SWTOR: Quick Q&A for New or Returning Players

Recently there was a conversation on AIE Discord about Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) that brought to light an opportunity to provide some updates on how the game model works these days. We all know the internet can be a hive of scum and villainy if you try to look up information about any game. This makes it hard to find good information, so hopefully this article will help.

There have been many updates to the game, including the recent unification of servers into mega servers to help bring more people together. This has had very positive results for just about everyone so far. There is also a very large update coming at the end of November that will have some quality of life improvements as well as some additional content to play through. All these updates are in addition to the Revan, Knights of the Fallen Empire, Knights of the Eternal Throne expansions and continuing story arcs that have been introduced over the past couple years. All great stuff..

Following up on the discord conversation, the key questions mentioned below focus on how to get back into SWTOR and what the difference is between Free To Play vs. Preferred vs. Subscription. This article won’t go into all the specifics about the pros and cons of the various models, and it is in no way intended to be a comprehensive list. Hopefully it will clarify some of the questions for those interested in playing SWTOR.

  • Is SWTOR run by EA and does it require Origin to install?
    • This is partially true.  SWTOR was developed by Bioware which is part of EA, but it does not require Origin to install or run the game.  
    • The game can be installed through Origin, but it can also downloaded from www.swtor.com directly.
    • Creating an account for SWTOR will create an Origin account and vice versa.  If you already have an Origin account, you already have a SWTOR account. However, you can pretty much ignore the Origin part if you are just focused on SWTOR.
  • Is the Free to Play (F2P) version really playable?
    • I will agree that the free to play model for SWTOR is challenging.  It has gotten better since it was first released, but it is still somewhat restrictive.
    • If you play just as F2P, you will have access to all of the story content up to level 50.  This is the original game with 8 different class stories.  
    • Flashpoints and PVP rewards are limited.  You can still do them, but the rewards have a weekly limit.
    • Operations are only available with a subscription.
    • In the past, fully unlocked Flashpoint/PVP rewards and Operations Access could be available for a F2P player by purchasing a weekly pass for the type of content that you wanted to do. These passes are no longer available but are supposed to be coming back, however there is no official ETA yet.  The passes used to be purchased with Cartel Coins or with in-game credits from the Galactic Trade Network (GTN).  Personally, I don’t believe this will change when they do return to the game.
  • Do you still have to buy items to play the game even if you subscribe?
    • With the releases of the last two expansions, you do not need to purchase anything if you subscribe to the game.
    • With the release of Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne expansions, if you subscribe for one month, you get all the current and previous content and allows you to level to 70.  Expansions used to be purchased as additional content as with some other games, but now you receive them at no additional cost with your subscription. 
    • Subscribers also have access to Operations (raids), Flashpoints (dungeons), and PVP Warzones.
    • Anything that you do buy is purely cosmetic.  For example, in the old days, weapon color crystals could be purchased with better stats than the in-game created ones.  However this was fixed when crafting was revamped.  Now all color crystals, whether purchased or crafted, have the same level of stat increase.
  • What’s up with the Cartel Market and Cartel Coins?
    • The Cartel Market is the in-game store that sells items for Cartel Coins.
    • Cartel Coins are purchased with real money or are awarded in a couple different ways.
    • Subscribers get a monthly grant of cartel coins, as does anyone that has two-factor authentication on their account.
    • The amount you receive for subscriptions varies from 500 coins a month and up depending on the different subscription models.
    • The amount of the grant for adding security to your account is 100 a month.  This grant used to be for subscribers only, but it is now available for everyone.
    • A small number of coins can be earned by one time only in-game achievements.
  • Is running speed still reduced for F2P players?
    • Yes and no.
    • When the game first came out, players received a speed boost to running, called Sprint, at level 10.  When the game released the F2P model, subscribers obtained it at level 1, but F2P didn’t gain it until level 10.
    • Sprint continues to work this way in-game for players.

These are just some of the updates on Subscriptions and F2P in SWTOR.  For a complete break down on the differences between F2P, Preferred, and Subscriber, please check out SWTORista’s article on her website. We are hanging out in SWTOR if you want to try it out. We have Republic and Imperial guilds.  MTFBWY.


Article Submitted by:

SWTOR Officer Corley