EVE Evolved: Trade hubs of New Eden - Caldari and Minmatar

A natural consequence of EVE Online's sandbox style market system is that eventually the players will form trade hubs around the most heavily used areas. Before the four empires began gearing up for war, the main trade hub of New Eden was in Yulai, the CONCORD headquarters system with super-highway stargates into the heart of each empire's space. When the super-highways were dismantled, Yulai became more difficult to get to and its popularity as a trade hub dissolved. It was eventually superceded by Jita, a Caldari system in The Forge region. But while Jita is EVE's biggest and most notable trade hub, it's not the only one by a long shot. Smaller hubs have always tended to erupt around centres of population and activity such as popular mission-running systems or the borders of warzones. Understandably, it's traders who reap the largest benefit from knowing all the best trade hubs. Trading in multiple regions can reduce the risk of competition and increase the volume of their sales.

In this two-part series, I look at some of EVE's biggest trade hubs, what can be found there and how to use them to your advantage as a trader. In today's first part I look at a few of the biggest Caldari and Minmatar trade hubs.

Jita IV - Moon 4 - Caldari Navy Assembly Plant:
At some time or another, we've all been to EVE's biggest trade hub in Jita. Some pilots spend their entire time within a few short jumps of the system because the ability to get anything you want as quickly as possible is very useful. The Jita market is the superstore of EVE, with everything from minerals and modules to datacores, ancient relics and rare faction items. Jita is a one-stop-shop for anything you need and usually has the best prices in EVE. It's also almost the only place to get some of the rarer items in EVE as the Jita contracts pages are considered the standard place to list rare faction, officer and deadspace equipment. If what you're looking for exists, it's probably for sale in Jita.

With typically over a thousand people in the system on busy afternoons, Jita is no stranger to lag. Nevertheless, it's still the best place to go when you want to kit out a new ship. For traders, the severe competition on popular items can make Jita a very hostile environment and the markets are prone to the occasional deliberate manipulation. Margin trading here is a risky game and selling any kind of volume on a popular product involves watching your market orders like a hawk. If you're willing to put up with competition and put in that effort, however, no other trade hub will match the sales volume you can achieve in Jita.

Motsu VII - Moon 6 - Caldari Navy Logistic Support:
Even though Motsu is only 6 jumps from Jita, it persists as a trade hub due to its popularity as a mission-running destination. The presence of a level 4 quality 18 "Command" agent that gives out mostly kill missions makes Motsu an ideal mission hub. The system is home to several hundred pilots and is a big source of Caldari Navy Invulnerability Fields and Navy Issue Ravens due to the navy loyalty point store. The market is stocked with all the typical mission-running ships, equipment and ammo with most of the supply being Caldari goods.

Supply of items that aren't part of a typical mission-running setup is sparse and some ships that don't make good mission-runners are not present on the market due to a lack of demand here. Building a Tech 3 ship here can cost a lot more than in Jita and sales of subsystems are slow. Traders will find listing a small portion of their stock on the Motsu markets will produce a few sales with higher than average profit margins and market orders can often be left unadjusted for days or weeks at a time due to a relative lack of market competition. Your main point of sale, however, should still be Jita.

Read on to page 2 where I look at the two biggest Minmatar trade hubs.

This article was originally published on Massively.