An Instance in a MMORPG is an area of the game that can have multiple duplicates of itself. Instances have player limits and when that limit is reached the game automatically creates another copy of itself which allows more players to join. Instances have their upsides and downsides. On the upside they are very useful in helping combat overpopulation, especially in Star Trek Online due to collision detection (players cannot walk through each other). On the downside, they can lead to players not getting the impression that they are part of a huge world due to player limits set on their instances.
Mostly all areas of Star Trek Online are instanced.
Switching Instance[edit | edit source]
To switch your instance in Star Trek Online, open your map (defaulted to the M key on your keyboard) and choose the "Change Instance" button at the bottom-middle of the map window. If there are no other copies of your instance, you will receive a "NoPossibleMaps" error on screen and in your chat log. The game will not automatically create a new copy of itself for players attempting to switch instances from their current one.
Limits[edit | edit source]
Instances have player limits, although the limit depends on the type of instance and how many players Cryptic decided should be the maximum. For instance, Deep Space Encounters are typically set to a 5 player limit, whereas the Earth Spacedock has a player limit of 50 per instance. Cryptic sets these limits based upon the amount of strain that multiple players will cause, both on the server, and user computer, in each individual instance.
Groups[edit | edit source]
Groups, when formed, might be in separate instances. To switch to another players instance, follow the instructions above. When the group is formed, the next time the group switches to another zone (such entering a new Sector Block or entering a system), they are all automatically placed in the same instance.