So... you want to do more damage. You want to make more kills. You want your friends to see more blue swirlies.
Good. We like that aggressive spirit. We encourage it, in fact!
Now that you're in Advanced Mission Mode, things are a little different.
Back in the good old days of noobness, enemies were easy to kill. Any torso section would do. Now, you need to pick your shots better. Nothing short of destroying the center torso, the cockpit, or both legs will kill a 'Mech. Plus, they have twice as much armor.
You need to pick your shots and hit the spots you want to hit.
Bonuses to this:
#1 - Facing Head-On
Obviously, you can get the best line on the enemy 'Mech when you're right in front of them. So get in front, line up on their center, and blast away. You know how to do it: usually it ends up with you running into your target, face to face, blasting away. We call this "narfing."
Why's it called narfing?
There was once a pilot whose callsign was "Narf". He always ran into people to stop them so he could shoot them. Running into people thus became known as "Narfng".
Remember that going face to face with an enemy means you will get hit with a lot of splash damage when your enemy goes up. In FFAs, when circling the battlefield, Veterans are looking for situations like this for possible double kills.
#2 - Strafing
Now is the time to put those pedals to use. Switch into Mid or Adv Pilot Mode ("Program" [bottom left] + "Pilot Mode" [bottom right] on your Secondary Screen). Swing your torso to one side and pass in front of the enemy rather than running straight at them, and take your shot when you cross their center torso. You have a more limited window in which to fire and hit, but get used to it - you're protecting yourself and keeping moving.
There is no difference in Mid or Adv Pilot Mode other than the controls that turn the torso and the control that turns the 'Mech. Both modes have advantages and drawbacks. Try each out, decide which fits your play style better, and go from there.
#3 - Jumping
If you're unfortunate enough to have been hit in the gyro but have jets, practice taking short hops to confuse the enemy and steady your aim. Your 'Mech won't wobble while you're jumping. It'll also confuse the enemy's aim and force them to readjust to hit your torso.
#4 - Swing away
#5 - Sticking their noses out
Pulling the High Hat downward changes your Main Viewscreen to display the rearward-facing camera (note the crosshairs). If your 'Mech is equipped with rear-facing weapons (see BattleMech Specifications), you will be able to aim and fire them rearwards. Use it to annoy people chasing you, or take a parting shot on someone you just jumped over.
Moving the High Hat left and right will allow you to see out of the left and right cockpit windows. Each 'Mech chassis' view is unique depending on the design of the chassis. Some offer a clear view, while others are partially obstructed. When the High Hat is moved left or right, the corresponding arm will swing wide and allow for targeting via the crosshairs. This can be used to keep your heat down, catch an annoying faster 'Mech that stays to your side, or just present a harder target to your opponent.
#7 - Learn to Lead
#8 - Goin' Passive
AMS is effective in shooting down incoming actively-locked missiles, but not dumb-fired missiles. Consider going passive if you're fighting someone with AMS. If they insist on going toe-to-toe on you and you feel confident dumb-firing missiles, going passive will also keep your LRM's grouped up tighter - and 20 LRMs right to the Center Torso can really hurt.
CAVEAT: Streak SRM's will not fire without an active radar lock. The good news is, they won't "waste" ammo and heat by firing unnecessarily. The bad news is, if you forget yourself and leave your radar passive, you've just reduced a Streak-laden 'Mech's damage output. Either get quick on the radar toggle button, or leave your radar active, if you want to fire them.
#9 - Backstabbin'
Do pick your shot to the back carefully, however. Every 'Mech does have a small (but present) "Rear Torso" armor panel. It makes for a little extra that you have to chew through if you hit the wrong spot on the back Center Torso panel.
#10 - Cockpitting (aka: headshot)
WARNING - Before attempting this tactic, try to make sure your 'Mech has enough firepower to take out the enemy's cockpit in one hit. A "partial" headshot from a small weapon, or even from the full barrage of a Dragon, may as well be a "wasted" shot that could have been more profitably spent burning armor from the Center Torso. The odds of making the second/third shot to the same place against a moving opponent are very, very small.
#11 - Go for the Groin (for fun and profit!)
#12 - The Art of the Sneak Attack
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