Space Combat Basics in SWTOR

star wars the old republic space combat basics guide

Cruising around the galaxy in your own personal ship is fine, but it wouldn’t be Star Wars if there wasn’t some good old-fashioned space combat. Fortunately, The Old Republic offers plenty of action for those who want to engage in furious dogfights in the icy depths of space. If you want to be an ace, here are the basics to space combat in The Old Republic.
Nature of Space Combat
Space combat in The Old Republic is not a true simulation of dogfighting fighters or capital ship actions in the manner of games such as X-Wing versus Tie Fighter. Rather, space combat is more of an arcade style game. Every combat mission is on rails, which means that you’ll be following a pre-determined path. This also means that a mission also has a preset length of time. You can move your ship around on the screen and push the boundaries slightly, but you are locked into a specific route. To move your ship, just move your mouse and your ship will follow. You can perform a barrel roll by hitting the spacebar, but it really doesn’t impact the action, so I would just ignore it.
In each space combat mission, you’ll have to fulfill a certain objective to achieve victory. In addition to your primary objective, there can be secondary objectives that you can do to get additional xp. Your primary enemies will be enemy spaceships in the form of fighters and larger ships. You can destroy fighters with your blasters or missiles. However, you cannot destroy larger ships. What you can do against larger ships or space stations is to target turrets or other special locations on them and destroy that specific emplacement. An example would be a mission requiring you to fly around a space station that is bristling with blaster turrets and missile launchers. You can destroy specific blaster turrets and render them inoperable, but you can’t destroy the space station outright.

star wars the old republic space combat basics guide

Your primary weapons for space combat are blasters and missiles. At level 50, you can gain proton torpedoes. To fire your starship blasters, click your left mouse button. If you hold down the left mouse button, you will fire continuously. You use your right mouse button to use your missiles. You hold down the right mouse button and move it over an enemy, which will then become targeted by having a blue ring appear around it. You can select up to four different targets this way. Once you release the right mouse button, you’ll fire your missiles.
To keep your ship from exploding into a million pieces of debris, there are a few items necessary for ship defense. The primary items are ship armor and shields. The more armor you have, the more damage you can take. Shields reduce damage taken by enemy fire. Shields do recharge, but only if you’re NOT firing your blasters. If your shields are down and you’re taking a beating, it’s wise to lay off the constant firing so that they can replenish.
Ship Upgrades
As mentioned in our spaceship intro guide, there are 10 slots of a ship that you can upgrade. Most of these items can be upgraded by buying them from vendors, usually found on capital planets. The ship items are rated by grades. The higher the grade, the better the item. Grade 1 of an item is the lowest possible grade. The most important ship items deal with your blasters, shields, and armor. They are:
Ship Armor: This represents how much damage your ship can take before it explodes and you fail the space combat mission. Higher grades add additional armor.
Energy Shield: Shields absorb damage from enemies. The higher the grade of shield, the more damage they can absorb.
Shield Regenerator: Shield regenerators replenish your shields at a specific amount per second. The better the shield regenerator you have, the more quickly your shields will recharge.
Beam Charger: Beam chargers deliver a certain amount of damage per blaster bolt you fire. The higher the grade of charger, the greater the damage inflicted per bolt.
Beam Generator: Beam generators determine the number of blaster bolts you shoot per second. Each higher grade of beam generator increases the number of bolts fired per second.
Missile Magazine: This determines the number of missiles your spaceship is carrying. Higher grades of missile magazines add more missiles for you to use.

star wars the old republic space combat basics guide

Note: Once you’ve fired all your missiles within a mission, they’re gone. Once the mission is over, your missile magazine is fully replenished.
There are additional premium ship items that you can equip, but you cannot get them until late in the game. These items are: EMP Generator, Electronic Warfare Pod, Proton Torpedoes, and Power Conversion Module.
Choosing a Battle
After you receive your ship, there will be a few space battles for you to travel to and join. As you continue to gain levels, more battles will become available. To pick a space battle, just open up your galaxy map and locate one. Select the battle you wish to go to in the same way you would select a planet as discussed in our guide to space travel. When you select a space battle, an information screen will appear informing you of the primary objective of the battle. Of particular importance is the section labeled “Recommend Ship Upgrades.”

star wars the old republic space combat basics guide

A space battle mission will recommend certain ship upgrades based upon the mission itself. A good rule of thumb is to always upgrade your ship at the earliest possible opportunity. Something as minor as having a few more missiles can make the difference between success and defeat.
Once you’ve selected to travel to the space battle, you’ll view a loading screen before the battle commences. The objectives of the space battle will be shown along with some helpful tips.

star wars the old republic space combat basics guide

Space Combat UI
Once your space combat mission has begun, you’ll notice the timer on the upper right of your screen showing how much time is left in the mission. Also located next to the timer are the mission objectives and any side objectives that may occur. Located on the bottom left of your screen is your ship’s armor (the red bar) and shields (the blue bars circling your ship icon). The number of your remaining missiles is shown on the bottom right of your screen. Enemy targets on large ships or space stations, such as blaster turrets or shield generators, will be surrounded by a red circle. Just point your mouse and blast away!

star wars the old republic space combat basics guide

Finishing a Space Combat Mission
If you fail to successfully complete your space combat mission, you are given the chance to try it again or you can return back to where your ship was originally based. There’s no limit to the number of times you can retry to complete the mission.
If you successfully complete a mission, you are rewarded with some xp and fleet commendations. Sometimes, you can be rewarded with a ship item as well. You can use fleet commendations to purchase the following ship items: EMP generator, electronic warfare pod, proton torpedoes, and power conversion module. Space combat missions become daily missions once you complete them.
Tip: While your ship is locked onto a predetermined path, you can still run into objects in space. Take care to avoid things like asteroids or other ships.
Well, my friends, this covers the basics of space combat in The Old Republic. Keep upgrading your ship’s items and have a steady hand blasting foes and you’ll be an intergalactic ace in no time!  To help steer you through the individual space combat missions, we’ve assembled the available missions below.
Space Battles List
Sith Empire


In the missions where you attack one of the space stations, is there any way to destroy the ventral ("southern") antenna tower? Every time I attack it, I get lots of blue and white flashing circles. I've used a ton of missles and level 5 lasers and never been able to blow it up.

I'm thinking they need to be hit by torpedoes which you can buy with commendations at level 45 or 50. Don't remember atm.

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Yes Junx. You do NOT need proton torpedoes to destroy the "communication" station (bottom part). Actually, with normal missiles it takes a lot of them... but I manage to do it each time! Try to unload as many missiles as you can EACH TIME you can target it (even ignoring other targets to make sure you send a lot towards it).
jeffprime's picture

You're right on. It seems to take about 15-20 missiles to take out the bottom communication thing. You get a few nice passes towards the end of the missions to shoot at the bottom antennae. Even if you don't see a circle, try to get a lock with your missiles. On the last pass, the target circle doesn't show, but I've managed to lock on with my missiles and then I just fire away for as long as I can.

I'm having trouble in the Zosha Advance being able to lock onto the shield generators. I can complete everything else for this mission but the generators are much more tough than in the earlier versions. Any ideas? I'm also having some trouble with the Impossible Sector mission - just being able to finish it at all. I have all the level 5 upgrades and everything I can buy from the vendor and would love to see a write up for this one and for the Zosha one. I see Kalee is on the writeups - but not the two I was needing help with.
jeffprime's picture

The generators need to be destroyed with your proton missiles, not your normal missiles. The Impossible Sector is a hard one even with level 5 upgrades. You have to survive until the end and then only have 3 passes at the mine layer, and 2 of those passes are insanely short and most likely your missiles won't lock on. Halfway through, the heavy fighters show up and pummel you like mad. Destroy the first one as quickly as you can and when the next two show up, use your Electronic Warfare Pod and blast them as quick as you can. It should recharge when you approach the mine layer. Pop it again, plus your EMP, and blast away at the mine layer.

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