Sniper Guide


Hey. I've beta tested SW:TOR since February of 2011 (though I was part of the first beta weekend in June of 2010) and had a great time. My primary testing class and area of focus has been Sniper/Gunslinger combat mechanics and balance. I have leveled to cap (whatever that level was at the time) in every build I have tested. My understanding of the "pure DPS" ranged ACs has evolved as the class has evolved. This guide is not my attempt to tell you how to play Sniper or Gunslinger.

Instead -- I hope I can clear up some misinformation, maybe encourage people to try new or offbeat tactics to push the class to its limits, and share a little of what I enjoy about playing Sniper. Above all I hope I can make your experience a little more fun at live.


NB: Content difficulty and mechanics are subject to change before launch! Post-launch you can expect some more comprehensive commentary from me. This guide reflects the current "state of the game" and the way Sniper/Gunslinger is playing in beta.

Table of Contents 

01 Core Class Mechanics (aka. Should I play Sniper? What can I expect from this class?)
02 Stats and Ratings and Mods, oh my!
03 Cover: Don't hate the shield.
04 IA Energy Usage
05 Sniper Companions and Crew Skills
06 Marksmanship
07 Engineering
08 Lethality
09 PvE Tactics
10 PvP Tactics

Permissions: This guide may be reproduced in whole or in part. If you do, please give me credit and link back to the original content either here on my blog ( or to my stream: Thanks!


  1. I'm really enjoying your writings about the class. Especially since I haven't gotten the chance to play a Gunslinger outside open beta and I'm planning on making one as my first character.

  2. Thank you Soooooo Much for all your hard work.

  3. Thank you so much for your hard work! This has really helped me!
    Thanks again!

  4. Was on the fence with being a Sniper. Your guides and tips helped me make a great choice. Thanks, and looking forward to more information.

  5. Awesome sniper guide, by far the best and most detailed swtor blog I've seen so far. My only regret is that you don't seem to have any experience with the operative ac, and I haven't been able to find anything close to this for Operatives/Scoundrels. Do you have any recommendations?

  6. I actually do have experience playing Operative, but it wasn't a focus of mine. I can seek out some guest authors or contributors if you like (or bother some guild members to answer specific questions).

    The most experienced people in beta, by and large, do not and will not be talking about their classes. There are a variety of reasons for this situation -- none of which would be appropriate to outline here.

    Anyway. The point of this is that the best Operatives I knew in beta (from a PvP standpoint) are not available for comment and would not appreciate the attention. I can give you some pointers on the basics, but I don't pretend to know the class half as well as I know Sniper/Gunslinger.

    If you have something specific in mind, I'm always available for questions via email. I like to post the particularly good questions on the blog (with permission, of course!).

  7. Ah ok, I was debating between operative and sniper but after watching operative late-game PVP I think sniper is more of my style. One thing I was wondering, does cover screen deactivate automatically once you leave it? If not, would it be possible to set up a cover screen right behind a natural cover point? If so, you could snipe in between them, which would give you virtually 360 degree cover bonuses (much like setting up cover screen in a corner).

  8. I would love to see more PvP love ;)
    Also when will you be putting in the tactics section?

    1. Soon(TM). It's highest on my priority list.

  9. Great guide! Covered just about everything that being a Sniper is all about!
    As a Lv50 Sniper Fen, what is your opinion on the PvE and PvP gear sets for us as far as stat gains/loses go?

  10. would like to link this page

    is a combat mechanics / tanking mechanics guide that explains how it works...
    As im about to turn in a more pvp oriented palyer i would like to see more informed PvP sugestions by theorycrafters like you that will help me impruve


Commenting? Thanks, I appreciate it! -Fen