Star Trek Online – Basic Science Guide

Basic Science Guide (no races, factions or anything). Barest of bare-bones, just the basics with no fluff.

Science Guide

First Thoughts on (Totally not Mad) Science!

Right, so you chose to go Science Officer? Why?

For science!

Science officers are considered the middle child of the three classes to begin with. Hard to get right, but mighty in the right hands. On the ground, you get a fantastic array of heals and buffs for you and your allies, and horrific debuffs to devastate the poor, poor space aliens. In space, you can deploy anomalies, buff allies, summon minions and generally be an obnoxious pain. To the enemy. Yes, the enemy.

Anomaly Detected at Bearing 031 by 210

In the spacial arena, unlike the Engineer, a Science Captain on its own does fairly well solo due to buffs, debuffs and, later, summoning minions to evaporate them-there pesky space aliens.

Baby’s first space skill, Sensor Scan, arrives at level 7 and gives your ability to learn all your enemy’s secrets. This also gives enemies less Stealth and less resistance to damage too! You can also cast it on yourself to buff your ability to see Stealthy enemies, but don’t do that you already know all your allies’ secrets. On a 90 second cooldown, this is a go-to in every fight.

Subnucleonic Beam is a nasty surprise for your foes once you get it at level 17. Any enemy hit by it has their crew stunned: removing buffs, increasing cooldowns on weapons fire and skills AND knocking all their weapon emitters askew, reducing their damage by a whopping 75%. And all of these effects last for 30 seconds! Ouch. The two minute cooldown and Science Team removing the effects is the only thing stopping this one ability dominating everything. Hit the enemy flagship and giggle as their pathetic science matches not against your genius!.

Scattering Field arrives at level 27 and is another incredibly useful ability. Every three minutes, you drag the old lightning rod out and expel a 3km AoE that increases damage and resistances and make you immune to teleportation abilities. Damage resistance is huge, and the damage buff is nothing to sneeze at either. You essentially tell your ship and others nearby to be better through science. As they should be.

You get to summon disposable meat-shields minions with Photonic Fleet at level 37. You create three AI (insert faction here) ships of up to Battleship class that then proceed to wreck face on your behalf. They’re mostly there to be ablative health, although they do good damage it’s unfocused. They last up to 60 seconds if there’s enemies still alive and there’s a four minute cooldown.

Science Fleet is your mandatory team-wide buff at level 47 and it’s quite nice. A major boost to shield resistance, max shields, and Drain and Control Expertise, this is mostly helpful to other Science Captains, but everyone gets some use out of it. The five minute cooldown hurts a lot, though, and it only lasts 30 seconds. On the plus side, you can’t overwrite another Science Fleet. Despite yours being obviously superior.

Last, and seriously not least, you get your biggest, nastiest debuff, the monstrous Co-opt Energy Weapons at level 63 and hoo-boy was it worth the wait. On a two minute timer, you hack the enemy’s energy weapons for much hilarity. You then have a 15 second window of absolute invulnerability to enemy energy weapons fired within a 5km bubble around you. Not only that, those weapons heal their target for 10% of the damage they’d normally do. So, they can’t hurt you with their death-beams and instead heal you while you cackle insanely.

All in all, Science Officer emphasises your ability to control your enemies on the battlefield. If an enemy is far away, it gives you time to probe debuff them or to buff/heal your allies. If they’re in close, they’re getting a summon in the face while you laugh at their inability to hurt you. Play smart, let the hard knocks go to the Engineer and the single-target DPS go to the Tactician while you quietly play puppetmaster.

Tricorder is Detecting Strange Readings

On the ground, it’s a similar story. Like in your ship, your Captain has few major tools to go for area denial or damage. You heal and buff their own team and debuff enemies. This in no way makes you weak. You will, however do that to your foes for daring to face the might of your mind!

Tricorder Scan is your first tool, coming in at level 4. It is a deceptively simple ability. If used to invasively scan enemies, they have their defences reduced and can’t use stealth easily, and there’s a small (10%) chance of becoming Exposed. If used on yourself, if buffs Perception, so you can see your enemies pathetic attempts to hide more easily. A useful tool that you’ll use in every fight, just drop it on the nastiest enemy before you alpha-strike them. The mere 18 second cooldown means you should have this up at all times,

At level 14, you gain the lovely Neural Neutralizer ability. This is a 5m AoE on a 60 second cooldown, centred on a evil space alien that mind controls Placates up to 10 enemies, with a 10% chance to Expose them too. So now the Big Blob o’ Baddies ™ can’t shoot you. This is your NOPE button if you find something jumping you while you’re unprepared.You set your Bridge Officers to non-violent, pop this and you’ve got 10+ seconds of respite to heal and buff or laugh at their unbelieving faces. It’s also an interrupt that can stop non-bosses from doing a Bad Thing to your side.

Dampening Field is up at level 24 and is a double-edged sword if you play a certain way. For everyone else, it’s gravy. With a two minute cooldown, it’s an absolutely devastating decrease in energy damage to your foes, from a very nasty 50% up to a massive 75% at max rank, all in an AoE around your target. This is crippling to non-melee enemies. However, if you use Environmental effects from Kits (flames, radiation and many AoE puddles are often Environmental damage), it also decreases Environmental Damage by 75% in the radius, so point them at different foes from Dampening Field’s target. This can actually come in handy if your foes mix melee and Environmental effects, just use Dampening Field on the melee idiot and the puddle of magma won’t burn so hot while you perform science bludgeon them with a Lirpa.

Your bestnastiest-sounding ability is Nanoprobe Infestation, and you get it at level 35 and will never stop using it off its three minute cooldown. It’s also your first non-AoE, kinda. Like Tricorder Scan before it, it strips defences. But it does this by forcibly introducing Borg Nanoprobes into your enemies, who merrily chew on them and their armour at the molecular level. If they find another tasty enemy within range, they’ll happily infest them too until they can’t find any more targets. This can hit an entire floor if the enemies are clumped close enough. It also has a 2.5-5% chance to Expose the enemy every time they’re hit.

Scientific Aptitude is the same team-wide buff all Captains get at level 44. Your flavour of buff is a surprisingly-powerful ticking heal and a resistance to a variety of bad things for a whopping 60 seconds. Root, Disable, Slow, Stun and Knock to be precise. You’ll use this if you run into nastier or more annoying enemies, or before a boss. It’s 60 seconds buff, two minutes wait, then brought back up immediately. it almost brings lesser minds your allies up to your level.

All -in-all a pretty nice suite of skills. All are useful in every fight.

Some Thoughts

Science Captains are not the most focused of the three careers, DAKKA takes that prize, but only barely. Their more unified approach fits them better than the Engineer, who tries to wear too many hats (because the Tactical idiot Captain has run screaming into a Hadean Vortex while the Science Captain watched and recorded it for later study).

Science Officers excel at area denial in space. Your Captain skills only increase your ability to deploy more doom-bubbles. As most area effects run on Auxiliary power, that’s your exclusive domain. Batteries, skills and buff to that skill will help your black holes, tears into the quantum realm, aenoic storms, implosive warp bubbles and all the other things science was never meant to have wrought do more bad things to bad space aliens.

On the ground, they can be merely healbots at low levels but come into their own as mobile debuffers who can also buff and heal. You can legitimately make it impossible for your team to die, despite their pleas.

My preferred style in space with a Science Captain is to focus on pets, minions and clones like any good scientist should in a Warbird and overwhelm enemies with anomalies and numbers.


In summation, in space combat your Captain skills focus on massive and wide-ranging buffs to yourself and your team with equally massive and wide-ranging debuffs to the enemy.

On the ground, you’re a mobile ball of annoyance for your foes. You have tools that make you difficult to kill and impossible to pin down. Your combat style is fluid, able to switch from close-combat to brawling to range at will.

Just remember to scan ALL THE THINGS!

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