MechWarrior Online Important Tips for New Players

MechWarrior Online Important Tips for New Players by Kiiyor

The learning curve in this game can best be described as… horrifyingly brutal, especially If you are brand, spanking new to it. Under many circumstances, a new player to an online game may receive some gentle advice, before being dropped into an only ever-so-slightly dangerous bunny land, where they can introduce themselves to the game by slaughtering pathetic yet surprisingly agressive bunnies, but not this game! The bunnies are packin’ frickin’ lasers! It’s competitive multiplayer, and everyone you meet will likely be vying for the honor of stomping your mewling carcass into the dirt, over and over again. Including (with inadvertent trigger presses) the people on your own team.

So, here are some hot tips for the ultra noobs out there, to hopefully ease you into your first few games, and help prevent you from being remembered as a spastic.

1. Don’t practice firing in your base!

If you feel the burning desire to let off a few rounds at the beginning of a match, make sure your loveable-but-HORRIFYINGLY-DANGEROUS Mr Cross hair is pointed away from your mechanized compatriots! There will be plenty of time to practice firing later AT THE ACTUAL ENEMY.

2. See point 1, but imagine it all in capital letters in your head. Or spoken with a booming biblical voice.

3. Set some weapon groups with right-ctrl and the arrow keys.

Group 1 = LMB, group 2 = RMB, the others you can trigger with number keys or other key binds. This will help prevent you from suffering the HORRIFYING SHAME of shutting down with your first few volleys, which will in turn expose you to SOCIAL RIDICULE™.

Once you have set these groups, you should totally practice to see how much heat each of your lovingly arranged bundles of death generates. But remember point 2, a lot.

Ah! Also, pressing backspace with a group highlighted will set it to chain fire. Pressing backspace again will allow you to fire the group in it’s entirety.

4. If you are shooting at, or even CONTEMPLATING shooting at an enemy, press ‘R’ to ‘target’ the unfortunate focus of your mechanized fury.

Your teammates without line of sight to the poor ******* will then share in the GLORY of shared targeting! Your HUD will also show you the devastation you have wrought upon said enemy, and where you can shoot to best devastate them further! EVERYBODY WINS!

5. Your weapons have ranges listed next to them.

They do full damage at that range and below; the damage then diminishes (linearly… maybe) to ZERO damage at double that range. Or thereabouts. LRM’s just explode at their max range. Embarrassing.

So, a small laser with a range of 90m does ZERO damage at ranges over 180m. Firing at targets outside this range will again expose you to the ignominy of SOCIAL RIDICULE™. It will also alert the enemy to your presence, who will likely cheerfully return your greeting with much more effective weaponry.

Also! PPC’s have a minimum range of 90m, LRM’s 180m, or thereabouts. Firing at targets with these weapons under these ranges? SOCIAL RIDICULE™. Oh, and Gauss rifles also have a minimum range of 12,000m. So don’t use them, ever. The data to back up that last point is questionable.

6. Regarding your cross hairs.

These are cross and circle that represent your ability to visit death upon your foes. The circle represents where your arms are aiming. The cross, your torso. Your arms move faster and further than your torso! These guys are great. They even turn red when you score a hit on an enemy.


There is no font size large enough to convey the importance of this point.

Unless you’re a scout, you need to realize that if you plod off on your own, you are usually whatever the mechanized equivalent of dead meat is. There is a very good chance the enemy team will smell n00b in the water, focus fire upon you, and if you have more than one mech shooting at you at any given time, you have what we in the business refer to as; a dilemma.

So! Cower a little. Hang at the rear. There’s also an unknown armor type in the game you should be aware of. It gives ANY mech a hell of a lot more protection than normal. It’s called ‘another mech’. Hiding behind an Atlas is an awesome way to alleviate the burden of being shot at. The atlas will likely appreciate the move also; it allows you to cover his rear, as Atlases and indeed most assaults turn like a crippled whale that subsides on a diet consisting mostly of anvils.

8. Rejoice in your victories! Learn from your defeats!

WHEN YOU DIE, mentally acknowledge (grudgingly) that you were bested, and simultaneously plan how to avoid it in future. Then spectate people until you find someone with a tiny bit of skill, and learn from the doom they visit upon others. Or, for giggles, watch a spastic! You can learn from their stupendous mistakes, and they are nothing if not entertaining. Just keep your ridicule to yourself, or at least word it nicely. Unless they deserve it. Also, they may also be an actual spastic.

* A NOTE ON SPECTATING: Ping, that horrible temperamental *****, has a huge effect on what you see when you spectate someone, or when you… actually try to shoot someone. Your spectatee (not a real word) may think they are visiting horrifying laser torment on some poor little Jenner, when in actuality they are shooting an orphanage that the Jenner ran through once (around 2,000 k’s or so ago) and are turning poor innocent orphans into freshly disintegrated orphan aerosol. Mmmm, atrocity-fresh. So, have higher ping? Learn where you can aim off. This will improve as the netcode improves.

9. Realize that trial mechs are not a true reflection of the game experience.

Trial mechs are designed based on variants that exist in the fiction of the mechwarrior universe. I think their designers were often mentally challeneged. How awesome would it have been to read this in a battletech novel? “Phelan Kell misted up ever so slightly in one eye when he saw the changes the clan techs had made to his beloved mech, Grinner. One of the techs waved him over. “Eight medium lasers, and the heatsinks to use them!” he exclaimed, with obvious pride. Phelan roughly embraced him, choked with emotion. “Thank you” he whispered. He started to laugh, his triumph echoing around the mechbay; “I AM BECOME DESTROYER OF WORLDS!”

Well, the point is, if you potter around in your trial mech, and (after much death and frustration) decide you still like the game, work towards earning the cbills to buy yourself something you can call your own, that will run far better than a trial mech. You’ll enjoy it far more, and anything you buy will be yours, FOREVER. You don’t have to spend a cent of real money, BUT… if you like the game, consider throwing some money at the devs, and BAM, new mech, without the grind. You don’t have to spend a fortune, either. Jenners and Cicadas are cheap, and friggin’ evil. Those expensive assault mechs rightly fear them. If you like the game, support it!

10. Know that you are, in fact, in a BETA.

So… if you find bugs or problems, or have feedback, please submit a report to the devs! Make suggestions in the forums! They live for our poorly worded bug reports and passionate (yet constructive, hopefully) attacks on game mechanics! Also, if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ASK them on the forums. We have a (mostly) kick *** community here, who will help you. There are already a lot of examples of these questions posted, and only a few of the questions have attracted and bile and vitriol! That’s a good ratio!

The game is still rough around the edges, but it has enormous potential. WE CAN MAKE IT BETTER.

11. Lastly, and above all, HAVE SOME BLOODY FUN.

If you are being stomped into dirt, you’re probably facing coordinated teams, or any of the myriad of beta testers that have honed their skills to a moderately dangerous edge, both of which are gleefully wringing their hands at the thought of using your unfortunate corpses to build themselves statistical monuments in the UTTER BLOODBATH that will be the first few days of open beta. Dirt stompings are the very antithesis of fun.

It’s not that we hate you, think of it as tough love! We want you to get better! Don’t cry about it; learn, adapt! Use the crucible of brutal defeat to forge yourself into a robotic killing machine!

Which brings me to this grand fact: You will NEVER get any help, unless you ASK for it!

You can even do this in the game! Pressing ‘Y’ and asking for help will send said request to your team members. Note that pressing ‘T’ and asking for help will send the request to everyone. Therefore advising everyone that you are new.

So, If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, and then DESTROY ‘EM. You don’t have to go it alone! Look for Vent or TS information on the forums. Voice comms are awesome, but not an absolute requirement. You can just listen if you don’t want to talk. Start a friends list. Join a clan. There will be around eleventy-billion of those around soon. None of this is mandatory; you can play just fine on your own, just be aware that the learning curve for this wonderful game can be… brutal. Just don’t leave. THE GAME NEEDS YOU.

There are thousands of people here who are happy to help you! Conversely; there will also be a large number of people who can best be described as faecal sponges. Don’t judge us all based on them. And read the forums!

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2 Responses

  1. plasmajam says:

    Thank you for this very informational and well written guide. I am on the losing side about 70% of the time. People make sarcastic comments regularly as to my gameplay…I think because I have an Atlas, and my attempts to get in close with the enemy usually don’t end well for me. I enjoy using LRM, ER LL, gauss guns, etc to get long range damage to the enemy before they close. Many players don’t like that I guess. Anyway, I learned a lot from your tips and, don’t worry…I will stick it out and try new things until I get it right. I am going NOWHERE.*
    Thanks again!

    *Except to the other worlds to lay down hellfire and doom…or die trying!

  2. Roflmao:> says:

    very enjoyable funny read
    had to rofl 30 min long
    thx very much :) <3

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