Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Basic Extraction based PI - Intro

This is the first of a series of posts, with what I recommend as the smallest skillset to do PI profitably.  There other things you can (and probably should) do, but it's the basics of raw extraction and one level of processing; in both High and Low Security systems.


  • Learn Remote Sensing 1; Command Center Upgrades 2
  • Choose a planet (with a customs office)
  • Buy a command center from the market suitable to your planet. 
  • Haul command center to system with planet (1000 m3 storage required).
  • View planet in planet mode
  • Build an extractor, upgrade it; build some basic factories and a  launchpad
  • Extract something; 
  • Process it once
  • Launch it to your customs office
  • Haul processed materials from customs office to whatever market you want to sell it at.
  • Sell it, Profit

This post walks through:
  • Looking for something to sell; 
  • A brief explanation of export tax; 
  • Some differences between losec and highsec;
Future posts will walk through:
  • Required skills; 
  • Finding a planet;
  • What to buy; 
  • What to build;
  • How to export;

Looking for something to sell

First of all; lets look at the market for raw extraction and first level processed items.  Open your market browser  and look for Manufacture & Research; Materials; Planetary Materials; Raw Materials.
PI Raw items
150 units of Raw Material are converted to 1 unit of Processed Material (in 'batches' of 3000 raw units to 20 processed units).
Processed Mats

I like to extract what is profitable; on the planets that I have access to;  Some players have an end product in mind; and will build to that.  Three things to consider.
  • Market prices; as a general guide the higher the price something sells for; the better.
  • Resource availability; high prices are often caused by low availability.
  • Taxes.  Export taxes make or break whether what you do is profitable.  A so called 10% export tax applies on high security customs offices; 17% (uggh) on NPC lossec customs offices, and whatever the owning corp wants to set it at for player owned customs offices (adjustable based on standing)
Against my better judgment, I am going to point out some possible items to sell.  They are right for me where I am as of writing this post.  I can not stress enough; do your own pricing for 'where' and 'when' you are.  I don't mean just Jita pricing from two months ago.  I will talk more about pricing later; but for the time being; you can just look at the in game market groups - by clicking on the items group (i.e. 'Processed Materials' in the above image) and ensuring that groups are selected.

A look at PI taxes

In High security systems; chose high market prices over high availability ; at "10% tax" Raw material has an export tax of 0.5 ISK/unit ; and Processed Materials have an export tax of 50 ISK/unit; paid when lifted off planet into the customs office.  Many high availability resources sell for around those prices so chose low availability high profit items instead.  For 10% customs offices I would recommend working towards (after export tax) 400 ISK/unit items (eg Electrolytes) instead of 5 ISK/unit items (eg Biofuels)

If you look hard enough; you can find lower taxing systems.  Some (including those that I belong to) corporations and alliances offer this (yes we are recruiting).  Even some pirate corps offer both protection and systems with cheap customs offices (eg Basgerin and their pirates). On a 3% tax customs office; you are only paying 0.15 ISK/unit for Raw and 15 ISK/unit for Processed material; making a huge difference to profit margins. 

For another example:

You will need to do your own sums; but if you have a low tax customs office; you can profitably chose a middle priced abundant resource to extract and process.  For example, if you have 4 times the availability of toxic metals or water vs the previous screenshot of biomass; with tax being far less important; you may choose the easier to extract item.

As a crude measure of profit when doing extraction and one level of processing; profit = (sale price - export tax) * units processed.  Chose a mix of higher sale price, lower tax and higher availability of raw material.


The lower the security of a system; the better the resource availability (at least until those pesky players drain a planet dry);  There are better resources in 0.5 than 1.0; 0.1 than 0.4; so whatever your preference (High security; Low security or Null) lower has better resources than higher.

Of course low and especially null have ... players that would like to be acquainted with the inside of your ship and pod, and have the can opener to find it.  My experience on null is mostly from reading but I did see a couple of null sec planets and liked what I saw; at least until I tripped on that can opener.

To be continued.


  1. Genius. As soon as I sort out my skill queue dilemmas I'm all over experimenting with this. Cheers for the tips.

  2. Simple and right to the point, will definitely try it, and I will report how it went.
    Ty Foo.


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