-Estimated achievement difficulty 7/10
-Offline: 32 (540)
-Online: 17 (460)
-Approximate amount of time to 1000/1000: 85-170 hours
-Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 6
-Number of missable achievements: 0
-Glitched achievements: 0
-Do cheat codes disable achievements?: No Cheats
-Does difficulty affect achievements?: Yes (Easy does not unlock most items)
Ace Combat 6 is a decent addition to the Ace Combat series, and the achievements are remarkably well done for a title that came out early in the achievement lifecycle. There is a story that is expressed through cut scenes (that can be skipped when desired) and dialogue in the missions, but it is not particularly well done or necessary to understand to beat the game. Ultimately, every mission can be described as a series of targets that you have to destroy within a time limit without being shot down.
Time required: 40-80 hours for single player.
Each play through is detailed below with achievements you should earn, as well as medals to focus on that are required for the All Colors, All Secrets and All Medals achievements.
Start on Easy with the default plane (F16-C) and use this as an opportunity to become familiar with the maps, how the operations work, and how to command your supporting units and wingman. Go through all of the training missions to ensure you learn the controls (you can skip them on later play throughs). If you want to try for an S rating on the missions to save replays later, destroy as many green (non-critical) targets as possible while still destroying all the red (critical) targets within the timeframe. This is also a good time to get in the habit of using your operation support commands (hold up or down on the D-Pad). Along the way you will earn all of the mission complete achievements, Pasternak Defeated, Clear Campaign and 10 Operations. It is quite likely you will also earn Electronic Support System and Aerial Defense, but if not they will both come as you complete the other difficulties. You will earn the Raging Falcon and Bronze Ace medals, and probably Guardian as well. If you don’t get Guardian, that just means your wingman was shot down in one of the missions. You can easily earn that one later, so don’t sweat it.
Your second play through should be on Normal. Purchase the F-117A and go through the campaign using only the machine gun. If you accidentally fire a missile, crash and reload from your last check point. By the end of this play through you should have earned these achievements: 1000 Enemies and maybe All Operations (focus on completing operations you didn’t complete on your first play through, but don’t sweat it since you have lots of opportunity to get this achievement.) You will earn these medals: Sharpshooter, Bronze Marksman, Silver Marksman, Gold Marksman, Night Owl and possibly Silver Ace. You can also earn the Needle’s Eye medal (and the associated 10 Frontline Landings achievement) on this play through if you wish.
For your third play through, purchase the Rafale M and the XMA6 special weapon, and play on Hard. You will earn these achievements by the end: Original Aircraft, All Aircraft (and All Operations if you didn’t get it the second time through). You should also earn the Blazing Griffin medal, definitely the Silver Ace if you didn’t get it the last time.
For your fourth play through, purchase the CFA-44 and the ADMM special weapon and play on Expert. There will be enemy aces on expert and you should earn the 10 Named Aircraft achievement. From now on, always use this plane and special weapon for both you and your wingman, it will dramatically speed up your missions. Focus on getting an S-rank on every mission you can by destroying as many green targets as possible. Note that on Mission 9, you have to destroy the six tankers or you cannot earn an S-rank on Expert and Ace. With the CFA-44, aim to get any aces you missed last time to earn the Allied Assault Record and Enemy Assault Record achievements. You should also earn the Gold Ace medal this play through or next, especially if you have focused on earning S-ranks.
For your fifth play through, play on Ace with the CFA-44, and again focus on S-ranks.
For your sixth play through, play on Normal with the CFA-44 and any time you take damage, crash and restart. Use the ADMM and Operation Support a LOT, don’t worry about your mission rating, and generally stay low. You need to complete the entire campaign with zero damage. Several of the missions can be quite difficult, especially the last one. Aim to destroy all anti-aircraft and SAM emplacements first, then focus on critical targets. Since you are on normal, you have a lot of time, so don’t rush it. This will earn you the Legendary Ace medal.
For your last play through, play on Normal with the CFA-44 and do it FAST! You have to complete the entire campaign in less than 2 hours 15 minutes. This may take several attempts. Some general tips are to focus ONLY on critical targets, go for the fastest operations with the least number of targets, and spam your Operations Support whenever you can. On Mission 12 when fighting Pasternak, if you haven’t killed him in 15-20 seconds, crash and reload your checkpoint. On Mission 9, focus on completely taking out one aerial battleship at a time because that is what earns you the Operations Support powers. You might be better off using those to target the Strigon team while you continue to work on the battleships. This will earn you the Quicksilver medal.
Finally, go to Free Mission mode and with the CFA-44, replay all missions where you do not have an S-rating. This will earn you any of the following medals you didn’t earn in your original play through of each difficulty: Bronze Star, Silver Star, Gold Star, and Platinum Star.
Once you have an S-rating on everything, including Easy, play one mission to unlock the third color of the CFA-44 and earn the All Colors achievement. Purchase all aircraft and all colors you haven’t already to unlock the All Secrets and All Medals achievements.
IMPORTANT NOTE! You must have completed at least the first mission and created a save file before starting on your multi-player achievements or you will be unable to save your progress.
Time Required: 45-90 hours for multiplayer.
There are three types of online competitive matches requiring 100 wins in each, three kill total achievements, and two online co-op missions. The co-op missions require a minimum of two players but are easier with more. Simply beat the missions as a team to unlock the Co-Op Stage 1 and Co-Op Stage 2 achievements.
For Team Battle, you need a minimum of one other player, but can set the match to private or ranked. The shortest game is 5 minutes, and you earn kills by shooting down the opponent. Note that you lose points by crashing or going out of bounds. 100 wins with roughly 60 seconds for loading screens equates to 10 hours for one person, 20 hours if you and your partner both need wins. You will easily earn the kill achievements by the time you earn all of the Team Battle achievements.
For Battle Royale, you need a minimum of one other player, but can set the match to private or ranked. The shortest game is 5 minutes, and you earn kills by shooting down the opponent. Note that you lose points by crashing or going out of bounds. 100 wins with roughly 60 seconds for loading screens equates to 10 hours for one person, 20 hours if you and your partner both need wins. Map 3 is the easiest map for this.
For Siege Battle, you need a minimum of one other player, but can set the match to private or ranked. The time is set at 20 minutes per side, and you have to play as both attacker and defender, which at first glance sounds like 40 minutes times 100 games (or 200 if both people need wins), which with loading times is almost 70 hours (140 for two). You can speed it up by having the attacker get points for shooting down something (an F14 is right ahead of you when you start, and is a simple kill with a couple XMA6 missiles) and then crashing. You do not suffer a point penalty for crashing in Siege Battle, but you do suffer a 30 second time penalty. If you have it as one person per side, that drops the total game time to 15 minutes instead of 40 if the attacker crashes as soon as he spawns (except for the first spawn for the winning side). If you have more people it can significantly speed this game type up.
[x360a would like to thank Creech for this Road Map]