There’s so much to do in Star Wars Galaxies that it can be completely overwhelming if you’re a new player. The original tagline for the game was “Experience the greatest saga ever told – yours.” That’s an exciting prospect, but it comes at a price. There’s very little guided progression in the game, and instead, it’s up to you to define who you want to be and what you want to do.
This starter guide will give you a helping hand in taking your first steps in the galaxy – covering the process of creating a character and beginning you on the path to becoming a master at your chosen profession.
If you’re wondering how to download the game and find the right server for you, check out our guide on How to Play Star Wars Galaxies. Once you’ve installed the game, read on to begin your adventure in a galaxy far, far away.
Note: This guide is not specific to any one Star Wars Galaxies rogue server, private server, or emulator. There are many variations across all these servers and updates may change core elements of the game. The information presented here is broad and intended to help you learn the necessary fundamentals to get started as a completely new player.
Creating your first character
Considering how many Star Wars games there have been, only a small handful allow you to customize your character in any meaningful way. Star Wars Galaxies offers perhaps the best character creation options of all, with heaps of options to let you create the perfect avatar and live your fantasy life in a galaxy far, far away.
Take some time to explore all the options at your disposal when making your first character but remember that you can always delete them and roll a new one if you find you’re unhappy with them.
Many servers also allow you to have multiple characters on a server, meaning that you can experience all that the game has to offer. You might play a Rodian Bounty Hunter as your main character, but have a Wookiee Chef as a secondary character, and an Ithorian Dancer to play on the weekends.
Choosing a species
The original version of Star Wars Galaxies had eight playable species to choose from: Bothan, Human, Mon Calamari, Rodian, Trandoshan, Twi’lek, Wookiee, and Zabrak. With the launch of the game’s first expansion, Jump to Lightspeed, two new species were added to the game: Ithorian, and Sullustan. Every rogue server has all 10 of these species available to play as.
All of these species are available to play as both Male and Female genders, with different body types for each. It’s important to think carefully about which species and gender you choose, as you won’t be able to change these once you complete the character creation process.
While most of the species share the same humanoid skeleton and can wear most types of clothing and armour, there are some species restrictions. For example, Trandoshans cannot wear boots and gloves.
Due to their unusual body types, Ithorians and Wookiees have their own unique sets of clothing and armour. While a few of the multi-species armour sets can be worn by Ithorians and Wookiees, there are overall, fewer armour and clothing options available for these species than others.
Some rogue servers have additional playable species options, such as Nautolans and Gungans. Oftentimes these have far fewer customization options than the default species, and some pieces of armour and clothing may appear distorted or have bad clipping.
Besides the restrictions on what you can wear, the only other thing you should consider when choosing a species is their innate abilities and stats. At launch, each species had unique attribute bonuses which made them better at certain professions. While these advantages were very small they’re something to take note of if you want to get the most out of your character. They were no longer relevant with the launch of the NGE update.
If the server supports innate racial bonuses, they will be found on the species select screen of the character creation process. If you don’t see any, then it’s likely that the server doesn’t have them.
Ultimately you should pick the species that appeals most to you but be mindful of how you may want your character to look later in the game bearing in mind the restrictions across some species.
Customizing your look
There are a huge number of options when it comes to customizing your character’s appearance in Star Wars Galaxies, and the best thing is that you can easily change them at any time.
The initial character creation process doesn’t even have the full selection of customization options available so don’t get too bogged down in getting your character looking perfect before you hit the mean streets of Tatooine.
You’ll find players with Image Designer skills in cantinas around the game and they will happily change your look for you. Not only can they change basic attributes such as your height and weight, but they can also give you a more interesting hairstyle, and they have a wider colour palette available for hair and body colours.
Naming your character
One final tip for character creation is to choose an appropriate name. Names which reference external media or riff on existing characters from Star Wars lore are frowned upon, and even if Puke Poopwalker sounds funny in the heat of the moment do you really want that to forever be the way you’re known in the game?
The in-game name generator is adequate, but you might have to refresh a few times before you find one that feels right. A great alternative is the SWTOR name generator created by Swtorista. There you can find name generators for various races which are found in both Star Wars The Old Republic and Star Wars Galaxies.
Just remember to choose a name which isn’t too long, has too many special characters, or is difficult to spell and pronounce. This will make it easy for other players to find, contact, and remember you.
Choosing your profession
There are a lot of interesting and unique professions to choose from in Star Wars Galaxies. The way professions work is wildly different in the pre-CU and NGE versions of the game, but either one will set you on your path to eventually becoming a master Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Entertainer, or whatever other character archetype you choose to embody.
On pre-CU servers such as SWGEmu, you will begin by choosing one of the six starter professions: Artisan, Brawler, Entertainer, Marksman, Medic, and Scout. This will give you your first abilities and set you on the path towards the game’s advanced professions, but you can mix, drop, and relearn any other skills at any time, so there isn’t too much pressure to pick the right one at this point.
On NGE servers such as SWG Legends, you can choose from nine ‘iconic’ Star Wars professions: Bounty Hunter, Commando, Entertainer, Jedi, Medic, Officer, Smuggler, Spy, and Trader. Those who choose to embark upon the Trader path also choose from one of four sub-professions: Domestic Goods (food/drink and clothing), Engineering (vehicles, droids, and cybernetics), Munitions (armour and weapons), and Structures (architect, shipwright, and furniture). You can change professions at any time so don’t dwell too long on which one you choose.
Other servers have added new professions and skills or have overhauled their profession system entirely. Restoration is based on the CU version of the game, Empire in Flames separates skills from professions, Beyond has a new Vanguard profession, and Evolve has a hybrid system combining elements of the pre-CU and NGE.
Taking your first steps
Starting out in Star Wars Galaxies varies significantly depending on if you’re playing on a pre-CU or NGE server, but both offer you some space to get your bearings in the world.
Although there were tutorials during the official version of the pre-CU, at present there is no tutorial on SWGEmu or other pre-CU servers. Upon finishing the character creation process you’ll find yourself aboard a single room on a space station. In that room you’ll find a terminal which will take you to a chosen location in the galaxy.
On SWGEmu you’re given a choice of multiple planets and cities on which to land, but it is strongly advisable that you land in one of the game’s three main cities: Theed, on Naboo; Coronet, on Corellia; or Mos Eisley, on Tatooine. These cities have the highest population counts and have all the basic amenities you will require at the start of your journey. If it’s your first time playing the game, then it is strongly recommended that you choose Mos Eisley as your starting location.
Other pre-CU servers may have fewer choices on where to land, or even just one. Oftentimes the only choice is Mos Eisley, but occasionally it is a custom city designed as an alternative main hub to Mos Eisley.
On NGE servers such as Beyond and Legends, you can choose to begin your adventure aboard the game’s tutorial area, the Tansarii Point Station. This is a great option for those playing the game for the first time. It guides players through a questline featuring Han Solo and Chewbacca, introduces the game’s core gameplay features including piloting, and lets you meet up with other new players.
Upon leaving the Tansarii Point Station you cannot return, so make the most of your time there. Also, if you’re a collect-o-holic be sure to finish the pilot missions aboard the ship as it’s the only time you can earn the Hero of Tansarii Point Station badge.
Once you finish up the tutorial area Han and Chewie will kindly drop you outside the Mos Eisley spaceport, where you’ll be guided straight into the game’s main quest line.
Some servers may grant you free skills or an instant boost to the maximum level when you start the game. If it’s your first time playing Star Wars Galaxies, it would be wise to refrain from doing this. By progressing through the game naturally, you’ll experience the game the way it was meant to be played, learning everything you need to know about the galaxy and your profession along the way.
How to learn new skills
The way your character learns new skills is probably the biggest difference between the different versions of SWG – and it’s something that’s complicated further thanks to changes that some servers have made in an attempt to refine the levelling experience.
On pre-CU and CU servers, you have access to over 30 different skill trees with the ability to mix and match skills to create your own character template. You’ll have to do specific, appropriate actions to earn the experience required to learn each skill box. For example, if you want to learn skills in the Rifleman skill tree, you’ll have to kill enemies using a rifle. Likewise, if you want to become a Weaponsmith, you’ll have to craft weapons, and if you want to become a Dancer you’ll have to – you guessed it – dance.
The fastest way to gain experience is by taking missions from the various Mission Terminals dotted throughout the world (there are always several in every NPC city). As a combat character the best missions you can take are Destroy missions from the regular Mission Terminals. You can pick two missions at a time, so select two within a similar direction and get grinding!
Once you’ve earned enough experience to learn a new skill box you’ll have to visit an appropriate Skill Trainer. These are located in major NPC and player cities and charge a fee for each skill taught. You can find them listed on your planetary map. Alternatively, other players who have already earned the skill can teach it to you at no cost (though you should tip them if you can afford it).
The most common way to request player training is by using this template: “LFT Marksman 1xxx”. “LFT” stands for Looking For Trainer, “Marksman” can be replaced with the skill tree you are learning, and “1xxx” refers to the skill box’s position in the skill tree. Just remember not to spam; if you don’t get a response after a few tries head to another city or try again later.
The SWGEmu Launchpad has a built-in Profession Calculator which you can use to map out how you will use your 250 skill points, and other servers have their own calculators also. Just remember that these may not always be up to date with the latest changes on the server.
List of Skill Calculators:
Learning new skills on NGE servers is a much more straightforward affair. Like World of Warcraft and the myriad MMOs which have followed in its wake, on servers such as Legends and Beyond you gain combat experience through defeating enemies and from completing quests. Each time you fill your experience bar you gain a level, with new skills earned as you progress towards the maximum level of 90.
Entertainers meanwhile earn XP by flourishing while dancing or playing an instrument, and Traders earn XP by crafting items. Both of these grinds are commonly performed with the aid of macros which automate much of the process. You can find the Entertainer grinding macro here, and the Trader grinding macro here. These do not require any external software and are therefore not considered as exploits.
NGE servers have some flexibility in their professions thanks to the Expertise system (an equivalent to WoW’s talent trees). Every other level, players will be granted an expertise point which they can spend in three expertise trees. Two of these trees are profession-specific, while the third tree is for Beast Master skills. Beast Master is a sub-profession available to every class and is split between creature handler and bio-engineering skills.
Players receive 45 expertise points in total. This expertise calculator allows you to test templates, but as always, be aware that different servers may have tweaked their skills.
How do I switch professions?
Unlike some other MMOs, your character is not tied down to one profession in Star Wars Galaxies. Every server allows you to change professions with relative ease. On pre-CU servers, you can drop any skill by clicking on its box in the Skills window and then clicking the ‘Surrender Skill’ button.
On NGE servers you can visit a Profession Counsellor (located outside the Starports in Coronet, Theed, and Mos Eisley) to swap to a different profession or to reset your expertise. Changing professions is free the first time but it increases in cost with each profession respec.
When you switch from one combat profession to another you will remain at the same level as you were. Traders and Entertainers have different experience tracks however and therefore will not retain the same level.
How do I become a pilot?
While it’s a crucial element of the Star Wars franchise, piloting wasn’t added to Star Wars Galaxies until the game’s first expansion, Jump to Lightspeed. While the space part of the game blends seamlessly with the rest of the game it’s an entirely unique set of systems and mechanics. As such, piloting hasn’t yet been implemented into SWGEmu and the other servers running on its code. It’s in development but it will likely be a few years before it’s fully stable and feature-complete.
Therefore if you’re dying to pilot your own X-wing or TIE Fighter you currently have no choice but to play on a server that uses the NGE code such as Legends, Beyond, or Restoration.
Not long after you start the game on one of these servers you will receive in-game mails pointing you in the direction of a trainer for each of the game’s three piloting factions – Alliance, Imperial, and Freelance.
While these mails point you towards one squadron in each of the factions however, there are in fact three squadrons for each faction. Each squadron has different missions on your path to Master Pilot, but there are no other major changes between them.
You’ll find the Pilot profession wheel in a separate tab along the top of your Profession window. To progress to Master Pilot you’ll need to complete all of your squadron’s missions, as well as grind experience along the way.
You can abandon your chosen squadron and retrain in a new one at any given time by talking to your factional pilot coordinator. Be aware however that leaving a squadron will remove all your current progression and certifications even if you rejoin the same squadron or an existing one in the same faction. Factional pilot coordinators can be found at the following locations:
- Alliance – J’pai Brek (/way corellia -5072 -2343) Tyrena, Corellia
- Empire – Commander Landau (/way naboo -5516 4403) Theed, Naboo
- Freelance – Gil Burtin (/way tatooine -1174 -3674) Bestine, Tatooine
What is the Politician profession?
Anybody in Star Wars Galaxies can own and decorate their very own player house. These houses can be placed out in the wilderness, or within the boundaries of a player city. But what if you want to run your own player city? That’s where the Politician profession comes in.
The Politician skill tree gives you access to player city permissions and upgrades. On NGE servers and some pre-CU servers (such as Sentinel’s Republic), all Politician skills are granted to all players. On the majority of pre-CU servers, players must grind these skill boxes by growing their player city. Thankfully however these skills cost no skill points, meaning that you can be a Master Politician and still retain your 250 skill points to use in other professions.
Being a mayor of a player city is considered an endgame system. Maintaining your own city is a time-consuming affair and there are many complex systems to learn and manage. Therefore, it’s best to establish yourself firmly within the game and its community before you worry too much about becoming a Master Politician.
What is the Chronicler profession?
Introduced in the later years of Star Wars Galaxies’ live servers, the Chronicler system was a sub-profession which allowed all players to create their own quests, which they could give to other players to complete.
These quests are created by combining Chronicle Relics to create a quest Holocron. Each quest Holocron you create will give you Chronicler experience, with new tiers of Chronicle Relics able to be used as you progress through the Chronicler profession wheel.
By the time you’ve become a Chronicle Master, you’ll have access to a diverse array of quest objectives and customization. But, if that’s not something you’re interested in it can be pretty annoying having your inventory fill up with looted Chronicle Relics. If that’s the case, you can switch them off by typing the /chroniclesloottoggle command into chat.
This system is only available on NGE servers.
Joining a faction
As Star Wars Galaxies is set during the Galactic Civil War, you can choose to fight for either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire. All players start the game as neutral citizens – while you can become a freelance pilot, there is no freelance ground faction in the game.
To join a faction you’ll need to seek out a faction recruiter NPC. There are several of these throughout the galaxy, with Imperial recruiters often found out in the open of major cities, and Rebel recruiters in smaller outposts.
The most convenient recruiters to seek out at the start of the game are the Imperial recruiter in Mos Eisley (/way tatooine 3499 -4752), and the Rebel recruiter in Coronet (/way corellia -342 -4466).
If you’re playing on a pre-CU server, you’ll need to get 200 points of faction reputation before you can join a faction. You can gain faction points by completing missions from faction mission terminals which are usually found beside their respective faction recruiter.
Once you join a faction you can talk to a recruiter to place yourself on one of three levels of service status: On Leave, Combatant, and Special Forces. The easiest way to think of these three service statuses is to consider them as Cosmetic, PvE, and PvP respectively.
While On Leave you will remain a member of your chosen faction but will not be an active participant in the GCW. Neither players nor NPCs of the opposing faction will attack you. As a Combatant, factional NPCs will attack you, but not player characters. Going Special Forces will not only make you the target of factional NPCs, but any other player character of the opposing faction who is also Special Forces can attack you at any time.
Special Forces players receive the most faction/GCW points. These allow you to rank up within your faction and gain access to better rewards. This is done through various activities including PvP, base busts, and Invasions. The Galactic Civil War meta can vary substantially between servers, and while lower-level players can participate in some activities it is generally an endgame system.
Should you wish to switch allegiances, you can do so at any time by returning to a faction recruiter and asking to leave. After returning to neutral factional status there may be some server-specific requirements before you can join the other faction. Usually, this will require earning a certain amount of faction points or waiting a prerequisite number of days.
Finding a community
Star Wars Galaxies is a very social game. While you can technically spend a lot of your time progressing on your own, much of the fun of the game is built around the interactions you share with other players.
In Galaxies, guilds are known as Player Associations (although most players still refer to them as guilds). It can be helpful to find a Player Association (PA) as early as possible as they’ll be able to help you with any questions you have about the game and can help you with quests and gear.
You’ll find guilds of all sizes and specializations in Galaxies, from hardcore meta-focused guilds to roleplaying guilds. You can look for guilds that are actively recruiting on your server’s Discord, or you can often find guilds recruiting in the game’s major cities. Another great way to find a guild is to simply put yourself out there by getting involved in group activities and making friends.
Never be afraid to ask for help in Star Wars Galaxies, but always do so respectfully. There are several bustling centres of activity, and you should only request assistance in each area once before moving on to the next if you don’t receive a reply. Don’t spam the chat!
Your number one port of call will almost always be the Mos Eisley cantina. Just like in the films, it’s an area where characters of all trades converge to hang out, meet up, and prepare to go on adventures.
If you’re out in the field and spot someone of a similar level of experience to yourself, say “Hello”. You might be able to group up together for increased rewards and faster progression and you may even spark up a friendship which defines your entire time in the game.
Who will you become in Star Wars Galaxies?
It’s a big galaxy out there and Star Wars Galaxies gives you the freedom to live however you want in its huge open worlds. One of the game’s greatest assets is that there are very few areas in which you’re permanently tied down when it comes to customising your character. You can change your look or your skills at any time.
All this flexibility however can feel daunting. How do you decide who you want to be in the galaxy when you have complete freedom?
You have two choices. You can either head into the game with an idea of the kind of character you want to build, or you can head out into the world and let your character develop naturally – learning new skills as and when they present themselves in a way that appeals to you.
I guess, in a way, this is much like real life. And that’s the best way to think of Star Wars Galaxies. It’s a true living, breathing virtual world, and you’re just another citizen trying to make his way in the galaxy. You might become a Jedi Master or an Imperial foot soldier. Or just maybe, you’ll be a humble moisture farmer.
You may not be the saviour of the galaxy, but everyone has an important role to play in the rich tapestry of Star Wars Galaxies.