Beginners Guide to PVP Tanking

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Unlike the folks who checked out our previous guide on healing in warzones, you’ve chosen the damage sponging tank lifestyle for your class choice. Although they may seem geared specifically for PVP, the Old Republic’s warzones do have a place for the taunts and guard abilities all tank classes come equipped with. In this guide we run down a few helpful tips for anyone new to the tanking game that also plan on entering the play for keeps world of warzones.

Taking the Beating

As tank ones of the best ways you can help your team is through the various damage mitigating/transferring abilities at your disposal. Using these abilities effectively can extend the average lifespan of your fellow teammates, letting them heal and dish out more damage.

The first, and most effective of these abilities is guard which not only reduces the damage received by the guarded player, it transfers 50% of it to the tank. It’s only single target so be sure that target is someone worth guarding ie. a healer or squishy DPS.  Remember that guard is only effective within 15 meters so keep a close distance or switch it to someone nearby.

Two agro gathering abilities that have made the transition over to PVP are your single target taunt, and the AOE taunt. Both will reduce the damage of affected enemy players by 30% for six seconds unless they’re targeting you directly. The single target taunt has a short cool down and should be used whenever possible preferably on enemy DPS. When possible always try to keep the enemy teams top DPS’ers taunted as they’ll most likely be the ones gunning for your healers. Your AOE taunt is best saved for large bunched up groups of enemy players.


Covered in heavy armor or equipped with shield generators, the tanks place at the head of the pack right in the thick of things. This not only serves to draw the attention of enemies but also places you between the bad guys and your more vulnerable damage dealers and healers. A good tank not only uses their protective abilities to reduce incoming damage, they employ their various slows, stuns and knockbacks to make sure the enemy players don’t make it to friendlys in the first place.

In a node capture map like Alderaan or Novare Coast, a tanks skills work best on the defense where their resilience and survival abilities allow them to hold off multiple foes long enough for reinforcements to get there. If possible try to pair yourself with a healer on the node while the rest of the team goes on offence. A skilled tank with a healer on hand is the perfect combo for keeping large groups of attackers at bay, while using their AOE attacks to interrupt any capture attempts.

Voidstar is the same idea on defense as Alderaan only you may have to move between doors occasionally to ward off larger attacks. Your taunts and guard will be especially effective on this map as it is very cramped quarters and healers/DPS have few if any places to escape or hide. On the attack tanks work well as bomb planters. The area in front of the door is prone to mass AOE attacks that make quick work of more lightly armored classes.

Tanks of all types can shine in Huttball as the ball carrier. Their high survivability is perfect for the attention that a large beam of light from the head generates. Guardians and Warriors can also utilize their force leaps to cover ground quickly for an easy score, while Assassins and Shadows can use their stealth to position themselves for a perfect pass. Any class paired with a healer is capable of holding and moving the ball indefinitely.

Come Prepared

Although all classes benefit from coming equipped with a good selection of medpacs, tanks are especially in need due to the extra damage they’ll be taking with an active guard on another player. If things get really intense it can overwhelm even the best healers, and a quick shot of health from a warzone medpac can provide that quick break that allows the healer to get back on track.

Tanks may not be bringing the big numbers, but they make up for it with survivability, utility, and the ability to protect your fellow teammates. Their overall objective no matter the warzone should always be the objectives and the protection of fellow teammates, leaving damage output as an afterthought.