SWTOR Leveling Guide

With only a few weeks until SWTOR’s double experience weekend return, I thought I’d create a power leveling guide.  This is a good time to start prepping your characters for the leveling experience to get the most out of the weekend.  With these suggestions, I’ve leveled a character from 10-55 in under 24 hours during double xp and hopefully you can too!

Screenshot_2014-02-17_12_14_40_651182

Table of Contents

Leveling in SWTOR
Types of Leveling
Gear
Companions
Legacy Unlocks
Guild Perks
Setting Out
Quick Tips
Additional Tips
Resources
Version

 Please note this guide assumes you know little to nothing about SWTOR leveling.  If you’re looking for quick tips and help, scroll down to “Quick Tips.”  Otherwise read below for a step-by-step guide with detailed explanation.

Leveling in SWTOR

xp

SWTOR, like many other MMOs, uses a somewhat linear system to leveling by obtaining experience points through killing enemies, questing, and exploration.  The leveling experiences scales the higher your level, thus needing more and more experience to reach higher levels.  For instance, going from level 8 to 9 takes 15,000 experience points, while 49 to 50 takes near 450,000.

Starting off, you are limited to only a few possible ways to gain experience.  As your levels increase, you’ll find more things to do, more travel, and an easier leveling process.  For example, levels 1 to 10 are the starter planet and do not allow many dailies or quests or travel to another planet/fleet.  At levels 11 to 49, you can start doing dailies, weeklies, and planetary quest.  50 to 55 is the easiest allowing for major quests, operations, and nearly all the parts of the game.

quest log

Below is a list of quests/dailies I try to complete in order to gain as much experience as fast as possible. Following this method, I average a level once per hour.  Make sure you’re completing your quest near or as close to your level as possible.  Meaning, if you’re level 30, don’t do quests at level 25 or at level 35.  It will take too much time or provide very little experience.  Around + or – 1 level is ideal.

Types of Leveling

planet

  • Class Quest – Your bread and butter standard story quest, rotating through various planets depending on your advanced class.  These flow through certain planets, but give a lot of experience points and are very rewarding.  I usually make sure to complete these first.
  • Space PvE Daily/Weekly – Some people don’t like the “on rails” space mission, but they only take 5 to 10 minutes each mission and offer an enormous amount of experience points.  Keep doing these daily and you’ll see a huge gain in experience points.
  • Flashpoint Daily/Weekly – An instance PvE mission that is completed with other players.  These take more time (30-60 minutes), but offer experience points for individual kills, plus a daily and mission completion reward.  Flashpoints also give great gear, planetary commendations, and other items to help leveling.
  • PvP Daily/Weekly – These are your standard ground PvP missions that give good experience for daily/weekly, but don’t offer individual kill experience so they’re less important than a flashpoints.  I only complete the daily and move on since they don’t offer per kill experience.
  • Space PvP Daily/Weekly – Similar to warzones in concept, no kill experience but good value in the dailies/weeklies.
  • Planetary Quest – I usually don’t do any of these planetary quests because I’ve out leveled my planet by the time I’ve completed my dailies and class quests.
  • Bonus Quest – These are given once a particular planet’s story arc has been completed.  Same concept as Planetary Quest, most likely you’ve already leveled past that planet.
  • Exploration – This counts by exploring each planet’s map.  I don’t go out of my way to explore, but with various character bonuses, exploration adds up over time.
  • Companion Affection Quest – Giving leveling your companions affection is a great way to offer some extra experience.  These scale with your level, so I often wait until I’m near 50 or so before completing.
  • Codex – These are given as a type of exploration by clicking various items in the world.  Once again, I don’t go out of my way to find them, but I click on them when available.
  • Datacrons – These are a permanent stat increase that are scattered throughout the world.  Since they are hard to get and time consuming, I generally collect these once I reach endgame.

Gear

When it comes to gearing during the leveling process, I don’t get too concerned with my appearance or level of gear.  You want have gear somewhat equivalent with your level, but you can complete quests with a very low level if need be.

gear

An effective way of gearing is picking out a mod-able orange gear set and using that from level 10 on.  I then pick up cybertech, scavenaging, and slicing as my crafting skills.  I level them up equally making armorings, mods, and enhancements as needed.  I’ll supplement my crafting with planetary commendations or PvP commendations to buy hilts, barrels, or missing pieces.  I’ll use my money gained from slicing to buy ear pieces, relics, and implants.  Just keep the same outfit and swap items in and out and it should be easy.

Companions

Since you can only fulfil one role while leveling (tank, healer, DPS), companions play an important part by complementing your unfulfilled role.  In my experience, Trek is the best companion by far.  He can heal effectively, tank, and do consistent damage.

trek

You can unlock Trek through the cartel market bizarre or cartel coins.  Once you get him, I recommend unlocking him for all your characters and getting a legacy set of gear.  I pass around the set from character to character while leveling.

Companion affection also provides experience and a bonus to crafting.  So near end game, I buy 99 level 2 gifts companion gifts with the highest level of affection (love) .  In between quest, I bind the gift to a key and just repeatedly give them.  This will give you around 6,000 affection.  If you want to finish it by gaining 10,000, either buy higher level gifts, more rare quality, or craft them yourself.  TOR Head has a great guide HERE for companion affection.

swtor 2014-02-17 12-30-36-46

Legacy Unlocks

legacy perks

Since patch 1.3, SWTOR has added some character specific unlocks and some universal unlocks via legacy.  Each rank cost credits or cartel coins and are cumulative.  I get the entire experience boost, both companion perks, and some travel convenience features.  Dulfy has a more detailed guide HERE, but my recommendations are below:

XP Perks

I II III IV V

Total

Warzone Experience 20k 30k 50k 75k 100k

275k

Flashpoint Experience 20k 30k 50k 75k 100k

275k

Space Mission Experience 10k 20k 30k 40k 50k

150k

Class Mission Experience 20k 30k 50k 75k 100k

275k

Exploration Experience 10k 20k 30k 40k 50k

150k

Starfighter Experience 20k 30k 50k 75k 100k

275k

Grand Total 1.4 million credits

 

Convenience Perks

I II III

Total

Altruism (companion gifts) 10k 30k 50k

90k

Persuasion (conversations) 10k 30k 50k

90k

Field Respec

200k

Capital World Travel

20k

Outlaws Den

50k

Personal Ship

50k

CZ

150k

Speeder Piloting 1

40k

Field Repair Droid 1

50k

Field Mail Droid 1

50k

Grand Total 790k credits

 

Now, combine the experience and convenience for a whopping 2.19 million credits!  Or you can use a combination of credits and cartel coins, but either way it’s not cheap to level fast.

Guild Perks

guild bonus

In spring of 2013, SWTOR released its Guild Reward Program giving all players in a guild an automatic 5% bonus to gaining experience.  You can earn an additional 5% (10% max) for having 25 or more accounts within your guild.  Best way to join one of these guilds is to simply ask in fleet or start your own and build one.

Setting Out

I’ve described the general concepts to leveling, now I’m going to describe how I maximize my time to level.  I always make sure to log out the previous day in the fleet standing at the Supply Mission Terminal.  I grab all the quests from the various quest terminals and queue up for everything I can (space PvP, ground PvP, and flashpoints).  I queue up for everything at once.  While waiting on the queue, I’ll travel to my class mission planet and complete missions in between my queues.  Once I finish a planet and my dailies, I return to the fleet for a massive turn in, and pickup anything new, set out and do it all over again.

que

It’s important to check the fleet for new missions because so many are unlock at different levels.  The flashpoints are separated at or around every four levels.  If you do all these dailies and your class quests, you’ll be almost ready for a new flashpoint quest.  So just keep setting out, coming in and doing turn-ins, and watch the levels fly by.

Quick Tips

  • Buy all experience legacy unlocks
  • Buy travel unlocks (personal ship, Tatooine, and capital world)
  • Get in 10% experience Guild
  • Get Trek
  • Get full set of mod-able orange  gear
  • Pick up all the quests at the fleet and prioritize by:
    • Class > Space PvE > Flashpoints > Ground PvP > Space PvP
    • Return to fleet, turn in, pick up new quests, and set out again

Additional Tips

account unlocks

  •  Buy account unlocks for your ship to help with convenience (GTN, guild bank, and droid)
  • Pick up crafting: slicing, cybertech, and scavenging
  • Level slicing for profit, scavenging and cybertech to make items for your mod-able gear
  • Make sure to log off in a rested area (fleet or cantina)
  • The more presence you have from completing other stories, the better your companions will be

Personally, I love double experience weekends.  I usually pick a class I know little to nothing about and set out on an adventure.  I hope you enjoyed this post and wonder what your leveling secrets are.  Feel free to level a comment!

Resources

Dulfy’s Legacy Perks – dulfy.net/2012/06/06/patch-1-3-legacy-character-perks/
Guild Rewards – http://www.swtor.com/guildrewardsLegacy Information – www.swtor.com/info/legacy
TOR Head Companion Gift Guide – www.torhead.com/companions

Version

1.0 – Complete initial guide – on February 17, 2014

8 Comments

  1. Jay on March 13, 2014 at 4:28 am

    I agree with getting the legacy perks and space missions and dailies. But once dailies are done you still find yourself doing nothing but grinding a class mission. I would add to this guide: Once dailies are done and class missions are at level (this WILL happen if you are truly grinding out a double XP weekend) the fastest way to level is local planetary quests near your (at level) class missions. Simply put; take every quest available, never turn down a bonus quest. And don’t skip mobs between quests. Kill everything in sight on the way to each objective. This is the best way to kill time while waiting for your daily options to refresh or new FPs to come available.

    • Deltia on March 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Melkyore on March 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Hey I’m a bit confused. Does this guide apply for double XP week end ? Cause right now I am actually following the guide and have past way above my class missions level. This leaves me with class missions level out of my level range and I get no xp from it.

    If I wait to go through them before doing all the side dailies, I end wasting alot of time travelling on the map from a point to another when I could be spamming WZ, Space missions, and Galatic + Flashpoints in the meantime. I’m quite sure I’d be 3-4 level heads if I hadn’t touched class missions.

    So can you confirm that for Double XP weekend you must finish your class missions before heading for other stuff. That is even to do other stuff like WZ FP and GSF inbetween ?

    Thanks

    • Deltia on March 16, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Good question,
      on Double XP Weekend, you may have to cut back to doing just WZ/Flashpoints and class quest. Some argue that its best to do do planet and class quest only during this time, but I have more fun balancing the game.

      So maybe just stick with one thing you’ve maxed (Flashpoints) and class quest. I hope that helps!

      Deltia

  3. Melkyore on March 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    But by doing WZ/FP I go so much faster then class quest to the point the class quest doesnt give any xp anymore. am I doing it wrong ?

    • Deltia on March 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Well remember class missions unlock companions, planets, and content so you’ll have to do them at some point. But during double XP you can just farm WZ/FP to get as many level as possible.

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