The weapon tracking view (武器追尾視点), also known as the weapon camera, is a minor gameplay element that debuted in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. It has appeared in almost every Ace Combat game since.
If the player holds the button used to fire a weapon, the camera will leave the player and track the weapon as it follows its trajectory. The weapon tracking view works on all aircraft for standard missiles and most special weapons; the view follows each weapon in a different way.
The weapon tracking view is available in the following games:
- Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
- Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
- Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
- Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception
- Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
- Ace Combat: Joint Assault
- Ace Combat: Assault Horizon (restricted, see § Description)
- Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy
- Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Ace Combat Infinity was the only console Ace Combat game following Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies to not include the feature.
The weapon tracking view follows the weapon instead of the player, giving the player a cinematic view of the weapon they fired either hitting or destroying an enemy. The view will cancel itself out and return to the player's aircraft after the weapon hits its target, the weapon runs out of fuel, or the player releases the fire button.
The view itself varies between weapons. For example, homing weapons are shown flying towards their objective, while the various incarnations of the Tactical Laser System instead lock behind the aircraft in an "over-the-shoulder" view. Some weapons, such as the Electromagnetic Launcher, don't utilize the view at all.
The aircraft will not autopilot into a safe position when the weapon tracking view is enabled. It is up to the player to ensure their aircraft is either in autopilot or in a safe position to prevent crashing or getting shot down.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon was the only game to restrict the view in any way. The weapon tracking view in this game cannot be manually activated by the player by holding the fire button; instead, the Close Range Assault system will activate it automatically during specific moments, such as dealing the final blow on an enemy unit or using 4 Target Air-to-Air Missiles to destroy four targets. The view is disabled entirely in multiplayer.