Drifting is a powerful technique in Star Wars: Squadrons, one which gives your ship much greater mobility and will likely give you a real edge in combat. This quick Star Wars: Squadrons Drift guide will walk you through exactly how to Boost and Drift in any ship, and also when and why both are important. We'll also go over the more advanced Micro Drift technique to give you the greatest advantage against your enemies.
In this Star Wars: Squadrons Drift guide:
How to Boost and Drift in Star Wars: Squadrons
Boost Drifting is one of the most important mobility-based skills of a Squadrons pilot, because it enables you to turn on a dime, allowing you to turn the tables on a tailing enemy or to quickly reposition yourself. Any ship in Squadrons can Boost Drift, but pulling the technique off is quite the mystery for many beginners.
Here's exactly how to Boost and Drift in Squadrons:
- Divert maximum power to your engines (tap left on your D-Pad) to begin charging up your Boost Meter (next to your speed gauge in your cockpit).
- The TIE Fighter, Interceptor, and Bomber can do an emergency redirect of their power to engines ("X" on the Xbox controller) to Boost for a time even without having charged up their Boost Meter beforehand.
- Once you have enough charge, start Boosting in a direction (click the left thumbstick). This will slowly use up your Boost Meter charge.
- While Boosting, click and hold the left thumbstick while moving the right thumbstick in the direction you want the ship to turn.
Doing this will allow you to enter a drifting state where you can turn your ship around independently of your current speed and direction. This is what makes Boost Drifting so important: it unlocks a much greater range of manoeuvres than if you weren't able to drift. What's more, your Boost Meter charge stops depleting from the instant you start to click and hold the left thumbstick, which means you can chain together drifts and boosts to get the most out of your charge levels.
How to Micro Drift
A slightly more advanced technique when it comes to drifting is the Micro Drift, which is when you drift while your throttle gauge is in the Sweet Spot - the mid-point of your throttle gauge, where your ship is most manoeuvrable. This allows you to turn and drift even more sharply, and gain an edge even over players who are comfortable drifting. So some players have started to adopt the practice of throttling down as they start the drift, and throttling back up afterwards.
One thing that not many players have realised quite yet is that your speed while Boosting is the same regardless of your throttle gauge position; you don't have a slower Boost if you're already in the Sweet Spot. This means if you're planning on chaining together lots of Micro Drifts (i.e. if you're trying to lose a tail), it's best to leave your throttle gauge in the Sweet Spot the whole time.
When to Drift in Squadrons
So, when and why should you utilise your new Drift and Micro Drift skills? There are so many answers to this question, but the main takeaway is that the ability to drift essentially brings your turning circle to zero, which allows you to pull off much more precise movements in even the bulkiest of ships.
Probably the most obvious use for drifting is to counterattack a threat that is tailing your ship. Particularly in this early stage of the game while everyone is learning the ropes, not many players will expect a ship to suddenly turn on a dime and start shooting back, so it's a very valuable and powerful skill to learn. You can also drift and turn 180 degrees to shoot down an incoming missile if you're quick enough - an excellent backup plan if you're out of countermeasures.
But drifting is even useful simply as a way to quickly change headings and fly to a different part of the battlefield. You can follow up your drift with another boost (as long as you still have charge in your Boost meter) to give yourself a sudden burst of speed in a completely different direction.
Basically, drifting (particularly Micro Drifting) makes you super-duper mobile, and anyone who can pull it off in Squadrons has an immediate and powerful advantage over those who cannot.
And that's really all you need to know about Boosting and Drifting in Squadrons. Now get out there and start practising! Or, if you're looking for more tips and tricks, be sure to check out our main Star Wars: Squadrons tips page.