Sure, Star Wars: The Old Republic might be an older game, but it continues to attract new players looking for a truly narrative-driven MMORPG. SWTOR’s story offers a fully voice-acted, immersive experience that’s unlike anything else in the genre — and makes the game worth exploring, whether you’re a veteran MMO-player looking for a new experience, or you’re just a fan of the star wars universe.
Story-focused or not, the game is still an MMO at its core — and like any MMO, understanding some of its nuances and secrets can be crucial to enjoying the game. So before you set your sights on the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire, here are the tips and tricks you should know.
10 Subscribe For One Month To Get All The Expansions
While you do have the option of playing SWTOR for free, you’ll have to deal with some serious restrictions like, limited character slots and credits. But the biggest drawback of being a free-to-play player is that you’ll miss out on the game’s six major expansions.
Thankfully, you won’t need to buy expansions individually, or even become a monthly subscriber to keep progressing through the storyline. Instead, all you have to do is subscribe to the game for one month for full access to all of the game’s story content. Even if you immediately cancel your subscription, you’ll be able to play the game’s expansions, permanently.
9 The Focus Is On The Narrative
Unlike mainstream MMORPGs like World of Warcraft that prioritize raid bosses and competitive PvP, SWTOR’s origin stories have been considered the best part of the game since their launch back in 2011. Playing each of the eight class questlines before you dip your toes into the game’s expansions or endgame is well worth your time if you enjoy a good story.
Each one is specific to your character’s Republic or Imperial background, and includes unique cinematic cutscenes, dialogue with light and dark side choices, and exclusive companions. In addition, completing all eight stories unlocks legendary status and rewards a unique character flair for your entire legacy.
8 Unlock Universal Quick Travel
SWTOR’s legacy system includes a few character perks that play a major role in how easily you can move around the galaxy. If you’re not sure which perks are worth the credits, start with Legacy Travel I, II, and III.
The first two reduce the cooldown on your quick travel ability — a skill that allows you to instantly travel to important locations — and the final one removes the cooldown completely. With Legacy Travel III unlocked, you can quick travel to and from quest hubs, spaceports, and daily areas as much as you like.
7 Turn On Exploration Quests
While each planet has its own story arc, if you enjoy questing — or simply want to earn more credits — you have the option of completing exploration quests. These side quests are hidden by default, so they won’t be marked on your map unless you manually turn them on.
All you need to do is open your map by pressing M, and click the “show exploration missions” checkbox at the bottom left side of the screen. These quests aren’t required (you’ll get more than enough XP from your class and planetary stories) but completing them will give you more insight into each planet’s history and lore.
6 You Get An Experience Boost If You Join A Guild
Like most modern multiplayer games, SWTOR gives you the option of joining a guild to meet other players who share your interests. Some guilds are dedicated to operations, some are dedicated to PvP, some complete conquest objectives, some are simply a social outlet, and some are all of those things at once.
While it might be tempting to wait to join a guild until you’ve reached max level and figured out which part of the game you want to focus on, guilds come with one major perk. Being a member of a guild means you get an experience boost that ranges from five to 15 percent, depending on how many members the guild has.
5 Use Rocket Boost When Speeders Are Disabled
While you can use your speeder to get around most outdoor and indoor areas, there are a few locations — usually inside flashpoints or certain quest areas — where they’re disabled. If you don’t want to walk to your destination, you can unlock the Rocket Boost character perk from your legacy window.
Rocket Boost gives you an ability that can be used every 28 seconds to get a 110-percent movement speed buff for 12 seconds. Once you unlock it, it can be used by every character in your legacy in almost any situation where the game doesn’t let you use a speeder.
4 You Can Use The World Map To Travel
You’ll earn a personal starship during your class story that can be used to travel from planet to planet, but it’s far from the fastest way to get around. If you want to bypass an extra loading screen or two, you can travel the galaxy with your world map.
Open your map by pressing M, and click “open galaxy map” on the bottom left side of the screen. Then, click on any planet, ship, or outpost to travel there without the use of your starship. If you want your starship later, it’ll be waiting for you in the nearest spaceport.
3 There Are No Cross-Server Groups
Like many MMORPGs, SWTOR has a group finder tool that will automatically match you with other players for flashpoints, story-mode operations, or warzones. While most matchmaking tools pull from a group of servers, SWTOR’s group finder is limited to a single server.
This means that if you’re joining the game to play with a friend, you’ll need to make sure you pick the same server in order to play in a group together. SWTOR servers are timezone-based, so choose the one that matches your location for the fastest queues.
2 You Don’t Need Cartel Coins
If you don’t want to spend real money on microtransactions in the Cartel Market, you won’t find yourself at a disadvantage in SWTOR. In fact, anything that has an effect on how much damage, tanking, or healing your character can do is purchased with in-game currencies.
Much like the Gem Store in Guild Wars 2, the Cartel Market is limited to cosmetic and convenience items like outfit and weapon appearances, stronghold decorations, speeders, and companion customizations.
1 You Can Share Items Between Characters
As long as you have access to a stronghold, you can use your legacy storage to transfer credits and items between your characters. Unlike most MMOs where gear and weapons are limited to a single character, most equipment in SWTOR can be shared.
Although some leveling gear is character-specific, almost all endgame and cosmetic equipment is “bound to legacy”. These items can be deposited into your legacy storage, where they can be retrieved and equipped by any of your alts. Your legacy storage also holds credits, making it easy to get a new character set up with the money they need for leveling.
NEXT: Star Wars: The Old Republic – All Strongholds, Ranked