Squad's latest update introduces commanders, UAVs, and artillery strikes

There's a big update out for Squad, available on the Public Test Server. It adds a new commander role, and with that comes some heavy-hitting battlefield assets for each faction in the game. 

First off, commanders will be chosen by democratic vote by each team. This is definitely not how it works in the real military, but it seems like a fair way to handle things in an online game. Commanders will maintain their presence on the battlefield as they assign objectives and call in support for their troops, and they'll have access to some exciting new features in the tactical map.

For conventional forces, this includes unmanned aerial vehicles that relay intelligence (in the form of enemy positions) back to you in real time while they're deployed. Conventional commanders can also call in 155mm artillery strikes and close air support to soften up enemy positions and clear out landing zones for helicopters.

Militia and insurgent faction commanders have handheld drones and less-powerful heavy mortar strikes, but they're freer to move around the battlefield. While conventional force commanders will have to stay close to their HAB, militia and insurgent commanders can use their special abilities while they're standing near any friendly vehicle, giving them the option to move away from their HABs.

Update 17 also marks Squad's move from alpha to beta status and it adds a few quality of life improvements as well. Maps have gotten a new lighting pass, and Offworld Industries has also added the "Vehicle Emergency Accident Recovery" system—meaning you'll be able to turn your Humvee rightside up when you've flipped it in a ditch.

You can read the full patch notes here.