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For other uses, see Hunter (disambiguation).

"Star Wars: Hunters draws inspiration from classic Star Wars stories and settings, but with a look and feel that is different from anything we have done before."
Douglas Reilly, VP of Lucasfilm Games[2]

Star Wars: Hunters is a free-to-play competitive arena combat video game from NaturalMotion and BossAlien, as well as another unknown third studio, and edited by Zynga and Lucasfilm Games. It was given a soft launch for Android devices on November 16, 2021, with a further release for other mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch console on June 4, 2024. A soundtrack was released on June 7, 2024.[8]

Publisher's summary[]

Set after the fall of the Galactic Empire, Star Wars: Hunters will bring players together in thrilling, team-based multiplayer battles. Select from a diverse cast of new characters, including daring Bounty Hunters, heroes of the Rebellion and Imperial stormtroopers. Star Wars: Hunters is free to download for the Nintendo Switch, on the App Store and on Google Play.[9]

Gameplay[]

SW-Hunters-Reive

Gameplay from the point of view of Rieve

Star Wars: Hunters is a third-person skill-based competitive arena combat game. The game lets players pick from a selection of 11 characters, each of which belongs to one of three classes: Damage, Support and Tank. They then form a team with three other players to fight for domination against another team in arena confrontations on a selection of 8 maps, supporting various game mode, such as Support, Control or Huttball.[10]

The game features character customization, allowing players to equip their hunters with different costumes and other cosmetics. These can be both in-game and real-world purchases, via the in-game premium currency: Crystals. It also features a progression system, first with Hunter Fame, each match giving a certain amount of Fame, with the character ultimately gaining new Hunter Levels, and second with player progression, both unlocking various rewards, such as credits, Crystals, cosmetics and modules.[10] The game will support cross-play across all platforms.[11]

Development[]

Star Wars Hunters logo

Game logo

The game was first mentioned on August 18, 2018, when Zynga and Disney reached a deal regarding the development of a new Star Wars mobile game, with NaturalMotion starting development soon after,[12] with the help of their subsidiaries BossAlien.[13] On November 16, 2020, Zynga announced the creation of a new dedicated game studio in Austin, Texas, USA.[1] The game was mentioned again on February 10, 2021, in Zynga's Q4 2020 earning reports,[14] before being properly announced several days later on February 17, 2021, conjointly during a Nintendo Direct livestream,[15] and on StarWars.com.[2]

On September 14, a first batch of nine characters were showcased in a trailer,[16] along with an update of the game website, including upgrades on the characters,[11] and a pre-register scheme featuring various milestones.[17] On November 16, it was announced that the game was entering soft launch, on Android in India, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.[3] This version of the game featured all characters revealed in the trailer, except for the Mandalorian Aran Tal.[10] On December 14, the first game patch, 0.11.1, was released, introducing a character progression system.[18]

Soft launch[]

Two new characters were revealed on February 14, 2022: Skora and Sprocket,[19] alongside a new game mode: Huttball.[20] This announcement was quickly followed by a game update, 0.12.1, on February 16, which included the characters and game mode revealed earlier, four new maps, an expanded soft launch to Mexico and Brazil, improvements to the progression system, and new cosmetics. It was also announced that iOS devices were joining the soft launch in the near future.[21] Game update 0.13.0 was released on May 11, extending the soft launch to Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, providing support in new languages: Traditional Chinese, Italian, German and French, adding new movement ability such as jumping and climbing obstacles, introducing a Battle Pass allowing to unlock new cosmetics, and a limited time game mode: Matchup Mayhem.[22] This was followed a month later, on June 13, with a minor patch, 0.13.2, which provided several balancing optimization.[23]

Updates in 2023[]

On July 18, it was announced that the game would be delayed until 2023.[24] Update 0.14.0 was then released on July 27, which included several gameplay changes, a renaming of the Battle Pass into Arena Pass, and new cosmetics.[25] Update 0.15.1 launched on October 11 and introduced a new deathmatch-style game mode called Squad Brawl as well as nighttime variants for previously released maps.[26] On November 8, 2023 it was announced that the game would be delayed until 2024.[27]

Updates in early 2024[]

On January 5, 2024, a competitive Ranked Mode was announced to be coming with the 0.19 update. The Ranked Mode would have three game modes: Squad brawl, Dynamic Control Point, and Trophy Chase. The Ranked Mode was announced to have several Leagues of varying skill level, each consisting of three divisions. The lowest will be bronzium, followed by chromium, then aurodium, beskar, and at the highest level, kyber. Players could ascend/descend in rank by winning or losing matches, which translated into a points system. Increasing rank would give players rewards. By making it to the top division, players would have accumulated a legendary costume and weapon wrap set, an epic costume and weapon wrap set, a ranked limited edition avatar for each league, as well as currency and Hunter Fame rewards. Players at the top 100 of each division and the top 100 globally overall would be displayed on public leaderboards.[28]

Subsequently, update 0.19 released on January 9, 2024. The update formally introduced the Ranked Mode, as well as introducing new Gunplay mechanics, expanding player access to Diago, a new map, new game modes, and new cosmetic content. The new mechanics to ranged weaponry included recoil and weapon spread patterns, overheating and ammo, and improved focused aim abilities. Different Hunters had different gunplay mechanics based on their individual weapons. The overheat feature affected Hunters with blaster-based weapons such that when the weapon overheated, the player would be unable to fire as the weapon vented. This feature affected Imara Vex, Sentinel, Utooni, Slingshot, Sprocket, and Zaina. The Hunters Diago, Charr, and Skora had non-blaster ranged weapons and were given an ammunition count, requiring a reload when depleted. To account for the new mechanics, the update included significant rebalancing of Hunter statistics.[29]

The map Vandor Railyard was added with update 0.19, replicating the steep cliffs and moving trains of an Imperial Railcrawler Facility in the mountains of Vandor. The new game mode Dynamic Control required squads to compete for rotating control points, winning by holding the point while keeping the opposing squad out of the zone. Additionally, the limited time mode Boulder Bash, part of the new Holo-Arcade, was announced. This mode had every player as Grozz, battling exclusively with his Ultimate. The update announcement described the Holo-Arcade as a creation of Sprocket in which he made the rules.[29]

A late March, 2024 update teased forthcoming information on expanded game access. Update 0.20 marked the beginning of a new season focused on Rieve and her dark side assassin persona. The new season coincided with a refresh of the Ranked Mode and the release of a new game mode called Power Control, in which squads tried to hold at least two of three static control points to earn rewards. Additional items in the update included new legendary costumes for Rieve, J-3DI and Sentinel, a variety of costumes, poses, weapons wraps, stickers, and avatars for other Hunters, and several rebalances across the board. Update 0.20 introduced a new feature in the game called Arena News, described as a central location for Arena gossip, event updates, art, and lore.[30]

Release[]

On April 30, 2024, a new cinematic trailer was released to announce a world-wide release on June 4, 2024.[4] This coincided with a reveal of exclusive pre-registration rewards for all platforms, as well as a Nintendo Switch exclusive Shift Veteran costume and weapon wrap for Imara Vex.[31]

Star Wars: Hunters was released globally on Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android on June 4, 2024.[32]

Continuity[]

Faceoff-SWHCinematicTrailer

Members of the new cast of characters created for Huntes face off in the Arena

The game features a cast of new characters.[2] One of them, Imara Vex, was featured in the comic War of the Bounty Hunters 5,[33] published on October 13, 2021,[34] one month before the game's soft launch.[3] The junior novel Hunters: Battle for the Arena, written by Mark Oshiro, ties in to the game and was published by Disney–Lucasfilm Press on March 7, 2023.[35] The novel focuses on the character of Rieve.[36]

Introduced for the first time in 2011 as one of the Player versus Player modes of Star Wars: The Old Republic,[37] Huttball made its return in canon as one of the game modes of Star Wars: Hunters.[20]

Credits[]

By type
Cast Uncredited cast Crew Uncredited crew Special thanks

Cast


Uncredited crew

Appearances[]

By type
Characters Organisms Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea

Characters

Organisms

Droid models

Events

Locations

Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology

Miscellanea

Sources[]

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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Zynga Announces New Game Studio in its Austin Office on Zynga's official website (November 16, 2020) (archived from the original on January 3, 2021)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 StarWars Join the Fight in Star Wars: Hunters, a New Game from Lucasfilm and Zynga on StarWars.com (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 TwitterLogo Zynga Star Wars (@ZyngaStarWars) on Twitter: "We are excited to announce Star Wars: Hunters is now entering soft launch and is available on Android for players in India, Philippines, Malaysia & Indonesia." (backup link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 SWYTlogo Star Wars: Hunters Launch Date Reveal Trailer on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  5. YouTube Star Wars: Hunters – Unreal Engine Gameplay Tech Demo | State of Unreal 2024 on the IGN YouTube channel (March 20, 2024) (backup link)
  6. Star Wars: Hunters (Original Video Game Soundtrack) on Qobuz (archived from the original on June 8, 2024)
  7. ArenaNews-Logo Hunters Goes Galactic! on Arena News (backup link) establishes that Star Wars: Hunters game begins when the Grand Arena partnered with the Outer Rim Sports Network, dated to 9 ABY in Star Wars: Timelines.
  8. Star Wars: Hunters (Original Video Game Soundtrack) on Qobuz (archived from the original on June 8, 2024)
  9. StarWars Star Wars: Hunters on StarWars.com (backup link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Star Wars: Hunters
  11. 11.0 11.1 Zynga and Lucasfilm Games Challenge Players to Enter the Arena With New Cinematic Trailer for Upcoming Team-Based Competitive Action Game, Star Wars: Hunters on Zynga's official website (September 14, 2021) (archived from the original on October 3, 2019)
  12. Zynga Announces Multi-Year Agreement with Disney to Develop a New Free-To-Play Mobile Star Wars™ Game on Zynga's official website (August 21, 2018) (archived from the original on October 3, 2019)
  13. BossAlien on bossalien.com (archived from the original on November 24, 2020)
  14. Q4 2020 Letter to Shareholders (pdf) on Zynga's official website (February 10, 2011) (archived from the original on February 18, 2021)
  15. YouTube Nintendo Direct – 2.17.2021 on the Nintendo YouTube channel (backup link)
  16. StarWars Step Inside the Arena in the Latest Star Wars: Hunters Trailer on StarWars.com (backup link)
  17. Hunters-favicon Pre-register to unlock exclusive items and join the Hunters News Network on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  18. Hunters-favicon Game update: 14th December 2021 on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  19. Hunters-favicon New Support Hunters are entering the Arena on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  20. 20.0 20.1 Gamespot Exclusive: Star Wars Hunters Adds Huttball Mode From Star Wars: The Old Republic on GameSpot.com (backup link)
  21. Hunters-favicon Game Update: 16th February 2022 on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  22. Hunters-favicon Game Update: May 11th, 2022 on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  23. Hunters-favicon Game Update: June 13th, 2022 on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  24. TwitterLogo Zynga Star Wars (@ZyngaStarWars) on Twitter: "Update on Star Wars: Hunters" (backup link)
  25. Hunters-favicon Game Update: July 27, 2022 on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  26. Hunters-favicon Game Update: October 11, 2022 on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  27. TwitterLogo Zynga Star Wars (@ZyngaStarWars) on Twitter (backup link)
  28. Hunters-favicon Introducing Ranked Mode on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  29. 29.0 29.1 Hunters-favicon Game Update: January 9th, 2024 on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  30. Hunters-favicon Game Update: March 28th, 2024 on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  31. Hunters-favicon Home on Star Wars: Hunters' official website (backup link)
  32. StarWars Star Wars: Hunters Is Here! on StarWars.com (backup link)
  33. War of the Bounty Hunters 5
  34. MarvelLogo Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters (2021) #5 on Marvel Comics' official website (backup link)
  35. Amazon-Favicon Star Wars Hunters: Battle for the Arena on Amazon.com (backup link)
  36. StarWars The Power of the Force and Found Family in Star Wars: Hunters: Battle for the Arena – Exclusive Reveal on StarWars.com (backup link)
  37. SWTOR mini Trailer - Huttball on The Old Republic's official website (backup link)
  38. ZyngaYTLogo Star Wars: Hunters - Charr | Behind The Scenes on the official Zynga Star Wars YouTube channel (November 1, 2024) (backup link)
  39. LinkedIn-Logo Craig Derrick on LinkedIn

External links[]

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