In life there are two ways to improve your financial situation; increase your earnings or decrease your spending. The ideal is doing some of both. In the age of credit sellers, GTN Monopolies and those willing to pay real cash and convert them into credits, knowing how to save credits in SWTOR may be one of the best ways to become richer. This is especially true since crystals and most commendations were phased out.
Space flight has to be one of the most annoying costs. Okay, as with a vehicle in real life, you have fuel and depreciation of your space craft. However, cost is not determined by the number or parsecs or light years you are travelling. It’s based on the level (and likely earnings) that your character is when they visit the planet. How can you reduce this cost?
- Do a space mission before travelling:
The first space mission is an ‘Escort’ one, ensuring the safety of a transport. It only take about 4 minutes and you’ll earn more credits than you pay for in your planned journey.
- Use Your Stronghold(s):
As you can quick travel to your stronghold, use it for free passage to the planet: Coruscant, Dromund Kaas, Nar Shadaa, Tatooine and Yavin IV. Your Stronghold’s door has an “Exit to <Planet>” option!
- Use the Priority Terminals:
Some locations are available via Priority Terminals – e.g. CZ-198, Makeb, Oricon ad Yavin IV. You sometimes have to fly there once to unlock the locations on Priority Terminals, but after that don’t fly there, transport for free!
As you go through the planets, taxis get more expensive. As Quick Travel points now unlock once you get in the vicinity of a Quick Travel Terminal, you have no need to taxi to that point in future. Quick Travel has a default cool-down of 5 minutes. So save credits on a taxi fare, go make a drink then quick travel. You’ll need to taxi to (or walk/ride) to it the first time, but use QT thereafter.
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This is a bonus for either subscribers or F2P members who can spend a bit of cash. Some gear sets, mounts and weapons get really expensive on GTN. Luckily you can unlock these for your account (i.e. cross-server) if you spend some Cartel Coins. Usually priced at 240-400CC, this is less than you receive each month if you’re a subscriber. But that way you only have to pay in credits once, then all your characters can use that item!
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Now that crystals (formerly commendations) are not issued on mission completion, you can get a new armour set for free on each class planet. By doing your class mission and the planetary mission you’ll gradually earn all the 7 pieces of the look from that planet. That’s a free wardrobe right there! Here’s the Carbon-Scored Set for my Jedi Knight from Tatooine and the Corellian set for a Jedi Consular.
This is a trickier one and you’ll need to do some calculations. Historically I’d have said craft your own gear. I think this is still true up to L65. However post 5.0 and KotET my advice is changing a bit for L66-70:
- Consider buying whole armor pieces instead of mods
For blue 238’s and sometimes purple 238’s buying the whole piece of armor usually works out cheaper than buying the equivalent mods via GTN. Just search for the Stat you are looking for (e.g. Critical Rating or Alacrity). Before you purchase check whether you can craft the same piece for fewer credits. If you can then save credits by doing that. If not, purchase the item from GTN. You can then tweak additional stats with augments, which a few crafting paths offer.
- Don’t use Crew Missions if they are avoidable
This might make completionists nervous! Only send your companions out on crew skills missions (for gathering missions) if you don’t have easy access to the planets containing those materials. There are some materials you can only get through crew missions, but most are available on planets. For Grade 9 or 10, you can go to Zakuul Swamps or Darvannis for example. Iokath and Ossus also have high grade gathering nodes.
- Hitch a Ride
I picked this up from another player. If you have a character who hasn’t started Knights of the Fallen Empire, then Zakuul/Darvannis won’t be open to you. But if you have a friend or guild-mate who has, then you can hop aboard their personal starship and gain access to those planets for harvesting. Just make sure your gear is up to spec so you can take out mobs that interrupt your harvest time (which they will due to Level Sync)!
- Wait to Gear Up:
As hitting L66 before you even start KotFE/KotET is pretty normal, then you can save credits on your 220/238 gear by waiting. You can get through all expansion packs up to KotFE on 200-208 gear quite happily. Once you hit L66, you’ll start to get green/blue/purple gear drops from mobs you defeat. Yes, you have to be patient, but it may be better for your bank balance if you wait this out. Do dailies on top of your class missions and you should pick up a few pieces. Sell bits you don’t want to pay for an item you do.
Depending on the availability of materials, crafting your own gear (or gear for your other characters) may still work out cheaper, but do the Maths first. The price of things on GTN fluctuates so which is the “right” decision one day, may change the next!
- Use Galactic Command (Subs Only): Raising your Command Rank automatically grants probability of gear upgrades through Command Crates. You can also use Command Tokens to barter for gear on Fleet.
Pre-KotFE you realistically only need one high influence-level companion so saving credits on this is really doable.
- Legacy Companion Buffs:
Under Legacy you can unlock influence buffs from conversations and gifts. You’ll pay 60,000 credits for all 3 unlocks (60k for conversations and 60k for gifts), but the influence gains will save you credits in the long-run on companion gifts.
- Take a ‘Main Companion’ Around at Class Stage:
From what I see, Class Planets, Oricon, Ilum and Makeb all give companion influence through conversations. I’ve found with the legacy buffs you can get all class companions well over Level 10 influence just through conversations they are privvy to on board your ship. Take your ‘main companion’ around on your missions. Or at least take them for conversations on-planet anyway. By doing this I’ve got a ‘main’ companion to Influence level 40 without spending much on gifts (and before hitting Ilum).
- Do Heroics for Gifts (L61 and over):
H2+ missions yield Alliance Crates. If your character has started KotFE then you can turn these into your Alliance specialists. Or you can hand them over to Resistence contacts when doing the Star Fortress Story Arc. If your character hasn’t started KotFE, then send the crates to one that has, and send the gifts back again. I would also consider selling any ‘Small’ and ‘Medium’ influence gifts on GTN for a little extra income. Companion Gifts is a booming (and expensive) market on GTN, especially since the introduction of companions that can’t be talked to (droids, creatures, even Master Ranos and Shae Vizla). So save credits where you can with a little extra effort. This is both an “increase earnings” and a “save credit” point!
- Gifts from Galactic Command Crates (Subs Only):
For L70 characters with access to Galactic Command; you can receive gifts and Jawa Scrap via Command Crates. Again you’d have to wait for this, but spending fewer credits was never going to be an overnight job! Oh and if you haven’t noticed, gifts now sometimes fall as loot from killing mobs, so go and kill stuff for their gifts!
Arguably a rather pointless charge is creating your outfits. And the charge scales according to your level too. There are a couple of ways to reduce this cost:
- Get your look right early on:
If you can set up a couple of outfits just after character creation then you’ll just pay a few hundred credits, rather than 5,000+ per item at higer levels.
- Store Dyed Items:
One of the worst things you can do is use Outfit Designer’s Dye slots. One mis-hit on making the colour consistent and your dye may be useless. Instead, add the dye to the item before applying it in outfit designer. Then store the dyed item in your cargo hold for use later.
- Dye One Item and Apply to All: If you’re new to subscribing or have recently unlocked the ability to unify the colour scheme then there is a neat trick to save on dyes. Simply add your desired dye to the chest piece and then unify the colours.
Step 1: Pick a dye where either the primary or secondary colour is your desired one.
Step 2: Then open up Cartel Collections. With the gear preview bug you’re better doing this in your Stronghold or your ship.
Step 3: Different items in sets take one or other of the colours. Create a new look, carefully choosing the items that take the colour you’re after, by Control+Left Click to update your preview. I used this technique to create an almost-white set for my Jedi Sage
That way you might pay 50-100k for a dye rather than 10-20m. Of course if you have an Artificer you could also craft the dye and save the last 50-100k!
To mis-quote Vaylin: “I created 19 Credit-Saving Tips to help them…and another one because I hate odd numbers!”
My last tip is get yourself a Slicer. As almost all Purple-grade craftable gear requires a slicing component, get yourself a slicer. Buying them from GTN can get quite expensive, and having your very own slicer means you can obtain these components yourself – and sell any excess bits too!
Tips from Patrons
- Unlocking the cooldown reductions for quick travel is a huge help.
- Before level 61, there’s no need to buy any mods at all: just do heroics for gear that automatically matches your level. That gear also sells to vendors for a pretty penny once you’ve “outgrown” it.
- For many outfits, the black/gray dye mod can accomplish the all-black look pretty cheaply.
TL;DR Saving Credits in SWTOR
It doesn’t always have to be about making more money. Simply doing normal missions then spending fewer credits can be just as powerful as trying to make profits on GTN. By saving on travel, gear, mounts and outfit designer, the small savings could really add up!