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When you start playing Star Trek Online, you are building right from the get go and you will not be able to alter what you have until after you have completed the tutorial unless you pick up any drops during via the 'Take Items' tab. From then on you will be given small tasks to get you underway and will be able to pick up or given items as rewards for completion. 

As you go through the game you will start with standard gear. This gear is standard and has no Mk quality given to it. As you progress and level up, you will be able to update your gear. The lowest being at Mk I to the highest being Mk XV. You will be able to have some Mk XII and higher from level 45. Certain gear like fleet gear will only be available from level 50 upwards. 

The following screenshots show what you will see when you start playing and an example of what goes where. Links available for more info.

Beginner Ground EMPTY.PNG


Away Team Candidates

To the right is a screenshot of a newly started character equipped with gear that is Mk II. These have been crafted by another character on the same account and sent over. If this is your first character, then you will not be able to do this until your character is able to craft and then create a new character to send them to. 

You will see a difference in colour between the two weapons. One has a purple background and the other is green. This is because there is a quality difference between the two. 

Quality differences range from white to gold, white being standard and gold being the highest. Here is how they are from bottom to top:

  • Common 

  • Uncommon 

  • Rare 

  • Very Rare

  • Ultra Rare 

  • Epic  

Further information can be found here

Beginner Ground EXAMPLE 1.PNG

So what are the differences between the qualities? Put simply, the better the quality, the better your weapons will perform. Also, this is not just for weapons and includes anything else in the game whether ground or space. However, a lot will depend on what mods you have on certain gear. Below are a few examples of what you can get to get a good start. These can be found on weapons, kit frames and Armor

  • [CritH] - Increases your Critical Chance stats.

  • [CritD] - Increases your Critical Severity stats.

  • [KPerf] - This helps with Kit Performance. 

The above are examples only and you may find more standard as you progress later in the game. By this we mean that when you want to start building up your ground stats properly, we recommend waiting until at least level 50+.

So next up we have a bit more detail on the differences as stated above. Uncommon Ground weapons will have one modifier, Rare will have two, Very Rare will have three and Ultra Rare will have four. Epic will have additional modifiers. The same modifiers may appear multiple times (e.g. [CritD]x2, [Cap]x3, etc.). These can occur on any gear with a modifier suffix. With weapons, the rarer the quality, the more base damage they will do.

Your character will be able to carry two different weapons. Your bridge officers will not. To switch weapons while on ground, press Z. To go into first person shooter mode, press B. To holster your weapon, press H. 

Your Kit Modules are an essential part of your ground build. These will allow you to perform more 'special skills'. Depending on which career your character is depends on what modules you can get. Red ones are tactical, yellow ones are engineering, and blue ones are science. Each have their own merits and a lot of fun can be had with each of these. There are also 'Universal Kit Modules', which can be equipped on any career and do not have a designated colour. 

When you start the game you will have very little and will unlock 'stock' skills as you level up. Additional ones can be bought on the exchange and you can even train your bridge officers in different skills as well. You will also be able to create manuals for training purposes via the crafting system when you have achieved level 15 in Kits & Modules.  

There are many options that you can go with and depending what career you have chosen will reflect on what you will be able to do with your character. By this we mean that every piece of gear you can get and equip is the same or mostly the same across the board, whereas Kit Modules are not, unless they are universal. These have no colour of their own like a career specific one does.


The screenshot to the right shows a tactical character (please excuse the Risa outfit as it was taken during a Summer event). As you can see, most of them are red. This means that they can only be equipped on a tactical made character. There is only one universal console equipped. 

Engineering characters will have yellow Kit Modules and Science characters will have blue. Each module is specifically designed for their career. Additionally, you'll be able to get other modules later down the line such as intel and command which are known as specialist modules and have their own unique colour and can be used on any career. 

The same applies to Kit Frames as well. On a Kit Frame, it will say on it what career it can be used on.  An example is shown below right for a Science officer. 

Character Ground.PNG

Below are a few examples of what you can get to get a good start when building. These can be found on kit frames and Armor

  • [CritH] - Increases your Critical Chance stats.

  • [CritD] - Increases your Critical Severity stats.

  • [KPerf] - This helps with Kit Performance. 

The above are prime examples in which to aim for, especially for those who are interested in dealing good damage. The Critical Chance and Severity increase will improve your damage output and the higher they are, the better your weapons can perform. Please be aware that it will take time to get a build together and cannot be done by the snapping your fingers there and then. 


With Kit performance (KPerf), this will help improve your Kit Module abilities during combat. This is a very good thing to have if you are able to obtain it.

Example Kit stats.PNG

As covered in our Beginner's Guide, our section on traits has been covered to a degree. To the right is the same picture used as before. Only this time, we will cover the Ground aspects.

'Available Traits' section is showing space skills instead of Ground as the Personal Space Traits is highlighted with a blue box. However, the principle is the same. 

Personal Traits and Lists.PNG

Your body armor is essential to any form of survival. There are different types of body armor and it really is up to you as the player to find which one you find works best for your play style. Some favour more resistances in some areas than others while others can lean towards bonuses to damage or Critical Chance for example. 

Click here to see the differences and how they can fit in to your style of play. 

Your character and bridge officers would also benefit from having a personal shield equipped on them. This is used to help negate incoming damage and adds as a barrier before any damage coming in starts hitting your armor. However, this is not always the case. There are different types of shielding and some can be picked up from various story missions. Others can be picked up later on from store vendors as well as kits and other types of gear. Some will come with specialised resiliences while others may favour shield regeneration rate for example. 


The choice is up to you on what you want for your build. To find out more information on ground shields, click here.  

There are different types of energy weapons within the game and a few non-energy types. As this purpose of this page is to get you started, we will only cover the energy types. If you are starting with a Federation character, the default weapon is a Phaser. For Klingon it is a Disruptor. For Romulan it is Plasma, and for Dominion it is Polaron. Each of these have their own 'proc' but essentially the damage that can be dealt with any of these is about the same. 

Below are the different energy types and what they can do:

  • Phaser: 5% chance to stun and reduce target's runspeed.

  • Disruptor: 5% chance to lower target's damage resistance by 20 for 10 seconds.

  • Plasma: 5% chance to deal plasma damage over time (D.O.T) for 10 seconds.

  • Polaron: 5% chance to cause a weapon to malfunction for 10 seconds.

  • Tetryon: 5% chance to deal damage to shields.

  • Antiproton: +20 critical severity bonus. (This energy type does not have its own 'proc').

These are the 'standard' weapons. There are other weapons in the game that stem off the same tree's. For example - Phased Polaron or Romulan Plasma. There are many options to choose from, whether a drop from a lockbox, picked up as a reward from a story mission, the exchange etc.


Click here for a full overview of the ground weapon tree. 

So now you are left wondering how you get the unlocks in Ground Reputation? While working on your reputations, you will unlock these at each tier. There are 6 tiers in each and do take some time to complete. Unlocking Tiers 1 and 3 in any reputation will grant an active ground reputation trait to the list to choose from. Tiers 2 and 4 will unlock space reputation traits. Tier 5 will unlock Active Reputation's which can be either ground or space, depending on the reputation is. More information can be found here

In this next part, we are going to cover training your bridge officers. Why do this? Because it is always handy to have your boffs trained in skills which suit you. Some players decide it isn't necessary for their boffs on the ground while others prefer to make it more suitable to their style of play. 

To do this, you will need to go to a skill trainer. These can be found at the following locations:


  • Earth Spacedock - (Federation faction/aligned only)

  • Qo'nos - (Klingon faction/aligned only)

  • New Romulus Command - (Romulan only)

  • Romulan Flotilla (Romulan Only)

  • Deep Space Nine - (Any faction)

  • Deep Space K-7 (Federation faction/aligned only)

  • Ganalda Station - (Klingon faction/aligned only)

  • Jenolan Dyson Sphere / Dyson Joint Command - (Any faction)



The skill trainer will have a menu where you can purchase skills for either ground or space for a very small amount of energy credits each. Only skills I and II will be available. Level III skills can either be crafted or bought from the exchange.

The screenshot to the right shows the menu that appears when you click top open Bridge Officer Trainer. The menu is split into the respective career choices and ground is represented by - G and space is represented by S. 

The ones most needed up until a certain point will be the three stock career's and are tactical, engineering and science. 

Bridge Officer Trainer
Bridge Officer Training 2

So you have purchased your manual from the skill trainer. You will have to make sure that you meet the following requirements in order to train your bridge crew:

  • Your character is a rank higher than the bridge officer you are promoting. 

  • You have enough XP to be able to promote your bridge officer.

  • Your bridge officer is high enough in rank to be able to train in said skill. 

  • The officer has to be part of your crew. 

  • You can only promote as high as Commander rank.

Now follow the steps below to train your officer:

  • Press U to open up your character screen.

  • Select your officer from the list located on the left.

  • Click 'Skills' located within the top menu. 

  • Select the 'Ensign' display in 'Default Ground Abilities' (The same works for Space as well).

  • The screenshot to the right shows Space abilities but is the same layout as Ground. If your skill is highlighted up it means you have the right manual. Select it and click 'Learn'. You will be informed that this will cost expertise and will use up your training manual. 

Bridge Officer Training 3

Your boff is now trained in the skill you have selected. To the left is a screenshot representing what to do next. It does not matter that this part of the guide is for space as it is exactly the SAME method for training in ground or space.

Go to the 'Stations' tab at the top. For space or ground you will need to assign the correct officer (the one you have trained and want there). To do this, click the drop down menu and select the one you want. 

Bridge Officer Training 4

Your boff is now in your roster and stationed as part of your ground away team/ship station. As we did this training with an Ensign, click the ensign (first box), and it will bring up a menu of what that officer is trained in. All you need to do is select which skill you trained your boff in and now your boff will use that skill. 

Bridge Officer Training 5

We have already covered the basics like tactical, engineering and science abilities. Now it is time to explore additional skills known as 'Specialized' skills. 

In order for your boff to be able to be able to use these skills, they must be trained up first. To train a boff you will need something called a Specialization Qualification. 

Available qualifications are:

  • Command Specialist

  • Intelligence Specialist

  • Miracle Worker

  • Pilot

  • Temporal Operative

Each has their own skills and can prove to be very useful as well as fun! 

Specialization Qualification Manuals can be obtained from the exchange or crafted via the R&D Crafting system. Additionally, some story missions such as 'Delta Flight' give them out as a reward for completing the mission. 

Bridge Officer Training 6

To train your boff, follow the same process again. There are additional stages. 

So a manual has been bought from the exchange - Miracle Worker Specialization Qualification. This is the example we will use to help you learn how to train your boff. The process is for space but works the SAME for ground.

  • Press U to open up your character screen.

  • Select your officer from the list located on the left.

  • Click 'Skills' located within the top menu. 

  • In the top right you will see 'Active Specialization'. This is a drop down menu. Click it and it will show every specialized specialist that you can train in. 

  • In this example, we have 'Miracle Worker' highlighted in blue. This is because we have the Qualification Manual for it. 

  • Click 'Learn'. Miracle Worker Abilities should now be showing under your standard skills. 

  • You now have the ability to train your boff in Miracle Worker skills. You will need Miracle Worker Manuals to train in additional skills. Your new Specialized doff will already have Miracle Worker skills, but only a couple.

  • Obtain a Miracle Worker Manual from the skill trainer and repeat the earlier process we went through with training in tactical, engineering and science skills.

  • Select the 'Ensign' display in 'Default Ground Abilities'. You should now see Miracle Worker skills available. (The same works for Space as well providing you have a boff in a station that allows Miracle Worker seating. If not, these will be greyed out).

  • Again, If your skill is highlighted up it means you have the right manual. Select it and click 'Learn'. You will be informed that this will cost expertise and will use up your training manual. 

Bridge Officer Training 7
Bridge Officer Training 8

Our last topic is 'Active Ground Duty Officers'. You will find this along with space ones on the left hand side menu under where you find your duty officers roster. It is always a good idea to have some slotted as these can compliment your character by a fair margin if you have chosen wisely.


When you first go in here, you will find that your active roster is empty and you have the ability of pick and choose. Both ground and space allow 5 duty officers each that can be slotted. Later on in the game, you can buy an additional space for each making 6 slots available. This is from the Feet Spire and will cost Fleet Credit. Depending on what specialization used for your chosen doffs, depends on if only 1 or up to 3 can be active at any one time. 

A full breakdown can be found here.

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