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Armored Core 6 S-Rank Guide (Chapter 5)

Some of the hardest missions to S-Rank reside in Chapter 5.

Here it is. The final chapter of the game, containing some of the hardest mission to S-rank in all of Armored Core 6. Use the builds that you’ve honed for the entire game up to this point and you’ll come out on top.

New Game+ and New Game++ will have their exclusive missions covered in separate articles.

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


Jailbreak AC escaping from enemies
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

You’re forced to use the Jailbreak AC here, a weak mech that can barely get the job done. Speed through the level as fast as possible, using side routes to avoid combat as much as possible. Stay low to the ground once you reach the city to take advantage of plentiful cover.

At the end of the level, you’re forced to fight a squad of MTs. Try to avoid fighting more than a couple at a time and use your spread bazooka for fast kills. Firing the jamming bomb at your feet can help you retreat towards cover, as enemies can’t lock on to you if you’re inside the cloud.

Take the Uninhabited Floating City

The Xylem Control Tower
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

If you’re not prepared for the curveballs this mission can throw, it’s very difficult to S-rank. You’ll want a build that moves quickly and takes out common enemies fast. You should also bring Pulse Protection to handle one event that happens late in the mission.

Build Recommendation

A build recommendation for the Xylem Defense mission. Dual LRAs, a Morley, and the pulse blade.
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

Here’s the build I recommend. Enemies ignore you and focus entirely on the objective, so I’ve prioritized speed over defense. The laser rifles take out common enemies in one shot, and snipers with a single charge shot. There’s an armored LC that comes late into the mission which I use the spread bazooka and pulse blade on.

Defending the Xylem

After the mission starts and you’ve traveled to the first objective marker, head to the end of any road. Enemies will come from the ends of the highways, and you want to intercept them immediately to minimize damage. If the Xylem’s shield is broken and the tower takes any damage, this mission becomes impossible to S-rank.

The first few waves are easy to handle. You’ll be offered support from some plasma cannons shortly after the timer starts, but don’t activate them yet. They have very limited ammo. Focus on clearing enemies yourself until just over 3 minutes remain. Go back and activate the cannons, as they’ll be helpful against the upcoming snipers. Once the snipers arrive, shoot them down before they land so they don’t get a chance to shoot the shield.

Handling the Drones

Using Pulse Protection to block drones
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

The last of the snipers should be destroyed before 2 minutes remain. Head back to the Xylem tower and go on top of the raised platform by the level boundary. At 1:50 remaining, drones will try to crash into the tower. Fly up to around 240 altitude and pop Pulse Protection. They’ll crash right into the bubble and leave the tower mostly unharmed.

Just a few more waves left. Helicopters carrying MTs will fly in, as well as a strong LC. The bulk of the wave moves slowly, but there’s a few targets to prioritize. Focus on the fast-moving helicopters, as they drop MTs within firing range of the tower. Destroy the LC next, then finish off the rest. The mission ends as soon as the timer hits 0:00. If the shield held through the whole mission, you should have your S-rank.

Intercept the Corporate Forces

Defeating V.I Freud
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

Your main targets in this mission are strong LCs, an HC, and an AC. Bring a build that can stagger quickly and punish hard. When the mission starts, head up to the glass roof over the city. A lone LC will ambush you. It’s not a required enemy, but it will significantly pad your mission score. Once it’s dealt with, head down and destroy the marked enemy to progress.

The HC Midboss in Intercept Corporate Forces
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

After moving through more of the level, you’ll find yourself in a large arena with a solo HC. It’s got a shield, a plasma cannon, and a powerful lance. Don’t be afraid to unload all you’ve got on it, as you’ll be given a resupply point afterwards. Past the resupply point, you’ll find Chatty fighting a group of LCs and drones. One of those drones has a large pulse shield to protect the rest, so take it out first.

The last enemy you’ll face is V.I Freud. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, you’re on your own against him. His strategy consists of using his rifle and drones to pressure you at range while punishing you up close with a spread bazooka and laser blade. Try to keep above him, as his bazooka is much less dangerous without splash damage and the laser blade struggles with verticality.

Breach the Karman Line

Dodging missiles from PCA warships
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

You’re up against a fleet of PCA warships, but you’re given infinite energy for the task. Make the most of the extra mobility by bringing a lightweight build with a strong booster. Always Assault Boost if you’re not shooting something down. Carla will be manning the Xylem’s cannons to shoot down warships as well. The ships have an array of cannons and missiles, but you can dodge them by constantly moving to the side during Assault Boosts.

Fighting Rusty in Steel Haze Ortus
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

Once you destroy the last ship, head back toward the Xylem to fight Rusty in a tuned-up AC. He’s got various needle guns to quickly stagger you before using his melee weapon. In addition, he’s extremely agile, able to swiftly close gaps and dance around slower builds. Use the best close-range build you have, as keeping at range is near impossible. Dual Ducketts or Viento handguns paired with a melee weapon and Basho arms work very well against him.

Shut Down the Closure Satellites

Dodging Ayre's attacks in her first phase
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

Ayre is the only hurdle to overcome, but she doesn’t make it easy. She’s incredibly fast, able to circle behind you with a single boost. Keep your target assist on to keep up with Ayre. Her first phase has her firing Coral lasers and missiles at you with several melee attacks mixed in. Dodge to her left and get behind her to avoid a majority of her melee strikes. Gaining height also usually works. These are your best opening to wear down her shield.

Ayre's unique attack in her second phase
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

After she reaches half health, she enters phase two. She’ll lose her shield but gains several new moves. Aside from new melee attacks, Ayre will have two attacks consisting of her rising high into the air and firing a massive beam at you. Quick boost when you hear the warning. She’ll also sweep across the ground in a jet form, but this can be dodged by flying upwards. Continue to use Ayre’s melee attacks as your main openings for damage and she’ll eventually fall.

Eliminate “Cinder” Carla

Carla and Chatty attack the player
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

This level involves a two versus one AC fight, and you’re the solo. Bring something durable that can wipe out ACs quickly, as there isn’t much travel to do. Follow the objective markers until you reach the final arena. You’ll find Snail early on in the level. It’s up to you whether to fight him or not, but I recommend doing so. He adds enough score so that your only concern for S-ranking the level is not dying.

Hiding behind a pillar to avoid Carla's missiles
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

You’ll soon find yourself in a two-story room with pillars along the outer edge. This is the arena where you’ll face Carla and Chatty, and you’re expected to take advantage of the environment to win. Chatty tends to stay on the upper level while firing grenades and missiles at you, while Carla rushes you down with waves of her own missiles.

Stay on the lower level near the walls and use the pillars as cover. When Carla gets close, that’s when she’s most vulnerable. She’ll try to use kicks and Assault Armor to stagger you, but her missiles become much less dangerous. Take her out first, then move up to the second level and defeat Chatty.

Destroy the Drive Block

Fighting Smart Cleaner with Rusty
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

The first section of this mission has you destroy a few generators. They’ll be in rooms off to the side of the mission start. Mind the plasma cannon sniping you as you move between them. Blast the generators and head towards the next marker to rematch the Smart Cleaner. Rusty will support you this time, and he’ll take most aggro. Focus on flying above the Cleaner and shooting down into its intake. Switch to its face after staggering it.

The next section is pretty maze-like in my experience. Head straight to the end of the room, then take a right. Head around the corridor to find the next generator, then go right from there. The last generator is next to the exit. There’s a resupply point that you should definitely take in the room ahead.

Arquebus Balteus boss defeated
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

Balteus is back, but this time with a barrage of lasers over missiles. Use your aerial mobility to dodge most of its attacks, and quick boost anything that gives a warning. Break its shield and it will be instantly staggered, giving you a chance to pile on damage. Once it hits half health, it will wildly swing two plasma beams around the arena. Keep moving and don’t stay grounded to avoid it. It becomes more aggressive, but its attacks remain similar to the first phase.

Bring Down the Xylem

Fighting Walter
FromSoftware / Dominic Allain

Start by destroying the two ramjet engines and wait for the upcoming AC fight. Walter uses several Coral weapons with powerful charged attacks. His Coral Shield makes him tough to stagger normally, but he’s very vulnerable when using charge attacks. Finally, be on guard when up close, as he will use Assault Armor to stagger you.

Keep moving to avoid his missiles while you maintain pressure. The two big charge attacks you’re looking out for are from his Coral Rifle and Coral Oscillator. The Oscillator is a melee weapon that has a long horizontal sweep when charged. Fly over it to dodge. Walter’s rifle has two charge states, but both can be quick boosted after hearing the warning. The large Coral stream he can fire will slowly track you for a bit, so keep moving after the boost.


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