Some of the mechanics of the game are non-obvious, so here are some per-station tips that will help.
- Turn on the navigation information on the main display (the slider in the lower right on the left screen) and use the heading number when directing helm.
- The only 4 things that affect your signature are anomalies (-1/2 total), active torp launchers (+10km), active shields (+10km), and traveling faster than 4000 speed (+10km). Pip allocation itself doesn't matter but it's easiest to cap engines at 4 for stealth so there's no oopsie unless you really trust your helm. The normal minimum distance you can be detected at is 10km.
- Your helm needs to know the status of anomalies and whether or not they can go through them safely. Anomalies show up in helm plot but not the type, so you'll have to relay the info verbally after tactical scans them.
- Remember to coordinate alpha strikes and phaser recharge with tactical and engineering! Yelling at tactical to "kill it! kill it!" doesn't make your weapons recharge any faster.
- Shields recharge to full 115 seconds after being lowered no matter the pip allocation. It's up to you to judge this timing in your head, because if you raise them too early you'll just reset this timer! Keep on top of shield strength and the raising/lowering of shields.
- Be encouraging and calm even when everything is going poorly.
- The better your crew, the less you'll be doing.
- Phaser pips increase both range AND damage but not recharge speed. Your primary responsibility is fidding with phasers for range and damage, maxing it out with re-route when it's time to fire and dropping back down to 1 when you're recharging.
- Engine pips increase maximum speed, turn radius, and the up/down dodge speed that helm uses to dodge incoming torpedoes. You'll need at least 2 pips in engine to dodge the torpedoes so only giving 1 pip and re-routing all engine power to phasers caps your max speed at 500 and your turn radius becomes garbage. This completely gimps your helm so try to avoid it except when alpha striking.aff
- Shield pips are resistance to damage. They reduce on-hit damage only. They don't affect lowered shields or shield recharge rate.
- Enemies or mines may appear with little or no warning so it's best to have energy in phasers for range unless you are in combat and they are actively recharging.
- You can minigame it up as engineer to your heart's content. For example, try a generic combat re-route of right-left-right from the top (5 pip engine -> shields, 4 pip engine -> phaser, 3 pip engine -> shields). Then put engines 2, and shields either 4 or 5 (depending on incoming fire). This gives you 2-3 pips of extra effectiveness and allows maneuvering even while giving a shield resistance of 5. You'll get about a minute before you have to reset it (a yellow bar fills up on one of the pips you have allocated). Sometimes you can ignore the damage it if say the 4th or 5th pip engine is taking damage. Who cares! You aren't using it anyway. You can always re-route power from shield/phasers if you have to charge warp coils.
- "Red" re-route damage heals twice as fast as yellow, but once a node is in the red it can't be used for anything. This can block nodes above it, so if you damage the 2nd phaser node you can't allocate more than 1 power to phasers until it's healed. This makes re-route-and-forget kinda risky. You'll also continue to take damage during impulse and warp, so reset re-routes when traveling.
- ALWAYS plot an impulse exit first thing after entering a system. Just in case. If you get swarmed, you'll have to retreat and come back in and it's best to know what direction you'll need to point in advance. You aren't going to be able to take 3+ ships on your own, so kill one then book it to let your shields/phasers recharge and only then come back for revenge.
- You can dodge incoming torps with up/down, but only if you've got 2+ pips of engine. Communicate this to your engineer.
- You'll have to dodge asteroids and general debris and it won't show up on your map, so avoid tunnel vision on your console and watch the big viewscreen as well.
- When you are trying to be stealthy, you'll need to stay more than 10km away from enemies. Traveling over 4000 speed increases your signature. Some anomalies will mask your signature even farther, so look for anomalies to duck into!
- Always Be Scanning. Scan anomalies. Scan everything. Scan range is normally 30km but the closer you are the faster it goes. Scans only happen when you have the scan target selected but will auto-continue when switching away and then back. Start scans on a secondary target and switch to them when you aren't actively firing at your current target. Only scan the subsystem you care about (generally weapons) or it'll take 3x as long.
- Coordinate tactical and engineering to overcharge your phasers (5 pips + re-route engine power), empty the phaser banks, then drop back down to 1 pip during the ~30s recharge. This is an absolute must. If you do nothing else as engineer or tactical, DO THIS.
- If you're quick on the trigger you can shoot enemies who warp or decloak while they are raising shields. Prioritize them immediately. It takes them 10 seconds to raise their shields, just like it takes yours.
- Resist mashing the fire phasers button as soon as you have a little energy. Seriously, just don't do it. Coordinate 100% of the time with engineering and expect them to take a few seconds to fully re-route power.
- You can fire phasers outside enemy detection range to get a bunch of free hits in. They won't retaliate if they can't see you but they will start hunting. You'll want to keep shields down for this until the last second.
- Enable torps at the start of the round to charge them before disabling them again. They'll stay armed and ready for when you need them fast.
- Torps do reduced damage to shields. Use them as finishers once shields are down or before they are raised.
- Generally you'll want to disable enemy weapons on the strongest ship unless you're against a solo and you think you can get an alpha strike of phaser+torps through their shields to destroy them in one go (smaller birds of prey only, larger ships have stronger hulls). Remember that it takes a few seconds for the intrusion to become active (look for the ! triangle), so start it before their attack run, not during.
- The only time you want to subsystem target phasers (solid beam rather than burst) is when the mission demands it or you're up against a real strong enemy. Then, take out either his weapons or his shields (depending on how strong your own shields are). Solid beam does very little hull damage compared to burst, which is why you don't want to use it often.
- You can NOT teleport through intruded shields. You'll need to drop them manually then fire on the subsystem to keep them down.
- You can have multiple intrusions going at once if you back out and bounce the subsystem between people, just back out of it to the main teleporter/intrusion menu once you activate.
- The general wisdom is for engineer to handle teleporters and tactical to handle intrusion, but a lot of the time tactical has too much on their plate and engineering not enough so feel free to experiment.