Hi everyone! I found myself stuck at various points while finishing the campaign on Ace, and particularly while trying to pick up some of the trickier medals. Hopefully, this guide can point others in the right direction – if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
The guide is focused towards picking up Platinum medals, but in the process gives several general tips about each mission. Please note that only completing the missions on Ace is required for the Galaxy’s Finest achievement, and the Fully Decorated achievement doesn’t care what quality the medals are. As a side note, you do not need to complete either Prologue on Ace for the achievement. If, like me, you want to get all the Platinum medals anyway, read on.
It’s assumed for the below that you have finished the campaign at least once already, and know all the criteria for the mission medals. If you need to check a specific mission, here is a link to the IGN page with the medal criteria. For more general Ace advice, take a look at these tips written by /u/NEMARUS.
As a general rule, you want to overcharge your shields first, then put power in Engines, as the way the game handles AI shooting seems to take engine power into account. If you start taking damage, your first port of call is to make sure you haven’t put power in another system by mistake. If you have an opportunity to overcharge your Weapons, do so, but it’s not a priority. Importantly, putting power in Shields while you’re already under fire doesn’t help – they will only begin to regenerate once you’ve not been shot at for a while. I also recommend keeping power in Engines at all times in TIE craft, and use the power converter to boost Weapons when you need to make a shot.
A hint for getting to the actual missions faster: whenever the game asks you to talk to someone before proceeding, you can initiate the conversation, then immediately leave, and the game will count as having talked to them – even if the conversation marker is still available. The same is true of the mission briefings. I believe this is faster than mashing the skip button – speedrun strats?
While you can complete the campaign missions in any order to pick up all the platinum medals, save 13 and 14 for last, otherwise you’ll have to replay them to pick up the “All Imperial” and “All Republic” Platinum medals. A technicality for sure, but a notable one.
Mission 1: Form the Vanguard
The first mission of the campaign, and for what we’re trying to do, one of the hardest. Not only are you flying a stock X-Wing, you only have two teammates for the first half of the mission and all of the enemies throughout are only aggroed to you, compounding your problems. As if that wasn’t bad enough, you don’t have access to the Supply Droid until the latter half of the mission.
I’m going to repeat one of NEMARUS’ tips here: do not try and go for the speed and the not-dying medal at the same time on this one. It just isn’t going to happen. You’re praying for good RNG either way, but at least you can keep what kind of RNG you’re hoping for under control.
For survival, keep as far away from the Gozanti / Jammer cruisers as possible and try to get TIEs to overshoot you so you can pick them off as they turn around. You’ll need to boost often, and try to find gaps where you can recharge your shields. I find drifting helps sometimes, but not every time. If you get an opportune moment, you can destroy the laser cannons on the Gozanti (and Light Cruiser, but I don’t recommend it) for some breathing space. During the missile tutorial, you will have a missile fired right at you – there’s no way to avoid the lock. The missile will come from one of the TIEs on the right hand side – either shoot it or evade it. It’s vital to deal with it, as being hit by it means death.
For speed, try and get as many TIEs as possible while they’re still forming up after undocking from their Gozantis, as they’re free kills. A lot of your mission time is eaten up by playable cutscenes, so you have to try and keep the fights as short as you possibly can. The only ‘tech’ sort of hint I can recommend is boosting during the ‘where are the scouts’ cutscene – you can kind of ‘push’ Grace forward slightly faster – and when your scanning is complete, turn right and start boosting in the direction Frisk is going to fly. If you do it right, the Gozantis should appear right on top of you, giving you precious time to shoot at the TIEs uncontested.
I still recommend taking out the Jammers first in the final fight, as the extra help speeds up taking down the Light Cruiser. The CR90 reinforcements should have the Cruiser’s shields down in short order, but until they do, duck under the shields for a quick laser burst and missile shot (remember, double-tap to dumb fire) and then fly away to recharge your shields. In short: fly like you have a death wish, and pray that one of your runs makes it through.
Also, the scout X-Wing wreckage has the markings of Red / Rogue squadron, not Vanguard. 0/10, game is unplayable.
Mission 2: The Skies of Yavin
This mission is mostly plain dogfighting, which helps you get settled with how you’ll be tackling the rest of the Ace campaign. Boost away if you need to, recharge your shields when you can, and you’ll be fine. Make sure to go for the ‘neck’ spot on the ISD first for the Intelligence Operative medal, and shoot down the two TIEs tailing Frisk for the second. They’re away from the rest of the fight, so it should be easy.
If you Ion Missile an enemy fighter during this mission, your allies will automatically destroy it. Fire them off as often as you can for fire-and-forget kills.
As far as speed goes, you can more or less skip fighting the Quasar itself by ducking under the shields and attacking the hull directly with your lasers. One full…magazine?…of laser fire should do it.
Unfortunately Wedge can’t stick around for the rest of the game; he’s got to go off and have his own adventure taking over Coruscant and fighting some weird lady with heterochromia.
Mission 3: Through Enemy Lines
Finally, customisation! I cannot recommend Barrage Rockets enough on Ace, as the raw DPS output they have helps kill enemy ships before they kill you with their increased lethality – not to mention the splash damage helps with clearing out formations. Importantly, they let you attack effectively while keeping full power in Engines or Shields. Regular concussion missiles are just too slow in terms of cooldown and the enemies too numerous. Note that the rockets have a proximity trigger, so you don’t need to be perfectly accurate. Any of the other choices to complement them are useful.
We also unlock the ability to tell our invincible aimbot allies to kill something – make liberal use of this throughout the rest of the campaign, and get in the habit of targeting your attacker (double-tap the targeting button) and ordering your squad to attack it as soon as you start taking damage.
The medals on this mission essentially boil down to “do the mission regularly, but really well”. Focus down the bombers with lasers – your allies will use missiles and the bombers will pop chaff, so wait a second before using Rockets or you’ll be wasting your time. The faster you kill the Bombers, the more likely it is the Victorum will escape with the required amount of health. As for the Raiders, they are more vulnerable from behind. Make sure you kill any fighters tailing you before trying to engage. When the Victorum‘s shields raise, tuck yourself inside them to farm free damage on the Raiders.
Mission 4: Secrets and Spies
Not much mission-specific advice here – the medals are pretty self-explanatory – but take down A-wings as fast as you can, as they have nasty damage dealing capabilities and are particularly vulnerable to the trusty Barrage Rockets. Don’t bother trying to kill the corvettes in the final segment, as there’s no point (not to mention they’re invincible). While the Empire calls the dumbfire rockets Onslaught Rockets, I’m going to keep calling them Barrage Rockets in this guide.
Mission 5: The Trail from Desevro
If you try and complete this mission the intended way, you will experience the full Dark Side path of fear, anger, hate, and suffering as you get shot down by the Rebels or miss that one missile over and over. Believe me, I know from experience. One wonders how people are supposed to defect if this is how the Rebels treat Imperials that try to help them. In any case, follow these tips and save yourself the pain.
For the Marksman medal, in the beginning of the mission, ignore Sol and boost to the debris field, as long as you use the Sensor Jammer while you do it. I don’t believe your detection increases while boosting in the debris field, either, but best to minimise the risk of crashing.
When you reach the end of the token stealth section (you’ll know you have when the detection meter disappears), completely ignore your orders and boost straight at where the Tormentor is going to appear. By doing these two things, you change the mission in a very important way: the distance between the Rebel fleet and the ISD is massively increased, meaning the Rebel ships aren’t aggroed to you! This then opens you up to park yourself right on top of the Tormentor, giving you the perfect vantage point to shoot down the missiles. Nudge the throttle occasionally to keep up with it, but otherwise just sit still and enjoy the free missile kills. Unfortunately, if you restart from the checkpoint, your hard work will be undone and the Rebel fleet will be much closer, so you’ll have to re-do the stealth section.
Another important tip: your countermeasures will destroy the missiles in an AOE around you! Use them if you can’t spot a missile quickly, or are playing the mission the normal way and need a panic button; keep pressing the “cycle target” key to make sure you can keep an eye on each new missile.
As for the GR-75s, if you’re going for the Ionizer medal, don’t try and batter down their shields, as it will take too long and you will die to the X-Wings – they are all aggroed to you. Instead, fly on top of the GR-75’s hull – properly scraping it – and you’ll get your guns under the shield, allowing you to ionize them in far less time and with much less risk. If you can, try and ‘hook’ yourself onto the transport so that it carries you with it without you taking damage. Don’t get caught at the rear of the transport as the engines will fry you! Repeat this 3x with a bit of boosting between transports, and you’ll get them all before they hyperspace away. I’ve found this strategy is preferable even if you’re not going for the medal, as the body of the GR-75 shields you from a lot of enemy fire.
The Lambda shuttle section is far easier than the previous section, as the fighters aren’t targeting you. For the speed medal, you can skip some parts of the final dialogue by being close to the Tormentor when the shuttles reach the Overseer. Don’t get too close, as this will give you an automatic mission failure.
Mission 6: Signal to Noise
Good news: this mission is a walk in the park once you know what’s coming. Take the Deflector Hull and the Ray Shields to max out your tankiness and you basically can’t die unless you collide with something. Four of the five medals (Complete, Time, Survive, and Destroy All The Dishes) are the easiest in the game, as far as I’ve seen.
Bad news: saving the corvette is a nasty bonus objective. The CR-90 is made of tissue paper and the Imps throw three wings of Interceptors at it, who eat it for breakfast.
While you have infinite time in between destroying the dishes and regrouping with Gunny, don’t bother destroying the turrets on the station – as far as my testing can tell, they make negligible to no difference. Importantly, do not destroy all the conduits before trying to help the corvette – not only does this waste time, it will block you from retrying the bonus objective from the checkpoint, and you’ll have to restart the whole mission!
The corvette bonus objective activates once you’ve destroyed six conduits, so pull up out of the trench and make your way to the corvette once you’ve done that. Make your way to the corvette and destroy the initial group of TIEs as soon as possible – they’ll appear from above the station (and if you’re in the right spot you can actually see them pop in!)
I’ve found that sitting behind the corvette and popping the Interceptors as they hang on its tail to be effective, but it does cut it close. Don’t order your squadmates to attack any targets or defend the corvette – I’ve found them much more effective in their ambient mode. The lead Interceptor of each group will fire a Barrage Rocket (our finest weapon, used against us!), so if you have the chance to kill it before it does (it’s a narrow window), do. If the corvette dies, restart from the last checkpoint – you’ll have to re-bomb the conduits, but it sure beats doing the whole mission over, believe me.
The bonus objective completes as soon as you defeat all of the Interceptors.
Mission 7: Into the Abyss
In this mission, Vanguard Squadron attempt to kill you through boredom. Large portions of this mission involve being locked into the 50-speed limit of playable cutscenes, with a huge unskippable one at the start of the mission. So…try not to die. Thankfully, the speed medal is easy, as there’s only really one speed you can finish the mission at. I find the X-Wing and A-Wing both work for this mission, though the A-Wing with Seeker Mines, Barrage Rockets, and the Overloaded Shield is my recommendation. If you’re bored, try and fly inside the hollow of the GR-75s – some very dedicated texture artist at EA individually numbered all of the cargo holds! Alternatively, try and count all the scratches inside the cockpit.
Be extremely careful in the dogfights in this mission, as the AI doesn’t like the Abyss very much and there’s a huge risk of crashing into friend or foe. Most enemies in this mission come clustered in lumps of 5 or 6, so use your rockets liberally, and drop a couple of seeker mines near the Venator to catch the TIE Bombers that appear from there later. Kill the bombers whenever they show up and the GR-75s should survive just fine. Thankfully, I’ve found that the AI tend not to attack you directly so much in this one.
Remember to turn around and destroy three missiles from the Overseer to collect the medal, but don’t get too close, as it will easily rip you apart with its turbolasers (and you don’t want to have to sit through that intro again, do you?)
During the ending segment, try to survive more than trying to kill enemy starfighters, as the progress bar appears to be on a timer. If you need a breather or to recharge your shields, you can duck in the gap between the asteroids and the Starhawk, as enemies can’t follow you. When the final nav point appears, don’t go for it immediately – when the Starhawk makes its big entrance and blows up all the asteroids, you’ll die too, and if you were going for the survival medal it’s back to the start for you. Once the asteroids have detonated you can go for the nav point safely.
This mission does have a bug that causes the game to crash at the halfway nav point. So…don’t get unlucky.
It would be nice if we had this much backup when we flew missions as Titan Squadron…
Mission 8: Fractured Alliance
This is mostly a dogfighting mission – take our trusty Barrage Rockets, making sure to target clusters of Y-wings in formation. As with Mission 3, the key is to kill the bombers as soon as possible. The only other potential frustration point is the frigate near the end – don’t hang around trying to dogfight it, make long, fast attack runs and get some distance on it before turning to fight again. Destroy the turrets first for the ‘Toothless’ medal.
Mission 9: Chaos at Mon Cala
Besides the obvious advice of ‘don’t try and do the optional objectives at the same time as a speed or survival run’, this is business as usual. TIE Fighter, Reinforced Hull, Barrage Rockets, Burst Lasers. Use the barrage rockets on the fuel pods to speed up their destruction massively via AOE damage. During the final fight with the Silver Coronet, make sure not to stay close to it for too long, though it’s nowhere near as lethal as an ISD. Use the hangar bay liberally to refresh your ship for free. If you intend to swap ships to deal with the Coronet, make sure you set up your loadouts before the mission, as you can’t change them during.
Mission 10: Terisa’s Vengance
This one is a tough one. Take the meme-beam and rotary cannon for sure, then your choice of extra loadout. During this mission, power in Engines is more vital than ever, and make sure to drift as much as you can – every Rebel in here is hell-bent on killing you! Try and clean up the hangars as soon as you can, even before the objective appears, as it’s beneficial to you. Use your squadmates to deal with tails as much as possible. You should be used to destroying transports as bonus objectives by now – consider taking them out on a separate run to the Survival medal. During the final section with the Baradium missile, make sure to fire one at the Starhawk as frequently as possible and supplement it with cannon fire to minimise the time needed to kill it – useful for both the time and survival medals! Every moment you spend not evading, try to spend shooting at the Starhawk.
Mission 11: Nowhere to Stand
This mission is more-or-less identical to the version on lower difficulties, so I have no special advice. I recommend the TIE Bomber with the Rotary Cannon and the Reinforced Hull.
Mission 12: Rally the New Republic
Good news! This mission is a walk in the park with the right setup. Unlike the previous support ship mission, you can customise the U-Wing as much as you like, and the Empire is sending their C-team pilots. Pick the Light Hull, Fortified Shield and Microthruster Engines so you can dogfight properly. Ignore your team’s advice to use ion cannons and pick the regular lasers instead, then enjoy the breather. For the Comsat medal, as soon as Zerelda’s corvette docks with the broadcast hub, pop a shield on each of them to save you having to do it later. From there, make sure you kill the TIE Bombers first. The jamming ship bonus is easy – make sure you have full laser overcharge before it arrives, then boost over as soon as it turns up and unload for an easy medal.
Mission 13: Fire in the Heart
The final Imperial mission! I recommend setting up a TIE Bomber for anti-capital duty, a TIE Interceptor for dogfighting (don’t bother with a Repair Kit, as the Overseer will be close by for repairs) and a TIE Fighter with Barrage Rockets, a Repair Kit and the Burst Laser.
There are no medals for the first half of the mission, so take general care and use the Interceptor for the initial dogfight, then the Bomber for the frigates and corvettes. Do note that while you can repair at the hangar as much as you like, keep an eye on the Overseer, as if you try and leave the hangar while it’s moving you’ll collide with its hull on the way out and take massive damage. Change to the TIE Fighter before blowing the Barradium missile, as you won’t have a chance to change afterwards.
For the “Thread the Needle” medal, keep power in engines and your throttle up – the course is not that difficult, but in trying to do it quickly you risk getting overzealous and boosting into a wall. I recommend tapping the boost in short bursts, and throttle down to cancel rather than pushing the button again – I’ve found that tapping it while keeping full throttle causes the physics to wonk out and I’ve sailed full speed into the gravity projector. Unfortunately, you’ll have no way of knowing you made it until the end of the mission, but restarting at the checkpoint doesn’t make you ineligible for the medal.
For the Javes fight, use your remaining Barrage Rockets on the A-Wings first, then follow Javes until you hear the “his shields are disabled” line. From there, dump power into weapons, set your throttle to 0, and enjoy an easy fight – Javes will boost away, only to turn around and fly directly at you, giving you easy shots with your burst cannon. If his AI bugs out and he starts to lazily fly around doing nothing, take advantage and follow him. Use your Repair Kit liberally, and make sure you end the fight with above 50% HP for the “Vengeance” medal. If you’re having trouble targeting the A-Wings, use the targeting selection wheel to pick “All Enemies” instead of “Objectives”.
Mission 14: Last Flight of the Starhawk
Last hurrah of the campaign! You have your pick and choice of any of the ships for this mission, but I recommend the X-Wing with Ion Missiles and Barrage Rockets. Vanguard Squadron make one last-ditch attempt to try to kill you by having you single-handedly take on a Star Destroyer. As usual, ignore their instructions to fly under the shield – you WILL die – and instead batter down the shields from range using your ion missiles and lasers.
Once the shield is down, use the same boom-‘n’-zoom tactics used on the other capital ships to take down the shield generators, and then it’s your choice of targeting or power – I recommend power, as the weak spots will help you take down the ISD more quickly. Doing this nets you the ‘Piece by Piece’ medal, though why you wouldn’t do it anyway I have no idea. From there, the dogfight to protect the corvettes is relatively simple, but make sure to target the bombers as a priority. Don’t worry if one corvette goes down – there’s no medal for saving both.
The final escape is the same as usual, as there are no enemies to fight. Keep your throttle at maximum to get the medal on the way out – you may need to boost to outrun the flames, as well. With any luck, you’ll pick up the final set of medals with no problem, and a nice Galaxy’s Finest (Ace) achivement along with them.
Good luck, fly casual, and may the Force be with you!