To change aircraft skins you've got to beat the main campaign and hunt down a variety of special Ace pilots in each mission of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.

Ace Combat 7: How to Unlock Skins

To change aircraft skins you've got to beat the main campaign and hunt down a variety of special Ace pilots in each mission of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.

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.

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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!

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Ty Arthur
Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.