Own the skies like a real jet pilot with these handy tips from the makers of Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2.
1. Easy does it
The planes' turn rates increase along with speed. Slowing down lets you make tighter turns and, if you go into aerial drifts, you'll be able to change direction pretty much on the spot. Master flying on the edge of stalling and you'll almost always have the enemy in your sights, ready to get a lock-on and launch your guided missiles or spray some cannon towards those tricky "aces".
2. Keep the pace
On the other hand, slowing down, especially drifting, will leave you vulnerable to enemy fire. Slow flying means you're covering very little distance through the air; you're a sitting duck and enemies will have no problem locking a missile onto you or fine-adjusting their cannon aim. You will be taken out in seconds if you're not fully aware of the threats around you.
3. Assess the threats
Always look at the radar and the TacMap to know how many enemies are on your tail and how many more are coming towards you. When you're clearly outnumbered you'll find yourself constantly evading attacks so sometimes you'll just have to concentrate on staying alive and attack only when you're not out in the open too much. It takes some patience and concentration to win against overwhelming odds.
4. Who dares, wins
Of course, you don't have to always limit yourself to slowly chiselling away at the enemies' armour. After all, you're a fighter pilot and your kind is known for taking risks. Get to know your plane and use it to the fullest; for example, try to put just a little distance between yourself and the enemy, quickly turn around and fire everything you've got.
5. Stay one step ahead of the enemy
Being a daredevil works especially well if you pay close attention to what the enemy is doing and you can anticipate what response you might get. Study your enemy's actions and take appropriate measures. For example, don't waste your missiles if you see a lot of flares pop out; use the cannon or the unguided weapons instead.
6. Different tools for different tasks
Speaking of weapons, try out the entire arsenal at your disposal, as some might be better suited to a specific task than others: Radar Guided Missiles have a very long range while the cluster bombs efficiently take out entire squads of ground troops. Or when you're swarmed with opponents, try the multi-missiles.
7. Sneak peek
In the heat of the dogfight, when you can't even tell which way is up, you might not know where exactly the enemy is and, most importantly, where he's going to be the next second. To help you get a better sense of the battlefield you can use the enemy camera. Press and hold the Triangle button (used to switch targets when pressed briefly) and the camera will remain on the active target no matter what manoeuvres you perform. Get used to at least controlling the plane, if not also attacking, in this view because it gives you a great chance of anticipating your enemy's moves. The enemy camera also provides a better view of ground targets so you don't have to dive towards them.
8. Plan ahead for the upgrades
You can get the edge in battle through the perks and upgrades in the Plane Mastery system. Check out what you can unlock in the Pilot Records section and plan ahead which planes, passive abilities and active skills you want. And you should definitely experiment with customizing your weapons to fight according to your style and the enemies you're up against.
9. Stay informed
Last, but not least, always listen to the mission dialogue. There are some pretty good hints to the best approaches and how you can take advantage of your opponent's weaknesses, and the strengths of your allies.
For more tips and tricks, check out the Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 page in the help section of uplay.com.