- The Infinity Ace Seminar will eventually be updated with a new section on Team Deathmatch!
Time is short, so we'll have to leave the introductions for later. Let me be one of the many people to welcome you, fellow mercenary, into the world of Ace Combat Infinity! Infinity is the latest game in the Ace Combat series, and the first free-to-play game in the series.
Infinity has a lot of menus, a lot of options, and a lot of places you can explore without even touching a single aircraft. Ribbon-Blue from the Electrosphere fan website suggested the idea of creating a guide to help players new to the game. He and I and other members of Electrosphere and Acepedia co-wrote this guide and hope that it will help you in your endeavor to become the top earner.
Good luck, and let the Infinity Ace Seminar begin!
You have to crawl before you can walk, and you have to create a Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) account before you can even think about crawling. In this section, we will teach you the necessary basics of getting Infinity onto your system and going through your first missions.
Getting the Game
Recall that Ace Combat Infinity itself is completely free of charge. All it requires is a PlayStation 3 and a free SEN account. You can find a PlayStation 3 at any of your favorite local or online game stores.
If you do not have an SEN account, click here to create one! Don't continue the guide until you create one. Don't worry, it's free!
Once you have an SEN account, click here to learn how to use it on your PlayStation 3.
Once you are logged into your PlayStation 3 with your SEN account, access the PlayStation Store and search for Ace Combat Infinity. You can use the search feature or dig through the categories, it's up to you!
Alternatively, you can use one of the links below to go to the online PlayStation Store for your region to download the game. Add it to your cart, "purchase" it, and then click "Download to your PS3". The next time you turn on your PS3 and log in, the game will automatically begin downloading!
As soon as you start the game, you will be asked which control setting you want to use: Standard or Expert.
Standard does not give you full control of your aircraft, making it difficult to pull sharp angle turns or flip your aircraft around; as such, it is highly recommended for players new to the Ace Combat series. If you've never played Ace Combat before, go for the Standard option.
If, however, you have played other games in the series (Ace Combat 04/5/Zero/6 are the best examples), then you can try using the Expert setting.
Don't worry, you can change this through the Settings menu at any time, as well as some other control options.
After selecting your control scheme, you will be given the option to perform a Test Flight. This is highly recommended for all players, at the very least because it awards a trophy for completing it. If you are new to Ace Combat, Test Flight is pretty much required for you.
The first section of the Test Flight mission will teach you the basics of flight control. After taking off, you will learn how to control your aircraft, from acceleration to pitch.
The second part of the mission is a five-minute free-for-all, where you can try out your skill against immobile dummy targets or fly through rings set up around the airspace. Take care not to crash into any buildings, rookie; San Diego doesn't want to retrieve your plane's remains.
Once you complete the Test Flight, you will be taken to the Main Menu. This is where all the action happens when you log in. We'll talk about what each option details later; for now, go into Campaign and begin the story. This should be straightforward, and the in-game menus do a good job of explaining the process, so we're not going to walk you through it. Do be aware that you will have to use one of your Supplied Fuel (don't worry about what it is, we'll describe it later) for each mission, and make sure to read any tutorial text that pops up during the missions! The missions you're going to play are Lost Butterfly and Great Migration. Return to this guide when you finish Mission 2, Great Migration.
Back already? Did you finish Mission 2 like I asked you to? Uh-huh, alright, if you say so. After the end of Mission 2, you will see a dialog box telling you that you now know the basics of gameplay and you're ready to go up against the world in Online Co-Op Missions, the first multiplayer mode of Infinity. However, we're going to discuss something really quick here.
Project Aces implemented a credit requirement to take part in the missions after Mission 2. 200,000 credits are needed to unlock Mission 3, 300,000 credits are needed to unlock Mission 4, and so on. Additionally, credits are required to replay these missions, and one fuel is required for all of the missions. However, they also implemented a way for everyone to purchase their way around these requirements: the Unlimited Campaign Play Ticket. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that ALL players purchase this DLC! This supports Project Aces, helps fund the Ace Combat series, and gives you unlimited access to Missions 1-8 of the campaign with no fuel or credit requirements! It's also extremely helpful for earning more fuel, which will be discussed below. If you enjoyed Missions 1 and 2, or you are a fan of the Ace Combat series, purchase this DLC to support Project Aces!
If you do not purchase the Unlimited Campaign Play Ticket, you should attempt to refrain yourself from spending the credits on the campaign missions, and act as if they're simply locked without purchasing the DLC. These credits are too valuable for aircraft in multiplayer to waste on the campaign.
In summary: Purchase the Unlimited Campaign Play Ticket, or do not play the Campaign at all. Otherwise, you'll be wasting credits.
Finishing the First Steps
There's only a couple of things for you to do, and your First Steps in Ace Combat Infinity will be complete!
Go check the Notifications in the Main Menu if you haven't already. These notifications will update from time to time with important messages from the Project Aces team concerning the game. Plus, one of the notifications includes a 10 Stocked Fuel bonus! (Again, read more on fuel below.)
In addition, go into the Challenges and check out what you can do in there. Challenges can offer quick tutorial goals such as checking your notifications again, and award you with a Stocked Fuel or with some credits! Challenges can also offer limited-time specials such as the ADFX-01 Block1 Morgan, so make sure to read through them all!
Lastly, go into your Hangar and get familiar with the Aircraft Tree and your Aircraft Sets and how to create a custom set. This is key to multiplayer, and knowing how to navigate around here will be helpful in the future.
By the way, if you ever get lost in the menus, just press the Start button and a quick tutorial on where you are will pop up! Very handy for everyone. :)
That's it for the First Steps. Congrats - you're ready to play Infinity on your own! The following sections are more advanced and go into strategies and the Fuel System. Good luck!
Master Fuel Strategy
Ace Combat Infinity uses a new gameplay mechanic called Sortie Fuel, where every mission you take part in will cost you 1 fuel. If you are not careful about your fuel, you could seriously restrict your own fun in playing the game. To manage your fuel efficiently, extend your positive experience in Infinity and keep your fuel supply steady, this first of the advanced sections of the Ace Seminar will present our Master Fuel Strategy. If you follow this strategy from your first day in the game, you should start off with a healthy supply of fuel to last you a good while.
There are two types of fuel: Supplied Fuel and Stocked Fuel.
Supplied Fuel is given to you for free at timed intervals. You can only have 3 Supplied Fuel at one time. Once you've used up a Supplied Fuel, it will regenerate in four hours.
Stocked Fuel is earned through Challenges or purchased with real money. You can have an unlimited amount of Stocked Fuel, but it does not automatically regenerate.
Using Stocked Fuel instead of Supplied Fuel will earn you a little extra cash and a little extra research. Otherwise, the fuel you select has no effect on the mission.
Challenges, as mentioned above in First Steps, can give you all kinds of goals and rewards, one of these rewards being Stocked Fuel. It is very imperative to keep an eye on your list of challenges, because it's imperative to receive your rewards as fast as possible to not waste any time.
Stocking Your Fuel
First and foremost, as mentioned in First Steps, go into your Notifications and get your free initial supply of 10 Stocked Fuel. It's very easy to miss this, so this should be first.
Secondly, we're going to advertise the Unlimited Campaign Play Ticket to you again. This ticket allows you to play campaign missions infinitely without using any credits or fuel. In the long run, this will save you a ton of fuel and a load of credits that will let you advance in multiplayer. But there's another reason we're pushing this ticket to you: the Challenges. There is a Challenge that awards 20 Stocked Fuel just for completing Mission 5, Far Eastern Front. The only way to get to Mission 5 and complete this challenge by any viable means is by purchasing the Unlimited Campaign Play Ticket. You support the game and the developers, remove the fuel and credit restrictions for the missions, and you get 20 Stocked Fuel for free!
Make sure you actually accept the challenge before you start Mission 5, otherwise you'll have to repeat it for the challenge to recognize it. However, repeating the mission does not incur any penalties so long as you purchased the Unlimited Campaign Play Ticket.
In Stocked Fuel alone, you should have at least 30 fuel to use in online multiplayer. This is a hefty starting point, and as long as you've accepted Challenges and start progressing through them, you can keep a healthy supply of fuel going for some time.
Now let's get you started on the multiplayer!
Diving Into the Co-Op Fireworks
The real meat of Ace Combat Infinity is here, in Online Co-Op Missions. Eight players separate into two teams of four, and each player tries to destroy as many targets on the map as they can. They're fighting for their own personal score, the team score, and the overall mission score. It's crazy, fast-paced, and a lot of fun, so let's get started!
Did you know... there are three ways to get into the fray? Joining a quick match, searching for a room with specific parameters, and creating your own room. And you? It's all up to you on how you want to jump in.
Quick Match will search for the next available lobby and show you its information, allowing you to enter or decline. Search Room will allow you to search for rooms with certain criteria. Finally, Create Room will allow you to create your own room.
If creating your own room, you'll notice some of these settings:
- Matching Rate - Your matching rate (a four-digit number larger than 1000 and at most 2000, shown on the right in a lobby) is technically your skill level. When setting the Matching Rate when creating a room, "Standard" is the most restrictive, allowing people close to your skill level to join the room. As the restriction gets wider, people with much higher and much lower skill levels than yours can join. If you set "No Restriction", players with any skill level can join.
- Private Room - This allows you to set the room as private when creating it to invite your friends, ensure they get a spot, and then open the room to the public to fill up the remaining spots. Turning this off will make the room public as soon as it's created.
- Room Policy - This is used to set the tone of the room and what the players in this room should expect. When players use the Search Room function, they can search for a specific policy to find the specific kind of gameplay experience they're looking for.
While in a lobby, you can go into the Hangar and check your Challenges just like in the Main Menu. Be warned that if you're accessing the PlayStation Store when the lobby countdown to sortie hits 0, you will be kicked out!
Also available in the lobby are pre-set chat messages to send into a chat box. All players can utilize this chat functionality. Additionally, if you have a microphone plugged into your PS3, you can use voice chat with other players. If you want to mute other peoples' voice chat, you can press the Triangle button in the lobby to mute all other players.
You can also modify your Instant Radio Messages in the Hangar, which are pre-set chat messages you can send while flying in the game. To navigate the list during gameplay, press the right directional button, and then use up and down to select a message. You can either press the right directional pad button once to send the message to all of your teammates, or hold down the button to send the message to all players on both teams.
Making the Donuts
In Infinity, there are two broad categories of enemy units: ground targets and air targets.
Ground targets include Surface-to-Air Missile launchers (SAMs), anti-aircraft (AA) guns, buildings, and ships. They are numerous and relatively easy to destroy due to their lack of mobility, but generally provide lower rewards than similarly-leveled air targets.
Air targets include helicopters, planes, cruise missiles, and UAVs. They are generally harder to destroy than ground targets, and are a little less common, but end up providing larger point totals per unit.
As a rule of thumb, if you are flying an aircraft that is more oriented towards ground attack, like an Attacker or a Multirole with an air-to-ground special weapon, it is a better idea to focus on ground targets. On the inverse, if you're flying a Fighter or a Multirole with an air-to-air special weapon, it is not advisable to spend too much time on ground targets, since you will have a harder time damaging them; you would want to focus on destroying air units instead. but rather focus on shooting down air units instead.
Additionally, you'll notice some interesting arrows next to the target indicators on your HUD. If there's a blue arrow pointing to a target, that means another ally on your team is also going for that target, and one of you might want to split off and engage a different one. If there's a white arrow pointing to a target, that means a player on the other team is going for the kill, and you need to act fast if you want it. If there's a red arrow pointing away from the target, that means it's firing on an ally on your team, and if you destroy it, you'll earn bonus points for both you and your teammate.
Point Value Tiers
All enemy targets in the game fall into three general tiers, depending on how many points they reward when destroyed. A target's tier is represented by the color of its blip on your radar.
- Low Value: Denoted by a yellow blip on your radar map. These targets are the most numerous and the easiest to destroy, but consequently provide the lowest number of points in return. Generally you should not waste time hunting these, but rather engage them if they are directly in your path or are the only ones left. Targets in this tier yield anywhere from 100 to 999 points.
- Moderate Value: Denoted by an orange blip. These are generally a solid way to earn points, as they yield at least 1000 points per unit, but are balanced by being harder to find than yellow targets and just slightly more difficult to destroy.
- High Value: Denoted by a red blip. High value targets are also denoted by an red "SP" icon next to the target box on your HUD. High value targets are the most difficult to find and destroy, but they provide huge payouts if you destroy them, upwards of 2000 points per unit. If you get the chance to engage one of these, take it. However, make sure you're using the right aircraft; you won't be able to shoot down a high value air target using an Attacker, for example. Additionally, be quick, as other players in the match will be searching for these targets as well.
List of Enemy Units
That's it for all of the general information of Online Co-Op Missions. Now let's get into all of the different units you'll encounter. There are lots of different units, but these are the ones you'd want to pay attention to.
- MiG-29A / Rafale M / Typhoon / YF-23: All of these aircraft can outmaneuver and outpace a lot of the playable aircraft in the game, so proceed with caution when engaging them.
- F-22/PAK FA: These are the toughest of the enemy fighters. They have the highest speed, the highest defense, and the highest mobility. They can dodge your missiles easily and will send you racing across the map. They're always marked as high value targets.
- SR-71: The Blackbird has only been seen in Pipeline Destruction, if the emergency mission update is completed fast enough. It appears to the south of the map, at a very high altitude. If you've got a Fighter aircraft and you see a red blip on the southern edge of the radar after completing the emergency update, race to its position to shoot it down!
- AA guns: One cannon hit from an AA gun on your plane won't shoot you down, but if you're flying too close to the ground where a lot of AA guns are placed, you may find yourself shot down in a few seconds. If you're flying too close to the ground, make sure to watch out for these little buggers or destroy them yourself.
- Gunboats: Pretty much AA guns on water. Similarly, beware these if they're all in one group.
- SAMs: The SAM launchers will fire a missile upon you or other players on the first chance they'll get. Your HUD will notify you if a missile is inbound. If you're fighting ground targets, SAMs aren't a high value target, but enough of them could give you a lot of points. Plus, it pays to defend your teammates if they're being fired on. If you're fighting air targets, make sure to keep an eye on any inbound missiles.
- MSSL Boats: Just like gunboats, these are SAMs on water.
- XSAMs: Joining us from Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, XSAMs are simply advanced versions of SAMs. They can fire a little farther, and their missiles can do a lot of damage. They're also moderate value targets - you may want to consider taking these down if they pop up, usually in the second half of a mission.
- AD Tanks: Air defense tanks are AA guns and SAMs in one package. They are high value targets, so players will be gunning for these. Be very careful when flying close to them, because they can shoot you down quickly if you're not careful.
- Hovercraft: An air cushion landing craft. These carry two AA guns that you can't target, and fall into the moderate value tier. They can be easily destroyed compared to other moderate value targets, so it would be worth some time to hunt these down if they're on the map.
- Corvette: Corvettes carry an AA gun that can't be targeted, and sometimes fire missiles. They are marked as moderate value, and are the easiest to sink of the large ships.
- MSSL Hovercrafts: Hovercraft with a targetable SAM that you should destroy first before taking down the entire hovercraft to earn more points. They are high value targets and a little more notorious thanks to the SAM.
- Landing ship: An amphibious landing ship equipped with a targetable "ship gun" that will engage you. Try to destroy the gun before sinking the ship for more points. These are high value targets.
- Destroyer: Equipped with a SAM launcher, destroyers are worth slightly less than landing ships and are marked as a moderate value target, but the SAM launcher provides an extra target to engage.
- AEGIS: Anti-aircraft cruisers equipped with twin VLS systems that fire XSAM type missiles... these are dangerous ships that should be engaged with caution. They are worth 4000 points for the ship itself, with the VLS systems giving more points.
- Cruiser: These have a massive number of secondary targets in addition to the ship itself. The targets are: 2 Ship Guns, a SAM launcher, and a Radar. Cruisers are extremely rare, and you should take every chance you get to engage one.
- Aircraft Carrier: One of the rarest and largest of the ships. The carrier can take a massive amount of fire, but does not fire back that much. Regardless, it is a high value target, and should be engaged as soon as it is spotted.
- Battle Cruiser: The other massive flagship. It is found on Aerospace Center Defense after the mission update, but does not always appear. It is a high value target and is extremely dangerous to approach, carrying two VLS systems and a ship gun, in addition to being able to take a similar amount of punishment as an Aircraft Carrier.
We hope this guide assisted you as much as possible and answered some of your questions about getting into Infinity! Now go out there and make a name for yourself, mercenary - the sky is yours!