Alignment is one of the core character mechanics in The Old Republic, and your choice between the Light and Dark side will have a direct impact on certain aspects of your progression. This guide will explain how the alignment system works, how you gain points on either path, and how your decisions factor into other aspects of gameplay.
Players can see their current alignment status by opening up the character window ( C ) where the alignment meter is displayed to the left of your character portrait. Mousing over the meter will display a tooltip that tells you exactly how many light side / dark side points you’ve earned so far, and the total number needed to reach the next tier.
As you gain points down either path, it will have a direct impact on your progression in the opposite direction. For example, earning 150 dark side points will only progress you towards Dark I if you do not currently have any light side points. But if you already have 150 light side points, your alignment would remain at 0 / Neutral until you gain more light or dark side points to shift the bar in one direction or the other.
As such, it’s a good idea to decide early on which path you intend to follow, and then only actively earn points for the corresponding path. Likewise, if you intend to keep your character neutral, you’ll want to make sure that you’re making both light and dark side choices in conversations to prevent reaching the 1000 point mark in either direction.
As the primary means of altering your alignment in The Old Republic, some conversation options will grant you light side or dark side points. While not necessarily present as options in all conversations, you will be given the choice between a light side or dark side response fairly frequently in conversations throughout the game. Since this can apply to all quest types – not just class quests – if you’re interested in advancing your alignment more quickly you will want to be sure to pick up plenty of side quests as you explore each planet.
Please note that any light side / dark side points will not be reflected in your character’s progression until you’ve completed the associated quest. At that point, any light side/dark side points will be listed along with any other rewards obtained for successfully completing the quest, and the alignment points will be added to your character’s progression totals.
Some players may prefer to disable the display of light side / dark side gains on mouseover during conversations. You can toggle this display option at any time by opening the Preferences menu. You will still be shown the light / dark point gain once your decision has been made, but this is a great option for players who prefer to roleplay in The Old Republic, or not let the alignment system alter their conversation choices, instead preferring to base them on natural response instead.
As you progress down the Dark path, signs of your corruption will alter your character’s facial appearance. For example, at Dark I your character’s eye color will change to a deep orange hue, and at Dark II further signs of your corruption will be seen around the eyes and mouth as shown below.
Players also have the option to turn off visible corruption via the Preferences menu. This can be found in the Social category, and works as a simple toggle, much like the ability to show / hide your character’s head slot item.
Once you hit the mid-teens you will begin seeing items drop that have an alignment requirement. For example, you may see a lightsaber drop that has a Light I requirement to wield. It’s fairly easy to hit the first tier of either path by this level range, however, it is something to be aware of if you choose to remain neutral, or haven’t yet earned the 1000 points required to reach Light or Dark I.
Items with a Light / Dark requirement can also drop on all planets, so are not restricted to specific faction-controlled worlds. For example, you can still find Light side weapons on Dromund Kaas for your Sith Warrior even though the planet is under Empire control.
Lastly, the main Fleet Stations have special Light and Dark side vendors that sell high level Prototype quality gear. To find the vendors for your faction while on the station, open your map using the M key, and on the left side set the filter to display vendor locations.
There are certain restrictions to which color crystals you can slot into weapons based on your alignment upon reaching the first tier and above. While you’ll always have the ability to swap crystals via the modding system, it’s something to remain conscious of as you level up.
The current color crystal restrictions include:
Prior to reaching the first level of either alignment (or if you choose to remain neutral) there are no restrictions on which color crystals can be used.
Players who choose the Artificer Crew Skill can create new color crystals, so if you discover that your weapon is no longer usable due to your alignment choices, new crystals can easily be obtained from other players. If no artificers are currently available, be sure to check the Marketplace where you can filter your search results to display available weapon mods.
Another method of obtaining alignment points is through the Diplomacy Crew Skill. Diplomacy can be learned at level 10 and is one of the 4 available Mission Skills. While it is most beneficial for players who choose Biochem Crew Skill as a means of obtaining Prototype and Artifact quality crafting components, you can also gain Companion Gifts through Diplomacy as well.
The Diplomacy description found in the in-game codex
In either case, all Diplomacy missions will also award you Light or Dark side points depending on which missions you choose for your companion. In general, the higher the cost and completion time for the mission, the more alignment points you stand to gain.
For example, starting out at level 10, a low cost Companion Gift mission will net you 5 to 10 alignment points, while a higher cost Medical Supplies mission will award 20 points.
An example of low level Diplomacy mission listings
At lower levels, on average you will be able to earn as many as 200 alignment points per hour if you keep sending your companion out on missions. While this is a sizable boost to what you’d normally obtain, don’t forget to pay attention to the cost involved as you can easily spend too much on missions only to discover that you’re unable to afford training new abilities as you level.
As you earn light side / dark side ranks, you will also be awarded unique titles. As shown below, you can view a codex entry for each title you’ve earned so far that includes a description of how it was obtained by clicking on the Achievement: Titles category.
To set your current title, open the character window (the C key) and click on your character’s name at the top. This will open a dropdown listing of all titles earned so far, and clicking on any of them will set it as your ‘active’ title that will appear to other players in-game.