Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown Articles RSS Feed | Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Ace Combat 7: How to Unlock Skins Mon, 21 Jan 2019 14:32:08 -0500 Ty Arthur

In both the single-player campaign and multiplayer missions, you are faced with a wide range of customization choices for your plane in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.

This includes interchangeable special weapons, which change your combat strategy, and parts that alter your acceleration and handling. You can also unlock skins to make your plane look its best during a match.

See our other Ace Combat 7 guides here, including how to use flares

How to Change Skins

With the exception of the three pre-order bonus skins, you can't actually unlock and use any alternate aircraft skins until finishing all 20 base campaign missions.

After you've beat the campaign once, skins become available to change out like any other component or weapon as you start a sortie.

How to Unlock Skins

Just beating the campaign will not unlock all of the skins in Ace Combat 7. One skin can be accessed by getting MVP in a multiplayer match, but most skins have a specific requirement that must be met in the campaign missions before unlocking.

To unlock a mission's bonus skin, you have to find and shoot down an Ace pilot. When you've shot all of the Aces down across the game, the X-02 Wyvern skin also unlocks.

Ace Pilot Locations

Here's how to find each Ace pilot broken down by mission:

Charge Assault Ace
  • Huang Xuan Tai ("Pyro")

Pyro flies a MIG-21 that appears at the northwest end of the radar map during the fourth wave of enemies if you take out the third wave using anti-air missiles such as the 4AAM, 6AAM, or 8AAM.

Charge The Enemy Ace
  • Joe Barker ("Jester")

After taking down the ground-based radar vehicles and the tower before the UAVs appear, look for Joe's MIG-29 with the drones that then spawn.

Two Pronged Strategy Ace
  • Rosie Lucas ("Bayonet")

To get this F-16C to appear, you have to destroy the full first wave of the mission in less than 90 seconds prior to the missile alert.

Rescue Ace
  • Florent Nollet ("Ronin")

If you stay in low altitude (under 200 meters) and fly to the space elevator, Florent's F15-J will appear in the northeast corner of the radar map.

444 Ace
  • Sebastian Koch ("Fang")

This F-15C appears on the map after taking down the first three bombers of the mission, and 75% of damage must be dealt when weapons are disabled.

Long Day Ace
  • Sophie Andre ("Kitten")

Head through the tunnel at the western base base to force Sophie's F-14D to spawn on the map.

First Contact Ace
  • Thibault Besson ("Faucon")

During the early stage of the mission, take out all the non-marked enemies and this Typhoon will spawn on the north end of the map.

Pipeline Destruction Ace
  • Samuel Everest ("Gazelle")

If you take out all the ground-based oil buildings before the timer runs down, this F-15E will appear at the north end of the map with some drones.

Faceless Soldier Ace
  • Hans Weber ("Spider")

This FA-18F appears on the east side of the map after taking out the non-marked enemies and the radio tower.

Transfer Orders Ace
  • Ken Warren ("Louveteau")

Ken's Gripen E appears on the east side of the map after taking out the SAM sites.

Fleet Destruction Aces
  • Matthieu Bertin ("Ibis")
  • Chris Azure ("Chasseur")

Yep, there are two Aces to find in this mission. Matthieu flies an SU-33 that appears on the east side of the map if you fly through the opening between the north platforms. 

Chris flies a Rafale-M that appears on the west side of the map if you blow up all the aircraft on the north platform before they can take to the air.

Stonehenge Defensive Ace
  • Arnaud Durand ("Walrus")
  • Nathan Roche ("Foudre")
  • Kees Baker ("Buffle")

Another mission with multiple Aces. Arnaud flies an SU-34 that appears at the northeast end of the map if you successfully prevent Stonehenge from taking any damage.

Nathan flies a MIR2000-5 that appears on the south side of the map if you fly underneath the mounted Stonehenge gun.

Kees appears on the west side of the map in an A-10C after destroying the three Thunderbolt enemies.

Bunker Buster Ace
  • Owen Corwin ("Comet")

Owen's MIG-31 appears on the west side if you take out all the mission's missile silos.

Cape Rainy Assault Ace
  • Jules Martin ("Gadfly")

Jules appears in an SU-47 in the northern end of the map after flying through the canyon -- but you have to do it quickly!

Battle For Farbanti Aces
  • Russell Faulkner ("Serpent")
  • Vincent Masson ("Bogen")

If you beat the first mission objective by more than 5,000 points, Russell's SU-37 appears in the southeastern edge of the map.

Vincent's F-2A appears just to the south of the Aegis Shore battery after you destroy it, but you have a limited time to chase him down.

Last Hope Ace
  • Emeric Pons ("Axeman")

Emeric's SU-35S appears on the south end of the city after racking up 15,000 points.

Homeward Ace
  • Olivier Perrin ("Mantis")

If you cruise alongside the Mass driver rail, Olivier's F-35C appears on the east side of the map.

Lost Kingdom Ace
  • Benjamin Neumann ("Lynx")

If you take out all the enemy targets before flying to the castle, Bejamin's YF-23 spawns by Shilage.

Lighthouse Aces
  • Paul LeBrun ("Calamity")
  • Cyril Noiret ("Tempest")

The last two Aces both appear if you rack up 20,000 points during the first segment of the Lighthouse mission.

Paul's SU-57 appears to the southeast of the space elevator, while Cyril's F-22 spawns to the southwest instead.

Have you found any other skins that we missed? Let us know where you discovered it, and be sure to leave a comment with your favorite Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown skin below!

Ace Combat 7: How to Use Flares Mon, 21 Jan 2019 13:14:23 -0500 Ty Arthur

Ready to take to the skies and establish air dominance? Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown offers up all the modern aerial dog fights you could want across a host of missions.

However, surviving any of those sorties requires more than just barrel rolls and machine gun fire. If you want to stay airborne and complete objectives, you've got to master quick turns and proper flare deployment to avoid enemy missile fire.

How to Deploy Flares

Unfortunately, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown doesn't do a very good job of explaining how to use flares, so let's jump right into it with the exact flare controls broken down by platform.

PS4 Flare Deployment:
  • Tap L3 + R3 simultaneously to release flares
Xbox One Flare Deployment:
  •  Tap both analog sticks simultaneously to release flares
PC Flare Deployment:
  • Unknown at this time, but you'll likely be able to bind your own key

The PC version of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown doesn't arrive until January 31, as console players get more than a full week of exclusive access ahead of time. We'll get this article updated with the controls for using flares via keyboard command when it lands on Steam at the end of the month.

When to Deploy Flares

No matter which platform you are on, wait to deploy your flares until well after you hear the "Missile Lock" audio cue. You will see red icons on the screen indicating proximity, and when they are flashing, because the missile is in close range, deploy flares and either speed up or turn to avoid the explosion.

Note that the flares drop below you rather than directly behind, and you can use the right analog stick to swivel your view to see exactly where a missile is chasing your aircraft before deploying these countermeasures.

Have any other questions on how to fly your plane, avoid missiles, and take out targets in Ace Combat 7? Let us know what you are having trouble with in the comments below, and we'll find you a solution.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown Review — VR is Lacking, But a Welcome Addition Anyway Thu, 17 Jan 2019 23:48:08 -0500 Ty Arthur

Somehow, it has been six years, and a whole console generation, since the previous Ace Combat game hit shelves. We were overdue for a new iteration, as plane technology and aerial warfare have undeniably advanced in the intervening years, and now we have it in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.

It isn't just new planes and enhanced weaponry that sets Ace Combat 7 apart from the previous games in the franchise though, as, this time, the series has a major ace up its sleeve: a VR mode.

VR Flight School Crash Course (With A Side Of Vomit)

Although not a VR-only game, the VR sections are a welcome addition to Ace Combat 7, and their inclusion put the game on our list of most anticipated PSVR titles due to launch in 2019.

These handful of virtual reality missions will be exclusive to the Playstation 4 until 2020, at which point they will presumably unlock for the Steam version as well.

Gotta Learn To Walk Before You Can Fly

While the ability to soar at supersonic speeds above the landscape in VR (while constantly looking around to admire your various panels and scan for bogeys) is a thing of beauty, there are some big limitations in Ace Combat 7.

To begin, there's oddly no tutorial for the VR missions. After a brief look around the cockpit and being towed through the bowels of an aircraft carrier, you are off on your first sortie against hostile planes.

If you aren't a flight simulator pro, do yourself a favor and learn from my mistake: play some non-VR missions first to master the flight mechanics before jumping into VR missions. I didn't do that, and I greatly regret my poor decision.

These normal campaign missions will teach you how to utilize the radar and quickly lock onto different targets, but there's a much more important reason to play the non-VR mission's first.

That is, if there's sudden, constant changes in direction and speed, VR, in its current form, is very prone to causing nausea  If you don't know how to properly level off, move horizontally with the yaw, and perform a combination of wide passes and tighter, higher speed turns in Ace Combat 7, you will find yourself getting actively sick.

In my haste to get a proper VR cockpit experience, I was so nauseated by the end of the first mission that I had to throw the headset off and run to the bathroom to empty the contents of my stomach. No joke. I feel like I've been through real flight school now. 

Air Combat Gameplay Redefined

When you've got the movement mechanics down though, the VR missions in Ace Combat 7 are a ton of fun. Aerial dogfights are a totally different experience from playing them in first-person view, increasing the tension created by the beeping red lights and auditory warnings about missile locks.

The immersion created by VR also enhances the sense of accomplishment as you learn how to outmaneuver enemy aircraft and take them down with missiles or well placed bursts of machine gun fire, ultimately becoming the apex predator of the sky.

Unfortunately, there isn't a large amount of content to play through in VR mode. It isn't as limited as Gran Turismo Sport's sad VR element, which only lets you race against one single other car in VR mode, but it is noticeable within this full-scale game.

Specifically, you only get about three hours of playtime out of Ace Combat 7's VR campaign. It beats the Call Of Duty space jackal PSVR demo to be sure, but it still may leave PS4 players wanting a more sizable VR flight experience.

Thankfully, you can unlock a free-fly mode if you just want to experience the wide open sky and see the landscape passing by below after completing the missions.

Separately, I was left wondering why the developers didn't implement PS Move controller support. It may have been difficult to program proper tracking, since, obviously, they don't remain stationary like a traditional flight simulator controller, but using the Move controllers (as the control stick for movement and side stick for thrust) really would have increased the immersion factor.

The Non VR-Experience

For those who aren't buying Ace Combat 7 for the VR missions and just want a high-end flight combat simulator, you are in for a treat.

With an expert mode for more realistic flight and varied missions switching between air and ground targets, you won't be lacking for content or challenge like in the VR mode.

Re-Playability Through Unlockables

There's reason to re-play the campaign as well (or just skip over to multiplayer if you don't care about canned missions), and that's the equipment tree. 

With new aircraft, special weapons, and even individual parts to customize, you could be playing for weeks before running out of content. To move along that tree, you have to earn points by completing campaign missions or performing well during matches in multiplayer mode.

Unlocking new equipment on that tree is crucial in some missions, particularly when you need the ability to target multiple planes at once or have to destroy ground facilities and then quickly switch over to dealing with enemy air support.

Single-Player Focus

I've always been more of a single-player guy myself, preferring an unfolding story to an endless stream of pointless death matches, and I wasn't disappointed on that front.

For a game about aerial dog fights and customizing your ultimate fighter jet, there is a surprising amount of storyline in Ace Combat 7.  Some twists and turns pop-up as well, and they make you want to know what will happen next in this battle between two fictional warring nations and the pilots stuck in the middle.

While you don't got clobbered over the head with political commentary or anything, the game does manage to bring up some real world technological worries. In particular, the prevalence of unmanned drones, the need to develop space elevators, and a looming energy crisis are all central themes.

The Bottom Line

  • VR mode
  • Engaging story
  • Lots of replay from unlockables
  • Great plane movement mechanics
  • Multiplayer matches
  • VR mode is sadly very limited
  • No Move controller support
  • For the most authentic experience, you'll want to drop an extra $110 on the Thrustmaster T. Flight Hotas 4 flight stick controller released specifically for Ace Combat 7

Long story short, if you love flight combat simulators, you are going to love Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown regardless of if you prefer a single-player campaign or multiplayer dog fights.

The VR mode is a very welcome addition for PSVR owners, although, sadly, its much more limited than the main story campaign or the multiplayer combat.

If you don't already own the PSVR equipment, I can't say that Ace Combat 7 will be the deciding factor to make you drop the cash, but existing owners should definitely give it a shot.

Rather than the limited content being a huge downside though, it essentially just makes me want more VR flight games to arrive in the future. Hopefully, this is just a taste of things to come.

Top 11 Most Anticipated VR Games of 2019 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 16:35:37 -0500 Ty Arthur


There are undoubtedly many, many more games set to hit the virtual reality market in the coming months, but these are the ones we're most excited to try out.


What did you think of our picks for the top 11 VR games slated to land in 2019? Did we miss any that should have made this list? Sound off in the comments below!




Population: One

  • Release date: 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: Crossplay between Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows MR
  • \n

If you aren't sick of Battle Royale mania yet, you should be excited by the prospect of this growing genre finally coming to VR.


Yep, you'll be falling from the battle bus, building structures, plundering empty buildings, and struggling to survive to the #1 spot as the circle shrinks all in glorious virtual reality. 


If this catches on, I'd expect to see Fortnite add on a VR mode next year as well!


Ghost Giant

  • Release date: Unknown (maybe 2019?)
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n

VR is tailor-made for this kind of experience, where you are just a pair of giant disembodied hands looking down on a virtual world and deciding how you are going to interact with it.


This seems like an excellent attempt to embrace the standard tropes of virtual reality games and expand on them, rather than try to hide them. With any luck, Ghost Giant will show all the other games how it's meant to be done.


Trover Saves the Universe 

  • Release date: 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR, with PC likely down the line
  • \n

Speaking of over the top, hoo boy, Trover Saves The Universe is going to strain the patience of anyone not fully onboard with the Interdimensional Cable episodes of Rick And Morty.


This is going to be pure, grade-A, weapons-grade nutso that will put all other attempts at bizarre gaming to shame by several orders of magnitude.


I still can't decide if this will be the best thing ever or if I'll be rolling my eyes and pulling my own hair out, but either way expect this game to make a splash.


Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot 

  • Release date: Expected sometime 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC, PSVR
  • \n

VR has pretty consistently shown an affinity for spin offs offering new ways to experience a well known franchise.


With Cyberpilot, we'll get to saddle up in giant mechanical doggos to light Nazis on fire. What's not to love?


I do have to wonder how much of the over-the-top grisly imagery from Wolfenstein 2 will make it over in the translation, as that might become a bit much to handle in VR mode.



  • Release date: Early 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC
  • \n

While plenty of VR games these days are become ever more ambitious and working in fully movement, there are still plenty of great games where you remain more stationary and just interact with the environment.


That's what's on display with Gagdeteer (previously going by the code name Ruberg), which has you setting up and knocking down intricate chain reaction puzzles. I would expect this one to be a party hit like Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes.



  • Release date: Unknown 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: Oculus Rift exclusive
  • \n

This is probably the one big VR release of 2019 that's getting the most buzz right now and its being developed by Insomniac Games and Oculus Studios.


Some of VR's biggest triumphs so far are games that change your perspective and offer a different kind of experience, and that's what it seems like we'll get as a broken down robot (the Short Circuit comparisons are coming strong and fast).


The combat here looks like a more fully realized version of Blasters Of The Universe, and that's a very good thing, and the visuals will make you think of Horizon: Zero Dawn, but minus the humans.


Ace Combat 7 

  • Release date: January 18, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n

Surprisingly, the number of air combat simulations in VR are pretty sparse on the PlayStation 4 right now. There's that super short Call Of Duty Jackal entry, and not a whole lot else.


Rather than a full VR game, Ace Combat 7 will include a series of VR-specific missions, but what we've seen so far looks very slick. Hopefully this is just the start of the virtual reality dog fights headed to Sony's flagship console.


Age Of Wushu 2 

  • Release date: TBA 2019
  • \n
  • Platform: PC
  • \n

This upcoming Chinese action MMO will include something you haven't seen in the massively multiplayer realm before.... a VR element for exploration (although sadly not for combat).


There's not a ton of info yet on exactly how the VR sections will work and how you will switch back to non-VR during combat, but you can officially color me intrigued.


Seeing virtual reality aspects worked into more games will go a long way towards see VR get adopted on a wider scale.


The Mage's Tale 

  • Release date: Very up in the air
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR (already out on PC)
  • \n

This full VR RPG set between The Bard's Tale 3 and 4 is actually already out now on Steam, but it was actively in development for a PSVR port in early 2019.


Sadly, the fate of this one is now very up in the air sadly, with InXile just being bought out by Microsoft.


We can't imagine they'll be keen on letting their new acquisition release a game on a rival console, but there's been no official word yet on whether this is actually cancelled or not, since it had already been announced and was deep in development.


Borderlands 2 VR

  • Release date: December 14th, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n

OK, OK, we're cheating even more with Borderlands 2 VR! This one comes out December 14th, a half month before its officially 2019, but that's not going to stop us from putting it here.


This is easily my own most anticipated title as it provides another opportunity to face off against awful dad Handsome Jack and interact with the amazingly psychotic Tiny Tina yet again.


Who else absolutely cannot wait to joy puke your face off in virtual reality? Of course, with this version of the game arriving soon, it leads to a more important question... where the hell is Borderlands 3 already?


Star Child 

  • Release date: December 31st, 2018
  • \n
  • Platform: PSVR
  • \n

Yes, Star Child does in fact arrive one single day before it officially becomes 2019, but you'll forgive us, right?


This looks like the new unexpected VR game that's going to provide a totally different experience than you'd expect, much like Moss did for PSVR at the beginning of the year.


Based on the trailer, it seems like we're in for some crazy platforming and giant boss-dodging action in a unique alien landscape.


Any given trailer for a VR title these days still gets hit with the running gag about how 5 people will love the game when it releases, but the notion of VR remaining firmly underground is about to be strongly challenged in 2019.


A whole lotta killer games have already arrived since our article earlier in the year looking at whether PSVR in particular is worth investing in at this point.


Between horror games like The Persistence, shooters like Firewall Zero Hour, and platformers like Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, there's just no reason not to jump into the VR fray anymore.


There's plenty more slated to land in the next month before the year's over as well, such as Arca's Path coming soon and two Persona dancing games arriving in early December.


That's just the beginning though, as 2019 is unquestionably going to be the year VR breaks out into the mainstream. In the slides ahead we round up the 11 most anticipated tiles in every possible genre!


While many of the upcoming games in our top 11 picks will be available for the PSVR, we've broadened out our search across the entire VR lineup, including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality.

Ace Combat 7 Release Date Trailer Unveiled Tue, 21 Aug 2018 14:24:48 -0400 Bryant Pereira

Aviation enthusiasts from all over let out a collective sigh of relief with the official announcement that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will finally release on PS4 and Xbox One on January 18, 2019, with a Steam version following February 1.

Initially announced in December 2015, Bandai Namco has been hard at work on the latest chapter of their combat flight simulator series. Serving as a sequel to Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, the newest entry uses Unreal Engine 4, and the trailer shows a heavy focus on story and character development -- something the series is already well known for. 

Bandai Namco boasts features from the new engine such as enhanced graphics that deliver dynamic cloud cover, detailed particle effects from destroyed planes, and an array of aircraft and weapons to choose from. Ace Combat 7 will have exclusive PSVR missions for the PS4 version of the game.

Make sure to check back as more news and information releases for the upcoming air-combat action game. You can go ahead and secure your copy on Amazon today.