SWTOR Gunslinger Sharpshooter PvE Guide

SWTOR Gunslinger Sharpshooter PvE Guide by Fearheart

The purpose of this guide is to help people with the mechanics of the Sharpshooter and to help optimize our role as DPS in Operations.

1. Abbreviations
2. Skills/Talent Points
3. Abilities
4. Rotation
5. Stats
6. Gear
7. Consumables
8. Final Thoughts

I. Abbreviations
AoE Area of effect
BiS Best in slot
CD Cooldown
CC Crowd control
DoT Damage over time
DPCT Damage per cast time
DPE Damage per energy
DPS Damage per second
GCD Global cooldown
Ops Operations
s Seconds


II. Skills and Talent Points


Tier Skill Notes
1 Cover Screen Optional
1 Steady Shots Mandatory
1 Sharpshooter Highly Recommended
2 Percussive Shot Recommended
2 Ballistic Dampers Optional
2 Sharp Aim Mandatory
2 Trip Shot Optional
3 Snap Shot Mandatory
3 Diversion Recommended
3 Quick Aim Mandatory
4 Slick Shooter Mandatory
4 Spacer Optional
4 Burst Volley Recommended
4 Foxhole Mandatory
5 Recoil Control Madatory
5 Trickshot Mandatory
5 Lay Low Optional
6 Deadeye Mandatory
7 Rapid Fire Mandatory

Cover Screen – This defensive skill is activated upon leaving cover. Increases your ranged dodge by 20% for 6s. Can be taken instead of some of the other optional talents.
Steady Shots – Improves the damage by +6% of two of your key abilities.
Sharpshooter – (+3% Accuracy) Being that our offhand pistol has a 57% less chance to hit than our mainhand we will miss a lot. This should help mitigate some of the effects of being a dual weilder.
Percussive Shot – Puts a knockback on your aimed shot when used 10m or closer. I recommend this because if you pull aggro on an add this helps you be able to kite them. (Optional Talent)
Ballistic Dampers – Gives you a 30% damage reduction while in cover (3stacks). When you lose all stacks consider exiting and re-entering cover.
Sharp Aim – Gives +20% Armor Penetration to Aimed Shot. Since Aimed Shot is our biggest hitting ability, this should improve our DPS significantly, depending on the mechanics behind Armor Penetration.
Trip Shot – Reduces the 15s CD of our snare by 3s. Rarely will you use Trip shot, has little use for us in PvE.
Snap Shot – It makes your first Charged burst instant cast after your roll into cover on a 6/s CD. This talent is mandatory to your rotation/priority list.
Diversion – Reduces accuracy by 45% for enemies within the cloud for 9s. Great for those moments your tank is getting hammered by a clustered group of adds. Greatly reduces the dmg intake.
Quick Aim – Charged Burst and Speed shot’s critical hits reduce the activation time on Aimed Shot by 1 second. From what i can tell, currently the CD reduction does not stack. Still a mandatory talent.
Slick Shooter – Increases the critical damage on three of your key abilities, and thus your DPS.
Spacer – Not recommended to get this talent.
Burst Volley* – Further testing needed. Charged Burst and Aimed shot are casted, 9% reduction to their cast time. See notes below for more details.
Foxhole – While in cover you gain 1 energy per second (mandatory). Try to stay in cover as much as possible.
Recoil Control – Trickshot is a key ability so reducing the cooldown and energy cost is very important.
Trickshot – Key ability, only usable after a charged burst or aimed shot. (instant cast with a some-what low CD)
Lay Low – (Optional) – CD reduction to your big aoe and hunker down. (I took 1 point in this)
Deadeye – 30% increased crit damage for 3 of your key abilities. (mandatory)
Rapid Fire – Increases your burst on speed shot every 90 seconds (more testing is needed on this). On paper a 90s CD makes this talent look really weak.

* Burst Volley (notes): Your initial stack of BV(for short) has to be created by an aimed shot. The initial stack can only be created every 30 seconds. After your initial stack you gain stacks by casting charged burst up to a max of 3 stacks. Your stacks will drop off after 6 seconds. 9% increase to cast time seems pretty big for your aimed shot and charged burst however more testing is needed. See the rotation section for more details on how this affects your rotation.

Dirty Fighting

Tier Skill Notes
1 Black Market Mods Highly recommended
1 No Holds Barred Mandatory
2 Open Wound Optional
2 Mortal Wound Optional

Black Market Mods – Increases Alacrity by +4%, to add up to the +9% we should keep stacked. Assuming Alacrity doesn’t cap or receive diminishing marginal returns, we should be firing abilities pretty damn fast while in cover.
No Holds Bar – The +6% critical chance on all our attacks makes this talent a must.
Open Wound – Increases the duration of vital shot by 3 seconds. More testing is needed to see if it should be taken over other talents. Longer duration on our bleed means less energy spent to maintain it during longer fights.
Mortal Wound – has a % chance to cause vital shot ticks to double tick. I don’t think vital shot will be a huge percentage of our overall dps so I don’t think it will be worth it to take this talent. If I take this I would remove points from Bravado.


Tier Skill Notes
1 Bravado Recommended
1 Streetwise Mandatory
2 Hot Pursuit Optional
2 Underworld Hardships Not Recommended
2 Cool Under Pressure Not Recommended

Bravado – Increases your maximum energy by 5/10. More testing needed but I will be taking this. My theory (untested) is that by increasing your maximum energy you are increasing the range at which you can remain in fast energy gain. (IE 60%-100% fast then becomes 60%-110% fast)
Streetwise – Gives you +9% of your primary stat, probably one of the strongest placement of three talent points in the game. Big dps increase.
Hot Pursuit – After exiting cover your next charged burst can be used outside of cover. More testing needed but might be benificial for movement heavy fights.
Underworld hardships – 4% increase to endurance, more of a pvp talent than anything. Not very strong for us in pve.
Cool Under Pressure – a 2min CD heal for 3% of your healthbar seems pretty weak.

Please find my chosen skill selection here. Yours may vary slightly as you will have to put 3-4 points in “Optional” skills.
My Build


III. Abilities

Flurry of Bolts
Energy: Free
Range: 35m
Activation time: 1.5s
Cooldown: None
Damage Type: Weapon
Description: Fires a flurry of bolts from your blaster.
– This is what you will use to manage your energy or as a filler. Imagine this as your (manual)auto attack.

Charged Burst
Energy: -20
Range: 35m
Activation time: Instant
Cooldown: None
Damage Type: Weapon
Description: Fire three powerful blasts at your target, must be in cover to use.
– You will be using this ability the most. Procs Quick Aim, Burst Volley, and Trickshot.

Aimed Shot
Energy: -15
Range: 35m
Activation time: 3 secs
Cooldown: 15 secs
Damage Type: Weapon
Description: Fires a high-powered shot that deals (LvlRankDmgAmnt * 0.329 WeaponDamage * 3.29) weapon damage. Must be in cover to use.
– Another key ability.This ability will probably yeild your largest hits. Procs Percussive Shot(10m), Burst Volley (initial), and Trickshot.

Energy: -15
Range: 35m
Activation time: Instant
Cooldown: 12 secs
Damage Type: Weapon
Description: Attempts to take the target down with a single powerful shot that deals (LvlRankDmgAmnt * 0.27 WeaponDamage * 2.7) weapon damage. Only usable on targets at or below 30% max health.
– Cast this everytime its off of CD when the target is below 30% hp.

Speed Shot
Energy: -20
Range: 30m
Activation time: Instant
Cooldown: 15 secs
Damage Type: Weapon
Description: Unleashes a series of shots that deals ((LvlRankDmgAmnt * 0.098 + WeaponDamage * 0.98) * 4) weapon damage over the duration. Must be in cover to use.
– Will surely be a key ability (I haven’t gotten this shot yet – will post more after I have played with it), as it’s the only one that benefits from our tier 7 skill.

Energy: -10
Range: 35m
Activation time: Instant
Cooldown: 9 secs
Damage Type: Weapon
Description: Fires a well-controlled follow-up shot at the target that deals (LvlRankDmgAmnt * 0.227 + WeaponDamage * 2.27) weapon damage. Only usable within the 4.5 seconds immediately following an Aimed shot or Charged Burst.
– A key ability; may well be the highest DPS ability, with a cast time of 1.5s (as it is instant, we define the cast time as the GCD). We will only not want to use it when we desperately need to refresh Sniper Volley.

Vital Shot
Energy: -20
Range: 30m
Activation time: Instant
Cooldown: None
Damage Type: Weapon
Description: Fires a shot that causes the target to bleed, dealing (##) internal damage over 15 seconds.
– Always keep this up on the boss but try not to clip it too much as you will waste a lot of energy (Casting it before it drops off).

Flourish Shot
Energy: -10
Range: 30m
Activation time: Instant
Cooldown: 5 secs
Damage Type: Weapon
Description: Fires a high-impact shot that deals [?] weapon damage and reduces the target’s armor by 20% for 45 seconds.
– Always keep this up on the boss unless you have another class putting up this debuff (Like a JK Guardian).

XS Freighter Flyby
Energy: -30
Range: 30m
Activation time: 3 secs
Cooldown: 60 secs
Damage Type: Elemental
Description: Calls in support from your crew, dealing ((LvlRankDmgAmnt * 0.177 SpellPower * 1.77) * 3) elemental damage over 9 seconds to all enemies within 8 meters of the targeted area. Standard and weak enemies additionally panic from the flames.
– There are some skills enhancing this ability in our tree. How useful it is will depend on whether Ops promote AoE usage. Be mindful of CC’d mobs when using this AoE.

I will add more abilities as I have time


IV. Rotation
Work in progress.

Currently there a few bugs with the cover system that you will have to work around to perform your rotation.
1. Cover gumby sometimes throws you into cover on the wrong side of the object.
2. Cover sometimes constricts your view of your target causing LOS issues.
3. Aimed shot 75% of the time won’t cast while in natural cover.

These bugs should be fixed soon and will no longer be a problem. However, currently I have a work around solution.
1. Any time you can you will want to put natural cover between you and your target or anxillary targets to mitigate damage that you might take.
2. Go into your preferences and make sure you have the option “Click off your target to deslect” (not exact wording) enabled.
3. For your opener (if initiated by a tank) run in and put up your dot and armor reduction, click off the target to deselect as you run behind a natural coverpoint, hit your portable cover button, reselect the target and proceed with your rotation.
By initiating in this way you will still get the defensive bonus from the natural cover (green shield above targets) but won’t have your aim shot inhibited.
Note: If you are soloing/questing you don’t have to run in/initiate with dot+armor reduct. Just run behind natural cover before you aggro.

Your rotation will heavily depend on different factors such as the mob type your are fighting, how many mobs are you fighting and how much movement there is.

Rotation used for a Boss Fight
After your opening rotation you will defer to a priority list.

Currently this rotation omits Speed Shot as its a skill I don’t have yet and will update the rotation after I get to play with it for a bit.

Opening Rotation:
1. As you run in cast Vital shot and Flourish shot (Unless you have someone else putting up this debuff)
2. Once you are near a natural coverpoint get – deselect the boss, get behind the cover, cast portable cover and then reselct the boss. If you are not immediately near natural cover after vital and flourish shot the cast flurry of bolts or quick shot as you run to the cover.
3. Once behind cover cast Smuggler’s Luck to prime the Charged Bolt auto crit then cast Charged bolt.
4. Cast Trick shot
5. Cast Aimed shot (with the 1s reduction due to the Quick Aim talent skill.)
6. Flurry of bolts
7. Charged burst
8. Flurry of bolts
9. Trick Shot

That is more or less what your opener will look like.

Post Opener Priority List
Try to keep your energy level above 60% to maintain higher energy regeneration rates. More energy regeneration = more dps in the long run. If you are around the 70 energy range try to cast a flurry of bolts until you are back up to greater than 75 energy. If you have 70 energy and cast an ability that costs 15 energy it will dip you into lower regeneration. The only exception to this rule is Trickshot, as it has an energy cost of 7 with talents.

Single target
1. Vital Shot DOT
2. Flourish Debuff
3. Quick Draw (when target is below 30% hp)
4. Aimed shot (w Quick aim proc)
5. Charged Burst (w Smuggler’s Luck if no quick aim proc and aimed shot will be off CD in 5 seconds or less)
6. Aimed shot
7. Trick Shot
8. Charged burst
9. Flurry of bolts

More to be added when I have more time

V. Stats and Items

a) Stats (Work in progress)

The base stats at the moment are Strength, Aim, Endurance, Cunning, Willpower and Presence.

1. Strength is a melee stat (increases melee damage, melee crit, and shield absorption). Essentially useless for us.
2. Aim is the primary stat for Bounty Hunters and Troopers, so not for us.
3. Endurance is a tanking stat (increases health and health regen). Not really useful as we’re DPS, but doesn’t hurt either.
4. Cunning is our most important stat. Increases damage, critical, healing, chance we’ll pick up chicks… wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Anyway, stack Cunning.
5. Willpower increases the damage we deal with our Force abilities and their critical chance. In other words, useless.
6. Presence boosts companions’ damage and healing. It is nice to have while leveling but we definitely shouldn’t actively seek it. Will be of no use in Operations.

Primary: Cunning
Secondary: Endurance, Presence
Tertiary: Accuracy, Tech Power, Power, Alacrity, Critical Rating and Surge.

Accuracy increases our Accuracy with abilities. Assuming it is not capped or doesn’t face diminishing marginal returns, it will be a very useful stat for optimizing our damage output.

Tech Power increases the bonus damage of our Tech abilities much like Cunning. Testing will need to determine how this stat compares to Cunning.

Alacrity functions like haste in other MMOs and decreases the activation time of our abilities. We are already dependent on this stat to some extent as our skills grant +13% of it. However, since it does not affect the GCD, and really only affects Series of Shots, this stat probably won’t be very helpful for us.

Critical Rating increases our critical chance (the chance to score a critical hit for 150% of the amount of damage dealt by an ability).

Surge increases those 150% (i.e. it gives bonus critical damage). As such, it is more useful the higher our critical chance. Also bear in mind that some of our abilities (such as Speed Shot) will crit for 180% base thanks to our skills. In theory, there is a time where, once we have enough Critical Rating, we will begin to favor Surge over it.


VI. Gear(Work in progress)

Pre-Ops BiS gear is Columi; BiS gear is Rakata.


VII. Consumables

Exotech Skill Stim

Use: Increases Cunning by 128 and Power by 52 for 120 minutes. Only one stimpack can be active at a time.

Energized Attack Adrenal

Use: Increases Power by 535 for 15s. (Cooldown: 3 minutes)


VIII. Final Thoughts

This guide is definately a work in progress as I am only a level 31 Sharpshooter at the moment. If you see inaccuracies in this guide, things missing or would like to share your own input please post a reply!

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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very helpfull

  2. Anonymous says:

    The game auto-levels endurance and cunning for smugglers, and reward items often come in two varieties: END > CUN and CUN > END.
    So there's a huge hint that these are the smuggler's main attributes. I disagree with giving presence anywhere near the same level of importance as endurance (or power or critical rating). Your best skills are worth nothing if you're dead, so endurance is the second most important attribute for smugglers, also because they have very few defenses.
    Presence on the other hand increases your companions' effectiveness and thus comes only into effect when you actually have your companions with you. IMO it's better to increase your companions' effectiveness by raising their class' main attributes and put some effort and money into equipping them properly if you rely on them heavily.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey just gave it a quick read and agree with most of it. Maybe a tip (not sure if it's really that usefull) but I pop our alicrit (haste) bonus with speedshot and then refresh speedshot so I can do it 3 times in a row real fast while it's not really that energy expensive :).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Not bad. Although I've been debating over our stat priority. Correct be if I'm wrong because I don't have SW:TOR open at the moment but most of our abilities are a 1.5second cast time (assuming you always have the aimed shot cast time reduction proc). If alacrity does not reduce GDC then this stat can just be thrown out the window. There is not point in a less then 1.5 second cast time if the gcd wont go lower then that. Of course i'm doing this all by memory which sort of lacks for me. I feel like crit, power, and surge rating are more powerful for our spec. Most of our abilities aren't tech damage but rather weapon damage which is increased by power. Seeing as we have a few crit modifiers in our talent trees I would assume crit rating and surge rating are more powerful for us then alacrity. Also, I haven't seen the pre-raid gear pieces yet but I noticed a lot of the gunslinger sharpshooter abilities have these 2 stats rather the alacrity and assuming bio-ware knows their classes the best I'd start off by saying these 2 defiantly rank higher then alacrity. I really like the guide though because I've been in debate about which stats to focus on and this made me critically think about how our talents/gcd/abilities all play a role into deciding what is best. Of course we could always wait until that one person theory crafts the shit out of gunslinger dps and makes a perfect guide. That's just my 2 cents.

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