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Guide: How to F2P in 5.0


Docdim's Avatar


Docdim
12.23.2016 , 09:24 AM | #1
There’s been lots of discussion on how crippled the SWTOR Free to Play (F2P) option is, and that it is even worse in 5.0. All that is true. BUT, I do want to assure new players (are there anymore?) that it is indeed EASY, and even quite enjoyable, to do the FULL 8 class stories as a F2P. I made a F2P account before release of 4.0 just to investigate (and made another one around 5.6). Following are some tips based on my experience:

[note: extra detail hidden under “spoiler” just to make it cleaner. There aren’t any spoilers]
Spoiler


0) Details for the limitations of a F2P account are given here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/swtor/wiki/f2p
That link is mostly up-to-date and much better than SWTOR’s official version.


1) If you haven’t registered yet, I recommend doing so through someone’s Refer A Friend (RAF) link. Primarily for the Inventory slot it gives you. If you are already registered, too late for this.
Spoiler


2) Get the SWTOR Security Key app. http://www.swtor.com/info/security-key
The main reason is to get free 100 Cartel Coins (CC) per month. Oh, it also makes your account more secure
Spoiler


3) Do NOT use those free CC yet! Save them up for some Quality of Life (QOL) items that will make ease your F2P restrictions.
Spoiler


4) First toon? Up to you. See many posts on that. I do recommend starting with a Human as they get the best bonus perk when you reach level 50.
Spoiler


5) Don’t spend credits on your starter planet. You don’t need any gear upgrades. The gear you get from drops is sufficient.
Spoiler


6) When you get to Fleet HQ (after completing starter planet). Get custom gear from the level 7 vendor in the Supplies section.
Spoiler


7) When you reach level 15, buy a Stronghold (5000 credits for either Coruscant or Dromund Kaas). This is the single greatest QOL add to the game. It gives you a Stronghold Legacy Storage (80 slots of shared inventory space across all characters on your server). Makes F2P far more viable.
Spoiler


8) Not at first, but if you like the game, do subscribe for 1 month! After it expires, you automatically switch to “Preferred” status, which is far less restrictive than F2P
Spoiler


9) When in doubt, or with questions, check back here. But the single best resource for SWTOR is Dulfy.net. Get to know her site!

10) Enjoy!
Aka DocDAM, aka NSevven
My Refer a Friend link here (DocDAM). [Rules and Rewards]

Adric_the_Red's Avatar


Adric_the_Red
12.24.2016 , 03:11 PM | #2
For #2, you can get Winauth (download and setup instructions are here), and run the security app right on your PC, instead of on your phone. Help with setting it up for SWTOR can be found in this thread.

You can also set up Winauth on a USB drive, so you can run it on multiple PCs. Instructions for doing that are on the Winauth site linked above.
"Your deaths are useless if they do not inform". -- The Shroud
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srackwood's Avatar


srackwood
07.03.2017 , 05:14 PM | #3
I like this! I am preferred 90% of the time. I do have a couple of things to add and unlocks I highly recommend to make your f2p/preferred life bearable.

Most, if not all, of these can be purchased either with CC (cartel coins) or from the GTN. However, the lack of cartel coins (at least at first) and the credit cap are huge hinderances. This is where a good guild with f2p friendly members is key. If you do have a friendly guild, you can make arrangements to have them buy you stuff on the GTN that is more expensive than the credit cap and you give them something that is of equivalent value. Say you have 500k worth of a certain relic that you are able to craft and there is something that is 500k you need (like a hilt or an unlock or something). Just trade with them and voila!
There is another way to do this, however. The way the credit cap works is that you don't lose the credits above the cap, they just go into an escrow. You can 1) access the escrow with unlocks you can buy on the GTN (not a great investment), or 2) Do a one time sub once your escrow is in the millions and you get immediate access to that cash.

My unlocks I feel are necessary:
First, I really needed more quickslots. Some classes use more abilities than others, but I think you need at least 3 at first (and keybind at least two).
Second, artifact gear unlock. This is more useful for endgame (or higher quality) gear...the purple stuff.
Third, crew skills. Make sure you get all three crew skill slots.
Fourth, inventory slots. I usually wait until I subscribe to fill these out, as you can do it with credits. It gets expensive for the last row, but is still immensely cheaper and easier to do it this way as opposed to the GTN.
Fifth, cargo bays. You can have multiple "tabs" in your storage. Helpful for those of us who accumulate stuff.
I know I am forgetting a couple of very important ones, I just can't think of them right now.

Alekerro's Avatar


Alekerro
07.04.2017 , 02:29 PM | #4
And yet its better to be at least preferred.
My advice (since swtor went to f2p) is - play f2p firstly, complete 1st\2nd planet and decide would you like to continue and then be sub or preff. It saves your time and resources from being calculating and finging a way to "live better as f2p" imo
p.s i tried to be f2p and preff and rapidly went back to sub its like a habit from early access - to have everything without unlocking.

TOP 1 (2012) and TOP 2 (2013) PVP player. The Sith Wyrm server
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Mithros's Avatar


Mithros
07.04.2017 , 03:51 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Docdim View Post

6) When you get to Fleet HQ (after completing starter planet). Get custom gear from the level 7 vendor in the Supplies section.

As an F2P, your gearing options became very limited with 4.0 and worse with 5.0. So your main gearing path will be to buy the “mods” (armorings, etc.) from the vendors in the Supplies section which you install in “Custom” gear (gear with slots for inserting mods). At least they made more nice starter custom gear available. See the many posts on how to do this. Key point: the Custom gear itself has no “stats”, they all come from the mods you put in the slots.
I don't know what "limited" gearing options means in this context, but I would advise people to use the adaptable blues that a armormech or synthweaver, possibly even the character being played here, can make.

A lot easier, and seems cheaper, than keeping up with a bunch of mods.

If someone wants to use this custom gear for their appearance then whatever, but I would not advise anyone using moddable gear until they get much closer to the endgame.

Modding a weapon? Maybe. Modding 7 pieces of gear from the moment you get off of the starter world to the moment you hit level cap?

No thanks.
Used to be the way to go, but not any more.

Crafted blues are more than adequate to get the job done, and the costume designer covers up any ugly that you might find along the way.
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Adric_the_Red's Avatar


Adric_the_Red
07.06.2017 , 11:54 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
I don't know what "limited" gearing options means in this context, but I would advise people to use the adaptable blues that a armormech or synthweaver, possibly even the character being played here, can make.

A lot easier, and seems cheaper, than keeping up with a bunch of mods.

If someone wants to use this custom gear for their appearance then whatever, but I would not advise anyone using moddable gear until they get much closer to the endgame.

Modding a weapon? Maybe. Modding 7 pieces of gear from the moment you get off of the starter world to the moment you hit level cap?

No thanks.
Used to be the way to go, but not any more.

Crafted blues are more than adequate to get the job done, and the costume designer covers up any ugly that you might find along the way.
Crafting "blue" gear as a f2p player will be expensive, at the very least. You will only have one Crew Skill, so to craft anything, you will have to buy mats off the GTN, and they will be expensive, and really expensive when it's a "crafting week" for Conquest. Plus, you will only be able to assign your companion(s) to make one item at a time (can't queue up 5 items for each of them to craft, like subs can) so it will be rather more of a PITA to get your skill level up to where you can make suitable gear for your level. And buying the crafted gear off the GTN will be even more expensive than making it.

Better to just run Heroics and collect the "blue" gear from the reward boxes, as this will always be "appropriate" to your level - your actual level, not whatever level you get shifted down to for the planet. (Or is this another one of those things they just show you in the rewards window with a "subscribe so you can get this" icon on it?)
"Your deaths are useless if they do not inform". -- The Shroud
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Docdim's Avatar


Docdim
10.29.2017 , 07:11 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Adric_the_Red View Post
Better to just run Heroics and collect the "blue" gear from the reward boxes, as this will always be "appropriate" to your level - your actual level, not whatever level you get shifted down to for the planet. (Or is this another one of those things they just show you in the rewards window with a "subscribe so you can get this" icon on it?)
Note: LOL, I accidentally used a RAF link for the 7 days. Might as well update my post , hope you don't mind the necro

Adric: yes, as you suspected, you only get the blue Heroic gear if you are a sub (not F2P/Pref).
@ Mithros: that's what I meant by "limited" So I stand by what I wrote. And buying green mods at fleet is very cheap. And as a F2P/Pref, you will be quickly looking for ways to spend your 200/350K just to avoid the annoying chime.
Aka DocDAM, aka NSevven
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Docdim's Avatar


Docdim
10.29.2017 , 07:14 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Alekerro View Post
And yet its better to be at least preferred.
My advice (since swtor went to f2p) is - play f2p firstly, complete 1st\2nd planet and decide would you like to continue and then be sub or preff. It saves your time and resources from being calculating and finging a way to "live better as f2p" imo.
100% agree ... that's why it was my point #8
With my main, that's exactly what I did. After Coruscant, I subbed for a month.
Aka DocDAM, aka NSevven
My Refer a Friend link here (DocDAM). [Rules and Rewards]

Docdim's Avatar


Docdim
10.29.2017 , 07:24 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by srackwood View Post
I like this! I am preferred 90% of the time. I do have a couple of things to add and unlocks I highly recommend to make your f2p/preferred life bearable.
[...]
My unlocks I feel are necessary:
First, I really needed more quickslots. Some classes use more abilities than others, but I think you need at least 3 at first (and keybind at least two).
Second, artifact gear unlock. This is more useful for endgame (or higher quality) gear...the purple stuff.
Third, crew skills. Make sure you get all three crew skill slots.
Fourth, inventory slots. I usually wait until I subscribe to fill these out, as you can do it with credits. It gets expensive for the last row, but is still immensely cheaper and easier to do it this way as opposed to the GTN.
Fifth, cargo bays. You can have multiple "tabs" in your storage. Helpful for those of us who accumulate stuff.
I know I am forgetting a couple of very important ones, I just can't think of them right now.
Thanks! And I 100% agree with all your points. [Except I'm not a crafter, so no Crew Skills for me. More in next post]

I found the 2 quickslots to be very annoying. With Pref status, you get 4, which (as you wrote) is more than sufficient.
Still, my order would be:
Going Places Bundle (for the Rocket Boost)
Quickslots (though, as noted above, you can take care of that by going Preferred)
Inventory
Cargo Bays
Stronghold Storage Bays
Maybe Hide Head (though with Outfit Designer, there are workarounds]

I'd surely put Artifact Unlock on there, but it is VERY expensive. And frankly, most of the above are as well, especially as you will want the account-wide (not single character) versions if you plan to go Pref (which gives you a lot more character slots). In the past, you could just sub for a month, get a lot of credits, and buy on GTN. But last I checked virtually no one sells unlocks anymore
Aka DocDAM, aka NSevven
My Refer a Friend link here (DocDAM). [Rules and Rewards]

Docdim's Avatar


Docdim
10.29.2017 , 07:36 AM | #10
I'll add an addendum to #8:

Assuming you sub for one month, let it lapse, and continue to play as a Preferred...
90 days later, you can again link to someone's Refer A Friend, and get 7 days of sub (what I accidentally just did!). But more importantly, you get a [one time] Preferred Friends Bundle, which includes:
Unlock: Inventory Module
Unlock: Crew Skill Slot
Customization Control: Display Titles
Customization Control: Unify Colors
All these unlocks are mailed to every character you ever make (existing and new, and even when back to Pref)!

And since you already Pref'd, which gave you a second crew skill slot, you now have all 3. No need to buy the unlocks! (Ditto for Unify Colors/Display titles).

It's a nice little perk. So again, I absolutely do recommend that if you find you like the game from your limited F2P time, do sub for at least 1 month.
Aka DocDAM, aka NSevven
My Refer a Friend link here (DocDAM). [Rules and Rewards]