There’s many reasons why you might want to transfer servers in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Maybe you’ve met a friend in real life who plays Star Wars, but realised you can’t play together because you don’t share a server. More often though, players change servers hoping to find a more populated server with more people to play group content with.
UPDATE: Server Transfers are currently closed as of October 24th, 2017. They will re-open some time after server merges on November 8, 2017, and will likely return at full price.
The actual act of transferring a character is very easy. Once you’ve prepped your character by removing all items from their legacy bank, mail, and GTN, you will need to log into your SWTOR.com account, and then press on your username on the top right, to get to your account page. You’ll then click Character Transfer on the menu on the left, then go through the process of picking your character on your original server and then choosing your new server. After a short wait your character will be available on your new server.
If you’re considering changing servers to find more people to play with, the first thing you should do is to check the population of the fleet on your server. The fleet population is usually a pretty good indicator of the population and health of the server – if it’s really low, the server population is likely very low as well.
A very healthy server would have over 100 players during primetime, and a server with a very low population might have as low as under ten during prime time. If you find the population of your server’s fleet is under 20 a majority of the time you play, you are very likely on what is considered a ‘dead server’ – a server that does not have a healthy population. The Jung Ma server and the Prophecy of the Five server are both widely considered examples of dead servers.
If you are a solo player, this won’t really affect your gameplay and you might even prefer not running into other people in the open world while you quest or enjoy the story… but if you are interested in doing any group activities including pvp, galactic starfighter, operations or group flashpoints, I would highly recommend transferring to a new server where you will be able to find more people to play with.
If you live in North America, specifically in the United States, the most populated server is The Harbinger. The Harbinger has the healthiest population of all the servers in the game. The server I am on is Ebon Hawk, and I like it a lot though it is less populated than Harbinger and is one of the most roleplay-friendly servers.
Harbinger is a west-coast server, and Ebon Hawk and is on the east coast – but if you are in the United States the difference between the two coasts shouldn’t affect you too much. Players living in California or Washington can still easily play on the East coast servers.
The most populated European server is The Red Eclipse, and it’s usually recommend for you to transfer there if you are on any of the other European servers and want a more populated server.
If you live in Europe, it’s also possible to try playing on the North American servers, but you may encounter a decrease in quality of your gameplay due to the distance between you and the actual server across the ocean, especially during group activities like operations or pvp.
The best way to find out is to simply make a test character on a North American server and see what it’s like!
One important thing to keep in mind if you want to play on the North American servers from Europe is the time zone difference – many guilds and groups run operations or pvp in the later afternoons after work or school… that might be after midnight in your local timezone. On the east coast, I’ve noticed the most frequent playtimes during the weekdays are between 8 PM EST and 11 PM EST. At night time, for example 4 AM EST, the east coast servers get very, very quiet.
When trying to choose a server to transfer to, you might also want to look into that servers official swtor.com forums and look into guilds you might like to join. Joining a guild greatly increases your chances of doing group content, especially organized operations. Guide on How to Find a Great Guild
There’s a lot of things you need to consider when transferring servers. The advantages are great if you are transferring to a more populated server and want more group content, but you will lose a few things.
The worst thing you might lose is your character name. If someone on your new server already owns your character name, you will be required to change your character name if you transfer.
The good news is you can now also give your character a last name, and the name generator allows you to place up to one space in your name, entirely separate from your legacy name.
If you have a very rare or cherished name, you might want to reconsider transferring that specific character. The best way to check and see if your character name is taken on your new server is to log on to that server and make a new level 1 character with that name. If it’s available, you can then delete that lvl 1 character when you are ready to transfer your character over.
When transferring, make sure all the items you want to bring with you to the new server are in your character’s inventory or GREEN bank. Anything in your character’s yellow legacy bank or purple guild bank will not transfer with you. Any mails you have, or any items you have on the GTN will be deleted, so make sure to empty those too.
Sadly, when you transfer characters, you will lose any outfits you created for your character. So if you are considering transferring, make sure to hold onto any pieces of armor you will want to re-stamp into your character’s outfits.
If you have a stronghold that you initially purchased with CREDITS, you will need to re-pay the initial unlock cost. For example if you paid 2.5 million credits to unlock the Tatooine stronghold, you will need to re-pay this amount on your new server. Luckily, once it is re-unlocked, you will not need to re-pay for any additional rooms you unlocked – they will simply be available to you after you re-unlock your stronghold. If you paid for your stronghold’s initial unlock with cartel coins, you won’t have to pay to re-unlock it. You do not need to pick up your decorations from your old server either – a copy of every single decoration will come with you to your new server. Unfortunately, your strongholds themselves will be empty and you will have to re-decorate all your strongholds.
When you transfer, you will bring along everything attached to your legacy, including your legacy unlocks and achievements. A copy will be made on your new server, and if you have an existing legacy on that server your two legacies will be merged. If you’d rather start a new character on your new server rather than moving an old one, but don’t want to lose your legacy unlocks, you can always make a level 1 character on your old server and transfer it to your new server and it will bring all your legacy unlocks along.
If you’re considering transferring your entire guild to a new server, the move is a lot more costly but the benefits of having a more populated server often still outweigh the costs.
A guild can not officially transfer – each character in the guild will need to transfer separately. You will also not be able to bring your guild bank, guild stronghold, or guild flagship with you – these will be left behind on your old server.
The items of your guild bank can come with you, just make sure to empty out the guild bank before you transfer. Guilds will really need to weigh the pros and cons of moving, which are stacked on top of the original character restrictions like the possibility of losing your character names – you could even lose your original guild name if you transfer servers and someone has already taken it, though this is rare. In this case, an addendum might be added to your guild name in the form of an @ symbol and your original server name – or at least some original server name, it might even be from a server that doesn’t exist anymore. If you’re willing to choose a new guild name, you can easily fix this with a guild rename unlock from the cartel market.
From my own personal experience, I can definitely say that moving from a less-populated server to a more populated server has made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the game. ‘
A year ago our entire guild decided to move servers, and it was a very positive experience for all of us. Many of us lost our favourite character names, including me, but we gained a lot of new friends and people to play with on the more populated server. Warzones were popping! Flashpoints were popping! The fleet wasn’t a ghost town and there were people looking to join operations. It was a breathe of fresh air to have other players to actually play the game with, compared to the emptiness of our previous server. If you’re looking to move server,s make sure to contact your friends and ask them if they’re interested in moving over to a new server together. In my ecperience, it’s almost always worth it to move over to a more populated server.