Crew Skills Guide

August 1, 2012

Welcome to the official Crew Skill guide of The Fanatical Swordsman. This constantly updated guide will be the compendium for our site on crafting in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

LAST UPDATED: 8/1/12 for 1.3.4

For those familiar with crafting in other games, Crew Skills in SWTOR are very similar to other games in some ways and different in others. Crafting is not done by the player directly, but by the player’s companions. Up to five companions may be sent out at a time (the maximum increases as you go: roughly, one during Prologue, two during Chapter 1, three during Chapter 2, four during Chapter 3, and five after completing Chapter 3).

There are three types of Crew Skills: Crafting, Gathering, and Mission. You may have three skills in total and only one Crafting skill at a time, but any combination of Gathering and Mission skills are allowed, though there are some definite advantages to pairing certain ones together.


Table of Contents


Types of Crew Skills (Back to Top)

Crafting skills create items. Crafting skills have a Gathering skill and Mission skill that go with them.

Gathering skills collect materials from companion missions or from nodes scattered across planets, and these materials are used in Crafting directly and at all levels of Crafting.

Mission skills are only mission-based (hence their name), and they not only provide rare materials needed to create the best items, but they also produce other items that are usable, such as Companion Gifts and Crafting Schematics.


Crafting Skills (Back to Top)

There are six Crafting Skills: Armstech, Armormech, Artifice, Biochem, Cybertech, and Synthweaving. Each has its advantages and optimal pairings with Gathering and Mission skills.


Quick Note on Item Types and Qualities (Back to Top)

There are three different types of items that Crafting Skills can create. Ready-to-use/wear gear is what most crafters from other games will be expecting, and there are items like this for every Crafting skill. The other two types go together: Custom gear and modifications or “mods.”

Custom armor is crafted by Synthweavers and Armormechs and Custom weapons are created by Armstech and Artifice, but they do not initially have any stats. All of the stats come from the mods that are placed in it. Armor gets its armor value from the Armoring mod, blasters get their damage from the Barrel mod, and Lightsabers and Vibroblades get their damage values from the Hilt mod. In addition to the “base” mod, there is also always, regardless of the item, the Modification slot (I know, the Mod mod) and the Enhancement slot. Those are all the slots on armor, for a total of three, but weapons also include the additional Color Crystal slot, for a total of four.

Another modification that is possible is the Augment mod. This slot is not naturally in most gear. If an item is critically crafted, regardless if it is Custom or not, it will have an Augment slot for additional stats. These slots can also be added through the use of Augment kits, which are crafted by Synthweavers, Armormechs, and Armstechs.

There are three Qualities of craftable ready-to-wear gear: Premium, Prototype, and Artifact. Premium gear is usually the first level that is given to you when buying recipes. Higher qualities can be reached through Reverse-Engineering. More on that in a bit.

Back to the Crew Skills.


Armstech (Back to Top)

  • Makes all non-Force user ready-to-use weapons, including blasters, sniper rifles, assault cannons, and vibroblades.
  • Makes Custom variants of the above, as well as Barrel mods.
  • Makes Endurance, Surge, Critical, and Power Augments.
  • Makes Augment kits.
  • Players should consider taking Scavenging and Investigation in addition to Armstech.
  • Armstech is really best for Troopers/Bounty Hunters and Smugglers/Imperial Agents, as they are the primary users of what is crafted by this profession.
  • Companion Critical bonuses (if any):
    • Smuggler: +5
    • Consular: +2
    • Bounty Hunter: +1


Armormech (Back to Top)

  • Makes ready-to-wear non-Force user armor, including chest, head, legs, boots, gloves, belts, and bracers.
  • Also makes the Custom variants of the above.
  • Makes Aim, Cunning, Shield, and Absorb Augments.
  • Makes Augment kits.
  • Players should consider taking Scavenging and Underworld Trading in addition to Armormech.
  • Troopers/Bounty Hunters and Smugglers/Imperial Agents will be able to wear the armor created by Armormech.
  • Companion Critical bonuses (if any):
    • Trooper: +5
    • Agent: +2


Artifice (Back to Top)

  • Makes Color Crystal mods, Enhancement mods, Hilt mods, Offhand items like the Focus and Shield Generators, and end-game relics.
  • Makes Custom lightsabers.
  • Is the only profession to make items with Expertise on them. Color Crystal recipes with Expertise are available as somewhat random drops from the Grade 6 PvP Crafting Box from the PvP vendor on the fleet.
  • Players should consider taking Archeology and Treasure Hunting in addition to Artifice.
  • All classes can benefit somewhat from Artifice, however, Jedi Knights/Sith Warriors and Jedi Consulars/Sith Inquisitors will find it particularly useful.
  • Companion Critical bonuses (if any): None


Biochem (Back to Top)

  • Makes medpacs, implants, adrenals (short-term burst buffs), and stims (long term buffs). Higher quality versions of these provide additional effects, such as an additional HoT on the medpac, buffs from stims that persist through death, and even re-usability. The reusable versions can only be used by players with Biochem.
  • Players should consider taking Bioanalysis and Diplomacy in addition to Biochem.
  • All classes can benefit from Biochem.
  • Companion Critical bonuses (if any):
    • Knight: +5
    • Bounty Hunter: +2


Cybertech (Back to Top)

  • Makes Modification mods, Armoring mods, earpieces, droid parts (including Custom), grenades, and ship parts. There are speeders that the Cybertech crafter can enjoy making and riding. Top level grenades are also reusable and only useable by Cybertech crafters.
  • Players should consider taking Scavenging and Underworld Trading in addition to Cybertech.
  • All classes can benefit from Cybertech.
  • Companion Critical bonuses (if any): None (in an old Beta build, HK-51 had a bonus to Cybertech, so we may see that soon).


Synthweaving (Back to Top)

  • Makes Force-user armor, including chest, head, legs, boots, belts, and bracers.
  • Makes Custom variants of the above.
  • Makes Strength, Willpower, Defense, Alacrity and Presence augments.
  • Makes Augment kits.
  • Players should consider taking Archeology and Underworld Trading in addition to Synthweaving.
  • Jedi Knights/Sith Warriors and Jedi Consulars/Sith Inquisitors are both helped by this skill.
  • Companion Critical bonuses (if any):
    • Warrior: +5


Gathering Skills (Back to Top)

There are four Gathering Skills. Each one is specifically designed to directly augment a particular Crafting Skill, except for Slicing, which is useful for many things (more on that in a second). Each Gathering Skill has a type of “node” that exists in the world that can be processed by you or your companion in addition to missions that can gather materials without needing to even leave your ship.

Gathering skills generally return one of three types of items. Two of the types are used by all levels of a particular crafting skill, from Premium to Artifact.


Archeology (Back to Top)

  • Gathers Artifact Fragments, Power Crystals and Color Crystals (the material, used to craft the modification)
  • A cheaper source of Cortosis Substrates, Zeyd-Cloths, Brocart Filaments, Demicot Silks, Thermionic Gel Suspensions, and Fibrous Nylite Solutions that are also able to be purchased from Crew Skill Vendors.
  • These materials are used in Synthweaving and Artifice.
  • Companion Critical Bonuses (if any):
    • Inquisitor: +5


Bioanalysis (Back to Top)

  • Gathers Biochemical Compounds and Biochemical Samples
  • A cheaper source of Hypo-syringes, First Aid Kits, and Implant Processors, though they can be purchased from a Crew Skill Vendor.
  • These materials are used only in Biochem.
  • Companion Critical Bonuses (if any):
    • Smuggler: +2
    • Bounty Hunter: +2
    • Warrior: +2


Scavenging (Back to Top)

  • Gathers Scavenged Metals and Scavenged Compounds.
  • A cheaper source of various fluxes that are also available from a Crew Skill Vendor.
  • These materials are used for Armormech, Armstech, and Cybertech.
  • Companion Critical Bonuses (if any):
    • Trooper: +5
    • Consular: +2
    • Inquisitor: +2


Slicing (Back to Top)

  • Gathers Sliced Tech Parts, which are used to craft Augments.
  • Can send out for Lockboxes which can make more credits than is paid to send for them, resulting in a slow, but steady influx of credits.
  • Critical results on missions can result in Augment Recipes for Synthweavers, Armormechs, and Armstechs, Ship Parts and Vehicle recipes for Cybertech, and new, learnable missions for all Gathering and Mission Crew Skills.
  • Pairs well with really any skill, as the credits and missions are always useful, but it does work quite well with Synthweaving, Armormech, Armstech, and Cybertech.
  • Companion Critical Bonuses (if any):
    • Smuggler: +1
    • Knight: +2
    • Inquisitor: +2
    • Agent: +2


Mission Skills (Back to Top)

Mission Skills only have missions to support them. Each of them is unique in what they can bring in, but generally all of them can produce Companion Gifts and provide support materials for higher quality item construction.


A Quick Note On Yields (Back to Top)

When you send a companion on a mission, whether it be for a Gathering Skill or on a Mission Skill, you will be expecting a certain “yield.” These yields produce more quantity, variety, and quality of items. The yields from best to worst are as follows: Wealthy, Prosperous, Rich, Abundant, Bountiful, Moderate. Wealthy and Prosperous missions only come from special, one-time missions of Artifact and Prototype quality, respectively.


Diplomacy (Back to Top)

  • Collects Medical Supplies, which are used to craft the Prototype and Artifact Biochem items.
  • Can collect Companion Gifts directly.
  • As well as the results mentioned above, every mission grants Light Side or Dark Side points.
  • Companion Critical Bonuses (if any):
    • Trooper: +2
    • Consular: +2
    • Agent: +2


Investigation (Back to Top)

  • Collects Researched Compounds, which are used to craft the Prototype and Artifact Armstech items.
  • Can collect Companion Gifts directly.
  • On critical success, grants recipes for Armstech Custom weapons.
  • Companion Critical Bonuses (if any):
    • Knight: +2
    • Warrior: +2
    • Smuggler: +2


Treasure Hunting (Back to Top)

  • Collects Gemstones, which are used to craft the Prototype and Artifact Artifice items.
  • Can collect Companion gifts directly sometimes, but primary Companion Gift production comes from Gift Fragments, which can be bartered at the Curator Vendor on the Fleet. Companion Gifts are produced at a slower rate, but you can select a specific type.
  • Can send for Lockboxes, but unlike for Slicing, the credits gained come at a loss, as they are less than what you pay to send out for the mission. Some of the Lockboxes contain recipes or items, so a good crit on one of these boxes can make for a good haul, but don’t expect to make money.
  • On critical success, grants recipes for Artifice Custom lightsabers.
  • Companion Critical Bonuses (if any):
    • Smuggler: +2
    • Bounty Hunter: +2
    • Warrior: +5


Underworld Trading (Back to Top)

  • Collects Underworld Metals (which are used to craft Prototype and Artifact Cybertech and Armormech items) and Underworld Fabrics (which are used to craft Prototype and Artifact Synthweaving items).
  • Can collect Companion Gifts directly.
  • On critical success, grants recipes for Armormech and Synthweaving Custom armor.
  • Companion Critical Bonuses (if any):
    • Trooper: +1
    • Consular: +1
    • Inquisitor: +2
    • Agent: +2


Companion Bonuses (Back to Top)


Efficiency vs. Critical (Back to Top)

Certain companions also have bonuses to the player’s crafting, which come in the form of efficiency and critical. Efficiency lowers the amount of time required for crafting and missions, and critical increases the yield of the missions related to that skill, or increase the chance that crafters will produce an Augment slot. I have not seen any effect of these bonuses out in the field, only on missions. Efficiency and critical chance both can come from the companion’s affection toward you as well.

Critical success is generally considered to be a better bonus to focus on, as it makes more items for things like stims, medpacs, and modifications, and makes for better equippable items because of the addition of Augment slots.


Critical Success Formula (Back to Top)

Critical chance is described by the following formula (extrapolated from Dev post here):

CritChance = CompanionBonus + CompanionAffectionBonus + ItemLevelBonus + LegacyBonus


CompanionBonus is any bonuses that the particular companion might have for that skill, for example, Corso Riggs has +5 to Armstech, and this is 5% extra crit chance. This bonus differs depending on companion, and is anywhere from +1 to +5.

CompanionAffectionBonus is the Companion’s affection divided by 2000, then rounded down. So if you have 5000 affection, then you have a 2% extra crit chance, and that will go up to 3% when you reach 6000. A max level crafter will want to have all of his companions’ affection levels at 10000 for a total of 5%. This will make the most of the crafter’s money, because more materials will be returned in a shorter amount of time.

ItemLevelBonus is essentially the base crit chance, and it is related to the item’s difficulty compared to your skill level. You can tell how difficult an item is by looking at the right side of the list of items that you can craft or by looking at the color of the text of the missions you can run. If you have an item list sorted by difficulty, then it will be a tiny colored dot, and if the list is sorted by level or rating, then the number for the level or rating will be a certain color. The color indicates what bonus you will get based on your current crew skill level. If the item is Grey, Green, or Yellow, then you will get a 15% bonus. If it is Orange, then it will be a 10% bonus.

LegacyBonus is the bonus that comes from the legacy perks for your character. The bonus ranges from 1% to 3%. Note that this appears to only be for adding augment slots to crafted items. It is unknown whether it also applies to Crew Skill Missions or to making twice as many items for Crew Skills like Cybertech.

The “max base crit” is thus 23%. This is at max crew skill level, using a companion with full affection, and having purchased the crafting Legacy Perks. The max controllable crit chance ranges from 23%-28%, because companion bonuses will provide the extra 1%-5% crit bonuses.


Ship Droid Parts from Legacy Astromech Vendor (Back to Top)

With the Legacy system came the ability to purchase an Astromech Vendor Droid for your ship that could repair your items, accept items to be sold, and sell you special items that your Ship Droid (C2-N2 or 2V-R8) could wear that would increase their Crew Skill abilities. The droid itself costs 1 million credits and requires Legacy Level 7. To actually purchase the parts for your droid, they will cost 100,000 credits and require Legacy Level 12. The parts are as follows:

  • Engineering Droid Sensor: +5 Cybertech Critical, +5 Scavenging Efficiency
  • Exploration Droid Sensor: +5 Synthweaving Critical, +5 Archeology Efficiency
  • Hunter Droid Sensor: +2 Armstech Critical, +10 Investigation Efficiency
  • Medical Droid Sensor: +2 Diplomacy Critical, +10 Biochem Efficiency
  • Scout Droid Sensor: +2 Treasure Hunting Critical, +10 Artifice Efficiency
  • Security Droid Sensor: +2 Underworld Trading Critical, +10 Armormech Efficiency


Recipes (Back to Top)

Recipes for items come from 4 different places. You can obtain recipes from vendors, as drops, from Reverse Engineering, and from Mission Skills.


Vendors (Back to Top)

The first vendor is fairly obvious, and that is the Crew Skill Trainer. Generally, there are a few good end-game recipes that require Biometric Crystal Alloys, which drop from Hard-mode Flashpoints and all levels of Operations. The items crafted are usually Bind on Pickup.

There are also various crafting boxes available from the PvP Vendor and the Starship Upgrades Vendor. Recipes can drop from these crafting boxes.

The final vendor source of crafting recipes are the Daily Commendation Vendors that will allow you to purchase Color Crystal and Exotech Stim recipes for Daily Commendations.


Drops (Back to Top)

This is a fairly common way to obtain recipes for all crafting professions. The recipes are always Bind on Pickup.


Reverse Engineering (Back to Top)

Most of the recipes you obtain from the Crew Skill Trainer create items that are Premium quality. If you want to create items that are Prototype or Artifact, you need to Reverse Engineer (RE) the Premium item. You can tell if an item can produce a new recipe, because it will have a message saying “Research Available” or “No Research Available.” After you get the new Prototype recipe and make it, you can then RE the new item to see if you can produce the Artifact recipe. Generally, the chance to obtain a new Prototype recipe from the Premium item is 20%, and the chance to obtain the Artifact recipe from the Prototype item is 10%.


Mission Skills (Back to Top)

Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can crit on a mission. This will not only bring more materials in, but it also might produce a crafting recipe or a Crew Skill mission. The former will usually be related to the Crafting skill that goes with that Mission skill. The latter only happens with the Slicing skill, but the missions that come from the crit are very valuable to all Crew Skills that have missions. They produce massive amounts of all the types of materials for a particular Grade.


Grinding Crew Skill Level (Back to Top)

Crew Skills have a maximum level of 400. To get to that level you must go through 6 Grades. They are as follows:

  • Grade 1: 10-16
  • Grade 2: 17-24
  • Grade 3: 25-32
  • Grade 4: 33-40
  • Grade 5: 41-48
  • Grade 6: 49-50

As you grind through these grades, you will see that the items you are making or missions you are doing are different “difficulties.” For crafting skills, these difficulties are indicated by the color of the number on the right hand side of the item list (if you have it sorted by level or rating) or by the tiny dot on the right side of the item list (if you have it sorted by difficulty). For missions, the color of the text indicates the difficulty. (NOTE: For the rest of this, I will refer to the crafting skills, as that is what comes naturally. The strategy is the same for missions.) These colors gain you the following points per item made toward your Crew Skill level.

  • Orange: 2 points per completion
  • Yellow: 1-2 points per completion (seems random, probably averages to 1.5 points per completion)
  • Green: 1 point per completion
  • Grey: 0 points per completion

The best strategy is to craft orange difficulty items whenever possible, while still maintaining materials. Yellow items are fine as well, but stay away from green unless you have a surplus of materials for green and a deficit of materials for the others.

When you reach the Crew Skill level required to craft an item (most likely a multiple of 20), it will automatically be orange difficulty. For Premium items, after 20 levels, it will become yellow difficulty. After 30 more levels (total of 50 above training level), it will become green. After 10 more levels, it becomes grey (60 above training level). Prototype items take longer to change difficulty, for example, while a Premium item goes yellow after 20 levels, a Prototype item turns yellow after 25 levels.

Look at the recipes that are orange difficulty and see which take the least number of materials. Reverse Engineering will help get back some of the materials you used as well. Usually, RE’ing an item will result in one material returned, though there are times when RE’ing Prototype and Artifact items that you will get more than one material, but the item will cost more to make too. If the item is equippable, you will also get Augmentation Slot Components.


Augments and Augment Slots (Back to Top)

Augments are special mods that can be added to gear via Augment Slots. Any kind of gear (even including matrix cubes) can be Augmented.

All crafting Crew Skills can obtain the Augmentation Slot Components that are used to craft Augment Slots. However, only Armormech, Synthweaving, and Armstech can make the Augmentation Slot Kit. Slicing is needed to gather components and recipes to create both the Augmentation Slot Kits and the Augments themselves, though the Crew Skills needed to craft the particular Augment desired varies based on the type.

Augmentation Slots

There are two ways to get Augmentation Slots. If a crafter can make the item, then a critical success on the item will grant the Augmentation Slot. If the item already exists, such as a drop or Social Gear, one can also use an Augmentation Kit.

Augmentation Slots come in six Marks just like the six Grades. For example, to put a level 49 Augment into your equipment, you will need a Augmentation Slot MK-6. To create the kit, an Armormech, Armstech, or Synthweaver will need materials from their particular Crew Skill, as well as Sliced Tech Parts from Slicing and 10 Augmentation Slot Components per kit. The Augmentation Slot Components come from Reverse Engineering equippable items from the level range appropriate to the MK-#. Once the kit is created, it can then be applied to an item at a modification station with an additional cost in credits (a MK-6 Slot requires 30,000 credits).


Augments are then created by the various Crew Skills mentioned above. Augments can be Reverse Engineered to create Artifact level Augments. All recipes are obtained from Slicing, and they are initially Premium quality. To create Prototype or Artifact Augments, you will need materials provided both by Slicing and the appropriate Gathering Skill for your Crafting Skill. Premium quality Augments only need materials from the Gathering Skill.


F.A.Q(Back to Top)

QUESTION: I found a Mission Discovery: <CREW SKILL>. I used it but I can’t find it now on the mission menu, how do I know which mission was discovered?

ANSWER: The skill level required to learn the mission will tell you what tier the mission goes into. A required level of 340+ will be a Grade 6 mission, for example. Look for a mission that has a little lock on the top left of the mission text box. That means it was unlocked and is a one-time mission. Also, it will be the only mission that grants “Wealthy” or “Prosperous” amounts of items, and it will give you all the types of items available in that Tier.

QUESTION: If you RE a purple mod, are you guaranteed a schematic?

ANSWER: Only, if it says 100% chance for a schematic on the tooltip, which I have never seen. In general, you cannot RE purple items and get a schematic from them, except for certain end-game ones.

QUESTION: I have RE’d an item 50 times and haven’t gotten a recipe. It has always said there was a 10% chance to get one. Is it broken? I should have gotten one by now.

ANSWER: No, unfortunately, you are just unlucky. There is always a 90% chance you will not get a recipe. You are not guaranteed a recipe every 10 tries, that is just the probability. It sucks, but most things that have to do with probability suck.

QUESTION: What is the best place to farm <insert material here>?

ANSWER: Look at the tooltip for the item and see what grade it is. After that, look at a Mission skill tab, and see what level ranges that grade is at. Then go to a planet in that level range. For Bioanalysis, look for places that have a lot of animals. For Scavenging, look for places that have a lot of droids. For Slicing, anywhere is pretty good, but camps are generally really productive. Archeology will be found near ruins.

QUESTION: Your question here! Leave a comment

ANSWER: My answer here! After reading and research 🙂

  1. August 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Great guide! I just wanted to point out a few things:

    Kira (Jedi Knight) has a +5 crit to synthweaving.

    You can buy a droid sensor from someone else’s legacy astromech droid vendor if you group with them and go aboard their ship. It saves you a million credits!

    • August 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Nice tip on that droid. That is a good option for people who just want the module once. I will include that when I get a chance. I don’t recall the crit from Kira on synthweaving, but if you’re right, i’ll update that as well. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  2. August 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Great website. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you on your effort!

  3. OPwan
    February 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    about Grinding Crew Skill Level. was there a recent nerf to how it works? if you keep crafting orange items non stop they get to a point where they stop giving +2 even though they are still orange (i.e. you didnt advance to a new level of crafting. maybe its a F2P restriction? note this only seems to happen when you do it a lot in a short period of time. if you leave it for a few hours it returns to normal.

    • February 11, 2013 at 1:13 am

      Are you sure that it is still orange, or did it turn to yellow? I have not noticed any changes since I wrote this, but I will keep an eye out for it! Thanks for the tip.

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