Cover is an ability that the Imperial Agent and the Republic Smuggler can take advantage of. It reduces the amount of damage you take and allows you to do cover-specific attacks, such as Cover Pulse, or Orbital Strike. When you start your class storyline, you can only crouch and that acts as your cover ability. It serves little to no purpose in the beginning of the game, unless you roll into a cover-spot; due to the fact that very little cover-specific abilities are available to you, and your damage is not reduced. When you go down your disciplinary path, you gain access to a cover shield that deploys, making cover much more useful, and all-around amazing. The color of the cover shield changes depending on your faction, red for Imperial and blue for Republic.