FAQ by sheepy
Version: 1.3.1 | Updated: 07/10/18
Table of Contents
- Mechs and Pilots
- Combat: Initiative and Movement
- Combat: Attack Rules
- Structure and Armour
- Ranged Attack
- Melee Attack
- Selective Fire and Ammo
- Line of Fire
- Cover and Guarded
- Long Range Missiles
- Combat: Other Rules
- Critical Hit and Ammo Explosion
- Pilot Health
- Called Shots
- Stability Damage
- Morale and Fury
- Vehicles and Turrets
- Quick Combat Tips
- Mech Roles
- Team Composition
- Knockdown Tactics
- Called Shot Tactics
- When to Melee
- Mech Lists
- Equipment Lists
- Stock Weapons
- Ballistic Weapons
- Energy Weapons
- Missile Weapons
- Support Weapons
- Stock Equipments
- Rare Equipments
- Probability Tests
This BattleTech (2018) handbook describes the game's rules, basic tactics, and reference lists of mechs and weapons, based on game version 1.1.
The handbook leads with an FAQ section, then starts with how the campaign works, before introducing mechs and pilots, rules of rounds, turns, movements, ranged and melee attacks, and other combat rules. Non-rules tactical advice follows, before mech lists, equipment lists, and other references such as achievement list. Test logs and introduction to modding conclude the handbook.
Handbook Version History
- 2018-07-10 Version 1.3.1 - Update guide to game ver 1.1.1. Minor updates of various sections.
- 2018-06-27 Version 1.3 - Update guide to game ver 1.1. Adds SRM and LRM testing results. Adds Custom Campaign, Hit Modifications, Roll Correction, and Blitzing. Amend and clarify a few rules and rule tables.
- 2018-06-08 Version 1.2 - Adds FAQ, line of fire, hit table, and modding. Amends and clarifies many rules (e.g. recoil) and embedded a few rule tables (e.g. evasion).
- 2018-06-02 Version 1.1 - Adds skirmish pilot list, achievement list, expands combat tips, updates support weapon shop list, rearranges a few small sections, fixes some terms, and minor text updates.
- 2018-05-30 Version 1.0 - Initial guide
- 2018-05-07 A Mech list submission, rejected by GameFAQ as not enough content despite clearly marked as "move list". Which is ok because several mistakes were found later when writing this complete handbook.
Q. Does the game support wide screen?
A. The game supports widescreen since version 1.1.
Q. Does the game support other languages and platforms?
A. Currently it's only English, on Windows. The publisher has said they are translating the game to German, French, and Russian, as well as porting to Linux.
Q. The game crashes on run / on starting campaign / crashes a lot.
A. Crash on run happened a lot on launch date because of graphic driver conflicts; new graphic drivers solve most of that.
A. Crash on campaign videos can be caused by codec issue. Installing a custom codec pack such as K-Lite or CCCP can solve that.
A. Crash during the game is indicative of an unstable system, such as overheated GPU or overclocked memory.
A. Sometimes, the game crash because a file is corrupted. Try reinstall the game, or if you are running Steam you can delete game data and verify files.
Q. My mechs are pink. That's cute.
A. It is caused by failure in loading texture. If problem persists after restarting, reinstall or verify game files.
Q. My save is corrupted and I can't load it!
A. I haven't experienced it, but it is reported enough to be a rare but real issue. If the problem does not resolve itself after restarting the computer, and assume it is not a modding issue, hope you have an earlier save that works. Save often.
Q. The game takes so long to load.
A. The game is not well optimised in this regards. Many players report that deleting saves and selling inventory (like selling all stock M.Lasers and most Heatsinks) improves the game's loading time.
Q. Is this game single player / multi-player?
A. Both. The game has a sandbox campaign (no time limit), and a Skirmish mode where you can fight against AI or other players.
Note that PvP skirmish requires login with a Paradox account. (Paradox is the publisher of the game.)
Q. I've read from elsewhere that this handbook has it wrong.
A. Sometimes they are mistaken. Sometimes I am mistaken. Maybe the game updated. Use your judgement. I didn't just copy the rules and numbers from elsewhere, and I try to correct my mistakes as I correct my understandings.
Game Background / Lore
Q. What is BattleTech? Is this game same as the tabletop game?
A. BattleTech is the name of this PC game (2018), and also the name of the tabletop rules and world setting that this game is based on (1984). The game does not directly implement the tabletop rules. The overall feeling is faithfully copied, such as salvage and refits, damage-heat tradeoff, deadly headhits, and ammo explosion.
Q. Is BattleTech (the world) related to Transformers / Macross / RoboTech?
A. Transformer definitely not. BattleTech is a different world and most mechs are not transformable. Macross partially. Some mech designs were purchased for the initial boardgame, but not the world setting. None of the Macross mechs are in this game. RoboTech is an TV series that also licensed the Macross designs independently, and have sued a number of BattleTech companies for infringes. The lawsuit has been dismissed summer 2018, but no one outside knows the settling terms.
Q. Is BattleTech (this game) related to MechCommander / MechWarrior / MechWarrior Online (MWO)?
A. They are unrelated beyond the fact that all these games are loosely based on the same tabletop rules and world. The story of this game is new and totally independent from the other BattleTech games. All four belongs to different genres and have made different rule adjustments.
Q. Why does the game not have [Insert Mech / Weapon / Gear Name here]?
A. Some because of the lawsuit mentioned above. Some because the game is set in year 3025, before the Clans and before even Helm Memory Core. Things as simple as Double Heat Sinks is Lostech in this game and not commonly available. But we still get many iconic mechs such as Locust, Catapult, or Atlas. See mech list for what we have.
Q. Who designed the stock mechs, why are their layouts so suboptimal?
A. They are faithful copy of tabletop designs, some made 30 years ago before this game. In the original BattleTech world, mechs are designed to be mass produced to fight many different opponents. AC/2 for anti-air, machine guns for anti-personnel etc. Their loadout is also affected by who designed them, for example a superpower with PPC factories will bias towards fitting their mechs with PPC, and vice versa. Finally, tabletop rules are different; you don't have multi-target skill there, and you really don't want to overheat. But if you are still not convinced, regard it as an incentive for you to flex your mech loadout design muscles!
Combat and Random chances
Q. Can I field more than four mechs?
A. You can't. The developer want to focus the game on squad tactic. And before you ask, no it's not simple to mod.
Q. How to speed up combat?
A. Disable all cameras from gameplay settings. Disable chatter from audio settings. Google BattleTech speed hack mods, or google how to enable debug panel to access its speed hack.
Q. I do so little damage to the enemy but they keep hurting me.
A. Before you meet the enemies, you can Walk+Brace instead of Sprint. Bracing gives 50% damage resistance. That is what AI do, so when you first see them they are all Guarded and takes only 50% damage. Instead of attacking them, you can Brace your mechs and wait for them to attack you first, then the situation will totally reverse. Also make use of terrain; standing in trees and mineral fields makes it harder for the enemies to hurt you.
Q.I keep missing my shots!
A. After you selected a location to move to, when you are still selecting facing, you can mouseover an enemy to see your hit rate from that location. Press Esc to cancel and select a better position, if the hit chance is low. After you move and when you are selecting target to attack, you can mouseover your weapons to see a breakdown of accuracy modifiers, which you should remember and try to maximise.
Q. This game cheats! I get way too many headshots!
A. No the game does not cheat; headshot is simple odds: the more you get shot at, the more your head will get hit. Find a way to get shot less, such as by luring your enemies outside of turret's mission range, or refit your mech with long range weapons and stay out of the enemies' close range weapons.
That said, the headshot chance before game ver 1.1.1 is bugged (for both you and AI) and doubled for normal shots. This has led to many headshot complains in the early days of the game.
Q. I can keep missing their heads with my called shots.
A. Don't called shot the head. Called shots are too precious to be wasted on low chance head shot. When you hit the enemies more than they hit you (use tactic), you will do more handshots to them than they do to you. If you don't, you are not avoiding their attacks enough and/or not focusing your firepower enough. That said, head called shot was seriously bugged in 1.0.4 and had very low chance to hit - typically lower than normal shots.
Q. Bug? The map keep spinning!
A. Alt+Tab out of the game and back usually solves the issue for me. Also try unplug unnecessary USB devices, e.g. USB drives and controllers.
(General FAQ; does not contain mission-specific questions.)
Q. The game is so hard! My team can't even survive the starting missions!
A. Yes this game can be a tough nut to crack. You must plan your actions carefully when playing the campaign, since you always face overwhelming numbers (but not odds). It is certainly possible to finish the starting missions without saving and retrying (starting missions included), once you get better with the game.
Q. How do I refit my mechs better?
A. In the campaign, all mechs must have their frontal armour increased. For light and medium mechs, remove heavy weapons and install medium lasers and heat sinks. As you move into heavy and assault the situation will change, but medium lasers never go wrong.
Q. I keep retry and retry but I fail / die every time!
A. While randomness plays a factor, you need tactic to survive. If you retried two or three times and it still doesn't work, you must change your approach. For example, perhaps you can move your mech back and Brace, switch their positions, or load an earlier save and try a different direction. In some rare cases you may even need to change the mechs that you deploy.
Q. Repairing and headshot recovery take so long that I went broke!
A. Change your style to get hit less. Don't blindly follow travel contracts; order repair for your mechs and find a star system that takes exactly that long to travel. When you arrive, if you need pilots, hire fresh meat instead of waiting. Waiting is expensive. Also, do the first two priority missions to upgrade your spaceship, for faster repair and heal.
Q. How to find better mech / weapons / equipment?
A. Best way is to do more contracts. Assassination and Battle have the highest chance of seeing a big mech. Weapons and equipments are easier found in salvages than in shop too.
Q. What decides mission difficulty (skulls)?
A. The further in story you go, the more difficult the missions become. When you finish the campaign, you will be seeing 4-5 skull missions stuffed full of assault mechs virtually every where you go. Your drop tonnage does not affect mission difficulty; enemies are decided randomly when you drop.
Q. Can I keep playing after the campaign?
A. Definitely! The campaign can be considered a big starter area; half the map is unavailable until you finish the campaign. Many items and events are strictly limited to post-campaign. You'll also face greater challenges than you can find in the campaign.
Q. Bug? Reinforcement should arrive later (Darius says), but they were already on the map and I had to fight 2 groups!
A. The dialogue is bugged, but the mission itself is behaving as intended. See below.
Q. When I deploy I immediately get ganged by 2 lances (8 mechs)! It is impossible to win!
A. It is by design. Most contracts have multiple enemy lances. First, try to avoid taking them all head-on. Heading straight to the objective is bad idea; find another route to meet and kill the reinforcement first, before the main force can join with them. When they really do come together, move your mech back and use cover and tactic to wither them down one by one. Sometimes this happens and there is no place to run, for me it happened 3 times in over 100 missions. If you think you can't fight them, withdraw.
Q. How the **** am I supposed to beat 12 enemies?!
A. Most of the time, 4 of them will be turrets or convoys, so you can avoid engaging all enemies at the same time. However depending on your skill level and map luck, it can be really difficult to do. Luckily, you are just a mercenary. Withdraw is always an option.
Q. A DropShip just landed on top of me and crushed my mechs!
A. Most maps clearly marks where a DropShip will land, and you should avoid standing there. Very rarely, a map may be bugged and not show where they will land; nothing you can do but to accept it or load game and try again. Hope you save often.
Q. Bug? I killed the Assassination target but the mission does not end!
A. Some assassination missions are bugged. You can use the debug panel to end the mission if you have it enabled, otherwise you must load an earlier save and hurt the target until it starts to flee. Then you can finish it.
Q. How should I equip [Insert Mech Here]?
A. This handbook does not provide refit template, because every players have different style (I like jump jets; you may not), and it also depends on the pilots' stats and skills (low Gut = avoid ballistic). Hopefully you'll find enough info in this handbook to learn the game and your preferred style.
Q. Repairs and Refits takes so long!
A. That's why you should find and keep spare mechs. Repair and refit management is part of BattleTech and you need to plan them in the campaign.
Q. Why are ballistic weapons so heavy? They are useless!
A. They will become more useful when you have more tonnage to spend, less heat to waste, and heavier enemies to kill.
Q. Why are energy weapons so hot? They are rubbish!
A. The general consensus is that Large Lasers and PPCs are too hot, yes. The heat is manageable if you use only one of them, or with help of very rare heat equipments. Otherwise, replace them with ACs and missiles. They are heavier but cook you much slower.
Q. Why do missiles do so little damage? I heard LRM is king!
A. LRM is king... for knocking mechs down so that your other weapons get free called shots. It's not very efficient in actually killing enemies. Although sometimes it can be the best weapon to deal the final hit, ACs are generally better at punching holes and destroying stuffs.
Q. Where do I find Cockpit Modules? I was told they will solve my headshot problem but I can't find them!
A. Shops sometimes sell them. Also scroll down on the loot page after every mission; I get most of mine from salvages.
Q. I need Double Heat Sinks and I need them now!
A. You can't find them; they are Lostech. You'll get a few mid-game and a few more post-campaign, and that's all. If you want to find more you need to install mods.