The Head's Up Display (commonly HUD) is a very important feature included in every Ace Combat game to date. Formats and general position of the HUD vary and are tweaked throughout the whole series, though most commonly include:
- Ammo counts of the plane's remaining ammo
- Damage, a general scale of the current condition of the plane
- Speed, in MPH. Can be changed to KPH via the options menu
- Alt., in feet (can be changed to meters via options)
- Score, current point score.
- Time, amount of time remaining to complete mission. On most missions, if the time is up, the mission fails; however, completing certain criteria and waiting for the time to expire may result in a mission being accomplished or the triggering of a Mission Update.
- Dynamic Launch Zone, First appears in Ace Combat 2. The DLZ consists of a range scale bar and a caret that moves downward as the target approaches missile range. The thick section of the scale bar denotes weapon's lock-on range and its length varies according to selected weapon in Ace Combat 04 onwards. In most games it's only visible in first person views.
- Radar, shows where the player and other aircraft and targets are in the combat area. When map button is held, the radar will be expanded to display the entire mission map. In certain PS2 games, map scale is determined by button pressure i.e holding the button halfway displays zoomed in map.
Special HUD Components
Certain HUD components only appear in certain games:
- Wingman Command, appears in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War and Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation. Displays the currently selected wingman command (including Allied Support in AC6). Target assigned to a wingman is marked with an arrow, in Ace Combat 5 a target box marked with three arrows denotes the target is assigned to all three wingmen.
- Boresight Circle, exclusively appears in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, the circle allows player to lock an object directly in front of player's airplane (inside the boresight circle). It can be toggled on by pressing L3 by default.
- Picture in Picture (PiP) Image, exclusively appears in Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, displays close-up view of the selected target and its health bar. When a character is speaking, the PiP shows close-up view of the respective character/unit instead.
- Multi-Purpose Gauge, appears in Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception, Ace Combat Xi: Skies of Incursion and Ace Combat: Joint Assault. Displays current mission objective progress such as time remaining to complete the objective or defense target's strength.
- Assault Circle, exclusively appears in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon as a part of the Close Range Assault mechanic. The circle will expand and turns red when the player approaches DFM target, missiles fired during this moment will have enhanced accuracy and attack power.