The new details were announced through a post on its website called Pilot Briefing. It explained that each starfighter has its own unique handling and functionality, but will also include some primary features like “primary weapons, countermeasures, a hull outfitting, engines, and two auxiliary abilities (such as missiles or repair droids)”.
It also added that some starfighters will also have shields, while others won’t. However, according to EA, players who know how to pilot one ship will be able to pilot all eight as the vehicles in the game “share the same basic controls”.
The post also broke down three pillars of the game: Power Management, Starfighter Classes and Bring Them To Life.
The game’s Power Management system lets players distribute energy to different parts of their ships, such as engines, lasers or shields. Squadrons also includes options for power management handling, allowing players to switch between a “basic, simplified power management system and a more advanced one that allows them to more precisely control how much power goes to each subsystem”.
Besides power management, hull integrity also has to be carefully monitored. The hull will not automatically recharge like shields, although Astromechs and repair systems can be used to restore a ship. Returning to the hangar in a flagship will also allow for a full repair. Support starfighters can heal their allies in the battlefield as well.
Squadron’s eight starfighters can be broken down into four classes: Fighter, Interceptor, Bomber and Support. The Fighter class (X-wing and TIE fighter) are the most balanced ships but don’t excel at any one thing. The Interceptor class (A-wing and TIE interceptor) are experts at dogfighting and have high speed and powerful lasers but weak shields.
The Bomber class (Y-wing and TIE bomber) are the slowest class, but can deal and absorb more damage than other classes. Finally, the Support class (U-wing and TIE reaper) are dedicated to helping allies resupply and repair their starfighters. They also utilise tractor beams to stop or slow enemies, drop mines, and deploy turrets to help turn the tide of a battle.
Finally, Bring Them To Life touches upon the authenticity of the in-game cockpits. EA revealed that the starfighters’ cockpits are designed to mirror those from the original Star Wars trilogy. “A big part of our work in bringing these starfighters to life has been the creation of the cockpits,” the company stated. “We design the cockpit instruments for that as if we were Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) building the prop in the ‘70s.”