U.S.S. Capitoline

Palatine Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Explorer

Build Overview and Focus

Last Updated February 2024

The 2024 STOBETTER initiative to post builds of varying budgetary tiers provided an opportunity to bring back an old friend: the Palatine class. In this Economy tier, we build with a few C-store ships and a handful of things from the Exchange, but we're going to eschew anything from Lobi Store or any expensive ships and try and keep the costs down. While this isn't my highest DPS build on this character, even with a small budget I'm able to put out more than enough DPS to do well on a variety of Elite TFOs without sacrificing all the survivability. 

Platform Selection

Why the Palatine? There are a few things that I considered at this budgetary level to determine the ship selection choice. Exotic builds don't place emphasis on Engineering seating, and prefer Intel or Temporal seating especially at this price point. What they really want is lots of science seats to maximize secondary deflector triggers and Spore-Infused Anomalies procs. Those two, combined with some well-chosen torpedoes, are going to do the heavy lifting on an exotic build at this price point. Having full-spec Temporal is even better for the Support Config option that grants 40 CtrlX, extra Exotic damage, and +10 max aux power. There are other types of builds hybridized with kinetic torpedo builds that like Command (we call them TorpSci) but that's not what we're building here. Having a hangar or scout ship mastery (flanking, 15% CrtD) is also nice. If we put all those factors into a nice chart across all the standalone C-store purchases, you get something like this:

Squint really hard if you prefer the Klingon or Romulan cross-faction equivalents. I wouldn't consider all of those factors on the chart equal, but for an initial winnowing of the field it's not a bad calibration. You can see that's why we're not using ships like the Pathfinder, Scryer, Nautilus, or Augur--too much tactical seating and no usable trait or console. At this price point, we understand not everyone is sitting on a large stable of consoles and traits to plug into a ship, so we need to be efficient with our purchases. 

A couple of other notes that aren't in the chart: the Damar is a brick. I have and fly one, and it takes some getting used to in terms of handling. The Equinox is the exact opposite: twitchy and squishy. I wouldn't recommend it for a newer player, especially since its Pilot seating wants you to get close and/or damage yourself, and it doesn't synergize well with Spore-Infused Anomalies. They're both fun ships that can do some unique things but not great for someone new to the economy style. 

For the particular style of build that I'm going to illustrate here and to understand why I chose the Palatine over the Eternal, we need to dive into some more nuance. In terms of console and starship trait, I can safely say that both the Eternal's and Palatine's starship traits aren't something you want to slot. Heavy Tachyon Mine (Palatine) is quite underwhelming and Particle Feedback Loop (Eternal) only applies its hull penetation bonus to weapon damage. That's not our stop, folks. Console-wise, the Causal Anchor from the Eternal has fairly mediocre damage from its active and has great passives (15% Exotic damage, 2% Exotic Critical Chance). The Palatine's console has a much better active if you can aim it correctly and similar but slightly worse passives (15% Exotic damage and 10% Flight Turn Rate). I'd call it a wash personally on that front except for one thing: the Palatine's console is unlocked. The Eternal's console is only usable on 31st-century ships. Chalk that up to a win for the Palatine. 

For the particular style of build that I'm going to illustrate here and to understand why I chose the Palatine over the Eternal, we need to dive into some more nuance. The Eternal's full Temporal spec + hangar is a great pairing that makes it very new player friendly. However, since we're limiting our budget, this is where having a LtCmdr Engineering seat holds it back compared to the LtCmdr Tactical on the Palatine. We're going to be using Entwined Tactical Matrices to spam out as many Gravimetric and Particle Emission Plasma Torpedo spreads as possible, and the Morphogenic set to gain stats from using a cannon, a beam, and a torpedo firing mode. Sometimes we call this subvariety of exotic build "TacSci." It falls off at higher budgets against some of the higher-end traits and consoles, but combining that with the secondary deflector and Spore-Infused Anomalies gives us three efficient pillars to build around. That means we want three tactical seats. No more . . . no less. Four shalt thou not count and neither count thou two excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. 

The Eternal's seating means that you could take the LtCommander universal as Tactical, use the Lt Tac/Temporal seating for all Temporal and be fine . . . but there's one problem. That leaves us 5 science bridge officer slots between the Commander and Ensign seats, which is going to constrain our boff power choices. We'd like to fit Gravity Well, Photonic Officer, Destabilizing Resonance Beam, Very Cold in Space, a Tractor Beam power, Tyken's Rift, Structural Analysis, but the problem is, we only have space for 5 blue buttons. Sure, we can pick up another Ensign Temporal power on the Lt seat, but there's not much great there compared to higher ranks. We're stuck with LtCommander Engineering, which brings Emergency Power to Auxiliary III as its best slot, and frankly that's not a great seat. 

On the Palatine, everything slots neatly into place. We can fit all 7 science abilities nicely and still have room for Chronometric Inversion Field, which is the most synergistic temporal power for what we're building. We have our 3 tac seats and 2 eng seats to fill out the build. It's much less pinched due to better boff layout. Thus, even though the Eternal has that sweet full Temporal spec, I chose the Palatine because it brought more blue buttons and at higher ranks. 

Why an Engineer?

I have done all my Exotic builds on an engineer.  Even though it's not the best synergy, it’s a strong counterargument to the idea that engineers can’t do DPS/can’t do exotic builds effectively. (Note that effective is not the same as optimal; Tac Rom Alien still wins that argument). At first it was kind of a happy accident, now it's here to prove a point: Engineers can still do silly-high DPS with Exotics. 

The Engineer is the weakest for exotic builds by about 5-10% final DPS at this level of performance. Tactical captains using exotic builds benefit from Tactical Fleet, Fire On My Mark, and Attack Pattern Alpha, and Go Down Fighting. Science captains benefit from Scattering Field, Science Fleet, and Sensor Scan as well as the utility of Subnucleonic Beam. In contrast, the Engineer has only one useful offensive ability for an exotic build - EPS Power Transfer. That said, it's a heck of a buff with +30 current and max aux power. Nadion Inversion and Intrusive Energy Redirection are largely wasted on an exotic build (although the latter procs Drain Infection). The Engineering captain’s other abilities are largely focused around durability, but the personal trait EPS Manifold Efficiency does allow us to max out the Auxiliary subsystem without taking EPtA or significant gear investments. 

I have tried to make up for the lack of offensive captain powers by making it fairly glass, allowing the engineering captain's abilities to keep me alive. Thus, all of the console slots are devoted to offensive purposes. If you want to build a similar ship on a Science or Tactical captain, be my guest.

Flavor/Theme Choices


The Capitoline is one of the seven hills of Rome and the source of the English word capitol. It was famous for having several enormous temples, and was the ceremonial and geographical center of Rome during the height of its power. The hill adjoined the Roman forum and later became the location of a piazza designed by Michelangelo. The Capitoline has long had a legacy of combining status with elegance and beauty, a legacy to which this ship aspires.

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Using the EZRA rubric, this build would cost 189 USD to replicate. That is far more than what I spent on STO to make it. If the cost looks daunting, don't worry! Lower-budget alternatives are provided below.

Change History

Build Breakdown

This ship is heavy on exotic damage but still ventures into some build spaces with supportive abilities, hangar bays, torpedo damage, as well as concessions to survivability. The use of a human Engineering captain and a varied crew can be considered a thematic choice.


Skill Unlocks



Starship Weapons


This ship’s primary role is Exotic DPS using bridge officer powers, exotic torpedoes, and other non-weapon effects. The primary offensive statistics for this ship are the Exotic Particle Generators skill (EPG), Critical Chance (CrtH), Critical Severity (CrtD), Auxiliary power (Aux), +Exotic, Damage Resistance Reduction (DRR), and +Bonus Exotic Damage. Secondary offensive statistics are Control Expertise (CtrlX) and +Projectile Damage as well as Weapon Amplification, since that skill boosts Exotic Critical Severity through use of the Imperial Rift 2-piece. 

The Morphogenic weapons, Dual Beam Bank, and Dyson Proton Weapon are purely there for set bonuses and contribute very little meaningful damage. 

Starship Equipment


Drive Train: The Imperial Rift 2-piece is best-in-slot for exotic builds. The 4-piece is competitive, but not quite as good IMO unless you can guarantee a good use of the active. If it's not available, use the Temporal 2-piece instead. The Crystal Shield can be repalced but there's not much better.

Hangar pets: You could swap the Peregrines for any other better fighter you prefer. These are fairly good and widely available. 

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses


Exotic Subflavors: In my opinion, there are 4 main flavors in the Exotic space right now. All of them are pretty similar overall and all can be combined to a certain extent, but there are subtle differences:

Alternate exotic types: 

Please see my Dranuur for a DSD/SIA-focused ship with a healthy amount of universal consoles. Repeated testing has shown that the DSD/SIA focus is stronger but if you like Tac-Sci, both are very viable up to and above 700K DPS.

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

Most of these consoles are cheap, with the exception of the Dragonsblood Flame Reactor. If you need to replace it, you might try Chronometric Capacitor.

Bridge Officers



Personal Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

 If low budget, (try and keep the ones at the bottom) 

Starship Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

To increase this build further, there are numerous suggestions, starting with displacing the two from specializations:

Budget Tweaks:

 If lower budget than this, there's really not much you can do. The one possible substitution might be for the Hysperian, which is event-locked. 

This build doesn't really work without Entwined Tactical Matrices or Spore-Infused Anomalies


Strike From Shadows is nice for the placate/universal damage. It's something of a preference if you'd rather have Strike From Shadows to reduce threat and provide some damage or Improved Gravity Well.

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

 If low budget



This ship uses Photonic Officer as its primary cooldown mechanism. Don't need Boimler Effect or anything else. The Morphogenic set and Improved Tactical Readiness provides enough cooldown reduction to keep all cooldowns at minimum. 

Link to CDR sheet for this build

Ship Stats


With as many abilities and synergizing concepts as this ship employs, an efficient control scheme is essential. There are many ways to set up such a ship, so I don't pretend to assume that my way is superior. 

I also bind "Fire all weapons" to right mouse.

Everything else is manually triggered. 



Pre-buff the spambar prior to countdown (in PUGs) or prior to launch call (premade). You want to have your firing modes stacking the Morphogenic set and Aux to Structural stacking the Research Lab consoles. Hit the first group with basic Exotic combos, leading with Chronometric Inversion Field. On ISE, use EPS Power Transfer and big buffs here as well. Next, hit Evasive Maneuvers and fly to the left side, using any remaining big buffs. I tend to target the Assimilator first, and switch targets when it's at about 20% health. Target the generator with Tyken's Rift and whatever other exotic powers are available along with another torpedo spread and the rest of the consoles: Dark Matter Anomaly, Delphic Tear, along with Relocate Mines. Save GW As the generator is about to die, turn, bypass the spheres and fly to the right side. Can use a Reinforcements cooldown here as well. In general, Delta > Nimbus.

Activate Evasive Maneuvers and Deuterium and fly to the right side, rinse and repeat with as with the left. Save big active heals for this part in ISA because PUG teams don't always fly over to right generator quickly. As it's dying, turn back on the gateway. Evasive Maneuvers might be available here as well to go even faster. Activate Quantum Singularity Manipulation and FIRE EVERYTHING! Close to 5 km and drop the Anti-time bubble and your third GW (second on a fast run) with the boost from Quantum Singularity Manipulation. Another Relocate Mines should be used here to pull in the mines. With any luck, the 400+ CtrlX Grav Well will also suck in the remaining spheres. All the universal console clickies should be available here as well. Finish off the tac cube and that should be it. On a slower run, I can often get a third round of big buffs and console actives on the gate or tac cube if I use them again on right transformer.


 You want to have your firing modes stacking the Morphogenic set and Aux to Structural stacking the Research Lab consoles.  Drop your opening salvo with every long cooldown buff on one of the first Cubes with the goal being to pull the spheres in as well. Use the 5 minute powers here. Stay close to your tank and be prepared to drop a Bio-Molecular Shield Generator to help them out if needed. Taking down the individual cubes and ships farther back in the formation might take a little longer. Another trick to be careful of is to avoid triggering both DRB and Structural Analysis at the same time/target since the Deteriorating Secondary Deflector doesn't stack. The -DRR is good and does stack between them, but the DSD is so powerful that we want to spread that debuff out  further. Once the queen's guards are down move to the large dreadnoughts, focusing fire with your team. Console actives are likely coming back at this time so use as available. Chronometric Inversion Field is best saved in case one of the pickles activates Feedback Pulse; ditto with the queen though a premade team should have a science captain to cleanse it. Since your damage doesn't really fall off with distance, staying more than 6 km from the queen will prevent deaths to Aceton Field. Make sure you're using Relocate Mines on large, healthy targets as it's available as well as your fleet summons and batteries!

Parse Breakdown

Numbers from record ISE. 

Weapon crits were around 50%, exotics were generally higher, up into the 90s. The team composition for this run was a support tank, a support, this ship, and a lower-DPS CSV build. 


As discussed in the opening, you could make a similar build on an Eternal but it would take some painful tradeoffs. If you have access to the Dranuur, that ship could also seemlessly take this build, just dropping the hangar. The Compiler Dreadnought would be another intriguing option, dropping Aux to SIF for Science Team. It would gain another weapon and I would put the Dark Matter Torpedo Launcher in front, and pick up an Advanced Inhibiting Turret to augment the aft weapon slots. Lastly, you could run this build on the Legendary Glenn, again dropping the hangar.