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March 18, 2012
For people that have been in the game since day one, this might not be interesting read. But for newer people, or people WHO haven't really thought much into companions, this might be interesting. I present to you, my guide to Companion affection.
The most common way to gain (or lose!) affection with companions is to have them with you during cut scenes, or speak with them directly when they offer you missions in cantinas or your ship. The base affection gain for a dialogue option they approve of is +15, and the base loss for one they disapprove of is -1. Those values are modified by a multiplier that reflects how late in the storyline the companion joined up with you. Less commonly, there will be choices they strongly approve of, which have a base +40 gain, or strongly disapprove of, for a base loss of -30. In very rare cases there will be dialogue options that give much larger gains (usually restricted to romances, but sometimes also available during companion quests). The largest I've seen was +550, during a ship dialogue with the 4th Sith Inquisitor companion.
Tips for increasing companion affection through dialogue:
- You can hit ESC to cancel a cut scene and start over, if you accidentally said something your companion didn't like. It isn't always obvious which choices they will prefer, even if you know their preferences, because -- as we all know -- what comes out of your character's mouth can be quite different from what the dialogue wheel said.
- You do gain or lose affection if your companion is currently deployed on a crew skill task, or even if they're dismissed or unconscious. The game goes by active companion, and you always have an active companion after receiving your first one (it's the companion with a highlighted "person" symbol in the crew window). However, if they are not physically present, you won't see the tab pop up at the bottom of the screen, so you won't know how they reacted until later.
- Affection gains/losses from conversation aren't applied until you turn in the quest that the cut scene was part of.
- You can swap companions in and out for cut scenes in order to gain affection with those you don't normally use in combat. The downside of doing this is that you may have to cancel a crew mission from time to time.
Gift affection is slightly more complicated. There are five ranks of gifts, and within each rank there are three qualities (green, blue, purple) and ten categories (Weapons, Trophies, etc.). The most counter-intuitive aspect is the ranks. They correspond to five "tiers" of companion affection, which are 0-2000, 2001-4000, etc. up to 10000 max. It is always best to give your companion a gift of a rank that corresponds to their current affection tier, because gifts of a lower rank get a severe affection penalty: if a gift is one rank lower, it gets a 0.5 affection gain multiplier, and if it's two ranks lower, the multiplier is 0.2. It goes down from there, and eventually you will get 0 affection from giving them a gift that is "too cheap". (This seems to apply only to green quality gifts. Blues and purples always give some affection, even if it's a very small amount.) Conversely, giving gifts that are "too expensive" (of a higher rank than the companion's affection tier) wastes affection, because you get only slightly more than the base value; this means you would've been better off holding on to the gift until their affection reached the appropriate tier.
Gift categories are a reflection of the companion's specific preferences. Military companions often like Weapons and Military Gear; scientists and droids often like Technology; criminal types like Underworld Goods, etc. Again, We have a guide here what each companion wants. Note that there are four possible responses: High, Medium, Low, and Indifferent. For a rank 1 green gift given to a companion with less than 2000 affection, the gains will be +96, +54, +24, and +0 respectively. I take that to mean the "base" gain is +24 and the multipliers are 4, 2.25, 1, and 0 (I have not tested this with higher affection tiers). Not every companion has a High category, but most of them have at least one, and obviously you should give them gifts of that category whenever possible. There are different emotes for each interest level as well.
Quality is fairly self-explanatory because it corresponds to the same system as item valuation: purple is better than blue is better than green. I don't have the exact multipliers.
Tips for increasing companion affection with gifts:
- Identify their High interest category and get them to at least 2000 affection as soon as you acquire them. Try to get even more if you don't plan on using them much as an active companion. Rank 1 green gifts only cost 200 credits from a vendor, which means you can get them over 2000 affection for just 4200 credits (7600 if they don't have an interest category above Medium). That is much less than you would spend later on trying to raise them from 8000 to 10000. Remember, there are no diminishing returns for conversation affection gains, so it's better to give gifts early.
- Becoming romantically involved with a companion changes their gift preferences, and not just where Courting gifts are concerned (all most companions are Indifferent to Courting gifts if not being romanced). Romanceable companions have two separate tables altogether; in general, they react more positively to all gifts from a girlfriend/boyfriend.
- All Mission skills can provide companion gifts. Gift missions are usually cheap, fast, and an effective way to level the skill. Treasure Hunting in particular is useful for obtaining gifts, because it gives you gift fragments that can be redeemed on the Fleet for specific desired categories (other skills' gift missions are a crap shoot).
- When buying gifts on the GTN, green and blue gifts are usually a better value than purples. On my server people charge outlandish prices for purple gifts, 4-5x what blues cost (and purples don't give nearly 5x the affection of blues).
- When giving a lot of one type of gift, bind it to a quickslot and left-click it anytime the buff wears off.
- The categories listed in the game code for gift preferences are misleading, and unfortunately most sites have just transcribed those values without testing them. The code lists gift categories as "Indifferent", "Likes", "Favorite", and "Loves", in ascending order. Be aware that if you're looking at a guide that uses those terms, the "Favorite" category isn't actually their favorite.
Just for trivia's sake, there actually are white companion gifts in the game, but they are extremely rare. I got one in the mail as a followup to a low-level quest on my Jedi Knight. My theory is that they were removed in one of the beta builds, but a few were missed here and there. AFAIK no vendors sell them. They give less affection than greens.
Here are some more specific multiplier values.
Base gift value: +24 affection
Companion Preference Multiplier
- Indifferent: 0
- Low (Likes): 1
- Medium (Favorite): 2.25
- High (Loves): 4
Gift Quality Multiplier
- Green: 1
- Blue: 1.66
- Purple: 5
Rank Difference Multiplier
- -2 Ranks: 0.2
- -1 Rank: 0.5
- 0 Ranks: 1
- +1 Rank: 1.1
- +2 Ranks: 1.3
- +3 Ranks: 1.5
- +4 Ranks: 1.5
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