I was among the first group of Closed Beta testers so I've got a bit of knowledge I can share about a Ship's power and how to squeeze every megawatt of power from the Warp Core. So this is my Beginner's Guide to Ship Power. I'm not going to cover everything about a Starship in details. I'm going to assume you have a basic familiarity your ship. I'm also going to touch upon certain aspect of ship combat that deal with ship's power.
Section I - The Basics
We don't have any power, Captain. Main and Auxiliary power are offline.
First off a ship's power is the foundation for everything you do on your ship. If you don't have any power, you can do nothing at all. Secondly no matter how many terragigahugeunit-watts of power your Warp Core can provide, it's never enough. So you have to distribute power to the subsystems of your ship depending on need.
All of the systems on a ships are divided into 4 groups of Subsystems: Weapons, Shields, Engine, and Auxiliary Systems. Anything that can do direct damage are classified as weapons. Shields (aka Deflector Shields) are your main protection to prevent damage from Weapons. Engine is basically how fast you can travel and how fast the ship can turn. Auxiliary Systems are everything else. It's the Deflector/Tractor Beam (push/pull/hold ships), Emitters (which can buff/debuff targets in various ways), Sensors (how well you can sense other ships or prevent them from seeing you).
Obviously the more power a subsystem has the better they perform. Weapons will do do more damage. Shield will regenerate faster and resist damage better. Engine allows you to travel faster and turn quicker. Auxiliary allow better Buff/Debuff. (Note: Not all Auxiliary Systems are affected by Auxiliary Power settings. But if your Auxiliary Systems power drops to zero, all Auxiliary Systems will not work. The Seaon 1.2 update has made a lot abilites now dependent on Auxiliary Power. Check your abilites/power infomation in the 'P'ower window to see if they are dependent on Auxiliary Systems power.)
How do I power my ship's systems?
I'm glad you asked. You ship is primarily powered by your ship's Warp Core (you know the matter/anti-matter reactor. No? Sigh. The big glowy thing in engineering.) There isn't any real device or item in the game which is a Warp Core. It's an intrinsic part of your ship.
The Base Total Power of you ship is represented by 200 units. You distribute these 200 units to each Subsystem. The rules you have to follow are as follows. You allocate units in groups of 5. And you must allocate at least 25 units to a subsystem. And you can allocate no more then 100 units to a Subsystem. So you could run all four Subsystems at 50. Or one Subsystem at 100, another at 50 and the other two at 25. Or two subsystems at 75 and there other two at 25. Well you get the picture.
How do I manage my ships power?
Your ship's power management console is located to the right of the throttle bar at the bottom center of the screen. Most of the console is taken up by the power displays for each Subsystem. In order, (in order) the indicators are for Weapons, Shield, Engine and Auxiliary Systems. Each indicator shows what the power allocation is set to. And also how much actual power actually is in each Subsystem. (More on this below)
At the top of the console there are 4 buttons which represent 4 default power allocations schemes/modes: Attack, Defense, Speed, and Balanced. (And from now on I will refer to power distributions as 50/50/50/50 which in order are Weapons, Shields, Engine and Auxiliary). Attack profile is for maximum weapon damage and moderate shield regen (100/50/25/25). Defense is maximum shield regenerate and moderate weapons damage (50/100/25/25). Speed is for maximum speed/turning rate and moderate auxiliary systems (25/25/100/50). Balanced is moderate (aka base) performance for each Subsystem (50/50/50/50).
The power distribution console has 3 different display modes. You select the mode by clicking in the icon that looks like tiled windows. Mode 1 is a numeric display for the power indicators. Mode 2 is a bar graph for the power indicators. Mode 3 is a bar graph display as well. But Mode 3 also allows you to manually tweak the power distribution settings. That means you can create custom Power Profiles
Custom Power Profiles
In display mode 3, you can click and drag the power indicators. The other subsystem indicators will change in response. To lock a power settings for a subsystem. Click on the small locks icon on top of the subsystem power indicator. Don't lock more then 2 otherwise you won't be able to change power allocations. These power settings are temporary until changed. You can to save the Power Profile, click on the left icon below the Profile Selector icons. The circular arrow is the reset button to the restore the default values of the current profile.
Power Transfer Rate
When power levels are changes via power allocations, the power levels don't change instantly. Power Transfer Rate is how fast your actual power levels change when you shift power allocations. The default rate is 5 units per second
. Power Transfer Rate can be increased certain ship equipment and via the XXXX Captain skill. In battle being able to shift power allocations quickly can sometimes be crucial in combat. (I.E. Your shields are weakening, and another two Cruisers are bearing down on you. You need to go defensive to build shield strength while your teams mates finish off the current group of ships.)
Section II - How do I squeeze some more power from my Warp Core?
A Starfleet Officer with the right training, the right equipment and/or the ship can get more power of their Warp Core and Subsystems. This means that you can actually go above base power level allocated to a Subsystem. You can even go above the normal maximum allocation level 100.
All of the skill power setting bonuses stack with the Equipment and Ship Bonuses. If you take everything together you can have the following examples. An Escort with a +5 power settings Console can run 120/53/32/32 in Attack profile. A Science with a +5 AUX console ould be running be running 53/100/32/47 in Defense profile or 53/53/53/68 in Balanced Mode. A Cruiser with a set of four different consoles, all of the ship power skills and traists could be running 63/63/63/63 in Balanced. In short, you can be a literal powerhouse if you got for it.
Also there is a cap on the usable about of power. Usable total power on a subsystem is capped at 125. You can boost the power level higher then 125, but only 125 is usable.
As I mentioned the type of ship can have more efficient Subsystems which will affect base power settings. These bonuses vary according to the ship type. But they, in general, fall in line with what the ship type is best at.
- Escorts - +15 Weapons
- Cruisers - +5 Weapons, +5 Shields, +5 Engines, +5 Auxiliary Systems
- Science Vessels - +15 Auxiliary Systems
- Battlecruisers - +10 Weapons, +10 Engines
- Raiders (Bird of Prey) - +15 Weapons
- Raptors - +15 Weapons
- Carriers - +5 Weapons, +5 Auxiliary Systems
- Orion Cruiser - +5 Weapons, +5 Shields, +5 Engines, +5 Auxiliary Systems
- Gorn Fleet Support - +15 Auxiliary Systems
- Nausicaan Siege Destroyer - +10 Weapons, +5 Shields, +5 Engines
The right equipment can also increase power settings.
Engineering Consoles There are various Engineering Consoles which can add a bonus to one or more individual Subsystems. The consoles go up to +3 at the highest Marks. If you have the Console slots on the ships, you can have multiple consoles of the same type of Console. The Console bonuses do stack with all other power setting bonus.
Ship Batteries and Related Devices A battery is a comsumable device that can be equipped on your ship. (There are also permanent device, like the Red Matter Capacitor, which can add power to two or more subsystems but aren't consumed. These are treated as batteries) The battery will appear as a Power icon on your hot tray and 'P'owers window. When you use a battery, the appropriate subsystem get's a +75 power setting bonus for 3 seconds. The power amount and duration can be improved with the Power Batteries Captain skill.
Efficient Impulse Engine And I would be negligent if I didn't mention the (rare) Efficient Impulse Engine Mk IV. It's one of the possible rewards in the second half of the "City on the Edge of Never" episodic mission. This Impulse engines adds +3.8 power for Weapons, Shields and Auxiliary Systems.
There are two new Starship equipment sets which give power setting bonuses. I won't go into much detail beyond their power setting bonuses. These equipment sets are different in they give a special bonus for have 2 or more pieces of the set equipped.
Aegis Set The Aegis Set is a 3 piece set that is created via Crafting. The Aegis Hyper Impuse Engine gives at +5 Engine Subsystem power setting bonus.
Borg Assimilated Set The Borg Assimilated is a 4 set that is obtained by completing the PvE mission Assimilated and the Omega Section Vendors stores. Each piece of the set will a +5 power setting Bonus to one of the 4 Subsystems (Weapons, Shields, Engines, Auxiliary Systems).