MechWarrior Online – Beginners Guide

Guide for Newbies

MWO is one of the truest and best ftp games ever made. Don’t go all googly-eye’d over premium mechs. Most premium mechs feature very niche hardpoints and have fewer quirks.

Keep in mind that this guide leans more towards advising new players on how to run and build inner sphere mechs more effectively.

Don’t put stuff like Double Heatsinks, Artemis, Endosteel, and Fero armor on every mech you get. These “upgrades” are intended for certain builds. In some instances basic Heatsinks are better than Double Heatsinks. For example, when you need slots but have a surplus in tonnage. Conversely, if you need Tonnage and have a surplus of slots then go with Endosteel as that will give you a more significant reduction in weight. Light Fero Armor can be good to pinch out .5 tons or so if you have extra slots.

This can help when you need more armor points or a half ton of ammo. Alot of new player dump tons of Cbills thinking they are upgrading their mech and end up realizing it was a waste. Nobody really plays dedicated LRM boats so much anymore so Artemis is kinda meh. Artemis does make SRMs tighter so they don’t spread as much and this can be helpful if you really want to pinpoint where you want your SRMs to go.

If you want to use an Inner Sphere mech 99% of the time you will never use an XL engine… Instead, 90% of the time I suggest going to a light engine. Light Engines use less slots and you won’t blowup for losing a Side Torso. Basically the only time’s you’d use a Standard Engine is when you want to fill your Side Torso(s) up with huge AC weapons or multiple AC weapons. Standard Engines do not take up Side Torso slots like Light and XL Engines do.

A very important tip

I am trying to fill in the gaps between more generic MWO guides. The tips I have to share you’d only otherwise learn from a veteran player. My goal is to ease your climb up the nigh vertical learning slope…

Now here is the extremely important tip I just mentioned – The smaller engine size you choose the more Heat Sinks your mech will require. In most cases, it’s better to go with a bigger engine. This is because although smaller engines weigh less, you’ll have to use more heat sinks. Furthermore – larger engines grant better heat management and can even come with unique slots in the engine that are just for heat sinks and these slots do not take up primary slots. Also, even if you have no Heat Sinks you can still get a heat management buff from Double Heat Sinks.

Double Heat sinks take up three slots and are only 40% more effective. So three basic Heat Sinks (which would also take up three slots) will still provide better heat management. Double Heat sinks are good when you have a surplus of slots and/or only need a couple of them. If you have a very large engine that comes with four or more Heat Sink slots I would suggest going Double Heat Sinks and filling the Engine slots up first. Always put your Heat Sinks in your Engine if you can.

If you want to play Light mechs you need to be moving at least 140kpm. Upgrade Speed Tweek in the Skills to go even faster. Never stand still in a Light mech. Most of the game you should be moving. Even if you are a sniper. And if you are a sniper and like to pop shoot, don’t keep poping from the same spot because someone like me will put a bead on your and wait till you pop out again and then you’lll get wrecked.

I like to have at least 11 armor in my Rear Side Torsos and at least 14 in my Rear Center Torso. I’d actually suggest going 12-14 in the Rear Sides and 14-16 in the Rear Center. This is because you’ll likely be running through enemy lines dive bombing people with lasers or SRMs and so your back will often be exposed to the enemy. Don’t peak around corners and try to snap shoot…

Hard Break is a very helpful Skill

This will help you stop faster so you can then reverse after you’ve thrown yourself out of position and are getting wrecked by a player like me who uses dual Rotary AC5s.

I never use basic PPCs and rarely use Snub or Heavy PPCs. ER PPCs and Light PPCs are very good. Light PPCs fire very quickly and have good range. ER PPCs are only good if you want to be a sniper, and I don’t recommend ever using more than two on a mech. If you are a Direct Fire Support Mech and feature AC weapons I’d go with Light PPCs or perhaps just a single ER PPC. PPCs are very hot.

Which brings me to my next bit…

Heat management is a skill

Even veteran players can get jumping when a Crusader, Linebacker, or Timberwolf is in their face… or some noob death charging the first mech he sees around the corner. Don’t overheat… And don’t rely on Cool-Shot or Override ShutDown. I never use Override ShutDown or Cool-Shot… But that’s just me… Honestly I often forget I have Cool-Shot and don’t think fast enough to click Override ShutDown.

Never go under 1.24 heat in your heat management stat

You really want to be at 1.40-1.60. If you Heat Management Stat is 2… put more Lasers on your mech.

Always check the Quirks of your mech. Some mechs/chassis will have more armor, weapon buffs, or even increased Max Speed.

Let me reiterate that I am focusing more on Inner Sphere in this guide

I’m lean heavily towards Inner Sphere Mechs. They kinda been the underdog for glaring reasons. Geez… back when Clan Mechs showed up… MWO community got turned upside down… The ree was real…

Weapon Pairing

  • MG Builds – Small X Pulse Lasers work very well with Machine Guns. If you want to run a MG Mech pick one that gets buffs to MGs and pair with Small X Pulse Lasers.
  • Rotary AC 5s – This is my all-time favorite and most successful weapon. Pair with up to six Medium Lasers or perhaps four Small Lasers. Dual Rotary 5s are so fun. Rotary AC weapons particularly obscure your target’s field of view with explosions. Don’t waste your ammo shooting at people over 700 meters.

There is a hidden Stat in MWO – Psycholgical damage

Rotary weapons arguably inflict the greatest psy dmg on your target. Seriously, this is a thing…

Mech Suggestions

Note: These are not noob Mechs… These are some of my most successful and enjoyable Mechs that I have spent many hours playing.

  • I strongly suggest getting the Urbanmech that comes with the +30% Rate of Fire for Rotary AC weapons and putting a Rotary AC 5 on it. Mine moves at 91kpm and also come with four Small Lasers. I stick with the group and shoot at whoever my buddies shoot at. Alternatively, if I see an enemy mech exposing himself to lay into my buddy I’ll aim for his face to obscure his field of view so it’s harder for him to hit my buddy. Urbanmechs are tough and their Torso can turn 360. 360 Torso turn can be very useful- keep in mind it’s available.
  • Laser boat Piranah. Mine has like 13 ER Micro Lasers and a Heavy Large Laser (might be Heavy Medium, I forgot). The Machine Gun chassis is cool for some people but I don’t like having to stare at a mech, plus it limits my movement having to stare down my target. I’d rather dump and dip with 13+ ER Micro Lasers. Max armor, max engine size, Speed Tweek, Heat Skills, Laser Duration Skill, Cooldown Skill are important.
  • I really like the Hunchback. Especially the Inner Sphere version that gets buffs to AC20… AC20 and a few Medium Lasers… follow your Assaults and Heavies around… Don’t try to run down Light mechs. Shoot at larger mechs that try to rush your team. In Medium mechs it’s very important to play bodyguard or supplement the fire of Assault mechs particularly.
  • Inner Sphere Rifleman that has the Rotary AC weapon buffs. Put two Rotary AC 5s and some Small Lasers on it to ward off Light Mechs. Don’t over extend.. Stick with your buddies and dump a joyous stream of AC rounds into your enemy’s faces.
  • For Assaults I personally prefer the Annihilators. But in this guide I’ll actually recommend going the Fafnir. Really just because the build is more straight forward. Get the one that has buffs to Ultra AC 20s. Slap a couple Light PPCs on it and proceed to rake in the Component Destructions and CBills.

I personally do often do Laser boat builds. I prefer AC Direct Fire Support builds. I don’t often use Gauss Cannons either because I don’t care so much for sniping. I have a Moonwalker with x6 Ultra AC 2s on it which are effective at sniping range. I like to dump rounds into people – psychological damage. I force enemies to take cover and I wreck their ability to see clearly so they can’t shoot at my buddies. I play a very supportive role.

Understand your role in a match. Find a role that suits your personality. I am very careful, but not overly cautious like most snipers in this game. I prefer to fight within the ranges of 300-500 meters. I don’t like using Advanced Zone though I often have it on most of my mechs. It’s just kinda jumpy which makes it harder for me to put a stream of Rotary or Ultra AC on someone.

Anyway, that concludes my guide.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 796 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips and writer on Game Cheat Codes. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game series was and still is the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. And the third part of HOMM is his favorite! He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games / indie games. When not immersed in games, Egor plays guitar, enjoys cooking and fishing.

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