The intro…

This is something a bit different, let me give you some back story . I was scrolling Facebook a little while back and I came across a post by ‘Jim Bob’. Now if you don’t know who that is, he created the very awesome Infinite Arenas website which, among many other things, allows you to create custom cards to print and use to play X-Wing. Being that I’m lazy with digging cards out of my collection, I use it a lot.

Something else that Jim created is the X-Wing Hub. A page that contains collated links and information for the game so that a lot of stuff can be found in a single place.
Again, awesome.

Now what did that post say? Well let me show you:

I’ll start with a content request. I see a lot of posts on Facebook and Reddit where a person has come across their old box of X-wing stuff and they get excited to get back into the game. But then their next question is “what do I have?” and “what do I need?” I’m imagining a really useful blog or post someone could make would include photos of 1.0 and 2.0 cards, dials, tiles, etc., and an explanation of what you’d need to do or buy to get ready to play X-wing today. If someone would be willing to author this content (post on a blog or even email me a Word doc and I’ll host it!) or point me to where someone has already made such a guide then I’ll feature it on for the community.

And since I’d seen several of these posts too (mostly in the XWingTMG subReddit) I figured I’d start putting something together and , well, here we are!

The other things that’s happening is that Levi Schadt is looking at producing an updated buyer’s guide since we now have version 2.5 and some faction starter sets.

Now, before I get started let me just say that I’m not about reinventing the wheel here. Once that guide is up then I’ll be updating this post with links. In the meantime, if you are totally new to X-Wing and looking to buy into the game from scratch then there are several existing buying guides that have already been made. You have to bear in mind that some are older than others. Consider yourself warned!

The main bit…

Alright, so, you’re coming back to X-Wing after a break or maybe you saw the models and picked up a bulk lot pre-owned. What do you need to know? Well, it kinda depends on when you stopped playing and what stuff you have so let’s start at the beginning.

Oh, also, this guide assumes you’re looking to play the latest available iteration of the game, supported and maintained by Atomic Mass Games and commonly referred to as ‘2.5’.

Let me start by giving some terms and definitions:

‘1.0’ – X-Wing first edition. Released in 2012 and sold until 2018. The core set was in a brown box and expansions in plastic blister packs

‘2.0’ – X-Wing second edition. Released in 2018 and still current. The core set and expansions are sold in black carboard boxes

First edition on the left, second edition on the right

‘2.5’ – this is still X-Wing second edition but using an updated rule set released and maintained by Atomic Mass Games

Speaking of which, here’s a link to the most recent official rules documents.

If you’re looking for further definitions then you can check out the X-Wing Jargon Buster which should help!

Alright, let’s get into it!

The ‘stuff’…

One of the biggest things in transitioning from 1.0 to 2.5 is know what to keep and what you don’t need.

  • I’ll start with what’s nice and easy, what you’ll definitely want to keep:
  • Ships
  • Bases
  • Pegs
  • Dice
  • Obstacles
  • Templates*
  • Tokens**

*While the templates are technically the same, second edition templates have center lines to assist with repositions and bumps
**Some tokens are still fine such as focus, evade, stress, etc. Some aren’t such as illicit tokens. Some have changed such as lock tokens. There are also some totally new tokens but I’ll get to that in a minute.

First edition templates above, second edition to the right. Notice the centre lines on the second edition templates.

Yep, that’s it. Just for clarity, that means you’ll no longer need:

  • Base chits
  • Pilot cards
  • Upgrade cards
  • Dials
  • Damage deck
  • Tokens*

*as I mentioned before, some tokens are junk now.

It’s rather a lot of wasted cardboard, I know. And it isn’t that these components are no longer in the game, it’s that the newer versions are significantly different, making the old redundant.

Since most components still have the same name I thought it might be helpful to show the different versions of components so you can be SURE you’re looking at the right thing or perhaps if you’ve picked up a bulk buy on eBay and you’re not entirely sure what you’ve got.

Let’s start with dials.

Here’s a version 1.0 dial

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The key features to make note of here is the general design (‘wagon wheel style’) and that the actual manoeuvre is shown on the same side as the ship name.

By contrast, here’s a version 2 dial:

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Pretty different, right? The main differences are the change in design and also that the ship name and the manoeuvres are on opposite sides. It’s also worth noting that the easy moves have changed from green in 1.0 to blue in 2.0, I expect because red and green isn’t a good combo for colour blind people.

Up next is the base chit, also called the base card, base tile, cardboard base, and probably many other things. It’s the piece of card that sits on the plastic base and displays the firing arc and which pilot it is.

Here’s a 1.0 chit

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It has a firing arc, lists the actions the ship can take, the base stats of the ship (attack dice, defence dice, hull and shields) as well as the pilot name, ship silhouette and pilot skill. Quite a lot.

By contrast here’s some version 2 base chits:

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A lots less info but some important extra features instead.

The pilot initiative (which I’ll come back to), pilot name and silhouette are still there. The arc remains too but now every ship features the ‘bullseye’ arc (the two parallel lines within the arc). This is because there are certain upgrades and pilot abilities which make use of it.

There are also what’s referred to as ‘hash markers’ on all 4 sides. These are to assist with lining up repositions (boost and barrel roll) as well as handy guides for marking off ships if (or more likely, when) bumps occur.

Now we move on to the cards, starting with pilots. Here’s an example of a version 1 pilot card

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One of the biggest issues with 1.0 in the end was the fixed points value assigned to a ship. One of the features of version 2 was to remove that, allowing the developers to make adjustments to points to make sure that the game wasn’t too unbalanced.

Here’s a version 2 pilot:

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While there are similarities, they’re pretty different. I mentioned pilot skill earlier and you’ll notice that the orange number assigned on both cards is different. The scale of pilot skill (now known as initiative) was changed between versions. It used to be 1-9, it’s now 0-6.

Again, the version 2 component is a slightly cleaner design but holds most of the same information. You might notice a new symbol (the purple one!), that’s the Force. I’ll get to that soon.

The last card type is upgrades.

Version 1 cards were small in size (39mm x 63mm):

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I picked this one to trigger some veteran players!

Again, points vales were printed on the card.

Version 2 cards are the same size (poker sized) as pilot cards (63mm x 89mm) and are oriented landscape as opposed to portrait

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The symbol on the left indicates the typ of upgrade that it is (a Talent in this case) and can be slotted under other cards to save table space while still being able to read the card text.

As I mentioned before, the templates are technically the same but you’ll find that second edition templates have the centre lines like below.

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Lastly when it comes to the ‘stuff’, I’ll just cover the bases (eyyyyyy, see what I did there?). Frist edition had small and large, second edition added medium into the mix

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Certain ships like the Firespray went from large to medium. Others like the K-Wing went from small to medium. If you pick up a conversion kit then you’ll get plenty of these to cover what you need.

The rules…

Moving to second edition, Fantasy Flight Games (aka FFG who were responsible for the game at the time) made several game design choices. The main one was the move from points printed on cards to points being adjustable. Initially this was managed in an online app. Sounds great but the official app was widely accepted as being pretty terrible.

Other online Squad Builders were, and still are, far more popular and widely used. When Atomic Mass Games (AMG) took the game on, the official app was canned and new points releases are published to PDF documents on the AMG website. The unofficial builders are ridiculously quick to pick these changes up when they happen.

The generally accepted wisdom is that if building on a computer you use YASB and if building on a phone your best bet is Launchbay Next (the link is to the web builder but you can find the app by searching in the Apple App Store or Google Play store)

So what else is notably different from version 1 to version 2? Let’s see…


The game has gone from three factions to seven with Resistance splitting out from the Rebels and First Order splitting out from Empire. There’s also the CIS (Separatists) and the Republic making up the prequel era.

Pilot skill / initiative

As mentioned earlier, pilot skill (on a scale of 1 – 9, mostly) became initiative (on a scale of 0 – 6). The principle is the same though with the number determining the order that pilots activate and engage.


Moving away from the older ‘discard this card’ method, 2.0 upgrades use charges (the yellow lightning symbol) to indicate how many uses a card has.

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It’s also worth mentioning here that you don’t spend the lock to fire the torpedo in second edition, therefore still having it available to use for dice modification.

The Force

Introducing the Force to X-Wing was a major shift. Spending a Force charge (indicated by the purple symbol) allows you to change an eyeball result to a hit or evade as appropriate. There are upgrades that allow it to do other things too but this is the base function for it.

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You can see on Darth Vader that he has three charges and a small arrow next to it. This means that you regain one charge per turn (not all the charges you spend)


Adding a little more flavour to droids, Calculate tokens were introduced. They funcion much like the Force, changing a single eyeball result rather than all eyeball results (like a focus token does).

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Strain & Deplete

These two tokens were introduced slightly later in second edition. They are red tokens that are issued to ships that reduce the number of dice rolled. A strained ship rolls 1 less green die on defence, a depleted ship one less red dice when attacking.

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They can be cleared either by performing a blue manoeuvre or when their effect is triggered (so after you defend with one less green die, the strain token is removed). It’s also worth knowing that when you perform a blue manoeuvre, you clear one of EACH KIND of token. So let’s say your ship has 2 stress, 1 strain and 1 deplete, then a blue move will get rid of the strain, the deplete and one of the stress tokens.

Standard vs Extended

With so many ships in the game is has sometimes been difficult to balance effectively. Between this and the fact that not all ship have been re-released in ‘black box’ (second edition) packaging, FFG created a curated format called Hyperspace which comprised of all ships that had been officially re-released. The other format was called Extended which included all ships (whose second edition components you’d get in a conversion kit).

Move on a few years and AMG renamed Hyperspace to Standard but the same principle applies – Standard includes ships that have been released in black boxes, Extended includes everything else.

It’s worth noting that official tournaments in the last year could have been run in either format at the discretion of the tournament organiser.

Standard Loadout cards

Just about the last thing worth noting is that since AMG started producing content for the game they have introduced Standard Loadout cards (SL cards). These are pilots with built in upgrades that may have different actions or stat lines to what you’d normally expect.

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SL Wedge, presenting a large punch in the face.

Less of a jump, more of a hop…

But what if you only stopped playing during the 2.0 days? Well, that’s a fair bit simpler.

I already linked to the Atomic Mass Games site with the newest rules documents but if you’re getting back into the game from some time since late 2018, let me just outline the main differences from 2.0 to 2.5

1. Scenarios
This is probably the biggest change. Instead of being only a ‘deathmatch’ type game where you and your opponent aim to blow up each other’s ships, you can now score points by objectives too. As it stands there are 4 different scenarios which I won’t go in depth but can basically be boiled down to:
Chance engagement (Still death match)
Assault at the Satellite Array (Be near the things)
Salvage Mission (Pick up the things)
Scramble the Transmissions (Tag the things)

Bids for player order are a thing of the past! Now that list only go to 20 points and upgrades are pointed separately (more on that in a minute), ‘bidding’ to be first player got eliminated. Instead of the player order being decided by points and fixed for the whole game at the start, player order is now decided by ROAD – random order after dials and it’s done EACH TURN.
I’ll be honest, it took a little getting used to initially but the balance it brings is worth it. No more ‘auto-loss’ because your list is 1 point more expensive than your opponent and their i6 ship will always move after yours and arc dodge you. It’s also a random element meaning that there isn’t always an objectively better choice and gives very interesting decision points.

3. List building
I just mentioned the list building and points. In 2.0 you built to 200 and the cost of pilots and upgrades came from the same pool. In 2.5, to link in to the scoring to 20 points, ship costs are reduced by (generally) an order of 10, ranging from 2 points to 9 points and each pilot has their own individual loadout value. For example, Rebel Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon is 7 points for the ship and his loadout is (currently) 15 points meaning that I can spend what I want on upgrades without sacrificing other ships.

4. Point scoring
As I mentioned before, the game (broadly speaking) now scores to 20 points. You get points for destroying opposing ships AND for the objectives. This means that you can technically win without blowing up any ships. You could, of course, go the other extreme and win only by blowing up ships and ignore the objectives. Mostly, of course, the middle ground is what happens.
When you blow up a ship you get the points value for that ship (so 7 points for the Han Solo I mentioned before) and each turn you hold an objective (in whichever way that scenario dictates) you get 1 point per objective. The only scenario where you score half points on a ship now is Chance Engagement.

5. Obstacles
In 2. 5 hitting obstacles is BAD. Changes were made to the obstacle consequences which disincentivises flying over them on purpose. A positive change is that if you don’t land ON the obstacle, you can still take an action (as long as you’re not stressed…) and shoot. If the ship finishes ON the obstacle, it cannot shoot (no matter which kind of obstacle it is). The effects of the different obstacles are as follows:
Asteroids – the ship takes 1 automatic damage. You then roll a die, on a hit or crit you take another hit damage (just a hit, even if a crit i rolled).
Debris – the ship gains a stress token. You then roll a die, on a hit you take a hit, on a crit you take a crit.
Gas Clouds – the ship breaks all locks (that’s locks on it and locks it has on other ships) and gains a strain token. You roll a die, on a hit you gain 1 ion token, on a crit you gain 3 ion tokens.

6. Miscellaneous
There are a few other things that have changed such as the rules for being ionised (i.e. you can now bank instead of just go straight) and being tractored (you can gain a stress to rotate the ship) but a read through of the rule book is very much encouraged.
It’s also worth knowing that some ships have ‘split’, most notably the Aethersprite. Where previously you could add the Delta 7B upgrade as a configuration, AMG took the decision (for ease of points management I assume) to basically create two pilot cards per pilot, one as a Delta 7 and one as a Delta 7B. Things like this (and other changes) are found in the errata reference document.

Chances are you’ll still come across something during a game that you thought you knew but has changed but trust me, you’ll get there!

All components from 2.0 are valid and used in 2.5 and the only extra thing you will need are objective markers. Officially these are found in the Epic Conversion Kit pack and Starter pack but AMG have provided ‘print & play’ versions in the scenario documents. There’s also plenty of places selling 3rd party tokens.

The conclusion…

So, that’s about it for this page at the moment! I hope it’s helped you figure out what you/don’t have and what you do/don’t need to get.

The other thing is that I’m considering this a ‘live’ post. I’ll happily edit and update it if there are things missed or wrong as I think it’s a good reference point for people and keeping it accurate and relevant is important. So if you’ve noticed something’s off or think something else should be added please let me know!

If you’ve made it this far, well done and most importantly, welcome (back) to X-Wing!