In this guide, you’ll learn more about the SWTOR 7.0 Combat Styles: what they are and how to choose a second Combat Style for your character!
The guide is up-to-date for Patch 7.3
What are Combat Styles in SWTOR?
Combat Style is the new word for Advanced Class. Your Combat Style determines all abilities you have access to and which types of weapons you can equip.
Apart from the Ability Pruning, removal of the Utilities, and redesigning of the Disciplines progress system into an ability-choice-based system, the Main Classes and Advanced classes (now called Combat Styles) are still more or less the same that you may know or remember from your previous experiences with the game.
When you can Choose a Second Combat Style
With the release of the Legacy of the Sith 7.0 expansion, subscribers will be able to choose a second Combat Style for each of their characters. You can switch freely between Combat Styles, provided you are not in a phase or in combat, similar to how respeccing worked in SWTOR 6.0.
When your toon gains access to a second Combat Style (at the end of Chapter 3 of the origin story), you are automatically granted a mission where you choose your second Combat Style. For Force wielders, this mission is called “Training in the Force”. For Tech users, this mission is called “Training and Skills”.
All you have to do is click the Launch button next to the mission, and it will begin the cutscene where you can make your decision.
Restrictions to choosing a Second Combat Style
There are a number of requirements and/or restrictions your character has to answer to before they get to choose a second Combat Style. You are not free to pair any Combat Style with any other Combat Style.
Limitations for F2P players
Having access to a second Combat Style is a subscriber-only feature. If your subscription lapses after you have already obtained a second Combat Style, you will be locked to whichever Combat Style was last active when your subscription lapsed. You will need to resubscribe if you want to swap your Combat Style.
BioWare has confirmed for us that there are no plans for a Cartel Market token that will grant a second Combat Style slot to non-subscribers.
Can you combine Force and Tech Combat Styles
Each of your characters must be either a Force wielder or Tech user. You cannot combine a Force and Tech Combat Style into the same character. For example, you can’t have a toon that is both a Sorcerer and a Powertech.
This restriction also applies to Origin Stories (the new word for base Class). Tech toons can only play through the Tech Origin Stories, while Force toons can only play through the Force Origin Stories. For example, you can’t play as a Commando in the Sith Warrior storyline.
How Dark and Light Alignment works for Force Wielders
Brand new players will only have access to Force-wielding Combat Styles that match the alignment of the Origin Story. This restriction only applies to Force wielders.
New players can only play Sith Origin Stories with Sith Combat Styles (Assassin, Sorcerer, Juggernaut, or Marauder). Jedi Origin Stories can only be played with Jedi Combat Styles (Shadow, Sage, Guardian, or Sentinel).
In other words, as a new player, you have 8 Combat Style choices for Tech Origin Stories, but the Force ones only get 4 options until they have unlocked access to the opposite alignment Combat Styles.
Players gain access to opposite alignment Combat Styles once they earn the Dark V or Light V achievements (Legacy of Sacrifice and Legacy of Unity, respectively). Once you get the Dark V achievement, you can use Sith Combat Styles with Jedi Origin Stories. Once you get the Light V achievement, you can use the Jedi Combat Styles with Sith Origin Stories.
Prior to receiving these achievements, upon completing Act III of the Origin Story, players have the opportunity to swap their primary Combat Style to the opposite alignment equivalent if they have been playing through the story opposite alignment of their faction.
For example, suppose you are making Dark Side choices while playing as a Jedi Knight with the Guardian Combat Style. Upon completion of Act III, you will have the opportunity to swap your Guardian Combat Style to Juggernaut. In addition, you will be able to choose from any of the other Force-wielding Combat Styles for your second Combat Style for that toon only, not just those that match the default alignment, even if you have not yet unlocked the Dark V or Light V achievements.
What weapons restrictions apply to Combat Styles
Weapons continue to work just as they do now, where your Advanced Class / Combat style defines your weapon proficiencies, not your Class / Origin Story. In other words, your Combat Style determines which weapons you can equip, not your Origin Story. If you want to play through the Jedi Knight Origin Story with a double-bladed lightsaber, you can do so by using the Shadow or Assassin Combat Style.
You cannot mix and match weapons with Combat Styles. A Guardian cannot wield a double-bladed lightsaber; only a Shadow or Assassin can. In cutscenes, your Knight would (assuming no bugs) use a double-bladed saber while the Shadow Combat Style is active and you have a double-bladed lightsaber equipped. If the Guardian Combat Style was active, that same Knight could only equip a regular lightsaber instead.
For most players, this means that if you want your Knight to use a double-bladed saber in the cutscene, you’re gonna be running around fighting enemies as a Shadow or Assassin, so you’ll be playing with Infiltration / Deception, Serenity / Hatred, or Kinetic Combat / Darkness. The only exception is if you choose to switch to your other Combat Style after a cutscene ends.
Weapon restrictions work the same way for both Tech and Force toons.
How to Choose a Second Combat Style
There are several factors to consider when choosing a second Combat Style.
Role-Focused Pairings Suggestions
If you’re the kind of person that primarily or exclusively plays one role, you should consider having a toon that has access to multiple Combat Styles with that role. This is most prevalent for healers and especially tanks.
Since many fights favor a specific discipline, you can make your life easier by having one toon that can switch between two different disciplines of the same role to play whichever discipline is best suited to the fight.
For tanks, you’ll probably want to have a toon that has both Force tank options: Juggernaut / Guardian and Assassin / Shadow. For healers, you’ll probably want to have a toon that has both Tech healing options: Mercenary / Commando and Operative / Scoundrel. Unfortunately, this leaves Powertechs / Vanguard tanks and Sorcerer / Sage healers out to dry.
Since Snipers / Gunslingers and Marauders / Sentinels don’t offer the same multi-role flexibility as other Combat Styles, they are excellent options for DPS-focused pairings, assuming you know how to play them.
For those of you that play all 3 roles or just want to minimize the amount of toon switching you have to do, try to pair Combat Styles that don’t have too many overlapping capabilities. If one of your Combat Styles has a tank discipline, make sure the other can be a healer. If one Combat Style is a melee DPS, the other should be a ranged DPS. If one has poor AoE or burst performance, make sure the other isn’t slacking in that department.
Powertechs / Vanguards and Sorcerer / Sages work well for flexible pairing toons since they lack a same-role partner for tanking and healing, respectively, and therefore can’t be used in non-DPS role-focused pairings.
Combat Styles Pairing Diversity
If you play a lot of different Combat Styles and have a ton of alts, you may want to consider the overall diversity of your Combat Style pairings by making sure you have a toon with most or all possible combinations of Combat Styles.
For example, I have 5 Sorcerers, so I paired each of them with a different combat style in order to play Sorcerer alongside any other Combat Style without having to switch toons. It only takes 3 alts of the same Combat Style to do this, so I have one toon that’s a duplicate of my main and another that reflects my story choices.
With my other toons, I have tried to make sure that no single Combat Style is over-represented by being paired with too many other Combat Styles while also making sure that the only Combat Style combinations I am lacking are ones that I don’t play very often or don’t offer some other benefit.
Right now, your toons are still locked to the faction of the Origin Story you chose. This may change eventually with the climax of the saboteur story, but we don’t know when that will happen, so for now, remember to consider factions.
I think most players have a main faction. As a primarily Imperial player, I sometimes like to mix things up and do raids on the Pub side once in a while to experience a different animation set. I won’t have to worry about that anymore since I can bring the Pub side animations to the Empire. If you like doing this sort of thing too, make sure you have toons with opposite faction Combat Styles.
To alleviate my own confusion, I have also chosen to make my Republic toons match their Imperial counterparts. For example, my Assassin will learn Marauder as their second Combat Style, so my Shadow will learn Sentinel as their second Combat Style. I won’t have to worry about switching factions if I have a matching toon.
Not all Tech Combat Styles share the same weapons for their opposite faction mirror. For example, Gunslinger dual wields Blaster Pistols while the Sniper uses a Sniper Rifle and Vibroknife. If you don’t care about having a particular animation set, you might not need to worry about as much gear if you’re smart about your pairings. For example, if you have a Mercenary as your primary combat style, you could share your Blaster Pistols if you picked Gunslinger rather than Sniper as your second Combat Style. As another example, Vanguards pair better with Operatives because both use a Blaster Rifle while Powertechs pair better with Scoundrels because both use a single Blaster Pistol.
Possible Role-Playing Combinations
Here are some example combinations that represent a major Star Wars character that has been depicted using elements from two Combat Styles or might just be cool in an RP setting:
- The Palpatine – Sorcerer + Marauder
- Asajj Ventress – Marauder + Assassin
- Bad Batch
- Crosshair – Sniper + Vanguard
- Hunter – Vanguard + Operative
- Tech – Engineering Sniper + Saboteur Gunslinger
- Wrecker – Vanguard + Scrapper Scoundrel (maybe)
- Rex – Gunslinger + Mercenary
- Kal Kestis – Guardian + Shadow
- Inquisitors and Maul – Assassin + Juggernaut
- Gray Jedi – Jedi + Sith Mirror Combat Styles
- Din Djarin and Boba Fett – Powertech + Vanguard
- “Now we’re fighting for real” *pulls out second saber* – Juggernaut > Marauder or Guardian > Sentinel (reverse for lost a blade)
- Dualsaber cut in half – Assassin > Juggernaut or Shadow > Guardian
Please remember that these recommendations aren’t perfect. Characters in movies and TV shows don’t always fit nicely into SWTOR’s Combat Styles. I’ll try to update these if someone makes a strong case for a better combination in the comments.
Don’t rush. Make a Plan!
BioWare has said that they intend for these choices to be permanent. Don’t lock anything in until you plan out your Combat Style pairings for each toon in your Legacy. I recommend making a list of all your toons and what you expect each of their secondary Combat Styles to be.
You Don’t Need to Pick a Second Style
You don’t have to pick a second Combat Style on each and every one of your toons right now or ever. If you’re happy with one or more of your toons only having a single Combat Style, that’s completely fine.
The only things you’re potentially missing out on are reduced loading screens from having to switch toons and slightly zestier RP. If neither of those things concerns you, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to a single Combat Style. After all, it’s been that way for a decade.
BioWare has said that switching to this new system will enable them to create new Combat Styles and that they currently have no plans to allow players to change Combat Styles after selecting them. If you want a specific toon to have access to one of these potential future new Combat Styles, don’t pick a second Combat Style right now.
SWTOR 7.0 Class Guides List
Complete list of all SWTOR 7.0 Class Guides for PvE and PvP for the Legacy of the Sith Expansion, ordered by Combat Style and Discipline! Everything you need to know about each Class!
SWTOR 7.0 Best Solo Builds Guides List
Complete list of guides to the Best Solo Builds for each Combat Style (Class) in SWTOR: how to optimize your character’s skill trees, gear and playstyle for the most enjoyable solo gameplay experience!
How to use Loaouts in SWTOR 7.0 Guide
This guide explains what is the Loadouts System in SWTOR 7.0, how it works, and shares tips on how to take full advantage of it!
SWTOR 7.3 Endgame Gearing Guide
A complete guide to the entire SWTOR endgame gearing process from the perspective of someone who just hit level 80 in SWTOR 7.2.
How to get Legendary Items in SWTOR 7.0 and Full List
In SWTOR 7.0 Legendary Items carry set bonuses. This guide shows you how to unlock them and contains also a full list of all available Legendary Implants for all classes!
SWTOR Galactic Seasons: everything you need to know
Complete guide to the SWTOR Galactic Seasons system, released with Update 6.3 – what is it, how to access and use it, what rewards you earn!
SWTOR PvP Seasons System Guide: everything you need to know
Complete guide to the SWTOR PvP Seasons system, revamped with Update 7.2 – what is it, how to access it, what types of rewards you earn!
Which mods to buy from Hyde and Zeek in SWTOR
Which item modifications to get from Hyde and Zeek in SWTOR to reach optimal stats for every combat style and discipline in both PvE and PvP.
SWTOR R-4 Anomaly Operation Guide
Guide to the R-4 Anomaly Operation in SWTOR for Story Mode and Veteran Mode. Overview of the operation and structure of boss encounters!