The Star Wars universe is not a peaceful one. With one major government overthrown by force, Imperial rule maintained by threat of force, and another attempt to overthrow the government only a few decades after the first, anarchy and chaos prevail more often then not. You will fight, or you will die.
When you are ready to go find a fight, you need to be aware of your environment to ensure that you can choose the fights you want, and avoid the ones that you cannot win. Watch your radar screen. You are represented by the white dot in the center. Yellow dots are creatures and NPCs that you can choose to fight. They usually won't attack you just because you are there, but you can attack them if you wish. Red dots are hostile NPCs or creatures that you can also choose to attack; if you don't, they will normally attack you first if you get too close.
First, select an enemy to fight. Target a creature by either clicking once on it, or by hitting the targeting key (tab, by default). This is not a hostile act, and doesn't start a fight. When you are facing a potential opponent that you have targeted, they will be surrounded by a box. At the top are their HAM (Health, Action, Mind) bars, showing whether they are injured, along with the creature's name. Your target's HAM bar will also appear in the upper-right corner of your screen for easy reference.
When you have found a likely target, you need to size it up. The first, most obvious thing to do is to look at the creature while it is targeted. To the right of its HAM bars you will see a small, colored star. The color of the star is an indication of how difficult the target would be for you to fight, based on your current skills and equipment.
- Red targets will most likely kill you without a second thought. Avoid them, unless you are looking to visit the cloning facility.
- Yellow targets are hard to fight. They are stronger than you, and you will have to pull out all the stops if you hope to beat them. You will get lots of experience if you win, but will also spend a lot of time healing your wounds.
- White targets are ideal. You have to think a little to win, but if you fight smart, you should be able to take them.
- Blue targets are weaker than you. You should have no trouble beating them, and can take out groups of them. The experience reward is small, but you can take on a number of them before having to rest. The fact that they are easy to kill also makes them good targets for scouts looking for hides or bone.
- Green targets will likely fall on the first shot. You will receive little or no experience, and you are better off not wasting your time with them.
You can get a more detailed description of a creature by typing in '/con' (short for consider) and hitting enter.
Once you have found and chosen a target, you can actually begin to fight. Fighting in Star Wars Galaxies works differently than it does in most games. When you hit attack, you will continue to attack automatically until the target is dead, or until you are. You will attack over and over with your simple default attack. The default attack doesn't do much damage, but also doesn't have any cost associated with it.
Whenever you want, during combat, you can add in a special attack. These special attacks may do extra damage, blind a target, slow it down, or any number of other things, but they use up a small portion of your Health, Action, or Mind points.
If you do nothing but the basic attack over and over, you will never be able to kill anything harder than blue. If you do nothing but special attacks all the time, you will drain your HAM bars to the point that you will be very, very easy to kill. The strategy in the combat system comes from balancing the two, learning when to use a special attack, and knowing when to save the points and stick with the default attacks.