A Flashpoint is an instanced adventure event for cooperative group-play. They are not simple "dungeons" to battle through; they also include various paths, decision points, and cinematics.  They are repeatable and will offer some of the best gear in play.
Flashpoint missions are typically divided into a series of connected events, including conversations, boss battles, and other objectives. Each objective develops in both action and story, such as with enemy movement, changes in the environment, etc. This story aspect is designed to help players further develop their characters.
The combat experience is tightly integrated with the story (e.g., types of enemies, their AI behavior, their abilities). These will be some of the most challenging combat encounters, requiring not just a full group of players, but players with superior coordination and skill.
The moral choices in Flashpoints will sometimes have more consequences than Dark or Light Side points. Likewise, completing bonus objectives can sometimes open new options for the mission.
Players can complete their first flashpoint starting at level 7 (after reaching the fleet) and more will become available every few levels after.
Tactical Flashpoints are role-neutral, meaning Group Finder will match the first four eligible players regardless of group role, but may still have a level requirement.
Remember too, that there are multiple layers of reward for running a flashpoint. The first, and simplest, is that upon completion of the scenario you'll get a popup with a quest reward of xp, coin, commendations, and possibly light/dark points. There is more to be had though, if you plan ahead.
The next simplest is to have received the Daily Missions quest from your fleet missions box. This will instruct you to complete any qualifying flashpoint, and will grant a nice reward when you turn it in. Obviously, this can't be done more than once per day. But it's a worthwhile bonus if you're going to be on the fleet anyway.
Don't forget though, that in the Dropship Launch Hangar there are quests for each flashpoint also.
So, to maximize your reward: First, get the Daily Missions, then go to the Dropship Launch Hangar to get the individual flashpoint quests, then join the Group Finder Queue with the tabs for each flashpoint checked. Using this technique, you'll find leveling up is fast and exciting and that you always have enough coin and commendations to keep yourself and your primary companion in decent gear.
List of Flashpoints
|Flashpoints||Level Ranges||HM Gear|
|7-10||13-17||17-21||21-25||25-29||29-33||33-37||37-41||41-45||45-49||48-50||50||Tactical 15-54||Tactical 55||Tactical 56-60||HM||HM55||HM60|
|The Black Talon||X||X||T1.2 Wrist|
|The Esseles||X||X||T1.2 Wrist|
|Boarding Party||X||X||T1.2 Hands|
|Taral V||X||X||T1.2 Hands|
|The Foundry||X||X||T1.2 Feet|
|Maelstrom Prison||X||X||T1.2 Feet|
|Colicoid War Games||X||N/A|
|The Red Reaper||X||N/A|
|Directive 7||X||X||T1.2 Legs|
|The False Emperor||X||X||T1.2 Chest|
|The Battle of Ilum||X||X||T1.2 Off|
|Kaon Under Siege||X||X||T1.2 Head|
|The Lost Island||X||X|
|Czerka Corporate Labs||X||X|
|Czerka Core Meltdown||X||X|
|Kuat Drive Yards||
|Assault on Tython||X||X|
|Depths of Manaan||X||X|
|Legacy of the Rakata||X||X|
|Battle of Rishi||X||X|
- Flashpoints on Star Wars: The Old Republic.com
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Updated Q&A - Flashpoints...The Old Republic's Answer to Dungeons?