Multiplayer matches can vary in settings, although you’ll usually only be worried about cost limits and whether or not special weapons are enabled. You should be ready to meet these requirements with the aircraft sets you have. I find it best to have eight different aircraft sets. Each one of these sets is designed to fit a certain type of match. For example, two of the sets should cost less than in 2000. One of them should be designed around not being able to use special weapons. That way, in case the only match has a 2000 cost limit, you’ll have a good aircraft set ready to use regardless of other match settings. The same goes for other cost limits. Recommended sets are as follows:
- Fighter, Costs less than 2000 with parts, special weapons taken into consideration
- Fighter, Costs less than 2000 with parts, set built so aircraft can perform well without special weapons
- Fighter, Costs less than 2250 with parts, special weapons taken into consideration
- Fighter, Costs less than 2250 with parts, set built so aircraft can perform well without special weapons
- Fighter, Costs less than 2500 with parts, special weapons taken into consideration
- Fighter, Costs less than 2500 with parts, set built so aircraft can perform well without special weapons
- Fighter, Costs more than 2500 with or without parts, special weapons taken into consideration
- Fighter, Costs more than 2500 with or without parts, set built so aircraft can perform well without special weapons
Countering Annoying “Playstyles”
In your time playing multiplayer, you’ve probably noticed several strategies that are absolutely infuriating to be shot down by. QAAM and 4AAM Spam, EML sniping, and “Star Wars” are all among these. In this section, there will be brief descriptions of each strategy and how to counter it.
Description: Pursuing aircraft gets incredibly close to the target and fires two QAAMs, usually resulting in the target’s destruction. Pursuing aircraft is usually approaching from either the front of the target or the sides.
Counter: Don’t overuse high-g turns. Although effective in a dogfight, it lowers your speed and leaves you vulnerable to QAAMs. If possible, disengage from your current target to engage the aircraft that is using QAAMs.
Description: Pursuing aircraft makes liberal use of pulse lasers, whether at long range or in a dogfight.
Counter: In a dogfight, speed up and manoeuvre randomly. Pulse lasers essentially function as a futuristic set of MGPs, so a combination of high speed and erratic movement will force the pursuer to do the same, making you difficult to hit. At long range, don’t fly in a straight line.
Description: Pursuing aircraft uses all four 4AAMs on one target, usually at close range.
Counter: Try to enter a cloud. Speed up, then manoeuvre wildly like in the Star Wars counter. The clouds will break the lock and your manoeuvres will render 4AAM ineffective.
Description: Pursuing aircraft, a MiG-31, sticks to the edges of the map and occasionally makes a few strafing runs wherever the most enemy planes are, often using SAAMs.
Counter: Charge the MiG-31 and fire two LAAMs at it. This will force the MiG to manoeuvre, (breaking the SAAM lock) and allow you to get behind it and begin firing. MiG-31s aren’t known for mobility, so you should be able to destroy it fairly easily. You could also use an EML to take down the MiG from long range.
Description: At the beginning of the match, or when respawning, an aircraft fire its EML at a target on the other side of the map.
Counter: Don’t fly in straight lines. Even a small amount of turns put you out of the path of an EML projectile.
Description: A high-ranked player joins your match flying the and proceeds to stomp your team into the dirt.
Counter: DM the host and ask that the cost limit is set to 2500.
Most maps are nothing special and require no extra precaution. However, Yinshi Valley, night and morning, is different. Morning is relatively straightforward, just avoid the rock pillars and you’ll be fine. The night is an entirely different story. A thunderstorm covers all of the maps, rendering you vulnerable to high winds and lightning strikes. The clouds are lower than the tops of the rock pillars, in some cases. Below is some information to keep in mind.
- If an enemy dives into the rock pillars to evade you, follow him but stay above the pillars. Out of ten times where this happens, it seems that in two or three the enemy will crash on their own.
- If you’re struck by lightning, level the aircraft and try to gain altitude.
- Lightning strikes and the resulting HUD glitches will break missile locks.