This article describes how missiles work in the game.
Pre-fire missile lock
In our missile lock model, the lock-on time is defined as the time a missile weapon needs before it can be fired at the target. This time is, dependent on the missile type and the target's stealth factor (see also [Electronic Warfare]). Once a missile weapon has locked on, any missile fired from that weapon is automatically also locked on to the target, and can only be defended against by either missile jamming equipment or good piloting.
A missile lock is established when the following conditions are met:
- The ship has a (loaded) missile weapon on board
- The intended victim has been targeted and is visible (i.e. not unknown)
- The target is within the missile weapon's lock-on arc.
- An amount of time has passed corresponding to the missile type and target stealth factor
The lock-on arc is an area that extends in front of the ship (in case of regular launchers) or all around the ship (in case of turreted launchers). The target must be within this arc for locking and firing to become possible.
Should the target ship leave the lock-on arc while a lock is fully or partially established, the lock will degrade over time. Reacquiring the target will once more begin the lock-on process.
If at any time the target is changed to another ship, missile lock will have to be re-established from scratch, even if the target is then changed back to a previously locked-on ship. Similarly, if at any time the target reaches "unknown" status when a lock is established or is in the process of being established, the lock is lost.