SWTOR Gunslinger Specs Guide (SS, Sab, DF)

SWTOR Gunslinger Specs Guide (Sharpshooter, Saboteur, Dirty Fighting) by chimeraone

im and avid pvper and done so in any and many mmos and lvling through pvp as well.

I’ve been, well pvping since lvl 16 and purely lvled through pvp( im crazy i know) but i love it, having a group of ppl and working well together and i always pvp purely in mmos.

but anyways, pvping alot made me try and work with the different specs fully and alot as well as hybrid specs.

what ill do here is explain the specs and how i see them in terms of viability and how hard they are to utilize.

Keep in mind aoe dmg and dotting often proves to be more of an asset due to healers struggling more as they dont have strong aoe heals, and you prevent ppl from taking objects – ultimately you put pressure on the fight.


This is the most go to spec for every gunslinger and it offers the best single target dps of the three fully committed specs.

Its strenghts lie in the low casting times and instant shots that you obtain due to skill tree.

how to utilize 

some like to find a spot to plink like mad from others prefer to move every 10sec( what comes natural) flowing with the group. This is due to charged burst becoming instant when covering, aimed shot getting lowered cast to 1.5sec after a crit on charged burst. further more trick shot follow up is instant and all these enable a – cover, shoot, cover, move concept.

if you like to focus out single targets while knowing that staying in cover makes you beefy then this is what you should stick to as it offers faster release of your strong shots.


what it’s about. Bombing targets( aoe ), dotting them, and aoe bombing them while maintaining movement.

What i like about this tree is that it favors lower cooldown on your thermal grenade, offers a slow on shock grenade and your sabotage will do high dmg – after that it will continue to explode on impact on the target for another 3 times doing lower dmg however.

your beefy part here comes from Defense screen gaining 30% more effectiveness as well as you gain an overall of 6% reduction to ALL dmg while in cover.

how to utilize:

You always want to open up with a sabo, into shock charge and speed shot with blazing skill( leaves a stack of 4 dots of 95 fire dmg over 4 sec. which is roughly 400 dmg over 4 sec) whenever you do any type of shot or setup you want to throw a thermal grenade as it has 3sec cd.

basicly you can charge shot, throw a grenade, sabo charge, throw a grenade, shock bomb throw a grenade – now if you run low on energy always use cool head and defense screen. then detonate your shock bomb, so you can get refreshed your cool head and defense screen.

Things to remember – you can constantly be on the move only to drop into cover to use sabotage and speed shot. Defense screen offers more defense with skill tree investment.
Your aoe dmg is increased and this also affects your freighter flyby which you obtain at 48 i believe as well as incendiary grenade and thermal grenade.

Dirty fighting

The most mobile gun and run spec of all three. Your strenght comes from the dots and the last skill tree passives and abilites namely wounding shot, and hemo shot.

the setup relies on opening with your hemo followed by vital shot and shrap bomb then ending it with wounding shot to rake up high amount of dmg on the target. Shrap bomb offers a switch to another target to reapply the setup of skills.

Your survivability comes alot from constant movement lowered cd on dirty kick, which also increases your movement as well and defense screen.

how to utilize.

whenever you decide to open on someone you still need to remember to keep your range. i prefer to fire of vital shot, and shrap bomb as soon as i can followed by hemo shot and wounding shot this due to the dmg on the target increasing significantly as well as the dot dmg increasing on targets below 30%.

You will not see huge numbers on targets but you will maintain the highest pressure of the three specs on enemy team, due to dots doing high dmg, preventing taking objectives and hurting their healers.

However it does hog your energy and you must take care maintaining it, and at first it might mess you up but you will learn how to deal with it later on.

Things to remember – you want to dot many people that are clustered together to offer easy switch to do hemo and wounding shot. you want to drop into cover when focused by ranged, and you want to keep defense screen running whenever you can as you are constantly moving.

Disclaimer – im not a pvp guru nor a god but a person who likes to help others as i attempt here.

This section will be about the different specs i tried and liked and perhaps even some of yours depending on what works and such.
thereafter about rotation, when sitting tight or moving about.

Keep in mind this is how i play and played gunslinger in the various specs and i am by no means a GOD, i just pvp alot and change specs ALOT.

builds are according to placement in darth hater – DF-SS-SABO

Sharpshooter specs.


A pretty standard build that offers great single target dps as well as making you beefy.

sharpshooter youtube clip, lvl 50. All credits goes to the owner of the video

gives you an idea of how it looks and flows.

the strengths:
snap shot – makes your charged burst instant when entering cover. This is importent since you will use charged burst alot with this build

Sharp aim – your aimed shot ignores a certain amount of armor offering a higher amount of dmg per shot.

Quick aim – your charged burst crits will lower aimed shot cast time by 1 sec. This one i love the most as it insures that you manage to fire off those aimed shots – especially when you open up with a setup on a target.

Trickshot – pretty straight forward dmg dealing skill that should be fired off when ever possible. Keep in mind you can use it on other target than your initial target when it becomes active.

How to play it out!

In general you want to find a nice spot to fire at people from. However, try to always maintain movement every 10-15 sec, and this is for various reasons.

1: your instant shot, charged burst will be useful.
2: your prevent drawing to much attention to yourselves
3: you move to be in constant flow with the battle
4: moving will make you aware of your surrounding before entering cover again and firing at your will.

how to go about it:

I know many like a certain rotation but in pvp you need to see things for how they pan out. If a target comes at you or someone is low, you suddenly need to change how you want to attack the situation.

Pre activated your crit modifier for charged burst making it 100% crit, enter cover fire it off follow a trick shot, sabocharge, aimed shot, trick shot. speed shot. Usually i would exit cover if needed and on the move throw a thermal grenade, vital shot a target people are focusing or in general fire flurry of bolts.

If you decide to maintain a stationary position then keep your trick shot, charged burst and aimed shot constantly going. These are your main shots and charged burst crits lower aimed shot cast time. Aimed shot offers burst volley lowering cast time of charged burst. and trick shot is an instant that activates when you use either of said shots.

I wont delve more into Sharpshooter as the forum already has a guide and most people already know the build.

important to remember
Be on the move between rotations.
Pick out healers and high dpsers first
Tanks are your last focus.
NEVER go in first, you are not rambo let people engage the first then you arrive picking targets.


11/0/30 – the Dotbomber specs


i like this more as incendiary grenade is not very good unless you use it to prevent people from tagging a door or turret – still shrap bomb can do that job better. Incendiary grenade only does dmg to people standing in it – few do.

This build is more of a Dot/bomb hybrid and the main reason is Shrap bomb.
I prefer shrap bomb to incendiary grenade due to it working well with shock charge. Furthermore, Saboteur relies on aoe and shrap bomb is an aoe dot that adds pressure to your constant firing of thermal grenades.

the power lies in you having 3 dots on targets plus sabotage charges blowing up.

the strengths:

SUB – this makes your able to fire of thermal grenades every 3seconds basicly. Offering a constant flow of bombs to annoy and put pressure.

Contingency charges – they blow up over a serious of 3 times after your initial explosion from sabo charge – on hit – which means you or someone needs to dmg the target in order for them to explode.

Shock charge – A single target dot that latches on to a target offering a detonation of sabotage that furthermore removes the cooldown on cool head and defense screen.

Blazing shot – i personally love this one, as it adds a nice dmg stacks after you fire of a round of speed shot. Your speed shot adds a stack of 4/4 which deal 95×4 fire dmg over 4 seconds. Roughly speaking its 400 dmg over 4 seconds. This is a nice addition to your dot build.

hotwired defenses – Making your defense screen stronger, which is importent when you are out of cover often.

Riot screen
Reducing ALL dmg by 6% when in cover is nice, and it furthermore reduces the cooldown of scambling field.

mortal wound – making your vital shot stronger, by giving it a chance to do a double tick. The chance could have been higher though.

open wound – Increases vital shot duration by 3sec. Not much but a slight improvement in the dmg nonetheless.

shrap bomb – i love shrap bomb. It is an AOE( area of effect) ability that affects your initial target and 2 enemies close to him leaving a bleed effect ticking for a certain amount of dmg.

How to play it out!

In general you want to always try and use a thermal grenade after a setup or between skills if you feel safe. Your strength lies in the 3 dots, sabo charge and your constant grenades that go flying all over the area. Dont hesitate to use your defense screen and play aggressive with your energy, as you can easiliy replenish it with a detonate followed by another cool head.

how to go about it:

once again this is how i feel it flows.

I always start off with cover into sabo charge followed by speed shot if i want to put pressure quickly on a target to move again afterwards.
However, you can go about using shock charge, vital shot, shrap bomb. Then dropping into cover, going sabo charge, thermal grenade, speed shot.

Or for the bold setup i go. Charged burst, thermal grenade, sabo charge, thermal grenade, speed shot, move out of cover thermal grenade, shrap bomb, thermal grenade, vital shot , thermal grenade, shock charge , cool head, detonate…

what im saying is – dont forget to use your thermal grenade when you can.

Now off course you wont be going about what i wrote up top blindly but doing things in combination with whats going on around you.

Things to remember:

You are mobile, yet you need cover for that powerhouse combo of sabo charge, speed shot and thermal grenade. Defense screen makes you beefy and allows you to push a little longer or stay a tad longer in situations where you should have left.
You can dot people to hell and back, eventhough they wont hurt as much as DF specced dots they still put pressure when coupled with your grenades and charges.

other spec varations:

A classic one that focuses on a synergy between your charged shots, speed shots and bombing setup.


This one goes more commited by going 33 points into sabo tree taking 4% endurance or Pandemonium if you like that.


a different build as well – credits go to stealthnerf


Dirty fighting:

the skirmisher

different variation

you can in both specs choose if you want dirty trickster or instead put your points into hold your ground.

A youtube video to give you an idea of how it looks and plays – all credits go to the owner of this video.

dirty fighting pvp lvl 50

how to play it out!

Dirty fighting or DF is the high mobile skirmish fighter. You are basicly running and gunning good old western style. The importence comes from the synergy of your dots with hemo shot and wounding shot. Defense screen is on a lower cooldown here and with good reason, as you will be running and gunning alot with few stop to dive into cover.

how to go about it:

Normally i either go vital shot into shrap bomb, then hemo shot wounding shot – this gives the most amount of damage during your window where wounding shot is channeling. In other situations you would go vital shot into wounding shot alone or shrap bomb into wound shot.

This is due to the setup being a bit heavy in terms of energy and time. In heavy fights you want to try and vital shot shrap bomb your main target so shraps bomb hits those around him, this offers a switch if a target drops low that is also dotted.

You will struggle with energy if you constantly spam abilities – therefore be selective and use flurry of bolts between cooldowns.

things to remember
Since you are about dots as main damage source adding to it the dmg of wounding shot, you must try and avoid wasting a round on squishies that are being targetted. I often find it worth while focusing tanks or bruisers as well as healers. while the full dps melee and casters die to fast to make your dots worth the energy used.

Dont forget cover! i know you can run and gun but cover offers defense, so always find a safe spot if needed and shoot from there.

Always dot pressure healers or their targets which they are keeping up. Dots ticking away and your dmg in general can turn the tide here.

Other viable specs( the hybrids):

Since we dont have combat logs or a general feel of the dmg output this will be a lesser factor here. However, here are specs that i have tried and others have tried too. These specs feel viable and work to an extend.


A heavy skirmish dot spec.
What i liked here was having 2 dots that slowed people as well as being able to keep wounding shot and the damage of thermal grenade is increased through both trees.

You do lose out on some of the final things in the trees but you gain strengths elsewhere.

Bomb sniper

A spec that balances around charged burst and the strengths of sabotage as well as thermal grenade. You keep trickshot and gain instant charged burst through pandemonium and snap shot.

Fun to play with and it synergizes well in the flow of the battle. You do lose out on higher tier things once again but you gain a unique play style.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I must say that my Gunslinger spec is way better then yours.

  2. Love the tips here. I am curious: I like the 31/5/5 spec you posted. My question is: is it best to put all my points into sharpshooter FIRST, then put the 10 extra into the last two trees for increased cunning, alac, and energy? Or should I first go 5/5 in sabo and df, then go as high as possible in my main (sharp shooter) tree?
    I'm looking for the best solo-ing PvE power level type of play. With story completion coming first, not flashpoints, or PVP. But rather finishing quests and story mostly solo and not in groups.

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