You now know enough to take your big, stompy 'Mech and shoot things for fun and profit. To gain a basic understanding we advise completing the MechWarrior Academy tutorial. There you will learn the basics of how to shoot and move. In addition you can test drive other 'Mechs. Every time you put a new 'Mech build together take it to the Testing grounds to observe it's movement characteristics and weapon heat. Every game map is available in the Testing grounds, so try out your 'Mech builds on cold, hot and temperate maps (which affects heat dissipation).
As you start your campaign to win fame and glory within the Inner Sphere, there are some "bigger picture" things to understand.
Modes and Queues
Quick Play will get you into a match quickly (thus the name). If you drop by yourself you are entered into the Solo Queue. You will only play with and against only solo players. If you join a group with 1 to 11 other players your group is entered into the Group Queue. There you will only play with and against other groups of players. You could play against six groups of two, a single 12-person group or anything in between. Note because of this you cannot make a group that totals 11 players.
Once MM creates a match you are presented with a screen where you can vote for one of four maps and one of two modes. With experience you will learn which maps and modes match well with particular 'Mech builds. If the map or mode you voted for was not chosen by the other 23 players, your vote will count for more next match. If you are dropping in a group only the group leader gets to vote.
Faction Play is different. Solo players are matched with groups or with just other solo players (if there are at least 12 solo players looking for a match). SSR (see below) is used by Faction Play MM to fill teams with solo players. The map is random based on the mode currently selected for the planet in question. As one faction gets closer to victory the mode changes.
You can help your faction gain an advantage with Scouting missions. You will either seek to gather intel points and escape the battlefield via dropship extraction, or defend intel points and prevent the other team from escaping via their dropship. Beware, the dropship is armed!
MWO assigns a match score based on your performance on the battlefield. The higher your match score, the greater your C-Bill and XP rewards. MWO shows you at the bottom of your HUD when you complete an event that increases your match score (outside of just damage). The most obvious way to increase your match score is to increase the amount of damage you do in a match, killing 'Mechs, doing the most damage to a 'Mech when it is destroyed (HUD: "Kill Most Damage Dealt") and destroying 'Mech internal components (HUD: "Component Destroyed"). Other methods to increase match score include team movement (HUD: "Lance in Formation"), shooting down enemy UAVs (HUD "UAV Destroyed"), and using AMS to shoot down enemy missiles.
Player Skill Rating (PSR) is a player experience score. The intent is to protect new players from playing the most experienced players on the battlefield before they understand the game mechanics - i.e., to prevent "seal clubbing". New players start at Tier 5 (the lowest) and work their way to Tier 1 (the highest). PSR is not a skill ranking. MM matches across two PSRs - Tier 5 players will only play with and against Tier 5, 4 and 3 players in the Solo Queue. Tier 1 players will only play with and against Tier 3, 2 and 1 players in the Solo Queue. In the group queue MM matches the highest PSR of the group.
You increase your PSR by playing well. If your team wins but you do poorly there will be no change. However, if your team loses but your play well you can still increase your PSR. See Figure 1 for details.
Solaris Skill Rating (SSR) is similar to PSR, but only deal with the 1v1 and 2v2 Solaris game mode. Within a Solaris season ELO gains and loses will level the playing field between players, but across Solaris seasons SSR is recorded as a general indication of player skill. SSR is much more of a skill ranking than PSR.
Now it's time to leave the dropship and make a name for yourself, MechWarrior. Good luck and have fun!
New Player Guide, Extra: The World of BattleTech