All SWTOR Planets, Ranked from Best to Worst

The other week, the SWTOR Escape Pod Cast devoted an episode to the subject of ranking SWTOR's planets. It's a light and frivolous evergreen topic, and I was surprised just how much I enjoyed the discussion - these sorts of lists are always a fun opportunity to hear people articulate their opinions, from the relatable to the bizarre (such as Max's love for Mek-Sha... heh).

Naturally, I was left with the urge to do my own ranking. The type of drag-and-drop "tier list" that they used in the show doesn't work as well for the written format though, so I decided to go for a plain old numbered list instead, ranking each planet from best to worst. I was surprised by how easy I found it to pick my favourites and least favourites - in the middle I felt a lot less opinionated and I'd probably rank some of them differently on any given day. Without further ado, let's get started!

1. Tatooine

Tatooine, to me, just has everything. The desert planet with its twin suns is super iconic and SWTOR brings it to life perfectly. It's mostly sand, but the blue sky gives it a pleasant air, while mountains and ravines break things up just enough in the visual department to make sure the environment doesn't get boring. The low mob density makes it easy to get around, and the missions are fun (the planetary quest chain involving Czerka and the imprisoned Rakata is particularly memorable). It's also the kind of place where (somewhat contrary to its theoretical reputation as an outer rim backwater) lots of stuff happens, from Rakghoul Resurgences to swoop racing. When strongholds first came out, I made Tatooine my main home.

2. Alderaan

Has any other game depicted Princess Leia's home world in this much detail? Alderaan's environments are absolutely gorgeous, and I love the lore about all the different houses. (Makes a nice change from the many random bandit/pirate incursions that most planets seem to deal with.) Like Tatooine, it's also a place you get plenty of reasons to come back to, whether it's for a set of particularly easy GSI dailies or to hunt rakghouls.

3. Coruscant

I'm not a huge fan of city planets, but Coruscant just has a certain oomph to it. As someone who primarily plays Republic, the first time I stepped outside the Coruscant spaceport and made my way to the Senate Tower, I was simply in awe. I'll admit that most of the sub-zones are not that visually interesting, but I still love all the quests and how they paint a picture of what the Republic is like for the new player. It's funny because the first time I wrote about Coruscant, I noted that "I didn't actually like this planet very much" because at the time the questing didn't feel particularly inspired to me, and as it was the planet where all the starter experiences converged, it felt very repetitive during the early alt rush. However, these days I don't level that many alts from scratch and nostalgia reigns supreme!

4. Ossus

I loved Ossus so freaking much when it came out, because it was the first time that one of the newer planets actually felt as good to me to play through as many of the original planets. It's reasonably sized, nice to look at, and the dailies are super easy and fun. I also had a blast with the world bosses back when they were current content... it's such a shame that they did not age well due to requiring such a big group.

5. Tython

Even though I main a trooper, Tython is my favourite starter planet. I love how lush and green it is, plus the whole vibe of the Jedi Temple and the ancient Jedi ruins. The bit where your Jedi character gets their first lightsaber is just... chef's kiss every time.

6. Onderon

I was kinda hesitant to rank this one this high, because at Onslaught's release, I was actually a bit disappointed by Onderon - I expected it to be bigger, and all the dailies with their green markers on green grass were annoying me. However, it's held up surprisingly well, and is one of the newer daily areas I actually visit quite regularly. It's a pretty pleasant environment visually, and a great place to farm grade 10 crew skill mats while you're at it.

7. Dromund Kaas

As I said I'm primarily a Republic player, but the Imperial home world is pretty cool as well. The mix of stark architecture surrounded by jungles and subject to constant thunderstorms creates a pretty unique vibe, and the missions are varied and interesting, introducing you to several different facets of the Empire. 

8. Nar Shaddaa

I was a bit conflicted about how to rank Nar Shaddaa because I've long thought of it as one of the original planets that I'm less fond of, mostly because the sub-zones have similar issues as Coruscant, only without exuding the same kind of charm. I also ranked it as the worst planet to navigate in the entire game at one point. But at the same time... it's kinda the place to go for anything that needs to happen on neutral ground, Hutts are fun in their own peculiar way, and both Soovada and the Feast of Prosperity are centred on Nar Shaddaa. It's definitely got something going for it, you know?

9. Belsavis

I immediately loved Belsavis' unique aesthetic when I first saw it, combining snowy glaciers with tropical jungles. I think fondly of the old dailies there, and Primal Destroyer remains a favourite to revisit among world bosses. All the enemies being either Esh-ka or escaped prisoners does make the whole place feel a little same-y though, and Section X is a bit too much of a slog for me to enjoy revisiting often.

10. Odessen

Odessen is a hard one to rank because outside the story phases there just isn't much there, you know, but I decided to still put it relatively high up, because it's a neat little base/hub and I'm happy to go there. Though I do wonder whether the devs ever expected it to seriously replace the fleets as central hub locations...

11. Balmorra

Balmorra is pleasant enough to look at, and the fact that it changes hands from Empire to Republic as you level up is interesting. Killing colicoids is decent fun, but the all-encompassing civil war/rebellion theme does wear on you a little after a while.

12. Makeb

The layout with all the little mesas made Makeb feel a bit odd when it came out, but I liked it well enough. It's of course the first planet where we no longer got a class story, plus at launch the mob density was also horrible. The dailies aren't great either, but I did enjoy the main storyline on both Republic and Empire side very much, plus I just like the visuals.

13. Manaan

Manaan is a bit of a funny one to rank because it consists of both the small but pleasant visitor area that introduces the Depths of Manaan flashpoint and the larger Invasion Zone that came with Legacy of the Sith, which is a dark and rainy warzone. I like the aesthetics of the former and not so much of the latter, however I've actually come to quite enjoy the Manaan dailies, which is what bumps this one up.

14. Oricon

I used to frickin' love Oricon for its atmosphere and all the small little touches like the holocrons granting codex entries, the seeker droid/macrobinocular bonus missions and the challenging heroic area. However, recently I've just not enjoyed revisiting it as much as I used to... the mob density is quite high and can make it a bit of a pain to get around if you don't have stealth, especially when compared to some of the newer daily areas.

15. Dantooine

The addition of Dantooine is of course what inspired and enabled my pacifist levelling project, and it's got not one but two world events going on, the Pirate Incursion and the Swoop Rally. Outside of those events, there isn't really much there though.

16. Rishi

I've got kind of mixed feelings about Rishi (which goes well with it sitting smack in the middle of this list) - I like its visuals and it does have some fun things going on, but Shadow of Revan is also when Bioware started to funnel everyone (including the two factions) into one storyline and putting everything in solo phases and I'll always remember that with a certain bitterness.

17. Hoth

Hoth is similarly iconic to Tatooine, but I don't really like it nearly as much. Its bright whiteness is rather unpleasant on the eyes, and there are far fewer reasons to go there in general.

18. Ord Mantell

I like the starter planet for troopers well enough, but it's not as pretty as Tython, and like on Balmorra, absolutely everything being about the local civil war gets a bit tiresome.

19. Korriban

I'm sure many Imp players would rate this one much higher, but I've just never been that impressed by the Sith starter world. It's got a lot of orange and a lot of rocks, and the quests are fifty percent decent fun, fifty percent evidence of just how insane most Sith are.

20. CZ-198

I'll admit that like many others, I make CZ-198 my number one destination if I need some quick daily commendations or Conquest points, but other than that it doesn't really have much going for it. It's just a place with some offices basically.

21. Iokath

Iokath is another place about which I have some very mixed feelings. I remember being so hyped about us getting a proper planet again for the first time since the KotFE/KotET era, but then it was just a let-down in so many ways. Unlike seemingly most people though, I've come to quite enjoy the Iokath dailies though.

22. Ziost

I like the Ziost daily area for how chill and different it is, but other than that, there just isn't anything going on there. It's literally a dead planet. The "live" version of Ziost was more interesting, but of course you can only access that one for a limited time while doing the story. 

23. Ilum

As one of the original "endgame planets" at launch, Ilum did not impress me. It just always felt unfinished to me. It has a beautiful skybox, but the fact that it's always night kinda gets me down. I have some fond memories of Ilum from the game's early days, but it's been many years since I had anything close to that much fun there. Outside of the Gree event there's no real reason to go back. 

24. Mek-Sha

This is kind of the opposite of Onderon in that at Onslaught's launch I was kind of pleasantly surprised by Mek-Sha after not expecting to like it that much based on previews. However, it failed to really provide any good reasons to revisit, with the few repeatable quests being extremely hodgepodge and buggy at launch. Ultimately it just feels like a lesser version of Nar Shaddaa to me. 

25. Ruhnuk

I feel a bit bad ranking this so low, considering that I did like the Ruhnuk story overall and think that the planet is a good size and very good-looking. However, that terrible first impression of the dailies has stuck with me. I've gotten better at getting around, but I still find the area difficult to navigate and every indoor area is an absolute slog packed with tough mobs. It's just not very fun. I expect that it will rise in my estimation once it isn't the most current content anymore and distance has had a chance to make my heart grow fonder.

26. Yavin 4

I'm kind of surprising myself by ranking Yavin so low, but I just couldn't come up with any reasons to justify putting it any higher. Like I said when talking about Rishi, Shadow of Revan didn't really wow me when it came out, and I remember doing these dailies on so many characters for the (at the time) extremely powerful companion gear they rewarded; I just burnt out on them to a ridiculous degree. To this day I don't enjoy re-running the Yavin dailies a lot, even though I can't point at anything being particularly wrong with them.

27. Taris

It's a swamp full of ruins and all the mobs are rakghouls. It's not that deep, bro.

28. Corellia

I appreciate that Corellia looks a bit different from other city planets visually, and the tram was a cool idea at the time, but nowadays everyone just quick travels everywhere anyway. Overall it remains a pretty dull city planet that is another nightmare to navigate.

29. Voss

Voss is a funny one because it has some good things going for it like the beautiful environments... but the Voss as a people are just so bleh, as is everything about their storylines... I wrote a whole post about it back in 2017.

30. Hutta

Whether you're starting an agent or a bounty hunter, your class story makes it clear that you're at the ass-end of nowhere and can't wait to get out of there. All the quests emphasise what a swampy hellhole the place is, and I'm afraid the designers did such a good job with it that I'm always happy to get away and never to return.

31. Zakuul

Zakuul has some interesting tidbits going on with the swamp just outside the city and the Eternal Championship, but it's never really felt like a proper planet outside of the KotFE/KotET story phases. The best I can say is that I enjoyed farming grade 9 crew skill materials in the swamp and in Breaktown when that was the highest level of crew skills, but that's it.

32. Quesh

Another disgusting swamp world, but this one doesn't even have much story going on, has no repeatable content whatsoever, and felt small and weird even at launch. I also hate that you have to pick up the planetary storyline on every single character to even be able to travel to the surface.

33. Darvannis

I mean, I like the operation that's set on Darvannis, but the "open world" version of it has literally nothing going on other than the phase entrances for KotFE chapter fourteen and some crew skill materials that you can farm, but the omnipresent skytroopers made even that annoying back in the day.

As I said, these rankings are not set in stone and I could easily see myself changing my mind about some of these planets over time. I think the main thing I noticed while justifying my opinions is that a planet's aesthetics are very important to me - if I don't enjoy what I'm looking at, I'm not going to enjoy playing there very much.

Anyway, feel free to let me know in the comments which of my picks surprised you and which ones you strongly disagree with and why!


  1. I'm going to have to think about this for a bit. I know my rankings have changed over the years as my interests in the game and my feelings about it have changed. Figuring out the whys of the likes and dislikes should be interesting.

    Though one thing I would do that is different from you is that I would naturally split the original worlds from the expansion worlds. Given the different efforts/goals and quality of the tools/time allowed it just feels better to have at least two groupings. I might even separate out the smaller areas such as Darvannis and CZ-198 from the bigger areas such as Makeb or Zakuul since it doesn't feel fair to judge the smaller ones against places that have more room for a variety.

    1. I thought I was going to be more biased in favour of the older planets to be honest, but that doesn't really seem to have played out as I expected, considering there are three expansion planets in my top ten, and three launch planets in my bottom five. Size also isn't that much of an issue as it's more about what they do with it - e.g. Odessen and Dantooine both have tiny maps, but they have purpose.


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