Eve vs Other Games

Eve Online is a sandbox

Eve Online is unlike any other game out there.  It is what is called a sandbox.  It is what you make of it, and you can do a WIDE variety of things.

The closest equivalent is Tarkov combat + Factorio building + Minecraft building cooperatively.

They also call this the Butterfly Effect.  Your minor decisions have ripples in your own game play, which changes your interactions, your game play choices, and you end up doing different game play styles.

Note: Eve Echoes (A mobile game) is like playing solitares, while Eve Online (Only on PC) is playing No Limit Holdem in the World Series of Poker.

When I joined, I was trying to do mining, then I was doing ratting, then I was doing missions, then I ended up in a huge null sec conflict where I made a minor difference by damping out a guy who was killing us and I was hooked :D

So how does this compare to other games?  I'll make some analogies to help newer players here.  Thank you to Kapernic for this quote, 2023/05/01:

Eve is 100% nothing like other games. It is a living embodiment dunning krueger lol

4X games (Civilization, stellaris, MOO, etc)

There are some similiarities here.

Eve Online players grow in power and spread their reach.  They gather materials and use those to make bigger bigger ships.

However, the similarities stop in that you are one person in eve.  And each other ship in space has to be flown by another account.  While you can dual box in Eve, you often just get more people to help you accomplish tasks and take over space.

Escape from Tarkov

Similarities between tarkov and eve is pretty easy to lay out.

Differences are also very clear.


Honestly the closest similar game.


Eve is a hard game.  You are playing against people on an unranked server.

If you think you can just jungle it up against a smurfed character, you're wrong.  You will die, EVERY single time, and he won't get a scratch, while continuing to feed off your losses.

And it's not even than you're facing an unfair fight, you're facing an unfair fight against their entire team, everytime, and you don't even know how big that team is sometimes.

Your capacitor is your mana.

Your fit is your build.

Your fleet is your team comp.

If you go into an eve fight with tackle (rooting), that means that everyone can just run away.  Every position is important in Eve too.  We have support roles (links), have healer roles (logistics), you need a proper mix for a fleet.  So you pick a role.

(Thanks to Market Barbarian for this and several other edits on this page!)

Elite Dangerous

I don't know enough about Elite Dangerous to properly fill this out. So I've gotten a full write up from Hokaba Hanaya (with 5,734.5 hours!):

TLDR is Elite Dangerous places you in the cockpit of ships, EVE online makes you out more like the commander of a ship rather than the pilot. 

In ED There are only 37 ships, and all ships are extremely modular, with every single ship theoretically able to do most things with varying efficiency. For example: an Asp Explorer (medium ship) is technically best suited for long range exploration, but can also be fit for combat, or mining, or hauling, or carrying ground vehicles etc. Eve has 400+ ships, with most being able to do one or two things.

Elite Dangerous has a fake economy, ships and modules have unlimited supply and may only change when a system's "Background Simulation" (BGS) state changes. The commodity market is entirely "stocked" by the same BGS system (i.e. you can't really stock or deplete a market without altering the BGS state). There's no such thing as industry/crafting in ED either. Mining is purely for profit, you can't use the ores to do anything other than sell to NPCs or players via fleet carriers.  Eve Online has only certain things in unlimited supply like skill books and Blueprints and EVERYTHING else is created or gathered by the community.

Combat in ED is much more fast paced and reliant on pure player skill (i.e. control of your ship) than EVE. Ships are not innately bonused for certain weapons. Ammunition is extremely limited as you can't carry any in cargo and can only "craft" (synthesize) them using special materials that you gather from different sources. PVE is mostly you killing enemy NPC pirates one by one or in small squadrons of up to 4. Fleet fights are mostly non-existent as the servers cannot handle more than ~16 people (real people) in an instance  Eve Fights are decided by how many people foremost, what they brought, and is much more rock scissors pewpew.  Personal pilots can have a GREAT influence on a fight by no means dicates who lives and who dies.  Eve fights can scale to 10's of thousands of pilots.

Exploration in ED is actually going to new and undiscovered systems and looking around and planting your name on planets and moons unlike EVE where it's basically looting with extra steps. Exploration generates "explo data" that can be sold to NPCs for a good chunk of CR (equivalent of ISK).   Eve Online has a lot of systems to go to, but everything is explored, and honestly most game play is 'solved'.   There can be dead systems.

ED also has sort of a defined "endgame" moment. When you've fully engineered the "big 3" ships (Anaconda, Cutter, Corvette) and any other ships you want to engineer, bought a fleet carrier and made enough money to keep it running for a year+ you ...pretty much reach the end of useful content in the game. It's one of the reasons why many people slowly "wean off" ED over time. Eve Online has a couple end-game ships like titans and supers, but they are only really usable by the huge null sec blocks.
ED has an engineering (think...slightly like mutaplasmid system). You basically unlock certain engineers, and bring modules you wish to engineer to them. But its much more predictable than mustaplasmids. You basically turn in certain items for the engineer to improve one aspect of your module for some penalties. For example: a shield generator can obviously be engineered to have higher shield strength, or faster recharge time, or better thermal/kinetic resistances etc. Each time you press the engineer button a random "roll" is done that improves the module's primary stat by a certain % (but will never degrade it).   Eve Online has the ability to modify certain gear to make it better than the stock gear.  They have a meta system as well that has gear that is better at different things.

ED also has its token aliens (called Thargoids) that you can fight with (called AX combat). Fighting thargoids is ED's equivalent to high class WH PVE in terms of preparation and difficulty in the context of both games, but it's not nearly as profitable (relatively) as EVE's PVE. In general safe activities like mining and trading in ED are the most profitable shit you can do.  Eve Online has wormholes that act somewhat like subcombat, they may or may not be there! But then you don't always know what the enemy is bringing.  And the PVE there is really challenging and GREAT money.   Trading in Eve Online is great money, but hauling and mining is conditional.

ED's ships also feature a "rebuy" system. Every ship by default is 95% insured for you so when you go boom, you need only pay 5% of the ship's buy price (including module cost) to get it back, including any modified (engineered) modules. You will respawn at the last station you docked at prior to you going boom.  Eve Online insurance is crap in comparison.  You can insure a ship for 'platinum' (only do that) and you get paid for the mineral cost.  If you are using a T1 ship, you might pay 13 mil for the ship, insure for 4 mil isk, and get paid back 10 mil, so you lost 7 mil in that transaction, but hey got to fight. :D  you get none of your modules back.


Easy, factorio is harder.  Because it's more effort and there is no 'perfect' setup, you can constantly grow and evolve the base.

Eve Online's PVE challenges are set in stone they are so solved.  This is a 'solved' game for PVE.   Everyone knows how to do PVE challenges, and while there are always interesting new ways, it's sad when 'just use an ishtar' is the solution in eve.

Factorio has no PVP.  So not a good comparison.

No Man's Sky

Honestly one of my favorite games.  :D

The exploration aspects of NMS give you multiple near infinite galaxies to explore.  Eve Online is much more limited in scope.

NMS makes it VERY hard to interact with people.  Eve forces you to!

NMS crafting system is very short, you take these three things and hey you have this other thing.  Eve can require up to like 30 things to build one thing.

Acquiring things in NMS is easy.  Eve is hard.

NMS makes it easy to build a base and yo ucan explore a big chunk of the game in under 10 hours.  The Eve tutorial takes between six and nine hours.

Star Citizen

You're kidding right?

This is a tech demo.  Eve Online is a full sandbox.

Sorry friend, Star Citizen is crap. :D

Okay fine.   Eve Online has crafting, customization, controlling empires, mass space combat, small gang combat, 8k systems on a single shared server, the ability to put 6k in a single location, can scale in way that is hard to imagine, and is pay to lose.

Star Citizen has problems with going through doors if you pass six people in a single system.  and is pay to win.

I hope that Star Citizen will some day be a good game, and I would have rather see CCP get that half a billion dollars.

World of Warcraft

This one is hard for me to write.

World of Warcraft is a set piece, designed by a company, this happens then this happens, tons of care and thought.

Eve Online is a series of mechanics, stacked on top of each other, and then the players just find a way to make it work.

World of Warcraft, all gear is dropped by mobs or made by set designs.  This gear operates independently.

Eve Online, all gear is dropped by mobs or made by blueprints.  This gear requires other gear to operate well, and can vary on situation a lot.

World of Warcraft PVP is not that engaging because there's no real loss.

Eve Online means you lose everything you were risking to beat them.