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. While there are a lot of maneuvers you’ll want to master, one of the best is drifting. This is technique is introduced during the end of Mission 3 by Keo, who will ask you to drift over a Star Destroyer. Unfortunately, this maneuver is vaguely explained by Star Wars: Squadrons which can lead to a little frustration. Given how critical this move is in both solo and online, here’s a quick breakdown of how to perform a drift.
How to Drift
In order to drift, you will need to first divert power to your engines by pressing left on the D-Pad. Once this is done, press forward on your Left Stick until you reach maximum velocity. Now press L3 to initiate a Boost, launching your craft forward at a high speed. Once you’ve reached the area you want to drift, hold either left or right on your Right Stick. You should see your pilot look slightly in that direction. Now hit L3 while holding the right stick either left or right to perform a drift.
If done correctly, you should hear the engines sputter out while you’re turning. You do not need to divert power or pull back on the Left Stick. Just pressing L3 will suffice so long as you are trying to drift either left or right. This maneuver is terrific for shaking an aggressive foe that’s chasing you or to quickly get behind an enemy that has passed you. I also like using drifting when attacking enemy capital ships or frigates, since you can use this trick to get behind them to strike at their engines.
For those doing this during Mission 3, make sure you actually aim slightly above the Star Destroyer’s hull when you boost. Keo will ask you to fly over it at a fairly low altitude, so you’ll want to be careful that you don’t smack into the cruiser. I am definitely not speaking from experience here, as I most certainly didn’t crash into the bridge of the ship during my first attempt. Once you complete the drift you’ll be attacked by another wave of enemies, so use this skill to get behind the enemy bombers before they reach your Star Destroyer. Just make sure to divert power off your engines once you perform the drift, otherwise, you will be pretty weak and exposed!
Finally, if you plan to use this in PVP, just be careful about overusing this move. Players will catch onto you performing a drift when you’re behind them, which can be pretty easy to punish. If you suspect someone realizes what you’re doing, consider doing a loop or just killing the engines entire while going straight to make them pass by you. A good pilot constantly switches up their dodging maneuvers to ensure that anyone following them cannot get a read on their movements!