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17 December 2011 19 Comments

SWTOR Mods 101

This is the third in a series of game guides I’ll be writing for Crew Skills, discussing various systems of game mechanics to help everyone get up to speed nice and fast. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Moddable Gear

Moddable gear is equipment that can be improved by adding item modifications to specific “slots”. Not all gear is moddable; some craftable equipment has mod slots, as do some loot drops and quest rewards. There are several types of moddable items:

Adding an Augment mod to an item“Exceptional” gear is created when you get a critical success on a normal crafting schematic. The item name will say (Exceptional) at the end, and it will have one open mod slot: the Augment slot. If the crafting schematic was for a moddable piece of gear, the Augment slot will be in addition to whatever would normally be there. Exceptional gear is the same quality as the base schematic, just slightly better because of the Augment slot.

“Custom” gear is fully moddable. It usually doesn’t have any stats built-in; it’s a blank slate for you to customise with the stats you want. When it’s modded, it’s usually equivalent to Prototype (ie blue) quality, and will often show up as a Prototype item when looted from bosses. Properly, its designation is actually “Custom”, with an orange loot colour. Custom items come from quest rewards, crafting, social vendors, and so on.

Moddable armorCustom gear will usually have slots for Mods, Enhancements, and a type-specific slot (Armoring for armor, Barrels or Hilts for weapons). In addition, weapons also have a Crystal slot for a color crystal which affects the blade colour of lightsabers and the energy bolt colour of blaster weapons; you can buy colour crystals from vendors, but Artificers make colour crystals with stat boosts as well.

Other moddable gear also exists; it may have some of the mod slots open, but usually not all of them, and will also have some stats baked in as well. So far I’ve seen this mostly in the form of random artifact-quality BoE armor drops; I’ll add more details as I learn about other examples.

The Mods

I’ve already hinted at the types of mods in the section above, but it’s worth going through them all in order here, to discuss how they differ and where you can get them from. (See my Stats Guide for more info on character stats.)

Augments come from Slicing missions, and go into the Augment slot of critical-crafted gear. Augments give a single primary or secondary stat. Examples: Might Augment 4, Advanced Alacrity Augment 25.

Mods are crafted by Cybertech, and go into the Mod slot of custom gear. Early mods give a primary stat plus Endurance; more advanced/higher-level mods also give a secondary stat. Examples: Reflex Mod 2, Advanced Agile Mod 25.

Enhancements are crafted by Artifice, and go into the Enhancement slot of custom gear. Enhancements give Endurance and one or more secondary stats. Examples: Fervor Enhancement 6, Advanced Acute Enhancement 25.

Crystals are crafted by Artifice, and can be added to weapons only. They give Endurance, Critical Rating or Power. Examples: Yellow Sharp Crystal, Advanced Cyan Eviscerating Crystal.

Armoring is crafted by Cybertech, and can only be added to armor, not weapons. (Which is logical.) Armoring gives Endurance and a primary stat; some Armorings also give Expertise, which is a PvP stat. Examples: Reflex Armoring 3, Advanced Commando Armoring 25. Note that the Armoring mod also dictates the overall Item Rating of the armor, from which it gets its Armor value.

Barrels are crafted by Armstech, and can only be added to blaster weapons: blaster pistols, blaster rifles, assault cannons, and sniper rifles. They give Endurance and a primary stat – and as with Armoring for armor pieces, the Barrel dictates the overall Item Rating of the weapon, from which it gets its damage range/DPS value. Examples: Skill Barrel 2, Advanced Commando Barrel 25.

Hilts are crafted by Artifice, and are the Force-users version of Barrels. They can only be added to lightsabers (both single- and double-bladed). They give Endurance and a primary stat, and also dictate the weapon’s Item Rating and thus damage range/DPS value. Examples: Resolve Hilt 1, Advanced Force Wielder Hilt 25.

Working With Item Mods

First of all, it’s important to know that when you’re dealing with Custom items in particular, the only thing that affects the item’s overall stats are the mods you install. There’s no difference between a level 10 custom lightsaber and a level 30 custom lightsaber if you put the same mods into both. Choosing between custom items boils down to a stylistic choice: what do you want to look like?

This isn’t true, on the other hand, of other moddable items – they’ll have at least some stats ‘baked in’, and the mods are an additional boost to the stats.

Adding and Removing Mods
A moddable weaponTo add mods to a piece of moddable gear, control-right click it, and the interface will appear. You can drag mods into the appropriate slots, and then hit “Apply” to apply your changes.

If you drag a new mod into a slot with a mod already in it, you’ll get a warning that this will destroy the item already in that slot if you continue. You can remove the existing mod from the slot first, by dragging it out to your inventory – this will cost you a fee based on the level and quality of the mod, but will let you save the mod to reuse in another piece of gear later.

Note that there are Item Modification Stations dotted around various settlements in the galaxy, and in earlier builds of the beta they used to be necessary for adding or removing mods from your gear, and many guides (and beta players) will tell you you need to go to them to mod your gear. However, this is no longer the case; you now can change the mods from anywhere you like.

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