Burner Missions are level 4 security missions designed to be flown mostly in frigates and be very difficult for new players. This was easier to workshop on Singularity, the test server, but they are now relatively solved, since this is a 20 year old game. These are a good way to make a bunch of money in a hurry, as they tend to go very quick and pay well, along with LP and faction modules. The version presented here requires multiple accounts for maximum money.
There are several burner guides out there already, but we have a guide from our own Mac Gunderson, which I encourage you to read!
Burner Missions Guide by Mac Gunderson
So you like doing level 4 missions. Taking out your battleship and mowing down wave of enemies, and cashing in your LP. L4 mission running is a decent activity, especially considering it can be done in highsec, but what if I told you you could make upwards of 500 million isk per hour (with the potential for a billion or more with a good setup), with close to zero risk, just running missions?
Enter burner missions. Burner missions, or anomic missions, are a special type of optional mission with a very large LP reward while also being quite fast to complete, so you can blitz through ten or more in an hour if you have them pre-bookmarked. However, they are extremely dangerous— there are fits and strategies that will work 100% of the time, but a single misclick or accidentally entering a site with the wrong fit will mean certain death. Also, you’ll need some very high skills and a pretty decent initial investment to get into it (though implants can substitute for the former).
That said, it’s definitely worth it — because there are few other activities where you can undock and make 500 million per hour with little to no risk.
Pulling Missions: Making a Puller
Now I’m sure you probably looked at that figure and thought it looked too good to be true. Like many other high isk-per-hour estimates, there’s some setup and a little luck that goes into it. In the case of burners, this element comes from pulling.
Pulling refers to shuttling around and requesting missions from agents, and accepting some and declining others. However, in order to pull, you need a character that is capable of doing it. As burner missions are Level 4 Security missions, you must have access to the relevant agents to pull. Level 4 missions require faction, corporation, and agent standings to all be above -2.0, and at least one of them above 5.0. This is effective standing, not “true” standing, so you will want to train the Social skill to V and and Connections (or Criminal Connections for pirate factions) to IV. You can see your standings in your character sheet under the Interactions tab.
From there, the easiest way to gain access to L4 missions is to increase your corporation standing to 5.0 while ensuring you didn’t tank your faction standing somehow. Pirate burners are the most profitable kind of burners, and if you live and rat in the area then your faction standing is likely abysmal. However, you can circumvent this by making an alt character (doesn’t have to be an alt account, an alt character will do) with the requisite skills trained in order to pull for you. If you intend to scale up your mission running you will need several alt pullers anyways, as we’ll cover shortly.
In order to increase your standings you have a few different options. Your faction may have COSMOS missions available, such as the gas turn-in missions for pirate factions, or they may have an epic arc. After completing one or both of those you can grind some L3 missions in a cheap Drake or Myrmidon in order to get your standings the rest of the way up. Alternatively, you can find someone able to “share” with you — if you are in a fleet when turning in a mission, you can choose to split the rewards (both ISK and LP) evenly among fleet members.
This is part of why burner missions scale so well as your setup expands, because once you have just a few pullers you can very quickly spin up new pullers by sharing your mission rewards with your new alt.
Once you have your standings high enough, you can start actually pulling the missions.
Pulling Missions: Actually Pulling
Once you have your puller, all you have to do is fly around in search of agents. Again, you need Level 4 Security agents to access burner missions. When you talk to an agent, if they offer you a mission you don’t want to run, you can decline once every four hours for “free.” Declining more than once every four hours will cause you to lose standings, meaning you may lose access to that agent. Therefore, pulling revolves around this four-hour cycle of the free decline, because you will be declining a LOT.
The missions we are looking for are called “burner” or “anomic” missions — special missions that are very fast to run, but very dangerous, with a large reward. They are also optional, meaning you can decline one without consuming your free decline or losing standings if you have used it already. The specific missions you want to run are called “Anomic Team,” and if your setup is capable, “Anomic Agent.” We’ll cover these more down below.
There is a third type of anomic mission — Anomic Base. These are longer to run and require more expensive setups so they are generally declined. However, as they are anomic missions, you can decline them for free.
Anomic missions and “burners” are the same thing — the ships you fight in the mission are called “Burner [ship]”.
So, the way pulling usually goes is as follows: Log in your puller. Set your route to the various agents you want to visit. At each one, request a mission. If it is a Team (or Agent, if you are running those), accept it. If it is not, decline it. Then move on to the next agent, rinse and repeat.
If you get a burner you do not want to run, request a second mission. Otherwise, do not request another because you cannot decline it and will be offered the same mission when you go back to the agent (it will stay in an “offered” status).
Expect to decline a lot. Don’t get discouraged. There are 4 flavors of Team and 5 flavors of Agent, with roughly a 3% chance of being offered any individual flavor. So you only have a 27% chance to get a burner on a single mission request. This is why it is very important to be able to request from multiple agents, and ideally on multiple puller characters, to increase your mission count.
Once you have your missions, go out and bookmark them. You can do this while pulling if they are along your route, or afterwards, it is up to you. Make sure you bookmark the acceleration gate, do not change the name of the bookmark from the default, and make sure your runner character has access to them. (Different types of missions have different bookmark names for the acceleration gate so it helps you keep track of what you have.)
So now you’ve got your missions… let’s run them!
Running the Missions
So now it’s time to run the missions! Running the missions is arguably the most straightforward part of the process because there is a specific fit and strategy for each mission, and if you execute that then it’s easy LP.
This section will be rather brief because there are resources on it already out there detailing the specific fits and techniques for each burner. However, the long and short of it is that you can use a single Garmur fit for all four types of Teams, while each Agent requires a different fit and strategy. A “unified” Nergal fit is capable of running all five agents with different refits but the same rigs, so that is a cost-saving method available to you, but it’s not the fastest and also about 2b for the full shopping list. The Team Garmur has a cheap and expensive version, with the cheap only being about 150m.
This is why some runners only run Teams, especially if they have a lot of pullers.
More details on fits and tactics can be found in the playlist below.
Personally, I run Teams with the Garmur and Agents using the Nergal.
Once you have completed your missions, log in your pullers, open your contact list (Alt-E by default, I think?) and open each agent with an accepted mission by clicking the little speech bubble in the lower right, then click “Complete Mission.” Your mission reward will be in the form of a small amount of ISK but a significant amount of Loyalty Points (LP) – roughly 20,000 LP for each burner mission.
Although the ISK reward is nice, the LP is really your payday here. LP can be exchanged for various items ranging from implants to BPCs to faction ships – in fact this is where the majority of faction items come from (faction modules, pirate and navy ships, etc), as well as pirate implants (Crystals, Amulets, Asklepians etc). You can use a resource such as the Fuzzwork link below to see what kind of value you will get for your LP.
Beware spending your LP on the highest “isk per LP” item because often they are very niche or market-manipulated items such as specific modules or high-grade implants. Make sure to check the market before cashing out into something you can’t sell.
(Also for anyone still wondering about the 500m/hour figure – some pirate LPs are worth 3,000 isk per LP. You get 20,000 LP per mission = 60 million isk per mission. You can easily run 8 missions in an hour for 480 million isk worth of LP + the isk reward for the mission itself and the rat bounty.)
The aforementioned pull -> run -> cash out cycle is pretty much all there is to burner missions. However, like most things in Eve, there are a number of optimizations that can increase your income, quality of life, or both. Here are just a few of them:
Running any individual mission only takes a few minutes, so it’s quite common for mission runners to have several puller characters, pull and bookmark 8-10 or more burners at a time, and then run them all.
As mentioned above, you can easily spin up additional pullers by sharing mission completions from your existing pullers. This is why burner missions scale very well – they scale linearly like mining does, but also exponentially (with each additional puller it is easier to add more).
Seeding: While it is possible to fly your Garmur around to each mission, it can be faster and safer to seed ships throughout the area where your missions typically spawn. This way you can shuttle around without risk of getting caught in gatecamps – vital when running in nullsec since NPC null is very dangerous.
This is part of why Teams are so highly prized because you can seed 150m Garmurs much more easily than 2b unified Nergal fits.
The blops method: With the addition of the Frigate Escape Bay to battleships, you can shove all the refits for a Nergal into its cargo hold and stick the Nergal into the Frigate Escape Bay of a Black Ops, and then cyno it around. This does not work in highsec but is a safe way to move your blingy ship around in nullsec.
Cheap seeding: You can seed only hulls and move blingy modules around in an Interceptor, Covert Ops, or Black Ops. This can be a significant cost saver especially as your setup grows.
Faction pulling: Declining a mission with a non-free decline tanks your agent and corporation standings, but only dings your faction standings a very small amount. Therefore you can have your faction standing above 5.0 and just make sure to keep your corporation and agent standings above -2.0 – which actually becomes a -5.0 true standing with the Diplomacy skill trained – and retain access to Level 4 agents. This way, you can just keep declining missions until you get a burner, as long as you keep an eye on your Agent or Corporation standings dropping too low.
If Agent or Corp standings drop too low, share from your other pullers to get them back up.
You can increase Faction standings primarily with Storyline missions, which are offered once every 16 mission completions. I run the courier storylines in a DST and combat storylines in a Widow because I use the blops method already.
Some people disagree with this method. Note that Caldari Standings methods can also assist here, but aimed at the correct factions.
However, no matter what you do, the most important “optimizations” to make are those that reduce burnout.
I’ll say that again: No matter what you do, the most important optimizations are those that reduce burnout.
Burner missions are highly susceptible to burnout even compared to other Eve careers for a number of reasons. Their gambling-like nature, the fact that the 4 hour clock is ticking in the background, other time-related mechanics like the “fast completion” ISK reward, and the amount of tedious optimization that can be added to reduce costs or increase speed. The mission runner with one runner, four pullers, and who doesn’t stress about hitting his next free decline cycle on the dot, will make much more isk in the long run than someone who runs with 20 pullers, 3 runners, and gets burned out within two weeks.
Make sure to pamper yourself and don’t get burned out. After all, burner missions are excellent isk with very low risk – trust me, you can afford a full seed.
If I think of anything else to add to this guide I’ll poke Kismeteer, but for now… get out there and make yourself some isk.