Endgame gearing SWTOR

Endgame gear guide! (Empire)

This guide is co-owned and first released on


Hey everyone, as you are all approaching level 50, it is time to consider how to gear up for operations (raids) and hardmode flashpoints (dungeons). This guide will hopefully give a hand in that department!

Daily missions (Dailies)

There are repeatable quests called dailies that can be done once per day (reset at 7 am EST everyday). They give you a decent amount of credits (7k to 14k per quest) and currency called Daily Commendations that can be used to purchase Rakata level implants, earpiece, armoring and hilt/barrel that are of tier 23 epic quality (purple).

The Rakata stuff costs 120 daily commendations and the armoring/hilt/barrel costs 8 daily commendations each.

There are two vendors in the Imperial Market in on the Ilum base that sells these, they are called mission support vendors.


Ilum: To start them, you need to finish your class quest first. Doing so will give you a quest called FIRST STRIKE that ask you to report to the Imperial fleet and this quest will direct you to Ilum for its quest series. The quest series itself is fairly short but the mobs are tougher so be prepared to spend 2-3 hrs to finish them off. Each quest will give you 3 daily commendations and unlock daily missions on Ilum.

Belsavis: Belsavis also have a bonus series that opens up. The entire bonus series will also take 2-3 hrs and will unlock daily missions on Belsavis. Unlike the Ilum series, this bonus series do not reward daily commendations.

Below is a list of all the dailies on Ilum/Belsavis.

Ilum – 8 Daily Commendations

Ilum base

  • A Tightened Grip – Lord Tetsu – x1 Commendation
  • Defend the Shipment – Major Dermian – x1 Commendation
  • Operation Shatterstorm – Operative Che’nash – x1 Commendation
  • Poisonous Strategy (Heroic 2+) – G-4T – x3 Commendation

Imperial Waystation

  • Rightful Owner – Captain Barstead – x1 Commendation
  • Sabotage – Colonel Baramak – x1 Commendation

The reward for the heroic one on Ilum is tier 22 epic (purple) level enhancements or blue class VI prototype box


Belsavis – 17 Daily Commendations

Imperial Domination Outpost

  • [Heroic 4+] – Lights Out – Corporal Haddon – 3x Daily Commendations + orange companion weapons or blue class VI prototype box
  • [Heroic 4+] – Old Enemies – Lord Shaar – 3x Daily Commendations + purple tier 22 armoring or blue class VI prototype box
  • Invisible Threat – N4-71- 1x Daily Commendations
  • Unintended Consequences – Major Charkron – 1x Daily Commendation

Deep Launchpoint Transporter

  • Reluctant Volunteers – Darth Synar – 1x Daily Commendation
  • Ancient Transmissions – AR-72 – 1x Daily Commendation
  • Found in Translation – Specialist Nattis – 1x Daily Commendation

Signal Monitoring Center

  • Droid Malfunction – SD-9 – 1x Daily Commendation
  • [Heroic 2+] Freeing the Fallen – 3x Daily Commendations + purple tier 22 mods or blue class VI prototype box
  • The Carriers of Xenovirus Prime – 1x Daily Commendation

Tunnel north of Signal Monitoring Center

  • Deadly Mutations – 1x Daily Commendation

Rewards for Heroic ones


In total you get 25 daily commendations per day. Each ear/implant costs 120 so you will need about 5 days per piece (getting the first piece will be faster due to the extra daily commendations from the Ilum series).

Here is a checklist to help you keep track of the dailies!

PDF – Google docs

Excel – Skydrive

Hardmode Flashpoints

Once you get to 50 and get moderately geared from doing dailies, your next goal should be running hardmode flashpoints. There are 7 hardmode flashpoints available for the Empire.

  • Black Talon
  • False Emperor
  • Boarding Party
  • The Foundry
  • Kaon Under Siege
  • Battle of Ilum
  • Directive 7

These are ranked somewhat in order of increasing difficulty based on my opinion and experience as a healer. At the time of writing, Boarding Party last boss is very hard and not really doable if you are a fresh 50. False Emperor is quite long but most bosses are doable if you have decent DPS. Battle of Ilum requires some gearing up and the 3rd boss can be very tough if you group is composed of mostly melee. Directive 7 is also pretty tough without some decent gearing up from the easier flashpoints. Kaon Under Siege is the new flashpoint introduced with patch 1.1. The boss fights itself are very easy but the trash can be very tough to deal with if you are not careful.

The last boss of each flashpoint drops a token for a Columi piece.

There are three tiers of PVE gear – Tionese, Columi and Rakata. There are also another tier called Energized which is similar to Tionese in quality but provides no set bonus. A good thing Bioware has implanted is that you can mix/match pieces from any of the tiers and still fulfill the set bonus requirement (i.e. you can have Tionese boots, Rakata helmet, Columi legs and chest and still get the 4 set bonus).

If you want to view the set bonus of each set of gear, check out this link here at KnoTOR

Anyways, as I was saying, the last boss of each hardmode flashpoint drops a token for a Columi piece. This token is specific for your class (i.e. Sith Warrior/Jedi knight) but it is not specific for your advanced class so you can choose at the vendor which set (i.e. heal, dps or tanking) to buy. There is a 1/4 chance for the token dropped to be your class.

  • Black Talon: Columi bracers
  • Boarding Party: Columi Gloves
  • False Emperor: Columi Chest
  • Battle of Ilum: Columi Offhand
  • Directive 7: Columi Leggings
  • The Foundry: Columi boots
  • Kaon Undeer Siege: Columi head

Some of the dungeons also have drop Tionese quality gear (not token) so it can be harder to get the exact piece for your specific advanced class.

See complete lootlist for every hardmode flashpoint HERE (beware it contails spoilers – names of the bosses in each flashpoint).

A little trick that you might be interested in is that if you don’t kill the last boss, you can reset the instance and run it over and over until you get bored of it. Doing it this way won’t grant you any Columi grade pieces but if you are undergeared it can be good to do it a couple times.  Once you kill the last boss, the same flashpoint cannot be entered again until reset (7 am EST).

There are also dailies and weeklies you can pick up at the Imperial Fleet (mission terminal at the Supplies area) that rewards you Tionese and Columi commendations for completing hardmode flashpoints (1 for daily, 3 for weekly). These commendations can be used with Tionese crystals to purchase the specific Columi/Tionese piece you want (Tionese gear requires both Tionese commendations + crystals while Columi ones only require Columi commendations). Keep in mind that each piece requires a lot of commendations, which are only rewarded from finishing each flashpoint, completing dailies/weeklies and doing operations (raids). Hence, this can be a very slow way to gear up.

  • Daily give 2 Tionese commendations and 1 Columi commendation
  • Weekly give 6 Tionese commendations and 3 Columi commendations

Keep in mind that in addition to the hardmode flashpoints, there are 4 normal flashpoints for level 50s: Directive 7, Battle of Ilum, False Emperor, and Kaon Under Siege. If you are struggling with Black Talon hardmode, you might want try to do some of them first. They can provide some decent blue quality gear (last 2 bosses of Kaon Under Siege drops purples in the normal mode)


PVP can actually be a very fast way to gear up but it is very RNG (random number generator) dependent. It provides Champion level PVP gear which are just a tad below the Columi pieces in stats.

To get the Champion level PVP gear, you need to obtain Champion Gear Bag. There are 5 ways to obtain this: PVP dailies, PVP weekly,  PVP Ilum dailies, PVP Ilum weeklies, and purchased with warzone commendations. Dailies and weeklies can be picked up at the mission terminal in Combat Training area of Imperial Fleet.

PVP dailies and PVP Ilum dailies will grant you one bag each while the respective weeklies will grant you 3 bags each. In addition, you can purchase them with 800 warzone commendations. You will use 600 of the warzone commendations to purchase 200 mercenary commendations, which can be obtained at the vendor next to the PVP mission terminal or the vendor at the start of each warzone. The remaining 200 warzone commendations + the 200 mercenary commendations will allow you to purchase a gear bag off the same vendor.

Each champion gear bag will give you 3 Centurion commendations or have a 1/5 chance to give you 1 Unassembled Champion token for a specific piece for your class and 1 Centurion commendation. You can take this Unassembled Champion token to the vendors in the PVP gear and purchase a corresponding piece with it.

If you get lucky with the champion gear bags, you can get a few champion pieces relatively quickly. However, if you are unlucky, you can turn in 10 bags before you get a single piece.

There are also 3 tiers of PVP gear: Centurion, Champion and Battlemaster (Battlemaster requires valor rank 60, which can be a long grind unless you exclusively PVP).

If you are interesting in seeing the difference between PVP and PVE gear, check out this guide here. It is specific for sith sorcs/jedi sage but it should give you a general idea of the difference between the two gear sets.


Operations are raids in SWTOR. There are two versions (8 man and 16 man) with 3 tiers of difficulty (normal, hardmode, and nightmare).

Lockouts are done per boss basis with the 8 man and 16 versions sharing the same lockout and hardmode/nightmare mode sharing a lockout (normal mode has its own lockout).

This means if you done a boss on normal 8 man, you cannot do it on 16 man normal but you can do it on 16 man or 8 man hardmode/nightmare. If you done a boss on 8 man hardmode, you cannot do it on 8 man nightmare or 16 man nightmare/hardmode but you can do it on 8/16 man normal.

Normal mode operations drop Tionese gear and Columi gear tokens in addition to crafting mats (biometric crystal alloy).

  • Karagg’s Palace 1st boss on Normalmode drops token for Columi headpiece

Hardmode operations drop Columi gear and Rakata gear tokens in addition to crafting mats.

  • Eternity Vault 1st boss on Hardmode drops tokens for Rakata gloves
  • Eternity Vault 2nd boss on Hardmode drops token for Rakata offhand
  • Eternity Vault 3rd boss on Hardmode drops token for Columi bracers
  • Eternity Vault 4th boss on Hardmode drops token for Rakata boots

Nightmare operations drop Rakata level gear/tokens.

There is also a drastic difficulty difference between 8 man and 16 man operations. At least in the pre-nerf Eternity Vault (the first operation to be released), some of the encounters are a bit overtuned for 16 man (i.e. the number of orbs that spawn during the Soa fight) but this is getting fixed in patch 1.1.

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

11 replies on “Endgame gear guide! (Empire)”

Very informative, thank you for taking the time to put this together. I wondered if you have the same information but for the Republic side?

I know that myself and people in my guild plan on gearing our companions from “run-off” gear in missions, PvP, etc. Do you know if there are any issues with picking up a piece of gear that is not for your class, but equipping it on a suitable companion?

I am wondering what you think about raid gear vs crafted gear with augment slots. It seems you can get better stats with the augments boosting your primary stat, but does that balance or counter te set bonus.
As it currently stands a lvl 50 implant with aug will give better stats then the rakata version. It seems the true for most pieces of armour and most weapons (all sabers except the sin’s double saber).
This just seems to make getting geared up more about pulling the mods out of good gear and then selling it (a columi item sells for the same with all the mods removed). This way you do not NEED te set piece for your class, just something that gives the same 2nd bonus (like crit and surge).


Hi, it is certainly a viable option I think, this way you kind have more control over your stats. However currently you cannot remove the armoring pieces from columi/champion etc and the only way to get high level armoring pieces is from operations.

Also as you said, doing it this way do also kinda disrupt the set bonuses but in some cases maybe only the two piece set bonus is good. In that case you may want two of the set for the set bonus and for the rest using crafted pieces w/augments if armor does not matter for your class. This route definitely works great for ear/implants etc where the columi piece w/ augment would actually have better stats than the rakata in some cases,

A little late to the party, but as far as set bonuses go, I can only speak from the viewpoint of my class and spec, but the Arsenal BH set bonuses are immense once your have them. +15% crit chance on Tracer Missile (which returns heat when it crits, making it heat-positive on the lowest level, and practically neutral on the higher ones), and removing the heat cost from Rail Shot (Replacing Rapid Shots for the much harder hitting Rail Shot).

Both are not only large DPS increases, but also aid in managing heat, which further pushes up our personal DPS, by hugely increasing the interval between heat dumping through Rapid Shots.

Granted, the best thing to do is to get those set pieces that have the highest stats in the built-in Armouring mods, and replace the other mods as needed. This also then allows you to use off-set items once you get the 4 piece, which I believe would be the point of the mod system in the first place.

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