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I notice that if I don't have a companion with me, I don't tend to gain any affection for them. For example, I've never gained/lost any affection from my ship droid, because I've never had him with me outside the ship.

But will the same apply if I send my current companion away on a crew task and perform some action they would then like or dislike?

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Ship droid is incapable of gaining affection anyway. He will always secretly loathe you, even as he repaints your spaceship, revises your meal plan, and administers foot massages. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Feb 3 '12 at 15:59
    
That's a shame... I thought he was doing such a good job at making the 0.000006% increase in whatever that is. –  TZHX Feb 3 '12 at 16:03
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

During normal questing your conversation choices may affect your companions affection towards you. They must be present in order to gain/loss affection towards you.

Class quest missions that take place on your ship affect all your currently gained companions. These happen anytime it tells you to use the holoterminal or the ships intercom on your ship at the end of a quest.

As a side note, you can always hit escape out of a conversation sequence if you don't like the fact that your companion disliked your choice and choose a different one (but that sort of defeats the purpose of a RPG, besides you can give them gifts later anyway to make it up to them).

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I'm almost certain I've gained affection with a companion who wasn't present. They had to be the active companion, but not with me at the time. –  Matthew Read Feb 3 '12 at 17:29
    
if they are the 'selected' companion, they will gain/lose from your actions regardless if they're "there" or not (i.e. they get the points if they're out in a gathering mission or if you're in a full group and your companion goes away) –  Rodolfo Feb 3 '12 at 18:40
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