Read-Ahead Fire[1] is a gameplay technique featured in Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.


Talisman preparing to fire a missile using Read-Ahead Fire. Note the "SHOOT" message near the center of the HUD

Under normal circumstances, missile fire against enemy aircraft is done by locking on to a target and launching missiles from a position directly behind or directly in front of the target. This method is orthodox but it can require time to execute, depending on the initial state of the engagement and the target's movement. Read-Ahead Fire is an advanced technique that utilises deflection with missiles and it can be used to hit targets from virtually any angle.

To execute Read-Ahead Fire, the player needs to predict the enemy aircraft's flight path and fire missiles ahead of the target. A "SHOOT" message will promptly appear near the centre of the HUD when the player is in the right position to fire.[2] Missiles fired this way will have a high pitch sound played.

Missiles fired with Read-Ahead Fire will gain a large boost in accuracy. This can be useful fighting nimble enemies or to save time fighting among multiple enemies.


  • While variations of the "SHOOT" prompt have existed in the series since Air Combat, Ace Combat 6 is the only installment where it actively affects missile behavior. In the other games, it is only an indication that missiles have a high probability to hit if fired at that moment, and only appears when directly behind the enemy.