Surviving the universe of Star Wars: Squadrons can be tricky, as you’ll need to manage a lot of features of your spacecraft while dogfighting Imperials or Rebels. This can be pretty overwhelming to those unfamiliar with games that focus solely on flight combat. You’ll spend a lot of time in the cockpit of Rebel and Imperial spacecraft, so understanding what every gauge and button does is incredibly important. You’ll be managing a lot of systems while you fly and both factions have slightly different layouts. Here’s a breakdown of these systems and where you can find them in each group’s cockpit.
Rebel Ship Cockpit
Above is a photo of an X-Wing cockpit with each of the seven major components labeled. Understanding what each of these do is absolutely critical to your success. Keep in mind, the general layout of the cockpit will change between each Rebel ship, but the design of these systems will not alter. Your power gauge will always be a rectangle with three colored bars and your shield is always a circle with your starfighter’s silhouette in the middle.
A – Radar
This is your radar and primary way of tracking ships and other key items besides what’s on your HUD. You’ll see enemies highlighted as red dots on them along with their general location relative to your ship. It’s accurate, but you shouldn’t entirely rely on it to follow enemy starfighters.
B – Thrusters
This blue bar is your thruster gauge and it showcases what speed your ship is traveling at. Your speed is determined by how hard you are pushing or pulling the Left Thumbstick. The bar will fill up depending on how fast you’re moving and you can see a numerical version of this below or alongside it. In the middle of each thruster gauge is a noticeably larger square. If you want to make quicker, more accurate turns, get your ship’s speed to this level before moving in whatever direction you want to go. You will often need to quickly drop down to half speed, turn, and then rocket to full speed again. Eventually, you will just a get feel for this and won’t always need to look at the thruster gauge.
C – Lasers
Your primary weapon across all eight aircraft, this bar shows you how long you can fire your lasers before they enter a cooldown period. When you pull the trigger, this gauge will slowly deplete until you stop firing. After you finish pulling the trigger, the gauge will slowly refill until it’s maxed out again. Essentially, this showcases when your weapons will overheat if you are unleashing sustained fire. Always monitor this in battles, since you don’t want to end up defenseless with an enemy TIE Fighter on your tail.
D – Power Systems
Perhaps the most important part of your entire cockpit, this rectangle with three colored bars showcases where you are diverting power to. Completely controlled by the D-Pad, pressing left will divert power to your thrusters giving you great speed and maneuverability. Pressing up will divert power to your weapons, making them cooldown faster and offering an overcharge bonus if the meter is full. Finally, pressing right on the D-Pad diverts power to your shields, giving you an overshield that allows you to absorb more damage. You can also equalize these three sections by pressing down on the D-pad.
E – Lock On/Targeting Computer
This display showcases information about the enemy or friendly ship you are currently locked on. You won’t really use this targeting computer that much, as you’ll typically be focusing on the enemy in front of you. However, this can be quite useful if you lose sight of an enemy fighter, as the display showcases the distance of the locked on target from you.
F – Equipment Status
This bar will display the three different abilities you have equipped for your starfighter. These can range from an astromech droid to repair your hull to tracking missiles to flares that counter enemy projectiles. Next to each symbol is the ammo count (if there is one) and the glowing bar next to the symbol will fill it up that ability is on cooldown.
G – Shield/Life Guage
The final piece of your cockpit is the shield and life gauge that showcases how healthy your ship is. If the bars around your ship are full that means your shields are still up. You will also see the direction your shields have been directed by a small white arrow pointing to either the back or front of your ship. If there is no arrow then your defenses spread equally around the entirety of the starfighter. Once your shields are depleted you’ll see a number from 0-100 indicating your hull integrity. Do not let it reach zero otherwise your Empire killing career is over.
Imperial Ship Cockpit
The cockpit of Imperial starfighters has a lot of similarities to those found in Rebel spacecraft. The only major difference is anything except the support vessel on the Imperial side will have no shields. Your Power Systems gauge will only display weapons and engines, so you’ll need to rely on your mobility if you want to fly for the Empire. Additionally, the Health Guage will explain where you’ve diverted additional power to, as the Empire can overcharge either weapons or engines to increase their effectiveness.
- A – Targeting Computer
- B – Thrusters
- C – Power Systems
- D – Equipment Status
- E – Laser
- F – Ship Health
- G – Targeting Computer
Just like the Rebels, each of the four Imperial ships will have a slightly different layout. However, the general mechanics, design, and function of these gauges will not change at all. If you’re hopping into a ship for the first time, spend a minute or two familiarizing yourself with the different components of your starfighter. You don’t want to be frantically looking for your Thruster gauge while facing down a Rebel frigate after all!