Tips for Star Trek Online Noobs

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Tips For Star Trek Online Noobs

I've started playing this MMO because I was tempted by the lifetime membership. Unlike most MMOs, that only offer lifetime memberships at the start (or end) of their life cycle, STO always has lifetime memberships available. I was able to get mine during one of the regular sales.

Resource Generation

Just like in any MMO, the daily "grind" activity is generating resources (currency and experience points). Once you get your resource generating activities up and running, they need only need an occasional refresh to keep your account advancing.

Duty Officers

The Duty Officer system unlocks at level 11.

Duty Officers ("Doffs") form the backbone of your resource generating activities. Doff missions provide buffs, experience points, equipment, crafting materials, buffs, and better doffs.

Duty Officer Overview

You get a few batches of duty officers from leveling up in the game, and you can choose a new one each time you gain a commendation level, but you'll quickly realize you need more bodies to fill your roster and that you're lacking high-quality doffs who will help you crit on missions and get better results.

The Advanced Doffing Guide has all the information you'll need on getting more duty officers.

There are a few popular ways to get new doffs or improve the quality of the doffs you already have. The Advances doffing guide goes into more detail about all the options.

  • Requisition new doffs. This can be done at your faction headquarters (Starfleet, Qo'noS, Romulan Armada).
  • Get new doffs by finishing the various nebula Colonization chains (a free blue doff) and then running the Support missions when they come up. The support missions create purple doffs on a critical success and refugee doffs on success or critical success.
  • Trade in a "useless" doff for a random useful doff. This is most often done with Prisoner Exchange missions (using prisoners) and Asylum missions (using refugees).
  • Trade in a low-quality useful doff for a different random doff in hopes of improving their quality. This is most often done with the Officer Exchange missions unlocked by finishing the Consular Authority chains in the Alpha Quadrant.
  • One-off or individual missions. There are a number of missions scattered around that create doffs with unusual races or traits. This includes missions that create Caitian Flight Officers, reclaimed Borgs, and doffs from the opposing faction.

If you run these different duty officer missions regularly you'll end up with a mix of high-quality doffs that will help you accumulate resources faster, and low-quality doffs to feed the trading missions or to assign to fleet jobs.

Doffing Notes/Tips

  • Make sure to do "Resettle Colonists" whenever it's available. A lot of Colonists are needed to unock the Colonization chains. They can also be exchanged for dillithium in doffing missions, used in fleet projects, or sold for EC on the exchange.


The Admiralty system unlocks at level 52.

This is a simplified version of the Duty Officer system that uses ship cards instead of doffs. You get a ship card for each ship you control and that your individual characters can fly in game. It's really important to hold on to all the ships you've been given/earned/bought until you get the Admiralty card for each one. If you throw away old "free" ships because you think they're useless now that you've leveled, you'll have to re-buy them to get the ship card.

I've come up with some rough rules of thumb when running admiralty. Some is helpful advice from other people and other information is from personal experience.

For admiralty, Romulan is the "best" racial group over the long term. The Romulan faction has access to twice as many Tier 1-4 ship cards as either the Federation or the KDF. This is because they get their own ships and the ships of whatever faction they align with. C-store Romulan ship cards are available to both KDF and Federation characters to help balance this out. Romulans also have a second advantage in that they can acquire up to three shuttles with -25% maintenance powers for a very modest in-game currency cost. Both Federation and the KDF only get one -25% shuttle. The -25% effects are very powerful for small fleets because they increase how often in a day other ships can be sent out.

For admiralty, Jem'Hadar are the fastest to unlock both doffing and admiralty. This means they're the best choice if your concern is being able to start a character and begin grinding resources right away. They're particularly good as backup or "mule" characters.

For admiralty, Federation is the "best" faction. This is because the Federation has the best mix of low level ship cards. For every tier from 2-4 there's at least one science, one tactical, and one engineering ship. Both Romulan and the KDF skew towards tactical ships and have fewer science and engineering options as a result.

KDF races are therefore in the "worst" starting position for admiralty. Don't panic if you're playing a KDF character. You can overcome the starting weakness of your faction by throwing dilithium and EC at the problem. The KDF are very good at getting their hands on both because they're the superior faction for duty officer missions.

To recap: Romulan is the best long term racial group for Admiralty. Federation is the best faction for Admiralty. KDF is the best faction for Doffing. Jem'hadar are the fastest race to get started in both Admiralty and Doffing.