Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,066
# 1 Ship Power Guide & Calculator
01-30-2013, 04:28 PM
The Guide/Calc is fully updated through the Legacy of Romulus expansion. There were no mechanics/rule changes in S8-9, so other than some missing ships in the Calc, everything should continue to work fine as is...

Welcome to Lord Havelock's Ship Power Guide and Calculator. This primer will teach you the basics on what a ship's power is for, what game features affect that power, and what you can do to improve your numbers. Then at the end is a link to download my STO Power Calculator. It's an Excel spreadsheet that simulates game mechanics and can help with character design.

In Star Trek Online a starship generates power from its warp core and applies this power to four subsystems: Weapons, Shields, Engines, and Auxiliary (Aux).

  • Weapons power controls the damage caused by your energy weapons (beams and cannon). It does not affect projectile weapons (torpedoes and mines). At 50 power your energy weapons do the base damage listed on the weapon's tooltip, at 100 power you get double damage.
  • Shield power affects the regeneration level of your shields. Below 25 power your shields regenerate very slowly. At 25 you get half rate, 50 gives you listed rate. Each point of power above 50 increases your shield regeneration rate by 4%, So at 100 shield power your shields regenerate at triple their listed rate. Also, higher shield power increases shield damage resistance. 50 Power is 14% resistance, 100 is 28% (formula is Power Level*0.28%).
  • Engine power controls your speed and affects your turn rate. If your effective engine power is normally low, you'll want a Combat-Impulse Engine. If it's normally high, you'll get better performance out of a Hyper-Impulse Engine. In between? Stick to a standard Impulse Engine.
  • Aux power is used to boost various abilities including Auxiliary to SIF, Gravity Well, Hazard Emitters, Sensor Scan, Tractor Beam and many others. Cloaking/Battle Cloak strength is also affected. Aux abilities are scaled to be 50% effective at 25 power, 100% effective at 100 power.

    * Note: There are still legacy sites/info on the internets about Aux controlling a ship's turn rate. This info is outdated, and Engine power has affected turn rate since 2010.

The way power is assigned to your subsystems is controlled by the player via your ship's HUD, and can be changed at will (though a shift in power may take a few seconds to complete as affected by your Power Transfer Rate). There are four preset modes: Attack, Defense, Speed, and Balanced. Custom changes can be made, altering any subsystem in 5-point increments (never below 15 or above 100). These changes can be made temporarily, or saved for future use.

Depending on your Warp Core type (see below) your ship will get a base between 160-200 power points. The first time you launch a new ship, your systems are set to the Balanced setting, where all four subsystems are equally based between 40-50 each. For PvE play, if you have no other speciality (such as team healer), I recommend you click the X in the UI, shifting your ship into the Attack preset so your Weapons power setting increases to 100.

The amount of power your ship can use can be increased by many factors, though there is a typical hard cap of 125 per subsystem (130 with the right Core). A subsystem will go offline if your power is brought down to 0 in that system. Methods to improve your ship's power include:

  • Warp Cores. Introduce as an itemized component with the launch of STO's Legacy of Romulus update in May of 2013, these pieces of equipment are integral to your ship's power. Warp Cores provide a number of various buffs (and drawbacks) from increased power caps, increased (and decreased!) power levels, bonus powers/abilities, enhanced sector space warp, improved Engineering or Scientific skills, etc. Romulan ships use Singularity Warp Cores (which allow for 40 power to each subsystem, 160 total, and assorted Singularity Powers), all other Factions (Federation, Klingon, etc.) use Matter/Antimatter Cores (50 power to each subsystem, 200 total, and increased power buffs). Many additional details about Warp Cores can be found in this Dev Blog.

  • Skills in the Starship Engineering branch. All are usable by any captain regardless of profession (not just Engineers). Starship Warp Core Efficiency and Starship Warp Core Potential affect all subsystems. The Starship {SubSystem} Performance skills only affect their specific system (ie Starship Engine Performance only helps your Engine power levels). Warp Core Efficiency only affects power levels when a subsystem is set below 75 and is most effective closer to 15. Potenial and Performance skills will improve power at all levels.
    - Starship Warp Core Efficiency
    - Starship Warp Core Potential
    - Starship Engine Performance
    - Starship Shield Performance
    - Starship Auxiliary Systems Performance
    - Starship Weapon Systems Performance
  • Character Traits. Traits are determined by race at character creation, but new ones can be gained through leveling, and respects to alter existing traits are available. The Traits that affect ship's power are:
    - Efficient Captain: +30 to Starship Warp Core Efficiency. Can not be combined with Joined Symbiote, but is included in the Liberated Borg racial trait.
    - Joined Symbiote: Provides several buffs but only one of which affects ship's power with a +3.3 to Starship Warp Core Potential skill. This trait can not be combined with Efficient Captain.
    - Warp Theorist: +10 to Starship Warp Core Potential skill and +10 to Starship Electro-Plasma System (the latter improves Power Transfer Rate).
  • Special Bridge Officers with the Efficient space trait. These BOs give a +7.5 to your Captain's Starship Warp Core Efficiency skill and are stackable with the Efficient Captain trait and other Efficient BOs.
    - Liberated Borg Bridge Officers. These account-wide Engineer BOffs were originally unlocked with the Amazon Collector's Edition of the Game, but now the original Engineer and a Tactical Reman BOff (the latter Romulan-faction only) are available via the C-Store and a Science Romulan Lib Borg BOff can be purchased from the Lobi Store. These are now per-character unlocks.

    *Note: There is a special Science Liberated Borg BOff awarded via a certain STF Accolade that does not have the Efficient trait.

    - Some Uncommon, Rare, or Very Rare Saurian (Federation) or Lethean (KDF) Bridge Officers may have the Efficient trait. These can be obtained randomly during leveling (when BOffs are awarded) and from certain Duty Officer assignments.
    * Note: These BOs are often available on the Exchange with in-game EC, though can be quite expensive.
  • Ship Class can also affect your power level. There are a variety of different bonuses depending on the Class, and you'll want to read the details as listed on your specific ship description in the Shipyards, but here are some examples:
    - Basic Federation Cruisers and the KDF Orion Patrol Cruiser get +5 to each of the four subsystems.
    - Most Federation Escorts and KDF Raiders (Bird-of-Prey)/Raptors get +15 to their Weapons power.
    - Federation Science Vessels get +15 to Aux power.
    - KDF Battle Cruisers get +10 to each Weapons and Engine power levels.
    - Romulan Warbirds generally provide +10 Weapons and +5 Engines, but vary greatly depending on actual class.
    - The Federation flagship Odyssey has various buffs depending on which version of the ship you fly. The Basic and Operations models each get +5 to each subsystem. The Science model gets +10 to each Shields and Aux, and the Tactical Odyssey gets +10 to Weapons, and +5 to each Shields and Aux.
    - KDF Nausicaan Guramba Siege Destroyer has two Power Settings on the same ship, depending on mode: The Innate Mode offers +10 to Weapons Power and +5 to Engine Power; and Siege Mode +10 Weapons, +5 Shield, and -5 Engine.
  • Equipment: There are a variety of sets, consoles, and other ship equipment that can provide a bonus. Here are some examples:
    - Aegis Technological Research Set:
    Aegis Covariant Shield Array grants a +7.6 to your Starship Shield Performance skill.
    Aegis Graviton Deflector Array grants +5 Shield power.
    - Retro Assimilated Borg Technology Set:
    Assimialted Graviton Deflector Array grants +5 Aux power.
    Assimilated Regenerative Shield Array +5 Shield power.
    Assimilated Subtranswarp Engines +5 Engine power.
    - Engineering Consoles (Bonus varies by mark/rarity):
    Plasma Distribution Manifold increase Weapon power.
    Field Emitter for increased Shield power.
    Injector Assembly increase Engine power.
    Booster Modulator increase Aux power.
    - Additional Examples:
    Assimilated Module (Universal Console) +5 Weapon power.
    Jem'Hadar Combat Impulse Engines Varied Weapon power boost.
    Zero-Point Energy Console +1.8 to all Subsystems.

    - Set Bonuses: There are some pieces of equipment, that when combined, include a power-enhancing passive.
    For example, putting both the Molecular Phase Inversion Field and the Projected Singularity consoles on the same Romulan D'deridex-class ship will provide the Enhanced Maneuvering Systems passive, which among other things adds +10 to Engine Power.
    Combining any two of the three-piece Klingon Honor Guard STF Set pieces (Deflector, Engine, or Shield) grants Tactical Readiness for a +8.8 to Auxiliary Power.

    Other pieces of gear including the MACO Resilient Shield Array, various Batteries, the Red Matter Device, certain Warp Cores, and some Captain, Bridge Officer, and Duty Officer Abilities will temporarily increase your power levels. These effects apply power buffs only when triggered or during certain circumstances. The variety of possible combinations are beyond the scope of this Guide or Calculator to encompass, but you will notice special fields in the Calculator for optional manual entry of these effects.

The system can be rather confusing, and does involve some complicated formulae. As mentioned, I have created the STO Power Calculator to help players make sense of all the above. Download this Excel file, input your current stats into the green fields, and you'll see your power levels displayed in the blue. Play with the numbers and watch how different stats affect your power and help determine what would work best for your play style.

Ship Power Calculator v8.3.16
>>>> Download Zip Here <<<<

Associated Programs:
This file has been made with MS Excel 2003. It is tested compatible with Excel 2000-2007. You can also use this with some versions of the free Open Office (Last tested successfully with OO v3.4.1, however OO v4.0 introduce a "bug" in the way it translates the Calc, so is not fully compatible / not supported, see the FAQ below for more info). Use WinZip or the free 7-Zip to unzip the archive, as needed.

Please post any comments, queries, complaints, compliments, and/or suggestions in the thread below. Feel free to share this with anyone you think might be able to use it, though I ask for proper credit, and ideally referral back to this page for the latest versions. When changes occur in the game I will make updates and post them here.

Continued in next post...

Last edited by lordhavelock; 05-14-2014 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Added opening note about S8-9.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,066
# 2
01-30-2013, 04:29 PM

* Is this your first thread on this subject?
No, the original Ship Power Level Primer & Calculator thread can be found here:

It was first posted May 4, 2010, and garned the honor of a forum sticky on Dec 2, 2010. After the Forumpocalypse of 2012, my original thread was turned into an Archive Post and I lost the ability to edit it. About that time I took a hiatus from playing STO and the Calc fell behind many of the ships added in 2012. I returned to the game with the launch of Season 7: New Romulus, and with the Year 03 Anniversary I have resumed updating the thread and Calc, continuing to add features through the Legacy of Romulus Expansion.

* Why did you make this calculator/guide?
Cuz I'm nerdy like that. Yeah, basically that's why. I like to fiddle with numbers. I like game mechanics. And the way ship's power interacts with skills, traits, ship type, consoles, devices, etc... It was an interesting pile of spaghetti to unravel. I found it best to do so as a spreadsheet on which I could make changes to one part or another.

After making and using it for myself, I posted it for others to use. Someone recommended I add more to my original post, to make the thread more attractive, so I wrote up the Power Guide.

* Why Microsoft Excel?
I am not a programmer, and as much as I'd love to create an app that could do these calculations for me (us), I don't know how. However, I do have mad Excel skillz, and actually enjoy working with spreadsheets. (I sometimes think I missed my calling as an accountant.)

* Why zip-up the file?
I host the file on my own page. I find that if I leave it as an xls file, some people have trouble getting it to download properly. Zipping it up resolved that issue.

* Why not use Google Docs or some other online document sharing system?
I get this one a lot, and it boils down to aesthetics. I'm sorry, but I do not like the "look and feel" of Google Docs (nor any of the other similar online systems I've tried). GD is perfectly functional, but the fonts, backgrounds, cell notes, etc. do not match what I see in Excel. Not to mention there are some editing differences that are not available to me.

Others have taken the effort to take my sheet and convert it to Google, and that's fine for them if they like. I don't support those, keep them up-to-date, or otherwise vouch for the accuracy/functionality.

* What's up with Open Office?
As the OP describes, I've written my Calculator using Excel. Say what you will about Microsoft, their Excel spreadsheet program (at least the 2003 version I use) rocks. Open Office is an open source version of MicroSoft's Office suite, and includes the spreadsheet program OpenOffice Calc which acts as their version of Excel. I don't generally use OO, but have loaded it on occasion to test it's compatibility with my Calc. Several versions up to OO v3.4.1 worked fine. It was a good, free, option for those without Microsoft Excel.

However, as of August 2013, it's been reported (and I've confirmed) that OO v4 doesn't work with my Calc. It's known to cause cells C34-38, K5-8, K12-15 (used for basic Engineering Consoles and setting Custom Power levels) to break. There are also some graphical display (artifacting) issues when using large spreadsheets (such as mine).

At this time I have no intention of extending support to the OO platform. I'm sorry, but this isn't a paying gig for me, it's only a hobby, and I've no interest in debugging another program. I'll keep the STO Ship's Power Calculator working for Excel naturally, and if someone else champion's OO v4, interacts with their community/forums to develop a fix, and/or can provide me with an easy few steps to integrate, I'll do what I can. Otherwise, OO v4 will remain officially unsupported.

* Where do you get your information?
Research, personal experience, and testing. I spend a lot of time reading Cryptic's official blogs, the forums (especially the Dev Tracker), and STOWiki. Also, whenever there are changes, I'll spend time in-game trying things out.

* Why should we believe what you post?
I make no guarantee other than to promise that if I tell you something, I either got it directly from a "reliable source" that I can provide as proof if needs be (such as a Dev post), I've tested/proved it in-game myself, at which point I'll typically explain how/why I came to whatever conclusion I'm expressing, or I'll honestly tell you of my ignorance and/or that I'm expressing merely opinion/supposition. Meaning if you don't believe me, you're always welcome to try/test things yourself. Everything I do, in proper Scientific Method, is open for debate/peer review, and I welcome the opportunity to learn something new.

That being said, in real life I am (among other things) a system analyst, so I'm skilled in procedural testing, diagnostics, deductive reasoning, etc. I've been playing STO since Feb 2010 (about 3wks after launch). I generally know what I'm talking about (or I'll say so).

Last edited by lordhavelock; 08-08-2013 at 08:30 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,066
# 3
01-30-2013, 04:30 PM
Saved for future use.

Last edited by lordhavelock; 01-30-2013 at 04:42 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,066
# 4
01-30-2013, 04:41 PM
One more reserve spot for good measure.

Last edited by lordhavelock; 01-31-2013 at 01:16 PM.
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 98
# 5
01-30-2013, 04:58 PM
ok I can stop shouting at my officers when my shields aren't regenerating. it will just be because shield power is at or below 25

what pisses me off is when I change a setting but the power levels dont actually change till you are in combat? Is there a trick to that?
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,066
# 6
01-31-2013, 08:28 AM
Originally Posted by byzanathos View Post
...when I change a setting but the power levels dont actually change till you are in combat? Is there a trick to that?
Well, you won't see any changes unless you're in system space. In sector space, the display doesn't update properly. Otherwise, power levels should change whenever you select a new setting, though they change only at an average rate of 5units/second, so it may take a little while for your power to reach your desired setting. This is your Power Transfer Rate and can be seen on your ship stats while in system space (and is affected by your Electro-Plasma System skill, among other things.).

When XP earnings during a Double-XP Weekend still feel like I'm underperforming,
there's something terribly wrong with the reward system...

You can find/contact me in game as @PatricianVetinari. RIP Terry Pratchett. Original Join Date: Feb 2010.
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
# 7
01-31-2013, 03:57 PM

first of all thanks for your work!
second: I can't reach your download site. Is it just me or it is offline?

Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,066
# 8
01-31-2013, 04:10 PM
Originally Posted by dome7 View Post
first of all thanks for your work!
You're welcome.

Originally Posted by dome7 View Post
second: I can't reach your download site. Is it just me or it is offline?
I just tested it, it seems to be working fine for me. Please provide more info on how/why it's failing and perhaps I can help?

When XP earnings during a Double-XP Weekend still feel like I'm underperforming,
there's something terribly wrong with the reward system...

You can find/contact me in game as @PatricianVetinari. RIP Terry Pratchett. Original Join Date: Feb 2010.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 462
# 9
01-31-2013, 06:05 PM
I thanked you in the old thread, and I thank you again.
=\/= ================================ =\/=
Centurion maximus92
12th Legion, Romulan Republic
12th Fleet

=\/= ================================ =\/=
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6
# 10
02-01-2013, 07:11 AM
I dowloaded your calculator and the free apcahe open office but when i open the calculator and try to put something in a field it says opened in read only and wont let me how do i change this looks like it will be cool

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