True to developer FromSoftware’s legacy, Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon can be quite a deep game at times. While nothing in the game is ever as ambiguous as, for example, the value of Dark Souls 2’s Adaptability stat, there can still be quite a few things here and there that players miss out on in their attempts to get into the mech combat as soon as they can. To help these players, here are 15 things about Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon that will help you be a better AC pilot.
ABD – Always Be Dashing
The first rule of mech combat is that staying still means that you’re an easy target. Dashing is essentially free, with the only real cost to it being the ability to make sharp turns. To that end, as long as you’re within firing range of an enemy, you should always be dashing. Either using the regular dash to speed up your movement, or using the high-speed boost to kick off your momentum in a different direction should become second nature to you, since it makes you much tougher to target, especially by ACs using melee weapons or missiles.
Attitude Stability is Important For Certain Builds
A key mechanic that players should absolutely learn early on is the concept of Attitude Stability. Much like, say, posture in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Attitude Stability in Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is essentially an extra meter all ACs have that can be depleted by certain types of attacks. Once depleted, ACs are left vulnerable to attacks until their Attitude can replenish over time. Certain weapons do more damage to Attitude Stability than they do to health, or as the game calls it, Armor. Weapons like missile batteries and certain guns tend to be excellent at whittling down Attitude, while Energy Swords are fantastic for doing massive damage to ACs with depleted Attitude.
Don’t Focus Too Much on Big Damage Numbers
Sure, having a massive bazooka that does 3-digit damage numbers might seem fun, but it’s important to think about how such a weapon fits into your build. For example, an enemy AC with a shield can essentially nullify your bazooka, blocking its damage entirely, unless you can destroy the shield with a sword. Because of this, having a varied weapons layout is much more useful than hyper focusing on a single type of weapon. Sure, you can dual-wield machine guns—and it’s a lot of fun on a high-speed AC build—but you should also make sure you have ways to work around the strengths and weaknesses of other ACs.
Do All Tutorial Missions
While it’s incredibly easy to get up and running with your AC early on in the game, doing all tutorial missions actually has a few benefits. Not only do you get to learn about some of the more esoteric mechanics of Armored Core 6, especially in tutorials that open up later in the game, but most importantly, the tutorials are also an excellent way to unlock new weapons. This encourages quite a bit of experimentation, especially early on, since you can basically head into the training room with your newly-unlocked machine gun to see if it’s the right weapon for your tastes, and whether you’d want to invest in a second one so that you can dual-wield.
Swap Parts in and out on a Regular Basis
While missions can be completed with whatever build you might personally prefer, the structure of Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon essentially encourages you to constantly keep swapping different parts in and out of your AC. For example, one mission might be better suited to a fast-paced run-and-gun-styled AC, while another might pit you in a duel against an AC where a sword might be a better choice than a machine gun. Since the prices of different parts and weapons never really change, you shouldn’t feel much of an issue when it comes to swapping out, for example, your targeting system, in order to make your AC lighter in exchange for lower targeting ranges for your ranged weapons for a melee build.
More Defense Isn’t Automatically Better
Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon offers such an immense number of ways to play the game that it makes sure that any single strategy won’t be enough to get you through the whole game. Defense comes with incredibly obvious trade-offs, for example, like slower boost speeds, slower movement speeds, and an AC that’s generally heavier and bulkier. You might also find yourself unable to equip your favorite gun because of its weight, for example. While there are many ways to tackle any mission, I personally found avoiding damage to be a better solution than trying to make sure that you can soak up as much damage as you possibly can.
Don’t Stress About Getting S-Ranks
Getting S-Ranks for missions in Armored Core 6 is incredibly difficult. For starters, you can’t use any healing items in the mission. That alone makes getting an S-Rank quite an accomplishment in itself. Here’s the secret though: you can replay missions that you’ve already completed, which means that there’s no real rush to get the best possible rank early on. If you’re struggling, you can play more of the game, and come back with an AC design that’s more suited to the style of play you’re most comfortable with, and as a result, you’ll likely find getting S-Ranks a lot easier.
Make a Habit Out of Pre-Emptive Reloads
As with any action game with guns, getting stuck reloading your guns while an enemy is right in front of you can often spell out the difference between a successful mission and failure. Reloading guns in Armored Core 6 isn’t particularly intuitive, at least early on, since it’s a button combination depending on which of your weapons you might want to reload. As such, getting used to reloading between short scraps and skirmishes absolutely ends up making a huge difference, especially in longer missions with multiple objectives to finish.
It’s Easy to Forget About Your Shoulder-Mounted Stuff
Since weapons on your arms are going to be your primary way of dealing damage in Armored Core 6, it can be easy to forget about whatever you might have equipped on your shoulders. Make no mistake, though, since a timely missile barrage from your shoulder-mounted 8-missile battery can make a big difference, especially when you’re taking on tougher ACs. Likewise, you can unlock a shoulder-mounted shield early on that mitigates not only damage to your armor, but your Attitude as well, making it an incredibly useful tool. Remember to use your shoulder equipment.
Each Weapon Type Has Different Strengths and Weaknesses
Not all weapons are created equal in Armored Core 6, and each gun or sword has different strengths and weaknesses. A fast-paced AC dual-wielding machine guns, for example, will have an easy time beating regular enemies, but might hit a literal and figurative wall when they’re up against an AC using a shield. Likewise, an AC that focuses on big sword swings for melee damage will have trouble doing Attitude damage, or even taking care of enemies that are further away. Missile batteries can also be something to consider, since whether or not they fire at an arc can make a huge difference when it comes to what kinds of situations they can be useful in.
You Do Not Have Infinite Ammo
Sure, this isn’t really an issue in the game’s early missions, but you should absolutely keep an eye on your ammo count for every one of your weapons. For one thing, running out of ammo without a mid-mission checkpoint to replenish your bullets or missiles essentially means that you have no real way to deal damage at range. And let’s not forget that used-up ammo counts towards your expenses at the end of a successful mission. Going ham with your minigun could end up meaning that you actually make a loss rather than a profit.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Which brings us to one of the more notable aspects of Armored Core 6’s general gameplay structure. At least initially, you’re going to have incredibly tight budgets to work around. This means that investing in that awesome looking set of arms and legs might not be feasible unless you also sell off parts that you aren’t using. Similarly, you get a rundown on how much money you spent on a mission when it comes to ammo costs and repair bills for your AC. Staying on top of these things will go a long way in keeping you more comfortable as you get further into the game.
One of the most important stats to pay attention to when it comes to building out the AC of your dreams is just how much it weighs. It’s worth noting that heavier builds aren’t inherently inferior or superior to leaner, lightweight builds, and whether or not you’ll have a good time or bad will come down to your own personal playing style and how you outfit your weapons. It’s just worth keeping in mind whether you want to go for a slower AC that can take as much punishment as it can dish out, or a fast one that lets you zip all over the place thanks to your boosters as you slash enemy ACs into oblivion.
The only limits are your imagination
It’s difficult to stress just how important the customization of ACs is in Armored Core 6. The game allows for just about any kind of mech you might want, be it the kind that uses multiple legs in order to move through its expansive levels at high speeds, or bulky legs that look like they’re straight out of a MechWarrior design. Aside from your budget, your only real limit on what kind of AC you want to build comes down to your own tastes and imagination.
Failure is Not a Bad Thing
This should be no surprise considering the developer, but failing a mission in Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon isn’t that big of a deal. The game gives you plenty of options, be it restarting a mission wholesale, restarting from the nearest checkpoint, or letting you go back to the drawing board to take a closer look at some aspect of your AC build that might not be particularly useful for the mission you’re on. Armored Core 6 offers an immense number of options, and encourages players to use everything they can to edge out an advantage.