SWTOR Class Primary Stats Guide

SWTOR Class Primary Stats Guide by BlackRifle

Disclaimer: The original purpose of this guide was not meant to cover attributes and stats in a detailed and scientific manner. This guide was meant to inform new players of the class primary stat concept in SWTOR, and to provide user-friendly information regarding stats in general. Many new players have been mistakenly raising the wrong stats for their characters. The true intention of this guide is to steer new players onto the correct path and then I’ll let the individual player decide for themselves how to go from there.

If anyone reading this would like to contribute detailed and scientific information that is truly accurate on the various stats in the game, be my guest and I’m willing to update the OP with deeper information. Combat logs are disabled within the game, so this may pose a challenge for getting detailed or scientific information on stats.

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Every player character and companion has seven main attributes (Strength, Presence, Aim, Cunning, Endurance, Willpower, Expertise), but among these attributes, each character or companion has their own primary attribute or stat. There are four class primary attributes/stats in SWTOR: Aim, Cunning, Strength, and Willpower. Only one of these four is the primary attribute or stat for a particular class or companion. Everyone’s secondary stat is Endurance.

You can find the primary attribute or stat of your character and your companions by opening the Codex (under the sections Game Rules and Persons of Note) and reviewing the information there. To open the Codex, press L and then click on the Codex tab at the bottom.

The following is a list of the primary attributes of each player character class. The primary stats of your companions can be found in the Codex as noted above.

Bounty Hunter (Mercenary/Powertech): Aim
Imperial Agent (Operative/Sniper): Cunning
Sith Inquisitor (Assassin/Sorcerer): Willpower
Sith Warrior (Juggernaut/Marauder): Strength

Jedi Consular (Sage/Shadow): Willpower
Jedi Knight (Guardian/Sentinel): Strength
Smuggler (Gunslinger/Scoundrel): Cunning
Trooper (Commando/Vanguard): Aim

The goal here is quite simple, you should always focus on raising the primary attribute or stat of your characters and their companions as much as possible. For example, the primary attribute of the Sith Inquisitor is Willpower. You do not have to raise the SI’s Aim, Cunning, and Strength attributes as they are not important for the SI and will raise on their own as you level up. As a matter of fact, you should not even bother trying to raise non-primary attributes, just ignore them. If you don’t follow this important guideline, your character or companion will be weak and incompetent. The primary attribute directly affects both overall damage and overall healing. So if your advanced class or companion can do both damage and healing, you still should only focus on raising the primary attribute as much as possible for the entire life of your character and companions.

Aim and Cunning can be confusing and both appear to be similar, but make no mistake, only one of these should be the focus for raising its number, depending upon which one is the actual primary stat for any given character or companion. For example, Cunning is the primary stat for the Imperial Agent and the Smuggler. It may seem that raising Aim for the Imperial Agent or the Smuggler would be a good idea, but in reality, that would be a bad idea. In other words, Imperial Agents and Smugglers should ignore Aim entirely. As another example, the Bounty Hunter and Trooper primary stat is Aim. Bounty Hunters and Troopers should ignore Cunning entirely.

I must be clear by stating that all companions have their own primary stat. A companion’s primary stat may not be the same as yours. Look up your companion’s primary stat in the Codex under the Persons of Note section. For example, the Bounty Hunter primary stat is Aim, but the primary stat of the BH companion Mako is Cunning. Make sure you raise your BH’s Aim as much as possible, while at the same time, you raise Mako’s Cunning as much as possible. Ignore your Bounty Hunter’s Cunning and ignore Mako’s Aim. As another example, the Sith Inquisitor primary stat is Willpower, but the primary stat of the SI companion Khem Val is Strength. Make sure you raise your SI’s Willpower as much as possible, while at the same time, you raise Khem Val’s Strength as much as possible. Ignore your SI’s Strength and ignore Khem Val’s Willpower.

Why raise only the primary attribute/stat? Shouldn’t I raise my other main attributes for a well-balanced character?
I understand the temptation to raise the rest of your seven main attributes because it may seem logical at first. If you don’t focus on raising the specific primary attribute or stat of yourself and your companions in SWTOR, you are doing it wrong and your characters and companions will be weak and incompetent. For example, if you are currently playing a Bounty Hunter and a Cunning gear item suddenly drops, equipping it on your Bounty Hunter is not recommended because Cunning is not the primary stat of the Bounty Hunter. Instead, either equip the Cunning gear item on a companion whose primary stat is Cunning or trade it to another player.

Among the seven main attributes, there is only the class primary stat (either Aim, Cunning, Strength, or Willpower, depending upon the class or companion) and the secondary stat (Endurance for everyone) that players should pay close attention to. In addition, there are also a bunch of bonus stats that you should consider raising and it would be a very good idea to raise your bonus stats based on your play style. For more information on bonus stats, see further below.

What about Presence and Expertise?
Presence increases the effectiveness of all your companions, but Presence is not a class primary attribute among the seven main attributes. It would be far more effective to gear up your companions with the proper gear and build up their primary stat as much as possible. Presence is merely a bonus that is typically raised temporarily through the use of stims. If you PvP frequently, then Expertise is important to raise as much as possible and PvP gear will take care of this for you.

What about Endurance?
If you play the role of a tank frequently, it may be in your better interest to raise Endurance as much as possible. However, you still should not neglect your class primary stat. You may notice a lot of gear that has Endurance listed as a higher number, such gear may be better for tanks. Even if you’re not a tank and if survivability is quite important to you, raising Endurance more may be a good idea for you. Feel free to adjust the numbers between your primary stat and Endurance to match your own needs.

How are player and companion stats increased?
Although most of your main attributes automatically increase a little every time you level up, gear is the predominant way of raising all stats. Your characters and companions depend very heavily on gear their entire lives. Be sure to upgrade their gear and modifications on a frequent basis. Note that the Expertise attribute is raised through PvP gear. If you don’t equip PvP gear that raises Expertise, the number for Expertise will display as zero and will not raise on its own.

What if I currently have an empty gear slot and I suddenly acquire a gear item that could go into the empty slot but the item doesn’t match my primary stat, should I at least equip the gear item for now to fill the empty slot until I find a proper gear item later on?
Yes, go for it. This is because all armor and weapons that are green or better quality at least have Endurance, which is everyone’s secondary stat. For example, low level players likely won’t equip a head, ear, or implant piece until later on. If you come across any gear for those particular slots early in the game but the gear does not match your primary stat, you may equip it for the time being so that you can take advantage of the Endurance. Just make sure that later on you eventually fill the slot with the correct gear that matches your primary stat. This applies to your companions as well.

For a listing of various stats found on your character and companion sheets along with brief descriptions of each one, visit the link below.

Character Sheet

There are bonus stats in the game that are important to take note of. As you play the game, you will come across gear that raises any of the bonus stats. It is very beneficial and effective to equip gear that raises bonus stats in addition to raising your primary stat and Endurance. Bonus stats do support your character further and should not be ignored.

The following is a list of bonus stats, in alphabetical order, that provide a bonus to a “parent” stat. The names of bonus stats are listed in yellow while the names of parent stats are listed in white.

Absorption Rating provides a bonus to Shield Absorption.
Shield Absorption (shield wielders): Percentage of damage lost when an attack is absorbed by your shield.

Accuracy Rating provides a bonus to Accuracy.
Accuracy: Chance that Force, Melee, Ranged, or Tech attacks will successfully hit the target. Accuracy over 100% reduces the target’s defense or resistance.

Alacrity Rating provides a bonus to Activation Speed. Although anyone can benefit from higher Alacrity Rating, healers may find this particularly beneficial for faster activation of healing abilities.
Activation Speed: Reduces the time needed to activate or channel abilities, so they can be executed more frequently.

Critical Rating provides a bonus to Critical Chance.
Critical Chance: Chance that a successful attack or heal will deal critical damage or perform a critical heal.

Defense Rating provides a bonus to Defense Chance.
Defense Chance: Chance to avoid incoming attacks.

Power: Provides bonus to both damage and healing.

Shield Rating provides a bonus to Shield Chance.
Shield Chance (shield wielders): Chance that a successful melee or ranged attack will have its damage reduced by your shield.

Surge Rating provides a bonus to Critical Multiplier.
Critical Multiplier: Critical hits or heals increase the damage dealt or health restored by this percentage.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. It's very difficult for a beginner. (I hadn't got a clue what Surge rating or Alacrity was!)

  2. Anonymous says:

    hey i get that cunning is a very important stat for scoundrels/gunslingers but i noticed that extra accuracy penetrates armor so i was wondering if that was in your calculations … not to mention not getting any aim means you have 10% miss chance which is a 10% damage deficiency wouldn't at least enough aim to cap accuracy be advisable on a shooting centric character like sniper or gunslinger ? also many abilities seem completely unaffected by tech damage adds i equipped over 120 extra tech power on my gunslinger at lvl 11 and saw no dps change to the "shooting" spells like quick shot charged burst etc. as the gunslinger and sniper use the tech abilities very rarely and in only specific circumstances(crowd control mostly) could aim not give you more at higher levels as enemies defenses get higher and higher and you miss more and more for not penetrating defense ratings giving yourself more of a 20-25% miss chance by neglecting aim ?

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