Team composition is important in almost any game. The same goes for squad builds in Star Wars: Squadrons. In Star Wars: Squadrons there are 4 playable classes that fulfill different roles. The interceptor class ships excel at one-on-one battles while bomber class ships are best for taking down capital ships. But are support ships are as important or useful as the others in Star Wars: Squadrons?
Support ship utilities
The U-Wing and TIE Reaper are the support ships in Star Wars: Squadrons. They are considered support ships because a majority of their auxiliaries focus on buffing and assisting their allies. The Supply Droid is one of the unique auxiliaries for the support ships. It has the capability to fix up ally ships and rearm auxiliaries. While on the surface this seems like a strong ability, both Fighter and Interceptor class ships have the ability to run the Repair Droid.
The other two unique auxiliaries that support ships have access to are Targeting Beacons and the Tractor Beam. Targeting Beacons mark enemies, increasing the damage they take, preventing them from using counter measures and increasing lock-on speed. Overall this allows support ships to mark priority targets for their squad and allow them to knock them out of the battle faster.
The Tractor Beam is one of the most underwhelming abilities in Star Wars: Squadrons. The Tractor Beam slows down starfighters, allowing teammates to catch up and clean them up. However, this seems better on paper than in application. Often times enemy starfighters can quickly counter the Tractor Beam by deploying counter measures, or simply diverting power to thrusters to allow for a speedy escape. Both of these are simple things that render the Tractor Beam useless in most scenarios. Along with this, the Tractor Beam needs your teammates to help eliminate the trapped enemy, and does nothing on its own.
What to build on support ships
Building a support starfighter depends on a couple of factors. One of them is what your current team comp is, but this can be a complete guessing game if you are solo queuing. The second factor is what game mode you are playing. Finally, it also matters what your playstyle is and what you are comfortable playing. This will determine whether you opt for a more offensive or defensive support playstyle – both being possible.
In Dogfight, I like to build a more offensive loadout to optimize damage output and tankiness. Tactical Shield is great for helping out a teammate who has someone on their tail. Tossing Targeting Beacons on as an auxiliary will allow your team to easily take down high importance targets, like enemy A-Wings or TIE Interceptors. Turret Mine can also be a solid choice for locking down an area of the battlefield.
In Fleet Battles, support builds can be a little tricky. You don’t want to be built completely offensively nor completely defensively, because this game mode is very back-and-forth. Supply Droid is great because it allows your team to stay on the offense longer. It also does a great job of resupplying your bombers when targeting the Capital Ships. Tactical Shield and Squadron Mask can be great utilities if you need to make a hasty retreat or reduce incoming enemy fire.
Support ships in Star Wars: Squadrons are more important in Fleet Battles than they are in Dogfights. The Fleet Battles mode promotes long term play and focuses more on utility than one-on-one fighting. These long engagements is where the U-Wing and TIE Reaper are truly able to shine.
Ultimately, support starfighters make the game more enjoyable. You can make it by without them, but it will be difficult, especially in Fleet Battles. Just having one on your team can totally turn the tide of battle in your favor.