- This page needs updating! New skill point system, new levels of ranks (-1), new trainable powers, etc.
Welcome to the beginners' Basics Guide, the first of many guides for players of Star Trek Online. This guide shall serve as a launching pad for all players who are new to the game or just want to know more about the basics of Star Trek online.
 Career Paths
In Star Trek Online, there are three career paths players can take, which corresponds to three of the areas of expertise in Starfleet: Engineering, Science and Tactical. Career paths in Star Trek Online are very much like classes in most other MMORPGs, except that they aren't as restrictive and rigidly defined in Star Trek Online. A player of any class can fly any type of starship, even though each class has a starship with which they will be best fitted.
Each class has a certain focus and can perform one or more group roles, as well as a starship that best matches that particular class.
- Engineers are best suited in the Healer and Tank roles. Tanks take the brunt of damage in battle and try to attract all enemies to themselves, while the DPS or Damage players do the majority of the actual firing and damage. As healers, Engineers are adept at healing hull damage, although they also have strong shield healing. Their focus is primarily on survivability and resilience in space combat, while supporting their Away Team in both space and ground combat with fixed-position automated weaponry, shield and medical generators, technological buffs, and other repairs and improvements. Engineers wear the color gold for their uniforms and are ideally matched with a Cruiser, which is also best suited for tanking. Their equipable kits generally involve fabricating turrets and shields, supporting your team with weapon buffs and drones, and laying mine barriers and bombs.
- Science officers are most useful in the Healer and "Buffer/Debuffer" roles, where they provide healing and buffs for allies (and themselves), as well as powers that weaken and disable enemy NPCs. In Ground missions, Science officers can be the primary source of team healing, but are also in possession of abilities that control or debuff enemy resiliency, damage and movement. Science officers wear the color blue and are ideally matched with (of course) Science Vessels, a ship class who's onus is to weaken and control its enemies, and provide some healing on the side . Their kit powers are generally for healing allies and weakening enemies.
- Tactical officers are most useful in the DPS or Damage roles; they do their best work while dealing damage to enemies in ground and space combat. Tactical officers wear red and are best matched with an Escort vessel, which is also the best starship in terms of inflicting damage to enemies. They do this through maximising the damage output of their Energy (Beams & Cannons) and Projectile weaponry (Torpedoes & Mines), and through increasing that potential through Attack Patterns. The kit powers allow them to put out increased damage as well as spike damage (one-time concentrated bursts of firepower), AoE (Area of Effect) damage via grenades, and abilities that that improve the damage output and staying power of his/her allies.
Each faction has its own collection of playable races. The important thing to remember is, that there are no "Uber"-races. Go with what you feel comfortable with.
Once you've picked your race (or you've chosen to create your own custom race), you're ready to pick out your traits. All preset races come with one or more required traits, with the remaining traits available for picking, for a total of four traits.
New players might find it very hard to select suitable traits, as picking these requires some knowledge about game mechanics. We prepared a separate guide on this topic for you.
In every rank, there are 10 grades. In order to advance to the next rank, players must spend a set number of skillpoints (SP) before being promoted. Furthermore, new tiers of starships are opened up to each new Rank. However, in order to advance through the Grades (1–10) within any Rank, players must simply earn SP.
|Next Rank||Minimum SP Spent||Ship Tier||Notes|
|Ensign||0||1||When you first start off the game, you are a lowly Ensign, the lowest commissioned rank in Starfleet. There is only one level in this rank, so one can think of this as level 0. You are automatically promoted to Lieutenant after finishing the Tutorial.|
|Lieutenant||0||1||Despite being divided into two grades (Junior Grade and regular Lieutenant) in the Star Trek canon, there is only one Lieutenant rank in this game. All throughout the Lieutenant (and Ensign) grades, you play in a versatile Tier 1 ship.|
|Lt. Commander||33,000||2||The next rank after Lieutenant sees the player gaining access to the three types of starships, which are now Tier 2: Escorts, Cruisers and Science Vessels.|
|Commander||93,000||3||The next rank after Lt. Commander, and the rank prior to Captain, sees the player gain access to several more classes of starships, which are Tier 3.|
|Captain||173,000||4||The next rank after Commander, and the rank prior to Rear Admiral (Grades 1–5), while Captains have access to another collection of starship types, which are Tier 4.|
|Rear Admiral, Lower Half||263,000||5||The next rank after Captain, and the rank prior to Rear Admiral (Grades 6–10), while Rear Admirals (Grades 1–5) gain access to a collection of Tier 5 ships.|
|Rear Admiral, Upper Half||313,000||5||The penultimate rank in the game for Federation players thus far, and the rank prior to Vice Admiral (Grades 1–5), while Rear Admirals (Grades 6–10) gain access to a different collection of Tier 5 ships.|
|Vice Admiral||366,000||5 (Retrofit)||The highest rank any Federation player can achieve in the game thus far, while Vice Admirals (Grades 1–5) gain access to retrofitted Tier 5 ships.|
To summarize, players gain Grades by earning SP, and advance to each new Rank by spending a set amount of SP.
Klingon characters have a very similar ranking scheme:
|Next Rank||Minimum SP Spent||Ship Tier||Notes|
|Lt. Commander||33,000||2||A Klingon player's starting rank, but they can quickly upgrade to the next rank, due to the equal skillpoints from playing the Federation side (which is needed to unlock the Klingons as playable)|
|Commander||93,000||3||The next rank after Lt. Commander, and the rank prior to Captain, sees the player have access to several more warships, which are Tier 3.|
|Captain||173,000||4||The next rank after Commander, and the rank prior to Brigadier General (Grades 1–5), while Captains have access to another collection of warships, which are Tier 4.|
|Brigadier General||263,000||5||The next rank after Captain, and the rank prior to Major General (Grades 6–10), while Brigadier Generals (Grades 1–5) gain access to a collection of Tier 5 warships.|
|Major General||313,000||5||The penultimate rank in the game for Klingon players thus far, and the rank prior to Lt. General (Grades 1–5). While having a different collection of Tier 5 warships, Major Generals (Grades 6–10) also gain access to a new type of warship, from which there are two available: Carriers.|
|Lt. General||366,000||5 (Retrofit)||The highest rank any Klingon player can achieve in the game thus far, while Lt. Generals (Grades 1–5) gain access to retrofitted Tier 5 ships.|
Additionally and independently from your military rank you can pursue a diplomatic career with a Federation character.
 Skills & Abilities
Abilities give you new powers. Skills increase the effectiveness of existing powers, as well as Bridge officer abilities. More specialized skills and abilities are available only once you have reached a particular rank. For example, you must reach the rank of Lieutenant Commander before you can acquire the Starship Auxiliary Systems Maintenance skill.
Appropriate skills can combine their bonuses. For example, a captain trained as an Engineer would be able to combine the bonuses from the Modification Training, Fabrication Engineer and Drones skills while using Support Drones to protect his or her Away Team.
 Groups & Tiers
All players, regardless of profession, will have access to all space skills. Ground-based skills are profession-restricted; for the Lieutenant tier, Tactical players will have Grenades, Operations players will have Demolitions, and Science players will have Medic.
Here is an example of a skill group:
There are five Tiers of skills, from Lieutenant on the left, to Admiral on the right. In order to have access to a particular Tier of skills, you must hold that Rank. In the above example, you must be a Commander in order to access the Starship Disruptor Weapons skill. Each skill has 9 levels of expertise (from 1–9) and each Tier costs a certain amount of skillpoints per level increase — from 100 for Lieutenant skills to 500 for Admiral skills.
 Skill levels
Each level in a skill grants a particular amount of bonus to a specific aspect of the player's character. For example, the Starship Projectile Weapon Training skill would increase the damage done by all your starship's projectile weapons (photon torpedoes, quantum mines, etc.). The higher a level you have in a skill, the higher a bonus it gives; however, most skills provide diminishing returns for additional levels (e.g., the first level may add a bonus of 10 while the ninth level may add a bonus of 0.5).
Abilities are the actions that you and your bridge officers can take in combat. There are both space and ground abilities. You gain access to abilities in various ways:
- Players will learn a few new abilities as they rank up. The majority of the skills available to players, however, will be based on the kit you have equipped.
- Your starship's abilities are determined by your bridge officers - their space abilities and the rank of the station you assigned to them. A Commander-rank bridge officer at an Ensign station will only be able to use his/her Ensign ability, regardless of the officer's actual rank.
- Your away team's abilities are altered via the Bridge Officer Trainer. Your Away Team may not equip kits, so your bridge officers' skills are far more flexible than your own.
In addition to their normal recharge time, Abilities that are linked to the same subsystem (e.g. if they have "System: Batteries" in their descriptions) share an additional cooldown time during which no other Abilities of the same subsystem may be used. For example, the Emergency Power to Weapons I ability triggers a 20-second cooldown on your ship's Batteries subsystem, during which time no other "System: Batteries" Ability (such as Emergency Power to Shields) may be used.
 Bridge Officers
Bridge Officers must advance in rank before more abilities are available to them. Since you are their captain, you must promote them to a higher rank. Bridge Officers must be a lower rank than you, so you will not be able to promote any of them until you reach the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
A Bridge Officer that has sufficiently advanced his or her abilities will be eligible for a promotion, which can be handled through the Skills window.
You can spend Bridge Officer skillpoints on ability improvements or training in new abilities. These abilities increase in effectiveness as they move from version I to III. You may have Bridge Officers join your crew with version I or II abilities, but they must be trained in version III abilities to learn them.
Training some of your skills to the highest level will unlock new training nodes. Then, you will be able to train a Bridge Officer of the appropriate Rank in a version III ability.
You can also train your officers by doing research at major facilities such as Memory Alpha.
This is a very basic guide to the initial controls of the game, both in flight and ground modes, and also a couple of "tricks" to help you along the way.
Please Note The following key mappings are true for the Windows English keyboard layout. Other OSes or language layouts may vary.
The game has two basic playing modes:
 Ground Mode
This is where your character is in person on the screen either in friendly territory such as a starbase or in enemy territory such as a ship or planet.
 Basic Controls
|Shift + W||Run Forward|
|R||Toggle continuous walk on / off|
|F||Interact with an object near to you, such as a person, crate or turbolift|
 Flight Mode
This is where you are guiding your ship through either open space or within a star system
 Basic Controls
|Q||Decrease flight speed|
|E||Increase flight speed|
|R||Toggle Full impulse power|
|Shift+ R||Toggle Maximum impulse power|
|F||Interact with an object near to you, such as an object, or accept a prompt|
On the screen in either mode are controls for actions that your character can perform. In ground mode you will be shown your weapon's main action (normal "fire") and other possible actions such as "Exploit attacks". These each have a number to the top left of their control, and can be activated by pressing the corresponding key on your keyboard (1 through 0)
You can have up to four rows of controls on screen at any one time in both ground and space modes, to set these click the icon to the top right of the control module that looks like three stacked playing cards. This brings up a control that allows you to select between one and four rows of controls.
On the left hand end of these rows is a number between 1 and 10 with up and down arrows. These allow you to set up your own configurations and scroll between available controls.
 What do A, C and Sh mean?
These are the methods of using that control on the keyboard
A = ALT C = CTRL Sh = Shift
 Bridge Officer abilities
Those guys seated in the other chairs aren't just for show you know, each has training in different capabilities allowing them to vastly change the basic setup of your ship, be it by adding extra power to your next phaser shot or healing your shields mid-combat.
The initial play setup gives you a row of icons below your main ability section, showing the face and abilities of each of your bridge officers. When you start the game each officer will only have one ability, but as you progress through the game the number and class of abilities increase (you can also train your officers either through your own abilities, additional bridge officers or at certain starbases).
These action icons will generally have "A" and a number in their action boxes. To control with the keyboard hold the ALT key and press the appropriate number.
Remember, when purchasing a new ship, set the bridge officers! Also you might try to remember to keep them as trained and as promoted as possible to increase their additional abilities.
 Moving Controls
The game has a funny habit of moving your controls around, especially when you gain new abilities, even as far as new weapons!
To stop your firing actions, heals, buffs and debuffs being all over the place you can move the controls around as you wish them to be, just do this when not in a combat area to avoid some blushes and much muttering of "Where did my phasers go!?"
To move a control drag it with the right mouse button from where it currently resides to your required location. This can be within or across action bar rows (see above).
 Advanced control setup
All of the key mappings and controls can be adjusted and moved around the screen using the controls in the option menu. To manually adjust the placement of monitor panels and controls, click the game options icon to the right of the minimap and select the top HUD option, then drag the corresponding green boxes to your convenience.
Luckily they also have a reset function!