As technology has become more progressive in recent years, mobile phone potential is only growing. With the explosion of high-end processors and increased RAM, phones now offer power we’ve never seen before. Consequently, software makers and game developers caught on and started creating software and games for mobile.
The PC realm has had high-end, graphically intensive games for years and the library has only expanded. However, PC game developers could never grasp the general public due to how expensive PC gaming can be. That is, until today, with the boom of inexpensive yet powerful mobile phones and tablets. It’s no wonder EVE online’s game developers created EVE echoes — the mobile spin-off of their expansive PC game.
Introduction: EVE Online And EVE Echoes
If you’re reading this, you’re likely already a fan of EVE Online or have heard a bit about it. However, just in case you’re unaware, EVE Online is an MMO like no other. That’s because, unlike other MMOs, EVE Online has unconventional gameplay mechanics.
It’s a sandbox game where you can do nearly anything you want in its sci-fi space universe. This includes mining, becoming a space pirate, manufacturing goods, trading, exploring the depths of space, and fighting straight-up space battles. EVE Online is certainly for people with the heart of space explorers and sci-fi geeks alike.
On the other hand, EVE Echoes is a much more lean game with the bells and whistles stripped apart. However, don’t think that it’s a lesser game because CCP Games made sure it stayed true to EVE Online’s core. In fact, EVE Echoes tests the limits of mobile gaming entirely, creating a limitless world in the palm of your hands.
EVE Echoes keeps EVE Online’s core features such as its sandbox-like nature where you can do almost anything. As a player, you can choose whichever path you want to progress within EVE Echoes. Whether you become a trader, engage in PvP, or mine for resources — the choice is all up to you.
However, the current game still doesn’t bleed into the main PC game which is unfortunate for current EVE Online players. Although, according to NetEase and CCP Games, you should expect that update to come sometime in the future.
EVE Echoes Gameplay On Mobile Vs PC
Of course, EVE Echoes isn’t just a port of EVE Online that’s just on mobile. You won’t find the experience like you’re playing EVE Online on a mobile emulator. CCP Games and NetEase carefully crafted EVE Echoes to become its own game. Moreover, since it’s on a different platform compared to EVE Online, the developers reworked and rethought the gameplay. Consequently, some mechanics are entirely different within EVE Echoes.
Core Gameplay Stripped Down
Given that EVE Echoes was developed for mobile, it’s unsurprising that the gameplay is a little different. Mobile phones, while more powerful than ever before, still can’t keep up with full-fledged gaming PCs. Consequently, EVE Echoes is stripped down and much more simple than EVE Online.
While EVE Echoes is a bit different, it still retains the core elements of EVE Online. For example, you can still create your character from your race of choice. You can also place this character in the sandbox universe that is EVE Echoes, much like EVE Online. Moreover, you can undertake different activities that also exist in EVE Online. For instance, you can take up mining, manufacturing ships, become a pirate, or engage in battles.
Furthermore, much of EVE Online’s gameplay also stay the same, like how your ships need directions for them to move. You also still have to juggle between different menus and queue up skills you want to train in. However, you have to get used to playing with a touch-screen instead of a keyboard.
In that sense, the controls are different, but they’re more reworked to function on a mobile device. For example, EVE Echoes takes advantage of touch controls such as dragging your ship to orbit another with the precise distance based on how far you drag.
Reworking the game for mobile certainly made the developers think of how to simplify various actions. However, because of that, some users find that EVE Echoes is much easier to navigate and play than EVE Online.
As we said, some of the advanced features in EVE Online is missing in EVE Echoes. For example, specialized features like tracking another player’s traversal velocity aren’t present. Moreover, there’s no ammo of any kind for the guns in EVE Echoes, which makes it much simpler in combat. You don’t have to memorize and make mental notes of various ammo and what they do. Furthermore, EVE Echoes doesn’t have specialized ships and modules that exist in the PC game. However, it does make up for it by adding new ships and modules that serve those specialized purposes.
With that said, you might think EVE Echoes is even better than EVE Online. Unfortunately, missing features does have its downsides because you can’t always go without certain features. For instance, playing with a more economic-focused mindset isn’t as easy as EVE Online. You can sort different products based on price, but that’s pretty much it. It’s a bummer you can’t track other statistics like recent sale prices, average daily volume, and more, as compared to the PC version. Hence, becoming a trader might not be as fun of an experience.
You might think the difficulty ends there, but you’d (unfortunately) be wrong. More missing features just take away from the experience. For example, the star map doesn’t show enough information, forcing you to forego risk management when flying in dangerous areas. There’s also no wormhole space, hidden site scanning, and others. While these features might not be part of the core game, it’s not as fun for veteran EVE Online players. Maybe it could pass for newcomers, but veterans certainly won’t like the things it lacks.
EVE Online requires you to glue yourself to your desk even during times when nothing’s happening. Why? That’s because EVE Online has a lot of silent moments — especially when your character’s traveling from point A to B. However, when something does happen, the game requires your full attention. This can make playing EVE Online a bit difficult to multitask with.
On the other hand, CCP games turned EVE Echoes into something different. With EVE Echoes, you can put your character on autopilot as it travels to your destination. When it arrives, you’ll get a push notification so you can jump back in. That means you can switch between playing EVE Echoes, watching Youtube videos, and anything else you need your phone for.
New Faction: Yan-Jung
Of course, it wouldn’t be all that fun to play EVE Echoes if CCP Games didn’t add some spice. That’s why the Yan-Jung is a welcome addition to EVE’s existing factions. With it also comes the faction’s history, stories, and, of course, awesome ships. The Yan-Jung debuts as an ancient civilization and makes the universe feel more diverse and inclusive of different races.
EVE Online is incredibly overwhelming for new players which is why it deters many others from diving in. Thankfully, CCP Games has learned its lesson, because EVE Echoes comes with step-by-step tutorials. The game guides new players so that the learning curve isn’t as difficult to overcome. EVE Echoes’ tutorials will cater to new players and adjust according to the player’s character and career. Moreover, NetEase and CCP Games have taken steps to give players a goal so they know what to aim for. The universe is massive, which can be really confusing, so showing them goals and what they can do is a mega plus.
EVE Echoes Reception And Popularity
CCP and NetEase originally planned to release EVE Echoes back in 2019. However, with the onset of the Coronavirus, the launch was inevitably delayed. Thankfully, EVE Echoes pushed through and launched in August 2020 and is available to download and play online. However, launching a game with a reputable title isn’t always a sure-fire way to ensure success. While it can garner interest, it can’t guarantee popularity and sustainability, especially if it doesn’t perform well.
Fortunately for CCP and NetEase, EVE Echoes got some traction even before the game launched. In fact, they had to expand server capacity even while it was still in the beta version. NetEase and CCP launched the beta to fix user-found bugs in the system. However, they didn’t expect such high demand and the servers quickly crashed. They had to take two days off to get it up and running again.
From what we can see, EVE Echoes is certainly popular because of its reputation coming from EVE Online. However, since EVE Echoes is a new game with no accounts or progress syncing, it has to start from scratch. That means there’s not a large community that already exists — which is a big part of the EVE MMO experience. Consequently, many users have reported that the system is overrun by bots.
In fact, NetEase has already banned 150,000 accounts because of this infestation. It wouldn’t be surprising if that’s only scratching the surface of the number of bot accounts already plaguing the system. Fortunately, NetEase has responded quickly to these reports and they’re fast to release updates. However, it’ll certainly take time to build another community of EVE Online’s magnitude within EVE Echoes. Hence, only time will tell if it can maintain that popularity and remain a sustainable game.
EVE Echoes Price: At What Cost?
Like EVE Online, EVE Echoes is free to play and is available on the App Store and Google Play Store. However, being free-to-play doesn’t necessarily guarantee that there’s no money involved, especially since it’s a mobile game. In fact, mobile “free-to-play” games usually raise eyebrows considering mobile games are notorious for adopting free-to-play but pay-to-win models. Is it about in-game skills or about how much money you can spend?
According to NetEase and CCP, they strove to keep the game as free-to-play-friendly as possible. That means you should be able to win and progress even without succumbing to microtransactions. However, with in-app purchases of items and currency, it’s difficult to rule out that EVE Echoes avoids the pay-to-win model. Certain in-app purchases can cost up to $184.99 for those who can afford it. Those who can’t need to rely on grinding and a good understanding of the game to win.
Furthermore, EVE Echoes has subscription plans that users can opt for to get an advantage over others. Within EVE Echoes, you’ll find the Alpha and the Omega. Both the Alpha and Omega add ships and items to your arsenal. However, only Omega gives full access to the economy (among other things) while the Alpha is limited (and is free).
If you subscribe to the Omega plan, it gives you various perks such as adding skill points by the hour which helps competitive-minded players. Thus, the Omega is worth considering for people who want to dive deep into EVE Echoes. The Omega plan costs $4.99 for basic and $12.99 for standard.
Lastly, EVE Echoes has a one-off payment to earn hourly skill points if you don’t want the Omega subscription. You can pay a one-off $30 to permanently have an hourly skill point boost, which is more cost-efficient.
EVE Online has had a dedicated following for over 17 years now. With its mobile spin-off’s launch, the sandbox MMO has a chance of reaching even more players than it has now. Moreover, since it’s a simpler game, the learning curve is less steep for people who want to get into it. It’s certainly much less overwhelming to get into for casual gamers. Furthermore, the only requirement is a capable mobile phone. With how good mid-tier phones are getting, it’s certainly more plausible.
Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for all players. Not all EVE Online players will like the way the developers have simplified some things in EVE Echoes. That’s especially if you’re a long-time player who’s invested in the EVE Online universe. Nonetheless, it is great for players who want a casual sandbox MMO that they can play on-the-go. One might say that it’s even surprising to have squeezed in such a big game in such a small package.