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The Lightsaber

The Lightsaber, "an elegant weapon, from a more civilized age," as a wise Jedi Master once said, is by far, the single most complicated weapon to master in JK2's multiplayer.

While it is fun to use, and definately powerful and versatile (when combined with the Force), I do not consider it the ultimate weapon for all situations. In fact, I consider it folly to use it in certain situations when better weapons are available. Still, some players swear by it as their sole weapon of honor, so do what you feel is best, according to your own playing style. However, our strategies are designed to optimize your chances of winning the game, if you take them to heart, so bear that in mind.

This section will take you through the basics of the Lightsaber, various special abilities you gain when using the weapon, and on to more advanced strategies and techniques.

***WARNING! Read this before proceeding!***

Players new to JK2 should realize that the Multiplayer mode is substantially different from the Single Player mode. In particular, the weapons, items, power-ups, and other features are different in many ways from their offline counterpart. We strongly recommend playing against Bots (AI simulated multiplayer opponents) as training for internet or LAN games, as they represent the type of gameplay you will experience online. However, there is no substitute for the unpredictability and inventiveness of human opponents, so eventually you must venture out if you expect to master the game! Players migrating over from other FPS games will have many new challenges ahead, including learning Force Powers, the Lightsaber, as well as the different nuances of the game. Even veteran players of other Dark Forces series games (JK, MotS, etc) will have many new things to learn. In short, you must "unlearn what you have learned," to quote a wise Jedi Master. ; )

The site will be presented with the assumption that players have already read over the official JK2 manual (that comes with every legitimate copy of the game) and the readme documentation. Some material from these sources may be covered in more detail however.

Lightsaber - Weapon Stats

Closeup view of the elegant weapon

Weapon Type
Ammo Type
Ammo Use
Primary Fire
Swing blade (varies with stance and movement directions)
Secondary Fire Saber Throw (if Force points assigned to this power)
Rate of Fire

Slow (Red stance) to Fast (Blue stance).

Saber Throw: Slow to Fast (depends on how quickly saber comes back)

Range Good (Primary) to Medium (Saber Throw)
Damage Medium to Very High (Low for touching someone with the extended blade without swinging, 5 damage per pulse).
Danger Level
None. Cannot harm user

By default, six colors can be chosen for the Lightsaber's energy blade:

Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple (actually Pink/Violet), and Red.

The colors have no affect on the actual performance of the saber, and depend solely on player preference. In team games, players will be forced to use a saber color that matches their team color (red or blue).

The Lightsaber is a very dangerous weapon. A mere touch of the ignited blade can cause damage to enemies it touches (in a pulsing manner, 5 damage per pulse). In most team games, your saber cannot damage your allies, but it is considered rude and is counter-productive to go about playfully striking your teammates.

A single well placed hit can kill even the most heavily shielded foes, and fast, repeated blows can whittle down your enemies in seconds. Powerful hits can send an opponent reeling. The blade itself can block blaster shots and small projectiles, even sending them back towards the player who fired them (this skill varies depending on the angle of the shots and level of Saber Defense that is assigned).

To block shots with the saber, simply "aim" at the enemy doing the firing, while not attacking. Focusing on the head of the person firing helps increase the chance that you'll get a good angle on them. But don't relax however, as your opponent will try to vary the angle of their shots and aim for your vulnerable areas (your non-saber side, your back, and below the belt). An overconfident Saber-user is an easy target for experienced gunners, so watch out! Close the distance and slash your opponent down, disarming them if possible (with Force Pull) and using your other Force powers to augment the saber's strengths. Similar techniques are employed in blocking other Saber blades. If someone throws their blade at you, don't panic, this too can be blocked.

The saber can be turned off (hit the "select saber" key a second time) for purposes of stealth (since the Saber gives off a bright colored glow around your character and an audible hum, giving away your position). It will flare up again if thrown or swung, ready for action.

Update (05/24/03):

It IS possible to use the lightsaber in First Person POV in multiplayer (by default you are limited to Third Person only)! Go to the console and type in this command:

CG_fpls 1

Now the lightsaber will default to First Person viewpoint when used (no odd camera switching either, it functions very similarly to how it works in Single Player). Type the command again with a 0 instead of a 1 and it will default back to normal. You can also bind the command to a key or put it into a CFG file for easy access. I am glad that Raven left this option in the game, as many really were miffed that it was missing. Decide for yourself if it's easier for you.

I find that blocking blaster shots is somewhat easier to do in this viewpoint. I am told this only works in version 1.03 and above (tested with 1.04 and it works fine).

Special thanks to NemoX, Nemios and thehomicidalegg who contributed this information in the forums!

Nemios also comments:

- In SP you can't do rolls, flips and special moves from 1st person POV for saber. In MP you CAN.

- When someone grips you your character instantly turns to the gripper so that you can push him to escape.

1.03 Patch Notes:

(Quoted from LucasArts patch page)

"Lightsabers will do less damage at the very start and very end of a swing. This should prevent kills from just touching an opponent with the tip of your lightsaber."

"Lightsaber usage in multiplayer has been modified to work similarly to the way it works in single player levels. This will enable better saber battles up close with your opponent."

It has often been said that the Lightsaber in the hands of a beginner can be laughable, but in the hands of a master, something to be feared. To help work your way from the former to the latter, I advise reviewing and practicing the following techniques:

Lightsaber Stances

There are three stances (or "styles") for the Lightsaber (accessed by clicking the "change stance" key). The current stance is shown on the right side of the HUD, just above your Lightsaber icon and Force Mana Pool indicator. The color shows the current stance. When a player starts the game, Blue is selected by default. Get to know what each stance looks like, so you can be ready to counter the moves of your opponent.

Each stance appears visually when the lightsaber is ignited and the user is standing still. You can thus help hide what stance you're about to use in a duel by turning your saber off momentarily (dangerous, but sometimes useful) or running around.

The three stances are (and from now on will be referred to by their proper names):

Fast (Blue):

"Fast" Stance

Fastest swings, virtually unlimited chainable combos and lots of spin moves. Best overall blocking ability for blaster shots and projectiles. Blocking against Medium and especially Strong stances are sometimes less effective. These swings also tend to do the least amount of damage of the three stances. This is the stance that all Lightsaber carriers possess by default.

The official documentation recommends this stance for battling non Lightsaber opponents (though I've found it can be quite useful in dueling as well).

Medium (Yellow):

"Medium" Stance

Medium speed swings, do medium damage, and have less spins and chainable combos than Fast stance. More effective at blocking against Strong stance.

The official documentation recommends this stance for battling multiple saber wielding opponents (though I've found it can be useful in dueling as well).

Strong (Red):

"Strong" Stance

Slow, deliberate and powerful swings. This stance has some of the most damaging attacks of any weapon in the game. However there is a wind-up and follow-through for many of them that makes them easy to see coming, and avoid (or counter-attack). Use with care! Can knock aside Fast blocks with ease, if done properly. This style has the nickname "bat saber" in some circles, in the way that some of the attacks have the effect of a baseball bat on foes (knocking them around or tossing them to the ground like rag-dolls).

The official documentation recommends this stance for battling against a single saber wielding opponent.

Lacks chainable combo ability.

1.03 Patch Notes:

You can chain a small amount of moves together, usually about two. The speed of the stance is somewhat slower as well. The "knock-away" ability of the batsaber is more pronounced against weaker stances in addition.

1.04 Patch Notes:

You are no longer knocked down by the "Kick" move while in this stance, but only knocked backward.

Update: .Templar. (of the forums) reports that in fact the Kick move can still topple a Strong Stance user, but only when he is NOT swinging. So it seems that this stance does not provide perfect protection against Kicks, but it does prevent your swings being countered in this fashion.

The game literature recommends Fast stance when facing multiple opponents who lack Lightsabers; Medium for facing multiple Lightsaber wielding opponents and for general use; and Strong stance for facing one Lightsaber wielding opponent. It is possible to use the Strong stance in a room full of enemies, with broad swings to wipe them out, but this is very dangerous and should only be attempted by advanced users.

These stances are not merely personal preference, but have different strengths and weaknesses and work better in different situations. Thus you may find yourself changing stances frequently in battle, and this makes it important to learn all three. Your enemies may also like to use certain stances, so you will want to know what they are capable of.

In addition to their various attributes, each stance has certain moves unique to it.

Stance Specific Lightsaber Moves

As the heading implies, these moves can only be performed while in the specified stance.


Uppercut Swing:


This move produces an "uppercut" swing as your character lunges forward.

The move can be done in mid-air (if repeated it can lead to a slight slowing in descent as your character grunts and tries to do the move a second time). If timed correctly, it can be used to stop yourself from taking damage from long falls (but not falls into bottomless pits).

Here is a demo recording of the move used in this manner. Special thanks to Strike for contributing it (place the file in your base\demos folder and run in game)! Update: This demo, of course, was meant for version 1.02.

The strike itself has poor range (like most Fast stance attacks) compared to the other stances, but is a good suprise move, and may be useful to take someone out in mid-air if your timing is good.

1.03 Patch Notes:

The damage of this move has been somewhat reduced.

1.04 Patch Notes:

It is no longer possible to perform the move in mid-air, removing the ability to slow your falls. Thus you should use the crouch-roll and/or Force Protection to reduce falling damage instead.

The move appears also to not be as easy to chain (ie: you cannot perform the move over and over rapidly).


Flipping Slash:


Perform this move when your enemy is directly in front of you. You'll flip into the air and strike, then do a flourish with your blade when you land.

This latter part of the move is rather slow, but has a wide sweep, making it possible to take out multiple enemies at once if done in a group melee. It also leaves you vulnerable if it misses.


Lunging Overhead Chop (aka "Death from Above"):

Start of the movemiddle of the movethe finish


Download a short demo showing the move being executed here (recorded for 1.04 only, place file in base\demos folder and use "demo dfa" to run in the console).

Character leaps forward while swinging his blade directly overhead and stabbing it into the floor. An excellent killing blow to use, if timed properly, on a fallen opponent.

Somewhat tricky to get the timing down at first, this move is done by tapping the aforementioned buttons quickly. Often after coming out of a force jump, this can be executed. Apparently, it is unblockable, but can be dodged. There is a short recovery after the move as well, as your saber sticks into the ground, leaving you open to counter-attack.

An alternate method of doing this move, which is much easier, is to run forward and swing the saber (this will result in an overhead blow). As you see the animation of your character hefting the saber over his head to swing (the wind up) tap the jump key.

Thus the method is 1) begin swing 2) jump+attack

With practice, you can execute the move after coming down from a jump, while running forward, etc, pretty much anytime.

If done correctly, you'll see the move execute (with a whooshing sound like Force Jump, although the move uses no mana). This method is more consistent than the one above, but it may be easier for your opponent to spot.

Mixing up your swings is a good idea to prevent it being countered when you land. It is also possible to control your direction (by "looking") as you leap through the air.

As a potentially instant killing move, this technique is hated and feared throughout much of the online community. Suffice to say though, that it has various built-in disadvantages to prevent it from being used over and over to win every match. It is far from all-powerful, and often deterimental to their own game in the hands of an amateur.

1.03 Patch Notes:

You can no longer control your direction or "pivot" while doing this move, making it harder to hit your opponent.

Lightsaber Attacks

The Lightsaber has a variety of different attack swings. Think of each "stance" as a seperate weapon. For each stance, memorize what each swing looks like (noting its speed and damage), and how it hits a target (practice on a wall or other object where you can see it hit and make marks). As in many fighting games, this technique for learning the saber will make each move more automatic, and may help you anticipate the moves of your opponent in order to better counter them (in a saber duel for example). Keep in mind that the same moves vary in strength, speed, and range as well as animation depending on your Saber Stance (see that section for details).



This fabled move has the air of "coolness" about it. Your character leans back with a stab directly behind him with the saber, running through anyone foolish enough to be in the way.

To do this move, press Back+Attack while the enemy is directly behind you. It is somewhat slow and can be dodged, but is seemingly impossible to block and can be deadly in one hit if successful. A good surprise move, especially when being "snuck up on" during a saber fight.

With Fast stance, the move is a quick backstab. With Medium and Strong stances, a spinning slash (or "back sweep").

Reportedly, some players adopt the tactic of, for lack of a better term "ass fighting" which is to say, they have their back to their opponent for the majority of the battle, and continually attempt to execute this move. I do not recommend this tactic, as it makes your actions very predictable to your opponent, and leaves you totally open to attack, while your back is unprotected.

1.04 Patch Notes:

(Quoted from LucasArts patch page)

"Corrected bug allowing players to pivot while executing backstab moves in all stances. Players may no longer pivot when executing these moves."

"Corrected issue causing damage not to ramp up and down properly when using the backstab move in light saber stance."

Forward Vertical Slice

Forward+Attack OR Backward+Attack

A quick top-down slash that can be good for hitting enemies that are higher or lower than you.

Horizontal Side-Swipe

Strafe Left/Right+Attack

If you strafe to the right while swinging, you'll swing from the opposite direction. Great for hitting a forward (and moving) target. I find that sometimes it helps to rapidly strafe back and forth while tapping the key (especially while using Force Dark Rage or Force Speed) resulting in rapid sweeps back and forth if your time is right, which can wear down an opponent fast.

Be careful however, since the big sweeps can be slow, leaving an opening for your opponent to counter-attack.

With Fast stance, holding strafe and the attack button can result in your character spinning round and round with the saber (which may or may not be useful, depending on the situation).

Diagonal Downward Slash

Strafe Left/Right+Forward+Attack

Great for hitting a stationary target, this slash has limited range, but is fast.

Diagonal Upward Slash

Strafe Left/Right+Backward+Attack

The opposite of the above move, it can be excellent against crouching or jumping foes.

Lightsaber Special Abilities

These are moves that can only be performed while the Lightsaber is held in the hand. Most of them use mana (though they can be performed even when all mana is used up) and cannot be used while a Ysalamari is held. Some require at least Level 2 Force Jump.

Wall Walk

Wall Walk in actionWall Walk in action

Your character will hop up on the side of the wall and jog along it for a few steps, a good escape manuver or to help you get over a wall to a higher level easier.

A simple move really, simply press Forward+Strafe+Jump while parallel to a smooth wall (curved or sloping walls don't usually work). You have some control over yourself while you are walking (you can chain saber attacks or jumps with it). Uses about five mana units, requires Level 2 Force Jump, cannot be done while a Ysalamari is held.

Wall Jump

While touching a wall, jump, or while pressing against wall, jump. Your body will be propelled away from the wall (you can control yourself in mid-air). Good for when you are cornered as an escape tactic or to confuse your opponent. This can be done when you are parallel to the wall facing it, or with your back against it. If done "sideways" it becomes more of a "Cartwheel Wall Flip" but the effect is the same. Requires at least Level 2 Force Jump, and cannot be done while Ysalamari is held. Uses the same amount of mana as a normal Force Jump.

1.03 Patch Notes:

(Quoted from LucasArts patch page)

"Backflip now requires that you double tap the jump button."

This can be tricky to pull off at first, but with practice, becomes easier, though its difficult to get a good "fix" on somebody in a game that's laggy.


Simply put, perform a Wall Jump, ON the body of an enemy. Your character will backflip, smacking your enemy in the face with your feet as you flip away. You'll hear the blow land and the enemy will be knocked back, often knocked on the ground (with a similar effect as Force Push). The attack does 20 damage, and uses the same amount of mana as the Wall Jump. Requires at least Level 2 Force Jump and cannot be performed while Ysalamari is held. Both Forward and Side kicks are possible, and can be used repeatedly.

Swoosh says:

"Probably one of the least known moves of Kyle Katarn's is the deceptively powerful kick. This unique move allows you to knock over your opponent, as well as to cause 20 units of damage. The ability to knock your enemy on his back is something that becomes very welcome when it's late in the battle and you are low on force mana. It gives a similar effect to force push, but is many times more effective. Using the kick to damage your enemies is even more fun. What could be better than finishing off another Jedi with your lightsaber stowed away and instead use your feet! Nothing is sweeter, and more humiliating."

1.03 Patch Notes:

Since the Wall Jump requires a fast double tap of the jump button, so does the Kick move.

However, the "side kick" (done by strafing and hitting jump while touching an enemy body on the side) does NOT require a double tap, and works with one quick press of the button.

Somersault (ground roll)

Hold crouch while running forward, backward, or strafing to the sides. You will roll in the chosen direction a few feet. This can be used as you land from a jump to lessen the potential damage from a fall, or as an escape tactic. Be careful you don't roll off a cliff! You also cannot attack while the roll is being performed (though your extended saber can brush against the enemy for 5 points of damage). Uses no mana, but cannot be performed while Ysalamari is held.

It is possible to control the direction of your roll, by "looking" in the direction you wish to move (you can even roll in a circle).

Another use for this move is to roll under the blue beams of Laser Tripmines.

Saber Challenges

The Saber Challenge is when, during a FFA (Free for All, that is deathmatch) game, on a server where it is enabled, a player targets you (from a short distance away, about Grip range) and presses their Saber Challenge Key ('K' by default). When they do this, text will appear on your screen showing you have been challenged. To accept the challenge, press your own Saber Challenge Key. You do not have to accept a challenge, and you may need to do the procedure again if you wait too long or get out of sight.

Once accepted, the combatants will freeze in place, a short distance apart, facing one another. They will begin to glow (with transparent white auras from their Point of View, and with dark blue auras from other players' POV), indicating that they are protected from outside attacks. No other players may damage them during the duel, however, they can "get in the way" which is considered annoying and rude. Thus it is recommended that Saber Challenges take place a safe distance away from the general melee and firefights on a map.

To start the battle, the announcer will say "Begin!" and the fight begins (with both players sabers igniting simultaneously if they are not already active). The battle continues until one player dies, or the combatants get too far apart (text will say that the duel was "severed"). During the duel, Force Powers are limited (you can use Saber Throw and Jump) and only the Lightsaber can be used. Also during the duel Saber Locks are possible (see that section for details). The winner of the duel will have their health restored to maximum, and the gameplay will resume as normal.

One thing to watch out for when getting ready to accept a duel, is the fact that you can be hurt just before the battle begins, and thus be at a disadvantage without full health or armor. This can occur if your enemy takes a "cheap shot" at you before accepting the challenge (watch out) or if an outside player hits you by accident (or on purpose). It is best not to whine when this occurs, but it could be pointed out as a point of ettiquette, since that is the purpose of a duel, to have a one on one battle (outside the FFA game where anything goes). Still, with enough skill, you should be able to win the battle, even if your health is not at maximum, and it won't help anyone to whine and complain if you did not choose a safe place to have your duel.

There is something of a point of controversy about Saber Challenges among some player circles. Most of the time, a FFA server will have "Lightsaber Challenge" allowed. In most cases, this means one set of combatants can engaged in one of these duels at a time. What sometimes will occur is that players will assume that the game revolves around waiting for this duel, and that no one should do any fighting outside of it. Some players prefer to keep their saber "off" before engaging the Challenge. This however, leaves them ripe targets for snipers, since they cannot block anything (and they are still dangerous, able to whip out the saber instantly in an attack). I feel it is a better approach to keep your saber out when challenging, since it won't matter anyway once the duel begins (both players activate sabers automatically).

If you join a server and find that there are certain expectations relating to Saber Challenges, and you do not agree, it may be good to find another server, as some people can get quite upset. If you are the host of the server, and present, I feel it is incumbant on you to explain the rules to new players joining. After all, not everyone will be familiar with your own "house rules." Binding a key to a line of text explaining the rules clearly and concisely can save you time in this.

Personally I find it much easier to run or join a Duel server than rely on Saber Challenges, since it has all the benefits of the Saber Challenge duel (you can observe those fighting when its not your turn, in spectator mode; you can limit Force to make battles last longer; you get access to Saber Locks; no need to worry about being hit by people not involved in the duel, etc) with other benefits. For example there is no glow surrounding the fighters, and other players cannot "get in the way." As in spectator mode (automatic when you are not actually fighting) you can view the battle from the POV of either combatant. However the Saber Challenge can be a nice change of pace from the chaos of a deathmatch, or to match the egos of players who can't seem to beat each other using the rest of the weapons. =)

Unfortunately, bots never accept Saber Challenges.

1.04 Patch Notes:

(Quoted from LucasArts patch page)

"Fixed bug allowing inventory items to be used in FFA saber challenges."

Saber Locks

Dueling Players involved in a Saber Lock

When two players are fighting with their sabers (in either Duel Mode, or during a Lightsaber Challenge), often a series of close range swings or if players begin to touch each other's blades, a "Lock" will occur.

At first these locks may seem random, but in general, when two swings collide at close range (regardless of the stances used) a lock will occur.

The two players face each other as their blades press against each other and they strain to overthrow each other, with sparks flying everywhere. Players tap their "attack" keys repeatedly to try to win the struggle. The winner of a lock will shove his opponent to the ground (much like the effect of Force Push) and can set him up for a free hit or killing blow.

A saber lock will last a maximum of 10 seconds, with the result being either the loser being thrown to the ground, or both players being pushed back (in the case of a tie). During the lock, the manual recommends using Force Push to give you a chance of an advantage over your opponent. It is true this is sometimes effective, breaking you out of the lock early and beating your opponent.

Some have suggested ways of winning locks that might be considered cheating in some circles. For example many controllers have a "rapid fire" setting or a script can be written to have rapid attacks. However, even for these cases, it seems that pure button mashing can still come out on top. I recommend, if you are involved in many saber locks, to bind a key to your keyboard (don't break your parent's/friend's keyboard!) for attack, even if you already have attack mapped on your mouse (as I do). That way you'll resist wear and tear on your mouse, and you can pound it a lot quicker than clicking your mouse.

What I like to do in a saber lock, is to switch to Strong stance (if I'm not in it already) while I jam on my attack button, so that I can set up my opponent for a free hit if I win.

Be ready however, if you lose, to get back up again (tap jump key repeatedly to get up faster) and be ready to use force and whatever you can to avoid a death blow!

Though it is utterly useless strategically, it looks somewhat amusing if one or both players turn OFF their sabers during a lock. It will appear as if you are both struggling with your hilts.

1.04 Notes:

Raven developers have mentioned that it is now possible to use powers like Force Push while knocked to the ground, to help prevent yourself from being killed after losing a saber lock.

Also note that with the slower speed of Strong Stance, quick finishing blows are trickier to land on fallen players (thus I recommend Medium stance instead).

It is also no longer possible in 1.04 to "struggle with your hilts."

I once heard reports that it was possible to disarm (literally) your opponent, if you won the saber lock and your enemy was very low on health. However this may only be in single player. Some players have said that this works, but I am not sure if it is a bug or not. If anyone can verify this, please contact me!

Update: At least two people have emailed me to confirm that this does indeed work in multiplayer!

"...It IS possible to disarm your enemy within a saber lock. Very easy. Your enemy just has to be low on HP (>20?) and you have to win the saber lock.

It gives a pretty cool animation, the hand gets chopped off and the person dies.

However it only works with very low HP and after winning the saber lock which would result in death anyway (knocked down + blue stance + low HP = dead). " - Aeth S'kray, Academy Jedi Knight

For more info on dismemberment in multiplayer, see below:

Dismemberment & Blood (Optional)

With the Lightsaber it is possible to cut off an enemy's limbs in multiplayer. However, both the server and the client must have this feature turned on (tested in version 1.04).

Add/modify the following lines in your autoexec.cfg file (or whatever cfg file you use for MP):

seta g_dismember "100"
seta cg_dismember "100"

The first one is for the server. Meaning if people join your game and have the second line, they will see dismemberment. I find it adds just a little bit more of a Star Wars feel to the game (though it doesn't affect gameplay in the least).

The number in quotes can be anything, but 100 seems to work well (you could also try 300, but too high and the game may crash). About 99% of the time when you get a lightsaber kill, some part of them will be cut off (leg, arm, hand, head, torso cut in half).

Some players also like to have "blood" appear when they score a direct hit on the enemy as well. Some will argue that Star Wars isn't bloody (though they probably have forgotten the Cantina scene in A New Hope or Darth Maul's unfortunate fate in The Phantom Menace) but I'll let you decide. I'd also point out that when Jedi Outcast was first shown at E3 it featured blood effects in gameplay (but these were subsequently turned off, along with dismemberment for the final release).

It's definately nothing so over-the-top as Quake, but it does help to see if you've actually hit somebody in a game with low framerate or lag, or over long distances.

These mods are client-side and work quite well to put these features back into the game, if that's your thing.
Find the JK2 blood patch (and others) here:

(the site is in German)

Update: Lost the link to the JK2 Blood Patch, so here it is again (it's an older version, I'll have to find the original final version on CD, but it may take awhile). In the meantime try this for all your bloody needs!

Once you have become familiar with the Lightsaber, you should review the Force Powers and Weapons pages in our other sections.