In href=""> style="">Star Trek Online
the gear comes fast and furious. Rarely do a few loot drops go by where
something of value doesn’t show up. Can you tell if the gear
you just got is an
upgrade with a quick glance at the primary bonuses? To help out, the
gear has
the primary bonus abbreviated and included in the title of the gear.
this is a big help, other times it can be confusing. STO is not shy on
and abbreviations, so this guide is here to help peal back the layers
mystery (cue the deep thought music). 

If gear you're looking for isn't dropping, don't be afraid to go
shopping at href="">the
exchange. Read through the rest
of this article to know what you're looking at though.

style="width: 355px; height: 252px;" alt="The exchange."

style="">Gear Scaling

gear scales similar to skills in STO as players increase
in rank. There are various MK designations for the gear denoting its
relative to others (i.e. a MK III will be better than an MK II).
Likewise, the
gear designations will scale upwards and have a “big
brother” as the bonuses
ratchet up. This is important if you find gear bonuses that compliment
character because you’ll be able to upgrade from something
like a Personal
Armor MK I [HP] to a Personal Armor MK II [HP]. For those keeping score
home, the set bonus is the letters inside the brackets
“[]” and in this case
it’s HP which raises the hit points of the wearer. To
highlight how confusing
it can be, I’ve seen over twenty abbreviations for gear

style="width: 276px; height: 204px;"
alt="More HP is better than Less HP."


The letters in the brackets sometimes make perfect sense
like the case above, “[HP]” is rather intuitive for
longtime MMOG players and
can be recognized for improving health. Many others aren’t so
user friendly
(can you guess what [CrtH] might be? Answers are below). There are some
among the different types of bonuses though. 

style="">Shields and Armor

looking at shields (both personal armor and starship
shields), the letters in the brackets almost always show which type of
will be reduced; [Pha] means the shields/armor are primarily phaser
reduction shields. The two exceptions are Cap and Reg which indicate
gear that
will enhance the shield/armor capacity and regeneration respectively.

it comes to shields and armor bonuses, the more the
better obviously. At the beginning of a career, captains should just be
to wear whatever they can get their hands on. Later on the damage-type
mitigation will become more important. Don’t dwell on it too
much, by the time
you’ll need to know how to offset incoming damage types
you’ll have plenty of
gear to choose from.

style="">Dishing out the [Crts]

it comes to doling out damage, there are a couple of
key bonus letters you’ll want to know, namely [CrtD] Critical
Hit Severity, and
[CrtH] Critical Hit Chance. Getting some additional [Acc] Accuracy is
good too,
but depending on the career (tactical), crits are where the action is.
abbreviations work for both ship weapons and personal weapons. For
weapons, there will also be [DoT] Damage over Time, and [KB] Knock
Backs which
help depending on your skill sets and desired playstyle.

style="width: 605px; height: 307px;" alt="CrtH-CrtD"

style="">Giving it all she’s

starship engine bonuses are much straighter forward.
There are only a few that I’ve found so far, and they
include: [Aux] for added
auxiliary power, [Full] for higher Full Impulse Speed, [Spd] for
speed, and last but not least [Turn] for better turning rate. Depending
which aspect of space flight is important to your career, any of these
might be beneficial. As a tactical fighter I’m a big fan of
turning followed by
speed. Being able to keep my prey in my frontal damage cone means a
fight, a much shorter fight.

style="">Matching the Shoes
with the Belt

offers quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to
playstyle. Just because you chose Engineer doesn’t mean you
can’t load up on
some tactical skills and CrtH gear and go kick some Gorn behind. One
thing I
would recommend though is to figure out complimentary sets for the
aspects of the game. If you find yourself in a tank situation
(engineering) and
have CrtH weapon bonuses, you may want to trade that out for more of
KB, DoT or
even ACC bonus. Crit happens, but when possible try and align the gear
with a primary objective.

bonuses are fairly straight forward when it comes to
determining the best bonus per group role (tank, healer, DPS), but
learning the
STO vernacular is the key to unlocking the mystery. The important thing
to note
however is that the abbreviations are merely for convenience. If a
player reads
the tool tip for the gear selected, the stats will quite clearly
which bonuses are the primary benefits.

of the primary abbreviations have been included in this
guide; however there are more currently in the game and the list will
grow as
the game grows. Have you found any that have stumped you? Have you
found the
bonuses to be congruent with the group role (i.e. tank bonuses on tank
I’m sure the theorycrafters are grinding through the various
permutations to
determine the optimal builds, but for the rest of us, we should have a
good grasp of what we’ll find out in the far reaches.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Trek Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016