Heroes are unique named characters with unique upgrade trees allowing them to specialize in a particular role using experience based upgrades costing skill points and the ability to equip items. The hero that leads a faction is called a commander.
Every hero belongs to one of the six base races and has an associated secret technology proficiency providing them additional upgrade abilities. Commanders can choose additional perks that allow to specialize their personal hero abilities from the get-go, giving them an edge on the battlefield. Commanders can pick the pilot skill immediately equipping them with an entry-level support or assault vehicle, a piece of equipment that is often unique to the race.