Site Network: | | |


Welcome to

The Complete Miner's Guide by Halada

Version 2.2

8. Drones

Drones are not to be ignored, since they can significantly raise your ISK/hour ratio. Of course I'm talking about Mining Drones here if you had not understood yet... it is however not a bad idea to have a few combat drones in your drone bay if you have the room in case some pesky interceptor comes at you ...

Before I go any further, I want you to read this VERY carefully and apply it. In fact, if it helps, you can make multiple Post-it and stick them everywhere in your house...


Although this statement has been heavily criticized since the birth of this guide, I stand by it. I invite you to read the rest to understand why.

As mentioned earlier, two skills influence the yield of your drones , which are Mining Drone Operations and Drone Interfacing. Take note that drones cannot mine Ice or Mercoxit. First, let's have a look at the different drones available.

Drone type Speed (m/s) Base yield (m3/cycle) Cycle (in sec)
T1 Mining Drone 400 15 60
T2 Mining Drone 500 25 60
Harvester Mining Drone 250 30 60


Anything strikes you? First thing to look at is the speed, and you can see right away that Harvester Mining Drones have fat asses and are VERY slow ! What is it important ?

The traveling factor !

Unlike mining lasers, drones must travel from and back to your ship before you get any ore in your cargo. They will need 60 seconds to finish their cycle. Any traveling time to and from the asteroid isn't factored in the cycle time. Simply put, Harvester Mining Drones are twice as slow as T2 Mining Drones, and yet, their base yield is only 20% better... and they cost 20 times as much as T2 Mining Drones !

See section 8.2 for further details and explanations.

8.1 What Drones Do For You

Much like the yield of lasers, the yield of each drone is individually calculated and then the number of units of ore is truncated before transport to your cargo. My calculations will factor maxed drone skills, feel free to change the formula to reflect your skill tree.

As we mentioned earlier, Mining Drone Operations 5 will increase your drones' yield by 25% and Drone Interfacing 5 by 100% . I also made it clear Harvester Mining Drones suck, so we will use T2 Mining Drones for our example:

25 * 1.25 * 2 = 62.5 m3/cycle

Using Omber again, it means 62.5/0.6 = 104.17 = 104 units of Omber/cycle (per drone)

Since you can control 5 drones at a time, which means your drones will bring in an extra 520 units of Omber per cycle, or 31 200 per hour. This however does not factor the traveling time we talked about earlier.

An issue with drones is that they suffer a lot from higher volume ore like Bistot (volume of 16m3) since the number of ore units is truncated at the end of every cycle. A good example of this is seeing that training Drone Interfacing to level 5 won't bring any benefit when mining most high-ends. How so ?

With a perfect mining drone yield of 62.5 m3/cycle, we get:

62.5/16 = 3.90 3 units of Bistot/cycle (per drone).

New since Revelations, the Drone Mining Augmentator rigs (see section 12) can help a little. Whether choosing this rig over another is worth it will depend of the situation you think you will find yourself in.