22 Apr 2021 9:17 PM +00:00

Star Wars: Squadrons loadouts guide: Best beginner builds

Star Wars: Squadrons is the best space-combat game I’ve played in years. It brings together everything I loved about DICE’s Battlefront titles, Totally Games’ classic X-Wing series, and even a little Star Fox 64 sprinkled into the campaign for good measure.

But jumping into multiplayer’s daunting. You certainly want to play a significant chunk of the story mode first — to learn the controls and what each starfighter can do — though inevitably you’re going to want to join up with your friends and take on the world.

Having spent all week with the game, trying out various starfighter options and build combinations, here are the two beginner-friendly loadouts I’d recommend you start with this weekend.

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Best beginner loadout for the X-wing fighter

“As the backbone starfighter of the rebel fleet,” the in-game description reads, “the T-65B X-wing is an all-purpose starfighter that can deftly strike down enemy TIEs as well as capital ships.”

Now, my strategy with the X-wing and TIE fighter is basically the same: max out hull integrity and acceleration. You’ll want to figure out your personal play style, see what you do instinctively during combat that you can better support through your loadout, and tweak things until they feel right.

For me, this loadout lets me get into the action quickly, fire off some high-damage shots, and escape to safety when I need to recover from a close call.

  • Primary weapon: Burst cannon
  • Left auxiliary: Repair droid
  • Right auxiliary: Concussion missile
  • Countermeasures: Seeker warheads
  • Hull: Reinforced hull
  • Shields: Conversion shield
  • Engine: Propulsion engine
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If you don’t like my hit-and-run approach, here’s a second loadout to try. This one’s an “ion build” recommended by EA.

  • Primary weapon: Ion cannon
  • Left auxiliary: Repair droid
  • Right auxiliary: Barrage rockets
  • Countermeasures: Seeker warheads
  • Hull: Ferroceramic hull
  • Shields: Nimble deflector
  • Engine: Microthrust engine
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Best beginner loadout for the TIE fighter

“The TIE/ln fighter is the unforgettable symbol of the Imperial fleet,” the fighter’s in-game description reads. “It is designed for high-speed dogfights against starfighters, and is flexible enough to challenge enemy capital ships.”

This one’s my favorite; it’s a classic. As with my beginner-friendly X-wing loadout, this build basically wants to put all its chips into hull density and acceleration. I don’t want to get shot down easily, but I also want to be fast enough to get away from a fight I appear to be losing.

  • Primary weapon: Burst cannon
  • Left auxiliary: Repair system
  • Right auxiliary: Concussion missile
  • Countermeasures: Seeker warheads
  • Hull: Reinforced hull
  • Engine: Propulsion engine
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And, again, here’s a second build suggested by EA.

  • Primary weapon: Burst cannon
  • Left auxiliary: Proton torpedo
  • Right auxiliary: Ion torpedo
  • Countermeasures: Sensor jammer
  • Hull: Dampener hull
  • Engine: SLAM engine
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You’ll get enough unlock tokens to fill these out pretty quickly, and you should consider them as a starting point, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.

One key trick is to pick one or two “goals” you want your loadout to achieve, and then make sure each component serves those goals. If I want to die as little as possible, a reinforced hull and repair droid make my loadout more forgiving than something that’s all about speed.

See you out there among the stars.