|For the weapon in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, see Heat-Seeking Rocket Launcher.|
- "Infrared and guided fire-and-forget missile launcher. For all your moving target needs."
- — In-game description.
The weapon is a shoulder-fired surface-to-air (SAM) missile launcher, based on the SA-7 Grail, though it has a tracking antenna and trigger guard from a FIM-92 Stinger. The launcher's warhead is also exposed, instead of housed in the tube. It has the unique ability of targeting vehicles, both ground and air. Its targeting system is similar to the missiles found on the Buzzard, Savage, Hydra and the P-996 LAZER, being able to lock-on to selected targets indicated by an outlined box. It can also be fired freely without any targets. As such, it is similar to the Heat Seeking Rocket Launcher from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
The Homing Launcher has an incredibly long range, being able to follow fighter jets for very long distance, surpassing all missiles/rockets in GTA V (including mounted rockets on vehicles). The projectiles fired by the Homing Launcher are very fast and can easily chase down a P-996 LAZER in flight. The missiles can destroy or disable aircraft in only one hit, making them the best weapon to use against aircraft, alongside the Minigun. The missile is most effective at pursuing escaping enemies, as approaching ones will have a much easier time dodging the missile. However, it takes approximately 2-3 seconds to acquire lock-on to a target. Additionally, it can carry only 10 rockets instead of 20 unlike the normal Rocket Launcher. Homing Launcher missiles have the ability to make sharper turns compared to missiles fired from military aircraft.
A well-shot missile is likely a death sentence for unarmored helicopters and slow planes. However an experienced pilot in a fighter jet will easily dodge its shots, although he will probably break off his attack while missiles are in air in order to get rid of them.
Unlike the Rocket Launcher however, the explosion damage is lower and, as such, vehicle explosion is not guaranteed when hitting an aircraft or an armored helicopter such as the Cargobob. It will, at least, destroy the engine (in the case of aircraft with multiple engines, one of the two) and may even blow parts off, making piloting the said vehicle much harder.
The Homing Launcher has been rebalanced in the Heists Update to have increased reload times, reduced firing rate, and an increase to the resilience of large capacity planes against it.
Avoiding the Homing Launcher
- To avoid a lock-on from other players, the player could choose to stay out of the Homing Launcher's lock on range. Flying at a high attitude is advisable in areas with a high concentration of players to avoid a lock-on. Against players armed with Homing Launchers, an effective attack is performing near-vertical diving strikes with a fighter jet.
- If the player does get locked on by a Homing Missile, quickly enabling passive mode will result in the missile doing no damage towards your vehicle. Think of this as a countermeasure against a Homing Missile, however, the player will have to wait 10 seconds to disable passive mode and 60 seconds before they can switch back to passive mode again.
- The player can easily dodge / avoid Homing Missiles locked on to the player when in a plane, taking evasive maneuvers such as flying around buildings and rolling the aircraft away from the missile are an option. However, if the plane is not fast or maneuverable, it's best that the player either bail out or quickly enable passive mode.
- It's very difficult to avoid a Homing Missile while flying a helicopter since Homing Missiles almost always hit their target when locked onto player controlled helicopters. The player's best options are to bail out of the helicopter, enable passive mode, or continue to fly away from the missile, bearing in mind the fact the missile can follow the player for long distances.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Available in all three protagonists' weapon inventory after the update is installed (Only PS3 and X360 version)
- Available in Ammu-Nation after Minor Turbulence is completed in the campaign. (enhanced version)
Grand Theft Auto Online
- Available for purchase from Ammu-Nation for $75,000.
- Can be found within a Galaxy Super Yacht interior, in the first bedroom in the left hallway, next to a Proximity Mine.
- A missile fired from a Homing Launcher locked onto a player controlled aircraft (especially noted with helicopters) is able to sweep back around when it misses its target the first time.
- Rockets fired at stronger vehicles (like the Rhino Tank, Cargobob, etc) by the Homing Launcher may cause fire to be spread onto the vehicle. Although this can avoid explosion, it can still cause damage to the vehicle, especially aircraft.
- According to the text on the side of the weapon, the Homing Launcher is property of the San Andreas Government.
- Rocket Launcher - A weapon with a similar purpose appearing in most Grand Theft Auto titles.
- Heat-Seeking Rocket Launcher - Equivalent of the Homing Launcher in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.