Star Wars: The Old Republic has plenty of classes up its sleeve, and the Republic Trooper is one of the most explosive and intimidating in the game, even when it marches up against an entire swarm of the iconic Jedi. If you want to be a lean mean fighting machine Trooper in SW:TOR, by all means, forge forward with this levels 1-10 guide!
You Should Play A Trooper If: If you want to fight for galactic peace on the side of the Republic, but don't want to be a Jedi, or if you want to wield turret guns the size of your body. Or if you want to stomp the yard (yeah, I went there) with armor so thick it would make a Sandcrawler blush (and that's not even physically possible) then the Republic Trooper is for you.
The Trooper is a hard-hitting, damage-absorbing death machine, capable of acting as both a ranged DPS support and a tank. He's a disciplined, tough fighter who doesn't back down. Ever.
Background: Since the Republic's army is comprised mostly of Troopers, you might get the idea that these guys are pretty standard cannon-fodder, unable to stand up to the might and awe-inspiring feats of a Jedi or Sith. Well, you'd be dead wrong chum, and a Trooper will happily stick a grenade in your face while you're too busy looking down on him to notice.
The Republic trains their troops well; loyal, hardy, and if need be, surprisingly ruthless. Jedi Code compels the Knights and Consulars of the Order to spare a fallen foe. The Trooper has no such reluctance. He will fight until the bitter end, a master of the battlefield and tactics that allow allies to overtake and overrun the pitiful forces that stand before him. As a living beacon of the Republic and the first to run into a fight, the Trooper's most important stats will be those that boost endurance and strength.
How You Play A Trooper: Star Wars: The Old Republic guns – aka: blasters – don't shoot bullets, but they still can run out of juice if you're not careful. The Trooper's most basic attack simply fires a volley of lasers at an enemy from his cannon, but his knowledge of firearms also lets him overcharge the weapon, launch explosive and incendiary rounds, and utilize the weapon in a way most wouldn't know how, upping its critical hit chance and so on.
The Trooper's abilities pull from a pool called Ammo, but don't worry; you won't have to go around scrounging up ammunition belts or scavenging from the enemies you kill. It's basically an infinite clip that recharges over time, so unless you overdo it on the skills and abilities, you won't have to worry about a Dirty Harry scenario where you have to ask yourself, “Do I feel lucky?”
How To Plan Your Future As A Trooper: Upon reaching level 10, your future as a Republic Trooper opens up to some pretty badass specialties. While the Trooper will never be a fantastic healer or melee DPS dealer, it'll always be a rough-and-tumble sonnova -BEEP!- that'll be handy to have in your party. The cannons these big boys lug around are intimidating and can deal some major damage, something even the most seasoned Jedi should learn to respect.
First, we'll go through the Trooper Advanced Class that takes the Trooper from being merely good at what he does to being an awe-inspiring, living wrecking ball of damage-absorbing flesh and metal: The Vanguard. The Vanguard doesn't get to carry around the immense turrets that Commandos do, but as a trade it can give some of the best buffs in the game, and is easily the most viable tank option. But of course, you know the drill; a Vanguard isn't just a Vanguard. You've got talent trees to look through. And here they are:
- Shield Specialist, which expands the Vanguard's shield abilities, allowing it to absorb far more damage and also help protect allies.
- Tactics, a buff-heavy tree that also helps the Vanguard move up to the enemy with close-range abilities; very helpful against targets that need to be melee tanked.
- Assault Specialist, which turns the Vanguard into something of a demolitions expert, smartly complementing their rifle skills with grenades.
Meanwhile, the Commando Advanced Class is no slouch. The weapons these guys lug around look more like they were suited for starships than individual soldiers, and the punch they pack would seem to agree. This Advanced Class also contains the only tree for Troopers who want to move into a healing/support role, making Commandos quite versatile. The trees are:
- Gunnery, which chews up other DPS numbers and spits them out, much like you'll be doing with all the explosive abilities tied to this class.
- Combat Medic, which isn't going to replace a specialist healer like the Jedi Consular, but man if they aren't nice to have around in a raid, healing allies in far less time than it takes for some other classes.
- Assault Specialist, the shared tree among the two Trooper Advanced Classes, once again turning the Commando into a fighter who's all about what can be blown up.
I'm sure some of you who are reading each of these guides are getting tired of me reminding you, but once again; choosing Advanced Classes in SW:TOR doesn't change your story. You are still a Trooper, defender and rally-crier for the Republic, and that's the tale you'll be weaving as you make your mark on the galaxy.
Trooper Equipment: Big. Heavy. Intimidating. Lumbering like a colossus. This is how you describe a Trooper in battle equipment. The early levels of your Trooper experience don't outfit you in such gear right away, and for good reason; you'd be unstoppable if you were. So expect to run around practically naked for a while before the game will let you strap on the big boy boots. But once you've got those on, I've got to tell ya; they are a nice fit.
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The Trooper can hold his own extremely well thanks to the years of physical training it takes to join the elite ranks he's sworn into, but don't be afraid to push these physical stats even higher by focusing on armor and equipment that boosts shields, endurance, and strength. While extremely mentally disciplined, the Trooper follows orders, and won't really be giving them until he chooses an Advanced Class. So don't worry about the relatively low willpower.
Trooper Skills: The Trooper is good at plenty of things, but he's really good at one thing: making bad guys go away with a hail of gunfire from his heavy weapons. The ammo pool is surprisingly large and again, unless you're going for absolute overkill, you shouldn't have to worry about running low. The Trooper's also focused mainly on his own survival in the early levels as well, so don't expect party-focused buffs until you've proven that you've got what it takes, soldier.
Another repetitious heads-up: all of the skills listed below may not actually be as they appear in the final build of the game. Since these guides were written before the Star Wars: The Old Republic release date of December 20, there's still plenty of time for these to be tweaked, re-balanced, renamed, or even removed entirely. Still, it's handy to know what we know. So here ya go!
- Hammer Shot: The most basic attack in the Trooper's repetoire, this skill fires a series of bolts into one designated target, dealing basic weapon damage. How good or bad this skill is to use depends entirely on your weapon of choice.
- Full Auto: A continuous stream of lasers pours forth from the Trooper's weapon over a small period of time, dealing some heavy damage. Try to line this up with another enemy in the line of fire to stun the hapless chap.
- Fast Reload: The Ammo pool is divided into cells, which is the name given to point cost for abilities. Fast Reload is a nice trick to have if you ever run low, as it pumps 6 cells into the Trooper's weapon nearly instantaneously. Careful though, it has a big cooldown.
Trooper Closing Thoughts: If any concerns of “Is this World of Warcraft in space?” have crept into your mind, the Trooper should put those straight to rest. While it doesn't exactly turn the game into a first-person shooter, it'll have you being far more mindful of positional advantage and tactics as a soldier than most medieval fantasy MMOs. You're also using grenades and blasters, which combined with the focus on ammunition and tactical advantages will have you feeling more in-character than most classes.
The Trooper's story plays out like something in the vein of Saving Private Ryan, and I'm totally okay with that. It's an epic, sweeping drama that reminds you both of how small you are as a monumental war rages around you, and of how instrumental and inspirational you are as a paragon of the Republic's fighting spirit. The Trooper's voice acting is some of the finest, with the female version being voiced by none other than FemShep herself, Jennifer Hale.
So what do you think? Ready to suit up and roll out as a Trooper? Or maybe you haven't read up on the Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular yet? Or perhaps you want to be the stealthy, swaggering Smuggler, coming up next in our SW:TOR class guides! And then of course there's always the Imperial side of things too. So much to talk about so little time. So why don't you pop down into the comments there and let us know your thoughts?