In its latest blog post, EA and Motive Studios have revealed more details about what to expect from the game’s customization options, both aesthetically with cosmetic items and functionally with ship components.
Ship Components That Affect Gameplay
In Star Wars Squadrons, you’ll be able to unlock components (via Requisition points earned during gameplay) for your starfighters. These can be equipped to change how your ships function in subtle or radical ways. Some impact your starfighters passively, such as by reinforcing their defensive capabilities with different hulls or shields, while others have more active changes, such as what abilities you can use.
Creating loadouts that suit both your playstyle and the situations you face will help pilots excel in combat. In total, there are up to seven component slots, though ships without shield generators only have six.
- Primary Weapons
- Auxiliary (x2)
Of these seven, starfighters can be equipped with up to three passive components and four active components.
The first group of components are the ones that provide active changes. The three types of active components are primary weapons, auxiliary components (of which there are two slots), and countermeasures.
Primary weapons are your starfighter’s cannons. These components change the functionality and performance of your weapons.
One primary weapon might offer a higher rate of fire in exchange for lower damage output, while another provides powerful long-range damage in the form of burst fire. There are even primary weapons that more radically change the way your weapons work, such as ion cannons that shred through shields and can outright disable starfighters but don’t do much hull damage.
Auxiliary components make up the next two slots and these components make up your starfighters secondary abilities. The options here range from adding a repair astromech or tractor beams to a variety of torpedoes, bombs, and mines.
The final component is your ship’s countermeasures. These components impact how you disengage from fights so that you can survive longer. Some examples are seeker warheads that your ship fires behind you to take out incoming missiles or a sensor jammer to prevent missile lock-ons.
Passive ship components provide changes to the general performance of your engines, hull, and shields, typically via percentage increases and decreases to their stats, or even add additional bonuses, such as engines that create a large explosion, damaging enemies upon your starfighter’s destruction.
For example, one type of shield will be more resilient to blaster fire but more vulnerable to missiles while another will have entirely different pros and cons, like taking longer to lock onto your ship when it has full shields but increasing the shield regeneration delay. There are often trade-offs in what is gained and what is sacrificed, and these decisions can make all the difference in battle.
The same goes for the engine and hull components. Making your starfighter more nimble might reduce its max speed, or increasing your hull strength might reduce its manoeuvrability. Changes to your passive ship components will have a constant effect on your starfighter’s performance during a fight, so experiment until you find the balance that best fits your playstyle.
Lead Gameplay Designer James Clement said:
Between power management, overcharging, shield balancing or emergency power conversion, boosting, drifting, throttle management, primary weapons, auxiliary abilities, and countermeasures, the combat piloting experience has significant depth.
You can learn the ropes quickly, yet you can look forward to discovering new techniques and tactics for months to come.
On top of that, there’s a wealth of customizable components to choose from.
There’s a healthy selection to start with and more to unlock through gameplay as you progress.
In Star Wars Squadrons, both of your pilots (Imperial and New Republic) and all eight of your starfighters can be customized. Your pilot appearances will be used in both the single-player story mode and the multiplayer modes.
In general, most cosmetics are unlocked via Glory points earned while playing. Both pilots will have multiple heads to choose from between the factions (with the New Republic having non-human unlockable options as well) and different voice styles as well.
You’ll be able to get pretty creative with how your pilot looks with options for different heads, full-body flight suits, torso apparel, legwear, helmets, and gloves. The team has sourced a ton of references from across the Star Wars canon to ensure they’re as authentic as possible while also introducing some new things.
You can even customize your cockpit as well. You’ll be able to add small knick-knacks on your dashboard, like a hologram of the galaxy, or hang a small Stormtrooper helmet from above. There are lots of little options that you can decorate with and, despite being inside, your enemies will get to see them when they watch a kill-cam of their defeat.
Starfighters can customize their hull/paint job, decals (including familiar insignias like the Phoenix Squadron’s starbird), cockpit hologram, dashboard miniatures, and hanging flair.
The holo-display, normally used to provide critical phase and objective information throughout the Fleet Battles doubles as a customizable image projector.
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.
As you play, you’ll unlock loadouts, too, allowing every ship in the game to have up to five different component and cosmetic configurations.
Star Wars: Squadrons will launch for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC (Steam, Origin, and Epic Games Store) on 2 October 2020.