Star Wars' more recent history in games has been a controversial one, as most of the last decade was spent under EA's video game exclusivity deal over the franchise. However, at the tail end of EA's exclusive publishing contract that's set to expire in 2023, the publisher has seemingly turned its fortune around with games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Even Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2017), which initially released to microtransaction controversy and fan backlash, but has since received several updates and free DLC that have improved the experience immensely. However, longtime fans still hold the classic Star Wars: Battlefront games in reverence.
Outside of the popular main campaign of the 501st in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005), Galactic Conquest was the other main attraction for long-form singleplayer and multiplayer battles in the classic Star Wars: Battlefront games. This mode in particular was special because instead of instant battles, where players simply pick a side and battle on any iconic Star Wars map, players choose a military campaign to command. This globe-trotting mode added an element of strategy over the typical battles which culminated in total control of the galaxy. Newer Battlefront games have eschewed this mode entirely, but that doesn't mean a third game will do the same.
Star Wars: Battlefront's Most Unique Mode — Galactic Conquest
Under the assumption that a Star Wars: Battlefront 3 is in development or planned, one ace up EA's sleeve would be to reintroduce a revamped version of Galactic Conquest. In the original Star Wars: Battlefront games, Galactic Conquest was a turned-based metagame that contextualized multiple planetary battles into an overarching strategy game. Players could work cooperatively or competitively to take over the whole galaxy for a particular faction, participating in battle scenarios across the various maps available in Star Wars: Battlefront games. Upon victory, the winning faction would then capture that planet and receive several bonuses.
In the first Star Wars: Battlefront, the Galactic Conquest was mode was comparatively simpler in design, but was surprisingly complex in action. Players could choose between the two major factions from the Galactic Civil War or the Clone Wars, and fight for control of planets before the final showdown on the homeworld of each faction. Each separate planet in Galactic Conquest provides conquerors with planetary bonuses (greater reinforcements, increased stamina, etc.) that gave players the upper hand.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 introduced several additional mechanics and bonuses in Galactic Conquest that further expanded the mode. Instead of a selection of maps to chose from, players organize their fleets on a galaxy map, making tactical decisions on which planet to overtake next. Each faction starts with a base roster of units that players can play as, but each match nets players credits to spend on additional units, planetary bonuses, Hero units, and more advancements. Additionally, with the inclusion of space battles in Battlefront 2, players' fleets can clash and engage in space battles, where the loser resets their ship position on the planet map.
Galactic Conquest Was Sorely Missed In Newer Battlefront Games
Many fans came to love Battlefront's Galactic Conquest mode over time, but the newer EA Star Wars: Battlefront games did not feature Galactic Conquest in any capacity. The Battlefront games from 2015 and 2017 modernized the core gameplay of Star Wars: Battlefront, whilst borrowing influence from DICE's previous works. Loot box controversy aside, DICE largely succeeded in making a modern equivalent of Battlefront, even if it was very reminiscient of Battlefield. Much of the expected game modes like the main Conquest mode were the main offering from the more recent games, but among the ommitted features ended up being the Galactic Conquest mode.
Even with the 2017 Battlefront 2's story mode, which received a relatively positive reception after fans had asked for it from the previous game, many still missed Galactic Conquest as well. It's absence from Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was unfortunate, because that's the type of mode that could benefit the most with a modernization from DICE. That being said, it makes sense given the backlash and subsequent acts of good faith from DICE mean that any major expansions Battlefront 2 are coming any time soon. Official live support for Star Wars: Battlefront 2 ended in 2020, so a Star Wars: Battlefront 3 sequel would be the best bet for a Galactic Conquest return in modern form.
Galactic Conquest Could Shine Again In a New Battlefront Game
Again, assuming DICE does eventually develop a Star Wars: Battlefront 3 in the next few years, Galactic Conquest would easily be a solid selling point for the sequel. Fans would obviously want a traditional singleplayer and local co-op version of Galactic Conquest to return just as before, but there's certianly potential for the mode's longevity in online multiplayer. Rather than focusing on developing an entirely original narrative like in Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Galactic Conquest could be integrated into the classic Star Wars stories fans know. All the while, players could vote and dictate each faction's actions across the galaxy as well, emphasizing teamwork and strategy.
Battles in Galactic Conquest would also have a ton of potential depending on the success of Battlefield 2042's efforts in innovation. Things like the new Battlefield 2042 "Portal" Mode would make sense in Battlefront 3, especially in relation to Galactic Conquest and planet-hopping between different iconic Star Wars battles. Additionally, details like the leaked Hazard Zone mode from Battlefield 2042 could add some new objective-based goals to Galactic Conquest to shake up the gameplay even more. Revamping Galactic Conquest, so long as the core elements remain faithful, would make Star Wars: Battlefront 3 much more enticing for fans.