Ace Online was previously known as Space Cowboy Online (also referred to as Space Cowboy) when it was first released and downloadable as client in May 2006. The servers of Space Cowboy Online were hosted by Gala-Net. However, Space Cowboy Online was shut down on December 26, 2007. This was announced to the public with a letter from Space Cowboy's last active GM "Xarfox". A copy of that letter can be found here.
Yedang, the owner of all Ace Online's licenses and the publisher, decided to host the game themselves and called it "Ace Online International" which were officially available for all international players. In November 2008, Yedang also shut down the global version "Ace Online International", presumably due to the lack of players.
Nowadays, Suba Games is hosting the North American version of the game. Futhermore, they also support players worldwide and have an international player base. Masangsoft, on the other hand, is hosting the European version of the game and also supports their players.
The following shows the original system requirements when the game was released in May 2006
Playable factions by players
- Arlington National Influence (ANI), sometimes referred to as "Anti-Nationalism Influence"
- Bygeniou City United (BCU)
- Decalans (Decans), also referred to as "humans"
- Next Generation City (NGC)
Players pilot their own individual star fighters (known as Gears) throughout a number of maps which are including terrestrial, lunar and space (station) maps.
Ace Online is a largely player vs. player-oriented game (PvP), with character levelling and item acquisition achieved mainly through combat against non-player characters (NPCs) and the completion of missions. Both aspects are also known as PvE. After completion of certain missions more maps will be accessible to the player. Although a high level character will have better character attributes than most other players, no one at any level is invincible against other players in PvP.
So, Ace Online has typical MMORPG elements such as levelling, currency, a skill system and combat which is mostly based on player equipment and level. As in other MMORPGs, players can trade items, customise their gears and equipment, create formations (equivalent to "parties") and create or join brigades (equivalent to "guilds" or "clans"), and fight with other players via PvP combat. Almost all of the combat in Ace Online is aerial and in third-person view. Players have the option to use an in-cockpit / first-person view.
Item Shop and Enchantments
Ace Online is a free-to-play MMORPG with the option of buying in-game items via an "Item shop" (also referred to as "Cash shop") with real money. The shop can only be accessed whilst you are in the respective nation's "Hub City". The item shop can be found in the respective area in the city or via the button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
A player can only purchase the items from the "Item shop" using credits that has been bought through Suba Games' website with real money. There are many items available for purchase that affect the gear's equipment (e.g. change the trailing effect of missiles), stats (e.g. reset or partial reset of stats), boosts (e.g. increase experience rate), skins and many others. Some of these items are for a limited time when activated. This item shop was made available to players on June 23, 2006.
The "Cash shop" also includes Weapon and armor gamble cards, "Enhancements", "Enchant Protection" and more. Weapon gamble cards allow players to "gamble" for a random enhancement effect to a gear's weapon(s). Armor gamble cards allows the same regarding to a gear's armor.
"Enchantment" is another way of upgrading a player's weapon, armor or other equipment to boost their gear's performance and output. E.g. you can aim to have faster missiles, a higher rate of weapon firing or more weapon damage. To limit the power of weapons and armour, only five enchantments can be applied safely to a piece of equipment (weapon, armor). For the sixth enchant and onward there is a chance of destroying the weapon or armour upon enchanting.
It is also possible to enchant other items such as energy/shield generators, radars, engines and more. However, by upgrading these items there is no safety application which means that these items can be destroyed upon the first enchant.
- SPI - SPI is the main currency in the game. It is the only currency that can be traded. It can be obtained as a drop from monsters (mobs), by completing missions, by selling items at a shop or by participating in official PvP "wars" (Mother ship Wars, Outpost Wars or Strategic Point Wars).
- War Points - As the name says, war points are obtained by participating in official PvP "wars" (Mother ship Wars, Outpost Wars or Strategic Point Wars) and also by participating in the Arena. They are not obtained by duels, however. War points can be spent at the War Point Shop in town for various war point specific items.
- Credits - Credits are a in-game currency to be used to buy items from the "Item shop". Credits are purchased with real money on the Subagames web site Suba Bank. Notice that "credits" are called "Suba Points (SP) and can also be used for other games from Suba Games. Usage of credits gives the player an advantage over non-credit users. To lessen this effect, Subagames created Web Missions from which you can obtain cash shop items and other things. It is also possible to obtain certain cash shop items in the War Point Shop in town. Also, there are ways to create several cash shop items with in game items (e.g. during a specific game event) and you can also do "Surveys" through Suba's main site for small amounts of credits.
***Selling/Buying credits requires one to give his or her account information to one other, this does not meet the agreement of the Term and Conditions. Therefore, when this agreement is being broken and you lose your items or account, Subagames is not responsible for your loss or actions. Dealing with credits is strongly un-recommended***
- Mileage Points - For every 10 credits purchased, you receive 1 Mileage Point, which can be used in the Suba Shop to receive various items.
- Infinity Orbs - This currency is used in the "Infinity shop" located under the laboratory in town and can be obtained by participating in the infinity field instances. The currency consists of 5 different orbs. The 4 currently available orbs are [Solar Orb], [Quasar Orb], [Galaxy Orb] and [Super cluster Orb]. The [Universal Orb] is currently unavailable and might be added in later Infinity Field Instances. All orbs can be used to buy various items from the "Infinity shop" where some are restricted to the Infinity Field Instances only.
Ace Online has, like many other MMORPGs, a selection of standardised skills which differ from the gear's type. They are available through a skill shop and they boost the player's stats or grant them an extra ability for a certain amount of time.
Ace Online offers a PvP system of "Nation Wars", which revolves around a point system: "National Contribution Points" (NCP). The two nations in question are Bygeniou City United (BCU) and Arlington National Influence (ANI). Every time an enemy gear is shot down, the shooter's nation gains 1 NCP. NCP are also gained for other events, such as Strategic Points, Mother ship wars, and Arena battles. Arena battles usually give a small amount of NCP compared to Strategic Points and Mother ship wars.
- Raids - Two factions (BCU and ANI) are separated by a series of airspace areas (maps). Nation Wars involve a constant battle between the two factions to raid and defend these airspace areas. A successful raid gaining airspace area over the opposing force provides strategic and economical advantages. For example, the boss "Pathos" only spawns on the BCU map "Zaylope Beach"; whoever controls "Zaylope Beach" would have the chance to destroy it and receive its rare drops if "Pathos" should spawn. Battling over these airspace areas often results in tens to thousands of NCPs gained for neither or both nations, speeding up the spawning of mother ships (see below for mother ships). A map being held by a large enemy force means restricted access for lower level players or players which want to access the map. This means that these players can not access and level up in that specific map.
- Skirmishes - Random, unorganised battles, often on neutral maps. They are a major source of fame and nation points. The one and only objective in these wars is to kill as many of the opposing nation players as possible. Team strategy and things that grant the win in mothership wars and occupation wars are practically not of interest here. These wars are often started by a single gear going into the enemy territory. The nation leader will then inform the nation about this intruder and sends players to respond to it. The intruder will then likely request reinforcements. If one nation is either outnumbered, outgunned or if more people decide to come, more will come to the map. These wars are some of the most popular amongst players.
- One of the most popular areas for these unorganised battles is "Bark City". Usually within bark city someone may alert that BCU are killing the NPCs of Bark City or that they are in fact killing the few ANI that go there, as more ANI show up, more BCU also show up.
- Mother ship Battles - This is another part of Nation Wars, the nation leader (elected every month) chooses when the offensive Mother ship spawns every week. At the time when the leader chooses the mother ship is spawned deep in the homelands of the opposing nation. If the mother ship is not completely destroyed in two hours, it will de-spawn. Successful destruction of the enemy mother ship grants the attacking nation a 5% increase in recovery rate of energy, shield and skill points. It also allows access to the "Hornian King Habitat" and "Eopi". Successfully defending a mother ship does not grant the defender any bonuses. Instead, it prevents the enemy from receiving the reward. The BCU mother ship, Anubis, spawns in Tylent Jungle, while the ANI mother ship Horos spawns in Reynard Beach. Bonuses obtained from destroying/defending mother ships are reset at the end of every month, so are NCP's. The fourth Mother Ship of each side that spawns also gives a special reward.
- Outpost Wars - Outpost wars take place in three maps that are only open during the event. The three maps that open are Bark City Skies, Mesos Floor and Coronado. There is a warning issued 30 minutes before the event begins. During the first Outpost War of the month the protector, located in the centre of each of the map, will be neutral. The brigade that contributes the most damage will be authorised to replace the Central Processing Device (CPD) into a protector supporting their nation. It takes 5 minutes to convert the CPD into a protector. If the protector is successfully protected after the 2 hour duration of the war, the brigade will control the Outpost as well as give the leader access to leader chat and war funds. All members of the brigade and nation leaders will then have access to the outpost. All members that are part of the winning nation of the outpost will receive 300 War points and an "Ordinance Box", which contains Spirit, Energy or Shield kits. Losing will result in 100 WP. All players will receive 'Personal Contribution' which is a monetary reward based on the player's performance in combat.
- Strategic Points - Strategic Points are spawned in a random map at random times, and it will de-spawn one hour after its spawn if not destroyed completely. An announcement is made to all players of both factions of the map the Point has spawned in. When a Strategic Point is destroyed, all participants in the assault force gains a "SPI Capsule", which contains a monetary reward to both the player and their nation and 300 War Points. When a Strategic Point is successfully defended until de-spawn, the defender gains bonuses. Any nation's player that still loses the Strategic Point while being one map before/after the location of the Strategic Point will still gain 100 WP. All players that are in the map of the Strategic Point, or one map before it will gain 'Personal Contribution' which is a monetary reward based on the player's performance in combat.
- Arena - Arena is used to form fight against the opposite nation and in some cases other servers. There are currently five sizes of fights and one map known as Armageddon. The objective is to eliminate the other teams tickets to 0. Each Player Starts off with 10 Energy and 10 Shield Kits as well as 200.000 SPI. Every time a player on the enemy team dies, it results in 1 ticket loss. Regardless of outcome War points are rewarded with the winning team receiving three times more War points. During certain hours a day the War point reward is boosted and the arena is therefore very popular at these hours.
**24v24 (Only in ACE Online Beta and Flysis (AirRivals Beta)) (This option was removed due to over-capacity of players and possible unfair fights).
- War Points - Players can gain War Points from attacking/defending Mother Ships, Strategic Points, Arena and even events. War Points allow players to buy unique items from the War point Shop better than those bought for SPI. These unique items include stronger adhesives, armours, and other bonuses.
- Nation Leader - Every month players who are level 60 or higher, have 1000 fame and they own a brigade (a brigade is like a clan or guild in other MMO's) the brigade must also have at least 1000 fame (An older requirement what at least a brigade of 15/20+ people, but was later removed). When all the players who want to be leader sign up the rest of the nation can vote who they want to be leader, and winner will be the nation leader until the next election, in a month. The nation leader of each side (ANI and BCU) gets a leader mark, and the leader adhesive, this gives them a defensive bonus, the leaders have a light green name for easy identification and they get war funds, that is, money given to the leader to help the nation's economy. The leader can also choose two sub-leaders, who can help them lead the nation. The leader is the one that can set the time when the enemy Mother ship spawns, but this time cannot be changed on the same week as the preset time from before.
- Grinding Maps - Although players on the BCU side and ANI side are enemies, in some maps they will coexist and not kill each other very often, this happens mostly in grinding maps, maps where many will go to kill enemies, although this coexistence between BCU and ANI is not a rule within the game it has evolved as becoming part of the nature of the game.
- Camping - Ace Online has a map to map based setup of zones/areas (Unlike most other MMOs that have world maps), going in between maps you have to enter a warp gate. These gates often get camped by people as a strategical advantage, this is very vital in Nation wars such as Strategic Points, Outposts and Mother ship wars. Due to the great advantage of being able to kill a warping player, this way of fighting is very looked down on in general wars, like raids and skirmishes, as it is very unnecessary to kill as many opponents as fast as possible because there is nothing to protect really.
ACE Online uses a interface. Details go here: Interface
ACE Online contains a lot maps wherein players can play the game. See Maps for details.
ACE Online contains a lot missions players can or have to complete throughout the game. See Missions for details.
Players can challenge other players in a 1 vs 1 duel, or a formation battle (up to 6 players per formation).
- 1 on 1 - A 1 on 1 duel can be initiated by challenging another player and that player accepting the challenge, and vice versa. In a 1 on 1 duel, the two participants receive a 5 second warning, after which there is an unlimited amount of time to kill the other player; should one of the players die under any circumstance (being shot down by the other player in the duel, crashing into terrain objects, being killed by a member of the opposing nation, or being killed by a hostile NPC) then the surviving player is declared the winner; being disconnected results in a loss for the disconnected player, and moving to a different map will also result in a loss, even if a player uses "Express city return portal" to teleport back to the city.
- Formation Battle - A formation battle can be initiated by the command /formfight [formation leader]. A formation battle can only start if all members of both formations are in the same map, logged on, and the formation leader accepting the challenge. Once a formation battle request is sent, no new players may be invited to the formation; existing formation members cannot be kicked; and the formation may not disband. A formation battle is won when all members of the opposing formation have been eliminated under any circumstance. When one member of a formation dies while the rest are still alive, they cannot re-spawn until the formation battle ends in either win or loss.
- Brigade Fight - A brigade fight can only be initiated by the leader of the two brigades that want to fight. A brigade fight can only be started if all members currently online are in the same map. Once the fight is starts the objective is to kill all members of the opposing brigade simultaneously. As long as one member of the brigade remains alive, the others may re-spawn. In order to end this respawn loop, many brigade fights are under GM supervision in event maps to prevent the dead member from re-spawning.
See Game Guides
Game complexity / techniques
Ace Online is one of very few MMO's that has an incredibly complex PvP system, there are dozens, perhaps over a hundred different ways to fight one gear to another. Some of the most commonly used ones are generally acknowledged as:
- Feathering - (All Gears) Feathering is the technique used to save booster time. Instead of holding space-bar down to boost, you push down and let go the space-bar in intervals. When done correctly you may maintain near top boost speed of you engine constantly.
- Hax Turn - (All Gears) This technique is used for sharper turning. When hax turning you use strafe (a or d) in order to quicker get your air-frame to face the opponent. This technique can also be enhanced by turning OFF the Advanced Flight Control option, where after you use the corners of your screen to turn even faster (Example: Hax turn left = "D" with Cursor pointed at the bottom of upper left hand corner, in mid-turn the combination of keys and cursor position is switched from "D" to "A" and the opposite corner of which was used (Upper left to Bottom left and counter wise).
- Hax Feathering - (All Gears) A combination of Hax Turn and Feathering. (Check Hax Feathering page for visual explanation.)
- Turnaround / Back Move Mach - (B and I-Gear) Though they may seem like simple skills, Turnaround and Back Move Mach still require excellent timing in a lot of situations, for I-Gears it is very useful to use Back Move Mach to keep distance from an enemy B-Gear or to Move from one side to another through an M-Gear or A-Gear to confuse their line of fire. Turnaround is very useful to make an instant 180 Degree turn after passing an enemy Gear to gain the advantage of face to back sight. There are countless situations to use Turnaround and Back Move Mach in different ways of timing and combining with other skills and can there for be labelled both Skill and Technique.
- Zero Seige - (A Gear Only) A move where an A Gear uses a combination of pressing 'R' and right click to where they can be on an enemy, use siege mode and fire to kill the enemy A Gear.
- Backshot - (A Gear Only) Either by targeting an enemy behind you and lining up your cursor to where they are behind you and entering Siege Mode, or using 'R' quickly to "trick" the game to as if you are looking back then use Siege Mode. This technique is also very useful for when the A-Gear runs from a B-Gear, the A-Gear can then shoot at the B-Gear while flying away without getting hit untill the B-Gear catches up (Snare Shot might be helpful).
- 360 Air Siege - (A-Gear Only) A technique where an A-Gear holds "R" and "Right Mouse Button" and then activatesAir Siege Mode, "R" and "Right Mouse Button" should now be released. The A-Gear is now able to turn quickly in all angles, instead of the usual angles as if you were in Siege Mode.
- Delay Bomb- (B-Gear Only) A Technique where the B-Gear activates it's bombing skill and waits for the approaching target to barrel roll, after the target has Barrel rolled, the B-Gear quickly turns (Not Turnaround) and fires the target on it's side or back. Strafing to the left/right or make a soft turn slightly to the left/right may enhance the probability if catching up to the target after it rolled and could also help you evade other BGears their bombing skill without rolling and still allow you to bomb your target.
- Call of Hero Big Boom - (M-Gear + B-Gear combo) This Technique lets a B-Gear Big Boom safely in areas with a lot of enemies, the M-Gear simply has to activate Call of Hero and use it on the B-Gear in it's form at the location where the Big Boom should be dropped off (The location of the spawn point when someone is Call of Hero'd is determined by the location of where the M-Gear was when the skill was used on the formation member). When the B-Gear gets the Call of Hero 5 seconds later, the B-Gear activates Big Boom and then accepts the Call of Hero 2 seconds after the activation of Big Boom.