Star Trek Online Beginner’s Guide
Star Trek Online Beginner’s Guide by Kraevac
The purpose of this guide is to give general information about various STO subjects. This guide IS NOT an attempt to answer all questions concerning STO. This is more of a quick reference type of guide. Some information will not be covered in this guide at all. This doesn’t mean that you can’t post your questions. Please post your questions and I or another player will answer them.
First thing to do is to provide various key press shortcuts. This will help in the guide. I have not included all key binds in this guide. If you wish to find a certain key bind, look in the “Options” menu.
“L” = Opens the mission log
“M” = Opens the map.
“O” = Opens the Social Menu.
“U”/”K” = Opens the character sheet.
“P” = Opens the learned skills window.
“I” = Opens you inventory.
Please note, that I will not be answering a bunch of “Where is…” questions in this guide. Most of these questions can be answered by opening your map and/or you mission log. Trust me; it’s worked that way since Closed Beta.
1. I can’t find Mec System.
The mission is “Patrol Sirius Sector”. The Mec System is in fact Kinjer System. This was an issue in Open Beta.
2. What is energy and how do I get it?
Energy is the game currency, like ISK or Gold. The easiest way to make energy is to sell off your unwanted loot. However, you can also make energy by participating in PvP and doing missions.
3. Skill leveling and the rank/grade system. How do I level my skills and when can I get rid of this starter ship?
Unlike most other MMOs, STO uses a combination of skill points, rank and grade for player progression. Your first true rank in the game is Lt 1. Lt is the rank, 1 is the grade. As you progress, your rank will not change, but your grade will. Once you hit Lt 10, the very next rank is LCDR 1. Lt 1-10 would be levels 1-10, LCDR would be 11-20, CDR would be 21-30, CAPT would 31-40, and ADMR would be 41-45. So how do your skill points play into this? Well if you look at the top left of your screen near your name plate, you’ll see your current rank and grade. Mouse over it and it will tell you information concerning your next rank. You actually have to spend skill points in order to progress through the game. To spend your points, hit the “K” key. This will open your character sheet. You can filter skills by known, learned, and unknown. Each skill has nine “ranks” to each. For the “starter” skills each ranks cost 100 skill points. Once you make Lt Cdr, they cost 200 and so on as your progress. So to completely level out one Lt skill, you need 900 skill points, 1800 for 2 and so forth. Each time you get promoted a grade you’ll see a little “Skill Up” tab in the upper left corner of your screen. Hit is and it will open your character sheet as well. I generally always check to see how many points I have and spend them as soon as I have enough to spend on a skill. To spend your points, hit the “K” key. This will open your character sheet. You can filter skills by known, learned, and unknown. For the “starter” skills each ranks cost 100 skill points.
4. How do I access the ship’s bridge?
To access your bridge, in the lower right corner of your mini map, you will notice a small upside down triangle. Click it and it opens a small menu. Review this menu, as there are several other things this menu opens.
5. Where is this system or that system at? I can’t find it.
Alright the map opens using the “M” key. Once open you’ll notice 3 tabs across the top. The first tab is your current area, the second tab is the known universe and the third tab gives a listing of all the places you can go from your current location. Check the various tabs to determine currently location and to find mission locations.
6. Where is auto firing?
In order to get weapons to auto fire, it must be in the hot bar, which it is by default. Right click on the weapon you want to be in auto fire mode and the button will turn green. It will now fire at your target without having to push the button for it. You still have to activate it by using the attack, but after that it will do its own thing. I don’t recommend this for mine and torpedoes since you need proper timing to use them effectively. But on Phasers and Distuptors it’s great. Also, you can only set one forward and one aft weapon to auto fire.
7. Why do I only have one ability bar?
You don’t, you actually have 3 total bars that share 10 flip bars. So to open this up all you need to do is look at your existing bar, you’ll notice in the right corner of the bar there are 2 icons. The top icon opens you skills windows; the bottom icon opens a little popup with the numbers 1-3 on it. If you click the number 2, a second bar will open, if you click 3 a third bar will open. Now keep in mind that opening all 3 bars will remove you BO window and your weapons window, but rest assured you won’t need them, because you’ll have all the abilities on your new action bars.
8. How do I drag my new abilities or items from my inventory to my action bars?
Right click and drag. If you left click you’ll either A) Fire off the ability or B) get no result and bug a working as intended system. So remember, unlike the rest of the PC world and the gaming community, Cryptic Studios opted, for some unknown reason, to map the drag and drop function to your right mouse button. Also, some abilities do not drag and drop, you’ll have to right click and pick “Equip” in order to use those abilities.
9. How do I holster my weapon?
Simply, press the “H” key.
10. How do I return to Sol Station without having to fly across Sector Space? What is Tanswarp?
Transwarp is the same thing as the Hearth Stone in WoW. It brings you back to Sol Station without you having to fly across the Sector Map or from one sector to another just to get back to Sol. Transwarp has a 30 minute timer.
11. What do I do with these Anomaly Collectibles?
The anomalies can be traded in for various upgrades. You can turn these in at Memory Alpha. I highly suggest you pay a visit to see what you’ll need. If you play WoW, think of these as kind of like Badges and the trade item as gear. Memory Alpha is on your map, use it.
12. How do I turn off auto-grouping?
Press the “O” key to open your Social window. Once open, click the tab that says “Team Settings”. In the “Looking for Group Mode”, click the down arrow. Of the 3 options in that dropdown, both the Gray person and the Slashed Circle will disable auto grouping. The Gray person still allows other players to send group invites, while the Slashed Circle blocks group invites. Preventing auto grouping works on all maps, except for Deep Space conflicts and Starbase 24 or any other map in which co-op play has been made the rule.
13. How do I trade items to another player?
If you want to trade with another player you need only right-click their avatar and select trade. If you are in a ship, you must be at a complete stop.
14. How do I change my power settings?
The button that looks like two pages overlapped on your power bar lets you access different power information. In the third tab you can manually adjust power levels and save them to one of the four other buttons (Weapons, Shields, Engines, Balance).
15. What is a light year?
A light year is a unit of measurement. It is commonly used to denote the distance to galactic bodies in the universe. It’s also the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one year. A light year is equal to exactly 9,460,730,472,580.8 km or about 5,878,630,000,000 miles. It is a real measurement of distance, not made up by Cryptic.
16. How do I know if a ship is PC or NPC?
Other than mission boss ships, all NPC ships that I have seen are titled by their class, i.e. Bird of Prey. PC ships are always indentified by the player’s character name.
17. Is it just as good to fire all weapons instead of just one or two at a time?
It’s the player’s choice here. However, by using CTRL+SPACEBAR, you fire both beams and torpedoes. The problem with this, in a tactical sense, is that because the torps have a long CD, they may not be available when you need them most. But it’s up to you, your money, your game, your rules…
18. How do I find out how many torpedoes I have?
They are unlimited.
19. When I hit Admiral 10, can I still gather skill points?
No there is a skill cap in place.
20. What does Auxiliary Power do?
It does various things from reading the skills tips. It can help improve ship speed and maneuverability, help decrease repair times to the ship’s hull, and it increase Science Skills.
21. I found a bug, what do I do?
Click the “?” on your mini map. A menu will open that has the option to report a bug. Once open do a search for your bug. If the issue has been bugged already, you can add new information to the bug report. If it hasn’t been bugged, then you can create your own ticket. Be very specific in your report. Where were you, what were you doing, on what mission, in what system, at what part of the mission. This helps the Devs and internal QA pin down the bug.
22. Are there class specific missions?
23. Can you equip more than one kit or can your BOs equip a kit?
No and no. However, as you progress, missions and loot will offer kits that provide multiple abilities.
24. Does your class restrict the type of ship you can use?
No. However, think about your choices in class and ships as you play. Ships offer different class specific functions. The Science Vessel allows for more Science Officers and more science consoles. So think about how you want to play. Ships cost Energy in STO and you should have an idea what or how you want to play so that you don’t have to buy a new ship later on. I recommend using this as a guide:
STO Character Builder (The character builder is created and maintained by Ghley. More information can be found on the forums here: STO Char Builder)
25. What about Klingon’s. Is this relevant to us?
Yes. While there may be some faction differences, in general the core game play is the same.
26. Can pre-order items be used on more than character/account? When will I get my pre-order and how do I use it?
Pre-order items should be available at launch. With a few exceptions all items should be able to be used on all characters. Pre-order items are tied to your retail keys, therefore once the key is used; it is tied to that account and cannot be used for another account, which means you can’t use pre-order items across multiple accounts.
27. What are the various currencies in STO? What are they for?
Energy, Exploration coins, Merit, and Achievements are the various currency types. Energy is what you got for selling you loot to vendors or on the exchange. It’s used for ship/ground items and ship/character customization. Exploration coins are used to purchase higher level ship/ground items. Merit is used to get new BOs and to train BOs.
28. What’s the difference between doing a mission solo vs. grouped? Are the missions harder and if so if someone leave mid mission does the difficulty change?
The biggest difference in solo vs. group is that the missions have more NPCs within the mission map, provided it’s not a combat mission like Starbase 24. So the difficulty is based on more NPCs and no if someone drops, the number of NPCs doesn’t automatically drop until you move on to your next mission.
29. Can I set loot standards when in a group?
Yes you can. The system works similar to WoW’s loot system. Additionally, loot is colored based on rarity and uses the same color scheme as WoW does.
30. What is a Fleet? How do I start one?
A Fleet is the same thing as a guild in other MMOs. In order to start a Fleet, you must be in a group of 5 and talk to the NPC on Sol Station. She is located in the Bridge Officer Requisition area.
31. How do I get promoted?In order to get promoted, you have to talk to Admiral Quinn on Sol Station. Once you have spent enough SP, you will get a mission to go and talk to him. Until you do, you will not be promoted to the next rank or be able to use the abilities of the next rank.
32. How do I get badges?
Depending on the type of badge, you earn them through doing Exploration missions and PvP missions.
33. Can I auto follow?
Yes you can. Right click on the character portrait of the person you wish to follow and select “Follow”.
34. My Away Team didn’t beam down with me, what do I do?
35. How do I access my mail box?
There are 2 ways. First you can click the “down arrow” on your mini map and select it there or you can go to a Starbase and use a terminal. The in-game mail system also lists your Forum PMs as well.
36. How do I view FPS and latency windows?
Type “/showfps 1” and “/netgraph 1” (without the quotation marks). To turn them off replace the 1 with 0.
37. How do I access the C Store/Pre-order Items?
Click the inverted triangle on you mini map, find “C Store” click it. A new window will open. There are two tabs, click the one that says Special, this will show a list of pre-order items or items in general that Cryptic is giving away for specail events or purposes. Click the item you want and then click the “Claim” button at the bottom of the window.
38. How do I find anomalies?
There’s a “Scan” button on the left of the mini-map, or you can press “v” by default. This carries out a scan of the local area and will tell you how many anomalies there are. More than that, there’s a blue beam that sweeps around and points to one of them. However, I have found it will occasionally point to a mission objective instead (eg, scanning an asteroid). Seems to work well both on ground and in space most of the time. (Question and answer from GerrardUK, Thank You)
Thanks to everyone who has provided input and corrections to make this guide as nOOb friendly and informative as possible.