SWTOR Difficult Fight Tips

If you run in to a difficult fight while playing solo and are having trouble defeating it, here are some tips to become better at combat, whether you’re working on your class story, the expansions or on heroic quests out in the open world.

UPDATED FOR 7.0! Video is slightly out of date but will give you a general idea.

  1. Make sure you are the correct level. To check, click on the enemy and view their level near their portrait. There are sometimes high-level enemies hidden on low-level planets. If you’re doing the main storyline, you should usually be the correct level or higher for the story enemies, but if you aren’t, go complete some other nearby quests, lower level heroics, or Flashpoints first to catch up. If you are too low a level, you may not even be able to hit high-level enemies and constantly get the ‘Miss’ flytext, much less survive the damage they dish out!
  2. Make sure this is a solo fight. Heroic quests and heroic areas are meant to be done by 2 or more players in a group, though skilled players often solo them, but if you’re new to the game you may want to find a friend or come back to them later. Flashpoints are meant to be group quests – some have Solo or Story modes available, but if you accidentally go in to the Veteran or Master Mode version they are meant for groups of 4. World bosses are found in the open world and are only meant to be fought with large groups and have a ton of health. So if you run in to one of these situations, you’re not meant to be fighting those enemies alone at all.
  3. Upgrade your gear. Especially in the most recent expansion, at all levels, your gear being up to date can be quite important. You can buy upgrades for your gear every five levels or so on the Fleet in the Supplies section. You will want to buy a full modifiable set of gear, offhand and mainhand weapon from the Adaptive Vendor, then set a modification in every empty slot of that Adaptive gear. At the time of making this, there are modifications available for sale at level 10, 14, 18, 22, 26, 30, 34, 38, 42, 48, 52, 56, 60, 65, and 70 if you need them. More info about low level gear. At level 80, there’s whole gearing system in place to help you gear up – at a minimum, make sure you have a piece of level 80 gear in every slot. Level 80 Gear Guide If you do already have your basic level 80 green gear set, you can work on getting your Legendary Implants, Tactical, and blue gear.
  4. Repair your gear. If you’re a new player, you may not be aware that your gear breaks a bit every time you die. If you see a yellow symbolnear your character portrait in the shape of a piece of armor, your gear is breaking and needs to be repair at a vendor – open any vendor and click “Repair All” at the bottom. If that gear item is red, your gear is considered broken and won’t give you any protection!
  5. Upgrade your companion. Your companion’s influence level directly affects how strong they are, and they can reach up to level 50 influence. There are many ways to raise their influence. The first is through certain cutscenes, where you make decisions that they like. The second is through companion gifts, which can be bought from other players on the GTN, earned through Diplomacy, Investigation, Treasure Hunting or Underworld Trading, or by buying them from Companion Gifts Vendor in the Galactic Trade Market section of the fleet or powerful expensive companion gifts from the Odessan cantina. Companions only respond well to certain types of gifts, so make sure to check a companion gift guide first. The final way is through a Compendium – a compendium item automatically levels your companion to influence level 50. You can either get one in the Strongholds section for the fleet for 3 Dark Projects plus 4.25 million credits,  or buy them from the Cartel Market. Your companions’ gear is purely for looks, it does not affect them in combat. You don’t need to upgrade your companion all the way to 50, you can start by just getting them up to 20 to 30.
  6. Check & protect your companion. If you are playing as a DPS or Tank, your companion should be set to Healer especially for difficult fights. If your companion is a healer, it’s your job to protect them. If your class has a taunt use it to pull enemies away from them, and protect them with your defensive and useful abilities so they can keep you alive by healing you. You will also want to use the Passive companion ability to help them move out of harmful affects on the ground, which you can even keybind if you want to be fast with it. If you are levelling as a healer, you may want to try temporarily switch to a DPS role, and have your companion heal you.
  7. Use Heroic moment. You unlock a special Heroic Moment ability at level 15 which only works if you have a companion out. It will restores 2% of your health every 3 seconds for 120 seconds (2 minutes). This very powerful heal also comes with some attack abilities if you have finished any of the class stories. For every class you have completed Chapter 2 of their class story, you unlock a unique Heroic-moment only DPS ability, for a total of eight strong attack abilities.
  8. Use Unity and Sacrifice. If any of your characters reach Light 5 or dark 5, you unlock two special abilities you can only use with a companion out. Unity, unlocked through Light 5, will reduce the damage both you and your companion take by 50% for 15 seconds. Sacrifice, unlocked through Dark 5, will instantly heal you for 40% of your total health while sacrificing your companion to the brink of death, to about 10% of their total health.
  9. Use your defensive abilities. Using your defensive abilities can help keep you alive long enough for your companion to heal you. These can be shields or heals in your abilities list. I like to put all of these on one quickbar together so I can see them easily. Keybinding your abilities can help you get to them quicker in an emergency.
  10. Use your stuns. Your stuns can be incredibly useful to temporarily keep enemies out of a fight. Some stuns are only available if you choose them in your tree by pressing K for Combat, then reading through the tree options. Use your stuns, pushes, and slows to keep your enemies at bay. Stunning an enemy keeps them from attacking you for a few seconds, buying you a little more time.
  11. Use your interrupt and stunbreaker. If you see your enemy casting a strong ability, interrupt them to stop them, and if you get stunned, use your stunbreaker to break free. Your interrupt is probably your most useful key to keybind if you’ve never tried keybinding before – it will help you interrupt abilities quickly during the short time you see it on screen. Personally I keybound mine to E for Enterupt.
  12. Look through your ability tree. Pressing K for Combat will open your ability tree, which will allow you make choices about how combat plays for your class. Some options are better than others in different situations.
  13. Learn your class’s attack abilities efficiently. While this guide can’t give an in-depth use of your attack abilities, if you are a higher level, you can look up a max-level guide for your class and follow along as best as you can. The alternative is to read through all your abilities, including all your passives, to see how your abilities interact and play off of eachother. Especially figure out what makes your abilities “glow” so you can trigger those special attacks more often, and figure out what your hardest hitting abilities are so you know what you can combine your buffs with by looking up your damage numbers on your attack abilities ingame. The faster you can defeat your target, the less damage they can do to you while they are alive.
  14. Pay attention. There are going to be some fights in the game that have special mechanics, especially at higher levels and in Flashpoints. Walk sideways or forward out of any colorful circles or other damage markers on the ground. Some bosses will have special unique abilities that will try and throw you off compared to normal fights. If you’re facing down a special boss, try clicking them before you start the fight, and read their buffs by hovering your mouse over them. For example, many bosses can not be stunned or moved around, and using a stun on them is a waste of an ability. Others may have a reflective shield up during certain parts of the fight. Some enemies need to be defeated in a certain order and the buffs may give you clues about that. Many have heavy-hitting abilities that should really be interrupted when you see half your healthbar go missing after they cast them. Some can heal themselves for a big chunk of health if you don’t interrupt them, or will knock you down for a long time if you don’t interrupt them.
  15. Level up. Especially in the level 60 – 79 range, the level sync seems to hit especially hard. If you’re still struggling in these level ranges, even after gearing up and generally getting better at using all your abilities, you may just need to get help from another player.
  16. Get help. If you’re just getting stuck on one boss, reach out for help. General chat on your planet is usually the easiest place to ask – be polite, explain where you are and name the boss you’re trying to get past. While some players may be rude, there are lots of players out there who may have been in the same situation in the past and are happy to pitch in for a few minutes to help you with your fight.
  17. Specific Fights. Some fights are simply more difficult than others and require some quick thinking or strategizing. Some are meant to be difficult, while others accidentally got over-tuned due to level-sync. Here are some fights that are well-known to be difficult:
    • Eternal Championship, solo-dueling ring in the Knights of the Fallen Empire. Written Guide & Video Guide and speedrunning tips
    • Gemini Captain fight in Knights Of The Fallen Empire: Chapter 15 – The Gemini Deception. Video Guide by player stypticagent. Tips thread on reddit. This is the fight I’ve seen request for help on most often in the 7.0 update.
    • Defeat Vaylin in the Dark Cave in Knights Of The Fallen Empire: Chapter 12 – Visions in the Dark. Master Mode  video by Shintar. Reddit thread with tips from players. Thread two. Forum thread with tips.
    • Here are some additional fights players have asked about in recent years but are less common to have issues with:
      • Darth Malgus in Ruins of Nul Flashpoint (there was a long-running auto-kill bug that’s likely fixed now) Reddit thread.
      • Yonlach in the Sith Warrior Story. Reddit thread with tips. Mostly follow the above tips for difficult fights.
      • Admiral Shai in the Sith Inquisitor Story. Reddit thread. Mostly follow the above tips for difficult fights.
      • Darth Malgus in the False Emperor flashpoint at the end of the story on Ilum. Reddit thread tips.
      • Master Liam Dentiri in the Tython flashpoint. Reddit thread of tips.
      • Darth Norok on Manaan. Reddit thread of tips, but the list above should be enough.

Good luck! Combining all of these tips will turn you in to a beast of a solo player, and actually prepare you for many types of group content!