Heat-seeker (Privateer)

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Heat Seeker
Privateer - Ship Modification Bay - HS.PNG

A Heat Seeker or heat-seeker or HS or Heat Seeking or Heat seeking or HeatSeek is a type of munition used by missile launchers. They contain a seeker-head locking mechanism which detects heat, targeting the nearest spacecraft's engine exhaust. They do not need to be locked and are only effective when fired behind a target. Heat Seekers are available for sale to privateers at ship dealers.


Version Velocity Refire Delay Armor
Duration Range Abuse Lock Cost Resale
Privateer Playguide Manual 800 kps 2.5 seconds 16 cm Locks onto engines of target; most effective if behind target. 35 credits
Privateer 800 kps 2.5 seconds 16 cm 9 seconds 35 credits 20 credits
Privateer Playtesters' Guide 2.5 seconds 16 cm 7200 m medium onto target engine


Heat Seekers may be loaded on missile launchers installed on the stock Tarsus, Orion, Galaxy and Centurion.

Bounty Hunters

Church of Man

Empire of Kilrah




Terran Confederation

Individual Users


Wing Commander Privateer Player's Guide

Missile Launcher

Missile launchers are crucial in making a quick kill. Without shields few ships can withstand a missile hit. Missiles are listed in order, from least to most expensive, with a brief description of its locking method. Each launcher can hold up to 10 missiles in any combination.

Armor penetration is based on the durasteel standard, and is listed only for comparison. All missiles that can lock but fail to do so simply fly straight ahead (like a DF missile). Refire delay for one launcher is 2.5 seconds — two launchers are twice as fast.

Privateer Playtesters' Guide

Weapons Systems

Your weapons loadout will vary according to your skill level, typical missions and financial resources. In general, dumb fire missiles and torpedoes can inflict more harm in the hands of an experienced pilot. Guided missiles will find their target with the help of their locking mechanisms, making accuracy less essential. A tractor beam system will allow you to retrieve cargo from a destroyed ship and is thus an indispensable part of every pirate fighter.

Range. The effective range of the projectile in meters (m).

Damage potential. The amount of damage done to a target. This measurement is based on the durasteel standard, and is listed for comparison only.

Refire delay. The recharge time of a gun between each shot in units of seconds.

Energy use. How much energy the gun uses in units of Gigaloules (GI).

Abuse limit. How much damage your guns can take before they are destroyed. Abuse limits are rated as low, medium and high.

Heat Seeking (HS). Heat seeking missiles have a locking mechanism that detects heat. They zero in on the nearest fighter's engine exhaust. These weapons are only effective if you launch them from behind the enemy ship, where they can easily lock onto the hostile ship's exhaust. It is not necessary to get a lock on your target when you are firing these missiles. A diamond will appear when the missile's seeker-head has locked onto your target.


  • In the beginning, you should try to build up your ship and make it more resistant. Sell the missile launcher on your ship. This will earn you 7500 credits. You can always buy another missile launcher later when you have better armor and shields. – "Frog"
  • As soon as you can afford it, you should buy two missile launchers. This will launch two missiles at once, which can usually destroy most ships — the first missile to his will take out the shields and the second will usually hit the unprotected ship in the same place. The Orion is the only ship which can't mount two missile launchers. – "Bravestarr"
  • Start shooting at your enemy with missiles and finish him off with guns. Missiles won't take enemy ships out with one hit, but they will take down the shields. If you have dual missile launchers, you may be able to finish him off with missiles alone. – "Balzac"
  • In general, image recognition missiles will be your best missile choice. They are cheaper than friend or foe missiles and they lock more quickly than heat-seekers. – "Cowtipper"


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