Armored Core 6 may be vastly different from From Software’s other offerings, but it still retains the developer’s trademark difficulty. From as early as the first mission, you’ll be faced with difficult bosses that will take a fair amount of effort to defeat. Mastering the game’s mechanics both on and off the field of combat is key to victory. For veterans and newcomers alike, here’s 10 tips and tricks that will help ease your experience playing through Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon.
While Armored Core 6 was designed to be more welcoming to new players, it can (and probably will) be a brutally punishing game if you don’t know certain tips and tricks. Make sure to read and pay attention to the details – both in this article and in game!
1. Take the Time to Learn the Game’s Systems
The biggest issue we’ve noticed players have with Armored Core 6 is that they simply don’t bother learning some basics of the game. They either don’t realize that a weapon can be used in different ways or what each of the stats on your AC governs.
Luckily, the game does a great job at letting you examine and learn what you want to know, as long as you actually bother to do so. With that in mind, make sure to regularly do the following:
- Fully watch the demonstration videos for weapons. Yes, some of them are so simple that a monkey could figure it out. However, some of them have some surprising tricks or nuance to them.
- Learn what each stat does. When looking at your AC in the customization screen, you can enter a more detailed view to learn exactly what each stat governs. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, so we suggest checking whenever you change a part and the stat meter goes into the red (which is a bad thing 98% of the time).
2. Play Aggressively (But Not Stupidly)
If you’re struggling during boss fights, you may not be playing as aggressively as Armored Core 6 wants you to.
Try to take advantage of movement options like Assault and Quick Boosts to approach enemies quickly in combat. This ensures your shots are dealing full damage and can set you up for powerful melee attacks. Playing this way also helps keep pressure on an enemy’s Attitude Stability, leading to more staggers and increased overall damage.
Playing aggressively like this also helps you avoid damage when paired with smart movement. For many bosses, the safest place to be is right underneath or above them. Being overly cautious and remaining at long range typically exposes you to a boss’ deadliest attacks. Note that is not always the case – some bosses you want to stay far, far away.
That being said, this tip also includes a few caveats:
- Don’t turn off your brain. Smashing all of your buttons and going full caveman is going to get you killed and develop bad habits. Stay on the offensive as often as you can, but learn when to prioritize dodging and taking covering (especially to avoid getting staggered yourself).
- An “aggressive” playstyle changes depending on your build. Early on in the game, you’re encouraged to get up and close with your enemies. Once you unlock more build options for your AC (namely a missile-build), playing aggressively means non-stop bombarding your enemies from afar before taking cover to recharge.
3. Use Your Scanners Often
One of the new functions added to Armored Core 6 is the ability to scan your surroundings for enemies. On the surface, this may just seem like a tool for scouting out enemies, but it has incredible use in combat.
Any enemies scanned will be visible through walls for a short time, determined by your AC’s head. Even better, you’ll be able to lock onto them from behind cover. This allows you to track their movements and prepare any missiles you have equipped.
No matter the situation, try to scan the area regularly.
4. Take to the Skies in Combat
Armored Cores are able to move freely in all directions, including vertically with their boosters. Weaving in short hops into your dodges will throw off enemy shots more than just quick boosting along the ground. A height advantage also makes it easier to maintain your ideal range when fighting grounded enemies.
Reverse-jointed and tetrapod legs are ideal for this playstyle, as reverse-joints are able to quickly take to the air with strong jumps, and tetrapods can hover for extended periods.
5. Making the Most of Your Mobility
There’s a lot of subtle techniques that the game doesn’t inform you of when it comes to movement.
- Quick boosting doesn’t provide I-frames and should be performed proactively to shift your position.
- Assault Boosting is one of the most energy-efficient ways of moving in any direction, including upwards. If you press forward and the jump button, you can even exit Assault Boost without losing your momentum.
- Finally, melee attacks can actually be canceled with a Quick Boost, which is a handy tool for closing gaps if you have a booster with high melee thrust.
6. Go Through the Arena ASAP
After clearing either “Retrieve Combat Logs” or “Investigate BAWS Arsenal 2,” Armored Core 6 allows you access to its Arena. Fights become available in this arena as you progress through the story, and it’s best to do them as soon as possible. These 1-on-1 AC fights are an easy way to test how your build performs in combat and provide a substantial reward for doing so.
Aside from a good credit reward, Arena battles are the only way to earn OST Chips. These chips are used to unlock additional functions and stat buffs on your AC through OS Tuning. The Arena is key to rounding out your build by giving it extra shields, extra weapons, or simply more damage.
If you’re wondering what the best OS Tuning upgrades are, we’ll go more into detail about that in the future. For now though, you should in general focus on Boost Kick, Weapon Bay, at least one Core Expansion, and then whichever damage type your AC specializes in.
7. Experiment With Builds (And Have Plenty of Parts)
If you’re used to other From Software titles, you may be enticed to stick to one build for the entire game. That’s not the case in Armored Core 6. While it is possible to beat the game with any build, some missions are made exponentially easier with certain ones.
Armored Core 6 encourages you to swap parts as needed, allowing you to freely change equipment between missions and even upon defeat. Additionally, parts have the same value no matter if they’re being bought or sold. Because of this, there’s no need to commit to something you don’t enjoy.
Since you can’t lose money from buying parts, it’s wise to purchase as many as possible before entering a mission. Parts can only be purchased in between missions, not at mission checkpoints. Keeping a good variety of parts on hand ensures you won’t have to redo entire missions because you don’t have the right part for a tough section.
You can even set up and save multiple different builds for your AC to quickly swap between as needed. We strongly recommend having at least one build for a high-mobility AC and one for a heavily armored gunboat.
8. Don’t Rely on Hard Lock
While it’s tempting to use the game’s Target Assist for every enemy you come across, it’s a good idea to learn how to manually track your targets as well.
When using Target Assist, your camera may follow an enemy nearly perfectly, but your guns won’t. You’ll see a red reticle trailing behind enemies as they move, and that reticle is where your guns aim.
Manually moving your camera and using the soft lock-on instead greatly improves the tracking of your firearms, especially against mobile targets. Learning to track targets manually will ensure you land more shots.
That being said, Target Assist isn’t without its uses. Melee weapons greatly benefit from it, as they do not follow the same tracking rules as firearms. Large enemies are also easier to hit with it (despite the inferior tracking), so it’s worth using for several boss fights.
9. Pay Attention to Spacing
Maintaining optimal spacing is more important in Armored Core 6 than any other Armored Core, as the game heavily punishes your accuracy and damage for leaving it.
You can see the distance from a target by looking underneath the lock-on reticle, shown in meters. Several factors impact what distance you should try to maintain from your enemies, such as your FCS and weapons.
Each weapon has an effective range that gives you an estimate of the distance you should be fighting from. Shots fired from outside the effective range will ricochet and deal low damage to the enemy. Even shots from within the effective range may ricochet depending on the enemy’s defenses.
The only way to ensure a shot won’t ricochet is to fire from the weapon’s ideal range. Maintaining the range you’re able to consistently deal damage in is key to victory against any enemy.
The FCS also determines your AC’s effective range and should match the weapons you’re using. Each FCS has a tracking stat for three different ranges, Short-Range (<130m), Mid-Range (130m-260m), and Long-Range (>260m). These determine how effective the FCS is at keeping your firearms locked onto a target at each range. Going outside of your FCS’s best range will adversely affect your aim and cause you to miss more shots.
10. Play the Training Missions (At Least for the Rewards)
Unique to Armored Core 6 is a series of beginner training missions that teach you the game’s controls and tips for building an AC. Even if you’re a veteran of previous Armored Core titles, it’s still a good idea to play these as they become available.
They provide valuable information on some of the new additions to Armored Core 6 as well as reward AC parts. This can provide a jumpstart on creating a build of your own or can be sold for extra cash.
Join the High Ground
These Armored Core 6 tips should help newcomers and veterans alike survive on Rubicon. The game itself provides plenty of tutorials and information on stats as well, so be sure to read those as they come up.
We’ll have plenty of Armored Core 6 content coming in the future, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. If you have any tips of your own or questions, feel free to comment below!
Congratulations, from now on, you are a Raven.