It’s time for a new entry in the Star Wars gaming universe. Electronic Arts, Motive Studios and Lucas Film just unveiled Star Wars: Squadrons, a new title with both a single-player story and a multiplayer component.
Squadrons will feature space dogfights throughout the “Star Wars” universe. It takes place following the events that unfold in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, which means you’ll duke it out during the final days of the Galactic Empire, right before the dawn of the New Republic. Squadrons will launch on October 2, but preorders are open for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and VR.
During EA Play, additional information was shared about Star Wars: Squadrons’ single-player campaign by way of the first trailer showcasing gameplay in action. Players will take to the skies in the ship of their choice straight from the cockpit, as they must keep up with the instruments and monitors surrounding them.
As far as familiar faces from the Star Wars universe go, characters like General Hera Syndulla from Star Wars Rebels will be making her return to the universe alongside characters from both sides of the conflict, including the Rebel Alliance and the Empire.
The game’s bread and butter, of course, lies squarely within its multiplayer options, however. Players will take part in 5v5 battles, which allows them to choose from a variety of different ships, including four different roles: Fighter, Interceptor, Support, and Bomber.
Fighters include X-Wing and TIE Fighter ships, while Interceptors are comprised of A-Wing and TIE Interceptor crafts. Support crafts include U-Wing and TIE Reapers, while Bombers are made up of Y-Wings and TIE Bombers. Each class of ship plays its own respective role within combat, and it’ll be up to you to decide which ship is better for each different type of situation.
Throughout a variety of multiplayer battles, players can earn the ability to customize their pilots and ships with pieces handed out through game progression. There are also important components that can be equipped to upgrade both how each ship plays as well as how it responds to individual players’ style of play.
Currently, there are two modes planned for multiplayer action: Dogfights and Fleet Battles. Dogfights are 5v5 battles that find players using ships with custom loadouts to topple the other team. Fleet Battles are a much larger-scale mode that will act as the flagship option for Star Wars: Squadrons.
They stretch a series of 5v5 battles across a number of stages. A winner is first determined for the first stage via dogfight, and then the game continues on with two capital ships that must be destroyed to get to the final round. The way Fleet Battles is built, it could be anyone’s game as the rounds progress, and they will be much longer affairs than typical 5v5 dogfights.
All modes of play will be available across each platform that Squadrons comes to, including virtual reality by way of PC and PlayStation VR.
You can expect 5v5 multiplayer combat, full-scale fleet battles and an original story to tie it all together. The single-player campaign will include a saga that follows the Battle of Endor, following the Rebel Alliance’s destruction of the Death Star II.
It will provide perspectives from the alternating viewpoints of two customizable pilots. One hails from the Galactic Empire’s Titan Squadron, while the other is from the New Republic’s Vanguard Squadron. You may find plenty of familiar “Star Wars” faces along the way as well, but EA is being reticent about who that might include.
In addition, much like with Star Wars Battlefront II, you’ll have plenty of options to customize your starfighters and pilot with cosmetic and performance upgrades. These will come in the form of weapons, engines, hulls, and shield upgrades, in addition to items that can be used to customize the cockpit, ship exteriors and more. It appears these customization items will be offered through ranking up.
The game can be enjoyed solo or with others, no matter the platform, with cross-play across every supported system. It’s set to debut Oct. 2 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and VR (support for PSVR is confirmed), but it’s available to preorder now and will run for $39.99 via both retail and digital sellers.
EA Access and Origin Access Basic subscribers can play the game 10 hours for free at launch and will get 10% off the full game. Origin Access Premier subscribers will get to play the full game on PC if they subscribe. If you want to join the “Star Wars” gaming universe sooner, we’d recommend Battlefront II or Jedi: Fallen Order.
- Star Wars Battlefront II on Xbox One (Digital Code) (starting at $12.50, originally $24.99; amazon.com, gamestop.com or greenmangaming.com)
- Star Wars Battlefront II on PlayStation 4 (starting at $14.98, originally $29.99; amazon.com, gamestop.com or greenmangaming.com)
- Star Wars Battlefront II on PC (Online Code) ($9.99; amazon.com or greenmangaming.com)
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on Xbox One (starting at $39.99; amazon.com or gamestop.com)
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PlayStation 4 (starting at $48.95; amazon.com or gamestop.com)
It’s time to jump in the cockpit for serious skirmishes if you’re going to be ready for Star Wars: Squadrons this fall!
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.