clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

12 things to know before starting Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Tips for exploration and combat in a galaxy kinda far away

Cal Kestis stares intensely in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Image: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts via Polygon

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is as dense as beskar steel. As Cal Kestis — a padawan who survived Order 66 and then became BFFs with the cutest droid in Star Wars canon — you travel across the galaxy to swing a laser sword and perform a bunch of high-wire space parkour. If you played the predecessor, 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, its trappings may feel familiar. You’ll just find more: more droids to fight, more planets to explore, and of course, more walls to run on. Here are 12 things you should know before starting.

It’s worth brushing up on the story

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s story takes place five years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The sequel technically has a recap of the first game, but that recap is heavy on the vibes, and light on the actual plot details. (Pop quiz: Who’s Jaro Tapal?) Before you start, take time to familiarize yourself with the story and timeline of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It’ll make following Survivor’s plot much easier.

Navigation assist — and other tips for finding your way

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is first and foremost an exploration game. As such, you may spend a good amount of your play time trying to figure out where to go between objectives. Navigation assist — a setting that adds an icon showing to the mini-map you where you to go and can be toggled in the gameplay menu — will go a long way toward pointing you in the right direction.

There are other methods for figuring out your place in the galaxy. Parsing the map reveals more hints than you might expect; green doorways and yellow brackets indicate pathways you can currently pass, while red objects mean you don’t have the necessary upgrade yet. You also might spot a pathway in the architectural rendering that you otherwise missed.

Pay close attention to your environment as well. White ledges are the start of climbing routes. Many pathways are tucked behind barely perceptible cracks in walls. (Yes, Jedi: Survivor does the shimmy-load-screen thing.) Most of all, keep an eye out for walls with rivets or scratches; you can usually use them to wall run to a new area.

Always double-jump into wall runs

Wall running is a key traversal technique in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Pro tip: Double-jumping into a wall run will give you more height at the start, thus giving you more height when you end the wall run as well. This will help you clear some of the longer gaps in the early game. (You eventually get a midair dash ability that makes wall running a breeze.)

Turn off fall damage, and mess with other settings

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor features a deep array of accessibility settings. The first one you should turn off? Disable Fall Damage, under the gameplay submenu.

Getting rid of fall damage doesn’t make you invulnerable to receiving damage from height, a fact Polygon has confirmed through much testing. (Sorry, Cal!) It makes it so when you fall into an abyss during a platforming challenge, you respawn nearby without losing health. There are a ton of tough platforming gauntlets in Jedi: Survivor. You will fall. A lot. Ensuring you don’t lose health each time will save you many, many headaches — including the one where you lose a bunch of health because it took you five tries to cross a chasm, and then die from an errant blaster shot when you reach the other side.

There are other settings you should try as well. Arachnophobia Safe Mode in the gameplay submenu makes spider-like enemies look less like spiders. Dialogue Line Skipping allows you to fast-forward dialogue lines in rote interactions, like conversations with shopkeepers or quest-givers. And if you’re looking to tone down the gorier bits, you can deactivate Human Dismemberment in the accessibility submenu.

Lean on your allies

Cal and Merrin have a conversation in a cave in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Merrin remains the best.
Image: Respawn/Electronic Arts via Polygon

Some story missions pair you up with one of various allies (left unspecified for spoilers). Activating the special ability of whoever’s accompanying you (R1 + square on PlayStation) stuns enemies, giving you some breathing room to either heal or dish out damage. It’s tied to a cooldown, but that cooldown is vanishingly brief. Cal was largely a lone wolf in Jedi: Fallen Order, so it’s easy to forget he’s not always alone in Survivor. Don’t forget to use ally abilities liberally!

Your lightsaber is great at blocking

As with all soulslikes, parries are indeed an effective defensive move in Jedi: Survivor, but don’t sleep on blocking. As long as you still have block meter remaining (that’s the white one in the bottom-center of the screen), you’ll be able to automatically block most attacks. It’s when your enemy starts to glow red that you should be careful. Those attacks are unblockable. Dodging works. Sometimes, though, you’ll get more distance between a foe by double-jumping out of the way.

And at being a flashlight

In dark spaces, BD-1 will turn on a small headlamp, but it has a limited field in front of the droid. Pulling out your lightsaber does a far better job at illuminating everything in close proximity. This, by the way, is one reason you should always rock with the dual wield lightsaber stance: You’ll get twice as much flashlight power.

Keep an eye out for shortcuts

Cal Kestis stares at a shortcut zip wire on Shattered Moon in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
Most shortcuts look exactly like this spire.
Image: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts via Polygon

There’s another way to mitigate backtracking in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor — look out for shortcuts. Nine times out of ten, shortcuts are zip wires you that connect a subregion you’re currently in with a subregion you were just in, like, five minutes ago. They’re invaluable for returning to meditation spots to restore your health (and save) before forging onward.

Also: When you’re on a zip wire, you can press triangle/Y to switch directions, in case you decide you no longer want to head back.

Rejoice, you can fast travel in Jedi: Survivor

One of the biggest criticisms of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was that you couldn’t fast travel. Backtracking was a genuine pain in the ass. So it’s good that Respawn corrected course in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Yes, you can fast travel — but only on the planet you’re currently on.

There are other limitations: You can only do it while you’re at a meditation spot, and you can only travel to previously unlocked meditation spots. All the more reason to interact with every one you see.; Note too that there are some story-gated instances where you can’t fast travel. (You’ll know so when the option to fast travel at meditation spots is grayed out.)

You’ll come back to that planet later

Jedi: Survivor prevents your progress by partitioning out your traversal upgrades, meaning you’ll end up doubling back through each planet to cover ground you weren’t able to reach before. You won’t be able to get everything on your first visit to each planet; if you want to explore, you’ll have to come back later once you’ve unlocked more abilities.

That said, thoroughly exploring each planet to the extent you can before moving onto the next story objective is always worth the time. You can find essences that increase your health or Force meters, or grant you a free skill point. You can find chests containing cosmetics for Cal and BD-1’s casing — or, in rare cases, a stim canister that increases the number of times you can heal in a row. Various types of local currency are strewn around each planet, and can be exchanged at vendors for cosmetics. Databanks and Force echoes, meanwhile, fill in lore through brief journal entries.

If you don’t wanna miss a thing, consult our guides for finding all of the important stuff during your first trips through Coruscant and Koboh.

Save your skill points

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor features eight skill trees to dump skill points in. Beyond Cal’s basic stats — health and Force powers — you’ll end the tutorial with three different lightsaber stances, each with its own tree. You’ll soon get two more, including one that lets you rock a blaster. Mid-game Force abilities (which we won’t spoil here) open up the possibilities even more. If you’re not entirely sold on burning precious skill points on upgrades you’re not enamored with, you won’t regret saving them for later.

You can regain lost XP in Jedi: Survivor

Cal looks at a droid who killed him in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
That gold droid is now Cal’s mortal enemy.
Image: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts via Polygon

Accrue enough XP in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and you’ll earn a skill point. Once you’ve earned a skill point, you can’t lose it. That said, you can lose all of the XP you’ve earned progressing you to your next skill point.

Every time an enemy kills you, you’ll lose all of your banked XP. If you want it back, you’ll need to locate the enemy who killed you — usually exactly in the room you died in. You’ll see them glowing gold. Simply touching that enemy with a single attack will restore all of your lost XP. (You can easily cheese this from a distance with a blaster shot or lightsaber throw.)

It works a little bit differently in boss fights. The enemy won’t glow gold. Instead, you’ll see a golden pillar of light in the spot you died. Running into that will restore your lost XP — and in some cases, at least for optional bosses like Koboh’s rancor, you’ll then be able to turn tail and run out of the chamber entirely, with your XP intact. Nowhere in the Jedi code does it say you have to be brave!

Once you’ve gotten started, see where to find all collectibles on Coruscant and the first part of Koboh, or see all of our Star Wars Jedi: Survivor guides here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon