After a 10-year hiatus the Armored Core series is back, and Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon might just be the best one yet. It has phenomenal visuals, lightning fast gameplay, and building your own mechs is truly rewarding. Despite that number 6 in the title, it’s a suitable jumping in point for newcomers, too, with a whole new story. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. That’s why we’ve put together an Armored Core 6 beginner’s guide, full of tips that should prove useful for those trying to find their feet in its sci-fi world.
Let’s kick off our list of Armored Core 6 tips for beginners with the most important one: stay on the move. If you stand still for just one second in this game you’re putting yourself in huge amounts of danger. Make use of lock-on, keep an eye on your enemy, and do your best to avoid their attacks. The quick boost function is your friend here – use it to dodge a wide range of attacks. Jumping and hovering is useful, too. Just whatever you do, don’t stand still.
Stagger enemies as much as possible
See that bar above an enemy mech’s health bar? That’s the stagger bar, and if you fill it your opponent will be unable to act for a short while. Even better, all hits landed on an enemy mech while it’s staggered will be classed as direct hits, which do much more damage. It’s a good idea, then, to fill the stagger bar as much as possible. All attacks will fill the bar somewhat, but explosive attacks leave more of a lasting impact. Ultimately, though, it’s all about sustained fire. Try to keep pressure on your opponent by reeling your attacks off one after another if you can, so the bar doesn’t get a chance to empty.
Build according to the mission
We get it: you’ve built a mech that you’re proud of and want to use it from one mission to the next. The problem with that is that it’s not an efficient way to go about things. What you really should be doing here is adapting your mech for the situation, especially if you’re having trouble with a specific mission or encounter. Sometimes it’s better to be nimble, for example. Other times you need more armour. Don’t fall into the trap of getting too reliant on your favourite build, as changing things up pays dividends.
Complete Arena battles to earn OSTs
After playing through the campaign a little, you’ll unlock some new options in your Garage. One of these is the Arena, and you should make sure you check it out. In the Arena you can engage in one-on-one fights against a range of enemy ACs. Emerge victorious, and not only will you earn some credits, but you’ll also get some OSTs. Back at the Garage, these OSTs can be used in OS Tuning to unlock new mech functions such as manual aiming, as well as boost a wide range of stats. Needless to say, you’ll want to earn as many OSTs as possible and put them to good use.
Buy lots of parts
There are lots of parts available in Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon, and you should try to buy as many of them as possible. Why? Because it makes you versatile. With more parts available to you, you have more freedom when building your mech to complete specific missions. Also, it’s particularly handy when you reach the boss of a mission and just can’t seem to beat it. Each time you fail you’ll be able to change parts of your mech, but you can only select the parts you already own – you can’t purchase them from the shop. The more parts you have, you more you can experiment without having to give up and quit the mission.
One of the best tips we can give to Armored Core 6 beginners is to actually play the tutorials found in the Sortie menu in the Garage. Not only do these tutorials get you up to speed with various aspects of the game, such as the weapon types available and how different leg types affect your mech, but you also get parts for completing them. They’re pretty good parts, too, such as a grenade launcher that can be devastating. So, go do those tutorials, even if you feel like you don’t need them.
Melee is OP
Guns and launchers are great, because they let you keep on the move and attack from a distance. Despite that, however, consider incorporating a melee weapon into your build. Melee weapons are very powerful, and even better, they don’t run out of ammo. Another benefit is that they home in on targets when in range as well. Using a melee weapon when an enemy is staggered is a surefire way of laying on a world of hurt – just don’t wait around until you can strike again, or your enemy might whack you back.
Use a Pulse Gun to get rid of enemy shields
As you make your way through Armored Core 6 you soon come across enemies that make use of energy shields to protect themselves. They can be a pain, but thankfully you can easily cut through their defenses with a Pulse Gun. They don’t have great range, but if you’re stuck on a mission that has enemies with an energy shield, incorporating a Pulse Gun can make a massive difference. Just try one when facing off against Balteus, for example.
Repeat missions to earn credits
Stuck on a mission or boss on Armored Core 6? It’s probably a good time to replay some earlier missions. Not only will you earn valuable credits for replaying missions, allowing you to buy more parts to experiment with, but you’ll also be brushing up your skills. And there’s another benefit as well: some missions have parts for you to seek out and unlock. Keep an eye out for suspicious looking chests – press down on the d-pad to use your scan function if you suspect one is close by.
Save AC builds
Building a mech you’re proud of is fun, but as we’ve already mentioned, it’s wise to mix things up regularly. Thankfully Armored Core 6 has a feature that makes switching between numerous mech builds easy. The AC Data menu lets you save a wide variety of mech builds that you can quickly switch to providing you have the parts required. It’s here you can also build the mechs you’ve defeated in Arena mode, complete with their cosmetics. Cool, huh?