classes 1, 4, 6, and 8 have four levels of difficulty. In nullsec, the lowest rated Anomaly you are likely to find will be a Rally Point (6-1).

Drone Anomalies do not have increasing difficulty classes, nor do normal drone rats drop loot. Faction drone spawns do drop drone components and other loot, so keep an eye out for Sentient named drones.

1 Faction Name 2 Hidden 3 Forsaken 4 Forlorn 5 Drone
1 Hideaway Hidden Hideaway Forsaken Hideaway Forlorn Hideaway Cluster
2 Burrow Collection
3 Refuge Assembly
4 Den Hidden Den Forsaken Den Forlorn Den Gathering
5 Yard Surveillance
6 Rally Point Hidden Rally Point Forsaken Rally Point Forlorn Rally Point Menagerie
7 Port Herd
8 Hub Hidden Hub Forsaken Hub Forlorn Hub Squad
9 Haven Patrol
10 Sanctum Horde

Suitable ships: Tactical Destroyer, Cruiser, Heavy Assault Cruiser, Strategic Cruiser, Battlecruiser, Battleship, Marauder, Carrier

EVE University has a highly detailed overview of these sites, along with breakdowns for each of them and what rats you can expect to fight against in each site.

A very reliable way of avoiding damage is called “Speed tanking”, where you avoid most of the incoming damage by simply moving faster than the rat guns can track you. In most sites, you can speed tank at 30/40km and moving at least 550m/s and they will simply miss your ship, reducing the total damage you take.

Here is a cookie cutter Myrmidon fit that should be compatible with most fitting skills. Downgrade modules as required while making sure you stay cap stable.

[Myrmidon, Ratter]

Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Capacitor Flux Coil II

100MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II
Large Cap Battery II
Multispectrum Shield Hardener II
Medium Shield Booster II

Drone Link Augmentor II
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]

Medium Thermal Shield Reinforcer II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Federation Navy Ogre x5
Hobgoblin II x5
Hornet EC-300 x5

Optimal Range Script x1
Tracking Speed Script x1

For some more advanced Myrmidon fits and strategy also look at this guide in the forums:Myrm Ratting Guide

Recommended sites: Forsaken Hubs. Rock havens can be done in the absence of larger ships running those sites. Refer Ratting Policy


An alternative to myrmidons is the Dominix. The recommended fit is designed to be pure armor tank, meaning you just park the ship in an anomaly (no orbiting or prop-mods necessary). There is a little nuance to it, so if you want to give it a try, read about it on the Ship's page.

Recommended Sites: Forsaken Hubs and Rally Points. Note that unlike the myrmidon, this ship cannot tank Havens. If you take a Domi to a rock Haven, you will die.

Carrier Ratting

Refer here and here and get sure to be inside the Outer Passage Standing Fleet.

DED Complexes and Escalations

Suitable ships: Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser, Battlecruiser, Battleship, Carrier, Supercarrier, Titan

  • Carrier ratting is a bad idea. Supercapital ratting would be fucking stupid. Genuinely. PL/PH enjoy hotdropping on idiots who carrier/super rat (and don't pay attention to local and intel channels). If you're reading this page you probably aren't ready for it. Don't be that guy.

placeholder for ratting fitting resists.

Some combat sites can only be found through Exploration or from bookmarks given when a Cosmic Anomaly escalates. These DED Rated Complexes have acceleration gates that restrict access by hull size depending on the complex rating, and may contain several rooms. Most DED Complexes restrict the use of Microwarpdrives, so an Afterburner is recommended for approaching acceleration gates to the next room.

Complex Level Permitted Hulls
1/10 Frigate
2/10 Frigate, Destroyer
3/10 Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser
4/10 Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser, Battlecruiser
5/10 Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser, Battlecruiser, Battleship
6+/10 No restrictions (10/10s require Leadership 5)

Higher level DED Complexes may require several Faction Battleships or Marauders working together to complete. Incoming damage increases dramatically between 4/10 and 5/10 complexes and continues to increase up to 10/10 complexes. Since there is quite some variation between different complexes, it's a good idea to do a search and read up on one before attempting it.


If you already have a small fortune, importing ships and modules from trade hubs to sell in the Test Alliance staging system is an excellent way to put your ISK to work for you while helping the alliance. As for what to import, the best advice I can give is to figure out what we need. Ensure we have an ample supply of doctrine ships, ratting ships, Interceptors, Interdictors, ammunition, charges, and scripts. From there, keep your ears open and figure out what players are asking for. When importing a product for the first time, start with a low but usable quantity. A few ships or modules, a few hundred drones, a few thousand units of ammunition…

Keep your prices fair. While a reasonable markup to ensure your profit after import costs is expected, excessive markup is considered “blue fucking” and will likely draw the attention of an Alliance Diplomat. Try to keep your profits under 20%, or lower if you're feeling generous. If an item is well stocked and reasonably priced, try to find something we're lacking rather than starting a price war.

More info available here.

The Services Offered & Investments section of our forums is a great place to find people who can import your goods.

Planetary Interaction (PI)

Suitable ships: Industrial

A fairly passive way to earn ISK, PI setups can work for days without any input. While producing anything meaningful is a lengthy process requiring coordination between many pilots (or an army of alts), there is a market for lower-level PI materials that should not be ignored.

Check out Ykarra's Planetary Interaction Fluff
and the Planetary Interaction. The definitive "How Do PI" post for more detailed information.

Additional Reading

  • ISK the Guide — An incredibly detailed PDF guide covering most of these subjects and many more in great depth, from Manufacturing and R&D to lore and UI breakdowns.

OP IHUB Upgrades

  • As of February 10th 2022
System Name Pirate Array Level Ore Array Level Entrapment Array Level
0-4VQL 5 3
1-10QG 5 0 1
2-84WC 5 5
24I-FE 3 3 1
2EV-BA 3 3
2ID-87 5 0
2ULC-J 5 3 1
2WU-XT 5 3
3-QNM4 5 5
4AZV-W 3 3
4H-YJZ 3 3
4O-ZRI 3 5
6-GRN7 5 3
7F-2FB 5 5
8-AA98 5 3
80G-H5 3 3
8K-QCZ 3 0
8RL-OG 2 0
90-A1P 3 0
9S-GPT 4 0
9Z-XJN 5 5
CNHV-M 3 2
DJ-GBH 3 0
D-JVGJ 4 0
EZWQ-X 2 3
FVQF-W 5 3
F-WCLC 5 0
GA58-7 3 0
G-HEON 1 0
HLR-GL 2 0
HZID-J 5 0
I0N-BM 5 5
I-HRX3 5 5
J-0KB3 5 2
J4AQ-O 5 0
J7X-VN 3 1
JBUH-H 5 0 1
JUE-DX 3 3
JX-SOA 3 2 1
K4UV-G 3 3 1
KGCF-5 3 3
LTT-AP 2 3
L1YK-V 4 2
M1-PX9 3 0
M4U-EH 3 0 4
MC4C-H 3 0 1
N-I024 3 0
NEU-UD 3 3
NHKO-4 3 3
NQ-M6W 3 4
O-O2GN 4 4
OW-QXW 3 3
P-8PDJ 3 1
P-T9VC 5 4
Q7E-DU 3 3
QFRV-2 5 5
QHH-13 5 0
QG3-Z0 3 0
QOK-SX 3 0
RQNF-9 5 5
R3P0-Z 5 5
RT64-C 2 3
SN-DZ6 3 3
SN-Q1T 4 5
T0DT-T 3 3
TFPT-U 5 5
U-FQ21 5 5
UAJ5-K 4 3
UC-8XF 3 0 1
UEPO-D 3 0
UNV-3J 4 0
V-SEE6 5 5
VE-W7O 5 3
VH-9VO 3 3
W9-TFD 3 3
WIO-OL 3 2
WK2F-Y 4 0
XDTW-F 3 0
XJ-AG7 5 2
XME-SW 5 5
XUPK-Z 5 0
Y-7XVJ 3 0 3
Y-UO9U 3 5
YC-ANK 2 0
YQM-P1 5 3
ZEZ1-9 4 0
ZJ-5IS 5 0
ZZK-VF 3 0 1
training/guides/guide_to_making_isk_in_nullsec.txt · Last modified: 2024/06/07 12:03 by Naliao