Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords defined itself by being a game wholly unlike its predecessor. Fundamentally, the two games are similar in that they use the same engine, have the same art style and utilise the same turn-based dice-rolls style of combat, but Knights of the Old Republic II sets itself apart with its thematic presentation, writing, story and philosophy. Another aspect of this sequel that makes it different from the first is that there is more focus on developing the story of the various companions, as when maximum influence is gained with Atton Rand, Bao-Dur, Mira and either the Handmaiden or the Disciple then they can be trained in the ways of the Force, meaning there it is more important than ever to optimise the order of planets in order to get the follower characters upgraded to Jedi as quickly as possible. Note that this planet order has been created with the Content Restoration Mod in mind, and that there will be major spoilers for various plot points of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.
#1 – Peragus Mining Facility / Telos Station
Unlike the first game, the player starts out as a force user but just as in the first Knights of the Old Republic the first two areas are locked in and are not decided by the player. The Peragus Mining Facility is where the player first meets Kreia, Atton Rand and T3-M4, and after solving the mystery and leaving the station the player must then complete the various quests in the Telos Stationand meet up with Bao-Dur on the surface before picking up the Handmaiden companion (if they are playing as a male) in the Telos Academy. Because the Peragus Facility cannot be visited again after the initial playthrough, it is a good idea to explore and loot as much as possible before leaving. It is also wise to complete as much of Telos Station as possible during the initial visit, as while there are several opportunities to revisit the station later on it is best to complete these quests for the sake of levelling up your character. Speaking of levelling up, some players might want to save Bao-Dur and Atton Rand’s level-ups, and indeed the level-ups of any of the other previously mentioned Force-trainable companions, until maximum influence is gained with them and the dialogue options to train them as Jedi are unlocked.
#2 – Nar Shaddaa
Nar Shaddaa is heavily name-dropped in the prologue areas the first planet that the player should visit, and even when given the choice of planets there is really no reason to not choose Nar Shaddaa as the first stop. Not only does this planet yield a large number of potential companions with Mira, Hanharr and G0-T0 but it provides enough opportunities for gaining influence to get several of your companions to a Force-user level. If you want to maximise influence gain with Force-potential companions, a good tip is to not bring Kreia with you on Nar Shaddaa, as she acts almost like an influence vampire and overrides several opportunities to gain influence with other companions to voice her criticisms of your actions. Kreia uses her powers to communicate vital exposition to you anyway, so there is really no reason to bring her along here. The various quests of Nar Shaddaa usually fall into place provided you speak to as many people as possible, and you can always return to this planet to finish any uncompleted quests later. After finishing Nar Shaddaa, you also get enough pieces to complete HK-47 as well as encountering new companion Visas Marr, so overall an early trip to Nar Shaddaa can prove a profitable venture with nearly all the companion slots filled. If you are playing Light Side, Mira can also be trained as a Jedi by speaking to her enough times, arguing with her, apologising, asking about her personal life and then taking her to a specific spot in the Nar Shaddaa Refugee Docks. As one final piece of advice, male characters must ensure that they speak to the Handmaiden and complete as many of her combat training sessions as possible before speaking to Visas Marr, otherwise the Handmaiden’s dialogue options might be permanently locked.
#3 – Dxun / Onderon Part One
Considering Nar Shaddaa fills out many of the companion slots and provides many opportunities for gaining influence with Atton, Bao-Dur, Handmaiden and Mira, it makes sense to fill out the last companion slot by taking a trip to Dxun. This is done by selecting Onderon, and following a small skirmish with some hostile military forces above the planet the Ebon Hawk will be forced to land on the nearby jungle moon. This place is home to a small camp of Mandalorians, who subvert their usual role in the original Knights of the Old Republic by acting as strong allies to the player throughout the rest of the game. Their leader, the new Mandalore, is the final companion who can be acquired here, and the planet itself provides several opportunities to gain influence with Bao-Dur, and any other companions who you might not have elevated to Force-user level by this point. Completing the various odd jobs for the Mandalorians is also a great way to gain experience. When the player is given the opportunity to travel to Onderon, it is best to take either Bao-Dur or Atton depending on who is not yet able to become a Force user through dialogue, as Mandalore is locked into the other choice. As with Peragus, it is wise to loot as much as possible and complete all of the quests in Onderon as the political situation quickly begins to deteriorate.
#4 – Dantooine
After leaving Onderon for the first time, the natural next step is Dantooine, the location of the ruins of the former Jedi Enclave. This planet provides female characters with the Disciple, a potential companion who is also Force-sensitive, and is also home to a wealth of Jedi-related loot including many Lightsaber components. The scope of the game begins to increase upon arrival on Dantooine, as the player is responsible for influencing the outcome of an attack on a major settlement and can also tap into the history of Revan and the Jedi by making their first visit to a location from the original Knights of the Old Republic. Whether the player follows the Light Side or the Dark Side, there are many opportunities for gaining force points for each side. If the player chooses to defends the Khoonda settlement during the attack, then companions like T3-M4 and Bao-Dur can be used to maximise the defences of the settlement, including combat droids, mines, turrets and healing the wounded militia. It is advisable to complete as many side quests on the planet as possible before initiating the battle, as several seemingly unassuming citizens in Khoonda and in the Salvager Camp can be recruited into the Militia to help in the final battle.
#5 – Onderon Part Two
After completing the next planet after visiting Onderon for the first time, the player will be called back to tie up loose ends, and decide once and for all who rules the planet. This is included more as a necessity than a choice, though it provides an excellent opportunity to level up your characters, though this is mostly through combat rather than opportunities for influence. At this point, if you haven’t completed them already, the Handmaiden’s combat training should be fully available and as such she can be made a Force-user, and if you have optimised the influence gains right then by now all of the potential Force-users in the party should be levelled-up and wielding Lightsabers.
#6 – Korriban
After visiting the ruins of the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, the player now gets to visit the ruins of the Sith Academy on Korriban. In many ways this is thematically appropriate, as Korriban was the final chosen planet in our list for previous game, but the role it plays here as the final act of the game is very different. In the first Knights of the Old Republic, Korriban was teeming with life, not only Sith but also traders, smugglers and other inhabitants of the nearby settlement. Following Revan’s involvement in the Sith Academy in the previous game and the subsequent turmoil that followed, Korriban now lies lifeless and in the much darker Knights of the Old Republic II we return to this planet to find nothing but bones, sand and the gutted remains of the once proud Sith facility. Even the tombs of the Sith Lords lie in ruins, and Kreia laments that their secrets have been lost to the ignorant Sith who plundered their tombs for the sake of prestige. Interestingly, Korriban adds yet another layer of intrigue to Kreia’s character, as we see her play the role of historian and also explore her darker side in the visions that the player experiences in the cave.
#7 – Ravager / Malachor V
After all potential influence options, side-quests and loot opportunities have been exhausted on all the other planets, the time will eventually come to board the Ravager in defence of the Telos Citadel and eventually move on to Malachor V. There are little to no opportunities for influence gain in these areas, there are still some opportunities for levelling up and the player should reach around level 25-30 by the end of the game. With any luck this list has been useful to you, and you can use this to get the most out of your playthrough. If you have a preferred planet order that differs from this one, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Thanks for reading!