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Homing Projectile

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"Our .50-caliber bullet can guide itself to a hit half a mile away."
Larry Shipers

A projectile or attack in interactive media (or a narrative description in non-interactive media) that homes in on its intended target. If you're firing it, it can be an effective means of eliminating targets without putting yourself in harm's way. If an enemy is firing it, you'll need to perform a High-Speed Missile Dodge, whip out a shield, trick its guidance system, Shoot the Bullet if it is destructible, or just outrun it until it loses steam.

A curious trait of most homing attacks is their inability to "lead" a moving target, resulting in them doggedly "trailing" behind if the target can move fast enough. Very few homing attacks will actually plot an intercept course on a moving target. This can often be justified, however, since "mere" tracking requires far less advanced software (and hardware) than proactive interception.

A fairly common projectile type in Shoot 'em Ups and Tabletop Games. Homing-type weapons in shmups in particular usually inflict less damage than other weapon choices, as a trade-off for allowing the player to turn off the part of their brain that aims at enemies.

Compare and Contrast with Player-Guided Missile. See also Flying Weapon, which has a tendency to chase after the target.

Subtropes include:

May or may not be a Pocket Rocket Launcher


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Goku (Kamehameha twin dragon shot), Krillin (Double Tsuihikidan), and Piccolo (Chasing Bullet) have all used homing Ki attacks at one time or another.
    • Android 13's S.S. Deadly Bomber takes this even further, as the energy ball is seen making sharp ninty-degree turns in its flight path to track its victim.
  • Hellsing: Rip Van Winkle has a rifle that shoots magic bullets that can immediately home on a target or do very fancy Roboteching.
  • One Piece:
    • Nami's Thunder Breed Tempo (a homing lightning bolt). Franky also claims that his shoulder cannons do this, but subverts it when it's really just himself running after the opponent.
    • Vander Decken IX ate the Mark Mark fruit, which allows him to "remember" one person per hand. If he then throws something with that same hand, he can make it chase the target until it hits or it's stopped. "Something" includes letters, arrows, giant axes, other people, a ship half the size of an island...
  • Toriko. Toriko can do this with his Flying Forks and Knives by using his sense of smell to track the targets scent.
  • Rebuild World: Akira, to replace his Grenade Launcher, gets mini-missile like bullets for his Bifurcated Weapon guns. They’re best for shooting down enemy missiles, and firing from moving vehicles. Firing them at No Range Like Point-Blank Range costs Akira one of his arms (he pays to get it re-grown).
  • Wolf's Rain: the Nobles have access to laser weapons that home in on their targets, inexplicably.

    Comic Books 
  • Darkseid has his Omega Effect Eye Beams, which take great pains to hit their target. They often do ridiculous Roboteching on the way there even if it's a straight shot, and often the only way to avoid getting obliterated by them is to either be Nigh-Invulnerable or throw someone in the way at the literal last second.
  • Superman: Terra-man's arsenal of Trick Bullets included heat seeker rounds that would home in on their target.

    Fan Works 

    Film – Animated 
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie: During Bowser's invasion of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario (wearing a Tanooki Suit) stops a Banzai Bill from destroying Princess Peach's castle by hitting it in the eye, which makes it mad and give chase. Mario flies through the mushroom forest with the giant bullet in hot pursuit until he lures it into the Warp Pipe from which he entered the kingdom, which destroys the pipe and transports a chunk of the kingdom into Brooklyn.

    Film – Live-Action 
  • Babylon A.D.. During the shoot-out in New York, one of the combatants fires a missile that homes in on the nanite-passport injected in the protagonist's neck. He only survives because someone shoots him dead to stop the signal, then revives him later.
  • Dune (2021). When Paul and Jessica escape from Kyne's Sietch in an Ornithopter, they're followed by Harkonnen troops in three other Ornithopters whom they attempt to evade by flying into a sandstorm. The Harkonnens aren't crazy enough to Try and Follow them, so fire off homing missiles before turning away. As he's flying a civilian Ornithopter he can't use flares to divert them, so has to fly into the sandstorm (instead of skirting the edge) so the missiles will be destroyed by the high-velocity winds (hopefully before his Ornithopter is).
  • The Fifth Element. In the famous scene where Zorg demos the ZF-1 for the Mangalores, he proudly shows off the "replay button" feature, firing a single bullet at the target, then pointing the gun in the opposite direction and firing on full auto; all the bullets curve backwards and hit the target where the first bullet did.
  • Present in GI Joe The Riseof Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation in both arrow and bullet form respectively.
  • In The Hunt for Red October, after a live torpedo latches onto the Red October, the commander orders a course directly at the enemy sub that had launched the torpedo in the first place. When he dodges at the last minute, the torpedo acquires the other sub as the target, blowing the enemy out of the water.
  • The Incredible Mr. Limpet: When Fish!Henry becomes the Navy's "secret weapon" thanks to his ability to track Nazi submarines, enemy scientists invent a missile that homes in on whatever makes his thunderous "thrum" noise. In the final battle, Henry takes advantage of this by using his sound to lure the missiles to the subs, then swimming out of the way before they strike.
    Crusty: Stop makin' that whale-bustin' thrum of yours! Those things go for it!
    Henry: Yeah, how 'bout that? Then I'll just keep it up! Follow me, you beepin' devil!
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: While most torpedoes are guided, and therefore should be guided IN SPACE!, this movie had a particular photon torpedo that was explicitly modified to counter an invisible enemy. The torpedo had a scientific instrument used to "catalogue gaseous anomalies" grafted into its guidance system. After being fired, the grafted sensor did what it was designed to do and brought the "probe" it was attached to up to the gaseous anomaly that was the cloaked ship's impulse engine ionized exhaust trail, and then the torpedo warhead did what it was designed to do.
  • Runaway. As well as his Killer Robots, Dr. Luther invents (and uses) a pistol firing projectiles that act like a tiny guided missiles, homing in on an individual's thermal signature.
    Sgt. James: This is a police nightmare. We used to worry about terrorists getting A-bombs? The real problem is this microelectronics stuff. I mean, a smart bullet?
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past. Magneto uses his powers to send a bullet arching out the window after Mystique, hitting her in the leg as she's falling (how would he know her position though, if she wasn't in his line-of-sight?) He's also accused of doing this during the Kennedy assassination, though Magneto denies it.

  • In Gold in the Sky by Alan E. Nourse, a spacecraft of the evil asteroid-mining corporation fires "homing shells" to blow up the rocketship owned by the heroes (fortunately the ship is on autopilot). They're basically guided missiles, but as the story was written in 1958 the term hadn't entered the popular vernacular yet.
  • In Vernor Vinge's The Peace War, the Tinkers have come up with smart bullets (with miniaturized cameras and guidance systems) that can be fired from a machine pistol. Lock in your targets, blind-fire one burst in their general direction, and still score a direct hit with every bullet.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Almost Human: The episode "You are Here" featured a 50 caliber homing bullet fired out of a very nifty rifle, guided through a city by advertising software.
  • Amazing Stories episode "Such Interesting Neighbors" shows the Lewis family threatened by slow-moving, heat-seeking, exploding energy balls. They lure one into a toaster and another into a hairdryer.
  • Andromeda: The Force Lance from the series did a lot of things including launching homing projectiles.
  • Blake's 7. Dayna's favourite weapon was a small wheeled robot that she could produce from nowhere and send around a corner or into a room to blow up some hapless mooks.
  • Chuck: "Chuck Versus The Suitcase" deals with a clip containing "smart bullets" which can home in on a target. Chuck and Sarah's mission is to get them back from the spy who stole them.
  • An episode of Flashpoint revolved around a thief aiming to steal a prototype smartgun, which (unrealistically) used radio waves to mark and track a target. This results in Ed Lane getting shot despite being behind cover. In the end, the SRU team uses a radio jammer to prevent the gun's bullets from tracking their targets, enabling them to take down the perp.
  • In one episode of Hogan's Heroes, the Nazis develop a special kind of bomb able to seek out radio signals. Fortunately, the POWs manage to discredit them by scattering handheld radios around the camp during the testing of the bombs.
  • Fancy Lee of Killjoys made then used a non-lethal non-line-of-sight dart that was not only portable and concealable but smaller than most normal darts.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Kimberly's arrows possess this ability, as memorably demonstrated in "Power Ranger Punks".

  • The video to The Street-cleaners (Дворник) by Otava Yo plays out like an old silent movie. In a duel between the main protaganists, the bullets fired hit everybody but the intended targets. The bullet's point of view is followed in slow-motion; one shot veers away from hitting one of the street-cleaners after it apparently reads a caption hanging in the air saying "Vegan". It appears to deliberate in the air for a moment, then swerves off and presumably takes out a meat-eater.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Ranged weapons with the "seeking" enchantment.
  • GURPS: Homing weapons can be purchased as equipment, some even with character stats, or with the right imbuement touched.
  • Mutants & Masterminds: An advantage one can buy allows any power an additional opportunity to hit fitting in the "attack" aspect.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • In the Gaiden Game Necromunda, and the background material of Warhammer 40,000 itself, the combat shotguns used by the law enforcement officers of the Adeptus Arbites and Necromunda Enforcers are equipped with special Executioner rounds as standard. These rare, adamantium-tipped projectiles contain sensors and a primitive robotic brain that allow it to lock onto energy patterns and seek them out with unerring accuracy.
    • The closest thing the orks have to a smart projectile is the Grot Bomb, essentially a missile with a cockpit piloted by a gretchin so it can make crude corrections to its trajectory. The gretchin is not informed of what happens once it hits the target, but it does give some semblance of accuracy to the army that named More Dakka.
    • The Sicarian Infiltrators of the Adeptus Mechanicus wield galvanic machine pistols called Flechette Blasters. They fire hundreds of tiny darts per second with homing beacons installed. When the first one hits, the beacon activates and attracts every subsequent flechette towards it. Small wounds end up becoming lethal by the time the magazine is empty.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat:
    • There's a variety of missiles for the player, ranging from the standard generic Missiles that can target anything and come in large numbers to more specialized long-range missiles that may do extra damage or lock on to multiple targets. Enemy pilots, especially ace pilots, can evade shots that aren't lined up properly.
    • Enemy aircraft, ships, and SAM units can launch missiles at the player. Their homing capabilities are about equal to the player's standard missiles.
  • Akuji the Heartless: One of Akuji's first spells, the Soul-Seeker, fires a blue energy blast that homes into his enemies.
  • Apocalypse: The homing missiles, first obtained in the prison levels to target out-of-reach enemies, and later shows up in the rooftop, city and war factory levels. They're VERY useful in taking down jetpack mooks.
  • Assault Retribution has high-powered homing rockets with large explosions against hordes and hordes of mutants.
  • Battle Corps has heat-seeking missiles as one of the many weapons you obtain.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: One of Gruntilda's spells in her Final Boss battle can't be avoided without using invincibility. She performs it only twice during most of the battle (namely at the end of the first phase, and at the end of the second), but will periodically shoot it during the final phase, urging the duo to activate the Jinjonator to win the battle before they run out of Gold Feathers (or, should they persist, before they run out of HP).
  • Banjo-Tooie has an Homing Egg code. It's earned after you deliver a special blue-colored egg to Heggy the Hen in Isle O' Hags. When you enter the code and then enable its effect in Mayahem Temple, your eggs will home onto the closest enemies, which becomes handy when you're dealing with fast flying mooks.
  • Missile-type weaponry in both BattleZone FPS/RTS games generally have some homing mechanic. Fire-And-Forget missiles and Swarm missiles can be dumbfired and will home in on the nearest target, whereas the Shadower and Comet require a target lock. Depending on the missile type, they require either a visual or radar contact, allowing infrared or visual cloaking to fool certain types of missiles. Seeker mines will float towards the nearest enemy and detonate on contact.
  • Atlas weapons in Borderlands 3 have homing capabilities, but you must first switch firing modes and tag your target with a tracking dart/grenade.
  • In Brood Star, several of the player's sub-weapons will home in on the nearest enemy unit when fired, such as the Mines or the Homing Missiles.
  • Bubble Tanks 2 and 3 have seeker missile sub-weapons, which do a good amount of damage. There's also the Doomsday Infector, which infects an enemy with a homing virus. The virus then starts sapping the enemy of health, and when the enemy dies, it releases 1-3 more of the virus to infect more enemies.
  • Castlevania has had multiple projectiles of this type, including the Thunder Orbs used by Sypha in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse and Yoko in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, the Spirits summoned by Alucard in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Charlotte in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Carrie's magical fireballs in Castlevania 64, and the Homing Daggers used by Nathan in Shooter Mode of Castlevania: Circle of the Moon.
  • Centipede (1998): The Anti-Air rocket will home in on airborne enemies if there are any nearby.
  • If you get your Dark-Elf's Disease Bolt spell high enough in Champions of Norrath, it will home in and hit the nearest enemy.
  • Chimera Beast: Your eater can evolve to have Extra Eyes on its body, which can then be fired out when you do your Charged Attack and home in on enemies.
  • Achieved accidentally as an artifact of the rendering engine in City of Heroes. Most single-target attacks have a visible effect that take a short time to reach their target, so if an attack that has been determined to be a hit goes off against a moving target, the visible effect (fire beam, energy blast, etc.) will arc to follow the target, no matter how fast it moves or how many turns it makes. It is sometimes possible, with a travel power at the speed cap or with Teleportation, depending on where you start, to reach a street exit to another zone and exit the zone before the visible blast hits you, although you will still take the damage from the attack.
  • Hiss demolition experts in Control launch missiles with annoyingly good tracking capabilities at Jesse, and since she's on foot the whole time, performing a precisely timed Flash Step High-Speed Missile Dodge is her only countermeasure except for catching the missile telekinetically and throwing it back at the shooter, which requires a skill that must be unlocked first. The Charge form of her Service Weapon also launches hi-ex missiles that display minor homing capabilities if the reticule was over the target when the shot was launched, so at least the missile spam is not entirely one-sided.
  • Cube Colossus: Missiles home into the enemy's position, and if released before enemies appear, they perform Roboteching to hit them.
  • A fairly annoying attack by bosses in Darius games.
  • Dark Souls: Projectile sorceries usually home on the locked enemy. And in this game, even arrows veer mid-flight to better hit you.
  • Descent: One of the weapons in the arsenal is homing missiles.
  • The Combat Rifle in Deus Ex: Human Revolution doesn't fire bullets, but flechettes. The gun can be given a weapon mod to give it lock-on capabilities, making your shots much more accurate and has the flechettes curve past cover.
  • Amazons in Diablo II can fire homing arrows. An early bug combined this with the Piercing skill to make the arrows home onto an enemy, hit them, pass through them, then turn around and do it again.
    • Demon Hunters in Diablo III can do the same. Overlaps with Pinball Projectile when done in narrow passages, as it will look like the arrow bounces off the walls. In open spaces, however, the Demon Hunter can fire an arrow in the complete opposite direction of an enemy and the arrow will simply make a sharp turn mid-air and hit the enemy anyhow. Furthermore, the Demon Hunter has various skills that can also be upgraded with runes to fire homing rockets.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!: Barbos's shellfish flunkies home in on Enguarde, and and must be manipulated to knock out his barriers.
    • Donkey Kong 64: A big beeping missile with a face is used by the upgraded Army Dillo during his boss rematch in Crystal Caves. The Kongs can also find limited amounts of Homing Ammo for their guns, but they must visit Funky Kong in Fungi Forest to learn how to use them.
  • Doom II: The Revenants launch missiles that the player has to get real creative to avoid.
  • Dyna Gear have homing, exploding arrows as one of the many power-ups you can obtain, especially helpful for taking down Airborne Mooks when you're trapped on platforms.
  • Earthworm Jim 2 had a weapon that fired homing projectiles that looked like homes.
  • Einhänder had an awesome version of this- the Wasp missiles homed in on both background AND foreground targets as well!
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC, Seekers are a Cthulhumanoid form of lesser Daedra in service to Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge. Seekers, befitting their name, can use ranged Vampiric Draining spells which home in their targets.
  • Escape Velocity has a variety of homing projectiles in all games. The ways to avoid them depend on the projectile: some are slower and turns slower, and can be avoided until they detonate, some lose lock if the target isn't directly ahead, some get decoyed by asteroids, some get confused by system sensor interference, and behind the scenes there are four different types of jamming that any projectile can be differently susceptible to — Override has a mission string about testing a new jammer that works against a missile resistant to sensor interference and normal jamming, while Nova has an expensive missile that is almost identical to one of the cheapest guided missiles except in only being susceptible to the rarest, weakest type of jamming.
  • In Evolve, the support hunter Bucket has a laser guided missile launcher as his primary weapon. Because the projectiles home on the laser rather than the monster, clever players can use this to lead the target or even shoot around obstacles. Another hunter, Emet, has a variant where you first fire a pellet that the rest of his missiles will home in on.
  • Nearly all secondary weapons in FreeSpace. There are generally two types: heat-seaking and aspect-seeking. Heat-seekers will just home in on whatever is closest to them, while aspect-seekers require a lock to be established first and will seek out that specific target. The effectiveness of the homing varies depending on the specific type of missile; some of them Lead the Target much better than others.
  • Fairyside:
    • Shirley can get the "Homing spells" upgrade to make her spells pink and homing once they get close to an enemy.
    • The Chained dog can fire projectiles that track Shirley, instead of just a fixed pattern.
  • Fishgun have the "Swarm" weapon that homes on the nearest available enemy when fired. It can also be combined with the Spread Shot to rain a hail of projectiles on large clusters of mooks.
  • From the Depths: Most of the weapons fired from the missile system are capable of homing in on their target.
  • Gimmick! (1992): The boss of stage 5 shoots slow homing missiles that block your attacks.
  • Gun-type God Arcs in the God Eater series can be loaded with homing bullets and lasers. Saves some frustration when you're trying to hit something fast-moving, but homing attacks target center of mass and so can't be used to aim at specific points on the Aragami.
  • Guns of Icarus includes homing rocket turrets.
  • Throughout Halo:
    • Halo: Combat Evolved introduced franchise staples the Needler and Plasma Pistol.
    • Halo 2's Rocket Launcher can home in on vehicles, turrets, and Sentinel Enforcers.
    • Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST have the Missile Pod, which is capable of Roboteching.
    • In Halo: Reach, the Rocket Launcher and Rocket Hog turret can home in on aircraft (which has carried over into subsequent games), the Banshee Bomb can lock on to vehicles and turrets, and the Plasma Launcher can lock onto both vehicles and infantry.
    • In Halo 4, the campaign version of the Mantis can fire homing missiles.
    • In Halo 5: Guardians, the Suppressor and Boltshot now fire tracking shots, with the Scattershot also able to do so if you first ricochet its shots off something. The campaign version of the Mantis can now lock onto multiple enemies with its missiles at once, though the standard multiplayer version can only do so against aircraft. Additionally, several REQ variant weapons/vehicles in Warzone have special lock-on capabilities.
  • The Homing Missiles in Heavy Weapon, which only home in on air targets. There were also two kinds of annoying helicopters that fire homing missiles at you, jets with Deflector Shields that do the same, and 13 of the 19 bosses have some kind of homing missile attack.
  • In the Hunt has missiles weapon that home in on targets above the water surface.
  • The Missile Launcher from Jazz Jackrabbit fires heat-seeking missiles which change their flight paths to hit the nearest enemy. It's especially useful against the type of enemies that chase and attack the player when he gets too close to them.
  • Jet Force Gemini: The Homing Missiles are heat-seeking projectiles that aim at whichever Drone or Airborne Squadron they first approach after being shot. They're so accurate that they'll even take full laps around the largest enemies in case they miss, which makes them useful during the Final Boss battle against Mizar.
  • Jumpman has projectiles that move slowly from the side of the screen. Once they are aligned (i.e. same horizontal/vertical position), they accelerate and move towards Jumpman. They only make one turn, and thus are easily dodged by moving.
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land: Downplayed, If you shoot a star bullet near an enemy from far enough away, it will drift towards the enemy, however if you simply shoot and don't try to aim it towards an enemy, it won't activate.
  • Several of Kolibri's weapons have a homing feature.
  • Last Rites grants you a rocket launcher with a "Lock On" feature — hold the trigger, hover your mouse over your intended target, and release.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: Cynder can breathe out bursts of darkness that track targets.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Fusing a monster eyeball to an arrow will cause that arrow to lock onto an enemy and follow them around until it hits it; this will prioritize headshots, but can be intercepted by the target's body if it's in the way. Elemental keese eyeballs will also create elementally-charged homing projectiles.
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime: Adding a power gem to the Yamato cannon causes it to fire off swarms of small missiles that home in on and chase down enemies and bosses.
  • Mario Kart: While regular green shells bounce randomly around the track, red shells lock in on the driver that's in front of you when they're shot, while blue shells infallibly head over to the driver in front.
  • Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3: Several of Shepard's powers fire projectiles that home in on the target, allowing the powers to be fired in an arc around obstacles. Almost all of these powers when used by Shepard's squadmates instantly hit the target instead.
  • Mega Man:
    • Many enemies, minibosses and bosses fire homing projectiles.
    • Mega Man Legends: Late in the game, Megaman can gain access to the Active Buster, a missile launcher that fires extremely fast-moving projectiles, whose homing capabilities can be upgraded even further.
  • Sektor of Mortal Kombat fame shoots homing missiles as a special move in Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat 9, although in the latter it uses up a third of the Super Meter.
  • Metal Slug: From Metal Slug X onward, there is the Enemy Chaser (represented by a C icon), which are homing missiles that targets the nearest enemy with deadly accuracy. The missiles are weaker than the more common Rocket Launcher, but can come in handy in extremely tricky situations (such as when there are three fast-moving enemy speedboats right below the player which are extremely difficult to hit).
  • Oni: Mukade can unleash a glowing red spherical bullet that will steadily chase after Konoko no matter how far she runs, taking a very long time to disappear. This can be mitigated by the force shield you can obtain right before the lift leading to Mukade.
  • Over Horizon: "Homing" is one of your three weapons, but with Weapon Edit you can give your other weapons minor homing tendencies as well.
  • Prehistorik Man: One weapon pickup is an egg that allows the player to fire homing (and very damaging) dinosaurs at enemies.
    • Missile type weapons will just home in on targets, which can be good or bad depending on who's shooting them.
    • Observe carefully the AI helicopters firing a Hellfire missile at you as you leap wildly everywhere. Their missile both leads and homes in on you.
  • Radiant Silvergun: Two of the weapons shoot homing projectiles.
  • A quasi-example: Raptor: Call of the Shadows has orange flak balls that are shot at your plane instead of the normal ones that are shot straight. A large majority of Mooks, airborne and grounded, use these on you, especially on the later levels and harder difficulties; these make them Goddamned Bats.
  • RAY Series: Homing laser beams, homing missiles, homing lightning bolts. This series loves this trope! The central mechanic in RayForce is the lock-on laser beams.
  • Recca: The Homing weapon naturally, as well as your Laser weapon at maximum level. As for the enemies- too many to count.
  • RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore: Starting in Sutole, the red spheres that some mecha-monsters fire now curve their way slightly towards Remi instead of just following a straight trajectory like they did in Jenua.
  • R-Type III: The high-level missiles home in on targets.
  • Serious Sam has reptiloids and final boss of The First Encounter shooting these. In Serious Sam II, the enemies shooting homing missiles include witches, helicopters and two types of sci-fi orcs.
  • Skunny Kart: There is a missile pickup which can be used to target and hit other players.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic can become this through the Homing Attack. Other characters can do it as well, such as Shadow, Amy, and Espio.
  • Several weapons in Star Control possess homing capability, and they're balanced in various ways to compensate. The Mycon's homing plasmoids travel very slowly and are quite easy to redirect into their source ship if they're travelling too fast; The Mmrnmhrm's homing missiles are very weak; the Human Cruiser's nuclear missiles turn in wide trajectories; and the Spathi's B.U.T.T. missiles are strictly weapons to use while retreating.
  • All ships in Star Wars Battlefront (2015), from the standard Rebel X-Wing to Darth Vader's TIE Advanced, come equipped with homing proton torpedos that can be fired after locking onto an enemy ship for a few seconds.
  • Steel Diver: Sub Wars has homing torpedoes. Each sub can only fire three before needing to pick up homing torpedo pickups to replenish them, and homing torpedoes fire much slower than their non-homing counterparts.
  • All missile weapons in Stellaris have 100% tracking, meaning they'll virtually never miss their target, and they're even capable of going after another one if the original victim is destroyed before they reach it. The only way to get rid of such a Super-Persistent Missile is by shooting it down with fighters or point defences, and that's not foolproof since high-level missiles and torpedos can be more resilient and nimble than fighter craft, allowing them to tank or evade defensive fire until they strike home.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3: The game marks the debut of Bull's-Eye Bills, red-colored Bullet Bills which will turn around shortly after they move past Mario and Luigi in order to get another chance to hit them.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: Starting from this game, Bullet Bills in various 3D games home in on Mario to varying degrees (they don't do it in Super Mario 3D World, but a variant known as Cat Bill does).
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii: Ludwig Van Koopa can shoot homing fireballs (thankfully much slower than regular fireballs). The game also introduces the Bull's-Eye Banzai, a variant of the Bullet Bill that chases Mario and his friends like Bull's-Eye Bills do.
  • Team Fortress 2: Custom game mode "Dodgeball" has rockets which, unlike normal ones fired by the Soldier, home in on a player. The game is to use the Pyro's compression blast to deflect the rocket at the enemy team, who are trying to do the same.
  • TerraTech allows the player to attach missile launchers to their vehicle. Missiles aim towards the nearest enemy and track them at high speed.
  • Touhou Project: All games have this as an available shot-type, usually held by Reimu. They also occasionally have homing projectiles as enemies' attacks — most often in the form of bullets that periodically reorient themselves, but there are also projectiles with true homing, like Seiga's ball lightning.
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon has Torpedoes and Mines. Torpedoes follow their target until they either hit something, run out of time and detonate, or are shot down by Point Defence Lancers. Mines act the same way except they don't start moving until an enemy moves close enough to activate them.
  • Homing missiles are an option in most of the Twisted Metal series, and fire missiles have a limited ability to veer towards targets close to their trajectory. Spectre's ghost missiles will home in on you even if doing so makes them pass harmlessly through walls and road.
  • Tyrian has Heavy Guided Bombs and Guided Micro Bombs, the latter of which is dangerously close to a Game-Breaker as it was akin to Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Unreal and Unreal Tournament have a homing missile as an alternate fire for their rocket launcher.
  • Warframe's Buzlok rifle can fire a homing dart onto an enemy, which then causes all subsequent shots to arc towards the dart - even if the gun is fired in the opposite direction.
  • Wildcat Gun Machine grants you a missile launcher that fires homing rounds, on full auto. The downside is that some of the bosses have homing attacks too, notably the last one who can release a homing Ring of Fire (!!!).
  • In the similar Will Rock, two bosses (Hephaestus and Medusa) uses this.
  • Worms offers homing missiles as well as exploding homing pigeons and a magic bullet that spell's instant death to who-ever is locked onto. Worms 2 had some special weapons that included a homing airstrike and a homing cluster grenade.
  • Zone 66: From the first level onwards, your plane will at times be targeted with self-guiding missiles.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Robo-Wolf and Guardromon can shoot missiles. They aren't super-persistent though.
  • RWBY: Though he tends to fire off projectiles in a normal fashion from his boots, Mercury is capable of manipulating the Dust by breakdancing while simultaneously shooting numerous bullets into the air, causing them to circle above his opponents before crashing down on top of them.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: The series and the movie Destroy All Aliens has both homing and non-homing projectiles.
  • TaleSpin: Used by Panda-La in their invasion of Cape Suzette in "Last Horizons", as hinted earlier on by the child's toy mouse and its attraction to the heat of a lantern. Baloo counters this by filling the Seaduck with ice cream, lowering its temperature, and intercepting said projectiles with lit dynamite.

    Real Life 
  • Since the 1940s, the world's militaries have been developing and deploying guided munitions of every sort, including missiles, bombs, artillery shells, torpedoes, and even mines. For some examples, see the appropriate sections of Naval Weapons, Air-Launched Weapons, and Modern Battlefield Weapons, as well as Forces with Firepower for the various national flavors.
  • A group of engineers at Sandia National Laboratories are working on developing a homing .50 sniper's bullet. They started by removing the rifling from the barrel and adding movable stabilizer fins to the round. Electronics inside the bullet allow it to home on its target, to a point (it obviously won't be able to turn back around if you miss).
  • In the meantime, the Italian and French navies already field it in their artillery:
    • As their CISW doctrine calls for larger and longer-ranged guns in place of faster-firing but shorter-ranged weapons, the Italian firm OTO Melara (through its Otobreda branch) developed guided shells for their 76mm Super Rapid multi-purpose guns used by both navies, and, as the Italian Navy wanted more, developed a 127mm-caliber version and the new 127/64 Lightweight gun to fire it.
    • And to continue the long Italian tradition of Combat Pragmatism in an era where some of the earlier tricks are done by everyone or would be war crimes, Iveco (maker of the Centauro tank destroyer) and OTO Melara gave us the Porcupine: a prototype consisting of a Centauro chassis mated with a 155mm howitzer capable of firing homing shells to targets up to 60 km away. And the ability to hit the poor target with four of them at the same time.
    • Multiple Rounds, Simultaneous Impact is common in modern artillery systems.


Video Example(s):


Splatoon 2 - Torpedo

When it detects an enemy after being thrown, the Torpedo unfolds in midair and homes in on the target.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / HomingProjectile

Media sources: