Smuggler Newbies Guide

Smugglers may not be the most popular class in The Old Republic, but they sure are fun to play. However, there is some skill involved and newbies sometimes have a tough time wrapping their head around some basics of this class. That’s why Torwars decided to publish a short yet useful beginners guide for Smuggler, teaching you everything you need to know about them. Well, almost everything. You can find the full guide below!

We already have some of the information found in this guide posted previously, so I provided some links to my previous articles as well.

Smuggler Newbies GuideThose who wish to follow in the bootsteps of Han Solo, live life on the outside of the law or simply want to carve their own, fast-paced, independent way across the galaxy will want to investigate the Smuggler class in Star Wars: The Old Republic. A snarky sense of humor and oodles of self-belief will also get you off to a solid start.

Looking in the Mirror & Choosing a Species

So, you’ve decided to live life dangerously as a charming and stylish Smuggler? Good choice! After selecting your class the next thing you’ll need to do is choose a species. Options for the Smuggler are as follows; Cyborg, Human, Mirialan, Twi’lek and Zabrak.

Species has no bearing on your stats and only affects the Racial Ability (basically an extra emote) you are given. Also note that the Cyborg species is basically a human with metal bits grafted onto its face. The Cyborg Racial Ability, Scan, is quite fun though.

Primary Attribute

The Smuggler’s Primary Attribute is: Cunning.
Whenever possible, this is the stat you want to boost when upgrading your gear.

Game Quote:

“Cunning increases the damage and critical chances of the Smuggler’s Ranged and Tech powers. This remains so for both the Gunslinger and the Scoundrel Advanced Classes, while the Scoundrel’s Cunning additionally increases the effectiveness of healing powers.”

Armor, Stylish Vests & Equipment

A Smuggler wears Medium Armor and favors a look featuring a variety of leather leggings, multi-pocketed shirts and knee-high boots. Nothing screams “Back off corporate line-tower” more clearly than a nice, low-slung holster and a puffy cargo vest. Am I right?

Game Quote:

“They don’t wear fancy armor or carry high-powered blaster rifles, but Smugglers are outfitted for action nonetheless. Wearing comfortable, flexible clothing with some custom modifications, Smugglers are able to stay light on their feet and quick on the draw. Usually carrying a fast-firing blaster or two, Smugglers have everything they need to shoot their way out of trouble. Though style is rarely their intent, it seems to come naturally to Smugglers, and their dashing duds generally compliment their roguish charm.”

Starting Skills

The first three damage-producing skills you’ll have right off the bat are; Flurry of Bolts, Charged Burst, and Sabotage Charge.

You’ll also have a buff called Lucky Shots – which increases your Critical Hit chance by 5% – a self-heal called Recuperate and the ability to Take Cover (more on this shortly). Remember to use Recuperate liberally. After every battle if necessary.

At Level 2 you’ll obtain an up-close melee skill called Blaster Whip allowing you to clock mobs over the head with your pistol.

At level 3 you’ll obtain Thermal Grenade which damages up to five targets in an eight-meter radius. You will enjoy Thermal Grenade, trust me.

At level 4 you’ll learn Dirty Kick – hands down, the greatest single skill in SWTOR. Yes, Dirty Kick is a melee boot to an enemy’s groin. Humanoid or droid – they’re going down when you apply the ‘Kick! Ooof!

Level 5 brings in the Vital Shot ability. Vital Shot causes your target to bleed internally (dealing 124 damage over 15 seconds). This is a good thing. You want all of your enemies to be bleeding internally. Yessireebob.

More abilities: Here

Cover SystemCover System

As a Smuggler you’ll need to find cover and use it to your advantage. You can dish out a whole lot of hurt but you aren’t the toughest toon on the block when it comes to soaking up damage.

When you have an enemy selected you will see a green silhouette appear next to an object (boulder, crate, tree, etc.) that can be used as cover. Click the Take Cover icon on your skill bar or hit the “F” key and you will stylishly roll into cover.

If you click Take Cover and there is nothing nearby to hide behind you will simply “take a knee”. Your cover-dependent abilities will then become available.

In later levels a Gunslinger can obtain a handy Portable Cover option which you’ll thank your lucky stars for.

Energy System

Smuggler skills work on an Energy system and it plays out something like this. Each time to you fire off a blaster shot or toss out a grenade you use up a bit of the Energy on your yellow, Energy bar. When your Energy bar is depleted you will no longer be able to use skills that require Energy to function.

Thankfully, right out of the starting gate, you have the Flurry of Bolts blaster shot which is free to use – costing no Energy. This is your bread-and-butter, basic fighting attack which you’ll rely on time and time again to pull your Smuggler hindquarters out of the frying pan.

Game Quote:

“Your energy regenerates faster at higher energy levels. As your energy decreases, so does the rate at which it recovers. To maintain a high amount of energy, use Flurry of Bolts regularly to allow your energy to recover.”

Skill Rotation

Let’s talk about a series of fighting actions which will help you battle your way through levels 1-10. This plan of attack may not be perfect but it worked well for me in early game.

Firstly, Take Cover. Throw out a Sabotage Charge at an enemy (preferably an enemy standing beside a few evil buddies).

Shoot the enemy with Vital Shot to get it bleeding.

Tab-Target the next enemy and throw a Thermal Grenade, Vital Shot for bleeds, fire off Charged Burst then use Flurry of Bolts as many times as needed.

Note that Sabotage Charge has a short cooldown period after use so you won’t be able to throw out these timed explosives more than once every 30 seconds. Also, keep in mind that Sabotage Charge can only be used when in cover.

To simplify even further; Cover, Sabotage Charge, bleeds, thermal grenades and flurry of shots to finish off any remaining.

Origin World: Ord Mantell & Leveling Like A Pro

You’ll first set down and begin your adventures on the wartorn planet of Ord Mantell. You’ll be assisting the local Republic troops in a battle against rebellious Separatists. The first tasks you’ll be asked to assist with include destroying some remote control stations and disabling some signal jammers. Rest assured, the local Seps will attempt to stop you.

Smugglers will also meet and learn to hate a dastardly thug who looms large in their personal story. I won’t spoil what goes down but you will be given ample reason to chase this fiend across the galaxy – beyond your Origin World beginnings.

TIP One: Grab up every side mission you uncover and get them completed before you leave Ord Mantell. You’ll enjoy the credits, gear and extra experience points they provide. There’s also plenty of fun story to be enjoyed.

TIP Two: Grab all Bind Points you come across. You will be able to use your Quick Travel ability to jump to any Bind Point you have unlocked previously.

You can grab a good Smuggler leveling guide here. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Corso Riggs, Smuggler companionFirst Companion

Yeah, I know. You’d like a Wookiee as your faithful co-pilot, bodyguard and companion. Don’t worry – good things come to those that wait. Until then, you’ll be running with your first companion, a Heavy Armor-wearing fellow with a Southern American accent known as Corso Riggs.

Riggs ties-in closely with your story and Origin World play and he even helpfully provides you with your first, blue-quality blaster. Now, if we can just get him to wear a Wookiee mask we’ll be all set.

Advanced Classes: Gunslinger or Scoundrel

By the time you finish up your questing on Ord Mantell you should find yourself around level 10 or 11 (depending on how many side missions you completed). At this point you’ll be given a mission which sends you off to Carrick Station on the Republic Fleet. Here, the game really opens up before you and the galaxy is your oyster.

When you arrive at the Fleet talk to Sammo Kob and he’ll send you on your way to the Advanced Class trainers. You’ll be able to choose from one of two Advanced Classes; Gunslinger or Scoundrel.

Those inclined toward causing massive damage will want to select Gunslinger. Smugglers who prefer stealth and healing will want to opt for Scoundrel.

Game Quote:

“Gunslinger: Master of the trick shot, the first to dive for cover and able to take advantage of every opportunity, the Gunslinger and his dual blasters are the perfect team. There’s a right target for ending every disagreement, and the Gunslinger knows enemy vulnerabilities like the inside of his ship.

All Gunslingers learn how to fire two blasters at once, specializing in long-range combat and methods to keep enemies at a distance. Gunslingers can also opt to learn the skills of the saboteur, using grenades and demolitions technology that cause fire damage and ignore enemy armor; the Sharpshooter, shooting from cover and focusing on precise, high-damage attacks; and Dirty Fighting, crippling and bleeding opponents using underhanded tactics.”

“Scoundrel: The Scoundrel doesn’t have time for polite and doesn’t do fair fight. In addition to a trusty blaster, the Scoundrel packs a stealth belt, a scattergun and a medpac—everything you need to get in, knock the enemy for a loop and get out alive.

All Scoundrels learn how to move stealthily—sneaking past or surprising enemies—and various close-quarters fighting techniques that do damage at short range and prevent an enemy from fleeing. Scoundrels can also opt to learn the skills of the Scrapper, using scatterguns to deal even more damage close-up; the Sawbones, applying medicine and damage prevention techniques to heal and protect allies; and Dirty Fighting, crippling and bleeding opponents using underhanded tactics.”


Alright, Smuggler that should get you off to a running start in an exciting world full of new adventures. Remember to shoot first, leave ‘em with a sly wink and a snappy one-liner and hightail it to the next system before they can pick up your trail.

Keep in mind what one famous Smuggler once said and you’ll never go wrong:

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”

Don’t miss this comprehensive Smuggler guide if you want to learn more about this class!

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One Thought to “Smuggler Newbies Guide

  1. jamin

    great guide, lively, fun and upbeat. great starter rotation too. thanks!!

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