Star Wars Squadrons is a pretty complex game, but we’ve got your back with some beginner tips and tricks to help you become an ace pilot. If you want to fly like a pro, you’re going to have to put some work in. You can’t just hop into a TIE Fighter or an X-Wing and expect to perform like an aerial ace right off the bat. Thankfully, there are a number of offline singleplayer modes to practice in before you take the fight online against other players in dogfights or fleet battles. Here are 7 beginner tips and tricks for Star Wars Squadrons.
Master Power Management
Effective power management is crucial to your survival in Star Wars Squadrons. Your ship has three main components: engines, weapons, and shields. By default, your ship sends power equally to the three of them, but you can manually divert power to one specific section in order to boost its performance by pressing the corresponding direction on the d-pad. Diverting power to your engines grants you more mobility, for example, while diverting power to your weapons causes your lasers to hit harder. Adjusting your power on the fly during battle can be the difference between victory and defeat, so keep an eye on your power gauges and make changes as needed.
Adjust Your Speed for Sharper Turns
The ability to perform sharp turns is incredibly important during a dogfight, but you’ll have to manage your speed if you want to perform evasive maneuvers. At full throttle, your ship will make very wide turns and you’ll be much less agile in combat as a result. To effectively turn your ship, reduce your throttle speed to half. Don’t completely come to a stop; stopping is an easy way to get yourself shot out of the sky. Leaving your throttle at half speed grants you the maximum amount of mobility while still keeping your ship on the move.
Play the Campaign First
It’s understandable to just want to jump straight into the online part of the game and start blasting away at other players in dogfights and fleet battles, but you should probably play the Star Wars Squadrons campaign first, especially if you’re new to flight combat games like this. Even if you’ve played similar games, Squadrons has a few unique mechanics that you’ll want to spend time mastering before you face off against real people online. The campaign is a great way to learn the intricacies of each ship, and you’ll get to meet some cool pilots and play your own part in an original Star Wars story.
Press X Twice to Target Your Attacker
Targeting ships can be a hassle, especially in the heat of battle, but there’s an easy way to target someone that’s on your tail. Normally, pressing L2 would target the ship in front of you and pressing X would cycle through available targets. If you double-tap the X button, however, you will automatically target the ship that is attacking you. This is great for getting a bead on a pesky TIE fighter that won’t leave your tail. Even if you can’t maneuver your ship well enough to line up a shot, you can request assistance from your AI allies in the campaign and they’ll take care of the enemy that’s bothering you so long as it’s targeted.
Choose the Right Ship for the Job
While everyone wants to fly TIE Fighters and X-Wings, they’re not always the best ships for the occasion. You always want to choose the right ship for the job, especially in online fleet battles. Each ship has a particular role, and team composition actually matters in multiplayer. You can’t effectively take down an enemy Star Destroyer with only X-Wings, for example. You’ll need at least a few Y-Wing bombers. Take the time to learn each ship’s strengths and weaknesses and then choose the right ship when the time comes. Your team will thank you.
Customize Your Controls
Star Wars Squadrons is a fairly complex game, and there are a ton of buttons that do a lot of things. To make things easier for yourself, head to the settings and take a long look at the control scheme. Tweak and customize them to your liking. The default control scheme might not be perfect for everyone, and the controls will need to be second nature to you in order to input all the necessary commands while dogfighting. Everyone’s preferences are different, so be sure to at least check out the available options for different control schemes and layouts before flying.
Practice Your Drift
Although it’s a fairly advanced maneuver, the drift is an essential skill in Star Wars Squadrons. In order to drift, you must first divert power to your ship’s engines. Then, press L3 to initiate a boost. While boosting, use the right analog stick to look either left or right and then press and hold L3 to drift. It can be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but this move can get you out of sticky situations and help you navigate tight spaces. You can pretty much turn your ship around on a dime, allowing you to get the jump on an enemy ship that’s on your tail or turn a tight corner and catch someone by surprise.
Star Wars Squadrons is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The game is fully playable in VR on PC and PS4. For more Star Wars Squadrons tips and tricks, check out our HOTAS support guide or crossplay guide.