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Imperial Agent Beginner’s Guide - Star Wars The Old Republic

Learn everything you need to get playing quickly with the Imperial Agent including key abilities, gear choices, what stats to boost, playing strategies and more.

EpicF2P Game Guide

Guide by Jae Onasi

Win Through Subversion and Deceit

You love the Empire. You’ve always wanted to play a spy. You want to infiltrate the Republic and wreak havoc. If so, then the Imperial Agent in Star Wars: The Old Republic is the perfect choice for you. While your spymaster, the Keeper, keeps you busy subverting the Hutt cartels on Hutta, you’ll have fun trying out a variety of different skills. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

During your character creation, you’ll have the chance to pick the species, gender, and appearance. These are cosmetic only and have no effect on your stats. Choose what you like best, select a name, and enjoy the beginning crawl of your personal Star Wars epic.

This guide will give you some great information on setting up your Imperial Agent for maximum effectiveness on Hutta. We’ll touch on gear, quests, and the User Interface.

User Interface Customizations

Take a few moments after your opening dialogue to adjust your chat settings and User Interface, or UI. The chatbox can be undocked from the top of the screen and moved to a place you prefer. If you need to re-size it, click and drag on the lower right corner to adjust it. If you’d like to change the font size or color, right-click on one of the tabs. You’ll see a pop-up menu that gives you different options. Some of the chat settings are under the Options menu. The Options menu can be accessed by clicking on the icon of gears on the bar on the top of your screen. Click Options, then Preferences, then Chat. You’ll be able to add a time-stamp, filter profanity, or turn general chat on and off.

Your UI settings can be opened by clicking Options>User Interface. You’ll be able to re-size, move, and flip just about every item on your screen. There are a few other settings in the Options>Preferences>User Interface menu, too. If you need a step-by-step tutorial on how to change your UI around, check out the video below:

Tutorial on how to change your user interface

Activate all your quickbars (also called action bars or hotbars). Subscribers have six quickbars, Preferred players have four, and Free-to-play gamers receive two. Two quickbars will be plenty for your trek across Hutta. If you drop into cover, you’ll notice a special ‘cover bar’ pop up over your top quickbar. Make sure to put your fighting skills, like Rifle Shot, on this bar along with the skills that can only be used in cover, such as Snipe, for convenience.

Gamers who love to use hotkeys instead of clicking skills should look at the Key Bindings. Those are found at Options>Preferences>Key Bindings. The tab is located at the bottom of the window.

A good tutorial on how to set up key bindings for commonly used actions

Movement is important for all Imperial Agents. Make sure you’ve bound the keys for moving forward, backward, and taking cover. Strafing left and right is much more useful than turning, so make sure to bind those keys as well.

You won’t receive a lot of attack or defense skills before level 10. Put your attack skills on the main quickbar and the skills used out of combat on the second bar.

Mini-map Overview

The mini-map is in the lower right of the screen, and can be moved or resized as needed. When you mouse over the buttons on your mini-map, you’ll see pop-up tooltips for each one. You’ll see buttons for the group finder and the PvP (player-vs.-player) queue. You won’t be able to use them until level 10, but be aware that they’re available. Click the filters and turn them all on. It’ll make it easier to find taxi stops, resource nodes, and vendors that way. If you join a party, you’ll see your group members on the map as little purple people. Scroll in or out by using the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ buttons if you get lost so that you can see them more easily.

If you need to see the World Map, use the Map hotkey. The default hotkey is ‘M’.

Light and Dark Side Story Choices

Starting from the very first area on Hutta, you’ll have dialogue choices that award you Dark side or Light side points. Light and Dark side points can be gained or lost depending on what choices you make in quests and dialogues. Having a high Dark or Light alignment allows you to use certain gear and relics. The higher your alignment, the better those relics and gear can be. If you have specific items you’d like to equip, make choices that move you in that alignment direction. You can see what your alignment is at any time by opening your character sheet using the default hotkey ‘C’.

Kaliyo Djannis will join you as your first companion while you’re still working on Hutta. She’ll give companion affection points based on your actions and conversations. Be careful, though: the choices that make her happy don’t always coincide with your Light or Dark side choices. That adds quite a twist to your quests and missions. Affection and alignment are fairly easy to increase throughout the game.

Mission Choices

The Keeper will make you do your class missions before he’ll authorize your transfer to other planets. You can see a listing and description of all your quests and missions by opening your quest log (default key ‘L’). Each quest has a recommended level listed.

Stay out of Heroic areas unless you’re in a party. Hutta has two Heroic quests. The recommended player levels for ‘The Man with the Steel Voice’ is six, while ‘Factory Recall’ is seven.


Imperial Agents may depend on their smarts and cunning to get through missions, but sometimes pure firepower is what’s needed. Visit the skill trainer outside Nemro’s palace after each level up. You’ll need all the skills you can get for each new mission area. Double check both your main quickbar and your cover bar to readjust your skills if needed.

All Agents can wear medium armor. This allows them to take a decent amount of damage while attacking. Use your cover shield often for extra protection. You’ll be a much harder target to hit. Enemies take greater damage when attacked from behind or flanked. Use Debilitate to stun them and then attack from behind. Kaliyo wears heavy armor and can take more of a beating. Use her as your tank while you use your skills for high DPS (damage-per-second).

If your health drops too low, use a Medpac to raise your health back up. When you’re done with battle, use your Recuperate skill to heal yourself and your companion.

Agents benefit most from Skill stims, which raise Cunning. These last 60 minutes. You can also use a Fortitude stim to raise your Endurance, which helps your health, but Cunning improves the damage from all of your skills. It’s a bit of a tradeoff, but if enemies die more quickly, you won’t take as much damage. Skip the stims that buff Strength, Aim, or Willpower. They will help very little, if they help at all.

Make sure to activate Coordination for the 5% buff to all your critical hits. Every buff helps!

If you die in battle, three things can happen.

  1. You can revive yourself in that spot
  2. You can revive at a safe spot by an Imperial Medical Droid
  3. A party member can revive you

If you revive on the spot, you’ll be put in stealth mode for eight seconds. That lets you get to a safe spot. Take a few moments to heal up and then rebuff with Coordination and another stim. Zone back to the Imperial Medical droid if the enemies are too tough. If the entire party wipes, or dies, everyone will zone back to the Medical droid. If Kaliyo is with you and she dies in battle, finish the fight, and then revive her by right-clicking on her. Use your Recuperate skill. It will heal both your companion and you.


An Imperial Agent depends mainly on ranged skills, but can use vibroknife melee skills in a pinch when enemies close in. You’ll use both types of skills on Hutta. To see all of them, press ‘P’ to open the Abilities window. You’ll need to drag active skills to your quickbars. Passive skills don’t need to be placed on quickbars.

Put Fragmentation Grenade and Rifle Shot on your top bar, since you’ll use those often. Make sure your cover bar includes those two along with your cover skills, like Explosive Probe and Snipe. Skills that have very long cool downs or can only be used out of combat, like Quick Travel or Recuperate, can go on a lower bar. You won’t get any combination moves until after you’ve chosen an advanced class after leaving Hutta, so don’t worry about those now.


The primary stats for Agents are Endurance and Cunning. Don’t equip items with Willpower, Strength, or Cunning. You can see your primary and secondary stats by opening your character sheet. The default hotkey for this is ‘C’. Secondary stats can be seen in the dropdown menus under the primary stats. These include alacrity, accuracy, surge, critical, and power. Expertise is used only in PvP, which you can’t do until you leave Hutta. There are no drops on Hutta with any secondary stats, so don’t be concerned about those right now. Consult the guide on primary and secondary stats if you need a more detailed description.

Kaliyo’s primary stats are Aim and Endurance. Keep an eye out for items that improve those stats for her.


While you can buy weapons and gear on Hutta, it’s better and cheaper to equip gear that drops as loot from monsters. If you mouse over a new drop, you’ll see a tooltip pop up comparing that item to your currently equipped item. If the armor rating or stats are better than what you have, equip it by right-clicking on it. Your other item moves automatically to your inventory. Keep an eye out for bracers and belts for both you and Kaliyo. Sell what you don’t need to vendors since you don’t have a lot of inventory space.

When you earn 10 Planetary commendations, see the specialty vendor. He’s standing in the Market area by Nemro’s palace. You’ll be able to pick up a nice jacket there. Planetary commendations are a good way to get new gear or upgrades for gear that can be modified. You won’t be able to find some items on Hutta, such as headgear, offhand items, earpieces, implants, or relics. Those become available after you leave Hutta.

You’ll receive your first orange-quality item, a rifle, once you reach the end of your missions on Hutta. Orange items can be modified to improve things like enhancements, crystals, or barrels. Right-click on the item to open the modification window. You can also visit a modification station to upgrade it.

If you have a choice of quest rewards, select those that improve Cunning. Some quests give companion gear for rewards. Equip those if they’re better, or simply sell them for more credits.

Earning Money

Hutta is mainly a tutorial planet, and the drops are low level and low in value as a result. If you need to make some quick credits, head over to the Heroic quest areas or into The Eastern Grime. It’s best to focus on learning your game play techniques and save credit-making for later. Higher level planets offer much better drops, and you can trade on the Galactic Trade Network once you leave Hutta.


Kaliyo Djannis joins you around level eight as your first companion. Her main weapons are the blaster pistol or blaster rifle. She can equip heavy armor, and her main stats are Aim and Endurance. Her starting armor is likely better than anything else you can find on Hutta as drops, so hang on to her gear until you find something better.

Check out her Codex entry to discover her likes and dislikes. This will help you make dialogue choices that increase her affection. If you make a mistake and the conversation is still active, you can press ‘Escape’ to restart the conversation. You can also give her companion gifts to increase affection. All spies should keep their allies happy and loyal, after all.


SWTOR is terrific about eliminating the repetitive ‘grinding’ of repeatedly doing the same quests or killing the same enemies in a specific area. If you do the missions along with the side and bonus quests, you’ll easily gain enough experience to reach level 10. Exploration, datacrons, and lore objects also contribute experience points, so make sure to explore all the areas.

If you haven’t reached level 10 by the time you finish all your missions for the Keeper, group up for the Heroic quests. These repeatable daily quests offer some nice rewards and a lot of experience points.

Datacrons, Shards, and Lore Objects

Lore objects are little items or placards that provide tidbits of history or useful information. Several lore objects that look like glowing statues are scattered across the Hutta Swamps. Right-click on them to earn some experience points and see a bit of Hutta history.

Datacrons not only offer experience points, but they also improve your stats or provide a shard that you can use to construct your own matrix cube relic later. One of the three Hutta datacrons will give you a blue matrix shard. There are some fantastic videos showing you how to obtain each datacron.

Social Elements

You can play SWTOR both in a group and solo. If you group up with others, you’ll finish quests and missions more quickly, and you’ll earn social points. Increasing your social rank gives you access to some fun items. The higher your rank, the more social items you can purchase.

If you’re in a party and someone chooses a different dialogue option than you do, don’t worry. The game gives you credit for any Light or Dark side decisions you make, even if the cinematic response from another gamer plays on screen. You’ll be able to tackle Heroic missions much more easily with a full party. Some content, like Flashpoints and Operations, are nearly impossible to do without a full party.

The advantage of playing solo is that you can take your time. You can come and go at your leisure, and you don’t have to rush through an area or conversation choices. You’ll also be able to see all of your choices played out in the cinematic responses.

Most people do some combination of solo and group play. They will play their own class missions solo to see the full story but group up for Heroics and other group content.

Once your reach level 10, you’ll be able to use the Group Finder button to join a party. For Heroics on Hutta, however, just type ‘LFG Steel Voice’ or ‘LFG Factory Recall’ in general chat for those two Heroic quests. ‘LFG’ is short for ‘looking for group’. If someone wants to join you, click on them, then right-click on the portrait that appears on your screen. You’ll see a drop-down menu that lets you invite them to the party.

If you have questions, ask in general chat! Occasionally you’ll get a silly answer from someone, but most people are helpful and offer good information. Give people time to answer in case they’re in battle. Avoid swearing or name-calling (trolling) in chat. Doing that could get you banned from the game. The old adage “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it” definitely applies here.

If you want to sell something, try the trade channel. You might find more success buying and selling things there.

If you’re interested in grouping up with people who have a similar play style, or you want to easily exchange gear with others and share crafting resources, then joining a guild is a great option. Many guilds post information about themselves on the Server Forums. Read those threads, check out their websites, and talk to some of their members before joining. While you can always type /gquit to leave a guild, it’s better to find a great one in the first place.

Once you’ve completed all of your missions on Hutta, the Keeper will order you to Dromund Kaas for reassignment to bigger and better things in Imperial Intelligence. You’ll also have all the basics you need for continued success as a secret agent. Enjoy your journey through the Star Wars galaxy!

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