What's the Best Crew Skill for My Class in SWTOR?
Not all crew skills are equal, and there are ways you can optimise them in order to get ahead. This SWTOR Crew Skills guide is dedicated to giving you the best options for your class.
Every class has several different companions, and each of those companions has unique bonuses to select crew skills. Even though the classes are mirrored in their powers, their companion bonuses aren't even close. Given the wide variety of combinations of crew skills, you need a chart to even begin to figure it all out.
For this guide, I assume that you have a basic understanding of what the different crew skills are and are simply looking to get the most out of them. If you do need some additional understanding about what the crew skills are, you can take a look at the official SWTOR website crew skills information, or just check out the video at the bottom of the page.
Biochem: Best Crew Skill?
Before we begin, let's tackle the crew skill that seems to be the most popular these days: Biochem. Some players say it's the only one worth anything. I'm not one of those people, but I do think that if you're playing a Tank type, you should seriously consider taking Biochem no matter what might be optimal by the numbers. Having always-on skill buffs without breaking the bank can really help out in a flashpoint, and knowing that you always have a non-consumable healing stim for those tough fights can stop you from worrying about how many of the regular ones you have left in the middle of a story-mode operation.
What Makes One Companion Better than Another?
When looking at each class's companions you can see there are two different skills they have a bonus for. These bonuses come in two categories: Efficiency or Critical.
- Efficiency bonuses increase the speed with which your companion can do a particular crew skill.
- Critical bonuses increase the chance that you will get a critical roll when your companion returns from a crew skill.
Critical bonuses are usually more beneficial then Efficiency. Even though you can send a character out more often with an Efficiency bonus, if you're looking for a purple material like Mandalorian Iron you need a Critical roll. I'd rather take the higher chance that I wouldn't need to send my companion out again at all rather then cut five minutes off of each trip.
With the introduction of the latest 4.0 patch, all of the companion bonuses are much simpler. It is now based purely on their Influence stat, and so none of the below information is relevant. Only enjoy if you wanted to have an idea of what was previously required.
- Kaliyo D'jannis: +10 Armstech Efficiency, + 2 Underworld Trading Critical
- Vector: +5 Bioanalysis Efficiency, +5 Diplomacy Critical
- Doctor Lokin: +15 Biochem Efficiency, +10 Investigation Efficiency
- Ensign Temple: +10 Scavenging Efficiency, +2 Armormech Critical
- SCORPIO: +10 Cybertech Efficiency, +2 Slicing Critical
Given the mix of these characters there are two main directions you should take: Armormech or Cybertech. Although it requires some capital output, for top Cybertech results you should buy the Engineering Droid Sensor for your Ship Droid and get the only +5 Cybertech Critical in the game. This combination yields increased Critical chance on both your output and your rare materials. It's also the most marketable skill in the game right now.
Biochem is also a viable option with this class, given the bonuses to Diplomacy, Biochem, and Bioanalysis included in the mix.
Stay away from the Force focused skills, like Artifice or Synthweaving. Your agent can't use them, and there are others who use them better.
- Mako: +5 Cybertech Efficiency, +15 Slicing Efficiency
- Gault Rennow: +10 Underworld Trading Efficiency, +2 Biochem Critical
- Torian Cadera: +10 Investigation Efficiency, +2 Bioanalysis Critical
- Blizz: +15 Armormech Efficiency, +1 Armstech Critical
- Skadge: +10 Scavenging Efficency, +2 Treasure Hunting Critical
While the Bounty Hunter has companions with both Treasure Hunting and Armstech Criticals, you should go Biochem. With both a Critical in Biochem and Bioanalysis you're set. The Bounty Hunter isn't bad at Cybertech or Armormech either, with added Efficiency in both skills as well as their secondary skills, Underworld Trading and Scavenging.
- Khem Val: +15 Artifice Efficiency, +5 Investigation Efficiency
- Andronikus Revel: +2 Slicing Critical, +2 Underworld Trading Critical
- Ashara Zavros: +10 Synthweaving Efficiency, +10 Diplomacy Efficiency
- Talos Drellik: +5 Treasure Hunting Efficiency, +5 Archaeology Critical
- Xalek: +10 Bioanalysis Efficiency, +2 Scavenging Critical
With no Critical bonuses to a crafting skill, you need to look a little more broadly when considering the Inquisitor. With an Efficiency bonus to Synthweaving, combined with Critical bonuses to Underworld Trading and Archaeology, you get a good mix of skills to make Synthweaving worthwhile, and Artifice is a close second. With Criticals in Scavenging, Archaeology, and Slicing, another solid option is to use this as a gatherer for those nodes to feed to other characters.
- Vette: +5 Underworld Trading Efficiency, +5 Treasure Hunting Critical
- Malavi Quinn: +10 Armstech Efficiency, +10 Diplomacy Efficiency
- Jaesa Willsaam: +5 Archaeology Efficiency, +5 Synthweaving Critical
- Lieutenant Pierce: +10 Cybertech Efficiency, +2 Investigation Critical
- Broonmark: +10 Scavenging Efficiency, +2 Bioanalysis Critical
Synthweaving is a solid choice for your Sith Warrior with the Critical in the skill itself along with the Efficiency bonus in Underworld Trading and Archaeology. Although Cybertech has no Critical bonuses, the three Efficiency bonuses will help you get everything done at a faster pace.
- Bowdaar: +10 Cybertech Efficiency, +10 Scavenging Efficiency
- Corso Riggs: +5 Underworld Trading Efficiency, +5 Armstech Critical
- Risha: +15 Diplomacy Efficiency, +1 Slicing Critical
- Akaavi Spar: +10 Armormech Efficiency, +2 Bioanalysis Critical
- Guss Tuno: +10 Archaeology Efficiency, +2 Treasure Hunting Critical
With the highest Armstech Critical in the game, the Smuggler can't go wrong with this skill, especially when combined with the Scavenging Efficiency bonus you get. With all Efficiency bonuses, taking Cybertech isn't a bad choice either, though it is the least marketable.
- Tanno Vik: +5 Armormech Critical, +1 Underworld Trading Critical
- Aric Jorgan: +10 Armstech Efficiency, +2 Diplomacy Critical
- Elara Dorne: +10 Biochem Efficiency, +10 Bioanalysis Efficiency
- M1-4X: +5 Cybertech Efficiency, +5 Scavenging Critical
- Yuun: +10 Investigation Efficiency, +10 Slicing Efficiency
Troopers are great at the non-Force-user skills. Armormech is at the top with all three of its skills having Critical bonuses. Biochem and Armstech follow suit as your secondary options with solid bonuses for Efficiency and Critical hits with each skill set. Cybertech is still quite viable, but likely your last choice for a Trooper.
- Qyzen-Fess: +5 Biochem Efficiency, +15 Archaeology Efficiency
- Tharan Cedrax: +10 Cybertech Efficiency, +10 Slicing Efficiency
- Zenith: +15 Investigation Efficiency, +1 Underworld Trading Critical
- Lieutenant Felix Iresso: +2 Armstech Critical, +2 Scavenging Critical
- Nadia Grell: +10 Synthweaving Efficiency, +2 Diplomacy Critical
The Consular doesn't seem to have the best options of Critical crew skill bonuses. With the crafting skill Critical, Armstech takes top spot on the list, with Cybertech and Synthweaving both roughly tied for second place for getting the most out of your crew.
- T7-01: +10 Bioanalysis Efficency, +2 Slicing Critical
- Kira Carsen: +1 Treasure Hunting Critical, +2 Synthweaving Critical
- Doc: +5 Underworld Trading Efficiency, +5 Biochem Critical
- Sergeant Fideltin Rusk: +10 Armstech Efficiency, +10 Scavenging Efficiency
- Lord Scourge: +10 Artifice Efficiency, +10 Archaeology Efficiency
Given that Biochem is considered by many to be the top crew skill, this is a great character to use it with. This goes double if you're choosing a tank spec. After that, the best choice is Synthweaving with its Critical bonus and associated Archaeology bonus.
Using New Companions with Crew Skills
New companions like HK-51 and Treek offer a standard bonus of +5 Efficiency and +1 Critical to all skills. This means that not only will they finish tasks just a little bit faster, but they'll do them slightly better as well. While not a huge increase, it can be a welcome addition to any class you choose even if you do nothing but send him out on crew skill missions.
Crew Skill Basics
How do you choose your crew skill?
All images are from within the game Star Wars: The Old Republic game or the official website.