X Wing: Upgrades and Where to Find Them

Want to get some new tricks for your X Wing squads but not sure where to look? This week X Wing guru Harrison Sharp gives us an incredibly useful list of which ship expansions carry which upgrades! I imagine a lot of X Wing players will be bookmarking this one! So cast your eyes over it and see if you can find a tip or tactic to finish off your squad list!


Greetings Holonet! It’s time again for us to engage the hyperdrive and have a light speed tour around the X Wing galaxy. Today we will be looking at an essential part of squad building: upgrades! Below is a list of the upgrades I consider to be the best in the game; upgrades that get the most out of the offensive or defensive capabilities of your ship for the best points cost.

The right upgrades can make or break a ship, but with so many ships and so many upgrades to choose from, what do you choose? More importantly, where the heck do you find them? Well, look no further than the list below to find out just where to find that pesky copy of Predator.

First up we have the Elite Pilot Talents, or EPTs for short. Almost every ship in the game has at least 1 pilot who can take one of these bad boys, so getting the right one is extremely important.

Push_The_LimitPush The Limit – Found in: A Wing & Imperial Aces
Probably the best EPT in the game, PTL allows you to perform 2 actions instead of one, for the cost of receiving a Stress token. You will want to put this on pretty much everyone, so grab a copy of Imperial Aces, as it has 2 in it!

Predator – Found in: TIE Defender & Kihraxz
A very close second, if not just as good as PTL. This card give you a 1 dice re-roll on attack or, if the defender is Pilot Skill 2 or lower, a 2 dice re-roll instead! Best of all, this isn’t considered an action, so will work regardless if you’ve been blocked or can’t perform any actions.

Lone Wolf – Found in: YT2400 & Hound’s Tooth
Another card that gives re-rolls, but this time it’s a 1 dice re-roll for attack and defence! The downside? You have to be out of range 1-2 of any other friendly ship, making it a very difficult card to use. It is also a unique card, so you will only ever need one of them.

Determination – Found in: Core Set (Original) & TIE Fighter
This card gets an honourable mention here, as it is one of the few cards that lets you straight up discard damage, and a crit no less! I used to consider this an auto-buy on Howlrunner, as the Injured Pilot crit was so devastating on her, but with the new damage deck, it’s not so much of an essential. This EPT does still see a lot of use on Leebo, allowing you to choose between 2 crits and, if one is a Pilot Crit, discard both. Handy!

Crack Shot – Found in: Kihraxz & Hound’s Tooth
This card is seeing a lot of use on Black Squadron TIEs and even IGs. Crack Shot allows you to negate once defence dice of your target, then is discarded. Due to the timing window of when this card activates, it works really well on a ship with a gunner, as the old tactic of letting 1 damage through to stop the gunner activating will let you sneak another damage through by using Crack Shot.

Outmanoeuvre – Found in: TIE Defender & E Wing
Kind of an outlying card, but is good for all of the reasons that Crack Shot is good. This card reduces your opponent’s defence dice by 1, making those pesky C3P0-carrying Falcons shake in their boots. Even a Stealth Device Fel has to worry about staying in arc of you, because you are reducing his agility to a level where it isn’t as hard to hit him, leaving him even more vulnerable in subsequent rounds.

Veteran Instincts – Found in: Millennium Falcon & Slave I
This upgrade is almost too good! For a measly 1 point, you get an extra 2 Pilot Skill. Put it on a PS 8 ace and it makes them a truly horrifying counter to any other ace who hasn’t taken this upgrade.

AstromechsR2_AstromechThe rebel pilot’s best asset is his trusty Astromech. When you read what some of these guys can do, you’ll understand why!

R2 Astromech – Found in: Y WingThe only non-unique Astromech on the list, the R2 makes all your speed 1 and 2 manoeuvres green. Add this little guy to a PTL-toting ship and you’ve got a ship that has Interceptor-level greens to get rid of that stress.

BB-8 – Found in: The Force Awakens Core Set
Barrel Roll is a tough action to get on a ship that doesn’t have it, so getting it for only 2 points is a bargain! BB-8 activates when you reveal a green manoeuvre, which gives you the advantage of an action before you move, which can be used to PTL off of, and then a green manoeuvre afterwards, to clear the stress so you can make another action in your action phase. That’s a lot of utility for such a little droid!

R3-A2 – Found in: Rebel Transport
Dubbed the “Stress-Bot”, R3-A2 allows you to give a stress to the target of your attack, at the cost of receiving one yourself. Putting this guy on a Y Wing with the BTL Title allows you to double-stress your target, which is a sure-fire way to make sure you know where those pesky arc dodgers are going to be next turn!

R2-D2 – Found in: Original Core Set
The original and best way to regenerate shields, doing so after a green manoeuvre; R2-D2 is one plucky little droid. Shield regeneration is one of the most powerful mechanics in the game at the moment, allowing you to take a hit from a gunner, safe in the knowledge that you will regain it next turn.

Salvaged Astromech
Scum & Villainy get their own version of the Astromech (leaving the poor Imperials out) with a more vicious streak to match the feel of the faction.

R4-agromech-1-Unhinged Astromech – Found in: Most Wanted
Just as the R2 Astromech makes all of your speed 1-2 manoeuvres green, this Astro makes your speed 3 manoeuvres green. Perfect for making those red 3 turns on the Y Wing’s dial green, or getting away from your opponent to bring your TLTs into play.

R4 Agromech – Found in: Most Wanted
As the name suggests this is one angry little droid, allowing you to acquire a target lock on the defender when you use a Focus token on an attack. Finally a card that may make you bust out your copies of the Blaster Turret! Also great on Y Wings with the BTL Title to allow you to augment both of your attacks.

Another slot with an abundance of great upgrades for your ships who can carry a passenger.

R2-D2 & C-3PO – Found in: Tantive IV
Both of these cards fill a similar role for the Rebels. They both make a ship survive a heck of a lot longer than you would think, by either adding Evade results or regenerating shields. These two, equipped on a Falcon, won Worlds 2014;  with an Evade token, they let that ship mitigate at least 3 damage a turn.

Recon Specialist – Found in: HWK 290 & TIE Phantom
This card allows you to double up on your Focus tokens when you perform the Focus action. As Focus is the most versatile action, you will find having two Focus tokens a turn handy in any situation.

K4 Security Droid – Found in: Most Wanted & Hound’s Tooth
This is another action economy crew member, but one that doesn’t require an action to activate. When you perform a green manoeuvre, this guy lets you acquire a Target Lock. This is great as you can get your offensive action, even if you bump, freeing you up to take other actions in your action phase. Add in PTL and you’ve got a ship that will be making 3 actions a turn.

Darth Vader & Rebel Captive – Found in: Lambda Class Shuttle
Do you hate Soontir Fel? Do you loathe having to hunt down that annoying so-and-so? Well then these crew members are for you! Darth Vader as a crew member allows you to deal a crit to the ship you have shot at, regardless of if you hit it or not, at the cost of 2 hits on yourself. While this may seem like not a great trade off, taking two shields off of your Shuttle to crit Soontir is brilliant. Put this guy on a Decimator so that Fel has nowhere to hide! The Rebel Captive, on the other hand, gives the first person to attack you a Stress token, which is just unpleasant for anybody who wants to target you; especially those high Pilot Skill aces who are going to be shooting first and relying on their actions to keep them safe.Emperor-palpatine-1-

Emperor Palpatine – Found in: Imperial Raider
The most expensive crew in the game, The Emperor allows you to change any dice you roll into any result you want once a turn. Worried you will get a crit when going over that asteroid? Let The Emperor protect you. Really don’t want to take damage from your console fire? Let The Emperor keep you safe. And the best part? He has no range! As long as he’s on the table, he keeps on truckin’.

Tactician – Found in: TIE Phantom
The Tactician gives a stress token to anyone unfortunate enough to be attacked by you at range 2 and in arc. This card is the cornerstone of many control builds, giving you places on the board your opponent just doesn’t want to be.

Gunner – Found in: Slave I & YT2400
This card allows you to make a primary weapon attack if your first attack misses. In the world of tokened up Imperial Aces with Stealth Devices, this card increases your chance of getting through that 1 damage you need to drop it. You also find people take 1 damage from a ship with a Gunner, to stop him from activating, making him useful, even if you aren’t using his ability.

For when your regular guns aren’t quite good enough, look no further than your trusty Cannons! These upgrades give your attacks either more power or extra effects.

Mangler Cannon – Found in: IG-2000 & M3A Interceptor
Crits hurt. So having a 3 dice cannon that will flip one hit to a crit is great. This is a range 1-3 cannon, so it finds a good home on an Outrider YT2400, as well as pilots like Ten Numb who rely on crits for their ability.

Heavy Laser Cannon – Found in: YT2400, Hound’s Tooth, Slave 1 & Lambda Class Shuttle
What’s better than 3 attack dice? 4 attack dice! While this cannon reduces all crits to hits in your initial roll (re-rolls stay as crits), you are rolling more dice than you usually would. Great for stripping those pesky shields off of a tough target, so your other ships can make their crits count!

Turrets allow you to break one of the core mechanics of the game, only being able to fire in arc.

Twin Laser Turret – Found in: K Wing
This is the be all and end all of turrets. You get to make two 3 dice attacks, which can only ever do 1 damage. Perfect against high agility targets who usually only ever take a single damage anyway, or for doing consistent damage on low agility targets. Basically, this turret is great against everything.

Considered one of the most potent upgrades in the game, the System upgrade slot is rarely unused on a ship.

Accuracy-correctorFire Control System – Found in: B Wing & TIE Phantom
This card reads “after you perform an attack, you may acquire a Target Lock on the defender.” This card works great on any ship that is going to stick around after one shot, so big ships with lots of hull hate it. Also, it’s only 2 points, which is a bargain for an upgrade which gives you an extra action!

Advanced Sensors – Found in: Lambda Class Shuttle & E Wing
Do you hate bumping and losing your action? Well look no further! Advanced Sensors allows you to perform your action before you reveal your dial. Great for getting an action if you’re going to bump, performing a red manoeuvre, or even using PTL to grab 2 actions, then performing a green manoeuvre to clear the stress token you’ve just acquired.

Accuracy Corrector – Found in: IG2000 & Star Viper
If your dice hate you – and they do – then you need this card. Substitute any attack roll for two hits, no questions asked. If you’re running TIE Advanced or Punishers, who only have 2 attack dice to begin with, you can guarantee maximum damage on every attack!

Dirty tricks for the Scum & Villainy faction.

Inertial Dampers – Found in: IG2000 & Star Viper
Inertial Dampers allows you to pull a full stop manoeuvre after you reveal your dial, which will have your opponent second guessing where your ships are going, even if you never use it!

Glitterstim – Found in: Hound’s Tooth & Khiraxz
Do you ever feel like 1 or 2 Focus tokens just aren’t enough? Well Glitterstim is going to be your drug of choice! For the cost of a Stress token, you can convert every Focus result that you roll that turn into either a hit or an evade. There’s a reason they say “one bite and you’re hooked”.
Every ship in the game can take one Modification, making them one of the most abundant upgrades.

Autothrusters – Found in: Star Viper
Before this upgrade, bringing an arc dodger was risky. With the prevalence of turreted ships with Gunner, any arc dodging ship was very unlikely to make his points back. Autothrusters allows you to convert a blank roll on evade into an evade result as long as you are either out of arc or at range 3. Reducing the likelihood of a bad roll is what keeps arc dodgers alive and well at the top of the meta.Engine_Upgrade

Stealth Device – Found in: Slave I & M3-A Interceptor
Another great upgrade for those high agility arc dodgers, Stealth Device increases your agility by 1 until you are hit by an attack. If your name is Soontir Fel, this means you will only be hit if you have been bumped and are tokenless, or you are monumentally unlucky.

Advanced Cloaking Device – Found in: TIE Phantom
This upgrade turned the TIE Phantom from a great ship into the meta-warping monster that it is. With this upgrade, you may re-cloak after performing an attack, making your 2 evade ship a 4 evade nightmare!

Engine Upgrade – Found in: Millennium Falcon & Hound’s Tooth
The be all and end all mod for anything without Boost. This upgrade gives you the Boost action, which is clutch on a large based ship. Post manoeuvre movement is one of the most powerful abilities in the game, allowing you to dodge arcs or get shots, even if you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

That about covers it for the best upgrades in the game. You may have noticed that I have left out ordinance; unfortunately, despite FFG’s best efforts, ordinance is still considered to be a points sink and I couldn’t bring myself to add them into a list of the best upgrades in the game. Maybe I will write an article about them and how to get the most out of them, who knows? If you want to find out you’ll just have to stay tuned! Until then, fly casual.

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