TAG Laser (Target Acquisition Gear) is a weapon designed to mark targets for friendly guided missiles. All guided and semi-guided missiles will direct towards the target (that is: LRMs, Arrow4s, SSRMs and Tbolts). When using the TAG laser other players see an indicator on their radar, map, and Heads Up Display (HUD). Tag Laser has a reach of 1350 meters.
The TAG marks targets by being held directly on an enemy target for a few seconds, after which it will 'lock on' to the target. This lights the target up, placing a beacon (identical to that of a NARC pod) on the target, and making it visible on radar for any allies, no matter where they are on the map. All tracking missiles fired without a lock will then seek the targeted enemy. Once a TAG lock has been acquired, the TAG laser must remain on to keep the target lit up, however, the TAG user only needs to keep Line of Sight with the target for the lock to remain stable; even if the TAG laser itself is moved off the target, so long as the target remains the in visual focus of the TAGger, it will continue to be marked for allies.
While the user of the TAG has to keep line of sight to the intended target and thus is risking constant damage due to enemy fire the TAG also has some significant advantages over the NARC. For one, the TAG-beacon can be seen by all friendly units on the map, regardless of radar range, the only prerequesite being that they are running in Active Radar mode, making it the ultimate tool for spotting targets for friendly Long Toms. And second, the TAG also makes whatever it has locked on to targetable via radar, transmitting the armor status and distance to friendly units.
The Battle Armor portable TAG functions identically, except that it can only paint targets within 700 meters.
The TAG laser's beam is invisible to enemy units under normal light, but can be seen by an enemy unit if that unit is using light amplification mode, though they can still the muzzle flash of the Battle Armor TAG laser. It is visible to friendly units with or without light amplification.
Before Beta 0.6.0, the TAG was considered more of an annoyance than an actually useful asset to the team. We decided to archive the old description for the TAG for historic purposes: (THIS INFORMATION IS OUT OF DATE AND NO LONGER APPLIES TO THE CURRENT VERSION OF THE GAME)
When guided missiles are dumbfired they will go towards nearest TAG target - even if it is not an opponent. The TAG laser's operator has to hold the beam exactly at the target - missiles will head to wherever it is pointing, and if the operator is not careful they can hit allies or the ground. When dumbfiring SSRMs towards a TAG target be careful to watch the distance to the target as the missiles will explode after flying 300 meters, making it difficult to hit the target if it is behind a large obstacle.
NARC beacons have priority over TAG lasers; a dumbfired missile will seek NARC beacons before TAG lasers.
Target Acquisition Gear (TAG) is an advanced targeting device for use by artillery spotters. While laser designators had been in use for centuries, the development of laser-spoofing systems had decreased their usability by the 26th century. To foil these countermeasures TAG utilizes several systems at once to accurately mark the target. The system was first introduced by the Terran Hegemony in 2600, but it became lostech during the Succession Wars until it was recovered by the Federated Commonwealth in 3044.
The following vehicles equip these weapons: