Every companion in the game has an influence level, and their influence level determines how strong they are in battle and how well they can craft. Most players will want to raise at least one of their companion’s influence level as they progress in the story, to make combat easier, to take on difficult fights, or to become more effective at crafting. Players who are crafting or gathering on a regular basis may want to raise up multiple companions on multiple characters, and a companion’s influence level goes all the way up to level 50. To raise your companion’s influence level, you can bring them along for the story and make choices they like, give them a Companion Compendium, or give them gifts. To view your companion’s influence level, press N on your keyboard to open the Companions & Contacts window. In this video, we’ll be going over how to get gifts for your companions, and how to use them efficiently.
To give a gift to a companion, all you need to do is have the companion out with you, and right-click the gift from your inventory. How much influence your companion gains when you give them a gift is based on their gift preferences, the rank of the gift, and the rarity of the gift. The best gifts in the entire game are going to be the types of gifts that your companions love, that are rank 6 and gold rarity. The worst gifts to give your companion are types of gifts they don’t care about at all, as you won’t gain any influence for giving the wrong type of gift. Luckily, when you roll over a gift item in your inventory, it will give you a rough idea about whether or not your companion will like it. If you roll over a gift and it says “No influence gain”, definitely don’t give that gift to your companion! Apart from no influence, when you roll over gifts, they will say they have a small, moderate or large influence gain. Apart from letting you know that your companion will gain influence from that gift, these indicators are not the most useful, as they have a really wide range – for example, a large influence gift that a companion just likes might give you 200 influence, while another gift of the same rank and rarity but in a category they love could get you over 800 influence!
If you’re looking to level up just ONE companion, you’ll likely just want to give them any gifts you have that they can gain influence from, and then sell the rest or save them for later. However, if you’ve got a big pile of gifts you’ve gotten over time, and have multiple companions you want to level up, you might want to look up which ones each companion loves, and portion them out. For example, if you have a luxury gift, and one of your companion loves luxury gifts, and another only likes them, you’ll want to give that gift to the luxury gift lover. If it’s a high ranking gift, when you roll over it, it will likely only tell you that they will both get a large influence gain, even though one might get 4 times the influence points from the same gift. There’s no easy way to see what a companion loves in-game, so you’ll want to consult a fan-made chart – I’ve recently made a really complete chart for all 93 companions at swtorista.com/gifts – there you’ll be able to look up your companion and then see what they like, favorite and love when it comes to gifts. You can then click the gift type and it will bring you to a section that shows all the gifts of those type and their icons so you can easily hunt through your cargo bays for gifts of that type. Gifts are not bound, so you can keep them in your green personal cargo bay bank or your yellow legacy bank.
If you’re looking to purchase gifts, either from other players on the GTN or from various Vendors, you’ll absolutely want to figure out what types of gifts your companion loves, and buy only those. When buying gifts, you’ve got a couple different options.
The FASTEST way to rank up a companion is actually not to use gifts, but instead to use a Companion Compendium item which auto-boosts a companion to influence level 50. You can either get one in the Strongholds and Crew Skills section of the Fleet from the Conquest Rewards vendor named V1C-R0Y, for 3 Dark Projects plus 4.25 million credits, or buy them from the Cartel Market or with credits on the GTN. Dark projects for that Conquest Rewards vendor can be crafted, or bought on the GTN – at the time of making this video, they cost give or take about a million to two million credits from other players, so at that price a Compendium would cost about 7-14 million credits. Heads up I’ve noticed the Cartel Market version of this item is often vastly overpriced on the GTN, even up to the hundred millions. A compendium is most useful for boosting a very low level companion – it might not be worth the price if the companion is already a decently high level from taking them along for missions, or if you’ve already given them gifts.
The next fastest option would be to buy rank 6 gold-bordered gifts – you’d need about 200 of them, and if you bought them from the vendor in the Cantina area of Odessan, which is only available to subscribers, it would cost you almost 50 million credits to go from influence level 1 to 50, so make sure to look in to the Compendiums first! These gold-bordered gifts are also available to free-to-play players on the GTN, and can be a fast way to gain influence if you have a lot of credits but no subscription, and they hover around the same 250,000 credits each price as the vendor sells them for, or slightly higher. The gold-bordered gifts as well as valuable grade 5 gifts can also be earned for free through Alliance Crates – these are a special type of reward you can get from all Heroics at level 61 or higher, and you need to have completed Chapter 9 of Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion to turn them in. Inside the crates is usually a random piece of cosmetic armor, and a random gift. Heroics are a great way to earn credits, and companion gifts. When players have bays and bays of companion gifts, they usually got them from doing heroics.
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to level up a companion without having to run heroics, you can buy rank 5 purple gifts from the Fleet Companion Gifts Vendor in the Galactic Trade Network section of the fleet, in the cages, for only 10,000 credits each. If you’re looking to go from influence 1 to 50, you’d need about 620 purple gifts and it would cost you a bit over 6 million credits. This is also great for free-to-play players, as you can buy just a few at a time as you have credits, and can bump your companion up just a few levels instead of all the way to 50 if you want. If you have the credits, this method is only about a million cheaper than the compendium method, so I don’t recommend it, as you’d have to gift your companion a gift over 600 times. However it is a lot cheaper than the gold gifts method from the Odessan vendor. There’s technically also rank 5 blue gifts, and rank 2 green gifts from these vendors which cost less per gift, but end up costing about the same amount total because you need to buy more gifts as they give less influence. Technically, you could buy Rank 1 Green gifts, and get your companion up to rank 40 for only 1 and a half million credits… but you would have to sit there and give your companion almost 8,000 gifts, haha! Kind of funny, be careful on the GTN, as blue and purple rank 5 gifts can be bought directly from the fleet vendor for 5,000 and 10,000 credits respectively – don’t purchase gifts on the GTN unless they cost less than that! If you want to buy gifts in bulk from a vendor, shift + right click the gifts from the vendor and you can type in the amount you want to buy. Knowing that, and about the compendium and Odessan vendor, there’s almost no reason to buy gifts on the GTN unless you see a really good deal.
On top of gifts from the vendors and heroics, gifts also can come from crew skills – you can get gifts from Diplomacy, Underworld Trading and Treasure Hunting, but only on missions that are in grades 1-5 on the dropdown that say ‘Companion Gifts’ as their reward, and the grade corresponds with the rank of gift you’ll get if the mission succeeds. To give an example, Diplomacy at grade 5 offers three different companion gifts missions, which only cost about 1,600 credits each, and you’ll get either a green, blue or purple grade 5 companion gift, or nothing, compared to outright buying a purple grade 5 gift which would cost 10,000 credits. This method could definitely be cheaper, but has a lot of randomness involved, and would be quite slow especially if you are starting levelling your crew skill from scratch. The goods news is that if you are already looking to level up your Diplomacy, Treasure Hunting or Underworld Trading, and don’t need the lower grade crafting materials, you can send your companions out to get gifts, which funnily enough, you could then give to your companions to make them faster at gathering gifts.
Lastly, although the conquest rewards and tiers are often adjusted, completing your personal conquest goal from levels 1 through 70 will usually give you a bag full of mixed companion gifts.
There’s also two types of special gifts called Maintenance Gifts and Delicacies. These two types of gifts are mainly for the Cartel Market companions, though a few other companions enjoy them too. A Delicacy Gift called ‘Spiced Aric Tongue’ can be purchased from Izzar the Jawa Vendor in the Cartel Bazaar section of the Fleet, which is the northern elevator Republic side and the southern elevator Imperial side, for 2 Scrap: Jawa Junk, mixed in with a bunch of crafting materials. At the same vendor is a Maintenance gift called ‘Armor Maintenance’ which costs the same price. These purple Jawa scraps come from a variety of places, but mainly from Conquest and disintegrating armor at a high level. If your companion loves these two types of gifts, and you have the scraps, it is likely a good choice to buy the purple gifts over a compendium.
In addition to boosting your permanent companions, you can also boost Temporary companions which only start showing up in the later expansions. I won’t spoil who these temporary companions are, but if you find you are struggling with difficult fights in Knights of the Fallen Empire and onward because you don’t have your normal companion with you, you can also give gifts to temporary companions to boost them in battle, and much like normal companions they have their own preferences. Keep in mind though you can not use a compendium on a temporary companion, you’ll need to give them gifts if you want to boost them.
If you’re planning to give your companion a lot of gifts, you might want to invest in the character perk unlock called Legacy of Altruism. It has 3 tiers you can pay credits to unlock, the first requires legacy level 2, the second legacy level 5, and the third legacy level 8, and each tier adds 10% to the amount of influence you get on that character when you give them a gift. This perk is pretty highly recommended if you’re using gifts. There’s another perk called Legacy of Persuasion, which also has three tiers with the same requirements, but it adds 10% to the amount of influence you get from conversations in cutscenes. Lastly, there’s the Legacy of Promptness character perk, which reduces the time it takes to give gifts to your companion by 20% for each tier. However this one is quite a bit more expensive, with the first tier costing 200,000 credits, the second tier costing 400,000 credits, and the third tier costing 600,000 credits, for a total of 1.2 million credits for a 60% reduction in the time it takes to give your companions gifts. Funnily enough, if you’re only trying to bring a single companion up to influence 50, you’re probably better off just getting a Compendium – it may even be cheaper depending on the price of Dark Projects, and will only require a single click.
And that’s all the main ways to get and use companion gifts that I know of. If you’re very new to the game, I wouldn’t worry about boosting your companion’s influence at all, unless you are struggling with the combat. If you’re a more experienced player, and especially if you want to get in to crafting or gathering, you’ll definitely want to spread your gifts out so they’re used the most efficiently by using the tools on swtorista.com/gifts, and don’t be fooled when purchasing gifts compared to the costs of slightly lower rank gifts, gifts from vendors, or compared to the cost of a Compendium.