It might be a few years old, but MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries might be the finest example of a modern mech game until we are graced with Armored Core VI later this year. Instead of the fast-paced hyper action you might expect from a Japanese mech game, MechWarrior tends to favor a heavier, more realistic experience.
And for that reason, playing MechWarrior 5 is rarely a cakewalk. There are systems to keep an eye on, complicated maneuverability options, and powerful enemies to contend with, all at the same time. For beginners, this might seem daunting, but with some guidance, you can become one of the greatest mech pilots this side of Titanfall 2.
So if you’re hoping for a smooth ride to becoming an accomplished pilot, join us as we dish out some tips & tricks for MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries.
Don’t Skip the Tutorial
If you install MechWarrior and think you’re going to jump right in and know how to play, you’re probably wrong. The mechs in MechWarrior control more like tanks than they do bi-pedal creatures, so if you’re bringing your Titanfall 2 muscle memory over, you’ll probably be in over your head.
Make sure run through the campaign’s tutorial before you get too serious about the game, or else you might bounce off the game. That would be extremely unfortunate, because MechWarrior 5 is, in a word, awesome. A few things to keep in mind while you play are: make sure you use the brake button to slow down, the F button to realign your legs and torso, and you can change between the cockpit view and a third-person view with the V key.
Every time you use one of the weapons equipped to your mech, you will contribute to the machine’s heat buildup. If you take on too much heat too quickly, your mech will overheat, resulting in a full shutdown and leaving you vulnerable for a window of time.
In MechWarrior, a few seconds can be vital, so you want to remain in control of your mech as much as possible. To avoid overheating, you need to pace yourself when using your weapons. You can equip heatsinks to prolong overheating, but it is not the best way to avoid the occurrence.
When you’re engaged in combat with enemy mechs, try to keep your cool. Every encounter is pretty intense, but there are ways to even up the odds when things get out of hand. For instance, taking the time to aim at specific parts of enemy mechs to focus fire on them can disable them in a few ways. If you take out their legs, mobility will be hampered, and if you shoot their arms off, their weapons may be disabled.
Keep this in mind when you’re under fire, and you might be able to systematically take out opponents so you can come out on top.
The options you have for customizability in MechWarrior 5 are pretty overwhelming, especially when it comes to weapon loadouts. There are hundreds of different weapons, all with different types and abilities. Until you’re able to learn what you like and how to best choose your loadouts, just make sure you choose weapons that have a good balance of range and power.
You’re going to want to have a weapon for any situation. You’ll come up against fast, weak mechs, slow, strong mechs, and everything in between, and you should be prepared for all of that. Just keep in mind the weight limit of your selected mech, or else your mobility will be limited.
Repairing Your Mechs
Regardless of how prepared you are, your mech will still sustain some kind of damage. You’re going to want a freshly repaired mech for every mission, so make sure you assign repairs to the mech you decide to use in between missions, the repairs won’t be completed automatically.
Also, if you want the repairs to be completed as quickly as possible, select the “Wait” option after you start the repairs. It will make time pass so you aren’t sitting around waiting for things to finish. Then, you can jump back in and head out on another mission.
You Can’t Make Everyone Happy
And finally, a tip about the campaign factions. You will be taking on contracts for many factions, many of which are at odds with each other. You won’t be able to be friends with all of them, so it is much better and more efficient to choose a few factions and build your relationships with those, rather than playing the field.
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