U.S.S. Rtas 'Vadum

Friendship Command Flight Deck Carrier

Released 2023-12

Made possible by reader donation; thank you Montaire!

Build Overview and Focus

Carriers have been a weird spot in STO for a very long. For me, typical carrier builds have always been found lacking in there performance compared to the cost. I should not be the one to throw stones as some of my builds are incredibly expensive. But considering that some of my cheapest to acquire/assemble builds on this site match or surpass some of the accepted 'best' carrier builds, this is a fairly low bar to meet.

With the introduction of the Advanced Engineering Consoles which granted a hangar pet boost, I have been slightly more intrigued by them since it should solve what I believe to be the biggest issue with carrier builds; the lack of synergy between the host ship and the hangar pets

Carrier Design

Carriers that I've seen, read, and otherwise not enjoyed flying tend to focus on buffing the pets wholesale and tending very little about the player as a damage aspect. If this is potentially a community mindset that hangar pets can replace the player entirely or just a false building premise, it's never set well with me. The simple fact is that in order to really excel as a carrier build, the player mustn't be forgotten or ignored, and therefore all carrier builds must maximize synergy and efficiency to become the best they can. If an item isn't doing multiple things at once, it must be eliminated.

In short, the most effective carrier building mentality, like all ship building, is really about Lean thinking, most notably in the way of waste, and elimination of any and all. Lets talk about a few things:

Carrier / Pet damage: We at STObetter have decided on a balance of 40% for the minimum threshold hangar pets need to do of the total parse to be considered a carrier-centered build. Its not enough to just have hangar pets, they need to do a substantial amount of the whole builds damage output.

With that in mind, this goes back to the pre-amble. It is possible to make carriers which do nearly all of the damage with hangar pets but this is done more from nulling the carrier/player damage than buffing pets. Simply slapping a build onto a dual hangar ship will not make the pets reach the 40% Threshold and will need some active work to reach there.

Flight Deck Carriers as The Superior Platform: Flight deck carriers (I know the heavy Dreadnought class exists, but there's only 1/3 of them, not enough to make them a whole unique class). These ships have the rapid deployment mastery from normal carriers but have the ability to slot cannons (usually), as well as a cruiser command aura. They also have 8 weapons over the standard 6 normal carriers have or 7 Dreadnought Carriers have. The only downside on the class is the Commander Engineering Seat, which as we've been getting more and more primary specialization variants is less and less of a drawback. This means that the "best" carriers are also the Flight Deck Carriers.

Hangar Pet AI: As a huge part of the discussion, equally important is the pet you've chosen. Some pets appear to be far better at being a damage dealer than other pets. We have an exhaustive suite of test data from many members of the community, which you can find here under hangar pets. Pets basically rank based on how well they interact with the abilities they have, or are given, and this is the important part.

Superior Area Denial vs Coordinated Assault

I would normally weight the pros and cons of each against each other, or attempt to make them work together but they are mutually exclusive. Since SAD grants both powers with one use, as well as having the game be AOE power aligned and the relative weakness of cannon rapid fire, I would only suggest people use SAD on their carriers. This is relatively easier to do now that is included in the 12th anniversary bundle which also has so much going for it, it's a very good pickup if able.

The unfortunate reality is that carriers are by the very nature of the premise, expensive. To suggest that carriers need a trait to do well is not unheard of, nor my idea. This has been the mentality of the carrier centric community to date and I don't disagree. However, it is possible to make Coordinated Assault work, see the hangar pet tier list for the best pets to use with that power.

Scramble Fighters

I don't have this. Small correction to that statement, I have a boxed version I got for cheap sitting in my bank looking at me to use, but I firmly believe it is not needed to the same level SAD or CA are needed. This build has been very well powered for pet heals. When I have encountered large scale pet wipes, it has been a wipe that ignores the specific effects of Scramble Fighters. Given all this, I have not included it in this build. There is a spot for it on here, and that damage increase would be welcomed, but I'm going to be stubborn and declare that this trait is not needed. For those who worry about needing to pick up a 400+ million EC trait just to get into carriers...I didn't (I mean...SAD is more than that if you buy it without buying it on the C-store but you can buy SAD in the C-store, Scramble is still locked to DOff events).

Carrier Weapon Type

I chose to use Antiproton on my carrier. It was a pretty easy choice, Ba'ul AP works very well on my heavy tank, and the reasons I would want Ba'ul on a tank are the same I would want them on a carrier, chiefly spreading target debuffs. Being able to apply APB to everything without really needing to focus on what my pets are targeting is really easy QOL. The argument could be made that Phaser is the better option due to the H.Y.D.R.A. Console being phaser innately but this wasn't that much of a major portion of the build.

Notably, I am only mentioning energy types here. I do think a torp centric carrier build is possible, but again given how tight everything has to be in building on the many layers of damage, I think a few pieces are still missing. Most pets are energy focused, so running SAD and using energy weapons to spread the debuffs around are far easier to achieve over projectiles. Additionally, Projectiles cannot benefit from Super Charged Weapons like Energy Weapons can (which we want to buff pets because the trait also applies to them).

Meta Analysis

yea that's right, almost 1mil without Scramble, 440-500k of this are from hangar pets, and no scramble.

Being pet focused means that you are dependent on pets keeping up with you, and we are a pretty fast HSE team (under 2min). I didn't lose any pets on this run, but they tapered out on damage near the end of the run due to being left behind.

Budget Analysis

Change History

Build Breakdown

Being the first carrier, I think I've balanced fairly well between energy and hangar pets here. I would maybe want to experiment with Temporal secondary in the future but for the first few runs of this (being a very new ship to me, only about a 2-3 weeks when this goes live, I'm playing it safe)


Skill Unlocks


Jayiie's Skill tree has been optimized to be used on as many build types as possible. As such there are some questions that naturally arise when talking about it. I will try to capture these discussions as succinctly as possible here.

Tactical ultimate

The Tactical Ultimate is still taken. Because of the skill investment for energy weapons in the skill tree, this only takes a small amount of investment. Even with the intent of going full min-max, if everyone takes the coordination protocols this is comparable to getting a Mk12 damage console which effects everything, as well as a hull plating node. These are worthwhile investements, and given how flexible Jayiies skill tree is designed to be very good at covering multiple roles such as support, tanks, and energy kinetic and exotic dps builds.

Hull Restoration vs Hull Capacity

This is very simple, while also not. Given the choice between a Improved Hull Capacity (+25.5%) and Hull restoration (+25%) against Advanced Hull capacity (+30%), I personally prefer to take the former, splitting the point difference. Since my character is an engineer, this 25% Hull restoration actually has some very useful applications through Miraculous repairs.

As well by taking some extra points into engineering, this has allowed me to take the 10th Engineering Unlock skill which adds +10 Hull Capacity, which is comparable to the +15 taken from the last point of Hull restoration. Due to how the skill works this is a +3.3% Max Hull vs 4.95% Max Hull buff respectively.

EPG vs Control Amplification, DrainX and CtrlX

This time around I've opted to put more points into CtrlX and EPG while taking Control Amplification, and instead dropping points from DrainX. If this wasn't on an engineering captain I wouldn't consider this a loss. However both Nadion Inversion and Intrusive Energy Redirection both scale with DrainX and are innate captain abilities, thus wanting for the skill.

Aux Power

Optimizing to hit 130 Aux power has been challenging. To do this I required Defensive Subsystem turning for the +4.8 Power to Aux. Combining this with the passive on most science ships as well as the Neutronic Eddies has allowed 130 to be hit passively. This has then allowed me to drop EPS Manifold Efficiency freeing up a 10th starship trait. On other builds this has the effect of allowing more aux power for more damage / better scaling on various powers.

Shield Regeneration

This is still a tank first skill tree. Shield regeneration is statically anomaly and adds a huge amount to shield regen in just the first point (more Information on shields can be found here). As such, I have taken the single point. with the most recent tree revision I've opted to spec out of DrainX and Drain Infection for that last point in EPG. Should you want to not take shield regeneration I would suggest the next DrainX point.


Starship Weapons


Introduced with the Angel's Wake Lockbox, Ba'ul Weapons offer in place of antiproton weapons inherent 20% Critical Severity a reflection mechanic that deals 5% of the dealt damage. When combined with the Linked Sentry Set 2 piece, these weapons gain an additional reflection as well as increasing the reflection damage from 5% to 10%.

Additionally, Ba'ul reflections are unlike other reflection procs, such as the Refracting Tetryon weapon effect. Ba'ul carries with it other on hit procs and status afflictions. This includes:

Starship Equipment

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Given the commonly accepted best carriers do in sum as much as the two hanger bays combined on this, I think the meta on carriers isn't as well defined as it could be. Carriers are a new space for myself.

Notes on the Power Transfer Emitters Console:

This is inherent to the ship. However the active can only be used on a non-self entity. I use a macro that targets the focused target then uses the power on Bar 5 Slot 1.

0x1b " focustargetselect$$+TrayExecByTray 5 0$$+TrayExecByTray 5 1$$+TrayExecByTray 5 2" ""

Replace 0x1b with whatever key you want to use, for me this is the " ] " key. I then focus target the pet with Independent Wingmate on it, and this will then cast the console active on the pet with independent wingmate. It's a rather handy little thing to help lower the macro needed for this console.

Bridge Officers


I have downgraded emergency power to weapons to only rank 2 to pick up CF3. This just helps make the pets do that much better, as well as improves the delphic torp. I would much rather run EPtW3 and CF2 but I don't want to be that guy in TFOs and override some torpers CF3.


Personal Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

There isn't much to change here in terms of utility. Obviously if playing on a tactical or science captain EPS manifold Efficiency isn't available. As such these would be best swapped to A Good Day to Die (not confusing at all there's a starship trait, mission, and personal trait with the same name) for tactical captains and potential something like Bio-tech Patch or Conservation of Energy for science captains.

Budget Tweaks:

For budget players who want to save some EC, there's a few standard traits that could be used:

That all said, not much here is available to buff pets. That's just part of the cost of running a Carrier.

Starship Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Scramble Fighters is the go to carrier trait after SAD or CA when people talk about carriers. It could use a slot here. 

Budget Tweaks:

All things considered, most of the traits here are pickups from the ships that had the consoles. It's pretty good value there. Hydra Console + Trait, Support Carriers Console + Trait. Super Charged is viable for replacement. Great than the Sum is a pretty good essential to have from Exotics with Genesis Seed. Hydra also comes in the 12th which included SAD.

All in all, this isn't that expensive of a build starship trait wise compared to some other archetypes.

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:


Ship Stats


As an player who's been doing this for some time, I have very few keybinds as I use most of my powers manually. As such I have only 1 "spam" button, which consists of the offensive rotation.

Parse Breakdown

ISE Record Damage Breakdown

ISE Pet Breakdown


This is a tricky one. Carriers are a pretty long held standard of ship that have only recently enjoyed some attention from mechanic focused players like myself. As such I think there's a fair amount of potential not explored inside the genre. I'll list some other carriers I might enjoy flying in the future, but not necessarily ones that can do a 1:1 portability as there are very few with Command Primary specialization.

Flight Deck Carriers

Dreadnought Carriers

Full Carriers