Pilot proving grounds were simulators to train rookie pilots, in the manners of speed, dexterity and targeting.
Some rookies supervised by Anchorhead base entered the Beggar's Canyon of Tatooine, a place ideal for training, and for ships the T-16 Skyhoppers were used, ideal for practicing the X-wing controls. Targeting and navigating was tried in an asteroid field and later a crystal-based planet of the Kolaador system. These two phases were done with an A-Wing. This kind of training, however, was generally not called pilot proving grounds.
The main pilot proving ground during the early days of the Galactic Civil War saw rookie Rebels enter a modified area of space, where metallic platforms were placed in the manner of a corridor. The pilot had to pass through the doorways in the proper series, without over-passing one. In later levels, there were also turrets inflicting simulated damage, in order to train the pilot's targeting abilities while in speed. The course was informally referred to as "The Maze." Pilots were required to pass eight levels for any given ship, in order to earn a flight badge for it, certifying their skill.
One pilot known to have been killed while flying a notably dangerous level was Ched Varga.
After the Battle of Hoth, these areas were upgraded. The platforms were replaced by rings that formed a corridor, and also boosted temporally the ship's speed. There were also exercises that demanded the pilot to enter a modified asteroid (e.g., an abandoned ore mine) and pass from the other side.
The rookies of the Empire, entered a simulator room, where they chose the desired ship they wished to train with.
The training consisted of a series of tubes which the pilot had to pass in a timely manner. There were triangular targets which granted him time bonus when hit. Advanced levels had obstacles like boulders, rotating fans, and rotating walls with holes.
Passing 4 levels with a certain ship, the pilot was granted a training patch of that ship.
- Star Wars: X-wing (First appearance)
- Star Wars: TIE Fighter
- Star Wars: X-wing Alliance
- Star Wars: Rebel Assault
- X-wing: Rogue Squadron
- X-wing: Wraith Squadron