Battle Droids

A squad of B1 battle droids as seen in The Phantom Menace.

Battle Droids (B1) are a fictional, robotic combat unit used in the Star Wars Universe. Though developed earlier, battle droids served as frontline units in the Trade Federation Army and for the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars era. They were mass produced on Confederate planets such as Geonosis, and some units survived into the Galactic Civil War and Legacy era. Battle droids were orignally made by Trade Federation Viceroy, Nute Gunray, to prevent pirate attacks. When he was contacted by Darth Sidious, he attacked the peaceful planet of Naboo. The droids easily overwhelmed Naboo's military and put the people in camps where many died.


Battle droids are designed to win through overwhelming numbers, even though a swarm of battle droids can be cut down by only a few Jedi Knights, as shown several times in the prequel films. Despite this, enough droids can take down many Jedi, as seen in the Episode 2 Geonosis arena battle.

Battle droids were originally portrayed as being controlled by a large central computer, usually located on a heavily defended starship. If the central computer is destroyed, all battle droids under its control would cease to function. This occurred during the Battle of Naboo in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, when Anakin Skywalker destroyed the Droid Control Ship. The monumental defeat spurred interest in independent droids, and this technique was put into action following the defeat.


Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones revealed that there are battle droid factories on the planet Geonosis and other Outer Rim Planets. As depicted in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, there are similar factories on the planets Mustafar, Mygeeto and Hypori.

Super battle droids were bulkier, stronger and smarter versions of the droids, which were created for the Battle of Geonosis. In Revenge of the Sith, all battle droid units were ordered to be deactivated by Emperor Palpatine in order to create his empire. Many of the clones died during the wars and were replaced by Stormtroopers. Gizor Delso, a Geonosian Separatist who survived Darth Vader's slaughter, designed a third kind of battle droid during an uprising, but the plans were destroyed by Imperial stormtroopers.

Droid types

There are several battle droid types for different tasks, most of which are characterized by a color (or function) worn on the droid's head, shoulders, chest or other differences in physical appearance.

Battle droid Tall, skeletal droids armed with blaster rifles and augmented back-up backpacks (Also including thermal detonators). Combat Infantry.
Pilot battle droid Standard battle droids, but with blue shoulders and chests. They have no backpack. Operates starships and other vehicles. As seen in Star Wars Episode I,II,III.
Security battle droid Standard battle droids, but with red shoulders and crests. They have no backpack. They patrol in groups and guard prisoners.
Battle droid commander Standard battle droids, but with yellow foreheads and shoulders. They have a circular symbol on their chests and have small backpacks. Receives orders from control ships and in turn commands infantry and security battle droids.
Assault droid Standard battle droids, but with red shoulders. Uses heavy weaponry to eliminate groups of enemy infantry, vehicles, turrets, and other defenses.
Commando droid Standard battle droids, but coloured grey,a shortened head, and much smarter and more accurate. Used for tactical, covert assaults, software includes a voice synthsiser used to immitate clone troopers.
Droid Assassin Standard battle droids, but with light red shoulders. Assassination with a sniper rifle
B2 Super battle droid A chunkier version of the standard battle droid. Tall, broad-chested, metallic, and sand blue in color. Advanced combat infantry, built-in wrist blasters and wrist rocket launchers.
B2 Super Battle Droid Commander A Lot like the Super Battle Droid, but the left arm is replaced with a cannon. To command a group of Battle Droids, but with greater firepower.
B3 Ultra battle droid Like the Super battle droid except 5 metres tall and has two extra arms. Has a flamethrower, two rapid-fire wrist blaster, a rocket launcher and a wide spray plasma cannon.
MagnaGuard Straight-headed, bug-eyed humanoid droids, with an electrostaff for a weapon. Can fight without a head. Bodyguards to important members of the CIS, such as General Grievous and Asajj Ventress, and are armed with a Electrostaff (Armed with Bulldog RLR and Radiation Launcher in Star Wars: Battlefront 2)
Droideka (known to the Jedi as "destroyer droids") Cobra-headed droid with three legs, armed with two compact blasters at the end of each arm with an external bronze shell. Transforms into a ball-shaped wheel for increased mobility across the battle field. Heavy infantry with twin cannons and deflector shields when not in transportation mode.
Geonosian Battle Droid Much like the Standard Battle Droid but taller, and more hazy colored. Has a standard blaster and may operate vehicles and ships.

Pilot droids

Pilot droids, often mistaken for Engineer droids, distinguish themselves from their infantry battle droid brethren because they are not designed for combat. While at a first glance one cannot determine any difference between this class of droid and any other, like most of the Confederacy's droid designs the difference lies within the programming. The pilot droid is programmed to simply fly the vehicles and vessels of the Confederacy. If they need to protect themselves, they essentially take it upon themselves to attack. They can also provide minor repair capabilities to droid forces on the battle field. With blue shoulder markings, they stand out for their duties. When Pilot droids simply have to fight, they use blaster pistols. Some Pilot Droids carry radiation launchers, amunnnition packs, bacta tanks, and fusion cutters. Pilot droids are seen throughout the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Star Wars: Battlefront, and in Star Wars: Battlefront II (only space).

Battle droid commanders

Battle droid commanders are droids that function as the officer class. Battle droid commanders are seen throughout the prequel trilogy.

Battle droid commanders distinguish themselves by having yellow markings on their head and abdomen. Otherwise they are superficially identical to standard battle droids. They have greater autonomy and strategic skills when compared to standard battle droids, although they are still ultimately subservient to the Droid Control Ships. They were used by the Trade Federation during the Battle of Naboo and by the Separatists during the Clone Wars.

Assault droids

The Assault droid is a member of the Confederacy Droid Army, using missile launchers to destroy the Clone Army's various vehicles such as the AT-TE, LAAT gunships, or the Republic IFT-X Hover Tank. The BAW E-60R is the common weapon used by Assault Droids. Although not as powerful as the Republic's clone ARC troopers, the droids are still a threat to the Galactic Republic. Clone Engineers of the Republic learned to stay away and fear its presence on the battlefield. Assault Droids are also equipped with Conner Ship Systems HX2 Mines.

Super Battle Droids


Super battle droids are upgraded battle droids used by the Techno Union, as portrayed in Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars. They were first unleashed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Battle of Geonosis, the closing battle of Attack of the Clones.

One of the main design flaws of the standard battle droid was its reliance on a Droid Control Ship to provide a signal; if the ship was to be disabled, the battle droids would become utterly useless. The super battle droid, or SBD, does not rely on such a signal and thus has a greater capacity for independence, as well as much more aggressive combat intelligence. In the Battle of Geonosis, Super Battle Droids were observed mowing down several of the 'useless' standard battle droids in order to get a clearer shot at the enemy (as seen in Attack of the Clones). Their frames are also larger and more heavily armored. Wrist blasters are mounted on their arms, but they are capable of using certain external weapons, though their large 'hands' make it difficult for them to use other weapons. Due to the high cost of manufacturing a new droid, the super battle droid uses some of the same parts as the standard battle droid, most notably they have a compressed battle droid head, with no neck joint.

Though more advanced than standard battle droids, super battle droids are still no match for the creative intelligence of clone troopers, but they were physically far superior to clones. Both super battle droids and clone troopers first saw combat at the Battle of Geonosis, and the new B-2 designs proved formidable but ultimately inferior. All of this is mainly due to the CIS giving little effort for its lack of a secondary blaster arm and possibly a wrist rocket launcher.

Tens of thousands of super battle droids saw use throughout The Clone Wars as "marines" for the Confederacy along with its smaller cousins and the dreaded Droideka. Though the first Super Battle Droids seen on Geonosis wore an unpainted dull silver tone, many of the droids used in later battles of the Clone Wars were painted a metallic blue, likely to help them stand out from the red coloration the Confederacy used for its standard battle droids.

It is unclear who invented the B-2 battle droid. However it is believed that the B-2 upgrade (which had some design elements of the B-1) was produced following a deal between Count Dooku and Poggle the Lesser, but other sources[who?] claim that the Techno Union foreman Wat Tambor took the existing design and upgraded it. The Techno Union and its member world of Geonosis are the chief suppliers of both kinds of droids for the Confederacy.

B-3 Ultra Battle Droids greatly resembled the super battle droid, however, it towered at a height of 4 meters, and also had four arms, two fitting the droid's size and wielding wide spray plasma cannons, and two smaller arms brandishing blaster cannons. On the droid's shoulder was a mounted rocket launcher. The B-3 ultimate battle droid was not used frequently, as it was much more expensive to mass produce compared to the other CIS war machines.

In the PC game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, the super battle droids in the Clone Campaigns expansion pack have robotic voices similar to the older battle droids but much deeper. In Battlefront II, Super Battle Droids are assigned as soldiers although this is pretty debatable when Standard Battle Droids are considered the primary class.

The flyer battle droid can only seen in the Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith video game. They use their jet packs to have the upper hand and have lightsaber deflecting arms.They are seen in Peril in the Elevators.

Advanced Droids

Assassin Droids

Known sometimes as Droid Snipers, these droids featured red shoulder or camo markings. They were programmed to hunt the enemy's commanders or leaders, using accurized Sniper Rifles. They were mostly seen in the Battlefront Series and the Clone Wars animated series, but not in the films.

Vulture Droid/Droid Fighter

Built in the Cathedral Factories of Charros IV, Vulture Droids were used first by the Trade Federation, then by the CIS. The Vulture Droid is a walker unit that can convert to a flight mode, allowing it to navigate space (much like a starfighter). In fighter mode they have blasters concealed within their wings - these wings unfold into 4 spider-like legs in walking mode. They are large units and, like many other battle droids, they attack through numbers. Like other Trade Federation droids, they are controlled remotely by a central computer. The Vulture Droid forms the staple unit of the CIS navy. They first had a brown and tan colour scheme (Episode I), then became a light blue (Episode III). In Star Wars: Battlefront, this droid was a vehicle instead of a playable droid.

Hailfire Droid

Used in the Battle for Geonosis, the Hailfire Droid is an artillery droid designed for fast travel over rough terrain. It uses two large hoop-like wheels to navigate terrain, and is armed with shoulder-mounted rocket launchers. The 32 rockets can be identified by the thick black exhaust they leave behind. They are among the most destructive droids used in the CIS army, but have the distinct weakness of having a low ammunition capability, because they use projectile weapons rather than blasters or lasers. Whenever the droid exhausts its munitions it must retreat with only a small front laser to defend itself.

Just like the Vulture Droid, this droid is considered a vehicle in the Battlefront series.



Droideka in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

The Droideka, or Destroyer Droid heavy infantry unit are seen in the prequel films. These droids can transform, appearing first in a "wheel" state allowing rapid movements and easy storage, then unfold into insect-like attack-robots with a slow three-legged gait. In their walking state, droidekas have powerful twin blasters on each of their arms, extreme accuracy at close range, and a personal shield generator. The droidekas used their shield generators in the prequel movies The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith to protect themselves. These shields make the droidekas very valuable assets on the battlefield, as they are highly resistant to small arms fire (although not strong enough to resist vehicle or starfighter-mounted cannons). Due to their built-in shields and the strength of their blasters, the droidekas give some Jedi Knights pause. The droidekas sometimes have limited speech abilities (as seen in Episode III, when they said to Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Invisible Hand: 'Nobodymovenobodymove;' in the script and novel-version of Episode I, the Destroyer Droids that attack Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi inside the Droid Control Ship are shown to have spoken as well, although this is not evident during the actual movie) and their gender would be male or female depending on their programmings, which is similar to the battle droids, but those droids speak in Droid language. They were deployed on Naboo, as well as Geonosis and Coruscant, and are mainly the property of the Trade Federation and the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

Destroyer Droids actually come in two series: Heavy Units (shielded) and Infantry Units.[citation needed] Infantry Units are not produced with shields because tactically their shields can be of hindrance to their own infantry trying to fire at the enemy, and also to drastically reduce cost. 40 Infantry Type droidekas can be transported in the Open Chamber type MTT. The droideka can fire up to 240 dual blasts a minute (with a built-in blaster coolant system) making it virtually impossible for enemy infantry to defeat a squad of them in good time (even if they aren't shielded). However, it is recommended that the droidekas' opponents "circle" around them or go directly close to them and between their twin blasters; they can't hit their foes. In The Phantom Menace, when the droids are first seen, they drop their shields as they pursue the fleeing Jedi. This was either because the shield was a hindrance to movement, or because they were attacking a fleeing enemy with no way of attack. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka and Anakin destroy one by stopping while the droid gives chase in ball mode and cutting it in half before it can put up its shields. In another episode, some Droidekas were able to fire while rolling.


Shielded droidekas

According to the expanded universe, the original design was developed by the insectoid people of Colla IV, who were displeased by the limitations of Baktoid Combat Automata's basic battle droids, and chiefly manufactured there. The Colicoids prefer to have their droidekas free-thinking unlike the Trade Federations methods of controlling the droid via ship computer, so most droidekas who are native to Colla IV are free-thinking. The Trade Federation, and presumably the Confederacy, used trading in rare meats as a way to ease bargaining with the ravenously carnivorous Colicoids, and were able to get special rates on these special infantry droids. Before the Federation's defeat at Battle of Naboo, these droids were usually slaved to a central computer, although this technique fell out of favor in the aftermath of this battle. Although the droids are not shown en masse in the films (mainly Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith), they were still mass-produced (in comparable numbers to Super Battle Droids) with full specifications. A droideka made a rare post-prequel era appearance in Survivor's Quest, where it proved a formidable opponent for Luke Skywalker and his wife, Mara Jade. The Expanded universe media also revealed that the droideka is illegal by republic codes. In Battlefront 2, the droideka must not be in ball form to pick up flags.


The elite MagnaGuard is a droid built to specifications provided by General Grievous. They wield electrostaffs made from Phrik Alloy, which cannot be cut through with a lightsaber, and appear to come in at least two varieties. Some simply project energy or electrical fields from both ends, and some have the added ability to shoot mini-missiles from either end.The missiles come from a missile launcher called a Bulldog CRC. They are unique among droids as they have reflexes "operating at almost the speed of light". Nute Gunray, the head of the Trade Federation claims that these droids cost a fortune to make unlike any droid created from the past. These droids were used during the end of the Clone Wars. On Kashyyyk, Delta Squad had to battle these droids, learning that they had remarkable acrobatic ability and superb stamina, also considerable durability as it took many shots from a DC-17 to take one down.

MagnaGuards were also seen in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and during the Battle of Coruscant, they fought Obi-Wan and Anakin on the bridge of the Invisible Hand. Later on, four of them attacked Obi-Wan at Utapau but were defeated before they could strike a blow when Obi-Wan used the Force to drop part of the roof on them. Throughout the Clone Wars, one can conclude that MagnaGuards were superior to any infantry droid ever made because of their superior duranium armor, their ability to "feel" what surrounded them, backup processors, and their ability to wield a variety of deadly weapons as well as fight like the Jedi. Unlike the other droids, MagnaGuards can still fight if their head is cut off, thanks to a third eye centered in their stomachs. Their colors are alabaster, blue, red and a very rare grey, which are never seen in the movies but are mentioned in the Expanded Universe media; alabaster directly serve General Grievous, blues act as saboteurs, reds are elite soldiers, and the purpose of the grey are shown in Star Wars Battlefront 2 as infantry soldiers.

Cortosis droids

The Cortosis Battle Droid is an improved version of the Super Battle Droid, armored with its namesake, a rare mineral only found on the planet Dxun. Being difficult for Jedi to destroy (Cortosis shorts out lightsabers), they were rushed into mass production during the Clone Wars. It fell to Anakin to destroy the factory that produced them, and during this mission, he discovered a critical weakness in their design; a small gap that ran vertically in their torso armor. After his success, no more Cortosis Battle Droids were produced.

Buzz droids

Buzz droids are a small spider like droid used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Buzz Droids deal damage by latching onto enemy starships and use cutting tools to break through the hull to disable or destroy the ship. They are deployed inside of missiles that instead of carrying explosive ordinance, carry numerous Buzz Droids. These missiles can be fired by droid Tri-Fighters or Vulture Droids. They are used during the Clone Wars and appear only in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Grapple droids

Grapple droids resemble larger versions of the Super Battle Droid (SBD). They are more heavily armored than the SBD, and about 1.5 times the height. They lack standard blasters, but instead have electrically charged blades over their hands. When crossed over the droid's torso, these blades provide considerable defense against lightsaber attacks. Grapple droids either attack with the blades, or grab their opponent and try to crush him/her in their arms. The Grapple droid did not appear in any of the films, but is a common character in the Revenge of the Sith video game.

Tactical Droids

T-series Tactical Droid

The T-series was a model of tactical droids manufactured by Baktoid Combat Automata. They served as advisor and generals in the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, and showed extreme loyalty to Count Dooku. Designed to create winning battle strategies throughout the earlier parts of the Clone Wars, using programmed with knowledge of Jedi tactics and detailed dossiers of Republic generals. This information became useful when TX-20 utilized prisoners as “living shields”, calculating that Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi would never risk civilian casualties. Known to be arrogant, disrespectful, selfish, and time-oriented, they routinely sacrificed a large number of their own troops for a victory. They possessed strong self-preservation; one T-series droid even left Separatist General Wat Tambor on Ryloth after the Republic Military captured the main city.

Super Tactical Droid

Super Tactical Droids were a model of Battle Droid used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, introduced around 20 BBY. Super Tactical Droids were programmed as logistics and intelligence behind the Separatist Droid Army's attacks. They commanded the battlefield as generals and tacticians, and unlike OOM Commander Droids, were able to calculate battle plans and create war strategies. As upgrades from previous regular Tactical Droids, Super Tactical Droids were also able to wield blasters accurately and were powerful in melee combat. They were considered the superior counterparts of standard Tactical Droids, compiling all available information and using it to formulate the most efficient plan of attack. Like them, they were merciless, considered human emotions to be a weakness, and believed humans were inferior to them for the same reason. However, unlike the T-series tactical droids, they were identified by given names rather than numbers.

Other Battle droids

  • Commando droid
  • Probe droid
  • Spider droid
  • Space Battle droid
  • Aqua droid
  • Firefighter Battle droid
  • Battle droid Commander
  • Scarab-class droid starfighter


Matthew Usher has described how to make a one foot tall model of a battle droid.[1]


  1. Matthew Usher, "Battle Droid," A Galaxy Far Away: Building Star Wars Models (Kalmbach Publishing, Co., 2002), 57-67.

External links

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