SWTOR Sniper Beginner’s Build and Advice

SWTOR Sniper Beginner’s Build and Advice by Aeon

I thought I’d make this generally available for the incoming sniper community. Perhaps it will help some of you feel strong from the get go instead of wondering why glowbat wielding dudes in bathrobes seem to have it easier:


Hey Guildmates,

I’ve come up with this sniper build as the one I’ll recommend you go with. This is a final build though, so it doesn’t include Heavy Shot.


Until you get to be a high enough level for Cover Pulse, take heavy shot, as it will knock back anything that you hit inside of 10 yards. This will let you tap a melee mob with another leg shot to slow it down. In theory, most melee enemies will never get close enough to hit you more than a couple of times. In the engineering tree, take Gearhead early for the 9% boost to cunning. Cunning is your primary stat as an Agent.

When making decisions always take cunning over aim, followed by alacrity (you don’t see this until later levels, it speeds up your activation time and cooldown timers). If you can’t get alacrity take crit or power but don’t split them, chose one.

Power is good for consistent/measured DPS, the type you want in a raid group. Crit is better for burst DPS like you would use in PvP. The risk of crit% in a raiding build is that a big hit will pull agro off of the tank and a boss level mob will come after you instead. As we play on a PvE server, I will recommend stacking power over crit. This doesn’t mean that crit is bad – just that all things being equal you want the other stat.

Other than that, with both of you being new to SWTOR, I want to add a bit about companions.

Your starting companion, Kaliyo, is a bounty hunter. In terms of affection, she likes it when you go for the money, but she has a certain morality to her. She doesn’t like darkside for darkside decisions and is in a lot of ways easier to play a nuanced light side character. Think of this style as being very James Bond. You are a patriot and mostly a good guy but you are quite ruthless when the job requires it. It’s the most interesting way I’ve found to play the agent story.

Kaliyo should be in a guard stance (ctrl-3). You will know stances because they have a blue light under them as opposed to a green light over them. Green lights are abilities. By putting Kaliyo in guard stance she will draw significantly increased threat. This means that she will take most of the beatings, which is ok because she wears heavy armor. When you see heavy armor blues, don’t hesitate to upgrade her. Unlike you, Kaliyo’s primary stats are AIM and ENDURANCE. Do not stack her with anything else. When it comes to secondary stats, alacrity and power vs crit advice is the same.

Because you are both snipers, the most important aspect of the fight is setup and you will want to get fast at it.

1. Face your target without drawing agro but ideally within your sniping range. Cover is a conical ability so a target outside of its 45-degree area ignores it.
2. Drop a portable cover point if natural cover is not available. Your best shots are available only from cover
3. Instruct your companion to attack (click or ctrl-1)
4. Fire a leg shot at the target you are not engaging, this will immobilize it for a time
5. Fire an explosive probe at the target you are engaging
6. Fire your Ambush at the target with the probe
7. Find a comfortable shot rotation for maximum damage (we can work on this later)

Please note that as Kaliyo advances she will gain two area of effect (AoE) abilities. During normal missions you can leave them on. When facing multiple elites, you will want to turn these abilities off in order to avoid breaking your leg shot.

Finally, remember what I said about heavy shot. While leveling, if something gets close enough to hit you, blow it back with an ambush then leg-shot it and change back to your primary target (or drop an explosive probe, shoot it, then finish it with another ambush). The goal here is to prevent melee mobs from approaching you while remaining protected from ranged mobs by your cover point.

Best of luck, feel free to message me with questions.

Aeo / cantfix.us

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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Looks good, thanks for the info.

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