Tips and Tricks - MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Guide - IGN (2024)


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This page will give some Tips and Tricks basics for MechWarrior 5!

These Tips and Tricks don't fall into any other category for the wiki and are generally ordered from most important to least important. If you have any more to share, hit that red Edit button above! In addition to these tips, the wiki also has a few How-To guides for you.

  • How to Make Money and Stay Profitable
  • How to Customize Mechs
  • How to Give Orders
  • How to Manage Pilots and Skills


Most missions will end when, after the objectives are complete, your executive officer arrives in a DropShip. An icon on the compass and radar will tell you where you need to go. The mission will officially end, including any status of your entire lance, when you reach that spot. You'll know you're there when Ryana congratulates you and your HUD turns off.

This all may sound obvious, but MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has a consistent loading bug at this point depending on the power of your computer hardware. The screen will go all black with a loading icon in the bottom-right corner, but you may still hear chatter from your lance. This may even include your lancemates reporting damaged limbs, severe armor damage, or them killing nearby targets.

However, these last-second reports can be ignored. For example, even if you hear a lancemate report that a limb gets blown off, it will still be attached when you return to the JumpShip and debrief. The only thing that matters is the state of the lance when you touch the exit waypoint and your HUD turns off. Everything that happens after that will be reversed.

MechWarrior 5 tracks time in days. The passage of time is only important for a few factors, none of which have to do with main story campaign. In fact, all missions will wait for you and have no time limits.

The only things the passage time matter for are:

  • Work orders when repairing or changing mechs
  • Paying bills every 90 days
  • Recovery time for injured pilots

Time ordinarily doesn't move while you're in your ship. When you order a jump to a different star system, the jump will take some number of days in-game but happen instantly for the real world aside from loading times. If you want to pass time to get to an event but don't want to leave the star system, you can click the large "Wait" button in the bottom-right corner of the Home tab of the hub. If there are no events to wait for, the button will be disabled.

Generally speaking, time is unimportant in MechWarrior 5. Often when it comes to managing finances, it's more important to do the most cost-efficient action rather than the fastest action. That often means it's best to jump out of conflict zones, repair, then jump back in rather than take on multiple contracts one after another.


All missions have a difficulty rating derived from the strength and number of any opposition forces. You are never restricted to taking any given mission; you can attempt a Difficulty 100 mission immediately upon getting into the universe map and attempt it with just a single 20-ton mech, but it likely won't end well for you.

A good rule of thumb is to scout the difficulty level of a story mission immediately upon getting it. You can view the difficulty rating on any mission's contract screen but you can cancel it there without repercussion (just don't abort the contract). If you qualify for a story mission but don't feel comfortable with its difficulty rating, consider running side quests nearby until you get used to the difficulty you will be facing. Higher difficulty contracts also lead to better rewards, so you'll be helping your mercenary company out by getting used to the difficulty.

All missions have a tonnage limit, which is shown on the same screen as the difficulty rating. Tonnage limits refer to the maximum possible weight of all deployed mechs, not necessarily their current weights.

It's generally best to field a full lance of four mechs and pilots. Although it's possible to simply deploy a single, exceptionally strong mech into an early mission, doing so makes all the enemies focus their fire onto it. Even the best mech will falter in the face of dozens upon dozens of enemies by itself. As such, you'll likely want to keep a good dozen or so mechs of different weights in Cold Storage just in case you reenter an old area that you want to operate in. In general, tonnage limits are directly proportional to difficulty ratings, so it's unlikely you'll take a mission in a difficult area but only be able to field a light lance.

The specific makeup of any given lance is fully up to you. Some advice will be provided in the Walkthrough pages of this wiki for some story missions, but your own strategy and tactics are more important. It's advised to take a variety of mechs and weapon combinations into different side missions to test them out and find what works best for you.

You can never have enough Heat Sinks. When your mech is damaged, Heat Sinks are usually the first thing to go. They're cheap in most zones, so any time you visit a new industrial area, be sure to buy out all their heat sinks. If you ever have less than 30, you probably should take the time to go buy more.

Fast-moving mechs are hard to hit, and that works for both the AI and for you. Even if pilot skills are equal, a faster-moving mech will dodge incoming fire than a slower-moving one. Some specific story missions may feature AI that is a bit more accurate than others, but the common mech enemy will have more trouble hitting you if you're moving quickly all else being equal.

However, this can work against you as well. When moving quickly, you'll notice your reticle bouncing a little especially when zoomed in. Also, hardware may play a factor here: if you're not getting a consistent framerate with your graphics settings, moving fast will exasperate the problem.


In general, when you're assaulting a base, it's best to move no faster than 40 kmph unless you have exceptional aim and/or your computer can maintain a high framerate. If you move faster, aiming accurately will be difficult and can result in friendly fire against your lance.

Take these tips and tricks into the main story campaign with the Walkthrough pages on the wiki!

Up Next: How to Make Money and Stay Profitable

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Tips and Tricks - MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Guide - IGN (1)

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

Piranha Games

ESRB: Teen
PlayStation 5PlayStation 4Xbox OneXbox Series X|SPC

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Tips and Tricks - MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Guide - IGN (2024)


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