There is nothing wrong with using PLEX sales to finance your character. There is a big difference between the PLEX system and RMT or cash stores in other games. You are not buying ISK, overpowered items or skill points, you are buying game time from CCP and selling it to another player for ISK. Not sure I understand. Buy Plex for real-world money. Sell Plex in-game for ISK. Both activities completely legal. Yes that’s legal. Doing the following is not Legal. ISK Buy PLEX Sell PLEX for real World Money, or even just skipping the PLEX and going streight to ISK Selling ISK for IRL Cash.
One of the main reasons EVE Online gained its' popularity is because of the complex economy system it offers to its' players. The EVE Online's Market shows a lot of similarities to a real-life stock exchange, including its very pleasing GUI (graphic user interface). The extent to which players can shape the game's world through the economy, made trading the main activity for many players. Players can buy, sell and trade their ships, ships' parts, and items including ISK, Plex and Skill Injectors. The latter trio makes up for the three most popular currency items on the EVE Online market. However, for more casual players, the trading system might be hard to comprehend, that's why we have decided to write this Guide.
EVE Online market's main window showing current prices for PLEX
ISK, PLEX, SKill Injectors - EVE Online Tradeable Currencies
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ISK - InterStellar Kreditsare the primary currency in EVE Online. Players can use it to trade with one another (to buy or sell items), use it on the in-game market for ISK-based transactions as well as accept contracts between other players for services, characters or other assets.
Players can obtain ISK through regular gameplay. They can conduct several activities, while the most popular ones are:
- Piracy - the most rewarding (yet the hardest) EVE Online profession. Piracy involves a lot of PVP battle practice, trickery, and deception. Also, the most successful pirates usually bend the game rules to their advantage (sometimes catching the Game Masters attention). Some of the favorite pirate's activities are: stealing Ore from miners, salvaging wrecks, stealing other players/alliances mission items for ransom.
- Mining - most basic activity players conduct when trying to get their hands on some extra ISKs. There are three main types of mining which are: Ore mining, Gas Mining, Ice Mining. The general idea behind mining is getting your frigate to an asteroid belt in the area you reside in. Then all you have to do is target an asteroid and start drilling.
- Industry - you can earn money by crafting and selling valuable equipment. The best profit comes from rare and high-tech stuff, though it's still good money if you do Tech1 crafts with a small profit margin
- Buying PLEXon the in-game marketand selling it for ISK. You can buy 500 PLEX for $20 and sell it for around 1,500,000,000 ISK. That is how the 'official' price of ISK is defined and currently stands at approximately $13-$14 per 1,000,000,000 ISK. On the other hand, the black-market(through real money trading) rate for ISK is around $5 per 1,000,000,000 ISK.
Trivia: It is rumored that CCP Games chose this name as a reference to the Icelandic Krona (national currency in Iceland) which has the same ISO code 'ISK'. CCP Games, the producer, and publisher of EVE Online is a company based in Iceland.
PLEXis the second most popular currency in EVE Online. PLEX cannot be directly obtained through regular gameplay. Players commonly buy it and trade on the market to acquire fast ISK in a way that is acceptable to the game developers. PLEX can also be traded for additional game time. While until just recently 1 PLEX equaled one month of game-time, it was changed, and currently, you will get one month of game-time for 500 PLEX. However, also the price for PLEX was adjusted, and the amount of PLEX that can be exchanged for an additional 30 days of playtime is still $20.
Keep in mind that buying the game time directly is cheaper than buying PLEX. PLEX is an excellent way for more advanced players to be able to fund their adventure with the resources they earn while playing the game.
PLEX is also often used to estimate the costs of most significant EVE Online battles. It is done by calculating the price of wrecked ships, which are usually indicated in PLEX.
Skill Injectorsare another trending currency item in EVE Online. They can be acquired by players with a minimum of 5.5 million Skill Points by using Skill Extractors. A Skill Extractor will extract 500,000 Skill Points from the character, and create a Skill Injector in the process. Skill Injectors can be used on alt characters, traded on the market or given to other players. It can also be used on the same character, to move points from one skill to another. The number of Skill Points a character can gain depends on their overall skill points.
The number of Skill Points a single Skill Injector will grant is:
- 500,000 unallocated Skill Points, if the character has between 0 and 5 million Skill Points at the time of use,
- 400,000 unallocated Skill Points, if the character has between 5 and 50 million Skill Points at the time of use,
- 300,000 unallocated Skill Points, if the character has between 50 and 80 million Skill Points at the time of use,
- 150,000 unallocated Skill Points, if the character has over 80 million Skill Points at the time of use.
EVE Online holds a fascinating record of the number of Skill Injectors used overnight. A player named IronBank created a new character and used over 2,800 Skill Injectors (valued at that time nearly $30,000) to max out all possible skills. The character acquired a total of 473,000,000 Skill Points which is practically impossible to achieve through normal gameplay.
Apparently, it was all streamed live to advertise his business.
We hope this guide will help you get into EVE as soon as you start your adventure. We know the beginnings are rather harsh as EVE Online is a somewhat comprehensive and challenging game.
If you have any suggestions about our EVE Online guides, feel free to leave a comment below.
Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of CCP Games.
Back during my first deployment in 2012 I fell into the vast rabbit hole that is EVE Online. A co-worker introduced it to me, and thanks to the lack of things to do in our free-time I decided to give the game a shot. Normally I would have been a touch more adverse due to the game’s unflattering “spreadsheets in space” reputation, but beggars can’t be choosers. Once I knuckled my way beyond the early, steep learning curve I found myself utterly enthralled by CCP Games sandbox-MMO, although I was by no means good at it. Shortly after returning home I parted ways with the game for my routine favorites, but the experience stuck with me for years to come.
Fast-forward to 2020, and we now have a mobile version of EVE Online called EVE Echoes, with a planned August launch. CCP Games has partnered with Chinese developer NetEase Games (of Diablo Immortal infamy) to develop the game, and like damn near everyone else I was a bit concerned. I need not lament the follies of mobile gaming here: outside of straight-up ports like Stardew Valley, most mobile “adaptations” tend to be soulless husks of their larger console/PC brethren filled to bursting with obtrusive and exploitative micro-transactions. These foibles are largely why I ricocheted off Stellaris: Galaxy Command, which traded the grand strategy of its older sibling for a hollow Clash of Clans imitation.
Naturally, I was wary EVE Echoes would be much the same: a substantially parred back iteration of EVE with more micro-transactions than stars in its galaxy. Having now played in both the earlier and most recent tests this year I can confidently claim that isn’t the case, not even close. EVE Echoes is the full-fat EVE Online experience, albeit with smart alterations that make it a far less obtuse affair. As a quick aside, all screenshots in this article has been smushed to 1280x720p to better work with our website, so what you see here isn’t nearly as compressed in-game.
EVE Echoes features the same massive cluster of stars and planets as Online, but the two are completely divorced from one another. That means EVE Echoes players will be starting fresh without any of the established corporations already running the show. Everyone will start out with a basic frigate, few learned skills, and nary an ISK (the in-game currency) to their name. EVE Online can be daunting for new players due to how entrenched the community is, so a fresh start isn’t a bad thing. Sure, in time Echoes will have its own collection of super-corporations lording over everything, but knowing we’re all starting from square-one makes jumping in less daunting.
Progression has been shaken up in EVE Echoes, though it retains much of Online’s DNA. Skills are still learned over time, with increasing tiers ballooning upwards from hours to days, but some of the fat has been trimmed from the process. There are no attributes that affect the amount of time it takes to learn a skill, and skill extractors/injectors are nowhere to be found. Even skillbooks are absent, because the whole system is now governed by Tech Levels.
As you learn skills you’ll increase your Tech Level, which gates ships, weapons, and other items. All skills are available to you, though anything outside the starter skills must be unlocked with an ISK purchase (the higher the skill the more expensive it is to unlock). Even the basic, advanced, and expert skills follow a strict hierarchy, requiring you unlock the previous tier prior to moving up the ladder (and one other limitation I’ll touch on a bit later). Skill points are even banked if you have nothing queued and are offline, meaning players unable to log in daily are able to batch “purchase” skills as required.
Of course skills still dictate your overall power, and the sheer amount of them on offer means players will want to specialize sooner rather than later (for reference, it’ll take you two decades to max-out every skill in EVE Online). The Tech Level gating works well here, establishing a clear and clean progression path, with every event in-game – from combat encounters, to mining, etc. – having a clearly listed Tech Level associated with it. Even the short quests – Encounters – have obvious Tech Levels attached to better inform players of what quests they should and shouldn’t be tackling.
The Tech Level system doesn’t drastically alter how you approach EVE Echoes as compared to EVE Online, but it makes progression less opaque. I know at a glance if I have the right skill tiers, ship, and equipment well before venturing into the void. EVE is a ruthless universe, and this transparency goes a long way towards making the new player experience a more rewarding, less frustrating endeavor.
Even the UI has been given a proper facelift thanks to the mobile translation. It’s no secret EVE Online’s UI is a hot mess: years upon years of iterations stacked upon each other like strata. Thanks in part to being a new game, and a mobile one at that, those years of accumulated chaff have been refined into a more pleasant, easier to parse UI with a few new additions that make managing your ship all the easier.
For example, there’s now a ‘quick lock’ option for targets, both as an icon that appears next to your ship’s health and power in the center of the screen, and in the larger target menu. Your ship will even fire on the next target without command, though you can tap any of the targets in the top-right for more granular control. The overview menu can be filtered by enemies, anomalies, loot, planets, and more, providing players with precise information without a deluge of icons. Even the basic looting range has been increased and ships move faster, so jet-setting across the void is a far snappier experience in Echoes than it is in EVE proper.
That’s all without touching on the additional ships added to pad over holes in progression (though they tend to be upgraded versions of existing ships), some of the new ships introduced, the streamlined Planetary Production (which is a passive harvest in Echoes), and more. In bringing EVE to mobile both NetEase and CCP have been able to take a magnifying glass to the base experience found in Online to better identify the minutia in need of adjustment. In doing so they’ve made a game that is not only faithful to the source material, but in some ways better.
But what about monetization? Surely this is where everything implodes, right? Mercifully not, because EVE Echoes is by-and-large the same as EVE Online. Players will be able to buy and trade PLEX, the real-money currency, for ISK, which can then be used to purchased a handful of things. First off is the Omega Clone subscription that increases skill point acquisition time (I.E. reduces the time it takes to learn skills), and has a few features locked behind it to deter RMT scum from ruining EVE’s notoriously complex economy.
You can’t sell items on the market as a free Alpha Clone for example, but you can easily farm up enough ISK in-game to buy the PLEX needed for a sub. The only sticking point may be the gating of advanced/expert skills and Tier 8 and above ships behind Omega Clones, but those each take so damn long to reach that most players will be able to buy the PLEX for their Omega Clone sub without issue by the time they reach those points. Even still, at $5 a month for the basic Omega Clone subscription it’s not a terrible price-point if you opt to pay for it with cash.
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Additionally, there will be skins up for grabs, all available for purchase with PLEX. Players not interested in spending any real money on the game can easily avoid doing so thanks to the PLEX system, and anything that could break the economy (such as direct sale of ships) is off the table (at least for now; NetEase said they would alter this if the community overwhelming wants it, so we’ll only have ourselves to blame if this occurs). The base game will remain free-to-play, and outside the Omega Clone limitations you won’t be bombarded with prompts begging you to make a purchase. All said, EVE Echoes is refreshingly devoid of the usual mobile game bullshit.
We still have little over a month between now and the full release, but if my time in the tests has been any indication EVE Echoes is shaping up to be an excellent adaptation of the full EVE Online experience, one that remains faithful while also pruning 17 years of bloat. If there is one absolute downside to the game is its eagerness to devour your phone’s battery (my Galaxy S10 could barely make it through three hours of continuous play), but the game has enough ‘jump in/jump out’ gameplay to make short sessions perfectly viable. New and existing fans should keep an eye out for EVE Echoes when it launches August. I certainly will.