Still not so sure if you should get Ace Combat 7? Well, our review says that it’s the best arcade-style flight sim out there this year, so go get it!

While you’re at it, here are some basic tips on how to get your flight of fancy started. We’ll start adding more advanced tips as time goes by, but these should help sort you out throughout most of the game.

Note: this is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game.

Know Your Basic Weaponry

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The Circle button is your best friend because it’s your main attack button. You can either fire your standard missiles or your equipped special weapon. You switch between the two by pressing Square. Get your loadout sorted before you take to the skies.

The X button fires your machine gun, which can come in handy when you’re close to your enemy. It can be fiddly to line up a shot, but it’s surprisingly powerful and handy in taking down enemies with low HP.

Pressing Triangle swaps between targets; holding it down will shift the camera so your target is on screen. Your current target will flash on your radar as well as the main heads up display, and you’ll even get a handy arrow pointing you towards it. When a target is within range of your homing missiles, its indicator will turn red.

Learn How To High-G Turn

High-G turns are manoeuvres which allow you to make much tighter turns than normal. The way to do it is to hold down both triggers and push the left stick in the desired direction.

Performing this move has its advantages and disadvantages — it’s great when dogfighting and when you need to turn quickly to line up a shot against your opponent.

However, high-G turns will dramatically decrease your speed. Holding one for too long will see your plane stall, which will throw you off your path and could potentially cause you to crash. Master this move so that you can get ahead of the dogfighting curve.

The Clouds; Use Them!

The clouds in Ace Combat 7 are not just fluff; they’re useful for gameplay. You can use clouds as a form of cover, hiding from enemy fire.

However, passing through them will result in water droplets forming on your canopy, reducing visibility. If you linger in the vapours for too long, this water will start to freeze, which will really mess up your ability to fly effectively.

Clouds can also screw with the homing range of your missiles. In thunderstorms, lightning strikes can disable your instruments, meaning your HUD will get all messed up for a while. Just be careful when you’re out flying in poor conditions.

Use These Aircraft Parts To Boost Your Performance

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Collecting planes, upgrading your aircraft tree, and unlocking parts is part and parcel of Ace Combat 7. Don’t fret too much about your current plane collection. If you play through the story, you’ll be able to unlock decent aircrafts.

What you want to focus on are aircraft parts. There’s a lot to purchase on the aircraft tree. Here are the best ones so far:

  • Light Blisk (Body) – Increases acceleration
  • Next-Gen High-Pressure Components (Body) – Increases top speed
  • New Rudder Actuators (Body) – Increases yaw manoeuvrability
  • Bulletproof Fuel Tank (Body) – Increases defence
  • Directional Proximity Fuze (Arms) – Increases standard missile power
  • Thrust-Adjusting Steering Device (Arms) – Enhances homing capabilities of regular missiles
  • Takeoff Weight Augmentation (Arms) – Increases special missile ammunition
  • Onboard Self-Defense Jammer (Misc) – Reduces homing capabilities of enemy missiles

Try Out These Dogfighting Tips

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Dogfighting is also a crucial element in Ace Combat 7; you need to be aware of your enemy’s orientation. You can check it out by looking on your radar on the bottom left corner represented as arrowheads; wherever it’s pointing, that’s where the enemy is headed. If enemies are ahead and flying away from you, that’s when you take the shot.

Here are a few more tips when going one-on-one.

  • Know your aircraft roles: Fighters are fast and effective in air-to-air, while Attackers have high defence and take out ground units better, but are less manoeuvrability in the air. Multirole planes are the all-rounders.
  • You’re only locked onto an enemy when the indicator around them is red. Try not to waste your missiles.
  • When close enough, a reticle for your machine gun will appear on your screen. It may be wildly off centre, but that’s because it’s compensating relative to the enemy’s trajectory. Line up this reticle with the target to deliver some quick damage.
  • Use high-G turns to quickly change your path and get the drop on enemies.
  • Most enemy aircraft can be taken down with two standard missiles. If you have a good shot, double tap Circle to send both of your loaded missiles out together for an immediate kill.

Try Out PSVR Mode

Playing the game in VR mode is incredibly immersive. Unfortunately, you can’t do this in the main game’s campaign; the VR mode is its own separate mode. But it’s fun to have; after completing the VR missions, you can unlock Free Flight mode where you can fly around each of the environments peacefully with any plane you want.

There are no enemies and pesky time limits, so play this mode if you want to take a breather from dog-fighting and country-liberating. It’s pretty zen-like, flying a really expensive and fast plane with no restrictions whatsoever; like a new version of Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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