MechWarrior Online Tactics and Strategy Guide



MechWarrior Online Tactics and Strategy Guide by Discordantone

Most think that it is simple enough to replicate what they see a teammate dominating with, and then just run and gun… what they fail to seem to notice is the tactic in which their teammate deployed against various enemies. This thread has evolved to being both Killing Tactics, and Tactics on how to perform as various roles or in various mechs. Feel free to post your tactics and ideas.

*If you are going to use these tactics, read the entire guide… I’ve noticed many individuals using -part- of the whole, and by doing so opening themselves up to gaps either in their tactics, or leaving still deadly enemies behind themselves while they move on to ‘clip the wings’ of the next, and ending up dead. Never leave something behind you that still has the potential to kill you, only clip and ignore those that you are certain no longer have the ability to kill you.

**Note: This Guide is a compendium of many different player’s tactics, ideas, thoughts, profiles, and strategies. Therefore you will find within it many different, and occasionally conflicting, opinions concerning various mechs, builds, and strategies. This is a good thing, as no two play styles are the same, nor should they be. Find your own niche, and go from there. If you discover something better than what is listed within this compendium, or something that we have forgotten, post it and I will ensure it finds it’s home here.

Kill Tactics:

Hunchbacks: This seems simple enough, however their arms and torso aren’t generally what’s killing you, it’s their shoulders. Also, if you manage to rip the shoulder out (it’s actually bulky compared to it’s arms), you take the arm and it’s laser with it. Most of their armaments are in their shoulders, so if you drop the shoulder/shoulders that it’s weapon hardpoints are in, you’ve got a plinker that’s just become a nuisance.

Awesome/Dragon: These two are obnoxious, because their weapon points, like an Atlas, are all over the place… however, aside from a couple of small weapons (yes I include medium lasers in the small weapon category when it’s fewer than 3-4), their arms are where the punch is coming from. Tear off the arms, or the shoulders and by-proxy their arms, and then you can get down to work on their core. (Do note, however, which version of the Awesome they are in… if they have three huge cannon ports… two on their chest and one on one arm… it’s likely best to go for the shoulders, or to simply core them, as removing their ‘gun arm’ is not going to save you.)

Jenner/Raven: These are quick lil-buggers. In fact, that’s about all they have going for them (admittedly the Raven needs a bit of an upgrade, it’s a squish with almost no guns, whereas the Jenner is incredibly fast and has a myriad of hurt). Take out a leg, it’s easy enough just swipe across them with lasers… or lob rockets at them until they are dead… but if you take out a leg, you’ve just turned a fast moving little annoyance into a helpless spitfire. However, like the Commando, the last thing you want to do is ignore them and consider them to not be a threat… but do NOT CHASE THEM AROUND if you are not capable of keeping up with them, this is their plan, to single you out, because one on one they have the upper hand, and they’re likely luring you into the open for their support to rain fire on you.

Commando: Everyone has their own play style and thus a mech that suits them… from my stand point, I do not care for the little guy too much, however that does not denote the fact that we shall leave him out. The Commando’s reach – as I posted, it has a torso twist of 90 degrees PLUS an arm twist of 40 degrees, making for a total of 130 degrees reach. The Jenner has a 120 degree torso twist and a zero degree arm twist, making for a total of 120 degrees reach – 10 degrees less than the Commando – and an inability to point your torso away from your line of fire, and they -can- dish out some pain with SRMs and pokes. (Information provided by stjobe.) Ensure that you remove one of their legs, and preferably their arms, if you cannot outright kill them. Though tackling them is rather easy as almost every mech outweighs them, an Atlas can tackle one merely by bumping into him. Do not underestimate this mech merely because it’s price is the cheapest, they can and will make you sorry that you left them to their own devices.

Catapult: This one is a tad tricky… some catapults are obvious, you knock those giant ‘arms’ off of them and they become mildly annoying spitfires… however as you’ve likely learned by now some of them carry Gauss Rifles instead… these are -not- in their arms, and generally their arms are empty (save maybe some small rockets), and their shoulders are fairly hard to hit unless you can get beside them. Aim for the center of their torso and you will hit them in the ‘head.’ A few decent shots to it and you’ve got yourself a dead Catapult.

Centurion: This little baby is just a box of hurt, but he’s fairly squishy. Taking out his arms, however, does get rid of quite a bit of hurt, however he has weapon slots all across his front. Pay attention to see what -kind- of weapons he’s dishing, and aim for the location that holds that hardpoint, from there, if he was intending to do real damage, he focused on that hardpoint the most as far as tonnage, and as such take it out and then worry about the kill.

Atlas: This is a hulking monster of pain and death and is as tough as nails… and unfortunately if it’s upgraded, staying behind it is not always the easiest thing. If you can, rip off it’s shoulders (you will take the arm out with it, and if he’s hauling an XL engine you will flat out kill him), because his ballistic and missile weapons are there. If you’re in a running fight with the beastie, just aim for the torso. Yes, head shots are nice, but he’s tough enough to take a few unless you’re sporting a gauss rifle with bloody good aim.. By the time you’ve worked out his head, he’s going to have torn through you. Focus on the center, you can’t miss it, and just chew through his armor… and -do not stop moving-, even if you’re another Atlas. The worst thing you can do is stand still long enough to let him get a bead on you with his ridiculous arsenal of hurt.

Against Light Mechs: Do not let scouts trick you into chasing them. You can’t catch them unless you’re a scout, they turn on a dime, and it is their -plan- to separate you out. If you do not have rockets, and they run off away from you… just ignore them until they come back or are in range for you to hit, don’t focus on them and futilely chase them around the map.

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Basics, Tactics and Roles:

Light Class

  • Your primary role is Scout and secondary role is a Quick Reaction Force. Whether you like it or not you will almost always be the fastest and the most mobile mech out of your team. Because of that you must be the Eyes and Ears of the team by scouting and the Reflex of the team as well by being a Quick Reaction force. You don’t want to be a blind, deaf, and a slow fighting force do you?
    • Eyes/Ears: You need to scout and make as much noise as possible about enemy movements. Whether that’s yelling in teamspeak (“Atlas coming in E4!”), or just typing madly in chat window (“Enemy Cent/Hunch G4 flanking Watch out Awesome”.) Also make sure you R (Target the enemy mech) so that it flags it for your team mates.
    • Reflex: Because lights are usually fastest and most agile, you need to operate as a quick reaction force. Do you see an enemy light trying to flank your assaults? Is your base being captured while majority of your team is pretty far away or engaged in heavy fire fight and can’t turn their backs to run back home? This is when you step in. You are quick enough to get in there and engage enemy light trying to flank and core your friendly assaults. You are quick enough to turn around and run back home even in middle of heavy fire fight to defend or stall your base being captured.
    • NARC/TAG Tip. Do try to narc/tag smartly and lock on to slow moving units or high value targets. Try not to narc/tag enemy lights when there is some amount of distance and/or tall environment run around in. Lights are agile enough to hide or to break lock, shield behind an environment, or simply outrun LRMs at a certain distance and in certain environments. Do try to narc/tag slower more easy targets and mechs that typically need focusing down on or whatever your ‘commander’ is yelling for. Units like the Atlas are slow at moving and turning. It’s hard for Atlas to move away or even hide in-time. Hell it’s even hard for Atlas to turn in time to take on LRM at a certain angle where they have some armor left, or in my opinion high value like dual ‘gausspults’ because they can deal heavy damage and if taken out early, it can reduce quite a bit on damage your enemy can inflict. That said, if friendlies are 250-300m away and you have an enemy light in fairly open field… light it up with NARC/TAG. I’ll guarantee the enemy light will regret it because even the fastest and the mobile agile light mech with a good pilot won’t be able to dodge LRMs locked in at this kind of close range without cover.
    • Once you find targets, and you intend to scout, carry TAGs or NARCs so that you can actually mark targets without having to stop and stare at them. If you just see them and run off, all of your long range support loses sight of them as well, which means that you render your missile boats useless unless the enemy team is dumb enough to walk into an open line of fire.

Medium Class

  • You are the Skirmishers of the battlefield. Able to dish out punishment, though you are not protean behemoths that can stand and take gratuitous amounts of pounding before you fall. You are fast, though not so much so as your smaller Light Mech brethren, and your ability to twist, turn, aim and fire is as rapid paced as it is accurate. You aren’t there to take the brunt of the enemy team’s firepower, however in hit and run tactics, or in pinpoint tearing through enemies, you excel.
    • Along with the smaller scout class, you are the speed of your team, and as such you should be attempting to either sniff out enemy locations, or reacting when your base comes under attack. Unlike the smaller scouts, however, you can actually, assuming you run across a lone stray, actually stay and fight effectively on your own, while maintaining visual on the target for your long ranged support to be lobbing shells and rockets at them.
    • Always remember that, against a well piloted heavy mech, going from behind them to in front of them can happen very very quickly… not only that, but as long as you have them in your sights, if you are up close, they have you in theirs, and their support mechs are going to be lobbing rounds at you. Thus, keep moving, always keep moving, and don’t stop moving, until you either get away, or you are safely out of combat once again.
    • Always keep in mind that, while yes you do have an impressive amount of fire power at your disposal, especially in a Hunchback, your firepower can quickly turn to dusts given a few well placed shots. Try to keep your ‘sensitive side’ facing away from the person you are in combat with, letting them pound on the side you spent the least amount of tonnage and focus on, while you rip them apart.
    • More than any other class, if you can manage to cripple an enemy, or tear off a shoulder/arm and then get away from them, do so, as it will improve your odds of not being on the receiving end of an LRM volley or ten.
    • In Mass group fighting, try to stay somewhat behind the bigger, heavier mechs, so that fire stays focused on them as opposed to yourself, and use those pinpoint weapons of yours (admittedly there are some inaccurate ones as well, but hey), to assist your team again by focusing down the weapons of enemy heavy and assault mechs, as opposed to spending your time chewing through tons of armor plating that coat their cores… you still get assist experience (which is comparable to the kill itself), and you will keep your heavies alive much longer which, in turn, means that they are still taking fire and you aren’t.

Heavy Class

  • Here we find one of the strangest mixes, at least of the mechs available thus far… the Dragon and the Catapult. These two mechs are as different in play styles as any two mechs could be, therefore I will keep this bit simple, and dedicate a paragraph to each.
    • The Dragon is a front line mech that ultimately is the hurt locker of an attack force. You are touch enough to stand up to the brunt of the front lines, though no quite as much as an assault mech, yet are quick enough to stay on target and force them down, while still managing to turn and bail should you need to. You have enough up-front, in your face, pain that you can manage to dish to an enemy mech that even an Atlas thinks twice about standing still and merely taking the beating, however in a toe to toe fight, with a comparably equipped and skilled Assault mech, they will merely outlast you. You have to learn your limits, as to when it is best to stand and fight, and when it is best to dip back behind your lines to catch your breath for another assault.
    • The Catapult is fairly straight forward… you stand in the background and lob horribly damaging projectiles into the fray (hopefully missing your teammates), whether it be LRMs, Gauss Rounds, or PPCs. While there is currently a tendency towards Streak SRMs stacked on the A1 class catapult, I would not recommend this strategy for a newer player, as it requires you to be in what amounts to a long ranged turret (you are heavy because you draw a lot of attention and fire) that quite literally runs up to it’s target and gets in their face, pounding at their core. This takes practice, and timing, and I would recommend that concept for after you are more accustomed to obtaining a fast lock and managing to land your rounds decisively and accurately, even at extreme range. Remember that Infrared (H) and zoom can be your best friends while wielding PPCs and Gauss Cannons, as their declared range is one thing, the fact that they are line of sight in point of fact is another. If you can see it, you can hit it, at least with those two weapons.

Assault Class

  • You are the big, hulking terrors of the battlefield. Your range of weaponry is nearly unlimited, as are the roles that you can assume (though admittedly you make dreadful scouts, as you are not exactly fast). Your armor is peered by no one else on the battle field aside from other Assault Mechs, however this does not make you invulnerable. In point of fact, this makes you the biggest target that is slowly making it’s way down range.
    • As both the Awesome and the Atlas the sheer firepower at your disposal is enormous, the amount of hurt that you can dish out in a very short order is exceedingly impressive, and your ability to withstand punishment is unparallelled… this also makes you, generally, the first and primary target of the entirety of the other team. For this reason, just like the lighter classed mechs, positioning is just as important, if not more so, to you than anything else. In the open you are a slow moving hulk that every LRM within range of you is going to soon be raining down upon, and your AMS can only stop so many. Remember that, while you are indeed incredibly tough, and pack a massive punch, you are not immortal.
    • While you are, indeed, the paramount Front Line of your force, you also need to be aware of those who are going to use you as a shelter to hide behind, and attempt to not to step into their line of fire if you can manage. No one likes a Gauss round or two in the spine, least of all a mech (assaults) that scouts tend to love to try and get behind to tear at that lack of armor there.
    • Remember that, even while walking as slowly as you do, you can ram into your own team’s mechs, thus causing them damage, and therefore you have to keep track of both where the enemy team is, and your own.
    • While you -can- stack countless light weapons on yourself, there is no real reason to do so, as your medium and light mechs do this already. You have the tonnage to carry around the biggest, nastiest weapons in the game, and thus your unparallelled ability to dish out mammoth amounts of damage to an enemy mech should it be bold enough to decide to try and stand and fight you.
    • Do not chase scouts. You cannot catch them, and if you set off to chase one, he is winning in a way, as he will invariably pull you out into the open so that his catapults and other long range support can tear you apart.
    • Again, you are an exceedingly tough mech, however let your scouts do their jobs and do the Enemy Locating for you… doing this on your own may merely end up with you poking that big head and shoulders up over a ridge, or around a corner, and you will promptly discover why Gauss Cannons are feared.
    • While the XL engines are lovely things, as it means that you can pack on all that more hurt, you also then have to ensure to, the best you can, ensure that you protect your shoulders, as the loss of a shoulder no longer merely decreases your firepower, it simply means you die,

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Mech Piloting Specifics:

Commando

Class: Light
Role: Striker or Scout

Strength: Your speed and your small size are your greatest assets; depending on variant you can also pack a rather nasty 50-point alpha strike…

Weakness: You’re the smallest thing on the battlefield until the Flea arrives. You can’t pack much armour, and most of the time you can’t even fully armor your head. Don’t get shot. And whatever you do, don’t get knocked down. It’s death.

Psychological Profile: There’s no sane Commando pilots; you can’t be sane and willfully accept a 10-75 ton weight disadvantage against everything you’re up against. That said, being insane doesn’t necessarily mean being stupid. I’ve found that Commando pilots come in two variants: The speed freaks and the voyeurs. The speed freaks are the ones that run Striker builds, never let off the throttle and go for torpedo runs against the enemy. The voyeurs are the sneaky ones, who use their small size and maneuverability to get behind their enemies and unload their weapons in their backs. Both strategies are viable and yield results, so I’m not knocking either one.

Oh, and it’s commonly agreed upon that Commando pilots are the best looking and have the best luck with their preferred sex. It’s true!

Considerations

Weapon Grouping:

COM-1B: Commonly run with three lasers in the arms, I suggest putting all of the lasers in two groups, one for simultaneous fire and one for chain fire. Don’t bother packing any missiles, go with extra heat sinks instead.

COM-2D: Commonly run with 3xSSRM-2 and a ML; put them in two different groups. Switch the ML for a TAG if you want to run as a scout.

COM-1D: I run mine with 2xSSRM-2, a LL, and a TAG; the LL and SSRM-2s are in two different groups, and the TAG is in both those groups and a group of its own.

COM-3A: Same deal as 1D and 2D, keep the missiles and lasers on separate groups.

Maneuverability: With no jump jets, get used to jinking and jiving, zigging and zagging. Practice doing figure-eights behind enemy ‘mechs, keeping on their six the whole time. Use terrain to your advantage; strike fast and fade away into the night

Also, while Speed Is Life, don’t mash the throttle forward at the end of the countdown and leave it there; learn when and how to use your speed. Learn how speed affects your turning ability; learn how it affects incoming LRMs.

Best Pairing: If you play as a striker you can pair with any ‘mech or run solo if you prefer, if you play as a scout pair up with an LRM boat, spot targets, and rake in the assist CB/XP.

Favored Tactic: In a Commando you need fear no ‘mech; but that doesn’t mean not every ‘mech can kill you, rest assured that they can. But they need to be better pilots than you, or you need to mess up for that to happen. You have speed, maneuverability, and the firepower to take on just about anything – your favourite targets are LRM boats and other lights, but you shouldn’t hold back from going at an Atlas if it turns it’s back on you. Anyone not looking at you is a target, and anyone looking at you is someone to avoid. Never, ever, ever try to use the Commando in a straight-up face-to-face fight; not even against another Commando. It’s just not built to take that kind of punishment, and even if you somehow manage to win you’ll be too damaged to do any good after that.

Never forget you’re a scout – even if you play with a striker loadout there’s no reason not to relay targeting information to your team – use that ‘R’ key religiously! You can make a lot of CB and XP from just spotting and kill assists as a pure scout (in which case I recommend you pack a TAG) and even if you’re not spotting for a LRM boat you should still be spotting targets.

Tactical Awareness

Always, always, always be aware of your surroundings. If you get knocked down you’re dead. If you run into the line of fire from that friendly GaussCat, you’re dead. If you find yourself isolated against half the enemy team, you’re either dead or you’re very good

Final thoughts

Dispelling some myths about the Commando

There’s a lot of misinformation about the Commando; that it’s useless, that it’s overshadowed by the Jenner in every aspect, that it’s just the worst ‘mech in the game. I do emphatically not agree with this. I’ve been piloting the Commando almost exclusively for the last couple of months, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Of course it’s 10 tons lighter than a Jenner, but those 10 tons aren’t the difference in load weight; that difference is more like a ton or two, depending on variant and if you measure with stock or maxed-out XL engines.

The Commando has proper arms; this is a great advantage that is often overlooked. It means the Commando can target things off to the side of where its torso is facing; something neither the Jenner nor the Raven can do. It means you don’t have to look where you’re shooting, and that you can take fire on your less damaged side while simultaneously returning fire.

Also, the Commando has a 10 degree reach advantage over the Jenner; it has a 90 degree torso twist plus a 40 degree arm twist, making for a 130 degree reach. The Jenner only has a 120 degree torso twist and zero arm twist.

The difference in speed isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either; a Commando with a 210 rated engine tops out at 136.1 kph, a Jenner with a 300 tops out at 138.9 kph. That’s a 2.8 kph difference, in practice it’s negligible.

The COM-2D can pack a 50-point alpha by loading up three SRM-6 and a Medium Laser. That’s a really nasty punch to take to anyone’s rear armor. You won’t be able to fire it more then two or three times before you have to run off to cool down, but that’s 100-150 damage; it’s enough to core someone.

The 2D also finds good use as a light-killer by packing three Streak SRMs instead of regular six-packs. The SSRMs do 15 points of damage, all of it always to the CT. Hit a light from behind with that a few times and it’s done for. Even heavies and assaults can’t stand it for too long.

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Jenner: the basics

First and foremost, Speed is Life. Period. In a Jenner, if you aren’t moving, or behind cover, you’re an enemy pilot’s main target. No one is quite sure why Jenners are so adored by enemy pilots, but the term ‘Squirrel!’ exists on these forums for a reason. Fortunately, if you’re moving full speed with that shiny new 300XL engine I’m sure you just installed, you’re going to be hard to hit.

The first few matches in your 300XL Jenner, you should be looking at terrain: where are the hiding spots on each map, the blind spots from big areas of open lines of sight, and the little cuts between the larger buildings that you can fit through. Remember where these spots are. You’re going to be needing them when enemies start chasing you and shooting you. Here, terrain is like extra, invincible armor. If they’re shooting terrain then you aren’t getting hurt.

My favorite maps for this are River City and Frozen, the cities are the best cover in the game for Jenners.

Once you spend some time in the chair, you can start harassing enemy mechs. Remember: keep moving. Sure, that means that you won’t get as many kills as the Atlas pilot also shooting at your target, but if that enemy mech turns to shoot at you (missing, hopefully) and your friendly Atlas kills him, you can count it as your kill. Shoot at lots of enemy mechs; aim to get the most assists on your team. It’s a great feeling.

While you’re in this stage, avoid groups of more than 2 mechs to start with: you’ll stay alive longer in your first couple dozen matches.

Once you get the hang of harassing, darting in and out of small enemy groups, and dodging behind and through cover, you can start aiming to pick off stragglers. Enemy lights are hard targets because they’re as fast as you are and using the same tactics. Assaults are hard because they have a lot of armor. Mediums and Heavies are your targets now. Clip the ears off Catapults (unless they’re K2s), shoot arms off dragons, blast the hunches off hunchbacks, and turn centurions into zombies (shoot off everything but their center torso, then go after that).

Once you get a feel for how enemy pilots react to you circling them and shooting at their vitals, you can start dodging into larger groups and annoying entire enemy teams at once. When you start dropping with organized groups, you can annoy enemies enough that one or two start chasing you; that’s when you lead those suckers into your team’s waiting guns.

After this point (and, really, throughout it), you’ll want to look at the far more specific guides on harassing, jump jets, weapon load outs, terrain choices, and scouting that have been written by people far more knowledgeable than myself. Ask questions, blow enemy mechs up, and realize why Jenners have the most loyal pilots on the forums.

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Raven RVN-2X

Class: The Raven is one of the best light class scout mechs that a pilot can buy. Especially if they are on a budget.

Strength: Speed is the key to you surviving the battlefield pilot. With it, you can do amazing things, such as living for another battle.

Weaknesses: Some would say the lack of jump jets is a weakness. In your case, you didn’t want a Jenner anyway, did you?

Psychological Profile: When the other pilots in your squad call you a nutjob or a hyena, they mean it in the nicest way. After all, without you, they would have all of those annoying Jenners and Commandos tearing their hind parts up, nor would they have you to draw in all of those juicy kills. They know that you think two steps ahead of everyone else, and you have nerves of steel. It’s jealousy, plain and simple. They know that real men pilot Ravens, and when their prattling gets to be too much, you can turn off your radio and still have the voices in your head to talk to.

Considerations

Grouping: Put your large laser on the first group, and your mediums and srm on group two. That way you don’t overheat with your… alpha strike…

Maneuverability: You can turn on a dime in your Raven, and you will need to. You lack the Jumping capability of your cousin, the Jenner. Use your size and speed to your advantage, ducking in and out between buildings and behind rock formations for cover, and if you need to retreat or advance across open terrain, don’t be afraid to look the fool zigzagging crazily. It will keep you alive.

Best Pairing

You can pair with any mech, and reap rewards. Pairing with another light mech, you can double team a heavier mech, one of you in front and one behind, or if you are lucky, both of you in his back. If you team with a medium, you can spot for his missile racks. Heavy or above, you can be the bird that picks the fleas off.

Tactics

Crazy Scout: You are out in the field, half a kilometer ahead of your friends, when you run into a pack of larger mechs. Your instincts tell you to turn and bolt, but your training knows better. You are already going full speed, so you lock up on one of them, and slide between their bulky slow frames with little effort. Then, you begin to circle them, plinking them while they laugh. They can’t see the grin on your face, but they can envision it when their cockpit klaxon’s start sounding as the Rain of Fire comes in.

Death from Above: You are coming back to the squad, when you happen up a hill, and in the ravine below, you see your squad’s Catapult being set upon by an enemy Hunchback. You giggle with glee as you shove your throttle forward, and ramp off, right onto the Hunchback’s “head”.

The Bait: You have gotten the attention of a medium or heavy mech, and you have been trying your hardest to keep him interested in you as a viable kill. You’ve even let him hit you a few times. Now, he is chasing you down a canyon. This canyon has an outlet, where your powered down squadmate waits in his Atlas.

The Tickbird: You’re in a squad full of Jenners, Awesomes, and Atlas’. The jenners can handle scouting and fighting, so you decide to stay behind and guard your buddies from those parasitic scouts from the enemy squad. You needed a reason to earn some C-Bills anyway.

Situational Awareness

Ohaidere!: You’re running down the narrow streets of a city on your way to the enemy base to try and scout out some juicy targets. Coming around the corner of a ferrocrete building, you run smack into an enemy scout team at high speed. As you get up, you hear the warning tone that the Jenner just got a lock on you. You’re lucky enough to make it around the corner away from him, but the enemy Commando is hot on your tail.

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Cicada CDA-3M

Weaknesses: 3M variant has same armor value as commando (think wet tissue paper), arms cannot carry weapons, huge head hitbox. can be expensive to upgrade.

Strengths: very fast, fastest stock mech in MWO at present, hardpoint placements are fairly decent, essentially a 40 ton Jenner without jumpjets and room for heavier weapons. Only mech I’ve seen so far that can equip all weight-saving upgrades at once. Comes with XL engine and DHS. Arms can soak up a bit of damage that would have hit your side torsos, and can mount a fair amount of armor.

Tips:

If piloting a 3M, Ferro-Fibrous Armor should be your first upgrade. Head, arms, and legs should be top priority to armor up, as the arms do a fair job of shielding your side torsos. Critical space is at a premium on this mech, so if you have the money to burn, you can add endo steel to the mech to free up additional tonnage for weapons and armor.

Tactics:

headhunting – much like the Jenner, but with the capacity to carry heavier weapons, can be used to hunt light mechs, or harrass heavier mechs

wolfpack – This mech can easily keep up with most lights, and can participate in lightning raids, and providing a heavier punch from it’s Autocannon

Sniper – Can be equipped with ballistic weapons, with the right setup, you probably mount a Gauss rifle, some ammo, and function as a fast sniper. For my personal ride, I replaced the UAC/5 with an AC/2 and added adv. zoom for plinking enemies at extreme range. The damage isn’t great, but I find people will fire swarms of missiles at me regardless. That being said, I’m quicker than a gausscat, and can get behind cover much faster. Such tactics can potentially waste your opponents ammo, sparing your teammates some damage to boot, while dealing some early damage to thier missile boats/snipers

Final impression: The Cicada has it’s flaws, but can shine with the right setup, just be prepared to pay a pretty penny in upgrade fees.

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Hunchback: Founders, 4G, and 4H

As you may have noticed with your new Hunchback, you have three things: Armor, moderate agility, and a Giant Cannon on your shoulder (guess why most people pilot one?). As a medium mech, and specifically a Hunchback, your job is as a bodyguard and roving brawler. One very basic thing to note is to put your shoulder cannon on one weapon group, and keep your lasers on a second. Never fire them at the same time: it wastes ammo and heat.

What does flying a Hunchback mean right off the bat for you as a pilot? It means you should pick a friendly Atlas or a Catapult at the beginning of a match and plan to stay with them the entire time. This gives you two immediate benefits: one, it gives you a distraction for your enemies; two, it gives you extra firepower and armor in a platform that, if it explodes, isn’t you. You’re someone that the other pilot can rely on, even when they make a stupid decision.

To start with, an easy tactic is to follow behind your chosen wing-man (or wing-woman) about 50-100 meters (you can judge distance by briefly moving your targeting cursor over their mech). From here, with your AC20/AC10, you can start picking at any enemy mech that decides it wants to go after your friend’s squishy rear armor. Likely, you’ll be shooting at light mechs and medium mechs with enough speed to flank your heavier wing-mate.

The most important thing to be working on once you’re in this situation is aim and ammo conservation. You may notice the first few times you engage an enemy in your sights is that you miss. That’s normal, and it’s because your AC rounds have travel time to target (just like any good physics-based projectile weapon). The downside is that with the AC20 in particular, and the AC10 in some situations, you have very limited ammo. Don’t worry about it for right now, but watch where your rounds are landing, how much damage they do to enemy armor when they hit (how much does their armor color change on their little paper doll in the upper right?), and what kind of trouble you have with the weapon.

If you run out of ammo early, don’t worry: you have medium lasers on your arms for a reason.

Once you get the hang of hitting where you’re aiming (I suggest learning to hit their center torso, its a good practice target and once you can consistently hit it, you can start directing your fire elsewhere), you can start paying attention to where your wingmate has already started damaging the enemy (remember him/her?). Your AC20 is a giant battering-ram of a weapon, and once you can place it on already damaged vitals of the enemy mech, your enemy will start wishing they hadn’t picked a fight with you.

As soon as you’re getting the hang of hitting enemies where it hurts, you can start paying attention to where you are on the battlefield.

Watch where your chosen wing-mate is moving. Are there a lot of enemies in that direction? Is your team close by and interested in chasing the same target? Are the enemy mechs larger than you are, or better shots? While you are the person that your wing-mate can rely on, occasionally they do something stupid and wander into the entire enemy team by themselves. If you see that start to happen (and you don’t have backup from your team), it’s prudent to break off and pick a new wing-mate.

Until you get a feel for when your about to die (it’s a nice, sinking feeling in your gut), don’t leave your wing-mate.

The experience is far more valuable than the repair bills. Worse case, you get to let your team know where the enemy is and what they’re flying through team chat.

While you’re following your new friend (it might help to type in team chat that you’ll be on their wing), start watching how they’re moving and where they’re headed. Are they turning their torso back and forth to check lots of different firing lanes? Are they taking potshots from a distance with a few heavy weapons? Are they constantly moving towards whichever target has been highlighted recently?

Your goal with watching for these signs will be to see what your friend needs you to shoot at, and which enemies are going to give him the most trouble. You then get to take over those roles for them. If they aren’t watching the open lanes, keep checking your surroundings for enemies to shoot. If they’re firing long range weapons, be ready to assist when a close range mech rolls up and starts shooting at the two of you. If they seem a bit scatterbrained, watch for flankers and enemy opportunists and give your wing-mate a real target to shoot at.

Once you can read the battlefield, see where the enemy is going to be, and can hit their weak-points, your Hunchback becomes a solo boat of destruction and a vital part of any organized team.

——**——

Centurion (Multiple Variants):

Class: The Centurion is a medium mech that can be categorized as the Jack-of-All-Trades of Mech combat. What does this mean for you? It means the Centurion has a very flexible play style while also being relied on to plug holes in the formation due to lack of mechs or downed mechs.

Strength: The Three Centurion variants currently available are so different in play style, that I felt I needed to add separate strengths for each.

CN9-A: The Centurions strength is an incredibly flexible weapons load-out in it’s main variant, with strong weapon placement. The AC/10 and LRM’s let you snipe from a distance, or provide closing firepower while you advance on the enemy. The Arm-mounted heavy weapon lets you twist your torso and twist your arms to take shots you might otherwise not be able to make, while the torso mounted weaponry allows you to “Zombie” in a mech brawl; continuing to fight after you’ve lost both arms and possibly even both connected torsos. I’ve finished out a match before with no arms, no side torsos and only one leg…but have still been able to fire those two medium lasers.

CN9-AH: The AC/20 Variant of the Centurion retains the side torso mounted missiles for firing on the approach, while trading out the lasers and smaller autocanon for the knock-out punch of the AC/20. This gives the AH tremendous brawling power, allowing it to fill roles normally filled by a Hunchback.

CN9-AL: Though lacking the knockout punch of the AH, the AL is a comparable brawler in that it typically mounts more armour than the previous variant, while a battery of laser weapons allow it to fight without the constraints of ammo dependent weapons. It retains the LRMs signature to the entire design, allowing it to fire on the approach, or hang back and snipe with LRMs and the Large Laser.

Weakness:

CN9-A: Jack-of-All-Trades means you’re the master of none. Your weapon load-out allows you to fill multiple roles, even simultaneously, but never to the same extent that a specialized mech will be able to fill it. The arm-mounted autocannon also can be lost faster than a torso mounted weapon would be.

CN9-AH: Two words: Ammo Dependent Every hard-point on the AH requires ammo to fuel it, which means in a longer match you run the risk of becoming a 50-ton paperweight. As well the basic variant does not include maximum armour, meaning you run the risk of serious to fatal damage when comparing yourself to the Hunchback’s 10 tons of armour.

CN9-AL: A lack of knock-out punch, combined with unreliable location damage means that brawls can last much longer than they need to, with opponents able to take the same pieces out of your mech that you’re taking out of theirs. The Large laser under performs in the damage category when compared to both the AC/10 and 20 of the other variants, and needs to be held on target to guarantee full damage.

Psychological Profile: Adaptable. As a Centurion pilot you have to be prepared to fill any number of roles and plug any number of holes that may have popped up in your team. Even an AH may be called on for dedicated LRM support if the usual suspects are either destroyed or in a position where they cannot provide it. As a Medium mech without maximum armour, you also need to be prepared to give ground as readily as you gain it, since your multiple weapon ranges allow you to protect yourself and your team during a fighting withdrawal.

Considerations

Grouping:

CN9-A: The basic variant includes two ballistic hard points in the right arm, two laser hard points in the center torso, and three (!) missile hard points in the left torso. This large variance allows for tremendous customization, and I tend to use mine as follows: I drop the AC/10 for a UAC/5, dropping weight and increasing it’s range without an appreciable loss of damage due to recycle time. The single LRM 10 is replaced by two LRM 5s which immediately adds another ton of free weight to the design. From here I upgrade the two medium lasers to pulse lasers for added oomph, add more armour to toughen the design up and squeak in an extra heatsink if I can manage it. If I find the mech runs too hot with the rapid fire AC and the two pulses, I’ll drop back to medium lasers in the center torso and add an SRM into the third missile slot for added brawling firepower. NOTE: You can discard flexibility on this design to make it an incredibly potent light-mech killer. Three Streak SRM 2’s in the right torso make it a monster against smaller designs, and the ballistic points allow for fast cycling autocannons, or even AC/2’s if you want to retain a range advantage.

CN9-AH: I’ll be honest, I don’t care for this variant because of its ammo dependence.
It can be made somewhat more reliable however with a few changes. I often drop the AC/20 in favour of a Gauss rifle. You have to drop a heatsink to gain the extra ton, but the lack of heat the GR generates makes this an even tradeoff. This allows you to retain closing power when I strip the LRMs away for two streak SRM/2s with two tons of ammo. The lock-on of the SRM makes it almost as reliable as a medium laser, and plenty of ammo means you ideally aren’t going to paperweight. The extra tonnage can be dropped into armour for brawling or additional ammo for longevity.

CN9-AL: This design is incredibly flexible, given the wide variance of energy based weaponry. The simplest modification is to drop the small laser in the right arm and a half-ton of ammo to put a medium laser in the small lasers place. Although a little more heat is generated, I find it’s worth the extra range and firepower. Alternatively you can drop the LRMs for SRMs and replace the large laser with an ER Large and Extra heat sinks, or a PPC/ER PPC for greater range and firepower.

XL Engine: None of my centurion variants include an XL engine because I enjoy being able to Zombie my way through the end of a match. An XL however allows the Centurion to take advantage of it’s hard point groups even better, and can add extra speed to your flexibility.

Range: Each of these variants can engage at multiple ranges, but often has an ideal Alpha Strike range of about 250-270 yards. In any given match you’ll often need to engage at different ranges, so knowing the optimal and maximum range of any weapon you choose is of utmost importance.

Best Pairing

Any or none. As you’re often called on to be in different places at once, your partner can change from moment to moment within a given match. You may be providing backup protection to an assault with your AC in one moment, falling back to add your firepower to the LRM support the next or joining a medium mech spear into the heart of the enemy formation. The only mechs the CN9 doesn’t often pair with are Lights, as it simply lacks the speed to keep up with them (barring an XL engine).

Favored Tactic

My favoured tactic is sheer flexibility. Whatever variant or personal customization I add to a mech, I ensure I have at least one long range weapon and at least two shorter range weapons. This allows me to dictate the range of an engagement to serve my purposes against all but the fastest mechs. Advanced on by a Hunckback or AC/20 armed Atlas? Run sideways and twist your torso back to face them, engaging with LRMs and your longer range AC. Pounded by LRMS? Throw off his aim with some return fire of your own while closing the distance in a zig-zag pattern until you’re within his minimum range. Facing down a Gauss-Cat or Gauss armed CN9? Stick and move, moving from cover to cover and zig zagging while tagging him with LRMs and keeping him targeted for your fire support (which you should be hollering for) to help you out.

The List goes on.

Tactical Awareness

A Centurion pilot needs to be aware of what’s going on all over the battlefield. You’ll find this mech most rewarding if you can keep an ear or eye on what’s going on where and move to support an engage where you’re needed the most. It most resembles a Dragon in this way as you need to be constantly in communication with your team and almost constantly moving to be where you’re needed the most.

Light mech in your base or harassing your fire support? Get back there and peel them off so your heavies and assaults don’t have to. Light mech pinned down in the field? Get out there and provide covering fire and even cover his mech with yours since you can take much more damage then he can. The name of the game for the Centurion is teamwork, and if you can keep track of the battlefield and move to where you need to be before you’re even called for then you can remain a step ahead.

——**——

Dragon (Multiple Variants):

Class: The Dragon is a heavy mech referred to as the “cavalry” of the field. What does this mean? It means that you are a fast strike force designed to ride in and do heavy damage to engaged enemies and then ride back out again.

Strength: Your speed and arm mounted weaponry is your strength. Your speed allows you to quickly strike enemies while not allowing yourself to be exposed for too long. Your arm mounted weaponry allow you to fire at enemy mechs as you pass by at extreme angles that are not normally permitted by torso twisting alone.

Weakness: Your arm mounted weaponry and commitment to speed over weaponry are your weaknesses. The fact that your major hitting power is in your arms can be a weakness since it is easy to “defang” your sting by removing those weapons. Your commitment to that large engine does mean that you can’t mount a bunch of heavy weapons on your ride, but really to fill your role well you don’t want long cooldowns on your weaponry anyways.

Psychological Profile: Opportunist. Be ready to move and engage targets as needed. You need to be able to run and gun when your team needs you. Your role is a strange one, you will start out sniping mechs as they approach and then once the brawl starts you have to be able to move quickly where additional firepower is needed. Some matches you may have 0 kills and 7 assists and others you may end up with 4 kills. Expect to be moving constantly once the brawls start to be adding your firepower in. A heat efficient build is needed since you will spend a good amount of your time running and gunning in the mid-point of a match.

Considerations

Grouping: The Dragon has similar hardpoints throughout each variant. My experience with this mech has lead me to build it in the following way. 1 Gauss rifle in the RA with 40 shots (4 tons of ammo), 2 Medium lasers in the LA (sometimes 1 ends up in the LT due to variant), 1 Streak SRM 2 in the CT, AMS and 1 ton of ammo for incidental LRM fire and a 300 XL engine. Yes the XL engine in expensive, but worth it to be able to add the heavy hitting power of the gauss rifle. Add in 2 extra heatsinks (which I normally put in the legs) and you’re ready to deal death.
For weapon grouping I put the 2 Mediums and the Streak on fire group 1 and the Gauss on fire group 2. In this way as heat builds on your medium laser/streak combo you can let it cooldown with shots from the Gauss.

Range: The Gauss allows you to place shots at long ranges (660m and in is optimal but you can shoot further). The medium lasers and streak are for brawling. Your optimal range to target for alpha strikes is 270m and you can hold that range fairly easily due to the speed that this mech can achieve.

Best Pairing

Any or none. Your best pairing comes from managing your role on the field as the extra firepower needed in engagements in the field. Keep in touch with your team and make sure that you are quickly responding to threats as the emerge. Keep on the move and don’t get bogged down trying to kill an enemy unless they are harassing you constantly.

Favored Tactic

As I mentioned earlier the best tactics I have found with the Dragon are as a fast strike mech. At the beginning of the match, make sure that you place yourself to be central to your team and also so you can add some down range sniping. As the action heats up, you will be well placed to move quickly to respond to the tactics of the enemy team and add your firepower in to help out your brawling mechs.
Don’t be afraid to run through a brawl running and gunning the whole way. You have enough armor to take some hits and survive, and any shots placed on you aren’t hitting your teammates that can’t speed away as quickly. If you start getting really damaged, don’t be afraid to bug out, your speed really comes into play here. If you don’t have armor in the front sections, use the armor in the back to take some hits as you zig and zag out of the fight. Move back to your sniping role from the beginning of the match and add in some damage that way.

The bonus to having arm mounted weaponry means that you can shoot enemies as you move through a brawl. Shooting to the extreme side and protecting that huge CT that juts out in front of you is critical to keeping yourself alive. It also means that you can track and shoot light mechs that are trying to circle around you, allowing you more time on target than most other mechs. Arm mounted guns allow you to decide where the enemy is going to shoot you since you can twist to spread the damage around your mech. While you twist from one side to the other you will still be able to bring your weapons to bear on them, even at extreme angles.

Tactical Awareness

The Dragon pilot needs to be aware of the elements on the field. They need to talk to their team. They need to be able to quickly move to where the help is needed. Your assault is being harassed by light mechs? Get there and back him up. Your medium brawlers have run into resistance? Get there and back them up.
If you get too much notice, use the terrain and your speed to get out of there and either lead them into your teams guns or call for a bit of help yourself and use your speed to have the enemy present their backs to your teammates

——**——

Catapult (Multiple Variants)

Class: The Catapult is a Heavy Mech. There is only one variant that is not heavily invested in the support role, and that is the CPLT-K2 Variant.

Strengths: The majority of catapults are set up for long range fire support. Use this to your advantage, and immediately announce that you are looking for a scout as soon as you drop in.

Weaknesses: In medium and short range, a catapult can barely handle a light scout. The way their ‘head’ extrudes out of the center of the torso makes them a beautiful target for tearing your cockpit apart.

Psychological Profile: The name of the game is nerves of steel, whether you are running the front line support variant, or the back field missile boat. At long ranges, you need to make sure that your target is indefinitely spotted, and communication is key. Your job is to keep that scout alive from range, while raining down as much death and destruction as possible in as short a time as possible. You have the life of not only another person in your hands, but may very well be the point where your squad is looking at a win or a loss because of your actions. Don’t get nervous from this pressure. Embrace it, and use it to focus.

Considerations

Grouping: By default, most Catapults are in the average Heat Efficiency range. This means that they can put out an alpha strike with their default wapons, and not shut down or explode. It doesn’t mean, however, that you can run around firing with impunity. Group your weapons by range, and cycle them as each requires. Also, remember that LRM’s have a minimum range.

Modifications: One of the most common modifications is to the A1 variant. You remove the LRM’s, go with streaks, and become a middle rank support in the action. Streaks have the advantage of not being a hot cannon, but this means you take a bit longer to be able to start to actually fire. Ironically, you excel best with streaks fighting other Catapults, as well as scout mechs. If you are in range of a catapult, start firing into it with all of those streaks. An experienced pilot in a Catapult will swiftly become nervous.

Best Pairing
Varies: For long range fire support variants, your best pairing is initially the scouts. These are the guys that you were built for. Secondary is your medium mechs that should be guarding the flanks. If you go with a shorter range for your mech, you should be somewhere between scouts and the big boys. Always in a support role.

Favored Tactics
Heavy Interdiction: Having gone with a short range variant, you see a scout in trouble. You know there are missile boats on the field, so you call for support, and charge into the fray. However, your objective is not to win the fight, but to distract them from your smaller squadmate. You start out by placing an alpha to the Dragon’s torso to get his attention, then start unloading in a rapid chain of SRM’s as you circle him, before heading off in a feigned retreat. You eye the inbound missiles, and hope they are your squad mate’s answer to the call.

Fire in the Sky: The action is hot and heavy on a field, with few intervening obstacles other than a large mound that blocks line of site. You have scouts out there, and while you patiently await their call, you hear that the enemy Jenner has been spotted. It is then that you get the call from your own Commando, followed by another Catapult, who has decided to engage a Dragon to save the scout. You tab through the targets until you find the enemy currently under fire, and as soon as you zero in on the designated target, you let loose an alpha of missiles. You just hope that they don’t hit your squad mate.

Tactical Awareness
Sticking out your chin: Your adrenaline is running high, and you are exhilarated after putting down a Dragon. You decide to follow a Commando as support. Coming around a stand of rocks, you walk directly into a Centurion with an AC/20 for an arm, and your torso armor is showing yellow from the fight you just won.

——**——

Awesome AWS-8T

Class: Your role in an Awesome is that of an assault mech. As with most Assault Mechs, your role within a squad is to act as it’s anchor.

Strength: While you can’t take as large of a punch as an Atlas, you can deal out far more damage, and in a more precise manner. You are also more versatile than an Atlas, being able to serve as a makeshift long range missile platform without removing you too far from the fight.

Weakness: Though you are an Assault Mech, you are at the low end of the scale. While this means you can move a bit faster, you still have the maneuverability of a brick — without the protection that the heavier Assaults afford.

Psychological Profile: As with the Atlas, your job is to be an anchor, sitting and waiting, even acting as a shield if need be for the smaller mechs within your squad. You should have a keen sense of situation awareness, and a fluid state of mind, due to the possibility of your role changing from one moment to the next.

Considerations

Grouping: As with the Atlas, you want to group Short, Medium, Long and let your weapons do the chasing for you. Your alpha strike should be last, with a heavy reliance on group rotation. Your alpha strike is hell to live through for the target, but can leave you a sitting duck, and a ripe target for even the lightest mechs to pick.

Range: An Awesome is it’s most powerful at Medium to Long range. As with the Atlas, you seldom want to give chase, save for in the most dire of circumstances, and in such cases, you would wish to not be the only target. Always have another, lighter mech in support.

Best Pairing
Varies: Based upon the composition of the squad, and surrounding terrain, as well as your enemy, your best pairing will change from fight to fight. They don’t call an Awesome by it’s name for no reason. If you have a scout in your squad, act as it’s back up, raining down your LRM’s from across the battle field. If you are acting in the role of a heavy, then pair with a medium as a small assault or defense point. If there is a heavier mech, do not be afraid to a secondary anchor role. There is no room for pride on the battlefield. You may very well help your squad succeed by standing back to back with the Atlas so that no smaller mechs can ravage the two of you.

Tactics
Rain of Fire: At the edge of an open battle field, your back to the wall. You are acting as anchor for supporting fire, keeping an eye on the field before you ready with your lasers, while aiding in the bombardment that a scout is calling on you and your comrades for. You must also be ready to enter the fight at a moment’s notice.

Situational Awareness
Beware of the same things that an Atlas must.

——**——

The Atlas AS7-RS

Class: Your role in an Atlas is that of Assault. You are the front line, meant to deal out huge amounts of damage. Due your tonnage and amount of armor, you are also the tank of the group.

Strength: You have a massive amount of firepower at your disposal that you can wield. Use this to your advantage. Most of your weapons are medium range, and thus, offers you versatility where others lack.

Weakness: Carrying around this much armor and weapons leaves you vulnerable to smaller, lighter Mechs. While you’re front is heavily armored, your back is not. Also, a group of smaller mechs can be your downfall, as they circle you and peel your armor away.

Psychological Profile: Patient Opportunist – You have to be level headed and calm, waiting for the right opportunity to unleash an alpha strike upon your foe. Do not give chase, as you will be disadvantaged against all save for the heaviest mechs. Realize that you are the anchor of your squadron, and you have to be as steadfast as the vehicle you pilot.

Considerations
Grouping: Your Alpha Strike is powerful. In the right situation, it can be your savior, or the event that turns a battle. However, outside of these moments, it should not be used in a reckless manner. It can lead to you overheating, and becoming a statue that will eventually get melted down to a slag heap.

Range: By default, your Atlas comes with one long range weapon, and one short range weapon. Furthermore, you have three medium range weapons. Following the doctrine of moderation, your first group would be your SRMs, your second group your Large Lasers and Autocannon, your third your LRM’s

The reason for this is that your First and second group are immediately accessible, and your medium and short range weapons are guaranteed a need of more immediate use. As your target gets further away, you can ready your LRM’s, while still maintaining your fire on your target.

This setup bridges your weakness to your strength, allowing you to, as the need arises, switch between your ranged weapons efficiently.

Best Pairing
Scout/Light – Scout Mechs are considered by the uninitiated as an easy kill due to their lack of armor, and a good Scout will always be able to engage an enemy on the mental level, forcing their opponent into tunnel vision. This works to your advantage, as through cooperation, the enemy can be drawn into your Alpha.

Favored Tactic
Bait and Switch: A Scout or Light Mech goes out and draws an opponent toward you. You are waiting for him to appear, either hidden in trees, or behind a building, taking advantage of the landscape. You may even have your engine powered down so as not to create a heat signature.

Once your partner and the enemy passes, you power up, step out, and tear your enemy’s back armor apart. This requires nerves of steel, as well as good piloting on the part of your partner.

Tactical Awareness
The Killing Field: You are lured out into an open area, wherein several mechs are arranged to destroy you in their crossfire.

Harried by Wolves: You are descended upon by several scout/light mechs. They lock you and circle you, tearing your armor while calling in remote fire.

Tips from Players:

If you have lost the last couple of games and are a bit frustrated, stay back a bit the next time you launch a game. Observe where your friends are going and follow 1-200 metres behind the biggest group and stay there. It is nice to have someone cover your back and if your are behind a big group of mechs you wont take as much damage as when you are running around alone and unsupported. It lets you stay alive for a couple of more minutes which gives you more time to play the game and have fun.

In a Jenner I usually make a point of removing the Hunchbacks before anything else, not only does it make them far less effective, but then they also dedicate their existence to trying to get revenge, thus making them ignore the rest of your team. Win/Win.

Same goes for legging Gauss Catapults (they actually love it when you leg them, they just don’t like to admit it).

Centurion/Dragon arms, same goes, they love a bit of it. Don’t play hard to get scouts, give them a bit of what they like.. <3

I run a 175XLE (Extra Light Engine), 3SSRM2 (3x Streak SRM 2s), 1MPL (Medium Pulse Laser) Commando: goes 113 km/h – same as a stock Jenner, and the streaks put on some serious hurt. It’s not the knockout punch some assaults have, but it’s half the streak cat with a lot more speed, and those are seriously annoying.

Some K2 drivers opt for dual ER PPCs in the torso, trading improved aiming for improved weapon survivability lots of people seem to aim for the arms even tho it takes nearly as much damage to take an arm off as it does to core the cat. I made the switch and its hilarious to see people still aiming for my arms.

If you see a K2 core it ignore the weapons load out and CORE IT center mass every time. Cats have one of the most obnoxious center torsos in the game with the added bonus that aiming dead center gives you a decent chance of a head shot.

Also the Catapult is the trickiest as a newbie, since its the same shell with two completely different loadouts. Easy way to remember is the ‘ears’: if the ears are boxy, take them off; if the ears are round, shoot the side torso. On the k2 (round ears), shooting the torso will either take out a gauss rifle in the torso area, or the PPC in the arm on that side. If you’re really lucky, the gauss-style catapult will also have a medium pulse in his arm, taking out two weapons in one go. Another note on the catapult: the K2 doesn’t have missiles in it’s arms, just a single energy hardpoint, which is a major blessing (no streak srm gauss-a-pults running around ruining everyone’s day).

Note that you may be able to stop lights by ramming them – if you manage to get them fall over they are easy prey.

Note when Legging Ravens and Jenners: try to focus on only ONE leg, if you damage both it becomes super easy for a jump jet capable pilot to punch out and stick you with an assist rather than a kill. (jump jetting from a certain height and free falling to the ground causes damage to the legs, allowing these light mechs to kill themselves in a pinch or even by accident while trying to avoid fire: end result is the same you get payed less.)

Quick Tips for Centurion models CN9-A, CN9-AL, and likely CN9-D when it comes out:
L-Ctrl (by default) for free look mode is one of your best friends: on these models of the Centurion the left arm exist for no other reason then to take hits (it even looks like a shield). Sweep the small circular aim reticule in free look mode to as far to the left as you can (well you still need to aim a little with it) and more rely on maneuvering to aim (know your surroundings so you don’t bump into a hills or a buildings, and try not to be in a situation were there are enemies not on your left). This technique allows you to bring the fire power in the right arm (and left torso if you have Streak SRMs) to bear while considerably reducing the threat to the right arm (and torso and head); the enemy can still hit those sections but if you are on the move it makes it much more difficult and hopefully the left arm will take the brunt of the damage. If the CN9-A, CN9-AL, and CN9-D ever lose a section or multiple sections it should always be the left arm first if you’re doing it right.

Avoiding LRM damage. For lights this is easy… run like hell for cover. but if you are in an Atlas brawling another Atlas on open ground while his teammates are raining hell you, you will not want to turn your back on any of them at 40KPH.

In this situation do the smart thing, get behind the enemy brawler and use him as an LRM shield. By the time the LRMs stop shooting your opponent, quite a bit of his rear armor should have been slagged and a new lock from a different vantage point will take some time.

– “Sound Awareness”: A very common and well overlooked advantage any pilot can use is Sound. With all of the instruments available to pilots in their mechs (sensors, radar, visual spectrums) sound is overlooked and therefore unused. But mechs (like all machines) when moving or firing makes a lot of noise ,and noise can travel farther than an obscured pilots vision and sensors can see. By not moving and listening a pilot can judge not only distance but locations of enemy mechs for fire support, reinforcements, and ambushes. And trust me nothing gets a pilot more worked up than seeing their rear armor vanish all of a sudden and not seeing where the salvo came from.

-“Culling the Weak”: For many pilots they believe that their mech can go up against any mech alone and win while at the same time trying to avoid another pilot stealing their kills. Unfortunately Mechwarrior is not about who is the better pilot but who can better work together. K/D is not what matters, mutual cooperation is and by that means concentrating firepower and single targeting mechs. By having a team concentrate on one mech at a time (or the most damaged) the enemy team can be effectively destroyed with little to minor losses.

-“Battlefield Etiquette”: For pilots out there thinking your Atlas is strong enough to hold up the sky, your Commando is sneaky and stealthy killer, or your Centurion is the armored knight of myth, please “KNOW YOUR ROLE AND WEAPONS”. This game not only stresses variety but it nears requires it. But to see pilots out on the battlefield using weapons in scenarios that don’t work or are weak hurts to see. Guides are made to help learn and therefore to become a better mechwarrior. Information is as powerful as a dual Gauss is to a mechs head.

Other MechWarrior Online (MWO) Articles
MechWarrior Online Spotting Guide
MechWarrior Online Essential Knowledge
MechWarrior Online Alphine Map Tips
MechWarrior Online LRM Tips
MechWarrior Online Unlocking Variants Guide
MechWarrior Online Critical Hits Guide
MechWarrior Online Scouting Guide
MechWarrior Online Save Up For A Hunchback Advice
MechWarrior Online Atlas Tactical Tips
MechWarrior Online Raven-2X Review
MechWarrior Online Mech Building Guide
MechWarrior Online Commanding Guide
MechWarrior Online Surviving Alone Guide
MechWarrior Online Film Grain Fix
MechWarrior Online Base Capturing Guide
MechWarrior Online Ballistic Weapons Comparison
MechWarrior Online Heat Ratio Guide
MechWarrior Online Dragon Chassis Guide
MechWarrior Online Mech Specific Tips
MechWarrior Online Tactics and Strategy Guide
MechWarrior Online Commando Chassis Guide
MechWarrior Online Hunchback Ultimate Guide
MechWarrior Online Buying Your First Battlemech Guide
MechWarrior Online Hunchback (HBK4-J) Cheap LRM Build Guide
MechWarrior Online Buying Your Own Mech Guide
MechWarrior Online Light Mech Piloting Guide
MechWarrior Online Ammo Depleting Order Guide
MechWarrior Online General Tips
MechWarrior Online Atlas C-Bill Grinding Guide
MechWarrior Online Yen Lo Wang Zombie C-Bill Grinding Guide
MechWarrior Online Heat Mechanics Guide
MechWarrior Online Important Tips for New Players
MechWarrior Online Laser Weapons Guide
MechWarrior Online Advice for Newbies
MechWarrior Online New Player’s Guide
MechWarrior Online Maps Basic Tips
MechWarrior Online Game Map Pictures


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