Kotor 1 Beginner's Guide
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic can be a tough game to understand if it is your first time playing through it. This guide is designed to hopefully shed some light on how the game works and what Feats, Powers and items are good and worth keeping and which are not.
When you first begin the game you'll be asked to choose a class, with your options including a Soldier, Scout and Scoundrel. Once you reach Dantooine and become a Jedi you will be tasked with choosing an appropriate Jedi Class for yourself too, I will cover that a little bit later.
Each of the 3 classes that you can choose from fits a different play style and approach to the game. Below you'll find a little bit of information about each in a list format with me expanding on it more after.
Soldier: Out of all 3 this is the most combat oriented class. The downside to this is you don't get many Skill Points when leveling up meaning you'll need to bring companions with you that can do everything you can't. If you're completely new to the game this is a good starting class since it's very durable in combat and is mostly geared towards melee.
Scout: Balanced between the Soldier and Scoundrel, consider this the jack of all trades class. I'd recommend this class to people who prefer to use guile or other means of solving situations. If combat is your first and preferred choice, choose the Soldier.
Scoundrel: This class is the least combat oriented one of them all and is capable of doing a little bit of everything (skill wise). You'll get enough skill points to hack computers, repair droids, and [Persuade] people to do what you want them to do.
Your choice here affects your character development quite a bit so be sure to choose wisely. I've played as all 3 classes and my favorite is typically Soldier or Scout. When it comes to a Scoundrel the final boss fight of the game can be exceptionally difficult unless you cheese it or know exactly how to play/what to do. The reason for this is you have to face the final boss alone and Scoundrels typically depend on their team mates to make up for their weaknesses in combat. Whereas Soldiers can run into most situations without a plan and still come out on top due to how much more geared towards combat they are.
To give you an early game example of how much different these classes are, before any Intelligence modifiers Soldiers begin with 4 Skill Points, Scouts get 12 and Scoundrels get 16. Depending on what your starting Intelligence is you'll also get bonus Skill Points, every +1 modifier you have in Intelligence will get you an additional +4 Skill Points. This results in Scoundrels getting a whopping 24 Skill Points when you first start the game since they come with the highest base Intelligence of 14 (+2 modifier).
Each class comes with a different set of Class Skills too, these skills usually start at level 4 (Awareness being the exception) and they only cost a single Skill Point to raise instead of 2. Soldiers only get 2 Class Skills - Awareness and Treat Injury. Scouts get 5 Class Skills (Computer Use, Demolitions, Awareness, Repair and Treat Injury) and Scoundrels get 4 (Stealth, Awareness, Persuade and Security). Note: For Scoundrels Awareness starts at 4.
As you advance through the game and become a Jedi you will be tasked with picking a Jedi Class for yourself as well. Each of the 3 Jedi classes similarly fit into the 3 aforementioned categories. Guardians specialize in combat and are the melee fighters of the game, Sentinels are a jack of all trades specializing in both Force Powers and combat and Consulars are the casters.
It's possible to start the game as a Soldier and choose Jedi Consular but be warned that if you do this you'll end up with a rather gimpy character. Most combinations work fine such as a Soldier/Sentinel or Scout/Consular (or Guardian); the only combinations you'll want to avoid is choosing a class opposite of your own. Meaning if you started as a Soldier don't pick Consular or if you started as a Scoundrel don't pick Guardian.
Below is a little bit more information on each of the 3 Jedi Classes and what you should expect from each.
Jedi Guardian: As aforementioned this is the melee fighter of Kotor 1. Their unique skill is the Force Jump ability which will allow you to Jump to a target far away at the start of combat. It doesn't always work but it's nice when it actually does. Guardians also get 10 Vitality and 4 Force per level.
Jedi Sentinel: Balanced between melee combat and Force Powers. Sentinels unique skill is they start with the Jedi Immunity Feat which makes them immune to fear. Jedi Sentinels get 8 Vitality and 6 Force with each level up.
Jedi Consular: This is the caster class of Kotor 1. Jedi Consulars get Force Focus as their unique skill which makes it harder for enemies to resist their Force Powers. As a Consular you'll get 6 Vitality and 8 Force with each level up.
Note: A common trick in Kotor 1 is to "save up" your levels on Taris. When you become a Jedi on Dantooine the lower level you are the better because you'll get access to more Force Powers. It's very hard to complete all of Taris at level 2 but it definitely is possible.
The question a lot of you may still have is 'what is the best character in kotor?' I know the answer you don't want to hear is it depends on what you want to do in the game, but that really is the best response. For your first play through I would recommend a Jedi Guardian, dark side is the best fit for this build due to it having access to better gear but light side is perfectly fine too. Jedi Guardians are the most noob friendly and probably easiest to beat the game on since they have a lot of wiggle room for experimentation and mistakes.
Jedi Consulars aren't very noobie friendly imo unless you're already familiar with the mechanics of this game from other DnD style games. Also, Jedi Consulars should go light side since only light side has access to wisdom gear and charisma gear. If you'd like to see a more detailed breakdown of the best Jedi Consular build and the best Jedi Guardian build. That website I believe does the best job explaining the builds and what makes them good.
What Feats Are Worth Getting?
Power Attack: From what I have read online, Power Attack does the most damage out of all the 'active' melee Feats. Flurry is generally considered second best and Critical Strike the worst.
Rapid Shot: Between Power Blast, Rapid Shot and Sniper Shot -- Rapid Shot is generally the best one to use. The logic is that enemies wielding lightsabers can deflect a blaster shot regardless of what skill you use - so the more shots you throw at them the better. Note: Do not get any of these on your main character, In this game Blaster Pistols and Rifles are not very good. Only get these on a character that must use blasters
Conditioning: This Feat is pretty good if you've already gotten all the mandatory ones out of the way.
Dueling (Mandatory if 1h): Any character that is using a single one handed weapon needs this Feat to increase their hit chance. If you are confused by this, it will not work when Dual Wielding.
Implant (Mandatory all): One of the best Feats in the game since it gives your character an additional item slot. Every character that can get this Feat I get it on.
Toughness (Mandatory all): Gives your character more health with each level up and it's retroactive for all previous levels gained. Insanely good Feat and one I get on every character.
Two-Weapon Fighting (Mandatory 2h or DW): This Feat reduces your chance of missing an attack when Dual Wielding or using a 2h weapon. You'll want this to be one of the first Feats you get on any character you plan on Dual Wielding with or using a 2h weapon. Reducing your chance to miss in this game greatly increases your damage output.
Weapon Proficiency: Allows your character to use a specific type of weapon. You can get an Implant that does this too which is an alternative option.
Weapon Focus: Gives you a +1 Attack Bonus with the weapon type you choose. It's worth noting that Lightsabers do not count as melee weapons! First and foremost you will want to get all Feats which reduce your miss chance as that will give you the most extra damage possible. Otherwise this Feat is worth getting on characters who have already gotten all of the other mandatory ones.
What Jedi Force Powers Are Worth Getting?
Burst of/Knight/Master Speed (Universal): Probably one of the best Jedi Powers in the entire game, one that I keep active on my characters 24/7. It will double your movement speed and also increase your Defense rating; ranks 2 and 3 will give you additional attacks per round in combat too.
Resistance/Force Immunity (Universal): Offers some protection against harmful Jedi Powers. For the most part I do not think this is worth getting all that much -- however it does have a very useful niche use when fighting Darth Malak at the end of the game. Classes like Jedi Consulars will have a much easier time against Malak when using this power.
Energy Resistance (Universal): This power absorbs the first 15 points of damage from sonic, fire, cold and electrical attacks. Improved Energy Resistance works for your entire party and also absorbs the first 15 points of damage from energy attacks as well making you immune to poison. I'd recommend this if you're playing a Consular or someone who gets access to a ton of Force Powers, otherwise you'll want to skip it.
Affect Mind/Dominate Mind (Universal): With this power you will get access to more dialogue options which typically result in Dark Side Points when used since they manipulate your target into doing what you want. This is the famous, these are not the droids you're looking for power.
Force Push/Whirlwind/Wave (Universal): Each of these 3 powers do something different, however they all act as a form of CC. Arguably Force Whirlwind is the best one as it's the CC that lasts the longest and easiest to control, I personally don't like any of these powers but maybe you will.
Force Suppression/Breach (Universal): Instantly cancels Force Powers that are currently active on the target. This is an invaluable Force Power when fighting Darth Malak at the end of the game and many people grab this power just for that fight. Outside of the end boss fight there isn't much use for this power.
Throw Lightsaber (Universal): One of the best ranged attack Force Powers in the game for a light side Jedi. I only recommend this power on a light side Jedi since dark side characters will get far better ranged attack powers than this one but light side does not.
Cure & Heal (LS): Pretty much all light side Jedi will want to get Heal. If you're a dark side Jedi I would recommend you get Cure but not Heal.
Force Aura/Shield/Armor (LS): Gives the caster a boost to all saving throws, at the highest rank it'll give the entire party the boost instead of just the caster. It's a useful power to get for a light side character who plays the role of support like Jolee or Bastila.
Force/Knight/Master Valor (LS): Increases the saving throws and attributes of all characters in your party; Knight and Master ranks will also make you immune to poison. This Force Power is recommended for Jedi Consulars since they play a mostly support role in your group.
Stun/Stasis (LS): As the power suggests it stuns the enemy. I do not recommend this power.
Stun/Disable/Destroy Droid (LS): One of the best light side powers you can get in the game imo. It totally decimates droid enemies making them insanely easy to defeat. 10/10 would recommend.
Wound/Choke/Kill (DS): This is a CC DoT ability which can instantly kill weaker targets if you have the final rank. Like Dominate Mind this is another Star Wars meme, unlike Dominate Mind though I struggle with recommending this one to anyone. It's fun to use because of the meme status but there are very few situations where you'd use this over Drain Life/Force Storm.
Slow/Affliction/Plague (DS): Each rank of this Force Power puts a DoT on the target which decreases their attributes every 6 seconds. As you buy each rank the length of the DoT is increased with Plague lasting for a total of 72 seconds (-12 attributes in total).
Fear/Horror/Insanity (DS): Causes enemies to cower in fear, each rank increases the duration. Effectively this is a crowd control ability - not worth getting imo.
Shock/Force Lightning/Storm (DS): Arguably the best damage dealing Force Power in the entire game. The first rank is single target only, but the next two ranks deal AoE damage and can be spammed for some of the highest DPS in the entire game. I definitely recommend you get this power.
Drain Life/Death Field (DS): This is another Force Power you absolutely do not want to skip when it comes to playing a Dark Side Jedi. Drain Life allows you to damage a single target and heal yourself; Death Field lets you drain the life of all surrounding targets. Both of these are insanely powerful and absolutely worth getting.