Basic Star Trek Online Guide
The Hail Starfleet button sits in the cluster of buttons underneath your map. It shows you who in Starfleet currently has missions or intel to assign you. You also use this button to turn in missions after completing them.
A good practice after completing each mission:
- Hail Starfleet and turn in your mission and check for any additional missions from your contacts. You’ll see an icon indicating if a mission is available.
- Every time you move up a grade (i.e. level) within your rank, Hail Starfleet and check for the new missions available at that grade.
- Every time you move up a rank, Hail Starfleet and check.
And with regard to running missions – every time you complete a mission, defeat a particularly difficult opponent, or happen to be in the right place at the right time, you can receive a number of different types of rewards. They are:
Skills and Leveling
- Skill Points – used to level your character
- Bridge Officer Skill Points – to level your Bridge Officers
- Starfleet Merit Points – used to acquire new Bridge Officers and Starships as well as for promoting Bridge Officers
- Loot – captured starships and officers, ship equipment, et cetera
There are 6 ranks in the game:
- Ensign (EN)
- Lieutenant (LT)
- Lieutenant Commander (LT CMDR)
- Commander (CMDR)
- Captain (CPT)
- Admiral (ADM)
For each rank above ensign, there are 10 grades. So a couple hours into the game, you might be a Lieutenant 4, while a few months down the road you could be a captain 10. Where you are along this continuum is determined by how many skill points you have earned and spent.
The skills you can train are located on your character information display on the Skills tab. Each skill has 10 ranks (0-9), with each rank costing 100 Skill Points (so a fully-leveled skill costs 900 points).
These skills will fall into one of two main categories: Space and Ground. The skills you train do not typically translate into new powers or abilities. Instead, your character’s trained skills increase the effectiveness of your equipment, powers and Bridge Officers.
When attempting to level quickly, remember that mission rewards that yield the largest amount of skill points for the least amount of time invested are the quickest way to level. We’ll get into the details later, but the basic rank (fastest to slowest leveling) is as follows:
- Secure the Sector (repeatable)
- Fleet Actions
- Exploration (repeatable)
The rankings here tend to vary quite a bit depending on your level and the availability of allies/opponents. If you don’t mind a grind, the repeatable missions are well worth it for the ratio of Skill Points to time invested.
Bridge Officers and Powers
You will rely more on your Bridge Officers than anything else in STO. Your choice of Bridge Officers (Tactical, Science, Engineering) is up to you.
Each Bridge Officer has two sets (space and ground) of four Powers which correspond to their rank. They can be ranked Ensign, Lieutenant, Lt. Commander, Commander.
Each Power has nine levels (1-9) and each level costs 50 Bridge Officer Skill Points. In order to promote your Bridge Officer to the next level to access better powers, you must not only be promoted yourself (you must be Lt. Commander to promote an Ensign Bridge Officer to Lieutenant), but must have also spent the requisite number of Bridge Officer Skill Points and have enough Starfleet Merits available.
Your first three Bridge Officers are most easily aquired through missions. The downside to this method is that you don’t get to pick your BOff power sets — you have to take what you are given. You can also buy your Bridge Officers from the vendor at Sol, however you’ll be spending 100 Merits per Bridge Officer.
You can have more Bridge Officers than you have space on your bridge. Consider purchasing some extra Bridge Officers and specializing their equipment for specific tasks like ground combat.
Throughout the game, you will pick up a ton of equipment from missions, loot drops, research, and the exchange. This equipment will fit into one of the following categories:
- Single Beam
- Dual Beam
- Torpedo Launcher
- Mine Launcher
- Impulse Engine
- Bridge Terminal (Tactical, Engineering, or Science)
- Heavy Weapon
- Personal Shields
- Kit (Tactical, Engineering, or Science)
- Shield Batteries
Note that there are many different varieties within each of these categories, each with their strengths and weaknesses.
Many pieces of equipment (like phasers or shields) come with a roman number after them indicating their power level. These correspond with ranks as follows:
- Lieutenant: I and II
- Lieutenant Commander: III and IV
- Commander: V and VI
- Captain: VII and VIII
- Admiral: IX and X
So a Lieutenant may be able to loot a Resilient Shield Mk. III, but he won’t be able to use it until he is a Lt. Commander.
There are three quality tiers for equipment in STO. They follow the standard MMO trope of color-coding:
- White (Common)
- Green (Uncommon)
- Blue (Rare)
The higher the quality tier of an item, the more powerful is is compared to items of a similar level.
Remember that the stats for a piece of equipment in your inventory are the stats prior to modification by your own skills. So, for example, a character with skill points in shield-related skills can significantly increase the amount of damage a shield will absorb.
Items and equipment you do not want to keep should be put in the Replicator and traded for Energy Credits.