A brief guide to getting the most out of Hangar Pets

(Screenshot by @pottsey)
Updated: 22th Nov 2020

Hangar pets are often overlooked being seen as a bonus launch and forget secondary or even tertiary damage source. On some ships and with the right combinations hangar pets can add a reasonable amount to your overall DPS. Pushed far enough it is possible to get over 100k DPS from pets alone, although that could be argued to be suboptimal as you will be sacrificing other better areas which overall would give you more DPS.

To get the most out of pets one of the first choices is the skill tree. There isn’t much to talk about here you will want

  • Coordination Protocols: +20% Hull Capacity and Shield Capacity for Hangar pets.
  • Defensive Coordination: +20% Defence and Damage Resistance Rating for Hangar pets.
  • Offensive Coordination: +20% Accuracy and Base Damage for Hangar pets.
  • 5 points in Engineering track: Hangar Health: Hangar pets have an additional 10% Maximum Hull Capacity
  • 5 points in Tactical track: Hangar Weaponry: Hangar pets deal an additional 10% Damage from all sources.

The next source of damage I like to look at comes from Doffs and there are two main ways to do this. The cheapest way is to get x3 Flight Deck Officers with increase 10% hangar pet damage per doff when in Escort Mode. While suboptimal this is cheap and a good starting point if you are new to Carrier builds. Its a good way to get a feel for the build before investing in more expensive options.  It’s also worth noting this is more for a themed hangar build as damage gained will be less then what you could get from doffs that help your main weapons. Along with Hangar pets attacked less efficiency when set to Escort Mode.

My preferred way although it costs a lot more, is to get the Scrambled Fighter Starship Trait with x3 Flight Deck Officers that lower Hangar Bays recharge by 4 seconds. Combine this on a Carrier with Quick Deployment Starship Mastery for an extra 20% and high Aux power if you can spare it to knock more time off. Now set the Hangar Bays to Auto launch. Depending on the pet used this can lower the bay recharge down to as little as 1 second (Lost Souls of Gre’thor) Most fighters bay recharge can be lowered down to 4 or 5 seconds if you have two bays and enough Aux Power.

This method has a number of advantages; you are not limited to Escort Mode, the hangar pets are self-healing by 50% hull every few seconds, there is a 5 second damage immune for pets with a 15 second lockout.

Running at approx 110 Aux with Lost Souls of Gre’thor the fastest launch speeds pets, will gain a 125% damage bonus. 95% better then the Escort Doff method. With the slower launch fighters like Jem’Hadar fighters or Scorpion’s you can still get 2 stacks (*) for a 50% damage bonus.

The above method with Frigate pets makes them surprising tough tanks. They tend to survive most fights and due to surviving reach and stay at rank 5 further boosting damage.

 (*) I have not worked out the minimum aux you can get away with and the minimum depends on the hangar pet base recharge. I did try 155 Aux which wasn’t enough to get the recharge fast enough for 3 stacks with Scramble Fighters.

Trait Choices

The next damage boost is partly down to your pet choice and partly down to personal preference and ship build. Personally I like Option 1 best due to me not not focusing on energy weapons. If you use energy weapons Option 2 is better.

Update: 27 Sep 2020: For clarity while I have a preference for Beam Overload and the corresponding traits in approx. 95% of cases Scrabbled Fighters and Superior Area of Denial gave far better performance. If you are looking to max DPS pick Superior Area of Denial.

Update 24th October – My current Universal Carrier build focused on hangar pets over ship weapons.

Personal Traits: Holographic Mirage Decoys + Wing Commander
Starship Trait: 
Scrabbled Fighters + (*) Dominion Coordination +  Relaunch and Repair + Voth Carrier Synergies +  Superior Area Denial
Ship Equipment variation 1:  Console – Universal – Swarmer Matrix + Ancient Obelisk Technology Set and/or Iconian Resistance Starship Technologies
Bridge Officer Powers: (Rank doesn’t matter) Tactical team + FaW + Rapid Fire + Engineering Team + Photonic Officer + EptW + Gravity Well(*)
Pets: x2 Blue Scorpion Fighter Squadrons. With the above setup these can push out over 100k DPS from hangar pets.

*Don’t worry if your carrier cannot fit Gravity well it isn’t essential but it will help boost Hangar Pet DPS when SAD is triggered into a group. 
* An alternative variation is to drop Dominion Coordination and replace Rapid Fire with Scatter Volley. If you keep between a 5 and 10 second delay between activating FaW and Scatter Volley and have some bridge Officer cooldowns reducation. Then you can keep SAD running at a 100% uptime which more then makes up for the 33% damage lost from losing Dominion Coordination. Its a little more tricky to get the timings right, but it will give better performance. 
* The 3 part Iconian Resistance set has 5% chance to give team and pets 10% energy weapon damage. The 4 part set gives the team and pets 33% all damage with a 2 min cooldown. It is possbile to fit the Ancient Obelisk Technology Set with the 3 part Iconian Resistance set. This gives a smaller damage boost 13.3% to pets but you can keep the damage boost active for longer. Alternatively if you prefer less pet DPS and more tanky pets look at the mixing in 1 or 3 parts of the Lukari Restoration Initiative Regenerative Shield Array set.

Based on my recent testing Elite Stalker Fighter Squadrons are coming out as top DPS for Feds causing me to swap to a Fleet Caitlin Carrier and top for KDF are Rare To’Duj Squadrons. Not that far behind are (*) Scorpion Squadrons followed by Jem’Hadar fighter Squadrons . Main testing done in Stranded in Space against 2 ships only. Followed by a HSA and ISA run. Same order of performance over all 3 maps and all testing done multiple times. With the above build the Elite Stalker Fighter Squadrons and To’Duj Squadrons are massively beating previous top hangar pets like Droneships. Stalkers Squadrons and To’Duj Squadrons can push 100k for two hangar bays and even break past 300k dps with the right group.

(*) Elite Stalkers do not suffer from the DPS drop that other Elite pets have. Elite Scorpions and Elite Jem’Hardar do suffer from the DPS drop making them worse then the basic rare blue versions. For KDF To’Duj I have not had chance to compare Basic against Elite but other Carrier pilots have told me Elites are worse and basic blue are best.

StarshipTrait set option 1: Scrabbled Fighters + Dominion Coordination + Coordinated Assault
Due to Coordinated Assault every time we Beam Overload or Rapid Fire the hangar pets gain Rapid Fire 1 and Beam Overload 1, followed by Dominion Coordination giving hangar pets within 10km a further 33% damage boost. You don’t need an energy weapon fitted. An Ensign Beam Overload on a Torpedo or Minelayer boat works fine.

In the case of Lost Souls they cannot make use of Rapid or Overlord so skip Coordinated Assault. Dominion Coordination though stacks with Scrambled Fighters for a total of 155% damage boost to Lost Souls.

For a long time I ran this trait set on a Jem’Hadar Dreadnought Carrier with Attack Ships which gain both Rapid fire and Beam Overload.

Starship Trait set option 2: Scrabbled Fighters + Superior Area Denial
Option 2 works well with energy builds as Superior Area Denial trait supports your main weapons better. This grants Fire At Will 1 and Scatter Volley 1 to hangar pets when you activate Fire at Will or Scatter Volley along with giving your main ships energy weapons a none stacking with itself -30% damage resistance. As before you don’t need an energy weapon fitted to trigger this trait and due to global cooldown it works out better to fit FaW alongside Scatter Volley so you can keep SAD running 100% of the time. Double Scatter Volley or Double FaW will run into global cooldown problems.

StarshipTrait set option 3: Scrabbled Fighters + Fiery Entrance +  your preferred Traits from option 1 or 2.
This works best on Exotic builds as the Fire nova damage is boosted by Exotic. It works even better with Lost Souls and max hangar recharge builds. Every time you use Narrow Sensor Bands or Launch a Hangar pet your ship fires a short range ring of fire around your ship. With max hangar bay recharge the Lost Souls will cause a ring of fire around about twice every second. That’s approx 20 attacks over 10 seconds with hits multiplied by the amount of ship in range. If you stack into into Exotic and fly point blank range into a Gravity Well the Fire Nova damage can multiply up fast in big groups. It’s a bit of a specialty build but if you fancy something different it works.

StarshipTrait set option 4: Fleet Support + Superior Command Frequency + Captain Recharge Traits (Relaunch and Repair, All Hands on Deck, Intelligence Agent Attaché) is surprisingly effective. If you are going for max DPS it might not be the best choice over traits that boost your main weapons. If you want a Carrier theme build I have managed to get an 3 battleships and 3 Frigates out at once doing a surprising amount of DPS and they last a long time.  Depending on ISE run I get around 20k to 30k extra DPS from these pets.

Please note before you buy all these traits. I have not done testing on the optimal level of recharge. You might not need all 3 recharge traits. If anyone has tested please leave comments in chat below. 

Further expanding on this Obedience is Victory. This is only worth it for full Carrier Themes. The only time I use this is when trying to maximise my pet DPS at the cost of losing total DPS. The attack ship is very fragile but if we managed to keep it alive, it gets me around 4k DPS to 8k DPS. In a perfect run the traits in this section have given me a total of 40k DPS extra. I only really run this combo when trying to see just how far pet DPS can be pushed at the expense of losing total DPS.

Optional Traits:

Starship trait: Relaunch and Repair:  The 5% recharge on captain abilities is effectively 10% every 5 seconds with double bays on a fast bay recharge. Works well with Relocate Mines and other powers. The 25% health Regen to self and hangar pets is not that useful.

Starship trait: Voth Carrier Synergies. When running fast hangar recharge with Scrambled Fighters this is unlikely to be needed but if you really want hard to kill pets add it in. Engineering ability’s grant you 10% hull healing to yourselves for 15 second. All pets gain an Immunity Shield for 15 seconds.

Lastly Tactical Boff ability give 10% all damage to yourself for 15seconds and Enable Aceton mode on all pets for 15seconds.

Starship trait: Hivebearer: When launching a hangar pet or when hangar pet dies: Spawns a Hur’q Swarmer for 30 seconds (max 8 Swarmers at a time). Worth considering only as a NPC distraction as I have not had the best performance out of them and if your hangar bay recharge it too fast they will bug out. With Lost Souls on a max Hangar Bay recharge build the Swarmer’s will do zero damage due to respawning to fast. If your recharge is over 5 seconds these should work. Note: Even on slower recharge bays the DPS I have recorded from these is tiny. They are only good as a distraction for NPC’s to kill. The same goes for Hive Defenses which is in personal traits.

Starship Trait: Target That Explosion Fun but not really that effective from a DPS point of view. Up to 5 nearby allies launch a torpedo at the target when you use any Torpedo or Command bridge officer ability.

Personal Trait: Wing Commander makes the pets level up faster taking half the normal time to reach rank 5.  Without this boost pets need to be in combat for 5 minutes to hit rank 5. The rank bonus depends on the type of pet.

Personal Trait: Holographic Mirage Decoys Not really essential as pets are already tough enough with Scrambled Fighters. But if do not yet have that trait or like me you use mines this has a nice bonus of helping keep hangar pets alive a little.

Consoles:

Ship Equipment

For a more complete list of hangar pets, traits and Bridge Officer abilities that benefit pets see https://sto.gamepedia.com/Hangar_pet

There are a number of universal consoles that summon pets. Personally I wouldn’t use most of these unless building towards a full carrier theme over performance.

Notes: None of the damage numbers above factor in damage boosts for hangar pets ranking up in combat. A fully ranked up Lost Soul with max stacks of Scrambled Fighters and Coordinated Assault would hit 165% damage boost. You could add Dampen Energy Signatures starship trait for a further 5% if your really want to maximise pet damage over max DPS.

Update: 27th Sep 2020
A lot of people have asked what is the best pet. This is a difficult question as the best pet changes based on content being played, powers being used, traits fitted and ship being used.

DPS Comparison of various hangar pets including Squads VS Singles

This is not a compete list just what I personally use and consider top tier pets. Drone Ships, Lost Souls, All Squadrons, all 3 Xindi pets. On the Fed side if you have access to the SAD trait the best generic fits on all ships DPS pets you can fit are Scorpions squadrons blue version. If you do not have SAD trait then I would go for the Mirror Shuttle or Aeon Time ship.

51 comments to A brief guide to getting the most out of Hangar Pets

  • Conflykt  says:

    I’ve been trying to get a good pet build off the ground for a few weeks now. So Happy to see this. It lets me know I’m heading in the right direction.

    Currently, I’m hitting up option 1 as it’s just easier to break into pets that way.

    However, I’m really loving option three for the constant fire novas… But I’m worried that the game will bug out (it’s STO after all). But an exotic torp with some built in tank stats would really be fun that way.

  • Promeign  says:

    Actually at least one starship trait is missing from the wiki entry: Super Charged Weapons.
    While it does not provide your bonus to the pets, the pets can trigger the ability on their own.

    • felisean  says:

      thats interesting but most likely a bug i guess ^^

      • Promeign  says:

        It’s not a bug, it’s a feature 😉
        Nobody tell Cryptic :O

        • DilaZirK  says:

          Doesn’t seem to be the case for me. I do not gain Super-Charged Weapons stacks when my Kelvin drones fire off their torps, be it single or spread.

          • felisean  says:

            i guess he mean that the pets get the stacks when they fire their torpedos. but havent checked that myself so far

            • Promeign  says:

              That is exactly the case, I’ve changed the comment, let me know if it’s clear now.

    • Promeign  says:

      Edit: The pets trigger the ability with their torpedoes on themselves

  • Timaeus  says:

    What are the best ships for pets?

    • Hellspawny  says:

      Carriers with Quick Deployment (mastery) and ofc. 2 hangars. The Jem’Hadar Vanguard Carrrier also has 2 wingmen.

  • borgdp010  says:

    Pressure craptic for a Miracle-Worker Vanguard Flight-Deck Cruiser with 2 Hangars! They could just copy/paste the Cardassian Intel-Flight deck cruiser and make the Vanguard a Miracle Worker. For THAT i would pay loads of ZEN instead of this legendary fake sales we get lately.
    And as a Bonus: Vanguard Temporal Multi-Mission Science Vessel 🙂

  • borgdp010  says:

    Update:
    I did some testing with commonly available pets on FED side:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RyRHWz54Yta9ZJ5lPxGWpSszG-666ew4lYCzXzXotmo/edit?usp=sharing

    Summary: Lost souls are amazing…

    • felisean  says:

      yea lost souls are awesome

    • DilaZirK  says:

      Thanks for the test data!

  • Conflykt  says:

    So I got a question regarding Suppression Barrage.

    When it initially came out ( https://www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online/news/detail/9052953-command-bridge-officers ), the ability read: Enhance your weapons to pass a debilitating effect on to any foe you fire upon. Enemies that are Suppressed will have their Movement and Damage reduced, while also becoming incapable of targeting any Torpedoes, Mines or Fighters that are allied with the user of Suppression Barrage.

    But now it seems that last part, my favorite part, is gone (in game and in most instances of the wiki). Did they nerf that or is it a hidden buff now?

    If it still works, then it would definitely be worth mentioning as a budget way to protect your ships. Here’s hoping they completely redo Command into a pet-centric specialty.

  • ATOM  says:

    I’m running Briostrys, and I wish to say that Elite Xindi-Insectoid Castroi Fighters are just amazing with 3pc Xinde set. I’m running nearly 100k pet dps.
    The most disappointment here is that Coordinated Protocols are not affecting most pets T_T

    • Pottsey  says:

      The Briostrys is my favorite Carrier although I favor the Aquatic Frigates. All 3 Xindi pets seem very good. How are you getting near 100k out of them? I tend to get 35k ish, 50k at a push. I have x3 Xindi Consoles, Swarmer Matrix, Elite Pets, Scrabbled Fighters, Wing Commander and Superior Area Denial for damage. With Hanger Recharge doffs.

  • @wuascht  says:

    WHAT ABOUT ROM ELITE DRONE SHIPS? they have BFW 3; if i use Superior area denial, do they get BFW 1 additionally or is their Bfw 3 downgraded to BFW 1 ?

    • felisean  says:

      droneships already have 2 fire modes (bo+faw) so they dont gain much at all from superior area denial

  • @wuascht  says:

    ok thx

  • whicky1978  says:

    Can you have three points in Coordination protocols with only 23 or 24 points in tac and give up focus frenzy to put points else where?

    • felisean  says:

      i would not suggest giving up focused frenzy, because it work for your pets too. all you need is a big target to put it on (Gate, taccube, other dreads) and get the party started 😉

      • whicky1978  says:

        😆

  • whicky1978  says:

    Useful console for pets and hull based builds:

    https://sto.gamepedia.com/Console_-_Universal_-_Reiterative_Structural_Capacitor

  • whicky1978  says:

    Are Elite Type 10 shuttles decent?

    • Hellspawny  says:

      They are pretty bad.

  • whicky1978  says:

    Is there a specialty tree that is favorable for pets?

    • Hellspawny  says:

      The common 27 tac tree will do.

  • Amaron  says:

    Is it possible that the Flight Officers are bugged? I test it on an old Char (2 Doffs -4 sec.)function as intended -8 sec. on cool down. Removed the Doff and put it back, no longer -8, more around -2 sec. New Char Pets without Doffs 20sec. I put 3 Doffs (-4,-4,-3 sec.) on it and it changed to 15 sec. I tried: changed the Zone, put pets out and in, claimed the ship new with active Doff.

    Is someone so helpful and can verify it?

    • Amaron  says:

      Ok strange, with auto spawn on it function correct…

    • Voltic  says:

      i think it’s seems like 40 sec cdr from base minus (-4,-4,-3 sec from doffs) and get 29 sec then from trait u got half of 29 sec… so about 14-15 sec. doff work with base cdr… i have same. when u have 20 sec from pets with base 40 sec cdr your doffs gives lowest effectiveness

  • Voltic  says:

    Ok, who know how Trait:Relaunch And Repair (from Support Carriers) work? -5% Recharge Time on Captain abilities at launch… so with 10 sec on cdr of 2 hangars I get 100% recharge over 100 sec. it’s means i got half of cdr from cap abilities? right?

    • Hellspawny  says:

      Yeah, 100% CDR in Cryptic math is half the normal cooldown.

  • DilaZirK  says:

    Hol’ up, Elite Scorpion Squadron Fighters now perform well under SAD despite losing their pulse cannon?

    • Pottsey  says:

      Elite Scorpions do perform very well under SAD but the article is unclear. I will amend it later. Basic Scorpions Squads perform better then Elite Scorpions Squads. Elite Stalkers do not suffer from the downgrade in DPS that other Elite pets have.

      • DilaZirK  says:

        Ah, that makes more sense.

        And good to know about the Elite Stalkers.

  • miller  says:

    Question. Does the gamma space set work on hanger pets?

    • Promeign  says:

      No

  • Voltic  says:

    how rank system of hangar pets work? wiki say *+2/4/6/8/10% (depending on the rank) Damage Bonus*… so at level 5 pets get +30% damage bonus or just 10%?

    • felisean  says:

      just 10% as far as i know

  • Tharsonius  says:

    A friend asked me to test the squadron pets before buying the pack so I did. They seem to be far weaker than regular pets. Is there some mechanic that makes them better when traits etc. are used (I tested on a 2 hangar ship without any special traits for pets)? I tested both normal + elite versions of the squadrons and scorpions lost out to peregrine fighters by quite a bit and to’duj squadrons lost out to to’duj fighters by a lot. Am I missing something about squadrons?

    • Tharsonius  says:

      Never mind. It’s SAD. It reacts rather interestingly with squadrons it seems. Completely different numbers with it. That doesn’t look intended somehow 😉

  • Voltic  says:

    Where can i find your build at STO Academy? still have some questions.

    • Pottsey  says:

      None of my Carrier builds are on STO Academy. Feel free to leave a question here or contact me directly.

      Tomorrow I will be finishing some testing and updating the build guide section. It is looking like the Iconian 3 part set will be a noticeable boost for Carrier pets. Also spotted a few minor improvements to make to the guide.

      • Voltic  says:

        then I want to ask. I can’t reach 1 sec cd launch, it’s close (about 2-2.5 sec) but I need lower… what stats you use? I have 100-125 aux and 3x doffs on cdr

        • Pottsey  says:

          Aprox 110 Aux with x3 Very Rare Doffs should max out recharge bays with the faster pets.

  • Dr. Dab  says:

    Hey was wondering, does the starship trait, parting gift, work with hanger pets that have a tractor beams? I run the elite mirror shuttles on my science build to help hold them.

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