‘Star Wars: Squadrons’ Gets First Gameplay Trailer, October Release Date


Just a week after the surprise reveal of Star Wars: Squadrons (and confirmation of full VR support on PC and PSVR), we’re already getting our first glimpse of gameplay. What’s more, it won’t be long before you can hop in your spaceship; the Star Wars: Squadrons release date is set for October 2nd.

Star Wars: Squadrons developer Motive says that the game is built around the “spiritual core of the best Star Wars flight games of the past.” Today the studio revealed the first gameplay trailer which offers a full breakdown of the game’s ships and modes.

While combat looks arcade-centric compared to more simulator-focused flight combat games, developer Motive says that there’s depth—like the ability to focus your shields, transfer power between ship systems, and deactivate flight-assist to pull tricky momentum-based meanuvers.

The trailer also shows detailed cockpits which appear to be different for each of the game’s ships which are broken into four classes: Interceptor, Fighter, Support, and Bomber (each side of the conflict gets a unique ship for the class, leading to a total of eight ships in the game). The studio says the cockpit will give players critical information about their ship and enemy ships.

Image courtesy Motive

Star Wars: Squadrons will include a single player and multiplayer mode.

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The single player mode will see the player jumping into the flight suit of a pilot on each side of the conflict, alternating perspectives as the story is told. Motive says the game’s story takes place after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), and the studio promises that players will see some familiar characters.

Image courtesy Motive

Multiplayer will be centered around five vs. five battles spanning several modes.

‘Dogfight’ is a straight-up five vs. five face-of between squadrons. ‘Fleet Battles’, which the studio call’s the game’s “signature mode,” is an objective-based gametype which starts with a dogfight scenario where the victor takes the offensive in the next stage. The winner of the dogfight stage advances and then need to take down two medium-sized capital ships. If they win that stage, the final objective is to take down the opposing team’s massive flagship.

The game will also feature ship customization, both cosmetic and functional, which can be used to tweak the capabilities of your ship to give you an edge in combat.

What’s more, Motive is promising full cross-play between all platforms, including between VR and non-VR players. Star Wars: Squadrons will support PC (VR optional), PS4 (VR optional), and Xbox One. The studio has also confirmed HOTAS support (though this may be restricted to PC players).

The Star Wars: Squadrons release date is set for October 2nd; the game is priced at $40 and already available for pre-order. If you missed it last week, check out the game’s reveal trailer.

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  • Alextended

    Sounds a bit nicer than expected after all. They have to try to fuck it up. They seem to have power management in, inertia in, different classes and some kind of objectives in mp even though it’s just 5 v 5, it has to be fun at worst, if not exactly have longevity…

    • brubble

      I was cynically expecting far shittier. Might prove to be fun with a decent hotas and VR but Im still pretty skeptical about that 5 vs 5.

  • blue5peed

    I’m excited but I can’t help having flashbacks to EVE Valkyrie hopefully this game will have better retention and community around it.

    • namekuseijin

      it’s a SW game. And xplay with flatties.

      it certainly won’t be anything like an obscure game from the dawn of VR gaming

    • Pablo C

      Yeah that was money to the garbage….

  • arczi79

    Looks awesome!

  • fredzvt

    It’ll be hard to wait until October!
    Goodbye real life!

    • Nigel Merritt

      Just hope I can get my HP Reverb G2 by then. And VR is real life, it’s the other one that’s fake!

      • A VR Enthusiast

        Well said.

        I salute you.

  • Kyokushin

    Hotas+ VR+StarWars. Sounds not bad, even with EA. https://media2.giphy.com/media/3Le1dycON3Ks54UQh3/giphy.gif

    • Pablo C

      I don´t get how Hotas (which I own but never use) can be better than a gaming mouse and a tartarus-like keyboard.

      • Martin D

        Ever seen a fighter jet flown with a mouse and a keyboard?

        • Pablo C

          Well, that´s because flying jets deal with properties such as acceleration and change of gravity pull. Both of which you most likelly (sadly), wont have at home. I agree the keyboard is a bad accelerator though, but the sensitivity and precision of the mouse doesn´t have equal.

          • Martin D

            Sorry, but no, a mouse is a horrible idea for changing a plane’s orientation. First of all, it doesn’t move back to a neutral position, which every functioning joystick does. Then, with a mouse you expect absolute displacement, because that’s what a cursor does when moved via the mouse or a trackpad. But that’s not how a plane works. With a joystick, you expect changes in pitch and roll rate (plus yaw with the pedals or joystick twist) – that’s what you get and how a plane operates. And lastly, with a mouse there is zero force involved with your input. Force is critical for precision, repeatability and safety. Deflection is actually secondary, a little bit needs to be there for the brain to accept it as successful input, but muscle memory actually works by applied force and not by travel.

            If you want precision, buy a joystick with proper mechanics and hall effect sensors. There are models that allow changing springs and the length of the stick to suit your personal needs.

          • Pablo C

            All your observations seem logical, but they were already solved by Freelancer (2004). Before it, every single flight sim was Hotas compatible first. After Freelancer, every single sim is Mouse compatible first. I remember at the time, no one could believe Freelancer would work as great with a mouse, but it did: the brain adapts. There is a reason for it. If Hotas were more precise, intuitive or faster, we would use Hotas for clicking.

            Now, don´t get me wrong, I´m sure Hotas is more immersive for a Jet sim, since jets do have sticks. But spaceships, that´s something that depends on future tech, and XRebirth IMO has proven that the best way to control a spaceship is by pointing where you need to go or shoot.

          • Martin D

            Mouse + keyboard support was introduced and refined to the point of usability (I take your word for that) for two simple reasons:

            1.) Acceptance by a new demographic of gamers unwilling to dedicate money and desktop real estate to joysticks.

            2.) Gamers gotten used to command FPS games with the mouse. A supremely unnatural method that allows superhuman movement. Basically something you can’t do anything against because nobody would accept the input lag that would come from survivable acceleration limits. Ever played Alien:Isolation in VR with mouse and keyboard? The only VR experience that ever made me throw up.

            But let’s see the input methods as depicted in (more) recent space sims:
            Eve – HOTAS
            Elite Dangerous – HOTAS
            Star Citizen – HOTAS
            Freelancer – none
            Everspace – HOTAS
            X Rebirth VR Edition – none
            No Man’s Sky – HOTAS
            X3 – none

            Doesn’t seem like the “realities” in most of those games support your claim, but feel free to add other examples to the list.

            I would need to try X Rebirth VR Edition myself, but from what I’m seeing, people are not exactly moving a mouse around. What they do is tilt their controllers. Seems very much like mimicking joystick movements, oddly enough.

            But most importantly, in the Star Wars universe, every space craft is controlled with HOTAS, as has been shown in every film, comic and game I’m aware of. So honestly I hope HOTAS will be the preferred input method and will not mean a disadvantage compared to mouse input in Squadrons.

            IMO, knowing how to be precise with a joystick should be a required skill for any space combat sim. I’d even prefer not to have lead indicators. Let the flying, aiming, energy management, etc be the main challenge!

            Because, let’s face it, having to point the gun towards your target is an anachronism in future space tech scenarios anyway.

          • Pablo C

            I don´t get your reasoning. All the games you mentioned that support Hotas, also support Mouse. So Mouse is present in 100% of the latest flight sim games, while Hotas is not.

            Another wrong reasoning is about the market demographics, because at the time of Freelancer, we all had Hotas. Xbox-like controllers for PC didn´t exist (or were terrible), and you couldn´t play a flight sim with the mouse (it wasn´t compatible). So contrary to what you said, most people that at the time played Flight sims with Hotas, moved to Mouse, not the other way around.

            In XRebirth VR, you best handle your ship standing, pointing (with your finger) where you want to go and the direction that the pivotal weapons fire (within certain range). It feels really, the way future will go.

            Anyway, I have a Hotas so I´ll try it for sure. Have fun!

          • Martin D

            The reasoning is that those games don’t even believe in mouse input but rather HOTAS in in their own portrayal of future input methods.

            The space combat genre had it’s peak in marketshare in the mid-late 90s (Tie Fighter, Wing Commander III+IV, Descent: FreeSpace). I’d say the same goes for flight simulators. From then, FPS shooters took over and everyone except nerds started to throw their joysticks away. From then on you just couldn’t bring a space/air combat game to market without mouse support and expect the common gamer to spend money on it. So it was wise for developers to make mouse support practical.

            The new MS Flight Simulator and Star Citizen will bring somewhat of a renaissance and I still maintain air/space sims are a godsend to VR and vice versa.

            Curious to try out XRebirt VR myself, after the bitter disappointment of Everspace.

          • Pablo C

            XRebirth is a very different game than Everspace, different gameplay. Hard learning curve (more like Elite), but worth it. And the flight system is the best.

            FPS were very popular in the 90s as well: Quake, Doom, Duken Nukem, you name it. FPS was the main genre, and although flight sims indeed had a peack, I´m sure their sales were less than 10% of that of FPS.

            The reason we used only Hotas at the time was because it was the only way to play video games. Even FPS were not always compatible with the mouse (we played only with the keys). That´s because video games, certainly inlcuding flight sims, are much older than the Mouse. So, first, we played video games with Hotas (since the 80s). Then someone figure out how to use the mouse to play properly. Then we found out it was better than Hotas (it took many years).

            But, I´ll try my old Sidewinder once more, just to check it out.

          • Martin D

            Pre-Star Citizen, Chris Roberts came to fame by designing/directing/programming/producing the Wing Commander franchise, including a miserable movie, as well as Strike Commander and other games. He contributed the original concept to Freelancer, but when the game eventually came to market, even that was changed.

            Anyway, of course the mouse is a great great aiming device. To the point where it makes everything too easy. So as I’ve said, I will refuse to play the game online if such an input method is even allowed against HOTAS users. Actually I’ll even refuse if the flight model doesn’t severely limit yaw rates like Elite:Dangerous did on purpose, in order to allow a challenging dogfighting experience.

          • Pablo C

            Oh, I didn´t know that was the reason Elite was so crapy to control with the mouse, but then it actually works great with Hotas. I only play singleplayer – I don´t diserve to be crippled (I´m not that much into the MP stuff, so I´m hoping for bots in this game).

            However, according to your statement then, you agree that the reason real Jets have Hotas and not mouse, is not because Hotas is better at aiming or moving….

            I´m just teasing, but seriously, I´d doubt they´d separate Hota from non-Hota players, since for these games the player base is always an issue, and otherwiswe they should also separate Hota from xbox-like controler players, don´t you think?

            (of course you are right about Chris Roberts, it´s just that at the time, it seemed like an ethernity passed between Wing comander and Freelancer, so we felt it (Freelancer) like Roberts was comming back. And if you play it, you´ll see very clearly his influence in the game). Cheers!

          • Martin D

            Well, on a real jet, you don’t aim a quickly movable turret (even if some pure arcade games like Ace Combat work like that) and the plane will eventually align on its own where the turret is pointing. Real jets physically don’t, can’t and should never work like that. Most of all because the top priority (in a dog fight at least) is constantly having control over the orientation of your plane. And for that nobody has yet found anything better than a HOTAS.

            You fire the gun in the same direction the plane is pointing, always, you fire your radar missile towards the target you’ve selected on the radar (while the plane points somewhat in its direction) or you activate the IR missile by helping the heat seaker recognise its target, either by semi-precisely pointing the plane and thus the reticule in the HUD or by pointing the reticule in your HMD towards it.

            Again, in a space fighter, if such a thing does an will ever exist in this universe, the concept of pointing a gun towards your enemy is total BS anyway, so why the need for precise-ish human aim? If you’re advanced enough a race to bring highly manoeuvrable vessels with beam weapons to outer space, then you can solve dead precise auto-aiming easily. There’d possibly not even be a selection process. A space fighter wouldn’t be confined to following aerial flight behaviour, it would just follow a Newtonian flight model. It’s so cringy to see space fighters on full boost, just to keep their top speed! It’d actually cost huge amounts of energy to make a space fighter fly like a plane in the air because there is no medium to carry aerodynamic lift! So if a space combat “simulator” is nothing but an air combat “simulator” located in space and with slightly different weaponry, why orient the inputs on what we actually fly in air?

          • Pablo C

            Of course, these are just games. I personally prefer to play them feeling like a badass, meaning, having the best possible system for human aiming and flying. IMO, that is provided currently at its best in X Rebirth VR when using stearing controllers.

          • Martin D

            I’m a single player myself, but I still prefer shooting enemies to be a challenge that involves a lot of maneuvring rather than a point and click afair. BTW, that flying through capital ship structures looks like a real painfull thing to do with a mouse. And I suggest trying something like formation flying and
            in-flight refuelling with a mouse, as opposed to using HOTAS (where it isn’t exactly easy either).

          • Pablo C

            If you don´t mind a game that does not have MP, play X Rebirth VR, you´ll be amazed (it has a steep learning curve though, but flying is flying). Try its touch-steering system (you´ll need good VR legs).

            About maneuvring, that´s just getting use to the mouse. Like, while playing, I don´t feel it like a mouse, I feel it like a Hotas (by now my brain automaticly accepts and compensates for the lack of feedback and for the increased sensitivity), moreover if I have my HMD on. Of course, deeply, I know I´m handling a mouse, but within the gameplay and other distractions, I just feel I´m just handling my ship with whatever device is available. My brain does the rest.


          • Martin D

            Okay, I’ve seen Freelancer footage now. It’s worse than I expected. First of all: Follow-cam, no cockpit view. You point your mouse to the target, the movable turrets aim, the fighter follows loosely. I mean, that has quite possibly been a fun, engaging arcade game in its day, but please don’t call it a sim (when the term “simulator” is problematic for any space shooter anyway).

  • 3872Orcs

    THIS looks very good! With all that close flying higher refresh rates might benefit from this for the rush of speed. Also might help mitigate any motion sickness issues. Just gonna need the new 30XX series from NVIDIA to release now.

    • Rogue Transfer

      Imagine the advantage of wide FOV in this, from headsets like the Pimax range & StarVR One(if ever there was a perfect match for this – that would be it).

  • Would be nice to have a VR trailer on youtube VR or a download to watch on a VR headset.

  • Rogue Transfer

    *And Xbox One(missing VR). This is a something no one should miss out on being in VR for.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Well, if developers really want to they can add VR support themselves, they have full access to USB devices and you can always connect a headset to the console.. No need for MS to actually support it. BUT ofcourse it will take a lot of time to support is if one needs to add it themselves, maybe when OpenXR arrives it would be easier to support it.

  • Gamer1st

    Interesting and anticipated.
    If my Index Vive replacement ever ships.
    On the upside Valve has updated the ship date on the Index to 4 weeks instead of 8.
    Could just be an attempt to keep people from buying something else though.

  • bud01

    There are going to be fans that will build a whole dedicated room and replica tie fighter / X wing cockpit representation for this game :-) like those guys that work at boeing and just happen to build a dial perfect 747 cockpit in their garage.

  • david vincent

    Only 40 bucks and no micro-transactions, the SP mode have to be just a short tutorial for MP. I usually wouldn’t be interested but VR + hotas + a minimum of ship management = you son of a bitch, I’m in.

    • Pablo C

      I hope you are wrong and that bots are still challenging and fun. I personally find MP very boring.

      • david vincent

        Ikr, I miss a good old X-W campaign.


    Got my copy already.

  • MaXyM

    Contrails in Space? really?

    • david vincent

      Yeah… I’m not too worried about those kind of details, if the game is good enough, you can bet it will be modded by the coding geniuses around the X-Wing modding community.
      Look at what they did with a 20+ years old game (also now fully playable in VR) :