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Saturnine's Guide to the Mechs
By Saturnine Aberrance and 1 collaborators
This guide describes and explains the abilities and differences between the mechs of Hawken to help you figure out what to play and how to play it! It also goes into the weapons and their individual strategy.
Overview: Also well known as Fred, the Recruit mech is the first mech that all players receive when they begin playing Hawken. As such, as well as because of its appearance, Fred gets a bit of a bad reputation among many players. However, that reputation is not necessarily well deserved, because even though it's the starting mech, it is still a capable all-arounder mech up through to the higher levels of play.
Weapons: The Recruit’s secondary weapon is the TOW launcher, which is pretty powerful, versatile, and easy to use, which makes it a great introduction for new players, while still being versatile enough for the advanced players. It’s default primary is the Assault Rifle, the alternate primary earned at level 4 is the SMC, and the prestige primary is the Vulcan. These weapons are all easy to use, and can be fairly powerful, making the Recruit a good introduction for newbies while still offering options for veterans. However, note that all of the CRT’s primaries are sustained fire weapons, leaving little variety.
Ability: The Recruit’s active ability is Weapons Coolant, which allows the user to immediately nullify any heat build up, even if you have overheated. This allows a CRT user to stay in combat twice as long as other mech choices, provided you can keep your health up. This ability is particularly useful when using the Vulcan primary, as it tends to generate heat faster than the other two primaries, though it is far from useless with the Assault Rifle or Sub Machine Cannon. There are always going to be situations where you find yourself in a longer fight than you expected, and the weapons coolant will assure that you can stay in the fight as long as possible and bring your opponent down.
Armor: 525 Fuel Tank: 102 liters Boost Speed: 30.44 m/s Fuel Regen: 11.10 l/s Run Speed: 17.5 m/s Air Speed: 14.5 m/s Radar: 112.5 meters Cooling Systems: 4 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.2 seconds
As a B class mech, the Recruit is average in many ways. Average health, speed, fuel, etc.
If you like the Recruit, chances are that you're a fan of automatic weapons. If you don't like the recruit, good news! There are many other mechs that you may like better. If you're moving from the Recruit, chances are you're just starting out, which means it's the best time to figure out what exactly you do like. These suggestions are fairly different from the Recruit, and represent some new play styles you may enjoy. The suggestions section on the CRT, Berserker, and Assault will be more in depth than the others, because I believe new players will be more likely to be coming from them, and will be seeking more guidance than someone coming from, say, a Raider.
If you like the CRT: A Classes: Berserker: In my opinion, this is the simplest, most obvious evolution between classes in the game. The Berserker and Recruit share the same weapons, and the only real difference between them is the B class to A class transition, and the different ability. If you want to get into the A classes coming from a background with the Recruit, the Berserker is easily the path of least resistance.
C classes: If you want to get into C classes now is the time to do it. Many people find the slow speed and lack of maneuverability of C classes hard to get used to. However, the beginning of your Hawken career is the best time to learn to play a C class. If you wait until later, you may find the slow speed extremely frustrating.
Brawler: Big, strong, and not too difficult to use. If you are just getting into C classes, this one will probably be the easiest for you to get used to.
If you want to try something different: A Classes:
Scout: Not too difficult to get used to - but this is a great burst mech on an A class frame, if you want to ease into burst classes.
Infiltrator: If you want an A class, but want neither burst fire nor sustained fire, turn to the Infiltrator. This mech uses (mostly) indirect fire weapons like grenades, the Heat Cannon, and the EOC Repeater. Can be somewhat difficult, but is well worth it.
Technician: If you want to get into Hawken’s first support class, this wouldn’t be a bad time to do it. The two classes share some similarities with automatic weapons and such, so the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.
Reaper: If you want a direct fire mech in a lighter body, like the Berserker, the Reaper may be what you’re looking for. The Reaper is more precision focused than either the Berserker or the Recruit, but that may well be the direction you are looking to go coming from the CRT.
B Classes: Bruiser: Try the Bruiser. Like the CRT, this guy... doesn't have the best reputation. However, there are people out there who like playing this mech quite a bit, and it may just be your cup of tea. Disclaimer: Bruiser got its iffy reputation for a reason: it’s a hard mech to get used to. But there are players out there who found it worthwhile, so you might too.
Overview: The Berserker is an A class mech fitted with automatic weapons and a TOW launcher, making it good for hit and run tactics. Its weapons, in conjunction with its Ballistic Barrage ability, can deal significant damage to enemies while still allowing you to get back out quickly.
Weapons: The Berserkers default primary weapon is the SMC, which is well suited to getting into combat range dealing damage, and getting back out while keeping the pressure on foes. Its alternate primary is the Assault Rifle, which allows the 'zerker to put the pressure on enemies from further away than the SMC may generally allow. The prestige primary is the Vulcan, which means the Berserker can quickly tear apart it’s opponents from up close, at the expense of some longer range viability. Finally, the TOW Launcher allows for quite a lot of options at various ranges and situations, as a strong and consistent damage dealer.
Ability: The Berserkers Ballistic Barrage ability increases damage output by 15% for 10 seconds, which really increases the 'zerkers ability to rip straight through opponents when used with the Vulcan, and adds a nice punch to the damage of the Assault Rifle and SMC.
You may have noticed... the Berserker's weapons are the same as the CRT Recruit and the Assault. This makes it a nice easy choice going from the starter mech and transitioning into A classes. However, if you've seen the CRT and the Berserker, you've seen the automatic style mechs! Moving on from here, you'll be moving into unknown territory. If you're comfortable here, so be it! But there are a lot of interesting options waiting for you.
Armor: 355 Fuel Tank: 92 liters Boost Speed: 35.12 m/s Fuel Regen: 9.62 l/s Run Speed: 19 m/s Air Speed: 24.36 m/s Radar: 105 meters Cooling Systems: 5.25 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1 second
If you like the Berserker: CRT Recruit: You may have played this guy plenty already. If not, maybe give Fred a second look?
Scout: It’s an A class, and it uses hitscan weapons and the TOW. Fairly similar! Different enough to be interesting though.
Raider: It’s a B class with burst weapons, but early primaries are hitscan, and the secondary is an inbetween between the TOW and the Grenade Launcher, so it won’t be too difficult a transition, and it will prepare you to use other mechs, as well.
If you want something different: Infiltrator: The Infiltrator gives you some new options with it’s indirect fire weapons, making it an interesting choice, however, note that it is an A class, which means if you are looking for something more unusual, you may want to jump into...
Grenadier: If you want to go straight off the deep end and into something VERY different, this one is for you. All indirect fire weapons, all unfamiliar, and on top of all that its a C class, so it will be a lot slower than you are used to. But it is different as hell, and if you treat it well it'll treat you well back. Your enemies wont be treated particularly well at all, though.
Rocketeer: Similar thought process as grenadier. Very different weapons, very different style. You'll need to put some work in but it can pay off.
Overview: The Infiltrator is an A class mech that has a unique ability, as well as some very interesting choices for primary weapons that allow it to do some cool things on the battlefield. Its weapons used in conjunction with the Infiltrators Camouflage ability allow it to sneak up on unaware opponents and unleash an enormously powerful barrage of shots in an instant. Beware, however, experienced pilots will be watching out for the shimmer made by the Infiltrators camouflage mode, and you may well be hit, even when you thought you were hidden.
Weapons: The Infiltrators default primary is the Assault Rifle, which you are probably familiar with, though you may find its use to be at odds with the Infiltrators secondary, the Grenade Launcher. Because the GLs grenades travel in an arc, you generally have to aim above, or lead your target in order to hit them, which means you aren't aiming directly at them to hit with the Assault Rifle. However, the ease of use and strength of the Assault Rifle means you may still find you prefer the AR on your infiltrator. From here, the other options are more difficult to use, though their strength and versatility may well prove worthwhile once the learning curve is overcome. The alternate primary for the infiltrator is the Heat Cannon, which, with practice, can deal some great damage, and even has a small damage radius to deal damage on near misses. The prestige primary is the EOC Repeater, which for a long time has been famous for how difficult it is to use properly, but once learned the damage potential is enormous. Finally, the Grenade Launcher is the Infiltrators secondary weapon. Using this you can hit enemies just out of sight with solid damage.
Ability: The Infiltrators Camouflage ability allows it to camouflage itself for a while, and the Infiltrator can move around almost invisibly, and off the radar until you fire a weapon use an item, or run out of fuel. While invisible, you move at an increased speed, and your fuel drains while invisible. Since the ability is tied to the Infiltrator's fuel, so if you try to use it AFTER running away, you'll find that you lose your cloak immediately. Another aspect to keep in mind is that the cooldown on ability usage is 40 seconds, so cloaking cannot be spammed. Keep in mind that since the cloak isn't perfect, using it mid conflict is not likely to keep you safe. Instead, using it to come into a fight will allow you to single out an opponent and hit them with a huge strike before they know you are there. Stats:
Armor: 330 Fuel Tank: 106 liters Boost Speed: 37.28 m/s Fuel Regen: 9.99 l/s Run Speed: 19.5 m/s Air Speed: 17.4 m/s Radar: 120 meters Cooling Systems: 5 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1 second
If you like the Infiltrator: Scout: This’ll probably be a fairly easy transition, though note that Scout is a closer range, direct fire, burst focused class, and the Infiltrator is more about indirect fire. However, sharing the same class, a primary, and some resultant playstyle between it all, the transition between the two shouldn’t be too difficult.
Grenadier: Its basically a fat Infiltrator! Being a C class, you may have trouble getting used to the speed, but there is a lot of potential with this fatty.
Rocketeer: Again, a C class, but if you're looking for something a bit different, the Rocketeer may do you good as a transition. If you just can't handle how slow C classes are, however...
Bruiser: Try the bruiser. Like the CRT, this guy... doesn't have the best reputation. However, there are people out there who like playing this mech quite a bit, and it may just be your cup of tea. Disclaimer: Bruiser got its iffy reputation for a reason: it’s a hard mech to get used to. But there are players out there who found it worthwhile, so you might too.
Raider: If you want to move a bit away from indirect fire, try this guy out. Strong burst damage mech, and its ability eases the transition into slower mechs.
Predator: If you like going invisible, but aren't liking the fuel cost too much, try the Predator. No fuel cost for going invisible, while still being able to lay traps for your opponents and the ability to control how you come into a fight.
Overview: The Reaper was the first new mech to be released following the beginning of open beta, and it fills a role as a sort of closer range precision marksman, which is in contrast to the Sharpshooters long range role. For a while following its release, few players favoured it because it was perceived to be too weak to effectively compete at higher levels. More recently, however, more players have come to realize that while Reapers have similar weapons to Sharpshooters, these weapons on the Reaper are maximally effective at medium ranges. Now, there is a fairly large contingent of people who tend to prefer playing as Reapers, and are dominating the scoreboards in the process.
Weapons: The Reaper starts out with the AM-SAR as its default primary, which can do some solid damage if you can click quickly enough while keeping track of your target. The alternate primary unlocked at level 4 is the Hawkins RPR which is a solid closer range option, though you may become more aware of your fragility as an A class as a result. The Reaper unlocks the Slug Rifle as its prestige weapon, and many players have found the Slug to be a perfect fit on their Reaper, though it is worth noting that more and more players are switching back to the AM-SAR, and are finding it to their liking.
Ability: Precision Overdrive is the Reapers ability, which gives near perfect accuracy for a limited time, and may be best paired with the AM-SAR or Ripper, when you find you need to get those extra few shots on a tricky opponent. However, overall, many players tend not to get too much use out of this ability, because at the mid ranges the Reaper thrives at, accuracy isn't generally too much of an issue. But in extended fights, you may find that extra bit of accuracy vital.
Armor: 350 Fuel Tank: 80 Liters Boost Speed: 34.4 m/s Fuel Regen: 13.32 l/s Run Speed: 20.5 m/s Air Speed: 16.24 m/s Radar: 135 meters Cooling Systems: 4 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1 second
If you like the Reaper: Sharpshooter: This is probably a bit obvious. If you like the Reaper, but wish you had a bit more range, this is for you.
Rocketeer: Stay with me here. Rocketeer IS a fatty C class, and it uses explosive weapons and not hitscan, but it is THE long range support option with explosives. It'll probably take some getting used to, but you may find it worthwhile if you like long range damage and suppression.
Berserker: If you're more of a fan of the closer range side of the engagements Reaper allows you to become embroiled in, the auto weapon fire of the 'zerker might be for you! Alternatively...
Scout: If you like being up close, but want to stay bursty, the scout may well be for you!
Technician: If you want to get into Hawken’s first support class, going in from the Reaper wouldn’t be a bad choice. Both of the Technicians primaries are relatively similar to what is available on the Reaper, and the Ripper is of course straight off of it.
Overview: The Scout is the premier A class burst mech, sporting the games' shotguns and the TOW launcher, in conjunction with an ability that allows it to move faster than any other mech, allowing it the ability to get in and out of combat better and more smoothly than any other mech in the game, provided you play it right, and you can take your opponents out before they get you.
Weapons: The Scout starts out with the Mini Flak which lets it be very annoying to any opponents, on top of high damage potential straight from the get-go. If you feel that the Mini Flak lacks enough 'umph' per shot to get you excited, have no fear, because at level 4 you unlock the big Flak Cannon that does much more damage per shot, which means you can shred the armor of your enemies very quickly in-between dodges back into the safety of cover. Finally, if you wish you had more range than the Flak Cannons have, the prestige primary for the Scout is the Heat Cannon, which will still give you plenty of damage while allowing for more leniency at various ranges. Tie those together with the all-range potential of the TOW Rocket, and you have a mech with the potential to be seriously dangerous.
Ability: The Scouts active ability is the Fuel Reserves, which quickly replenish about half of the Scouts total fuel capacity, allowing the Scout to boost more in extended engagements, giving the Scout the edge in survivability compared to other A classes in general. However, you have to have the skill and awareness to put that extra fuel to good use. This ability also increases the speed of the Scout when used, just like with the Raider.
Armor: 320 Fuel Tank: 74 liters Boost Speed: 39.80 m/s Fuel Regen: 8.14 l/s Run Speed: 22.5 m/s Air Speed: 15.66 m/s Radar: 165 meters Cooling Systems: 4.75 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1 second
If you like the Scout: Brawler: You were all expecting this! The Brawler is more or less the Scouts' fat C class cousin, packing the same great damage potential in a beefier, if somewhat slower chassis.
Raider: If you like the burst potential, but want to be bulkier, and yet not TOO slow, then the Raider is for you. Great burst damage potential on a chassis that has the ability to be the fastest class in the game.
Sharpshooter: If you have to have that high burst damage, but are really looking for that increased range, then the Sharpshooter is for you.
Infiltrator: Infiltrator is all about the indirect fire, but seeing as they share the same class and a primary, you may find that there is enough overlap in playstyle to make this transition a smooth one.
Overview: The Tech fills a support role that had previously only been dubiously held by the Rocketeer and Bruiser. The Technician comes equipped with the Repair Torch, with which you can heal allies or equipment, or use a 'vampire beam' to suck health away from enemies. The Technician has the only debuff weapon in the game, and a light damage dealer in the form of the Ripper. Watch out for the high heat gen on this mech as well, it can quickly sneak up on you if you get caught up healing allies!
Weapons: The Technician starts off equipped with the Redox-O2 by default, a weapon that fires projectiles that apply a debuff to opponents hit by it. This debuff is an armor debuff, and each projectile applies a debuff that increases with each hit up to a maximum. The alternate primary unlocked upon reaching level 4 is the Hawkins-RPR, which allows a more vanilla damage dealing option for techs that are seeking such an option. However, take note that research indicates that if you can land your Redox hits, you’ll deal a significant amount more damage to an attacker, and considering that you will probably have teammates helping you on top of that, using the Redox is something to consider. The Technician's prestige weapon - the PN223, was released towards the end of Adhesive's tenure with Hawken, and like the Hawkins-RPR, fuflills a somewhat aggressive role, but in truth lies somewhere between the Redox and the RPR. The bright red PN223 fires three shot bursts at rather high accuracy, making it an effective poking weapon at close and medium ranges. An aggressive damage falloff on it though makes it a bit ineffective at longer ranges. If you're looking to be a bit less aggressive in supporting your teammates, but are not confident you can handle the wonky accuracy of the Redox, try out the PN223. Now, for what makes the Technician the Technician; the secondary weapon is the Helix Repair Torch, which heals teammates at a rate of 50 health per second, and the user at a rate of 20 per second, so long as you are damaged, and you are actually healing your teammate. The Repair Torch also comes with an alternate fire mode that allows you to fire a ‘Vampire Beam’ that is significantly less sticky than the healing beam, but has more range to damage your enemies. The Vampire Beam is referred to as such because it heals you so long as you are damaging an opponent with it, though the healing rate is relatively slow; approximately 11 health per second. Important note regarding internals and the Repair Torch: None of the internals currently affect the Repair Torch - so don't go looking for internals to improve your healing rate.
Ability: The Technician is nearly defined by its ability, like the Infiltrator. The Amplification ability changes the Repair Torch’s healing beam green, and heals friendly units at a drastically increased rate over the lifetime of the ability. The heal rate is such that a single enemy is highly unlikely to out damage the repair rate, if it is even possible. The ‘green beam’ can single-handedly turn the tide of battles, which is in itself a major point of contention for much of the community, and may well see changes in a future patch. In the meantime, the smart use and timing of the green beam is an important aspect to Tech use, and should be practiced by any prospective Technician pilot. One thing to note: the Amplification beam does not increase the damage output of the Deconstruction Beam on the Healing Torch, but it does still increase the rate of self healing.
Armor: 315 Fuel Tank: 100 liters Boost Speed: 33.68 m/s Fuel Regen: 10.36 l/s Run Speed: 23.5 m/s Air Speed: 15.66 m/s Radar: 120 meters Cooling Systems: 4.5 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1 second
If you like the Technician: Reaper: The Reaper shares a chassis class and a primary with the Technician, and so could be a likely point of entry into an offensive version of the Tech for curious pilots.
Berserker: Still small and quick, and still has those automatic fire weapons you may have grown used to on the Tech. Nice and easy choice!
CRT-Recruit/Assault: Just like the Berserker, but in a B class chassis! Fire away at your opponents and don’t worry too much if you miss a lot - your ability allows you to nullify all heat generation once a minute.
Overview: Well... This is the same thing as the CRT Recruit. Almost. Though you now have a new body to look at, rather than the Fred chassis! These mechs focus on mid range sustained fire, for the most part. While it is the same as the CRT in terms of weapon choice and for the ability, with the advent of the Ascension patch, the Assault is now differentiated in terms of it's base stats. So the Assault now has the capability to play very differently from the CRT!
Weapons: Alright, weapon order will be one of the first things you'll see that differentiates the Assault from the CRT. You start out with the SMC instead of the Assault Rifle! So you start out your Assault career with a slightly more powerful mid range option than as the CRT. (You earn the Assault Rifle as a prestige instead, so if that’s the gun you are looking for, you will have to work harder for it.) This leaves the primary earned at level 4, the Point-D Vulcan. This means that as an Assault, if you are so inclined, you have an excellent damage dealing option available to you at an earlier point. Just be wary of overheating with the Vulcan, and long range encounters are not your forté.
Ability: The Assault’s active ability is Weapons Coolant, which allows the user to immediately nullify any heat build up, even if you have overheated. This allows an Assault user to stay in combat twice as long as other mech choices, provided you can keep your health up. This ability is particularly useful when using the Vulcan primary, as it tends to generate heat faster than the other two primaries, though it is far from useless with the Assault Rifle or Sub Machine Cannon. There are always going to be situations where you find yourself in a longer fight than you expected, and the weapons coolant will assure that you can stay in the fight as long as possible and bring your opponent down.
Armor: 565 Fuel Tank: 94 liters Boost Speed: 31.52 m/s Fuel Regen: 9.62 l/s Run Speed: 18 m/s Air Speed: 16.82 m/s Radar: 90 meters Cooling Systems: 5.75 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.2 seconds
If you like the Assault, try: Berserker: In my opinion, this is the simplest, most obvious evolution between classes in the game. The Berserker and Assault share the same weapons, and the only real difference between them is the B class to A class transition, and the different ability.
Reaper: If you want a direct fire mech in a lighter body, like the Berserker, the Reaper may be what you’re looking for. The Reaper is more precision focused than either the Berserker or the Assault, but that may well be the direction you are looking to go coming from this mech.
If you want to try something different:
A classes: Scout: Not too difficult to get used to - but this is a great burst mech on an A class frame, if you want to ease into burst classes.
Infiltrator: If you want an A class, but want neither burst fire nor sustained fire, turn to the Infiltrator. This mech uses (mostly) indirect fire weapons like grenades, the Heat Cannon, and the EOC Repeater. Can be somewhat difficult, but is well worth it.
Technician: If you want to get into Hawken’s first support class, this wouldn’t be a bad time to do it. The two classes share some similarities with automatic weapons and such, so the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.
B Classes: Bruiser: Try the bruiser. Like the CRT, this guy... doesn't have the best reputation. However, there are people out there who like playing this mech quite a bit, and it may just be your cup of tea. Disclaimer: Bruiser got its iffy reputation for a reason: it’s a hard mech to get used to. But there are players out there who found it worthwhile, so you might too.
C classes: If you want to get into C classes now is the time to do it. Brawler: Big, strong, and not too difficult to use. If you are just getting into C classes, this one will probably be the easiest for you to get used to.
The Assault is the first mech with a Generation 2 version, and was greeted by much surprise and controversy among the community when it first made its appearance. However, its arrival heralds a new system where old mechs can get new weapon combos, and as a result have new and unusual places on the battlefield. The Assaults G2 variant comes equipped with a pair of Vulcans that are somewhat weaker than a normal Vulcan, and also have a different sound effect. This G2 Variant also has more armor and faster air and run speed, but has less fuel capacity and regeneration rate, and boosts slightly slower. Overall, the G2 Assault is in the (currently) unique position of having two sustained weapons, and so must approach combat slightly differently than many other mechs. Since boosting forces your weapons down, G2 Assaults may want to instead try their best to keep their opponents in their sites, rather than playing the peek-a-boo game, as a G2 Assaults’ damage output is maximized by keeping its opponent in its sights for as long as possible. The higher run speed on the G2 helps accommodate this, while the lower boost speed discourages constantly boosting. This does mean that G2 Assaults won’t get into combat as quickly as their G1 cousins, but once they are there they can put out a lot of damage.
Armor: 585 Fuel Tank: 84 liters Boost Speed: 27.72 m/s Fuel Regen: 8.51 l/s Run Speed: 18 m/s Air Speed: 32 Radar: 90 meters Cooling Systems: 5.75 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.2 seconds
Overview: For many players, the Bruiser is quite the piece of work, to put it one way. To put it another way, not many players find that the Bruiser is their favorite mech. Or that they even like it. The Bruiser has average mobility and health, like every other B class mech, though its ability does give a bit of an advantage in terms of tanking. It seems that many players find the combination of one of ‘the classic 3’ automatic weapons (AR, SMC, Vulcan) with Hellfire missiles to be difficult to use. However, people who do like the Bruiser certainly exist, and you just might be one of them.
Weapons: The Bruiser has the honour of being the only mech in Hawken to start out with the Point-D Vulcan, which is an excellent close range, heavy damage automatic weapon. However, excelling at close range combat is somewhat at-odds with the range of the Bruisers’ secondary weapon, the Hellfire Missiles, which excel more at medium to long range. Of course, making use of the Vulcan means you are making up for the Bruiser's weakness at close range; depends on the user! Anyway, this difference can be reconciled, especially if you are able to master firing Hellfires without locking on. At level 4, the SMC is unlocked as the alternate primary, which is more philosophically in line with the Hellfires, though you may miss the high damage per second. Finally, the Assault Rifle is unlocked as a prestige weapon, which allows for solid ranged combat, and consistent damage potential, even if straight damage per second is lower than that of your other options.
Ability: The Bruisers ability is Damage Absorb, which heavily reduces all incoming damage for a short time. Pretty simple! Timing is everything with this ability, considering the short activity time it has. Use it right before you think you're about to get hit by a lot of damage to maximise its potential. It won’t always be the biggest lifesaver, but it can absolutely make the difference between life and death.
Stats: Armor: 555 Fuel Tank: 106 liters Boost Speed: 29.72 m/s Fuel Regen: 9.25 l/s Run Speed: 17.25 m/s Air Speed: 19.72 m/s Radar: 97.5 meters Cooling Systems: 5.5 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.2 seconds
If you like the Bruiser: Rocketeer: This one is a pretty easy choice! If the Bruiser is the halfway point between the classic sustained fire mechs and the lock on/indirect fire mechs, Rocketeer is the end point. You keep the Hellfire Missiles, and gain the option of even more seeking weapon goodness, or some very powerful indirect fire primaries.
Infiltrator: Indirect fire, some weapon crossover, but faster, and less lock-on. Something to think about!
Grenadier: If you want something fatter, and want indirect fire, but don’t like the lock-on, Grenadier could well be for you.
Berserker: Lighter chassis, but same primaries, and no lock-on. A simpler weapon from a more civilised age.
Overview: The Predator was introduced to Hawken in the Invasion patch, and it's role on the battlefield is something like a bigger Infiltrator. It has a stronger invisibility ability than the Infiltrator that allows it to stay invisible indefinitely, however the Predator can not use fuel at any point, or it loses the cloak. The Predator has a few weapons built to fit it's name, and it's primary role is that of an ambusher, sneaking up on unsuspecting enemies or laying traps at likely avenues of approach is the name of the game for the Predator, and it can deal out massive damage if an enemy falls for a fully laid trap. Be careful not to spend all your time in hiding or laying traps though; at best you'll generally end up at the bottom of the scoreboard, at worst you end up a drag on your team. Think TF2 with spies using the cloak and dagger - it sounds great to be invisible all the time at first, but in the end you just wind up sitting around invisible, not helping your team.
Weapons: The Predator comes with two brand new weapons and two familiar ones. The Breacher is the default primary on the Predator, and is something like a cross between the Flak Cannon and the Slug Rifle. Uncharged, the Breacher fires a flak shot that does very good damage, but has somewhat worse range than a regular flak cannon. Fully charged, the 'nails' tighten up into a full spike, and fire with great accuracy at long range, dealing slightly less damage. This charged shot is also able to pierce mechs and hit anything behind them, as well as pierce shields, hence the name of the gun. The alternate primary for the Predator is the T32 Bolt, also found on the Raider. The T32 is a very interesting weapon, allowing uncharged shots for less damage at a greater fire rate, or fully charged ones doing significantly more damage, just more slowly. Interesting gun with a similar idea as the Breacher, though remember there is no true long range option with the Bolt. The prestige primary on the Predator is the EOC Repeater, which is also the prestige on several other mechs. This weapon goes well with the EOC Predator, as you can use both to lay mines in a trap, though be careful, as the Repeater is a difficult weapon to get used to, so take some time learning how to use it. Finally, the EOC Predator is the Predator's secondary weapon. Much like the EOC Repeater, it fires explosive pucks that can either hit opponents directly for damage, or be layed on the ground as a trap. Unlike the Repeater, however, the Predator only fires one puck at a time, though at fairly fast pace. For more information on the EOC Predator, check out it's section in the weapons guide.
Ability: The Predator's ability is comparable to the Infiltrators, you turn invisible, and depending on the situation, when you exit invisibility the ability cooldown is quite long, and you have to wait a little while to go invisible again. It is also like the Infiltrator in that it increases your mechs speed while invisible - except instead of boost speed increasing, it's walk speed. If you just shoot while invisible however, the cooldown is much shorter. The Predator also has the added bonus of seeing in "Predator vision" while invisible, as the world goes into grey-scale, enemy and friendly mechs are highlighted in your vision, even through walls and other cover. However, the vision radius is much smaller than normal, and navigating in the grey world is somewhat more difficult. The Predator's invisibility does have a few downsides that the Infiltrators does not. For one, you cannot use any fuel whatsoever while in Predator mode. This means no boosting, dodging, or jumping, or you lose the invisibility. As well, if you are damaged in any way while invisible, you lose the invisibility. Great for setting traps or sneaking up on enemies, but not as useful for trying to get the upper hand while in a fight.
Armor: 510 Fuel Tank: 96 liters Boost Speed: 30.8 m/s Fuel Regen: 10.36 l/s Run Speed: 19.5 m/s Air Speed: 15.08 m/s Radar: 127.5 meters Cooling Systems: 4.75 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.2 seconds
If you like the Predator: Raider: The Raider shares a few of the same weapons with the Predator: The T32 Bolt and the EOC Repeater, and while they both specialize in catching enemies unaware, Raider does it through pure speed while Predator does it through subterfuge. There are quite a few similarities here, so if you like one, go ahead and try out the other.
Infiltrator: The Infiltrator can go invisible as well, and shares the EOC Repeater, so if you like the ability to go invisible, but maybe you want to actually boost around instead of walking anywhere you go, give the Infiltrator a try.
Overview: The Raider, introduced in the March patch, completed the trifecta of Flak wielding mechs; the Scout, the Raider, and the Brawler. With its introduction, a player seeking to focus on close range burst damage had their pick from any of the three classes. The Raider also brought the introduction of several new weapons, and a class-defying ability that allows it to chase down opponents at tremendous speed. If you like going fast and being right up in your opponents’ literal and metaphorical grill, while still being able to take a bit of a punch, the Raider could be for you.
Weapons: In a lot of ways, the Raider is a bigger scout. The Reflak is a slightly different version of the Mini Flak, and the Bolt is a charged version of the Flak Cannon. The Reflak allows you to fire quickly, and do quite a lot of damage over a short period of time if you are able to land your shots, on top of being able to bounce the bullets around corners. The T-32 Bolt hits for about the same damage as the Flak Cannon when fully charged, but also has the option of firing less pellets for less damage, but more quickly. Finally, for the prestige weapon, the Raider unlocks the EOC Repeater, which is a very high skill, high reward weapon, if you can get the practice in. However, many people find that the Flak options on the Raider are great as well; it all depends on if you want to stay close, or if you want more mid-range flexibility. Of course, the secondary weapon, the Corsair-KLA is very interesting, and comes with its own options. The Corsair, in its default firing mode, fires a projectile that acts like a mix between the TOW and the grenade, it has an arc, but it is much bigger than that of the grenade, which allows for the Radier’s longer range viability. However, the Corsair’s secondary mode, denoted by the claw being horizontal, activates the MIRV functionality, which is right in line with the shotguns. The MIRV fires straight ahead, with a barrage of explosive pellets that deal massive damage, however the MIRV has a hard limit of 75 meters - at that limit, they explode in mid air. Furthermore, the MIRV pellets have almost no splash, so you can’t rely on near hits to deal damage for you.
Ability: The Raider has a very unique ability that when activated makes it the fastest and most agile mech in the game, on top of allowing it to circumvent the restriction on firing while boosting. Blitz raises the boost speed of an (unmodified) Raider to incredible speeds, significantly faster than a normal A class boost speed, and even faster than a heavily modified A class speed. It’s not just boost speed that is increased; walk speed, dodge speed, and turn speed are all increased while under the effects of boost. Many pilots even find that they prefer to just walk while in Blitz mode, if they are in combat, as they are still fast enough to be more evasive than usual, while having more control over where they are aiming than if they were trying to boost all over the place.
Armor: 515 Fuel Tank: 88 liters Boost Speed: 33.68 m/s Fuel Regen: 9.99 l/s Run Speed: 19 m/s Air Speed: 16.24 m/s Radar: 120 meters Cooling Systems: 5 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.2 seconds
If you like the Raider: Scout: The Scout is an A class mech, giving it good speed, and its’ ability lets it go further or dodge for longer giving it good survivability and utility on the battlefield. As for its’ relation to the Raider, the Scout is basically the A class version of it - very similar burst weapons and high speed will make this an easy transition.
Brawler: Are you happy that you are beefier than the Scout, but wish you had more? The Brawler is the fat end of the Scout/Raider/Brawler trifecta of burst focused mechs carrying Hawken's shotgun equivalents. The Brawler is, of course, slow, but you still have some of the beefier weapons to do some great damage to your opponents.
Infiltrator: If you like the KLA’s slung grenades, but wish you had more utility with them, then the Infiltrator may be for you. It has a powerful grenade launcher that you can use to bank around corners like the Reflak, as well as the option to use an EOC Repeater if you were a fan of the EOC on the Raider.
Sharpshooter: If you like being a B class, and you like doing a ton of damage with each hit, but wish you had more range, than the Sharpshooter is for you. Sharpshooters do a ton of damage from range, and as SS pilots become more skilled, they become able combatants even at mid and close range.
Predator: If you like the T32 or the EOC Repeater, but are having trouble getting used to how fast the Raider goes without just getting yourself in more trouble, try out the Predator. No danger of going TOO fast, and you have a lot of control over how you approach a battle, while sharing a lot of similarities in weapon technique.
The G2 Raider, instead of being only a superficial modification of the Raider, is an almost complete reimagining of the mech, and is now a C class instead of a B class. Like the G2 Assault though, the changes are small enough that the G2 Raider won't quite get a full section, and you can assume that if you like Raider, you'll like it's G2 cousin, with a few exceptions. Like the G2 Assault, there is only one weapon loadout available to you on this mech: The T32 Bolt and the Corsair KLA. Both weapons are listed separately from their equivalents on the normal Raider (XT designation), but this just means the development team can modify their stats without affecting the regular Raider. This mech was built for getting in close and tearing faces off. But how does it do that, when it's only half a m/s faster than the Brawler? How is this a worthy successor over the speed demon that is the Raider? This G2's special ability G2 Blitz shifts the mech's blast shields into a new position, allowing it to move extremely quickly for as long as its fuel will last. Using this ability lets you close the gap between you and your opponents, and really lay into them. The G2 Raider is a great mech in the right hands, but getting used to how slow you are if you're coming from a Raider may be a bit of a challenge. Those who give this hunk o' doom the time it deserves, however, will tend to tell you it was all worthwhile.
Stats: Armor: 675 Fuel Tank: 130 liters Boost Speed: 23.6 m/s Fuel Regen: 7.4 L/s Run Speed: 15.5 m/s Air Speed: 20 m/s Radar: 150 meters Cooling Systems: 4 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.4 seconds
Overview: The Sharpshooter is the classic sniper class that you are used to in many other games. Great long range capability and some great damage at the expense of easy close range combat. Pretty straightforward. However, give it enough practice, and even the Sharpshooter can be a devastating force on the battlefield in close range combat. In team games like Missile Assault or Siege, the Sharpshooter can do some serious damage if it finds a good position where it can rain doom upon enemies holding an objective, or it can prevent enemies from reaching an objective in the first place.
Weapons: As the designated long-range mech of Hawken, the Sharpshooter has several options for a choice of primary, and if they were to be boiled down, the most clear difference comes down to the fire rate. The initial primary is the SA Hawkins, only found here on the Sharpshooter and on the Brawler. The Hawkins fires at a medium rate and has the best range of all of the automatic weapons, and does solid damage per shot, though some players find that the automatic nature of the gun is at odds with the firing rate of the Sabot Rifle. The Sabot Rifle secondary weapon has a very slow rate of fire, but it makes up for it by dealing a ton of damage, especially when used in conjunction with the Sharpshooter’s ability. The Sharpshooter gets the Slug Rifle as an alternate weapon, and as the primary with the slowest rate of fire, it is the primary that tends to find it’s way into the loadout of many Sharpshooters. The Slug does solid damage, and is very accurate at all ranges, users do have to contend with the relatively slow rate of fire for a primary, however. Finally, the Sharpshooter gets the AM-SAR as a prestige weapon. The AM-SAR fires quickly, does great damage and is accurate at all ranges. Some players however, find it difficult to fire the AM-SAR as fast as is possible, especially when trying to line up a good shot with the Sabot Rifle.
Ability: The Sharpshooter’s ability, Power Shot, drastically increases the damage done by all of the Sharpshooter’s weapons, which also coincides with the increased damage done by weapons while zoomed in. Using this in conjunction with the Sabot Rifle, immense damage can be done to the enemy, and A class mechs in particular will be nearly killed by a Slug/Sabot Power Shot combo. Simple ability, simple usage, massive damage.
Armor: 470 Fuel Tank: 102 liters Boost Speed: 31.16 m/s Fuel Regen: 11.47 l/s Run Speed: 17.75 m/s Air Speed: 17.4 m/s Radar: 135 meters Cooling Systems: 4 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.2 seconds
If you like the Sharpshooter Reaper: Another one of those obvious answers - the Reaper is pretty much the smaller and lighter version of the Sharpshooter, you won’t do as much damage per shot, but you can fire more quickly, and in doing so, tear through your opponents like paper with enough practice.
Raider: If you’ve been reading this guide straight through - you’ve just read the reverse of this! If you want that high burst damage on a B class mech, but like to hug your opponents and make things personal rather than impersonally laying down fire from across the map, then the Raider may be for you.
Rocketeer: This may seem a bit of a long-shot (no pun intended), but if you’re into longer range engagements, but want things to be more.. explody, then the Rocketeer may well work out for you. The Hellfires work great at distance, and they do best when they are just outside the action, rather than in the thick of it, much like the Sharpshooter.
Overview: The first of the C classes that will be reviewed is not only my personal favorite, but is also likely the easiest C class to learn if you are just getting into them. The Brawler is the fat end of the trifecta of burst focused mechs that includes the Scout and the Raider. Brawlers are built for getting up in the faces of their opponents, and not letting them get further away than hugging distance until they are taken down. Brawlers have a ton of health, and can put out a ton of damage to whatever enemy gets close enough to it. Brawlers work great as guards defending the AA or Missile Silo on objective based maps, but given enough practice and experience, Brawlers (and C classes in general) can be surprisingly nimble on the battlefield.
Weapons: Like the other two mech classes in its ‘family’, the Brawler has the TOW launcher as its secondary weapon, along with the choice of the beefy Flak Cannon as it’s default primary if you want to reign supreme in close range engagements in a Brawler. Unlike its lighter counterparts, however, the Brawler has more health to back it up in a protracted engagement, particularly around objectives. However, while the Brawler (and, again, C’s in general) has more hit points than the other classes, its not infinite, and it'll drop faster than you expect if you let it. If you still just aren’t comfortable in close range engagements, are still getting used to maneuvering a C class, or want to throw your weight around from a bit further back, the Brawler unlocks the SA Hawkins as its alternate primary. When using the SA Hawkins, you must fight any desire to get in the middle of a fight, as you will be more effective from further back; the Hawkins has the highest range of all the automatic weapons for a reason. If used in conjunction with the Brawler’s Fortified turret mode, and while placed on a high vantage point, the SA Hawkins can deal solid damage to opponents attempting to assault a position. Since if you are far enough away, the enemy’s weapons will be weaker and less accurate, the SA Hawkins’ superior range and accuracy coupled with the health regeneration of Fortified turret mode will make you a difficult target to kill without getting up close. Finally, the Brawler unlocks the Point-D Vulcan as it’s prestige primary, which is good for users who prefer an automatic weapon in their close-range engagements.
Ability: Along with all of the usual drawbacks in mobility that turret mode comes with, the Brawler’s Fortified turret mode heals the user at a rate of 8 armor per second. However, to compensate for this innate healing ability, the armor increase that normally comes with turret mode is significantly weaker on the Brawler. Fortified turret mode is best used along with the SA Hawkins, as the increased range plays to the Hawkins’ strengths, as well as the enemy’s weaknesses (usually), on top of the health regen you become much harder to kill. In close range engagements, however, you will find that you are making yourself an easier target by going into turret mode, which won’t quite be to your advantage.
Armor: 800 Fuel Tank: 126 liters Boost Speed: 24.32 m/s Fuel Regen: 8.51 l/s Run Speed: 15 m/s Air Speed: 12.76 m/s Radar: 97.5 meters Cooling Systems: 6 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.4 seconds
If you like the Brawler: Scout: The vegan cousin of the Brawler, the Scout packs the Flak Cannon and the TOW, as well as the Mini Flak and Heat Cannon. If you want that burst damage goodness on a lighter frame, the Scout should work out for you.
Raider: Like the burst damage, but hate how slow the Brawler goes, and how little health the Scout has? With the Raider, for at least 10 seconds at a time you can go faster than a Scout, and still hang onto some truly excellent burst weaponry.
Grenadier: If you like the fatty play style, but want something that fires indirect weaponry rather than hitscan, then go for the Grenadier. Even if it’s something so simple as liking the Vulcan on a fatty, but wanting a Grenade Launcher secondary instead of a TOW Launcher, the Grenadier should serve you well.
Rocketeer: There are several Brawler favouring pilots who find that they like to get in the pilot seat of a Rocketeer from time to time. The option of some serious burst damage, but from longer range seems to call to something in the hearts of some pilots out there, and the C class playstyle and sensibilities transfer well from Brawler to Rocketeer.
Vanguard: Now that the Vanguard is available to all players, I can recommend it here! The Vanguard is kinda like a zippier, squishier, and less bursty version of the Brawler. There's a lot of similarities between the two, and it should be worth checking out if you enjoyed the Brawler.
Overview: The Grenadier is the King of the Grenades, and if you encounter one on the battlefield using the Rev-GL, you are unlikely to forget it. The Grenadier is focused on putting a lot of projectiles down range as quick as it can, but it leaves the question of how those projectiles are delivered up to you. There are many great options available to the discerning Grenadier pilot, and the ones that give it some practice can quickly become a menace on the battlefield. The heavy barrage the Grenadier can deliver down range can become even more powerful when used in conjunction with the Artillery turret special ability, though keep in mind that like all turret mode functionalities, you are at a disadvantage in terms of mobility.
Weapons: The Grenadier, being the King of the Grenades, has to have the games’ only grenade firing primary, the Rev-GL. The Rev-GL allows you to heavily increase your capacity as a Grenadier to bombard defensive positions like the AA, or spots behind walls that can’t be hit with direct fire, but can have grenades arced into where your opponents who think they are safe. If you don’t want to overdose on grenades in your Grenadier, this mech unlocks the Heat Cannon as it’s alternate primary. With the Heat Cannon, you now have the ability to bombard your enemies with very solid damage at any range, just keep in mind that your full damage potential is limited by the range of your grenades, though smart play can allow you to mitigate any problems you may have with range. Finally, if you just can’t stand being in a mech if it doesn't have a bigass chain gun, the Grenadier unlocks the Vulcan for the prestige weapon, letting you tear through any close-combatants armor with great speed, but limits your longer range potential to your Grenade Launcher. The Grenade Launcher itself is an extremely versatile weapon that is extremely useful in a variety of situations. Bouncing its grenades off of walls and around corners is a great way to catch your opponents by surprise, and even does more damage than the TOW launcher in direct combat. It works well in conjunction with the Rev-GL in particular, though you have to be aware of the weapons' differences in projectile speed and bounciness.
Ability: The Grenadier, in a recent update, had it's turret mode removed in favor of an activatable ability like the A and C classes. This new ability called Artillery Shots has an activation period of about 8 seconds, and increases the damage done by the Grenadiers' weapons during that time, as well as increase the splash damage radius of all shots. This ability is quite similar to the one on the Berserker, and similar strategies should be employed when using Artillery Shots. This ability will be particularly effective when trying to deal with a particularly difficult opponent, an opponent with a technician on it, or when trying to break through an enemy teams' defenses to shake them out of a position.
Armor: 740 Fuel Tank: 92 liters Boost Speed: 26.48 m/s Fuel Regen: 10.36 l/s Run Speed: 17 m/s Air Speed: 13.34 m/s Radar: 120 meters Cooling Systems: 4.25 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.4 seconds
If you like the Grenadier: Infiltrator: Much like the relationship the Scout has with the Brawler, the Infiltrator is the younger and smaller cousin of the Grenadier, though it can’t quite all out with the grenades like the Grenadier can, there are a lot of very awesome weapon choices on the Infiltrator that you may enjoy.
Rocketeer: Also a fatty, also fires indirect weapons, but this time you can home in on your opponents! Can be a lot of fun, and if you’re already used to C classes the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.
Brawler: The fatties are really all one big happy family. If you like the fatties, but want to be giving your opponents hugs before they burst into a few thousand pieces, the Brawler may be for you!
Overview: The Incinerator is a very unique mech with a very unique inherent ability. Any mech within a certain radius of the Incinerator gets an effect that cools down their weapons, making them heat up much less per shot, and that heat goes to the Incinerator. Why would you want to heat up as an Incinerator? Because your secondary weapon runs on heat – without heat, you can’t fire, and the more heat the better. Furthermore, while the Incinerator will always absorb the heat from nearby mechs, the absorbed heat will never cause you to overheat, and will cap out at around 90% heat. Take care, though, your cooling area affects enemy mechs just as much as it does friendly mechs, so consider trying to stay farther from your enemies, and closer to your friends so that only the mechs you want to be buffed get that buff. With this heat mechanic, the Incinerator makes an excellent support mech that could have a place on just about any team.
Weapons: The Incinerator is unique in that all of its primary weapons are made around the same model, and have very similar mechanics, and are differentiated in the details. The three primaries are the Baby Bear, the Papa Bear, and the Mama Bear. They are mini guns similar to the Vulcan, but have a different model. They all require spinning up before firing like the Vulcan, but the amount of time they need to be spun up differs per gun, and they are also different from the Vulcan in that they 'remember' being spun up. If you were firing at one point, stop, and continue at some later point, the Bear will remember that it's still spinning, and begin firing sooner, unlike the Vulcan which needs to be spun up from the beginning any time you stop firing. Without going into too much detail here, the Baby Bear is "Just right", it takes a medium amount of time to spin up, is effective at low to medium range, and generates a middling amount of heat. The Papa Bear is "Too hot", it takes quite a while to spin up, but each shot deals a ton of damage, and generates a ton of heat. The Mama Bear is.. not quite "too cold." It is colder than either the Baby or Papa bear, and takes a little while to spin up, but as it spins up it gets to shooting quite quickly, and it is easy to overheat if you don't pay attention to how much you are firing the weapon. As for the Incinerator's Secondary, the SAARE is also unique in that it uses heat build up on the Incinerator as 'ammo.' Without enough heat generation, the SAARE will not fire. Each shot is like a fiery grenade, which drops off over distance, but not too sharply, and has a bit of splash on hit, and also generates heat on hit targets. It also comes with a secondary fire mode that does more damage and has a larger splash, but eats more heat per shot. Matching the SAARE firing mode with the Primary weapon being used is an important element when playing an Incinerator.
Ability: The Incinerators ability is the only directly offensive one in the game. While other mechs have abilities that may augment their ability to damage their opponents, the Incinerator's ability directly damages enemy mechs when used, and like everything else about it, this ability is more powerful depending on how much heat you have. The Incinerator's ability can be used any time the Incinerator has heat generated, but the closer you are to overheating, the more damage it does. When used, the Incinerator stops in place and quickly performs an animation where it slams its shield arms on the ground, releasing a heat shockwave in the immediate area. If at full heat, any nearby A class mechs will take a significant amount of damage, while at low heat it'll be a fun tickling, and a nice chance to shoot you while you're vulnerable. Be careful when using this, as the range isn't too large, and if an enemy realizes what you're attempting to do, it won't be too hard for them to get out of the way.
Armor: 750 Fuel Tank: 74 Liters Boost Speed: 30.08 m/s Fuel Regen: 8.51 l/s Walk Speed: 17.25 m/s Air Speed: 23 Radar: 105 m Cooling Systems: 3.75 s Dodge Cooldown: 1.4 s
If you like the Incinerator:
Grenadier: The Grenadier shares many things with the Incinerator, though the Grenadier is much more directly an offensive, rather than supporting mech. The Grenadier obviously has several grenade-type weapons, which will be pretty familiar to you if you are coming from the Incinerator, and is a C class, though is markedly slower than the Incinerator. While the differences are important, the transition should be smooth. Technician: As an Incinerator, Technicians love you, and maybe it's time to see it from the other side! The Technician is also not specifically a combat class like the Incinerator, though the Incinerator is definitely more offensively focused than the Tech, the game play where staying close to your teammates and away from your enemies should be something you're used to as an Incinerator player, and make for a relatively easy transition. Vanguard: The Vanguard, being the other fast C class, should be a smooth transition for a player used to the Incinerator. Like the Grenadier, it has a Grenade Launcher as a secondary, but it has more hit scan primaries than the Grenadier, which may make it a smoother transition when coming from the Bears.
Overview: The Rocketeer has had a bit of a roller coaster ride throughout it’s history in Hawken. At times it has the easiest weapons in the game and is too powerful, at times it seems it doesn’t do enough damage or hit enough to be useful. In it’s current implementation however, the Rocketeer has more or less hit a sweet spot in damage dealing and ease of use, though getting into stride with it may take some time. Though in some cases it’s weaponry is designed to be easy to use, the Rocketeer also has some options to it that make it one of the most demanding mechs skill-wise to pilot to it’s full potential, but it is well worth it to those who master it.
Weapons: The Rocketeer, being the homing C class, comes stock equipped with a pair of weapons whose munitions track down targets attempting to evade fire. The Seeker rockets track opponents with a somewhat slow firing rocket, and the Hellfire Missile battery locks onto opponents with alternate fire, and launches a barrage of very fast, high damage rockets. While the Hellfires require a lock on to track opponents, Seekers track opponents automatically, however their tracking capabilities are improved by locking on as well. Those Hellfires can take quite a bit of practice to perfect though, and they have a long cooldown, while the Seekers seem to lack a bit of ‘oomph’ that many players are searching for, though they don’t require very much precision to make contact. The Rocketeer unlocks the EOC Repeater as an alternate primary, which is in many ways the polar opposite of the Seeker missiles. The EOC is a very high skill, high damage weapon that requires a ton of practice to use, but becomes the primary of choice for many of the career Rocketeer pilots out there, if they can get through the learning curve. Finally, the Heat Cannon is unlocked as a prestige weapon, which is a medium in difficulty of use between the EOC and Seeker, perhaps leaning more towards the EOC. Great damage, great range, and not extraordinarily difficult to learn. Many of those who don’t end up sticking to the EOC stick to the Heat Cannon instead.
Ability: The Rocketeer’s turret mode goes a little ways to mitigating the greatest difficulty in using turret modes in general, though it won’t always be everything you need, if you find yourself in a bad situation. The Mobile turret mode on the Rocketeer allows the Rocketeer to move about twice as fast as the other turreted C classes, but it still cannot dodge. It does keep much of the damage reduction from the front like the Grenadier, at a 60% damage reduction to damage. Can be useful if you are at a high overlook over the battlefield, with nearby cover. Pop out of cover to lock on with hellfires and a Heat or EOC barrage to opponents below, and scoot on back behind cover if things get too hot. One important thing to take note of when in turret mode is that you will automatically be locked on to targets while turreted up, so if you do choose to go into turret mode, you'll be able to fire locked shots at enemies immediately, and this also benefits the Seekers as well, as they have much greater tracking and accuracy while locked as well. Still, that mobility thing is still something to worry about; think twice before using it in a close range encounter.
Armor: 730 Fuel Tank: 110 liters Boost Speed: 25.76 m/s Fuel Regen: 9.62 l/s Run Speed: 16 m/s Air Speed: 17.4 m/s Radar: 105 meters Cooling Systems: 5.75 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.4 seconds
If you like the Rocketeer: Bruiser: The Bruiser shares something of a role with the Rocketeer in that it works best a bit removed from the combat where it can bombard enemies with some Hellfire volleys from relative safety, though the Bruisers primaries encourage it to be a bit closer than the Rocketeer’s.
Grenadier: If you like those big explosive weapons on a fatty, but want less homing in your diet, go for the Grenadier! You can bank your shots around corners to hit hiding opponents and deal some serious damage, or fight more directly with weapons like the Heat Cannon.
Brawler: Yes, I’ve totally been recommending the other C classes on all the C class entries. It’s because if you can master how to move in one C class, the transfer in skill to the other C’s isn’t too difficult, and they all have burst weapons, it is just their method of delivery that differs.
Overview: With this latest patch, the Vanguard is now available for use by any player, once it is unlocked. The Vanguard Cupcake, on the other hand, will still remain exclusive to those who got into the Vanguard Initiative. The only difference, though, is the cosmetic appearance, there is no functional difference between normal Vanguards and Cupcakes. The Vanguard is the C class with the heart of an A class - it desperately wants to go fast, and in some senses it succeeds. It is easily the fastest C class of the bunch; by default it moves more quickly than a Brawler can ever hope to go. It pays for that speed with comparative fragility however, as well as less bursty weapons like the mini flak.
Weapons: The reason I say that the Cupcake’s weapons are off beat is because, with the exception of the Vulcan prestige, it’s primaries are not found on any other C class, and, again with the exception of the Vulcan, are not found paired up with a Grenade Launcher. The default primary found equipped on the Cupcake is the SMC, which in some ways pairs well with the Grenade Launcher, and in some ways works against it. They are both good mid-range weapons, however, the SMC requires you to keep the crosshair on target to do damage, and the Grenade Launcher requires you to lead your shots, so there is some cross purpose there - which is a theme that continues across all of the Cupcake’s weapons. The Mini Flak is the alternate primary for the Cupcake, which gives enormous close-range DPS potential, but of course has the issue of working at cross-purposes with the Grenade Launcher. Finally, the Vulcan is the ultimate close-range automatic option for the Cupcake, and due to it’s primacy at close range, it actually works a bit better with the Grenade Launcher than the other weapons, since you’ll be a little bit closer. Now that I’ve gone over every weapon and knocked on them all saying they work at cross-purposes, I would like to say that the Cupcake is by no means worthless, with practice and a good timing sense, Vanguard pilots can work around the on target/leading conflict to be very effective in their Vanguard.
Ability: The Vanguard Turret Mode is in many ways, likely the best out of all the turret modes. While in Vanguard Turret Mode, you still have a speed reduction, but this speed reduction is much smaller than it is on other C classes. This turret mode also has drastic damage reduction from front-facing damage, though rear damage is much higher to compensate. If you love the idea of turret mode, then the one available on the Vanguard is almost certainly the one for you.
Armor: 685 Fuel Tank: 78 liters Boost Speed: 30.08 m/s Fuel Regen: 11.84 l/s Run Speed: 17.5 m/s Air Speed: 14.5 m/s Radar: 105 meters Cooling Systems: 4.5 seconds Dodge Cooldown: 1.4 seconds
If you like the Vanguard Cupcake: Grenadier: It’s a C class, and it also has the Grenade Launcher! The differences aren’t so big here, so if you’re good in a Grenadier, you’ll probably be good in a Cupcake, and vice versa.
Brawler: A bit more different than the Grenadier, but if you like the cut of the Mini Flak’s jib on the Cupcake, you might like the beefier Flak Cannon on a different flavour of fatty.
Infiltrator: Fairly similar weapon setup, more or less - but on an A class. You do get that sweet sweet grenade bouncing action, though, so it might be for you!
Scout: The only other class with a Mini Flak! If you like the Mini on the Cupcake, but want some speed instead of fattening sweetness, check out the Scout!
Primary Weapons (1)
Assault Rifle: The Assault Rifle is the most well-known automatic fire weapon, most of which are hitscan. (Hitscan means to move in a straight line from the point the gun is fired from to the target, and hits instantly) The AR can still be a pretty powerful weapon despite the misgivings people tend to have about automatics, and can be put to good use in the right hands. It does middling damage per shot at ideal range, and fires at approximately 4.6 shots per second. It's heat generation is fairly high, however, and it does lose accuracy as it is fired. So fire in bursts and keep an eye on the heat generation meter.
Sub Machine Cannon: The SMC is in many ways similar to the other automatic fire weapons like the Assault Rifle, however the SMC is differentiated in that it generates less heat than the AR, and fires more quickly at the expense of dealing less damage per shot. However, do note that the SMC does more DPS than an AR, under ideal circumstances. Keep in mind that the SMC is less accurate overall, though and has earlier damage drop off at range than the Assault Rifle. You can do more damage with an SMC, you'll just have to be closer to do it.
Point-D Vulcan: The Vulcan, like all miniguns, has an associated spin up time before it can begin firing. Though you cannot tap the fire button to keep the gun spun up; each click resets the spin up time. The Vulcan is extremely powerful at close ranges, but it loses damage and accuracy very quickly as the range on the target increases. Each bullet does slightly more damage than an SMC round, and fires much faster than any other automatic weapon, though heat generation is quite high, accordingly. Used at short ranges, the Vulcan can tear through enemies extremely quickly, though it is always important to keep good track of the target and to watch your heat generation.
EOC Repeater: The EOC is pretty difficult to use to its full extent, due to the way it fires a series of projectiles, in conjunction with the charding mechanic. However, the EOC does more damage on a fully charged, completely accurate hit than any other primary weapon in the game. However, with its power of course comes complexity. The EOCs damage is derived from direct hit damage, as well as 'mine' or explosive damage. When a puck from the EOC misses (6 pucks total are fired from a fully charged shot, 3 from an uncharged one) it hits the environment and remains as a mine that is only detonated after a certain amount of time, or when an enemy mech gets close enough. Each Puck does 10 damage when it makes contact with an enemy mech, and 20 damage for the explosion. Meaning, if an enemy walks over a Puck that has hit the floor, they will receive 20 damage, whereas if they had been hit directly by that Puck, that individual Puck would have done 30 damage. Altogether, this means that a perfect shot from a fully charged EOC does 180 damage, more damage from a 'single shot' than any other primary weapon in the game. The way the charge time works, however, means you have the same DPS no matter how many pucks you shoot in a volley, the difference is made in the burst. However, the reload time and extreme difficulty in landing such a shot does quite a bit to balance out the strength of this weapon, along with the reload time causing the EOC to have the lowest overall DPS among the primaries (not counting a series of fully charged Heat shots).
Rev-GL: The Rev-GL fires smaller grenades a little faster than a grenade per second, and each grenade does very solid damage on a direct hit, giving this weapon some quite impressive DPS. The Rev-GL can be an extremely powerful piece of artillery on the battlefield if you can arc your grenades behind cover, or they can be bounced around inside the AA structure to hit any mechs that are taking refuge within. They generate less heat per shot than they used to, but overheating while using this weapon is still a possibility, so keep an eye on your heat gauge while using this weapon.
Heat Cannon: This weapon is an interesting hybrid between the hitscan and projectile weapons. The weapon can be fired either from an uncharged state, or from a fully charged state, and depending on how charged the weapon is, the projectile will travel comparatively slowly, or more quickly, depending. When fired from an uncharged state, the projectile does 80 damage and has a relatively small damage radius, and when fully charged it does 100 damage and has a greater damage radius. Many pilots prefer to keep their cannon charged in preparation for an encounter, and then fire uncharged shots once in the midst of a fight so they may fire more quickly, thus increasing the overall DPS, as constantly firing fully charged shots results in the lowest DPS of all primary weapons.. Be warned that firing many uncharged shots in succession will cause you to overheat fairly quickly.
Slug Rifle: What could be one of the most popular choices for a primary weapon on both the Reaper and Sharpshooter, the Slug Rifle has, perhaps surprisingly, the second lowest damage per second out of all of the primary weapons. However, the ease of use and high effective range of the Slug ensure that it remains popular among many pilots. When scoped the Slug does increased damage. Pretty simple! Though it is also plenty effective.
SA Hawkins: The SA Hawkins is an automatic weapon that fires more slowly than other automatics, but packs more punch per hit. At present, the SA Hawkins is struggling under the weight of being sidelined on both the Brawler and the Sharpshooter in favor of the other options available. However, once this weapon is given the time to use and understand, many pilots have found that they like using the Hawkins.
Seeker: The Seeker rockets are a weapon exclusive to use on the Rocketeer, and being a Rocketeer exclusive, the Seeker fires rockets that seek out opponents. The Seeker fires a little more slowly than once every half second, and each shot does approximately 50 damage, giving the Seeker some pretty good DPS. However, the Seeker rockets themselves travel relatively slowly across the battlefield, making them pretty hard to hit at anything past close-mid range; any further and your opponent may well see them coming and avoid them, or they may get stuck between their target and some terrain. Using the Seekers is a balance - a balance that many players find difficult to strike, but perhaps you will find that the Seekers are for you, if you can find that elusive balancing point.
Hawkins-RPR: The lighter relative of the SA Hawkins, the Ripper acts quite a lot like the SA Hawkins, but it fires at 5 rounds per second instead of 3, and has about half the max range of the SA, and does 10 less damage per shot. The Ripper has enjoyed quite a bit more popularity than the SA, and many players use it on the Technician, if they are seeking a means of direct damage. It is also an effective option on the Reaper, if you are looking for a closer range option on your Reaper.
Primary Weapons (2)
AM-SAR: The AM-SAR is a weapon that was introduced in the Reaper patch as the primary weapon for the Reaper, and was added as a prestige primary for the Sharpshooter. The AM-SAR is unique in that it is not an automatic weapon - you can not hold down left mouse and constantly shoot, you need to click every time you want to fire, and having a relatively high fire rate, that's a lot of clicking if you want to hit max potential DPS. Each shot does a fair chunk of damage, so it can be quite a worthwhile weapon if you can keep it accurate, and you can keep up a high rate of fire.
Flak Cannon: The Flak Cannon is the quintessential shotgun you know and love from all the other FPS' you are used to playing. It does great damage at close range, but beyond that range where all of its pellets hit, the damage drops off sharply. However, the damage fall off happens more slowly with greater range than you may expect, the point at which the Flak hits its minimum damage is a deceptively long way off. At present, only the Scout and the Brawler can be equipped with the Flak, and the Flak can be extremely powerful in the right hands.
Mini Flak Cannon: The name says it all! The Mini Flak is a lighter, faster version of the Flak Cannon. However, that simple description may be deceiving. The Mini Flak fires quite quickly, and does a fair chunk of damage with each hit, making the Mini Flak the primary weapon with the highest DPS in the game. Damage drop off starts just a bit sooner than it does on the Flak Cannon, but it hits the minimum damage faster than the Flak does.
Redox-O2: The first weapon in Hawken which inflicts a debuff upon opponents when hit, the Redox offers some interesting, and powerful team options in game play. However, the Redox fires projectiles that are somewhat inaccurate, so you may have trouble hitting past close or medium range. Each hit applies a 5% armor debuff on an opponent that stacks up to 3 times to reach a 15% debuff, and each hit deals 25 damage as well. A debuffed enemy is marked by purple lightning arcing across the mechs’ frame, and the user piloting the mech can see the same lightning arcing across their view when affected. Though many users find this weapon weak, research indicated that a Tech will deal more damage in less time to an opponent if they are using the Redox than if they used the Hawkins-RPR, under ideal circumstances.
Reflak-35: The Reflak-35 is a Mini Flak variant exclusive to the Raider that fires a little less quickly, but does a little more damage, resulting in just a bit less overall DPS. However, what makes the Reflak unique is the fact that it’s projectiles can bounce off the terrain and into opponents. They only bounce once, but it is still a great way to do damage to opponents hiding just around a corner, in the AA, or down a hallway. Like the Mini Flak, the Reflak is pretty easy to use, and has one of the highest DPS values in the game. Pretty simple, just remember that like all shotgun style guns, you have to keep relatively close to get the most out of it. It’s maximum effective range (the point at which hitting someone further will do somewhat reduced damage depending on distance) is almost exactly the same as the MIRV function on the Corsair, so using the two in conjunction at that range to keep opponents at the perfect distance may be an interesting and worthwhile tactic.
T-32 Bolt: The Bolt is one of the more interesting weapons in the game, even if it may not look it at first glance. The Bolt is very similar to the Flak Cannon, with a major difference, which lies in the fact that the Bolt can be charged up to change its firepower. You can fire the Bolt uncharged for 72 damage per hit, at a quick rate, resulting in a DPS that is just barely lower than the Reflak. However, you can also charge the Bolt to 3 different levels, and if fully charged, does 120 damage on hit. With each stage of the charging process (visible while charging) the gun adds two pellets to the shot. Uncharged, the Bolt fires 9 pellets that do approximately 8 damage. This allows you to pick how long you want to charge for a given amount of damage, giving you a lot of control over how much damage you do in burst vs damage done per second, once you get enough practice with it.
Breacher: The Breacher is something like a cross between the Flak Cannon and the Slug Rifle. Uncharged, the Breacher fires a flak shot that does very good damage, but has somewhat worse range than a regular flak cannon. Fully charged, the 'nails' tighten up into a full spike, and fire with great accuracy at long range, dealing slightly less damage. This charged shot is also able to pierce mechs and hit anything behind them, as well as pierce shields, hence the name of the gun. The fire rate is such that the overall DPS is fairly low, and getting solid hits off can be difficult at times, though with a bit of practice you'll get used to it in no time. Don't fall into the temptation to sit back and fire the Breacher's rails at long range - the damage fall off is quite noticeable before long, and you won't be doing very much damage. While the Predator isn't the greatest dueling mech, you won't be doing the damage you need to at long range. Catch your opponents off guard closer up, and you'll deal great damage.
Baby Bear The Baby Bear, just like in the classic fable, is "Just Right." It has a medium-length spin-up time, generates a middling amount of heat, and does a middling amount of damage. Safe, easy, comfortable. The steady rate of relatively low heat generation makes managing heat gen with the SAARE pretty easy when using the Baby Bear, and also makes for a good learning transition when used to the Vulcan from other mechs, as the mechanics aren't all that different, while also retaining many of the mechanics that make the Bear series of weapons unique. When using the Baby Bear, heat generation is fairly low, so unless you have some spectacularly hot teammates (har), using the low-heat cost mode of the SAARE will probably work best with this Primary.
Papa Bear: The Papa Bear is "Too Hot," while it takes much longer than the other Bears to get spun up, once it does get shooting, each shot does a lot of damage, but also generates a lot of heat. Using the Papa bear can be a bit difficult if you are unused to how quickly heat gets generated, along with how long it takes to get the barrel spun up when first entering combat. Getting accustomed to pre-spinning your gun before entering a battle can do wonders for your effectiveness when using this primary. It is also highly recommended to use the alternate fire mode on the SAARE when using the Papa Bear, as it is near necessary in order to vent the heat that the Papa generates.
Mama Bear: You may expect the Mama Bear to be "Too Cold" if it's following the rest of the weapons, but it's not quite the case. The Mama Bear takes a little while to spin up, though not nearly as long as the Papa Bear, and when it does the fire rate is relatively slow while the barrel is still spinning up. Each shot from the Mama bear generates a lowish amount of heat, but as the barrel gets spinning, the fire rate becomes much more rapid, making that relatively low heat per shot add up rather quickly. The Mama Bear is also unique in that it fires projectiles similar to those fired by the Technicians Redox, instead of being a hitscan weapon like the other Bear weapons. Each shot generates heat on the mech it hits, rather than an armor debuff as on the Redox. While the fire rate is low, the low-heat cost mode of the SAARE will probably be best, but as the fire rate increases the high-heat cost mode will likely become more necessary.
Secondary Weapons (1)
TOW Missile: The secondary weapon that is on more mechs than any other (Vulcan is the primary on the most mechs), is the ubiquitous TOW missile which affords strong play when its mid-flight explosion is used to hit enemies just out of sight, or to allow hits that would otherwise have missed. The TOW is a very powerful, if often seen weapon. It does quite a bit of damage on direct hits, and the explosive radius is fairly generous, but the 'feathering', on damage as the explosions centre becomes farther away from the target is fairly significant. Remember, using the mid air detonation capability (right mouse button by default) is critical to optimal use of this weapon! You may have noticed the little corkscrew effect on the TOW Rocket's flightpath. That corkscrew effect is just that, an effect. The actual flightpath of the TOW is a straight line.
Grenade Launcher: This secondary weapon offers many options to anyone who gives it enough practice time, and isn't particularly hard to get used to for newbies, either. The Grenade Launcher launches its grenades at a comparatively slow speed, giving its users the ability to arc shots over cover, to bounce around corners, or to use them as short-lived and well timed mines, once the user has enough experience in their use. These grenades do just a tiny bit less damage than TOWs, but also fire very slightly faster, giving the smallest edge in DPS to grenades. These grenades take a bit longer to get used to than the TOW rockets, but their versatility means that for some users, though grenades are somewhat harder to use, they can still be more than worthwhile to use. Note that grenades can be detonated, like TOWs, by using the secondary fire button (right mouse button by default), and effective application of that ability is at least as important for the Grenade Launcher as it is for the TOW.
Hellfire Missiles: The Hellfire Missiles are Hawkens’ resident homing weapons. The Hellfires do a tremendous amount of damage on a full hit from all 8 missiles, though hitting with every missile will be difficult against savvy players. The Hellfire Missile can lock onto opponents by the use of the alternate fire button (Middle mouse by default), and upon locking on, if you're quick you can curve the missiles around cover and into enemies for maximum damage. Once the lock-on process is initiated, you don’t need to keep aiming at the enemy for the lockon process to continue. Curving tightens the grouping of the Hellfires, so be sure to fire at a curve if accuracy is at a premium. In order to curve the missiles follow these steps: 1) Acquire lock-on, 2) quickly look away from the target in the desired direction of the curve, and 3) fire the missiles before lock-on is lost. Curving allows hellfires to hit mechs that are outside of your line of sight. (Please note: If you are concerned that Hellfires aren’t at the same level as other secondaries... That’s intentional. ‘Easy’ lock-on weapons are less powerful in exchange for their comparative ease of use.) Much love to MexichanMan for helping to write this section.
Sabot Rifle: The Sharpshooter is the only mech equipped with a Sabot Rifle at present, and as such it is uniquely able to combine the high damage potential of the Sabot with the enormous damage boost from the Power Shot ability. The Sabot Rifles secondary ability (activated by pressing middle mouse by default) is a scope that allows the user to zoom in on a target, and the rifle is significantly more accurate when in this zoomed state. The rifle also does more damage when zoomed in; 124 damage unzoomed and 155 when zoomed. Though the rifle is much more accurate than it used to be when unzoomed, it is still quite inaccurate when shot noscoped.
KE-Sabot: The Reaper, being a sort of mid-range Sharpshooter, of course requires a mid-range Sabot Rifle. The KE is very similar to the regular Sabot Rifle, including doing more damage when scoped than when unscoped, though even its max damage damage zoomed is lesser than the Sabot Rifles unzoomed (85 unscoped and 95 scoped). The KE fires almost twice as fast as the full Sabot Rifle to make up for the reduced per shot damage, but it also has reduced effective range.
Secondary Weapons (2)
Helix Repair Torch: The Helix Repair Torch, otherwise often referred to as the Heal Beam, is at present only available on the Technician chassis. The Repair Torch heals friendly units at a rate quick rate, while also healing the user. Do note that the repair torch heals better when you haven't been recently in combat. So you basically heal better when you're not under attack than when you are. When the beam is applied to a fully healed friendly unit, and the user is damaged, the self healing works at a reduced rate. When the alternate fire button is pressed (Middle mouse by default), the torch swaps to an alternate mode, where it will become a ‘Vampire Beam’ that deals 28 damage per second to an enemy mech. The effective range of this Vampire Beam is 60 meters, and will only stay stuck on the target for a much shorter distance away than the heal beam.
Another point to note: the Amplification Beam ability does not increase the damage output of the Deconstruction Beam on the Healing Torch, but it does still increase the rate of self healing.
Corsair-KLA: The Corsair is one of the more versatile weapons in the game: by swapping the firing mode with alternate fire, you will fire different projectiles. When the ‘claw’ is in the default, vertical position, the gun fires a projectile that is a sort of hybrid between the TOW and the grenade. The projectile has a relatively flat firing curve, doing fairly significant damage on a direct hit. The horizontal claw mode fires a MIRV shot, which acts like an explosive shotgun. This fires straight ahead, but with a very hard range limit of 75 meters, at which point the shells immediately explode. There is also almost no splash on these explosives, requiring a direct hit on opponents to do damage. The MIRV shells do an extraordinary amount of damage, more than any other secondary in the game at time of writing. If you are in combat, and want to switch firing modes, it is best to do it in-between shots, as the firing mode switch only takes 1.25 seconds.
EOC Predator: The EOC Predator was introduced alongside the Predator mech, and as such only appears on the Predator. Much like the EOC Repeater, it fires explosive pucks that can either hit opponents directly for damage, or be layed on the ground as a trap. Unlike the Repeater, however, the Predator only fires one puck at a time, though at fairly fast pace. You can have up to 10 mines in play at a time, after which the mine that was fired first disappears with no explosion once the 11th mine is fired. The Predator's mines are also unique in that enemies can destroy them by firing at them. The Predator, though it fires more quickly than the volleys of the Repeater, has the same difficulty barrier as the Repeater, though magnified since the Predator only fires one puck at a time. It takes some getting used to, but for those who put the time in, it ends up worth the while.
SAARE: The SAARE is the Incinerators Secondary Weapon, and as such works based on how much heat you have generated with your primary weapon, or from absorbing heat from nearby mechs. It also has two firing modes, which are differentiated by the size and damage of the projectile fired every shot, as well as by how much heat each shot costs. The alternate fire with the larger, stronger projectile uses approximately twice as much heat as the smaller projectile, and is necessary when a large amount of heat is being collected, but will quickly drain your heat reserves if you're generating a relatively low amount of heat. Finding the proper heat balance between your SAARE, your Primary of choice, the heat of nearby mechs, and whether you want to use your ability is a constant consideration. Finding which fire mode works best for a given situation is vital to optimal Incinerator play, so keep on top of it!