This article lists the many glitches present throughout the Ace Combat series. In its broadest sense, a glitch is defined as "an unintended effect or fault in software". Glitches often range from simple collision detection failures to physics defying.
Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere (Japan Version)
No impact missiles
Problem with the analog controls
In the mission "Paper Tiger", using the F/A-18I Hornet ADV with analog controls and getting damaged either by missiles or hitting the ground, will cause the analog controls to get disabled until the analog button is pressed.
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
Wingmen collision detection
Wingmen in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War feature often unusual collision detection. For example, if flying too close to the ground, they will not crash, but instead phase through the scenery. Unlike enemy fighters, however, wingmen are solid to physical contact, and the player will be instantly killed if they ever ram a wingman in mid-air. However, if it's the wingman who rams the player (normally happens when rejoining), the player will not die.
A particularly famous glitch can be witnessed in "White Bird (Part II)". When playing on Hard or Ace difficulty, once the player has to destroy the Arkbird's final & main engine, there is a very rare chance that the Arkbird will glitch and begin flying in a way that defies the laws of gravity; that is, moving around like a normal fighter despite its size. This glitch is harmless and will not have any serious consequences after the mission, although the Arkbird's increased movement speed can make the task of destroying the main engine very difficult. It was this glitch that gave birth to the Orgoi of Ace Combat: Joint Assault.
"ACES" tunnel flight
In mission #27, "ACES", it is possible for the player to fly into the Sudentor tunnel network by entering through the other side, which is normally where the player escapes at the end of the mission. To do this glitch, play normally until the allied forces raise the tunnel's steel gate. Once AWACS Oka Nieba asks you if you are ready to fly into the tunnel, do not fly inside; instead, fly towards the north of the map. The SOLG will continue opening fire from the atmosphere as usual, but will not harm you. Upon the way, you will be able to hear dialogue that normally you would not hear at this point (i.e. Yukes and Oseans talking with each other, President Vincent Harling and Prime Minister Nikanor's full speech, etc.) Once you reach the northern desert and the tunnel entrance, you will hear Jack Bartlett's "coming at you, Booby" transmission as though you destroyed the first SOLG core within the tunnel, followed by Hamilton's scripted dialogue. After this part is done, return to Sudentor and fly into the tunnel as usual. Once the SOLG's control core is destroyed, the mission will be automatically over, and the game will instantly jump into the scene where the Ghosts of Razgriz escape. The reason behind this glitch is that the player's actions led the game into believing that they had played the mission normally when flying north.
Flight ceiling glitch
Under certain circumstances, it is possible to break the standard 40,000 feet flight ceiling. To do this, use a plane with a high speed stat such as the MiG-31 Foxhound for this task, then select any mission. Once the game loads, raise your nose in a 90 degree angle so that your plane perfectly points upwards, then hit the throttle. If done right, you will bypass the flight ceiling. After crossing this boundary, keep R1 held down. Once enough altitude has been gained, the sky will turn pitch black, and the screen will shake wildly. You will also be unable to move your plane. It is possible to attain altitudes of over 100,000 feet. If this glitch is seen in replay mode, minor glitches can be seen, such as the player's plane appearing to spin wildly and black "holes" appearing through the sky.
A related glitch is the "flight ceiling bounce" glitch. To do this, select a fast aircraft like a MiG-31, then select any mission. Fly into the flight ceiling at full speed so that you are bounced back into lower altitude. Keep R1 held down, then keep flying towards the flight ceiling. As time passes, you will be bounced into Earth at increasingly higher speed, up until the point where you are bounced off the boundary at an extreme speed back into Earth.
This glitch can be found on "8492", this glitch will cause two things to happen. To start this glitch all you have to do is fly around the 8492nd Squadron instead of following them. Just fly near the border of the map until the enemy fighters show up. When they show up the BGM will not start and the 8492nd Squadron will still be on the radar as allies until you fly close to them.
Sound of your Previous Life
This glitch can be found on "White Bird (Part II)". If you are killed by the Arkbird's Laser, restarting the mission will result in your engine's ambient sound being the laser sound effect. This will stay as such until the first cutscene.
This glitch happens when you quit playing the mission "ACES" while in the tunnel. The game keeps making the echo sounds you hear while using the menu in the mission in the main menu.
On "Sea of Chaos", if the player ignores the enemy Yuke fleet, they start attacking your allies and some of them will move through the allied ships, this can also happen in other missions.
Stuck in the ice
A Ghost in Afterlife
On "Narrow Margin", there is an in-flight briefing right after the mission starts. When it begins, you'll notice that your aircraft and all the scenery is stopped, so the mission can be better explained. To do this glitch, point your plane down to the ocean and start accelerating right when the mission begins, and try to get really close to the water, without crashing. This has to be very precise. If done correctly, when the in-flight briefing starts, your aircraft will be only a few inches from touching the sea, as if you were almost crashing. When you skip the in-flight briefing and the cutscene, this happens: your joystick will vibrate, as if you have crashed, but you will still be playing the mission, and your HUD will disappear. You're still going to be able to change views, fire all your weapons, and make your missiles lock onto targets (and destroy them), as if you have never crashed after all.
Forced Game Over
On "White Bird (Part I)", if you shoot down the incoming C-130 Hercules transports before they drop enough tanks (this can be done in SP game when you have aircraft with the XMAA/XLAA missiles) the game will stop sending in enemies. You can tell if you have done this as all dialogue will stop, no new enemies will enter the map, but the timer will continue to count down. You can play around on the map till the timer runs out without having to worry about incoming enemies, but ultimately you will have to restart the mission by either selecting restart in the pause menu or waiting for the timer to run out giving you a time over mission failed prompt to clear the glitch.
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
F-22s with gun immunity
During the "Moloch Desert" mission, the enemy F-22s that appear as part of Snake Pit's operation cannot be hit with machine guns.
Ace Combat: Joint Assault
Grand Flight canyon limit
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
During the mission "Launch", the player must destroy ICBM trucks in the Caucasus mountains. Using a bomber. The player will come under a heavy enemy attack, during which William Bishop arrives and destroys several fighters. If the player flies low enough to the water before the cutscene starts to play, during the cutscene, Bishop's aircraft will phase through the water and then pop back up again.
Enemy Aircraft Physics
Oftentimes, an enemy aircraft will break the game's set physics, either for balance, cinematics, or just outright for no reason. TGT_LEADs will often fly impossibly erratic ways to dodge missiles, or to position themselves for a scripted event. During these events, they can slow to well below stalling speed (i.e. "Power Play") and take an unlimited amount of damage until the scripted event is done. Also at times, aircraft will fly through the ground, dragging the player with them until they either explode or disengage. This is common in "Inferno", "Hurricane", and sometimes happens when fighting Andrei Markov in "Akula".
The Ghost of Viper 7
In "Akula", after the Su-33s start crashing into the USS Anzio, Warwolf 3 says, "Viper 7 turn off!" and then the Su-33 crashes into him, a few seconds later, Viper 7 will say, " Magic, be advised I'm out of missiles." after he crashed.
In "Power Play", if you initiate DFM on one of the MiG-29As, it will continue to climb to great heights but you must keep DFM on the plane and you must stay locked on. This glitch is similar to that present in Ace Combat 5.
Clouds in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon are tied to the player's position and rotation in the world. Therefore, when looking down from a high altitude, the clouds will be spinning.
Ace Combat Infinity
Since Ace Combat Infinity uses the same engine as Assault Horizon, the spinning cloud glitch is present in this game as well.
Tokyo Color Shift
Far Eastern Front features a slight orange-hue fog over the mission area. However, inexplicably, this changes to blue and back to orange when viewing the ground from a high altitude.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy +
During the first fight with Beast Squadron, a glitch will occur where one member of the Squadron will fly up, and up, and up, way beyond the maximum altitude limit for the player and will be unreachable by any weapons, they will usually come back down and the battle will proceed as normal but there is a chance that they will stay up there and a restart from checkpoint will be required.
Ace Combat 7:Skies Unknown
Arsenel bird glitch
During the encounter with the Arsenel Bird during Stonehedge Defensive. If the player destroys all the propellers, The Arsenel bird will slow down and stop in midair which is physically impossible for a propellerd aircraft. This glitch will remain until the cutscene plays with the Arsenel bird descrution this glitch resembles the Arkbird’s glitch expect it is the opposite