A SWTOR Guide explaining the different ways you can start SWTOR with a new character. Designed for beginner players to find out what to do!
This guide does NOT contain any story spoilers. I consider it perfectly safe for a new player to read through without being afraid it may ruin their experience you they begin your own adventures. with the SWTOR’s narrative.
When you start a new game, there’s always confusion. If this game is an MMORPG and you have not played one previously, the confusion might be even bigger.
SWTOR is an MMORPG indeed. As such it offers a lot of stories to play through and a large amount of these are free. In this guide I will take a deeper dive into all of the options you have as a new player when creating a new character in SWTOR.
Table of contents
How to create a New Character in SWTOR
As soon as you first log in to SWTOR after installing the game on Steam or the old-school way through the classic launcher, you will be welcomed with a screen that asks you what you want to create.
If you are a brand new player, you will directly go into the character creation screen. If you are a returning veteran from many years ago or if you have purchased a Subscription for the game, you will see this menu:
This screen will appear for you if you have a Character Token. These were granted to each player who subscribes to the game after the release of the Knights of the Fallen Empire (4.0) and Knights of the Eternal Throne (5.0) expansions to SWTOR.
Let’s talk about each one of these three options individually.
How to create a new level 1 character in SWTOR
If you are a totally new F2P player in SWTOR, you will directly jump into this creation process. This is a standard character creation chain of windows and menus in which you will select your character name, physical appearance, gender and main class.
If you own a Character Token, you can create a level 1 character by selecting the option at the bottom from the menu that I showed you a earlier in this guide:
If you already have a character in SWTOR, but want to create a new one, you can do that from the Character Selection Screen in-game:
At the bottom of the window listing your current characters, you will find a button labeled “Create Character” (see image above). Press that button to go to a new character creation.
If you have Character Tokens, their number will be listed right below that button. In the example image you can see that I have two of these tokens.
I will have a separate segment about these later and why you should avoid using them as a new player.
Step 1: Choose your Allegiances
In SWTOR you can play as an Empire or Republic character. This is a permanent choice with a few twists down the line, but generally speaking once you select your faction, you will not be able to change it until much later in the game.
Step 2: Select your class
There are eight main classes in SWTOR. Four for each faction. Republic players can play as Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler or Trooper. Empire players can choose to be Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Imperial Agent or Bounty Hunter.
Each main class splits into two advanced classes, which you have to choose now. Determining which advanced class will best fit your playstyle and preferences is a matter of either experimenting with them on your own or reading the available SWTOR Class Guides here on VULKK.com.
I’ve also got this beginner friendly SWTOR Classes Guide, which describers each class and their specific perks briefly.
At the very top of the screen you will see a few buttons with additional information about the class you have currently selected.
Check further down this guide for some tips on which story to play first if you are not sure for yourself. My ten years of experience with the game have allowed me to play through all of the narratives on multiple characters each and I have explored pretty much all possible outcomes.
Even if you are F2P, you will have access to all classes and all advanced classes.
At the time of this publication, your choice of a class is permanent. With the release of SWTOR 7.0 The Legacy of the Sith expansion, the newly developed Combat Styles system will allow subscriber players to have more than one Combat Style, which means they will be able to choose more than one class to play on one character.
Step 3: Select a Species
Step three is where your first limitations will appear. Based on your subscription status you may not be able to choose all of the species you see listed in the bottom of the screen.
Your choice here is not permanent. You will be able to change your species via an in-game station called “Appearance Designer”. It is located in the Cartel Bazaar area on the Fleet.
Note: changing your species after the initial character creation process is an expensive procedure and will cost you Cartel Coins, which is an in-game currency you buy with real-life money.
By default the species you don’t have access to are either exclusive unlocks from the Cartel Market (the in-game cache shop) or they can be unlocked through the Legacy System in SWTOR.
To unlock a species with the Legacy System, you need to play with it on the opposite faction. That’s right – most species are only allowed when you create a character that belongs to a certain faction.
An easy example would be the Sith Pureblood. This species is only available if you are creating an Empire character.
Step 4: Select your Gender
In Step four you choose if you want to play as a male or female character. I wonder when will BioWare add more options. It certainly is a modern trend now (look what Cyberpunk did).
What is the difference between the two genders? Besides the physical appearance and different voice cast behind them, the gameplay is almost absolutely the same. You will go through the same stories.
In the origin storyline of the game – Chapters 1 to 3 (aka levels 1 to 50) you will not be able to flirt with the same sex NPCs. In later updates BioWare started adding this option more and more.
There are a few unique situations you can create for yourself depending on how you talk and interact with NPCs, but these differences are far to few and easy to neglect from major story point-of-view.
Your species does not make a difference to how your character sounds. Wearing a helmet, for example, will result of your voice getting “modulated”, but it will still be the same voice of the actor that voices the role.
Step 5: Customize your Appearance
If you are a fan of RPGs, you probably already know that this is where you could easily lost a few hours of your time.
Customizations to your character are not permanent in SWTOR, again thanks to the “Appearance Designer” station, but if you want to edit something later via the Appearance Designer, it will cost you.
You can choose a random combination of all these options by clicking on the “Random” button at the top right.
The other “Random” button in the bottom right is for your character’s name. On each server there can be only one character with a given name.
This means that if you want to make a “Vulkk” clone, you will likely not succeed, because I have most likely reserved it or someone else “borrowed” it without asking :)))
The number of choices for each of these sliders is different if you are F2P and if you are a Subscriber. Naturally, Premium players have more options to choose from.
Depending on the class and outfit you plan to use as you play, you may be wearing a mask or a helmet for the majority of the time. These are automatically removed for some cinematics, but most of the time they do stay on your head and even modulate your voice.
That’s it. After you have selected your appearance, you can start your adventures in SWTOR. Remember to enjoy the narrative at your own pace and play the class and spec you enjoy most.
Notes on the Five Steps of Character Creation
As you go through these five steps, you can always go back or fully exit the character creation screen at any point. The choices you have made so far will not be remembered. If you use the “Back” button, though, your choices will be remembered.
While you are a subscriber, you will be able to create and play a lot of characters and if you reach the limit for characters on one server, you can either purchase more character slots or simply create a new character on another server. The total characters limit per server is currently 100.
Playing on one server does have its benefits. All of your characters will belong to the same Legacy and some cool Legacy-bound unlocks and features will make your experience with the game a lot better as you create and play more alts.
How to create a level 60 character in SWTOR
If you have a Character Token (again – these are granted one per account when you subscribe), you will be able to start the game as a much higher level and skip some content if you wish to.
To start SWTOR at level 60 directly, click on “Create Character” button at the bottom of the characters list in the Select Character Screen. Then choose the second option from the Characer Creation pop-up menu: “Knights of the Fallen Empire”.
After this, you will go through the exact same character creation process that I described in details above.
There are a number of conditions that this level 60 character will be created with.
You can refund this token and use it at a later point if you delete this character before you gain a level, complete a mission or a crew skill mission with it.
When you opt to delete a character that you made with a token and you did not play with, you will see a message like the one from the image above, confirming that you will receive your token back.
You will be locked out of all main stories up to this point. This includes all the origin story, the story from the first two expansions and every other connecting stories between them released in the years leading up to the launch of Knights of the Fallen Empire.
All choices from these stories will be made for you automatically. The system will make what BioWare considers to be the default choices for this character’s class and role you are creating.
You will also not earn any of the title unlocks and achievements related to any of the storylines you are being locked out of. This also means that you will not be able to earn your “Legendary” achievement for completing all eight class stories in SWTOR.
You can keep track of this achievement easily on the Select Character screen. This graphic is located at the top left and all classes you have not yet completed will be grayed out.
You will start your adventure from the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion. Please read below on my recommendations if and when you should use this token.
How to create a level 70 Story-locked Character in SWTOR
The creation of a level 70 character in SWTOR is similar to creating a level 60 character. The major differences are that you are locked out from even larger portion of the content in SWTOR.
If you are eager to play through the newest and most recent storyline released in SWTOR, choose this option. It is the top one from the character creation pop-up menu.
Similar to the level 60 character token, you will be locked out of all stories prior to the Onslaught narrative.
After you click the button to create a level 70 character, the next steps are identical to creating a level 1 character.
You will not be able to play through any main storylines before Ossus. That’s right. The Character Create screen may say “Onslaught”, which is the name of the 6.0 expansion, but you will actually start from a mission called “Infection Point”. This is a prelude to Onslaught and sends you to Ossus.
The planet of Ossus was added to SWTOR with the release of Game Update 5.10: Jedi Under Siege. This is to-date my favorite story in the game. I wont spoil why. If you are a new player, you might not feel the excitement and thrill of the Ossus storyline as a veteran player would, because you will not know most of the characters that you will meet and interact with.
What is the Commander’s Character Token
The Commander’s Character Token is a Cartel Market exclusive item in SWTOR. You can purchase it for 2 000 Cartel Coins. This token functions exactly as the Character Tokens. You can use it to create a new level 60 or 70 character.
The Commander’s Character Token will also unlock one additional character slot on all servers. You can use it to start SWTOR from Knights of the Fallen Empire or the Jedi Under Siege story point.
It is technically possible that you may catch this on a sale, but I personally don’t remember ever seeing the Commander’s Character Token available for a reduced price. I don’t check for that very often either, so I may just be missing these moments.
It is very important to note that if you create a level 60 or 70 character, the token you use for that does not grant you access to content that requires a subscription.
With that said, if you are F2P and purchase a Commander’s Character Token, you will be able to create a level 60/70 new character, but you will not be able to play through the expansions.
How to get a level 60/70 character with no story lock-outs
The previous three options require you to create a new character either from level 1 and leveling it up manually yourself or using an Character Token, which many of you may not have.
There is one more option – use the Master’s Datacron and Equipment Bundle.
The Master’s Datacron is a Cartel Market exclusive item that costs 2 000 Cartel Coins. You can use it to boost an existing character directly to level 70.
This item has been priced at 2 000 CC since it was officially released. You need a character to use it on, unlike with the Commander’s Character Token.
Using the Master’s Datacron and Equipment Bundle item on an existing character grants you the following items to that character:
- Promotes your current character to level 70. No story progress is completed using this item. You can start from the first mission or continue where you were at before you used this token.
- 1x Eternal Commander Equipment Lootbox, which is a full set of equipment specifically for your current class and discipline.
- Gives you your personal player ship and ship-droid companion, thus allowing you to travel anywhere, even if you have not yet completed the appropriate main story mission that grants you your ship.
The Master’s Datacron and the Lootbox are tradeable. You can send them to another alt of yours to use them or sell them on GTN.
I have a more in-depth guide to the Master’s Datacron and Equipment Bundle. Check it out for more details.
Should you use a Token to boost your character in SWTOR
This is a big question and I assume many of you are asking yourselves that. The simple answer is NO, do not use a token if this is your first character.
SWTOR’s best parts and its strongest aspect is the narrative. This game elevates the storytelling to a whole new level with fully voiced missions and NPCs. Every single dialogue and conversation you will have, even on the side exploration missions, will be fully voiced with cinematic cutscenes.
A great example to prove the quality of the cinematic scenes is this short cinematic mission called “Whispers in the Force“, released with SWTOR Update 6.3.2. If you are skipping content and jumping right into the middle of the game, you will miss so many cool references and backgrounds of all the characters involved.
I am only mentioning this one, because it is the most recent patch prior to the release of this guide. There are tons and tons of other (way more significant) examples of how your personal story and choices matter in SWTOR)
If you are playing SWTOR for the first time now or after a very long break in which you forgot how to play it, I highly recommend you to keep your tokens for later.
SWTOR is extremely easy these days and the times you will feel challenged gameplay-wise while you level up, are few or even zero.
The Commander’s Character Token is good for a veteran player, who wishes to have more alts, but doesn’t want to go through the story all over again.
The Master’s Datacron is good for you as a new player if you want things to be even easier. I said already that there is little to now challenge during leveling. Now, imagine what it would be if you were level 70.
There is a system in SWTOR called Level Sync. It works in a way that attempts to balance your experience when you return to lower-level planets and content, but you will still feel overpowered.
Being level 70 unlocks nearly all active abilities and passives for your class. This could be an advantage for PvP, Flashpoint and other group content. It can also be a disadvantage, because you will gain all of these at once without any time to properly earn and test them.
Which SWTOR Story to play first
If you came for an advice on not only how to create a new character, but which SWTOR Storyline to play first, I would recommend you the following:
Although each story is individual and you can make your own personal choices as you play through it, the Warrior’s story is full of drama, tough moral choices and involves tons and tons of Star Wars Legends lore about the Emperor, the Emperor’s Wrath and… well, I don’t want to spoil too much.
The Jedi Knight storyline is a a classic “Jedi” experience. You can spice it up by opting for the Dark Side choices and become a Dark Jedi, but this doesn’t have a huge impact on the story. The Knight is what I think BioWare considers to be the “canon story of SWTOR”. They use a Jedi Knight Guardian character in nearly every single trailer and promotional video released in the past few years since Knights of the Fallen Empire.
If you prefer to go for a non-glow-stick class, the Imperial Agent will give you plenty of interesting choices and a lot of intriguing moments.
Play them all!
That’s right. If you end up enjoying SWTOR and the first character you level up, start another. The storylines in SWTOR are absolutely unique in the beginning and for the first twenty to fifty hours of each class are different.
After the events on Corelia and the end of the origin class stories in Chapter 3, you will notice a more streamlined narrative with smaller differences between classes and factions.
This concludes the “How to create a new character in SWTOR” guide. I hope you found it useful and helpful. I will revisit this guide for Game Update 7.0, because we expect there will be a lot of changes coming along with the Combat Styles system BioWare is working on.
This guide is yet another branching expansion to the Ultimate SWTOR Guide for Beginners.