Bioware and LucasArts have announced their free-to-play MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic will be receiving a free expansion titled Galactic StarFighter, which consists of space combat for the first time in the title.

In Galactic Starfigher, 12 players duke it out against an opposing team of 12 other players in starships. The expansion will allow players to access an assortment of ships, the ability to upgrade their space craft, battle in multiple battle zones and gameplay modes.

Those who are subscribing to The Old Republic will gain early access to Galactic Starfighter beginning Dec. 3 while Preferred Status Players can play it beginning Jan. 14.

Both subscribers and Preffered players will be granted exclusive items as part of the Early Access opportunity. Preferred Status members, any person who purchases anything from the online store between Jan. 14, 2014, and Feb. 3, 2014, will receive the following benefits:

  • Early Access to Galactic Starfighter on January 14
  • Two Pilot Suits
  • Exclusive Title (“Test Pilot”)

Subscribers, who must pay a fee by Nov. 1 to qualify for these benefits, will receive the following items:

  • Exclusive Paint Jobs
  • Two Pilot Suits
  • Two Titles (“Test Pilot” and “First Galactic Starfighter”)
  • Maximum leveling and progression benefits
  • Access to theStarfighter Pass in the Cartel Market beginning Jan. 14

Galactic Starfighter will become available to the public starting Feb. 4, 2013.