Each plane has a different set of three Red Perks that define its function and the way in which it is played. Some red perks feel extremely similar and only differ in minor respects. For example, the Loopy's Tracker and Double Fire perks feature identical secondary pulses and only differ in the quantity and tracking ability of the missiles they fire. Nevertheless, each red perk is distinct in its own unique way and is suitable for different situations. Learning to master a variety of planes and red perks will make you a better-rounded player and hone your effectiveness at adapting to varying situations in-game.
The Loopy is the fastest and most agile plane in the game, but at the cost of very low health. The primary fire weapon in all of the available game play modes are tracking missiles, which are unique to the Loopy. The combination of speed and powerful missiles makes this plane a good opportunist; able to quickly enter combat with an enemy and leave just as fast if the situation turns for the worse.
The three main game play modes, or Red Perks, are Tracker, Double FIre, and Acid Bomb. Each perk gives the Loopy a characteristic allowing the user unique ways to approach battle with enemy planes. It is important to remember that, while each game play mode offers advantages and disadvantages, none of the game play modes is designed to be better than any other, but rather each just change the way the Loopy is played. Experimenting with each mode will give you the best feel for which mode works best for you in different situations.
The Tracker mode's primary weapon is a single fire tracking missile, and its secondary weapon is an exploding EMP shell, which does a tiny amount of damage and disperses a small area of effect debuff that reduces the movement and turning speed of all affected enemies in addition to disabling afterburn. Tracker missiles lock on to an enemy plane and follow them for a short while, meaning that most aiming is done automatically. This perk is usually discarded in favor of Acid or Double Fire, but does see occasional situational use.
Tracker missiles do 39 damage for 156 damage per second.
Unlocked at: Level 1.
The Double Fire perk is similar to Tracker, except that it allows the Loopy to shoot two missiles instead of one. Both missiles deal 75% of base damage, so this perk deals 50% more primary weapon damage than the other two. Like Tracker, its secondary weapon is an exploding EMP shell, which does a tiny amount of damage and disperses a small area of effect debuff that reduces the movement and turning speed of all affected enemies in addition to disabling afterburn. Double Fire missiles lock on to an enemy plane and follow them for a short while, though the tracking ability is moderately less than that of Tracker. This perk frontloads damage more effectively than the other two, allowing for a playstyle that is more reliant on burst damage.
Double fire missiles deal 29.25 damage each for 234 damage per second together.
EMP is widely seen as one of the best abilities in the game. It is useful in almost every situation, particularly when slowing down bomb/ball runners and their escorts to defend and disabling enemy planes to outmaneuver and kill them.
Unlocked at: Level 24
This perk's primary fire is a single missile that does as much damage as Tracker's and tracks as well as Double Fire's. It's secondary weapon is the Acid Bomb - a large green explosion of acid that replaces the EMP shell. Planes that come into contact with the Acid Bomb will be affected for 3 seconds, taking 33% increased damage from all sources in addition to 67 damage over time until the effects wear off. Good acid players generally attempt to acid enemies before finishing them off with primary fire. This perk is fantastic at support; one can acid choke points to improve map control for one's team, or acid an entire enemy team with the large area of effect, which allows all allies to do 1/3 more damage to them. Acid does not stack.
Acid missiles do 39 damage for 134 damage per second. When attacking enemies affected by acid, this perk does 201 damage per second.
Unlocked at: Level 44
One of the two heavy planes, the Bomber is a fantastic pusher and strong escort. Known as the plane most dependent on spam, the Bomber is capable of enormous burst damage from the front or below, with two perks offering effective protection from the rear. Highly dependent upon energy, this plane makes up for its large size and weight with formidable weapons. The three separate Red Perks are Suppressor, Bombs, and Flak Tailgun. Each perk gives the Bomber a characteristic allowing the user unique ways on how they want to approach battle with enemy planes. It is important to remember that, while each game play mode offers advantages and disadvantages, none of the game play modes are designed to be better than another one but rather just a change in the way the Bomber is played.
The Suppressor's primary weapon is a set of powerful lobbed grenades which knock back enemies, and its secondary weapon is a rear mounted machine gun that shoots a great deal of relatively weak bullets which are capable of tracking enemies to a small extent. The grenades are used to lay down suppressive fire, block off vital choke points, or instantly kill an unsuspecting enemy plane. The tailgun is used when the Bomber is facing away from the enemy - often after shooting a few grenades the Bomber either must turn around in order to retreat, or they've been flown past by the enemy plane; this tailgun allows the Bomber to finish off enemies or protect their flank. Due to its low burst damage and lack knockback, the tailgun is rarely used as a primary means of destroying enemy planes. Although Suppressor has the best range of the Bomber's red perk choices, it is usually shelved in favor of Flak Cannon. However, this perk can effectively be used in maps that have long corridors which the tailgun fire can make use of its long range.
Unlocked at: Level 6
Colloquially known as Dumb Bombs, this perk trades in the rear mounted gun for small bombs that drop from the bottom of the Bomber. These bombs do devastating damage, some of which splashes, and have a substantial knockback effect, but they're hard to aim and leave the Bomber vulnerable to being flanked. Widely considered underpowered, this perk is avoided by most experienced players; its situational uses are extant but few.
Unlocked at: Level 27
Like the other two perks, Flak's primary fire consists of lobbed grenades. It differs in it's tailgun, which replaces Supressor's machine gun for a rear mounted cannon that does a great deal of damage and has a strong knockback effect, in addition to a recoil that effectively propels the Bomber forward when the gun is fired. This is the most widely used perk - it's cannon does not have a tracking effect but the shots are much more powerful and a skilled user can protect his rear equally to his front.
Unlocked at: Level 47
The Explodet is a flying tank. It has the most health of any plane and both its primary and secondary weapons cause explosive damage. Also, excluding thermobaric rockets, it causes concussive knock back effect from both its primary and secondary weapons. The three Red Perks are Director, Thermobarics, and Remote Mine. Each game play mode gives the Explodet a characteristic allowing the user unique ways on how they want to approach battle with enemy planes. It is important to remember that, while each game play mode offers advantages and disadvantages, none of the game play modes are designed to be better than another one but rather just a change in the way the Explodet is played. Experimenting with each mode will give you the best feel on which mode works best for you in different situations.
Importantly, Explodet's rocket differs from any other plane's weapon it must be manually detonated after it is launched. An rocket that "hits" an enemy plane will not explode, but will travel them unless the user depresses the primary weapon fire key a second time. Because of this, Explodets may only use one rocket at a time.
The Director perk's primary weapon is a manually detonated rocket and its secondary weapon is a mine ejector. The manually detonated rocket is used to not only cause explosive damage, but to also knock planes around; planes within the radius of explosion are pushed by the concussive effect. This can be used to direct planes into walls, stall enemy planes, move enemy planes out of an ally's way, or for a variety of other uses. Mines are laid from the rear of the Explodet, and become controlled by artificial intelligence and stay stationary unless a nearby enemy draws their aggression, in which case the mines will follow that plane for a short while until exploding. They automatically explode after five seconds if they don't come into contact with an enemy. These mines can be used in a variety of ways, and their effective utilization is a crucial skill for Explodet pilots.
Unlocked at: Level 11
The Thermobarics perk replaces Explodet's primary weapon with a thermobaric rocket. Unique in Altitude, thermo rockets act by manipulating the controls of enemy users. Manually detonated, these rockets pull the noses of nearby enemy planes towards the center of the blast radius. Explodet pilots may use the rockets to pull enemies into objects of the environment in order to kill them, or manipulate their direction to interfere with the aim of a shot, ball throw, or dropping of a bomb. Thermobarics uses the same mine ejector as Director for its secondary fire.
Unlocked at: Level 32
The Remote Mine perk uses the same primary fire as Director, and changes the nature of Explodet mines. Instead of being able to lay multiple AI controlled mines, Remote users can lay only one mine at a time. This mine has a moderately bigger blast radius and knockback effect while dealing significantly more damage and lasting eight seconds before automatically exploding. Additionally, this mine is not controlled by AI; it does not move around and is detonated manually, allowing for a great deal more control by the pilot. Explodets are also affected by their own mines, and may use the knockback effect to their advantage by pushing themselves in a direction. This perk can be difficult to master as it requires the user to both launch and manually detonate both the primary and secondary weapons at specific times.
Unlocked at: Level 53
The Biplane is similar to Loopy in that it can only fire in the forward direction. However, the similarities end there as the Biplane usually works best in a fighting environment where it can get close to the enemy to put out a very high damage output. The three separate game play modes are offered as Red Perks, which are Dogfighter, Recoilless Gun, and Heavy Cannon. Each game play mode gives the Biplane a characteristic allowing the user unique ways on how they want to approach battle with enemy planes. It is important to remember that, while each game play mode offers advantages and disadvantages, none of the game play modes are designed to be better than another one but rather just a change in the way the Biplane is played. Experimenting with each mode will give you the best feel on which mode works best for you in different situations.
The Dogfighter deals damage through two machine guns, a long range one as its primary weapon and a short range one as its secondary. The primary gun deals moderate damage and is useful for picking off weak planes or softening up an enemy to prepare for a close range kill. The secondary gun is much more powerful and also has a piercing effect, allowing it to hit multiple close range enemies. Importantly, the secondary weapon causes a great deal of recoil. This recoil can be useful by causing the user to slow down when damaging an oncoming plane and therefore causing more damage as well as used to get a user out of a tight corner and keep from smashing into the ground, but it can also cause a user to go into a stall which can be a problem in the wrong situation. An effective killer, the Dogfighter shines at close range.
Unlocked at: Level 16
The Recoilless Gun perk is very similar to the Dogfighter mode in that its primary and secondary weapon fire identical projectiles. However, there are two main differences: the recoil from the short range gun is completely removed in this mode and the damage output of both the primary and secondary weapon is slightly inferior than that of the Dogfighter. Addtionally, there is no piercing effect on the secondary gun. The lack of recoil allows for a more fluid style of play for the user in that they can fire their secondary weapon without having to deal with inevitably slowing down to a stop. However, while the drawbacks of having recoil in the gun are removed, the ability to use the recoil as an aid in maneuvering is no longer available. Also, the damage will often be substantially less from the burst of the short range gun when the user flies by a plane at full speed unless the user manually slows down when approaching an enemy plane. Recoilless is generally less effective at dogfighting, but in team situations its superior fluidity allows the pilot to swoop in and kill an enemy prior to quickly escaping.
Unlocked at: Level 35
This perk removes the long range machine gun, replacing it with a powerful, long ranged cannon. This weapon deals devastating damage, and is even able to pierce through two targets - dealing 75% damage to the second plane hit and 45% to the third. This cannon has a small amount of recoil and requires a great deal of energy, but with good accuracy it is one of the strongest weapons in the game. The Heavy Cannon's secondary fire remains a short ranged machine gun with the same recoil as Dogfighter's, but it is significantly weaker than that of the other two perks and does not pierce.
Unlocked at: Level 56
The Miranda is unique in that it is the only plane that is able to change the way it maneuvers through Red Perks. It is slightly more fragile than the Loopy but with a careful pilot, it can stay out of trouble in some of the worst situations. The three separate game play modes are offered as Red Perks, which are Trickster, Laser, and Time Anchor. Each game play mode gives the Miranda a characteristic allowing the user unique ways on how they want to approach battle with enemy planes. It is important to remember that, while each game play mode offers advantages and disadvantages, none of the game play modes are designed to be better than another one but rather just a change in the way the Miranda is played. Experimenting with each mode will give you the best feel on which mode works best for you in different situations.
This is the first of the three game play modes that is unlocked through leveling. The Trickster mode's primary weapon is a bouncy shot and its secondary weapon is reverse. The bouncy shot has a few great advantages that include the ability to fire a high powered shot and immediately leave the area as well as the ability to hit a plane, or many planes, more than once as the shot bounces off planes, walls, and any other object until it reaches the maximum of two bounces. The disadvantage is that the user has to charge the shot up by depressing the primary fire key in order to get the highest energy shot. This makes the cost of missing with this shot much higher as failing to deliver a killing blow can often mean your own death. The secondary weapon, although not a weapon at all, is the reverse function. By hitting the secondary fire key the user will instantly reverse their plane 180 degrees in the opposite direction, which is great for shooting sniper shots and quickly retreating, or fixing a mistake of accidentally taking a wrong turn. The miranda also has a unique afterburner (aka "warp") which is completely different from any other plane. Warp doesn't provide continuous thrust, but it teleports (at a higher energy cost) the plane a small distance ahead in a straight line. The warp also damages all enemies in its path. With the combination of warp and the primary weapon, the miranda can deal massive short-range damage.
Unlocked at: Level 21
This is the second of three game play modes that is unlocked through leveling. The difference between the Laser mode and the Trickster mode is the primary weapon is changed to a laser. The laser is similar to the bouncy shot in that the user must charge the weapon for a short period of time but the operation of the weapon is much different. The advantage to using the laser over the bouncy shot is that it does more damage per charge. However, the disadvantage is that you must be facing your enemy while the laser is active in order to do damage. Unlike the bouncy shot, where the user can shot and run, the user of the laser must focus the laser on enemy planes for a moderate length of time in order to do a substantial amount of damage which often times put them in harm's way longer than would be desired. The secondary weapon in the Laser mode is the reverse, which is the same as the Trickster mode in that it reverses the user's direction by 180 degrees.
Unlocked at: Level 38
This is the third, and final, of the three game play modes that is unlocked through leveling. In this mode the primary weapon is returned to the bouncy shot, which is the same primary weapon in the Trickster mode. However, the secondary weapon is changed to the time anchor. The time anchor is like a memory of your plane's history in time. A razor thin wire, that only you can see, trails your plane acting as a guide of where your plane has traveled in the near past. By pressing the secondary fire key the user instantly teleports back to that location in time, which not only includes the location in space but also direction. Using this weapon can trick a chasing enemy as you teleport behind them to deliver a killing blow or it can be used to correct a wrong turn that otherwise would not be possible.
Unlocked at: Level 58