Ship Power Levels

“Spock, where the hell’s the power you promised?”

“One damn minute, Admiral.”

– Kirk and Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

So what exactly do the power levels of your ship actually do in Star Trek: Online? Armed with a brand new character (no skills, no space traits), the default Light Cruiser with its starting equipment, pen, paper, stopwatch and calculator, here’s what I’ve managed to work out so far.


Note: Current Power vs Power Setting

With power levels, the important number is the current power level of a system, not the power level you have set. The STO UI reports power levels as two numbers separated by a slash – the first number is the current power to the system, the second number is the power level you have set for the system.

So if your weapons power, for example, is showing 55/50, the current power to weapons is 55, and that’s the number that matters.

Weapon Power

Damage reported by the tooltip for Phaser Beam Array Standard Issue at different power levels:

Weapon Power Damage
100 200 (160 DPS)
75 150 (120 DPS)
50 100 (80 DPS)
25 50 (40 DPS)

This one seems to be a fairly simple linear relationship, with energy weapons doing double the 50 power damage at 100 power and half the 50 power damage at 25 power.

It’s probably worth noting that the damage reported by a starship weapon’s tooltip in the Weapons Tray or on your Hotbar is dynamic, and appears to show the weapon’s actual damage and DPS adjusted for current power level, skills and other modifiers, whereas a weapon’s tooltip anywhere else (on the Status tab of the Character Status window, in your inventory, at a vendor) is static, and shows the unmodified base damage and DPS at 50 weapon power.

Weapon Power Conclusions

The damage done by energy weapons is increased by 2% for every point of current weapon power over 50, and reduced by 2% for every point of current weapon power below 50.

Shield Power

Thanks to the lack of tooltips showing your current shield levels, this one was more of a pain to test. I let some Borg probes beat on me, then ran out of range and watched the numbers on the ship’s Status tab in the Character Status window, which does show your current shield levels in numerical form:

Shield Power Regen Rate
100 249-250
75 166-167
50 83
25 0

Note that shields regenerate in 6 second ‘ticks’ – the numbers above are how many shield points were regenerated every ‘tick’.

This appears to be another simple linear relationship, with your shields regenerating at triple the 50 power rate at 100 power.

I’m fairly sure that the slight variation in the numbers is caused by rounding errors – STO seems to track most numbers to at least one or two decimal places, but generally only displays them as integers. My suspicion is that the ‘base’ regen rate of the Shield Array Standard Issue is actually something like 83.3 or so.

It’s perhaps worth noting that the regen rate reported by a shield’s tooltip appears to be static, and shows the shield points regenerated every six seconds at 50 shield power.

Shield Power Conclusions

The rate at which your shields regenerate is increased by 4% for every point of current shield power over 50, and reduced by 4% for every point of current shield power below 50.

Engine Power

UPDATE: Please see the Impulse Speed section of the Starship Mechanics article for more information on how Engine Power levels affect the speed of ships.

Auxiliary Power

Shield drain per pulse reported by the tooltip for Tachyon Beam I at different power levels:

Auxiliary Power Shield Drain
100 69
75 52
50 34
25 17

This one, at least, appears to be simple – it’s exactly the same relationship as energy weapon damage and weapon power.

UPDATE: Please see the Turn Rate section of the Starship Mechanics article for more details on how Auxiliary Power affects ship turn rates, and the Other Systems section for some initial information on how Auxiliary Power figures into a ship’s Stealth Detection Rating.

Auxiliary Power Conclusions

The shield drain from the Tachyon Beam ability is increased by 2% for every point of current auxiliary power over 50, and reduced by 2% for every point of current auxiliary power below 50. Further testing is required to see if this is constant across all Science abilities that are affected by auxiliary power levels, or if the rate varies from ability to ability.

As mentioned above, please see the Starship Mechanics article for more details on ship turn rates and Auxiliary Power.

Power Levels Over 100

Weapons power levels over 100 continue to increase the damage of energy weapons at the same rate of +2% per point of power. With a combination of a Tier 2 Escort’s +10 power to weapons bonus and the Emergency Power to Weapons I ability, I was able to get weapons power to 122, and the result was a 144% increase in damage from that at 50 weapons power, as expected.

I haven’t yet had the chance to test the other subsystems, but there would seem to be no good reason why they should behave any differently.

24 Responses to Ship Power Levels

  1. GeckoOBac says:

    You should test with higher than 100 power levels, to see if the bonuses are still linear or after 100 they change. The easiest way to do this would be using the light cruiser and an higher level engineering character, using the EPS transfer skill and the various Emergency to X Boffs powers.

    EPS should be enough to reach the 125 power level cap alone (at least, in beta it did for me), the Emergency power to X though won’t be enough, not at rank I at least.

  2. Wesley says:

    Cool. Next experiment with Tachyon Beam I using different deflectors. I think the best way would be to contrast Tachyon Array and Graviton Array, since the former doesn’t give a bonus to the ability. I think.


  3. BigBadB says:

    @GeckoOBac – Yup, it’s on my list of things to try once I level my engineer up high enough. I spend too much time messing around with things and not enough actually levelling. =)

  4. Wesley says:

    As soon as you get your next ship, you should be able to tell the difference immediately due to power bonuses.

  5. iintrude says:

    Very nice, any info on how Aux effects (if at all) skills like Scramble Sensors or Science Team?

  6. […] Wed February 3, 2010 STO and Number Crunching Posted by canazza under Gaming, News | Tags: Space, Star Trek Online | Leave a Comment  It was only a matter of time before someone decided to do some number crunching in Star Trek Online. The Engines Cannae Take It is a new blog with a couple of good articles on it regarding power levels and character basics, with a focus on number crunching the bewildering kerfuffle that is Cryptic’s latest MMO. This article on power levels is particularly good […]

  7. Crolis says:

    Excellent work. One thing that I would like to see discussed, and it may take till Tier 2 ships to really see this, is the effect of the Impulse Modifier stat to impulse power levels. All the various ship classes have an impulse modifier and turn rate number.

  8. GeckoOBac says:

    A correction to my previous statement: you can’t test higher than 100 power levels on the light cruiser cause it seems they’re capped at 100. A cruiser should be enough though I don’t know if engine and aux power levels are capped at 125 or lower on cruisers. There may be different caps for different ship types (or different functions for higher than 100 power levels, though it seems less likely)

  9. BigBadB says:

    @GeckoOBac – Checked out weapon power levels over 100, and they continue to increase the damage at the same rate. Added a new section to the end of the article to cover it.

    @Crolis – Yeah, I’m interested in that as well. The problem is that I really need to level a character without any Starship Command or Captain skills, as I haven’t tested their exact effects and they’ll muddy the numbers. It is on my list, though. 😉

  10. GeckoOBac says:

    The captain skills, afaik, should give a bonus to the base values of the cruiser, IE the base hull hp and the base speed/turn rate. Which would mean that you would see an increment in speed and in turn rate but, as you tested, more power shouldn’t increase this added bonus in any way, you should simply have an higher base value.

    Of course all this is from in game knowledge and observations, not hard data but I believe it to be quite correct. Being a fast leveler I can test it fast as soon as I reach my next tier ship (already maxed the captain skill). Due to how skills work in this game, if one captain skill works as suggested above, I think we can safely say that all do.

  11. Kal says:

    Hi, nice info, thanks. Just to add a little more, there are different type of engines. The standard engines, hyper engines (better turn at high speeds) and combat engines (better turns at low speeds). I’ve seem that with the combat engines, the ship seems to turn just as fast at all power levels (except 0%, slow turning there). So that is something to take into account for those. I have not tested too much, and don’t have a way to measure other than guesstimates.

  12. Wesley says:

    Next up, Resist stacking!

    Say, I’ve read that there is a freebie when firing an energy weapon. Meaning that it won’t drain any weapon energy. What’s the cooldown on that? Because if cycling shots, perhaps using autofire for timing, allows for reduced weapon drain, then that would probably result in a 20-30% increase in firepower after the first couple seconds of an engagement.

  13. GeckoOBac says:

    Kal: AFAIK the hyper/combat engines don’t boost turn speed but plain speed at high/low energies. IE you are faster with an hyper engine with the same nominal speed of a normal engine if you have a full engine power setting. Same goes for the combat engine at low power setting.

    Wesley: Never heard of that but I know that different weapons have different energy usage. IE cannons drain about 1/10 of beam arrays so the energy drain on escorts is pretty much meaningless. Cruisers, sporting a lot of engineering consoles, usually can spare to place an EPS transfer console which increases the energy transfer (and regen) and so can support more arrays without losing power. Without them going over 3 arrays is usually going to gimp your damage in the long run. But going over 4, given the weapon configuration of cruisers, is usually not the best thing to do anyway. The accepted slot layout is something that dances around this:
    fore: 1 beam array, 2 dual beam banks, 1 torpedo
    aft: 3 beam arrays, 1 torpedo.

  14. Wesley says:

    I’m fairly sure that one energy weapon firing doesn’t draw power. There’s even a Player-related engineering power that allows you to use a second energy weapon for free also. Knowing when energy weapons become free to use again would be helpful in juggling them.

  15. […] The Engines Cannae Take It! does some testing to figure out what power levels do for your ships in S… […]

  16. […] difference. BigBadD has made a fantastic article discussing the ins-and-outs of power consumption here (go read it!), but here’s a brief summary (lifted directly from BBD’s […]

  17. Kaffis says:

    Hyper and Combat Impulse Engines are actually pretty simple:

    They each offer a bonus to speed vs. standard Impulse Engines. The difference is that Hyper Impulse Engines offer the bonus when at full impulse (the non-combat faster travel mode that drains all non-Engine power levels to 5%), while Combat Impulse Engines offer the bonus when out of Full Impulse.

    You can see this on the tooltips; try comparing Hyper, standard, and Combat Impulse Engines’ tooltips (of the same Mark), which offer speed bonus listings for in and out of full impulse mode.

  18. Antaro says:

    Really good analysis and review of power levels.


  19. Atoz says:

    Good information, thanks. Got any testing on reverse impulse? I noticed that turn rate is much better, its just in the opposite direction. There is also reverse engine drain after a few seconds of reverse impulse.

  20. Trey@JHONG says:

    Really useful mate. This is a great explanation. Itwill really help in equiping my cruiser. Helps with Crucially important power considerations in PvP too. Thanks for your time and effort putting this together.

  21. GeckoOBac says:

    An interesting thread concerning weapon power use.

    Item of interest: bringing weapon power over the cap is actually useful due to how weapon power drain works.

  22. BenderTheRobot says:

    Turn rate appears to also be linked to throttle level. It appears to increase linearly between 1% and 33%, then be unaffected by throttle levels above 33%. So it seems like the way to get the tightest turns is to set your throttle to 33%. I didn’t do a while ton of testing on this, but I did a few things similar to what you described, so I have about the same margin of error.

    • BigBadB says:

      That’s interesting, as it’s different to what I noticed at the time I wrote the article. I’m in the process of taking a closer look at both speed and turn rates, so I’ll be sure to check again.

  23. PiterJankovich says:

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