Mercenary Difficulty is the highest difficulty setting that players can unlock after completing Project Wingman’s campaign once. This extremely difficult mode changes the enemy composition for each mission, highlighting a new experience, and sometimes forcing the players to adjust their strategies. This is perfect for those who are still seeking a challenge to test their skills. In this page, we will discuss strategies and overall tips to set your expectations in Mercenary mode.
Here are some general tips that can help you survive the intense challenges brought to you by the Mercenary mode. We have also included some notable changes in enemy deployment and behavior in Mercenary difficulty.
Use the best planes available
Mercenary mode will pit you against different types of relentless enemies, even during the first mission. Don’t hesitate to spend some time grinding credits at lower difficulties to earn enough credits to purchase the last two prototype planes unlocked for completing the campaign once.
* SP-34R (325,000 credits)
* PW-MK.1 (475,000 credits)
Both the SP-34R and PW-MK.1 have fixed loadouts and impressive stats so using them as early as possible in your Mercenary run will keep your sanity and patience intact.
There are no significant credit reward increase
Normally, you would expect higher rewards for taking down stronger opponents. However, there are no significant credit rewards for taking out enemies in Mercenary mode. The additional credits will come from the increased number of enemies that will appear as reinforcements in some missions.
Flares or AoA?
AoA is perfect for planes that are lacking in maneuverability and agility to keep up with top-tier prototypes. However, in Mercenary Mode, you’re pretty much stuck with flares to ensure your survival. Another advantage of using top-tier planes in your Mercenary mode run is that you can have flares installed and still be agile enough to go toe-to-toe against some of the nastiest enemies in the game.
All enemy aircraft have AoA and Flares
You’ll experience this first-hand even at the first mission in Mercenary mode. Even the entry-level F/E-4 of the enemy will be able to conveniently dodge your missiles through a combination of evasive maneuvers and flare deployment. To increase your chances of hitting them, using a very agile aircraft is pretty much required to win even the most basic of dogfight encounters.
Be careful of the optional aircraft
As mentioned above, the skill levels of enemy pilots are drastically improved in Mercenary difficulty. That said, even the unassuming optional aircraft can sneak in a missile hit or complicate matters to your disadvantage if you don’t take care of them. Try to destroy optional aircraft as necessary during missions.
You’ll be facing aces and equally talented minions
Outside the Crimson Team and other mission-specific boss units/squadrons, you won’t encounter named aces in lower difficulties. However in Mercenary Mode, you’ll find ordinary squadrons being led by named aces, making them ideally mini-boss fight encounters.
You won’t get one-shot
It’s normal to expect that you can get one-shot by enemies especially in the hardest difficulty but thankfully, you’ll still be able to take a considerable amount of damage before getting shot down in Mercenary Mode. This can give you peace of mind since you’re certainly going to take accidental damage at least, no matter how impressive of a pilot you are. These accidental damages might come from stray bullets and missiles, unintentional collisions, Railgun trails, and more.