You, Robot – Part 3: Your companion as a magic elf

Welcome to the final instalment of a three-part series on companions. You can view Part 1 here and Part 2 here. You can also view the most amazing Companion Stats Uber-Mega-Omnibus right here!

Back in prehistoric times, before Star Wars, there were other stories. Hard to believe, but there you have it. One of them involved an old shoemaker and some magical elves who made shoes while he slept. That kind of characterises how crafting works in SWTOR. You get to sit around ogling holodancers or arguing with your friends about which of you has the higher midiclorian count, while your trusty companions go off on their own little adventures only to return with… well, whatever you sent them for. Usually.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes, just be aware that this is for those who haven’t looked into crafting in much detail. If you’ve played an MMO before, you have some idea how this gig works. Having said that you might find a few handy tips too. I’ll also stress that since we are only two months into the game’s life, tweaks and nerfs are inevitable and what you become used to may not stick around in its current form (hello Slicers!). I’d also suggest you have a look at the improved ‘Companions Guide’ for a comprehensive overview.

In the Crew Skills system there are three classes: Crafting (making stuff), Gathering (we find stuff), Mission (they find stuff). So what’s with the pronouns? With Gathering tasks you can collect materials as you run around the world OR send a crew member on their own. With Mission tasks, only your companion goes. You aren’t involved other than to delegate the task. So if you despise the tedium of having to stop and fill your pockets during a quest then this is, on the face of it, a dream come true. No more dirty fingernails. There’s a down side though – each mission costs money and your companions will sometimes fail.

So once you hit level 10 and your faction’s fleet hub, you get to select your Crew Skills. It’s worth talking to ALL the trainers (cancel out of each dialogue) as you’ll get XP for every one of them. But which skills you choose can be very dependent on how you want to use the system. You can go the obvious route and pick one of each type (preferably compatible ones) so you can become a one person production line. But you don’t have to do it this way. If you prefer you can have three mission skills or three gathering skills or one crafting and two of either. Before you ask, you can’t have more than one crafting skill. If you’re not sure what skills to go for, check out the attached spreadsheet for a few clues.

Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time to start delegating. Here are a few general pointers.

  • Gathering/Mission tasks – crew members can only do one task at a time, but you can have multiple crew members deployed simultaneously
  • Crafting tasks – you can stack up to five tasks, per crew member.
  • Choose wisely – some companions are more adept at certain tasks than others. Try to match them with the task; the quality/yield will improve (see the ‘Companions Guide’)
  • Love and other mistakes – Affection matters, the more they like you, the better the results.
  • Get some sleep – you don’t need to be playing for your crew to be working. When you log back in they’ll proudly present you with the fruits of their labour. Some missions are 30-40 minutes, perfect just before you log off.
  • Put it in the bank – your crew can access any crafting material you’ve put in the bank. You don’t need to lug the Bronzium around with you.
  • Everything on the menu – just because your trainer offers a recipe doesn’t mean you need to learn it. If it’s not something you can use now or shortly, don’t learn it. Save money and avoid cluttering your crafting menu with a growing list of gray items.
  • Keep ’em busy – it’s easy to get your Gathering and Mission points badly out of whack since Gathering is something you do yourself as a matter of course, where as Mission tasks have to be manually delegated. This becomes less of a problem once you get your ship. Send that darned robot on all the three minute missions. Why three minute missions? Because they’re cheaper, quicker and still give you the points.
  • Take it apart – use reverse engineering – By breaking down items similar to the ones you can craft (either things you make or have collected) into their constituent materials you gain raw material and the possibility of earning a bonus recipe, some of which are rare.

So now you’re all skilled up, is it worth your time? That depends what you want from it, but here’s a few things to consider:

  1. Endgame – very few crafting skills are much use once you get to level 50, with the exception of Biochem. To be honest, it’s debatable how useful some of them are even before this point because, at the time of writing, you’ll often get better gear through PvP, Warzones and Flashpoints. However Georg Zoeller has indicated that Bioware intend to make ALL crafting professions ‘fully endgame viable’. Tweaking is supposed to have started in 1.1.2, but no word on any changes yet.
  2. Print your own money –  there are two issue here. Whether you can make anything worth buying and whether anyone can find it if you do. Right now the Galactic Trade Network (GTN) is a capricious beast and searching on it is less ‘eBay’ and more ‘newspaper classified listings circa 1976’.
  3. Boost your alts – This is probably the most practical use for crafting at the moment. After all, your alts will eventually share the same surname. Why not let your virtual clan do the equivalent of having your electrician brother-in-law put in a new powerpoint for a slab? If you’re playing alts from a range of different classes, this very quickly makes sense, since certain crafting skills are more appropriate for certain classes. The downside is you will level up more slowly since you’re splitting your time across multiple characters.

Ultimately crafting isn’t for everyone, but if you’re inclined to give it a go it won’t be a waste of your time so long as you use it strategically and understand its limitations. Also bear in mind that things are going to keep changing as Bioware try to balance the economy. For better or worse, the real magical pixies aren’t your companions, they’re the shadowy figures in Austin studying metrics and playing with magical spreadsheets.



  1. The comapnion spreadsheet linked has some errors for the Imperial Agent.
    For example, Scorpio is a Melee DPS, and Ensign Temple is a Range DPS

    • Thanks for that, Dan. The correction has been made.

      While Ensign Temple can be used as a Healer, she apparently isn’t able to take much punishment in that role so is better as Ranged DPS (with Duel Pistols).
      If you or anyone else spot errors that you can verify through firsthand gameplay experience (rather than a DB which uses information from data mining), please let me know. There’s contradictory information out there, even on Torhead, and this spreadsheet will inevitably need some tweaks until we get it 100% accurate… until Bioware change something on us.

  2. lol, scorpio is the melee tank….. Good work besides that, great guide!

  3. And kali is the ranged tank. Lokin is more a melee tank transformed… but hes not that amazing at it.


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