Alright, rookie, if you had the chance to read and follow my Beginner's Guide to Star Wars: Squadrons, you have some in-game cash but no idea on what to spend it on. Thankfully, I have some ideas on what to do with them. However, since both factions of the game are deceptively different in how they handle battle, we'll focus on the ships you fly as part of the New Republic.
As a brief aside, I just want to preface this guide by stating that these are by no means definitive builds for these ships. Motive Studio has done a fantastic job of giving each ship a wide range of customization options that give each and every ship build its own merits. However, for the sake of this guide, these builds I'll be sharing I think fit the defined role of each ship; that very specific reason why you choose this ship for its tailor-made job.
Star Wars: Squadrons - X-Wing Build
- Great All-Around Speed and Defense
- Good for Dogfighting and Cruiser Disabling
- Weaker Hull
- Limited Weapon Variety
At its core, the X-Wing does a little of everything. It can tackle enemy fighters, assault cruisers, and can even pick off turrets on larger flagships if they know what they're doing. While they aren't as dedicated as the other ships coming up, a good pilot in an X-Wing can be one of the most tenacious fighters you'll face in the galaxy.
My build is all about leaning into that generalist attitude. Be a pain in the neck to enemy fighters, bombard shields on cruisers and capital ships so the bombers can tear into them, and keep the pressure on enemy interceptors. That last part is the reason for the guided burst cannons as the primary weapon. On the whole, it does pretty weak damage, but it has auto-aim and can be fired in quick bursts. Get an enemy in your sights with this and they'll have to fly pretty desperately to shake you.
This couples really well with the unstable sublight engine. This gives you just enough speed and acceleration to keep pace with interceptors, as well as close the gap with other assault vehicles. Not to mention if you get too close and think you might die, the engine does cause an explosion upon death, so there's a chance of taking your enemy with you.
As for secondary tools, we have the ion torpedo and the repair droid. The first one makes sense as a bit of medium-range artillery. You only get one shot, but with it you can drop shields on a cruiser or mess up the bridge of a star destroyer. As for the repair droid, it's mostly there to keep you in the fight a little longer. While your shields are better than normal, your hull's health is cut in half. If you see that thing tick down, drop that droid and get the heck out of dodge.
Although chances are whatever punched through your hull won't be blaster fire thanks to the deflector hull and ray shield you have on it. This is mostly done to balance out and enhance your speed and acceleration without sacrificing maneuverability, but there is a passive benefit as well. You take reduced damage from blaster fire, meaning turret fire and most ship's primary weapons are going to have trouble getting through your shield.
As for everything else, that's what your seeker warheads are for. Unlike other countermeasures in the game, the seeker warheads have decent cooldown time and a good range of effect. Perfect for a ship that's going to be spending most of its time flying, dodging, twirling, and striking big ships.
The negatives to this build are pretty self-evident. If the New Republic's ship design can be described as risk/reward this X-Wing takes that to a new extreme. On one hand, you're faster, have tougher shields, can punch through enemy shields, and have the means to get away fast, fix yourself up and come back for more. On the other hand, if enough heavy missiles are thrown your way, or if some ion weapons take out your precious shield, you're toast. Furthermore, only having one ion torpedo for capital ship shield assault means you will need to communicate more with your team to set up bombing runs and coordinate with your supports so you can get some more ammo.
Star Wars: Squadrons - Y-Wing Build
- Super-powerful Shields
- Great Capital Ship Offense
- Weak to Ion Weapons
- Limited Effectiveness on Cruisers
This build is a personal favorite. Put these components and weapons on a Y-Wing and you will tear through so many capital ships there will be a scrapyard named after you.
First, your primary weapon should be the rotary cannon. It's got good range and a high rate of fire; perfect for dissuading any fighters from trying to come at you. On top of that, you have two artillery weapons Multi-lock missiles are great for clipping turrets off of cruisers and getting swarms of ships to scatter, and proton bombs are dropped when you want to finally snap a star destroyer in half.
As for your defenses, slap on an overloaded shield. This will give you a lot more shields to work with, but if they are ever fully depleted, they will not come back. Naturally, a deflector hull complements this by giving you a bit more shield to work with.
Finally, equip a jet engine to give your Y-Wing a huge upgrade to their boost. Use this in tandem with your bombing runs, combining your absurd defense with some impressive speed, giving your proton payload a wider path of destruction.
This is a somewhat controversial build for Y-Wing purists. It's entirely possible to load up both secondary weapons with proton bombs to double your damage output, in fact, if you want to use that variation more power to you. My issue with the build comes with the proton bombs themselves.
While it is true that the bombs can rip through a capital ship, that is the only thing they can do reliably, and if enemy fighters start gunning for you in a coordinated assault you won't exactly last long. The addition of rockets is meant less for damage and more to shake off pursuers, giving you more time to drop your payload and get out of dodge.
Plus coupling the bombs with some multi-rockets gives this build slightly more versatility with what it can handle, such as following up the bombing run with some destruction to critical systems or taking down an annoying cruiser.
On the bright side, your enemy needs to try really hard to take you down. If you're smart with your shield distribution and use your boost right, enemies can be bombarding you for two whole minutes and you'll still be kicking around. My personal record is 270 seconds, see if you can beat it. Just watch out for ion weapons as it takes away your only defense.
Star Wars: Squadrons - A-Wing Build
- Scrambles Enemy Targeting and Radar
- Great in One-on-One Dogfights
- No Targeting Weapons
- Cannot Survive in Open Space
My nickname for this particular style is the Analog A. This is because it leans hard on being a pure one-on-one dogfighting machine that keeps things strictly analog.
Your primary weapons stay as the standard cannons, mostly because they're the most well-rounded on this ship. Not to mention you will compliment them with some rockets as your secondary weapon. You can shoot them rapid-fire, you get a very generous payload of 40, and they do considerable damage upon impact.
The big problem with this is that these rockets are dumbfire weapons. You have no targeting system, no lock-on, and the rockets have no homing capacity at all. You want to use these rockets to help with your damage, you will have to plan ahead and eyeball your shots.
Fortunately with the rest of these materials, so will your opponent. Your secondary item should be a targeting jammer, preventing you from showing up on enemy radar and making you immune to any targeting systems for a while, perfect for quick and nasty flybys.
Even if you are spotted and chased down, your dampener hull and scrambler shield combined will make it so any lock-on weapons take forever to get a fix on you. So if they wanna hit you, chances are they'll have to eyeball their shots as well.
Which leads to the propulsion engine. Eventually, your enemy will get a lock on, and with less shields and hull than normal you will be turned to scrap within seconds. That is unless you hit the juice and boost away like a madman and make some maneuvers to break their line of sight, causing them to go through all of the trouble of getting a hold of you again.
This might have the highest skill ceiling of all the builds I've introduced so far. However, if you can think one step ahead and be wary of your surroundings – staying out in the open with this ship is death – the Analog A can be a nightmare in the field.
Star Wars: Squadrons - U-Wing Build
- Great at Disabling Targets
- Good Ally Support
- Slow and Hard to Handle
- Very Limited Offense Options
One of the trickiest things with the role of a Support in a game like Star Wars: Squadrons is how many ways you can offer that support. Not to mention support means there's a level of communication that you have to maintain with your team, which gets into tactics and playstyle instructions, something that I can't really focus on in this guide.
Nevertheless, I do have a build that can be a decent template for damage support while also providing some much-needed aid as well.
The first big area is the ion cannons as your main weapons. Simply put, these are meant more to disable and disorient. They chip away at shields no problem, but once they get to a ship's hull, they're really weak. This is why you'll mostly be using them as deterrents on whoever comes after you, or to compliment a wingmate trying to take down an enemy fighter.
Taking that idea of support fire to the next level are the targeting beacons. Launching these will cause them to attach to random targets so you really can't plan around them, but the effects are devastating. Anything hit with these beacons has their countermeasures disabled, and they take bonus damage from any incoming fire. Better still, the marked targets show up for your allies to turn to scrap. Buddy up with some ion cannon fire and you can help shut down a cruiser or a pesky fighter within seconds. If said ally doesn't have any artillery to follow up an attack, that's what the supply droid is for.
As for countermeasures, the sensor jammer can also be used as a support ability. The cooldown on it is absurdly long, but using it will scramble any and all incoming enemy missiles, which can benefit you and any friends who are nearby.
As for defense, this is where things will get dicey. A reinforced hull will give you some bulkier defense compared to other builds listed, and a standard deflector shield helps keeps things balanced. This is to help even out the fact that you aren't going anywhere fast or with particular grace. The trade-off is the SLAM engine that will give you a passive boost charge, allowing you to focus more on other systems management to assist your team. And if someone needs some cover fire or a few extra rockets, you'll have a boost charged and ready to help close the distance.
The drawbacks are pretty obvious. You have no real firepower and in a straight fight, you are a sitting duck. But work with a teammate and you can be a real shot to the exhaust port.
And that is it for my guide to getting the most out of your ships in Star Wars: Squadrons. If you found this guide helpful, or at the very least found them to be useful templates for your own creations, you are very much welcome.