SWTOR PvP Healers Guide to Cleansing

Here is my guide to Cleansing in PvP in Star Wars The Old Republic. This guide is tailored mainly to healers but is also a good reference for DPS classes with a cleanse ability.

LAST UPDATED (15th December 2022) – Currently being updated for 7.2.


  • CC – Crowd Control aka Mezz, Soft Stun. A 6-8-second stun that only breaks/ends when damage is taken.
  • Debuff – a negative effect applied from an ability.
  • DoT – damage over time (cannot be cleansed)
  • Hard stun – a 4-second stun that does not break/end when damage is taken (not cleansable).
  • Slow – an ability that slows your movement.
  • Snare – an ability that impairs movement completely.
  • Soft Stun/Mezz/CC – a 6-8-second stun that only breaks/ends when damage is taken.


Cleansing is an important part of being a healer and a very handy tool at our disposal. Using a Cleansing ability removes up to two negative effects from yourself or any friendly player you’ve selected.

What are each of the healing classes cleansing abilities?

Here are the cleansing abilities for each healing class.

ClassCleanse AbilityAbility Icon
OperativeToxic Scan
CommandoField Aid

What are negative effects or debuffs?

Certain abilities place a negative effect on another player when used on them. Some of these negative effects or debuffs are cleansable in PvP.

Examples of negative effects that can be cleansed include:

  • CC’s
  • Snares
  • Slows
  • Trauma

Negative effects that deal damage only, such as DoT (damage over time) abilities, are not cleansable in PvP.

How many different negative effect types are there?

There are four different effect types of negative effects that can be cleansed.

  • Tech
  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Force

What negative effects can each healing class cleanse?

The tooltip for each class’s healing ability outlines which negative effects they can cleanse. However, cleansing takes into account the ability type and the negative effect type. Tooltips are nearly identical for Republic classes.

Mercenary/Commando (Field Aid)
Sorcerer/Sage (Restoration)
Operative/Scoundrel (Triage)

Ability Types vs. Debuff Types and Cleansing

To determine if a negative effect can be cleansed, you need to look at the ability type placing the negative effect (debuff) and the debuff (negative effect) type. The ability that places the debuff comes into play as an ability that can have a different effect type than the debuff placed.

To check what the ability type is, go to your abilities interface and it will list the ability type. Typically, force users’ abilities are considered Force abilities (with some exceptions) and non-force user’s abilities are considered Tech abilities. To determine the debuff (negative effect) type, you need to hover over the negative effect in your debuff bar when it is on you and look at the tooltip.

In summary, cleansing takes into account the ability type and the negative effect type (which can both be different). This is why some negative effects are cleansable by all classes.

PvP Cleansing Basics – Crowd Control

In PvP environments, your priority as a healer is to cleanse CC’s/Mezzes. The CC’s you can cleanse will depend on whether you are a force or non-force user.

What CC’s can each healer class cleanse?

Mercenaries/Commandos and Operatives/Scoundrels can cleanse Tech and Physical CC’s (8-second duration) and Sorcerers/Sages can cleanse Force and Mental CC’s.

Note: You can not cleanse a CC that is on you. You have to rely on others to cleanse you.

Here is a table listing the CC’s each healer class can cleanse and what the icons look like (on the Operations frame or player frame). Unfortunately, most of the icons look the same.

ClassAbilityEffect TypeIcon
Mercenary/Commando and Operative/ScoundrelFlashbang/Flash GrenadeTech
Sorcerer/SageWhirlwind/Force LiftForce
AllIntimidating Roar / AweMental (Physical)
Concussion Missile/ChargeMental (Tech)
Sleep Dart/TranquilizerMental (Tech)
Mind Trap / Mind MazeMental (Force)

CC Debuff Tooltips

Here are the debuff Tooltips for each CC ability. As a rule of thumb, most classes’ abilities are generally either Tech or Force based but there are some exceptions.

ClassCC AbilityDebuff Text
Mercenary/CommandoConcussion Missile / Concussion Charge
Operative/ScoundrelFlashbang / Flash Grenade
Sith Warrior/Jedi KnightIntimidating Roar / Awe
Assassin/ShadowMind Trap / Mind Maze
Operative/ScoundrelSleep Dart / Tranquilizer
Assassin/ShadowWhirlwind / Force Lift

CC Animations

Here is what each CC animation looks like.

Concussion Missile Animation

Concussion Charge Animation

Sleep Dart Animation

Tranquilizer Animation

Flashbang Animation

Flash Grenade Animation

Whirlwind Animation

Force Lift Animation

Mind Trap Animation

Mind Maze Animation

Intimidating Roar Animation

Awe Animation

Advanced – Other Abilities that can be Cleansed

Once you’ve mastered the art of knowing which CC’s you can cleanse, there are also a few additional negative effects (debuffs) that are applied by various abilities by some classes that are cleansable. Generally, these aren’t usually that much of a priority to cleanse as you should always prioritise CC’s/Mezzes. In some scenarios, however, it can be helpful to cleanse yourself or an ally of a (non-CC) negative effect.

Slows and Snares

Cleansing a ‘Slow’ or ‘Snare’ can be quite useful (be mindful of if you or your ally are standing in an AOE that’s causing the slow otherwise the cleanse will be wasted).

The best scenario for cleansing a Slow or Snare is if it’s on yourself or a teammate you’re grouped with or know. For example, if you have someone of a particular class attacking you and you notice that you’re slowed/snared, depending on the class, you will be able to cleanse the Slow/Snare.

The table below outlines the various classes that have Slow’s and Snares and what they look like in the operations frame or debuff bar on your player’s frame. Unfortunately, most of them look the same.

Assassin/ShadowForce SlowForce
Sniper/GunslingerLeg ShotPhysical
 Interrogation Probe/Explosive Charge*Tech

*You can only cleanse the ‘slow’ effect when you have an Interrogation Probe/Explosive Charge on you. The Probe/Charge will remain on you and still do damage but you will no longer be slowed.

Debuff – Trauma (Physical)

Carnage Marauders Gore and Snipers ability tree passive Shatter Snipe has a negative effect (debuff) that reduces your healing received by 20% (icon and tooltip are pictured below).

Both of these classes’ negative effects can only be cleansed by Tech Healers (Mercenary/Commando and Operative/Scoundrel).

Definitely cleanse this ability as soon as you can.


Be mindful of AOE’s that put a Slow on you such as the Engineering Sniper’s ‘Plasma Probe’ (Saboteur Gunslinger’s ‘Incendiary Grenade’), Mercenary Bodyguard’s Kolto Missile (Commando Combat Medic’s Kolto Bomb) or the Shield Tech Powertech’s ‘Oil Slick’ (Shield Specialist Vanguard’s ‘Riot Gas’). You are continually slowed while inside these AOE’s and even if you cleanse the Slow, it is immediately reapplied. So there’s no need to waste a Cleanse if you get stuck in one of these AOE’s.

Cleansing Priority System

Unfortunately, SWTOR does not have a cleansing priority system. So you have no way of targeting which negative effects you want to be cleansed.

Special Thanks

I’d like to thank Andynul for helping with various testing scenarios and for assisting with the screenshots and recording I did for this Guide!

Thank’s for reading my Guide! If you have any feedback or questions, let me know!

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