Star Wars Squadrons’ Starfighter and Pilot Customization Detailed
Star Wars Squadrons’ latest Pilot Briefing has revealed how players will be able to customize both their starfighters and pilots in this upcoming first-person space dog-fighting game set after Return of the Jedi.
Active and Passive Ship Components
This Pilot Briefing began with focusing on the ship components players can purchase by using the Requisition points they earn while playing Star Wars Squadrons.
These components help change how your starfighter functions in “subtle and radical ways.” Some have passive effects, like “reinforcing their defensive capabilities with different hulls or shields,” while others help dictate what abilities will be available in gameplay.
There are seven total component slots – Primary Weapons, Auxiliary (x2), Countermeasures, Hull, Shields, and Engines – but ships without shield generators will only have six.
Starfighters can be equipped with up to three passive components and four active components.
The active components are for your Primary weapons, Auxiliary components, and Countermeasures.
The Primary weapons are your main canons, and components can offer many changes like a rate of fire boost for a lower damage output or a long-range cannon that uses burst fire.
Furthermore, there are ion canons that can be equipped to cut through shields with ease, but don’t do much damage to the ship’s hull beyond that.
Auxiliary components make up two of the seven slots and make up your starfighter’s secondary abilities. Pilots can choose to add such items as a repair astromech, tractor beam, or a variety of torpedoes, bombs, and mines. It’s important to know you can’t choose two of the same Auxiliary components at once.
Countermeasures help you survive when you need to disengage from intense fights. These components include seeker warheads that fire behind your ship and take out incoming missiles and a sensor jammer that will prevent another starfighter from locking on to yours.
The passive components offer an improvement of either your engines, hull, and shields at the cost of one of the ones you don’t choose. A default loadout will be very well balanced, without a major strength or weakness, but these components can help you make a starfighter for the role you want to play.
Cosmetic Customization for Pilots and Starfighters
Whether you are playing as an Imperial or New Republic pilot, you can choose to customize each class you may be playing. These appearances will be used in both story mode and multiplayer.
Most cosmetics are unlocked via Glory points that are earned while playing, and include different heads, voice styles, full-body flight suits, torso apparel, legwear, helmets, and gloves.
Starfighters can also be customized, and give pilots the chance to “represent one of the classic iconic X-wing squadrons like Red Squadron, stay true to the noble values of Vanguard Squadron, or rep an entirely different paint job.” While the Imperial pilots sport a more uniform look, there are still some “special customization options for Titan Squadron’s starfighters that remain true to the Empire’s aesthetic.”
Your cockpit can also be changed to your liking, and you can “add small knick-knacks on your dashboard, like a hologram of the galaxy, or hang a small Stormtrooper helmet from above.” When you defeat an enemy, they will be able to see your crafted cockpit via the kill cam.
The single-player story will feature traditional cockpits, but multiplayer allows for some creative liberties and gives pilots many more options to personalize their starfighters.
“The holo-display, normally used to provide critical phase and objective information throughout the Fleet Battles doubles as a customizable image projector,” Lead gameplay designer James Clements explained. “There are also hanging flairs like a miniature Millennium Falcon and dashboard-mounted objects like a severed protocol droid head or an Ewok bobblehead. Then of course there are the ship exterior paint jobs and pilot avatar customizations, all made through the culmination of months of concept art, modeling, and collaboration with the team at Lucasfilm.”
If it’s too hard for you to decide which cosmetics you’d like for each ship, you can rest easy knowing you can unlock five loadout slots to create the perfect options for you.
For more on Star Wars Squadrons, which will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 2, 2020, check out our hands-on preview and read all about the last Pilot Briefing that focused on starfighter differences and special abilities.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.