The "MechLab" is where you build your 'Mech. The figure below shows an Atlas AS7-D-DC. Because this interface must work on many different monitors and resolutions, the Mech Bay is very modular. The below images were taken on a 1920 x 1080 display.
1. 'Mech Layout - The 'Mech is displayed as a schematic with every location's slots available for use.
2. Warehouse - All components that can be installed on the 'Mech are shown here. The contents of each tab will dynamically change depending on the hardpoints. If you install components that you do not currently own you will be charged when to select "Save".
3. 'Mech Stats - Dynamic listing of 'Mech information, updated as components are added. Selecting the top-left symbol will expand the window to show full 'Mech details. Also has buttons to strip your 'Mech, reset any un-saved changes, and take the currently configured 'Mech (even if not yet saved) into the Testing Grounds.
4. 'Mech Upgrades - Drop menus to allow for upgrades to armor and structure (see Armor/Structure for more information), heat sinks (see Heat for more information and missile guidance (see Artemis for more information).
5. Side Menu - MechLab screen sub-menus. Details below.
6. Build Warnings - A red triangle is a build alert, there is an error that will not allow the 'Mech to launch into a match. A yellow triangle is a build warning; the 'Mech can launch into a match but the MechLab is warning you about your build. Examples include locations missing armor, heat increases due to simultaneous weapon usage and weapons missing ammunition.
Using the MechLab
When you buy a 'Mech it typically will be configured in a default, or "stock", configuration. Champion 'Mechs are the exception. We will now strip our AS7 and build it into a short-range brawler.
|The above image was using the "Layout: Expanded" view of the MechLab. For players with smaller displays there is also the "Layout:Column": option. Select the drop-menu at the top right of the Warehouse and select your choice.|
|The column layout collapses the 'Mech locations and Upgrades window into a single column. You can expand each by clicking on its name. For simplicity will well use the expanded view.|
We stripped the 'Mech using the Mech Stats | Strip 'Mech button, and selected Strip All Equipment and Strip all Armor options. There is usually no reason to remove so much armor, but we wanted to show how a completely stripped 'Mech with standard structure weigh 10% of its available tonnage. Note the red warning triangle
Fixed components within locations are shown in grey - they cannot be removed. Empty Slots are available for components. We will build our Atlas below.
Select the Weapons tab in the Warehouse and open the Ballistics menu. Here is a listing of all Inner Sphere ballistic weapons and their size (slots), weight (tons), cost (C-Bills) and the Amount you already have in your inventory. The amount value does not include components equipped on other 'Mechs.
If you select the AC/20, a pop up window appears giving more information: damage, heat, cooldown, optimal range, max range, projectile speed, weapon health and a graphic showing how damage reduces over range. See Weapons for more information.
Select the AC/20 and drag it onto the 'Mech right torso. The AC/20 is now equipped, and the 'Mech Stats table changes. If you hover your mouse over the AC/20 you see the same details pop up window from the Ballistics menu. Similarly we install a medium laser into each arm. Before equipping the SRM/6s we upgrade the missile guidance to Artemis, and then drag three SRM/6s into the left torso.
Select the Ammo tab in the Warehouse and open each menu. This tab dynamically updates depending on the weapons loaded at that time. Ammunition comes in whole and half ton bins. The amount of ammunition per ton depends on the weapon system. Each bin's pop up window gives more information. Ammunition can be stored anywhere in the 'Mech, but be aware if the ammunition bin is destroyed in combat there is a chance the remaining ammo will explode, causing damage within your 'Mech. We will now load 3 tons of AC/20 and 3 tons of SRM/6 ammunition.
Select the Equipment tab in the Warehouse and open each menu. The AS7-D-DC has an ECM hardpoint in its left torso, so ECM is displayed in the Warehouse for use. Within the Sensors menu the "Command Console" and "IS Targeting Computer Mark VIII" are disabled. The command console can only be placed within the head, and we have a ton of AC/20 ammo there already, so it cannot be installed. The targeting computer Mk VIII requires eight slots within a single location, and we don't have any location with eight slots available. We will install the ECM, and upgrade to double heat sinks (DHS). But we won't install the DSH just yet.
Select the Engines tab in the Warehouse and open each menu. The Atlas can equip engines rated from 200 to 360. Components currently on our Atlas do not allow the use of LFE or XL engines, so we will install a standard engine 350. The STD350 has slots within it for four heat sinks. Now we fill those slots with our four DHSs, and add one DHS to the left arm.
Select the Consumables tab in the Warehouse and open each menu. All 'Mechs can equip Coolant Flush, Strategic Strike and UAV consumables. Skill tree nodes can expand the number of consumables that can be equipped. See Consumables for more information.
It's time to add armor back to our Atlas, but we are running to tonnage problems. So we will upgrade our structure to Endo-Steel and then add armor to our locations. It's still not enough tonnage to fully armor, but it is close enough.
Cost of new components show up in your Wallet. Select the "View Cart" button to see what you will be buying. Engines must be placed within the center torso. You can drag the engine from the Warehouse or use the drop menu and up/down arrows in the 'Mech diagram.