Gearing up is how you make your character stronger in battle. If you’re planning on fighting tough foes in Master Mode Flashpoints and Operations, you’ll need better gear than what you’ve picked up while levelling.
You can see your gear by opening your Character Panel by pressing your “C” key or clicking the “person” icon on the menu.
Your gear is on the right, and the majority of your stats are on the left.
Moddable and Unmoddable Gear
Your gear consists of MODDABLE and UNMODDABLE pieces.
You can’t change the stats of unmoddable pieces – your earpiece, your two implants and your two relics. There are different versions of these and you want to find the right version that complements your stats.
The rest of your gear is moddable. That means you can buy pieces that you can change the stats of. The big pieces you “wear” like your helmet and chestpiece contain an Armouring, a Mod and an Enhancement. Each of these can be pulled out and switched in an out with different versions – each with different stats. You can also upgrade your moddable armour when you get better Armourings, Mods or Enhancements.
There are pieces of armour that are not moddable – but these are usually lower-end crafted gear, or gear that you get while levelling. You will eventually want to switch these out with moddable gear that has a purple or orange border.
Detailed Tooltip Stats Setting
To see what each of your armour pieces has in it, you must have detailed tooltips enabled. To enable them, press ESC > PREFERENCES > then User Interface, scroll to Tooltips and check “Show Detailed Item Tooltips”. Now when you roll over your armour you will be able to see exactly what it has in it.
How to Mod Armor
To mod armour, CTRL + RIGHT CLICK your armour piece. This will show the modifications your armour currently has in it. You can drag them in to your inventory to remove them, or drag modifications from your inventory into your gear to replace old ones. Removing modifications costs credits, adding new ones is free.
When you roll over your armour, you will be able to see the modifications’ ‘item rating’ in parantheses beside the name of the modifications. The higher the number, the more powerful it is.
Some modifications are stronger than others. Better modifications can be earned by doing more difficult content, like operations. Operations also offer a very unique type of Armouring for your gear – set bonus armourings. A set bonus is gained by getting pieces from operations called “Unassembled Pieces” – these are pieces of gear that you can turn in and receive a piece of gear with a Set Bonus. Set Bonuses are special because they give you “bonus” help in combat related to your Combt Proficiency – for example if you choose the tanking Set Bonus for your class, you will get bonus defensive perks. Collecting more pieces of the set gives you extra perks. The only way to get set bonus armouring is from operations – it can not be crafted or bought from the GTN. The good news is if you are doing anything mostly by yourself like Heroics or Solo Flashpoints, you should never need set bonuses, so don’t stress!
To make your gear even stronger, you can add augments. You must first craft or buy an Augment Kit – if you are max level, you will want to highest version MK-kit available at the time. To add these kits to your armour, you will need to find an Item Modification Station, available on the fleet. Drag your piece of armour onto it while you have your Augment Kit in your inventory, and add the slot. Next you will need to acquire the Augments themselves – these can be crafted or bought from the GTN. The best ones usually have two versions – blue and purple. If you can’t afford the purple ones, feel free to get the blue ones in the meantime!
How to Get Gear
There are four main ways to acquire new gear and new modifications.
Some starter endgame gear can be crafted with a bit of effort. Some better gear can also be crafted, but requires schematics from operation, and requires expensive materials to craft.
The second way to get gear is through galactic command. Galactic command is reserved to subscribers at level 70, and a random piece of gear is gained every time a player levels up their command rank, which is leveled up through almost any activity in the game. Unfortunately this gear is random – you may get a better or worse piece every time you open a crate.
The third way to get gear is through pvp and galactic starfighter. Every time you complete a match, you receive components that can be turned in for set-bonus gear.
Operations also have a chance of dropping gear, with the last boss guaranteed to drop a piece of gear – these gear pieces are unassembled, and can be turned in for whatever piece of set-bonus gear you’d like.
Gear & Stats
So you want to get into operations and master flashpoints at max-level? Let’s talk about stats!
If you are not subscribed to the game as preferred or free-to-play, you will have a very difficult time gearing because you can not wear the best gear in the game. You will need to either subscribe or purchase AUTHORIZATION: ARTIFACT EQUIPMENT for 1200 Cartel Coins, or the account-wide unlock for even more. This is both insanely expensive on the GTN and you will likely not even be able to buy them yourself with your credit cap. Free-toplay and preferred players are also completely locked out of operations. If you plan on raiding or doing difficult content on a regular basis, I suggest to just bite the bullet and subscribe.
This upcoming advice is for update 4.0 Knights of the Fallen Empire… but in general, still applies.
If you are interested in running storymode operations, don’t worry about gear!!! As long as you have a piece of gear in every slot, it will “bolster” you! You will even hear jokes about the fact that you can go in naked without too much trouble.
Master flashpoints and Master/Veteran operations are a whole different beast. They require not only a good knowledge of the game and of how to play your class and role, but also having the right gear.
Knights of the Eternal Throne gear comes in different tiers… and you’ll want to make sure you’re going into difficult content with the higher tiers of gear.
Finding the right combination of stats for your gear is rough if you want to be “mix-maxed”. Min-maxing is micro-managing your gear and stats to get the best output when in combat – only players interested in hardmode and nightmare mode operations will ever really need to do this.
You will need to acquire a lot of pieces of gear and pull out the modifications to add them to your “master” set of gear, so you can get the right combination of stats. Remember you can get gear from three sources – in operations, from the vendors, and through crafting – feel free to mix and match modifications from all three sources to get your ideal stats. You can also use augments to supplement your stats to get the right combination.
There is also no guide ingame about how to perfectly gear your character – players just like you have devoted time and a lot of math to figure out what the best stats for each class are.
To view the exact numbers for your class, search online for “swtor optimal stats 5.0”. This will lead you to a swtor.com forum post by Bant that you can use to figure out your gear. Scroll down to the item level you have or are trying to obtain, then click the spoiler button under the “Mastery Stim” title. You’ll then be able to find your exact class and combat proficiency. These are the stats that Bant recommends you obtain if you are at that item level – try and get as close as you can.
For DPS, the most important stat to pay attention to is ACCURACY. Without at least 684ish accuracy, or 110% accuracy, you have a chance of “missing” when you try to fight an enemy. You don’t need anymore than 110%, so do not waste stats getting it any higher.
You also need to get above 700 alacrity as a DPS. Use Bant’s numbers to find out the ideal amount for your character. Alacrity “speeds up” your ability’s movements and allows you to do more of them in a shorter time. All DPS classes need to invest into Alacrity.
Lastly, DPS put stats into Mastery, Power, and Crit. These things mostly result in “more damage”. Use Bant’s numbers to see what an ideal combination is for your class.
DPS do not need to invest in Defense, Absorbtion or Shields. If you see modifications or gear with those stats on them.. they are not for you! They are for tanks. DPS also do not need to invest in high-endurance pieces – so if you have a choice between something high endurance or high crit, power, or master, always pick the one that will help you do more damage.
Healers also can use Bant’s numbers to gear their characters. Alacrity is a lot more important for healers – they need to heal, fast! Healers also don’t need accuracy, since they do not focus on “hitting” the enemy at all, but power, crit and mastery does help them heal better.
Tanks have two methods of gearing. They either want very high endurance which allows them to be hit for higher numbers while staying alive, or a high combination of defensive stats like Absorbtion and Shields which allows them to take less damage in the first place.
Tanks are in a wierd spot right now – they currently get more “Defense” stats on their gear than they even need. So try to drop defense as much as you can in favour of Endurance, Absorbtion and Shields. Because of this problem, you may also find 220 mods and enhancements to be more favourable than the ones from any set-bonus gear.
Using Bant’s guide is very easy as a tank. Each of the three types of tanks wants a slightly different ratio of Shield to Absorbtion.
Tanks don’t need any accuracy or crit, and dump Power and Mastery at any chance they get in favour of other defensive stats.
Min-maxing Gear Stats
Min-maxing your gear can be an extremely daunting task, but is very easy to do once you get past the hurdle of understanding your stats. All you have to do is…
Find your class and combat proficiency on Bant’s optimal stats list. Write it down.
Find your character’s stats ingame that match the ones listed – make sure you are in the right stance, are wearing the right gear, and are somewhere like the Fleet that isn’t bolstered.
Write them down and start comparing the ones that matter – for example, a DPS doesn’t need to worry about Endurance, so don’t stress about that! Are you short on accuracy to reach the minimum? How about alacrity – are you at your class’s ideal number? How about crit, power and mastery… are any of those way off? If so, you can start balancing them out!
Once you know what stats you have too much or too little of, you can start compensating. If you have already run some operations, check your bank and inventory for extra mods and enhancements. If you have extra commendations, you can buy extra gear pieces and pull out their mods and enhancements. You can also add and switch out your augments to get a boost! If you have extra cash or the rare crafting materials from operations, you can also get up to 220 mods and enhancements crafted, or buy them from the GTN.
All of this augmenting and modification swapping can be very expensive – an easy way to make credits is to sell any materials you win from operations, or to run Heroics from the Heroics terminal on the fleet… they are currently the quickest way to earn some credits to set you on the path of stat optimization!