For veterans and new players alike, Q’s Gauntlet is a great way to obtain extremely rare characters, as well as equipment, training modules, merits, credits, and Chronitons. Although it can take some time to put together a decent crew for this purpose, the good news is that once you have the right characters, you don’t need any additional copies to compete. A 1-star Kahless the Unforgettable is just as good in the Gauntlet as a 5-star one.
Each character features one to three “Away Team Skills”. For each of these skills, you will see two sets of numbers displayed on the character sheet, one of which is placed between parentheses. The latter determines how good the character is in the Gauntlet, but, unlike the former, it does not improve with star-ups. You still have to gear and level up the crew you wish to use in a Gauntlet match, but, as you already know, the star-ups are actually the most expensive upgrades. Fortunately, for the purpose of the Gauntlet, you don’t need them at all!
How the Gauntlet Works
At present, a gauntlet match lasts for 48 hours and features two special skills. These skills are more likely to be tested during the event, but you should always put together a comprehensive team that can compete on all skills in order to reach a high rank.
Before the match starts, you are asked to choose five characters to complete your team. You should choose them based on the featured skills, but also based on the three special traits recommended for a certain match. The more special traits your characters have, the higher their crit rate will be during battles (+25% per trait).
Once the Gauntlet begins, your goal is to accumulate as many Trophies as possible before the time runs out. During each round, you choose your opponent, as well as the member of your crew that you believe has the best chance to score better than the former. Two skills are tested each round, but if you feel like you can’t beat any of the available opponents based on these skills, you can skip the round using Merits.
When you use a character and win the round, they become fatigued and their stats are lowered, although you can use them again if you think this is a viable course of action. If, however, you use a character and they lose, they become injured and temporarily unavailable. Characters recover from both fatigue and injuries in exactly 4 hours.
Aside from your selection of crew, a key aspect of Gauntlets is timing. If you manage to be online just before a Gauntlet match ends, then you can use your crew to accumulate score and climb the ladder without giving your opponents the chance to take back their Trophies. Although it is possible to gather 500 to 1,000 more trophies than anyone else, even if you manage to do so, you are still likely to lose your top rank if you are not online at the time when the Gauntlet is about to end.
Ranking vs Streaks
Rewards for the Gauntlet come in the form of graded loot boxes – from Currency and Gauntlet Boxes to Chests, Crates, and Vaults. The better the box, the better your rewards and, most importantly, the higher the chance that you will discover the Rare featured character. During each season, the Rare character has been an extraordinary Gauntlet contender, which is why you’ll always want to do your best to unlock them as soon as possible.
At the end of a Gauntlet match, you are rewarded a number of loot boxes based on your rank. The best way to get more high-quality boxes is to climb the ladder as high as possible and use the last 10 minutes for an additional surge. For those who don’t have top-tier Gauntlet crew, however, this is not always an option.
An alternative to this method is to go for a high streak. Generally speaking, you should pick the opponent with the highest Trophy reward that you believe you can beat. But when you’re going for a streak, you should always stick to the safest option, even if you only gain 10 Trophies per win. Once you’ve exhausted your good crew, wait patiently for them to recover, instead of taking chances on close engagements. During the 48 hours of a match, you can achieve a 15+ streak and even gain access to a Gauntlet Vault that you might otherwise be unable to obtain.
How to Select the Right Crew Each Round
Say that you’ve put together a team of extraordinary characters, some of whom even have a decent crit chance thanks to their special traits. This will certainly help you climb the ladder, but it will not necessarily guarantee a high rank. The Gauntlet is extremely volatile because the 12 numbers that determine which character wins in an engagement are randomly generated and can vary greatly.
Take Mirror Jean-Luc Picard, for example. His command score can range from 243 to 753 (base) and even more if he happens to crit. Nothing guarantees, however, that he will hit a high number on all 3 command ticks, whereas your opponent might. Just because a character has higher stats than another does not mean that they are bound to win in a Gauntlet round. It’s the most entertaining and the most frustrating aspect of this game mode.
The best you can do is to use characters with the right skills and traits during each match, as well as select those engagements that you believe you are more likely to win for each round. If you’ve just started in a Gauntlet, then it might not be so bad to take a few risks in order to obtain 150+ Trophies. If, however, you’re on a high streak, you should never go up against characters with a high crit chance and you should always make sure that your character’s stats (both min and max) are higher.
Crew Suggestions for Each Stat
With more than 800 characters currently in the game, there is significant diversity among crew that can perform well in Gauntlets. As you choose which characters to level, consider that averages are more important than max stats and that characters who excel in multiple engagements are almost always preferable to those who achieve good scores on a single stat.
Below, you’ll find some of our suggestions for excellent Gauntlet crew for each stat. We’ve made this selection based on average scores (min+max/2), but we’ve excluded characters that were previously awarded as Rare gauntlet rewards. While the latter do have some of the best stats in the game, they are currently extremely difficult to obtain.
Diplomacy: Chancellor Gowron, Locutus of Borg, Kai Opaka, Minuet, Mambo Picard, Ambassador Spock.
Command: Kahless the Unforgettable, Mirror Jean-Luc Picard, Revolutionary Damar, Admiral Nechayev, Enabran Tain, Alidar Jarok.
Security: Gangster Spock, Thrax, Disguised Kira, Musketeer La Forge, Gul Madred, Will Scarlet, Admiral Janeway, Lieutenant Varis.
Science: Seven of Nine, Dr Richard Daystrom, Trelane, Yarnek, Survivalist Kirk, Tash.
Engineering: Assimilated La Forge, Interfaced La Forge, Captain Scott, Tempted Data, Mirror Geordi La Forge.
Medical: Defensive Phlox, Mirror Phlox, Nurse Faith Garland, Antaak, Doc Crusher, Captain Beverly Picard, Sulan, Crell Moset.
Which crew would you add to the list? Don’t feel the need to limit yourself to just these characters. There are plenty of decent Gauntlet contenders out there so you should judge the worthiness of a character on an individual basis; for example, by comparing them with the other two crew that appear during a pull.