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EVE Online is a game that seemingly needs alt accounts to play fully. However, I do not want to actually use alt accounts, as I'm just happy with my own main account.

If I choose to continue not having an alternate account, what game features and progresses will become unavailable to me? In other words, what experiences (and experience opportunities) will I lose without having an alt?

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    I don't understand the downvotes on this question. This is quite pertinent to casual players. – Ellesedil Nov 23 '16 at 18:21
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While many features are designed to scale with more characters, and thus are strongly recommended by alts, there really is only one thing that is considered a need for an alt: Capital ships.

Capital ships do not have a normal navigation system, while they can now use Stargates, doing that by yourself is very risky. Additionally many alliances in Nullsec do have Cyno beacons you can jump to freely, however they can still be trapped, or otherwise require a second character to scout.

To realistically be a capital pilot in any measure you require two accounts, one to be your cyno, and one to be the capital pilot. The nice thing is the cyno alt doesn't have to be active in anyway beyond lighting your cynos for personal movements, as many combat maneuvers will be done in a group, where a cyno will be provided. All that said having any capital ship without a cyno alt is basically asking to die eventually.

Other tasks that are generally considered to require an alt:

  • Hauling values > 1 billion generally should have a scout, and unless you have a real life buddy that you trust explicitly, this should also be you.
  • Any other tasks that require a scout such as lowsec or null hauling
  • Any tasks in which scaling is an issue, this includes high end PI and Industry, and could arguably include mining

On the other hand, with the combat boosting changes coming in November, the playing field between alt assisted players and truly solo players is going to be significantly improved. So there is that.

As the other answer has said, technically most of this can be done by friends and other players, but EVE is about trust. And you never know what is on the other end of the jump unless you have eyes on it yourself.

Edit: Update - The changes to boosting did encourage solo gameplay. Also, the addition of solo content such as the Abyss has vastly increased solo play activities.

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From personal experience - You will not be limited in any way by not using Alts. I have been playing since 2011 and have never had a need for an Alt. Playing with friends or becoming a member of a good corporation can make up for the skill trees that you are not exploring that others would have an alternate account for.

Long story short - No experiences / Progresses / Features will be unavailable to you because you do not have an Alt. It may help if you are a strictly Solo player, but otherwise, join with people and play Eve together its more fun that way :) I hope this helps!

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