The Federation Cruiser is a Lieutenant Commander (Tier 2) level Cruiser, and is acquired as a free ship from Admiral Quinn upon reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander. This vessel is the first Cruiser possible through normal player progression, and introduces cruiser-style gameplay strategies to new Federation players.
The Cruiser utilizes the standard "saucer, engineering hull, and nacelle" configuration utilized in the design of most Starfleet vessels. Its most iconic variant, the Constitution-class refit, is often used by players familiar with the Star Trek universe.
 Excalibur classStarfleet as a vessel used to resupply planets, space stations, and other starships. The power systems make it possible to run industrial replicators indefinitely, making this class the ideal choice for evacuation and mercy missions.
 Vesper class
The Vesper-type variant is partly reminiscent of the Excelsior-class ship design. However, the general layout reflects that of the more traditional Cruiser. The saucer, unlike the Excalibur-type, is completely round.
This type of ship is most prominently seen in advertisements, and at one point as the main website background, of Star Trek Online.
 Constitution class (refit)
In the late 2260s to early 2270s, the Constitution class underwent its final major refit program. The refitting process took eighteen months of work, and essentially a new vessel was built onto the structure, replacing virtually every major system and component. Thus, the Constitution-class continued in service for a further twenty years.
Essential upgrades were made to the Constitution-class' critical systems, some of which would be reflected on in Starfleet designs in the 25th century.
The original cylindrical warp nacelles were replaced with enhanced, angular ones, and the warp nacelle struts were of a slanted design. The engineering hull roughly retained its original shape, with the addition of two torpedo bays inset at the base of the "neck", above the main deflector, and forward tractor emitters located fore and ventral. The main deflector dish was upgraded, removing the "satellite dish" design and replacing it with an efficient design, reflected in most Starfleet vessels to this day. Also, the phaser bank system was refitted and the tactical systems upgraded.
As for interior systems, the most prominent upgrades and changes were done to power generation, main bridge, and crew faculties. The shuttle deck and landing bay were enlarged to accomodate more craft. The main M/ARA warp reactor was replaced with a vertical unit. Main Engineering was moved from behind the sublight engines to the secondary hull, alongside the warp core. The main bridge was designed to be "plugged in", and Constitution-class vessels' bridges often varied due to mission profiles and requirements. Finally, the main crew facilities were heavily modified; a "rec deck" was added, and the size of the corridors and crew quarters were shrunk and reallocated to other priorities. With all of these changes, the Constitution-class still remained a formidable presence in any sector until the advent and mass-production of the much larger and superior Excelsior-class.
Cruisers are larger than the other ships at this tier. They also have a much stronger hull than the Tier 2 Escort and Science vessels and only Cruisers can hold two Engineering Bridge Officers. They have a balanced weapon system, neither aft or fore being more favored. This is beneficial for the ship given its sub-par turn rates.
For new players: The Federation Cruiser is a suitable introduction into the cruiser style of gameplay, also referred to as "tanking". At higher levels, the differences between cruiser, escort, and science vessel become much larger and distinguished. At this level, however, this ship performs similar to its science vessel equivalent, in terms of defenses and offensive abilities (disregarding Science Vessel subsystem targeting).
Due to this vessel's balanced weapons slots (two forward, two rear), new players are introduced to "broadsiding" - equipping at least one beam in fore and one in aft, and using the overlapping characteristic of Beam Arrays to deal the most damage from the sides, similar to a naval battleship. The above average hull allows some survivability over the other two classes' hulls, and introduces hull repair and management techniques during the Lieutenant Commander-level missions.
The Bridge Officer seating allows the player to seat a Lieutenant-level engineering bridge officer (can use two abilities), in addition to an Ensign engineering bridge officer (can use only one ability), enhancing the Cruiser's abilities to recover from hull or shield damage quickly, or divert power into its subsystems. At the level of Lieutenant Commander, this flexibility allows the player to learn new tactics themselves, as well as the possibilities of combinations of different, varying Engineering bridge officer abilities.
In short, in terms of learning how to "tank" in Star Trek Online, this vessel suits the needs well. It is recommended for players interested in learning the cruiser-style gameplay.
 Comparison with Refit Variant
|Regular Variant||Refit Variant|
|Universal Console||Ionized Gas Sensor|
 Standard Configuration
Federation starships come with standard equipment and weapons of the lowest mark available at the ship's minimum rank. The items provided are appropriate to the type of vessel and its related playing style.
|Klingon Empire: (Complete & Detailed List)|
|Toron Shuttle • DujHod Chariot • To'Duj Fighter • Rozhenko Timeship|
|Destroyers||Support Vessels||Flight-Deck Cruisers and Carriers|
|• B'rel - Refit|
|• QulDun - Refit||• Somraw||• K'Tanco|
|• Norgh - Refit||• Qorgh - Refit|| • K't'inga - Refit
|• Vandal||• Phalanx||• Dacoit Cruiser|
|• Ki'tang - Refit||• Pach - Refit||• Vor'cha - Refit||• Scourge||• Draguas||• Corsair Cruiser|
|• Hegh'ta||• Qin - Mirror|| • Negh'Var
• Vor'cha Retrofit - Mirror
• Kamarag Retrofit
|• Varanus|| • Marauder Cruiser|
• Vo'quv Carrier - Mirror
|• B'rel Retrofit||• Peghqu'|| • Bortasqu' Cruiser:
Command - Tactical - War
| • Guramba
|• Korath||• Kar'Fi Carrier|
| • Fleet Norgh
• Hoh'SuS - Fleet
• B'rel Fleet
| • Fleet Qin
• Somraw - Fleet
| • K't'inga - Fleet
• Fleet Tor'Kaht
• Fleet Kamarag
• Fleet Negh'Var
|• Scourge - Fleet||• Varanus Fleet|| • Corsair - Fleet|
• Fleet Vo'quv Carrier
|Romulan Republic: (Complete & Detailed List)|
|Tiercel Shuttle • Kestrel Runabout • Scorpion Fighter|
|Warbirds||• T'liss - Refit||• Dhelan - Refit||• Mogai - Refit||• D'deridex - Refit|| • Ha'apax - Mirror
• Ha'nom - Mirror
• Ha'feh - Mirror
| • T'varo Retrofit
• Dhelan Retrofit
• Mogai Retrofit
• D'deridex Retrofit
| • Fleet T'varo|
• Fleet Dhelan
• Fleet Mogai
• Fleet D'deridex
• Fleet Ha'apax
• Fleet Ha'nom
• Fleet Ha'feh