Star Trek: Starfleet Command Gold Edition – Basic Officers Guide

Just a quick guide on officers, and what they do.

Officer Basics

All credit goes to Katsuni!


This is a basic guide for Starfleet Command: Gold Edition to introduce you to what officers are, and why you want them on your ship, or why you would even spend precious prestige on those expensive legendary officers.

Each ship in Starfleet Command has 5 officers, namely:

  • Weapons
  • Security
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Helm

These officers alter the behaviour of your ship slightly, and sometimes in important ways. A purchased ship will always start with a crew of Senior ranking officers, who are above average, but not especially amazing at anything. Most Senior officers won’t have any effect on the effectiveness of your ship.

As you play through missions, your crew gains experience, gradually getting better at what they do. If you hire a Rookie, you can watch them progress in their career until they become a Veteran, though the Legendary officers can only be purchased as a rare spawn at the Recruitment Office. Higher ranks take more missions to get the experience needed to reach the new rank, and this shows as a % when in the Recruitment Office to see how far along your officer is towards their next promotion. Once they hit 100%, it requires one extra mission to gain the next rank. Newly purchased officers will always start at 0% towards their next rank.

  • Rookie: 0 value.
  • Junior: 5 value.
  • Senior: 20 value (default on all ships).
  • Veteran: 50 value (maximum trained rank).
  • Legendary: 200 value (can only be purchased at the Recruitment Office, never trained).

If you’re about to change ships, it’s generally a good idea to go to the Recruitment Office first, and take any crew you want to keep and swap them out with new members. The crew swapped out this way will stay in the Recruitment Office until you go to your next mission, so you can sell your ship, buy a new one, and then re-purchase your crew back again, allowing you to transfer legendary officers between ships.

What Officers Do

The different officers do different things based on their role and rank, so here’s the full list, as per the manual buried in the supplemental manual pdf in case you missed it (it’s not exactly in plain sight, so don’t worry.)

Weapons Officer

  • Rookie: EM penalty +6 (ECM to own weapons while erratic maneuvering).
  • Junior: EM penalty +5.
  • Senior: EM penalty +4.
  • Veteran: EM penalty +3.
  • Legendary: EM penalty +1. Weapon die roll bonus of -1 (improves all weapon attack die rolls by 1).

Weapons officer notes

The legendary weapons officer is one of the more useful ones, because he reduces any roll made. SFC follows the tabletop board game rules of Starfleet Battles extremely closely, with little to no changes. This means a phaser 1, or Ph-1, will do 1d6+3 damage at point-blank range, or 4-9 damage. It’s a roll-under system though, so a lower roll is better, meaning the -1 to hit is a fairly large increase in your chance to hit, or the damage you deal with phasers, since phasers always hit so you’re rolling for damage instead of whether they hit at all.

In general though, a -1 to hit is about equal to +16.66% increased chance to hit. Phaser damage will depend upon what type of phaser you’re using and how far away you are from the target, but it’ll usually go up by about half a damage on average per phaser fired.

As such, having a legendary weapons officer is a pretty big deal and can notably change the outcome of fights.

The “EM penalty” is for if you’re using “erratic maneuvers” under the helm tab. If you’re not, then anything other than a legendary weapons officer will have no effect. If you are using erratic maneuvers at the time you fire, it reduces the penalty you suffer from such by having a better weapons officer. In short, again, about a +16.66% chance to hit while dodging back and forth.

Security Officer

  • Rookie: -2 to your hit and run raids, -2 to boarding party actions, +2 to enemy hit and run raids.
  • Junior: -1 to your hit and run raids, -1 to boarding party actions, +1 to enemy hit and run raids.
  • Senior: Normal.
  • Veteran: +1 to your hit and run raids, +1 to boarding party actions, -1 to enemy hit and run raids.
  • Legendary: +2 to your hit and run raids, +2 to boarding party actions, -2 to enemy hit and run raids.

Security officer notes

Again, this is using a d6 system, so a +/-1 difference is equal to about +/- 16.66% chance.

What this means in practice, is that a legendary security officer will increase your chances of winning any given fight when being boarded, or when boarding other vessels, by about +33%. So every tick, there’s a scuffle where either they lose someone or you do, and if your forces outnumber theirs, there’s more chances for this to occur. In short, having more troops than they do will probably lead to them losing the fight, but having a good security officer can make a pretty big difference when trying to overtake a vessel that still has a few too many troops left on it when you don’t have enough teleporters to send enough over at a time, and can help ensure your troops stay alive long enough for the next wave to get teleported over.

Since a large number of missions, even random generic missions every faction gets, involve boarding parties, it’s fairly helpful to have a competent security officer. The legendary one’s nice to have, but not a huge deal if you’re missing them.

Science Officer

  • Rookie: 10% tac-intel/deep scan penalty. Sensor penalty of -1.
  • Junior: Normal.
  • Senior: Normal.
  • Veteran: 10% tac-intel/deep scan bonus. Sensor bonus of +1.
  • Legendary: +1 shield repair rate per turn. 20% tac-intel/deep scan bonus. Sensors bonus of +2.

Science officer notes

This is probably the single, most important officer to get a legendary of that you can get. Why? Because every “turn” (the time it takes for phasers to recharge after firing), all of your 6 shield facings regenerate +1 shield point per turn normally. With a legendary science officer, this increases to +2 per turn instead, which can dramatically increase your odds of survival during a prolonged fight. Like when you’re trying to bring down a starbase.

I “think” the sensor bonus is related to ECM and ECCM, but I’m honestly not sure and despite extensive searching, I can’t find anything about it anywhere. This may be either incredibly useful, or of minimal importance and I honestly don’t know which. Overall it’s not that important though because you’ll definitely want a legendary science officer regardless of what the sensor bonus applies towards.

Engineer Officer

  • Rookie: Repair rate penalty of 50% (takes twice as long to repair as usual).
  • Junior: Normal.
  • Senior: Normal.
  • Veteran: Repair rate bonus of 25%.
  • Legendary: Repair rate bonus of 50%.

Engineer officer notes

When you start taking damage, it can be important for getting systems back online ASAP. The engineer’s rank will dramatically change how fast you get your stuff working again (Legendary officers are 3x faster than Rookies). Also note that this applies to the fact that an engineer will automatically repair your engines over time without consuming any spare parts, so if you have a legendary engineer, it can potentially save on parts to let them patch up the engines as they are so you can save that precious, limited supply of spare parts for weapons which have taken a hit during a lengthy battle. Having that extra Plasma-R available when you need it most can be a huge deal.

Helm Officer

  • Rookie: HET penalty of 16%. HET energy cost is x1.2 normal. HET time is x1.25 normal. EM energy cost is x1.1 normal.
  • Junior: HET time is x1.1 normal.
  • Senior: HET energy cost is x.9 normal.
  • Veteran: HET energy cost is x.8 normal. HET time is x.75 normal. EM energy cost is x.8 normal.
  • Legendary: HET bonus of 16%. HET energy cost is x.7 normal. HET time is x.5 normal. EM energy cost is x.5 normal.

Helm officer notes

Another +1 bonus on a 6 sided die for the High Energy Turn rate for the legendary helm officer. This can give you one extra HET before there’s a chance it’ll break your ship’s engines instead, and when you’re on a battleship which can barely turn otherwise, it can be a pretty big deal, and may very well determine if you win or lose a fight against a particularly large fleet of enemies.

The reduced Erratic Maneuvers cost is sort of nice if you’re using this, but if you’re not using the helm controls all that much, a good or bad helm officer will do pretty much exactly the same for you. It’s only if you’re pushing your ship to its limits that the helm officer’s rank really changes anything at all.


Overall, officers won’t change how your ship works that much, but a few legendary officers can make a frigate act more like a light cruiser in terms of overall effectiveness, and some of them will make a big difference on longer fights.

Personally, I recommend prioritising a legendary science officer above all else, even a bigger ship, since they’re rare and you can’t train them. After that, your weapons officer and then engineer, then the bigger ship.

Given that it’s hard to find legendary officers, and that the difficulty of most missions scales with your own ship size, you can generally get away with just loading up on more officers before a bigger ship if you see them. It can be even worth downgrading your ship, selling off some spare parts or marines and so on to nab that legendary when you see them.

It’s also fairly handy of a way to make a little extra prestige by getting some cheaper officers and training them up, then trading them out. If you don’t have a legendary officer in that slot, it can be helpful to get a junior or senior and train them up to veteran status for a +30 to +45 increase in value per officer trained up this way. It’s probably not worth training up a rookie though, since you only get +5 prestige extra and you have to deal with them being especially bad, while most will have little to no negative effect at the junior level.

It’s unfortunately not very clear in the game, or even in the manual, really what the officers do, but now that you know, you can make educated decisions about what to do with them when you see them. Some of them really can be game-changers, so take them into account and not just your ship alone!

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7728 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

1 Comment

  1. I’m playing SFC:1 for the first time in more than a decade (had been more of a SFC:OP player – no officer ranks), so your recent article here is a big help on knowing which officers to recruit! I love taking a smaller destroyer or war cruiser into the fight with a tricked-out legendary crew.

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