Gathering and Crafting skills are more closely related, the discoveries found during gathering tasks often being used in crafting tasks. Free to play players will have 1 crew slot, preferred players will have 2, and subscribers have all 3. You may choose to use your skill slots in any combination, but only one Crafting Skill may be selected to master. Crew skills can also affect gameplay by helping a character find alternative routes through a scenario (e.g., Archeology helping spot hidden levers to different areas, Slicing to use droids in an area to assist the player).
Each of the Crew Skills can be learned by your companions. In the SWTOR system, companions will have the ability to gather resources while a player is in combat, as well as craft items at a player's ship while the player is engaged in other quests or even offline and they can take the materials needed straight from the cargo hold when doing so. In addition, companion characters can undertake their own missions. These missions can result in a variety of rewards involving loot, credits, and diplomacy advantages.
Companions that players meet during class missions, will join the crew of your starship at certain points. Companions will have a bonus to their crafting, mission, and gathering Crew Skills. These bonuses come as benfits to either Efficiency or Critical:
Efficiency means that a companion will complete missions faster
Critical gives the players companion a critical chance to make an improved version of the item being crafted or to gather items that are rare and otherwise wouldnt have been found on a mission.
Each Imperial character is also given the 2V-R8 starship protocol droid, after acquiring a ship,Republic players receive C2-N2 as a ship droid.
The 2V-R8 provides no bonus to crew skills, however, it can still craft and gather like other companions. The Bounty hunter will find 2V-R8 on the D5-MANTIS; The Sith Warrior and Inquisitor meet 2V-R8 on the FURY; and the Imperial Agent meets the droid on board an unregistered X-708 PHANTOM, all this holds true for C2-N2 on the republic side.
Affection effects a companions ability to perform crew skills, and can be gained through conversations with a companion present or by giving a companion gifts.
In the tables below, E = Efficiency and C = Critical.
Each companion is listed in the order that you meet them during your class quests.