PC | Submitted by GamesRadarGeneral Flight Tips
* Don't forget that the four MFDs can be pre-configured on the cockpit screen to the way you like it. Try to keep the displays you use most for combat on the top three positions so you don't have to look down in the cockpit to see that fourth MFD.
* When checking your flight path, see if you can alter some of the navigational and patrol waypoints to set your path through less hostile areas and possibly avoid extra SAMS or AAA sites. When in flight, staying below about 400 ft AGL will help avoid SAM sites. Use the radar altimeter to get your AGL altitude.
* When AWACS is available, use them religiously! Shut down the radar and track your targets via the LINK. If you have to radiate, do so randomly and only long enough to get an accurate picture (a few seconds). Avoid long radiating periods.
* If you find yourself low on fuel and need to get back to base, use military power to climb to 45,000 ft then set engines at about 75% power. Start your descent about 150 miles from base at idle power and hold about 250 knots in the descent.
* If wingmen fall back and fail to attack a target order them to "Form on my wing" and then order them to attack the designated target. (Wingmen will react with varying levels of skill.)
* The autopilot will not "automatically" get you to the designated waypoint on time (TOT). Be sure to monitor your speed and closure on the target point so that you can meet your flights/escorts without having to "circle forever and act as target practice for the enemy" right outside the FEBA.
* Be extremely cautious with your airspeed and the autopilot. This becomes important since your IRCS will increase with airspeed. Be sure to consider this in mission planning when reviewing your waypoints and airspeed/altitude. Also, frequently monitor your stealth MFD!
* Speed is everything on landing - be sure to keep airspeed above 150 until just before touchdown - the bird falls like a brick under this speed on the REALISTIC flight model if you so much as bank it 1 degree.
PC | Submitted by GamesRadarWorking with Wingmen
* Designate targets for wingmen and order them to attack. The only way to survive some of the generated campaign missions is to really use your wingmen. You MUST give them explicit orders to use them to their fullest effect. Remember, get a shoot list, designate a target for Wing2, and order him/her to attack. If you hear "Missile went Stupid" this implies he missed. Again, get the shoot list and order to attack.
* If you are attempting to attack bandits in SAM country, try to draw them out from the SAM coverage into a more neutral neighborhood and don't send your wingmen in to be slapped by a SAM.
* Keep your wingmen alive by watching their tail in multiple bandit encounters (at least until they run out of missiles).
PC | Submitted by GamesRadarMultiplayer
When navigating to the next waypoint, rather than trying to keep close station on the leader, try the autopilot. First ensure everyone has the same next waypoint selected on the Nav MFD. Then move out to maybe a mile from the leader and/or other wingmen, then all of you turn on your autopilot. This way everyone will be going to the same waypoint and will maintain the same airspeed and altitude automatically. Then you can relax a little, enjoy the scenery or keep closer tabs on the MFDs and comm messages. But be advised that everyone is converging on the same checkpoint. Turn off the autopilot before you all collide. When past the checkpoint just spread out and do it again.
PC | Submitted by GamesRadarTargeting the Enemy
* When pulling your nose around onto the bandit and the padlock switches to the front view, it is a good idea to quickly relax the stick a little to slow your turn rate because you will usually transition too quickly from lag pursuit to lead pursuit with the bandit ending up under your nose requiring another correction and giving the bandit more time to execute his own move.
* When a missile is inbound, always try to keep it in your forward quarters, close as possible to the nose. Maintain the highest possible closure rate which will result in less time the missile has to react to your maneuvers. When the missile is in close, dump chaff/flares and make a really radical maneuver that will result in a huge course/altitude solution change for the missile (ole' vector analysis), thereby throwing him out because he won't be able to maneuver and maintain contact with such a high closure rate. And hopefully the ECM will fool him!
* Be extremely conscious of your weapons loadout and what hardpoints they are loaded on. When selecting AIM-9s in an internal compartment, remember that the doors will open once the missile is selected. This will increase your RCS and probability of detection.
* Look at the color of the smoke from a damaged aircraft. Black smoke means it is on its way to becoming a dead aircraft. White smoke means it is only damaged.
* To get extra range for dropping bombs at low level altitudes, perform a pull-up prior to reaching the target. This way you can egress before reaching the target area and avoid area defenses.
PC | Submitted by GamesRadarMission Tips
* Before you start a mission, load up at least some of your wingmen with HARMS to knock a path through the enemy defenses. You may want to have a 'Wild Weasel' section and an Air-to-Air section.
* Before you start a mission, make sure to examine the Mission Briefing map extremely closely. Check for all possible anti-aircraft fixed positions (SAMS, AAA) in your flight path and be sure to load weapons accordingly. If there is abundance of SAM sites try to pack a few HARMS. Keep track of where enemy airfields are as well and be prepared for enemy interceptors if your flight path takes you near any bases.
* On the MAP screen, before takeoff, be sure to "View other flights" (right, center button on map screen) and examine the flights of your escorts and/or those brave soldiers you are protecting. This is essential when, for example, you need to rendezvous at WP2 to meet the B52 forces.
* On missions where external stores are carried, use burner to 'punch through' the Mach barrier and come back to full military power at about Mach 1.05.
* When en route don't be too quick to attack targets. If you're utilizing LINK and not radiating, those contacts that are possible problems can be tracked via the LINK. Either generate a shoot list, or select the target on the MFD. The avionics operates the same when radiating, or not radiating and LINKED. First check their altitude relative to yours, then watch how they maneuver. Many times the targets are of no concern and they will pass without you being noticed, especially when their altitude is well below yours. Get too trigger-happy, and you will alert the world to your presence.
* Try to stay above 25,000ft as much as possible to take advantage of your stealth and stay out of small caliber AAA and SAMs.