Guide to all methods of acquiring new starships (both free and with cost).
Starship Acquisition Guide
This is a guide to all the different ways to obtain (and/or upgrade) a ship in Star Trek Online.
Throughout this guide, ‘Captain’ is used to refer to your player character.
After claiming the ships listed below, they will either be found in your Captain’s active ships roster, or as an item in your Captain’s inventory (which, when used, will produce a ship in your Captain’s active ships roster). Your Captain will then need to visit a Starship Selection Officer (located near most Shipyards; there is also one located, independently of a Shipyard, at the Fleet Colony) in order to select it as their current ship, if that is desired.
If your Captain’s active ships roster is full, they can gain additional slots by levelling up, or by purchasing slots from the Zen store. You can also free up existing slots by visiting a Starship Selection Officer and either moving inactive ships to the Drydock, or dismissing/discharging inactive ships. Note that some ships (see below) cannot be reclaimed for free after being dismissed/discharged, so be careful!
When you unlock the Admiralty system at Level 52, your Captain’s will be rewarded a durable ‘Admiralty card’ for every ship currently in their active ships roster, and will gain one anytime that they claim a new ship after that (or return it to active ships roster from Drydock). These Admiralty cards can be quite valuable in generating experience, dilithium, and other resources. Due to this, it is advised that you DO NOT dismiss/discharge any ships before reaching Level 52.
The ship that your Captain is currently flying may not be moved to Drydock or dismissed/discharged.
Special note for Starfleet ships: class names (Galaxy-class, Intrepid-class, etc) are not included in the Shipyard main interface or in the active ship roster, but are shown elsewhere. They are included here for player reference and clarity.
Cross-Faction Flying (NEW feature – 11th Anniversary / 2021)
– EXCEPTION: The four Jem’Hadar Vanguard ships included in the Gamma pack (Vanguard Heavy Raider, Vanguard Warship, Vanguard Carrier, and Vanguard Dreadnought Cruiser), must be unlocked via their own Tier 6 Mastery mechanic.
If you do NOT have “Cross-Faction Flying” unlocked, you can still access many ships outside of your own faction, as all Romulan ships, newer Dominion ships (excluding the four previously mentioned), and most non-Zen ships are factionless.
The FREE sections of this guide are unaffected by “Cross-Faction Flying” (except the Recruitment Event Reward Ship section.)
This upgrade often requires a separately purchaseable “Starship Upgrade Requisition”, but once applied, these are considered an ‘Account Unlock’ for that ship type. In some cases, the upgrade is already free with purchase of the ship.
These tokens must be applied while visiting a Starship Selection Officer, usually found near each Shipyard. (There is also one located, independently of a Shipyard, at the Fleet Colony.)
This upgrade adds some, but not all, of the additional benefits given to Tier 6 ships: level-scaling ship hull points, an additional Console slot, and four levels of Starship Mastery benefits.
Tier 5-U and Tier 6 ships can be upgraded to “Experimental” (T5-UX and T6-X).
This upgrade often requires a separately purchaseable “Experimental Starship Upgrade Token”, but once applied, these are considered an ‘Account Unlock’ for that ship type.
These tokens must be applied while visiting a Starship Selection Officer, usually found near each Shipyard. (There is also one located, independently of a Shipyard, at the Fleet Colony.)
This upgrade adds a Universal Console slot, an additional Device slot, and an additional Starship Trait slot.
FREE: Starter Ships
The type of ship your Captain will receive is determined by your Captain’s faction, as follows:
2409 Starfleet – Miranda-class Light Cruiser
23c Starfleet – Pioneer-class Utility Cruiser
Discovery Starfleet – Malachowski-class Light Cruiser
Romulan – T’liss Light Warbird
Klingon – B’rel Bird-of-Prey
Dominion – Jem’Hadar Escort (T-5U)
Your Captain will also be provided with a faction-appropriate shuttlecraft, for use in the small number of missions that require their use. (23c Starfleet Captains can also claim a Class F shuttle for free; this must be done manually and is ONLY available while still in the 23c storyline.)
FREE: Level-Up Reward Ships (Levels 10-40)
It should be noted that, previously, the Romulan and Klingon selections were also tied to completion of certain storyline episodes. I’m not sure if this is still the case, but if you do not receive the “Promotion” mission popups at the proper time, this may be the reason.
Level 10 – Choice of certain Tier 2 ships.
Level 20 – Choice of certain Tier 3 ships.
Level 30 – Choice of certain Tier 4 ships.
Level 40 – Choice of certain Tier 5 ships.
The available ships are also determined by your Captain’s faction. Captains do NOT have the option of claiming allied/other faction ships. 23c and Discovery Starfleet Captains, share the standard Starfleet selections. The available choices are as follows:
Starfleet – Constitution-class (refit) Cruiser, Saber-class Escort, Nova-class Science Vessel
Romulan – Dhelan Warbird
Klingon – QulDun Bird-of-Prey, K’tanco Battlecruiser, Somraw Raptor
(Note that the Starfleet Cruiser is the ‘refit’ version of the original ‘Enterprise’ as seen in the first three theatrical films, and as the ‘Enterprise-A’ in films 4-6.)
Starfleet – Cheyenne-class Heavy Cruiser, Akira-class Heavy Escort, Olympic-class Research Science Vessel
Romulan – Mogai Heavy Warbird
Klingon – Norgh Bird-of-Prey, K’t’inga Battlecruiser, Qorgh Raptor
Starfleet – Galaxy-class Exploration Cruiser, Defiant-class Tactical Escort, Intrepid-class Long Range Science Vessel
Romulan – Ar’kif Tactical Warbird, D’deridex Warbird Battlecruiser
Klingon – Ki’tang Bird-of-Prey, Vor’cha Battlecruiser, Pach Raptor
(Note that most Tier 4 choices are screen-canon ships from the ‘The Next Generation’ / early ‘Deep Space Nine’ era. The Starfleet Exploration Cruiser is the ‘Enterprise-D’ and the Starfleet LRSV is ‘Voyager’.)
Starfleet – Sovereign-class Assault Cruiser, Sentinel-class Star Cruiser, Prometheus-class Advanced Escort, Dervish-class Patrol Escort, Destiny-class Deep Space Science Vessel, Luna-class Reconnaissance Science Vessel
Romulan – Ha’feh Assault Warbird, Ha’apax Advanced Warbird, Ha’nom Guardian Warbird
Klingon – Hegh’ta Heavy Bird-of-Prey, Negh’Var Heavy Battlecruiser, Vor’cha Battlecruiser Retrofit, Qin Heavy Raptor, Vo’Quv Carrier
(Note that some Tier 5 choices are screen-canon ships from the late ‘Deep Space Nine’ / ‘Voyager’ era; the Starfleet Assault Cruiser is the ‘Enterprise-E’ as first seen in the film ‘First Contact’.)
FREE: Episode Reward Ship (“Temporal Ambassador”)
Starfleet – Ambassador-class Support Cruiser (‘Enterprise-C’)
Klingon – Kamarag Battlecruiser
FREE: Level-Up Reward Ship (Level 61)
These specific Tier 5 ships are offered at Level 61:
Starfleet – Galaxy-class Exploration Cruiser Retrofit, Defiant-class Tactical Escort Retrofit, Intrepid-class Long Range Science Vessel Retrofit
Romulan – T’varo Light Warbird Retrofit, Dhelan Warbird Retrofit, Mogai Heavy Warbird Retrofit, D’deridex Warbird Battlecruiser Retrofit
Klingon – B’Rel Bird-of-Prey Retrofit, Kar’Fi Battle Carrier, Orion Marauder Flight Deck Carrier
Romulan and Dominion Captains may also choose from the ships offered to their allied faction.
These ships are otherwise Zen-purchaseable ships (see below). It should be noted that, when purchased by this method, these ships are a single purchase only, not an account unlock, and are not reclaimable.
FREE: Level-Up Reward Ship (Special Note for Lifetime Subscribers)
FREE: Seasonal Event Ships
These events have generally run 28 to 49 days, and required 20 to 30 progress (available once every 20 hours) to unlock the ship reward.
These ships are now generally Tier 6 ships, but prior to October 2014 (Delta Rising expansion) Event Ships were Tier 5 ships.
In most years, three ‘Seasonal Events’ rewarding ships are offered:
Anniversary Event (February)
Summer Event (usually July-August, but sometimes a bit earlier or later)
Winter Event (December-January)
A one-time special Mycelial Event (which also rewarded a ship) was offered in Fall 2019, and a similar Mirror Universe event in September 2021.
Players who previously earned an Event Ship can reclaim them at any time, through the Event Reputation Store. (Captains must be Level 50 or higher in order to reclaim the older Tier 5 Event Ships. Tier 6 Event Ships may be claimed at any level, but some equipment slots and some Bridge Officer ability slots will be temporarily locked out until the Captain reaches level 40.)
FREE: Recruitment Event Reward Ship
If you have unlocked this reward with your Klingon Recruit character, the ship may be claimed from the Temporal Agent NPC at your faction’s home base.
“Cross-Faction Flying” may be required for Federation (or allied) characters in order to fly this ship.
Lifetime Subscription (“Veteran”) Ships
These ships are also available, after a significant delay, to players with an active Monthly Subscription. However, new Monthly Subscriptions are no longer available.
Starfleet Captains will receive access to the Captain’s Yacht, Tier 5 Chimera-class Heavy Destroyer, and Tier 6 Manticore-class Heavy Destroyer.
Romulan Captains will receive access to the Commander’s Gig, Tier 5 Daeinos Warbird Destroyer, and Tier 6 Dinaes Warbird Destroyer.
Klingon Captains will receive access to the DujHod General’s Chariot, Tier 5 Peghqu’ Heavy Destroyer, and Tier 6 Duvqu’ Heavy Destroyer.
Dominion Captains will receive access to only one unique ship, the Tier 6 Jem’Hadar Vanguard Heavy Destroyer.
Captains of any faction, with the “Cross-Faction Flying” unlock, can access all of the listed ships.
Purchaseable Ships (Dilithium)
Tier 2 ships require a minimum level of 10. Tier 3 ships require a minimum level of 20. Tier 4 ships (with one exception) require a minimum level of 30.
There are additional ships available at a higher dilithium price at Tiers 1-4.
– These ships were previously Zen-purchaseable ships (see below); if purchased during that period, they remain available as account-unlocks, as with other Zen purchase ships.
– The Tier 1 “Constitution Cruiser” (sometimes labeled as “TOS Enterprise”) is popular with newer players, both for nostalgia reasons (this is the Enterprise from the 1960s TV series), and because it comes with two special infinity-mark ‘Retrofit Phaser Banks’ (blue quality). Infinity-mark weapons will auto-adjust their stats to the equivalent of an appropriate mark for your Captain’s level, until they reach level 50, at which point the weapon’s stats will freeze at the equivalent of Mark 11. If you load them into the Upgrade Item screen once the Captain is at level 50+, they will be autoconverted to Mark 12 and are then further upgradable. These Retrofit Phaser Banks can be equipped on any ship. (They also have 1960s style artwork and sound effects. Retrofit Phaser Banks can also be acquired as episode rewards for “Everything Old Is New”, but if sourced from the episode, are not infinity-mark.)
* NOTE – the Tier 1 Constitution Cruiser can still be purchased for Zen as part of a bundle.
– Romulan and Dominion Captains can also access most (not all) dilithium ships of their allied faction.
– Romulan dilithium ships are available to everyone, regardless of faction.
– Captains below level 30 may claim the Starfleet Walker-class Prototype Light Exploration Cruiser (Tier 4), but some equipment slots and some Bridge Officer ability slots will be temporarily locked out until the captain reaches level 30.
Purchaseable Ships (Zen)
Some notes, however:
– Zen purchase ships are considered ‘Account Unlocks’, meaning that once purchased, they can be reclaimed for free, even on other Captains, as long as the claiming Captain is of a proper level and faction. (To reclaim, visit any Shipyard.) As such, you need not ‘save’ them in your Captain’s Drydock for later reclamation.
– Tier 5 ships require a minimum level of either 40 or 50 (depending on the particular ship).
– Captains below level 40 may claim Tier 6 ships, but some equipment slots and some Bridge Officer ability slots will be temporarily locked out until the captain reaches level 40.
– Tier 5 ships are priced at either 2000 Zen or 2500 Zen; Tier 6 ships are priced at 3000 Zen.
– Tier 6 ships offer a fifth level of Starship Mastery, which allows the Captain to earn a Starship Trait. Once earned, these traits may be used while flying any ship.
– Romulan and Dominion Captains can also access most (not all) Zen ships of their allied faction.
– Romulan Zen store ships are available to captains of all factions.
– The Temporal Raider, Temporal Multi-Mission Science Vessel, Temporal Dreadnought Cruiser, the Jem’Hadar Vanguard Temporal Warship, the Cardassian Intel Escort, Cardassian Intel Flight Deck Carrier, Cardassian Intel Science Dreadnought, and all of the Tier 5 ships included in the ‘Gamma Vanguard’ pack (Cardassian Galor Cruiser, Jem’Hadar Dreadnought Carrier, Jem’Hadar Heavy Escort Carrier), are available to Captains of all factions.
– Starfleet, Romulan, and Klingon Captains can also access the Dominion’s Vanguard Heavy Raider, Vanguard Warship, Vanguard Carrier, and Vanguard Dreadnought Cruiser ONLY AFTER the player has unlocked these by achieving their (unique) sixth level Starship Mastery on them with a Dominion Captain.
– There are quite frequently sales on Zen ships. 20% off sales tend to happen once every two to three months, and a steeper discount is often available on “Black Friday” and sometimes on other US holiday weekends. If you also buy your Zen when it’s on sale, you can buy ships for something close to half of the standard cash-to-Zen equivalency. During ship sales, a free Starship Upgrade Token is often included with the purchase of any Tier 5 ship that requires one.
– Many Zen ships are also offered in bundles, which can offer a very large discount, and in some cases include non-ship items as well. In some cases, the bundle prices can be as little as half of the value of the ships if purchased individually.
– The Tier 5 Galor-class Cruiser (not sold separately; included with the 3-pack Cardassian Tier 6 ship bundle or the Gamma Vanguard expansion bundle) comes with four free infinity-mark ‘Spiral Wave Disruptor Beam Arrays’ (purple quality), ONLY the first time that it is claimed by each Captain.
– Several other ships also come with special infinity-mark weapons. Infinity-mark weapons will auto-adjust their stats to the equivalent of an appropriate mark for your Captain’s level, until they reach level 50, at which point the weapon’s stats will freeze at the equivalent of Mark 11. In such cases as these weapons are NOT white (common) quality, If you load them into the Upgrade Item screen once the Captain is at level 50+, they will be autoconverted to Mark 12 and are then further upgradable. Some (not all) of these can be equipped on other ships in addition to the one they come with. (Note: there are also some instances of infinity-mark ground combat items, which are NOT white (common) quality; these also autoconvert, but some autoconvert to other mark levels.)
– In some cases, when claiming these ships, they will be delivered to your Captain’s inventory in a Bound to Character box, and can be moved to your Captain’s active ships roster by using the box. In other cases, they will be automatically unpacked into your Captain’s active ships roster. Boxed ships may be stored in your Captain’s personal Bank.
– Players wishing to access these ships (and other Zen store items) without using real-world cash, may do so by purchasing secondhand Zen with refined dilithium. See the “Exchange” button in the dilithium section of your Captain’s inventory Assets tab.
– “Legendary” T6 ships also exist. These have, to date, only been sold in bundles, but are otherwise treated as Zen store ships. Each Legendary ship purchase includes all of the pre-existing skins, all of the consoles, and any non-white/common weapons available on the variants of its ship type released prior to the Legendary release. They also award (at Tier 5 Starship Mastery) all Starship Traits awarded by the previous variants, and (at Tier 6 Starship Mastery) a brand-new, account-wide Starship Trait as well.
Purchaseable Ships (Phoenix Tokens)
Tier 6 ships are listed in the “Epic” tab and require an Epic token.
Tier 5 ships are listed in the “Ultra Rare” tab and require an Ultra Rare token.
These Tokens are randomly rewarded from opening Phoenix Prize Packs, and are the two rarest forms of Tokens (out of five) rewarded from these Prize Packs. Phoenix Prize Packs and Tokens are Bound to Account, so may not be transferred or sold to other players, but may be stored in your Captain’s personal Bank or Account Bank.
Phoenix Prize Packs may be bought in the Dilithium Store, for 4500 dilithium per pack, or 40,000 dilithium for a bundle of ten, with no purchase limit. These do not require a key to open.
This method is intended to make these ships available to newer players who missed the ships’ original events.
It should be noted that, when purchased by this method, these ships are a single purchase only, not an account unlock, and are not reclaimable.
Purchaseable Ships (Fleet Credits / Ship Modules)
While there are Shipyard facilities located at some of the Fleet bases (notably the Starbase’s Tactical level and the Spire), access to Fleet ships is also available at public-location Shipyard facilities.
– Your Fleet’s current quantity of Military Fleet Ship Provisions is visible in two places: in your Fleet’s starbase tab, under the provisions view, or in the cost section of the Shipyard interface. These can be generated by certain red starbase development projects. One Military Fleet Ship Provision is consumed by each Fleet ship purchase.
– Fleet ships are considered a separate ship-type from their non-Fleet equivalent. As such, unlocks described in the “Upgrading” section of this guide will not carry over.
– Fleet ships, when compared to their non-Fleet equivalent ship, have 10% higher shield and hull multipliers and an extra console slot. In a very few cases, they may also have a different Bridge Officer layout. Fleet ships also reward a separate durable Admiralty card from their non-Fleet equivalent ship.
– Fleet ships do NOT include any special weapons or consoles which come included on their non-Fleet equivalent ship, but can use them.
– Tier 6 Fleet ships do NOT offer a fifth level of Starship Mastery, so cannot be used to earn Starship Traits.
– Ships which are sold for Zen in a three-variant pack designated by profession, are already of Fleet quality (the additional console slot is used to differentiate them), so therefore, Fleet versions of these ships are not available.
– Fleet Ship Modules are required for most Fleet ships. These are available from the Zen store and from the Exchange. You may also earn a limited number of these (which, unlike the Zen store ones, will be Bound to Character) through the Reputation system.
– The available selection of Fleet ships depends on your Fleet’s development level. Although many Fleet NPC vendors will allow your Captain to bypass their own Fleet’s development level restrictions, by shopping while visiting another fleet’s bases as a guest (in these cases, the host fleet’s development level is used to determine vendor item accessibility), this DOES NOT work for ship purchases.
Fleet variants of Zen ships
Many Fleet ships are improved variants of Tier 5 and Tier 6 Zen-purchasable ships. These ships may be purchased with a combination of Fleet Credits and Fleet Ship Modules.
If you have purchased the equivalent Zen ship (see above), at the same tier, the Shipyard will apply a massive discount to the number of Fleet Ship Modules required (generally reducing it to one module). You do NOT need to currently have the Zen ship in your inventory to receive this discount.
Fleet variants of Event and Veteran ships
Fleet variants of the Veteran Starships and the Risian Corvette (2019 Summer Event) ship are available. The method of purchase is the same as the variants of Zen ships.
However, since it is not possible to purchase these ships without previously unlocking their non-Fleet equivalent, the Fleet Ship Module discount always applies.
It should be noted that, unlike other Fleet variants, the Fleet Risian Corvette has a markedly different Bridge Officer configuration and adds pilot maneuvers, but does NOT gain an additional console slot.
Fleet variants of other ships
Some Fleet ships are variants of ships not available in the Zen store at the same tier. Some of these are still sold for a combination of Fleet Credits and Fleet Ship Modules, while others have a cost solely in Fleet Credits.
Purchaseable Ships (Energy Credits)
Other Ships (Special Access and Player-to-Player Purchasing)
Keep in mind that the Exchange is a player-to-player consignment (resale) shop. Availability and price is therefore affected by supply and demand economics.
It may also be possible to purchase these ships from other players directly (without using the Exchange).
MOST “Special Requisition” ships are “factionless” (meaning that they can be used by any captain) and represent “minor” or “alien” races. In some cases, however, they represent major-faction ships, and sometimes the “Special Requisition” will either be limited to being opened by the appropriate faction, OR will produce an alternate ship if opened by a different faction.
Unbound “Special Requisition” packs may also be stored in your Captain’s personal Bank, Account Bank, or Fleet Bank. Unbound “Special Requisition” packs may also placed in the Mail system as an attachment, or traded to another Captain directly by use of the Trade interface.
Please note that once the “Special Requisition” is opened (and grants the actual ship), the resulting ship is completely non-transferrable and non-resellable.
Lock Box Ships
Many ships are available as the “big prize” item from Lock Boxes. A new ship (or multiple ships) will be introduced with each new Lock Box, and are delivered as a “Special Requisition Pack” bearing the name of the enclosed ship, or a “Special Requisition Choice Pack” from which multiple ships can be selected. New Lock Boxes are introduced about three to four times per year.
Older ships may also be found in the Infinity Lock Box (which combines the items available through Lockboxes which have been retired for a significant time) by winning an “Infinity Prize Pack – T6 Ship” or “Infinity Prize Pack – T5 Ship”. These Prize Packs are non-transferrable, but may be used to select a “Special Requisition” pack, which is transferrable, from a list of eligible ships.
It should be noted that the chance of receiving a “Special Requisition” pack from a Lock Box is individually randomized and is quite low (while precise odds have never been officially released, most large-sample testers have reported results of 0.2% to 0.8%), and that opening Lock Boxes requires Keys (which are a Zen purchaseable item, though they may also be resold/bought on the Exchange).
If you are on a budget, or prefer to avoid the risk inherent in randomness, it is advised that you purchase a “Special Requisition” pack for the desired ship directly from the Exchange, rather than trying to generate it by opening Lock Boxes.
Promotional Pack Ships
During special Research & Development or Duty Officer events, a promotional version of the appropriate Zen store purchaseable packs becomes available. Opening these Promotional packs grants a chance to win a “Special Requisition Choice Pack – Tier 6 Promotional Ship Choice Pack”. These “Special Requisition Choice” packs are non-transferrable, but may be exchanged for the player’s choice of a list of specific “Special Requisition” packs, which ARE transferrable.
It should be noted that the chance of receiving a “Special Requisition” pack from a Promotional Pack is individually randomized and quite low (although precise odds have never been officially released).
If you are on a budget, or prefer to avoid the risk inherent in randomness, it is advised that you purchase a “Special Requisition” pack for the desired ship directly from the Exchange, rather than trying to generate it by opening Promotional packs.
Lobi Crystal Ships
When opening Lock Boxes, Promotional Research & Development Packs, and Promotional Duty Officer Packs, if you do not receive a ship pack, you will instead be rewarded with an amount of Lobi Crystals.
Lock Boxes generate a variable number of Lobi Crystals averaging between 4 and 5 Lobi Crystals per box. Promotional Packs generate 10 Lobi Crystals per pack.
There have also been special (calendar) events that have allowed players to earn or purchase Lobi Crystals for a limited time and/or in limited quantity.
Lobi Crystals are Bound to Account, so can be transferred to the owner’s other characters via Account Bank, but are non-transferrable to other players (including via the Exchange). However, they can be exchanged for a wide variety of specialty items via the Lobi Crystal Store. While most Lobi Crystal Store items are Bound to Character, ships are an exception to the rule, and are delivered in an unbound “Special Requisition” pack.
Generally, one or more new ships will be added to the Lobi Crystal store whenever a new Lock Box is released.
Purchaseable Ships (Mudd’s Market)
When purchased from “Mudd’s Market”, these ships are treated as if they are Zen-purchased ships (therefore being account-unlock and reclaimable), even if their other availability is single-purchase only.
Event Campaign Rewards
The rewards for the past Event Campaigns have included ships listed in the ‘Special Access’ portion of this guide, large sums of Lobi Crystals, and/or Zen ship coupons.
The Event Campaign reward itself is a single-character claim only.
However, the Zen ship coupons can be used to purchase a Zen ship, which is then an account unlock, so if you wish an account-wide option, this is it.