FAQ by sheepy
Version: 1.4 | Updated: 11/28/18
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
- Resolve 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
- 2018-11-28 Version 1.4 - Update guide to game ver 1.2. Revision of all game rule sections. Full update interrupted due to game ver 1.3.
- 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. Why do I need a Paradox account to play the game?
A. You don't need it to play the game in single-player mode. You can dismiss the login prompt; it only popup on first run. Account is only required for multiplayer games.
Q. Does the game support wide screen?
A. The game supports normal ultrawide since version 1.1, and the support is improved in later versions. Extreme ultrawide such as as wide as three screens or above is unsupported.
Q. Does the game support other languages and platforms?
A. As of writing it's only English, on Windows. German, French, and Russian translations are on the way.
Q. The game crashes on run / on starting campaign / crashes a lot.
A. Crash on launch often happens because of driver conflicts; update or revert drivers sometimes solve that.
A. Crash on campaign videos can be caused by codec issue. Installing a custom codec pack such as K-Lite or CCCP may solve that.
A. Random crash during the game is indicative of an unstable system, such as overheated GPU, overclocked memory, or a fixed page file that is too small.
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.
A. Corrupted game profile and saves will also hang or crash the game. See this link for how to reset everything:
Q. My mechs are pink. That's cute.
A. It is caused by failure in loading texture. Simply restart the game. If problem persists, reinstall or verify game files.
Q. My non-female commander has female voice. Bug!
A. That is not your commander's voice. That is the voice of the onboard computer.
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. I have developed the "Turbine" mod to speed up game loading for game ver 1.1.x to 1.2.0.
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 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, pilot injuries, 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, and the mechs has since been redesigned. 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 on undisclosed 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. New mechs are being added with the first DLC.
Q. Who designed the stock mechs, why are their layouts so bad?
A. They are faithful copy of tabletop designs, some made in 1980s, 30 years 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, you really don't want to overheat, and ammo explosion usually kill the mech so it's better to protect them in centre torso on tabletop. Regardless of reason, the poor design can be 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 wants 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. Press space during an action to speed it up. The game has a Speedup Gameplay setting that do it for all actions. 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 you damage resistance. That is what AI do, so when you first see them they are all Guarded and takes reduced damage. Instead of attacking them, you can Brace your mechs and wait for them to attack you first, then the situation will reverse - they will waste their attacks on your braced mechs and lost their own brace and you can focus fire them. Also make use of terrain; standing in forests and mineral fields makes it harder for the enemies to hurt you.
Q.I keep missing my shots!
A. After you clicked a location to move to, when you are selecting facing, you can mouseover an enemy to see your hit chance at that location. Right click or 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 can remember and should try to maximise. You can also click on low hit chance weapons to disable them.
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 missile range, or refit your mech and kite them from long range.
Historically, 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. This is is fixed in Jun 2018.
Q. I 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.
Historically, head called shot was seriously before game ver in 1.1 and had very low chance to hit - typically lower than normal shots. This is fixed on Jun 2018.
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), when you know the game better and your skill improves.
Q. How do I refit my mechs better?
A. In the campaign where most missions is a war or attrition, all mechs must have their frontal armour increased. For light and medium mechs, remove heavy weapons and install AC/5, medium lasers, and heat sinks. As you move into heavy and assault the situation will change, but medium lasers rarely 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 what mechs you deploy.
Q. I finished a Priority Mission but then I can't progress.
A. The cause of the bug is unknown but it has been reported that restarting the game and redoing the mission can solve the issue.
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 get an upgradeable spaceship, for faster repair, heal, and travel.
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. Each star system has a base difficulty rating. Also, 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 on most star systems. Your drop tonnage does not affect mission difficulty; number of enemies are decided on contract generation, and the exact 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, and the Flashpoint DLC offers mini-stories after the campaign ends. 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. Yes a good command can win. Reliably. But yes 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 absolutely no place to run, for me it happened 3 times in over 100 missions. If you think you can't fight them, withdraw.
Q. Mission skulls is useless. I've done 4 skull mission with a few mediums and 3 skulls with heavies and assaults!
A: It is also by design. (Yeah. Don't look at me. Ask the developers.) Judge mission difficulty by payouts, use skulls only as a secondary reference.
Q. How the **** am I supposed to beat 12 enemies?!
A. Sometime, 4 of them will be turrets or convoys, so you can avoid engaging all enemies at the same time. Other times, you are not expected to fight them all. (Though you usually can if you fight them one group after another.)
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. A few 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 your mechwarriors' stats and skills (low Gut = avoid ballistic). Major game updates almost always change the meta, too. Hopefully you'll find enough info in this handbook to learn the game and develop your preferred style.
Q. Repairs and Refits takes so long!
A. That's why you should build and keep spare mechs. Repair and refit management is part of BattleTech and 0need to be planned in the campaign.
Q. Why are ballistic weapons so heavy? They are useless!
A. They are good for punching through armour before other weapons go in for the kill, and can destroy vehicles faster than other weapons. They will become more useful when you have more tonnage to spend, more heat to sink, and heavier enemies to kill.
Q. Why are energy weapons so hot? They are rubbish!
A. The general consensus is that PPCs is too hot, yes. But they are much better since the 1.1 balance. The heat is manageable if you mix them with melee or other weapons, or with help of very rare heat equipments. When you have tonnage to spend you can replace some energy with ACs and missiles. Those 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, it lacks the raw damage efficiency of other weapons.
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.