20 expert tips for Star Wars: The Old Republic newbies

Old Republic guide: Make sure you get the most out of BioWare's epic MMO with our beginner's guide

More than three years after announcement and (allegedly) over $100m in development, EA's biggest ever video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, has gone live to the public.

According to analysts more than a million early access customers have already joined the MMO, and despite complaints of hefty server queues developer BioWare says it's "extremely happy" with where it stands at launch.

To help you get ahead of the crowd, here are our 20 expert tips for Star Wars: The Old Republic newbies.

1. In control options, turn on Auto Loot and Area Loot. The first will automatically remove items from a fallen enemy when you click on them, and the second will remove items from any body in the vicinity. These are both huge time savers.

2. If your companion is defeated, don't revive them. This has a 3 second cast time and they'll only come back with 25% of their total health. Instead, dismiss them, then summon them again, and they'll instantly be restored to maximum HP.

3. Always keep a supply of medpacs. You can buy them from medical droids, who you'll find in most friendly areas (camps, cities etc.). Drag a medpac from your inventory to your quickslot bar for easy access during combat.

4. When you kill an enemy and they have loot, a glowing light will rise from their body. The colour of this depends on the quality of the loot. Blue is vendor junk and credits, yellow is quest items, and if something decent has dropped, the light will either be green, dark blue, purple or orange. Green is the lowest level of special item, and orange/purple are the highest.

5. If you don't like the way a conversation is going - if, say, you're an evil character and you just accidentally got some light points - press escape and you can start the whole thing again. If you'd rather know beforehand whether a dialogue choice will yield dark/light points, go to options > user interface > conversation, then check 'show alignment gain'.


6. If you're in a group - especially with strangers - don't take any loot you don't need. For example, if you're a Sith Warrior and an enemy drops light armour, you don't need it. Click the X on the box to 'pass' on the item.

7. If an item drops that you could use, but it's not essential for your character, select 'greed'. If an item drops that you really want, and it's appropriate for your class, select 'need'. Loot etiquette is very important in The Old Republic.

8. Don't choose gear based entirely on its armour rating - other stats are important too. For instance, Imperial Agents will benefit from armour with a high Cunning stat, while Strength is important to Jedi Knights.

9. If you have forward/back buttons on your mouse, clicking back will make your character run automatically. You can also do this by pressing the numlock key. Another way to walk, other than W, is by pressing both main mouse buttons together.

10. When your character reaches level 10, they'll be able to select an advanced class. It's recommended you do this as soon as you can, as it opens up additional combat abilities. You'll find a quest giver on the fleet that will point you towards your advanced class trainer. When the quest is done, right click the bag they give you on the inventory screen to get items tailored to your selected advanced class.

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