Battlefield Wiki
Battlefield Wiki
This article is incomplete
BF1 Flag
This article is a stub as it is considered incomplete. Why not help out?

Heat Seekers are missiles that track heat sources (typically enemy vehicles). They differ from laser-guided, radar-guided, or wire-guided weaponry.

Battlefield 2[]

Heatseeking missiles are available on stationary anti-air emplacements, anti-air vehicles and all fixed-wing aircraft (not including those from the Armored Fury booster pack) in the pilot's position. It will mark all aircraft in its view: enemy aircraft with a square or circle, and friendly ones with a "X". The missile will lock onto the nearest enemy aircraft, mark it with a special label (usually the word "SHOOT") and a line connecting it to the center of the crosshair. However, the aircraft that has been locked on can use flares to distract the missile, and if the missile has already been fired, it is no longer controllable by the operator, causing it to be fired into the flare. Heatseeking missiles will also lock onto heat sources from the environment (such as a fire).

The two heat seeker air to air missiles in the game are:

Battlefield 3[]

"Heatseeking missiles launched by the pilot which lock on to and track enemy aircraft."

— Battlelog description

Heat Seekers is an air vehicle specialization featured in Battlefield 3.


Jennifer Hawkins, an F/A-18F co-pilot is able to fire them during the jet mission, Going Hunting.


Heat Seekers add a secondary weapon designed to counter other air vehicles. It is available for scout helicopters, fighter and attack jets, attack helicopters, and AA Tanks. Upon acquiring weapon lock, the pilot can fire up to two missiles, either the AIM-9L Sidewinder for US, or the R-73 Archer for RU, that will continue to track the target. The missiles also behave in a realistic fashion in that they follow the closest heat source and not always the targeted jet. Examples of this can be seen if a Heat Seeker is shot at two nearby airborne vehicles and the non targeted vehicle flies in the missile's path, causing it to change course and track said vehicle. This can cause unintended results such as a missile meant for a jet tracking a MAV instead. Only the vehicle's pilot may use the weapon. Any airborne vehicle can be targeted, from fighter aircraft all the way down to Micro-UAVs, and everything in-between.

When activated, the pilot's HUD changes to a perforated targeting circle, showing its lock-on area. One can tell if a successful lock-on by a low beeping tone and if the targeting reticle is flashing. A lock-on usually takes 3 seconds to lock, but with the upgrade Beam Scanning, the Lock-on will only take around 1 second. Each missile deals 45 damage to enemy jets, dealing a total of 90 in damage if both of the equipped Heat Seekers connect. Since a jet's disable threshold is 37, one missile hit will not disable the aircraft, but striking with the Main Gun or second Heat Seeker will have it disabled. Heat Seekers can be avoided in multiple ways including IR Flares which distract missiles in flight, ECM Jammer which will prevent lock on for a few seconds when deployed, by leading the missile into a solid object, and by luck in the case of missiles occasional missing their target for a multitude of reasons.

Battlefield 4[]

"Once locked on these heat-seeking missiles will guide themselves towards their target. Cannot lock aircraft flying at low altitude"

— In-Game description

Heat Seekers are a vehicle Secondary Weapon featured in Battlefield 4.

Like in Battlefield 3, the pilot must obtain weapon lock on suitable target. Much like the FIM-92 Stinger's missiles, Heatseekers automatically track the target, after launch, but may be spoofed by countermeasures and can divert their course if another heat source passes by.

All aircraft, except for the Transport Helicopters, can be equipped with heatseekers and are launched in twos. Mobile AA however can launch up to 4, with 2 per magazine. All deal 40 damage per hit.

Heatseekers are capable of performing Mobility Kills to all types of jets and helicopters but can be diverted by IR flares and ECM Jammers can make it even harder for it to land a hit. Also, they cannot swerve round when the targeted aircraft turns very sharply. Since the Below Radar upgrade, Heatseekers cannot be given targets flying too close to the ground.

Battlefield 2042[]

"Heat-seeking missile that automatically home (sic) in on its target once the user has locked-on. Highly maneuverable. Typically fired in pairs."

— In-Game description

IR Missiles are the default secondary armament for attack helicopter and jet pilots. The Americans use the AIM-9Z, while the Russians use the AA-11—both are effectively the same.

IR missiles are easily thwarted by Missile Countermeasures, but often continue circling around the target, remaining a threat to any nearby.

In some cases, IR missiles may injure or kill passengers aboard a targeted air vehicle while the vehicle may continue with damage.


  • Until Update 2 on Battlefield 2042, IR missiles could reacquire the same target after being distracted by countermeasures.
    • Prior to release, pilots could evade IR Missiles through maneuver alone, although this disrupted the crew's ability to engage targets.