SWTOR From Scratch: Part One

This guide is designed for the player that is logging into SWTOR for the first time.  SWTOR, or Star Wars: The Old Republic, is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). These games tend to have a lot of complex mechanics and features. This companion is designed to help you jump right into the game without having to search multiple websites for the information you need.  As a beginner, or even as a veteran MMO player, this guide can help make your whole game experience a lot smoother and less confusing. So instead of a long introduction, let’s jump right into it.

Welcome to to the guide!

CHAPTER 1 – Decisions, decisions…

The very first thing you’ll want to do is get a referral link.  A referral link will grant you some free in-game stuff.  New players will get some XP boosts, and returning players will get some unlocks, seven (7) free days of subscription time, and one free server transfer.  You can use the referral link below, or get one from a friend.  Whether you plan to subscribe, or play for free, a referral link benefits you.



The next decision you will have to make in Star Wars: The Old Republic is what server you want to play on. While you can always restart on a new server, or pay to transfer your character later, picking the right server the first time can save you a lot of trouble.

There are four types of servers:

  • PvE
  • PvP
  • RP-PvE
  • RP-PvP

Now even though there are four types of servers, there are only two server modes. PvE and PvP.

What is a PvE server?

PvE severs prevent you from being attacked by other players in the open world without your consent. If you do not like fighting other players, or are new to MMOs, you should pick this kind of server.

What is a PvP server?

PvP severs allow you to attack and be attacked without warning by other players in the open world. There are special protected areas where you will be safe.

There are two questions you need to answer to choose a server type.

1) Am I interested in role playing?

Roleplaying, or RP, is acting through improvisation. You create a character persona, like in a TV show or movie, and then react to your surroundings, other characters, and so on. If you are interested in role playing, you will want to choose one of the servers with the RP prefix. If not, you will choose one of the normal server types.

2) What end game content is most important to me, PvP or PvE?

PvE servers will have more PvE minded players, and PvP servers will have more PvP minded players. If you really want to be on the cutting edge of Operations and Flashpoints, PvE should be your choice. If you must have a Ranked Warzone team, a PvP sever should be your choice. There may be a fair amount of both activities on a server, so you won’t necessarily be giving one up. You just need to decide which is most important to you, then go where those opportunities are most abundant.

So combine your RP preference with your PvE or PvP preference, and then choose which coast you are closer to (East/West).

West Coast SWTOR Servers

  • Begeren Colony (RP PvE)
  • The Bastion (PvP)
  • The Harbinger (PvE)

East Coast SWTOR Servers

  • Jedi Covenant (PvE)
  • Jung Ma (RP PvP)
  • Prophecy of the Five (PvP)
  • The Ebon Hawk (RP PvE)
  • The Shadowlands (PvE)


Faction is largely a story choice. The classes are essentially the same for both sides. Do you want to join the Republic and save the galaxy? Or do you want to join the Sith Empire and conquer it? You will be able to roll characters on both sides, so this is only a matter of what you want to see first.


There are no statistical benefits for playing certain races. The only differences are the social emotes. There is a benefit in your Legacy, however. ( I will explain Legacy later.) Each faction has some races unique to it. The Legacy benefit will allow you unlock a race for the opposing faction by reaching max level with it. For example, if you level a Chiss operative to 50 on the Sith side, then you will unlock the Chiss race for all classes Republic side. So if you want to play the same race on both sides, choose that race now.


There are four basic class types, and each faction has its equivalent.

  • Smuggler/Imperial Agent
  • Jedi/Sith Warrior
  • Jedi Consular/Sith Inquisitor
  • Trooper/Bounty Hunter

When choosing a class, first ask yourself what you want role you want to play: Tanking, damage, or healing. Tank classes are meant to withstand lots of damage, but deal less damage. Damage classes are meant to deal lots of damage, but cannot take lots of damage. Healers are meant to replenish health lost, but deal very little damage. Tanks and healers are commonly not as plentiful as damage classes. Tanks and healers are crucial to have in Flashpoints and Operations. Healers are similarly not as plentiful in PvP play.

Here is a quick breakdown of classes by role and faction.

swtor class descriptions


Once you have chosen your role, you will want to narrow your choice by combat style. Each class has its own combat style. Ranged (from afar) or Melee (up close and personal). Here is a breakdown by combat style.

swtor class ranges

Each class has an Advanced Class, but we’ll cover that in the next chapter. For now, choose based on your role and combat preference.


This will be what other players call you. Unless you pick an RP server, your name can be slmost anything.  Nothing offensive of course. On RP servers, your name should also be original. It should not reference characters from other games, books, television shows, etc. It should be a regular name that would match the Star Wars universe setting.

You will get to choose a surname (last name) later in the game.  This is known as your Legacy name.

Class Quests

Each class has a specific quest line to tell its story.  Your class quest starts immediately when you enter the game, so you can’t miss it. You can skip all other quests on a planet if you like, but consider your class quests mandatory. They are necessary to unlock certain Legacy rewards that cannot be obtained any other way, as well as progress the storyline for the expansions.


That’s it! You’re ready to jump right in. Be sure to keep this page bookmarked.  Do not read Chapter Two until you have finished your class quest on your starter planet. There is a light spoiler in the next chapter.

Part Two

3 thoughts on “SWTOR From Scratch: Part One”
  1. This guide looks very useful for new players. There is, however, a naming mistake. Jedi Sage/Sith Sorcerer is an advanced class. The base class is called Jedi Consular/Sith Inquisitor.

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