WORK IN PROGRESS
This guide is meant as a reference for players that find interest in building racing set ups for their ships, and to present several general aspects of racing in Star Trek Online.
Please feel free to contribute and improve or provide feedback.
- 1 Speeds and Racing in Star Trek Online
- 2 PvE, PvP and the Foundry
- 3 Community
- 4 Choice of Ship
- 5 Key Abilities
- 6 Equipment
- 7 Duty Officers
- 8 Foundry Race Tracks
- 9 Racing Pilot Suit
Speeds and Racing in Star Trek Online[edit | edit source]
The game knows three ways to pilot a ship, Transwarp not included. Each one sets different requirements for any player to successfully participate in a race.
Warp[edit | edit source]
- Warp speed
When a ship travels through sector space, it flies at warp speed. A decent pilot can reach approx. Warp 35 for a couple of seconds. Players will have to balance use of their Quantum Slipstream Drive and must be prepared to maneuver in sector space, which can be tricky at high speeds.
As per Season 7, the only race that purely relies on game mechanics is the Tour the Galaxy event, which takes place in sector space. It does not, however, keep track of your time or present a ranking sheet at the end, so it is not exactly a race.
Players can team up, find a common route to fly (consider Suricata’s Galactic Starchart), and see who ends up being the first to turn in the mission. This works just as well for any other race that takes place in sector space. All that is necessary is a decent route (and a way to keep track of each pilot’s location to prevent cheating).
Subwarp[edit | edit source]
- Full Impulse speed
- Impulse speed (combat speed)
- Skills: must have: Starship Engine Performance, Starship Impulse Thrusters, Starship Warp Core Potential, could use Attack Patterns, Starship Auxiliary Performance, Starship Batteries, Starship Electro-Plasma Systems, Starship Warp Core Efficiency
Key abilities: Emergency Power to Engines, Evasive Maneuvers, could use Attack Pattern Omega, Auxiliary Power to the Inertial Dampeners
Equipment: Hyper-Impulse Engine with [Spd] suffix, Deuterium Surplus, skill and power boost items, Impulse Capacitance Cell
While piloting at warp does not require much (it is “slow”), challenging races take place in system space, where Foundry authors are showing off their creativity on unique race tracks.
No doubt, subwarp races offer the most versatility and the biggest challenge. Players may use all their powers and must do so in a well timed manner to be successful. However, without actual dedicated game mechanics, players can only “win” or “not win” a race, as there are no reliable means to measure an individual player’s time or progress on the race track.
The game measures Full Impulse and combat speed in Impulse (abbr. here: I). Players with decent set ups will find themselves at combat speeds of approx. 360 I for a few seconds. The best combat speed reported is approx. 1,325 I (Aeon Timeship; IB+DB; see video). The best Full Impulse speed known is
234 I (without buffs). During a race, players will have to find the right balance between Full Impulse (if the map allows it at all) and combat speed, and manage their (few) speed buffs mid-flight.
PvE, PvP and the Foundry[edit | edit source]
PvE racing is very limited. With only the Tour the Galaxy event and no means for Foundry authors to create any useful racing NPCs, racing in PvE means racing alone (to beat your personal best time, to practice, or to enjoy a good story en route).
Foundry PvE racing missions can utilize story means to handle the race and do not need to rely on a player to actually be on a fast ship. This also gives them the liberty to add things in, that usually wouldn't be seen in a PvP racing map, such as dialog driven engine trouble. However, Foundry artists clearly need to understand what will happen on their map if it is used for PvP racing. Most story driven races could potentially break a PvP race due to dialog not popping up for all players, wrongly scaled obstacles/opponents, etc.
Only when two or more players come together in “PvP” (by entering a Foundry mission together as a team), they can effectively race against each other. As said before, without dedicated game mechanics, players can only “win“ or “not win” a race.
Foundry authors can use reach markers in their Story tab to actually create a race track. Transwarp Gates and Satellites make excellent checkpoints. System space racing can be awfully fast, so players could get lost on a map, if insufficient guide rails are provided. Go to Bepi 113 (Night of the Comet) for inspiration, or watch Voyager episode “Drive” (Season 7, Ep. 3, Trailer, Remix).
Sometimes, a race ends without a clear winner (i. e. two or more pilots are absolutely sure to have won). Only a Judge or some decent Foundry magic can help if players have issues determining the winner of a race, so a PvP Foundry racing map should include at least one Judge booth, from where an impartial observer can clearly determine the race’s winner. Judging becomes well important in organized races and leagues, but should not be neccessary in casual play.
Community[edit | edit source]
There have been several attempts to establish a community driven racing league in the official STO forums and other racing events, but the projects would all appear to have been abandoned for various reasons.
There is also the “Racing” chat channel (operated by the author of this guide), but it is quite empty most of the time (you can help with that).
Choice of Ship[edit | edit source]
When at warp, every ship can reach maximum speed, even shuttles. When it comes to subwarp speeds, though, some shuttles have a decisive advantage: an increased Impulse Modifier.
Impulse Modifier[edit | edit source]
Impulse Modifier is an innate ship ability and directly modifies impulse speed at a basic level. Please refer to the various sites on this Wiki for a list of all starships and their Impulse Modifiers: FED and KDF shuttles, FED ships, KDF ships.
If skilled and equipped, the Aeon Timeship is typically the fastest ship at all subwarp speeds—but any ship with the Impulse Capacitance Cell can be much faster over short times.
Players engaging in serious competitive racing should agree to one specific Impulse Modifier for their ships, as the difference is significant. Any agreements should also cover the use of Impulse Capacitance Cells. Due to the different number of Bridge Officer slots, players should also agree to either each fly a shuttle or none at all.
Turn Rate[edit | edit source]
Turn Rate is generally of less importance during racing. Some race tracks may have narrow passages or sharp corners and the Turn Rate of the chosen ship should only make a difference on such maps or for specific obstacles there.
To make sharp turns with a low Turn Rate, reducing speed helps the most. Also, keep in mind that the Impulse Capacitance Cell greatly reduces your ship’s turn rate, even if used in conjunction with Deuterium or Auxiliary Power to the Inertial Dampeners.
Power Levels[edit | edit source]
A ship’s Engine Power Level is most relevant for racing at subwarp. All Flight Speed Strength buffs depend directly on it, much like many Science abilities depend on Auxiliary power. Auxiliary Power to the Intertial Dampers is the only Flight Speed Strength buff that benefits from a high Auxiliary Power Level.
Direct buffs to Flight Speed (as opposed to Flight Speed Strength) do not depend on the Engine Power Level.
After a buff to Flight Speed Strength is activated, any further increase in Engine Power Level will not make the ability itself any better. Thus, a slightly higher speed can be rached if EP2E is fired before the Flight Speed Strength bonus, especially if the ship is not operating at maximum Engine Power Level. The gain is marginal, however, and the higher speed lasts a split second less (the time it takes between EP2E and the Flight Speed Strength buff firing up).
The highest possible Engine Power Level (up to 125) guarantees the best maintainable speed during buff cooldowns (varying widely with different ships, abilities and equipment).
Key Abilities[edit | edit source]
Essentially, seven abilities play a major role in racing. Due to shared subsystem cooldowns, you can only equip a maximum of two of the same Bridge Officer Abilitiy to use effectively.
- Engineering Bridge Officer:
- Tactical Bridge Officer:
Engineering[edit | edit source]
Bridge Officers of the Engineering department fit well into any racing situation. They provide most shuttles with EP2E-1, which is the biggest speed boost available to them. On heavier ships, an Engineer can provide EP2E-2/-3 and AUX2D-1/-2.
Tactical[edit | edit source]
If the ship size allows it, Tactical Bridge Officers can provide APO-1. APO-2 and -3 do not further increase speed, they provide the same bonus to Flight Speed Strength as APO-1 (Lt. Cdr.). Please note that APO is superior to AUX2D in terms of racing.
Science[edit | edit source]
The Science slots of any ship should be used for track-dependent specialty abilities. On a race track that tries to hold the pilots with tractor beams, abilities like Polarize Hull are helpful. Also, Mask Energy Signature can provide sometimes needed stealth (it draws some of the ship’s engine power level, though). Photonic Officer might also come in handy. A rule of thumb: The trickier the track, the more important the science abilites. There are, however, no plain racing buffs available in the Science department.
Other Abilites[edit | edit source]
Other than these Bridge Officer Abilities, of all Captain Abilities only EM directly helps during a race. It grants the highest available Flight Speed Strength bonus. Use of DB, which has the same effect, is highly recommended during EM’s cooldown. Please note that DB and EM do not stack; DB can, as opposed to EM however, be used in conjunction with IB.
Please note that FULL should not be placed in your abilities tray, as it will disappear every time you switch your engines (this is probably a bug)—you have been warned.
Bonus types[edit | edit source]
Typically, two kinds of speed buffs are available:
- Flight Speed Strength bonus
This bonus is granted by APO, AUX2D, EM and DB and does not stack with itself. Thus, only the highest buff to Flight Speed Strength will be in effect. EM or DB grant the highest bonus (~ +500 %), followed by APO (~ +170 %, fix for all levels of the ability), followed by AUX2D (~ +105 %).
Flight Speed Strength has no impact during FULL. Activating FULL while any Flight Speed Strength bonus is active will ignore that bonus and instead use the normal Full Impulse speed. Likewise, activating a Flight Speed Strength bonus during FULL will not further improve speed. Buffs to Flight Speed Strength will only be used when the ship is at combat speed.
- Flight Speed bonus
Granted by EP2E (+40, +45, +50, fix per level of the ability). Also, all MVAM modules and IB grant a Flight Speed bonus.
Bonuses to Flight Speed stack and have full impact during FULL. Even though IB cannot be used with FULL, EP2E can, which makes it the most important racing ability due to this versatility.
Ability Combos[edit | edit source]
Typical usage of these key abilities would include to activate the highest available Flight Speed Strength bonus (or FULL) together with all available Flight Speed bonus abilities. In addition to that, some Auxiliary power magic can be useful, if AUX2D is used. EP2AUX shares a subsystem cooldown with EP2E, though, so using Emergency Power to boost your Auxiliary Power Level is not recommended.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Engines[edit | edit source]
Advanced Fleet Hyper-Impulse Engines [Spd]x3 [Full]
Sets[edit | edit source]
M.A.C.O. 2-piece bonus: +Power Recharge Speed
Deflector[edit | edit source]
M.A.C.O. Deflector Array: +Starship Electro-Plasma-Systems
Shield[edit | edit source]
No shields provide any bonus relevant for racing.
Consoles[edit | edit source]
Injector Assembly: +Engine Power
Consumables[edit | edit source]
Deuterium Surplus: =Evasive Maneuvers Engine Battery: +Engine Power
Duty Officers[edit | edit source]
Some Duty Officers can have severe impact during a race by recharging your most frequently used flight speed buffs. Triggering all Doff abilities can make a high speed combo available again quickly.
Conn Officer[edit | edit source]
A Conn Officer will reduce the recharge time of EM and also IB. They can be stacked, which increases the chance of the power recharge boost to trigger.
Damage Control Engineer[edit | edit source]
This type of Duty Officer will reduce the recharge time of any Emergency Power to Subsystem ability, which is, as explained above, the most important ability in a typical race. Up to three can (and should) be used in the active roster at the same time, but Damage Control Engineers are a bit harder to come by (i. e. they appear as Green quality officers only in Lt. Ferra’s store).
Warp Core Engineer[edit | edit source]
Less severe impact comes from Warp Core Engineers, who increase other subsystems Power Level upon use of any Emergency Power reroute ability by a moderate amount. They are not as helpful, but can make a difference on certain race tracks, where you could use Auxiliary power. Warp Core Engineers cannnot be stacked in your active duty roster.
Racing Duty Officer Comparison Chart[edit | edit source]
|Quality||Conn Officer||Damage Control Engineer||Warp Core Engineer|
|20 % chance to reduce the time for EM to recharge after use.||20 % to reduce the time for all EP2 subsystem abilities to recharge after use.||20 % chance of temporarily improving all your ship’s power on use of any EP2 subsystem ability.|
|4 sec||20 %||+10|
|6 sec||30 %||+15|
|8 sec||40 %||+20|
|10 sec||50 %||+25|
Foundry Race Tracks[edit | edit source]
As of January 2012, only two more or less dedicated race map have been published via the Foundry.
- Difficulty: Medium
Time: ~1:35 min
Pickup: Club 47 (Earth Space Dock)
Pilots: 1–4; Judges: 1 (optional)
SSC Race 1[edit | edit source]
Appears to have been unpublished at this time.
This track for Federation players has 10 checkpoints (transwarp gates) and can be started by a Judge, if desired.
A few opponents force you into combat speed, as does a nearby nebula, and there are some surprises. The race can be held at Full Impulse mostly, but there are at least two points during the race, where combat speed buffs can be very useful. Ships of any size/class are suitable.
- Difficulty: Medium
Time: ~ 3 min
Pickup: Earth Space Dock
Pilots: 1–5; Judges: –
Shuttle Rennen v0.1[edit | edit source]
Racing Pilot Suit[edit | edit source]
What is a pilot without a decent racing suit? As of September 2012, a canon Federation racing pilot suit (as seen in the series), is available in STO for 550 . As a F2P variant, users of the TNG Film Uniform can set the undershirt color to white and remove the rank pins for a semi-canon look at no additional cost.
“…and always remember: You can switch items, Boffs and Doffs anytime you are not in combat—even at 1,325 I!”