In Star Wars: Squadrons, the faction you fly for isn't just a cosmetic change. Whether you choose to fight for the New Republic or the Imperials, you'll be outfitted with different ships. The classic X-Wing and TIE Fighter might be the same class, but it's a different experience to fly one or the other. From power allocation, shields, to sight lines, here's a rundown of the unique mechanics and aspects behind both factions.
How Does the New Republic Work in Star Wars: Squadrons?
The Emperor is dead and the Empire is in chaos. The Rebel Alliance is now the New Republic after the climactic defeat of the Empire. Still, remnants of the Imperials remain, and it's up to the New Republic to put an end to them. Retrofitted with the classic X-wings, A-wings, and more, the New Republic's more clunky-looking ships are still a force to contend with in Star Wars: Squadrons.
A unique aspect behind every ship in the New Republic are shields. Each ship has a shield that can soak up damage from enemy fire and missiles. Depending on the equipment you choose, shields are regenerative, but can be knocked out after some fire, leaving your hull vulnerable. Because the New Republic has shields, a lot of your focus will be on maintaining the power of this protective barrier.
Star Wars: Squadrons New Republic Ships can allocate more power to weapons, engines, or shields. Giving more power to your shields allows for them to regenerate faster; alternatively, powering up your weapons more allows pilots to shoot more without losing energy. If you find yourself under sustained fire, allocating power to shields is a safe bet—but there's still more you can do. Pilots can also change the direction their shields are facing.
There's two directions shields can face—front or back. Conversely, pilots can have their shields protect both the front and back. If there's a particularly pesky person on your tail, you can shift the shields to the hind portion of your ship to soak up more damage.
Since there's different models of ships, your UI will be different from that of the Empire. Pay attention to the UI. It's incredibly immersive but also quite informative, noting things like the count of your missiles and enemies on your radar. Furthermore, New Republic ships have more restrictive forward visibility as opposed to the round Imperial ships. Generally speaking, New Republic ships have a greater visibility on the left and right flanks with their wider, open windows.
How Do Imperials Work in Star Wars: Squadrons?
As an Imperial in Star Wars: Squadrons, you take command of the highly proficient and streamlined TIE ships. Don't take these lightly; although these ships are usually fodder in movies and other video games, they're quite powerful, indeed. However, being different ships means that they operate differently from your typical X-wing.
Three of the Imperials' four ship variants do not have shields. This means that you cannot allocate power to shields—just weapons and engines—leaving you vulnerable to hull damage right from the start. There is one exception to this rule with the Imperials' TIE Reaper support ship. The Reaper does have shields and also has an optional component that allows this ship to place shields on its allies. TIE ships are canonically outfitted without shields, so this remains consistent for the majority of Imperial ships in Star Wars: Squadrons.
In place of shields, Imperials have a fearsome power conversion ability. With power conversion, you can instantly give a large boost of energy to either your weapons or engines. Giving a boost to your weapons instantly fills up its gauge so you can unleash a volley of sustained fire. Giving power to your engines fills up your boost instantly and allows you to speed out of combat. There are trade-offs to power conversion, however.
Because of the large influx of power, transferring this energy to your weapons slows you down considerably and lessens your mobility. Likewise, your weapons will not be able to sustain fire if you transfer power to engines. Use these to your advantage in certain situations, as it's an important component that comes in place of shields. Like the New Republic, you can still manage power to engines or weapons normally as you see fit, but power conversion gives you an instant maximum boost.
The ships themselves have very clear and superior visibility directly in front of pilots because of the TIE ships' circular cockpit. Unlike the New Republic's ships, the rest of the Imperial ships' cockpits are mostly obstructed with the exception of a few small, relatively unhelpful openings. The UI is also clearer and more consistent for the Imperials with the exception of the unique Reaper. Take note of the Imperials' streamlined cockpit, which is overall easier to learn.
Star Wars: Squadrons Faction Differences | Conclusion
Whether you choose the New Republic or Imperials, Star Wars: Squadrons players will have a different set of tools to use. Use them to your advantage, or else you'll be left in the dust. For the New Republic, keep a close eye on your shields and use its directional capabilities appropriately. For the Empire, be sure to convert power for a quicker getaway or destruction of enemy ships.
Did this guide help you? What's your favorite Star Wars: Squadrons faction? Let us know in the comments below!