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Star Wars Battlefront 2’s new class and perks system, explained

Get ready to open a bunch of loot crates

stormtroopers in battlefront 2 EA
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is expanding player options with a new class system. Rather than a single generic trooper, executive producer Matt Webster said there are now four different soldier classes. Each can be modified with different perks and abilities using the game’s Star Cards.

Players will be able to select from one of the four classes every time the spawn into Battlefront 2’s 20-versus-20 multiplayer ground battles. The assault trooper is a more generic class, akin to what was available in the original game. The heavy trooper is less mobile, but brings tons of firepower including a massive rotary autolaser. There’s also the specialist, who uses longer ranged weapons with scopes. Finally, there’s the officer class, a support role that can provide healing.

Webster said that classes played a role in changes made to gunplay in Battlefront 2. Fans will remember when a small controversy broke out in 2015 after the announcement that the original Star Wars Battlefront wouldn’t have iron sights. This time around, Webster said, iron sights are back. Developer DICE has focused much of their effort on adding depth to the game’s gunplay, while still keeping it accessible.

“I think the desire of a Star Wars shooting game is that you want it to be accessible,” Webster said. “But accessibility doesn’t mean an absence of depth. And that’s a change that the DICE team have executed on in a through-the-gun experience. Now there’s aiming down the sights that gets you more accuracy, and also there’s recoil and cool-down management, but it’s still an accessible shooter.”

Webster said that there are many more opportunities for customization this time around, and they’re not all cosmetic. Each of the four soldier classes will have three basic abilities, and players will be able to add to them over time using Star Cards. These perks will be unlocked via supply crates, blind boxes of loot that can be earned in-game or purchased for a fee.

“Players can customize all the troopers,” Webster said. “All the heroes and all the starfighters are customizable in the same way. They have three base abilities and they can have additional abilities. They can even customize what the ability is, and also what the extent of that ability is, based on Star Cards. Your Darth Maul might be running a different load-out to my Darth Maul.”

Heroes, starfighters, light-armored AT-RTs and other advanced units will no longer be unlocked via in-game tokens that spawn around the map. Instead, players will purchase them using points earned each round by succeeding at certain gameplay objectives.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is expected on November 17 with a simultaneous release for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

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