Do you find it difficult to hit a target with Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites? Or just suck at using them in General? Then this Blog is for you.
I will teach you how to successfully hit targets in and around cover, and how to use them in a 1v1 situation.
Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites are Homing Weapons. They function similar to Spiral, Hydra & Chimera. They fire a series of homing missiles in a circular trajectory towards their target, usually most of the missiles will hit its target while a portion would hit the ground. They deal much higher damage than their relatives and have a shorter range of 350m. They also deal 2x damage to Physical Shields.
Aphids are relatively inexpensive at 750 Gold, while Vortexes & Thermites cost 10,000 Components which can be produced in the Workshop.
Taking Out Moving Targets
Often, when players see Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites they tend to move to the side to mitigate the damage as much as possible. Fast robots like Kumiho and Strider can doge it entirely with a single dash, while energy shield robots can block it all together.
When using Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites, be sure to curve your missiles in the direction the target is traveling; If your target is moving left, aim left in front of them. For slow targets you don’t need to curve as much but when dealing with faster robots, you have to aim further ahead of them. Most of the time, when you do this trick it increases the chance of hitting a moving target.
If the target is moving too fast (60 km/h or higher) wait until they stop, then fire because if you fire while their moving it has a large chance it will miss. If they don’t stop and is moving towards you, then wait until they are infront of you. That way, no matter how fast they move all missiles will hit the target regardless, unless they switch directions or have a very small frame.
Taking Out Jumping Targets
Most people that have robots that can jump will use it to doge missiles from Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites. To counter this, wait until the target jumps. This part is all about timing, at the last second or two before the target lands, fire your missiles. Missiles take 2-3 seconds to hit its target depending on how far the target is. If you have done it correctly, as soon as the target lands the missiles should be a split second from hitting the target. This trick ensures that all missiles will hit the target cause as the target drops, the missiles curve into a single point above the target and hit the target.
This results in an incredible amount of damage (Depending on the level of your Weapons), which in most cases would take 60-90% of their health for durable robots like Leo while medium robots like Rogatka and Griffin even though its a heavy robot, would result in an Instant Kill.
You can do this trick in accordance with quantum radar to kill Spectres, Mercuries & Inquisitors. Heck, you can even do it to Hover and Ao Jun if your that good.
Hitting Targets In Cover
In order for this Trick to work, you need a robot that can Jump or Decend. Usually, most people know this trick. As soon as they jump, the second their out of cover they fire, mostly it hits the cover instead of hitting the target. Because they fired too early. But what you really need to do is Jump, as soon as you reach maximum height of your jump, fire you missiles. Usually, because your missiles have be fired from above them it wil bypass the cover entirely and hit them flat on the head. This isn’t as lethal as the last trick, but it deal quite a bit of damage. The succession of this trick purely depends on how high the robot can jump, how big the target is, ground elevation and how tall the piece of cover is.
You can do a similar trick with targets above you, instead you would be hitting them from below, this doesn't always work.
Hitting Target Around a Corner
This trick is quite tricky to use because it involves you curving your missile extremely to the left or right to hit a target that’s around a corner. You can lose aim if you curve too slowly or if you curve too much. If you do it successfully (it takes practice), then the fired missiles should be fired a small distance out of the corner and should automatically change direction to hit the target that’s around the corner. This does not always work because some of the missiles will hit the target and the ground. This depends on your distance from the corner and how much you curve.
Obviously, if the target is moving towards the corner then you don’t need to curve as much but when the target is hugging the corner you will have to curve a lot. This may require you to move around to adjust your aim to properly hit the target. This works best with medium and smaller robots because it has a better chance at getting a full hit resulting in high damagewhile bigger targets like Butch or Fury, the missiles can end up hitting it’s legs or its lower torso which would result in minimal damage.
Hitting an Energy Shielded Target
Energy Shielded Robots are one of the most hardest target to kill with Homing Weapons. To counter this, you have to fire your Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites sequentially (1 by 1). This obviously doesn’t do much damage to the robot but it should disable the energy shield momentarily. The success of this trick soly depends in how powerful your weapons are and how strong the target’s shield is.
Obviously, a lvl 9-10 Ancile wouldn’t go down in one volley from low level Aphids or Vortexes but it would weaken it drastically. While Anciles on the other hand would be able to stop Homing Missiles without too much damage if their upgraded. High Level Thermites, because of their high damage. It is a suitable choice for taking down shields because of high damage. High Level Vortexes can also take down Shields very well.
Alternatively, you could wait for a teammate to destroy the target’s shield and then fire to deal full damage. You can drain their shields when their behind cover.
Blocking Homing Missiles with Physical Shields
If you don’t have an energy shield and there are homing missiles everywhere. The only thing you can use besides cover is the piece of cover thats attaches to your robot. This trick works only with robots with physical shields (I.e. Bulgasari). There are 2 different ways to counter these 2 types of homing missiles: Missiles from Spiral, Hydra & Chimera & Missiles from Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites. Here are the Methods:
Method 1: (For use against Spiral, Hydra & Chimera) Turn or Activate your robot’s physical shield to face the directon of fire. Usually the missiles would be blocked by the shield, but sometimes it can bypass your shield and hit your robot instead. It mainly depends on how big your physical shield is in order for success.
Method 2: (For use against Aphid, Vortex & Thermite) Its similar to the first method but you move backwards, away from the missiles to minimize impact and to improve the chance of it to hit your shield or even the ground.
One thing to keep in mind is that unlike Energy Shields, Physical Shields aren’t invincible and will break after a lot of damage is dealt to it. These methods will stop being effective once the physical shield is destroyed.
Hitting Physically Shielded Targets
Its pretty straight forward, you curve your missiles, jump or make them turn around to get a successful hit. Most Physical Shields break after a couple vollies from maxed Vortexes or Thermites because of double damage to physical shields, Aphids don't do a great job at destroying Physical Shields because of their low damage output.
Alternatively, you could wait for someone to destroy the target’s shield so when you fire your missiles it wouldn’t get blocked by the shield. But really, you don’t need to wait.
Hitting Stealthed Targets
Going back to ‘How to hit moving targets’ its the same thing but you use Quantum Radar and proper timing in firing your missiles. Keep in mind that the only robots that use Stealth (excluding Descend) are Stalker & Pursuer, they tend to be fast so be flexible with your aiming.
Taking Out Pantheon Robots
Pantheon Robots are probably some of the worst enemies to fight in battle. To kill them, you just need to get within weapon's range and fire just one volley from one of your weapons. Usually, the target would activate its absorber shield to prevent more damage from being done to the target. Once their shield is down, fire the rest of your weapons. This should critically damage the target.
If the Target finds cover before its shield is down, you have 2 options:
1. Relocate - Find another spot that provides a clear shot on the target
2. Wait - You could wait until the target comes back out but at this time they would normally have their absorber shield ready to be activated again.
An alternative is waiting for a teammate to force the target out of cover or force it to activate its shield and then when its down fire your weapons to deal full damage to the target.
Taking Out Falling Robots
Sometimes, players fall of ledges to avoid missiles if there is no cover near them. You can either fire your Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites before they fall and as soon as they land. You can also do this while their falling but you have a chance to miss and it takes good timing.
Taking Out Hover in Midair
One of the most effective ways for Hover is to dodge a salvo of missiles from Aphids, Vortexes & Thermites is flying straight up. This can be frustraiting to the user thats firing their Missiles. To counter this, wait until the Hover reaches their max height and back up a bit if neccessary. Then fire your missiles, it should hit the Hover flat on the face dealing critical damage.
If their flying in front of you, you can fire your missiles regardless of height but you won't get 100% accuracy. Note that this trick does not always work because Hover Flight Trajectories can be unpredictable.
Taking Out Targets That are Facehugging You
Some players tend to facehug their opponents to prevent them from deal more damage to the player. To counter this, backup and fire your missiles before they get too close. If they are literally touching you, then turn your torso a little bit to the left or right so that the Aphid, Vortex or Thermite is pointing at them. Then fire them individually, this may take some practice to get a hang of it.
Note that this trick only works with 'arm' hardpoints, as top hardpoints cannot hit the facehugging target regardless. Unless its a big target and your small. I.e Vortex Spectre (small) vs Lancelot (big).
Taking out a Flying Ao Jun using Quantum Radar
One of the most difficult challenges when using Aphids, Vortexes or Thermites is trying to hit the evasive Ao Jun. Because the Ao Jun moves so quickly, you would often miss (esspecially if the Ao Jun strafts or does a zig-zag movement patteren). To partially counter this, fire your missiles at the Ao Jun before taking flight, in most scenarios the Ao Jun would loss a portion of its health when it is taking off. Sometimes, it doesn't take any damage. When it is in the air, it will stay in the air for normaly 10 seconds. Though, the time it can take to land can also add to the steath duration. You can do a few things here:
- Use Quantum radar before and after it lands - Fire your missiles the second the Ao Jun is about to land, hitting it before it activates it ability is also effective, but not so much if the Ao Jun knows what your gonna do.
- Use Quantum radar and carefully aimming along the flight trajectory of the Ao Jun - You will have to lead you missiles either to the left or to the right, depending on where the Ao Jun is flying to. Elevation is also important because if you fire below the Ao Jun, it will curve and miss entire. Same thing can also happen when you are above the Ao Jun. It is important that you are roughly at the same height of where the Ao Jun is and to lead and fire your missiles the moment you reach that point. You can also fire you missiles separately at each time the Ao Jun swerves from side to side, improving you chances at hitting the Ao Jun. If it is flying directly at you in a straight line, wait until its within a distance where your missiles will have the highest chance at hitting the Ao Jun but also short enough that the Ao Jun does not have time to react.
If the Ao Jun activates it ability and it doesn't move from its place, you can simply activate your quantum radar and fire your missiles. Depending on how powerful you missiles are and how durable the Ao Jun is, you can instant kill the Ao Jun in midair with a single volley. Keep in mind that quantum radar lasts only 6 seconds prior to activation, so you would have only 6 seconds to do damage to the Ao Jun before having to find cover.
Feedback and Questions
This took me a lot of time and lots of research and Trials. If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask in the comment section below.