SWTOR Imperial Agent Beginner’s Guide

SWTOR Imperial Agent Beginner’s Guide by Obsivus

1. Introduction
2. Important Information(Cover & Energy)
3. Primary Stats
4. Companion List
5. Sniper PVP/PVE Builds
6. Sniper DPS Rotations
7. Operative PVP/PVE Builds
8. Operative DPS/Heal Rotations

1. Introduction

The Agent is a primarily ranged class focused around using blasters, explosives, and dirty tricks to take down enemies. From levels 1 to 10, you’ll find yourself with a variety of neat ways to dispatch your enemies. Early abilities include blaster rifle shots, hand grenades, flashbangs, and the class’s define feature, cover.

The cover mechanic in SWTOR is simple but effective. Pressing the F key or the middle mouse button will cause your character to take cover. If there’s nothing around behind which you can actually take cover, your character will simply drop to one knee and improvise. This is important because there are some abilities that can only be used while you’re in cover (such as the extremely powerful Snipe and Explosive Probe abilities), and staying in cover also gives you a defense bonus against ranged attackers.

At level 10, you get to choose your advanced class. The choices for the Imperial Agent are Operative and Sniper. The Sniper does what it says on the tin: It uses a sniper rifle to shoot from long distances, often with devastating effect. The Operative is an entirely different beast. Stealth is his middle name, and many attacks revolve around dirty tricks like backstabs and cheap shots. But the real treat that the Operative brings to the table is the ability to heal. Operatives can use Kolto Infusion to bring teammates back to health or remove poisons and other toxins from them to ensure they’re in top fighting condition.

2. Important Information(Cover & Energy)

The Imperial Agent, as well as their counter class the Republic Smuggler, have several class distinct abiilities. The most prominent of these is the cover mechanic, the ability to roll/crouch in cover and gain a moderate amount of defense and extra abilities, while sacrificing mobility. When and where to enter cover will be a very large part of the learning curve for IA’s at each encounter in the game.
This system works according to your current hostile target. Should you have no target selected you will use portable cover instead. Note that you cannot roll into cover when you have a friendly target. When you have a hostile target, green silhouettes will appear that show you the positions you are able to roll into relative to your targets position.

The IA also has portable cover, though only the Sniper AC receives the funky looking portable laser screen. Operatives instead just crouch in place, the same as during levels 1-10.

The second major part of playing the IA is resource management, namely energy starvation and regeneration. This resource depletes as abilities are used, but regenerates at different rates according to how much energy you currently have.

Energy Regeneration works at a variable rate dependant on your current total energy.

Current Energy = 80 – 100 = 5 RPS
Current Energy = 60-80 = 4 RPS
Current Energy = 40 – 60 = 3 RPS
Current Energy = 20-40 = 2.5 RPS
Current Energy = 0 – 20 = 2 RPS

To play at the maximum potential throughput of the class, you need to try and keep above 60 energy when you can, using both Stim Boost and Adrenaline Probe to keep your energy up.

Adrenaline Probe is a cooldown ability that returns 50 energy over 3 seconds. It is a clutch ability that should ideally be saved for when you have to use excessive energy during either a burn phase (dps) or when you need to put out an extreme amount of healing throughput. It has a 120 second cooldown, allowing it to be used multiple times in longer fights.

Stim Boost consumes a Tactical Advantage proc to return 3 energy every 3 seconds for 45 seconds, this buff should be kept up in any fight lasting 45 seconds or longer. In small trash pack pulls, this buff can be safely left off, unless you do not need to use TA to heal. If you’re not needing to heal, use your TA to keep this buff up between trash packs. While SB is active, your energy regen becomes;

Current Energy = 80 – 100 = 6 RPS
Current Energy = 60-80 = 5 RPS
Current Energy = 40 – 60 = 4 RPS
Current Energy = 20-40 = 3.5 RPS
Current Energy = 0 – 20 = 3 RPS

The differences between keeping your energy at a good RPS level and keeping it the lowest RPS level are massive. Let’s have a quick look at the math behind this.

Agent A keeps his energy above 60 for the entire duration of a ten minute fight, while maintaining SB. This gives him the following;

Current Energy = > 60 = 5RPS
5RPS x 600 seconds = 3000 energy to spend on costed abilities.
Agent B likes to do as much as possible when fighting, he spams his abilities to try and burst as much as possible. He keeps his energy below 20 for the entire duration of a ten minute fight and doesn’t keep on top of his SB buff. This gives him the following;

Current Energy = < 20 = 2RPS 2RPS x 600 seconds = 1200 energy to spend on damage abilities In real terms, Agent A has 2.5 times more energy to spend than Agent B. Resource managment will be an incredibly important part of playing an IA, easily differentiating the really good IA players from the average.

3. Primary Stats

There are five primary/basic character attributes in SWTOR: Endurance, Aim, Cunning, Strength and Willpower. Endurance gives you 10 HP per single point, and the other four stats increase your class’ base damage and critical chance:

All primary stats give 1% crit for every 140 (at level 50)
Aim gives 0.2 ranged damage
Strength gives 0.2 melee damage
Cunning gives 0.2 tech damage
Will power gives 0.2 force damage

Your primary stat will always give either [Ranged + Tech] or [Melee + Force], so a Trooper will get a tech bonus from Cunning, and a Smuggler will get a ranged damage bonus from Aim in addition to the bonuses they already get from their primary stat. This causes Smugglers to do more damage with Weapon attacks, and Troopers will do more damage with Tech attacks (see: explosives) assuming both had the same base value and scaling. Strength and Willpower give both of them nothing but crit.

Imperial Agent stats:

Primary: Cunning
Secondary: Endurance

4. Companion list

Kaliyo D’jannis

Planet: Hutta
Companion type: Ranged DPS
Armor: Heavy Armor
Gender: Female
Species: Rattataki
Age: 29 (unconfirmed)
Likes: disrespecting authority, casual violence, anarchy for the fun of it.
Dislikes: self-sacrifice for the greater good, sincerity, obedience, patriotic spirit and being taken advantage of.
Primary Stat: Aim
Secondary Stat: Endurance
Primary Weapon: Blaster Rifle or Blaster Pistol
Secondary Weapon: Shield Generator

Kaliyo Companion Gifts:

  • Weapon: love
  • Military Gear: like
  • Courting: indifferent
  • Luxury: favorite, love
  • Technology: like
  • Republic Memorabilia: indifferent
  • Imperial Memorabilia: indifferent
  • Cultural Artifact: indifferent
  • Trophy: indifferent
  • Underworld Good: favorite

Vector Hyllis

Planet: Alderaan
Companion type: Melee DPS
Armor: Medium Armor,
Gender: male
Species: Human (enhanced)
Age: 26
Likes: Diplomacy, helping people, exploring alien cultures
Dislikes: Greed, cruelty, prejudice, anti-alien sentiment
Primary Stat: Willpower
Secondary Stat: Endurance
Primary Weapon: Electrostaff
Secondary Weapon: Generator (non-shield)

Vector Companion Gifts:

  • Weapon: like
  • Military Gear: indifferent
  • Courting: indifferent, favorite
  • Luxury: like
  • Technology: indifferent
  • Republic Memorabilia: indifferent
  • Imperial Memorabilia: favorite
  • Cultural Artifact: love
  • Trophy: like
  • Underworld Good: indifferent

Doctor Lokin

Planet: Taris
Companion type: Heals/DPS
Armor: Light Armor
Gender: Male
Species: Human
Age: 65 (estimate)
Likes: Clever solutions, long-term thinking, technology, pragmatism
Dislikes: Ideaology, honesty, selfish actions without clear long-term gain.
Primary Stat: Cunning
Secondary Stat: Endurance
Primary Weapon: Blaster Pistol
Secondary Weapon: VIbroknife

Doctor Lokin Companion Gifts:

  • Weapon: indifferent
  • Military Gear: favorite
  • Courting: indifferent
  • Luxury: favorite
  • Technology: love
  • Republic Memorabilia: like
  • Imperial Memorabilia: like
  • Cultural Artifact: indifferent
  • Trophy: indifferent
  • Underworld Good: like

Ensign Raina Temple

Planet: Hoth
Companion type: Ranged DPS
Armor: Medium
Gender: Female
Species: Human
Age: 24
Likes: The Empire, the Sith, duty, honor
Dislikes: Cruelty, casual violence, selfishness
Primary Stat: Cunning
Secondary Stat: Endurance
Primary Weapon: Blaster Pistol
Secondary Weapon: Blaster Pistol

Ensigna Raina Companion Gifts:

  • Weapon: like
  • Military Gear: favorite
  • Courting: like, love
  • Luxury: like
  • Technology: indifferent
  • Republic Memorabilia: like
  • Imperial Memorabilia: love
  • Cultural Artifact: indifferent
  • Trophy: indifferent
  • Underworld Good: indifferent


Planet: Belsavis
Companion type: Ranged Tank
Armor: Heavy
Gender: None (identifies as female)
Species: Droid
Age: Unknown
Likes: learning and gaining new tech, selfishness, killing threats.
Dislikes: Self-sacrifice, duty, wastefulness
Primary Stat: Aim
Secondary Stat: Endurance
Primary Weapon: Electrostaff
Secondary Weapon: Shield Generator

Scorpio Companion Gifts:

  • Weapon: favorite
  • Military Gear: like
  • Courting: indifferent
  • Luxury: indifferent
  • Technology: love
  • Republic Memorabilia: indifferent
  • Imperial Memorabilia: indifferent
  • Cultural Artifact: like
  • Trophy: like
  • Underworld Good: indifferent

5. Sniper PVP/PVE Builds

Coming soon…

6. Sniper DMG Rotation

The Imperial Agent is very situational which makes a set skill rotation difficult to recommend.

I would recommend a priority like this in PvE when your leveling:

Takedown > Ambush > Explosive Probe > Snipe > Flashbang > Debilitate > Shiv

I didn’t add Rifle Shot beacuse thats what you use in regular basis whenever its possible so you don’t drain your energy too much.

7. Operative PVP/PVE Builds

Build: PVP/DPS/leveling (31/5/5)
Info: From what I’ve seen if it’s essentially the best damage-focused build out there for the operative. Obviously it won’t be viable as a endgame healing spec, but Operatives can still effectively heal in groups/flashpoints without really investing too heavily in the medic tree (which is still pretty godawful).

8. Operative DMG/Heal Rotation

Coming soon…

Please share your resources if you have anything that would benefit newcomers

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4 Responses to “SWTOR Imperial Agent Beginner’s Guide”

  1. build link doesn't work.

  2. Its there 1st because if its up, you use it as soon as you can.

  3. Step 6: what is takedown doing there first?!

  4. Great synopsis. I would like to also see at what estimated level you get each companion if possible ?

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