How do skills work in EVE?
Skills in EvE Online are the basic measurement of what actions you can perform and which equipment and ships you can use. Unlike other games, skills in EvE are automatically earned in real-time, not awarded for an in-game action (like killing an enemy).
Training Skills Using the Training Queue
- Click the "Character Sheet" menu item to open your Character Sheet.
- When the Character Sheet windows appears, click the Skills tab on the left side of the window.
- Click "Open Training Queue" on the right side of the window.
- Select a skill from the left side of the queue and drag it to the beginning of the queue to start training it immediately, or later in the queue to train it after other skills complete.
- Click "Apply" to confirm your changes.
Note: While you can add skills of any length to the queue, the last skill in the queue must start within 24 hours. Otherwise, you will need to remove skills from the queue to proceed.
Skill Training Basics
Skills are trained in real-time, whether your character is online or offline.
Each skill has three factors that determine how long it will take to complete the next rank:
- The current level of the skill.
- The skill's rank (or difficulty).
- The skill's primary and secondary attributes.
Each subsequent level of a skill takes more time to complete than the previous. For instance, a basic skill like Electronics will take 15 minutes to complete Level I. However, Level II would take about an hour and a half to complete and the final Level, V, would take nearly 10 days to complete.
More complicated skills take even longer to complete. This is represented by a training time multiplier (rank) on the skill's info page.
The rate at which a skill is trained is also affected by the primary and secondary attributes listed on the skill's info page. The higher your character's attributes (shown on your Character sheet's "Attributes" tab), the faster the skill will train.
For a more complex, math-heavy example of how skills are trained, see Mechanics of Skill Training.
Starting Skills & Initial Skill Training
Each character starts with the following skills:
- Electronics I
- Engineering I
- Shield Operation I
- Gunnery I
- Small Hybrid Turret I
- Mining I
- Mechanic I
- Navigation I
- Science I
- Racial Frigate II (Specific to your race)
- Spaceship Command I
To obtain more skills, you will need to purchase Skillbooks, which can be permanently injected into your character to enable them to learn each skill.
Beginner Skillbooks are relatively inexpensive, but you should ask in the GS_Help channel or your squad channel for assistance and isk to purchase the skills that you need. Do this as soon as possible - we'll be happy to give you everything you need within minutes of creating a character. Never carry Skillbooks with you. Always inject the skills you can immediately by right-clicking on the book and selecting "Inject This Skill". If you can't inject a skill yet, leave it in the station. Once a skil is injected, it is always available to train, wherever you are.
Ship Fitting Skills
These skills allow you to more easily equip your ship with modules. They are the core skills that will be used with every ship you will own, ever. If you are ever unsure on what to train, these skills will never be the wrong choice.
- Electronics: Provides additional CPU for using modules.
- Engineering: Provides additional Powergrid for using modules.
- Energy Management: Provides additional Capacitor for running active modules.
- Energy Systems Operation: Increases Capacitor recharge rate.
- Mechanic: Provides additional structure HP.
- Weapon Upgrades: Reduces CPU requirements for weapon modules.
- Spaceship Command: Increases ship agility.
Offensively or defensively, these skills will improve your ability to combat enemies.
With the exception of Weapon Upgrades, these skills will highly depend on your choice of ship. Consult the ship page for your specific ship to see suggested weapon types. Note: With the exception of Weapon Upgrades, these skills do not affect Missile Launchers.
Used primarily by the Caldari (and some Minmatar) ships, these skills are the missile versions of the Gunnery skills. See individual ship pages for recommended Missile types. Note: These skills do not affect turrets.
While Gallente have the most drone bonuses, you will probably want to have drones for nearly every ship, eventually. However, just picking up Drones III, Combat Drone Operation, and Scout Drone Operation is plenty for new players. For more information about using Drones, check out Drones (Module).
The targeting skills, Targeting, Long Range Targeting, and Signature Analysis are all very valuable. But, Propulsion Jamming is the most important skill you will train in your early PvP career. With that skill comes the ability to use Warp Scramblers, which prevent ships from warping away from a battle. As a new member of GoonWaffe, your primary task will be to prevent hostiles from warping out. This allows even the newest player in the weakest ship to play an important role in Fleet battles. If you only ever train one one PvP skill, make it Propulsion Jamming.
For ships that rely on Armor defenses, or tank, like the Amarr, pick up Repair Systems and the various Compensations. Everyone should pick up Hull Upgrades. It unlocks some of the best overall defensive equipment, regardless of tank style.
Industry, Science, Social, Leadership, and Corporation Management are full of skills that are of dubious value to either new players, or in 0.0 space. You should read the individual skill pages or ask more veteran players before training skills in these categories.
Skill points can be quite easily permanently lost. Yes, that is right... PERMANENTLY LOST. This happens if you die (get 'podded') and do not have a clone contract that is sufficient to contain your skill points. The default clone only preserves 900,000 SP. New players start out with about 50,000 SP, so it's particularly easy for a new player to forget to upgrade their clone, break the 900,000 SP Barrier and suddenly find themselves a week behind. Always make sure your clone can hold MORE SP than you currently have! Often times, the character sheet does not update until after a skill is finished, so it is possible for you to have substantially more SP than what your skill sheet is reporting. To remedy this, briefly stop and re-start the skill you're training to update your SP and make sure your clone is large enough. Better still, get into the habit of upgrading a level above what you need whenever your capsule is blown up.
If you forget to upgrade your clone and you're podded, you will lose about 20-35% of your highest trained skill, which can mean days, weeks, or even months of lost training time that needs to now be re-trained!
Beyond this Guide
For recommendations on what to do next, check out:
EVEMon and Other Tools
Also, there’s an application you should use for further skill planning: go to http://evemon.battleclinic.com/ and download EVEMon. EVEMon is a free, open source program that you can use to plot out your skill training program weeks in advance, look at how long things will take, etc. Most people pick a specific ship type as a long-term goal -- say, battleships, or covert ops frigates, or whatever -- and then work towards that goal over time. Familiarize yourself with the different types of ships out there, talk to people, figure out what you'd like to do, and work towards it!
If you are using a mac, you may want to consider getting MacEveApi, a (very) basic skill-planner for macs. Nowhere near the features of Evemon, but at least it runs. Get it here: http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1096971