On Monday, May 4, traditionally a Star Wars “holiday,” fans of the galaxy far, far away received some news: Disney+ added The Rise of Skywalker. Fans also received some good news: The Souls-like action game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order received a big, totally free update.
Kotaku’s Ian Walker has the full breakdown, for those interested. The short version: In addition to adding a new-game plus and an expanded wardrobe of cosmetic offerings, Respawn improved accessibility options and introduced a new mode: Meditation Training. The main draw of Meditation Training is a series of combat challenges. But the Battle Grid—a robust customization mode that allows you to design bespoke battles from the ground up—is where it’s at.
Folks, don’t miss out on the Battle Grid.
The combat challenges are more or less what you’d expect: waves upon waves of increasingly resilient foes, set on each of the game’s distinct planets and featuring enemies relevant to those planets. Planetary differences aren’t merely cosmetic, though. In the Bogano and Kashyyyk levels, for instance, you have to power through five waves of increasingly resilient foes, while in the Bracca one, you’ll have to muster enough grit—and Stims—to survive ten. Some gauntlets also take place in some of the game’s more specific locations, including the Venator Crash (five waves) and the Tomb of Miktrull (four waves).
You can access Meditation Training at any Meditation Circle. And you needn’t cross the galaxy to the planet you want to fight on, as all locations and their respective challenges are available from any given Circle.
Every challenge you complete nets you a star. (Pro tip: You’ll never get surrounded if you go all Rurouni Kenshin, constantly sprinting in unidirectional circles. You’ll also draw out the fastest opponent, ensuring you can take out your enemies in one-on-one combat rather than as an overwhelming horde.) Beating challenges without taking any damage or without using any healing Stims will grant you bonus stars. Every dozen stars you earn unlocks a new skin for BD-1, Fallen Order’s obligatory adorable droid.
The Battle Grid gives you near godlike control over the parameters of these battles. First, you’ll select the location you want to design a challenge on. From there, you’ll choose an arena size: small (six square units by six), medium (eight by eight), or large (ten by ten). You can turn on some combat mods, too, most of which buff Cal by giving him infinite health, infinite focus, or infinite block.
You get 100 points from the jump, which you can then allocate to fill the arena with enemies. Larger enemies, like AT-ATs, cost 30 points, while cannon fodder—stormtroopers, nightbrother warriors, sploxes, scazzes, skungusses, and whatever other weirdly named fauna exists in the Fallen Order creature compendium—will only run you 10. Many of the game’s bosses are available, too, costing 20 points apiece. So, if you want to test your mettle against Jaro Tapal, Taron Malicos, the Second Sister, the Ninth Sister, and a Sithed-up Inquisitor Cal all at once, go for it. If you’d rather size yourself up against 10 useless R2 units, hey, that’s cool too, tough guy.
I’ve been messing around with the Battle Grid all week, and it’s injected new life into this six-month-old game. Sure, the base combat challenges are fun enough on their own—enough, I’d say, to merit redownloading all 50 or so gigabytes of Fallen Order if you’ve purged it from your hard drive. But there’s something to be said about having a hand in crafting your own fate.
Battle Grid, if you make the most of it, allows for the game’s toughest challenges. There’s no other point in Fallen Order in which you can go up against, say, two tomb guardians, two slyyygs, and Oggdo Bogdo all at once. It also allows you to test your mettle against some of the rarest enemies in the game, like the Albino Wyyyschokk or any of the Haxion Brood. In other words, Battle Grid is a fully realized version of Fallen Order’s terrific, yet all too short, Ordo Eris arena level.
The Battle Grid also has a “multiplayer” component that may be of interest if you live with other gamers. You can’t upload custom scenarios to a server, but you can save up to five locally. Whip up some monstrous gauntlets and see if your friends can’t best them. (Pro tip two: Create a scenario with Taron and the Second Sister. Both require opposite strategies—one heavy on blocking and parrying, the other a mastery of dodging and rolling—so trying to take on both at once is a real exercise.) Turn it into a betting game or, why not, a drinking game. Lose a round, take a shot!
Of course, there are no tangible rewards to playing the Battle Grid this way, but you will earn the most coveted treasure in the galaxy: bragging rights.