Sarge is a BattleTech Veteran and has made the following list of piloting and combat tips.
"A 'Mech ain't no sports car."Your 'Mech is 30 feet tall and weighs 75 tons, so give it a few seconds to get up to full speed and a few seconds to come to a complete stop.
When you want to slow or stop fast, your reverse button is the best bet. The left-hand thumb button on the throttle held down at full throttle is all it takes.
Still, 75 tons takes a while to change direction.
The slower you're going, the sharper you'll be able to turn. Turns at high speed will be wider turns.
"A stopped 'Mech is a dead 'Mech."If you stop moving, everyone can get a better aim at you, so keep moving!
"Get to know your joystick."Use big joystick movements to turn. Use small joystick movements to aim. Remember to keep your targeting cross-hairs on the horizon. Incoming 'Mechs will be on the horizon.
"... Wait for it."Your most deadly shot comes only when all your weapons are fully charged and loaded. Be patient. One fully-charged shot (alpha) does a lot more damage than a string of little rapid-fire shots.
"Hit the same spot."To get a kill, remember to pick one spot on your target and keep hitting the same place. Damaged areas turn dark. If you find a 'Mech with a dark area, that is its weak spot. Black areas are the weakest. One good shot in a black area will get the kill.
"A shotgun is good, but lasers will bring it down."Missiles are good for racking up damage points, but the pin-point firepower of lasers will get you more kills if you keep focused on the weak spots. When missiles hit, the damage wraps around the 'Mech, so the damage is great, but spread out. Lasers and other energy weapons put all of the damage in the same spot.
"Watch your 6."Your radar screen can be your best friend. It's the large screen at your knees. Your 'Mech is always in the center of that radar circle. What's in front of your 'Mech is always at the top of that circle.
"Fight to live another day."Avoid toe-to-toe / face-to-face combat. A target that never moves is easier to target and hit. If you stay directly in front of your opponent, your opponent can hit you easier. Come at your opponent and veer off at the last second, then turn and come at him from behind. If he can't turn fast enough, he can't target you. If you get toe-to-toe, turn left or right and get out of there.
"Show them the small side."A smaller target is harder to hit. Know the 'Mech you pilot. Some 'Mechs have a thinner profile than head-on or vice versa. When you're trying to escape or waiting for your weapons to reload, turn your 'Mech to show your opponent the smallest side of the 'Mech.
"Show them the clean side."If your 'Mech has taken heavy damage, turn your less-damaged side to your opponent. This way they can't focus on your dark spot(s).
"If stealin' kills is wrong, I don't wanna be right."When you restart with a fresh 'Mech, look for smoking, damaged and/or limping 'Mechs. Your new 'Mech will have full armor with no damage and you will have the advantage! All's fair in love and war... and I'm feeling the love right about now.
"Start with the small stuff."New Recruits should learn to move and target and hit their opponents. Don't worry about all of the other controls in the cockpit until your comfortable with driving your 'Mech. When you're ready, ask one of the Techs to show you about the other controls and the other modes... or attend Boot Camp and we'll show you everything you need to know.
Training Manual >