How to Level Up Your SWTOR Companions Faster
Getting companions to max influence with your primary character -- as they also reach level 50 -- isn't as difficult as it might seem. There is one primary way to go about leveling and unfortunately it doesn't merit the phrase "fast" without some credits. Giving gifts, or gifting, your companion is the main way to max them out as you complete the main story arcs or even after level 50. Another way, albeit secondary for many players, is to have your companions agree with your actions while completing the story line.
Regardless of how well you've done with conversation checks, your companions may still not be at max influence, so how do we get by through gifting alone?
Math, unfortunately, but it's not too difficult so let's have a look.
Maxing Influence Breakdown (Level 1 - 50)
Influence runs by rank, similar to leveling your main character, from 1 to 50 and requires 250,000 influence. Each of these ranks grant the following bonuses, +50 Presence, +1.5% time efficiency for crew skill tasks, and +0.5% critical rate for crew skill tasks. Using character rank 30 we can see what influence rank you'll have with a companion and can scale it in a similar sense:
Using this scale you can see how the bonuses will stack as your level is compounded with a companion's influence rank. It's important to note that your companion's influence rank is a threshold. So a companion's influence rank 5 is actually influence rank 4 as it just crossed said threshold.
To actually maximize the influence rank a companion has, players will need to pass the conversation checks. These checks are simple success/fails checks on if your companion agrees with your action or they disagree. Both grant experience but will positively or negatively affect influence depending on how much they agree or disagree with said action.
Gifting For Influence
The best way to level your companions influence as you level is to gift them. Each companion has three gift types that they like, love, or is their favorite. Dependent on the gift rank and the gift type, the companion will gain a predetermined amount of influence. In the chart below, this is outlined easily for you up to gift rank 3:
|Influence||Gift Rank +2 higher||Gift Rank +1 higher||Gift Rank = Companions Rank||Gift Rank -1 lower||Gift Rank -2 lower||Gift Rank -3 lower|
There are other bonuses that affect how well a gift does, and the largest bonuses can really help companion influence rise quickly. Each gift corresponds to a color which itself represents a gear level. For instance, purple gifts (a gift whose name is highlighted in purple meaning it's an artifact) will produce an extra 400% bonus affection over a green gift.
Green gifts represent premium but don't provide nearly the same amount of a bonus to companions. Gift rarity is another factor of importance so a quick way to tell is by knowing what each color represents -- clicking on each before you gift it just to double check is highly recommended.
How To Purchase and Get the Best Use Out Of Gifts
So now that you know all about what gifts are, how companions may respond, and the different types of gifts, there's only one step left. To actually weigh the cost of purchasing gifts and using them you're going to need to access to a spreadsheet.
The most reputable spreadsheets follow a look to one I have replicated and tested. Or should mine not hold up, others have shared their own calculator through TORcommunity.com. Following this you'll know exactly how many credits you'll need to successfully level a companion as quickly as possible.
The rising costs as the calculator displays may seem to be a bit of an undertaking and who knew all of a sudden you'd feel like you're doing your taxes. There are other ways that reduce or increase the costs, one costing time, the other costing money. The cheap way, for more time goes as follows:
Buy Rank 5 Favorite companion gifts
- You'll need 500 for 10k each which equals roughly 5 million credits
- Constantly check the GTN. Any listing for rank 5 gifts for 9 to 9.5 thousand will save credits
- In character perks, purchase the perk that speeds up gift giving by 60%
- Watch the news or put on your favorite show, click gifts and within 15 minutes, you will go from level 1 influence to level 50...
For the increased cost of getting the legacy perk, companion gifting will go by much faster and can save you the trouble of losing time. The legacy bonus “Legacy of Altruism,” pictured above, can be unlocked for 90,000 credits, which maxes out the bonus. This will make companion gifts 30% more effective on this character.
With legacy perk (+30% effectiveness on gifts) you can buy gifts in the fleet. Rank 1 green are the cheapest option until you reach rank 40.
Rank 1 to Rank 20: 100,000 credits
Rank 20 to Rank 30: 300,000 credits
Rank 30 to Rank 40: 830,000 credits
After that you'll need the Tier 2 gifts which run 600 credits each:
- Rank 40 to Rank 50: 3.2 million credits
With this guide you should be able to fully understand the totality of gifting and speech checks for companions, and why exactly gifting will level your companions faster. This guide primarily focuses on leveling all of your companions as opposed to just one. This will best be done once you reach higher levels as you'll have more credits at your disposal.
The ability to spend more credits may not come so easy to newer characters or players so spending any real life money or cartel coins for credits now will go a long way in maxing out the influence of each companion character.