Each weapon type (beams, cannons, torpedos, etc) has its own properties, it's very important to know them:
Beam Arrays fire relatively weak shots with very wide targeting arcs. Their damage remains relatively constant over long distances. Beams damage shields more than the hull. They are very versatile and suited to cruisers and some science vessels with low turn rates, best used for broadsiding.
Dual beams arrays do more damage but have narrower targeting arcs.
Single Cannons fire in bursts and do more damage with a slightly narrower targeting arc. They are equally effective against shields and hull but their damage decreases as the distance between them and their enemies lengthen.
Dual Cannons* have a narrower firing arc but do a lot more damage. They are unpopular for the existence of DHCs.
Dual Heavy Cannons* have the same firing arc as DCs, but deals much more damage, though they drain more of your weapons power, by 2... These are best used as forward weapons for escorts or science vessels with high turn rates.
Turrets have the lowest DPS in game, however, they are the only standard weapons that have 360 degrees of firing freedom, meaning they can fire no matter where your enemy is. They are best suited as rear weapons for escorts.
Torpedoes deal kinetic damage to the enemy. Their damage does not increase over distance. They are used VERY effectively against bare hull. A well timed high yield torpedo can take out half of a ship's hull. However, shields decrease the most of the damage caused by torpedoes.
*Only escorts (usually) can equip these weapons
Mines are... Mines... They are basically torpedoes that don't move unless an enemy moves close. They take several seconds to activate once laid. Special mines, such as the Romulan Cloaking Tractor Beam Mines, have special abilities.
You can change the color scheme of your entire UI by going to Options > HUD > Colors. You can choose from a variety of color options, including the LCARS colors seen on screen in TNG and VOY, as well as color schemes from other races.
Accolades give you special boosts/resistance to all kinds of things. They are very minor (usually below 1(%)), but they stack up and make a real difference in combat.
They also give cool titles to display.
The Tribble test server lets players test out new content to be added to the game. To copy a character onto Tribble, go to STO's website > My Account > Profile > Character Transfer > read and Sign Up > select the character you want transferred > Copy Character.
Then wait for a few hours and go into your game launcher. You should now see a "Tribble Test Server" shard above the patch bar. Click it, let it patch, and now you have access to awesome new features that aren't in the game yet.
Tribble is on an entirely different server. So anything you do on Tribble will be sperate from your primary (Holodeck) character. Because of this, it's a good idea to copy your character again after a major change (ex. Got a MACO set). The Dilithium exchange and exchange is also unavailable.
Modifiers give your equipment more of a certain stat.
[Acc] gives a boost to accuracy, and increases the chance of critical hits when accuracy is maxed out.
[Dmg] gives you a boost to damage.
[CrtH] gives you a higher chance of getting a critical hit.
[CrtD] gives a boost to critical damage
[CrtX] gives a smaller boost to both critical hit chance and critical damage.
[DoT#] has a chance to apply Damage over Time. Specifics vary according to number.
This should probably be at the front of the list somewhere but I didn't realize that this was not common knowledge until today.
To switch chat zones, there is a button to the left of your chat box that says "Zone" or "Local" by default. Click that button and you can change your chat channel to: Local: People in your map instance can see this. Zone: People on all instances of your map can see this. Fleet: Unlocked after joining a fleet, everyone online in your fleet can see this. Great for communicating with fleet members. Team: Only shown if on a team. This is used to communicate with team members, only they can see this. Other Custom Channels: There are many private or public channels you can join check out this for a relatively comprehensive list of public channels. http://sto.gamepedia.com/Global_Channel_Directory