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Armored Core 6 S-Rank Guide (Chapter 1)

You'll clear missions faster, cheaper, and more stylishly than ever.

So you’ve completed your run of Armored Core 6 and you want to push your abilities as a mech pilot and architect to their limits. The greatest test would be to get an S-rank on every single mission in the game. The one issue is that the game doesn’t always say what will get you that coveted rank on each mission, only general rules. You’ll clear a mission with low expenses and a high payout, yet still only get an A-rank. Let this be the eye opener you need to climb over that final wall.

This guide will cover all missions in Chapter 1 of a new game of Armored Core 6, as well as general S-Rank tips that apply to all missions.

If you’re looking for S-rank guides for other chapters, you can find that here:

How to Get S-Ranks

Many believe that the ranking system in Armored Core 6 is based off of the final payout you receive. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. The ranking system is actually based off of a hidden score made up of several factors. These are as follows:

  • Checkpoint Usage: If you are defeated in a mission and choose to restart from a checkpoint, this automatically disqualifies you from an S-Rank. Resupplying your health and ammo at specified points within missions will not disqualify you.
  • Ammo Cost: Being efficient here is key. Use cheaper weapons like machine guns or handguns to deal with weaker enemies and save your heavy hitting explosives for bosses. Melee weapons are also highly recommended to save money.
  • Repair Cost: You’ll either want good defenses to shrug off blows or high speed to dodge attacks. Learning boss patterns will be essential for keeping your repair costs cheap.
  • Time Taken: Aside from mission specific objectives, this is the most important factor to getting S-ranks. You’ll want to focus on the objectives as much as possible and avoid detours to destroy extra enemies. Assault Boost when moving from place to place, as it is easily the fastest option for getting around.
  • Bonus Objectives/Enemies Destroyed: Most missions give a score bonus for destroying enemies or fulfilling bonus objectives. Sometimes they’re even necessary for an S-rank. Even if a mission doesn’t provide bonus pay for destroying enemies, it can help to take out as many as you can on the way. These can help pad your score if you’ve taken more time or damage than expected.

It greatly helps if you’ve gone through the Arena and performed as much OS Tuning as possible before you attempt S-ranks. While it’s more than possible without it, the extra stat buffs from OS Tuning can ease the process and allow you more freedom in your builds.

Illegal Entry

You’re only allowed the starter mech for this mission, so an S-rank here relies solely on your own performance. Ignore enemy groups at the beginning when making your way to the catapult, and again when salvaging the wrecks. When at the wreck with several MTs and helicopters nearby, you can shoot a few down while accessing the wreck to pad your score.

The helicopter boss is where things get rougher. Use Assault Boosts to fly up to it and strike it with melee attacks while keeping pressure with your rifle and missiles. Try to stay underneath or behind it so it can’t hit you with its rockets.

Destroy Artillery Installations

As with the last mission, it’s best to completely ignore enemy groups to rush down the artillery batteries. They go down easily as long as you’re attacking them from behind.

Grid 135 Cleanup

The enemies here are weak but plentiful. A machine gun or rifle makes short work of them. The toughest enemies here are the ones with shields, who can only be damaged from behind or once staggered. Bring a melee weapon to stagger them or a fast mech to circle behind.

You might be tempted to take out the cloaked mech in the back of the level where you first landed on Rubicon, but it isn’t necessary. The time it takes to get there, destroy the mech, then return outweighs the point bonus you earn.

Destroy the Transport Helicopters

Speed is of the essence here, but you’ll want to bring some heavy firepower as well. While the transport helicopters themselves aren’t very tough, it’s extremely difficult to get an S-rank by destroying them alone. You’d have to clear the mission in under a minute to have a chance.

Destroying the tetrapod MT, however, greatly eases this requirement. It’s bulky, especially for so early in the game, but it essentially gives you another minute to clear the rest of the helicopters. As long as you destroy it quickly, you’re coming out ahead on time.

Destroy the Tester AC

If you’re grinding this mission for cash, you may have already S-ranked it. If not, aim for a high stagger build that can quickly wipe out enemy ACs, such as dual handguns with a melee weapon.

Attack the Dam Complex

This one, like the Transport Helicopter mission, is technically possible to S-rank without fulfilling bonus objectives, but it’s much easier if you do them. Destroy the first two generators as usual, then continue on to the next two. You’ll be attacked by Index Dunham, an enemy AC. Between you and your two allies, you should be able to take him out fairly quickly. As long as you were quick at destroying the generators, this should guarantee you the S-rank.

There’s another bonus enemy after the second generator, a tetrapod MT off to the right side of the map. The score bonus you get from this one doesn’t make up for the time it would take to destroy, so ignore it.

Destroy the Weaponized Mining Ship

Pack some heavy firepower and a good generator for this one, you’ll need both. You start a far distance from the Strider, so Assault Boost until you reach its leg and watch out for the eye laser. Once you’re at its leg, blast it until it falls. From here, fly around the Strider taking out the generators and ignoring any enemies. Try not to fall off, you’ll take a big chunk of damage. Saving the generator at the top for last will let you avoid attacks from the eye laser until the final section.

When it’s time to destroy the eye, get up close and fire everything you can right into the iris. Hitting the outer shell will ricochet bullets and waste ammo. When you see it charging up for an attack, pull back and duck into a crevice right in front of the eye. Once it’s destroyed, enjoy the fireworks and your S-rank.

Operation Wallclimber

Focus on firepower for this one, as there’s several bulky enemies you need to destroy. When the mission starts, head to the side of the main artillery batteries and take them out from behind. Next up is a tetrapod MT with several support artillery. The artillery can help pad your score, so it’s handy to destroy any that are close by.

Once inside the wall, boost past the enemies in the hangar and head straight for the final elevator. You’ll find a resupply point right before the boss. It won’t hurt your rank to use, so feel free to stock up if you need to. The Juggernaut is a tough boss that can only be hurt from behind. Stay close to it and pepper it from the skies where most of its attacks can’t hit you. Melee isn’t recommended here, as the Juggernaut can stagger you just by moving.

Retrieve Combat Logs

Retrieving all eight combat logs is essentially required for an S-rank on this mission, so be sure to memorize where they all are. The mission ends as soon as you get the eighth combat log, so no combat is necessary, just focus on speed. If you’d like a little more wiggle room, there’s a combat log to the left of the starting area that will cause Little Ziyi, an enemy AC, to attack. Destroying her will give you some extra time to search for the logs.

Investigate BAWS Arsenal No. 2

For this mission, bring weapons with high burst damage as well as Assault Armor. The key to S-ranking this mission is memorizing where the Ghosts are located in the early parts. They’ll always start in the same spots but are quick to flee once aggroed. You want to destroy them before they can cloak and break your lock-on. For the final room, focus on the Ghosts sniping you from above first. Once they’re dealt with, the shielded Ghost will easily fall to your Assault Armor.

Attack the Watchpoint

Build for high stagger here, dual shotguns and either grenades or laser cannons on your back work beautifully. The early parts aren’t too tough, and the build should make quick work of Sulla. He’s got a powerful bazooka, so avoid getting staggered.

Balteus is best tackled in a hyper-aggressive manner. Rush him down with Assault Boosts and unload everything you have into him. This is when you really want to take advantage of Boost Kicks to apply additional pressure to his shield. Once his shield is broken, keep attacking with all you’ve got. Soon enough he’ll fall to your onslaught and give you a well-deserved S-rank.


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