- For an overview of non-playable starships within Star Trek Online, see the Non-playable starship article
Playable Starships in Star Trek Online are as much a part of your avatar as your Captain. They are highly customizable, both cosmetically and functionally. Visiting shipyards will allow players to change all aspects of their ships. Each ship tier includes multiple classes of ships. Players can choose different parts (saucer, hull, nacelles etc.) of each class making a custom model, or stick with a set design. Along with the model the player can also adjust the color, windows, decals, registry number and prefix, which gives the player a custom feel to his/her ship.
Players are granted ships by Starfleet, the Klingon Defense Force, or the Romulan Republic as they progress in rank. At each new rank between Level 10 and Level 40, players are given a free starship token for the respective tier. The last token they get, at level 40, is for a Tier 5 ship which cannot be made T5-U. After this, any new Tier 5 (fleet, T5-U) or Tier 6 (fleet) ships must be bought with dilithium , Lobi Crystal , energy credits , Zen , or from a fleet, for Fleet Credits and Fleet Ship Modules , or lastly, won from a Lock Box or a promotion or event.
- See main article: Starship Mastery
Each tier 5-U or tier 6 starship a character is flying has its own "levels", called Mastery. Starship Mastery progresses as a character earns skill points while using a specific ship in combat (end-of-mission rewards do not apply). Levels 1 through 4 each unlock a passive bonus which is only active while flying that specific ship. The bonuses are specific for each ship type, e.g., Science Vessels, Warbirds, Birds-of-Prey. Tier 6 non-fleet ships also have a 5th mastery level which unlocks a Starship Trait. Different ships unlock different traits.
Many ship designs come in different versions. While their outward appearance might be mostly identical, they may vary substantially in combat strength.
Standard ships (Tiers 1 to 5, including 5-U) are mostly available at shipyards where they can be purchased for Dilithium or at no cost with a Rank-Up Ship Token (only up to tier 5). Rank-Up Tokens are given at levels 10, 20, 30 and 40. Some unique (and thus not "refit") tier 1 to 4 ships, e.g., the Oberth Class Light Science Vessel or the NX Class Light Escort, may also be purchased at the C-Store for Zen . One unique exception is the Blockade Runner Escort (Steamrunner Class), which cannot be purchased in-game or at the C-Store but only via buying the Steam Starter Pack.
Refit ships (Tiers 1 to 4) are available at shipyards or directly at the C-Store (button below the overview map) where they can be purchased for Zen . These ships have superior stats to their standard variants, and typically unlock a special costume option and a special Universal Console or weapon. They are the same tier as their standard variant. If purchasing for Zen, it is important to note: these ships do not rank or level up. Once at level 50, tier 1-4 ships are not competitive in PVE or PVP.
Retrofit ships (Tier 5 and 5-U) are high-end vessels, some of which have to be purchased at the C-Store for up to 2,500 Zen and others at a shipyard for 200,000 fleet credits . To upgrade the Tier 5 ships purchased at the Zen store, an additional token costing 700 Zen must be purchased. The ships available at the C-Store also come with a special Universal Console. A tier 5 ship may seem like a bargain at 2500 zen, but with the upgrade token, 700 zen, they cost more than Tier 6 ships.
Of some ships, a slightly different tier 5 version of the Mirror Universe can be obtained with a chance of ~2% from Lockboxes (or the Exchange as they are tradeable). These ships offer the same basic values (hull, turn rate, etc.) as their counterparts from the Prime Universe but have different Bridge Officer and console setups and always come with a Mirror Universe-skin costume option. Mirror ships cannot be upgraded to tier 5-U. There is also a T6 Mirror Universe Guardian Cruiser.
Some ships have a Tier 6 version, typically obtained through the C-Store for 3,000 Zen . These ships usually have identical stats compared to their Tier 5-U versions, but feature one additional bridge officer power, some bridge officer specialization seating, a new ship costume, a new special Universal Console, and a Starship Mastery Trait.
Fleet ships (Tiers 5, 5-U, and 6) are purchased at a shipyard for 20,000 fleet credits and 4 or 5 fleet ship modules . (Fleet modules must be purchased with zen in the Cryptic cash shop.) In contrast to their C-Store version, fleet ships do not come with a special console but typically have +10% Hull HP, +10% Shields and a 10th/11th console slot. If a player has already unlocked the C-Store version of a ship, then the associated fleet ship version will only cost 20,000 and 1 (one) .
If a player has used a Starship Upgrade Requisition to unlock the T5U upgrade on the C-Store Retrofit version of a ship, this will also apply to a matching T5U Fleet ship at no additional cost.
- See also: Ship abilities
Each faction has unique types of ships that favor different styles of gameplay. Generally, there is one type of ship for each type of career, but a player character can captain any type of vessel, regardless of their career choice. Below is a list of each type of ship, and their (endgame) capabilities, though there are a few ships that don't follow this template exactly. A ship's type also dictates its Starship Mastery package.
|Ship type||Power bonus||Weapon slots||Device slots||Innate abilities|
|Cruiser||+5 All||8 (4 fore, 4 aft)||4|
|Science Vessel||+15 Auxiliary||6 (3 fore, 3 aft)||3|
|Escort / Raptor||+15 Weapons||7 (4 fore, 3 aft)||2|||
|Battle Cruiser||+10 Weapons & Engines||8 (4 fore, 4 aft)||3|||
|Raider||+15 Weapons||6 (4 fore, 2 aft)||2|||
|Destroyer / Warship||+10 Weapons, +5 to A/E/S/W||7 (4 fore, 3 aft)||2 or 3||n/a|
|Dreadnought Cruiser||Varies||8 (4 fore, 4 aft)||4|
|Heavy Dreadnought Cruiser||+5 All||8 (4 fore, 4 aft)||4|
|Flight-Deck Cruiser||+5 All||8 (4 fore, 4 aft)||4|
|Escort Carrier / Flight-Deck Raptor||+15 Weapons, +5 Engines||7 (4 fore, 3 aft)||2|
|Ship type||Power bonus||Weapon slots||Device slots||Innate abilities|
|Warbird||Varies||7 (4 fore, 3 aft)||2|
|Warbird Battle Cruiser||+10 Weapons, +10 Engines||8 (4 fore, 4 aft)||4|
|Warbird Science Vessel||+15 Auxiliary||6 (3 fore, 3 aft)||3|
|Tactical Carrier Warbird||+10 Weapons, +10 Engines||7 (4 fore, 3 aft)||2|
|Dreadnought Warbird||Varies||8 (5 fore, 3 aft)||4|
|Heavy Dreadnought Warbird||+5 All||8 (4 fore, 4 aft)||4|
|Carrier Warbird||+10 Shields, +10 Auxiliary||6 (3 fore, 3 aft)||2|
- Some specialty Escorts and Raptors have 5 fore and 2 aft weapons.
- Klingon Raptors and Battle Cruisers all have the ability to Cloak.
- Some specialty battle cruisers have 5 fore and 3 aft weapons.
- Some specialty Raiders have 5 fore and 1 aft weapons.
- Klingon Raiders all have the ability to Battle Cloak.
- Some Escort Carriers instead get +10 Weapons, +5 Shields, +5 Auxiliary, or only +15 Weapons power
- Pilot Warbirds and the T’liss Temporal Warbird get +10 Weapons and Engines power, and have 5 fore and 2 aft weapons. For other Warbirds, view their individual pages.
Similar to Bridge Officer stations, different ships have varying room for special modifications that can be added to the ship to increase its effectiveness. Similar to slotted gems in other games, mods provide small passive bonuses that affect game play and can be interchanged at will.
The differentiation isn't just between the Escort/Cruiser/Science categories; each individual configuration offers disparate settings for players to choose between.
- Fore Weapons - These weapons fire from the front, usually within a certain arc width. For example, 45°-arc fore weapons fire in a 45-degree cone area in front of your ship. All Ship Weapons other than mines can be placed here. Turrets were originally excluded, but are now allowed to be placed in the fore weapons slots.
- Hangar Bay - Carrier Pets go here.
- Deflector - Ship Deflector Dishes can be inserted here.
- Secondary Deflector - Most Science vessels (those that have both Sensor Analysis and Subsystem Targeting) can install a Secondary Deflector; other ship types do not have this slot.
- Shields - Ship Shields go here.
- Warp Core - a Warp Core (on Federation or Klingon Ships) or Singularity Core (on Warbirds) goes here.
- Impulse - Any one of a number of Impulse Engines can go here.
- Aft Weapons - These weapons fire from the aft, or rear, of your starship. Any weapon other than cannons and dual beam banks can be placed here.
- Devices - Any Ship Devices can be inserted here. To use them, drag them to your shortcut bar while in space.
- Engineering Consoles - Engineering Consoles go here.
- Science Consoles - Science Consoles go here.
- Tactical Consoles - Tactical Consoles go here.
Power and subsystems
- Hull: This is the overall health of your starship, and refers to the actual body of the ship itself. Once the shields have been drained from a certain area, any damage to that area results in damage to the hull. Most shields have a "Bleedthrough" percentage, which is the amount of damage from any enemy's weapons that cause damage to the hull instead of the shields.
- Fore/Rear/Right/Left Shields: These are the first line of defense for your starship. Shields are energy barriers placed around your ship to repel enemy fire and take the brunt of the damage initially. Once your shields are down around a certain area, any damage there will directly affect the Hull. Shields also have a "Bleedthrough" rating; if the Bleedthrough rate is 10%, then 100 Phaser Damage to your shields will result in 10 Phaser Damage directly to your Hull.
- Crit Chance: This is the chance that each shot you take has of critically damaging the target. The modifier for Crit Chance is [CrtH].
- Crit Severity: This is the amount of damage that a Crit shot does. If the Crit Chance is 5% and Crit Severity is 75%, then you have a 5% chance, with each shot, of doing 175% total damage to the enemy vessel. The modifier for Crit Severity is [CrtD]. It should be noted that this damage bonus applies at the same time as other bonuses, which may lead to you not seeing the full increase noted.
- Inertia: This is a number that determines how sluggish your ship is to respond, for example, while turning. The lower your Inertia rating, the slower your ship is while turning. Cruisers, for example, have low Inertia ratings, which make for low turn rates, and low maneuverability. Escorts on the other hand, have high Inertia ratings, making for high turn rates and maneuverability. Science Vessels typically fall somewhere in the middle.
- Resist: Your starship has a number of resistance types, which indicates how resistant it is to certain types of damage (e.g. Physical, Kinetic, Phaser, Tetryon).
- Crew Complement: This is the maximum number of crewmembers (non-Bridge Officers) that can serve aboard your vessel. Your Crew count affects hull and subsystem repair rate, as well as the effectiveness of boarding parties, the engineering team and crew-based skills your captain may have. Certain types of damage will temporarily injure Crew. Your current Crew count is indicated by a row of white figures below your Shields/Hull UI (injured crew are yellow-orange, disabled crew are grey).
- Crew Recovery Rate: This is the number of Crew that will recover per second.
- Alive Crew: This is the number of Crew members that are currently alive.
- See also: Visual Slots
Players are able to heavily edit their ships in all areas. Each time a player acquires a new ship they are allowed to edit aspects of the ship once for free. Each subsequent change will cost Energy Credits, depending on the change made.
To make changes to their ship, players must visit a shipyard. There are multiple shipyards in-game and they are found at all the major hubs such as Qo'noS for the Klingon Empire and the Earth Spacedock for the Federation. The items that can be edited on a ship are:
- Secondary Array (Science Tier 5 only)
- Mission Pod (Science Tier 5 only)
- Decal color
- Plating color
- Ship name
- Registry number
- Registry prefix
- Registry suffix
- Bridge design and layout
Characters are assigned a tier 1 ship to command after completing the tutorial mission. At levels 20, 30 and 40 (players gain one rank for every ten character levels) players receive a token for a free ship of successively increasing tier, up to Tier 5. Additional ships to the one free ship per rank cost Dilithium or Zen (for refit ships with special consoles from the C-Store).
At level 50, Vice Admiral/Lieutenant General, players can purchase a tier 5/6 ship or a fleet ship (T5 T5U, T6) with either Zen or Fleet Credits. Tier 5 ships can sometimes be upgraded to Tier 5U. These special upgradable T5 ships can then be upgraded using an upgrade token purchased with Zen from the C-store.
Fleet ships require Fleet Credits and Fleet Ship Modules; these are available for cash from the C-store or for EC on the Exchange. Active subscribers who have received the 600 day Veteran Reward, including all lifetime subscribers, receive a 'VA Token' that allows them to purchase a single RA/BG or VA/LG ship for free.
Tier 6 ships can be found as a special drop from a purchased lockbox or R&D pack during promotions, they have also been added as one-off rewards to the Summer, Winter and Anniversary events or they can be directly purchased from the C-store for Zen. There are also Fleet versions of several Tier 6 ships available for Fleet Credits and Fleet Ship Modules.
When choosing the right ship for you, it is important to understand what T6 ships have and T5U do not.
1. 5 Mastery slots
2. Access to the new Hybrid Bridge Officers and crew.
3. Access to the new Bridge officer and ship skills from mastery level 5 and Hybrid officers.
4. Additional console slots.
5. Higher baseline stats in all areas.
Federation starships purchasable with the VA Token
- Rear Admiral ships
- Vice Admiral ships
Klingon Empire starships purchasable with the VA Token
- Brigadier ships
- Lieutenant General ships
Romulan Republic starships purchasable with the VA Token
- Vice Admiral ships
A single character can have a maximum of 50 ships. Purchasing more requires dismissing a ship to free up a ship slot.
Character development in Star Trek Online