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Armored Core 6 S-Rank Guide (Chapter 3)

The stakes are higher and the S-ranks are sweeter.

Chapter 3 is when Armored Core 6 starts throwing much harder missions at you. Getting S-ranks likewise becomes much tougher. Most missions at this point will include a boss fight against an AC or AC-like enemy, so start honing your builds to defeat them. Weapons like the Zimmerman, Ransetsu-RF, and Pulse Blade perform wonderfully all-around, while grenade launchers help against more durable opponents.

S-rank guides for other chapters can be found here:

Steal the Survey Data

The first part of this mission involves you traveling to four marked objectives and accessing some data. Any enemies along the way are safe to ignore. After hacking the drone in the far back of the level, a Tetrapod MT will appear. Destroying it will help pad your score, so I recommend you take it out. Follow the next objective marker to reach the second part of the mission.

You’ll come across a group of MTs with another tetrapod among them. Don’t waste ammo on them just yet. A PCA warship will fly overhead and sweep the area with lasers, taking out most if not all enemies. It’s thankfully treated as if you defeated them yourself.

From Software / Dominic Allain

Once the warship passes by and any remaining enemies are cleared, PCA mechs will drop into the area. They’re fairly agile and like to keep to the air, so grenade launchers will be less effective. Take them out and the warship will reappear with a flight of drones. You can actually fly over the chasm to reach the airship while it’s still flying at you. Shoot its bridge to destroy it, then clean up any remaining drones to finish the mission.

Attack the Refueling Base

This one can be tough due to the boss fight at the end. Bring a build that staggers quickly and has powerful punish options. You might be tempted to blow up the special fuel tanks on the way to the objective. Despite earning you additional cash, blowing up fuel tanks doesn’t actually contribute to your ranking score.

What does earn you a fair bit of score is destroying the missile batteries scattered along the route to the objective. They are easily taken down with most weapons, so try to take them out as you pass by. You’ll also come across an LC unit early on that you should take out for extra score.

The Ekdromoi fight is where most S-rank runs unfortunately fail. You’ll be pitted against two mechs. One has powerful melee strikes and the other packs a deadly plasma cannon. Focus on one at a time, preferably the Ekdromoi EP. It will try to close in with its lance, making it simple to split the two apart. Once it’s dealt with, the Ekdromoi PG is easily handled to close out the mission.

Eliminate V.VII

This mission gives you a strict time limit to clear the stealth section if you want to S-rank it. The best way to tackle it is to Assault Boost down the left side of the map, shown above. Blast any MTs you approach along the way. If the MT group in the courtyard spots you, keep flying down the street and get to cover quickly. There shouldn’t be much resistance on the way to the objective marker.

Once you reach it, immediately turn around and fly back towards the edge of the map. It’ll have opened up to allow to you reach V.VII Pater. He can be tough to take down with his shield and stun baton, but he’s distracted when you reach him. This is the perfect chance to hit him with a pile bunker or other powerful weapon. When he’s nearing defeat, he’ll begin a dialogue asking you to spare him. Don’t even give him the chance to finish it.

Tunnel Sabotage

S-ranking this mission is purely based on how well you can navigate, so bring something fast and with a lot of energy. When you enter the tunnel, simply follow the objective marker to the generator, destroy it, then turn around and return to the entrance. No need to bother with other enemies.

Survey the Uninhabited Floating City

The hardest part of S-ranking this mission is trying not to get lost. There are red lights scattered around the level that lead you to each of the objectives, so stick to the path they create. The enemies you find here tend to be more trouble than they’re worth to destroy, so ignore them instead.

Upon scanning the crashed drone at the end of the path, you’ll be ambushed by enemies with powerful whips. The urban terrain makes it difficult to engage them at anything more than close-range as well, so bring some shotguns to deal with them.

Once you’re dealt with them and scanned the final objective, the helicopter from the very first mission will be back for vengeance. The same strategy from that mission applies here, Assault Boost to get in its face and unload all you’ve got in it. You’ll be prompted to hack some drones to assist you, but they’re only good for drawing aggro away. They’re not worth the time to hack.

Heavy Missile Launch Support

You’re playing defense for a trio of missiles, and all three need to survive for the S-rank. As soon as the mission starts, rush in and take out the initial enemies before they deal too much damage to the missiles. From here, enemies will come in waves toward each missile.

From Software / Dominic Allain

Tougher enemies like helicopters and Toybox mechs are marked, but several unmarked squads will also spawn in throughout the mission. Bring plenty of ammo and keep an eye on your radar so you don’t miss them. After 4 minutes, a PCA warship will spawn on one side. Take it out to immediately end the mission.

Eliminate the Enforcement Squad

As soon as the mission starts, dart to your right. There’s a well-hidden AC near the crater’s edge who can give you a good score boost if handled quickly.

Aside from that, this is a fairly linear mission. Pack accurate weapons and a pulse blade, as you’ll encounter several LCs and HCs that like to remain airborne. Advance to each objective marker, taking out every enemy in the area to advance.

The hardest part of this mission is the HC at the end. It has an extremely accurate laser cannon and a pulse shield that it can bash you with for major damage. The tight quarters you’re in also make it tough to dodge these attacks. Use your pulse blade and core expansions as much as possible to stagger it, as its shield will absorb most impact damage otherwise.

Destroy the Special Forces Craft

There’s no fluff with this mission, just you and a boss in an open arena. Because of that, it’s a mission where a heavy build is very viable for S-ranks. The Cataphract can be a pain to fight due to its narrow weak spot and high mobility, but it stops every so often to fire its laser cannon. That’s when it’s most vulnerable. Treat it like the Smart Cleaner from Chapter 2, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

From Software / Dominic Allain

One trick is that the boss will always drift in and stop at the exact same spot every time you play the mission, marked by a snow pile. You can exploit this to deal a big chunk of damage early on.

Attack the Old Spaceport

Make sure your mech is fast with good sources of burst damage. Targets are spread all over the map, so you’ll have to move quick to secure an S-rank. The first part of the mission has you go to three objective locations and destroy docked PCA warships.

After a short intermission to resupply, some PCA units will ambush you from the spaceport’s tower. Fly up or take the nearby catapult to reach them. Once they’re dealt with, two more PCA warships will arrive, headed right to the edge of the tower. Wait for them to close in and take them out.

The real threat begins now. You and Rusty will be matched up against a durable HC and speedy LC. The HC should be your priority target with its shield and strong melee weapon. Rusty is likely to target it as well. If the HC starts targeting Rusty, that’s the perfect chance to shoot it in its back where the shield doesn’t reach. Once it’s down, the LC doesn’t put up too much resistance.

From Software / Dominic Allain

As soon as the bosses are dealt with, get onto the nearby cliffside. The Ice Worm will arrive shortly. It’s completely immune to damage and hits like a truck, but you’re completely safe on the cliffs. Just wait for the cutscene to end the mission.

Eliminate “Honest” Brute

For this mission, bring a high-capacity generator and an efficient booster. There’s a lot of travel to do. Follow the objective markers, ignoring any enemies along the way. At the tight corridor section, be sure to avoid the detection lasers. The enemies in there can pile on damage fast.

Beyond the corridors is a long drop to Honest Brute’s arena. He’ll ambush you from above once you travel deeper inside, but you can still get the first shot if you know where he is beforehand. Brute packs a spread bazooka and flamethrower, meant to quickly stagger you before finishing you off with a chainsaw. The tight quarters make it awkward to dodge but let you corner him easier for big attacks of your own. Defeat him to finish the mission.

Defend the Old Spaceport

Compared to prior missions, this one’s very simple. Just a one-on-one brawl between you and Raven. Any AC-destroying build you’ve made up to this point will suffice for an S-rank. Just be sure to watch out for their grenade launcher and pile bunker, it’s possible for that combo to wipe out most of your health in one shot.

Historic Data Recovery

Another fairly simple mission to S-rank. Bring your fastest build, as there’s no real threats in this level. You’re just scanning wrecks for lore and profit. All required scans have clear objective markers, so just follow them while ignoring enemies. Scanning other wrecks won’t contribute to an S-rank.

Destroy the Ice Worm

Do not forget to bring the Stun Needle Launcher. In fact, bring a second just for extra security if you’re replaying this mission. The cycle of the fight is to shoot the worm’s face with the needle launcher to break its shield, then unload everything else while it’s down.

There are two attacks that you’re looking out for that give you a clear shot at its face. The first is when the worm attempts to crash directly into you. It’ll look at you for a second, which is your opportunity to stun it. The second is when it looks to the side. If it does this, don’t fire right away. Wait for it to hit the ground and start charging at you from there.


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