Hi everyone! I’m Thomas Marrone (aka ThomastheCat/ThomastheCrypticCat), the User Interface artist for Star Trek Online.
I see a lot of screenshots on this subreddit so I wanted to take a minute and share a trick I bribed the UI programmer into adding to the game recently that will result in some better shots and might improve the game experience for some of you depending on your preference.
Some of you might already know you can use the command /gfxsetdefaultfov <number> to change your camera’s field of view (which basically sets how wide an arc of the game world you can see at one time)
Why would you do this you ask? Well, the wider your field of view is, the more of the game world you can see at once and the smaller things look. The smaller your field of view is, the same amount of screen space is devoted to showing a smaller angle, so things look larger comparatively.
For example, here’s a screenshot outside of ESD with the game’s default FOV of 55 (degrees). Now here’s a screenshot from exactly the same place with an FOV of 75. And finally, here’s a screenshot with an FOV of 25.
I take a LOT of screenshots for STO’s UI, and typically I use a smaller FOV than the default as it makes the scale seem more impressive in space and flattens out facial features on the ground.
But even for gameplay, changing your FOV can have some cool side effects. When you lower your FOV in space, it can greatly impact your perception of scale and make everything seem much more massive. (It also reduces how much of the game world you’re aware of, so it can make combat more challenging too.)
Here’s another set of screenshots: Parked at ESD, FOV 20 vs Parked at ESD, FOV 55. Notice how much larger and more imposing both Earth and Earth Spacedock are! Also , the angles on my galaxy are a bit more reminiscent of how they lined up in the miniature shots on TNG.
Additionally, lowering the FOV lets you zoom in a lot more closely on your own starship in case you wanna check out the nooks and crannies. Here’s what max zoom in distance and max zoom out distance look like using FOV 20.
On the ground, you might actually like a higher FOV to have more situational awareness and replicate the fisheye style camera a lot of third-person shooters like Mass Effect use. Here’s T’Moss the Caitian at Starfleet Academy using the standard FOV 55. Compare to FOV 75: you see a bit further to your sides and when you’re moving it feels like you’re moving a little faster.
Until Season 8.5, the FOV command was one-size fits all, which made changing your FOV for gameplay difficult because while a low FOV might be better for space, it’s not very good for ground.
Now though, there is a new command that lets you set your default FOV for space and ground independently from one another, meaning that when you switch regions the game will also switch your FOV!
The command is /setregionfov <region> <number>. So: /setregionfov ground 75 would give you a FOV of 75 on ground maps. /setregionfov space 20 would give you a FOV of 20 on space maps. And remember the default is 55, so you can use the same command to switch them back to that if you prefer the default.
That’s all I have to say on the subject for now. I hope some of you found it interesting and/or relevant to your STO gameplay and screenshot sessions! Let me know if you’ve got any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.
SCREENSHOT COMMANDS BONUS ROUND: If you’ve made it this far also might be interested in the following screenshot commands and what they do:
- /renderscale <number> – multiplies the rendering resolution of your game by the number specified. So /renderscale 2 will render the game at twice its current resolution. When you take a screenshot, that screenshot will be saved at the renderscale you specify. This means that if your desktop resolution is 1920 x 1080 and you run /renderscale 2, your screenshots will be 3840 x 2160. This can tax older computers though, so be sure to go back to /renderscale 1 when you’re done. If you forgot what you set your renderscale to, just use /renderscale without the number and the game will tell you what you’re running in your chat window. Also note that you can /renderscale less than one. Screenshots taken at /renderscale .1 offer a fun pixelated take on STO.
- /screenshot – saves a screenshot (without the UI) in pixel-perfect uncompressed .tga format in your game’s screenshot folder.
- /screenshot_jpg – saves a screenshot (without the UI) in compressed jpg format. This is keybound to Print Screen by default.
- /screenshot_ui – saves a .tga screenshot with the game’s UI
- /screenshot_ui_jpg – saves a .jpg screenshot with the game’s UI
- ALT+F12 – the default keybind for hiding the game’s UI, which can make it easier to compose screenshots
Note: For any of the screenshot commands, typing a name after /screenshot will save that screenshot with the name specified. So typing /screenshot my_ship_01 will save the file as my_ship_01.tga
- /setregionfov is a command that lets you change the game’s field of view angle for a region of the game..
- The format for it is: /setregionfov <region> <number>, the region names are ground and space.
- Lower FOVs offer a more cinematic experience with impressive scale
- Higher FOVs improve situational awareness and make your movement speed feel faster.