SWTOR Marksman Sniper Build Guide

SWTOR Marksman Sniper Build Guide by LB_StorM

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

I. Abbreviations

AoEArea of effect
BiSBest in slot
CCCrowd control
DoTDamage over time
DPCTDamage per cast time
DPEDamage per energy
DPSDamage per second
GCDGlobal cooldown

II. Skills and Abilities

a) Skills


1Cover ScreenOptional
1Steady ShotsMandatory
1MarksmanshipHighly Recommended
2Heavy ShotRecommended
2Ballistic DampersOptional
2Precision AmbushHighly recommended
2Imperial DemarcationOptional
3Snap ShotRecommended
3Reactive ShotHighly Recommended
4Between the EyesMandatory
4Sector RangerOptional
4Sniper VolleyRecommended
4Sniper’s NestHighly Recommended
5Recoil ControlHighly Recommended
5Pillbox SniperOptional
6Imperial AssassinMandatory
7Rapid FireHighly Recommended

Cover Screen – Defensive skill. Testing will determine whether this is more useful than Ballistic Dampers.
Steady Shots – Improves the damage by +6% of two or three of your key abilities.
Marksmanship – The namesake of the skill tree, this ability will likely be very useful unless we reach a cap on Accuracy without it.
Heavy Shot – A sort of CC, useful for when you aggro while on cover. I made it “Recommended” as it may be important in Ops to keep trash mobs away from you while in cover.
Ballistic Dampers – Defensive skill. Testing will determine whether this is more useful than Cover Screen.
Precision Ambush – Gives +20% Armor Penetration to Ambush. Since Ambush is likely a key ability, this should improve our DPS significantly, depending on the mechanics behind Armor Penetration.
Imperial Demarcation – Reduces the 15s cooldown of a CC by 3s. Doesn’t seem very useful for our purposes.
Snap Shot – Pretty useful, lowering the activation time on Snipe by 1.5s and possibly making it the first ability in our rotation.
Diversion – A sort of CC, which reduces the target’s accuracy by 45% for 9 seconds. May be useful as a “panic button” to reduce the tank’s damage intake, if it affects bosses.
Reactive Shot – Snipe and Series of Shots critical hits reduce the activation time on Ambush. Good synergy.
Between the Eyes – Increases the critical damage on three of your key abilities, and thus your DPS.
Sector Ranger – Reduces the activation time of an AoE DoT ability by 1s. It is unknown how useful this will be in Operations.
Sniper Volley – Interesting skill, providing synergy among our abilities and stacking up to a +9% increase in Alacrity. However, we generally won’t want to actively use Snipe just to keep this up.
Sniper’s Nest – Energy regeneration is much more important than Energy in my opinion. Don’t miss out. We will want to be in cover at all times anyway.
Recoil Control – Followthrough is a key ability, so this skill is pretty good.
FollowthroughA 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.
Pillbox Sniper – Interesting skill. Its usefulness will depend on Entrench’s and Orbital Strike’s usefulness, which in my opinion remains uncertain.
Imperial Assassin – Hands down mandatory. Significantly increases your DPS.
Rapid Fire – I’m a little disheartened with this tier 7 skill. At 90s CD, it doesn’t seem that useful, as it merely nullifies the 15s CD on the current and the next Series of Shots. I suppose we’ll find out at launch. But still, this is the only tier 7 skill I have ever seen that I can’t call “mandatory”.


1Deadly DirectiveHighly recommended
1Razor EdgeNot Recommended
2Slip AwayNot Recommended
2Flash PowderNot Recommended
2Corrosive MicrobesOptional
2Lethal InjectorsNot Recommended

Deadly Directive – 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.
Lethality – Namesake of this tree. The +6% critical chance is actually a pretty big deal.
Razor Edge – Not recommended. I highly doubt we will be using Shiv much at level 50. Perhaps when we’re not in cover, but then in that case it’s not enough to warrant getting this skill.
Slip Away – Enhances a CC ability. Not for us; we’re not PvPing.
Flash Powder – Adds a sort of CC to an AoE ability. Not worth it.
Corrosive Microbes – Don’t think we’ll use the unknown DoT ability enhanced by this skill often. However, if it proves to be invaluable, we may want to add this skill over Energy Tanks.
Lethal Injectors – We may want to enhance our DoT over Energy Tanks, but not over Gearhead. Don’t take the deal!


1Engineer’s Tool BeltNot Recommended
1Energy TanksRecommended
2Explosive EngineeringNot Recommended
2Vital RegulatorsNot Recommended
2Calculated PursuitOptional
2Vitality SerumNot Recommended

Engineer’s Tool Belt – Reduces the CD of low level AoE abilities. Not worth it.
Energy Tanks – Increases Energy by 10, which is probably a significant amount. Pretty good.
Gearhead – Any Sniper’s number one skill in my opinion. Adds +9% of your primary stat. That’s even greater than the Sorcerer’s +6% or the Assassin’s +0%.
Explosive Engineering – Increases your AoE damage. You may ask, “what AoE damage?”
Vital Regulators – A 2-minute CD ability to heal 3% of your HP? Pass.
Calculated Pursuit – The skill to get if we could go tier 2 in Engineering in my opinion (e.g. if we capped Alacrity without Deadly Directive). Adds a nice damage ability to use when not in cover.
Vitality Serum – If you want this skill, you shouldn’t be raiding with a Sniper.

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

b) Abilities

SnipeOne of our key abilities. Has great synergy with other abilities. Procs Reactive Shot, Sniper Volley (continuation), and Followthrough.
Debilitate – A CC ability. Could be useful if you aggro while in cover.
Escape – Frees you from stuns and slows. Situational.
AmbushAnother key ability. Procs Heavy Shot, Sniper Volley (initial), and Followthrough.
Laze Target – We should be using this every minute.
Leg Shot – Another CC. Again, could be useful if you aggro while in cover.
Adrenaline Probe – An useful Energy recovery ability. Up to you whether to save this for an emergency, or use it every 2 minutes to maximize DPS.
Sprint – Your second most important ability. Use judgment.
Cover Pulse – An AoE knockback and CC. Useful if you aggro multiples mobs while in cover.
TakedownGets boosted by some of our skills. It will be a part of our rotation when the target is below 30% max HP.
Entrench – Its usefulness is unknown, but one of our skills improves it.
Evasion – Situational. Might save your life.
Speeder Piloting – Hands down your most important ability. No discussion.
Shatter ShotCould be very useful depending on the Armor Penetration mechanics, assuming it affects bosses.
Countermeasures – Could be useful if someone screws up and you’re tanking the boss.
Shield Probe – Absorbs a moderate amount of damage. Situational.
Series of ShotsWill surely be a key ability, as it’s the only one that benefits from our tier 7 skill.
Orbital StrikeThere 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.
Target AcquiredAlacrity is not the best stat, but it still boosts our DPS. Use it when available.

c) Rotation


Series of Shots -> Rapid Fire -> Series of Shots -> Series of Shots -> Ambush -> Followthrough -> Rifle Shot -> Snipe -> …

Do keep in mind you should constantly adapt your rotation to best fit the situation, and the one provided above is by no means set in stone.

DPE Priority List

Series of Shots
Reactive Shot Ambush

DPCT Priority List

Reactive Shot Ambush
Series of Shots

III. Stats and Items

a) Stats

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: Aim, Strength, Willpower

The other stats of interest are Tech Accuracy, Tech Power, Alacrity, Critical Rating and Surge.

Tech Accuracy increases our Accuracy with Tech 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 Series of Shots) 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.

b) Gear

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

SlotItemArmor Rating (ilvl)
HeadRakata Enforcer’s Headgear140
ChestRakata Field Tech’s Jacket140
HandsRakata Enforcer’s Gloves140
WaistRakata Enforcer’s Belt140
LegsRakata Enforcer’s Leggings140
FeetRakata Field Tech’s Boots140
WristsRakata Enforcer’s Armguards140
EarRakata Enforcer’s DeviceN/A
Implant 1Rakata Enforcer’s ImplantN/A
Implant 2Rakata Enforcer’s ImplantN/A
Relic 1Matrix Cube M7-R3N/A
Relic 2Rakata Relic of Forbidden SecretsN/A
Main HandPlaceholderN/A

c) 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)

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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can you recommend alternatives to Rakata gear for those of us who don't have armormech.


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