Ground Combat STO

Melee Build (Tactical)

The Mind Meld Device from the Discovery reputation finally makes melee more than just a Barbie choice in STO! I intended this build to test the limits of pure melee, so all of the kits are centered around buffing my damage:

That is a combined 91.2% Melee Crit Chance and 642% Melee Crit Severity! Those are some fun numbers to look at, but the real test is in the field:

That 42k punch could knock out a small starship. I want to be a hood ornament.

This pure melee build is a lot of fun! It takes more work to play than a ranged weapon build, since Tab-targeting isn’t enough. You also need to be constantly on the move to your next target and adjusting your position every time your target moves.

Melee builds rely on mobility in order to get from target to target. The Mind Meld Device’s third attack, Engage, is the key to keeping this melee build effective in a sustained fight. It is a mini version of the Lunge ability, and it’s fast recharge will quickly get you to your next target.

The other important change from ranged combat is the addition of melee combos. Be sure to read the Mind Meld Device’s wiki entry, since it adds powerful custom modifiers to the combos. You’ll want to get comfortable with all of them, but my favorite is easily the Combined Fist. In addition to being ridiculously powerful, it can also hit multiple enemies at once!

Use Engage to quickly close the distance on your target(s), then drop combos until everything in range is dead, and then hit Engage again to move to the next nearest enemy.

Here is the parse of the pick-up group Task Force Operation that the above screenshot was taken in:

The Build

I begin with the Na’kuhl/Burnham threesome and the one true ground skill tree. And then of course, the Mind Meld Device.

I use my trusty Romulan Imperial Navy kit (a mission reward):

And the kit modules I used were:

As usual, I focus on damage when choosing my traits.

Personal Ground Traits

  • Ambush Fighter
  • Creative
  • Field Technician
  • Technophile
  • Physical Strength
  • Lucky
  • Strike Team Specialist
  • Hive Mind
  • Vicious
  • Dulce Et Decorum Est

Ground Reputation Traits

  • Lethality
  • Deadly Aim
  • Tyler’s Memories
  • Close Quarters Combatant
  • Omega Weapon Proficiency

Active Reputation Traits

  • Piezo Electric Perimeter Snare
  • Medical Nanite Cloud
  • One Little Ship
  • Defiance
  • Visual Dampening Field


  • Security Officer, Melee Crit (x3)
  • Armory Officer, Double Expose
  • Sensors Officer, Target Optics
  • Biochemist, Consumable Recharge Reduction


While this build is pure melee, out in the field it is important to be versatile. I find this build to be even more amazing when coupled with some of the usual damage-dealing kit modules, like the high-performing Agony Generator. Paradox Bomb and it’s baby brother, Graviton Spike, also pair well with this build, since they draw enemies close together to help maximize the area-of-effect potential of the Combined Fist combo. The Gravity Containment unit also works great at quickly taking out groups of enemies at range, often leaving only the stronger enemies left alive, which are perfect candidates for a high-damage melee combo!

As a Tactical captain, the Ambush kit takes each of those abilities to an amazing level and is always appealing. But trading two kit modules might cut into your almost stupidly high melee damage, so you’ll want to experiment to find the perfect combinations for you.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.

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