The last thing any gamer wants to do is spend an hour playing around with settings before actually starting game play. You have just spent a long time installing the game and logging into your account and after watching the opening cinematic and creating your own character, it is time to start playing. The game preference settings can make or break the experience when it comes to accessibility, so spend three minutes to fix the crucial ones and then start playing. We will revisit preference settings in more detail at a later level.

Game Preferences

Hit Escape then click on Preferences to bring up the Preferences panel. The only things to look at right now are Sound, Graphics, Controls and User Interface. It automatically opens to the sound panel, lets start there.

Sound

If you change the sound on one character or even whilst still on the menu screen, it changes it globally. Sound options are limited to slide bars to control 5 volume settings: Master Volume, Music, Sound FX, Ambient and Voice. The first ten levels in Star Wars: The Old Republic, is all about your character’s story. These are the pivotal events that set them on their particular path and shapes their personality and future decisions. Turn up the Voice volume. Combat is simplistic and there is no need yet for relying on audio cues to succeed. The music and atmosphere does contribute to the story and this is the best part of the game for complete immersion. We will worry about functional sound later, for now, listen to the music and brilliant voice acting.

Please note: Subtitles are not under sound settings. To enable subtitles, which are not enabled by default, go to User Interface, find Conversation and there you will find the option to enable subtitles.

Graphics

Graphics is another global setting that can be changed for all characters from any character. There is a choice between Fullscreen, Windowed(fullscreen), Windowed. If you have a lower spec computer, play in fullscreen, but if you are using other accessible software, select either windowed (fullscreen) or windowed mode. Set the resolution and refresh rate to match your screen and the graphics quality (high or low) based on how powerful your computer is.

Controls

In the general tab make sure these are enabled: Auto-loot on Right-click, Area Loot, Auto Target Closest Enemy. The camera settings are important. Enable camera pivot to change from the default player controlled viewpoint to a fixed viewpoint. Set Camera Max Distance to where you find it most comfortable, I would recommend 40-50%. Walk and spin around a few times, if the view point is moving too fast or too slow, adjust the camera rotation speed.

Flytext

Ignore for now and leave on default settings or global disable if you struggle with information overload.

Combat Logging

Keep the default: “Show Defeat Messages in Chat” enabled, “Show Victory Messages in Chat” disabled and “Enable combat logging to file” disabled.

Chat

Chat settings is a personal preference. Retain default chat settings for now and when you have played a while longer, go back and adjust these to suit your own style and preferences.

User Interface

  • General: Retain default settings for now and return at a later date to adjust for personal preference
  • Conversation: The all important subtitles can be found here, however dialogue within cut scenes do move quite fast and there is no pause/click to continue option. The print is also quite small and cannot be adjusted. Still, some subtitles are better than no subtitles. There is also an option to show conversation alignment gain or to show on hover (mouseover). If you struggle interpreting the social queues, enable if you care about the light/dark side options and are working toward one of these.
  • Map: Retain default settings for now and return at a later date to adjust for personal preference
  • Tooltip: Retain default settings if information overload is an issue, otherwise enable all options
  • Social Center: “Show Invites as Social Messages” is disabled by default, whether you enable it is a personal preference
  • Operations Frame: Enable all if you play frequently with other players, particularly if you are a healer.
  • Cooldown Settings: One of the vital accessibility features. If flash is a problem for you, this is the point where you can disable visual effects of cooldowns shown in your action bars. Adjust to setting that suits you.
  • Cooldown Text Settings: Another important accessibility feature. If you struggle to notice or read the cooldown text, you can enlarge the text size here.
  • Mission Reward Window: Applicable to Warzones and PvP only.

Social

Retain default settings for now and return at a later date to adjust for personal preference

Nameplates

Retain default settings for now and return at a later date to adjust for personal preference

That takes care of the vital preferences. If you start playing and are struggling with any of the in-game settings, do go back to the preferences and have a look around to see if there are options that could help. The key binding options in the second tab are extensive, but again, I would not recommend customizing those until a later date. Play for a few levels first, see what you think of the game and which play style you naturally gravitate towards and then come back to customization. You have your character, you have your basic settings fine tuned, it’s time to actually start playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.


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