Star Wars Battlefront is out now - here's everything you need to know

Star Wars Battlefront guide

The shadow of the Empire looms above us, with Star Wars Battlefront finally released into our greedy, quivering hands. As the AT-ATs initialise their stompy routines and the TIEs scream with excitement, we’ve been tracking intelligence on DICE’s dreamed-of Lucas shooter, and have come up with a list of everything you need to know.

Have you played and pewed your way through all the best Star Wars games available on PC?

From Hero guides to power-ups, as well as info on the forthcoming DLC, let us guide you like some sort of unnamed supernatural power…

Star Wars Battlefront guides

There's a whole galaxy far, far away to get your head around, and with the game's multiplayer focus you'll want to get up to speed quickly in order to save virtual face. That's where we come in.

First-up we've got a guide to every Battlefront Star Card, trait, vehicle and power-up, so you can get to grips with all the death-dealing tools at your disposal.

We don't need another hero? Pah. There's six of them right here, so here's our Star Wars Battlefront Hero guide to tell you exactly what each of these iconic characters can do.

Of course, none of this matters if you can't get the game to run just so. To that end, we've prepared a Battlefront PC tweak guide to help you get the best performance for your setup.

Star Wars Battlefront PC review

Star Wars Battlefront PC review

It's here, but is it any good? And how does it fare as a PC experience? Strong like bison, or weak like Batman? We sent a trooper storming into battle to find out, so get the full verdict with our Battlefront PC port review.

Star Wars Battlefront Battle of Jakku Let's Play

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EA are hosting a live world premiere of the Battle of Jakku DLC in London ahead of the map being made available to Star Wars Battlefront players. The live event is to be streamed via Twitch and will feature YouTubers JackFrags, Ali-A and PlayStation Access as they play in the much teased theatre of war.

The let’s play event takes place on November 30th, one day before those who preordered the game get access to the two Jakku maps and over a week before normal purchasers get to try them out.

The Battle of Jakku has been kept under some secrecy owing to its ties to the hotly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Taking place 29 years before The Force Awakens, the Battle of Jakku takes place shortly after the Rebel Alliance’s victory on Endor and is an important conflict between Imperial forces and the New Republic.

Remnants of the battle are to appear in scenes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which releases on the 18th December.

Star Wars Battlefront hero abilities

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The latest developer diary from DICE dives into Battlefront’s special characters. Three heroes and three villains make up the cast of specials you can play as temporarily in matches. Just find a power-up on the battlefield, and you’ll be able to play as the likes of Luke, Vader, Han, or Boba Fett for a short duration. Time may be against you, but their attacks are powerful, so you’ll be able to dominate for a few minutes. 

If a timed duration with a character sounds too limiting, there’s always the Heroes vs Villains mode, where every player gets to be a special character. This will be the mode where you really get to learn how to be proficient with each character’s skill set. 

For more on Battlefront’s special characters, check out our Star Wars Battlefront Hero Guide

Star Wars Battlefront age rating

Star Wars Battlefront

As online shooters go, you’d imagine Star Wars Battlefront is among the least problematic for young players. It’s completely bloodless - stormtroopers simply clattering to the ground like the extras in the movies - and there’s no voice chat filling the air with swears and slurs as well as blaster fire. But the Games Rating Authority has given it a PEGI 16 rating nonetheless. That's thanks largely to the nasty antics of Vader and Palpatine.

“Violence consists mainly of players using guns and lightsabres against enemy forces, who fall down limply when struck, though there is never any blood or visible injury,” write the Authority by way of explanation. “Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine can also choke or electrocute their enemies, causing them to realistically struggle, writhe and yell in pain.”

The rating was a surprise for DICE, who pulled many of their death animations directly from the films. The original trilogy carried U ratings from the UK’s BBFC, and even the grimmer prequels peaked only at a 12 for Revenge of the Sith.

But PEGI 12 ratings require violence towards human characters to “look unrealistic unless it consists of only minor or trivial injury such as a slap”. And when those stormtroopers go down, it’s difficult to argue they’re not dead.

In the US, Battlefront carries a T for Teen rating - indicating that it’s suitable for players aged 13 and over.

Star Wars Battlefront beta feedback

Star Wars Battlefront

As the beta raged on, our Tim began to notice that DICE’s take on the Battle of Hoth, a trench warfare Walker Assault map, felt “insanely unbalanced”.

“Yes, the Empire’s meant to win,” he wrote. “But come on, let’s give the Rebels even a fighting chance.”

It was especially concerning given Battlefront’s proximity to release - how could DICE possibly respond in time? And yet they have. A day later, the Swedish studio acknowledged there was a problem, and now they’ve come up with a solution.

Curiously, they’ve done it by making the Empire’s AT-ATs better-armoured. Rather than leaving the entire machines vulnerable to enemy fire in the map’s endgame, they’ve exposed weakpoints on their underside. The idea is that Rebel forces will be forced into a semi-coordinated rush forward as the Y-Wings start bombing.

Incredibly, DICE say that Hoth was never intended to feel even a little unbalanced - they’d simply got it wrong.

“It should be 50/50 in terms of success ratio, that’s what we’re gunning for,” designer Jamie Keen told Eurogamer. “It’s interesting, people's receptiveness that it would be unbalanced. It was fun to see people taking it that way!”

In the finished game, you should be able to turn Hoth’s famous massacre around.

Star Wars Battlefront season pass

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EA revealed the details of Star Wars Battlefront’s season pass in October. $50 USD gets you four expansion packs and an exclusive ‘Shoot First’ emote. In tried and tested Battlefield fashion, you’ll get two weeks’ early access to each chunk of DLC as it emerges. Head to Origin if you’re interested.

Battlefront’s first expansion constitutes two maps, together making up the Battle of Jakku, and will tie into the events of The Force Awakens. The pack’s due early 2016 - though those who’ve pre-ordered will get it a week earlier.

The full Season Pass will give you access to over 20 new pieces of galactic tech including weapons, vehicles, and Star Cards for both Rebels and Imperials, four more Heroes and Villains to control, 16 new maps, along with new locations, four new game modes, and the 'Shoot First' emote.

More details on the Season Pass will be made available “in the coming weeks.”

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Star Wars Battlefront power-ups

Star Wars Battlefront co-op missions E3 2015

Let’s kick off with the fact that every Star Wars Battlefront vehicle, Hero, Star Card and gun is now public knowledge. Included are your CA-87s, your DH-17s, and a couple of the most popular alphabet-wings.

You'll find a full rundown of the power-ups in our Star Wars Battlefront guide. They're sprinkled liberally around maps for players to find, and can either accelerate the Empire's dominance or enable an underdog turnaround befitting the Rebels. A vehicle turret, or smart rocket's homing fire, can tackle tricky AT-STs. Infantry are better dealt with via proximity bombs or sensor droids, the latter of which can alert you to unspotted troopers.

Star Wars Battlefront system requirements

Star Wars Battlefront

Here are the minimum specs:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
  • Processor (Intel): Intel i3 6300T or equivalent
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: At least 40 GB of free space
  • Graphics card (NVIDIA): nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
  • Graphics card (ATI): ATI Radeon HD 7850 2GB
  • DirectX: 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent
  • Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection

And the recommended ones:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 or later
  • Processor (Intel): Intel i5 6600 or equivalent
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: At least 40 GB of free space
  • Graphics card (NVIDIA): nVidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB
  • Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB
  • DirectX: 11.1 Compatible video card or equivalent
  • Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection

That means you’re expected to be packing fairly hefty RAM and graphics capabilities if you want to see Sullust as it was intended - but a wide range of machines should be able to run the game at one level or another.

Star Wars Battlefront gameplay videos

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DICE have gone heavy on the in-game footage since E3 - beginning with the antics of Luke and Vader as the Battle of Hoth rages around them.

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This clip from a co-op story scenario is a storm-troopers-falling-over special to rival the original movies.

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And the pew is strong with DICE’s preview of Fighter Squadron, Battlefront’s aerial mode.

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Star Wars Battlefront dedicated servers

While Battlefront will have dedicated servers, it’ll offer a “new skill based matchmaking system” in place of a server browser.

“Our servers will use a skill based matchmaking system to pair players together,” the publishers told PCGamesN. “Players just need to fire up the beta and select what game mode they want to play.”

It sounds like a simple system: accessible, but perhaps not conducive to arranged games. Not least because there’ll be no support for private, password-locked matches at launch.

Let us know which Star Wars movie moments you’re most looking forward to re-staging in the comments below.

 

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Flappers avatarInquisitar avatarxNuke avatarBelimawr avatarPsycold avatarHtorne avatar+3
Psycold Avatar
92
2 Years ago

It's too bad Star Wars games have gone to the dark side.

3
Flappers Avatar
301
2 Years ago

> Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection

Ah my hopes and dreams of finally being able to play an online game on my dialup connection... shattered!

2
Dzy Avatar
1
1 Year ago

i don't know that much about internet connection but i have tested my speed on speedtest.com and i have over what you are saying but it says im unable to connect ? anything i can do?

1
Inquisitar Avatar
75
2 Years ago

16gb ram? What a joke

1
Htorne Avatar
501
2 Years ago

Ram are very cheap these days, I spend more money eating fast food while drunk, that 16 GB would ever cost me.

1
Inquisitar Avatar
75
2 Years ago

Ye but my point is 16gb is too much, does it really need a 16gb ram or it just shit optimisation, like many new games

1
Htorne Avatar
501
1 Year ago

There are many ways to use 16Gb of ram, e.g. they could load every level in to the memory when the game first loads. By doing so the reduce the time it would take to load a level, essentially removing the "loading" screen. This is just one way I can think of spending 16Gb, there are a lot more.

1
xNuke Avatar
441
2 Years ago

Playing the beta right now and these seem exaggerated. The game set on Auto put everything on "high". I'm not sure how much fps I'm getting, but the game runs perfectly fine, there's no stutter of any kind and no noticable FPS drops.

i5-4690k, gtx 670, 8gb ram

edit: Turned on fps counterand I've set everything on Ultra, turned off motion blur (hate this feature in every game) and AA on TAA. So far I seem to be getting around 45-60 fps which is playable since it doesn't drop below that.

I can see the recommended requirements being tailored towards 120/144hz monitors

1
Flappers Avatar
301
2 Years ago

I've seen a few people playing the beta now... may I ask how you managed to get on early?

1
xNuke Avatar
441
2 Years ago

Got an early access key from some guy on facebook on Irish esport page. No idea where he got the codes, but he had plenty of them

1
Belimawr Avatar
1224
2 Years ago

a 980 and i7 5820 I think I should be fine, but really most of these "next gen" games have over inflated requirements anyway, it's all just a con to make a game sound high end.

1
Psycold Avatar
92
2 Years ago

I think it's partially that, and partially a way of protecting their own asses in case the game ends up having optimization issues at launch (which it probably will). This gives them a little bit of a buffer when people complain about low frame rates.

2
huldu Avatar
245
1 Year ago

Yeah, that's true. One can always try to be optimistic about the game optimization. For example who would have thought fallout 4 would run on a e8400, with 5gb ram and a 7870. I was surprised. Not saying that there were drops in fps here and there(like the last battle, had around 20 fps). Otherwise it was around 25-60 depending on the area. Normally it's the other way around tho, terrible optimization for the games released these days. Oh yeah, witcher 3 runs very well on the same rig.

1
KeefBaker Avatar
392
1 Year ago

I might be a bit wierd but I'm refusing to buy this game. After a year where we had CD Projekt RED show everyone how to do DLC I think the likes of EA expecting you to buy a shooter that comes with 4 maps, only to pay £15 down the line for a new map and a new hat is... Well... Unforgivable.

And the only way I can battle against this is to vote with my feet.

1