EpicF2P Game Guide
Guide by Jae Onasi
Maximize Your Sith Inquisitor For Ultimate Power!
You’ve survived the Sith Academy on Korriban. You’ve been chosen as a Sith Apprentice and have to meet your Master on Dromund Kaas. You’ll have a lot of fun wielding a double lightsaber to defend teammates and destroy your foes. This guide will give you extensive information on types of gear, leveling, best skill builds, companions, and rotations to use in both PvE (player-vs.-environment) and PvP (player-vs.-player) settings. Let’s get your Sith Assassin started!
Progression trailer gives you a taste of the advanced class choices for the Sith Inquisitor
Once you leave Korriban, your first stop is the Imperial Fleet Station. Take a look at the Fleet Station guide if you want more detailed information on what you can find there. For now, you’ll want to make two stops. Your first stop is with Lord Krillis, who will direct you to report to Overseer Kryos in the skill trainer quadrant. This is the quest that requires you to choose between the Sorcerer and Assassin Advanced Classes, or AC for short.
Start your quick Advanced Class Mission here
Choose the Assassin class, and you’ll receive your AC, some new skills, and a few items. Check your inventory and your abilities menu and you’ll see new items and skills. You’ll also receive at least one skill point. We’ll go over a more advanced discussion about how to allocate skill points in the Skill Tree section. For now, the best place to put the first point or two is in Charge Mastery.
Getting to Level 55 for your Assassin just takes time. If you want to level quickly, the fastest route is to do a combination of class missions, flashpoints for your level, and PvP. Add in a few space missions if you love space combat. Completing planet quests and bonus missions with a group will make leveling even faster. You can also buy experience point boosts with Cartel Coins if you’re really in a hurry.
There are three skill trees, or specializations, that you can pursue as a Sith Assassin. These three are Darkness, Deception, and Madness. The Darkness skill tree is the main tanking tree. A Darkness specialist does a lot of close-range, or melee, damage. The Deception tree is a great melee DPS (damage per second) specialization that does bursts of high damage, called ‘spike damage’. The Madness Assassin has some self-healing skills, can do ranged or melee damage, and does a good amount of damage over time (DoT).
If you like to do heavy tanking damage and be at the forefront of any battle, then Darkness is the tree for you. If you enjoy stealth and doing high bursts of damage, choose Deception. If you want the ability to do steady damage over time, and you like the flexibility of doing ranged or melee damage, then the Madness tree is your choice.
There are some commonly used skill tree builds that maximize your damage and proc (short for ‘programmed random occurrence) skills. Almost all the builds have skill points allocated in at least two and sometimes all three of the trees, so don’t be surprised. Also, the PvP builds are subtly different from the PvE builds. The focus in PvE is to take on small mobs of enemies at a time and tackle hard-to-kill bosses. In PvP, speed becomes much more of an issue as you chase your enemies across a large map. The builds are adjusted accordingly.
Since patches and major SWTOR updates can change skills, check patch notes to see if you need to change your build to something new.
These are some suggested skill builds for both PvE and PvP:
Sith Inquisitor Darkness Builds
Sith Inquisitor Deception Builds
Sith Inquisitor Madness Builds
Experiment with your skill points if you’d like to tweak the build. That way, you can customize it to what works best for you.
Abilities and Rotations
There are a variety of builds and suggested skill rotations. In SWTOR, there is no ‘set’ skill rotation like there is in other MMOs. Your battle techniques will need to change based on the type of enemy you face and whether or not you’re playing in PvP or PvE. In addition, Assassins don’t have nearly as large a pool of Force points to fuel their skills as their Sorcerer cousins. You’ll have to adjust your skills based not only on how much energy is available but also on how much health the enemy has left and which of your proc skills are available.
Some skills you want to activate as soon as the cool down timer expires. These are known as the ‘cool down skills’.
Most of the skill rotations are set up to make maximum use of your proc skills. When proc skills activate, you’ll see their icons show up right above your skill bar where your buffs and conditions also appear. Get used to looking for those little icons so that you can use your activated skills for maximum effect. In order to see the procs more clearly, you may want to adjust your UI so that your buffs and debuffs are flipped to the bottom of your skillbar. You can increase the display size to make them easier to see.
The Most Important Damage Cooldowns for all Assassins
Occasionally, a group leader will ask you to hold off on activating these damage cool down skills until the team is at a particular point in a fight in order to do maximum damage. Keep these skills in an easy-to reach place on your skillbars.
- Recklessness—use this when you have a full 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness and Energize is active
Protective Cooldowns for All Assassins
Keep these available for when you need extra defense, remove a condition like burning, need to escape a snare or increase healing, or need to get away from an enemy quickly.
- Unbreakable Will
- Force Shroud and Force Cloak
- Overcharge Saber (when Surging Charge procs)
- Phase Walk
Darkness Skill Priority List for Single Targets and Bosses
- Dark Ward—reactivate it just before it expires so that it’s active at all times
- Assassinate, Maul, or Thrash to make Energize proc
- Shock when Energize procs
- Force Lightning once you have 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness
- Dishcharge when Dark Charge activates
- Saber Strike, especially if you are below 20 Force
Try to maintain your debuffs from Discharge (with Dark Charge active) and Wither as often as possible.
Darkness Priority List for Area of Effect and Multiple Targets
- Discharge when Dark Charge is active
Deception Skill Priority List for Single Targets and Bosses
- Discharge with 3 stacks of Static Charge from Surging Charge
- Shock with 2 stacks of Induction and Voltage active from Voltaic Slash
- Maul when Exploit Weakness
- Voltaic Slash
- Saber Strike
Use Saber Strike or Blackout when you have 20 Force or less. Use Discharge and Shock with the buffs, since that will boost your damage significantly.
Deception Priority List for Area of Effect and Multiple Targets
For extra DPS in any situation, use Overcharge Saber and Recklessness. To recover Force quickly, use Blackout when Darkswell procs.
Madness Skill Priority List for Single Targets and Bosses
There are several keys to playing a Madness Assassin. Use Death Field as soon as the cooldown is up. Use Crushing Darkness when Raze procs, and maintain Creeping Terror for the DoT effects. Use Assassinate as often as it is available. As soon as Exploit Weakness procs from Duplicity, use Maul. Whenever your Force drops below 20, use Saber Strike to regain your Force pool more quickly.
- Death Field
- Crushing Darkness when Raze procs
- Creeping Terror
- Maul, especially when Exploit Weakness procs from Duplicity
- Discharge with Lightning Charge
- Saber Strike
Madness Priority List for Area of Effect and Multiple Targets
- Death Field
- Overload (when facing targets)
Stats and Gear
Always equip your double lightsaber. Since some skills require a lightsaber, it’s useless to equip any other kind of weapon. Upgrade to the orange-quality gear up through level 50, since you can change out the equipment modifications easily. You can buy some orange gear starting on Dromund Kaas, and the Legacy Vendors at the Kaas City Plaza offer quite a number of pieces. One easy way to get some orange gear is to get to Social Rank 1 by doing the Black Talon Flashpoint with some other players. The Black Talon Flashpoint is one of the best for earning social points quickly. This will let you get a good starting set of gear (minus bracers and a belt) for a very low cost.
All Inquisitors are limited to Light armor. Always choose armor, relics, implants, weapons, shields, and foci with Willpower and Endurance as the main stats. Strength helps very little. While you don’t need to add augments to gear and weapons at the lower levels, they do help. Augments are essential at level 50 and up if you plan on doing the end-game Operations or ranked PvP.
Secondary stats become very important in PvP and end-game Operations. In general, in PvE, boost Willpower as high as possible. In PvP, boost Expertise first and then Willpower and Endurance.
Check your character sheet. You’ll see numbers and percentages by all the secondary stats. You don’t need to boost them all.
You can change out mods, enhancements, augments, and relics to raise the necessary stats. Players who enjoy both PvE and PvP often have two sets of armor, since Expertise is essential in PvP but is not used at all in PvE. Don’t exceed the recommended percentages. The amount of benefit you get from raising the secondary stats above these ‘soft caps’ diminishes rapidly.
While all Assassins need to build up their Willpower, Darkness specialists need to focus on building up their Endurance as well, since they’re tanking. They need the extra hit points that Endurance provides.
Bring Shield up to 40% first, and then Absorb to 44%. Defense should be at 18 percent. Put enough points into Accuracy to raise that to 110 percent, and pour the rest of the points into Willpower and Endurance. This will help you survive many of the toughest boss fights. Darkness Assassins want to work towards the Dread Forged Survivor Armor set. Use the +41 Endurance crystal and the Advanced Force Wielder Hilt 34 in your lightsaber for the extra health points. Tailor the augments in your armor to whatever you need most to raise your Absorption, Defense, or Shield to the recommended percentages with the Advanced Augment 28. Select the Advanced Robust or Reinforced Mod 34 along with the Advanced Sturdiness or Steadfast Enhancement 34 to improve your Willpower and secondary stats.
In PvP, Expertise is the primary stat. Endurance is also very important. After that, you should increase Shield, Absorb, Willpower, Power, and Defense. Use the Obroan Survivor Armor set and equip your lightsaber with the Advanced Resolve Hilt 29X and a +41 Expertise crystal. Choose mods that improve Absorb and Defense, like the Advanced Robust or Reinforced Mod 29BX. Round out your armor with the Advanced Acute, Initiative, Insight, or Quick Savant 29X Enhancements depending on what secondary stats you need to increase. Use the Advanced Resolve or Fortitude Augment 28 for Willpower and Power, respectively.
Darkness specialists should use the highest-level Absorb adrenals. Use Fortitude stims in either PvE or PvP play. This stim increases health points by increasing Endurance. For a quick self-heal, use the highest level Med Unit or the reusable Medpac if you’re a Biochemist. In PvP, use the Warzone medpacs and adrenals. Equip at least one Absorb-based Relic, and activate it whenever you need it.
In PvE, Deception Assassins need to crank up Willpower first. Then, raise Critical, Surge, Power, and Accuracy. To make sure you can always hit a boss, boost your Accuracy to 110 percent. Surge is the next most important stat, with Power close behind. Raise Critical to 25 percent and Surge to 70 percent. Put the rest of the points into Power. Use a +41 Power crystal in your lightsaber, add the Advanced Resolve Hilt 34 and work towards the Dread Forged Stalker Armor set. The Advanced Resolve 28 Augments that boost Willpower are a big help. Choose the Advanced Aptitude 34A Mettle or Aptitude Mods. To round out your secondary stats, select the Advanced Acute, Initiative, Battle, or Adept Enhancements 34.
For PvP, Deception specialists should raise Expertise first. Next, raise Willpower. After that, bring Accuracy up to at least 105 percent as your first priority. Then bring Critical up to 25 percent and Surge to 70 percent. Allocate the rest of the mods to Power. For gear, work up to the Obroan Stalker set. Use a +41 Expertise crystal in your lightsaber along with an Advanced Resolve Hilt 29X. Go for the Advanced 28 Resolve or Fortitude Augments. Choose the Advanced 29AX Mettle or Aptitude Mods. Choose the Advanced 29X Enhancements to round out the secondary stats that you need most, such as Acute, Initiative, Battle, or Adept. If you die a lot, you may need to use Enhancements that add Endurance at the expense of your secondary stats.
Deception Assassins should use the highest level Resolve stims to boost Willpower. Attack adrenals raise Power, which will help with overall damage. If you can’t equip the Reusable medpac, use the highest level Med Unit for emergency self-healing. In PvP, use the Warzone medpacs and adrenals. Have a Relic that increases Power, and activate it whenever the cool down ends.
The Madness specialist needs to prioritize Willpower, even more than Endurance. Bring Accuracy up to 110 percent so you can always hit the bosses. The next priorities are bringing Critical up to 25 percent and Surge to 70 percent. Put the rest of points into Power. The best gear available for Madness Assassins is the Dread Forged Stalker Armor set. Use a +41 Power crystal in your lightsaber and equip the Advanced Resolve Hilt 34. For your gear, choose the Advanced Mod 34A in either Mettle or Aptitude to boost Crit or Power respectively. Both boost Willpower, too.
In PvP, your goal is to get to the Obroan Stalker Armor set. Put points into Expertise, then Willpower. Boost your Accuracy to 105 percent. Ideally, you want to get your Critical to 25 percent, your Surge to 70 percent, and then devote the rest of your mods to items that boost Power. Use the +41 Expertise crystal and the Advanced Resolve Hilt 29X in your lightsaber. Select the Advanced Mettle or Aptitude 29AX mods and the Advanced 29X Enhancements. You’ll want to pick the ones that will boost the particular secondary stats you need. Choose the Advanced Resolve or Fortitude Augment 28 for extra Endurance and Willpower or Power.
Madness Assassins should use the maximum level Resolve stims to boost Willpower and use Attack adrenals to raise Power. This increases overall damage and healing. If you can’t equip Reusable medpacs, use the maximum level Med Unit for self-healing in emergencies. In PvP, use the Warzone medpacs and adrenals. Use a power-based Relic and activate it whenever the cool down ends.
In general, it’s best to make your companions happy. The higher their affection, the better their specific crafting will be. You can raise affection by choosing conversation options they like, doing their companion-specific quests, or giving them companion gifts. Read each companion’s codex entry to discover what they like and dislike. This may guide your conversation and quest options. In general, equip all your companions in orange-quality gear and weapons, which you can later upgrade easily. Make sure to give them implants and earpieces, too. They benefit from the stat boosts as much as you do.
By now, you should be pretty familiar with Khem Val, who joined you on Korriban. His main stats are Strength and Endurance, and he wears heavy armor. He uses a Vibrosword and Shield Generator or Focus for his main and off-hand weapons. Khem is very good at melee combat. While he’s better suited for a Sorcerer, he’ll still be great for an Assassin. Since he attracts enemies with his higher threat level, it gives Assassins an excellent opportunity to practice positioning for flanking attacks. Deception Assassins in particular benefit from proper positioning—some skills can only be used when attacking an enemy from behind.
Your ship droid, 2V-R8, is technically a companion, although he does not have any companion quests. You can outfit him with droid parts if you feel like taking him with you. 2V-R8 has only healing skills, so you’ll be doing all the damage. A Darkness Assassin might find him useful until Talos Drellik joins the crowd. Otherwise, any of the other companions are much better options for your party. If you have purchased a repair droid for your ship (requires legacy level 7), you can purchase a sensor unit for 2V-R8 that will give him a crafting bonus.
Andronikos Revel joins you at the beginning of Tatooine. As a pirate, he does some terrific ranged DPS, so he is a great option for Darkness Assassins. He wears medium armor, and his primary stats are Cunning and Endurance. He can wield either two Blaster Pistols or a Blaster Rifle. Female Inquisitors can romance him. If you plan on taking him along regularly, make sure to keep his gear updated often for maximum effectiveness.
On Taris, Assassins will meet Ashara Zavros. As a Padawan, she is a terrific melee DPS companion. If you’re the type of player who thinks that killing enemies quickly means you won’t need healing, bring Ashara. Her primary weapon is the Lightsaber, and she uses an Energy Shield in her offhand. She uses medium armor with Strength and Endurance primary stats. Male Inquisitors can romance her.
Talos Drellik joins your circle at the end of your class missions on Hoth. He is a ranged healer and is a great option for all Assassins, particularly those who are Darkness specialists. He carries a Blaster Pistol and Vibroknife as his main and offhand weapons. He uses medium armor with Cunning and Endurance as his stats.
Xalek can join you permanently after you complete the storyline on Voss. He is the second Force user to join your group. As a tank DPS companion, he’ll be more useful to Sorcerers, but he can be helpful if you want to want to plow through enemies quickly. He uses a double-bladed lightsaber and a shield generator. Since he wears light armor with Willpower and Endurance primary stats, save gear you ‘outgrow’ for him.
HK-51 can be acquired two ways. First, you can obtain him after reaching level 50 and doing a series of bonus quests to retrieve his parts that have been scattered around the galaxy. You also need a level 15 alt in the Republic faction to obtain one of the parts. Second, if you’ve already unlocked him with one level 50 alt, you can unlock him as a companion on your Assassin if you spend 1 million credits or 350 Cartel coins. He will scale to your Assassin’s level. He is a ranged DPS companion who uses heavy droid plating. His primary weapon is the Sniper or Blaster Rifles, with the Vibroknife as his secondary. He is a bit unusual in that he uses Aim or Cunning along with Endurance as his primary stats. His armor is Aim-based, but he can use either Aim or Cunning based rifles.
Treek: Treek is an Ewok mercenary companion. She is unlockable at level 10 for Cartel Coins or by spending money on the GTN. Some of the mercenary contracts on the GTN that allow you to acquire Treek require that you have Legacy level 40 to unlock her. She carries a bowcaster and shield generator and wears heavy armor. Her main stats are Aim and Endurance. Treek can equip Aim-based blaster pistols and blaster rifles in addition to her bowcaster. She is useful if you need a ranged tank or a healer since she has both tanking and healing stances.
All companions have favorite gifts. These are listed in order of preference.
- Khem: Cultural Artifact, Weapon, Trophy, Technology, Imperial Memorabilia
- 2V-R8: Cultural Artifact, Technology, Imperial Memorabilia, Luxury
- Andronikos: Weapon, Military Gear, Underworld Goods, Luxury, Courting (if you’re female)
- Ashara: Republic Memorabilia, Courting (if you’re male and romancing her), Cultural Artifact, Military Gear, Weapon, Underworld Goods, Imperial Memorabilia
- Talos: Cultural Artifact, Imperial Memorabilia, Luxury, Republic Memorabilia, Technology, Courting (even though he’s not a romance option)
- Xalek: Military Gear, Weapon, Underworld Goods, Trophy
- HK-51: Weapon, Military Gear, Technology, Trophy
- Treek: Technology, Trophy, Weapon, and Military Gear
Completing a Flashpoint with other players is a great way to earn credits, rare gear, Light and Dark Side points, and social points. While doing them is not essential, the stories are fun and they are a great way to work on your skill rotations with a team. There are daily and weekly Flashpoint missions available on the Fleet Station, so make sure to pick those up for an extra credit and experience point boost. Flashpoints can be done in Story Mode or Hard Mode. The rewards in Story Mode are designed for the level range of that Flashpoint. Hard Mode Flashpoints are meant to be done at level 50, and the loot drops are scaled to level 50 as a result. While specific items used to drop in the early days of the game, the loot table is now more random and is supposed to better match the party’s composition.
There are a few ways to find a group for a flashpoint. If you’ve joined a guild, the first way is to ask in guild chat for help. Most guild mates are willing to join up if they’ve reached the correct level. Another way is to ask for help in general chat. One of the best ways is to use the Group Finder tool, which is one of the buttons on your mini-map.
When the Group Finder window pops up, select your role. Darkness Assassins can select Tank or DPS, depending on their planned role. Deception and Madness Assassins usually select the DPS role. Choose the Flashpoint(s) that you would like to complete. After that, click ‘Join Queue’, and when a group is found, you’ll be given the option to be transported instantly to that Flashpoint. Share the weekly and daily missions with the other players, or ask them to share those with you if you haven’t picked them up.
If you don’t mind spoilers, review the Flashpoints for tips on the boss fights. There are a variety of guides and videos available for each of these missions.
Here is a list of the Flashpoints and their level ranges:
- The Black Talon: Level 7-10
- Hammer Station: Level 13-17
- Athiss: Level 17-21
- Mandalorian Raiders: Level 21-25
- Cademimu: Level 25-29
- Boarding Party: Level 29-33
- The Foundry: Level 33-37
- Colicoid War Games: Level 37-41
- The Red Reaper: Level 41-45
- Directive 7: Level 45-49
- The False Emperor: Level 48-50
- The Battle of Ilum: Level 48-50
- Kaon Under Siege: Level 50
- The Lost Island: Level 50
- Hammer Station Hard Mode: Level 55
- Athiss Hard Mode: Level 55
- Mandalorian Raiders Hard Mode: Level 55
- Cademimu Hard Mode: Level 55
You can start PvP at level ten and participate in the 10-49 bracket. At level 50, you’ll play in the 50-55 bracket. You’ll die a lot against higher level players, but it’s a good way to gain commendations for the high level gear later on. To join the PvP queue, just click the PvP button on your mini-map.
Doing PvP regularly is also an excellent way to gain experience points to level quickly. Make sure to pick up the daily and weekly quests near the PvP vendors on the Fleet Station. Turn them in as soon as you complete them. At level 14 and periodically thereafter, you can purchase gear from the PvP vendor on the fleet station that will add to your Expertise stat, which is the primary PvP stat. Equip those as soon as you can. You might find that these pieces of armor are better than what you can buy on the GTN at that same level.
Make sure to see the Warzone Gear vendor when you hit level 55. If you have a lot of commendations, you should be able to turn those in for some Conqueror gear. Work towards equipping your lightsaber first. This has some great stats that can be used in PvE play until you can obtain the Elite or Ultimate Gear items.
The roles in PvP differ depending on your skill tree specialization. Darkness Assassins are at their best when tanking enemies and guarding healers. Deception specialists harass the enemy and do spike damage against the opposing team’s healers and weaker players. Madness Assassins can do both ranged and melee damage, which allows them to change tactics on the fly, depending on where the battle leads them. All Assassins can enter Stealth mode, making it nearly impossible for the enemy to find them.
Different Warzones require different techniques. In Huttball, it’s all about speed. Make sure to hotkey the ‘Throw Ball’ skill. It’s an area-of-effect skill, so you’ll need to aim it after activating it. Click the hotkey once more to release the ball. If you catch the ball, use your speed boosts to reach the goal. Use Unbreakable Will or throw the ball to another player if you get snared or slowed. Overload is a great skill to use if you want to bounce someone into a fire pit or off a bridge. Make sure you’re facing the target.
The other Warzones, like Novare Coast and Voidstar, require players to capture points or break through enemy lines to accomplish an objective. Darkness Assassins should protect the healers with Guard whenever possible. Deception and Madness Assassins are at their best when damaging healers and the weaker melee DPS players. Attack the players who are attacking your healers. Enemies can’t stay alive if their healers can’t heal.
Use stealth and use it often. You’ll regenerate Force when you come out of stealth, and you’ll leave your enemies guessing where you’re at.
PvP Video Guides
Update 2.4 PvP for Darkness Assassin builds
Update 2.4 PvP for Madness Assassin builds
Update 2.4 PvP for Deception Assassin builds
Best Crafting Skills for an Assassin
One very good crafting skill to pick up for an Assassin is Biochem. The other two skills that go with this are Bioanalysis and Diplomacy. This skill allows you to craft and use the coveted reusable medpacs and stims. Since an Assassin is generally in the thick of battle, those medpacs can mean the difference between survival and a hefty repair bill. In addition, the highest level stims that boost the primary stats can sell for over 10,000 credits apiece. You’ll easily recoup the crafting costs by selling these stims and medpacs on the Galactic Trading Network.
If you really don’t want to pursue Biochem or you have another character already doing this craft, consider Artifice, Synthweaving, or Cybertech. Artifice will let you craft lightsaber crystals, lightsaber hilts, Enhancements, along with shields and foci. Synthweaving is good if you want to create your own armor, especially bracers and belts which are not easy to find. Synthweavers can also create the important augment kits, too. Cybertech can be a useful crafting skill if you want to craft earpieces and items to modify weapons and armor, such as Mods and Armoring. If you enjoy space combat, this crew skill lets you craft your own ship parts. Cybertechs can also make droid gear, grenades and speeder bikes.
Question: Should I use any weapon besides a lightsaber?
Answer: No. A few of the Assassin skills actually require a lightsaber.
Question: Should I get all the datacrons?
Answer: You should get all the Willpower and Endurance datacrons at a minimum, along with the matrix shards. You should also pick up the Strength datacrons since those contribute slightly to your lightsaber damage. The +10 All Stats datacron is a must. You might think that a +1 Willpower boost won’t make a difference, but if you add them all together, they contribute quite a bit.
Question: Where do I go to make a Matrix Cube?
Answer: The room where you make Matrix Cubes is found near the Dark Temple on Dromund Kaas. You can create different Matrix Cubes depending on your level, so keep collecting the shards. You can break old cubes down to their component shards and reform them into new cubes once you reach the required level.
Question: Does it matter if I’m Light or Dark side?
Answer: No, but there are a few benefits to maximizing either your Light or Dark rank. Some good relics require either Light or Dark Rank V. However, you’ll be graduating to better relics once you reach level 50, so it’s not critical to maximize your Light or Dark side points.
Question: Should I use key bindings?
Answer: Yes! The skills you use most often should be bound to easy-to-reach keys. This will help you trigger the skills more quickly in combat. Set up something that works well for you.