Friday, December 14, 2012

Boosters Part 2: The Secrets of the Drug Cartels

This is the second part of my Eve Tribune article from 2008. First part is here.

Last week we talked about what Boosters were and how to use them. This week we report on the processes used to make them.

The basic process can be described as thus: you harvest special gas clouds for materials that, when combined with certain commodities, can be used to create pure versions of the boosters (which are not consumable). These uncut boosters are then cut with the mineral megacyte to produce the street versions of the drugs, the consumable combat boosters used by pod pilots.

Of course, that doesn’t really tell you much. It’s the details that are really important in this process so let’s get serious.

Gas Cloud Harvesting
You can’t just try and harvest any gas cloud which is unfortunate because there *LOTS* of annoying gas clouds in missions. No, the gas clouds you are looking for are hidden in Null and Low Sec constellations that you find through exploration.

Gas clouds are found in Ladar exploration sites in specific constellations in Eve, for example the Pegasus constellation in the Fountain region. Note that the 0.0 gas cloud sites differed from the low sec gas cloud sites in the type of clouds, and that the low sec clouds are the ones used in the manufacturing of the legal Synth boosters while the illegal Standard, Improved, and Strong versions depend on clouds found in 0.0.

Once you have located a gas cloud exploration site, you need a ship equipped with a Gas Cloud Harvester I in order to extract the gas and the module needs the Gas Cloud Harvesting skill in order to operate it; in fact each level of the skill allows for the use of one gas cloud harvester. The module and skill books can be found in the same sites as the gas clouds themselves, although many of both are now available on the market in decent volumes.

There are no skills to increase yield but there are three hardwiring implants called Eifyr and Co. ‘Alchemist’ ZA-0, ZA-1, and ZA-2 which gives a 1%, 3%, and 5% reduction in cycle time respectively.

There are two strains of gas clouds. Mykoserocin which is found in low sec and used in Synth booster production, and Cytoserocin which is found in null sec and used in Standard, Improved, and Strong boosters. In addition, each strain comes in 8 different types and each one is used in a different booster type. The next section has Table 1 which shows the exact relationships.

Once you have the gas clouds harvested, you need to transform them into the Pure boosters. To do this you need a POS with a Medium Biochemical Reactor for Synth and Standard booster production, a Biochemical Reactor for Improved and Strong booster production. Note that these reactors cannot be anchored in high sec.

You also need silos for the input materials such as the extracted gas, trade commodities, and pure boosters (for Improved and Strong boosters, more on this later) and silos for the outputted pure booster and any left over trade commodities, and of course all has to be linked properly to the reactor with the Reaction inside. Once properly setup the reaction runs every hour.

The actual Reactions can be found in Radar sites in the gas cloud constellations (more exploration yay!) and in contracts or on market anywhere.

Figure 1 – A Synth Blue Pill Booster Reaction

As you can see in Figure 1, the end result of the reaction is the Pure booster which is too strong to be ingested by pilots. You can either take this output and dilute it to combat booster strength, or you can take Pure Standard and Pure Improved booster materials to create Pure Improved and Pure Strong booster materials. See Table 1 for the full details.

Table 1 – The booster reactions.

You will notice after looking at Table 1 that the Improved and Strong boosters not only need Pure Standard and Improved boosters as an input, but also Pure Standard and Improved boosters of other drug types. This means that major drug manufacturing operations need to be very large producing several types of Pure boosters to manufacture the high end versions.

Drug Manufacturing
As mentioned, the Pure boosters can’t be used by pod pilots. Instead they have to be processed into a less pure combat booster.

To do this you need Drug Lab POS structure and a Booster BPC which can be obtained from the Loyalty Point stores of the various pirate factions in the case of Synth boosters, or exploration sites in the case of the Standard/Improved/Strong boosters. As well you will need the Drug Manufacturing skill which can be found in Radar sites much like the Gas Cloud Harvesting skillbook.

The Drug Lab has to be anchored in 0.0 or low sec like the Biochemical Reactors and it has one Drug Manufacturing slot in it. Like an assembly array or mobile lab, you put the materials in the Drug Lab and start the job. See Table 2 for details.

Table 2 – Turning Pure boosters into usable Combat Boosters

Once the drug manufacturing process is complete, you have your combat boosters ready to use or to smuggle to market.

It is not an easy process and involves a lot of resources, specialized equipment, and plenty of patience, but a large operation with pilots running scan probes and bringing the found resources to the reactors and labs can be profitable.


Aislinn Phalanx, Black Shamrock Pharmaceuticals. In Game Website:
Eve Wiki Combat Booster Manufacturing

Various Threads and Posts on the Eve Forums


  1. Anonymous9:38 am

    Good to know a bit more about the business of Boosters. That business had always intrigued me!

  2. Just want to toss out that there is a least a small chance of finding cytoserocin clouds in low sec. A couple weeks ago I'd found a Lime Cyto site in a 0.4 system in Derelik. Was a great day, 500 units at 250k/each at the time =D