We see many questions about traits, duty officers (doffs), and hangar pets. Which ones are good? Which ones are not? There's three things in common with between starship traits, personal traits, hangar pets and doffs:
1) There's a ton of choices
2) Many of them are expensive
3) There's a lot that aren't good
Because of that, we thought we'd try our hands at rating the top candidates for each one from the perspective of an endgame player looking to crush it on Elite (and not just the Borg maps). Since there's a huge swathe of builds to choose from, we broke it down across the three main types of builds: Energy, Projectile, and Exotic. Personal traits and duty officers (doffs) get also an added category for defensive traits called Survivability. If you're somewhere in between or something off the beaten path, this might not be as helpful.
Remember, tier lists are a shortcut designed to circumvent specialized analysis for an individual build and provide a quick answer of what's good or not. They're for the general use cases and not hyper-specialized, super high-end, hybridized, or for really off-the-wall builds. As always, your mileage may vary.
Traits & Doffs: Ground Rules
1) Starship traits are a limited build space with potentially irreplaceable effects. Nowhere lets you extend your firing modes or makes all your space anomalies explode in blue rings of doom! There's lots of places to add generic damage or durability; starship traits are simply too valuable to use for just survivability or cooldowns. Both of those needs can be filled elsewhere at less real cost and opportunity cost. As such, for starship trait suggestions geared towards general Advanced and Elite content, we're only recommending starship traits with at least some offensive benefit, even for tanks. Your authors have tanked Hive Elite without Honored Dead, for example. It's not needed. Non-tanks still generally shouldn't use valuable starship trait slots for staying alive barring a couple exceptions. We do sort and recommend defensive personal traits.
2) The traits and doffs are sorted by tier (S > A > B > C > D), but they are NOT sorted within the tier. That's a little too build-dependent.
3) If a trait or doff is situationally in two different tiers, we listed it at the highest and put a note on there. Traits/doffs definitely have nuance and dependencies so please read all the notes before potentially making an expensive purchase and decide if it works for you.
4) Don't forget to have fun! Some of the traits frequently described as "fun" aren't very good, but if it's fun for you and you're still feeling successful in the game, don't let a tier list get in your way!
5) If you are really after chasing the deeps on just the Borg maps, some of these recommendations will seem weird. Subspatial Warheads, for example, is frequently slotted even on energy builds with a high-yield torpedo because Isolytic Tears from that trait wreck unshielded, immobile targets. This list isn't tailored for you, it's tailored for general Elite PvE content and builds.
6) No PvP considerations were made in the making of this list.
7) We're not reviewing all the traits or doffs. That ends up being a lot of work for little reward. Just the ones we think are good.
Traits & Doffs: Tier List
If you want to filter on cost, open the sheet, make a copy, and then use the filter dropdowns to add/remove items out of your price range.
Shoutouts to Spencer (Startrekker) and CounterYolo are merited for their review of some / all of our trait/doff list.
Note: There are multiple tabs (see the top of the sheet to switch). See the changelog tab in the table for the revision date.
Hangar Pets: Ground Rules
There may have been many attempts over the years to rank hangar pets. Unfortunately, they’ve been plagued by the data sets being small and there’s little/no commonality in test setups between the various tests. It’s time to fix those problems, at least as much as we can.
Our ranking is an aggregate from a wide variety of crowdsourced hangar pet tests. Since we’re pulling ALL of the publicly-available data that’s still relevant (post-Superior Area Denial nerf, post hangar-AI update in May 2019), we have a larger data set which should help reduce random error and small sample size. Compared to previous rankings that had 20-40 data sets, our compilation has over 200. That said, there are still hundreds of hangar pets that we do not have rankings for–there are simply too many and they are too expensive for us to evaluate all of them, even with help from the community. What data is available, we’ve included.
Since not everyone uses the same test, we’ve done one other thing: we’ve calibrated the ranking. Every data set incorporated here uses at least 1 pet in common: Normal Peregrine fighters. We took the results for Normal Peregrine fighters and averaged them. Then, we took each data set and divided its results for Normal Peregrines by this average value. We then took into consideration some other calibration factors:
Was the test conducted with just pets fighting or with the player ship fighting alongside? Empirical testing has shown an average of 30% increase in DPS for the player ship fighting, debuffing, and tanking for the pets.
How many bays were involved? (1 or 2)
How many runs of the test were performed for that pet? More runs lead to greater confidence in the data and thus more weighting for that test.
We used that information to give two things: an average calibrated DPS per bay based on all of the data sets as well as a ranking that simply takes the average DPS per bay and divides it by the average Normal Peregrine DPS for that setup. When we talk about hangar pet rankings, it’s important to consider that the level of build investment in the hangar varies substantially. With that said, here are the four broad categories that we consider:
Extra/Afterthought hangar: you have a hangar but are not building around it. We call this “Base”
Carrier setup: This is stuff like Flight Deck Officers, Wing Commander, high aux, possibly a Swarmer Matrix but NOT either of the two following traits. This setup will broadly cover builds that are invested in hangar DPS but are not shelling out for premium traits. We call this “Carrier”
Superior Area Denial: Carrier + Superior Area Denial
Coordinated Assault: Carrier + Coordinated Assault
Certain pets will perform differently depending on those key variables. There are many other smaller variables, but we believe these are the main divergent setups that will broadly influence rankings. We have data sets, calibrated DPS/bay, and rankings for pets across each of these four setups. We also have columns to help players sort by a few other things separate from these 4 categories:
Do the pets have torpedoes? Previously, pets with projectiles would steal DPS from projectile boats using Concentrate Firepower but this is no longer the case. Nevertheless, we retain the setting to filter on torpless = TRUE/FALSE for anyone who cases about such things.
Are the pets shiplocked? There are some pets with considerable performance (example: Elite Epoch Fighters) that are restricted to certain ships
Do the pets have supportive abilities like Focused Assault or Attack Pattern Beta? Players building more supportive builds will want to filter out pets with blanks in this column.
Hangar Pets: Tier List
To use the tool, filter and sort as desired using the small dropdown arrows by each column. Sorting the DPS or Rank columns should be done Z->A to get the highest values at the top. The search bar at the top right can be used to search for specific pets and you can also filter on pets that are torpless or have ally buffs using the columns to the right. 0 DPS / blank ranking indicates pets for which we have no data. We know there are a lot of columns but this tabular format allows you to search and sort as you see fit. It's worth mentioning that the DPS columns are all calibrated independently. It is not intended to use the columns as a point of comparison against each other.
STO BETTER would like to extend a very special thanks to all of our contributors on the STObuilds subreddit who helped collect hundreds of data points on hangar pets to provide the most comprehensive hangar pet evaluation in existence thus far: AboriakTheFickle, Cryhavok101, DilaZirk, jonfon74, Pottsey-X5, and thisvideoiswrong.
See the changelog tab in the table for the revision date.