Which crafting skill should I choose in SWTOR?

One of the most common questions I see asked by new Star Wars: The Old Republic players is “which crafting skill or crew skill should I choose?” Much like the age-old question of “which class should I choose?” this is a question that doesn’t have a solid answer – it really depends on what you want to make, and what you want to do.

Which Crafting Skill Video

Trying to decide which crafting skills you should pick in SWTOR? This video covers what types of items each crafting skill can craft, the pros and cons of each, and some tips and suggestions.

How many crew skills can free-to-play, preferred and subscribed players have?

Let’s start off with what’s available. Free-to-play players who have never subscribed are only allowed to have one crew skill. Preferred players who have subscribed or purchased cartel coins in the past but don’t currently have a subscription get 2, and subscribers unlock all three crew skills. The good news is that if you’re a preferred player, you can use a friend’s referral link to get a free crew skill slot, which will bring your total up to 3, just like a subscriber. Free-to-play players are stuck at one until they subscribe though.

Crafting & Gathering Crew Skills

There are three types of crew skills. Crafting skills, which allow you to actually craft things, gathering skills that allow you to gather materials by sending your companions on missions or by scavenging fallen enemies, and Mission skills that only allow you to send your companions on missions to gather resources.

If you are subscribed, it’s generally recommend to get one crafting skill, and the two gathering skills that correspond to it, so you can gather all the materials you need to craft without having to buy them. If you have 6 characters, you can spread the 6 crafting skills among – so don’t stress out too much about only having to pick one.

If you don’t have six characters or are just starting to play the game, you’re obviously going to want to be a bit more picky about which crafting skills you choose. There is no objectively best crafting skill though – so just pick one that sounds fun!

Free-to-Play Crafting Skills

As a free to play player, you can only have one crew skill per character, and 2 characters per server. This makes your choices a bit tricky. As I mentioned, if you have a crafting skill, you’d normally want to pick the two complementary gathering skills to go with it. However, as a free to play player, you can only have 1.. So what should you do? You have two options.

The first is just to pick a gathering skill and ignore crafting all together. If you pick Bioanalysis, Archaeology, Scavenging or Slicing, you can loot crafting materials from nodes across the galaxy. This is my personal recommendation if you are levelling – it’s a neat little minigame to grab these crafting nodes while you are running around exploring, and it’s a crew skill that costs no credits, which makes it an especially nice choice for Free to Play players who are capped at 200k credits.

Archaeology will let you pick up pretty crystals, bioanalysis will let you pick plants and dead beasts, scavenging will let you get scrap metal from droids and trash heaps, and slicing will let you get credits from discarded terminals. Scavenging and Bioanalysis can be especially neat to have, because not only can you pick up the crafting nodes scattered across the galaxy, but you can also pick up the bodies of your fallen enemies.

You can then decide what to do with the materials you gather – if you need money, you can sell them to vendors or on the GTN for a nice profit, or you can hold on to them in your legacy bank and use them for crafting if you decide to subscribe and unlock the other crew skill slots.

If you want to craft as a free-to-play player, you’re going to encounter a lot of restrictions. The biggest one is that companions can only craft one item at a time on a non-subscribed account… while subscribers can queue up multiple items at a time. Some of the crew skills also can produce items you can’t equip if you’re on a non-subscribed account – for example, if you wanted to choose Artifice to craft yourself pretty lightsaber crystals, a lot of the crafted lightsaber crystals require artifact authorization… which means you could craft them, but not equip them. Luckily, the basic craftable armor and weapons from Armormech, Synthweaving, Armstech and Artifice can be worn by free-to-play and preferred players, even without artifact authorization.

Subscriber & Preferred Crafting Skills

Subscribers will have a huge range of crafting options available to them though. The first option is just to pick 3 gathering skills from the Archaeology, Scavenging, Bioanalysis and Slicing list. If you’re not interested in the actual act of crafting, this is the option I’d recommend, because you can pick up free materials off the ground and turn them into credits. If you do want to craft, you’ll pick one of the crafting skills and the two complementary gathering and missions skills to go with it.

If you make the wrong choice or want to switch your crafting skills later don’t worry – you can easily drop a crew skill by pressing the small X beside it in your crew skills panel. Then you’ll have an empty crew skill slot and you can go pick up a new skill at crafting level 0. Just be aware this does erase any progress in the last skill – if you decide to go back to it later, you’ll be starting from scratch.

Endgame Crafting

If you’re crafting on a high level character, you may choose to craft for endgame rather than for fun. Endgame crafting is crafting purely for statistics – to raise your character’s stats, like your power or endurance, so you can perform better in combat. This includes crafting armorings, mods, enhancements, hilts, barrels, relics, earpieces, implants and augments. Knowing which crafting skills to take for endgame requires you to be familiar with what pieces of endgame gear each crew skill can craft, and which types of stats your specific type of character needs. For example, a healer needs an entirely different set of gear than a tank. If you’re interested in crafting for endgame, I’ve included some links to resources in the description of this video, including how to find out what stats you need and which crew skills can craft what pieces.

Which skill to pick?

If you aren’t a high level, or don’t care about endgame crafting, you’re free to pick whichever crafting skill sounds fun to you.


The first crafting skill you can choose is Artifice. Artificers can craft a variety of things, and the one they’re most well known for are color crystals that can change the color of your lightsaber’s blade, or the color of the bolts that come out of your blasters. Artificers are also the only crafters that can craft dyes – there’s over fourty craftable dyes, plus some special ones from reputation. Just remember, if you are preferred or free to play and don’t have artifact authorization, you won’t be able to equip a majority of the craftable color crystals. Artificers can also craft lightsabers and double-bladed lightsabers, relics, shields generators and focuses. Artifice is a great skill to choose if you have a force-using character, or if you want dyes and crystals, either to use for yourself, or to sell to other players for credits. Artifice’s complementary skills are Archaeology and Treasure Hunting.


If you’re looking to craft armor for your force user, try out Synthweaving. Synthweaving lets you craft armor for any type of Jedi or Sith.. you could technically even wear them on your non-force user, as all new crafted armors are adaptive and can be worn on characters that use light, medium or heavy armor. Here are some of the armors you can craft on the Republic side for Jedi, and here are some of the armors you can craft on the Imperial side for Sith. Keep in mind these armors switch appearance when they change factions… so you can’t craft the darkside costumes for your Jedi. Synthweaving’s complementary skills are Archaeology and Underworld Trading.


If you’d like to make armor for a non-force using character, pick Armormech. Armormech can craft armor that looks good on Troopers, Smugglers, Bounty Hunters and Imperial Agents. Here’s some of the armors you can craft for Troopers, Here are some of the smuggler armors, Here are some of the Bounty Hunters armors, and here are the Imperial Agent armors. Just like the robes from Synthweaving, all the new Armormech armors are adaptive, which means they can be worn by any class – but they do change appearance when sent over to the opposite faction. If you haven’t played in a while or are new, there’s a feature called the Outfit Designer that allows you to put a costume on over your main armor… so although these armors aren’t moddable, it’s not a big deal. If you’re a returning player who’s coming back to the game, you may remember that certain crafting and gathering skills used to be better for certain classes and companions… that feature was removed, and now all classes are equal when it comes to crafting, but you can raise your favourite companion’s crafting level by building influence with them instead. Armormech’s complementary skills are Underworld Trading and Scavenging.


If you want to be able to craft blasters for your non-force-using characters, Armstech is the way to go. Unfortunately, most of the default craftable weapons, from lightsabers to blasters, are not moddable… And there’s no slot in the outfit designer for weapons. So be aware that a lot of the weapons you can craft might look cool, but they won’t be great for your high-level character. Because of this, I don’t really recommend picking up Armstech. If you do end up picking Armstech, its complementary skills are Investigation and Scavenging.


Cybertech is the odd one out when it comes to cool things you can craft, as they can’t make weapons or armor. Instead, they can create a motley of items including ship parts, grenades, and even a few speeders. Cybertech’s complementary skills are Scavenging and Underworld Trading.


The last crafting skill is Biochem, and like Cybertech, it’s a bit odd. Biochemists craft medpacs, stims and adrenals – all of which can mean the difference between life and death in tricky combat situations, like heroics, operations or flashpoints. At the time of making this video, Biochem crafters can also use special re-usable medpacs, stims and adrenals. These schematics are earned from the Umbara flashpoint and require Biochem level 600 to craft AND to use. Because of these schematics, biochem is sometimes known as the most “useful” skill, since the items crafted by all the other skills can technically just be bought from the GTN, without requiring that actual crafting skill to use them. Biochem’s complementary skills are Bioanalysis and Diplomacy.

More information about Biochem consumables in 5.4

Crafting Skill Suggestion

If you’re still having trouble deciding and don’t want to dig into endgame crafting, I’d suggest picking up Synthweaving if you play a Jedi or Sith, or Armormech if you play a non-force user. The armors you can make with those two crafting skills give you a great variety of outfits you can mix and match, and allow you to craft some of the classic and iconic armors for each class. Crafting is truly a supplementary part of the game… so don’t be afraid to try out a crew skill and see if you like it. Good luck on your crafting journey… and may the force be with you!

How to Craft