Keep those S-foils locked in position, pilot, because reinforcements are on the way in Star Wars: Squadrons. After a great deal of expectation-setting ("we don't have any plans for DLC") and even some quips about the absent B-wing, it seems Squadrons has done well enough to warrant a substantial two-part free update. Next month, B-wings and TIE Defenders will indeed be joining the Squadrons fleet after all.
Before those funky looking New Republic and Empire starfighters drop out of hyperspace, Squadrons players are getting a smaller bundle of new content this month. Fostar Haven, the locale from the campaign's opening mission, will be reworked as a multiplayer map and added to the Squadrons rotation soon; along with it, four new ship components will be added to the existing starfighter customization options.
Then, come December, the B-wing and TIE Defender will arrive. The addition of these two ships will shake up the balance between the New Republic and Empire fleets, as they'll be classed according to their roles in Star Wars canon: the former Rebels gain a new Bomber-class vessel in the B-Wing while the Empire gets a second Fighter with the Defender. The B-wing will have use of its gyroscopic cockpit ("It will work the same whether you're in VR or in a traditional display," says producer Thomas Mir) and the Defender will have its Thrawn-approved shields.
"These functions and a couple unique components will help them differentiate themselves from the other starfighters in their classes and factions, but we've also made sure they aren't outright better by default," says developer EA Motive. "There's still going to be good reasons to pick a Y-wing over a B-wing or a TIE fighter over a TIE defender and vice versa. It'll depend on your playstyle and what the situation calls for."
Another addition coming in the December update is support for custom matches, which will enable matches from two to ten players on any of the seven Squadrons maps in both Dogfight and Fleet Battle modes. Custom match support will include a server browser for public and private matches along with optional modifiers and restrictions.
Lastly, though it's not noted explicitly by Motive, it looks like the Empire will get a bit more character customization: in a new screenshot at StarWars.com, you can see a blue-skinned Chiss pilot in a deep blue TIE jumpsuit. I'll fly for the Empire as Thrawn's distant relative over some boring old human space fascist any day.
While a full next-gen upgrade isn't planned for Star Wars: Squadrons, those playing on console should also note that it will run better on new hardware. On Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, Squadrons is getting an optional 120 FPS performance mode on top of improved lighting at the regular 60 FPS mode, a benefit which PlayStation 5 pilots can also enjoy.