Welcome to an article series on decent builds to buy yourself when you’re just starting out in Mechwarrior Online. As a new player, it can be a bit bewildering heading down to the Mech dealership, so we’re going to lay out some effective builds (one per weight class) and how much they cost. As an added bonus, we’re also going to lay a couple of interim stages you can work your way through if you’re just starting out and relying on your cadet boost. If you’re already rich, then by all means buy all the gubbins you’ll need for the final stage. Please note that no-one is saying you can’t be effective in other builds - just that these are tried, tested and generally considered worth your time. First stop: Lights!
A big thank you to bok, dryerlint, and the Word Of Lowtax Mechromancer corps in general for allowing me to reproduce their work here.
The Raven 3L is the current king of lights and costs 10,792,408 CBills to buy and fit properly (if you sell all the junk that it comes with). If you want to scout for your team and fuck with weak enemy Mechs, this is your robot. After 15 rounds with the cadet bonus you can afford to buy the stock 3L and build it into something playable.
Buy your Mech, then remove and sell the following junk:
- 1 x NARC
- 2 x NARC Ammo
- 1 x SRM6
- 1 x SRM6 Ammo
- 1 x TAG
- 1 x CASE
- 1 x BAP
None of this kit is going to be needed in the final stage build, and some of it is barely useful for anything at all.
NARC is intended to provide a beacon for missiles to home on and provide target data for your team, but it's a short range, unguided missile that only has six shots per ton of ammo and will stop working when it takes enough damage; the risk required to deploy it is not even close to being balanced by the reward for doing so, so steer clear. CASE prevents ammo explosions from spreading from a side torso to the centre torso, but we're going to counter this by not putting ammo in the side torso. Also, we're going to be running an XL engine in this thing, so if a side torso goes up we're going to be dead anyway, thus making CASE rather pointless. The Beagle increases your sensor range and speeds up your missile lock times, but is completely nullified by being inside an ECM bubble. The extra targeting range isn't useful for you as an individual, as your weapons are all sitting with a 270m range, and while the target lock speed would be handy in the sort of light on light furball you're looking to get into, there's a good chance it's going to get jammed with ECM and switched off. In a light Mech, every ton counts and it's really difficult to justify 1.5 tons and 2 crit slots for something like the Beagle. The SRM6 is a decent weapon, and the TAG can be really useful, they just doesn't fit the build we're trying to do here. You can keep them in your garage if you'd prefer, but we're working from the assumption that your goal is to build your final stage as fast as possible, and there's a fair few CBills to be had from selling them.
Selling all this will get you 480,000 CBills. Spend 248,000 of those building stage 1.
Stage Cost: 248,000
CBills remaining: 232,000 (if you sell everything)
This will be half a Mech - under tonnage and hot because you are too spacepoor to afford Double Heat Sinks. Yet it is literally better to run half a 3L than to play trial Mechs. Move the ECM from the Left Torso to the Center Torso. Move 1 x SHS from the head to the right leg. Then buy another Medium Laser, 2 x SSRM2s and 2 x SSRM2 Ammo (put 1 ton in the Head and the other in the Left Leg). Max the armor on everything else. If you really want to, you can fill out the tonnage with additional heat sinks, but you're going to upgrade to doubles when you hit stage two anyway, so it's whether or not you want to burn some cash on something you'll be binning in a few games' time anyway.
You have three lasers and two Streaks with enough ammo to use them. Lean on the Streaks hard for hitting enemy light Mechs and use the lasers mostly against the backs of slow assaults. Without DHS, take this time to learn to manage your heat. Play rounds until you can afford Stage 2.
- Don’t overheat.
- You’re slow as fuck with your shitty XL210, but thats even more reason to NEVER STOP MOVING.
- If you haven’t already, read up on ECM and how it works. If you still don’t get it, then stay in disrupt. When you can’t get a weapons lock to fire Streaks, switch to counter. If you still can’t get a lock, then you’re probably outnumbered and should run the fuck away to find your ECM running buddies.
- Seriously. Don’t overheat.
- Don’t try to 1v1 another light Mech unless they have no weapons. Stick with your buddies for now (you have buddies right?).