There are so many overly complex guides to how to gear a ship up so that you don’t instantly lose story missions in Star Trek Online. It can be really hard to figure out just what you need to do, soup to nuts, to build out a ship in STO. The game’s difficulty starts to really heat up after Dyson Sphere when you enter into the Delta Quadrant and there isn’t any handholding in the game on what to get, what to buy and where.
The guides players have made can take an hour or more to read to figure out what to do, where to go and how to get it. The frustrating part is that after, say, you grind everything at level 40 then by the time you’re level 50 it becomes time to do it all over again.
Let’s help get a ship that’ll take on almost anything without
Combat 101 – Learning STO Combat Quickly
The HP (hit points) in STO is in the form of a “hull capacity” and “shields” which, if your hull reaches 0 then the ship is destroyed and you must respawn. Hull is based on your ship, shields is based on the shield equip. Consoles can help increase everything you need, tho ships have limited console slots.
The ship has four subsystems that produce “power” which is used to control damage (weapons), defense (shields), speed (engines) and Auxiliary (a special type used by science bridge officers). Without getting too deep, any amount of power over 50 gives you a boost and you can control those power levels.
Firing weapons or getting your shields hit reduces the amount of power you have. The amount of damage you do is based on your weapons power:
Multiplier = 0.5 + [Weapon Power]*0.005
So 100 weapon power would be a 100% multiplier. At 50, its 75%. So understanding that the subsystem power is really important. If you’re firing weapons and have no power to fire them and are firing them with low power then you’ll do very little damage. So you’ll want to keep power to weapons on and use EPS Flow Regulators to increase the power movement between systems. Later on you’ll get skills in engineering and better engineering consoles to make Power more managable.
Energy Types and Weapons
There is a lot of choice when it comes to outfitting your ship. Before level 65 my hard recommendation is to stick with beam phasers. There’s cannons, but they’re harder to aim and require you to have an agile ship. There’s torpedos, which you should have one of at least but they don’t do well against shields.
There’s mines, but you won’t have the skills to get the most out of them in the early game. Mines are best when they’re able to be moved around via tractor beam and used as sort of kinetic weapon of sorts. Laying mines in a straight line won’t do very much damage with them generally.
There’s several energy types ranging from phaser to disruptor to antiproton and more. Phaser for all intents and purposes is the cheapest and simplest to get before level 65. I highly suggest using “Phaser Beam Array MK (highest for your level)” until you get to level 65.
Want the best gear for a lower level ship? Just use these options. These are “best in slot” before 65 in our opinion.
- Level 10: Phaser Beam Arrays
- Level 20: Phaser Beam Arrays
- Level 30: Phaser Beam Arrays mixed with Heavy Phaser Cannons or all Heavy Phaser Cannons
- Level 40+: All Beam Arrays or All Cannons
Beams have wide arcs and are easy to keep attacking targets. Cannons have long range and high damage and are both great. You can get them through missions and drops and constantly upgrade. Do not spend Dilithium to upgrade ANYTHING before level 65 and don’t upgrade without following a guide.
Armor / Equipment
Here’s the issue with consoles, plating, warp cores, etc. There’s no reason to focus on any particular “build” before level 65. Put the “best” that you’ve got dropped in each slot.
Tier 6 – Easy Mode
You can not worry about the gear on your ship if you acquire a Tier 6 ship. All of the equipment it’s loaded out with levels up with you and is basically really good. You’ll need to dismiss and reacquire the ship over and over as you unlock more slots to get the gear itself, but it’s a simple process.
Picking a Low Level Ship
For tier 1 through 4 there isn’t any “best” ship. Pick the one that you want the most.
For tier 5, any ship will do that looks good to you. I’d say steer closer to something you can use later on, which as a newer player won’t be very obvious assuming you are even buying a T5 to begin with and not going straight to a T6 event ship. You won’t have access to T5s until later in the game anyway. Any ship basically works.
The The Vulcan D’Kyr and Avenger Battle Cruiser are not bad choices and you’ll do well with either one of them if you have to have a recommendation.