Character Statistics In SWTOR And What They Mean

This guide focuses on knowing your stats and how they relate to the character class choice you make in SWTOR at a Basic to Moderate MMO gamer experience level.

From what we have seen of the Beta of SWTOR so far it is obvious that it is a standard MMO stat/gear dependent system that determines how effective your character will be against the content of the game whether it be PVP or PVE content. Your characters success is driven by your statistics and your gear and gear bonuses.


The way the system is designed should be no surprise to the experienced MMO gamer. There is a basic pattern that you see across the board on each character type that you could choose. There are Primary and Secondary stats that relate to your character and for each class choice there are different stats that apply in order of importance to how they affect what you can do.

Depending on which class you choose will determine which set of stats are most useful for you and which are not. Some of these stats will come from your character and the leveling process and then the majority of the specialized boosts to stats you choose for your character type will come from your gear. The Gear bonuses will not be as prevalent at the first fifteen or so levels but around twenty and up you will see a more dramatic dependency on bonuses from gear.

*Note: In addition to this there are also three other ways in which your character is measured that don’t directly affect your damage output or health ratings, but are used for other game mechanics like attaining PVP gear, Light and Darkside gear and Social gear among other things. We wont go into too much detail with these for now because I have other guides for these for another day. Those other ways the game uses to gauge your character in different areas of content are as follows.

Valor- which is a measurement of your success and effectiveness in PVP.
Social points- that are earned for participating in conversations in group content like flashpoints or any group content where a conversation roll is made.
Alignment points for Light and Darkside choices- earned in quest responses or as mission rewards. It is a reflection of your path or decisions throughout the story of the game.

Now lets get into the meat of this guide dealing with the stats and their order of importance to the character choice you are going to make. This will be very important to you later when it comes to skill point distribution and when using tools like our handy skill tree calculator also and when it comes to selecting gear with bonuses that mesh well with your most important stats. The gear/stat choice will become ever more important as you level as bonuses from gear is the main way in which most of your effectiveness will come into play.

Of course there are always going to be off the wall builds or flavor of the month builds that focus on some obscure stat relative to a class to achieve a certain effect in game. The following are the normal choices though based on the way Bioware seems to have designed it to work that will be most effective for the majority of players using whats commonly referred to as a “cookie cutter” type build.

(All this information was based off of beta play experience so it is subject to change later after release as massive skill changes have been seen from build to build of the game at this point while they tweak their systems.)

The Primary Stats

character stats

Aim- is the primary statistic that influences your aptitude with ranged weapons and the damage they deal out. critical hit rating and bonus critical chance and damage are affected by aim
Cunning- is the primary statistic that influences your technological aptitude and the damage you deal out with these devices and also the effectiveness of some of your healing abilities.
Endurance- is the primary statistic that adds to your overall character health or “hit points”.

Strength- is the primary statistic that influences your aptitude for melee weapon combat and the damage you deal with those types of weapons., also rate of critical strike and potency of critical strike also effected by strength.
Willpower- is the primary statistic that influences your aptitude with force ability powers, also affects healing and bonus healing and critical strike rate for healing

Aim, Cunning, Strength and Willpower are specific to certain classes the way they have designed the system. Endurance while I consider it to be a primary stat, is not really tied to a specific class. It is sort of a extra primary stat that can help any of the classes but one that no class really focuses on more than the other primary stats.

How do the primary statistics relate to individual class choice?

Generally this list holds true until you get to the point that you are picking your advanced class and trying to move your character into a specialized type of play-style and then you might want to consider another of the primary stats your main, like a Imperial Agent focusing on Aim instead of Cunning for example. For now this list seems to be fairly accepting of most play styles though and gives you a good idea of what is considered normal.

Bounty Hunter- primary statistic is Aim
Imperial Agent- primary statistic is Cunning
Sith Warrior- primary statistic is Strength
Inquisitor- primary statistic is Willpower
Jedi Consular- primary statistic is Willpower
Jedi Knight- primary statistic is Strength
Smuggler- primary statistic is Cunning
Trooper- primary statistic is Aim

Notice a trend here? Bounty Hunter = Trooper, Sith Warrior = Jedi Knight and etc. What you are seeing is the balancing mirror effect, with what Bioware has chosen to try to balance the classes from one faction to another. It seems they have chosen to have certain classes mirror each other in an attempt to make combat as fair as possible between the Imperial to the Republic factions.

Sinking specialization into those main stats above is most effective until you break into the higher levels and you start to see gear with bonuses to other abilities like “surge” for example. At this time those are the abilities I like to think of as your secondary stats.

Secondary Statistics

character stats

Absorption- increases the amount of damage shields absorb.
Accuracy- increases your chance to hit the target you are fighting with, and increases your chance to penetrate defenses. For classes that consider this a secondary, 100% or better accuracy is very effective.
Alacrity- speeds activation and channel times. affects certain cool down times
Armor- reduces incoming physical and energy damage from kinetic and energy attacks
Critical Chance/ Critical Multiplier- increases your chance to crit and the damage you do when you crit.
Damage (primary)- increases your main characters damage output. It is a percentage applied as pure raw damage before modifiers and then all critical bonuses are applied afterwards
Defense- increases your chance to avoid incoming attacks.
Expertise- Controls things to do with PVP, it is not only a defensive modifier but an offensive as well for all stats having to do with PVP. Think “Resilience” in WOW.
Force Power/Tech Power- increases damage of the specific type only. Force bonuses for force users and tech bonuses for users of any item considered a “tech” item.
Presence- enhances how well your companion functions with various tasks. Things noted so far; how much damage they do, how powerful their healing abilities are and there are more areas having to do with companions this affects.
Surge- increases the power of your critical strikes

One thing after looking at a list like that and the way those stats are laid out it is apparent that there will be differing PVE vrs PVP builds that will be optimal. Keep that in mind when thinking on the suggestions next as far as what secondary skills might fit a traditional cookie cutter build for the advanced class choices. Notice again we see a mirroring effect.

Suggestions if you want to play in the style the advanced class seems designed for

(AC stands for advanced class)

Bounty Hunter- primary statistic is Aim for secondary choose something like:
AC Mercenary- critical and surge
AC Powertech- endurance and defense

Imperial Agent- primary statistic is Cunning or Aim for secondary choose something like:
AC Sniper- surge, alacrity
AC Operative- power, critical, surge

Sith Warrior- primary statistic is Strength for secondary choose something like:
AC Juggernaut- endurance, defense, accuracy, power
AC Marauder- critical rating, power, surge, accuracy

Sith Inquisitor- primary statistic is Willpower for secondary choose something like:
AC Sorcerer- power, critical, surge, alacrity
AC Assassin- critical, alacrity, accuracy

Jedi Consular- primary statistic is Willpower for secondary choose something like:
AC Sage- power, critical, surge, alacrity
AC Shadow- critical, alacrity, accuracy

Jedi Knight- primary statistic is Strength for secondary choose something like:
AC Guardian- endurance, defense, accuracy, power
AC Sentinel- critical rating, power, surge, accuracy

Smuggler- primary statistic is Cunning or Aim for secondary choose something like:
AC Gunslinger- surge, alacrity
AC Scoundrel- power, critical, surge

Trooper- primary statistic is Aim for secondary choose something like:
AC Vanguard- endurance and defense
AC Commando- critical and surge

There will always be ingenious players that come up with very clever builds using skills and gear combos that make you scratch your head but that work for a targeted effect in both PVP and PVE. These suggestions I have listed above are geared towards the New to Moderate level of MMO gamer experience levels. They are suggestions designed to get you to the point where you can fill archetypal roles like “Tanking” “Healer” “Deeps”.

Please be sure to leave any comments or questions you have about this guide I welcome all discussion, I hope this has helped you understand your stats in SWTOR better!

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40 Responses to Character Statistics In SWTOR And What They Mean

  1. Comment by Zaadar made on December 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Great info. Thanks a lot. Now I got a better view of all stats. I look forward to understand how VALOR stat works.

  2. Comment by DreamEagle made on December 5, 2011 at 6:12 am

    The second AC for Smuggler is Scoundrel, not sawbones. Though sawbones is a skill tree under scoundrel.

  3. Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Thank you guys for the compliments and also for the note on the error I made, oops! I knew better than that. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    @Zaadar I will be publishing a guide having to do with those other stats sometime soon as well, stay tuned! :)

  4. Comment by Dira made on December 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Seems strange to me that Sniper is based off of cunning, when Aim seems to be a better fit. Anyway, Great Guides. Thank you for the info.

    • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      @Dira you are very welcome I appreciate the thanks :) I know cunning does seem weird for a rifle type class but it does work, Aim is very good for them to so I wouldn’t cross it off. As you gain levels the playstyle and advanced class you choose could cause you to focus on other stats more than the ones I have suggested here but this is a very good start.

      • Comment by ItcH made on December 7, 2011 at 7:25 am

        First i want to thank u for the Work, Bro!
        Swtor Spy is very helpful if u wanna get into the “deeper” game Mechanics :)

        I Have a question on the “Surge” Stat, as u wrote it increases the power of critical hits, so it effects ur crit chance and the dmg when u crit?!

        My favourite second Stat for Sniper “what im playin” is alacrity in any cases.
        I really enjoy the cooldowns and shots getting faster and i hoper that there is no cap on this stat.

        greetz

        • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

          Hey thank you for the compliment I appreciate you! As far as I am aware the surge just increases the damage you do on your critical strikes, I am not sure about the chance to actually crit whether it affects that or not, will have to do some more research when we can get back in game.

          I totally agree with you on alacrity, I love stacking that one too, I love to see those skills recharge real fast as well. :)

      • Comment by Saravi made on December 11, 2011 at 5:33 am

        Aim really isn’t an “appropriate” stat for snipers. It isn’t useless, and while leveling, you *might* benefit more from an upgrade with aim vs. a low level piece of gear with cunning, but you will never find aim on medium armor (your armor), and you should never go out of your way to “stack it.

        Aim contributes to your Ranged Bonus Damage and your Ranged Critical Chance. That’s it, that’s all. It contributes to these bonuses just as much as cunning does, BUT…

        Cunning contributes to your Ranged Bonus Damage, your Ranged Critical Chance, your Tech Bonus Damage, your Tech Critical Chance (damage and healing) and your Bonus Healing if you’re an Operative. That’s… everything.

    • Comment by Kissakias made on December 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      IMO…. Aim for a DPS class and Cunning for a Healing class

  5. Comment by Kirby made on December 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Gday, can you please elaborate on how Expertise is also offensive?

    • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you for reading! Expertise adds modifiers to all stats having to do with pvp whether offensive or defensive. It adds modifiers, there are honestly to many variations to list here but it does. I didn’t want to go into too great a detail level with this guide because it was designed for new to moderate player experience level, or it could have gotten overwhelming fast. Thank you for reading :)

  6. Comment by Sared made on December 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Good work on this guide so far. Have you managed to find any information regarding individual stat weighting? I’ve been doing some research into Operative/Scoundrel and I can’t seem to find what Cunning does for +healing/+tech dam as well as confirmation on whether or not the Scrapper and Concealment trees/abilities are Cunning-based as well.

    • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 8, 2011 at 11:50 pm

      Hey thanks for reading! What do you mean by stat weighting? can you explain that a bit more for me I am not understanding what you mean.

    • Comment by Saravi made on December 11, 2011 at 6:08 am

      I’ll try not to nerd out too much here.

      All Agent/Smuggler ACs and trees are cunning based. That said…

      1 point of cunning gives you 0.14 bonus healing. The rest of your bonus healing comes from power and tech power. 1 point of power or tech power gives you 0.17 bonus healing.

      1 point of cunning gives you 0.2 bonus tech damage. The rest of your bonus tech damage comes from power and tech power. 1 point of power or tech power gives you 0.23 bonus tech damage.

      While power and tech power give you more bonus healing and bonus tech damage than cunning, cunning also contributes to your critical chance (by a somewhat complex formula), so you need to take that into consideration before weighting/judging which stats are “better.”

      As to how these stats modify “tooltip” damage and healing (the XXXX-YYYY value you see in an ability’s mouse-over pop-up/tool-tip)… that’s a work in progress.

      If by stat weighting you meant balancing of stats for min-maxing purposes… well… that’s way beyond what I’m able to get into here. With the option to have fully moddable gear in TOR, you have a ridiculous amount of flexibility in that department.
      ——
      Note that power and tech power can often be considered “the same stat,” but for some classes/ACs, certain abilities do an amount of damage or healing equal only to the player’s tech power only, so they are technically separate stats.

  7. Comment by Salmonhunter made on December 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    When you played sniper did you go up Eng or Mark or a hybrid?

    • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 10, 2011 at 2:14 am

      marksman definitely that was such a fun AC!

  8. Comment by swtorbountay made on December 10, 2011 at 1:52 am

    1 quick question about bounty hunter healing will i choose aim as primary and critical and surge for secondary or will it be aim as primary and cunning? i dont fully understand? it says nothing about healing as a bounty hunter in these guides ive been reading

    • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 10, 2011 at 2:18 am

      aim would be a great choice for your primary, the secondary stats really dont come into play that much until after you start to get good drops with those bonuses added to them. keep in mind that the ones you choose to stack on your secondary will be fleshed out by the AC you choose as they both have different styles of play. I am very sorry that I really didnt try the healing on the bounty hunter that much as I went all dps always so i really dont have that much experience with that, yet… ;)

    • Comment by Saravi made on December 11, 2011 at 5:38 am

      You will absolutely want to choose aim as your primary stat as a bounty hunter healer. Your bonus healing amount is determined by three stats:

      1. Aim, your primary stat
      2. Power, a secondary stat
      3. Tech Power, a secondary stat found only on your main-hand and off-hand blasters

  9. Comment by Saravi made on December 11, 2011 at 3:44 am

    A+ for being thorough, but some of this information is erroneously outdated – by a lot.

    “Aim- is the primary statistic that influences your aptitude with ranged weapons and the damage they deal out. critical hit rating and bonus critical chance and damage are affected by aim”

    Aim does not influence “aptitude” (i.e. accuracy) with ranged weapons. It is, however, the primary statistic influencing Trooper/Bounty Hunter ranged weapon bonus damage, tech bonus damage, and bonus healing. It also contributes to ranged/tech/healing critical chance, but it has NO impact on critical bonus damage or critical bonus healing).

    “Cunning- is the primary statistic that influences your technological aptitude and the damage you deal out with these devices and also the effectiveness of some of your healing abilities.”

    Cunning is to Imperial Agents/Smugglers as Aim is to Troopers/Bounty Hunters.

    NOTE: Players may notice that SOME Trooper and Bounty Hunter stats (i.e. tech damage and critical chance) factor in cunning. Similarly, SOME Agent and Smuggler stats factor in aim. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stick with your main stat. It just means that you’re going to do about 20 extra damage with certain abilities at level 50, and also have ~1% additional critical rating.

    Take all of the above and apply it to force users w.r.t. strength and will power abilities, respectively.

    “Alacrity- speeds activation and channel times. affects certain cool down times”

    Alacrity does not affect cool down times (unless you want to get into a messy discussion about global cooldown times on non-instant abilities with an activation time less than 1.5 seconds.

    “Critical Chance/ Critical Multiplier- increases your chance to crit and the damage you do when you crit.”

    Critical rating increases your “Critical Chance”, but it does not affect the amount of damage (or healing) done when you crit.

    “Critical Multiplier” on the character panel refers to the % bonus damage or healing you do when you crit and it is surge rating and ONLY surge rating among your secondary stats that contributes to the magnitude of your critical hits/heals (above the base 50% and anything you get from talents).

    “Force Power/Tech Power- increases damage of the specific type only. Force bonuses for force users and tech bonuses for users of any item considered a “tech” item.”

    Force power and tech power are stats that are obtained solely off of weapons and (certain) offhand items. They are not to be confused with “power rating,” which is a completely different stat.

    Power rating, not to be confused with force power or tech power, boosts all damage and healing with a slightly higher coefficient compared to your primary stat, but unlike your primary stat, it does not affect your chance to crit.

    Also, your AC suggestions are too general, not only because they assume the choice of only one role within the AC (ex. tanking powertechs, but not damage dealing powertechs), but because all secondary stats suffer from diminishing returns, so stacking any one or even two of them, neglecting the others, is going to diminish your effectiveness in the long run. Also, all damage dealers should boost their accuracy by at least 10%, either through talents or accuracy rating.

    I think it’s safe to say that even those with little to moderate experience with MMOs can appreciate that if 40 points of crit rating is only going to give you 0.2% more crit, because you have so much of it already, it’d be better to go with a stat you haven’t effectively “maxed out yet.”

    Well, that’s my 2,000,000 credit contribution there…

    • Comment by Saravi made on December 11, 2011 at 3:49 am

      Oops: Correction…

      “NOTE: Players may notice that SOME Trooper and Bounty Hunter BONUSES (i.e. tech damage and critical chance) factor in cunning. Similarly, SOME Agent and Smuggler BONUSES factor in aim. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stick with your main stat. It just means that you’re going to do about 20 extra damage with certain abilities at level 50, and also have ~1% additional critical rating.”

      - And this will happen because you’ll automatically gain ~2pts of your non-primary offensive stats (i.e. cunning, strength and will power if you’re a bounty hunter with aim as your primary stat) every level, giving you 100 points at level 50.

      • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm

        your input has been much appreciated Saravi thank you :)

        You have been very helpful indeed!

        • Comment by Zaid made on March 30, 2012 at 5:45 am

          Thank you so much for this info. i was going nuts trying to find out what ‘power’ was since a lot of ‘offensive’ armortech bounty hunter gear has it.

    • Comment by ItcH made on December 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      “”Alacrity does not affect cool down times (unless you want to get into a messy discussion about global cooldown times on non-instant abilities with an activation time less than 1.5 seconds””

      Hey Mate, its true that a lot of Cooldowns are not affected and sure i know “and see everyday” that there are many skills, that cannot be triggered under the 1.5 sec. Global Cooldown. But the Sniper has a few Skills that benefit from +alacrity and the the+20% Speed Skill.

      For Example, when i build up normal Rotation to maximize my Speed from Skills, then i use the Trinket and the 20% Buff, my Sniping Shot which has a 1,5 Sec Cast Time at normal”without ala-gear”-can be triggered every 0.4 Seconds!

      Without the 20% Buff and using the Trinket only it can be shot out with 0,9 Second Cast Time!

      The only Problem i see so far is: Maxing out too much alacrity makes Energy flow away like Candies!

      I dont want to take some Discussions, but what im writing is what i have seen with my OWN Eyes and what im doing every Day.

      Sure Surge,AP or Precision would boost my Damage, but it is really hard to watch my Targets running out of Range while i am still casting…

  10. Comment by mark made on December 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I don’t know about other classes but for trooper primary skill is cunning and aim for smuggler. You have them reversed.

    • Comment by Saravi made on December 11, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Mark, I think you may be going off of very old beta information with that. The primary stat for Troopers and Bounty Hunters is aim and the primary stat for Smugglers and Imperial Agents is cunning.

  11. Comment by O'Vac made on December 12, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you for these tips. This will be my first MMO and this information helps a lot.

    • Comment by swtorcrafter made on December 15, 2011 at 4:00 am

      you guys are welcome thank you for reading for sure!

  12. Comment by Ryan made on December 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I am a Jedi Sentinel… I don’t really understand the difference between Power and Critical. I don’t know which I should craft into my mods… Any suggestions?

    Thank you

    • Comment by Vyndicator made on January 2, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      It appears that Critical increases your chance to get a crit and power increases the damage/healing of that crit.

  13. Comment by JediHunter made on January 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I noticed there wasent anything on here about weapons a class is profcient with i see shotguns in the game but i havent seen any class they are proficient with them is this another republic only weapon like the blaster cannons are?

  14. Comment by Narcdim made on January 15, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Do you think you could expand this guide to cover the companions of each class as well. I like to gear them almost as much as I like to gear myself.

  15. Comment by Richard made on February 6, 2012 at 3:24 am

    I was looking at your stats guide, you don’t have power listed, but you have surge power and tech power. Power does the same as the other two, but works on ranged weapons to increase damage.

  16. Comment by Darth_Xana made on February 27, 2012 at 10:06 am

    First let me say I like the work you placed into this. However, I disagree with some of this it.

    First an Agent or Smuggler should never-never settle for Aim when Cunning is available, and should aways seek out gear w/ cunning.

    Alacrity is worthless to Assassins/Shadows, as we (yes, that’s my main) should not be casting. Deception is build around Maul, Voltic Slash, Shock, and Discharge, all of which are instant cast. Those who spec madness would not need it either. Surge is also very important for us. So Crit/Accuracy/Surge/Power for deception (in that order) and Power, Accuracy, Crit Surge for Madness. Darkness is a whole different ball park.

  17. Comment by that made on March 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    These guides are all just wrong when it comes to primary stats. They don’t explain what the primary stats actually do for the classes whose primary stat it is.

    How it actually works is primary stats will always increase all types of damage that a class does.

    For example
    Trooper/BH
    AIM increases BOTH ranged and tech damage and crit
    CUNNING increases only tech damage and crit

    As opposed to
    For
    Smuggler/IA
    CUNNING increases BOTH ranged and tech damage and crit
    AIM increases only ranged damage and crit

    And so on…
    Same with force user classes and strength and Willpower

  18. Comment by that made on March 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    And these suggestions for secondary stats for each advanced class are just awful.

    First of all, advanced classes that can tank use different secondary stats depending if speced for dps or tank, so those should be listed separately.

  19. Comment by haxr4n00bs made on May 14, 2013 at 6:22 am

    just pointing out, surge on a sentinel would probably be best. using zen gives 100% crit to burn skills, using the watchman tree burn DoT’s do insane damage. surge+burn crits+plus the heals u get from the burns is awsome.

  20. Comment by Donald made on November 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Very good just what i needed

  21. Comment by R made on November 7, 2013 at 6:28 am

    How about Jedi Sentinal and could you go into it more by explaining what you might require when pionts are stacked in certain tree sections. I am in Focus for instance. Thanks for your help so far, perfect :)

  22. Comment by Seriously made on May 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Seriously, could you please update this page and correct the false information out there?