How to Get the Machine Gun Maniac in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

If you’re aiming to achieve the Machine Gun Maniac medal and the F-104 skin, this guide will help you complete a gun-only run in the campaign. While it may seem challenging, with some preparation and strategy, you can accomplish this feat. This guide assumes you have some experience with the campaign and recommends having a well-developed aircraft tree with various parts unlocked.

General Information:

  • Confirm a guns-only mission completion by receiving the guns-only MRP bonus of 30,000 MRP on the debrief screen.
  • This challenge cannot be completed by playing individual missions separately in free mission mode. You need to start a new proper campaign run from the beginning.
  • Accidentally firing special weapons will have no consequence as long as they don’t hit any targets.

Recommended Parts:


  • High-Power Enhanced Shells Lv. 1: Increases machine gun damage.
  • Long-Range Enhanced Shells Lv. 1: Increases machine gun range and the range at which the aiming reticle appears.
  • Long Barrel Enhanced Shells Lv. 1: Enhances machine gun accuracy.


  • Auto-Strafing Machine Gun Device: Fires the machine gun automatically when locked targets are in range.
  • Machine Gun Radar Lock System: Provides limited lock-on capabilities for the machine gun. Note that this part is primarily recommended for ground attack missions due to slower lock-on and lack of reticle compensation, making it difficult to hit agile targets.

Recommended Planes:

While all planes in the game have machine guns, some planes may yield better performance for a gun-only run.


The Mig-21 BIS has the advantage of Machine Gun Pods as a special weapon, which does not count against a gun-only run. Enhancements applied to machine guns also boost the pods’ performance. The recommended setup and some skill will carry you through the entire campaign. As the Mig-21 is a lower-tier plane, consider equipping durability parts.


The SU-34 Fullback stands out with its higher caliber 30mm cannon as the main gun, delivering more damage per hit. It has shorter range and faster drop than other machine guns, making the radar-guided MG upgrade part more beneficial. This setup excels in ground attack missions but can also be used in dogfights due to the plane’s maneuverability.


Equipped with deadly pulse lasers as the main gun, the ADF-11 offers pinpoint precision and exceptional damage. Its maneuverability grants superiority in dogfights. The only drawback is the inability to hit enemies through high cloud cover, as laser-based weapons cannot penetrate clouds.


The Darkstar, considered the most powerful plane in the game, makes completing the gun-only run almost effortless. With twin pulse lasers as the main gun, its only weakness lies in hitting enemies through cloud cover.

Notable Missions

Mission 04: Rescue:

  • You do not need to fire a missile to trigger the end-mission cutscene. Focus on gunning down the drones pursuing Mother Goose One, and the mission will end normally.

Mission 13: Bunker Buster:

  • The use of special targeting pods does not count against a gun-only completion. You can complete the mission as usual, except for the use of standard missiles.

Missions 16 and 17:

  • The auto-strafe part will only activate when locked onto hostile-identified targets, not unknown targets.

By following this guide, you should be well-prepared to tackle the Machine Gun Maniac challenge in the campaign and earn the associated medal and rewards. Good luck!

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