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Armored Core 6: 4 Tips for Beginners

Patrick Bonifacio

Armored Core is officially back with Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon (AC6). Venerable Japanese developer FromSoftware, known primarily for the Dark Souls series, returns to their roots after ten years of no Armored Core releases.

Armored Core 6 Arena

via FromSoftware

And with any FromSoftware game comes serious difficulty. Reviewers and players alike are already up in arms about the sheer challenge AC6 brings to the table, and it hasn’t even been three days since the game released on August 25th.

Armored Core 6 Arena

via FromSoftware

Even series veterans, particularly ones that played before Armored Core 4, are finding it hard to get to grips with this new entry. The overall gameplay design here is somewhat different compared to older titles in the franchise, so there are some things that may catch even seasoned players off guard.

All that said, we’re no less excited to start discussing all things Armored Core 6 with everyone. First up, we’ve got some quick tips for newcomers to the series, as well as veterans that might have their heads spinning from the new gameplay elements here.

Aggression is Key

With the existence of a posture/stagger mechanic in Armored Core 6 similar to that of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (another FromSoftware game), it’s clear that the developers intend for players to play aggressively rather than defensively. This is in contrast to Dark Souls and Elden Ring, where taking what you can get after dodging consecutive attacks is the name of the game.

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Bosses practically take no damage outside of the stagger state, so breaking their posture through repeated assaults is vital to winning. Stay on the boss in order to build up that stagger gauge, then unload the big guns on them afterwards to deal massive damage.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you should just go guns blazing all the time. Bosses in Armored Core 6 still have attacks that can shave off tons of AP (armor points, basically health) in one blow. You’ll still need to pick your spots by paying attention to the boss’ movements and telegraphs. Also, your AC also has a stagger gauge, which will briefly stun you if you take too much damage.

Stay on your toes while laying down fire on your enemies, and you’ll find more success than failure in this game.

One Build Does Not Fit All

In stark contrast to Dark Souls, Armored Core 6 is designed in such a way that it forces players to change up their AC’s build in order to suit specific combat situations. Dark Souls practically lets you stick with the same build from start to finish — but that isn’t going to work here.

AC6 Shop

via FromSoftware

For example, one of the earliest bosses in Chapter 1 practically requires you to equip a specific right hand weapon just to even stand a chance against it. This is further emphasized by the fact that you can swap out parts at will whenever you get a game over, so the game itself definitely encourages experimentation in that sense.

Don’t be afraid to try out different approaches to a boss that’s giving you trouble. Every part that can be sold in Armored Core 6 gives you the full value at the point of sale, too, so there are literally no negative consequences to buying lots of different equipment.

Boost to Win

In previous Armored Core titles, the energy gauge would drain itself when the boosters are activated, whether the AC is skating across the ground or propelling itself upward. Although the energy gauge in AC6 behaves much the same way, dashing on solid ground is where things get a bit interesting in the sense that it doesn’t drain energy at all.

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This means that every kind of AC, whether bipedal, tetrapod, reverse joint, or tank, should basically never stop boosting when facing formidable foes. Running normally without the use of boosters is a really bad idea, and will only serve to make you an easier target.

Always be on the move. You can always aim the camera (and therefore your targeting reticle) while you’re moving anyway. Otherwise, you’re going to end up a sitting duck out there.

Do the Arena Battles

One of the biggest draws of the Armored Core franchise is the Arena a Player vs. AI component that pits ACs against one another in duels. Not only is the Arena loads of fun to go through, but it also rewards you with credits, and more importantly, OS Tuning chips.

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OS Tuning chips are used to fill OS Tuning slots, which unlock several different passive and active abilities that you can use in combat. For example, you can sortie with an overweight AC using one of the OS Tuning abilities, albeit with a small penalty to mobility. This allows you to bring a ton of firepower to a mission without having to sacrifice in other areas.

Moreover, you can actually grind the Arena battles over and over to get some easy cash. If you’re just short of that one part you really need for a certain mission, go back to the Arena and win some duels for some extra money.

Patrick Bonifacio

Patrick Bonifacio

Patrick has been playing Dota since the dawn of time, having started with the original custom game for WarCraft III. He primarily plays safe lane and solo mid, preferring to leave the glorious task of playing support to others.

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