The Slow, Fast and Instant Paths


When it comes to training in Eve online there is largely speaking 3 paths you can take, the slow, fast and instant paths. Each path has it’s benefits and drawbacks but it’s very much worth remembering that skill points and the actual player skill to use them are not the same thing.  It also has to be pointed out that there are a whole host of essential and supporting skills that make a difference between being able to do something and being able to do it well. Eve Online is NOT an easy game to play and your ability to understand it as a player and make use of that understanding are key to having an enjoyable time in Eve.  Simply put, if you don’t learn how to play it doesn’t matter how many skill points you have, you will suck, you will die lots and you will get disheartened. Ultimately if you don’t learn how to ACTUALY play you probably won’t be playing very long.


The order you train your skills in and how fast you train into them can have a big impact on your game.  If you don’t cover the basics you are quickly going to come across problems.  Some problems will be more obvious than others, for example not being able to keep up with a fleet or not being able to lock and fire on a target the rest of the fleet is currently easily hitting.  Other problems are less obvious, such losing more PvP engagements than you should or being unable to squeeze enough fitting space for your ship fits.  One glaringly obvious issue that a lot of people suffer is being unable to make isk.

The Slow Path

The slow path is about methodically working through a structured skill plan.  This usually starts with getting a good grounding in basic skills and then working through various ship types, flying them as you learn and improving your ability to use them while your next major skill is training in the background.
The slow path tends to lead to better pilots as they have the basics covered and when they are able to fly a ship they take the time to learn how to use it.  They learn the tactics for the ship properly, they are not less effective due to basic skills being missing and they can learn to compete on equal terms with someone else flying the same ships.
The Advantage of the slow path is that the things that you can do you can do well.
The Disadvantage of the slow path is that it seems to take forever and it’s easy to become impatient.

The Fast Path

The fast path usually involves heading singlemindedly towards a goal and then trying to catch up with the supporting skills.  It can also mean learning to fly a particular ship without first working through other similar ships which would usually be recommended to develop your skill as a player.
An example of this would be learning to fly a Heavy Assault Cruiser without first progressing through basic DPS ships and Assault Frigates.  Yes you can do damage and yes you are tanky, but if you don’t understand how to apply or avoid damage and don’t know when or how to use your advanced damage control you’re basically going to needlessly be replacing an expensive cruiser quite often.  The worst outcome would be that you don’t feel HACs suit you and you just move on to something else such as T3 cruisers and suffer a similar fate.
The Advantage of the fast path is it keeps you interested, you constantly have new things you can do.
The Disadvantage of the fast path is that you invariably won’t be able to do those new things as well as those on the slow path.

The Instant Path

One of the worst and best changes to Eve Online is the addition of Skill Injectors. The other is the fairly regular skilling sprees that give you free skill points when you log in.
The Instant Path is exactly as it sounds, it gives you the ability to learn a skill NOW.  This is a blessing and it is also a curse.  For some it’s a great way to get an essential skill sooner and be a more effective pilot, for others it’s a compounding of problems, and for some it’s a rabbit hole to fall into and a never ending and expensive game trying to catch up to the impossible.
The more correct use of skill injectors and points from skilling sprees is to either improve what you already have, to give yourself a single new ability or to learn to fly a ship you are already prepared for.  Once you’ve used the skill points it is time to learn how to use them properly.
The Advantage of the instant path is it’s the quickest route to be able to do something in Eve. It’s also a way to fill out those basic skills you are missing.
The Disadvantage of the instant path is that it’s easy to overlook key skills.  It can also be very expensive and indeed addictive.  You will also very easily find yourself short of the actual player ability to use those new skills effectively.

The Hybrid Path, aka The Right Way to Do It

So the best way to approach training in Eve Online is this, the Hybrid path.  You need to broadly be on the slow path as that allows you time as a pilot to learn how to play Eve properly.  You learn the basic skills, you broadly learn how to fly the different types of ships and you give yourself a good grounding in the game. You also learn what roles you enjoy and are best suited for.

Once you have the basics covered you can occasionally switch to the fast path to pursue a singleminded goal that helps keep you interested.  Perhaps you’ve been flying T1 tackle and want to progress to flying an interdictor.  Or perhaps you want to be abe to fly a faction battleship to help you generate isk.  Once you’ve achieved your goal you should revert to the slow path while you learn to use your new skills and fly your new ship.  Give yourself the time you need to “get good”.

Sometimes even the fast path will seem slow, you really really want to be able to do something or you are finding that that new ship you learned to fly isn’t quite as good as you thought.  In this situation it’s handy to be able to speed up the skill using a skill injector or using some of those skilling spree skillpoints you have banked.  The best way to do this it to shorten skills that take a long time to train that won’t impact your skill as a player.  Perfect examples are Jump Drive Calibration V which just allow you to jump a capital ship further and can take upwards of 4 weeks to learn, another is Advanced Spaceship Command, this is a basic skill that effects you ability to use some of the more advanced ships in the game.  Finally, Advanced Weapon Upgrades V is another example, it’s a long skill to train and really an essential one for any PvP pilot, it makes you more competitive, gives you more fitting room, allows you to fly some high end doctrines and just marginally improves your ability.

If you’re going to use skill injectors plan ahead, make sure any supporting skills needed are also covered.  It’s also  important that you use them sooner rather than later as the diminishing returns they give mean it is much better value to use them before you have tens of millions of skill points.  In other words they are better to kick start you character rather than try and catch up later.  Also be sure you really want to fly that ship before you spend a fortune on injectors, it’s not uncommon to inject into something you THINK is going to be great only to find it doesn’t suit you, which is a huge waste of injectors.