Star Wars: Squadrons is very exciting: a 5v5 space combat game that lets you pilot an X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and more in first-person stellar dogfighting – and with VR support to boot.
It’s actually been rumoured for years – having leaked a couple times under its Project Maverick code name – but it’s now official, and is on the way this autumn.
When is Star Wars: Squadrons coming out?
Squadrons is set to release on 2 October 2020 for the relatively budget-friendly price of £34.99/$39.99, reflecting the fact that it’s a smaller title than the likes of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
What platforms will Squadrons be on?
Unsurprisingly, Squadrons will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC – available on Steam, Origins, and the Epic Games Store.
Since it releases shortly before the launch of the next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X, expect the game to eventually appear on those two consoles as well, though nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
Watch the Squadrons trailer
Shortly after the game leaked on the Xbox Store, EA formally revealed it with this announcement trailer:
The company then followed it up with a full gameplay trailer that reveals more concrete details about how Squadrons plays:
What will gameplay be like?
As the name and concept art give away, Squadrons is an aerial combat game that follows in the footsteps of the classic X-Wing series, right down to setting it all in a first-person perspective, with the game’s UI represented within the controls and displays of the ship itself.
Unlike those games it’s set after the original trilogy, though not by much. It takes place just after the events of Return of the Jedi, with the remnants of the Empire fighting for revenge against the Rebellion – now the New Republic.
The game includes a single-player campaign in which you’ll alternate between the two factions in a story that includes cameos from the likes of Wedge Antilles and Hera Syndulla.
Across the campaign you’ll get to control each of the eight ships included at launch, which are broken down into four categories:
Fighters: X-Wing and TIE Fighter
Interceptors: A-Wing and TIE Interceptor
Support: U-Wing and TIE Reaper
Bomber: Y-Wing and TIE Bomber
Each ship is also fully customisable, with over 50 different components to let you tweak the appearance, weaponry, shields, engines, and more, to make your fighter feel like your own. You can even customise the cockpit, right down to an Ewok bobblehead.
The devs have confirmed to IGN that you can turn all of this off if you prefer hardcore accuracy to the films however, so if you don’t want to see other people’s racing stripes you don’t have to.
“Some players aren’t going to want to see any of that,” said creative director Ian S. Frazier. “It won’t matter how plausible it is, they just want to keep it to exactly what we’ve seen in the films, no more and no less, and we totally get that. And so we have an option in the game to hide everybody else’s cosmetics.”
Frazier also confirmed that there’s be more customisability for more advanced players. Once you’ve mastered the basics (or if you’re just cocky from the get-go) you can turn off all UI elements except those shown on cockpit controls, or switch from the simple default power management system to a more complex one with granular power adjustments between your ship’s various systems.
Once you’ve completed the campaign and mastered the eight ships, you’ll be let loose on the game’s multiplayer, which includes cross-play so it doesn’t matter which platform you play on.
EA has detailed two modes so far. The first is Dogfight, a relatively simple 5v5 fight between two teams, in which the aim is simply to rack up kills.
Fleet Battles sound more exciting. These are multi-stage encounters that include a dogfight, followed by the chance to attack or defend two cruiser ships, and finally the attack or defence of a flagship.
Before each Fleet Battle you’ll get the chance to meet up with your squadron in a social space to plan strategy and adjust your loadouts accordingly, before you head out into the fray. You can play this competitively, or simply run it as co-op against a team of enemy AI.
The game should be even better on PC and PS4, where it will enjoy full VR support for the entirety of the game – both single-player and multiplayer. EA hasn’t confirmed specific PC VR headset support as of yet though.
Finally, everything in the game will be unlockable simply through play through two currencies (one for cosmetics, one for mechanical components), with no plans for micro-transactions or DLC. EA hasn’t ruled out adding more content down the line, but at launch at least you’ll get the whole thing for your £35/$40.
For more exciting games to look forward to, take a look at the best upcoming games of 2020.