Buying Timecards

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Part of a series on
Basic Guides to EVE


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Using Real Money

If you don't have the time/inclination to spend hours making Internet Spacebucks in-game, just pay for your account(s) using real money and get right into the game.

Shattered Crystal

Use Shattered Crystal (specifically, use that link). We get a small kickback, and it helps to fund our infrastructure.

Umm, why does this guy want to call me?

The guy who runs Shattered Crystal is very thorough. He's a nice enough guy - don't try to screw with him. When you place your first order, soon after you'll get a phone call from him or one of his staff (sometimes within minutes of placing the order). He'll ask you some questions about where you live, how you'll be paying, etc. He's not coming to rape you in your sleep, he's trying to protect his bottom line by verifying you're not a scammer with a stolen credit card. Answer truthfully (he already knows the answers to the questions he's asking), and your sale will go through. Don't be like Smitz, who somehow managed to think it would be a good idea to impersonate his wife over the phone. Now he's banned. If you're more intelligent (or better at fake female voices) than Smitz, then there should be no problem. Additionally, once you've been authorized, within 30 days the system will normally create you an account so you can buy in bulk.

Additionally, if you are attempting to buy from a different IP range than you normally would (at a net cafe, or a friend's place) then there might be a few minutes delay because the transaction is manually approved. I've never had a repeat phone call.

Additional SC info

Also, if for some reason you don't get your code(s) within an hour, your email might've been filtered out by a junk filter or lost in transit. Use this page to automatically resend every code you've ever bought from the store (complete with timestamps). That's a handy little link to bookmark as well.

Other official vendors

If you did a :smitz: and failed the SC security check, CCP provides a list of other vendors here. Please use Shattered Crystal if at all possible though. Don't use any timecode vendors that do not appear on the official list.

From other players

This used to be a roaring trade, however the new secure transfer system has rendered it pretty obsolete. Be very suspicious of people attempt to sell you codes for real-money - you will get no protection from CCP and will quite probably get scammed (the exception being someone you know well, who might have stocked up but is now quitting and will no longer use them).

Boxed version of EVE Online

Recently, CCP made available in stores a boxed version of EVE Online. It includes a 60 day timecard.

Using In-game Currency

CCP fully supports both buying and selling timecards for in-game currency and this is a major plus point for many people.


Using the money you have earned in-game, you can buy game time that you would normally have to pay for using your hard earned real money. You can only buy time in this way from other players, there is no mechanism for buying for isk direct from CCP, however the process is fully supported by CCP and they have provided a tool to ensure you don't get scammed. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS USE THE SECURE METHOD (see below).

Bear in mind though, that making isk in Eve is the biggest grind of them all unless you are one of those types who can put in a lot of time or operate a shrewd in-game business. Be aware of how much time it is costing you to make the isk required, vs how much you can afford to just buy the damn timecard and avoid all that mining/ratting (unless you enjoy it, YMMV).

Find a seller

There are three main places you can find people selling timecards:

  • Our very own Timecard Bazaar. Support your fellow goons by checking here first (still use the secure method though)
  • Eve-O's equivalent forum section Timecode Bazaar
  • In-game channels (trade-other or Jita local)

Work out a price

Most people list the price in the thread title. At the time of writing (January 16/2010), expect to pay around 540 million isk for 60 days of game time. Threads titled WTS (want to sell) are what you're after. Demand will fluctuate price, but it normally stays pretty settled. In the event that no one has a WTS thread up, you can put up your own WTB (want to buy) thread with a reasonable price in the title.

State your intent to buy

Reply to the thread clearly stating the name of the character that has the required isk in his wallet. If that character is on a lapsed account, you can still send it isk in the normal way from a character on an active account. If the isk is on another character on the same lapsed account, simply have the seller send the invite to that other character instead - it's per account, not per character.

Make the trade

Once the seller has confirmed he sent the trade, log into your Account Management screen, and you should see an option under Common Tasks that allows you to accept the trade. Follow the steps, and you'll be sorted. Bear in mind that you'll never see the code itself, and it will apply immediately to your account (appended onto the end of any current game time) - you can't defer it until later. You will not be able to accept the code if you don't have the available funds, after 48 hours without being accepted it will return to the seller unused.


Yes, you too can be the guy on the other end of this deal. You have a timecard that you bought for money, you want in-game isk. This is a completely legal way to 'buy' in-game currency. It is the ONLY legal way to do so.

Do not EVER be tempted to buy isk from chinese (or any third-party) sellers, YOU WILL GET FUCKED OVER, LOSE THE ISK, AND RISK YOUR ACCOUNT/CHARACTER. Diasho lost their titan due to alleged involvement with isk sellers, don't be like them.

Find a buyer

Exactly the same process as buying, same places linked above but with roles reversed. If selling, you can get your sale faster by making it easier for the seller. Let him know when to expect the secure trade offer. If you post a thread and then go masturbate for eight hours, don't be surprised if the person with a lapsed account buys it from the guy with a thread stating "I'll be online for the next couple of hours, post here and I'll put the trade up a few minutes later".

Make the secure trade offer

Log into your Account Management screen, and you should see an option under Account Services that allows you to make the offer. Follow the steps for a quick smooth transaction. There is a FAQ which covers the main points, and there is little advantage duplicating the information contained there into this article so you should go read it.

Timecard Trading

Back before the secure tool, timecard sales were done using Eve-mails containing the code itself and manually sent isk. Timecard sales were still protected, and scamming for timecards was still banned (unlike most other types of scams in Eve). People quickly cottoned onto the fact that you could buy codes in bulk at a fairly cheap price from individuals selling, then sell them on to large alliances or other individuals at a higher price. This netted some people a lot of isk, and also a nice bit of extremely funny drama on more than one occasion. In fact, Goonswarm was partially supported at an alliance level using this method in some of our harder times.

Nowadays this is dead as an isk making method, since the secure system is the only supported method and the other player never sees the code.

Further Links To Help Goonswarm

Shattered Crystal is a trusted and reliable source for buying Eve game time, however they support more than just our little corner of the gaming world. There are a wide range of games you can purchase time for as well as get new accounts and even for some games, purchase in-game currency, items and services (such as xbox Live). If you or somebody you know currently plays any of the games listed below, consider switching to time codes to play. The code price is generally the same, sometimes even lower, than paying by normal subscription methods and a small portion of each sale goes to GoonFleet to help maintain the servers and services that we provide.

We would encourage you to pass these links to others outside of Goonswarm. Using these links does not cost the buyer any extra money whatsoever, but it helps us so everyone's a winner.