Star Wars: The Old Republic has plenty of classes up its sleeve, but with our SW: TOR Smuggler guide you'll be tumbling, dodging, and pulling some fancy blaster moves all the way across the galaxy in no time. But if stylish fighting and fast talking aren't your thing, be sure to check out our other guides on the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, and Trooper to find a class that fits your style.
You Should Play A Smuggler If: If Han Solo makes his charming way into your dreams every night as the handsome rogue with a heart of gold – though he'd never admit it! – then the Smuggler is the Old Republic class for you. If you're afraid of getting caught up in a hack 'n' slash grind with the Jedi class and Trooper lacks that certain...something, then the Smuggler is calling for you to pick up those blasters.
The Smuggler is a DPS and debuff machine, as well as a viable healer, and her slightly skewed attitudes toward right and wrong make her analogous to a World of Warcraft Rogue. However, this class plays unlike anything I've played in an MMO, and is probably one of the most complex classes in The Old Republic.
Background: The Smuggler is not exactly a team player. At least not at first. Sure, she has contacts and deals across systems, planets, species... but a beacon of friendliness and group hugs she is not. Alliances are fine; friendship is rare, and in this business, dangerous. You'll be getting a lot more up close and personal as a Smuggler to the scum and villainy of the galaxy, often working the angles to get what you want while leaving those unfortunate enough to be in your way settled nicely into the dust.
The Smuggler is a dextrous little combatant, rolling across the battlefield to take cover and firing at enemies from a distance. She's not very hardy, so she won't be one to stand in the middle of a fight with her hide clearly exposed. Her wisecracks and eagerness to stride headlong into the proverbial asteroid field belie her true nature as an intelligent tactician. Keep up her mental stats while focusing on dexterity to keep her smuggling days bright and sunny.
How You Play A Smuggler: As I've mentioned above, the Smuggler plays unlike most anything else in a AAA MMO (letters are fun!) and certainly unlike anything else in Star Wars: The Old Republic, save for its Imperial counterpart, the Imperial Agent. But we'll get to the Imperial classes in SW:TOR another time.
Like the Trooper and Jedi Consular, the Smuggler pulls from a resource pool as opposed to generating it like the Jedi Knight. The Smuggler's pool is referred to as Energy, and it can get depleted pretty quickly. You'll need to assess the situations you find yourself in quickly, trying to trip up the enemy and opening them up for a big finish.
It's all about stringing together movement, line of sight, debuffs and abilities into profitable combos with the Smuggler. Rushing headlong into a scenario where you're fending off three bad guys with no cover and blasting madly isn't going to play out well. You're also not strolling around with a cannon or heavy armor, so be prepared for something of a challenge unless you're pretty familiar with the MMO genre.
How To Plan Your Future As A Smuggler: As mentioned previously, the Smuggler isn't exactly a paragon of virtue. Which should be pretty obvious once you reach level 10 in The Old Republic, as her Advanced Class options are called Scoundrel and Gunslinger. You're the shady misunderstood one in this merry band of adventurers, after all.
First let's take apart the Scoundrel, someone who you might admire from a distance, but might not want to be friends with in real-life. A backstabbing thief who'll do whatever it takes to get the job done, the Scoundrel takes her reputation in stride and with pride, all too happy to help whoever has the most credits. A master of the debuff, the Scoundrel is perfect raid material. Its talent trees are:
- Sawbones, which turns the previously DPS-focused class into a fairly strong and reliable healer.
- Scrapper, the stealth-heavy class that also boosts a Smuggler's proficiency with scatter guns, the Star Wars equivalent of a shotgun. Good for burst DPS.
- Dirty Fighting, the shared talent tree for Smuggler Advanced Classes, this tree helps the Scoundrel leave her enemies bleeding or immobile, opening them up to attack from allies.
But as those of who know that Han shot first, the Smuggler is also a blaster-toting gunman. And have no fear, the Gunslinger Advanced Class is here to fulfill that fantasy. As a Gunslinger, you'll turn into a mad DPS machine, dual-wielding blasters and pulling out all the stops with the abilities you can do with them. The talent trees to help focus this are:
- Saboteur, which turns the Gunslinger into something of a tech junkie that can sustain long-range DPS for a much longer time than she could as a Smuggler or Scoundrel.
- Sharpshooter, which boosts damage and number of abilities while concealed. For those who find the cover mechanic of the Smuggler class to be their bread and butter.
- Dirty Fighting, which performs the same as the Dirty Fighting tree for Scoundrels, debuffing and crippling enemies while dealing relatively lower DPS.
Let's say it together, one more time: Changing your Advanced Class does not change your story in Star Wars: The Old Republic. You are still a Smuggler, and your story will reflect that. You'll also continue to gain abilities specifically for Smugglers. So you're changing playstyle more than personality. Don't fret!
Smuggler Equipment: Smugglers aren't about fancy power armor or big guns. In fact, the more inconspicuous, the better. A Smuggler's armor is light and easy on the body, allowing full range of movement. And while her blasters pack a notable punch, they aren't cannons. It's much less about what you wear and much more about how you wear it with this class in SW:TOR.
It can be tempting to try and round out the Smuggler's low health and resistance with some armor focused on endurance, but don't go out of your way for it and don't sacrifice your dexterity. Instead, if you're really concerned about how squishy this class can be, particularly if it takes you some time to get used to taking advantage of cover, pack along a healthy supply of stim packs.
Smuggler Skills: For levels 1-10, the Smuggler is basically dependent on herself, and herself alone. She's been around the galaxy once or twice, and knows how to work a blaster better than most. So until you start getting into some group-heavy play, don't expect too many of those debuff skills. Instead, do what Han does: shoot it 'til it's dead.
And of course, here's the usual disclaimer: Star Wars: The Old Republic comes out December 20, 2011. Which is, at the time of this writing, the future. So there is potential for all of these skills to be renamed, re-balanced, reworked, or even removed entirely by the release date. Take these with a grain of salt, and call me in the morning.
- Take Cover: Yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Use this ability, and use it often. The Smuggler can't stand out in the middle of a battle at hardly any level, but she is particularly vulnerable at low levels. Use this to reduce your damage and open up abilities that can only be used from behind cover.
- Flurry of Bolts: Your most basic attack, and nothing too flashy. But you know what? It gets the job done, streaming – you guessed it – a flurry of bolts from your blaster to one target.
- Quick Shot: An extremely helpful ability to use while behind cover; whereas with many attacks you leave yourself open as you pop out to fire, Quick Shot is... well, quick. Use this to whittle down a group's numbers until you can make the playing field more even.
- Lucky Shots: Increase your critical hit chance, as well as the critical hit chance of anyone in your party, for a time.
Smuggler Closing Thoughts: The Smuggler is a truly stand-out class in SW:TOR. It plays unlike anything I've ever experienced in a big-budget MMO, has easily one of the most entertaining stories for either faction, and is just plain fun. Like the Trooper, playing this class should ease concerns of The Old Republic imitating World of Warcraft.
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The voice acting for this class is top notch, and is the only class where I have trouble deciding which gender does it better. After all, Mr. Video Game Voice himself, Nolan North voices the male Smuggler, while Kath Soucie performs the female side. Don't recognize that name? If you were born before 1990, you might remember her as Phil and Lil from Rugrats, among many others.
While actually playing the Smuggler class can be challenging, complex, and a lot of work, the reward of experiencing this seedy, go-get-em attitude story can be intensely satisfying. So now that you know all the Republic's classes thanks to these SW:TOR class guides, have you made your decision? The valiant Jedi Knight? The wise Jedi Consular? The rough 'n' ready Trooper? Or are you waiting to read up on what the Sith have planned for the galaxy far, far away? Let us know!