The term cruiser is a starship classification that is applied to starships that are designed as medium to large sized multi-purpose vessels.
They are powerful vessels that excel at long range missions and exploration. Though typically flanked by escorts in combat, cruisers can deliver high damage with their large warp cores and broad complement of weapons. Cruisers are the backbone of Starfleet, fulfilling the most vital roles for the Federation. The type was subdivided according to magnitude to Light, Medium and Heavy and by function, some of them are: star cruiser, space cruiser, patrol cruisers, attack cruisers, battle cruisers and more.
Heavy Cruisers:The term heavy cruiser is a starship classification that is applied to large multi-purpose cruiser starships, and are similar in many regards to explorers. In the 22nd and 23rd centuries, the term was used synonymously with battle cruiser. For example, the Klingons referred to the Enterprise (NX-01) and the USS Enterprise as battle cruisers, although Starfleet classified them as heavy cruisers. Examples of Heavy cruisers are Constitution and Ambassador Classes.
Medium Cruisers: Are a type of starship classification used for capital ships. These cruiser starships are seen as an intermediate step from the light cruisers to the heavy cruisers. As the criteria for these cruisers was vaguely defined, there were always very few types of medium cruisers. Examples include Miranda and Norway Classes.
Light Cruisers:The term light cruiser is a starship classification that is applied to starships that are designed as small-to-medium sized multi-purpose vessels. Many vessels are considered Light Cruisers, examples include Interpid, Wellington and Challenger Classes
Compared to other Federation vessels, Cruisers have strong hulls and average shields. All Federation Cruisers at tier 2 (Lieutenant Commander) or higher have 4 device slots and gain a bonus +5 to all power levels.
Cruisers are generally larger the other Federation ships. They have much stronger hulls than the Escort and Science vessels and are the only ones that can offer high level Engineering Bridge officer abilities. Having large warp cores they gain +5 to each power level (except the Lieutenant level light cruisers), allowing versatility in a player’s build. In combat, a cruiser’s slow turn rate and large number of weapons slots makes an attack from the broadside using Beam Arrays the most viable option. Cruisers are best suited to hull tanking.