Research Agents

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What are Research Agents?

Research Agents or R&D Agents for short, are special NPC agents which will allow you to run research projects with them. They grant Research Points (RP) instead of ISK or Loyalty Points (LP) given for mission by regular mission agents. Just like mission agents you must have standings with the Research Agents corporation or faction in order to access the services of the agent. Unlike mission agents, you will also need specific skills at specific levels in order to begin working with the agent. We will expand on each of these elements futher in this article.

How do I find an agent?

The best tool for finding an agent to do research for you is will a web site developed by none other than Chribba. The web site is EVE Agents This site is a very valuable tool for finding agents you can access. Another site that is very useful at the onset and down the road to evaluate switching research is Profitibility of R&D Agents

Using Eve Agents, let’s find a research agent who will work with us. My main has very high standings with Amarr Empire and with Carthum Conglomerate. Since Carthum has R&D agents, we will try them. Selecting Carthum from the corp drop down and R&D from the Division drop down will result in 33 research agents. With my mains high standings he would have no problem working with any of these agents so let’s find one closer to his high sec home in the Kador region. Adding Kador to the selection for region reduces the agent list to nine. There are three in Asrios which is one jump from my mains high sec base so we will choose one of them. The next thing we must determine is if we have the skill to actually have the agent start research for us. Let’s check out Araral Joase a level 2 quality 6 agent who will do Amarrian Starship Engineering research. Araral will also do Laser Physics and Hydromagnetic Physics research. He requires a skill level of two for each subject. It appears my main has the skills required to work with good old Araral under the Amarrian Starship subject so let’s pay him a visit.

Once you have picked the agent you wish to have working for you, you must visit them in person. Talk to the agent and have them start a research project. If you were correct in your assessment of standings and skills the agent will begin right away and you will begin accumulating RP. RP will continue to add up for as long as Eve exists, they change something, something breaks or you tell the agent you no longer want his services. You will occasionally (OK, all the damn time really) get mission offers from your research agent. These missions are normally “OMFG, Rats ate my lab equipment, I need Trit”. If you choose, you may complete the mission for the agent which will result in an extra days worth of RP. Unlike mission agents, there is no standing loss if you just ignore the agents mission requests. R&D agents don’t bug you with more than one mission offer at a time. If you ignore it, he/she will stop. You can do one mission per day per agent, and doing that will double your RP for that day. The missions is in 95% of cases either "get me some trit" or a courier mission with a small package. After 16 missions you get a storyline like with every other agent, but these missions can be everything from courier to combat. And if you research with a lvl 4 R&D agent, you will get lvl 4 combat missions as storylines. These will also boost your faction standings significantly.

What is this RP you speak of?

We now have our agent working feverishly for us on our Amarrian Starship Engineering project. RP is rolling in. Once you have enough RP you can purchase datacores. You may only purchase the datacore type for which the agent is doing the research. So from our Araral Joase research we can only buy Amarrian Starship datacores even though Araral does research in other fields. Thus it is important to do your, dare I say it, research on what cores sell for if you wish to maximize profit. There is no time limit on when you spend the RP so you do not have to keep running back to the agent to spend your RP, only do so when it is convenient for you. Once you have datacores you may sell them on the market or keep them for your own tech 2 research projects. The actual use of datacores is beyond this article and I assume you already know how to sell things.

Is it worth doing?

Research is almost 100% passive in Eve. You do not have to do anything at all once the agent is working for you. The only effort involved is picking up the datacores and selling them. Even the lowest cost datacores will make you close to 100% profit. So, yes, research agents are very much worth the effort. This becomes even more of a no-brainer for those of us which already have standings from mission grinding for ISK. Under current market conditions (late 2009), a passive income of 100 Mil ISK/month is an achieveable goal for each research alt with level IV research skills.


If you stop research with an agent before spending your accumulated RP, that RP is lost. Make sure you spend all the RP you can before you tell you agent to bugger off.


As stated earlier each agent has a minimal skill level to begin working for you but the higher your skill in the subject area the more RP the agent will generate. You will need the science skills required by the individual agents to access them but there are other skills you may wish to work on if R&D will be you big ISK generator. The following table lists the base skills associated with research and what they do.

Skill Prerequisite Description
Research Project Management Research 5 & Laboratory Operation 5 Skill at overseeing agent research and development projects. Allows the simultaneous use of 1 additional Research and Development agent per skill level.
Social None Skill at social interacton. Helps get to a higher level of agents faster. 5% bonus per skill level for NPC Agent, Corp, & Faction standing increase.
Negotiation Social 1 Skill at agent negotiation. Improves agent effective quality. 5% additional pay per skill level for agent missions.
Connections Social 3 Skill at interacting with friendly NPCs. 4% Modifier to effective standing from friendly NPC Corporations and Factions per level. Not cumulative with Diplomacy or Criminal Connections.

Example Skill Training Plan

The following is an example skill training plan for an Alt who will fleet with a combat toon and follow in a salvager while pigybacking the corp standing increases as the missions are turned in. Recommended implants are a +3 for Intelligence and +2s for Memory & Charisma. Adjust as necessary and note that the last two skills (Molecular Engineering & Electronic Engineering) are examples of actual research fields to unlock research for corresponding Data Cores. Use the Profitibility webpage linked above to determine what would be best to start off with for your chosen NPC R&D corp(s).

1. [b]Cybernetics I[/b] (19 minutes, 13 seconds)
2. [b]Instant Recall I[/b] (7 minutes, 34 seconds)
3. [b]Analytical Mind I[/b] (7 minutes, 8 seconds)
4. [b]Learning I[/b] (6 minutes, 56 seconds)
5. [b]Instant Recall II[/b] (31 minutes, 43 seconds)
6. [b]Analytical Mind II[/b] (30 minutes, 3 seconds)
7. [b]Learning II[/b] (29 minutes, 17 seconds)
8. [b]Instant Recall III[/b] (2 hours, 42 minutes, 21 seconds)
9. [b]Analytical Mind III[/b] (2 hours, 34 minutes, 25 seconds)
10. [b]Learning III[/b] (2 hours, 30 minutes, 45 seconds)
11. [b]Instant Recall IV[/b] (13 hours, 56 minutes, 48 seconds)
12. [b]Eidetic Memory I[/b] (16 minutes, 4 seconds; 5,000,000 ISK)
13. [b]Eidetic Memory II[/b] (1 hour, 11 minutes, 38 seconds)
14. [b]Eidetic Memory III[/b] (6 hours, 28 minutes, 18 seconds)
15. [b]Analytical Mind IV[/b] (11 hours, 42 minutes, 55 seconds)
16. [b]Logic I[/b] (13 minutes, 6 seconds; 5,000,000 ISK)
17. [b]Logic II[/b] (58 minutes, 50 seconds)
18. [b]Logic III[/b] (5 hours, 21 minutes, 21 seconds)
19. [b]Learning IV[/b] (10 hours, 50 minutes, 51 seconds)
20. [b]Eidetic Memory IV[/b] (1 day, 7 hours, 56 minutes, 24 seconds)
21. [b]Logic IV[/b] (1 day, 4 hours, 16 minutes, 29 seconds)
22. [b]Iron Will I[/b] (4 minutes, 3 seconds)
23. [b]Spatial Awareness I[/b] (4 minutes, 3 seconds)
24. [b]Spatial Awareness II[/b] (18 minutes, 55 seconds)
25. [b]Empathy I[/b] (4 minutes, 3 seconds)
26. [b]Empathy II[/b] (18 minutes, 55 seconds)
27. [b]Empathy III[/b] (1 hour, 46 minutes, 58 seconds)
28. [b]Empathy IV[/b] (10 hours, 5 minutes, 10 seconds)
29. [b]Presence I[/b] (27 minutes, 46 seconds; 5,000,000 ISK)
30. [b]Presence II[/b] (1 hour, 59 minutes, 47 seconds)
31. [b]Presence III[/b] (10 hours, 30 minutes, 48 seconds)
32. [b]Gallente Frigate III[/b] (10 hours, 9 minutes, 46 seconds)
33. [b]Destroyers I[/b] (23 minutes, 8 seconds)
34. [b]Hull Upgrades I[/b] (7 minutes, 20 seconds)
35. [b]Science IV[/b] (9 hours, 7 minutes, 32 seconds)
36. [b]Mechanic III[/b] (1 hour, 36 minutes, 46 seconds)
37. [b]Survey I[/b] (3 minutes, 40 seconds)
38. [b]Survey II[/b] (17 minutes, 7 seconds)
39. [b]Survey III[/b] (1 hour, 36 minutes, 46 seconds)
40. [b]Salvaging I[/b] (11 minutes, 1 second; 1,000,000 ISK)
41. [b]Afterburner I[/b] (4 minutes, 22 seconds)
42. [b]Energy Grid Upgrades I[/b] (7 minutes, 20 seconds)
43. [b]Energy Grid Upgrades II[/b] (34 minutes, 13 seconds)
44. [b]Social I[/b] (4 minutes, 55 seconds)
45. [b]Negotiation I[/b] (9 minutes, 51 seconds; 60,000 ISK)
46. [b]Negotiation II[/b] (45 minutes, 52 seconds)
47. [b]Negotiation III[/b] (4 hours, 19 minutes, 28 seconds)
48. [b]Social II[/b] (22 minutes, 57 seconds)
49. [b]Social III[/b] (2 hours, 9 minutes, 43 seconds)
50. [b]Connections I[/b] (14 minutes, 46 seconds; 200,000 ISK)
51. [b]Connections II[/b] (1 hour, 8 minutes, 48 seconds)
52. [b]Connections III[/b] (6 hours, 29 minutes, 13 seconds)
53. [b]Social IV[/b] (12 hours, 13 minutes, 56 seconds)
54. [b]Connections IV[/b] (1 day, 12 hours, 41 minutes, 49 seconds)
55. [b]Negotiation IV[/b] (1 day, 27 minutes, 53 seconds)
56. [b]Laboratory Operation I[/b] (3 minutes, 40 seconds)
57. [b]Laboratory Operation II[/b] (17 minutes, 7 seconds)
58. [b]Laboratory Operation III[/b] (1 hour, 36 minutes, 46 seconds)
59. [b]Laboratory Operation IV[/b] (9 hours, 7 minutes, 32 seconds)
60. [b]Laboratory Operation V[/b] (2 days, 3 hours, 37 minutes, 22 seconds)
61. [b]Research I[/b] (3 minutes, 40 seconds)
62. [b]Research II[/b] (17 minutes, 7 seconds)
63. [b]Research III[/b] (1 hour, 36 minutes, 46 seconds)
64. [b]Research IV[/b] (9 hours, 7 minutes, 32 seconds)
65. [b]Research V[/b] (2 days, 3 hours, 37 minutes, 22 seconds)
66. [b]Research Project Management I[/b] (40 minutes, 15 seconds; 40,000,000 ISK)
67. [b]Research Project Management II[/b] (3 hours, 7 minutes, 28 seconds)
68. [b]Research Project Management III[/b] (17 hours, 40 minutes, 30 seconds)
69. [b]Research Project Management IV[/b] (8 days, 7 hours, 58 minutes, 20 seconds)
70. [b]Science V[/b] (4 days, 7 hours, 14 minutes, 44 seconds)
71. [b]Mechanic IV[/b] (18 hours, 15 minutes, 5 seconds)
72. [b]Mechanic V[/b] (4 days, 7 hours, 14 minutes, 44 seconds)
73. [b]Molecular Engineering I[/b] (36 minutes, 44 seconds; 10,000,000 ISK)
74. [b]Molecular Engineering II[/b] (2 hours, 51 minutes, 8 seconds)
75. [b]Molecular Engineering III[/b] (16 hours, 7 minutes, 54 seconds)
76. [b]Molecular Engineering IV[/b] (3 days, 19 hours, 15 minutes, 27 seconds)
77. [b]Electronics IV[/b] (18 hours, 15 minutes, 5 seconds)
78. [b]Electronics V[/b] (4 days, 7 hours, 14 minutes, 44 seconds)
79. [b]Electronic Engineering I[/b] (36 minutes, 44 seconds; 10,000,000 ISK)
80. [b]Electronic Engineering II[/b] (2 hours, 51 minutes, 8 seconds)
81. [b]Electronic Engineering III[/b] (16 hours, 7 minutes, 54 seconds)
82. [b]Electronic Engineering IV[/b] (3 days, 19 hours, 15 minutes, 27 seconds)

Total time: [b]48 days, 23 hours, 9 minutes, 45 seconds[/b]; Cost: [b]76,260,000(+implants & salvager Dessy)ISK[/b]
N.B. Skill costs are based on CCP's database and are indicative only