If you want to bumble around and figure things out for yourself, best you stop reading now. Otherwise, carry on.
Companion gifts have 3 major aspects:
- Type of gift (i.e. Military, Republic Memorabilia, etc)
- Rank of gift (Ranks 1-5 I think)
- Quality of gift (green, blue, purple)
We’re going to go through these in order…
Type of Gift
Your companion likes certain types of gifts, and it’s definitely a hierarchy. If you want to be efficient, you will look it up on one of those fan sites. The hierarchy goes:
Usually each companion has 1-2 “love” gifts. These are the ones you want to focus on. This is because the drops from tier to tier are, generally speaking, by half.
Example: Presuming Rank 1 Gifts on a low-affection companion (more on this later) I found out that it would be +96 affection for a “love” gift, +48 affection for a “favorite” gift, and +24 affection for a “like” gift. Give or take. An “indifferent” gift will get you 0. Waste of money.
Conclusion: For the most bang for your buck on gift type,
- give the “love” gifts
- give the “favorite” gifts if you happen to come across them (do not buy them). Or sell them if you prefer.
- sell the rest (or give them to your alts)
Rank of Gift
Gift rank is appropriate based on the current affection of that companion, not your level. In general, you should give Rank 1 gifts until they start dropping in affection rating (i.e. something that used to give you +96 now gives you +54) at which point you move on to the next rank.
As with the above, the effectiveness of a gift rank drops by about half. If your companion “needs” a rank 3 gift, the rank 3 gift might give +96, a rank 2 gift of the same type would be +48, and a rank 1 gift +24.
If you give too high a rank of gift, it’s overkill and you will waste points. For example: If I give a “love” gift, Rank 1, to a companion with 1000 affection, I get +96 affection. If I give that same companion a Rank 2 “love” gift, I will get +106. Since the prices of the gifts go up non-linearly, this is a huge waste.
Again, pay attention to affection gains and once you start experiencing diminishing returns, bump up the rank of gift. If I had to guess, I’d say you have to move up a rank every 2000 or 2500 affection points.
Quality of Gift
If you give a blue or purple gift, you will get way more brownie points than a green gift. However, the above rules still apply. If your companion feels lukewarm (“like”) toward a certain gift type, a better quality gift won’t change that. It is definitely not worth the expense. Also, as much as you might like to surprise your companion with a huge Rank 3 gift, wait until your affection is around 5000 to present it (give or take).
How many more brownie points are we talking about here? I would say that, compared to a green gift of the same type and rank, you get double for a blue and quadruple for a purple. Again, this is based on trial and error so I could be way off.