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SWTOR Operative Build and Spec Guide – PVP/PVE

Imperial Agents are the right-hand of the empire when it comes to select missions. They are very precise and are able to get the intel needed without getting noticed.

It’s no-brainer that you would need to understand their role before you play an Imperial Agent, be it Sniper or Operative.

I’ll be explaining the specializations of the Imperial Operative in this guide, focusing on the Skill Tree and build.

But first, let me explain the basics, which apply to all classes:

The Basics
A skill tree is a character build tree through which you can make your character stronger by adding points to certain abilities. For those acquainted to games like League of Legends, the closest thing would be Masteries. However, in SWTOR, the skills trees contain both active and passive skills/attributes that can be enhanced.

The skill tree itself is further distributed into three categories, specializations, or simply trees. The first two categories or trees are specific or exclusive for the character class type. For example, for the Sith Assassin, the specific/exclusive skill trees are Darkness and Deception.

The third category or tree is one that is shared among the parent class’s specializations, that is, it is not exclusive to the character class type at hand, but is available for at least one other class as well. Keeping the Sith Assassin as an example, the third category or tree is Madness, which is also the third category for the Sith Sorcerer; both the Sith Assassin and Sith Sorcerer belong to the parent class ‘Sith Inquisitor’.

Now, if I wish to distribute points among the sub-trees, I would designate it like (XX,XX,XX), where the ‘XX’ is the number of points, and the commas separate the three categories/trees.

For example, if I wish for a Darkness oriented Sith Assassin, I would opt for configurations like (31,0,10) or similar, indicating 31 points for Darkness, 0 for Deception, and 10 for Madness. In total, there will always be a maximum of 41 points available at the max game level.

Now that we sort of understand how the trees are distributed, and the way you add points to them, let’s have a look at how you can tweak them to your needs, and specialize in a given desired category for specific roles in the game.

For more help on SWTOR, read our Roles, Respec and Matrix Cubes Guide.

Imperial Agent Operative

The Operative consists of the following specializations/trees:

  • Medicine
  • Concealment
  • Lethality (shared)

Medicine Operative

Priority List/Rotation

  • Stim Boost

Surgical Probe
Surgical Probe (use again for tank healing)

Recommended PvE/PvP Build: (33,3,5)
The above mentioned build is fairly standard for a Medic Operative. Remember, your role is of a healer. However, an ideal healer is one who keeps others alive by actually keeping him/herself alive for better services.

This build ensures that there is a massive damage reduction to the healer, which is obviously a large plus when it comes to survivability. You could opt to deduct a point from Imperial Education and put it in Precision Instruments if you desire good CC, but remember that ‘cunning’ is the key stat for any sort of Imperial Agent specialization. Rest is up to you.

Concealment Operative

Priority List/Rotation

  • Hidden Strike

Rifle Shot
Stim Boost
Corrosive Dart


  • Orbital Strike
  • Fragmentation Grenade
  • Shiv
  • Carbine Burst

Recommended PvE/PvP Build(3,31,7)
This is a fairly standard build for a heavy damaging DPS. Do note that the skill priority of the build is less damaging than the one in the Lethality build. As far as this build is concerned, do note that Laceration won’t be available most of the times from cool-down.

When it is, make sure to use it after all the rest of the abilities have been used. Also, remember that Tactical Advantage grants 2% increased damage, so always try to keep at least 1 stack up in ideal situations.

Lethality Operative

Priority List/Rotation

  • Shiv

Stim Boost
Rifle Shot (below 90 energy)
Weakening Blast
Corrosive Dart
Corrosive Grenade


  • Orbital Strike

Corrosive Grenade
Fragmentation Grenade
Carbine Burst

Recommended PvE Build: (3,7,31)
Unlike the Lethality Sniper, the Lethality Operative is probably the best specialization for the Operative class, unless you’re looking to be a healer, in which case Medicine is the way to go.

As you can see, the priority list is rather complex as compared to other champions, and some skills have certain pre-requisites while others have steep demand of energy.

You would want to have Weakening Blast up to ensure good amount of damage. Make sure to keep your eyes on the cool-down, as Cull and Stim Boost require the Tactical Advantage buff which is applied by Shiv.

Though this build is well worth it for some intense amount of damage, it is certainly harder than the others, because there is a good chance you’ll be watching your cool-down and energy more than concentrating on the battle. However, if you can pull it off, then this build is truly worth it.

Recommended PvP Build: (18,0,23), (3,7,31)
The hybrid (18,0,23) build is far easier to play with than the standard (3,7,31) variant. Why? Because it’s always nice to have some healing power as a DPS. Yes, you’re damage output may be less than the other build, but you’ll have better sustenance.

You’ll have a Tactical Advantage generator thanks to Medical Engineering, allowing you to Cull targets with ease. Additionally, energy efficiency is great with this build.