5.0 Class Guides SWTOR

SWTOR 5.0 Engineering Sniper PvE Guide by Veldix

SWTOR 5.0 Engineer Sniper PvE Guide written by Veldix.


Intro to Engineer Sniper

Hi, I’m Veldix/Veldoodle/Veldimerc, a nightmare raider who plays mainly on the Harbinger server. I am a member of <Failure> and do a majority of my progression raiding with them. I am a newer member to the nightmare raiding community, raiding only since last February. In 4.0 I cleared all 8-man bosses with Failure and Shadow Council of the Ebon Hawk, all by hopping in Jay’s backpack (thx fam). Since 5.0 I have cleared all 8-man NiM bosses as well as all timed runs except DF and DP. I sometimes stream on twitch ( Feel free to drop by and ask any questions you have there or just comment on this guide.

5.0 Changes

Aside from the discipline path changes (which is pointless for me to cover in an endgame guide), the following are the only discipline/class changes in 5.0 that have affected Engineering:

New Passive:

Electrified Conduit – When EMP Discharge damages a target, Electrified Conduit deals an additional energy damage per stack of Electrified Railgun on the target. Additionally, EMP Discharge harms up to 7 other targets within 5 meters if the primary target is affected by your Electrified Railgun

Buffed Ability:

Plasma Probe is now an 8 meter radius ability, up from 5 meters.

New Utilities:



Flash Bang and Maim grant Executioner, allowing your next Takedown within 6 seconds to be used regardless of the target’s remaining health and deal 15% additional damage.

Controlled Chaos


For every target affected beyond the first, Diversion grants a charge of Controlled Chaos, increasing armor penetration by 15% per charge. This effect lasts 8 seconds.

Reinforcing Retreat


Covered Escape heals you for 10% of your maximum health. Additionally, Evasion now lasts 5 seconds.

Counteroffensive Safeguards


When Ballistic Shield is activated you gain a charge of Counteroffensive Safeguards for each enemy inside your Ballistic Shield, up to 4. This effect lasts 20 seconds and each charge increases your damage reduction by 5%. In addition, while inside your Ballistic Shield, you heal for 3% of your maximum health every second and you are immune to being pulled or knocked back.

Merged Utilities

New Utility Removed Utility
Stroke of Genius


Activating Cover Pulse makes the next Snipe or Lethal Shot activate instantly and increases your chance to resist Force and tech attacks by 20% for 6 seconds.



Countermeasures will also purge all movement-impairing effects when activated.

Lumbering Impact


Shatter Shot reduces the movement speed of the target by 50% for 10 seconds. In addition, when Flash Bang ends it leaves behind Flash Powder that reduces the target’s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds.

Flash Powder


Reduces target’s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds after Flash Bang ends.

Reestablish Range


Striking a target with Shiv Countermeasures purges all movement-impairing effects when activated and grants Reestablish Range, increasing your movement speed by 50% 75% for 3 6 seconds. Additionally, the final shot of Series of Shots and Penetrating Blasts knocks back the target if they are within 10 meters.



Countermeasures will also purge all movement-impairing effects when activated.

Hold Your Ground


Reduces the cooldowns of Shield Probe and Cover Pulse by 5 seconds, and Escape by 30 seconds. In addition, when you exit cover you gain a Cover Screen that increases your ranged defense by 20% for 6 seconds.

Cover Screen


When exiting cover, you increase your ranged defense by 20% for 6 seconds.

Changed Utilities

Calculated Pursuit


You gain 4 charges of Calculated Pursuit upon exiting cover, which reduces the energy cost of Overload Shot by 100%. allow Snipe to be activated while moving. Each use of Overload Shot Snipe consumes 1 charge, and consumption of the first charge triggers a 20 second rate-limit on this skill. This effect lasts up to 15 seconds but is also removed by consuming all charges or reentering cover. , but reentering cover removes the effect prematurely.



Reduces the cooldown of Imperial Preparation by 30 45 seconds and increases your damage reduction by 10%15% for 10 15 seconds after activating Imperial Preparation.

Vital Regulators


While in cover, you heal for 1% 2% of your total health every 3 seconds.


I am not anywhere near BiS right now and cannot give a definitive gear setup that I will use, so I am recommending following Bant’s theory crafted numbers (you should try to get as close to these as possible):

242 Gear

9709+-243 DPS @ 40.2 APM | 8205 Endurance | 6493 Mastery | 3694 Power

1760 Critical (5xE, 4xA, 2xC) | 1532 Alacrity (4xE, 7xA) | 743 Accuracy (1xE, 3xA, Stim)

240 Gear

9337+-229 DPS @ 40 APM | 7881 Endurance | 6284 Mastery (1xC) | 3506 Power

1689 Critical (7xE, 1xC) | 1466 Alacrity (2xE, 11xA) | 733 Accuracy (1xE, 3xA, Stim)

236 Gear

9043+-219 DPS @ 39.9 APM | 7741 Endurance | 6216 Mastery (1xA) | 3424 Power

1643 Critical (1xE, 12xA, 2xC) | 1400 Alacrity (7xE) | 736 Accuracy (2xE, 1xA, Stim)

234 Gear

8579+-203 DPS @ 39.2 APM | 7440 Endurance | 6128 Mastery (Stim) | 3337 Power

1518 Critical (6xE, 2xA, 2xC) | 1152 Alacrity (12xA) | 760 Accuracy (4xE)

230 Gear

8263+-191 DPS @ 39.2 APM | 7167 Endurance | 5901 Mastery (Stim) | 3183 Power

1447 Critical (7xE, 2xC) | 1152 Alacrity (12xA) | 735 Accuracy (3xE, 2xA)


There are many utilities that are worth taking, and this section will cover the ones that I think have the most use or could be used in certain situations in operations. I usually spec into a 3/1/2/2 setup.


1849314209_1991484756 Ballistic Dampers: – See defensives section. It is a must take at all times.
3482625395_3507575059 Imperial Efficiency – Increases the damage dealt by Suppressive Fire by 25%.

Take this on any fight where you are going to be using suppressive fire.

519073940_1663542290 Vital Regulators: -While in cover, you heal for 2% of your total health every 3 seconds.

I only take this on single target fights since Engineering doesn’t benefit from snap shot much/at all.


3048784136_2671232944 Seek Cover – When Entrench ends or you leave cover while Entrench in active, you gain Seek Cover, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects. Lasts 6 seconds.

Seek Cover is a personal favorite of mine. It lets you reposition much faster with entrench active so you spend less time out of cover.


2325093148_925227914 Pillbox Sniper – Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 4 meters.

The Entrench CD reduction goes great with the other recommended utility in this tier.

212096028_3978847422 Siege Bunker – Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Entrench is active.

Turns Entrench into a great defensive CD. Incredibly useful for many fights.


265384158_3363115073 Defensive Safeguards – When Ballistic Shield is activated you gain a charge of Defensive Safeguards for each enemy inside your Ballistic Shield, up to 4. This effect lasts 20 seconds and each charge increases your damage reduction by 5%. In addition, while inside your Ballistic Shield, you heal for 3% of your maximum health every second and you are immune to being pulled or knocked back.

This utility makes Ballistic Shield more OP than it already was. Take it.

2101654884_620665300 Deployed Shields – Reduces all damage taken while in cover by 5% and reduces the cooldown of Ballistic Shield by 30 seconds.

The 5% damage reduction in cover is very helpful, as is the 30 second CD reduction on Super Ballistic Shield.

3264589436_169840693 Controlled Chaos – Diversion grants a charge of Controlled Chaos for every target initially affected beyond the first. Each charge increases armor penetration by 10%. This effect lasts for 8 seconds.

This has the potential to allow you some massive AoE damage while providing some defensive help for your group. Only take this on heavy AoE fights.

Abilities and Passives

Defensive Abilities

3858926688_731083593-1 Shield Probe (30 second CD): Summons a probe droid that projects a shield around the Agent, absorbing a moderate amount of incoming damage for 10 seconds.

This is very useful for blocking some incoming damage that you know is coming (like heave on Revan)

3039792973_3987142852 Entrench (45 second CD with right utilities): Entrenches you into cover, becoming immune to all controlling effects. Only grants protection while in cover. Lasts 20 seconds.

Entrench is an incredibly useful tool. If you take the right utilities, it can be used to mitigate huge amounts of AoE damage, as well as prevent knockbacks/stuns.

2179446386_482411044-1 Evasion (1 minute CD): Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds. Does not break Stealth.

Evasion can be a very situational defensive. You can completely avoid some attacks, but others it do nothing. Try to learn where it can and can’t be used to effectively mitigate. We also have a passive that reduces the damage of force/tech attacks by 75% with evasion active.

4027936044_1761461114 Covered Escape (20 second CD): Roll forward 18 meters, purging movement-impairing effects and landing crouched behind cover. While rolling, your chance to dodge attacks is increased by 100%.

Covered Escape is an amazing defensive. While it can be used offensively due to scatter bombs being attached to it, it should primarily be used to mitigate all of the damage of a single attack or to get out of damage quickly.

2596789697_2736808133 Imperial Preparation (3 minute CD): Immediately finishes the active cooldowns on Evasion, Countermeasures, Shield Probe, Cover Pulse, Entrench, and Covered Escape.

Our defensive were already great, but now we can have even more of them! Imperial Prep. resets the CD’s of the 4 defensives I listed above and can allow you to mitigate so much damage in a short window of time. Healers will love you.

2101654884_620665300-1 Ballistic Shield: Deploys a ballistic shield that spans 10 meters around you, reducing the damage taken by all allies that remain inside by 20%. Lasts 20 seconds.

Rather than getting an offensive raid buff, snipers got a defensive one. This shield is absolutely amazing for phases when a group is taking massive amounts of damage. With the Counteroffensive Safeguards utility, you can be pretty much unkillable (or at least until the pvp players get it nerfed). Drop this shield on council burn and you are mitigating 20% for everyone else and 40% for yourself while healing yourself 3% every second. It can also prevent knockbacks, which is useful on brontes.

1849314209_19914847561 Ballistic Dampers: absorbs 30% of the damage dealt by incoming attacks. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Ballistic Dampers can only be gained once every 6 seconds.

This is a passive utility, but it is worth mentioning here because it is so useful and you should always have this utility and is one of your best defensives. Make sure you are constantly reentering cover to keep them up. If you are specced into snapshot, Ballistic Dampers will refresh when it does as well.

Key Passives

2449868628_4056604465 Engineer’s Tool Belt: Increases the critical hit chance of Fragmentation Grenade by 10% and when Fragmentation Grenade deals damage to its primary target, it restores 5 energy.
1629162626_1367113138 Cluster Bombs: After Explosive Probe detonates, it drops 2 cluster bombs on the target. A cluster bomb explodes when damaged by blaster fire, dealing X kinetic damage to the target. Cluster bombs cannot be detonated more than once every half second.
1274202967_3057595983 Imperial Methodology: Increases the number of cluster bombs dropped by explosive Probe by 2. In addition, when cluster bombs detonate, you recover 5 energy.
2941869118_2556720069 Imperial Auto Loader: Reduces the cooldown of Series of SHots by 6 seconds, reduces the cost of Series of Shots by 1 per second, and reduces the energy cost of sniper by 5.
330051484_2934434213 Electrified Railgun: When Series of Shots deals damage, it electrifies the target, dealing X elemental damage over 6 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.
467994141_1868717135 Sector Ranger: Reduces the activation time of Orbital Strike by 1 second and its cooldown by 15 seconds. In addition, Plasma Probe overwhelms the targets it damages for 45 seconds. Overwhelmed targets take 10% more damage from area attacks.
2502094269_2504142080 Energy Overrides: After activating EMP Discharge, the next Fragmentation Grenade costs no energy.




This is an ideal single target opener on bosses that allow for you to precast. Wait 1 second in between the end of the Orbital Strike cast and beginning the Sniper cast. After the opener you should follow the main rotation.

Main Rotation

Engineering has a very set rotation with little ability to move abilities around without losing a lot of damage, which is why i don’t use it as much. However, it is still a very strong spec on many fights.


*If you have Target Acquired (with 4-piece set bonus) or Adrenaline Probe available, you can use both Corrosive dart and Orbital Strike instead of one and a filler.

*Sub-30 Takedown is a higher priority than Corrosive Dart except to reapply your Marked (+5% ranged damage) if no one else in your group can.

*Filler is Rifle Shot or Covered Escape if you can land all of your scatter bombs

AoE Rotation

If you have the energy/energy cooldowns for it, you can replace Series of Shots in the rotation with 2/3rds of a suppressive fire.

Regarding Energy Management

Try to never go below 60% energy unless you have an energy cooldown to instantly bring it back over. Most of your abilities are instant, so this helps to avoid over capping on energy.

Plasma Probe Placement

In order to maintain maximum dps, you have to have as much Plasma Probe uptime as possible. If you know the tanking pattern, this becomes much easier. When you know a boss is about to move, you should place Plasma Probe in front of the boss so that the boss walks into your probe towards the middle of it rather than out from the middle. The illustration below serves to communicate this a bit betters.




Engineering is a very situational spec for me. It excels at cleave damage. Engineering will be ideal on fights adds that are brought to your primary target. This list has been created as a recommendation for when to play each of the sniper specs (subject to nerfs and buffs).

Explosive Conflict

  • Zorn and Toth: Virulence
  • Firebrand and Stormcaller: Virulence
  • Colonel Vorgath: Virulence
  • OG Kephess: Virulence

Terror From Beyond

  • Writhing Horror: Virulence
  • Dread Guards: Virulence
  • Operator IX: Virulence or Marksmanship
  • Kephess II: Return of the Meme: Virulence
  • Terror from Beyond: Virulence

Scum and Villainy

  • Darude, Sandstorm: Engineering
  • Titan 6: Any spec works
  • Thrasher: Any spec works
  • Ops Chief and his Skittles Squad: Marksmanship
  • Olok the Shadow: Virulence
  • Cartel Warlords: Virulence
  • StyrAIDS™: Virulence or Marksmanship if NiM, Marksmanship if HM

Dread Fortress

  • Nefra: Virulence
  • Draxus: Any spec works
  • Grob’thok: Virulence or Engineering
  • Corruptor Zero: Any spec works
  • Brontes and Mini Kephess: Virulence

Dread Palace

  • Bestia: Virulence
  • Tyransasaurus Rekt: Virulence (or Engineering if you’re feeling gutsy and want to run with the melee like a champ)
  • Calphayus: Virulence or Engineering
  • Raptus:Marksmanship
  • Council: Virulence


  • Sparky: Virulence
  • Bulo: Virulence
  • Torque: Marksmanship
  • Master and Blaster: Virulence
  • Coratanni: Virulence

Temple of Sacrifice

  • Malaphar the Savage: Virulence
  • Sword Squadron: Virulence
  • The Underlurker: Any spec works
  • Revanite Commanders: Marksmanship
  • Revan: Virulence

How to be a Great Raider

You can be able to put out fantastic numbers on a dummy and easy bosses, but none of it matters if you can’t execute mechanics. To be a good raider, you need to but mechanics ahead of DPS. The key to being the best is being able to execute mechanics while maintaining great DPS. Learn to be aware of the things that are happening around you and prepare for mechanics in advance. Know when you need to move and be prepared to save a few abilities or pop defensives in advance.


There are two types of “fluff”. The good kind is when Mercs/PT’s use pyro shield or Marauders use cloak of pain and stand in things to add some dps to the boss when healing isn’t an issue. The bad kind is when you damage adds that you never need to damage, like reaches on brontes or the pirates on bulo. Don’t be a bad fluffer.

Being Ahead of the Tanks

Make sure you know where your tanks are tanking the boss. When a tank decides to taunt a boss far away from you when you just activated a Cull, Series of Shots, or Penetrating Blasts, or just placed a Plasma Probe, it FeelsBadMan. Make sure you know the tanking pattern that will be used to make sure you have as much uptime as possible.

Also, don’t compare yourself to the logs on parsely for every fight. Your dps is going to be heavily dependant on the group composition for every fight. Lots of fights have AoE potential, and having a group of low AoE potential DPS allows you to get more AoE damage. There are only a few fights where RNG or Group composition will not have a large factor on dps.


Special thanks to people who have vastly helped me improved and learn:

Yolo for his original Virulence guide that I learned from.

Cloake for being the first person to put me on a NiM team.

Tool for providing quality laughs when he said he taught me how to sniper.

Dongo for being an inspiration to be better.

My boy Jay for having the most comfortable backpack in the world.

Mac cause he’s a beast and the best sniper down under.

And everyone in Failure that I run with.

By Dulfy

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

14 replies on “SWTOR 5.0 Engineering Sniper PvE Guide by Veldix”

Are you planning to do parsing videos of specs? would be nice to see how energy menagemant, precasting delay and rotation executions is.

This spec, along with my beloved Operative healer before the Mother of All Nerfs, is my favourite spec in the game. Try it out, you will either love it or hate it. That’s often the case with Snipers.

Mother of all nerfs? Op healer is the highest parsing HPS currently. Merc = 16k HPS, Sorc = 19k HPS, OP = 28k HPS

Yes, I know the numbers. But the PLAYING is not like it was before. Anyways, it’s a HoT healer: most of that healing is fluff. In fact, compared to pre-nerf spec, these days I always feel I’m OVER healing… Which I am, due to the fact that there’s little burst healing going on.

This latest patch corrected some of that with some Utilities. Alas, I don’t raid anymore. So I cannot REALLY differentiate. But I stand by my original comment: pre nerf Op healers were much better. They DID need a nerf. But not like the “Mother of all Nerfs”…

You can use it if corrosive dart won’t get all of its damage ticks in or if you replace plasma probe for it if you can;t get most of your ticks in before you need to refresh it, but other than that I recommend against it

You might want to add what relics they should use, as I see a lot of people running around with less than ideal relics.

Hey, I am quite a beginner on Sniper, but I have “problem”(?). I can parse at 8.3k, (still doing some mistakes), but my concern is that i dont need to use adrenaline probe until like under 30% on dummy. then, i only need it when i combo Orbital Strike + Takedown + Dart in second cycle. Is no energy problem normal or am I doing something wrong and not using Snipers full potential?

You should have to use an energy filler when you use an Orbital and either Corrosive Dart or Takedown sub 30%. You shouldn’t be using an Orbital Strike + Takedown + Dart combo at any point though. You only have room for 2 in the second block.

I assume now there will be more fights that are better for engineering as virulence’s sustain dropped down.

You need to discuss your rotation better. Take a look at other guides if you need an idea of how to display your information.

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