How to Master Huttball: SWTOR PvP Guide

When you load into your first Huttball game, you may be totally confused. It may seem like a very complicated game but in reality, it’s pretty simple after you get the hang of it. Huttball isn’t a typical PvP scenario in the sense that killing isn’t your main objective. Instead, your main focus is on scoring goals. Think football meets an army obstacle course and you begin to get an idea of what you’ll be dealing with.

You’ll have to deal with many obstacles such as multiple levels, fire pits and of course other players. You have to remember that your main goal is to score points. If your team has the ball, help get it to the other team’s pit and if the opposing team has the ball, kill them or intercept the ball. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the game, wins. If there is a tie, it gets a bit more complicated. In this case, the team who is holding the ball is the winner or if no one has it, the team who held it last is deemed the winner.

Carrying the Ball
When carrying the ball, your main objective is to keep it moving forward. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and die while carrying the ball in Huttball so it’s a good idea to plan out the run. You have three choices as the carrier. First, carry the ball as far as you can but when you get in trouble, pass the ball and always watch your health!
Second, learn who is in the best position to pass the ball to and do so when you are being attacked or are stuck by an obstacle. Practice makes perfect on this one, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first few times. Third, if there are no other choices, force a new ball to respawn. To do this, intentionally make an incomplete pass.
As a ball carrier, your job is to do whatever it takes (running, leaping, passing, etc) to get the ball as close to the opposing team’s pit as possible so your team can score or in a lucky instance, you can score yourself.
Protip: Always keep a slot for the huttball on your hotbars so when it is passed to you, you don’t have to open your bag and search for it. 
Passing the Ball
Passing the ball is an AOE ability and it may not be as simple as it sounds. It’s found in the “general tab” section of your ability book. There are a few things that you need to understand about passing that will determine where the ball goes. First, the ball will go to the player you target unless there is an opposing team member between you and them. In this case, they can intercept the ball.
If two opposing players are next to each other, the ball will go to the one closest to the center, according to the server. If there is no one around to intercept the ball, it’s called an incomplete pass and a new one will spawn in the middle of the field. If the player carrying the ball dies, it will go to the closest opposing team member or if no one is in range, it will respawn.
Look around and try to keep a line of site (LOS) at all times so you can target and pass the ball successfully. Be sure and check out the fire traps to see if someone is past it and remember that the catwalks above you are the perfect place to pass the ball. Few players can jump up to start attacking the new ball carrier. You can do this by placing the “targeting-circle” along the edge of the catwalk.
When you pass the ball, it takes a few seconds for the other player to actually receive it so during this time, stay in your position. Always pass the ball if you’re hurt and there is someone available to intercept.
Protip: Plan ahead when passing the ball. Always look for your teammates and opponents and have an escape route so as to avoid an incomplete pass.  
Offensive Play Tips
If your team has the ball, your job varies depending on your position. A new ball will spawn when someone scores or due to an incomplete pass. If you are nowhere near the ball then you should go to midfield and fight until a new ball respawns. This way you’ll have a chance to grab the ball and start running as soon as it spawns.
If you are near the ball in play, your job gets a little tougher. What you do will depend on what’s going on at the time but you basically want to get in a good position so the ball carrier can pass the ball to you if they get in trouble. Here are a few tips to help you do that.
Get in front of the firetraps and the ball carrier may be able to pass you the ball if they get struck. If you’re not sure of where you should run, choose higher ground. Everyone can jump down but few can jump up. Put some distance between you and other players. This will give the ball carrier more options so they will have a better chance of maintaining control during a pass.
Staying ahead of the ball carrier and making yourself available to accept a pass while killing those who are trying to kill you or your current ball carrier is vital in this game. If you can heal and the ball carrier seems to be in trouble, or if you’re getting attacked yourself, use it to help out the team.
Protip: Support your ball carrier and stay together as a group. Don’t run off to pick off one player here and there.  
Defensive Play Tips
If the opposing team has the ball, you’re playing defense. Your job is to keep them from scoring and do everything you can to get the ball for your team. One way to do this is by killing the ball carrier. The other way is to intercept a pass.
Go where the action is to do what you can to help your team regain control of the ball. Get in a position to intercept passes and disrupt the LOS of the other team to make it difficult for them to stay organized. Use a grapple/force pull to pull the opposing team’s ball carrier on the fire trap or stun the ball carrier to help get control of the ball.
Be ready to change targets quickly because your target may change many times in just a minute or two and you will need to adapt your moves.
Protip: Stay with the ball when your team doesn’t have the ball. It’s completely pointless to kill anyone other than the ball carrier.  
General Tips
Take advantage of your leap ability if you have it. You can leap next to the opposing player, across fire traps and more. Never try to “walk the ball out” if you end up in your pit. This makes it too easy for the opposing team to take the ball and score. Getting into a position to intercept a pass is more important than healing or killing other players.
No matter which side has the ball there is one piece of advice that every player can benefit from. If you have a “crowd control break”, don’t use it until its do or die. Here’s an example of why this is a good idea. If you are about to score and someone CCs you, you can get free and get that score if you have saved your break. But, if you haven’t saved it, then you’ll probably lose your chance.
Huttball can be one of the most fun PvP games you’ll ever play as soon as you get your role down and get used to the fast-paced and changing atmosphere. Queue in a few times and get some practice before you hit the 50’s bracket to make the most of your end-game PVP experience.
Protip: Plan ahead and time your skills and cooldowns accordingly. Don’t get anxious and just smash keys.  

Lisa Clark

Lisa has been an avid gamer since she was old enough to hold her first controller and a game writer for more than a decade. A child of the Nintendo generation, she believes they just don’t make games like they used to but sometimes, they make them even better! While consoles will always be her first love, Lisa spends most of her gaming time on the PC these days- on MMOs and first-person shooters in particular.