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A Guide to Character Creation in EVE (How attributes and skills worK)

HardinHardin Member Posts: 70

This is a thread I created a while back for my Corporation and I then shared it with the EVE Community of the skills forum. It is a hopefully simple to understand guide to attributes and skills and how to go about creating a well balanced character which I thought might be useful for any readers of who are thinking about starting the game.

A Guide To Attributes & Skills

1) When you create a character certain attributes are allocated to the character. These are:

Memory - Intelligence - Perception - Willpower - Charisma

As you select certain schools and specialisations during character creation your attributes are tailored to reflect this. So for example a scientist should have higher Memory and Intelligence. A fighter will tend have higher Willpower and a trader will have higher Charisma etc.

2) These attributes are the most important factor in training skills. All skills have a primary and secondary attribute. If you have a high attribute that is the same as the primary attribute of the skill then the skill will train faster.

If you have a weak attribute in the primary attribute of the skill you wish to learn then the training time will be subsequently longer. The differences in your attributes can make SIGNIFICANT differences in the time it takes you to train a skill (especially the high ranking skills)

To check the primary and secondary attribute requirements of a skill then left click it in skills window (in your character sheet) and select the 'Attributes' tab... If you haven't trained the skill yet then you can use 'show info' on the skill booklet and it will also show you the primary and secondary attributes.

3) Obviously the attribute setup you get at creation will have a big influence on what skills you can train quickly. As I mentioned before if you have specially created a character for fighting then you should automatically have a reasonably high Willpower attribute (which is the primary attribute for training all Gunnery class skills). EDIT - Willpower has been nerfed in a recent patch Perception is now probably more important in training the majority of Gunnery skills...

This means you will not take so long to learn gunnery skills but it does mean that if you suddenly decide to change career path and move into research for instance then your attributes will probably not be as appropriate and it will take you much longer to skill up.

4) Now you are not stuck with the attributes you get at character creation. It is possible to improve on these by using Learning skills. There are six learning skills - one for each attribute + a general learning skill which reduces all learning time by approx 2% per level.

By using the attribute learning skills it is possible to increase your base attribute by up to 5 points each. If you are considering playing the game long term then the learning skills will save you lots and lots of time - allowing your character to progress much more quickly.

Many people will generally increase all their learning/attribute skills to at least level 4... As learning level 5 skills take a long time to train, it takes a long time for them 'repay' themselves in saved time.

It is probably not worth training them up to level 5 unless you know for sure that you are going to be doing a lot of training using a particular attribute.

If for example you decide to become a fighter and are going to have to train a lot of Gunnery class skills then training Perc/Will to 5 will repay itself very quickly!

5) Obviously training of learning and attribute skills also takes time. The primary attribute required for the learning class of skills is Memory and the Secondary is Intelligence.

Therefore if you train the Memory and Intelligence skills first it will save you time training the others. The Memory and Intelligence attributes play a role in the training of many useful skill classes so I would defintely recommend training them up to at least Level 4 asap...

The following is a suggested training routine for a new character which will help you max your learning and attribute skills most quickly (it is based on a lot of maths & calculations which I won't repeat here)

Memory Level 1
Intelligence Level 1
Learning Level 1
Memory Level 2
Intelligence Level 2
Learning Level 2
Memory Level 3
Intelligence Level 3
Learning Level 3
Memory Level 3
Intelligence Level 3
Learning Level 3
Memory Level 4
Intelligence Level 4
Learning Level 4

This routine will efficiently minimise the time it takes train the learning and attribute skills. When you reach level 4 on Intelligence, Memory and Learning then train up your other attribute skills - Perception, Willpower and Charisma - as appropriate.

Please be aware that the Perception learning skill is called Spatial Awareness...the Willpower learning skill is called Iron Will... Charisma is call Empathy... Memory is Instant Recall and Intelligence is called Analytical Mind.

6) Implants

Implants can also boost your base attributes and save you significant training time.

At the moment it is possible to get basic implants which boost the main attributes by +3 points per attribute or standard implants which add +4.

There are five types of implants available covering the 5 main attribute areas:


You can only plug in one implant per attribute. Implants are destroyed if you try and remove them from your once you have plugged it in it cannot be taken off and used by anyone else.

Implants are also lost if you are podded - as your clone wakes up without them.

For example I was training Surgical Strike Level 3 when I plugged in an implant which affected the secondary attribute. This immediately saved me 6hrs on the total training time for the skill!

To be able to use implants you first need to have trained the 'CYBERNETICS' skill. (In order to train Cybernetics you need the Science skill at Level 3).

You can either obtain implants by doing agent missions (a lot of agent missions) or by buying them off the market from those who have already earned them.

Please Note that implants will be lost if podded. Therefore you may want to think twice about buying and installing a full set of implants (+50 million isk) if you are likely to be operating in risky areas.

General Tips

1) Charisma is prolly the most useless attribute in the game at the moment (although it is fractional more useful since the recent Castor patch). There are currently relatively few skills which depend on a Charisma as a primary learning attribute atm. (These are Social, Connections, Negotiations and Fast Talk).It will probably have more impact as the game is developed and content added - particularly with regards trading, black markets and agent interaction. Therefore unless you intend to be a dedicated agent runner (which requires the above skills) I would suggest that there is little point wasting too much time training Empathy beyond level 3 or starting a character with high initial Charisma.

2) Try and maximise your attributes in any areas where you will be doing lots of training. For example Navigation skills all have Intelligence as their primary attribute - so if you are about to embark on training all your Navigation skills to level 4/5 then boosting your Intelligence attribute will save you substantial amounts of time...

3) As mentioned above the pure Learning skill will save you 2% on training time across all skill for each level. This is certainly worth training up to Level 4.

There is a debate about the value of training it up to Level 5. It has been calculated that the additional 2% of savings to skill training will take 356 days to repay itself (as it takes over 7 days to train it up to level 5).

On this basis it is certainly not worth training it to Level 5 unless you intend to be in the game longer than that.

However there was previously some suggestion that CCP may eventually introducing an 'advanced' learning skill soon which will save 4% of skill training time per level but will require Learning level 5 to train (as many of the new science skills require other skills at level 5 before you can start training them).

If this is the case then training Learning up to level 5 could make sense as you start accruing the 2% saving straight away - whereas those who start it later when the 'advance' learning skill comes in will still have to spend the same time training it but will get absolutely zero benefit from it. As this is currently speculation the choice is yours :)

4) Please bear in mind that training all the Learning attribute skills does take in the short term it can put you behind other players who train more practical skills. It is my view that investing in Learning skills early will pay off in the medium and long term but in the short run people starting at the same time maybe able to out fly and out shoot you until you recap the time.

5) I am sure most of you know but skills also have ranks. A rank 2 skill will take 2x as long to train as a rank 1 skill. A rank 5 skill will take 5x as long. Most of the basic skills in the game are rank 1 but there are higher rank skills (such as Drones Interfacing) that are rank 5. If you have bad attributes a skill such as this can take over 24 days to train from Level 4 to Level 5 - whereas the right attributes can knock days off this time.

6) If you go to your skills screen (on your character sheet - top left button on the left hand menu) you can see your total skills point total is in the top left. You can start training a skill by right clicking a particular skill and selecting 'Start Training' you should also see a the time it will take for that skill to train to the next level. To train skills you do not already have You need to purchase 'skill' books. You can buy these in the 'starter' stations. You need to open the market screen (make sure it is set to 'This Station Only') and then you should see a 'skills' section. You can also obtain some of the new higher level research skills from agents.

7) You should aim to have a skill training at all times. If a skill is due to complete in 2hrs and you know you are going to be away for 14 then before you go switch the training to another longer skill (you do not lose skill points if you do not cancel the training but simply start something else). Then when you get back home switch back to finish the original skill.


Okay Skill Groups and their primary and secondary attributes:

Memory - Perception

Intelligence - Memory

Intelligence - Memory

Gunnery is slightly different. Unlike the other skill areas Gunnery has skills which can be either perception or willpower as primary attribute and vice versa. Perception is probably more important however.

Memory - Intelligence

Willpower - Charisma

Memory - Intelligence

Intelligence - Memory

Perception - Willpower

Intelligence - Perception

Intelligence - Memory

Charisma - Intelligence

Spaceship Command:
Perception - Willpower

Willpower - Charisma


Memory is the primary attribute for:

Drones, Industry and Learning - so is an absolute must for miner and scientific types


Intelligence is the primary attribute for:

Electronics, Engineering, Mechanic, Navigation & Science - so is an absolute must for those who want to squeeze the absolute best performance from their ships and equipment.


Willpower is the primary attribute for:

'SOME' Gunnery + Leadership & Trade - hardcore specialist fighters only. It is a fairly devalued attribute since the recent patch. Maybe this will change again.


Perception is the primary attribute for:

Spaceship Command & Missiles & some important Gunnery skills - Spaceship Command skills tend to be high rank (taking longer to learn) and are also must have skills for pretty much all types of characters (especially if you want the option to fly many different classes of ships). Perception is also the secondary skill for Drones, Gunnery, Navigation so it is well worth spending time traing 'spatial awareness'.


Charisma is the primary attribute for:

Social - These skills (Social, Connections, Negotiations and Fast Talk) are all important to dedicated agent runners but unless you intend to train them all to Level 5 I think it would be a waste to sacrifice Int/Mem/Perc attribute points for the time saved by having a high Charisma.


I personally think that a balance of attribute points in the main fields (Int/Mem/Perception/Willpower) will serve you best in the long run. Even if you intend to be an ace fighter (High perc/will) a lot of the secondary skills that are required to make a really good fighter (such as Engineering, Electronics) require good intelligence and memory. Intelligence, Memory and Perception are imo the most important 3 skills in the game with good Willpower only for fighter or CEO types. I would aim to minimise Charisma points!

Amarr Victor


  • lordthrawnlordthrawn Member Posts: 276
    Great Info.  Liked how you broke down the skills and the primary attributes that the professions required.  image

    Current Games:

    LVL 20 AR/DEV Blaster - Dj Mystic Blue

    Eve Online
    Lord Thrawn - Order of Celestial Paladins


  • ArgeanArgean Member Posts: 126

    Wow nice info...... I only skimmed through it but what I did read was well written. This is a good read for anybody that is new to Eve. :)

    Argean...... Caldari
    Rebel Mining Guild



  • miconamicona Member UncommonPosts: 677
    oh my i remember reading this somewhere when i started playing eve way back ..... i know alot of players that used this ... great work

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