ACE COMBAT™ 7: SKIES UNKNOWN Tips and Tricks
I noticed many people have difficulty with certain missions or situations so I have compiled a few tips that I didn’t exactly know my first run but just made everything a lot easier.
1- I felt that it’s a lot more intuitive to assign high G turns to airbrake only (type B in the controls menu)
2- LACM makes mission 9 a walk in the park.
Just get the Rafale M with LACM, equip it with extra special missiles, +blast radius, +range, +homing.
When you see a distant target (up to 10,000m IIRC), pop out of the cloud and shoot the cruze while angled upwards so it gains more altitude and avoids mountains.
3- When you go named Ace hunting for special skins. Do it on normal difficulty, no need to make your life needlessly hard.
4- for medals, no need to play the campaign continuously. S ranking free missions will get you the medals.
5- Use SFFS(Self-Forging Fragments Submunitions). They are tons of fun and can be very devastating in the right situation.
6- Start using the technique of holding (target switch) button on distant targets and pitching up with bombs. You will see the blast radius of the bombs on the ground and can perform long-range bombing this way (combine this with SFFS and mission 8 will become very fun). Bombs the targets furthest from you from afar while you close in and shoot the nearest with missiles.
7- use the same technique mentioned above (holding target switch) to ID targets that are not in the centre of your screen. You can even ID targets behind you this way. It will make your life a lot easier in mission 16 and 17.
8- Standard missile reload time is a must-have for me personally. and standard missile homing is a close second. As for body parts queen’s custom, ECU software update, and variable cycle engine are also must have. Some missions require very unique builds, but generally speaking, these are very useful.
9- in ground assault missions, getting the air targets is usually a good tactic as the game tracks your overall score regardless of target type. Planes are somewhere between 500-1000 (for f22 and su57 and bombers) while ground targets are usually around 200.
10- This brings us to the target score. A glance at the top left corner of the screen will tell you the target score value.
11- When you destroy ships, you automatically get the score for destroying all equipment on board (SAMs, CWIS, Aircraft in carriers, etc.). So always cycle targets until you have the vessel itself (frigate, Destroyer, carrier, cruiser, Or AEGIS)
12 – To kill ships easily, fly low (100-150 m) and use LASM (can one-shot cruisers). That way the CWIS isn’t able to aim and shoot down the missile. Pulse lasers are also very effective against vessels.
13- S Rank requires a certain score, but the trick is that the score depends on your total time and destruction points.
If you pay attention to the score summary screen after a mission is finished, you’ll see time bonus and destruction score with a multiplier (X1.5 for example)
I was really struggling with S ranking mission 19 on ace difficulty although I was doing very well. After several failed attempts, I watched a YouTube video of S rank on the same mission and I noticed that the YouTuber’s total mission time is 3 minutes longer than mine, yet he still got an X1.5 bonus.
This meant that I can spend an extra 3 minutes shooting down drones and increasing my destruction score and still be within the same tier of time bonus (X1.5 is the maximum AFAIK).
Sadly, the exact time tiers and total score requirements for each mission and at different difficulties are unknown, but knowing this formula will help you compare your results with other people who S ranked and then either adjust for a shorter time or more destruction as needed.
14- This brings us to retrying from checkpoints. As soon as you see a cutscene, pause and retry from a checkpoint. This will make your life a lot easier as you will restock all ammo and repair instantly.
This will not affect the S rank because it will only add an extra second or two to the total mission time.
I’ll try to explain how that works. Let’s say a mission is comprised of two phases, the first one is a fixed 5 minutes and the second one is 10 minutes but can be completed in 6 minutes, and the time tier for X1.5 is anything under 12 minutes total. If you retry immediately after the cutscene and finish the second phase in 6:30, your total time will be 5 + 6:30 + 3 seconds (between the cutscene end and you retrying) = 11:33 minutes which is still within the best time tier.
However, if you complete the first phase, then play 3 minutes in the second phase and then crash/die and have to retry and spend another 6 minutes to complete the second phase again. Your total time will be 5+3+6=14 minutes which will give you maybe X1.2 time tier multiplier and you will not be able to S rank.
Fun fact, I S ranked Mission 20 while still crashing in the tunnel and retrying, the time lost in the tunnel wasn’t that much and I still got an overall good total mission time.
15- The only exception to retrying from a checkpoint is if you are hunting named aces that have a condition in the first phase of the mission and the ace appears in the second phase. In this case, retrying from a checkpoint will make the named ace disappear. But if the condition of triggering the named ace and killing him happens in the same phase, retrying from a checkpoint will still grant you the skin.
16- refuelling and landing give you extra score AFAIK, so don’t skip them.