Whether or not you just got the game or you have been playing since launch, we can all agree that solo queuing (aka YOLO-queuing) is an entirely different beast than playing in groups of 5 (or even 2-4).
I am writing this guide in the hopes that a brand new player playing solo can understand just WTF is going on in a chaotic fleet battle and not get completely overwhelmed, as well as potentially give more experienced players some insight.
I’d rather a new player get overwhelmed by the amount of information in this post, than get overwhelmed in their first fleet battle!
I fully believe you can enjoy this game (BOTH fleet battles and dogfights) solo, even though it’s more fun to play in groups.
I’ll happily take edits and changes and will try to make further edits on my own.
The solo queue, aka gambling with points, is where dreams go to die. Solo queue is where sometimes, your teammates die 15 times and have minimal capship damage, no kills, and no AI. Solo queue is where you must single-handedly AI farm, kill players, do objective damage, strip shields, burn the raider, and destroy both shield generators in order to help your team win because none of your teammates will do it. Solo queue is where occasionally, you will run into competitive 5-stacks that make you want to stay in the hangar all game.
By no means is solo queue always fun, but sometimes you just have an itch to press the queue button while you wait for your regular squad to come online, or maybe you play odd hours when none of the major Discords have many players.
Or maybe you’re just a bit on the masochistic side and enjoy torturing yourself
(Side note: see this post for a list of Squadrons Discords communities, most of which are very newcomer-friendly and anyone can play together)
But there are some things that work better in solo queue than others. I am an experienced player (highest I’ve ever been is Legend 4) who has been solo queuing for fun the last few weeks and wanted to put a guide up to those of us doomed to (or drawn to) the solo life.
The following wins games in solo queue.
Learning to AI farm effectively on defense, even on Nadiri.
Learning how to destroy shield generators by going under flagship shields. (There are YouTube guides for this, search for them!)
Learning to strip frigate/raider shields with ion missiles and torpedoes.
Learning to burn raider quickly
Protecting your flagship’s shield generators.
Pinging enemy raider / shield generators for your teammates to attack.
Getting opportunistic player kills but NOT chasing players for too long.
Staying alive and evasive
Not switching ships unless you die
The following you cannot do anything about, just try to have fun.
Teammates who die a lot
Teammates who don’t die a lot but treat a fleet battle like an extended dogfight
Ultimately solo queuing is a pure gamble. Don’t take it too seriously!
Teammates who leave. Don’t give up though – sometimes you can win a 4v5, or even a 3v5.
Anatomy of a Fleet Battle
Before going into the guide, here is a detailed break down of a fleet battle.
A fleet battle is Squadron’s MOBA-like gamemode. Each side gets a flagship and 2 cruisers, plus respawning corvettes and AI starfighters. The first team to eliminate the enemy’s flagship wins.
The Morale System
Squadrons Fleet Battles operate on a “morale system”. Your team goes on offense / defense based on morale bar at the top of the screen (white = your morale, red = enemy morale).
The morale bar is 50 morale wide on the opening phase and each team starts with 25 morale. Once on the first cruiser phase it expands to 75 morale width. Killing players, AI, corvettes, cruisers increases morale for your team. Conversely, the enemy team killing your players, AI, corvettes, cruisers decreases morale for your team.
Dying shortens your team’s attack phase
Gaining / Losing Morale
Your team gains morale when enemy player dies (+10 on defense, +5 on offense), you kill enemy AI starfighters (+3 each on defense, +1 each on offense), kill enemy corvette (+20), kill enemy cruiser (+15).
Your team loses morale when you die (-10 on offense, -5 on defense), enemy kills AI (-3 on offense, -1 on defense), enemy kills your corvette (-20), enemy kills your cruiser (-15).
When your team reaches full (75) morale, you go on offense.
When your team loses all (75) morale, you go on defense.
During the opening phase, morale gain/loss is calculated as if both teams were on defense. I.e. +10 for your team if you kill an enemy player, and -10 if a player on your team dies.
Morale is a timer for how long your attack phase lasts or how short your defense lasts.
Phases of a Fleet Battle
Phase 1: “Opening” Phase
This is the first phase in the game. There is only 1 opening phase in any game, and it decides who gets to go on offense first.
Opening Phase Facts
Morale bar is 50 units wide, and each team starts with 25 morale.
Both sides get player ships, AI starfighters, and a corvette
Whoever gets 50 morale first ‘wins’ the phase and the chance to go on offense first. If time runs out, the team with more morale at the end of time goes on offense.
Players worth +10 morale, AI worth +3, corvette worth +20
You are not allowed to attack the cruisers or flagship (no-man’s land / insta-death)
Kill enough players, AI starfighters, or destroy the corvette to push morale bar in your favor.
Phase 2: “Cruiser/Frigate” phase
Cruiser Phase Facts
Morale bar width expands to 75 width.
Cruisers have non-regenerating shields
Attacking team can resupply at their own cruisers (if still alive) or resupply / switch ships at flagship hangar
Defending team can resupply / switch ships at their flagship
Cruisers take passive damage over time.
Cruisers take damage from corvette/raider over time.
Attacking team gets a corvette/raider to help damage enemy cruisers. A new corvette/raider spawns each attack phase.
Once shields are down cruiser hull is vulnerable.
Killing a cruiser gives attacking team +15 morale
Player kills give +5 morale. AI kills give +1.
Getting player kills extends phase in your favor
Defending team must kill enemy AI starfighters, enemy players, enemy corvette to regain morale and flip the phase.
Players worth +10, AI kills give +3. Corvette gives +20.
Phase 3: “Flagship” phase
Flagship Phase Facts
Flagships have re-generating shields
You can’t damage the hull or subsystems from above the shield.
Flagship shields and hull take passive damage over time.
Over time, Corvette/Raider do damage to flagship shields and hull.
Learning how to destroy shield generators from under the shield is one of the most important skills in this game.
Flagships have 4 subsystems
2 shield generators.
power system -> can be 1 shot killed with 1 ion torpedo.
Highest priority to attack: shield generators
Why? Because you get rid of regenerating health. If you take down the shield generators, the flagship won’t have shields on the next offense. Even if you only get 1 shield generator, that drops the max shields on the flagship to 50%.
Killing power system spawns up to 5 ‘weak spots’ (blue spots on the hull) which do ~7% hull damage when destroyed
These weak spots (‘hull breaches’) also spawn naturally as the hull takes damage and only a max of 5 will spawn
Destroying the targeting system reduces passive damage to your capital ships when you are on defense. It also reduces the ability of the enemy flagship to track and kill you on your attack runs.
Don’t switch ships unless you die. You did some excellent AI farm and your team went on offense? DON’T go back to the flagship and get a torpedo fighter – just use your AI farm loadout to attack! By the time you go to the hangar and back, 2 of your teammates have died, and morale is already at half. Every second you’re out on the field, you can be doing objective damage. When someone chases you, they’re not chasing your teammate who is about to make an attack run.
Dying is bad. The team with less deaths often wins because dying awards the enemy team a longer offense or punishes your team with a shorter offense. Prioritize staying alive over applying damage.
Objective damage trumps player kills. All things equal, higher objective damage output wins games.
There is a no-man’s land. During the opening phase, neither side is allowed near the other team’s capital ships. When you are on defense, you’re not allowed to go near the enemy capital ships. You aren’t allowed to go near the enemy flagship until you destroy the cruisers.
Be mindful of passive damage. Passive damage (which simulates your flagships / cruisers attacking the enemy capital ships) will slowly damage enemy capital ship / flagship shields and then hull. This can add up to a lot of damage over time. The Corvette/Raider will also do a substantial amount of damage to enemy capital ships / flagship, so keeping it alive is in your team’s interest.
You need to assume every game (unless you know someone on your team can do it) you have to take out BOTH shield generators all by yourself. You cannot rely at all on your teammates to attack shield generators. Got one shield gen to 1%? Meaningless. Get it to 0%.
It is important to minimize ship swaps especially in solo queue because being out on the field is very important. In solo queue, you have to make the most of every second of your attack phases, because you can’t rely on your teammates to stay alive.
Normally for me on Republic, that means AI farmer (multilock+goliath) Y-Wing loadout and swap to an X-Wing if I die and we are still attacking. On Empire, the AI farm TIE Bomber loadout is versatile enough to be used all game but I’ll sometimes bring out the Defender or an alternate TIE Bomber build.
You can certainly use the other ships. But for solo queue, you have to do it all – objective damage, AI farm, and occasional player killing. The best ships for that are the bombers and fighters as opposed to the interceptors/support ships.
On New Republic, I’ll normally be in a Y-Wing with rotary cannon, jet engine, multilock / goliath missile, reinforced hull, and ray shields. If there is an annoying Defender on the other team, I may bring the ICT (ion cannon turret) but I try not to do this as it decreases AI farm potential and I’m usually the only one on my team AI farming.
If I die and have the opportunity to switch ships I typically use an X-Wing with ion torpedo / concussion missile / jet engine / dampener hull / ray shield for the cruiser phase, and swap the ion torpedo out for a boost extension once the cruiser shields are down or we reach the flagship.
I usually stay all game in a TIE Bomber with rotary cannon, jet engine, multilock / goliath missile, reinforced hull. It can AI farm, has plenty of cap ship damage potential, can flex to PK as well and an all around great performer.
If I’m getting focused, I will sometimes switch to a TIE Defender with ion missile / concussion or concussion / cluster to be more survivable.
Sometimes I’ll use an ion torpedo to strip raider shields so my team can start destroying it quickly.
If I’m lucky enough to have a teammate AI farming, I sometimes dedicate myself to raider burn and then switch to pressuring players.
Phase-By-Phase Guide to Solo Queue
Here are general solo queue strategies that seem to work, broken down by phase.
You cannot rely on your team to stay alive so you must act quickly.
Killing 10 AI starfighters quickly before anything else happens will put your team on offense immediately. This can be very powerful. Winning the first offense can make or break a game.
I typically use a TIE Bomber or Y-Wing with multilock missiles / Goliath missiles, boost skip (google/YouTube that if you don’t know what that is) to a cluster of 5 AI and try to kill it immediately. This gets 15 morale if pulled off correctly.
Then I’ll turn and find another pack of AI, which if I’m lucky is still clustered together, and fire multilocks and lasers at it. If I get a total of 10 fast enough, my team goes on offense.
AI starfighters follow a predictable pattern. You can learn the paths. There are only 3 AI packs on the map active at one time (per faction).
Be careful of ion missiles and going too far ahead and getting blasted by cruisers.
If there’s an easy player (e.g. A-Wing or TIE Interceptor flying straight) pick on the way to the AI pack I might go for a kill.
If my team won the opening phase, I’ll still be in a farmer Y-Wing/TIE Bomber loadout, and I typically won’t switch out unless I think I need to do shield stripping.
If I switch ships, I bring out an ion torpedo or ion missile along with a damage aux like the concussion missile. I’ll strip the shields on the cruiser that the corvette/raider is heading to so that it can start taking passive hull damage.
Shield stripping doesn’t seem to be a popular job in solo queue so I do end up doing it pretty often. Sometimes I get lucky and a teammate has an ion torpedo primed.
If you know how to ‘orbit’, this is powerful on the frigate phase. Good teams will flip you very fast so you have to make every second of your offense phase count. Torpedoes do good burst damage but require a lot of set up time, and fighters can’t carry many. By orbiting, the majoirty of your damage is done by lasers, using auxes in between cooldown to maximize damage.
Simple hit-and-runs with torpedoes and missiles also work fine.
I prioritize staying alive by all means. However, I tend to overextend because I cannot rely on my teammates to put in capship damage.
I will kill players very opportunistically (e.g. an A-Wing is jousting me, a TIE Bomber). Never chase players, especially while on offense. It’s a waste of time.
If there is someone AI farming on the enemy team, try to pressure or kill them if possible. Don’t waste too much time doing this as pure DPS on the objective is more important.
Disengage and repair when low health, don’t die if you can help it. You should get a sense of how low on hp / shields you can be before you have to get out. Personally if I’m in a TIE Bomber for example, I bug out once I’m at around 40. People have diff tolerances / levels of survibability.
If one cruiser is low and your morale is high, focus the higher health cruiser and finish the low cruiser when you need a morale boost.
Another tactic is to leave cruisers at low health (4-5) so they can be killed immediately after phase flip for an easy 15 morale boost.
By far, the most consistent method to have short defenses and go back on offense is to flip morale by killing AI starfighters. This is called “AI farming”. Often in solo queue no one does this and you doing this can help win games.
To AI farm, this means being in a TIE Bomber or Y-Wing with multilock missiles / goliath missiles, setting my targeting wheel to ‘Enemy AI’ and hunting for packs of 3-5 AI to eradicate. 5 full packs is sufficient for a flip, but normally you only need 2-3 as your team should also be killing enemy players or the Raider.
If enemy players are easy to kill, you might as well pick them off.
Some maps are great for AI farm (Yavin, Sissubo, Esseles), others are not as good (Nadiri, Fostar). You will need to judge how easy enemy players are to shoot down and plan your defense accordingly.
Killing the Raider/Corvette fast is also very important. If you have ion left over, punch one into the Raider/Corvette and ping it for your team to attack. It can go down fast if multiple players are attacking it with rotary cannon / burst lasers and missiles.
If you’re at 0 morale and one of your cruisers is about to go down, save killing the raider for after the cruiser goes down to maximize morale gain.
You can shoot down enemy torpedoes, or use countermeasures like chaff / seeker warheads to stop them from reaching their target.
VERY IMPORTANT: The #1 priority on flagship attack is to destroy the flagship’s shield generators!!!
You need to assume every game (unless you know someone on your team can do it) you have to take out BOTH shield generators all by yourself. You cannot rely on your teammates to attack shield generators AT ALL.
Learn how to destroy shield generators by getting under the flagship shields. Watch some of Fencar’s videos and do it in practice mode in a X-Wing/Y-Wing and TIE Bomber. There is a link at the bottom of this post.
This is the MOST useful attack tactic you can learn and will win you games in solo queue. A LOT of players do not know how to do this effectively. If you can, it’s a huge advantage.
Once the shield generators go down, let the Raider/Corvette pump hull damage, and focus on taking out either the targeting or power system (a LOT of the time in solo queue, I take out targeting, because teammates die fast and we have to defend another phase)
Ping shield generators in the hope that your team will attack them. (They usually will not)
Sometimes on 2nd/3rd flagship attacks it’s worth taking an ion torpedo to immediately strip shields if the generators are not already down. On the first offense the flagship’s shields are full, so an ion torpedo will not fully strip them; but on subsequent offenses, chances are the shields have not regenerated fully and an ion torpedo can take the remaining shields down.
Try to only suicide for a subsystem.
Targeting: when you need to defend another phase, prioritize targeting in order to reduce passive damage during your next defense. Also makes your next attack phase easier since turrets will be less accurate.
Power: If you have to / plan to win this phase, prioritize destroying the power system.
When you are defending your flagship you have to be very fast at flipping. Flagships are very one-phaseable by good teams.
Fast AI farming is again the key to having short defenses and flipping back to offense.
Shield generators will be the first subsystems under attack. You can chaff them when you see a torpedo fighter approaching to break locks. Try to defend them if possible.
Once shield generators are gone – it’s very hard to defend, so try to keep them alive as much as possible. You have to assume you will lose the next phase if the enemy takes both shield generators out and the flagship is below, say, 75% health.
Raider burn is very important and doubly so if your shield generators are down. In solo queue, I’ll often quickly ion torpedo the shields and apply some damage on the hull before switching back to a Y-Wing/TIE Bomber to farm. Ping the raider for your teammates to (hopefully) attack
Generally TIE Bombers have extreme survivability and can one-shot shield gens without much trouble. It’s hard to stop them; marking beacons + ion missile to make them drift toward the flagship throwing them off of their attack run. They need to be intercepted early, but it’s not easy in the chaos
Orbiting X-Wings are also hard to kill. It’s important not to spend too much time chasing players.
ICT is very strong on flagship defense to disable bombers / strip Defender shields to force them out. However, by running ICT, you are sacrificing a farming aux.
Off-phasing (or out of phasing) is destroying enemy capital ships or flagship while on defense.
If an enemy cruiser/frigate is low and you are about to go on defense, destroy it immediately for an easy 15 morale.
If your flagship cannot survive another attack, and the enemy flagship is low, you may need to off phase it.
Goliaths can be dumbfired into the flagship hull reliably at 2000 meters. They will do a few percentage points of damage to the hull.
Bombers can survive long enough to fire multilock missiles out of phase before getting shot down.
You can usually fire off a salvo of proton+piercing torpedo before the flagship’s defensive lasers will kill you.
If you are evasive, you can hit flagship weak points and hull with lasers
There is a blind spot behind the Star Destroyer which can be useful for out of phasing in a bomber / fighter.
Leavers/forfeiting: Solo queue teammates are unreliable and they’ll often leave mid-match, especially if you’re losing. Once someone on your team leaves, it becomes possible to forfeit the game in the menu screen. If all of your remaining teammates forfeit, the game ends in a loss and your SR loss for the game is lowered.
Voice Comms: I prefer turning voice chat off when I solo queue. Too many hot mics and idiots on voice chat. Solo queue is like a Zen for me, and I try to keep things casual. I guess this is more of a preference thing.
Other Ships: By all means, fly anything you find fun; however, objective damage and AI farm are the most reliable way to win in solo queue. and that is why I recommend maining the Y-Wing/TIE Bomber and switch to X-Wing/TIE Defender/TIE Fighter if the opportunity presents itself when attacking.
Running into 3/4/5-stacks of elite players: Will happen even solo. You won’t win these unless your team has an equal skilled stack, so just accept it, move on. If you keep running into the same team, take a break!