GAMING | MOBILE GAMING

EVE Echoes: EVE Online is now on mobile, but is it worth playing?

If you want to play an ultra-realistic space simulator on your phone, you’d better be prepared to commit some time to it.

What is EVE Echoes?

EVE Echoes is a mobile game that was released on August 13, 2020. According to the official site, this new mobile game is, “an immersive sci-fi sandbox MMO on mobile”. In simpler terms, it’s EVE Online for your phone.

If you’re not familiar with EVE Online, it’s a space simulator MMO with a massive online community and a unique persistent world in which every player logs in and plays on the same server.

EVE Echoes has some notable improvements (and a few drawbacks) compared to EVE Online, but overall it’s a faithful port of the original PC game to mobile devices.

What is EVE Echoes trying to accomplish?

From what I can tell, EVE Echoes is trying very hard to appease the die-hard fans of EVE Online who wanted an authentic EVE experience on mobile devices. There’s a heavy focus on retaining as many features and gameplay elements as the original EVE Online.

EVE Echoes is not your typical mobile game in that there are no fast-paced “matches” or other game modes in which you only play for 1–5 minutes in total. Instead, it’s a fully-fledged space simulator in which anything you do requires warping (travelling) between planetary objects and stars.

How well does EVE Echoes execute on the vision?

I’d say that the game is an excellent execution of an EVE Online port to mobile. In fact, there are a few gameplay improvements that are so good that I think they should be replicated on EVE Online (see “Pros” below). However, it’s not perfect and there are a number of drawbacks.

Pros

  • Very faithful reproduction of EVE Online for mobile devices.
  • The graphics are great for a mobile game.
  • Travel times between solar objects are much quicker than the PC game.
  • Targeting and engaging enemies is much smoother than the PC game.
  • For any fans of EVE Online, it is as authentic of a space simulator experience as you could get on a mobile device.
  • The AI assistant is very helpful and would be a great addition to the PC version (there’s a sort of equivalent on PC, but not quite as user-friendly).
  • The controls are excellent.
  • Updates are frequent, and I’ve experienced no game-crashing bugs.

Cons

  • The game isn’t very fun if you’re only playing for a few minutes at a time.
  • I would guess that the game requires a time investment greater than most mobile gamers are willing to allot for a single play session.
  • You can’t log off (i.e. get distracted by the real world) while flying around in empty space without potential consequences.
  • There are no game modes for quick PVP battles. There are no game modes whatsoever aside from the open-world sandbox. I feel like this would make the game significantly more mobile-friendly.
  • The game’s tutorial is clunky and overwhelming.
  • You have to “complete news missions” (randomized objectives) to unlock story content.
  • EVE Online is a bit of a spreadsheet game, especially for the market. EVE Echoes doesn’t support that very well, which is a weakness considering how closely it clones the PC game.
  • I feel like the game as a whole doesn’t have what it takes to draw in a new audience (i.e. individuals who aren’t already fans of the EVE universe).

Is it worth playing?

I think the game is worth checking out. It might be for you, or it might not. I know that I’ve had a fun experience with the game, but I very rarely have enough time to sit down and play it for the length of time that would be required for me to get the full experience.

TL;DR

  • If you can’t get enough of EVE Online, having EVE Echoes on your phone will certainly give you the fix you’re looking for while you’re waiting in line at the DMV.
  • If you’re a massive space nerd, I recommend checking out both EVE Echoes and EVE Online.
  • If you’re a casual gamer, I wouldn’t recommend EVE Echoes.
  • If you have a decent gaming PC, I recommend playing EVE Online instead.

Data wrangler, musician, and gamer. Writer for Towards Data Science, The Startup, and Digital Diplomacy.

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