Intro Guide to Crafting in The Old Republic

the old republic intro guide to crafting and crew skills

Crafting has been one of the staple gameplay mechanics in MMOs since the birth of the genre, and The Old Republic is no exception. The crafting system – referred to in-game as Crew Skills – works a bit differently than in other games, however. The following guide will get you up to speed quickly on each of the 14 available crew skills, and how the overall system works.

Part I – The Three Crew Skill Types

Crafting Skills

Crafting skills allow your companions to produce useful items for your character or crew such as armor, weapons, mods, and consumables. Unlike Gathering or Mission skills, you may only choose one Crafting skill per character. With that in mind, most players will choose a Crafting skill first which then helps determine which gathering or mission skill represents an optimal pairing.

Depending on your chosen crafting skill, new schematics become available every 10-20 points you progress that can be purchased from your crafting trainer, and will automatically be added to your list of available crafting missions. Rare schematics may also be found occasionally as loot, and can also be discovered through one of the mission skills depending on your companion’s mission success level.

As you advance your chosen crafting skill, schematics may call for a combination of gathering resources and consumable items purchased from a vendor. These components can be purchased in the Crew Skills area of the fleet station for both factions from the Crew Skills Trade Vendor. Most planets that offer crew skill trainers will also have a trade vendor located in the same area.

Armormech

  • Produces wearable armor for non-Force users

 

Armstech

  • Produces ranged weapons and knives plus barrels - the primary slotted item for modifiable weapons.

Artifice

  • Produces lightsaber upgrades and droid parts, plus enhancements used to improve modifiable items.

Biochem

  • Produces consumables, such as medpacs for healing and stat-improving stims.

 

Cybertech

  • Produces droid armor, earpieces, grenades, gargets, and armoring - the primary slotted item for modifiable armor - plus mods used to enhance modifiable items.

Synthweaving

  • Produces wearable armor for Force users.

 

Gathering Skills

The primary function of gathering skills is to obtain the necessary components to craft items via one of the crafting skills listed above. The specific crafting skill you’ve chosen will largely determine which gathering skill will allow you to obtain the types of components you’ll need.

Unlike crafting skills, you can choose to train more than one gathering skill. While this isn’t optimal in most cases, it does give you the option to focus wholly on gathering components to sell on the Galactic Trade Market as an additional means of earning credits.

Gathering skills are also unique in that you have two options for advancement, or methods for obtaining components:

  1. As with all crew skills, you can send your companions out on gathering missions to obtain components.
  2. You can also find gathering nodes in PvE environments (and in certain world PvP locations) that you can right click to harvest materials from. If an active combat companion is present, they will do the harvesting for you. However, an active companion is not required to harvest from gathering nodes.

The current list of possible gathering skills includes:

Archaeology

  • Provides components for Artifice and Synthweaving, which create lightsabers and armor for Force users.
  • Allows players to attain crystals from Crystal formations found around the game world.
  • Provides access to Archaeology missions, which allow the player to send Companions into the universe to recover Artifice and Synthweaving components.

Bioanalysis

  • Provides materials for Biochem consumables.
  • Allows players to scan for Biochem materials from creatures and vegatation found around the game world.
  • Provides access to Bioanalysis missions, which allow the player to send Companions into the universe to recover Biochem components.
  • Probably the fastest leveling gathering skill since bioanalysis nodes are the most plentiful. Remember to scan fallen creatures too.

Scavenging

  • Provides useful parts and materials for Armstech.
  • Allows players to scan for Armstech components from fallen droids, junk piles, and abandoned cargo found around the game world.
  • Provides access to Scavenging missions, which allow the player to send Companions into the universe to recover Armstech components.
  • Probably the second fastest-leveling gathering skill (next to Bioanalysis) since scavenging opportunities are plentiful. Scavengers should spend extra time in droid-filled areas scanning fallen droids.

Slicing

  • The only gathering skill NOT required for crafting, though Slicing can yield Cybertech components.
  • Yields credits and mission discoveries.

Mission Skills

Mission skills are very similar to Gathering skills, with a few key differences:

  1. Mission skills do not allow you to harvest materials from PvE environments. Instead, all mission skills require sending one of your companions to complete them.
  2. While mission skills can provide high quality crafting components, each one also has one or more unique aspects that will more often than not be what you will want to consider as the determining factor for which – if any – to train.

There are currently four mission skills to choose from:

Diplomacy

  • Provides Prototype and Artifact quality crafting components for the Biochem crafting skill.
  • The only mission skill that allows you to gain Light or Dark side points on a per-mission basis.
  • Also provides Companion Gifts.
  • Strongly recommended for anyone who chooses Biochem as their crafting skill.

Investigation

  • Provides crafting researched compounds and fluxes for the Armstech crafting skill.
  • Also provides Companion Gifts.
  • Strongly recommended for anyone who chooses Armstech as their crafting skill.

Treasure Hunting

  • Provides crafting researched compounds and fluxes for the Artifice crafting skill.
  • The only mission skill that directly provides credits and randomized items via lockboxes.
  • Also provides Companion Gifts.
  • Strongly recommended for anyone who chooses Artifice as their crafting skill.

Underworld Trading

  • Provides crafting researched compounds and fluxes for the Armormech, Cybertech, and Synthweaving crafting skill.
  • Also provides Companion Gifts.
  • The only mission skill catering to multiple (3) crafting skills.
  • Strongly recommended for anyone who chooses Armormech, Cybertech, and Synthweaving as their crafting skill. A potentially larger market makes Underworld Trading a good choice for non-crafters only interested in gifts and selling rewards for credits.

Part II – Crew Skill Selection

Crew Skill Synergies At-a-Glance

The following list contains groups of 3 crew skills that naturally work well together based on which crafting skill you end up choosing.

CRAFTING SKILL GATHERING SKILL MISSION SKILL
Armormech Scavenging Underworld Trading
Armstech Scavenging Investigation
Artifice Archaeology Treasure Hunting
Biochem Bioanalysis Diplomacy
Cybertech Scavenging / Slicing Underworld Trading
Synthweaving Archaeology Underworld Trading

We’ve also put together a handy chart based on which crafting skills are the optimal choices for each class.

CLASS CRAFTING SKILLS
Bounty Hunter Armormech – craft your own armor
Armstech – craft your own weapons
Biochem – craft your own consumables
Imperial Agent Armormech – craft your own armor
Armstech – craft your own weapons
Biochem – craft your own consumables
Jedi Consular Artifice – craft your own weapon upgrades
Biochem – craft your own consumables
Synthweaving – craft your own armor
Jedi Knight Artifice – craft your own weapon upgrades
Biochem – craft your own consumables
Synthweaving – craft your own armor
Sith Inquisitor Artifice – craft your own weapon upgrades
Biochem – craft your own consumables
Synthweaving – craft your own armor
Sith Warrior Artifice – craft your own weapon upgrades
Biochem – craft your own consumables
Synthweaving – craft your own armor
Smuggler Armormech – craft your own armor
Armstech – craft your own weapons
Biochem – craft your own consumables
Trooper Armormech – craft your own armor
Armstech – craft your own weapons
Biochem – craft your own consumables

Part III – Additional Crew Skill Systems and Strategies

Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering allows you to break down crafted items in your inventory. This will return some of the components used to craft the item, but can also unlock a higher grade schematic for that item. Note that reverse engineering will never improve your crafting skill.

Crafted Item Quality

When crafting items, you'll notice a number next to the recipe in your crew skills window. This number denotes how many of the item you can produce (based on the components you have in your inventory OR cargo hold), and the color of the number denotes the difficulty of the combine. This color denotes the chance of success of making the item AND, inversely, the chance of getting a schematic from the combine or from reverse engineering an item of the same type.

COLOR SKILL GAIN ON SUCCESS EXCEPTIONAL CHANCE SCHEMATIC CHANCE
Gray 0 High High
Green Occasionally 1 Moderate Moderate
Yellow 1-2 Low Low
Orange 2-3 Very Low Very Low

The item itself may be of standard quality (green), prototype quality (blue), artifact quality (purple), or, at high tiers, fully modifiable (orange). If your companion "crits" and produces an Exceptional item (available at all quality levels), this item will have an extra Augment slot.

Companion Gifts

Outside of your choices in NPC conversations, a primary means of gaining affection with your companions is through gifts. While lower rank companion gifts can be purchased at special vendors located on the fleet station for both faction and on various planets throughout the game, the primary means of obtaining higher rank gifts is through one of the four mission skills outlined above.

Part IV - Crafting and Gathering Strategies

Crafting On A Budget

If this is your first time through level up, there are some credit-sucking gotchas that you should know about. Buying new abilities and repair costs get into the thousands of credits very quickly when your character reaches 30. Picking up the Speeder I skill at level 25 costs 40,000 credits plus a possible 8k credits for the speeder itself. At level 40 you'll want the Speeder II skill, which costs 210k credits plus another 25k for the improved speeder. If you're interested in increased mobility, Speeders make keeping your crafting ability in tune with your level untenable without either a serious cash infusion from a friend or higher level character OR some serious Galactic Trade Network into what you can make that's actually selling well.

Since (as of this publication) mudflation really hasn't set in, folks are avidly doing flashpoints and heroics for prototype-and-better equipment, and, in short, everyone's in the same credit-hoarding boat at least until level 40 or so, artifact-quality items are the only really safe bet. These typically take a major investment to research and discover - far more than you'll likely get from the first sale of the item you're aiming to produce.

The most cost effective strategy, in my opinion, is not to craft at all until you're level 40. Load up on three gathering skills, farm out every node you can find, and sell off stacks of raw components from the gathering skills unrelated to the crafting skill you want to pursue. Unless you're going for one of the armor-producing professions, your opportunities to reverse engineer will be relatively scant during leveling up - you might loot a weapon or two each level if you're Armstech or Artifice, but credits are far more handy than components for most of the game.

When you're ready to craft, make HUGE stacks of one or two items per crafting tier. The objective is to make the combine trivial (gray) to maximize your chances of getting schematics when you reverse engineer the item. Multiple schematics are available at each tier, so don't stop when you create one. Don't worry about having leftover components - these can easily be sold on the GTN or, better yet, used to create prototype and artifact levels of items.


This guide is a work in progress. If you have any crew skill strategies or suggestions, feel free to send them to ethec@tentonhammer.com. We'll be sure to credit you if we use your feedback in this guide!

Comments

Under Part 1, Gathering skills: Scavenging is also used for Armormech.

The author has barely had any exposure to any of the trade skills, and flat out misinforms in a few cases. Treasure hunting isn't the only profession that provides credits from missions. Artifice doesn't provide droid parts.

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You don't really need underworld trading to do cybertech but you do needs lots of base resources gotten through scavenging. So for cybertech I would move slicing as an optional with Underworld missions. That's exactly what i did. Cybertech, Scavenging and Slicing. Been a great combination so far. Had plenty of money at 25 for my speeder 1 and expect the same at 40 for Speeder 2.

Does not produce droid parts. It produces relics, lightsabers, crystals, enhancements, hilts, and off-hands of both force and non-force users.

Cybertech isn't optimal for any class? Interesting.

Cybertech basically sucks, it's the "engineering" of swtor. Kinda fun, but worthless in reality. Also The armstech/artifice sets are much better than you think, since the Barrel/hilt mods determine the damage on your weapons, blowing through a stack of 5 greens to RE to get a blue, and 5 or so blues to get an epic. Will generally net you an epic weapon that is leaps and bounds ahead of anything you can find for several levels. If you can't find a moddable weapon, go do some pvp, 330 commendations (about an hours work) will get you one. You should be able to continually upgrade your Weapons this way. You can do this with cybertech as well with the Armoring mods, but armor has much less effect on your kill speed and thus your survival. Biochem is pretty much still OP. It's the best at any given level currently, the increased stats from the better stims will likely be better than anything you can get from crafting gear, unless you've got epic mod recipes. As well as the re-usable medpacks and adrenals, it's basically win. Currently all the 50s are switching over to biochem these days. Even with the nerf to the lvl 50 medpack it's still the best choice, especially for raiders. However even levelling up, the increased survivability presented by the blue and purple medpacks and the adrenals is invaluable.

Cybertech doesn't suck. Leaving everything else aside, it makes the armor enhancements. Those are costly, and determine the level of any orange armor with an armor enhancement slot.

Cybertech is the only crafting skill that makes earpieces. Cybertech is the only crafting skill that makes droid parts (more useful for Republic). Cybertech is the only crafting skill that makes ship upgrades. While some can be purchased from a vendor, the better ones are made by Cybertech. Cybertech also makes goodies only Cybertechs can use (grenades & speeders).

Wow! That was an awesome post, ! I completely agree with you, and I found your tips amazing! I absolutely don't think Cybertech is useless. I always check out this website before playing Star Wars The Old Republic – http://www.theswtorguide.net . My personal favorite is that site, because it offers incredible discounts on all SWTOR Guides found online! I got an Aeon Guide Discount for $50 Bucks OFF! I hope this helps someone!

The simple reason being the grenades, especially the freezing variation, give some much needed survivability through CC, much like Biochem adds survivability through its reusables. For the rest, Cybertech is on par with Synthweaving/Armormech/Armstech: instead of crafting a completely new set of gear every few levels, you can craft 2 out of 3 or 4 of its modifications. If you play alts, you can make one an artificer and the other cybertech, and completely slot every piece of gear except guns and augments. Augments are easy to get on the GTN anyway, just the gunbarrels will need some serious bartering if you want something better than what commendations provide you with.

Good read for a newbie like myself. I have a question, The game, and several other guides make reference to the fact that each companion can have their own crew-skills, yet it seems like you can only choose three for all of them. Which is it??? Thanks

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