An authenticator is a way to prove to a computer that you are who you say you are – in gaming terms it lets you prove that an account is yours and therefore significantly reduce your chances of being hacked. SWTOR launched with an authenticator option, both a physical version and an iOS or Android app. EA and Bioware have encouraged their use by providing in game perks for users – from their point of view the fewer accounts are hacked the less customer services has to deal with fixing it.
Tieing an authenticator to your account is quite straightforward – either download the iOS or Android app from the respective stores (both free) or order a physical security key (£8.99), then log in to the SWTOR website and you are given a code to enter into the authenticator which will then give you a code to tell the website. Once you have tied an authenticator to your account, from that point onwards you will need the authenticator to log into either the game or the website.
What if you sit on and break the physical version of your authenticator or you want to update and replace your phone – how do you go about removing the authenticator? Although it is a simple process, it is not one you will be able to do online. You have to call the Bioware customer services number that is local to you: 00800 0246 9273 (UK, Germany and France), 1-855-467-9867 (US), +800 0246 9273 (Australia).
Unfortunately, the phone number is notoriously difficult to get through on; when I upgraded my phone it took me the best part of a week and a half of dialing at all hours of the day to get through to a customer service representative. Remember that the lines are 24 hour – if you have major problems getting through set an alarm and get up at 4am to try at a quieter time.
Once you have a customer service representative on the line, they will ask you a number of questions including your contact details, email address tied to the account and at least 1 of your security questions – they will not ask your password. Make sure you have all this information at hand. Now simply ask them to remove your authenticator and – that’s it.