Planetary interaction in EVE Online consists of buying a Command Center on the market, building it on a planet, and then building extractors and factories to mine resources from the planet and produce commodities with them. It was made fully available on 8 June 2010 with the introduction of Command Centers to the market. Read below for the PI guide.
The skills listed below affect your ability to interact with planets. Only one of these skills, Remote Sensing, is required in order to do planetary interaction. The other skills, while optional, will greatly help to improve your ability to mine resources from planets.
Command Center Upgrades - This skill gives you access to higher-quality command centers, which affects how many things you can attach to it, which in turn affects how many resources you can mine at a time.
Interplanetary Consolidation - Increases the number of planets you can colonize at a time, up to a maximum of six.
Planetology/Advanced Planetology - These skills increase the accuracy of the heat map displayed in your scans for planetary resources. These two are the only planetary infrastructure skills that have prerequisites. To train Planetology, you need to train Remote Sensing to level III. Advanced Planetology requires Planetology IV.
Remote Sensing - This skill is required for planet scanning, and each level increases your scan range.
Use the nearby planets by type search tool to find planets of a certain type near a specific solar system. Or, while in-game, open the information window for a solar system and check the Orbital Bodies tab to find the planet types there.
There are eight types of planets in EVE that you can interact with. To mine resources from a planet, you will need to purchase a Command Center on the market that corresponds to the type of planet that you want to mine from. Therefore, you should look around different solar systems at the types of planets that are there, to ensure that you purchase the correct type of Command Center needed for that type of planet.
Keep in mind that if a planet already has other players' command centers on it (which you can see if you right-click in planet mode and choose Show Other Players' Networks,) you can still put your own command center there as long as there is room, but the other players will also be consuming the resources of the planet, and you might discover that the resources are diminished to such a degree that having a command center there is not worthwhile.
The types of planets in EVE are:
The planet type determines what resources are available there. Check the materials section below for a chart of which planet types have which resources. You can also find out which types of planets contain which types of resources by going to the Materials & Research section of the market, choosing Planetary Materials, then choosing Raw Materials. The information window for each material in this list will show the type of command center required for extracting that material (for example: lava command center, barren command center, and so on.)
The security of a solar system does not restrict the types of planets that you can find there. All types of planets can be found whether you are in high-sec, low-sec, wormhole space, and so on. However, some planet types are much more common than others, with gas and barren planets being the two most common, and oceanic and plasma planets being the least common (not counting shattered planets, of which there are only 10 in all of EVE).
Also, planets in low-sec, 0.0 space and wormhole space have a better yield of raw materials per extractor than planets in high-sec.
The following table shows the approximate distribution of planet types in EVE. The percent value indicates what percent of the planets in EVE are that type, so, for example, 30% of all planets in EVE are Gas planets, 11% of all planets in EVE are Temperate, and so on.
Once you have decided upon a planet to mine, buy the appropriate type of command center that corresponds to that type of planet (a Barren Command Center for a barren planet, a temperate command center for a temperate planet, and so on.)
Before the Incursion 1.1.1 release, there were multiple levels of command centers that you could buy on the market. This has changed in Incursion 1.1.1: now, there is only one level of command center that can be purchased on the market for each planet type. Once installed on a planet, it starts out at the most basic level of CPU and power output, but you can upgrade it in planet mode by choosing Upgrade and clicking on the bar with the green rectangles. You will be shown the upgrade cost and the CPU and power increase for the chosen upgrade level.
Put the command center into your ship's cargo hold and undock. You don't need to travel to a planet in order to build there; you just need to be in a ship, undocked, and in the same system as the one where you are building the command center. Once it's built, you can control your command center and other planetary structures from any solar system via the Science and Industry tab, even if you are docked in a station.
Right-clicking the planet itself or the planet icon in the overview will give you the option to view the planet in planet mode. This will bring you to a view of the planet that you can rotate and zoom.
A special planetary interaction pane will appear on the left. The build tab gives you options to build a command center, extractors, and other structures, while the scan button allows you to survey the planet's resources. Clicking the Scan button will show a list of the types of resources that are there.
When you click on a particular resource, a heat map will be displayed on the planet, showing you how dense or sparse the resources are. Warmer colors (white, red, orange, etc.) indicate dense resources, and colder colors (blue, green, etc.) indicate sparse resources. You can use the arrows to the left and right of the color bar to shrink or stretch the colors, allowing you to alter the colors to emphasize the denser pockets or sparser pockets if you wish. To get a good idea of where the hot spots on a planet are, start with the color bar stretched all the way to the right, then slowly compress it to the left until the first spots of white appear on the planet. These are the locations of the densest resource deposits.
Use the heat map to choose a place to build your command center. Choose a location that allows you to extract from many rich deposits without overloading your command center by making it have long links to far away ECUs. If possible, put your command center on an area where the desired resources are sparse so you aren't blocking your extractor heads from a hot spot.
After selecting the command center from the build menu, click on the planet where you want to put the command center. You will be shown the cost, and can choose to cancel or build. Whenever you wish to build anything on a planet, you must click Build to confirm. Once you do, you will be charged construction fees and taxes at this time.
If you had set up extractors prior to the Incursion 1.1.1 patch, you will be required to decommission your old extractors. The old extractors have been made obsolete and replaced with new Extractor Control Units. You will be reimbursed by the amount of ISK that you spent to set up the old extractors.
Once you have set up a command center, you can build extractor control units. These are purchased in planet mode, not on the market. Remember to position your ECU such that you minimize the drain on your command center's CPU and power output. You will later be extending extractor heads from your ECU. Try to find a place for your ECU that is somewhere in between your command center and your desired extractor head locations to keep your CPU and power costs down.
After you build an ECU, you can click the Survey option to begin setting up your extraction program. This will open up the ECU survey window.
In the ECU survey window, first choose the type of resource that you want to extract by clicking on the appropriate icon on the right that corresponds to the type of resource that you want to extract. The planet will show the heat map for the resource that you chose. If you need to adjust the heat map scale, click the Scan button in the upper-left of the screen and adjust it there.
After choosing the resource, click on one of the ten circles on the left side of the survey window. This will create an extractor head. You can create up to ten extractor heads per ECU, but you are also limited by your command center's CPU and power output, so you might be limited to fewer than ten extractor heads depending on your set up.
An extractor head is connected to the extractor and can be placed anywhere within a fixed radius around the ECU. The circle for each extractor head will display the extraction quality index to the right of it. This is a percentage that represents the potential yield at the extractor head's current location location, where a higher percentage means a higher yield.
Placing an extractor head will also display a bar graph in the center of the screen. This bar graph represents how many units of the extracted resource will be extracted on each cycle. You can increase or decrease the total duration of your extraction program by adjusting the slider on the bottom left of the screen. The minimum extraction program duration is 1 hour, and the maximum is 14 days.
You will notice as you adjust your extraction program duration that there are sometimes spikes in the bar chart. These "nuggets" are temporary hot spots that typically disappear after a few cycles.
You will also notice that there tends to be a significant drop-off of resources if you use a long duration for your extraction program. This is to be expected, because you are continually depleting a resource without letting it regenerate.
A longer program duration will increase the extraction radius of all of your extractor heads. If you place two extraction heads too close to each other, you will see static displayed around them, and a red negative percent will appear below each affected extractor head in the survey window. This happens because the overlapping extraction range of the two extractor heads will cause the two of them to compete with each other and both suffer reduced efficiency as a result. Keep your extractor heads out of each other's way to avoid this problem.
When positioning your extractor heads and choosing your program duration, keep an eye on the bottom right of the survey window to see how many units per hour (on average) and how many total units you will get with your program.
Once you are satisfied with your extraction program, choose Install Program, and then click submit on the upper left of the screen to finalize the changes.
Setting up an industry facility will allow you to manufacture goods that you can then sell on the market. As with all other PI structures, the industry facilities consume CPU and power.
When it comes to manufacturing products, different types of planets have different raw materials, and with those materials, many different commodities can be produced. See below for a list of the raw materials that can be found on planets, along with all of the materials and commodities that you can produce with them.
Once you have built an industrial facility, you must create a link from the extractor to the facility, decide how much of the extractor's resources to route to the facility, and create the route.
There are multiple levels of industry facility, with the most basic being used to process the raw materials you extract, and the most advanced being used to turn specialized commodities into advanced ones. Each type of industry facility already has all of the schematics built in; they are not purchased on the market.
Once you have an extractor extracting raw materials from the planet, click on the industrial facility and choose a schematic from the drop down that uses that type of raw material. Once you have done that, you can create a route to the industry facility from your extractor. You will not be able to route the raw materials to the facility until after you have chosen a schematic for the facility. Similarly, if you build a more advanced industry facility, you must choose the schematic of the commodity that you want to produce there before you can route the materials to that facility.
Depending on your extraction and manufacturing set up, you might benefit from additional storage space on the planet. Build a storage facility on the planet and create a link to it from the structures whose products you need to store, then create a route to have those resources sent to the storage facility.
Once you have established links between your structures, you can click on your products and choose Create Route to make your products be automatically sent to your desired destination. The routed products will be transferred as soon as they have been extracted or manufactured, as long as there is room in the destination. Routing products is the way to have your extractors and other structures automatically send your materials to your industrial facilities, command center, launch pad, and so on.
As mentioned earlier, if you wish to route materials to an industry facility, you must first select the schematic of the material or commodity that you wish to produce there. You can only route materials and commodities to an industry facility if that facility's schematic uses those materials and commodities. So, for example, if you try to route construction blocks to an industry facility that is using a water schematic, you will not be be allowed to create that route.
As with everything else that you can build on a planet, you must click the Build button before your route is actually created.
If you want to move items from one place to another immediately, rather than waiting on automatic routing, select Expedite Transfer. Choose the product or products that you want to move, and then confirm. There is a cooldown period after any expedited transfer, so you must wait for that cool down period to end before doing another expedited transfer.
When you are ready to send your items to your ship, first transfer them to your command center, then choose Launch. Move the desired items into the payload, and pay the required ISK to launch the items. The more items you wish to launch, the more it will cost. This is a one-way launch. See below for how to retrieve launched items. Note that items launched this way will only be in space for a limited time, so be sure to retrieve them in a timely manner.
Alternatively, you can build a launch pad on your planet, which can both send and receive goods. To send materials down to a planet, you must warp to the planet's Customs Office, which is a structure that orbits the planet. When you are near the Customs Office, it can be used much like a cargo container: open it, and move items into it from your cargo hold. Once that is done, you can right-click on the Customs Office and open the customs interface to have your materials sent down to your launch pad. You will also interface with the Customs Office if you have launched items from your launch pad.
Once launched, you can retrieve your items by going to your journal and choosing the planetary interaction tab. There will be a bookmark there for each of the launches that you have done. Right-click on the bookmark and warp to that location to rendezvous with the cargo rocket. It will appear much like a cargo canister in space. You can simply move the items out of it into your cargo, as with any other space-bound cargo container. You cannot send this cargo container back to your planet, as it disappears once you have emptied it. Note that cargo rockets are only in space for a limited time, and will eventually crash into the planet and be lost if you do not retrieve the contents in a timely manner. The countdown to re-entry is displayed in the launches tab of your journal.
If you are docked in a station, you can use the Science and Industry tab to check on the status of your planetary set ups. While docked, you can build new planetary interaction nodes, decommission them, create routes, schedule launches, and so on. You can't, however, build a command center on a planet if you are docked in a station; you have to buy the command center from the market, and be undocked in the system that has that planet.
The following is a list of the raw materials that you can find on the planets of EVE. These resources appear in varying concentrations on different planet types. Also indicated are the processed materials that can be produced from each raw material (there is only one processed material per raw material). In parentheses are the types of planets on which the raw materials can be found. Below this is a chart that displays which planet types have which raw materials.
Aqueous Liquids --> Water (Gas, Barren, Temperate, Storm, Ice, Oceanic) Autotrophs --> Industrial Fibers (Temperate) Base Metals --> Reactive Metals (Gas, Barren, Lava, Storm, Plasma) Carbon Compounds --> Biofuels (Barren, Temperate, Oceanic) Complex Organisms --> Proteins (Temperate, Oceanic) Felsic Magma --> Silicon (Lava) Heavy Metals --> Toxic Metals (Lava, Ice, Plasma) Ionic Solutions --> Electrolytes (Gas, Storm) Micro Organisms --> Bacteria (Barren, Temperate, Ice, Oceanic) Noble Gas --> Oxygen (Gas, Storm, Ice) Noble Metals --> Precious Metals (Barren, Plasma) Non-CS Crystals --> Chiral Structures (Lava, Plasma) Planktic Colonies --> Biomass (Ice, Oceanic) Reactive Gas --> Oxidizing Compound (Gas) Suspended Plasma --> Plasmoids (Lava, Storm, Plasma)
|Aqueous Liquids (Water)|
|Autotrophs (Industrial Fibers)|
|Base Metals (Reactive Metals)|
|Carbon Compounds (Biofuels)|
|Complex Organisms (Proteins)|
|Felsic Magma (Silicon)|
|Heavy Metals (Toxic Metals)|
|Ionic Solutions (Electrolytes)|
|Micro Organisms (Bacteria)|
|Noble Gas (Oxygen)|
|Noble Metals (Precious Metals)|
|Non-CS Crystals (Chiral Structures)|
|Planktic Colonies (Biomass)|
|Reactive Gas (Oxidizing Compound)|
|Suspended Plasma (Plasmoids)|
The following is a list of the commodities that you can produce with the processed materials listed above. Each refined commodity requires two types of processed material.
Biocells (Biofuels, Precious Metals) Construction Blocks (Reactive Metals, Toxic Metals) Consumer Electronics (Chiral Structures, Toxic Metals) Coolant (Electrolytes, Water) Enriched Uranium (Precious Metals, Toxic Metals) Fertilizer (Bacteria, Proteins) Genetically Enhanced Livestock (Biomass, Proteins) Livestock (Biofuels, Proteins) Mechanical Parts (Precious Metals, Reactive Metals) Miniature Electronics (Chiral Structures, Silicon) Microfiber Shielding (Industrial Fibers, Silicon) Nanites (Bacteria, Reactive Metals) Oxides (Oxidizing Compound, Oxygen) Polyaramids (Industrial Fibers, Oxidizing Compund) Polytextiles (Biofuels, Industrial Fibers) Rocket Fuel (Electrolytes, Plasmoids) Silicate Glass (Oxidizing Compund, Silicon) Superconductors (Plasmoids, Water) Supertensile Plastics (Biomass, Oxygen) Synthetic Oil (Electrolytes, Oxygen) Test Cultures (Bacteria, Water) Transmitter (Chiral Structures, Plasmoids) Viral Agent (Bacteria, Biomass) Water-Cooled CPU (Reactive Metals, Water)
For most of the refined commodities, there is at least one planet type that has all of the materials that are required to produce them. In other words, in most cases you will not need to import materials from several types of planets in order to produce refined commodities.
Below, I have listed the types of planets that have all of the required materials for each of the refined commodities. I have noted the cases where you will need to import materials from multiple planet types.
Nanites = Barren Viral Agent = Ice, Oceanic Fertilizer = Oceanic, Temperate Test Cultures = Barren, Ice, Oceanic, Temperate Biocells = Barren Livestock - Oceanic, Temperate Polytextiles = Temperate Genetically Enhanced Livestock = Oceanic Supertensile Plastics = Ice Transmitter = Lava, Plasma Consumer Electronics = Lava, Plasma Miniature Electronics = Lava Coolant = Gas, Storm Rocket Fuel = Storm Synthetic Oil = Gas, Storm Microfiber Shielding = (requires materials from multiple planet types: Temperate and Lava) Polyaramids = (requires materials from multiple planet types: Gas and Temperate) Oxides = Gas Silicate Glass = (requires materials from multiple planet types: Gas and Lava) Super Conductors = Storm Mechanical Parts = Barren, Plasma Enriched Uranium = Plasma Water-Cooled CPU = Barren, Gas, Storm Construction Blocks = Lava, Plasma
The following is a list of specialized commodities and their pre-requisites.
Biotech Research Reports (Nanites, Livestock, Construction Blocks) Camera Drones (Silicate Glass, Rocket Fuel) Condensates (Oxides, Coolant) Cryoprotectant Solution (Test Cultures, Synthetic Oil, Fertilizer) Data Chips (Supertensile Plastics, Microfiber Shielding) Gel-Matrix Biopaste (Oxides, Biocells, Superconductors) Guidance Systems (Water-Cooled CPU, Transmitter) Hazmat Detection Systems (Polytextiles, Viral Agent, Transmitter) Hermetic Membranes (Polyaramids, Genetically Enhanced Livestock) High-Tech Transmitters (Polyaramids, Transmitter) Industrial Explosives (Fertilizer, Polytextiles) Neocoms (Biocells, Silicate Glass) Nuclear Reactors (Microfiber Shielding, Enriched Uranium) Planetary Vehicles (Supertensile Plastics, Mechanical Parts, Miniature Electronics) Robotics (Mechanical Parts, Consumer Electronics) Smartfab Units (Construction Blocks, Miniature Electronics) Supercomputers (Water-Cooled CPU, Coolant, Consumer Electronics) Synthetic Synapses (Supertensile Plastics, Test Cultures) Transcranial Microcontroller (Biocells, Nanites) Ukomi Super Conductor (Synthetic Oil, Superconductors) Vaccines (Livestock, Viral Agent)
The following specialized commodities can be produced on a single planet type, without having to import materials from other planets.
Condensates = Gas Industrial Explosives = Temperate Robotics = Plasma Smartfab Units = Lava Synthetic Synapses = Ice Transcranial Microcontroller = Barren Ukomi Super Conductor = Storm Vaccines = Oceanic
Supercomputers = Gas or Storm, and Lava or Plasma Cryoprotectant Solution = Gas or Storm, and Oceanic or Temperate Guidance Systems = Barren or Gas or Storm, and Lava or Plasma
Biotech Research Reports = Barren, Oceanic or Temperate, and Lava or Plasma Camera Drones = Gas, Lava, and Storm Data Chips = Temperate, Lava, and Ice Gel-Matrix Biopaste = Gas, Barren, and Storm Hazmat Detection Systems = Temperate, Ice or Oceanic, and Lava or Plasma Hermetic Membranes = Gas, Temperate, and Oceanic High-Tech Transmitters = Gas, Temperate and Lava or Plasma Neocoms = Gas, Lava, and Barren Nuclear Reactors = Temperate, Lava, and Plasma Planetary Vehicles = Ice, Barren or Plasma, and Lava
Broadcast Node (Neocoms, Data Chips, High-Tech Transmitters) Integrity Response Drones (Gel-Matrix Biopaste, Hazmat Detection Systems, Planetary Vehicles) Nano-Factory (Industrial Explosives, Ukomi Super Conductors, 40 Reactive Metals) Organic Mortar Applicators (Condensates, Robotics, 40 Bacteria) Recursive Computing Module (Synthetic Synapses, Guidance Systems, Transcranial Microcontrollers) Self-Harmonizing Power Core (Camera Drones, Nuclear Reactors, Hermetic Membranes) Sterile Conduits (40 Water, Smartfab Units, Vaccines) Wetware Mainframe (Supercomputers, Biotech Research Reports, Cryoprotectant Solution)
Nano-Factory = Temperate, Storm Sterile Conduits = Lava, Oceanic
Organic Mortar Applicators = Gas, Barren, Lava Recursive Computing Module = Barren, Lava, Ice Wetware Mainframe = Gas/Storm, Lava/Plasma, Temperate/Oceanic
Broadcast Node = Gas, Lava, Temperate, Barren/Plasma, Ice/Oceanic Self-Harmonizing Power Core = Gas, Lava, Temperate, Barren/Plasma, Ice/Oceanic Integrity Response Drones = Gas, Lava, Temperate, Barren/Plasma, Ice/Oceanic
When turning your raw materials into processed materials and commodities, it works as follows:
3000 units of a raw material creates 20 units of a processed material (also known as a basic commodity).
40 units of each of the required types of processed materials create five units of a refined commodity.
10 units of each of the required types of refined commodities create 3 units of a specialized commodity.
6 units of each of the required types of refined commodity, or 40 units of each of the required types of basic commodity, are combined to create one unit of advanced commodity.
In short, to make a single unit of advanced commodity, you need 6 of each refined commodity, which requires 20 of each refined commodity, which requires 160 of each processed material, which requires 24000 of each raw material.
Below is some advice for getting the raw materials that you need without having to hunt down a rare planet type.
The most rare planets in EVE are Storm, Ice, Oceanic, and Plasma. Fortunately, the only raw material exclusive to a rare planet type is Planktic Colonies (Ice/Oceanic). For the other materials:
However, some of the raw materials might be much more plentiful on the rare planet types.
How does security affect planetary interaction? Other players can't attack or destroy your command centers (although they might be able to via DUST 514,) but planets are likely to have multiple command centers belonging to other players, all of whom are drawing resources from the planet along with you. This can affect what resources are left for you to take.
In null-sec, you can only use your command center while your alliance has sovereignty in that system. You will not be able to use your command center if an alliance other than your own gains sovereignty in that system.