While Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massive game filled with a seemingly endless supply of content for you to explore, the competitive players out there will definitely want to try out the player vs. player (PvP) options that SWTOR has to offer. If you're interested in using that lightsaber of yours against other players, then this guide will teach you everything you need to know to get started with PvP in SWTOR.
What is PvP in SWTOR?
First off, before you even log in to the game you must decide if you want to play on a PvE (player vs. environment) server or a PvP server. If you choose a PvE server you won't be able to fight against other players out in the world unless you flag yourself for PvP. If you choose a PvP server then you'll always be able to fight against people of the opposing faction as long as you're not in one of their cities.
Currently in SWTOR the main way to PvP, aside from world PvP like mentioned above is via Warzones. Warzones are battle arenas where you compete against the opposing faction in one of three game types. Aside from the sheer satisfaction you get from winning a game against the other team, PvP also offers a ton of really great rewards like gear, consumables, titles, experience points, and credits, all based on your level.
One of interesting things about PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic is that while in Warzones everything is scaled. Meaning, when you get queued in to a Warzone even if you're level 10 you'll be fighting against level 50 people but they won't be able to destroy you.
Your gear will be scaled up to the equivalent power, but you'll only be able to use the abilities that your character has learned up to that point. So level 10 characters won't have as much at their disposal to deal with players in the Warzone, but if, skill-wise, you're better than your opponent, PvP offers a pretty equal playing field.
How do I play PvP in SWTOR?
As long as you're at least level 10, you can PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare has made it easy to queue for a PvP game, and you can do it from anywhere in the world. All you've got to do is click your faction icon on the minimap and select queue for Warzone. You can join Warzones either solo or in a group if you'd rather play with friends.
Depending on how many people are on your server queuing for PvP at that time will determine how fast you get in to a game. If less people want to PvP then you might be in the queue for a while, but the great thing is that you can go about your business, continue leveling, or doing whatever you want out in the world, and once your PvP queue pops up you can jump in, and you'll get spit back out in the same spot once you're finished.
As mentioned before, there are three Warzones that you can get queued in to when you decide to play PvP. It's random which one you get chosen for and you can't just pick the same Warzone to fight in over and over again. The three Warzones are: The Voidstar, Huttball, and Alderaan - The Civil War.
Huttball is a 7v7 capture-the-flag type of game with an awesome, battle arena flavored twist. The main objective is for your team to take a ball from the center of the three-story map and get it to the goal near your enemy's base without being killed by other players or the hazardous environment. Scattered around the map are traps like acid pits and fire vents that you can throw your opponents in to. Teamwork is super important in Huttball, as you can throw the ball to your teammates if you're about to die. This fast-paced Warzone ends when one team scores six times, or after 15 minutes. The team with the most points at the end of 15 minutes is declared the victor.
The Voidstar is a two-round Warzone that takes a note from classic attacker and defender types of gameplay. The main point of focus in The Voidstar is either claiming or defending a terminal that's being kept at the end of three rooms. When the game starts, your team will either be on the attacking or defending side and that will determine your objective.
Those defending in the Void Star have one job: keep the attackers from getting to through the doors and rooms to the datacore. You basically set up shop near a door and knock players away.
On the other hand, if you're attacking then you have to plant bombs on one of two doors in an area and defend your bomb from being disarmed for about fifteen to twenty seconds until it explodes. Once one door explodes, the other door in the area automatically opens up as well. This continues for three rooms, each of which has extra objectives for teams to interact with, like moving bridges. Once you get through the third room, the round ends and teams switch sides.
The victor in The Voidstar is decided by the team who gets to the datacore fastest within the 15 minute timer. If it takes team one five minutes to get there, but takes team two ten minutes to get there then team one will win.
Alderaan - The Civil War
Alderaan - The Civil War is an 8v8 capture-point Warzone where your team will have to take control and protect up to three turrets that will automatically be used to destroy the enemy faction's ship. The Civil War is a pretty small map, and it doesn't take long for players to get from one turret to the other in order to defend it. It's the most classic style Warzone out of the bunch, and as long as your team controls at least two of the turrets for the duration of the game you'll emerge victorious.
Why Should You PvP in SWTOR?
Aside from bragging rights and being able to tell everyone how awesome you are at killing other players, PvP in SWTOR reaps tons of benefits. Whether you win or lose a Warzone, you always get experience points (if you're not level capped), credits, valor rank points, and Warzone commendations which you can trade in for consumables, mounts, and some really great gear.
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When it comes to the experience and money you get from Warzones it definitely varies depending on if you win or lose the Warzone. That said, you still get a pretty good chunk regardless. Since credits and experience gains scale to your level, it seems as though most people report that they get about half a bubble of experience points (on your experience bar) if they win, and about a quarter if they lose. Money scales as well, but you'll be getting at least 1,000 credits per game at level 10 and a bunch more as you get higher in level.
Aside from xp and credits, Warzones also contribute to your Valor Rank. Valor is the system used in SWTOR to distribute PvP rewards. You start at level one and can reach up to level 100. Every ten valor ranks you get a title, and at level 60 you can equip the best PvP gear. Here are a list of the valor titles:
Skirmisher – Valor Rank 10
Duelist – Valor Rank 20
Gladiator – Valor Rank 30
Centurion – Valor Rank 40
Champion – Valor Rank 50
Battlemaster – Valor Rank 60
War Hero – Valor Rank 70
Conqueror – Valor Rank 80
Warlord – Valor Rank 90
Elite Warlord – Valor Rank 100
How Does PvP Gear Work In SWTOR?
After each Warzone you'll also receive Warzone commendations. Basically what you do with the commendations is trade them in to PvP vendors for better gear.
There are four PvP vendors, one for each armor type, in your faction's Fleet Station in the Combat Training area. The Champion PvP Gear Vendor sells Champion level PvP gear, the Centurion PvP vendor sells Centurion level PvP gear, etc. etc. Make sure that when you're buying your PvP gear you go to the vendor that sells your class' specific set. If you find vendors but they aren't selling the type of gear you want, look around, the people selling the gear you desire are probably just across the hall.
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When a Warzone ends, you'll always be rewarded with the plain old Warzone commendations. Later, you trade 30 of those in for ten Mercenary Commendations at a PvP vendor either in the Combat Training area or inside any Warzone's entrance. As you get higher level and a higher valor point rank, you can trade in Mercenary Commendations for Centurion and Champion Gear.
NOTE: PvP gear progresses like this: Centurion < Champion < Battlemaster
For each 200 Warzone and 200 Mercenary Commendations you have you'll be able to purchase Champion Gear Bags that contain 1-3 Centurion Commendations and the chance at 1 Unassembled Champion Piece that you can use to purchase Champion Gear.
Once you're level 50 you can complete daily and weekly quests that will award you with either a Champion Gear Bag or a Battlemaster Gear Bag (your choice) which works just like the Champion Gear Bag but nets you the best epics. The only caveat is that you must be level 50 and PvP rank 60 to open the Battlemaster Gear Bags.
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One last thing I want to go over are the medals that you can earn while PvPing. Medals are basically repeatable achievements that give you extra Valor experience and Warzone Commendations once the Warzone ends. For each medal you earn you get 50 Valor experience and five Warzone commendations. Here's a list of medals that we found via Reddit.
- Medic – 2.5k healing from a single heal
- Demolisher – 2.5k damage from a single attack
- Trauma Surgeon – 5k healing from a single heal
- Annihilator - 5K damage from a single attack
- Quick Draw – Getting a killing blow on one player
- Combatant – Dealing 75k damage
- Destroyer - Dealing 300K damage
- Healer - Healing 75K
- Savior - Healing 300K
- Defender – Earning 1k Defender Points
- Warden - Earning 3k Defender Points
- Assassin – Killing a player in a one-on-one fight
- Shield – 5k Protection
- Protector - 50K Protection
- Guardian – 2k Protection since last death
- Paladin – 10k Protection since last death
- Commando – Killing 10 enemy players
- Soldier – Killing 25 enemy players
And there you have it. With all of this information I expect you to go out there and begin PvPing in the very near future. It's a great change of pace from the standard way of leveling, and I think that BioWare has done a great job of implementing fun yet challenging PvP environments for their players.
They've even announced a few upcoming changes to PvP, including level 50 only Warzones, new Medals, PvP Stat Tracking, Open World PvP Loot Drops, Ranked Warzone matches and more. We'll have to see how they all pan out, but in the meantime I'll see you on the battlefield.