STO Spaceframes: Federation Cruisers

Back today with another set of spaceframes for Star Trek Online! Last time I went over how to handle variant designs for different spaceframes and I had just one example of the process. Today, though, I’ve got twelve (!) different options for you, including a brand-new, from-scratch spaceframe (the first in this series). Enjoy!

This post first appeared on my site, Mephit James’ Blog.

Constitution-class Cruiser

The Constitution-class spaceframe is a classic starship design, most famously the design of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original series. The Constitution spaceframe is included in the core rulebook on pages 240-241 and a refit design from several decades later is described in the Command Division Supplement on page 54-55.  The refit design was launched around 2070 and should have two bonuses to Systems at its launch, up to the players to decide (or three if you want to make it three full decades after the launch). According to Ships of the Line, Montgomery Scott recommended improvements to the ship’s power plant and warfield geometry as well as changes to enhanced weaponry and science capability. This seems to suggest that a +1 to Engines and to Sensors would be the most realistic improvements, with a +1 to Weaponry if you have a third refit bonus.

Three variants of the Constitution class are found in Star Trek Online. The first is the Excalibur-class, named for the U.S.S. Excalibur (NCC-1664) which was lost during the disastrous M-5 wargames. This design has “expansive cargo holds” and is well-suited for evacuations and missions of mercy. To create an Excalibur-class vessel, start with the refit Constitution and increase Medicine by +1 while decreasing Science by -1. You will also replace the Modular Laboratories Talent with the Extensive Shuttlebays Talent.

The Vesper-class variant is a more traditional design and intended as an alternative to the Constitution class with many interchangeable parts. It is somewhat reminiscent of the Excelsior line which came to replace the Constitution-class vessels, which means it might share some of the advanced engine options as well. For a Vesper-class vessel, start with refit Constitution stats then increase Engines by +1, decrease Weapons by -1, increase Conn by +1, and Command to 0.

Lastly, the Exeter-class variant is named for the U.S.S. Exeter (NCC-1672) whose crew was killed by a biological agent contracted on Omega IV. The Exeter design offers specialized modifications for combatting Romulan and Klingon threats in the late 23rd century. To create an Exeter-class vessel, start with a refit Constitution class then increase Weapons by +1, decrease Comms by -1, increase Security by +1, decrease Science to 0, and replace the Modular Laboratories Talent with the Rapid-Fire Torpedo Launcher Talent.

Miranda-class Light Cruiser

The core rulebook contains details for the classic Miranda-class starship, first seen in the original series and seen in at least one episode of every series through Star Trek: Voyager. Clearly the design is reliable and easily refitted (using the standard rules) and in Star Trek Online it’s the default starting vessel for all Federation captains. It’s also got two variant designs for slightly different options of this solid spaceframe.

The Saratoga-class variant is a flatter design (more reminiscent of the Walker-class and Crossfield-class ships seen in Star Trek Discovery) with some pretty heavy-duty phasers mounted to the side. It’s named for the U.S.S. Saratoga which was the ship that Ben Sisko was on at the Battle of Wolf 359, which was also where the ship was destroyed. We can assume that, with these phaser cannons on the side, the Saratoga-class variant is a more combat-focused alternative to the standard Miranda-class design, possibly a response to hostilities with the Klingons and others in the late 23rd century. To make a Saratoga-class starship, begin with the Miranda-class stats and increase Structure by +1, decrease Computers by -1, increase Security to +1, and decrease Science to 0. FInally, add Phaser Cannons to the ship’s attacks and Improved Damage Control to its list of default Starship Talents.

Though it looks more fearsome and is certainly a sturdier design, the ShiKahr-class variant is probably not another combat variant of the Miranda class. Since that’s covered with the Saratoga-class variant, and considering the design is named for a prominent Vulcan city, I think it’s more likely that this variant design was intended to fulfill the five-year mission role in place of the aging Constitution-class vessels. To make a ShiKahr-class starship, begin with the Miranda-class stats and increase Structure by +1, decrease Weapons by -1, increase Engineering to +1, and decrease Command to 0. You should also remove the Extensive Shuttlebays Talent (not enough room anymore) and add Modular Laboratories and Rugged Design as default Starship Talents.

The Soyuz-class variant is billed as a late-23rd century version of the Miranda class, which means it probably carries the original missions of the Miranda-class design with some updates based on engineering departments’ recommendations. It’s also worth noting that by the end of the 23rd century the Excelsior class is in full production so the Miranda design isn’t the premier starship class it once was. To start, we need to change the Entered Service date to 2294 (easier math) which gives two more points in Systems. Use those to increase Sensors and Weapons by +1 each, then lower Command to 0 and increase Engineering by +1 to reflect the class’s shift from “mainstay” to “workhorse.” Lastly, add Redundant Systems to the spaceframe’s default Starship Talents to reflect the refinements it’s undergone.

Lastly in the line of Miranda-class variants is the Reliant-class design, a 25th century spaceframe inspired by the Miranda class. In the universe of Star Trek Online this is certainly a new project with ships that are totally new and reflect the needs of the tense political situation of the 2400s. In terms of game mechanics, however, we can follow Star Trek Online’s lead and just update the stats for the Miranda class. First, change the Entered Service Date to 2400 which will give us twelve points added to Systems (since the new service date is 126 years from the Miranda’s original). Keep things simple and add +2 to each System, then increase Security by +1, and decrease Command to 0 (since the Reliant isn’t a central ship design like the Miranda was). Lastly, add Quantum Torpedoes to the ship’s default Starship Talents and reflect that in the spaceframe’s Attacks as well.

Malachowski-class Light Cruiser – Image © Cryptic Game Studios

Other Light Cruisers

From Star Trek Discovery, the Malachowski-class spaceframe maintains the design aesthetics of the series with two vessels that were part of the Battle of the Binary Stars in the series’ premier. Though it was just a background ship in Star Trek Discovery, the Malachowski is the default starting ship for Federation captains in the Age of Discovery storyline that was introduced last year. No one has done a write-up for the Malachowski class yet so click on the image below for my new PDF spaceframe!

The Centaur-class spaceframe is considered a variant of the Miranda-class design but as it’s already been fully detailed in the Command Division Supplement and on Continuing Mission’s Starship Sunday column. It’s described in both places as a melding of the Miranda-class an Excelsior-class designs, certainly an impressive pedigree, but it’s also not a widely-produced spaceframe which lets you make your own legacy with your player characters’ ship.

One last quick addendum is the Pioneer-class spaceframe, described as a utility cruiser on Star Trek Online and is the starting vessel for the Agents of Yesterday storyline set in the original series era. The Pioneer class has been covered in Starship Sunday on Continuing Mission so turn there for your utility cruiser needs.


  1. Cool designs here. 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing what ship variants you come up with next. 🙂

      1. True.

        Though, the Exeter seems more like a 25th-century design, like the Reliant or the Gladius.

        To make an Exeter, I’d suggest starting with the refit Constitution, and then just adding two more points to every system. Departments can probably stay as they are, basically a Constitution for the modern era, though I’d add Quantum Torpedoes. …though that’s another point I think should be made – for 25th-century STO ships, Quantum Torps would be standard issue across the fleet – so I’d make Quantum Torpedoes a TRAIT for ships of that era.

      2. I agree, and I guess there’s precedent since tractor beams and shields take Talents in the Enterprise era but don’t later. I wasn’t sure of the balance issue so I played it safe but maybe I should add a note and let folks decide for themselves…

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