Players who advance from Level 50 to 55 have the opportunity to acquire high level gear by running Hard Mode Flashpoints, Operations, and other group content. As these missions increase in difficulty, they reward better gear and commendations. Below is some information to help players optimize their gaming experience in order to receive the best gear for their characters.
Gear Ratings and Acquisition Order
Gear Breakdown by Class
Guardian / Juggernaut
Sentinel / Marauder
Gunslinger / Sniper
Scoundrel / Operative
Vanguard / Powertech
Commando / Mercenary
Sage / Sorcerer
Shadow / Assassin
Q: HOW DO I GET GEARED UP FOR CONTENT AT LEVEL 55?
You can start gearing up for level 55 content as early as level 53. Most missions in Rise of the Hutt Cartel award you with Basic Commendations, which can be used to purchase Artifact gear from the Basic Gear Vendor. Additionally, Heroics on Makeb award you with slightly lower-rated gear that is also very helpful.
Taking missions from the Priority Missions terminal is a great way to earn commendations. At level 53, it offers the Basic Gear mission, which will direct you to three weekly missions that will help you gear up. Once you've completed these missions, you will be pointed to the Basic Gear Vendor and awarded additional commendations.
Q: WHICH GEAR SHOULD I BUY FOR MY CLASS?
First, decide which role you would like to perform in group content. For example, if you are a Juggernaut, you will need to decide whether you want to perform the role of Tank, or if you primarily want to deal Damage. Your role in group content is determined by a combination of the Talents you have selected and the statistics on the gear that you wear.
Once you have decided on the role you want to perform, you can select gear that complements that role. See the "Gear Breakdown by Class" chart to determine which gear is correct for you.
Q: WHEN AM I READY FOR HARD MODE FLASHPOINTS?
You can start running Level 50 Hard Mode Flashpoints in Group Finder at any point while leveling from 50 to 55. Group Finder offers a daily reward of 10 Basic Commendations for Level 50 Hard Modes, so if you want to get into group content at 55, this is a great way to get started and gear up at the same time.
Once you've got a few pieces of gear from the Basic Gear Vendor, you should be ready to queue up for Level 55 Hard Mode Flashpoints. It may be difficult at first, but even if you're a little under-geared, you should quickly start finding upgrades.
Q: WHEN AM I READY TO GROUP UP FOR OPERATIONS?
Once you're comfortable running the Level 55 Hard Mode Flashpoints and you've acquired a few pieces of Rating 162 gear, you should be in good shape to start queuing up for Story Mode Operations in Group Finder. Group Finder will match you with a balanced group for Terror From Beyond or Scum and Villainy.
Make sure to visit the Operations Terminal on the Fleet before you join Operations groups. The [WEEKLY] missions you find on this terminal will provide significant commendation rewards.
Q: WHAT ARE ITEM RATINGS?
Item Ratings are displayed next to the Armor or Weapon type in the item tooltips of most equipment. The Item Rating corresponds to the approximate power level of the item, but make sure it's the right item for your class!
When a mission suggests a recommended item rating, remember that this is not a requirement. It is simply showing you the average gear rating that the mission is balanced for. A powerful or well-coordinated group can make up for one or two players with lower-rated gear.
Q: WHAT ELSE CAN I DO AT LEVEL 55?
For instant action at level 55, queue up for PvP Warzones. In Warzones, your character will be bolstered to a competitive power level, so you can jump right in without gearing up!
There's a whole galaxy available to you at level 55, including unique rewards from Level 50 Operations you may have missed, achievements, and reputations. Joining a guild will make sure you've got the friends and fire-power you need to see everything!