Project Wingman – Tips For Beginner Pilots

Project Wingman is out, and according to Steam, it’s the second best-selling game today just behind Cyberpunk 2077. There’s certain to be a lot of Ace Combat fans getting their hands on this indie darling, but there’s also sure to be a lot of non-Ace Combat players trying their first arcade flight sim game, and Project Wingman is a great place to start.

However, Project Wingman doesn’t have the greatest tutorial. You can certainly learn as you fly, so to speak, or you could read these helpful tips to get you started. Even veteran pilots might learn a thing or two here, so read up before you fly the unfriendly skies.

Remap Your Throttle With Xbox Controllers

For whatever reason, Project Wingman’s default is to use the left and right shoulder buttons rather than the triggers for your brakes and throttle. This reduces your throttle control to a binary “on/off” and can make it a lot harder to slot in behind an enemy fighter’s six.

Go into the options and remap the controls so that your throttle and brakes are on the triggers instead. The triggers have a graduated response that will let you apply a little bit of gas or a little bit of air brake to give you better control of your aircraft.

Use Your Flares

At times, Project Wingman can feel like missile hell, and flares are your best line of defense. Flares will confuse the tracking of missiles fired at you. You’ll see a yellow triangle appear on your HUD to indicate where the missile is coming from. When you see one, hit flares to make both it and the missile it represents go away.

You have unlimited flares, so there’s no reason not to use them. However, flares have a five-second cooldown timer, so on later levels and on higher difficulties, it’s best to wait for multiple missile indicators before you drop flares.

If you find multiple missiles are coming at you while your flares are on cooldown, go full throttle and turn hard. Missiles have a limited ability to track maneuvering targets, so pulling as many Gs as possible will get them to break lock and miss.

Speed Is Life

There’s an adage amongst fighter pilots: speed is life. You go slow, you die. Being fast makes you harder to hit, harder for missiles to track you, and gives your missiles a little extra zip so that they’re harder to dodge. So mash the throttle and don’t let up. There’s no fuel to worry about in Project Wingman, so keep your tailpipes lit to stay safe.

Use Your Guns

Guns are surprisingly strong in Project Wingman. Each plane comes with a high fire-rate cannon that literally hoses bullets at whatever you’re pointing at, and it can do some real damage. Simply keeping that stream on target for a split second is often enough to down an enemy plane, and keeping it on a cruiser or battlecruiser can do significant damage–sometimes even destroying these hard targets outright.

You can even augment the power of your machine gun by using gun pods. Certain planes get access to Rapid, Heavy, and Cluster Gun Pods to use as special weapons that basically let you take more than one machine gun at the cost of using missiles or bombs. These can be extremely powerful and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Keep in mind that a gun’s bullets will actually travel a bit further than your piper might indicate. They can actually travel out to roughly 4,000 feet but will suffer significant bullet drop requiring corrective aiming.

Save Your Money

Project Wingman gives the player access to progressively better planes throughout the campaign, but it doesn’t give the player enough cash to buy them all at once. And to be honest, the initial trainer planes (the T-21 and T/F-4) are good enough to handle the first couple of missions without even buying a new plane at all.

That’s not to say that Project Wingman is stingy when it comes to cash. You’ll easily be able to afford a new plane every mission up until Mission 8-9 when planes start to get really expensive. Saving up some extra cash can help get you inside something like an F/S-15 or an SK.37 as soon as they become available.

But If You Need Extra Cash, Replay A Mission

Much like in Ace Combat, there’s a free play option that will let you replay completed missions. This lets you pocket some extra cash and can help you afford the biggest and baddest planes as soon as they become available. Keep in mind that the cash you get is directly proportional to the number of targets you destroy, so try and rack up a high score.

Use ASM For Larger Targets

The ASM is one weapon that shouldn’t be overlooked. It can take down flying fortresses and naval cruisers in a single shot where normally it would require several missiles to strip them of weapons first.

The ASM can be found on the SV-37, one of the earliest planes that can be purchased, as well as the SK.25U.

Mount MLAA/MLAG On Multiple Hardpoints

Many planes can equip the MLAA or MLAG, special weapons that can target multiple air or ground targets. Having a single hardpoint of MLAA or MLAG will allow two targets to be fired upon at once, but choosing MLAA or MLAG on multiple hardpoints can stack them together so you’re firing four or even six missiles at a time.

Keep an eye out for aircraft with multiple hardpoints that can support MLAA or MLAG. Select them for all your special weapons and you’ll be able to take out entire enemy flights in a single volley.

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Actually a collective of 6 hamsters piloting a human-shaped robot, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. Passionate about gaming from a young age, those hamsters would probably have taken over the world by now if they didn’t vastly prefer playing and writing about video games instead.

The hamsters are so far into their long-con that they’ve managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and used that to convince the fine editors at TheGamer that they can write “gud werds,” when in reality they just have a very sophisticated spellchecker program installed in the robot’s central processing unit.

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