One of the easiest and most efficient investments you can make in SWTOR is maxing out the affection rating of each of your companions. The reason you want to do this is that the higher your companion affection, the faster they are able to complete crew skills. This can let you earn 10-20% more credits from crafting and crew skills, which is a substantial amount of credit. As a bonus, the various quests you get from maxing out your Companion’s affection offer a lot of bonus experience points and credits, which really comes in handy.
Maxing companion affection does not have to be expensive. From 0-2000 with any Companion, drag them over to the Companion Gift vendor on the Imperial or Republic fleet. This person is typically found in the same section as the Global Trade Network (SWTOR’s auction house, often abbreviated as the “GTN”). You can buy 21 of whatever gift type that particular companion “loves” for 200 credits each, or a total of 4800 credits. This is a small investment to go from 0-2000 affection. From here, you can either look on the GTN for cheap gifts or buy 20 more of whatever gift type your companion loves. You can actually buy 40 rank 1 gifts (8000 credits) or 20 rank 2 gifts (12000 credits) depending on how much time you have to spare to give all the gifts to your companion. Both will push your companion to 4000 affection. From here, I recommend checking the GTN every so often. You can typically find rank 3-5 “green” quality gifts for 1500 credits or less, blues for 2500 credits or less, and epics for 5000 credits or less. I prefer to try to find the cheap blues and epics, as these give 2-4x the affection of a green and are typically much cheaper. You will need 5 rank 3, 5 rank 4, and 5 rank 5 epic items (typically adds up to about 50,000 credits if you shop around) to move from 4000/10000 affection to 10000/10000. Be sure to get whatever you can from the quests aboard your ship, as this can add up quickly as well.
Not sure which gifts your companion likes? Check out our Complete Guide to Companion’s Affections, where you can learn what your pet likes, loves, or it's Favorite gift is. The more they like them, the more points you get per gift, so make sure to get their favorite types.
All in all, if you follow these SWTOR Tips, you will spend about 250,000 credits to max out all of your companions affection (325,000 if you get nothing from conversation, but the more questing you do, the less you have to spend). This may seem like a lot, but if you are like me, you make 50,000 credits every day (or more, depending on playtime) with your crew skills. Your companions work about 15% faster, meaning that 50,000 credits could easily be 57,500 credits with maxed out companions. At an extra 15% income each day, it is only about a month before you make your initial investment back. After a month, you are making more credits every day since your companions get more done. When you look at it with these numbers in mind, it is the view of this SWTOR guide that maxing out your companion’s affection is something you should do as soon as possible. After a year’s time, that 250,000 credit investment up-front could easily be an extra 2-3 million credits in extra work done by your companions.