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Starship Acquisition Guide

westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 5,734 Arc User
This is a fresh update of a document that I originally wrote nine months ago. It has been updated to account for the Jem'Hadar Veteran Destroyer and the conversion of T1-T4 Zen ships to dilithium. Please let me know if any info is out of date.



Ship Acquisition Guide

"Look at all the pretty STARSHIPS! How do I get one?"


This is a guide to all the different ways to obtain a ship in Star Trek Online.

0. Notes:

Throughout this guide, 'Captain' is used to refer to your player character.

After claiming the ships listed below, they will either be found in your Captain's active ships roster, or as an item in your Captain's inventory (which, when used, will produce a ship in your Captain's active ships roster). Your Captain will then need to visit a Starship Selection Officer (located near most Shipyards; there is also one located, independently of a Shipyard, at the Fleet Colony) in order to select it as their current ship, if that is desired.

If your Captain's active ships roster is full, they can gain additional slots by levelling up, or by purchasing slots from the Zen store. You can also free up existing slots by visiting a Starship Selection Officer and either moving inactive ships to the Drydock, or dismissing/discharging inactive ships. Note that some ships (see below) cannot be reclaimed for free after being dismissed/discharged, so be careful!

When you unlock the Admiralty system at Level 52, your Captain's will be rewarded a durable 'Admiralty card' for every ship currently in their active ships roster, and will gain one anytime that they claim a new ship after that (or return it to active ships roster from Drydock). These Admiralty cards can be quite valuable in generating experience, dilithium, and other resources. Due to this, it is advised that you DO NOT dismiss/discharge any ships before reaching Level 52.

The ship that your Captain is currently flying may not be moved to Drydock or dismissed/discharged.

Special note for Starfleet ships: class names (Galaxy-class, Intrepid-class, etc) are not included in the Shipyard main interface or in the active ship roster, but are shown elsewhere. They are included here for player reference.

1. Currency-Free Ships:

1.1.: Starter Ships

Your Captain will be automatically provided with a ship through the tutorial (or if you choose to skip the tutorial). With the exception of the Dominion (whose Captains start at level 60), these ships are considered "Tier 1" ships.

The type of ship your Captain will receive is determined by your Captain's faction, as follows:

2409 Starfleet - Miranda-class Light Cruiser
23c Starfleet - Pioneer-class Utility Cruiser
Discovery Starfleet - Malachowski-class Light Cruiser
Romulan - T'liss Light Warbird
Klingon - B'rel Bird-of-Prey
Dominion - Jem'Hadar Escort (T-5U)

Your Captain will also be provided with a faction-appropriate shuttlecraft, for use in the small number of missions that require their use. (23c Starfleet Captains can also claim a Class F shuttle for free; this must be done manually and is ONLY available while still in the 23c storyline.)

1.2.: Level-Up Reward Ships (Levels 10-40)

As your Captain levels up, you will be able to claim additional ships for free, which are improved over those previously available. You will receive a "Promotion" mission when, or soon after, you reach levels 10, 20, 30, and 40. (Since they start at level 60, Dominion characters do not receive these.) This mission will direct you to return to your faction's 'base', where you will be able to claim the new ship from the Shipyard.

It should be noted that, previously, the Romulan and Klingon selections were also tied to completion of certain storyline episodes. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but if you do not receive the "Promotion" mission popups at the proper time, this may be the reason.

Level 10 - Choice of certain Tier 2 ships.
Level 20 - Choice of certain Tier 3 ships.
Level 30 - Choice of certain Tier 4 ships.
Level 40 - Choice of certain Tier 5 ships.

The available ships are also determined by your Captain's faction. Romulan Captains do NOT have the option of claiming allied ships. 23c and Discovery Starfleet Captains, however, will receive the standard Starfleet selections. The available choices are as follows:

Tier 2:
Starfleet - Constitution-class (refit) Cruiser, Saber-class Escort, Nova-class Science Vessel
Romulan - Dhelan Warbird
Klingon - QulDun Bird-of-Prey, K'tanco Battlecruiser, Somraw Raptor

(Note that the Starfleet Cruiser is the 'refit' version of the original 'Enterprise' as seen in the first three theatrical films, and as the 'Enterprise-A' in films 4-6.)

Tier 3:
Starfleet - Cheyenne-class Heavy Cruiser, Akira-class Heavy Escort, Olympic-class Research Science Vessel
Romulan - Mogai Heavy Warbird
Klingon - Norgh Bird-of-Prey, K't'inga Battlecruiser, Qorgh Raptor

Tier 4:
Starfleet - Galaxy-class Exploration Cruiser, Defiant-class Tactical Escort, Intrepid-class Long Range Science Vessel
Romulan - Ar'kif Tactical Warbird, D'deridex Warbird Battlecruiser
Klingon - Ki'tang Bird-of-Prey, Vor'cha Battlecruiser, Pach Raptor

(Note that most Tier 4 choices are screen-canon ships from the 'The Next Generation' / early 'Deep Space Nine' era. The Starfleet Exploration Cruiser is the 'Enterprise-D' and the Starfleet LRSV is 'Voyager'.)

Tier 5:
Starfleet - Sovereign-class Assault Cruiser, Sentinel-class Star Cruiser, Prometheus-class Advanced Escort, Dervish-class Patrol Escort, Destiny-class Deep Space Science Vessel, Luna-class Reconnaissance Science Vessel
Romulan - Ha'feh Assault Warbird, Ha'apax Advanced Warbird, Ha'nom Guardian Warbird
Klingon - Hegh'ta Heavy Bird-of-Prey, Negh'Var Heavy Battlecruiser, Vor'cha Battlecruiser Retrofit, Qin Heavy Raptor, Vo'Quv Carrier

(Note that some Tier 5 choices are screen-canon ships from the late 'Deep Space Nine' / 'Voyager' era; the Starfleet Assault Cruiser is the 'Enterprise-E' as first seen in the film 'First Contact'.)

1.3.: Dilithium Ships

All ships listed above may be claimed (or reclaimed) via any Shipyard for Dilithium, once the promotion token for that tier has been used. This method will also allow Romulan and Dominion Captains access to their allied faction's selections.

(While these are not really "free", this entry makes the most sense at this point.)

Tier 2 ships require a minimum level of 10. Tier 3 ships require a minimum level of 20. Tier 4 ships (with one exception) require a minimum level of 30.

There are additional ships available at a higher dilithium price at Tiers 1-4.

- These ships were previously Zen-purchaseable ships (see category 2, below); if purchased during that period, they remain available as account-unlocks, as with other Zen purchase ships.

- The Tier 1 "Constitution Cruiser" (sometimes labeled as "TOS Enterprise") is popular with newer players, both for nostalgia reasons (this is the Enterprise from the 1960s TV series), and because it comes with two special infinity-mark 'Retrofit Phaser Banks' (blue quality). Infinity-mark weapons will auto-adjust their stats to the equivalent of an appropriate mark for your Captain's level, until they reach level 50, at which point the weapon's stats will freeze at the equivalent of Mark 11. If you load them into the Upgrade Item screen once the Captain is at level 50+, they will be autoconverted to Mark 12 and are then further upgradable. These Retrofit Phaser Banks can be equipped on any ship. (They also have 1960s style artwork and sound effects. Retrofit Phaser Banks can also be acquired as episode rewards for "Everything Old Is New", but if sourced from the episode, are not infinity-mark.)

- Romulan and Dominion Captains can also access most (not all) dilithium ships of their allied faction.

- Romulan dilithium ships are available to everyone, regardless of faction.

- Captains below level 30 may claim the Starfleet Walker-class Prototype Light Exploration Cruiser (Tier 4), but some equipment slots and some Bridge Officer ability slots will be temporarily locked out until the captain reaches level 30.

1.4.: Episode Reward Ship

Upon completing the episode "Temporal Ambassador", your Captain will be rewarded one faction-appropriate Tier 3 Cruiser. (Romulan and Dominion characters will receive the ship of their allied faction.) This ship will be in a Bound to Character box delivered directly to your Captain's inventory; when used, this box will produce the ship into your Captain's active ships roster. The box may also be stored in your personal Bank.

Starfleet - Ambassador-class Support Cruiser ('Enterprise-C')
Klingon - Kamarag Battlecruiser

1.5.: Level-Up Reward Ship (Level 61)

As you finish levelling up, your Captain will be offered one more free ship choice from the Shipyard. This provides the cheapest (year-round) access to endgame-level ships.

These specific Tier 5 ships are offered at Level 61:

Starfleet - Galaxy-class Exploration Cruiser Retrofit, Defiant-class Tactical Escort Retrofit, Intrepid-class Long Range Science Vessel Retrofit
Romulan - T'varo Light Warbird Retrofit, Dhelan Warbird Retrofit, Mogai Heavy Warbird Retrofit, D'deridex Warbird Battlecruiser Retrofit
Klingon - B'Rel Bird-of-Prey Retrofit, Kar'Fi Battle Carrier, Orion Marauder Flight Deck Carrier

Romulan and Dominion Captains may also choose from the ships offered to their allied faction.

All of these ships may be upgraded to "Tier 5 Upgraded" by use of a Starship Upgrade token. This upgrade may require a separately purchaseable "Starship Upgrade Token", but once applied, these are considered an 'Account Unlock' for that ship type. These tokens must be applied while visiting a Starship Selection Officer, usually found near each Shipyard. (There is also one located, independently of a Shipyard, at the Fleet Colony.) Tier 5 Upgraded incorporates some (but not all) of the additional benefits of Tier 6, including four levels of Starship Mastery bonuses.

These ships are otherwise Zen-purchaseable ships (see category 2, below).

*NOTE: Purchasers of the Lifetime Subscription will receive this reward twice, at Level 50 and at Level 61.

1.6.: Event Ships

From time to time, Star Trek Online offers special 'Seasonal Events' which often include the opportunity to earn, through targeted gameplay, a special ship. A new ship is created for each of these events. These ships are usually "factionless" (meaning that they can be used by any captain) and represent "minor" or "alien" races.

These ships are now generally Tier 6 ships, but prior to October 2014 (Delta Rising expansion) Event Ships were Tier 5 ships.

In most years, three 'Seasonal Events' rewarding ships are offered:
Anniversary Event (February)
Summer Event (usually July-August, but sometimes a bit earlier or later)
Winter Event (December-January)

A one-time special Mycelial Event (which also rewarded a ship) was offered in Fall 2019.

Players who previously earned an Event Ship can reclaim them at any time, through the Event Reputation Store. (Captains must be Level 50 or higher in order to reclaim the older Tier 5 Event Ships. Tier 6 Event Ships may be claimed at any level, but some equipment slots and some Bridge Officer ability slots will be temporarily locked out until the Captain reaches level 40.)

(to be continued due to post size limit)
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  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 5,734 Arc User
    edited May 2020

    2. Purchaseable Ships (Zen):

    A very wide variety of additional Tier 5 and Tier 6 ships can be purchased with Zen. (The list is too exhaustive to give here, and is constantly expanding.) These may be purchased from the Zen store interface or directly from the Shipyard.

    Some notes, however:

    - Zen purchase ships are considered 'Account Unlocks', meaning that once purchased, they can be reclaimed for free, even on other Captains, as long as the claiming Captain is of a proper level and faction. (To reclaim, visit any Shipyard.) As such, you need not 'save' them in your Captain's Drydock for later reclamation.

    - Tier 5 ships require a minimum level of either 40 or 50 (depending on the particular ship).

    - Captains below level 40 may claim Tier 6 ships, but some equipment slots and some Bridge Officer ability slots will be temporarily locked out until the captain reaches level 40.

    - Tier 5 ships are priced at either 2000 Zen or 2500 Zen; Tier 6 ships are priced at 3000 Zen.

    - Some (not all) Tier 5 ships can be upgraded to "Tier 5-U", which gives some (not all) of the benefits normally associated with Tier 6, including an additional console slot and four levels of Starship Mastery. This upgrade often requires a separately purchaseable "Starship Upgrade Token", but once applied, these are considered an 'Account Unlock' for that ship type. These tokens must be applied while visiting a Starship Selection Officer, usually found near each Shipyard. (There is also one located, independently of a Shipyard, at the Fleet Colony.)

    - Tier 6 ships offer a fifth level of Starship Mastery, which allows the Captain to earn a Starship Trait. Once earned, these traits may be used while flying any ship.

    - Romulan and Dominion Captains can also access most (not all) Zen ships of their allied faction.

    - Romulan Zen store ships are available to captains of all factions.

    - The Temporal Raider, Temporal Multi-Mission Science Vessel, Temporal Dreadnought Cruiser, the Jem'Hadar Vanguard Temporal Warship, the Cardassian Intel Escort, Cardassian Intel Flight Deck Carrier, Cardassian Intel Science Dreadnought, and all of the Tier 5 ships included in the 'Gamma Vanguard' pack (Cardassian Galor Cruiser, Jem'Hadar Dreadnought Carrier, Jem'Hadar Heavy Escort Carrier), are available to Captains of all factions.

    - Starfleet, Romulan, and Klingon Captains can also access the Dominion's Vanguard Heavy Raider, Vanguard Warship, Vanguard Carrier, and Vanguard Dreadnought Cruiser ONLY AFTER the player has unlocked these by achieving their (unique) sixth level Starship Mastery on them with a Dominion Captain.

    - There are quite frequently sales on Zen ships. 20% off sales tend to happen once every two to three months, and a steeper discount is often available on "Black Friday" and sometimes on other US holiday weekends. If you also buy your Zen when it's on sale, you can buy ships for something close to half of the standard cash-to-Zen equivalency. During ship sales, a free Starship Upgrade Token is included with the purchase of any Tier 5 ship that requires one.

    - Many Zen ships are also offered in bundles, which can offer a very large discount, and in some cases include non-ship items as well. In some cases, the bundle prices can be as little as half of the value of the ships if purchased individually.

    - The Tier 5 Galor-class Cruiser (not sold separately; included with the 3-pack Cardassian Tier 6 ship bundle or the Gamma Vanguard expansion bundle) comes with four free infinity-mark 'Spiral Wave Disruptor Beam Arrays' (purple quality), ONLY the first time that it is claimed by each Captain.

    - Several other ships also come with infinity-mark weapons. Infinity-mark weapons will auto-adjust their stats to the equivalent of an appropriate mark for your Captain's level, until they reach level 50, at which point the weapon's stats will freeze at the equivalent of Mark 11. If you load them into the Upgrade Item screen once the Captain is at level 50+, they will be autoconverted to Mark 12 and are then further upgradable. Some (not all) of these can be equipped on other ships in addition to the one they come with. (Note: there are also some instances of infinity-mark ground combat items, some of which autoconvert to other mark levels.)

    - In some cases, when claiming these ships, they will be delivered to your Captain's inventory in a Bound to Character box, and can be moved to your Captain's active ships roster by using the box. In other cases, they will be automatically unpacked into your Captain's active ships roster. Boxed ships may be stored in your Captain's personal Bank.

    - Players wishing to access these ships (and other Zen store items) without using real-world cash, may do so by purchasing secondhand Zen with refined dilithium. See the "Exchange" button in the dilithium section of your Captain's inventory Assets tab.


    3. Veteran Reward Ships:

    Purchasers of the Lifetime Subscription will immediately gain access to three unique ships (per faction, excluding Dominion), including a shuttle, Tier 5 ship, and Tier 6 ship. These specific ships are not available in the Zen store but are otherwise treated as if they had been purchased with Zen, and may be claimed from the Shipyard.

    These ships are also available, after a significant delay, to players with an active Monthly Subscription. However, new Monthly Subscriptions are no longer available.

    Starfleet Captains will receive access to the Captain's Yacht, Tier 5 Chimera-class Heavy Destroyer, and Tier 6 Manticore-class Heavy Destroyer.

    Romulan Captains will receive access to the Commander's Gig, Tier 5 Daeinos Warbird Destroyer, and Tier 6 Dinaes Warbird Destroyer.

    Klingon Captains will receive access to the DujHod General's Chariot, Tier 5 Peghqu' Heavy Destroyer, and Tier 6 Duvqu' Heavy Destroyer.

    Dominion Captains will receive access to only one unique ship, the Tier 6 Jem'Hadar Vanguard Heavy Destroyer.


    4. Purchaseable Ships (Fleet Credits / Ship Modules):

    If your Captain is a member of a Fleet, they may have the opportunity to purchase Fleet variants of certain ships from the Shipyard. In order to do so, your Captain's Fleet must allow members at your Captain's current Fleet ranking to "Buy from Provisioned Fleet Vendors" (check your fleet's settings tab; this setting is customizable by the fleet leadership for rank 1-6 members, and is locked to "on" for rank 7 members) and have a non-zero number of Military Fleet Ship Provisions.

    While there are Shipyard facilities located at some of the Fleet bases (notably the Starbase's Tactical level and the Spire), access to Fleet ships is also available at public-location Shipyard facilities.

    Some notes:

    - Your Fleet's current quantity of Military Fleet Ship Provisions is visible in two places: in your Fleet's starbase tab, under the provisions view, or in the cost section of the Shipyard interface. These can be generated by certain red starbase development projects. One Military Fleet Ship Provision is consumed by each Fleet ship purchase.

    - Fleet ships are considered a separate ship-type from their non-Fleet equivalent, so in the case of Tier 5, the "Upgrade" account unlock does not carry over.

    - Fleet ships, when compared to their non-Fleet equivalent ship, have 10% higher shield and hull multipliers and an extra console slot. In a very few cases, they may also have a different Bridge Officer layout. Fleet ships also reward a separate durable Admiralty card from their non-Fleet equivalent ship.

    - Fleet ships do NOT include any special weapons or consoles which come included on their non-Fleet equivalent ship, but can use them.

    - Tier 6 Fleet ships do NOT offer a fifth level of Starship Mastery, so cannot be used to earn Starship Traits.

    - Ships which are sold for Zen in a three-variant pack designated by profession, are already of Fleet quality (the additional console slot is used to differentiate them), so therefore, Fleet versions of these ships are not available.

    - Fleet Ship Modules are required for most Fleet ships. These are available from the Zen store and from the Exchange. You may also earn a limited number of these (which, unlike the Zen store ones, will be Bound to Character) through the Reputation system.

    - The available selection of Fleet ships depends on your Fleet's development level. Although many Fleet NPC vendors will allow your Captain to bypass their own Fleet's development level restrictions, by shopping while visiting another fleet's bases as a guest (in these cases, the host fleet's development level is used to determine vendor item accessibility), this DOES NOT work for ship purchases.

    4.1.: Fleet variants of Zen ships

    Many Fleet ships are improved variants of Tier 5 and Tier 6 Zen-purchasable ships. These ships may be purchased with a combination of Fleet Credits and Fleet Ship Modules.

    If you have purchased the equivalent Zen ship (see category 2, above), at the same tier, the Shipyard will apply a massive discount to the number of Fleet Ship Modules required (generally reducing it to one module). You do NOT need to currently have the Zen ship in your inventory to receive this discount.

    4.2.: Fleet variants of Event and Veteran ships

    Fleet variants of the Veteran Starships and the Risian Corvette (2019 Summer Event) ship are available. The method of purchase is the same as the variants of Zen ships.

    However, since it is not possible to purchase these ships without previously unlocking their non-Fleet equivalent, the Fleet Ship Module discount always applies.

    It should be noted that, unlike other Fleet variants, the Fleet Risian Corvette has a markedly different Bridge Officer configuration and adds pilot maneuvers, but does NOT gain an additional console slot.

    4.3.: Fleet variants of other ships

    Some Fleet ships are variants of ships not available in the Zen store at the same tier. Some of these are still sold for a combination of Fleet Credits and Fleet Ship Modules, while others have a cost solely in Fleet Credits.


    5. Purchaseable Ships (EC):

    A very small number of ships are available in the Shipyard for EC. Some of these ships do not become available until you reach or complete a particular storyline episode. For example, the Starfleet Type 8 Shuttlecraft requires completing "The Vault".


    6. Phoenix Tokens:

    Event Ships (see section 1.6) may also be claimed, on a single-claim-only basis, from the Phoenix Store using an Ultra Rare (for Tier 5) or Epic (for Tier 6) Phoenix Token. These Tokens are randomly rewarded from opening Phoenix Prize Packs, and are the two rarest forms of Tokens (out of five) rewarded from these Prize Packs. Phoenix Prize Packs and Tokens are Bound to Account, so may not be transferred or sold to other players, but may be stored in your Captain's personal Bank or Account Bank.

    Phoenix Prize Packs may be bought in the Dilithium Store, for 4500 dilithium per pack, or 40,000 dilithium for a bundle of ten, with no purchase limit. These do not require a key to open.

    This method is intended to make these ships available to newer players who missed the ships' original events.


    7. Exchange Ships:

    The following ships, while originally available from various sources, are delivered in an unbound "Special Requisition" pack. Unbound "Special Requisition" packs can be resold (and therefore purchased) via the Exchange, for EC.

    Keep in mind that the Exchange is a player-to-player consignment (resale) shop. Availability and price is therefore affected by supply and demand economics.

    MOST "Special Requisition" ships are "factionless" (meaning that they can be used by any captain) and represent "minor" or "alien" races. In some cases, however, they represent major-faction ships, and sometimes the "Special Requisition" will either be limited to being opened by the appropriate faction, OR will produce an alternate ship if opened by a different faction.

    Unbound "Special Requisition" packs may also be stored in your Captain's personal Bank, Account Bank, or Fleet Bank. Unbound "Special Requisition" packs may also placed in the Mail system as an attachment, or traded to another Captain directly by use of the Trade interface.

    Please note that once the "Special Requisition" is opened (and grants the actual ship), the resulting ship is completely non-transferrable and non-resellable.

    7.1. Lock Box Ships

    Many ships are available as the "big prize" item from Lock Boxes. A new ship (or multiple ships) will be introduced with each new Lock Box, and are delivered as a "Special Requisition Pack" bearing the name of the enclosed ship, or a "Special Requisition Choice Pack" from which multiple ships can be selected. New Lock Boxes are introduced about three to four times per year.

    Older ships may also be found in the Infinity Lock Box (which combines the items available through Lockboxes which have been retired for a significant time) by winning an "Infinity Prize Pack - T6 Ship" or "Infinity Prize Pack - T5 Ship". These Prize Packs are non-transferrable, but may be used to select a "Special Requisition" pack, which is transferrable, from a list of eligible ships.

    It should be noted that the chance of receiving a "Special Requisition" pack from a Lock Box is individually randomized and is quite low (while precise odds have never been officially released, most large-sample testers have reported results of 0.2% to 0.8%), and that opening Lock Boxes requires Keys (which are a Zen purchaseable item, though they may also be resold/bought on the Exchange).

    If you are on a budget, or prefer to avoid the risk inherent in randomness, it is advised that you purchase a "Special Requisition" pack for the desired ship directly from the Exchange, rather than trying to generate it by opening Lock Boxes.

    7.2. Promotional Pack Ships

    During special Research & Development or Duty Officer events, a promotional version of the appropriate Zen store purchaseable packs becomes available. Opening these Promotional packs grants a chance to win a "Special Requisition Choice Pack - Tier 6 Promotional Ship Choice Pack". These "Special Requisition Choice" packs are non-transferrable, but may be exchanged for the player's choice of a list of specific "Special Requisition" packs, which ARE transferrable.

    It should be noted that the chance of receiving a "Special Requisition" pack from a Promotional Pack is individually randomized and quite low (although precise odds have never been officially released). If you are on a budget, or prefer to avoid the risk inherent in randomness, it is advised that you purchase a "Special Requisition" pack for the desired ship directly from the Exchange, rather than trying to generate it by opening Promotional packs.

    7.3. Lobi Crystal Ships

    When opening Lock Boxes, Promotional Research & Development Packs, and Promotional Duty Officer Packs, if you do not receive a ship pack, you will instead be rewarded with an amount of Lobi Crystals.

    Lock Boxes generate a variable number of Lobi Crystals averaging between 4 and 5 Lobi Crystals per box. Promotional Packs generate 10 Lobi Crystals per pack.

    There have also been special (calendar) events that have allowed players to earn or purchase Lobi Crystals for a limited time and/or in limited quantity.

    Lobi Crystals are Bound to Account, so can be transferred to the owner's other characters via Account Bank, but are non-transferrable to other players (including via the Exchange). However, they can be exchanged for a wide variety of specialty items via the Lobi Crystal Store. While most Lobi Crystal Store items are Bound to Character, ships are an exception to the rule, and are delivered in an unbound "Special Requisition" pack.

    Generally, one or more new ships will be added to the Lobi Crystal store whenever a new Lock Box is released.
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