Oh, the moral quandaries that come with roleplaying in Star Wars: The Old Republic as a laser-sword-wielding monk fighting a holy war against other laser-sword-wielding monks. But wait, who is this that strolls onto the battlefield, her armor almost ritualistically carved and seared from the scars of battle? Her wrist-rockets blast apart the surroundings and those with any rational sense left in them flee in terror lest they be set on fire. Who is she? The mother-bleeping Bounty Hunter.
You Should Play A Bounty Hunter If: The Bounty Hunter is Star Wars: The Old Republic's own vision of the honey badger: she absolutely does not give a... well, let's keep this somewhat family friendly, shall we? The Bounty Hunter is the Imperial counterpart to the Republic Trooper, but unlike the Sith Warrior/Jedi Knight and Sith Inquisitor/Jedi Consular, this isn't quite a mirror image reflection on the part of the Empire.
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Like most classes, there are options within the Bounty Hunter's progression for each aspect of the MMO holy trinity: healer spec, tank, and DPS. That being said, the Bounty Hunter lends itself best to the tank and ranged DPS roles, so if you want to be the go-to warrior for such talents, this may be your class.
Background: The Bounty Hunter is a loner who typically has only one thought on her mind: the job. Well, that and all the excitement, fame, credits and groupies that come along with said job. In The Old Republic's story, she'll group up with some like-minded hunters seeking big-time glory in the battle arena. What they'll discover together is a galaxy in turmoil, with immense decisions to make and broad, sweeping power placed squarely in their hands.
Sometimes a Bounty Hunter will need to track a target across varied worlds and multiple star systems. Sometimes she will need to stand against great and ferocious beasts. Sometimes she will even go toe-to-toe with a Jedi or Sith. This means the Bounty Hunter will come to battle with all possible bases covered, and an exit plan always in tow.
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The Bounty Hunter is not someone concerned with honor or a specific way of doing things. She will use every possible advantage she can, even if it means playing dirty or fitting her tech with black market hardware. She's not technically part of the Empire, but they've got the credits, so that's where she works. For now.
How You Play A Bounty Hunter: The Bounty Hunter gives great burst DPS at range, which can often include some nice effects to help cripple foes. She also makes a fantastic tank, with heavy armor and personal shield generator, should you so choose that playstyle. For levels 1-10, don't worry too much about the odds you'll be facing. Just blast away and have fun; the Bounty Hunter is definitely one of the coolest to watch in battle in SW:TOR.
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How To Plan Your Future As A Bounty Hunter: The Bounty Hunter can advance her skills or become a practical magnet for advanced hardware with her Advanced Class options. Both will be quite satisfactory to anyone with a need to go big, go boom, and go home, but the feel can certainly change between the two. Let's take a look at the Powertech first.
The Powertech is a Bounty Hunter with a penchant for using technology and prototype weaponry – including a flamethrower – to her advantage, all while keeping a solid focus on strong defense with a shield generator. If you want one of the best tank options in The Old Republic, this is your Advanced Class. The skill trees are:
- Shield Tech, very comparable to the Shield Specialist tree of the Trooper, allowing the Bounty Hunter to soak up enemy damage and even turn it back against them. The tanking tree.
- Advanced Prototype, which gives the Powertech some versatility in her handling of battles, allowing for close or long-range DPS. It's also a master of AoE bursts, allowing for quick clears of weak enemy clusters.
- Firebug, the shared tree. Despite being a shared tree with the word “fire” in it, this Powertech will beef up her skills with the flamethrower. Both Advanced Classes will get some upgrades to their missiles however.
The Mercenary on the other hand can feel almost more like a Gunslinger from the Smuggler Advanced Class options. Trading in the flamethrower for dual blasters, the Mercenary treads the path of damage, damage, and more damage, blasting apart her foes with everything she's got. Her missiles will get some beefy upgrades, and this Advanced Class will also allow her to spec as a healer. The trees are:
- Bodyguard, the healing tree, which can buff up allies' resistance to damage while also allowing the Bounty Hunter to bring them back from the brink of defeat. You know, if she feels like it.
- Arsenal, a great class for ranged burst DPS, as it beefs up the Bounty Hunter's rockets and dual blasters, allowing her to manipulate weapons as others could only dream. Also, a favorite amongst the PvP crowd.
- Firebug, the “burn everything” tree that specializes in stacking de-buffs and some nice damage over time abilities.
Time for the lovely reminder: No matter which Advanced Class you choose, you are always a Bounty Hunter, ultimate badass of the galaxy. No matter which Advanced Class or spec tree you should choose, the story will play out the same.You were made in Boba Fett's image after all, so live up to it. Don't let petty Advanced Classes define you!
Bounty Hunter Equipment: Big. Heavy. Those two words will be what you come to live and love as a Bounty Hunter. Even though she'll never carry the immense turrets that a Republic Trooper will, her hardware – guns and armor alike – can take even the most skilled craftsmen years to make. For levels 1-10, focus on your Endurance to resist the tougher fights and the Aim stat to help take down enemies quicker.
Bounty Hunter Skills: The Bounty Hunter is no Force user. She does not have inborn abilities that give her a mystical connection or advantage over her enemies. Some Bounty Hunters throughout the ages have never even had a single professional lesson in weapons or martial fighting. So instead, the Bounty Hunters of The Old Republic rely on their black market connections and willingness to explore prototype technology in their skills.
The Bounty Hunter's abilities generate Heat, which must be vented. Build up too much Heat, and your abilities will falter for a short time, until they can cool down. It's a more careful management than some of the other resource pools, so keep that in mind.
- Missile Blast: A strong burst of damage from the Bounty Hunter's wrist-rockets that also knocks down standard and weak enemies. A great opener, giving you one less bad guy to worry about.
- Rocket Punch: Falcohn PAUWNCH!! The Bounty Hunter blasts forward with her jetpack, giving that extra momentum needed to punch her enemies straight into another galaxy far, far away.
- Unload: A channeled ability that deals so-so damage but stuns standard and weak enemies caught within line of sight.
- Vent: Take care of that heating problem ASAP. You shouldn't need this unless you get into a jam where you've been abusing your abilities, but it's a nice backup.
Bounty Hunter Closing Thoughts: The Bounty Hunter was a class I didn't really love at first. The story lets you play it out as a ruthless credit-obsessed killer or a kind and team-oriented friend you'd love to have at your side on any day of the week, and to be honest, I wasn't sure which I wanted. Still, the Bounty Hunter gains one of my personal favorite companions, though I can't say how, lest I spoil the plot.
What's really nice about the Bounty Hunter though are her abilities. I literally cried out “Falcohn PAUWNCH!!” at least a dozen times using Rocket Punch. And Missile Blast has an intensely satisfying connect to an enemy, knocking him flat on his butt. It's definitely a class for the Imperial side to have fun with, as its cool factor overrides just about any concerns I have with it.
Lastly, the Bounty Hunter is an absolute beast in PvP. Maybe it's the class' abilities, maybe it's the allure of the bounty hunter lore in Star Wars, maybe it's something else. I don't know. But people love their Bounty Hunter PvP. So if that's your thing, all the more power to ya.
What do you think? We've got guides on every class but one, meaning you've got the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Trooper, and Smuggler to check out in our Republic class guides, or the Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, and now this Bounty Hunter guide for the Imperials. Next, and last up, the Imperial Agent! Get excited, people.