SWTOR Flashpoints: New Player’s Guide

As a new SWTOR player, you need the basics of flashpoints so you can get started in the game and learn the ropes. This guide is designed to help you do just that. Here you can find all the information you need to get started and to advance in the game to become an intermediate player. It includes the basics to get you started.

What this guide is not:

This guide is not a specific breakdown or walk-through of any specific flashpoint. Rather, it is an overview of what you need to know to succeed in flashpoints, especially if you are new to the game.

Let’s begin…

First, you should know that flashpoints are the same thing as dungeons in other MMO games. This is where you’ll find the best loot drops and it’s where the hardest fights take place. Normally, you’ll get a quest for the flashpoint before entering one. You can easily tell the name of the flashpoint, where it is, if it is good for your level, your objective and how many players are recommended by simply reading your quest log.

Grouping for a Flashpoint
The first thing you should know when grouping for a flashpoint is what your role will be. Will you be tanking, DPSing or healing? The tank is the person who makes the pulls, creates the strategies to use, determines what target the DPS should attack first and keeps all of the threat in order to keep the rest of the party from taking damage. 
The DPS (damage per second) are the players that follow the tanks lead and use all of their attacks to do as much damage as possible to the designated targets while avoiding the attacks (like knock backs) that can cause damage to the them. 
Healers are the ones who heal the other players on the team but the order in which you heal can be a little complicated. As a healer, you should ALWAYS put your focus on the tank and yourself first. If you and the tank are in good health, you can toss some out to the DPS but remember that without the tank or the healer you are likely to fail. 
How to Chat with Other Players
In order to communicate with others on your team, you need to know how to chat with them. This is also the way you communicate with other players in the area to form a flashpoint group. Go to general chat (type /general then a space and you will be able to talk to everyone in the area). If you are trying to put together a group here is an example of what you could write. “Dps looking for group (lfg is an accepted acronym) for flashpoint _____”, and fill in the blank with the name of the flashpoint. 
Either you will be invited to join a group or other players will respond to your message by asking for an invite. Continue this process until you have the recommended number of players in your group required for the flashpoint. Each group should have at least one person who can heal or off heal (to off heal means that they only toss out heals in emergencies or on hard fights).
Ask for Help
If you need help in the flashpoint, you should be very open with your group. Tell them that if they give you a heads up on what to expect and what to do that it will help you learn faster but that you are not experienced enough to go it alone. Most people will be very kind to lend a helping hand and explain some of the mechanics to a new player. 
If you encounter someone rude who leaves the group shrug them off, they’re just impatient and you shouldn’t let it upset you or interfere with your game. Just be sure to put 100% effort into understanding what they tell you and in doing exactly what they ask you to do. Most people are willing to help as long as you are trying.

Here is an example of how others can help you out. My first time through “The Black Talon” flashpoint I was told where to gather my codex’s (information you can read later that is simply for your lore pleasures) and how to get out of the AOE (a large attack that deals damage to everyone within the parameter) from one of the boss fights. By letting my party member know I wasn’t familiar with the instance (another name for flashpoints) I was told some vital information that helped us complete the task without any trouble and I was able to get my codex’s. All you have to do is be honest and put forth real effort.

If you have never healed or tanked before then I would suggest starting out as DPS in order to understand how the roles work a little better. It’s one thing to read about what you need to do and a totally different thing to actually see it being done for the first time. You can always try healing in the future once you are more familiar with the game. It’s also nice to lend a compliment to your healer occasionally because without them, you wouldn’t be alive – literally! 

Looting

Before you ever kill your first mob, you need to know the looting rules. If the piece (piece or armor or weapon) has one or all of your primary stats on it (for example willpower but this will vary based on your class) and it is better than what you have it is acceptable to roll “need”. If the piece does not have your primary stats, then you should only roll “greed”.

Things get a little more complicated when you get into BoP’s (bind on pick up) and BoE’s (bind on equip). BoP’s are automatically bound to the person who picks up the piece or wins the roll. The item cannot be traded or sold to another player but can however, be sold to a vendor.

BoE’s are not bound to anyone until they are equipped to a character. You can trade them to a friend, send them to another character or sell on the auction house. The rule is if it is BoP, you can roll as if it is an upgrade and no one will really mind. If it is a BoE, you should only roll if there is a significant upgrade or the item is great for your character and you can equip it immediately (by meeting the requirements including level). 
If you do not meet the level requirement but you want the piece you should ask your group how they want you to roll. Many players will let you roll “need” if you explain to them that you can wear it when you level up again but don’t be upset if the group says no. Different people have different opinions on BoE’s.

Two More Tips For The New Player

As a general rule you should always be polite when in a group because you never know who you will see again in a future flashpoint or who will tell their friends not to group with you if you are rude. You don’t want to be blacklisted over a comment you made while you were upset or maybe even confused about something. 

Remember, the things said in text are not always portrayed correctly or taken the way you meant it. Therefore, if you are unsure how the comment you want to say will play out, try to start your sentence with something like “I am in no way trying to be rude or insulting but…….” that way people know not to take the part after the ‘but’ out of context.

You should never start a flashpoint if you’re not sure if you will have time to finish it. It is nearly impossible to find a replacement for a flashpoint if someone leaves past halfway through. Of course, things do happen and if an emergency occurs just explain and apologize for the inconvenience.

If you need a few minutes to take care of a personal problem, ask the group if they will wait on you or if they want to remove you from the group. Sometimes, players will agree to take a little stretch break while you’re fixing your kid’s juice or letting the dog out. Make sure you announce that you need to leave before any mobs (enemies) are pulled. There is nothing worse than someone who leaves in the middle of a big pull to get a glass of water only to return to a completely dead group.
Flashpoints can be a wonderful way to meet other players, learn lore and get amazing gear but they take practice. After reading this short guide you should have a basic understanding of how to start your group, knowing how to play your role, getting the information on your specific flashpoint and how to roll on gear. In addition, you should know some of the most common acronyms and terms broken down so you won’t have any trouble understanding what the other players are talking about.

Remember to ask questions and continue to learn all you can flashpoint before you have a quest so you can be an asset to your group. Have fun any enjoy the game with other players at your same level. Good luck!

Lisa Mason

Lisa has been an avid gamer since she was old enough to hold her first controller and a game writer for more than a decade. A child of the Nintendo generation, she believes they just don’t make games like they used to but sometimes, they make them even better! While consoles will always be her first love, Lisa spends most of her gaming time on the PC these days- on MMOs and first-person shooters in particular.