Captain Specializations are a form of skill progression that is opened after achieving Level 50 and therefore completing the main skill tree. Each specialization grants three different perks: 1) An inert buff scaling with the points spent in it, 2) any of the selected tree-abilities, 3) certain unlocks (e.g., starship traits) depending on the amount of points spent. Two specializations may be active at once (primary & secondary); inactive specializations do not grant their buff or tree-abilities, while unlocks shown in the bottom Progress Bar still remain enabled. For Bridge Officers, only a single specialization may be active (granting new abilities but no further buffs).
For player characters, Primary Specializations offer 30 purchasable Abilities and can be activated as Primary or Secondary, while Secondary Specializations offer only purchasable 15 Abilities and are only available as a Secondary Specialization. In total, each Specialization offers three perks:
- A passive bonus scaling with the points spent in that Specialization (Must have one point in the tree to initially activate)
- Any of the purchased Abilities
- Unlocks (e.g., starship traits, Training Manuals for your BOffs, or the ability to purchase Primary Specialization-specific kit modules)
Only two Specializations can be active for a player character at the same time (one as Primary, one as Secondary). Inactive specializations do not grant their Passive buff, nor activate any of their purchased Abilities. Unlocks, however, remain available, even for inactive specializations.
- Having one Primary Specialization active will grant the player access to all tiers (I-IV) of the Specialization, provided it has been completed before hand.
- Having one Secondary Specialization active will grant the player access to the first two Tiers of a Primary Specialization, or the entirety of a Secondary-only Specialization (I-II).
Leaders and Generals, the Command Officer is trained to improve the effectiveness and coordination of those under their command.
Released with Delta Rising (mid-season update)
Specializes in finding weaknesses in foes and remaining undetected, while countering the same.
Released with Delta Rising
Miracle Workers are the galaxy's best, using their ingenuity and years of experience to come up with creative solutions to abnormal problems and know the real limitations on their equipment.
Released with Season Fourteen: Emergence
Pushing the upper limits of starship maneuverability.
Released with Delta Rising
Temporal Operatives can carefully manipulate the fabric of reality to turn probability and causality on its head, shifting the tide of battle in their favor.
Released with Agents of Yesterday
Centers on a unique mechanic - your Antagonist.
Released with Season Fourteen: Emergence (mid-season update)
Specialized in ground assaults, and making the most of your weaponry and equipment.
Released with Delta Rising
Experts in developing and adapting battlefield plans, Strategists are prized for their ability to react to the conditions of multi-ship combat.
Released with Season Eleven: New Dawn (mid-season update)
Gaining and spending specialization points
Starting with level 51, each level-up provides a specialization point. Spending 10 points in a specialization that is available as either Primary or Secondary unlocks the ability to craft Specialization Training Manuals. These can teach Bridge Officers in that Specialization, adding to them the option to activate it, thereby unlocking special space and ground abilities.
After reaching the level cap (currently level 65), specialization points can still be earned indefinitely by filling the skill point bar the same way as during actual leveling (maxing out at 155,872 per captain specialization point). Specializations cannot be changed or reset because a character is able to acquire all the specialization points that can be spent. As of September 2019, there are 195 specialization points total, and therefore one would need to fill their skill bar an additional 180 times (earning a total of 28,056,960 ) to complete the current specialization skill list.
Surplus Specialization Points
Once all 195 Specializations have been earned, any surplus points earned are converted into dilithium ore . The rate is 2,880 per surplus point which is automatically credited to your character's supplies at the time your experience bar fills and also automatically resets the meter.
Note that bonus Specialization points, such as from Featured TFO Rewards or Admiralty (Federation Tour of Duty 10 namely), earned prior to Season 11.5 do not count towards this limit. Points earned prior to this will simply add to your total limit before conversion starts.
Once a character reaches level 51, a short optional tutorial will be offered in-game, as follows:
- (1/9) You have earned your first Captain Specialization Point. To begin a brief tutorial on this system, click anywhere in this message to continue. Or, click the X in the top-right to cancel.
- (2/9) Your list of available Specializations can be seen here (Skills window, default hotkey: K). Selecting any of them will show details about Abilities and Unlocks they offer, and allow you to spend Specialization points to advance your Captain.
- Click on the 'Intelligence Officer' Specialization.
- (3/9) The Progress Bar (at the bottom of Skill window > Specialization tab) reflects your current status within a Specialization tree, and displays the bonuses that can be unlocked in that tree. Clicking anywhere on this bar will display all Unlocks available in that tree.
- (4/9) Abilities that can be purchased in any Specialization are displayed here (in the center part of Skill window > Specialization tab). Selecting any Ability will show more information to the left. You may need to scroll down to see the higher tiers of Abilities, which will unlock as you spend points within a Specialization.
- Select one of the two available Abilities from the top of the tree.
- (5/9) While any Ability is selected, click the Accept button to purchase it. All Abilities cost a single Specialization point, but many require previous Abilities to have been unlocked before they are available.
- With an eligible Ability, click 'Accept' to purchase it, and then confirm your selection.
- (NB. There is no need to purchase either of the two abilities to proceed with the tutorial, it is alternatively possible to just click on the tutorial message to proceed.)
- (6/9) All purchased Abilities are enabled as long as their Specialization is currently active. Specializations assigned as Primary will enable all purchased Abilities from a tree, while those assigned as Secondary will enable the Abilities from Tier 1 and Tier 2. You may have one Primary and one Secondary specialization active at any given time.
- (7/9) Any Unlocks (on the bottom Progress Bar of Skill window > Specialization tab) you have earned are permanently enabled, even if their associated Specialization is inactive.
- (8/9) Additional Abilities may still be purchased from a Specialization regardless of its status as Primary or Secondary, but will not be enabled unless the Specialization is made active.
- Official STO Dev Blog - Captain Specializations
- Official STO Dev Blog - 1st Expansion: Command Specialization
- Official STO Dev Blog - Pilot Specialization
- Official STO Dev Blog - Star Trek Online: Temporal Operative Specialization
- Official STO Dev Blog - Strategist Specialization
- Official STO Dev Blog - Announcing the Miracle Worker Specialization
- Official STO Dev Blog - The Constable Secondary Specialization
- STO Character Planner @ STO-Academy.com (including Specialization planner)
Character development in Star Trek Online