SWGOH: Beginner's Guide

Updated on April 8, 2019

As a massive fan of the Star Wars Universe, it can’t come as a surprise that I am a total Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes Junky! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the game, I highly recommend you check it out as it's one of the most fun free-to-play apps I’ve ever encountered and it requires a lot of strategizing if players really want to be effective at the game. Below is my beginner's guide for anyone that wants to optimize their gameplay and soar through the PVP content/ Events.

Resource Management

Like most free-to-play games, SWGOH is riddled with promotional packs, which cost crystals to purchase. Crystals are awarded in game for completing all kinds of tasks, but they can be purchased with actual money for those who want to get ahead of the competition. One of the biggest mistakes new players make is saving their crystals or spending their money purchasing Chromium Mega-Packs. I cannot stress how much of a massive waste of resources it is to buy those packs. The rewards are little and the RNG awards nothing but easily farmable materials to begin with. The only exception to this is the first day you play the game. Purchasing a Chromium-Mega Pack awards one new character every time you open them, while the toon you receive probably won’t be useable late game (unless you get ridiculously lucky) it will give you a leg up during the early weeks of game play and help you get into a higher squad arena tier, which gets you a lot of rewards for farming toons you will need if you want to be competitive.

The best place to spend your crystals is to refill your Cantina Energy. Cantina Energy is how you get 1/2 of the toons you need to do at least half of the in-game events. Each day you get 3 refreshes for 100 crystals, then 3 for 200 and so on. If you are a free-to-play player, only spend your crystals on those first three daily refreshes. If you have some disposable income and keep topping off your crystals, it’s a good idea to also spend 50 crystals on your three daily (regular) energy to maximize the rate of leveling and gearing.

If nothing else, avoid the packs like the plague. They are just money dumps. Average shard return for $10 plus packs is only 9 character shards.

Team Building Recommendations

While everything that I’ve written so far is absolutely crucial to maximizing your leveling and gearing (which is backed by some of the most competitive players in the game), the rest of this info is based on my opinion. Maybe this will be helpful for you or not, I can tell you I believe this is the most efficient strategy for dominating this game.

This strategy is designed to get you Rebel Commander Luke as quickly as possible. As of today, 11/15/2017, Commander Luke is the most over powered toon in this game (2018 UPDATE: Jedi Training Rey is now the best in the game check out this guide for instructions https://hubpages.com/games-hobbies/Star-Wars-Galaxy-of-Heroes-SWGOH-Mid-End-Game-Farming-Guide) (2019 update Jedi Revan is not the best in game. New article coming soon) and he is pretty much part of every non-empire and non-night sisters META (teams optimized by role). Getting him is a long and difficult journey. He only appears during special legendary events, so keep in mind that if you try to side step my instructions and focus on a different toon than suggested, you might lose out on an event that so far is only held once a year, so diverge at your own risk.

How to Build Your Teams During Early Game

There is a lot to cover on this subject, but the simplest way to look at it is focus on 5 characters and ignore the rest. If you get a new character you want to replace a member of your squad with, spend zero resources on the toon you are changing out and then pump all your resources into the new character until it is on par with the rest of the team. There are several reasons this is your best strategy. The first is completing Galactic War. Galactic War picks your opponents based on your total galactic power. If your power is spread out across 20 mid-range toons, the system is going assume most of it is coming from your strongest five toons and pit you against really difficult teams. Having 80-90 percent of your power coming from your primary team will result in a lot of easy battles, which means a lot more resources. The second reason this works well is that it gives you an early lead in Squad Arena. I cannot stress how crucial being in the top 200 is. This means you get 10-character shards or more per day from the Squad Arena shop, which has a lot of characters you will absolutely need mid-late game.

If you start hitting gearing walls (such as raid gear beginning at gear level 8), then start gearing other teams, but save as much of your credits as possible for leveling and gearing your main team. Once you hit level 70, leveling them will start to get expensive and managing your credits will become the make or break component of your strategy.

Grand Master Yoda Event

Grand Master Yoda is the easiest of the events to clear because Jedi are easily accessible from the start of the game. While he isn’t a top meta character he is a master level toon that can do some very interesting things to give your arena team a leg up early-mid game (3/16/2019 Update: Grand Master Yoda is now a part of the Jedi Revan meta and is one of the most valuable characters in the game), and Jedi Teams are amazing in both the Rancor and AAT raids.

GMY also gains massive buffs in the newer Sith raid as well. I’ll post a link with videos that break down the relative strength of each toon at the end. While a lot of people will say build a rebel team first due to their raw damage output, well-constructed Jedi teams can crush your early-mid game Arena competition, which is the most critical time to rank high to maximize your farming for the rest of the events. Below is my break down of who to get from where to what star level.

Sabine Wren: 5 Battles: 7 stars

Lando: Cantina Battles: Just unlock him

Old Ben: Cantina: 7 Stars

Ezra Bridger: Cantina: 7 Stars

Luminara Unduli: Galactic War Store: 7 Stars

Qui Gon Jinn (Leader): Cantina Battles Store: 7 Stars

Storm Trooper Han: Squad Arena Store: Just unlock him

Mace Windu: Squad Arena Store: 7 Stars (don’t gear him past level 8)

Accessibility is the main reason for grabbing these toons as soon as possible. Once you’ve capped your Old Ben and Ezra, you can also use the Cantina Store to finish star leveling Mace Windu. Don’t gear Windu past 8 for now as Grand Master Yoda will replace him on your squad. Picking Windu over Ashoka early game is also a good choice because once Ships open up, you’ll already have the Endurance beefed up and ready to start climbing ship battles. Unlocking Lando and Storm Trooper Han ASAP is critical to your success because combined with Clone Wars Chewy, you now have three scoundrels for the Credit Heist Event and trust me you will be hurting for credits later in the game, so start capitalizing on this event ASAP. None of them need to be geared past 5, star capped or leveled past 35 at this stage. You just need them to clear the Credit Heist.

Emperor Palpatine and Thrawn Events

For these two characters, we get to kill two toons with one team. Once you’re done with the Yoda event, start building a Phoenix Squadron team. For the rest of this blog, none of the toons need to geared past nine until you have Commander Luke.

Hera (leader): Cantina: 7 Stars

Kaanan: Squad Arena Store: 7 Stars

Ashoka Tano: Cantina Battles Store: 7 Stars

Chopper: Cantina Battles Store: 7 Stars

Zeb: Galactic War Store: Just Unlock

Biggs Darklighter: Galactic War Store: 7 Stars

As I said, Zeb is a bit redundant in my opinion (3/16/2019 Update: Zeb is superior to Chopper in the squad line up since his zeta rework lets him put out 45K + damage), although it is essential mid-late game, between Chopper and Kaanan, the Phoenix squadron already has two tanks, adding a third won’t make for a better team. These three together is what you usually see in Squad Arena and my Jedi team demolishes them every time.

They aren’t that great of a team early game, with Ezra as the standout exception that can be used in many Rebel and Jedi lineups very effectively. Ashoka before Chopper seems a bit odd . However, by the time you get Sabine to 7 stars, you’ll be able to farm every other toon on the list. Racing to get Chopper to 7 doesn’t help you finish either of these events, whereas Ashoka will come in handy because of her ship and you can switch her out during Galactic War if you lose one of the Jedi on your primary team.

Biggs serves two purposes, the first being his ship. The second is for the Emperor Palpatine event. Even with Sabine and Ezra putting out massive damage, Palatine tier 6 and 7 are actually really difficult. The Emperor’s speed is so high that he essentially tops off his health every 3-4 turns, switching out Chopper for Biggs will be the easiest way to counter his heals due to his high damage.

Thrawn requires a full Phoenix team so finishing this team pays out for two events.

R2-D2 Event

The R2-D2 event is also sporadic, and he is a requirement for getting Commander Luke, so building an empire team is essential. At this point its assumed that you have 7 star Palpatine and Thrawn so you only have three characters left to round out this team. There are several options, but these are my picks. Also while you don’t need Thrawn past gear 8 for the time being, bear in mind that he is arguably a close second in overall amazingness to Commander Luke, so feel free to max him out as soon as you can.

Darth Vader: Fleet Arena Store: 7 Stars

TIE Fighter Pilot: Cantina Battles: 7 Stars

Farm Boy Luke: Cantina Battles: 7 Stars

Grand Moff Tarkin: Squad Arena Store: 7 Stars

Storm Trooper Han: Squad Arena Store: 7 Stars

Leia: Squad Arena Store: 7 Stars

Darth Vader is one of the biggest pains to farm in this game. You get shards for him here and there from achievements, but if you want him capped in under a year, make sure to always have 800 Fleet Arena Tokens in the bank for when he pops ups 1-2 times a day every other day or so. From the moment you have access to Ships, he needs to be your priority until he’s star capped.

As soon as your done with Tarkin and the fighter pilot, start working on Farmboy Luke, Leia, and Storm Trooper Han as they are the last requirements for the Commander Luke event. Some people like to build them early, but until you have R2-D2 (who is also one of the best toons in this game), there isn’t any point in prioritizing them as he is the hardest to get and needed for the Luke event.

If the event is looming and you’re not using your Galactic War currency on anything that is needed, Magma trooper is a solid alternative for any of the empire spots. You can also grab the stormtrooper from the Cantina Battles Store, but he's not a very good character, and I wouldn't waste resources on a character that has zero late game viability.

Post Commander Luke

If you're finished building your Luke team or have gotten to the point where you’ve collected all the toons I’ve suggested from a particular store and can start using those resources on someone else, I recommend building a First Order Team and a Resistance Team in that order.

The exception to this is Rey Scavenger. The moment you are done farming Sabine, start farming Scavenger Rey, she is also a very long farm.

A First Order team is needed for the BB-8 event. For your First Order Team, the most accessible farms are Kylo Ren, First Order Officer, and Captain Phasma. First Order Pilot will be a long farm through battles so get started on him as soon as you can.

Your fifth member, Kylo Ren (unmasked), is the most viable option and his node also drops shards for his ship. First Order Trooper should also be on your passive farming list as he is needed for Kylo Ren’s Shuttle, which is a decent ship. After that, work on Finn and Poe and if you want to round out your resistance team, get the Resistance Trooper. Combined with Poe and Finn, these three toons can demolish Meta teams left, and right due to their chaining stuns and exposures.

Wrapping It Up

That’s my guide!

Here is a link to a great site that has every toon in this game ranked by their power and kits. Click on the icons and they will connect you to ArnoldT101’s Youtube page where he does in-depth breakdowns of each toon and a lot of other SWGOH strategy and release update videos. https://hydra314.github.io/SWGOH_ranking_table/ranking_tables/rankingtable.html#

For simplicity and a quick reference guide. I’m listing what order to farm each toon based on the store below. I also included my recommendations for post-Commander Luke farming. If you want details as to why I’m picking one toon over another, feel free to comment, and I’ll start a dialogue with you.

Cantina Battles Store: Qui Gon Jinn, Ashoka Tano, Chopper, First Order Officer, Poe, Bobba Fet, Old Dhaka, Fives, Hoth Rebel Scout… then just buy mats.

Guild Store: Scavenger Rey, Fulcrum, Darth Maul, Echo, Commander Cody, Ima Gun Di…. Then mats

Squad Arena: Storm Trooper Han (unlock), Mace Windu, Kaanan, Grand Moff Tarkin, finish Han, Leia, Admiral Ackbar, Asajj Ventress, the rest if really up to you. The Sith Characters (you'll need them for the Jedi Assault Battles) and the Rogue One characters in any order. Keep in mind that Territory Battles have Rogue one nodes, so investing in them early is an excellent idea.

Galactic War Store: Luminara, Biggs, unlock Zeb, Biggs, Phasma, Night Sister Initiate, the rest is up to you.

Fleet Arena Store: Vader, get seven ships to 7 stars, Chirrut Imwe, Fullcrim, Darth Maul, Fives, Rex the rest is up to you.

Guild Events Store: If you’re not farming Hermit Yoda… You are wrong! Hermit Yoda is a game changer for the Jedi just as Luke is for the rebels and Rey is for the resistance, coupled with a General Kenobi or Qui Gon Jin leadership, and pretty much any other Jedi you can think of, Jedi Teams will be making a comeback in top tier arena very soon. (2019 update: This prediction came true Revan was a game changer Jedi have dominated for almost five months in arena.)

Cantina Battles: Unlock Lando, Ezra, Old Ben, Mace Windu, Hera, Farm Boy Luke, Tie Fighter Pilot Kylo Ren, Finn, Barris Offee, Jedi Knight Anakin, Aayala Secura, Count Dooku (Note: Aayala, Anakin and Barris are insanely powerful toons, they just have long farms compared to other Jedi on my list, which is why I don't prioritize them)

Battles: Scavenger Rey, First Order Tie Pilot, First Order Trooper, Resistance Trooper, Jedi Knight Anakin, Fives...

Questions & Answers

  • Any information on SWGOH mods?

    Mods are pretty self-explanatory at this point. The game tells you the optimum mod types for a character, its really just up to you to make sure the ones you invest time in have speed upgrades.

  • What is RNG?

    Random Number Generator. It is a gamer/developer speak for whenever a game has a programmable prize system based on luck. It's essentially how likely an action will result in the intended reward.


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    • Juan D Alfonso profile imageAUTHOR

      Juan D Alfonso 

      8 months ago from Portland Oregon

      The actual team needed is the Phoenix Squadron. at 7 stars. Its easier with Sabine than it is with Chopper.

    • profile image

      Chris Cowan 

      8 months ago

      I'm confused about what the actual team you need for thrawn and pap is. Could you give me a full list of the toons and star levels please? Sorry I'm a noob. I started farming the 6 you wrote but then noticed you mentioned San and ezra

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      Hello Juan,

      I have sent you a private message earlier, but not sure if it reached you.

      Now here I try again :)

      First of all your guide is great. Really. Helps a lot.

      Unfortunately for me by the time I found it I was too far ahead in the game that some of the recommendations couldn't be followed, even worse is that I wasn't familiar enough with the game to truly understand the wisdom of some of your recommendations from the get go and I did not follow all.

      Never the less I'm not around level 50 and on good track with the Jedi team building.

      Being still truly noob to many of the game elements a few questions:

      The guide does not describe as how far should the player go in building the toon functions: ABILITIES, GEAR, and most notably MODs (post level 50)

      Getting 7 star team is one thing, but for each team member is there any reasonable limits and focus to abilities, gear and mods?

      One thing is for sure that LEADERSHIP ability should only be developed for the team leader... but the rest is still a huge grind.

      Secondly do you have any advice for Arena Battles for the Jedi team?

      It seems that every time I'm on "equal" terms with the enemy (level, toon power) I lose against Phoenix teams.

      (mind that I'm about 5* teams level 50)

      It seems impossible to get into the top 200 with the team I have. Am I doing something wrong?

      Thanks for considering the questions.

      Last but not least: for any player considering following the guide: do not underestimate the recommendation to focus on the limited number of toons that are the recommended prime team. I screwed this up and now it is impossible to complete the Galactic War as I get pitted against far superior teams whom I can't beat. I guess their galactic power is far more focused than mine. Eventually I hope I can grow this out, but for now it's struggle.

    • Juan D Alfonso profile imageAUTHOR

      Juan D Alfonso 

      2 years ago from Portland Oregon

      1) Mods are super important but early in the game you want to focus your Cantina Energy on farming critical toons. Focus on them more once you have your CLS and JTR toons farmed. I'll be doing an update to this article soon as its a bit outdated.

      2) Just use your five daily attempts at farming her everyday. You should have her at 7 stars within 7-8 weeks on average.

      3) That is a really good question. There are a couple of different Metas yo can try. My personal favorite pics are Chirut, Baze, Han Solo (rancor farm), and Leia With all the zetas, this is a beast team, but your looking at 8 months to a year to being able to build that team. My alt choice in use Biggs and Wedge instead of Han and Leia. But if you dont have JTR yet, id advise CLS, R2, Leia, Thrawn and either Old Ben or ST Han. Once you have General Kenobi, he is a must have if you dont have JTR yet.

      Hope that helps.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Hi Juan,

      Sorry for my bad english i am French ...

      I follow your Beginner's Guide for SWGOH and i have a few questions :

      1. You don't speack about mods, do you think they are useless or just usefull for the arena team ? And if so, when do you advise to farm them ?

      2. Sabine can't be buy anymore from the Guild store nor from the guild event store. Does that change your advice for build the phoenix team ?

      3. Last thing : Which characters do you recommend for the CLS team?

      Thanks a lot for your Guide.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Man followed the guide pretty closely. I am top 5 of my arena, not F2P but not a whale (200$) or so in.

      Sadly, at the time of writing this I can most certainly say I would have done a lot better starting with Phoenix Squad (with Boba/Lando/STH farms along the way). In the future there might be a return to the Jedi meta with some tweaks, but again, at this time there is absolutely no reason to do a Jedi start unless you are looking for a challenge.


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