In the world(s) of SWTOR, not all companions are created equal. In terms of affection gains and companion gifts, there are some companions who have multiple gifts that fall into the Favorite category, some who have only one, and some who have none at all. Since Companion Gifts are the fastest/easiest method of increasing affection with your companions this means that you may end up with a companion that’s very hard to raise affection with.
In this article I’m going to tell you who those picky companions are who don’t like any of your special gifts, and we’ll look at what your options are for increasing their affection despite their pickiness.
Who Are the Picky Companions?
Before we get into how to deal with these companions, it’s probably a good idea for us to know who these companions are.
Ashara: The third companion for the Sith Inquisitor, found on Taris.
Doc: The third companion for the Jedi Knight, found on Balmorra.
Elara: The second companion for the Trooper, found on Taris.
Jaesa (Light): The third companion for the Sith Warrior, found on/after Alderaan.
Kira: The second companion for the Jedi Knight, found on Coruscant.
Malavi: The second companion for the Sith Warrior, found on Balmorra.
Qyzen: The first companion for the Jedi Consular, found on Tython.
Risha: The third companion for the Smuggler, found on/after Alderaan.
As you can see, there are three Imperial companions and five Republic companions that fall into this category, and you’ll also see that the Sith Warrior and Jedi Knight each have two of these companions.
Ashara is the single-hardest companion to increase affection with because she has no Favorite gifts nor does she have any that she Loves, and only four of the ten total companion gifts does she even Like enough to give you any affection at all. The one plus side to her is that if you’re a male character she will Favorite the Courting gifts once you have her romanced, but romancing her in the first place is going to take a very long time.
Doc has a similar work-around to Ashara because he will Favorite the Courting gifts for a female character who has opened the romance options. Doc is also unique though in that he is the only companion in the game who Loves Courting gifts by default. Otherwise, Doc is the typical picky companion who has at least one type of gift that they at least Love (Courting, Luxury).
Elara also has the romance work-around where she will Favorite Courting gifts from a male character who has established a romance, though again you’ll have to actually earn enough affection to start the romance in the first place before that option becomes available. She is one of the more picky companions though as she only has a single Love gift of Luxury.
Jaesa (Light) is a truly unique companion because you make a choice in game that completely changes who she is and how she acts. By choosing to have her stick with the Light side you convert the one gift that she Favorites (Weapons) into a simple Like. This version of the companion ends up with only two Loves (Cultural Artifact, Republic Memorabilia).
Kira is one of the picky companions who has no work-around, or rather her work-around of Courting for romanced male characters still only gives her a Love and no Favorite. She has two types of gift that she Loves and the rest are either Like or Indifferent. Her Loves are Luxury and Technology, but some players report her Loves bugging into only Likes during certain affection ranges.
Malavi is another companion who has no work-around. On the bright side, at least he does have three different types of gifts that he Loves (Imperial Memorabilia, Military Gear, Weapons).
Qyzen is one of the most picky companions in the game, and he has no work-around. He has a single Love (Weapons), only three Likes, and all of the rest he is Indifferent to. Also, Qyzen is the first companion for the Consular which means he has no built-in affection multiplier to make increasing his affection from questing faster or easier. Having that one Love is the only thing keeping him from being the hardest companion in the game. [Update: As my buddy Volador pointed out in the comments, Qyzen actually does have a work-around which is running the Esseles flashpoint over and over. I have a post on that coming out next week so I didn't mention it here but it actually is a work around so it should be mentioned in this post even though I'm not going into detail on it yet.]
Risha is the final picky companion, and she is also one of those with no work-around. Some of her gifts even appear to be bugged at times so that even her Loves give you affection as though they were only Likes. She is easier to raise affection with than some of the others because she has three Loves (Cultural Art, Luxury, Underworld Goods).
Unfortunately there aren’t a whole lot of ways to increase affection with your companions, so you either give them gifts or you take them with you on quests and that’s about all there is to it. For some of my companions, mostly those who have at least one Love gift, I tried to stick with gifting for the most part because I had a stash of gifts on both of my primary servers just waiting to be handed out.
With only two options available, it was either that or go find a place to quest. Questing works well for earning affection, but it can be really frustrating when you’re trying to gain affection with a specific companion because you have no control over how much affection each quest has to offer the companion(s) in question. If you’ve already reached level 50 and are just now starting to work on affection then you might also have the extra hurdle of already having completed some of your best affection quests while using another companion.
Right now there is no specific tool that’s great for finding out how much affection you can get with each companion on each planet or each map within a planet. The best advice I can give you on finding that out is to go to Torhead.com and start digging through it one quest at a time. If it sounds tedious, believe me, you don’t know the half of it.
Hopefully we will get some of those “Coming Soon” Legacy unlocks in Patch 1.3 which include ways to increase the affection that you earn. Until then, there are sadly only these two methods of earning affection and no way to speed it up. Even in 1.3 there will not no new ways to increase it, that I’m aware of, but at least there will be bonuses that you can unlock to the two existing ways.
Giving the Gift of Love
If you’re working on a companion that does at least have one Love gift available, then your fastest method is still going to be gifts. It will certainly be taxing on your pocket book, but it’s still the fastest way to do it. And, if you’ve already completed the majority of the quests available in the game because you’re a high level character or you’re a completionist in terms of questing, then gifts may be the only option you have left outside of daily quests.
There are two reliable ways to obtain companion gifts – mission quests and GTN.
Investigation, Diplomacy, Treasure Hunting, and Underworld Trading are the four crew skills that you can run missions for gifts and none of them is any better at it than another from what I can tell. Which gift you get from running them is apparently completely random so you have no guarantee that you’ll receive a gift that you can actually use on the companion you’re interested in. That’s what makes this particular method potentially so expensive, you could run 20 missions at 2,000 credit each and get gifts that don’t help you (more on this in just a moment).
Using the Global Trade Network gives you control over which gifts you get, but prices can be all over the place. On my two primary servers (Juyo and Sanctum of the Exalted) you can get Rank 5 blues and purples for usually around 5,000 credits each. That’s about 2-2.5 times the price of running a random mission quest, but you know up front which one you’re getting. Sometimes I can find those same gifts for 2-3k credits, and I snatch all of those up if they’re a type that I know will be useful for my companions. I might have max affection on all five companions on the toon I’m buying them with, but I can still mail them to an alt who can use them.
Concerning gifts, don’t forget that these things do not bind to you. Just because you get a gift that none of your Sith Warrior’s companions want doesn’t make it useless. You can mail those to your alts and max their companions’ affection with it instead. You can also put them up for sale on the GTN and use the profit from that gift to fund one that you do need.
Finding Gifts on GTN: For whatever complete lack of reasoning, you can’t search directly for gifts on the GTN because there’s no category dedicated to them. That doesn’t mean you can’t find them, it just means you have to know how to do it.
First, select Miscellaneous as the category. Next, you have to set the Rarity to at least the green quality. Then you can click on Search and it will pull up all of the companion gifts that match or beat the rarity that you set. You’ll also get a few items that aren’t companion gifts at all, but those are usually some of the most expensive items listed and an easy to pick them out of the gifts is by looking at the bottom-right corner of the item icon for a number. Companion gifts stack so they have a number showing their quantity, but the lockboxes that sell in this category do not so there’s no number. You can also just mouse-over them and read the tooltips, of course.
When you’re buying gifts off of the GTN you want to check first to see which type of gift it is, and then see which rank it is. Anything that’s Rank 4+ are the ones you’ll want to consider buying. You can pick up some Rank 3′s if they’re cheap, but I wouldn’t go below blue quality for those and I wouldn’t pay more than a couple hundred credits at most. With Rank 4+ I’ll take anything that’s green quality or better that’s a decent price. In my experience, “decent” caps out at 5k for Rank 5 and 3-4k for Rank 4 depending on which type it is.
I typically only buy Rank 3 gifts if they’re purple quality because I don’t usually see super cheap Rank 3′s and the purple quality ones are the only ones that give enough affection that I would care to buy them in the first place.
When you’re looking at buying in bulk make sure you scroll through all of the tabs on the GTN because the GTN by default sorts strictly by total price. You don’t want to buy a single Rank 5 gift for 5,000 credits when two pages later you can buy a stack of four for 8,000. I love finding stacks of 4-5 selling at less than 50% of their worth, and it happens almost every day.
How to Gift Efficiently
The key to gifting a companion’s affection high enough to either unlock their legacy feature or reach the 10,000 cap is to know which types of gifts to give and when.
The first goal you should set with a new companion is reaching the 4,000 affection mark. Why is 4,000 important? Because it’s the easiest breakpoint to reach with cheap gifts. To reach this goal you want to find out which non-Courting gift your companion Favorites. Assuming they have a favorite, and not all of them do, you’ll want to buy 63 Rank 1 gifts from the Companion Gifts Vendor and then start handing them out. That’s going to be 12,600 credits worth of gifts so that you know.
Now, 63 is the number of Rank 1 gifts that you need to give a companion who has zero affection starting out in order to get them to 4,000 affection. Beyond that point it’s no longer cost effective to stick with Rank 1 gifts. If you already have affection with that companion then you’ll want to buy a smaller quantity. You can figure out how many gifts you need with a companion who already has affection with the following formula: (2,000 – CurrentAffection) / 54. Round that number up and that’s how many gifts you need to buy. If you don’t like math, just buy 10 gifts at a time until you get over 3,500 affection and then buy them 1-2 at a time until you pass 4,000. If you have extra, go ahead and use them even though you’ll only get 19 affection for each one. You don’t get 0 Affection from Rank 1 until you reach 6,000 affection, so even though returns are low, they’re still useful.
Once you reach the 4,000 mark you can start handing out your higher ranked gifts. Anything Rank 3 or higher will still give you decent returns as long as your companion Favorites or Loves them. You can start with Rank 5′s if you want or you can do 3′s and 4′s instead, just use what you’ve got starting with the lowest ranks and lowest qualities and move up from there.
Rank 2 gifts that you purchase from the vendor are a waste of credits. They cost 3x as much as the Rank 1 gifts and rarely give even 2x as much affection, so you’re better off skipping Rank 2 all together. If gifts are really expensive on the GTN then you can get by with Rank 2′s until you reach 8,000 affection, but it’s going to cost you 3,000 credits for roughly 100 affection at that level.
Affection While Questing
Questing is certainly slower than gifting, but you earn money while questing rather than spending it. Also, keep in mind that each companion has an affection multiplier regards to questing and affection because of when you gain access to the companion.
If you take any character you’ve got that has a companion and go do a quest with the first companion you get, you’ll notice that the majority of the affection that they gain during conversations come in 15′s. Someone says something, you reply, companion likes it, +15 Affection. If it’s something they really like it might be +30 instead, and if it’s something that’s crucial to their personality it might be something big like +150. Pretty simple, right?
Now, if you take your second companion and do the same thing then for the majority of companions you’re going to gain affection in multiples of 20 instead. Something simple is +20, something they like +40 or +60, and something huge for them might be up to +200.
Now jump to your final companion and your simple conversations are going to reward something like +55 or +65 Affection instead of that measly +15 or +20.
This is because of that timeline that I talked about yesterday. Bioware knows that you won’t be questing as much with a later companion as you will your initial companion based solely on how long you have access to them. Not in terms of the level 1-50 timeline, anyway. So to compensate for that each companion beyond the first has an extra multiplier to increase the amount that they get from each conversation item.
This is important to know because it’s the key to maximizing your affection gains while questing. If you’re looking up quests on Torhead.com then you’ll see the total amount of affection gained by each companion off to the right. Those calculations are incorrect though, because they don’t take the multiplier into consideration. Let’s take Qyzen and Nadia for example, the first and last companion for the Consular class. If Torhead shows that both of them receive 60 Affection for a quest, then that means you’re going to get 60 for Qyzen because he has a multiplier of 1.0 (so no bonus at all) while Nadia is going to get closer to 260 because her multiplier is around 4.3 for being the last companion.
I haven’t done the research to get the exact multiplier for every companion, but if I can get my hands on that information then I will certainly share it with you here.
If you’re comfortable with math then you can calculate roughly how much affection you’ll get with each companion by dividing the amount the Torhead tells you you’ll get by 15 and then multiplying the result by however much affection your companion gets from a typical 15 affection response. If Torhead says +30 but you’re on a companion that gets 20 each time then 30 / 15 = 2 x 20 = 40 affection. If you’ve figured out the actual multiplier then you can just multiply the Torhead total by the amount: 30 x 1.333 = 40 affection.
If you’re not comfortable with math then all you need to remember is that you’ll get more affection per response from a later companion than you will with an earlier companion. You can use that information to determine whether you want to spend your credits getting gifts for a companion who gets only 15 affection per quest but has a Favorite gift or if you would rather buy gifts from one who gets 45 affection per quest but has only Love gifts. I can’t just tell you which route is better for you because it’s going to be completely different for every player because there are just too many variables to take into account based on play style and quest completion.
Now I’m going to link you to that same Google Document that I linked to yesterday, only this time I’m going to link you to the first sheet.
Scroll down below that initial table and look at the one directly below it titled “Total Companion Gift Affinity (+++ / ++ / +)”. There I have calculated how many companions like each gift and to what degree. This information is useful in figuring out which types of gifts are the most valuable, or which ones are used by the most companions. You can use that to determine whether or not you want to blow a purple Rank 5 Weapon on a companion who only Likes/Loves Weapon gifts, or if you’d rather save it for another companion. You can also use it to determine which price you want to sell them at yourself or how much you’re willing to pay for them if you’re buying. I’m sure you can come up with other uses beyond that as well.
This table shows how many companions Favorite, Love, or Like each gift, then it breaks down that same information for each individual class so that even those of you who are not altoholics can figure out how valuable each type of gift is for your current character list.
Here is some of the information that I found when putting that list together that I consider good bits of information for everyone to know:
- Weapons are the ultimate gift with 10 Favorites, 10 Loves, and 14 Likes
- Cultural Artifacts and Techonology are the second most-used at 6 Favorites and 5+ Loves
- Republic Memorabilia is the least common gift with only 1 Favorite and 8 Loves
- Imperial Memorabilia is the second least liked gift with 2 Favorites and only 5 Loves
- Courting is the second most liked gift, but only when considering Romances, otherwise it’s the worst gift in game
You can get more details by looking at the table.
Weapons are kind of like the wild card of gifts because of the 40 total companions in the game (not counting C2 and 2V) 20 of them either Love or Favorite Weapons. This makes them not only the most valued, but also the most versatile. So in general, Weapons are the best gifts you can get because there are only six companions in the whole game that don’t at least Like weapons.
Troopers have the only companion in the game who Favorites Republic Memorabilia, but both factions have four companions who Love it. Imperial Memorabilia is Favorited by one companion in each faction, but it has fewer who Love it than the Republic version.
Courting ranks high on this table because it includes bonuses from Romance options. If you take romances out, it’s easily the most worthless gift in the game. Since most of the Courting numbers take into account both the male and female romanceable companions you can cut the numbers in half by default, and if you’re too low level for your romance to take place then you can drop the number by an additional one. In short, Courting is great if you’ve already established a romance, but otherwise it’s total garbage and you’re better off selling them to a vendor or saving them for another character’s romance rather than trying to sell them on the GTN.