MechWarrior Online - Choosing the Right Mech

Updated Sun, Sep 15, 2013 by Dalmarus

MechWarrior Online is currently in open beta but is preparing for its official launch this fall. While it’s in this stage of testing, now’s the perfect time to hop in there and play around to determine which mech is the right one for your personal play style. While these aren’t official categories, to me there are five distinct mech types for you to choose from.

MechWarrior Online - Choosing the Right Mech Guide

Light Mech

Weight : 20 to 39.9 tons

Role : Advance Scout and/or Support Harassment

Advised Weaponry : Small lasers, Medium Lasers, Ballistics, Short Range Missiles

If you envision yourself in a mech going toe to toe with multiple opponents, or being the one on your team to give the other side an ass whipping they’ll never forget, the light mech is not the combat choice for you. Light mechs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes but one thing they all have in common is their speed and maneuverability – both are completely unmatched by every other mech on the battlefield. It’s these two attributes that are the true strength of this weight class. They are designed for quick “run and gun” tactics and being used as scouts – get in, get the intel your team needs, and then get the hell out of dodge in a hurry.

MechWarrior Online - Choosing the Right Mech Guide

Medium Mech

Weight : 40 to 59.9 tons

Role : Support

Advised Weaponry : Small lasers, Medium Lasers, Auto-Cannon, Ballistics, Short Range Missiles

The medium mech is probably the most underutilized mech seen on a battlefield. While they have better armor than they lighter brethren, the medium mech does not offer enough compensation in this to make them a better choice over another mech. I still advise hopping in and giving them a try as some players find medium mechs easier to control and keep a good line of sight on a target while moving. In the end though, I don’t think it’s worth it.

MechWarrior Online - Choosing the Right Mech Guide

Heavy Mech – Tank

Weight : 60 to 79.9 tons

Role : Front Line Combat

Advised Weaponry : Medium Lasers, Large Lasers, Auto-Cannon, Ballistics, Particle Weapons, Short Range Missiles, Long Range Missiles

Heavy mechs can either take the role of tanks or support depending on the way they are configured. For a heavy mech you plan on taking into battle as a tank, it’s advised to boost the mech’s armor points, even at the expense of a slight drop in weapon capability. You’re there to absorb some punishment while other mechs with better weaponry take out your targets. Soften up some targets with a long range attack to get their attention and then start working them over while your teammates come in as a cleanup crew.

MechWarrior Online - Choosing the Right Mech Guide

Heavy Mech – Long Range Support

Weight : 60 to 79.9 tons

Role : Front Line Support or Rear Guard

Advised Weaponry : Medium Lasers, Large Lasers, Particle Weapons, Auto-Cannon, Short Range Missiles, Long Range Missiles

The long range heavy mech is nothing to be trifled with. This mech is one of the most versatile when it comes to configuration. Before doing anything however, max out the points in the center back panel of this mech – it is an easily exploited weak spot and should be shored up before ever stepping foot on the battlefield. If you’re planning on playing the part of rear guard, concentrate on outfitting your mech with ACs, short range missiles, large lasers, and or particle weapons. You’re going to need them. If you’re going for the role of front line support though, be aware you can carry a *devastating* amount of long range missiles. Be sure you’re in at the proper range from your targets (too close, and they won’t detonate on impact) and just listen to the call from your teammates to “let it rain”.

MechWarrior Online - Choosing the Right Mech Guide

Assault Mech

Weight : 80 to 100 tons

Role : Front Line Combat

Advised Weaponry : Medium Lasers, Large Lasers, Gauss Rifle, Auto-Cannon, Short Range Missiles

While an assault mech can easily carry long range missiles, they’re going to spend 95% of their time in close ranged combat, so it’s better to not bother with any LRMs. This leaves you more room to load up with short ranged missiles instead. Some players load their assault mechs up with tons of ACs and lasers. Personally, I like to make sure any assault mech I’m using has a gauss rifle. It may have a bit of a long reload time, and you need to be extremely accurate with it, but holy Jesus, does it pack one serious punch. Two well-placed shots with this baby and you’re going to seriously ruin somebodies match. Aside from being able to carry an ungodly amount of firepower, assault mechs are more heavily protected than any other mech on the battle field as well. You may be slow, and you may not have the greatest maneuverability, but when you line up that perfect alpha shot and unleash every weapon you have, the results are awe inspiring.

The solutions offered by soft launches rarely outweigh the problems they create.
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