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Cryptic Cash Shop (C-Store)
The Cash Shop, or C-Store, used by Cryptic for Star Trek Online is very similar to the Champions Online C-Store. They use similar systems and pricing.
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Love them or hate them, microtransactions are now an integral part of the MMORPG experience. Some games, like the newly-revamped Dungeons and Dragons Online, exist solely based on the revenue generated by these purchases. Others, including World of Warcraft, offer a limited number of in-game items that can be purchased for real money alongside their monthly subscription fees.
It should be no surprise, then, that Star Trek Online launched with an in-game "C-Store." Like in Cryptic's other big-name title, Champions Online, the C-Store allows players to purchase cosmetic and gameplay upgrades and items using special "Cryptic Points" purchased with real-world money.
Most items on the C-Store are unavailable through other means, practically forcing players to at least consider purchasing a few Cryptic Points to drop on a new bridge or respec token. Most of the upgrades are cosmetic in nature, but a few, including the exclusive playable races, can have a profound impact on gameplay.
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How do I get Cryptic Points?
Cryptic points are purchased through the "My Account" section of the main Star Trek Online page. After entering the "My Account" page, you should see a section on the right side of the page that says "Cryptic Points." Inside the box will be a link that says "Buy More." Click this link to be taken to the Cryptic Points purchase page.
Points are available in four different increments. You can purchase 500 points for $6.25, 1000 points for $12.50, 2000 points for $25.00, and 5000 points for the low price of $62.50. Points are added to your account immediately, so you're free to jump into the game and purchase that emote package you've been dying to have right away.
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How do I Make C-Store Purchases?
C-Store purchases must be made in-game, so you'll have to login to your STO account to get started. Some items are tied to your account, like the customization and unlockable race options, while others are specific to the captain who purchases them, such as a respec or rename token. Be sure you're logged into the character you want to use the item for before you purchase it.
To enter the store, press the button at the bottom right of your mini-map that looks like a downward facing triangle. This will open a menu, choose "Visit the C-Store" to open the purchase window.
All available items will appear in the window that pops up, along with their associated purchase prices. To buy something, click on it, then click the "buy" button at the bottom of the window. A confirmation window will appear, press "OK" to confirm your purchase.
Your unlocked item should be available instantly.
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What's Available in the Star Trek Online C-Store?
Currently, there are several different types of items available in the C-Store. Players can purchase unique bridge layouts to visit when cruising in space. There is also the option to unlock new Federation playable races including Ferengi, Klingon, and Tellarite.
Other options include the ability to reset all skill points with a respec token and rename your player character. These items are single-use only, so use them wisely.
For those interested in ship customization, an additional set of parts is available for each of the Rear-Admiral, Tier V level ships. These apply to all characters on an account. Special unlocks like the "Shaka, when the walls fell" emote are also available in the C-Store free of charge. Other items available for purchase include an emote kit and additional character slots.
For the Star Trek Online captain looking to have the most unique ship or player character possible, the items in the C-Store represent a very real way to stand out from the crowd. Many players will ignore these special unlockables completely, making them all the more rare. If you signed up for STO and found yourself disappointed to not be able to play as that Ferengi you've always wanted to try out, now is your chance. It's just going to cost you a little of your hard-earned, real-world money.