Great Shot, Kid. That Was One In a Million
As mentioned, multiplayer has two main modes - Dogfight and Fleet Battle. Dogfight is team deathmatch in space - it’s fantastic. You’ll weave in and out of asteroid fields, either in pursuit of your opponent or trying to escape them. The thrill of “missile evaded” flashing up on your HUD never gets old. Neither does destroying an opponent and flying through the explosion (barrel roll optional).
Fleet Battles are where the tactical side of Star Wars Squadrons excels. Ship choice and loadout are the difference between victory and defeat. This is especially true in the ranked playlist, which is understandably locked until you hit pilot level 5. Don’t worry, this will only take a few matches and you’ll pick up a few tips and tricks as well as glory points and starfighter components. The latter are used to unlock new systems for your ships, including special weapons and countermeasures. Unlocking these tools will prove invaluable. Seeker Mines are particularly fun to drop behind you when being pursued.
In Fleet Battles you’ll destroy enemy fighters, comprised of other players as well as AI. Destroying these boosts your team morale meter. Once the meter hits a certain point, your team can move onto larger ships and eventually the enemy capital ship. I’ve had tremendous fun experimenting with ships and loadouts. My personal favourite being Y-Wings (or TIE Bomber) with two types of bomb. The feeling of a successful bombing run on a capital ship is exhilarating, especially when knocking out their targeting systems or shield generators.
Micromanaging your ship’s myriad of systems on the fly gives multiplayer an incredible amount of depth. Spawning from either just outside combat areas or from capital ships eliminates the worry of spawn campers. The game also has a ping system with the usual communications for those times you can’t be bothered to use a mic.
As stated, you’ll receive the starfighter components and glory points as you progress. Glory points are used to buy cosmetic items to pimp your ride. Dazzle your opponent with a fetching paint job. Take the stress out of being pummelled by a Star Destroyer with an Ewok bobble-head on your dashboard. You can even change the hologram that delivers important information. I’m currently saving my glory points so I can have all my mission critical information delivered by Jabba’s little mate - Salacious B. Crumb. You gain 200 glory points per win, the most expensive items currently costing 1200. Daily challenges are available to help boost your point total so nothing is too much of a grind. At the time of writing, there are no micro-transactions. I really hope EA keep it this way. Star Wars Squadrons' emphasis on multiplayer is reflected in the trophy/achievement list. Speaking of which...