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Imperial Flight Guide, Part One

By Thomas Allegood on March 03, 2009 | Guides | Comments

Imperial Flight Guide, Part One
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The Imperial Navy, the most powerful and destructive fleet to ever streak across the stars. In this guide, you will learn the basics of being an Imperial pilot, and learn how to properly manage the ships you obtain.

During your stay on Tansarii Station, you will most likely take part in the basic flight training. This is where you learn the "bread and butter" of starfighter piloting. In my honest opinion, you should do as many of the space quests as you possibly can on the station, as they will give you not just EXP but give you a chance to earn easy space EXP for later use. You will also gain a few useful parts that you can use to upgrade your starter ship. These will help you out, but most of the parts you pick up aren't as good as your ship's basic parts. You most likely won't find better parts until you start fighting higher tier enemy ships as you level up. The parts you do pick up that aren't as good, just sell them. There's almost always some trader that wants to reverse engineer, upgrade, and resell them.

If you decide not to start your space career on the station, do not fret. When you meet up with your Imperial trainer, he will give you a TIE fighter with the same equipment as your Tansarii ship. Some people choose to go this route because they get their hands on a TIE sooner than others. However, this Training TIE does not have the same weight capacity nor the same chassis HP as the other, heavier versions, as it is called the TIE Fighter (light). It can and will get you through some sticky situations though.

Now, since you've decided what path to take, where do you go now? You can go to one of three trainers. Each trainer works for a different squadron within the navy. There's honestly not much difference in the trainers, except for what planet they're on and where they send you. You won't get anything different, when it comes to benefits, than the other squadrons. However, who you choose is up to you. The trainers are located in Kaadara on Naboo, Bestine on Tatooine, and the Imperial Outpost on Tyrenia. The Naboo trainer's name is Lt. Barn Sinkko and his squadron is the Imperial Inquisition. The Tatooine trainer's name is Lt. Akal Colzet of the Storm Squadron. Finally, the Tyrenia trainer's name is Hakasha Sireen of the Black Epsilon Squadron. Each trainer gives quests to fulfill in space and training to use more advanced equipment and ships.

You will now begin your basic training as an Imperial pilot. As you complete your first few quests, you will also receive your TIE Pilot uniform and helmet. This equipment carries with it no bonuses, so its actually more cosmetic than anything.

Your best bet would be to upgrade to the TIE Fighter Heavy variant as soon as you obtain your Intermediate TIE Combat Craft Operations certification. This is your second level up, and, if you completed a few Tansarii Station space quests, you should already have most, if not all, EXP required to obtain this certification. The heavy variant has a maximum payload of 90,000. This will allow you to upgrade your ship's components quite a bit without having to worry about weight. This ship has the most weight up until the TIE Bomber. There is a downside though. With that increased weight capacity, you sacrifice a little bit of maneuverability. However, with a good engine and good shields, this wont become much of a problem at all.

As you continue to level up, you'll notice that you've learned some new commands, such as Pump Reactor and Emergency Weapons. These will help you out quite a bit if you use them at the appropriate times. Pump Reactor allows you a temporary speed increase, which can help you out of a sticky situation. However, if the command doesn't work, your ship's engines will shut down entirely. Emergency Weapons diverts power from your shields to your weapons, allowing for much more powerful shots and quicker capacitor recharges. However, your shields will not recharge while this is in effect Use these when you know your shield will hold up against your enemies and you want to take them down quickly.

You will learn another set of commands called Droid Commands. These require you have a Droid Computer or Astromech droid on board of your ship. Most Imperial ships are not compatible with an Astromech so you will need to purchase a computer. As you level up, you will be able to use more advanced computers which are capable of holding more commands and executing them with more ease and precision. These commands will let you modify how your ship performs to your specifications. Including modifying your weapons to use less capacitor energy with less damage output, higher damage output with more capacitor drainage, and various other things.

By now, you've noticed that ships are starting to hit you harder and harder, and your looted parts are looking nicer and nicer. With every few level ups, you'll have the capability to load your ship with more powerful parts. You'll obtain the certification for your level 2 and 3 parts as your third pilot training. One thing all pilots learn is, if you can use it and it's better than what you have, use it. However, if you don't have a TIE heavy you might be running out of weight. If you're stuck in this situation, follow this simple rule: Reactor, Shields, Weapon, Capacitor, Engine, Rear Armor, Booster, Droid Computer, Front Armor. That is the formula you should use when you're building your ship. The reactor is the most important part, and front armor is the least. If your ship has really good shields, theres little chance that they can bust through them, so front armor is useless. Also, most ships will try to trail you and take out your back shields first, so your front armor is really just a last ditch effort at defense that usually goes unharmed.

Sooner or later, you'll get tired of your old TIE Heavy and want something a bit different. At your tenth level up you will have the capability to pilot a TIE Interceptor or TIE Bomber. The Interceptor is a fast ship with a payload of 40,000. The Bomber is a high weight vessel, meaning it will fly slower but carry much more weight. This choice really comes down to how you usually fly. Do you want to use slightly weaker, lighter parts and be able to get away quickly, or do you want to load down your ship with everything you can get and be able to take a beating instead of run. It all depends on your personal choice. I personally used the Interceptor, which worked fine until I started getting Lv5 parts.

Now that you have the basics down, it's time to start on your path to being an Ace pilot! Stay tuned for part two where I explain a nice, quick way to get your Ace Pilot certification, and all the perils (and awesome ships) that await you.

Thomas Allegood / Ex-SWG Correspondent