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Traits always have been a tricky choice to pick, because once you choose them they stay with your captain his whole career.
There are only a few more annoying things than to realize somewhere after your Captain Promotion that the nice trait you picked during your Character Creation is not as nifty as you imagined.
This holds even more truth with Season Four and its ground combat revamp which made ground traits a more or less viable choice again.
This guide will try to help you on that important decision.
Basic Builds will deal with trait builds available to all players while Advanced Builds includes trait builds which likely will require a Cryptic Store purchase.

Basic Builds

If Star Trek Online is not your first MMORPG you might expect some classic variations of the tank, damage dealer & healer triangle. I would suggest to discard this association. Style of play differs vastly between Space and Ground environments. A character filling the tank role perfectly fine in space might turn out to be a pushover once he beams down. Previous to Season Four pure space builds were the popular choice among most players because ground combat was shunned.

Pure Space Builds

Pure space builds are mostly limited to the custom alien species since almost all other races have one or more racial specific ground trait/s. If you choose species above possible traits you will have to compromise later.

The Damage Dealer (Space)

Suggested race selection: Alien

  • Efficient Captain: Increases power levels for systems below 75 power.
  • Accurate: Increases chance to hit on all your space weapons. In addition accuracy overflow will convert into larger and more frequent critical hits.
  • Techie: Increases several Engineering abilities including weapon systems performance.
  • Warp Theorist: More power.

This build focuses on one thing only. Picking traits that will help you dishing out the most damage you can get. If you're not comfortable with playing a custom alien species you can take a Bolian and drop Warp Theorist. If you drop Efficient Captain you can play this build with Andorians, Trills or Orions.

The Space Healer/Controller

Suggested race selection: Alien

While most shield and hull healing abilities are engineering ones, Transfer Shield Strength which is believed to be the best shield heal currently available by the majority of the playerbase is a science skill. And if you augment your science abilities with the Astrophysicist trait it's just another small leap from a pure space healer to a space controller, using science abilities to disable opposing ships. If you're not comfortable with with playing a custom alien species check the previous build for alternative species suggestions.

The Space Evader

Suggested race selection: Alien

  • Elusive: Defense increase makes you harder to hit.
  • Astrophysicist: Use those science skills to disable opponents. Disabled ships do not hit you either.
  • Techie: For the moments you finally get hit after all.
  • Efficient Captain: Increases power levels for systems below 75 power.

I don't need to deal more damage than my opponent, I just need to survive longer than him. If that is your mantra these are probably your traits too. Focusing on not getting hit, disabling the opponent and augmenting your abilities to repair the damage received. While very similar to the Space Healer build this one emphasizes more on your own survival rather than the survival of your team. Especially when dealing with smarter opponents (aka other players) this build might be the better choice. Again, if you're not comfortable with playing a custom alien species check the previous build for alternative species suggestions.

Pure Ground Builds

Up until Season Four pure ground builds were an oddity. Time will tell if they prove to be a more popular choice now.

The Medic

Suggested race selection: Betazoid

  • Empathic'req': Increased health regeneration for your team and less threat generation by your actions.
  • Creative: Increases your kit abilities by 5%.
    • Telepathic'req': Required Betazoid trait but not important for this build.
    • Sure Footed: Knockback and Root resistance.
    • Stubborn: Stun, Placate and Runspeed Resistance.

If you want to be a medic you'll need Creative. Empathic augments your healing nice and reduces the threat you are generating. If you pick up Sure Footed or Stubborn as your fourth trait is a matter of preference both are equaly viable.

Alternative race selection: Bajoran

  • Creative'req': Increases your kit abilities by 5%.
  • Spiritual'req': Increased health regeneration on yourself and bonus on healing abilities used on you.
  • Sure Footed: Knockback and Root resistance.
  • Stubborn: Stun, Placate and Runspeed Resistance.

While not having access to Empathic like Betazoids Spiritual increases your own ability to survive. And remember a disabled medic cannot heal after all.

Alternative race selection: Orion (female)

  • Seductive'req': Confuse and Placate resistance and reduced threat generation.
  • Creative: Increases your kit abilities by 5%.
  • Sure Footed: Knockback and Root resistance.
  • Stubborn: Stun, Placate and Runspeed Resistance.

The KDF version of the medic. While not to be known for their healing capabilities orion females can serve this role well enough.

The most important trait in this build is Creative to augment your kit heals. Reduced threat generation is a nice bonus to keep you from accidently pulling aggro with your heals. The other traits serve to reduce the chance of you becoming disabled. As said before a disabled medic cannot heal.

The Aggro Grabbing Build (not a tank!)

Suggested Federation race selection: Andorian

Increased threat generation and supplementing traits that focus on increasing overall damage. Not to forget Resilient to aid in surviving the nasty things whose attention you were trying to grab.

Suggested KDF race selection: Klingon

The Klingon build is actually superior to the Andorian one. You get all the goodies the Andorians have, double their threat generation and as topping an additional 10% to your hit points. Quite a package. Federation players need to purchase Klingons in the Cryptic Store making this an advanced build for them.

Alternative race selection: Nausicaan

Nausicaans almost don't make it into this category of builds. They might not have a problem getting aggro but without proper support certainly will have a problem maintaining it. Disabled people cannot participate in aggro managment.

As you probably already have guessed the important trait in this build is Aggressive or the superior threat generation of Honorable. This needs to be sidelined with a nice trait increasing your damage output, because all the threat generation in the game won't do anything for you if you cannot dish out a decent amount of damage. And last but not least you want to survive the attention you have grabbed.

The Glass Cannon

Suggested race selection: Bajoran

  • Spiritual'req': Increased health regeneration on yourself and bonus on healing abilities used on you.
  • Creative'req': Increased kit abilities.
  • Soldier: Increased damage and stronger critical hits.
  • Lucky: Increased critical hit chance.

Focus on damage dealing and not grabbing aggro. If you do Spiritual will be your friend. If you want to have fun with Rally Cry this is the build to try it with.

Alternative race selection: Saurian

In terms of raw damage potential this is it. If you really want to go down this road you should brace yourself being called the squishy lizard soon.

The Survivor

Suggested race selection: Benzite

As you probably already have guessed this build focuses on staying alive. Natural Armor is slightly better than Resilient so the Benzites are the species of choice. Currently I would suggest picking Sturdy as the fourth trait over Mental Discipline unless you have problems dealing with Undine or Remans.

Alternative race selection: Trill

This alternative uses Resilient instead of the Benzite race trait and gains a slight boost to health regeneration because of the Hyper Metabolism. Your build of choice if the Benzite are just to blue for you.

Alternative race selection: Orion (female)

  • Seductive'req': Confuse and Placate resistance, lower threat generation.
  • Resilient: Damage Resistance.
  • Peak Health: Increased Hit Points.
    • Sturdy: Even more Damage resistance (focus on kinetic and knockback)
    • Mental Discipline: alternative Damage resistance (the dreaded Psionic Damage)

Orion females are the build choice for the KDF. Again choose Sturdy or Mental Discipline as your fourth trait. If you want both of them you need to pick an Alien so you can get rid of Seductive instead.

Mixed Builds

Mixed builds are usualy needed when picking your species over your traits. When you're stuck with two racial specific traits you have to make your remaining choices count double. Instead of focusing on single builds we will work through the species themselves and take a look which trait choices would augment their racial specifics instead.


Humans start with Leadership and Teamwork. They make fairly well tactical officers and if Teamwork wasn't broken currently would make excellent Space Evaders too.

Suggested space trait: Accurate
Alternative space trait: Techie

Tactical officers should stick with Accurate because they will gain the most from its bonus. Techie is the trait of choice for more defensive oriented players to gain a kick with their engineering abilities.

Suggested ground trait: Resilient
Alternative ground trait: Peak Health

Humans don't have the neccessary trait choices to really shine at damage dealing, so it's better to focus on survival.


Andorians start with Acute Senses only. They will make excellent tactical officers and because of having three customizable trait choices will do well in most other roles.

Suggested space traits: Accurate & Warp Theorist
Alternative space traits: Techie & Warp Theorist

Again the suggested traits for tactical officers, and the alternative for players who don't focus on dealing damage primarily.

Suggested ground trait: Aggressive
Alternative ground trait: Resilient or Peak Health

Aggressive with its damage increase is the prime choice for Andorians. Slightly more fragile than a pure ground build though. Or take the survival traits Resilient and Peak Health.

Note: You can vary Andorians even more. The two space, two ground traits choice is by no means the only viable thing to pick.


Bajorans start with Creative and Spiritual making them good Medics.

Suggested traits: Astrophysicist & Warp Theorist
Alternative traits: Astrophysicist & Techie

Picking Astrophysicist is a no brainer for science officers. Warp Theorist as the second choice to gain more systems power or as an alternative Techie to augment the good old engineering abilities if you feel fragile somehow. Non science builds are an advanced topic.


Benzites start with Natural Armor and Natural Immunities. That makes them rather sturdy on ground.

Suggested trait #1: Efficient Captain
Suggested trait #2: Astrophysicist or Accurate or Techie

While Efficient Captain is the obvious choice as a space trait, the second trait mostly depends on your career choice. Astrophysicist for Science Officers, Accurate for Tactical Officers and Techie for Engineering Officers.


Betazoids start with Empathic and Telepathic. That goes along well with Medics and excellent for Controllers.

Suggested space trait: Astrophysicist
Suggested ground trait: Creative

Astrophysicist is a trait every science officer profits from, and Creative will augment any kit heals and crowd controlling abilities. If you want to do without the additional kick on ground check the Bajoran suggestions for more space emphasized builds.


Bolians start with Corrosive Blood, a fairly weak racial specific. However they are one of the few species having access to Efficient Captain offsetting that weakness and are one of the two species besides Humans having access to Teamwork.

Suggested ground trait: Teamwork
Alternative ground trait: Resilient or Creative
Suggested space trait #1: Efficient Captain
Suggested space trait #2: Accurate or Astrophysicist or Techie

Teamwork would suit you most if you do your fair share of playing with other players. Captains who stick mostly to themselves would fare better with Resilient or Creative (if a science officer). Efficient Captain as the first space trait is an obvious choice. The second space trait again depends on career choice. Accurate for the tactical, Astrophysicist for the science and Techie for the engineering officer.


Saurians start with Circulatory Redundancies and Acute Senses. In addition to that they are one of the few species which are fairly limited with their space traits, making them a poor choice for space emphasized builds.

Suggested space trait: Accurate or Elusive
Suggested ground trait: Soldier
Alternative ground trait: Resilient

Accurate and Elusive are the only space traits available to Saurians. If you really feel the need to pick a space trait for your Saurian be my guest. Soldier is a nice damage boost, Resilient adds some surviveability. Being rather limited in the space trait choices it would be better to pick a full ground build in the first place though.


Trills start with Hyper Metabolism only. They will make excellent science officers and because they can pick three additional traits will do well in any other role.

Suggested space traits: Astrophysicist and Warp Theorist
Alternative space traits: Any combination of Techie, Accurate and Warp Theorist
Suggested ground trait: Creative
Alternatice ground trait: Resilient

As a science officer you should stick with the suggested traits while other careers have a broader choice. You could also emphasize even more on space and pick all three alternative space trait choices with an engineer to make him pack more punch or to gain some surviveability on tactical officers.


Vulcans start with Physical Strength and Logical making them not an optimal choice for good mixed builds.

Suggested trait choices: Any viable combination of Accurate, Astrophysicist, Techie and Warp Theorist.

Vulcan racial specific traits are considered medicroe by most of the playerbase at best. The basic trait choice would be augmenting space traits, for other options see advanced builds. Choices are again very specific to the career played. As mentioned earlier no science officer should go without Astrophysicist, Accurate increases your damage potential, Techie helps with your hull and shield healing skills, and Warp Theorist adds to your power level.


Klingons start with Honorable and Warrior. They have a knack for aggro grabbing making them excellent tactical officers. They will manage as an engineer too but won't perform that well as science officers.

Suggested trait choices: Any viable combination of Accurate, Techie and Warp Theorist.

Honorable & Warrior are a quite good ground package to start with. Picking some space traits to go along shouldn't be that difficult anymore. Accurate to increase damage, Techie for better hull and shield healing and Warp Theorist for its power bonus. And yes if you really want to play a Klingon science officer don't forget Astrophysicist.


Gorn start their career with Cold-Blooded, Reptilian Strength and Resilient, making them the only species with three pre-selected traits from the start. In addition to that there is no possible fourth trait that would qualify as a mixed build. Sorry. See advanced builds for Gorn variations.


Letheans start with Telepathic and their unique trait Rapture. They also have access to Efficient Captain. There are some interesting advanced builds possible with them. They are one of the few species not having Astrophysicist and Warp Theorist as an option though.

Suggested space trait #1: Efficient Captain
Suggested space trait #2: Accurate or Techie

Efficient Captain to raise your power levels and then Accurate for increased damage or Techie for better hull and shield heals.


Nausicaans start with Physical Strength and Pirate. They are rather good damage dealers.

Suggested space traits: Accurate and Warp Theorist
Alternative space traits: Techie and Warp Theorist

Again the usual Accurate, Techie and Warp Theorist combinations. Without Astrophysicist because playing a Nausicaan science officer would mostly waste anything you get from Pirate.


Orions either start with Physical Strength (male) or Seductive (female). Because they have only one racial specific trait they do well in almost every role they pick while Seductive gives female orions an edge as science officers relying on decreased threat generation.

Suggested ground trait: Creative or Resilient
Suggested space traits: Any viable combination of Accurate, Astrophysicist, Techie and Warp Theorist.

Orion science officers first choice of picks would be Creative, Astrophysicist and Warp Theorist augmenting their respective science skills. Tacticals and engineers should go for Resilient, Warp Theorist and Techie or Accurate depending if they want to play more offensive or defensive in space.

Advanced Builds

Advanced Builds will cover improved basic builds with Cryptic Store bought species, their mixed builds and last but not least more specialized builds from each species, like revisiting unique species traits and their build possibilities.

Pure Space Builds

Sorry folks. There is no possible improvement in this category from using Cryptic Store species. Head back to basic pure space builds.

Pure Ground Builds

The Improved Medic

While Betazoids stay the suggested choice for medic builds, Rigelians are an interesting alternative choice.

Alternative race choice: Rigelian

At first glance this build looks very similar to Bajoran medics. It turns out to be very different though. A well played rigelian medic is almost impossible to kill, while one who pays no attention will be easier prey than a bajoran. Spirit Walk is excellent to puffer burst damage but has a rather large cooldown, leaving you vulnerable afterwards.

The Improved Aggro Grabber

Klingons stay unchallenged in this category. See basic builds for details.

Alternative race suggestion: Pakled

  • Dumb Luck'req': Increased critical hit chance. Susceptibility to crowd control effects.
  • Soldier: Increased damage and critical severity.
  • Aggressive: Increased damage and threat generation.
    • Resilient: Increased Damage resistance.
    • Stubborn: Increased stun, placate and root resistance.

Pakleds may make you go. Or not if your enemy knows how to exploit your susceptibility to crowd control. Either take Stubborn to offset stun and placate weaknesses and leave only confuse as your achilles heel or treat it as a feature and pick Resilient instead.

The Improved Glass Cannon

Pakleds make excellent glass cannons too. And another variation utilizes the good old Alien.

Suggested race choice: Pakled

  • Dumb Luck'req': Increased critical hit chance. Susceptibility to crowd control effects.
  • Soldier: Increased damage and critical severity.
  • Aggressive: Increased damage and threat generation.
  • Covert: Increased stealth and exploit damage.

Alternative race choice: Alien

  • Lucky: Increased critical hit chance.
  • Soldier: Increased damage and critical severity.
  • Aggressive: Increased damage and threat generation.
  • Acute Senses: Increased perception and exploit damage.

Both builds look very similar but turn out to be both sides of the same medal. The Pakled build should focus on using his stealth advantage to avoid being hit by crowd control while the Alien build emphasizes on taking out all those sneaky stealthers.

The Improved Survivor

Surprise surprise, we're back at our friends the Rigelians. Same restrictions as with the medic builds apply. Without situational awareness this build is not for you.

Suggested race choice: Rigelian

Those trait choices make you increadibly hard to take down if you stay on your toes. Mental Discipline would be the choice for captains encountering a lot of Undine and Remans while Stubborn is your choice for driving your fellow PvP comrades nuts.

The Exposer

Expose builds focus on getting as many enemies as long as possible in an exposed state of vulnerability, so that either your teammates or yourself can exploit that. Science officers are best at creating exposes.

Suggested race choice: Betazoid

  • Telepathic'req': Increased expose chance and duration.
  • Empathic'req': Increased team health regeneration and lower threat generation.
  • Creative: Better kit abilities.
  • Resilient: Increased Damage resistance.

Betazoids rely on science kit powers to generate their exposes.

Alternative race choice: Lethean

  • Telepathic'req': Increased expose chance and duration.
  • Rapture'req': A nice finisher since this is an exploit attack.
  • Creative: Better kit abilities.
  • Telekinetic: Single target knockdown with an inherent expose chance.

Superior to its Federation counterpart since it doesn't rely on science kit power exposes and fields a powerful exploit attack too.

Alternative race choice: Vulcan

The little brother of the expose builds. Limited Telepathy is slightly less powerful than Telepathic and Vulcans are limited because of their racial specific traits too. Mind Meld however is a fun ability to play with, and unlike Nerve Pinch is rather easy to apply.

The Exploiter

Exploit builds are the natural follow up to Expose builds. Once you managed to get your enemy in that vulnerable expose state you want to finish him. Real hard. So he thinks twice about coming back.

Suggested race choice: Caitian

  • Feline Instincts'req': Racial specific with enhanced exploit damage among other things. Think of it as an upgraded Acute Senses
  • Teamwork: Increased team exploit damage.
  • Covert: Increased stealth and exploit damage
  • Pounce: Activatable ground attack which exploits the target.

There are no really viable alternatives to Caitians if you want to use the full potential. While both Humans and Bolians have access to Teamwork those miss the Acute Senses & Covert combination. Ferengi and Saurians would be able to use the combination but lack in other departments. If you want to play this build make sure to pick a tactical officer since Pounce is the only trait ingame that is affected by ground skills.

Mixed Builds

Let's take a look at the various species available through C-Store Purchases and/or Lifetime Subscriptions