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F/A-18 Hornet Classic Tips

Some tips I've discovered while playing F/A-18 Hornet V1.0/Classic. Updated on 23 Dec 2023.

Air-to-Ground Training

The annoying threat warning is coming from the SAM radar on the hexagonal patch of ground, it's easy to kill with a Harm. Enjoy the peace and quiet!

You can't seem to strafe the launchers on the hexagonal patch, use Mavericks on the launchers and strafe the vehicles on the rectangular patch of ground.

Attacking a ship
Attacking a ship

There's a ship off-shore you can target and kill with a Maverick, this may be useful practice if you're struggling with Maverick targeting.


Enemy radar struggles to find you if you stay below 125ft.

Avoiding missiles seems quite difficult so don't forget, turn that ECM on.

Launching missiles at low-level is possible, you can launch the AGM-88 Harm, AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM at very low-level, there is no missile 'drop' as they leave the rails.

When trying to use the camera in the AGM-65 Maverick, use the autopilot. Make sure the TACAN is turned off, and turn on the autopilot to maintain course and height. With the TACAN on, the autopilot will change course towards a waypoint but with it off, the autopilot maintains a straight and level course, allowing you time to acquire a target with the electro-optical targeting.

If you start on the apron, check for landing aircraft before you venture onto the runway, one mission starts with a B-52 landing.

Mavericks seem over-powered they can kill vehicles and buildings. This means you don't have to acquire a vehicle target precisely, close enough is often good enough for a kill. You don't have to precisely target buildings either, a bomb or Maverick seems to have an area effect. Targeting between 2 buildings may destroy them both, if they are close enough together.

In one mission you start on the apron at an enemy airbase, the runway is behind you and you can kill the parked fighter in front of you with the gun. You don't need to kill the other fighters in the air if you stay below 125ft, they'll struggle to target and fire on you. So you can just run for home!

HARM's can be used against hovercraft, which may be useful if you have to attack at low level. The gun can also be used to destroy them.


I thought there were just 2 final missions, destroying a nuclear power station or destroying a dam. But after 6 missions I had reached the rank of captain, on normal difficulty and received a different mission. The supergun mission. In this mission you have destroy a supergun positioned against a mountain. However the mission starts with an attack on the airbase you start from.

My suggested tactics for this mission are: take off immediately, while you are taxiing select air radar and sidewinders. Take off, stay low, below 100ft lock up the attacking aircraft (advanced fighter) and destroy, usually only takes a single sidewinder. Your radar will find another advanced fighter, stay below 100ft and use an AMRAAM to take it out.

Use the autopilot and turn on the TACAN for waypoint 1, switch to ARAD radar, again stay low, below 100ft, target the right-most contact, this will be the SAM radar, use a HARM, to destroy it, you may need to use a second HARM.

Successfully destroyed the Supergun
Successfully destroyed the Supergun

Once the threat warning is silenced, turn away stay low as you put some distance between yourself and the AAA defences. Climb to 8000-10000ft, throttle back to 80% and re-engage the autopilot to head to waypoint 1. Engage CCIP, wait until you are nearly over the target and dive. Target the buildings at the base of the supergun, once the B57's are released (should be around 5000-6000ft), pull up and engage afterburners to escape the blast. Head to the airbase at waypoint 0 and land. Enjoy your retirement!


I've managed to find the F/A-18 Hornet FAQ, by trawling some Mac archives. Given how difficult it is to find these days I've added it.

Download TXT • 64KB

Update: Strategy guide

A strategy guide exists, very tricky to find it has resurfaced and can be found at the Macintosh Repository on their F/A-18 Hornet page. It's included in the FA-18_Hornet_Collection.sit file.

Update: Expert hints & tips

Hornet generated a lot of discussion on the Usenet group: including a discussions on SAM avoidance and weapons deployment, these are still available today courtesy of google, no longer active, the archive provides a treasure trove of useful information, you just have to go searching at:

Just try and ignore the spam and search for what you need.


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