Away missions are a style of mission available in Star Trek Timelines. Once they have been selected, the away team is sent to resolve the conflict. In each conflict, the player is faced with choices, taking them down a different path and leading to different challenges, similar to a choose your own adventure book. The structure charts (similar to Directed acyclic graphs) show the pathways between challenges, and the skill icons of what is needed at each stage. Look at the pathways closely - your choices may restrict your later options (only having two choices at a later stage instead of three, for example). Each node has between one and three challenges to choose from. As you build your team, challenge nodes become gold if your character has a high enough skill rating to beat them. Crew members become temporarily fatigued after participating in a challenge, and their stats temporarily decrease for the next round, which can make challenges harder for them if they are immediately re-deployed. Players may continue with the mission even if they fail some challenges, but the final challenge will become more difficult. However, they will fail the mission if they fail to complete the last challenge, and will lose any items gained. To determine if they win a challenge or not, characters compete against that challenge's difficulty. This is where their skills and traits are used. For example, a stage may require 22 Security. There can be different mission outcomes, for example if an away team utilising mostly combat oriented crew is used there may be a combat based resolution, which will be different to a diplomatic resolution, and this will affect the narrative. A listing of suggested traits is displayed on the bottom of the crew selection screen, and they either give a bonus on some challenge nodes or are needed to unlock challenge nodes.
Challenges that appear with a star beneath them can reward a rare item if a "critical success" is achieved. Critical successes are more likely if, in addition to a high level of the right skill, the character chosen possesses a suggested trait. The lock icon means that the challenge requires a trait that your team does not have, or that you must successfully complete the prior challenge to unlock it.