Groupfinder Flashpoints

Before you jump in to group content, it’s important to prepare your character and learn about group etiquette. The Groupfinder in Star Wars: The Old Republic is the easiest way to find other players to do group content with, but if you aren’t aware of how to work well with your three other random group members, you’re in for a rude surprise. In this video, I’ll be going over everything you should know before grouping up with other random players for Flashpoints.

Flashpoints Group

The first thing you need to know about group flashpoints is that you’ll be playing with 3 real random people, each one with their own specific goals and reasons for wanting to run the Flashpoint. Part of being a good group member is being willing to compromise – the ultimate goal for all of you should be to finish the Flashpoint, how you go about that depends on what the majority of the group wants. For example, as a first-timer your goals might be to see the story – while a veteran player may have played it eight times already and want you to skip past the cutscenes so they can get it done quickly for the weekly rewards. If you have very strong opinions about your goals, like wanting to do it at super speed, or wanting to take your time and explore, you should not be using the groupfinder. Instead, you should be using chat to find like-minded individuals who want to run it the same way as you. If this is your first time, here’s the type of message you’ll want to post in general chat of the fleet: “New level ____ player looking to run the ____ flashpoint with other players who want to see the story.” Here’s an extra tip, there’s an even easier solo version for a lot of flashpoints that you can do alone or walk in to with friends you meet in chat that can’t be accessed through the groupfinder! If possible, I would definitely recommend your first flashpoint be run this way or with friends.

Solo vs Group Flashpoints

Here’s the flashpoints that can be run solo, through groupfinder, or only with a group outside of the groupfinder.

Solo Mode Available Available in Groupfinder
The Esseles (Republic, lvl 10-15 only)
The Black Talon (Imperial, lvl 10-15 only)
Taral V (Republic)
Maelstrom Prison (Republic)
Boarding Party (Imperial)
The Foundry (Imperial)
Directive 7
The Battle of Ilum
The False Emperor
Incursion on Korriban
Assault on Tython
Depths of Manaan
Legacy of the Rakata
Blood Hunt
Battle of Rishi
Crisis on Umbara
A Traitor Among the Chiss
The Nathema Conspiracy
The Esseles*
The Black Talon*
Hammer Station
Athiss
Mandalorian Raiders
Cademimu
Boarding Party
Taral V
The Foundry
Maelstrom Prison
The Red Reaper
Directive 7
The Battle of Ilum
The False Emperor
Kuat Drive Yards
Czerka Corporate Labs
Czerka Core Meltdown
Assault on Tython
Korriban Incursion
Depths of Manaan
Legacy of the Rakata
Blood Hunt
Battle of Rishi
Crisis on Umbara
A Traitor Among the Chiss
The Nathema Conspiracy
Uprisings

Prepare

Before actually queuing up, there’s some things you should do to prepare. Because you are one fourth of a team, you should be able to pull your weight and not force your team to carry you. You don’t need to have epic gear, memorize the fights or be the #1 player in the game, but you do need to have a basic grasp of the types of things a good group member should do.

Gear

The first important thing is to look at is your gear. The groupfinder for Veteran Mode has a fantastic feature – no matter your level, no matter your gear, using the groupfinder to join a flashpoint will temporarily bolster your gear to give it the aspects of a decent max level set of gear. This bolster has its limitations though – you must have a piece of gear in every slot in your equipment panel, and each piece of gear must have stats. There are many armors in the game that are cosmetic only – they’re empty shells with no stats. Before going in to the group finder, you can get some basic gear and stats on the fleet – look for the Adaptive vendor and the modification vendors around the outer edge of the Supplies section of the fleet. You can add the stats items like Mods, Enhancements and Armorings to your gear by CTRL+RIGHT CLICKING the empty shells you buy from the adaptive vendor. Characters missing pieces of equipment, or characters wearing cosmetic armor with no stats, will not get bolstered. If your team mates see you aren’t wearing the correct gear, there is a good chance they may vote to kick you out of the flashpoint for not doing the minimal required in gearing up for group flashpoints.

Abilities

The second important thing to know is your character! Each class, advanced class, and combat proficiency has its own moves. Some are key parts of your ability to do damage, while others look cool but are intended for a different specialization. Other moves are universal but are named differently between each class, but are extremely useful to know about – like

  • your defensive abilities
  • your stuns
  • your interupt
  • and your stunbreaker

Each class has one of these, and they can be key parts of getting out of rough situations. The easiest way to learn about what your class has is by opening your abilities window, and reading through each ability you have for your class and advanced class. Most classes have multiple defensive abilities, which can either protect you or heal you, and help keep you alive if your health is going down rapidly. Stuns can help keep enemies from attacking for a while, which helps keep your team alive longer. Interrupts can help interrupt enemies as they are readying attacks, and can reduce the damage your group takes. Lastly, your stunbreaker will free you if you are stunned or frozen in place. All of these abilities should be made easily available to you by being visible on your quickbars. If you want to become a great player, you can also keybind these abilities for faster access during emergency situations.

One way or another, to be respectful of your group, you should have a basic understanding of your character and how to play your class. You don’t have to be the best player at that class, but you should be familiar with how their most important moves work!

Groupfinder

Once you’ve got your character ready, you can enter the groupfinder! Personally, I don’t recommend entering it until you reach level 25ish, even though you can jump in as early as level 15, because although you will be bolstered to max level temporarily, you won’t have some of the key abilities that help keep you alive and do more damage yet.

To enter the groupfinder, first click the symbol of “three little people” near your minimap, which will open the activities window.

You’ll want to be on the “Group” tab for group Flashpoints.

Before you do anything else, there’s an extremely important setting called “Group Role”. Make sure this is set to just “Damage”, and make sure it is not on healer or tank. This helps your teammates know you are not ready to take on the more involved roles yet.

If you are max-level, I actually do recommend checking both “Veteran Flashpoints” and “Story Uprisings”. Uprisings are mini flashpoints with no cutscenes – they’re actually an easy way to jump in, and the veteran modes aren’t actually too bad. Make sure you do not have “Operations” or “Master Flashpoints” checked.

When the groupfinder was first released, most of the flashpoints had roughly the same skill level. Since then though, many flashpoints have been released that have the same Veteran or Master mode rating, but are incredibly difficult compared to the other flashpoints with the same rating. There are a few flashpoints where players will often outright quit if they are placed with low-level member during these flashpoints, as they are ridiculously difficult to do even with a full max-level group. If this happens, don’t be offended – it’s actually the game’s fault for throwing new and low-level players into these more difficult flashpoints. Just queue up again and hope for better luck this time!

For your first flashpoint, I recommend filtering the flashpoints. This will help your luck in having a good first groupfinder flashpoint. To filter which flashpoint you might get, click Filter on the bottom right.  What flashpoints you see on this screen will vary depending on your level and what expansions you have unlocked. These are the ones I recommend unchecking, as they have a higher difficulty level:

There is an option that allows you to join in-progress groups who lost a player along the way. I do not recommend having this checked so you can see the flashpoint from the beginning.

Keep in mind filtering the flashpoints will make you ineligible for the daily rewards, but is a much smarter way to queue for your first few times.

Once you’re ready, join the queue!

Communication

One of the things that can make grouping up more enjoyable is communication.  If this is your first flashpoint, tell your group in chat. If this is your first time in this specific flashpoint, tell your group in chat. Although some players will be unwilling to compromise, others are just excited to run with other players and are happy to give advice and help. Players who are willing to communicate and ask questions are almost always given more leniency when something goes wrong – if another player in my group doesn’t communicate, I assume they’re living in their own little world and aren’t interested in working together to fix whatever problems caused us to fail. If your account is unable to type in chat, you can still indicate you’re present and listening  by typing /yes and /no – or just type /wave to say hi! Some other things you will want to communicate is if you are stepping away from the computer for a moment, or if you are running in to issues. Speaking of issues, try and make sure to take care of any chores or tasks you need to do before entering the groupfinder. It’s considered very rude to step away from the computer for more than a minute or two, as your group often may have to sit there and do nothing while waiting for you. If you have some extra words to spare, a round of congratulations or compliments after a difficult fight goes a long way, as well as a thank you to your group when you are done!

Stay out of the bad stuff

One of the most common mechanics in Star Wars: The Old Republic is fondly known as “bad stuff”. “Bad stuff” is any effect that can be seen on the ground that will cause your character damage when they are standing in it. These most often appear as yellow, orange or red circles or triangles which you should keep your eyes open for – the more often you stand in them, the more likely you’ll die and let your team down.

Mechanics

On top of “bad stuff”, some Flashpoint bosses have their own special mechanics you need to watch out for. Some flashpoints do not have any interesting mechanics, while others force you to learn the mechanics or automatically fail the fight. For example, in the Athiss Flashpoint, when fighting in the Tomb of Vodal Kressh, during the fight you might see balls of fire suddenly starting to chase you – if you don’t run away from them, you’ll take a lot of damage and might die. You don’t necessarily need to memorize or look up these mechanics (though of course it helps) but you do need to listen to any advice your group gives, and keep your eyes open during the fight. It’s pretty common to die quite a few times, but if you aren’t willing to communicate and learn from your mistakes, your group might get frustrated and leave.

Follow the Leader

If there is a more experienced player in the group, it’s best to follow their lead. If one of your group members is a tank, you should ALWAYS allow them to attack enemies first – rushing in to fights is one of the most frustrating new player mistakes for your team members – the tank is usually waiting until everyone is ready and healed up, and then goes first to help the group take the least amount of damage. If you jump in first, every enemy will be attacking you – and you don’t have that sweet, sweet defensive gear and stats your tank should have. To help your group even more in non-boss fights – attack the enemy your tank is attacking. Your tank will distract that enemy while you take it down! Many experienced players also have tips and tricks to sneak around enemies  – even if you would prefer to fight those enemies, it’s better to compromise and work with your group to sneak if that’s what they want to do. Keep an eye on your teammates – if they are hugging the wall and turning tight corners, follow in their footsteps to learn a sneaky shortcut! If you have a stealth class in your group, they may also put enemies to sleep so you can sneak past them – don’t attack those sleeping enemies,  and once again, follow the leader! When in doubt, ask in chat.

Gear Etiquette

When you defeat a boss, sometimes there is loot dedicated to your character, while other times there is loot that one player will randomly win. This random gear often shows up in a NEED / GREED / PASS popup box. The opinion of which of these you should choose varies, but the most important thing to know is that you should never need or greed on a piece of gear you can’t currently use on that character. For example, if a helmet drops, and your current helmet is better, select PASS so another group member can get a chance to upgrade their gear. Other players recommend only clicking NEED until you win a piece of gear – then selecting greed or pass to allow your other members to win. This is up to the group – once again communication is key. For example, when I run flashpoints I am often doing them for fun… and I pass on all the loot!

Healing

Apart from using your defensive and healing abilities to keep yourself alive, most veteran mode group flashpoints also have healing kolto tanks. These are glowing blue boxes present during boss fights – there’s usually four available. These are one-use healing items that will give a large amount to the person who clicks them, and a small boost in health to everyone in the group. When exactly to use them is a bit of an art, but in general, if you are a ranged player you can park yourself down beside one and keep your eyes open for a good opportunity to use them to heal your group. Either way, don’t click the shiny blue thing until there’s an emergency, or your group will be disappointed that you wasted the healing tool because you thought it was a lore object.



Questions or comments? Feel free to send me a message on Twitter @swtorista, Reddit /u/swtorista, Youtube Swtorista channel or by e-mail at the same name with gmail.com at the end. Have fun out there and may the Force be with you. ~ Swtorista