Star Wars: Squadrons, which is focused entirely on spaceship battles, is a fine addition to the ever-growing history of Star Wars videogames. It’s a nice contrast to last year’s big Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order; you pretty much never leave the ship in this one, and even when you do you never actually take direct control of your character’s motions. This game has one thing on its mind, and it’s darting through space behind the wheel of an X-Wing or TIE Fighter.
One of the most useful techniques in the game, and one you’ll absolutely have to master to really excel in multiplayer dogfights, is drifting. Unfortunately the game doesn’t do a great job of explaining how to do this. If you play the campaign, the game tries to teach it to you. You have to make it to the third mission, though, so if you jumped right into the multiplayer, or are splitting your time between the two, you might not have gotten that far yet. So here’s how you can pull it off.
No matter what platform you’re playing on, these instructions hold true for the default controller setup. If you’re using a keyboard for this one, you’re on your own, I’m afraid.
The first step in drifting is building up the speed you need to pull it off. Start by routing as much power as you can to your engine. You know how you can press the D-Pad to temporarily improve your speed, your lasers, or your shields? Go ahead and press that D-Pad to the left to turbocharge your engine. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to boost by pressing down on the L3 button—a.k.a. the left joystick. Boost on and get ready to drift.
Now that you’re in overdrive, you’re ready to perform the actual drift. What you’ll want to do is abruptly tilt your right joystick in the direction you want to turn, while simultaneously holding down the drift button—which is the same button as boost. Say you want to drift right: just push the right joystick to the right, while hitting that L3 on the left joystick. Your fighter will immediately do a 180 turn in that direction. And since you’re flying, you can pull this off by pressing up or down, too.
The advantage to drifting is that it’s the quickest way to turn. Say you want to evade an incoming missile, or get the drop on an enemy during a dogfight: drifting’s your best choice. So practice it as much as you can, and internalize how to pull it off, so you can be the very best Star Wars space-flying person you can be.