Weapons

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Weapon Characteristics

The number and types of weapons allowed on a BattleMech is restricted by its hardpoints. All weapons have the following characteristics, with additional information in their respective sections.

  • Damage: the amount of health removed from the target if hit when within the weapon's optimal range.
  • Optimal Range: the maximum distance which the weapon deals full damage to the target.
  • Max Range: the maximum distance which the weapon deals any damage to the target. Damage drops linearly from optimal to max range.
  • Minimum Range: some weapons have special rules if targets are within this range. See below.
  • Cooldown: the amount of time between firing a weapon and being able to fire a second time.
  • Heat: the amount of heat generated every time the weapon fires
  • Slots: the size of the weapon
  • Tons: the weight of the weapon
  • Velocity: the speed with the projectile travels across the battlefield. Laser weapons are instantaneous.
  • Impulse: the kinetic energy imparted on the target, causing cockpit shake
  • Health: the amount of critical damage the weapon can withstand before being destroyed

Ballistic

Ballistic

Ballistic weapons deal kinetic damage. They are the heaviest weapon type, have medium projectile speed but generate the least heat relative to their damage. They require ammunition, which may be expended before the battle is over or explode due to a critical hit.

  • Autocannon (AC) - Standard kinetic weapon, firing a single round.
  • Ultra Autocannon (UAC) - Rapid-fire AC. Allows the firing of a second round during the cooldown of the first. Must wait for the full cooldown of the second round before firing a third round. There is a chance of the UAC jamming if rapid-fired, which disables the weapon for 15 seconds.
  • Rotary Autocannon (RAC) - Rapid-fire AC. After a short spin-up period, fires a stream of AC rounds. Will jam if rapid-fired for too long, which disables the weapon for 15 seconds.
  • LB-X - Cluster AC. Fires a volley of single-point damage projectiles, which spread over distance. Has a higher chance to do critical damage.
  • Gauss Rifle - After a short charging period, fires rounds with magnetic coils rather than chemicals. Heavier than other ballistic weapons, but generates far less heat. Likely to explode when destroyed.
  • Machine Gun - High rate of fire, very short range and low damage per projectile. Has a higher chance to do critical damage.

Energy

Energy

Energy weapons deal damage over time. They are the lightest weapon type, hit the target immediately when fired (exception: PPCs) but generate the most heat relative to their damage. They do not require ammunition, but have an increased need for heat sinks.

  • Laser - Delivers a concentrated burst of energy over time. Must hit the target for its entire duration to deal full damage. Pulse lasers deal damage over a shorter time at the cost of increased weight. ER lasers gain range at the cost of increased heat. Clan heavy lasers gain damage at the cost of more heat and increased size.
  • Particle Projection Cannon (PPC) - While an energy weapon, fires a projectile of energy. Some types of PPCs have a 90m minimum range within which they do no damage.
  • Flamer - adds heat and a small amount of damage to the target. Will not cause the target to overheat without the target also firing its weapons.

Missile

Missile

Missiles are cluster weapons that travel much slower than ballistic weapons. They are a middle ground with weight and heat, but the missiles spread over range. Some missile weapons can strike beyond line of sight. Some missiles have a minimum range, and most missiles do not have a damage reduction over range. They require ammunition, which may be expended before the battle is over or explode due to a critical hit. See Lock On Weapons for information about missile lock.

  • Short Range Missile (SRM) - does not have a minimum range.
  • Streak Short Range Missile (SSRM) - does not have a minimum range, and cannot fire without a target lock. Guaranteed to hit the target unless the target moves behind cover (which could be another 'Mech). The missiles can do some target tracking around obstacles. There is no control over which location of the target is hit.
  • Medium Range Missile (MRM) - IS only. Does not have a minimum range.
  • Rocket Launcher - IS only. Single fire, so does not require ammunition. Very light weight, but has a short 50m minimum range.
  • Long Range Missile (LRM) - has a 180m minimum range, but the Clan versions does some damage within this range. Normally used with a target lock, but can "dumb fire." Supports indirect fire. There is no control over which location of the target is hit.
  • Advanced Tactical Missile (ATM) - Clan only. Has a minimum range of 120m, then a range where it does maximum damage. Damage then falls off until maximum range. Normally used with a target lock, but can "dumb fire." The missiles can do some target tracking around obstacles. When locked there is no control which location of the target is hit.

Mechs can equip an Anti-Missile System (AMS) as an active defense to missiles. AMS damages missiles over time, so the longer the Mech has the missile in view the more missiles will be destroyed. Standard AMS uses ammunition and generates no heat, where Laser AMS does not use ammunition but generates heat.

Ammunition

Ballistic and missile weapons need ammunition to function on the battlefield. Ammunition may be stored in any location in whole or half-ton bins; both bin sizes take a single slot. The amount of ammunition per ton depends on the weapon system. During a match ammunition is expended in the following order:

  1. Center Torso
  2. Right Torso
  3. Left Torso
  4. Left Arm
  5. Right Arm
  6. Left Leg
  7. Right Leg
  8. Head

Ammunition in the center torso is always used first, ammunition in the head is always used last; see the figure. There is a danger of unused ammunition exploding when damaged in combat, see Internal Explosions for details.

Ammo Usage Order