- "The enemy will also be going after our own fleet, so you'll need to defend as well as attack."
- ― AWACS Heavy Cloud
Naval Fleet Assault (sometimes referred to as Naval Team Deatmatch, Naval TDM or NTDM) is a player-versus-player gameplay mode in Ace Combat Infinity. It is only available during specific Naval Fleet Assault Ranking Tournaments, under the "Limited Time! Team Deathmatch" name in the main menu. Two teams of four players each must destroy the other team's fleet and defend theirs from destruction.
In Naval Fleet Assault, the two teams will act as escorts to a naval fleet, one for each team. The players' goal is to destroy the enemy's fleet while defending their own. On the left side of the HUD, instead of each team's score as in Online Co-Op Missions or Team Deathmatch, the total integrity of each fleet is displayed as a percentage starting at 100; this number decreases as ships are damaged or sunk. The match ends when the timer runs out or one of the fleets is completely destroyed (i.e. its integrity reaches 0).
Each fleet is led by an aircraft carrier accompanied by frigates, destroyers, Aegis ships, and battle cruisers. All ships have greatly increased health and attack capabilities compared to any other gameplay mode. All vessels in a fleet will act aggressive to any enemy aircraft that approaches them.
Battle cruisers feature the unique ability to fire numerous missiles and guns at different players. They act incredibly aggressive and players must avoid flying straight at them to avoid a volley of missiles.
In addition, Aegis ships utilize their CIWS to intercept missiles and bombs approaching any of the fleet's vessels. Multiple players can attempt to fire multiple weapons at once to overwhelm the CIWS and cause some damage. The CIWS itself can be destroyed (two systems appear on each Aegis vessel), but they will respawn after a certain amount of time. The only way to permanently eliminate their threat is to destroy the Aegis vessel itself.
- "Allied NPCs will perform "Strategic Attacks" according to the number of enemy players that are shot down."
- ― Loading screen quote
In order to win a match, players must effectively balance the destruction of the enemy fleet and the defense of their own. It is typically recommended that half of a team should perform air-to-air defense while the other half performs air-to-ship attack. However, outside of keeping the fleet health as high as possible, players attacking enemy players can still perform damage to the enemy fleet through Strategic Attacks.
Above the friendly fleet's and below the enemy fleet's integrity bars, a series of squares and missiles are displayed. Each of these icons represents one enemy player kill; for example, when a player on the friendly team shoots down a player on the enemy team, the first blue square will be filled in. At certain kill amounts, the square is replaced by a missile, which represents a Strategic Attack. This attack will automatically initiate against the enemy fleet, and cannot be canceled or defended against.
The full list of Strategic Attacks is as follows:
|# Kills||Strategic Attack||% Damage||Est. Arrival Time|
|3||Fleet Gun Attack||10%||15 seconds|
|5||Support Aircraft||5%||10 seconds|
|7||Fleet Missile Attack||15%||15 seconds|
|10||Support Bombers||15%||10 seconds|
|15||Cruise Missile Attack||25%||15 seconds|
Similar to standard Team Deathmatch, Naval Fleet Assault takes place on several maps inspired by those from Online Co-Op Missions.
- Prior to February 2015, the Support Bomber Strategic Attack performed 10% damage and the Cruise Missile Attack performed 30%. These were changed to 15% and 25% respectively.
- Strategic Attacks are similar to "killstreaks" in shooter games; however, in Naval Fleet Assault, the player kills do not need to be consecutive without a player shot down, and they apply for an entire team rather than each individual player.
- Note that the total damage possible through Strategic Attacks is 70%. The remaining 30% of a fleet's integrity still needs to be removed by players directly attacking the fleet.
- There is a rare possibility that a match may continue for the remaining time limit even when one of the fleets has been completely destroyed.
- A match will end in a "DRAW" if both fleets are simultaneously destroyed or have the same remaining integrity at the end of the mission. In terms of credits and Ranking Tournament points, the game will treat a draw as a loss.
- Naval Fleet Assault features some similarities to Capital Conquest; both teams must protect allied units, both teams have the capability to shoot each other down, and rewards are available for shooting down multiple players (in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon multiplayer, the availability of Trinity). However, Naval Fleet Assault does not feature a radar base that must be captured (especially since Close Range Assault isn't available to players in Infinity), each team has only one respawn point, the ships are very capable of defending themselves (unlike the HQs in Capital Conquest), and the use of bombers is not restricted.