Low Budget Salvaging

Before you start reading:
This (short) guide was written with the assumption that an MTU (Mobile Tractor Unit) was set and bookmarked in the site to pull all wrecks together at one spot. So no Tractor Beams in the fittings.

Choosing a ship

At first you need to fit a ship for the task. Most people use a destroyer such as the Algos. It has the advantage of 6 high slots for salvage modules and the drone bay as well as the bandwidth to use the maximum of 5 Salvage Drones. Also it makes your drones 25% faster, which is nice. (I use it mostly because of the awesome looks.)
The even cheaper hull is the Magnate. The reason this ship really shines at salvaging is the 5% Bonus per skill level on the duration of salvage modules – that’s 25% on Amarr Frigate Level V. It reduces the cycle time of your 3 Salvagers from 10 down to 7,5 seconds. And you can also launch up to 3 Salvage Drones. These advantages in puncto salvaging apply also to the Heron, Probe an Imicus – but what makes the Magnate stand apart are 4 low slots. That means even more cargo (than any Destroyer) and less warping around.

That’s how a dedicated salvage fit could look like:

Algos* Magnate
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II5MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Small Compact Pb-Acid Cap Battery
Small Compact Pb-Acid Cap BatterySalvager I
Salvager I
Salvager I
Salvager I
Salvager I
Salvager I

Small Salvage Tackle I
Small Salvage Tackle I
Small Salvage Tackle I

Salvage Drone I x5

Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II5MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Drone Navigation Computer I
Small Compact Pb-Acid Cap BatterySalvager I
Salvager I
Salvager I

Small Salvage Tackle I
Small Salvage Tackle I
Small Salvage Tackle I

Salvage Drone I x3

*In concern of cargo capacity the Catalyst is actually the better choice, but can’t use drones. The Dragoon has also slightly more cargo capacity than the Algos, can use drones but just loose out at all the style points, imo.

Despite salvaged stuff usually is not very big in m³, you want a big cargo hold. It’s not required just for salvaging – but if the MTU on which you’re hanging out is your own, there will be the loot from the wrecks in there. And that can be quite a bit of volume. It’s not worth a shit load of ISK, but it adds up over time. Also, the MTU, which you normally want to pick up, has it’s own 100 m³.

Now if you can’t fly Gallente or Amarr, despair not!
I have made basic fittings for all Destroyers and Frigates from all four races.

Debris in Space5
There is actually a Machariel in this picture.

Chewing with chance

(No, not that guy from Wingspan.)

Keep in mind that a Salvager I module has a greater base chance for successful salvaging something form a wreck than a Salvage Drone I! That’s why you in general want to salvage by hand with the module instead of just tell your drones to do their thing.


  • Drones: 3% base chance to salvage successfully (Note that rigs don’t affect drones!)
  • Salvager I: 5% base chance to salvage successfully
  • Salvager II: 7% base chance for a successful salvage – best module to do the job, but also needs Salvaging skill at level V. If you salvage sleepers, that might be worth it.

These chances can be improved by rigs and skills:

These chances only dictate on how much cycles you have to do until you successfully have salvage a wreck. But it doesn’t change the quality of loot you get.

A good read for all the details about salvaging can be found at eve.uniwiki.org. If you wan’t to know why you weren’t able to salvage something, read this.

Assigning your minions

There are basically three ways to tell your group of Salvage Drones what to do. How you do it effects they way they do it and their effectiveness.

  1. You launch the drones with no target locked and an give the command to start salvaging.
    Your little yellow minions will start to look closely on every wreck they can find within your drone control range. But your little helpers aren’t as smart as your ship computer. They will most likely look all at the same wreck at the same time, double and triplecheck a wreck but still miss something.
    Their base chance is just not as high as the one you get with ship modules.It is still good method if you don’t like salvaging, since you can go AFK during the drones do their thing.
  2. Launch drones, lock up wrecks and assign single drones to every wreck. While the drone is handling the task, you can unlock the wreck, lockup another and salvage it with another drone or module. Usually this involves a lot clicking but is also very effective.
    The drone will idle around when it has finished the task, which can be seen in the drone control window.
    Note that the drone will need to return to you and deliver the remains of a successful salvaged wreck to your ship first, before you can reassign a wreck to the drone. Otherwise it will just drop the loot somewhere in space, never to be found, before moving on the next wreck.
    This method works also, if you fly a ship with no salvage modules fitted. It’s theoretically the most effective way to do it – but also a hell of micro-management. If you fly a destroyer with more than 4 Salvagers fitted, you can’t lock as quick as you run out of wrecks and assigning drones and modules to them.
  3. Assign your drone swarm with nothing locked up. They will go for the closest wreck. Meanwhile lock up the farthest wrecks (within 5 km) and start salvaging yourself. This way you avoid that drones and you salvage the same wreck until the job is done.
    This is the method I use most of the time.
Salvaging with the Algos; All modules up and running – Klick here for full size.

Useful short keys

  • F1 – F8 = activate fitted salvagers
  • F = “Attack target!”-command for all drones in space. For Salvage Drones it’s like “Salvage this!” (Works not on living things, sorry to disappoint you.)
  • Shift +  R = Call drones back to drone bay
  • Ctrl + Leftclick  = Lock target
  • Shift + Ctrl + Leftclick  = Unlock target
  • Shift + Lefclick in Space, hold + Drag square over targets  = Locks multiple objects at once (you might end up locking stuff up you didn’t intend to)
  • Alt + Arrow Kewy = Navigate between your locked targets

That’s it

Well, that’s basically it. You lock up thinks, hit an f-button on your keyboard or klick it and after a while, roasted things end up in your cargo.

Or you do it like this smart fellow mainly using your keyboard:


It  may not be the most profitable way to earn ISK, but it surely is a way. Personally I enjoy doing it, because it’s just something different than ratting.

Oh, and keep in mind that wrecks only stick around for about an hour. Then BOB comes by, picks them up and brings them to his heavenly junkyard, where they are chasing happily after each other and having lots of fun. But for you, they are gone forever.

Fly safe. o7

If you found this a useful guide or any typos/mistakes, please let me know in the comments!


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