Tribble FAQ - Tribble Breeding for Fun and, well, Loss
Tribbles are an iconic part of the Star Trek franchise, first introduced in the famous 1967 episode The Trouble with Tribbles, set in 2268. Subsequent references occur throughout the franchise, as both incidental background props and entire episodes revolving around the creatures.
Tribbles are formally Polygeminus grex, with a variety of sub-species, breeds, and colors. They are originally from Iota Geminorum IV, and under optimal conditions can breed astoundingly rapidly, with doubling times normally associated with microscopic organisms. Please see the Memory Alpha entry for a variety of other details.
Due to the forum limitation of 11,000 characters, this FAQ has to be split up into multiple posts. This post or its successor will remain the general intro and source of miscellaneous info, with other sections split out as the information available expands. Sub-posts are all linked here for quick reference, as well in their appropriate sections:
Primary FAQ (you are here)
Tribble Breeds The Tribble Breeds page usually updates more often than this main page; check it directly.
Other Useful Links:
IfniLuck's Guide to Tribbles: IfnLuck was the first person to publicly organize a food and breed cross-reference chart
STO-Intel's wiki page on Tribbles: Currently mostly info cobbled from other sources, but the format might be easier to use for some people.
The_MadTom's Tribble Breeding Table: The_MadTom has a differently-organized google doc, a spreadsheet that may be more useful for certain purposes
Yargnit's Tribble Breeding flowsheet: The first fully-organized hierarchy chart
The_MadTom's Visual Tribble Breeding flowsheet: A version of the above with the actual tribble art added, to help recognize color patterns
Yargnit's food and breed cross-reference chart
Wolfiesden's SQL database: Interactive tribble food and breed cross-reference database, which lists which NPCs sell any food that can be purchased
In STO, the differing types of tribbles represented are described as "sub-species", which have a one-to-one correspondence to colors or patterns. Tribbles are activatable equipment, and can be placed in your character's hot bar ("belt"), your bridge officer's hot bar, your inventory, your personal bank, or a fleet bank. Activating a tribble provides a small bonus of some sort, and is represented in game by an animation of the character taking out the tribble and petting it, with appropriate cooing sounds. Tribbles have an official NPC sale or replicator value of 0 (zero); since breeding one requires consuming a food item with non-zero value, you are guaranteed to loose money breeding tribbles unless you can manage to sell a rare one to a fellow player.
Detailed info on Tribble Powers
Known base tribble powers include Healing (the most common), Resistance Buff, Damage Buff, and Regeneration Buff. Most buffs are minor, but last for 60 minutes. Some tribbles have powers that combine multiple effects, and higher-tier tribbles have more powerful versions of the buffs. See Detailed info on Tribble Powers for additional info.
Detailed info on Tribble Breeds
A wide variety of tribble sub-species (or breeds) are known; as of this writing 24 confirmed, with at least 2 more suspected. The solid-color tribbles are generally more common. See Detailed info on Tribble Breeds for further info and the more exotic types.
The primary way one gets tribbles is by breeding tribbles, and some types may only be available through breeding. See the following section for details. However, there are a few other ways to get a tribble:
* As a drop: Some NPC Klingon (and allies) ground enemies that you fight as a Federation character have a chance to drop a tribble as their loot. Details are currently unknown, but there are reliable reports of them dropping in ground missions as early as level 4, and possibly earlier.
* As a pre-order bonus: A tribble pet is available as a pre-order bonus from several retailers. Currently known: Best Buy (US), Game AU (AU), Gross Electronic Silver Edition (DE), HMV Gold Edition (UK), Micromania Silver Edition and Micromania Gold Edition (FR). The subspecies is Polygeminus grex rivera, unusual in both color and powers (see sub-species FAQ for details); it is believed to not be breedable.
* On the Exchange or via trading: Tribbles can be bought and sold on the Exchange, and traded directly between players.
Tribble breeding can occur in your active power bar, in your inventory, or in your Bank. Current reports are that they do NOT breed in the Fleet Bank, although that's not completely verified. You only need a single tribble to start, although some breeds may require multiple tribbles present. They will consume any "food item" in the same location category, replacing it with the new tribble.
Items considered "food items" seem to include all of the consumable out-of-combat regeneration items, including beverages in glass bottles and whatever 25th Century Field Rations are packaged in. It does not include "Provisions", the non-consumable trade item (or at least the chance is very low). Uncommon food items (gotten from drops, or shops other than at Earth, rather than the replicator) are required or at least dramatically improve the chances of getting the less common tribble breeds. Note also that some "uncommon" food items can be purchased from vendors in various locations, such as DS9. Check before buying at inflated Exchange prices!
The timing and odds of tribble breeding is still being researched. At the moment, it appears that there is some sort of time-based check based on elapsed time increments from when you logged in; further research ongoing. It is currently reported that tribbles do not breed in the Fleet Bank, and that they seem to breed slower in your hot bar ("belt") than in your inventory.
Stopping Tribble Breeding
Historically, one of the first questions people ask about tribbles is "How do I breed them?". Shortly thereafter, many people come to the follow-up question "OK, now how do I STOP them from breeding?", quite possibly followed by "Hey, that was my booze!"
While data is inconclusive, at this point it appears that tribbles only breed when there is a "food item" (see above under Tribble Breeding) in the same location category as an existing tribble. For instance, if you have a tribble equipped in your Bridge Officer's item bar, it will not consume food in your own item bar. In general, having equipped (usable) tribbles and equipped (usable) food is not long-term compatible. However, you can have an equipped tribble in your item bar, and as long as you are careful to not have any in inventory, you can store food in your inventory. You'll just have to equip the food and use it promptly when needed.
Trivia: the names of the breeds (officially sub-species) seem to be the last names of Cryptic developers in at least some cases.
Trivia: It is rumored that the public test server for STO will be called "tribble".
Why do they drop from Klingons?: Based on what we know about tribbles in the franchise, it seems unlikely that a Klingon would be carrying them for buffs or cuddle factor. There have been a few suggestions made as to why Klingons drop tribbles as loot:
* Their ship or base has an infestation; the Klingon thought they were carrying some food, but it had been eaten by a tribble when they weren't looking.
* Despite the noise and dislike, it might be a cheap way to tell a real Klingon from an Undine who is shapeshifted into a Klingon appearance; in effect the reverse of the incident from the original episode.
How to make the "ASCII tribble" as seen on the forums, (¯) : This is actually 3 characters with some vBcode, optionally colored:
That's an open parenthesis, an underlined overbar (Unicode U+00AF (175)), and a close parenthesis. To color it, you can add [color=value]([u]¯[/u])[/color], where "value" is a vB recognized color. These are believed to match or be similar to HTML colors. See the listing above for some examples.
If anyone has detailed breeding tests, please post as much info as possible.
This section is for historical reference only; it concerns information on previous versions of the game that differs from the current version.
* Prior to 2010-02-11, there were two tribbles with the same name, "vitales" referred both to a common gray tribble, and a very rare 3-color tribble. Forum breeders took to calling the second, rare tribble "vitales-snail" or "VT2" after the discoverer, Snailelin. The rare tribble's name was patched to "daxter".
Last updated 2010-02-12, with info from Live (Holodeck)
Nice, thank you for spreading (¯) luv. :D
WOOT this needs to sticky for all the breeders out there.
They don't just drop from Klingons.
I got a drop during the newbie Rescue the Azura mission that involves Orion pirates.
oh right I think I got one from the Gorn while doing the rescue mission.
So far all the tribbles I've bred have differing colors and patterns, but their tooltip doesn't list any powers, properties, or buffs at all. Are the buffs just not listed, or are tribbles with buffs just very rare?
I added your guide to my favorites, it should be sticky.
I like fun stuff like tribbles, more of this and less pew pew pew, its fun items and content like this that will hook me for life.
Thanks for that tribbletastic guide! ;)
I noticed if you replay any mission, especially with a lower level friend you are more likely to get a tribble drop, something along the lines of you already played this so were not giving you anything useful...
I'M ****ED AND THE DEVS MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS IT'S RIDICULOUS.
I LOOTED ONE TRIBBLE.
An hour later I had seven in my inventory. SEVEN TRIBBLES!
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