How And When To Get Your Crew Skills in Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO

I wanted to make this guide for new players in the realm of Star Wars The Old Republic MMO about just how and when you will be able to acquire your crew skills in SWTOR. My handle, that I go by in the community of SWTOR, is “Swtorcrafter”.  I have been following this game for about two and a half years now and working for the community to support them and to raise awareness of the game. 
I am also fully vested in the crafting and crew skills community for this game as it is a mechanic that has always been very crucial to me in my MMO’s of choice.  Now that you know me better lets get into what you’re here for and that’s crew skills focused guides!

Some of you that are interested in crafting may be asking questions like these after your first day in game
  • Where are the crew skills vendors and trainers?
  • How do I get my crafting, missions, gathering skills?

This game comes at you hard and fast. There is a lot to digest from the first time you log in to create a character to the moment you hit level 50 and are maxed out.  Some things can get lost in the shuffle so I want to make sure new players have a place they can turn to for information on this subject of crew skills, besides the awesome database features and tools we provide here at Swtor Spy.

From the first time you log in and create a character you are thrust into what Bioware refers to as its “Origin Worlds”.  It does not matter whether you are playing Empire or Republic because they both follow the same pattern in being able to acquire your crew skills.

The First thing you will need to do is to make a choice which option in acquiring your crew skills you wish to try.  At this time in the beta there are two real options.

OPTION ONE:
Run to the fleet at a low starting level, like level one, avoiding mobs and then if you can reach the trainers learn your crew skills. In the process immediately gaining a level or two using the “fun fast tip” detailed next.

*FUN FAST TIP*
Be sure that when you go through the crew skills trainer area that you talk to them all, even if you are not going to take that particular crew skill.  At the time you speak to them you will get a window pop up telling you that “you have chosen “X” crew skill for your character”, and then asks you if you are sure.”  Be sure to select “cancel” to close out the transaction and gain the XP.  Here are the two main reasons why you would want to do this.
  • Each trainer you talk to gives you a very easy XP gain.  At the time of this beta build and the creation of this article, the XP gain for each is +450 a piece.  Multiplied out by the number of skill trainers for crew skills that are in game at the fleet (14) this comes to 6300 XP that came from spending 5 seconds with each trainer.
  • Each conversation will give you a very valuable codex entry, that describes the skill and allows you to be able to make a more informed choice.  Plus you get the pleasure of knowing you just filled your codex with more information and are closer to your goal of 100% of the codex entries discovered!


OPTION TWO:
Begin questing, preferring to train the crew skills when you reach the point that you travel to the fleet in your normal progression around level 10 or so.

*Note:  The first option does have one advantage that I have observed so far, going early to the station at level one allows me to take any gathering skills and mission skills that I plan to have also and to be using them to collect resources before the point that I could actually craft.  Due to the lack of a required companion not attained until around level seven or so.  That way, when I get my companion and am able to start crafting I will have resources stockpiled and missions ran  and loot received.

If you decide to take option two, the leveled approach, you need to get yourself into  a questing mindset.

You will need to advance your personal class quest and all its various branches to its finish because you wont be able to move on from your origin world until you do.  Crew skills trainers and vendors are not available on your origin world and honestly I think it was a smart decision on Biowares part, because to add crew skills to the initial experience would have been information overload.

The first place you can find your crew skills trainers and vendors in this method is on your fleet hub that you travel to after the finishing of your origin world main class quest arc.
To help yourself quest more effectively and efficiently and be able to make it to the fleet in a timely manner,  you can follow some of these tried and true methods:
  • Always bring up your map frequently to find out if there are other quest giver npc’s in the same area as the one you are currently doing so that you make sure that you hit them all at once and receive the quests that are available in that location instead of doing one and then returning for the next.  If there are more than one quest objectives in the same area then you might as well do them at the same time because most of the time they are geared for the same level range.
  • Always make sure that before you set out to quest an area that you stop by a vendor and sell all your gray item loot drops aka “vendor trash” so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where your inventory is full and you cant receive an item you may need for the quest.
  • Keep an eye on your radar (which at this time is affixed to the lower right side of your screen) so that you are aware of any nearby quest givers, quest objectives, and special situations like what Bioware refers to as “bonus quest objectives” in the area you are roaming.
  • Make sure and look for NPC speeder taxi NPC’s in any hub area and be sure to talk with them.   You must first discover or unlock the location before you can use it for travel.  Using speeders to go back and forth in this game is very crucial and time saving as these worlds and zones are huge compared to anything you are used to.  At this time the average cost for a speeder trip is 10 credits which isn’t a steep price at all and totally worth it.
  • Make sure to watch your quest loot drops for upgrades in gear.  You will acquire most of your best gear this way in the origin worlds and you will need it to keep up with the power curve through the content you are advancing in.  Not doing this will see you severely underpowered and unable to complete quests due to character weakness from lack of stats provided by gear which will only slow you down.

The next step in being able to get and use your crew skills that will automatically happen when you advance in your class quest arc, and that is the acquiring of your first companion.

For me on my first character as a bounty hunter it was a companion named “Mako” at around level seven.  Your companion will vary depending on which class and faction you choose to play but rest assured you will get the opportunity to have one at some point in your origin world, class story.  They are essential to being able to use the missions, crafting, and gathering skills as they are the “crew” in crew skills.  You are the master craftsman, you own the recipes and schematics, they provide the labor.

Up until the time that you acquire your personal starship that one companion will be your crew skills laborer.  This will be the one you will first get to try the missions and gathering with as well.  In the future at higher levels you will acquire more companions that can stay on board your ship and craft and also a personal crafting droid, but for now at this point its just one to get you used to the mechanics.

For me personally it was at level 17 that I was ready to leave the second world in my progression, and get my ship through questing.  When I boarded the ship I was greeted by my own droid and he is just like a normal companion in that he can craft and run missions as well.  So technically you could call him your second companion.

When you leave the origin world and travel to the fleet hub you will need to make your way to the main level where all the vendors and NPC’s are.  Make sure that when you get to this level that you open you map by pressing “M” key, and then on the lower left side you can then select the radio style button for “crew skills trainers” and related vendors and such.  Yeah I know, this is such a simple thing but it was over looked by me at the start so I know others will miss that as well.

Get on the map and go to them and talk to them to train and select the crew skill of your choice!

Thats pretty much the only real options at this point, keep in mind this is a beta build at the creation of this guide and these tips are subject to nerfing.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments please be sure to leave a response in the comments below this guide.

Follow me on twitter for notification of new crew skill guides being posted and also for news about updates to these guides.

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