A lot of people have expressed interest in the RP of dogfighting, but are uncomfortable or unsure about whether or not they can handle this alternate form of PVP. I hope to help make piloting a big deal and a fun thing on this site, and considered that it might be most beneficial if I give a bit of a tutorial on how to write starfighter battles.

The trick is, it's not really tricky! PVP can be a bit difficult to pick up in itself, but if you've gotten that down, then you are in no way devoid of the skills required to dogfight!

So here we go!


Tip #1:
Remember gravity.

Flying away from a planet will slow down your speed significantly. Flying towards a planet will phenomenally increase your speed. However, once you have dived, you will likely have to climb back up again. Use your dives wisely!

Also, if you dive into atmosphere too fast, your ship will tear apart from the friction. Be careful!

Tip #2:
Long range? Use missiles.
Short range? Use guns.

While you do need to conserve your payload, any pilot will tell you that it's best to be safe than sorry. If you can get a lock on a distant starfighter, fire your missiles!

Keep in mind, however, that while torpedoes do have lock-on features, they are not seeker missiles and can only track so much movement from the target. If you can catch a fighter by surprise, go for the torpedoes. But if your target is aware that you are after him, it will probably be a waste to fire them.
Concussion missiles and heat-seeker missiles are the best fighter-to-fighter ballistics. I would suggest to use them upon confrontation.

While missiles are certainly the most potent form of attack a starfighter will feature, sending out missiles while hot and engaged in a tight dogfight won't work. Odds are that you'll both be doing some fancy flying and won't be able to get a lock.

Tip #3:
Deploy chaff when dealing with missiles!

Almost any fighter you are flying will have 2-3 allotments of chaff flares to eject and distract seekers. Use them wisely, but do use them!

Tip #4:
Take a peek at the fighter stats.

While you can usually skip most of the paragraphs in a starfighter factory submission/Wookiepedia schematic, there are three important places to look that won't take much of your time, but are vital to gauging what you can do in a dogfight.
  1. Speed - If you're engaging an interceptor with your bulky bomber, then there is no way you are going to be able to catch up to the other fighter. (However, this may open up an opportunity to fire a missile rather than risk it in a gunfight. ;))
  2. Maneuverability - If your opponent makes a corkscrew turn or performs a loop, you're fine to follow them and try to blow up their rear. Just know that if you're outclassed in maneuverability, you won't be getting under their tail and hitting them until your next post.
  3. Armaments - It's pretty self-explanatory. But if your X-Wing only holds 6 proton torpedoes... then you can only fire up to 6 proton torpedoes.
Perhaps surprisingly to you, this is actually simpler than Force user duels, because all you will likely need to know are three basic stats instead of worrying about that weird alter-everything-funhouse-effect Force power that master character might pull on you.

Tip #5:
Lead the target.

This is the primary rule about shooting at moving targets, no matter whether you're in a tank or in a starfighter or dual-wielding machine guns like Rambo. If the target is moving to the right, shoot even further to the right--because, by the time your bullets or blasts reach the target, it will have moved quite a bit. If you aim directly for a moving target, you can expect every one of your shots to whiff.

Tip #6:
Take hits, give hits, and have a blast!

This is just your natural common-courtesy rule that makes PVP RP cool for everyone. You may be writing the Red Baron and averaging four kill marks per skirmish, but if you don't take some knicks to your wings, you're doing it wrong.
Besides, everyone knows a few scratches and scars adds character to your bird! ;)

Tip #6.2!!!
It's totally OK to lose!

Starfighter PVP is--believe it or not--actually more forgiving than ground PVP! How is that? Because you can literally have your fighter blown to bits, and your character still survive! It's called an ejector seat, and every starfighter that is battle-worthy will have one.

I hope everyone who reads this has found it helpful and will be encouraged to try their hand at fighter RP in the future! And if you ever want to dogfight, I just might be available. :)