Part of a series on
The Eve Client
What are Timecards?
Also known as Timecodes or ETC's (Electronic Time Codes), these are an alternative way of paying your EVE subscription (the main intended way being to set up a subscription). Once a code is obtained, it can be entered into the My Account section on the Eve-O site to instantly reactivate or extend an account.
See also: Pilot's License Extension.
Why use Timecards?
Stay in control
Timecards give a fixed length subscription (60 days). This means your game account will lapse and be inaccessible once the time on the most recently applied card has passed - if you want to take a break, being on timecards means that you do not need to remember to cancel or take any other action.
Timecards are originally brought from CCP themselves, or from other official sources such as Shattered Crystal. However for many people, the attraction of timecards is that it offers a way to play the game for 'free' - or more accurately, without paying real-world currency, by buying them from other players. See the separate article on the subject for information on how this works.
Also, since Shattered Crystal are based in the US and charge in US Dollars, overseas players can take advantage of currency exchange rates to get a discount. While this is not as good as it used to be before the timecard changes (see below), it could be worth throwing together some numbers to see if this works out better for you. Compare how much a 60 day timecard would cost in your local currency, versus two months of subscription in whichever currency CCP would be charging you. If they are very close, don't forget the other benefits timecards provide when making your choice.
Get a lump of in-game cash
You can sell a timecard bought from an official source for in-game currency to another player. This is completely legal and supported by CCP. See the Buying Timecards article for more details.
You might have noticed the carefully crafted links to Shattered Crystal on this page. This is not by accident. They run an affiliate program which means that when you buy a card using our link, we make a small amount on each purchase. These funds are channelled directly back into the swarm, to help pay for things such as the wiki you are reading now, and the other many tools provided to Goonfleet/Goonswarm members. This link and the one for creating new accounts are permanently listed at the top of each forum page too.
What types are available?
Previously cards were available in 30 day, 90 day and 100 day versions, but a recent (unpopular) change has removed this flexibility and any new cards purchased will be a standard 60 day length. Earlier versions of the timecards remain valid - indeed, many people stocked up when the change was announced and use these to continue their own accounts and/or sell to others. These will become increasingly rare and attract a premium when on sale (although be aware of people trying to overcharge, check if a 60day actually offers better value than the price they are demanding). The older codes with the varying lengths remain fully valid, so as long as you are using the secure system then there should be no problem buying/selling those too.
How do I use them?
- First, you need to obtain one (see the dedicated article for other purchase options including in-game isk)
- Log into the Account Management area on Eve-O
- Click the 'Subscription Details' link
- Click the link under your account status (e.g. Reactivate or Extend)
- Choose the Eve Time Code option
- Enter/paste the code in the box provided and click Next (don't worry if any trailing spaces get pasted in)
At this point the form will confirm if it was successful or not. Failed codes are extremely rare, I've never had any. Assuming it was successful, you can log into the game straight away.
Note To Newbees: Although you can use a timecard to skip out of paying CCP's "activation fee" at the end of the trial and save a few bucks, eating the cost nets the Swarm seven bucks cash (versus the much smaller amount from a 60 day timecard) - assuming you created your account from one of our referral links. After that first month though, switch to timecards for the benefits mentioned above.
What happens when the time expires?
You won't get an email or other external notification - see the screenshot above for where the date/time is shown (to get to this screen, use the steps in the section above it). Add it to your calendar or something, or use the ReminderFox extension for Firefox if that is easier. Accounts now expire at downtime instead of the time shown, so you have until downtime to take care of care of changing your skills and whatever else you have to do.
If you try to log into an expired account, you will simply get a dialog box advising that the account is expired.