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Video Game / MechWarrior

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"It is the 31st century and mankind is once again at war.
The battlefields of the future are dominated by huge robotic war machines known as BattleMechs.
Piloting these awesome weapons of war are men and women, the elite of the elite, knowing that each battle could be their last.
They are... MechWarriors."
MechWarrior 3 Intro

One of the most popular spinoffs of the BattleTech franchise, the MechWarrior series puts the player in the cockpit of the Giant Mecha that define the universe. With cutting-edge (for the time) graphics and fairly intense combat, these games probably brought more people into the Battletech universe than anything else. Battlemechs are handled like real weapons of wars, pilots die pointlessly, combat is brutal — entire torso sections and arms are blasted out to disable weapons, legs get shot out from underneath mechs, mechs explode from overheating their fusion reactor, and inside that armored cockpit you are just an unarmored and very squishy human.

The first game, MechWarrior, set roughly around 3025, placed you in the shoes of Gideon Braver Vandenburg, who is out to reclaim his birthright after his family was murdered. This game, published in 1989, is notable for featuring full three-dimensional gameplay (predating games like Ultima Underworld), as well as crude squad AI (which would be refined in later games in the series). A version of it also exists on the SNES, just Mode 7 and sprite based.

The second game, MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat (1995), was set during the Refusal War in 3057 between Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon. Five years have passed since a cease-fire between the Clans and the Inner Sphere, however, the circumstances have changed. The player is given the option to play as a young warrior on either side, rising rapidly in rank as you led the campaign against the opposing Clan. The expansion pack, Ghost Bear's Legacy, followed after this conflict as the Draconis Combine attacks (you guessed it) Clan Ghost Bear. However, not all is as it seems. A standalone sequel, titled MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, places you as an Inner Sphere mercenary, giving you the choice of running your own unit or joining another one. It's technically a prequel to the other MechWarrior 2 games, as it covers events in the previous decade. In-between the release of the Ghost Bear's Legacy and Mercenaries expansions, the Harmony Gold lawsuit over the Unseen and the following out of court settlement happened, causing those Mechs to be removed from all subsequent official games.

MechWarrior 3 (1999) takes place three years after MechWarrior 2 and in the aftermath of Operation Bulldog (the setting of the first MechCommander) on the planet named Tranquil, where a task force code-named Damocles is assigned to take down several major Clan installations while the newly-reformed Star League deals with the rest of the Clans (this is the Counterattack and Great Refusal arc). Due to a surprise attack, half of the Inner Sphere force is destroyed before it even makes landfall on the planet. However, the mission must go on. The expansion pack, Pirate's Moon, feature a new campaign letting you play as either a raiding pirate or a member of the Eridani Light Horse, the mercenary unit deployed to stop said pirates.

The fourth game, MechWarrior 4: Vengeance (2000) is set during the FedCom Civil War. Taking place on the planet Kentares IV and its moon, the plot's premise is similar to that of the first game, albeit much more involved. You play as Ian Dresari, trying to regain your birthright after a cousin affiliated with House Steiner betrays you. The expansion pack, Black Knight, continues Dresari's story as the Black Knight Legion arrives.

Early in 2002, a stand-alone expansion, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, was released, with Clan and Inner Sphere Mech Paks put online for free download by MekTek, along with MekTek's own in-house MekPak, adding several dozen 'Mechs and weapons to the game. MekTek also made some modifications to the game itself, enhancing the HUD and 'Mech icons as well as making several Clan, IS and MekTek MekPak 'Mechs and weapons available in the Campaign mode. It was taken down due to legal issues due to the IP being transferred to a new owner, Piranha Games. If MekTek attempts to re-upload the free release, they will likely be sued.

MechWarrior 4 also made it to arcades as BattleTech: Firestorm for the Virtual World Tesla II pods. Earlier Virtual World BattleTech versions were unique to the pods, even having exclusive features like generator and coolant loop management, but missing others like jump jets. Later on they used a newer engine that would become the engine for MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, switching to Mercenaries later on. Some of the fan-made 'Mechs created for this game like the Deimos would go on to become Canon Immigrants for BattleTech itself.

A game trailer was shown in 2009 for a reboot of the series for the 5th game, in the vein of the first 4 games, set in 3015, but as time went on, the IP rights holder and game developers, Piranha Games — whose previous games include Duke Nukem Forever's multiplayer, and Transformers (2007) tie-in games — couldn't find a publisher for such a game and have since retooled the game into a free-to-play MMO: MechWarrior: Online. Initially taking place in the year 3049 and eventually updating the game-world into the Clan invasion era. The website can be found here.

Additionally, at about the same time as Online, Infinite Game Publishing, with ACRONYM Games and Roadhouse Interactive as developers, announced MechWarrior Tactics. Running on the Unity engine to allow gameplay via the user's web browser, the game was designed as a 4 vs 4 'mech lance formation battles more in the vein of an interactive BattleTech table top game, with some changes. Players were to collect cards via "STAC Packs" for weapons and mechs with different manufacturer based abilities, and pilots with their own effects. However, the game got stuck in Development Hell and eventually became Vapor Ware with IGP going out of business in November of 2014. (More details can be read on the Trivia Tab.)

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries was announced in 2016, and released in December 2019. Set during the Third Succession War in 3015, you play as a rookie mercenary working for various factions while trying to find the people who killed his father.

Announced in 2023, MechWarrior 5: Clans is set during Operation REVIVAL in 3049, where you play as a Clan Smoke Jaguar MechWarrior in command of a Star, helping your Clan invade the Inner Sphere by battling across several worlds with the aim of capturing Terra and forming a new Star League.

Also of note is MechAssault, a simplified Third-Person Shooter series set in the same universe, and Multiplayer BattleTech: Solaris and Multiplayer BattleTech 3025, which were online multiplayer takes on the MechWarrior formula before NetMech (MW2:31stCC), MercNet (MW2:Mercs) and such became popular. Unfortunately, both titles have been entirely lost for years.

Fan made games and mods:

  • MechVM, a program that allows the MW2 games to run on modern systems. More info here.
  • Assault Tech 1: BattleTech, a standalone game made by Mektek (the team behind the expansions to MW4: Mercenaries) which has gameplay similar to MechWarrior 2 with updated graphics and controls. (This is no longer active, as Mektek had stopped all of their projects to work on Heavy Gear: Assault.)
  • MechWarrior: Living Legends (MWLL), a total conversion multiplayer mod for Crysis Warhead, first released in 2009. Takes cues from all the MechWarrior games and is balanced for multiplayer (up to 16 versus 16) and objective based gameplay. First game to feature useful, player-controlled tanks, aerospace fighters, Battle Armor and VTOLs. The final version of the mod, 0.7.1, was released on January 28th 2013 with no more planned updates, due to legal issues with the MechWarrior IP.note  The development team was dismantled. The final version of the mod also made it fully compatible with the free Crysis Wars demo, though a few servers will not allow demo players to join. After three years, it received an unofficial "0.8" update made by fans and former playtesters, aimed at polishing, bugfixing, and balancing, with following updates adding new tanks, mechs, aircraft, and weapons, with continued updates adding to the roster.
  • BattleTech MUD, popular in the 1990s, a series of ASCII-graphics MUDs (MUCK, MUSH, MUSE, and MUX over the years) did real-time multiplayer combat.
  • Solaris Assault Tech, a UnrealEngine3 game developed by MekTek which was going to focus on Solaris Arena deathmatch.

For the MechWarrior tabletop roleplaying system, see BattleTech. See also MetalTech: EarthSiege/Starsiege, a mecha series by Dynamix, the developers of the first MechWarrior game, and Heavy Gear videogame adaptations by Activision, the developers of the MechWarrior 2 trilogy. For the 2018 turn-based tactics game, see BattleTech.

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  • Ability Depletion Penalty
    • The series has featured Overheating as a staple gameplay mechanic and your 'Mech would shutdown after reaching a certain threshold, leaving you helpless but unharmed until your 'Mech started back up on its own. You can override the auto-shutdown with the expected consequences if you continued to exceed the shutdown limit.
    • Starting since 3, you could flush hot coolant out of the system to quickly expel heat but this also means you're losing reserve coolant that's used to convect and radiate heat off your 'Mech, resulting in a reduction in heat efficiency as you flush coolant.
    • Since 4, any rapid fire weapon such as the Rotary Autocannon or the Clan Hyper-Assault Gauss rifles in Living Legends, for example, will temporarily jam if they are fired for too long.note 
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Several mechs such as the as the Rifleman and Urbanmech are notable for being able to spin their torsos a full 360 degrees and aim their arms straight up or down.
  • Ace Custom: Customization is a major element of Mechwarrior's gameplay. As such your 'Mech will quickly become one as you gain access to resources and technology. Your lance's/Star's 'Mechs too.
    • This trope isn't restricted to your side. Named enemy Mechwarriors will often have 'Mechs with their own heavily customized loadouts.
    • Can also be subverted, depending on the fortunes of the player. Battle damage combined with lack of proper replacement equipmentnote  can result in 'Mechs that are technically customized, but only as a result of being forced to improvise loadouts with whatever equipment the player has on hand.
  • Activation Sequence: Starting a mission in all the videogames:
    Computer voice: Reactor: online. Sensors: online. Weapons: online. All systems nominal. (beep)
  • Alpha Strike: Straight from BattleTech, Alpha Strikes allow you to inflict massive damage at the cost of extreme heat build up depending on your weapons. The stock Supernova of MechWarrior 3(: Pirate's Moon) is most notable in that an Alpha Strike instantly blows the 'mech up. The Alpha Strike typically has a dedicated button in most games.
    • The introductory video of BattleTech: Firestorm makes note that the most devastating attack is firing your weapons all at once when they're all loaded and charged. Most of the time heat management is disabled for newer players so Alpha Strike away!
  • Always Accurate Attack: Streak short range missiles always hit their target in every game except for Mechwarrior Living Legends (where they are less accurate, but can be dumbfired). When first introduced in Mechwarrior Online, they would also always hit the mech's center torso, the most vital component of a mech.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The arenas of Solaris VII tend to be this. As the match goes on, massive fireworks displays will light up the sky.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Earlier MechWarrior games were somewhat infamous because of this. Enemies employed virtually no strategy, and were often downright idiotic; doing things such as walking into walls or directly into a large force of incoming mechs, despite the current status or role of the mech itself. Arguably the whole reason the single-player campaigns are playable at all. The player is always pitted against numerically superior forces, occasionally using even heavier Mechs than their own. If the AI pilots were capable of doing things like grouping weapons, targeting specific components, and smartly managing heat, they'd consistently wipe the floor with the player.
  • Anyone Can Die: A feature of the setting really, all of your lancemates have the potential to die on you if their 'Mech is destroyed in combat, even the ones you've had with you from the beginning.
  • Armored Coffins: Averted in that most units are equipped with ejection systems.
  • Artistic License – Physics: It's a giant robot game, this comes with the territory.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A major element of the franchise and the tabletop game on which it is based, individual components all have independent lifebars. Severe damage to a leg greatly will greatly hamper a 'mech's movement and many units become significantly less threatening once you learn their weapons layout and can disable their best gun five seconds into a fight.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Is there anything about Giant Robots that isn't?
  • Beam Spam: A very viable tactic.
  • Behemoth Battle: The games are about giant mechs with human pilots battling it out, based on the BattleTech game. Received several sequels.
  • BFG: Big guns are to be expected in a game about giant combat robots, but the AC-20, Long-Tom artillery piece and Heavy Gauss Rifle are particular stand-outs.
  • Big Red Button: In BattleTech: Firestorm, one would start flashing once you lost a leg. Hitting it would self-destruct your 'mech with the intention of Taking You with Me.
  • Boring Yet Practical: Medium Lasers are this. Cheap, light weight, decent damage, and low heat generation, a very sizable list of 'Mechs carry these as secondary weapons alongside harder hitting weapons. Mechs such as the Hunchback 4P variant, and the Nova Prime use Medium size lasers as their primary weapon, and carrying 8 and 12 of them in stock configurations respectively for very effective Beam Spam.
  • Cannon Fodder: Basically any enemy that isn't another 'Mech or a Drop Ship. Tanks, aircraft, and infantry are only a threat where you get attacked by six or more of them at a time. This trope was notably averted in a couple of cases in MW4 and completely averted in MW LL.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The different games colored lasers differently to differentiate them from one another. Typically, they were colored (red, green and blue) based on size, but in MechWarrior 4, they were colored based on tech level. Confusingly, the color schemes change throughout each game. MechWarrior 2, its expansions, Living Legends and Online's Inner Sphere 'Mechs used red for Small Lasers, green for Medium Lasers and blue for Large Lasers and their variants. MechWarrior 3 and its Pirate's Moon expansion reversed the scale along with adding violet for Micro Lasers and yellow for Heavy Lasers. MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, Black Knight and Mercenaries used red for all Inner Sphere lasers, green for all Clan (ER) lasers and blue for X-Pulse Lasers with MekTek bringing back the yellow Heavy Lasers and violet Micro Lasers.
    • Shown Their Work: This thread offers an interesting explanation as to why PGI chose the colors they did for the lasers in MechWarrior Online along with the fact they're the colors used in MechWarrior 2 and Living Legends.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: The lowly Machine Gun, the quintessential useless peashooter is, per unit of heat produced and ton of ammo consumed, the most efficient weapon. It does piddling damage by itself, but load up a ballistic Mech with nothing but machine guns and you make it into a very effective close-range brawler. Helped by the fact that machine guns, in most games, are the only weapon which fires continuously as long as the fire button is held down (all other weapons have a cooldown or reload timer of some sort). Lots of machine guns continuously firing can really rack up the DPS.
  • Dem Bones: If an Atlas is in the game, expect the head to play up its skull-like appearance. The only MechWarrior that averts this somewhat was the early versions of Living Legend's Atlas — the original release had a glass bubble for a head, then a glass bubble with the outline of a skull, then in the last update, a proper Atlas skull.
  • Demanding Their Head: After a You Have Failed Me moment, Duncan Burke is threatened by Roland with death. Upon saying he can bring Roland Ian Dresari, Roland says "Bring me Dresari's head, and you'll live."
  • Depending on the Writer: Each installment had a different developer (Dynamix for the first game, Activision for MW2 Trilogy, Zipper Interactive for MW3 and its expansion, FASA Studio for the MW4 games, Piranha Games for MWO and MW5 and Wandering Samurai Studios for MWLL), so while the basic gameplay remained the same, there are many minor and major differences between the games, and not just from real life technology generation leaps in-between their releases.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: The MechLab, as per the original tabletop game.
  • Ejection Seat: In non-Mercenaries games, ejecting is only useful for staring at a cool visual of the landscape instead of an explosion and a mission failed screen when someone blows you up. In Mercenaries games, ejecting lets you avoid a game over at the cost of your 'mech and all its equipment (usually avoided by reloading a savegame, but appreciated by the heavy role-players).
    • More useful in Living Legends, where ejecting deposits you a couple-dozen meters above the fight in a suit of jump-capable battle armor with some basic weapons. While the BA default armament isn't amazing, it's sometimes enough to finish off a crippled enemy. More significantly, it allows you a means to escape back to base and replace your 'Mech (or grab better BA weapons) without giving up a kill to the enemy pilot—killing a pilot in his machine grants a much larger reward than just destroying an empty 'Mech. Recent patches are doing away with this as now ejected Battle Armor is left with nothing but the claw-mounted SMG for defense and losing an empty asset still deducts tickets along with an additional two if the BA dies.
    • You automatically eject in BattleTech: Firestorm (with an interesting wormhole effect), presumably due to the younger audience that the game is intended for and to justify the respawns.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: All the games have this in some form, allowing you to target enemies and see their weapons, health, etc...
    • 3, 4, and Living Legends introduces the ability to go into passive radar, significantly reducing radar range and limiting you to only being able to target via line-of-sight but consequently making it harder for you to be detected.
    • Living Legends in particular requires active radar for missiles to lock and other equipment to function such as the Angel ECM (hides nearby allies from detection except for the asset equipping it). It's generally advised to run passive and briefly go active like a sonar ping. Conversely, you're advised to always run active with Guardian/Angel ECM, Beagle/Bloodhound Active Probe (increases detection range), and/or the C3 Radar Chain (relays any contacts on your radar to nearby allies). Finally, Overheating makes it easier for your asset to be detected and a completely overheated unit can be detected across the map, same with any unit that is hit with a NARC or painted with a TAG laser.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: The mercenary-themed games and expansions typically make you responsible for your unit's upkeep, meaning you have to turn a consistent profit if you want to stay in business. Running out of C-bills usually nets you a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: Ballistic weapons since 3 fired bright yellow projectiles while Gauss Rifles opted for the typical sci-fi swirly trail except in Online.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Overriding automatic shutdowns and failing to manage manage your heat, or in some cases just firing all of your weapons at once, will start to rapidly apply damage to your mech's Torso, and may cause your 'Mech to explode. This is derived from the tabletop game where having your heat getting too high led to risks of ammo explosions, and then of a reactor overload.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Many of the asymmetrical 'Mechs such as the Cauldron-Born, and the Thor/Summoner with its low-slung left arm, high offset right arm, offset cockpit, and tubular shoulder-mounted missile battery are considered to be some of the coolest looking 'Mechs.
  • Fragile Speedster: A common trait of Light 'Mechs, Lights in general tend to be fast, but cannot take heavy punishment.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Flamers. They do very little actual damage, but they heat up the enemy instead, forcing them to shut down.
  • Going Critical: An occupational hazard for any 'Mech that either sustains too much damage to its center torsonote  or simply overheats badly enough.note  Exploding fusion reactors tend to damage or destroy anything nearby as well.
  • Gravity Screw: A common trait of "space" or lunar themed missions.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Present in almost every game, primarily on battlemech cockpits. As the mechs were designed for a boardgame where hitboxes don't matter, the mechs with huge canopies would be ludicrously easy to cockpit snipe, so the cockpit hitbox is traditionally only a small panel of glass directly in front of where the pilot would be sitting. Particularly glaring on mechs with side windows like the Raven or Catapult, which in most games can only be headshot from the front.
  • Hitscan: Pretty much all laser weapons are hit-scan.
  • Hold the Line: A common mission objective.
  • Homing Projectile: Missiles, Streaks, Long Range Missiles, and the Arrow IV in particular.
  • Informed Equipment: In the first two games, the technology wasn't advanced enough to show details for weapons of any kind on the 'Mech models. In 3 and 4, the graphics always depicted the stock weapons, regardless of what the 'Mech's actual configuration is. Living Legends and Online avert this.
  • Lead the Target: Required when using any weapon except lasers and missiles that are fired after obtaining a lock, specially over great distances.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Pretty much any dedicated Long Range Missile LRM unit will fit this trope. The Developers of MWO have gone so far as to invoke it by name.
  • Made of Explodium: Buildings and vehicles in the games tend to explode with suspicious frequency, In MW3, this included trees, radio towers, vehicles and pieces of scrap scattered about also fall into this category.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: The on-board computer in all the games to varying degrees. In 2, she speaks with noticeable gaps in her speech: "Planet A Place... ambient temperature Exty degrees". 3, 4 and Online have relatively smooth voices, and a much more human voice. In Living Legends, Betty had pauses in her speech "Base [ECHO].. [FIVE] Under Attack." "Right external [DAMAGED]"
  • Mighty Glacier: Assault 'Mechs generally fall onto this category when they aren't fast enough for another.
  • Min-Maxing: Where there is unit customization and player progression there will be Munchkins, this may lead to Crippling Overspecialization if the player is not careful.
  • More Dakka: A standard for ballistic units.
  • Non-Indicative Name: In latter games, double heatsinks are rarely ever truly double for the sake of balance. In Living Legends, double heatsinks are 200% efficient but the 10 fixed engine heatsinks are always singles. In Online, only the fixed engine double heatsinks are 200% efficient, whereas those placed outside the engine are only 140% efficient.
  • Oh, Crap!: A common occurrence in cutscenes. Watch the trailer for what would eventually become MechWarrior Online. It appears that is exactly what the guy is thinking at 1:07. Possibly a Call-Back to the opening of MechWarrior 3, where a similar thing happens at 1:40.
  • Overheating: As with the mainline Battletech content, 'mechs can overheat if you fire off your weapons faster than your heatsinks can dump waste heat. Some games even let you override the emergency shutdown that's meant to stop you from moving or fighting until your heat levels normalize, at your own risk.
  • Power Armor: The Battle suited infantry that appear throughout the series.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: 3-Liner really. The power-up sequence from MechWarrior 2 has become iconic in its own right, and has appeared in every game since.
  • Press X to Die: You have a self destruct command. In most of the games, using it just forces you to start the same mission again. It can potentially have use in Mercenaries and multiplayer though.
  • Private Military Contractors: A feature of the setting, pretty much every nation in the Inner Shpere uses Mercenaries on a regular basis.
  • Rage Helm: The Atlas and Banshee assault mechs are almost always portrayed with a Demonic or scary Death's-Head Skull motif around their heads/cockpits Example
  • Real Robot Genre: What this franchise is all about, one of the earliest examples in fact.
  • Recycled Title: Three entries in the series including two stand-alone expansion packs have the Mercenaries subtitle.
  • Reporting Names: Clan 'Mechs have different designations in the Inner Sphere. For example, the "Timber Wolf" is referred to by Inner Sphere soldiers as "Mad Cat", and the "Dire Wolf" becomes "Daishi". This leads to confusion when going from MechWarrior 2 (which uses Clan names) to MechWarrior 3, 4 or Living Legends (which use Inner Sphere names) and then back to MechWarrior: Online that started using Clan names again. Humorously, the special Clan Collections are referred to by their Inner Sphere names, named for the 'Mech you get along with the rest. This continued in further waves unless of course the 'Mech in question has just one name (the Shadow Cat for example).
    • MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries is the most interesting that uses both instances, Instant Action, they're called by their original names as they had in the previous two games in the trilogy but in the campaign, the Clan units initially show up as "Unknown" but then starts using the Inner Sphere monikers after you've had your first taste with Marauder Catapult hybrids.
    • Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries makes brief use of the Clan names when the player is participating in a Clan Trial. When the enemy 'Mech pilots identify themselves as per the Trial ritual, as Clan warriors all use the Clan designations when naming the Battlemechs they're using.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: BattleTech: Firestorm has much higher damage and 'Mech speed compared to MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries which it uses the engine of. If it's your first time playing, be prepared to see that respawning wormhole effect a lot.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Yet another feature of the setting. The Protaganists of both MechWarrior and MechWarrior 4 ''Vengance'' fit this trope.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Even the longest ranged weapons on a 'Mech tend to have maximum ranges of around 1 kilometer. In real life, even the lowly machine gun would be capable of damaging at least soft targets at that distance. In turn, the effective ranges of tank cannons and naval guns, real world equivalents to autocannon, extend to at least 1 km and frequently several times that distance. Missiles, meanwhile, frequently have a minimum range of around a kilometer.
  • Shows Damage: The series uses this trope extensively:
    • Color change: The wireframe mech display in MechWarrior 2 changes from blue to two other colors to depict damage against the mech.
    • Particle emit: 'Mechs start to emit smoke and sometimes even visible flames when they are heavily damaged.
    • Real signs of damage:
      • In MechWarrior 3, 'Mechs show exposed wires when damage is focused on certain areas, and taking head damage can cause fractures on the cockpit glass along with a quite loud and surprising "*CHING*". MechWarrior 4 uses scorch marks instead.
      • Limbs (and in MechWarrior 4, missile racks as well as various gun mounts) can be blown off entirely, leaving only twisted bits of metal and wiring hanging from the stump. Severed limbs are actually capable of crushing unlucky/oblivious Battle Armor players in Living legends. The Uziel in Living Legends has its armored torso panels fall off when the armor is destroyed.
      • Since both legs need to be destroyed in Mechwarrior 4 in order to score a kill, 'Mechs with a single leg destroyed will visibly limp, their maximum speed reduced to a crawl.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: The first game, MechWarrior, is a type five, nearly a Wide-Open Sandbox. The two Mercenaries games are a type 4; you can choose different missions, and you sometimes have moral choices to make, but the game has a plot and requires you to do the plot to unlock certain Mechs in the marketplace. The rest of the series fit between a type 2 or 3, with a set progression, though they sometimes offer moral choices which may effect what missions you can do. Living Legends and Online have no scale, as they are exclusively multiplayer games.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: Overlaps with Attack Its Weak Point, Cockpit kills are exceptionally quick but difficult to pull off due to the tiny hitboxes and the mechs bobbing around.
  • Some Dexterity Required: As would be appropriate when operating a Real Robot, there are a lot of controls. Depending on the game, default controls can be very silly — Mechwarrior 4 required most of the keyboard.
  • Southpaw Advantage: The vast majority of non-symmetrical mechs are 'right handed', wielding most of their firepower on their right arm or right torso, which effects everything from weapon convergence to cover. A small handful of mechs like the 75 ton 'Thanatos' are left-handed, carrying their largest weapon on their left side. Great for attacking from unexpected angles, but terrible for attacking with right-handed allies who only need to expose their right half around a corner to open fire.
  • Spell My Name With An S: "Mechwarrior" is just one word, and the "W" is capitalized when used in titles. Also, the short-term for for BattleMech (or others such as OmniMech, IndustrialMech, etc.) is 'Mech with a quotation mark, not Mech.
  • Spheroid Dropship: A feature of the setting.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Army: Another feature of the setting
  • Subsystem Damage: See Attack Its Weak Point above.
  • Target Spotter: TAG lasers and NARC missile beacons allow players to guide in allied missiles. In Living Legends, the TAG is infrared and can only be seen in nightvision mode, can also be wielded by power armor, and is particularly useful for guiding in Arrow IV cruise missile from beyond visual range. Some games allow players to share radar; in Living Legends, C3 computers share your radar with all allies within 1500 meters, while in Online all mechs can share info on whatever they currently have targeted so long as they are not being jammed by ECM.
    • Certain assets in Living Legends are built around this as their defining characteristic. The Owens, for example, is always equipped with a TAG and the above mentioned C3 Radar Chain. Others are purpose built variants like the "Evil Eye" Hawkmoth which is equipped with an Improved NARC, a TAG and a few Machine Guns for backup.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Common, especially in the early games...
    • Computer controlled turrets are equipped with Hitscan weapons and Homing Projectiles that unerringly seek out your center torso.
    • At maximum difficulty, AI accuracy was not affected by "cockpit shake" and they never "dumbfired" LRM's. The AI will constantly nail you with long range weapons regardless of your moving speed.
    • They can also detect you through cover and around corners, where as players are limited to line-of-sight.
    • In most of the games, the AI will target and close with the player even when the player's Mech is powered down, behind several terrain features, and crouched among trees. Even if the player's lancemates are blasting them apart.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Alpha Strikes tend to kill anything they're focused on — including occasionally the firing Mech, from excessive heat buildup.
  • Unbreakable Weapons:Subverted. Guns jam, take damage, ammo will cook off.
  • Vertical Mecha Fins: In every game they appear, the Awesome and Mauler have massive slabs of titanium armor extending above their head. The Mauler complements this with a second set of fins framing the cockpit that make up its huge missile rackets.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Starting with MW3, players have been able to paint their mechs as part of the customization process.


    MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat 
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: The Clan hierarchy, with different Clan definitions for asskicking. In this game, the player rises through the ranks through Trials of Position - defeating one mech awards one rank, and defeating two mechs awards two ranks. Failing the arena trial is grounds for demotion (e.g. to the Technician caste.)
  • Cannon Fodder: Basically every non-Mech/DropShip enemy in the games; most die in a couple hits. The tanks in MW4:Mercenaries take it to the next level in that they almost never shoot at you; only in missions where you get attacked by dozens of them are they an actual threat.
  • Classic Cheat Code: Naming yourself "Calvin" in the Trial of Grievance (Instant Action) mode allows you to wear Elemental Battle Armor, conversely, "Hobbes" allows you to pilot the Tarantula and naming yourself "Enzo" allows you to pilot the Battlemaster IIC but doing so causes the game to crash to DOS then jump back to the shell. Name yourself "Freebirthtoad" in Sibko registration and you can play any mission of your choice.
  • Confusion Fu: Ragnarok in Ghost Bear's Legacy, who gets himself to the end of the Bloodname Trial and to True Final Boss status through his unpredictable fighting style.
  • Controllable Helplessness: If your leg is destroyed, your mech is now a stationary turret - if your weapon-containing criticals are also destroyed, you aren't even a turret. The most you can do is turn around, which makes it practically impossible to complete missions where you have to defeat enemies and return to a specifc point. Jump jets could make an exception.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Oddly combined with Cutscene Incompetence. The opening intro shows two Timber Wolves versus two Summoners. One of the Timber Wolves is already damaged, but dies in one missile hit. One of the Summoners also dies to two PPC shots. The remaining Timber Wolf lights up with its machine guns, damaging the remaining Summoner, before it levels its autocannon and destroys the Timber Wolf in one shot. Analysis: None of the weapons involved have the firepower to one-hit-kill a 'Mech without an extremely lucky shot, and the odds of four such shots occurring in a row is extremely slim. Even if we accept the Summoner's autocannon hit the Timber Wolf in the head, by default the Summoner carries an LB-10X autocannon, which cannot destroy a 'Mech's head in one hit. Finally, the second Timber Wolf switching to machine guns is just stupid. . . the Timber Wolf carries a ludicrous array of weapons in it's primary configuration, and while shooting off both PPCs would cause significant heat, it still has an array of missiles and medium lasers it could bring into play, both of which would have damaged the Summoner far more efficiently than machine guns. In fact, none of the MechWarriors seem capable of firing more than one weapon at a time, leading to the destruction of three 'Mechs in what should have been a Curb-Stomp Battle in the Timber Wolves favor (the Summoner is five tons lighter than the Timber Wolf, and somewhat underarmored and undergunned for a heavy 'Mech, especially by Clan standards, which tend to pack far more weapons into a 'Mech than it can ever hope to effectively use). The most likely explanation is that all the mechs had preexisting damage.
  • David Versus Goliath: The Jade Falcons have to duel one-on-one against the heavier Mechs while piloting the lighter one in the Urban Warfare-styled arena, with one notable (but thankfully optional) example with you piloting a 30-ton Kit Fox against the 85-ton Warhawk, and that's after surviving the earlier fight against the 70-ton Summoner (which is mandatory). The Final Trial has you piloting a 20-ton Fire Moth (a light Mech that will blow up if someone so much as looked at it) pitted against the 85-ton Marauder IIC and the optional 100-ton Direwolf, but it is somewhat easier than the previous trial above due to the Fire Moth's speed, maneuverability and a 90' degree torso twist compared to the Kit Fox's 10'.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The un-named instructor from the in-game tutorial, with his endless repertoire of patronizing remarks and snide put-downs. Overlaps with Deadpan Snarker.
    Instructor: Congratulations, Cadet you have successfully demonstrated the ability to do what I tell you to. I like that. My dog does what I tell her to. I like my dog.
  • Domed Hometown: In MW2's Clan Wolf campaign, you are tasked to secure, and then defend, one of these on the vacuumless moon. It is fragile, so watch where you shoot.
  • Escort Mission: There are several, but the most memorable is in the Wolf campaign where you are tasked to escort Josel Fetladral, the Aide-de-Camp, to the local opera house (in the middle of a war zone) with only the justification that "Josel Fetladral loves the opera".
  • False Flag Operation: The Ghost Bear's Legacy expansion originally makes it seem like the Draconis Combine stole the Ghost Bears' genetic legacies. They were framed by the Crusader Wolves, who are struggling to recover from the devastating Refusal War with the Jade Falcons.
  • Featureless Protagonist: The original campaigns are notable in that absolutely no characterization for the player whatsoever is offered, not even gender.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Fire Moth. No other Mech can reach its blinding speed. Even the second-speediest Mech in the game is, at best, half as fast as the Firemoth. Such speed comes at the price of also making it essentially useless in combat, as you need a big engine to get it anywhere close to its maximum speed and so end up with no tonnage left for armor. This 'Mech gets similar treatment in MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries (MekTek version), where it goes by its Inner Sphere reporting name; the Dasher.
  • Gender-Inclusive Writing: The dialogue generally refers to the player character with language that could apply to any gender, such as "freebirth scum" or "kid."
  • Guest-Star Party Member: A few missions in the Ghost Bear expansion have you fight alongside computer-controlled allies. Unlike the starmates from the original game (who are also available in some missions), you can't give them orders or choose what Mechs they'll pilot.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: The quit button is labeled FLEE TO WINDOWS. Clicking it opens a prompt titled EMBRACE COWARDICE? YES / NO.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: The training instructor from MechWarrior 2. He calls the keyboard a "control console", but... It's a keyboard; he even names a few of the keys, such as "Tab" and "F4".
  • Honor Before Reason: One of your CO's in Ghost Bear's Legacy is angry enough that you defied his orders so you could carry out your mission that the next mission is him challenging you to one-on-one combat. The mission briefing even includes his CO ineffectually chewing him out for letting his ego get in the way of the mission.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen:
    • The final antagonists in Ghost Bear's Legacy are The Crusader faction of Clan Wolf, who stole the Ghost Bears' genetic legacies. Clan Wolf was seriously depleted by the Refusal War, and they stole the Ghost Bears' legacies to try and restore their own.
    • Clan Smoke Jaguar is also shown to have been seriously damaged by their losses on Tukayyid. The game mentions that the Ghost Bears may consider a Trial of Absorption to assimilate the Jaguars, whose warriors are fierce and highly skilled despite their losses.
  • Interface Screw: your cameras go static if sensors on the Mech are damaged, though the rest of the HUD stays normal.
  • It's Up to You: This is the standard for missions, although losing your mech also means the palace you destroyed still stands. This also applies to the campaign, where failing Jade Falcon's final Trial of Position and you're told that there's not enough warriors (with you being demoted to technician caste despite already clearing many other missions) and that the clan will fall into obscurity, but if you pass you're told of how the clan will next plan for an attack on Terra.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Firemoth barely counts as target practice when encountered in missions, as the AI uses it like any other Mech, and any weapon at all will deplete its armor at alarming speed — when it doesn't kill it outright. However, it is frightfully effective when used by a competent player who can use its ridiculous speed and maneuverability to get in close, and unload multiple shots into the enemy's back and/or legs Here's an excellent example.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Because of how jump jets work in the MW2 games, any 'Mech equipped with them has the potential to be this. They are basically a near omni-directional Nitro Boost, performing VOTOMS-style maneuvers. The jets work the same way in Assault Tech 1: BattleTech, and they are hilariously buggy — AT1 simulates falling damage, so if you come down too hard you'll damage your legs and fall over, though sometimes it results in your mech sliding forward for all eternity at the speed you landed at, which may be 300kph. You can still fire and steer (sort of) while this is happening.
  • Mook Horror Show: The intro cinematic for Ghost Bear's Legacy features a lone Smoke Jaguar Mad Dog being torn apart by a Ghost Bear Kodiak during a scouting mission before falling victim to a Death from Above.
  • Redemption Equals Life: Honoring your agreement with a Draconis Combine general is the key to succeeding at one Ghost Bear mission, ignoring your Star Commander's orders to kill him. While you did the right thing, you also seriously violated Clan law and besmirched your Star Commander's honor by defying him, leading him to demand a Trial of Grievance. Winning the Trial removes the stain on your honor.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The plot of the Ghost Bear's Legacy Expansion Pack's campaign, culminating when you level a city to punish an enemy clan.
  • Schmuck Bait: In the Blade Splint mission, there is an innocuous looking building that, upon closer inspection, has a description of "Don't shoot me". Doing so nukes the entire city, killing all units in the area, yourself included.
  • Shout-Out: At the beginning of the intro, Alpha Assault's Timber Wolf crushes a skull beneath it's foot.
  • Spider Tank: The Tarantula, though due to technical limitations two of the 'Mechs's legs are in fact arms. Shooting the said "arms" off has no effect on the now-two-legged Tarantula's movement; and yet, only shooting one leg off causes the now-three-legged Tarantula to be unable to move. They haven't appeared in any later games.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: One Ghost Bear mission has you trying to capture a Draconis Combine general who has information you need. The general offers to transmit the information to your dropship in exchange for you withdrawing. Your Star Commander orders you to kill the general anyway. Following the order leads to your failing the mission, while honoring your agreement with the general lets you succeed.
  • Trial by Combat: Standard method of advancement for clan pilots. This is also how you redeem yourself for disobeying your Star Commander's orders in the Ghost Bear expansion.
  • Tournament Arc: If you beat Ghost Bear's Legacy without losing a single mission, you get to compete in a tournament to win the right to a blood name.
  • Unwinnable by Design: The final mission in Ghost Bear's Legacy requires you to jump jet inside an enemy dropship. Don't have jump jets equipped? Better restart the level.
  • Updated Re-release: The Mechwarrior 2 and its expansions, in addition to having specific versions for various 3D accelerator cards (many of which they were bundled with), were updated for Windows 95 with some improvements and then got another re-release in the form of Titanium Trilogy, whose major changes to the original MW2 were not well received.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: With enough skill, you can kill your instructor in the tutorial.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: One of the Ghost Bear missions has a general from the Draconis Combine offering to transmit the information you need to your dropship if you back off and let him live. Your Star Commander Edwin Bekker orders you to kill the Draconis general anyway, which causes you to fail the mission. You succeed at the mission if you disobey Bekker, and the next mission is his challenging you to a Trial of Grievance. The voice dialogue at the start of that mission has Bekker's own commanding officer cussing him out for nearly ruining the Clan's entire quest.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Unlike the Jade Falcons in the David Versus Goliath example, the Wolves don't use such extreme tonnage disparity, instead putting you alone against Mech pairs on a relatively open arena.

    MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries 
  • Broken Pedestal / Dirty Coward: Later, as you progress through the plot, checking the news channel reveals of a misadventure involving Sergeant Unther (your former instructor in the Hanson's Roughriders unit), who at the time was working for the Tri-M Mercenary Academy, and six green MechWarriors he took under his wing. During a supposedly routine training course in the planet Sinope, he faced an unexpectedly heavy artillery assault and was able to eject out of his Mech after sustaining intolerable damage. He managed to escape aboard a DropShip barely alive. Unfortunately, he had no time to teach his six inexperienced cadets in his lance how to eject from their Mechs and left them to die in the field. He would later be court-martialed and imprisoned indefinitely for his act of cowardice.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The dynamic salvage system allows you to salvage any 'Mech you can disable without doing excessively damaging (by Sniping the Cockpit, for example). It was occasionally possible to capture an Atlas in one of the early missions, dramatically snapping much of the combat challenge over a giant metal knee. Such a prize would be hard-won, though: you had to kill said Atlas first, and unless you killed it with a headshot or by shooting off both its heavily armored legs, it would very likely be unsalvageable.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: One of the story missions begins with you 'Mechjacking a 100-ton Kodiak assault 'mech from a Ghost Bear repair facility and smashing your way back to your Dropship.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: There seems to be some confusion of the spelling of Hansen's Roughriders in the game. BattleTech lore always spelled the first word of the unit with an 'e' between the 's' and 'n'. In the game, however, it's spelled with an 'o' instead of an 'e'.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: If you fail or otherwise abort any of the missions during either the Liezen or Sigurd campaigns, your player character either dies to exposure to outer space or gets re-captured and being forced to work under brutally hard labor by the Clans in which your character cannot withstand the conditions and eventually passes away. This immediately ends your career and takes you back to the main menu.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The player character's journal portrays him as mostly snarky and unimpressed with the politics and causes he fights for, and he frequently complains about battlefield conditions. That is, until the climactic battle of Luthien, capital of the Draconis Combine. At that point he becomes deadly serious, because if the Combine falls then likely the entire Inner Sphere will follow.
  • Private Military Contractors: The player's character leads/joins a squad of these.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Your Dropship pilot in the opening cinematic.
    Pilot: You are out of time! I'm not getting paid enough to die! Secure for orbital burn!
  • Sergeant Rock: Your instructor from the Hansen's Roughriders campaign, Sergeant "Deadeye" Unther. He's known to be quite enthusiastic of his job, tends to be dry in his humor, and has shades of a Sociopathic Soldier.

    MechWarrior 3 
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Well, from BattleTech reality, that is. Several of the Mech types you face and can salvage (the Champion, Annihilator, and Orion) are canonically not OmniMechs, and as such have specific limits on what kinds of weapons they can carry and where they are mounted on the Mech. None of this stops you from duct-taping any weapon you want onto any Mech you salvage, provided it has the weight and critical space available. Refitting a non-OmniMechs chassis with new weapons, armor, or limbs also canonically takes hours or days with a designated facility - here replacing an entire limb and reconfiguring a Mech's entire weapons, armor, and equipment loadout can be done in the field between one mission and the next, even if the missions immediately follow one another, and the mobile field bases can completely repair any missing armor on your Mech in less than twenty seconds. You can also instantly swap out sizes of fusion engines (a multi-day or even -week task for battlemechs and canonically impossible for OmniMechs) while preparing for a mission.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Enemies tend to ignore you if you are further away than 800 meters and they have no weapons that can shoot you. So, you can stack ER Large Lasers and snipe off 80-90% of the enemies without any risk. Almost boring.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work / Non-Protagonist Resolver: According to the novelization, the Smoke Jaguars weren't completely eliminated by Damocles Commando, but making them look vulnerable enough to the Clan Wolf forces who control most of the planet means that as Damocles is getting out of town, Clan Wolf is already moving in on them and issuing batchalls to the remaining Jaguar forces.
  • Big Bad: Smoke Jaguar Galaxy Commander Brendon Corbett.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the novelization, Alan Matilla rolls in with his Sunder right when Damocles Lance is really on the ropes.
  • Canon Immigrant: The entirety of this game's campaign could be argued as being canon after the Loren L. Coleman novel, Trial Under Fire was published, quoting most of the game word-for-word with some original dialogue and using the Pirate's Moon names of Connor Sinclair for the protagonist and Thomas Sorenson for the MFB intelligence officer.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Various neutral buildings, bridges, trees, and civilian vehicles can be destroyed. You can even blow gaping craters in the ground if you so desire, something that none of the other games have managed to recreate since.
  • Enemy Chatter: After the first mission, your Mobile Field Base uses data from the Clan communications center you just destroyed to break their radio encryption so for the rest of the game you get direct feed of their intentions, allowing you to anticipate traps and strategies. Sadly this is not carried over to Pirate's Moon.
  • Failed a Spot Check: During the intro cinematic, a Mad Cat pilot has a truly spectacular bout of tunnel vision and manages to run their 'Mech right up to an Atlas which is otherwise standing by itself in a fairly open field, with predictably explosive results. Since the Smoke Jaguars are known for unthinking brutality and bloodlust in battle, often to their own detriment, this pilot is a true exemplar of the Clan.
  • Fake Town: At the end of the first operation, the player is supposed to destroy a Mech factory. Turns out it is a wooden decoy, and you don't get to wreck the real factory until Operation 2. The novelization even refers to the Potemkin villages by name.
  • Goomba Stomp: The (in)famous "Death From Above", or DFA. Nearly impossible to manage but results in hilarious physics-defying glitches and instant death to your enemies.
  • Hammerspace: The Mobile Field Bases can carry 300 tons of equipment, plus two stripped-down 'Mechs of any weight class. Each. Keep in mind they're roughly the same size as your 'Mech.
  • Interface Screw: Taking PPC damage, reaching the meltdown warning while Overheating, and taking severe Center Torso or Head damage will fill your HUD elements with static, the radar in particular having the markers flit about
  • Hartman Hips: Epona Rhi, at least if her lancemate Alan Mattila is to be believed. Epona is not amused by the suggestion.
    Alan: Love you too, Epona, wide hips an' all!
    Epona: What?! What did you say?
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Keith Andrews, who was on his own and essentially running and hiding from overwhelming numbers of enemy forces, lobs some Arrow IV artillery missiles (in the novelization, saving the lance from being overwhelmed by enemy 'Mechs) from off-map. His position is exposed as a result and he gets cornered and Killed Offscreen.
  • Mook Chivalry: Toyed with. Any 'Mechs close by will gang up on you (in a violation of Clan honor rules), but even though they have a general idea where you are, the groups are spread out enough that you can pick them off without having to face ten or twenty enemies at a time. Subverted offscreen with the main body of the Clan forces, as the rest of the Damocles task force gets savaged and almost wiped out by the main body of the Jaguar forces.
  • Moving the Goalposts: After being relieved of command by Corbett, Ratache Osis saddles up in his Mech and challenges your lance to a fight for a shuttle that can take you off the planet. After you kill Osis, Corbett radios you and says that he's not going to honor Osis's deal, as Osis didn't have the authority to make it.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Pirate's Moon expansion pack is very much so. Even the pirate Mooks have access to to advanced technology and 'Mechs like the Annihilator resulting in some unexpectedly tough fights.
    • At least two missions in 3 result in a short-range duel with extremely nasty opponents; the first appearance of an Annihilator traps you in a small factory room with it, while the third-to-last mission features the only two salvageable Daishis in the game lurking inside a tiny space along with your mission objective.
  • One-Man Army: The epilogue notes that you and your single lance of Mechs (with the support crew) effectively managed to singlehandedly destroy the entire military infrastructure of Corbett's faction of the Smoke Jaguars. Just the four of you managed to pull off what an entire task force couldn't manage otherwise. This is played with, though, as a massive army of angry Clanners (who are chasing you down after obliterating the rest of your task force) are hot on your heels.
  • The Remnant: Clan Smoke Jaguar has been devastated by Task Force SERPENT on Huntress and Task Force BULLDOG in the Inner Sphere. You're just there to take out what's left on Tranquil. It shows in-game - while most of the enemy Mechs you'll face are the Clans' feared OmniMechs, most of them are actually Inner Sphere designs that were salvaged by the Smoke Jaguars, and they're throwing every Mech they can at you.
  • Run or Die: In multiple cases. You may have crippled the Jaguars' warmaking ability and killed their commander, but you still have to flee the planet (and ditch your 'Mechs) because there's still a large amount of Clanners on the planet. There's also a large group of Jaguar ships coming towards the planet with reinforcements, meaning your battered task force needs to skip town before they get there - leaving you behind if necessary.
  • Salt the Earth: Basically the entire point you're on Tranquil. Task Force SERPENT judged that enough Smoke Jaguar military forces and enough industrial capacity were on Tranquil to possibly rebuild the Clan and tasked Damocles Commando with destroying them.
  • Shooting Gallery: In one of the missions you attack an enemy training facility that includes a Humongous Mecha-scale version of this trope. It's possible to walk your lance into it without realizing it, then start shooting when you realize you're surrounded by 'enemy contacts.'
  • The Starscream: Toyed with by Corbett. While ilKhan Lincoln Osis is on Strana Mechty fighting the Great Refusal, Corbett sent out a message for all remaining Smoke Jaguar forces to come to him instead of Strana Mechty to regroup and rebuild the Clan. It's never made explicit that he intended to usurp control of the Clan, but enemy chatter indicates that after Osis's death, Corbett's next in line for Khan.
  • Superweapon Surprise: They knew the Clanners had advanced technology. They didn't know they had Warship-class laser emplacements on the planet, which are capable of fragging a ship in orbit.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: The set-up for the single player campaign, on multiple levels. You're invading a planet in Clan space, hundreds of light-years away from the Inner Sphere and home, but you're also cut off from the main body of the commando force. Your initial drop insertion goes awry when Warship-class lasers on the surface shoot down your dropship and you're left using whatever you can steal or salvage to survive. The first three operations see you linking up with other survivors of your force and completing your mission objectives; the fourth is about both completing the mission and finding a way offplanet as you attack the starport; the final operation is basically all about frantically searching for a way to escape the planet before enemy reinforcements arrive after the starport is empty.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: In the third game, it is possible to destroy a mission's objective from the previous map, making it impossible to do later.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Not intentionally, but from a practical standpoint there was no point in the main campaign where you were going to deploy a Clan Ultra AC 20. You would face several enemy 'Mechs with them, and salvage them too, but it was extremely unlikely you would recover enough ammunition to ever make one useful for a whole mission. Over the course of a whole campaign you might end up with as little as three rounds recovered for the CUAC 20; if you were lucky, maybe as many as fifteen.
  • We Have Reserves: Ratache Osis orders his men to breach some tanks holding incredibly corrosive waste to take you out, which would have killed not only you and his men, but also a large number of Clan laborers. Rather stupid, as he really doesn't have the forces to spare.
  • You Have Failed Me: Corbett threatens his deputy Ratache Osis with not only his death, but the death of his genetic legacy if he fails to eliminate your group. He repeatedly fails, so Corbett relieves him of command, presumably intending to have him executed later, but Osis takes to the field himself to try to take you out. Whether this is Suicide by Cop or a last-ditch attempt to redeem himself is unclear.

    MechWarrior 4: Vengeance 
  • All There in the Manual: Gamespy had a number of articles about the background of the characters, explaining things like why Ian was sent away from home. The site has shut down years ago, but Wayback Machine still has copies archived.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Your lancemates never use repair bays — only MFB's. At least one Black Knight mission with no time limit allowed you to circumvent this by ordering them to shut down... and then using your Mech to push them in.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The opening missions of MechWarrior 4 take place on a lunar surface, in near-perfect vacuum. Heat is not an issue apparently because Space Is Cold. Realistically, a vacuum environment would probably be the worst possible place for a heat sink to operate. While it is true that Battletech heat sinks function very differently from modern heat sinks, the mechanism they are said to use to cool 'Mechs would still function extremely inefficiently in vacuum (and indeed, per tabletop rules, operating in a vacuum is disastrous to your heat sinks' efficiency).
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobody in Steiner command listens to Vanda Castro, even though she's the only one who is giving sound tactical advice and not grossly underestimating the threat posed by the player. Lampshaded by the player and their operations officer after Operation 5-1.
  • Charged Attack: Bombast lasers, with the complication that they "fizzle" if charged too long.
  • Determinator: The Mechwarrior Guard Captain from the intro movie of MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, when he sees why no-one has been answering his radio calls:
  • Deadpan Snarker: Casey Nolan from the Vengeance campaign is a bit of one, as well is the player character in Black Knight. These two engage is some Snarkto Snark Combat in the latter campaign when Casey shows up as a boss.
    Casey: Punch out now and I'll give you a job... scrubbing toilets.
    Eric McClair: Thanks. I'll pass.
  • Enemy Chatter: A not insignificant portion of the plot between missions is delivered via intercepted communications between named Steiner characters, courtesy of Steiner encryption codes the player's forces pulled out of the lunar communications facility destroyed in the very first mission. Amusingly enough, Mission Control mentions during a briefing two missions before the end of the campaign that Steiner forces finally wised up to their long-range comms being intercepted and are employing countermeasures, which is why there are no more for the rest of the game (not that there are many left alive by that point anyway, the game's subtitle being what it is).
  • Epic Fail: Roland decides to restore order on Kentares 4 by ordering large-scale massacres of civilians who may or may not be involved in resistance to the Steiner occupation. Anyone who knows anything about the planet's history should know that this is the worst possible decision he could have made to quell the unrest, something that Vanda Castro explicitly tells him.
  • Exploding Barrels: Fuel tanks, APU's, and Drop Ships deal significant damage and overheat nearby targets when they explode. 'Mechs also do this when they get destroyed.
  • Eye Beams: The Cyclops has an energy hardpoint which allows you to shoot frickin' laser beams out of its eye!
  • Face–Heel Turn: Thrust upon Ian Dresari and his team to set up the Black Knight expansion pack.
  • Going Critical: Unlike other games in the franchise 'Mechs in MW4 always go critical when their center torso is destroyed. The explosion is fairly small, but very damaging. You can still salvage some of them, though.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The music track "Mystic" has this in the first minute.
  • Inescapable Ambush: The final mission in of the single-play campaign is a nasty one. After going through two lances of Heavy and Assault mechs and an active DropShip, you're presented with an Unskippable Cutscene that always leaves you by yourself, facing away from William's Daishi in your possibly-badly-damaged 'Mech. Making it worse, he's at his long optimal range and has a direct shot at you the instant the cutscene is over. Hope you didn't bring a 'Mech geared for close-range fighting. If the fight were more equitable it would be a lot less of a pain, though this is partly excused by its being a Boss Fight.
    • This gets worse in Black Knight when Major Dupree appears and she snipes all of your lancemates, forcing you to fight her one-on-one.
  • Interface Screw: Taking PPC damage briefly scrambles your HUD elements while Overheating causes them to flicker erratically. Taking severe Head damage will cause both of the previous effects as well as disable light amplification and zoom.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Said by the protagonist of Black Knight instead of stating his affiliation during the first few missions involving Kentares rebels if he chooses to go out of his way to assist them.
    Eric: We're just passing through. Thought you could use a hand.
    Damon Squire: Ah, thanks. What unit are you with? I don't recognize the insignia.
    Eric: Like I said: just passing through. Maybe you'll return the favor someday.
    • And in a late mission, it gets said right back at him. By the same person, no less!
    Damon: Looks like you guys're gonna need a hand. Squire One, requesting permission to join attack.
    Eric: Granted. Thanks for the hand.
    Damon: Just passing through. Looked like you could use the help. The KFA knows a thing or two about payback.
    Eric: (chuckles) Roger. Let's break 'em.
  • Live-Action Cutscene: Live-action actors are used for character portraits in mission briefings and for cutscenes.
  • Multiple Endings: You can choose between two penultimate missions, which influences which ending you get. The Black Knight events happen if you do not save your sister.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Seemingly averted, as the Black Knight expansion is premised on Ian having left his sister to die and taken the throne for himself at the conclusion of the original game. Zig-zagged in the expanded universe, where his subsequent characterization as a tyrant is said to be Steiner propaganda.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: In the Black Knight expansion pack you are up against Ian Dresari, the Player Character from Vengeance
  • Rival Final Boss: In the final mission, you first need to take out the defenses of the palace and the dropship on which the Big Bad intends to escape. Once you're done, your lancemates leave, and you get a cutscene after which you have to take out your Puppet Duke cousin.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The protagonist is from a royal family and is seeking to restore legal rule to his planet (and the final battle is with his cousin).
    Casey: I guess you're not one of those royals who let the rest of us do the heavy lifting.
  • Sadistic Choice: There's one near the end of the Vengence campaign. You can either save your sister or leave her to die in order to raid a weapons cache to help in the final battle. The choice you make determines the ending. It's actually not much of a choice. The weapons cache is very well defended, so if you have enough equipment to capture it, you probably don't need what's in it anyway.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Some of the mission briefings tend towards this.
  • Shout-Out: A mecha fighting a sea ship called Thunderchild? Sounds familiar...
  • Sink the Lifeboats: How Sir Peter dies, courtesy of Burke.
  • Smug Snake: Almost all of the Steiner command staff fit this trope, but especially William Dresari.
  • Special Effect Branding: Appears in a very specific variation, which features technology from both the Inner Sphere and the invading Clans. Inner Sphere lasers fire red energy beams, but in spite of using identical technology (albeit extended to longer ranges), Clan laser beams are bright green. This makes it very easy to tell what kind of loadout an opponent is using based on what color of laser you see flashing past your cockpit viewscreen. This extends into their pulse laser technology, where you can also find red Inner Sphere-origin pulse lasers, green Clan-made ones, and Inner Sphere-built experimental blue 'X-pulse' weapons. The advent of the Mektek Mekpaks includes the amber-orange Clan-designed heavy laser to the mix. This breaks down to the primary colors, red and blue, being Inner Sphere technology, while the secondary colors, green and orange, denote Clan technology. Averted in the other games, in which comparable Clan and Inner Sphere weaponry are visually identical, as both use red-green-blue lasers, with blue being the most powerful.
  • It's Personal: Goes without saying for Vengeance, but also applies to the second half of Black Knight after most of the Legion is wiped out in an ambush by their own Steiner clients Ian made a desperate backroom deal with. It gets to the point where during the city missions on Kentares, Eric explicitly refuses to call in rebel reinforcements to rub it under the noses of Ian and his Steiner allies just who is coming to end them.
  • The Unfought: Vanda Castro only appears if Ian chooses to storm the armory rather than save his sister. Considering the Black Knight campaign chooses to follow the armory ending, it's likely that Castro is still dead in that continuity.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Taking care of your lancemates in the fourth game helps you get a slight edge in later missions. Additionally, the penultimate mission offers you the chance to rescue your sister, allowing her to assume the Kentares throne instead of you.
  • You Are in Command Now: Both Vengeance and Black Knight sees their respective player character ending up in command of their faction after their commanding officer is killed. In Vengeance, Sir Peter is killed by Burke covering Jules' retreat when Burke blasts his escape pod, leaving Ian in command as the only known survivor of the royal family; in Black Knight the Colonel is killed by a PPC shot through the cockpit during the Steiner ambush on the Black Knights' base camp and Mission Control is killed on the ground, leaving Eric as the highest-ranking officer still alive due to having been out on patrol at the time.

    MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries 
  • Alliance Meter: Shows the player's approval ratings with the Steiner and Davion factions, though in most cases it ends up being irrelevant to the player's ultimate choice of faction. Notably, the game has both an Alliance Meter and a Karma Meter (see below).
  • All There in the Manual: The backstory for Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries. It's set during the Fedcom Civil War, a sprawling event with a lot of fronts that the player is only briefly acquainted with. Without some knowledge of the background, a lot of characters' movements won't seem to make a lot of sense (especially Victor Davion's insistence on not leading the charge against Katrina). It helps that Spectre is a consummate mercenary most of the time; he's here for the payday, not the politics which lets the player skip over the fluff. Perhaps the most important thing that's missing: who the "good guy" is (hint: Katrina assassinated a child and her own mother for her throne and also the paramour of her brother, the rightful heir, just to spite him).
  • Announcer Chatter: Duncan Fisher, the voice of Solaris VII, beloved by fans. The Living Legends team was able to get the original voice actor, George Ledoux, to reprise the role for the introduction of the Solaris Arena game mode in patch 0.5.0, Piranha Games got him to appear for the Solaris Arena mode in Mechwarrior Online, and he even migrated to the tabletop, with Catalyst Game Labs getting him to voice trailer for the Solaris-themed Essentials Box, over twenty years after Mechwarrior 4 was released.
  • Arch-Enemy: Burr's Black Cobras may take this role in opposition to your company, depending on how you interact with them. Destroying Lieutenant Dunman's lance in the Industry Raid mission on Halloran V leads to Dragonfly attacking you during the last Halloran V mission. This culminates in a firefight with Colonel Burr on Wernke, which will see you grossly outnumbered and possibly outgunned.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Of the non-humorous kind. When the player is midway through the Solaris championship, Duncan Fisher will start to talk about a competitor who is "both a merc and a Solaris jock" during some matches. He's not talking about you.
  • BFG: In the MekTek version of 4: Mercenaries, you can mount a railgun on certain assault 'mechs. Said railgun is apparently very large in comparison to literally everything else in a BattleMech's potential arsenal, as it is not only the heaviest and hardest-hitting weapon in the game, but also the one that takes the most slots by itself. The only 'mechs who can mount this monster of a gun have the designated hardpoint so large and lightly armored, it's pretty easy to destroy.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All three endings reference the impending Word of Blake jihad, the first shots of which will be fired within months of the game's conclusion. Additionally, the Steiner path endings force the player to choose between serving their chosen cause at the cost of abandoning their unit, or remaining with their unit but giving up on the plan to rescue Katrina (rendering the unit's sacrifices in the previous campaign moot).
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the New Exford arc, you have the option to engage the Clan invasion force in a Trial of Possession, pitting his mechs against theirs in a fair fight for the fate of the planet. Or, he can call them up, agree to the Trial, and then attack the night before it's scheduled to go off, catching half of their pilots in the barracks. (For bonus points, load up on a long-ranged weapon and announce your presence by destroying their barracks.)
  • Canon Immigrant: MekTek's 40-ton Arctic Wolf, as and 85-ton Deimos, were later made part of canon BattleTech.
  • The Cavalry: You and your lancemates sometimes take this role, charging to the rescue of allied units facing overwhelming odds. In one instance, should you succeed in saving them, the unit you rescue will return the favor in a subsequent mission.
  • Character Narrator: The opening and ending videos for MW4: Mercs implies that the entire game is a series of stories told by an older Spectre some time after the Word of Blake Jihad. Helps to explain all the canon discrepancies.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Mission Control will start bleeping in on the comms when you're not completing your objectives or in combat with any enemy units for an extended amount of time. Will happen often when you're taking the time to push your shutdown lancemates to repair stations they don't know how to use.
    • Duncan Fisher will pretty much call you a pussy if you try this in any of the Solaris matches.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Front and center on the main between-missions screen is a news display. Most articles discuss events elsewhere in the FedCom Civil War, with the occasional reference to the impeding jihad by the Word of Blake.
      • Some of these bulletins take the form of notices sent directly to the player from their sponsor unit. Each such notice is addressed to the player from a character who canonically served with the unit in question. One such character even talks to the player over the comm during a late game Davion mission.
    • The Clans play a minimal role in the game, encountered only during a single short campaign and in one of the two possible endings to the Steiner path. However, each time they are encountered, Clan warriors will invoke the name of the appropriate Khannote  when challenging the player to battle, and will use Clan rather than Inner Sphere Reporting Names for their 'Mechs. Phelan Kell and Clan-Wolf-in-Exile are also mentioned in both the Davion and Steiner/Wolf endings. Named Clan warriors are also given previously established Bloodnames, usually from the Jade Falcons or Wolves as appropriate, though some of Spectre's opponents in his climactic Trial of Position with Clan Wolf have names originating with other Clans.
    • Some missions contain unique dialogue depending on the player's initial choice of sponsor unit. These are generally references to historic rivals/enemies of said unit, or in one case an acknowledgement that the player is currently working directly for one of the units in question.
  • Dark Horse Victory: When Spectre wins his first Solaris match, he is enough of an unknown that Duncan Fisher has to pause and look up his name before announcing him as the winner.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: In-universe, Duncan Fisher refers to the player character as one.
  • Escort Mission: A number appear. Lampshaded in one such mission early on, where Spectre becomes so frustrated with the equally foolish and demanding behavior of the convoy he's assigned to protect that he threatens to shoot them himself if they don't keep moving towards their destination. Additionally, in the opening cutscene he all but relishes the prospect of "running this route from the other point of view"note  if his current employers default on payment. Subverted whenever Spectre is tasked with defending dropshipsnote  or VIPs who are themselves piloting Battlemechs - most notably Peter Steiner-Davion, who shows up in a 100 ton Fafnir.
  • Faction-Specific Endings: One each for the Steiner and Davion factions, plus a third ending in which the player and his unit strike off on their own.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The sole instance in which the player encounters a minefield is on a mission against Clan Jade Falcon, despite the Clans being perhaps the least likely faction to use mines. Similarly, Jade Falcon warriors in game are just as likely as any other opponent to concentrate fire on a single target - even during the Trial of Possession - despite such tactics being expressly against Clan customs.
  • Golden Ending: The Davion ending, which sees the player on the winning side of the FedCom Civil War after a climactic campaign in which the odds are always on their side. The Steiner path endings force the player to choose between their cause and their unit, this after a campaign culminating in a mission against nearly overwhelming odds.
  • Good Pays Better: When presented with a choice between a Noble mission and an Infamous mission the Noble mission is often more difficult and has less up-front pay but pays off better overall:
    • On New Exeter, Beach Fight earns you the game's best pilot, whom you don't have to pay, and a guaranteed salvage Mad Cat Mk.II to put her in. Backstab won't get you the pilot and only has a chance to get the mech.
    • On Styk, rescuing Hammer Lance during Reinforcement will have them come back to help you during Peace Talks. Further, doing Peace Talks unlocks Evacuation, which doesn't pay any C-Bills but has incredible guaranteed salvage usually consisting of at least three heavy mechs. Assassination does not unlock this secondary mission.
    • On the whole, siding with the noble Davion over the infamous Steiner results in the Golden Ending, with Spectre and his unit becoming famous and extremely well-paid honor guards. The neutral ending involves siding with Steiner but betraying her to claim a freehold for yourself, while the worst ending involves following Katherine's plan all the way through and abandoning your unit to become a Clan Wolf Mauve Shirt.
  • It's Personal:
    • Castle has it out bad for Clanners, and sounds quite vindictive during the New Exford campaign. Understandable seeing as they orphaned her in the 3050 invasion and also reduced her nation, the Free Rasalhague Republic, to a pitiful handful of worlds. She also flips her lid if you take the leading star colonel as bondsman.
    • Burr's Black Cobras can develop into an It's Personal enemy for the player's unit, depending on the actions of the player in the first mission in which they are encountered. If the player chooses to destroy the Black Cobra lance in that mission, subsequent missions against them will be characterized by the Cobras' desire for revenge,note  with the final battle between the two companies being described as "settling this grudge match once and for all." Averted, however, if the player chooses to simply complete the objectives in the original mission and allow both sides to withdraw — to the point that the final battle against the Cobras is preceded by an Info Dump from Castle, describing them as if the player had never encountered them before.
    • The player's lancemates will sometimes express disgust and/or genocidal attitudes towards different enemy factions.
    • The player character himself will sometimes express such feelings in certain missions depending on the player's choice of sponsor unit:
      • If sponsored by the Kell Hounds, during the "Backstab" mission on New Exford, the player will tell the Jade Falcon commander, "We're hounds — Kell Hounds. And you're trespassing on our territory," in place of the generic dialogue used if the player is sponsored by another unit.
      • If sponsored by the Gray Death Legion, during the Steiner branch of the Hesperus II campaign the player will repeatedly claim to hate the Davion forces for their massacre of the Legion units on the planet, at one point even stating he would do a Steiner mission "for half salvage and a thank you note."
  • Karma Meter: Shows ratings for "Nobility" and "Infamy", influenced by both choice of missionnote  and within-mission choices.note  Certain missions will only be available if the player has high levels of one or the other — the Styk mission "Honor Guard", for example, requiring high levels of nobility, while "Assassination" on the same planet requires high levels of infamy. Note that while sometimes affected by the same events in game, each rating is distinct, meaning the player can have high levels of both at the same time.
  • Large Ham: Duncan Fisher if you hadn't already guessed.
  • Leave No Witnesses: An optional objective for some missions.
    Castle: Pretty bloodthirsty stuff.
  • Multiple Endings: Three in total. One is reached if the player sides with the Davions (the canonical winners of the FedCom Civil War). The other two are accessed by player supporting the Steiner faction - one seeing the cause through to the end, the other abandoning it to secure a base for the player's unit.
  • Product Placement: In-universe. Within the Factory arena, some of the barricades double as billboards, with the names of various 'Mech-related companies like Defiance Industries displayed prominently.
  • Psycho for Hire: Duncan Burke, Potentially you.
  • Power Creep: Many of the 'Mechs in the MekTek expansion packs are outright superior to the vanilla mechs in firepower, slots, speed, or other characteristics such as electronics.
  • Shop Fodder: In MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, you often can scrape up and repair a lot of enemy mechs you trashed off the battlefield. Even though they'll probably need extensive repairs, they'll still net quite a sum on the market when you sell them, offsetting the money expended for repairs. And you should: too many unused mechs in your lineup adds up to a lot of excess upkeep expenditures for them, and they're usually mechs outclassed by your current lineup anyway. You can often net more money from a mission with a hefty salvage haul than the contractor agreed to pay you for mission success (first dibs on salvage rights being a way to pay for merc services without actually paying). Spectre and Castle often quote about the lucrative prospect of salvage.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: One each for the Steiner and Davion factions, performing reconnaissance on the enemy's R and D facilities. Bonus points if you play lore-wise and use a Raven RVN-3L loaded up with the electronic and sensor suites.
    Castle: Take a fast 'Mech and present a minimum profile — you won't be fighting your way through this one.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence:
    • It doesn't matter how much of a powerhouse your or your lancemates' current 'Mechs are, enemy Light Mechs will still gun for you.
    • Or if they are outnumbered, like in the first Halloran V mission where a lone Owens Light 'Mech charges your full lance. Of course, Spectre is amused.
  • Suicide Mission: The operation to discover where Katrina Steiner is being held prisoner becomes this for the commando team involved. This is even lampshaded during the briefing, where it's stated outright that "Team extraction is secondary to discovering the location."
  • Taking You with Me:
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Invoked in a number of ways.
    • A completely optional mission has the player escorting trapped peace delegates to safety, despite the fact that they are unable to pay for your services.
    • In the initial encounter with Burr's Black Cobras, the player has the option of allowing the opposing 'Mechs to withdraw peacefully once the other objectives are complete.
    • Some missions have optional objectives of protecting allied units or defending secondary targets from attack. In at least one instance, the unit in question will return as The Cavalry in a subsequent mission if saved by the player.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • The optional objectives for some missions include killing any escaping vehicles — armed or otherwise — or even destroying any inhabited buildings.
    • On a couple of occasions, the player has the choice between taking a "nobility" mission and an "infamy" mission:
      • Instead of fighting Jade Falcon forces in a Trial of Possession, the player can agree to the trial but ambush the Jade Falcons the night before. The ambush mission even gives the player the option of killing nearly half of the defending 'Mech pilots in their barracks.
      • The player can choose to perform a series of assassinations rather than stand guard at a peace conference. News reports after the mission imply the region is likely to descend into chaos as a result of the player's actions.
    • In the first encounter with the Black Cobras, the player can choose to wipe out the defending lance, setting up the intense hatred between the two mercenary units.

    MechWarrior: Online 
  • Achievement System: The game has an internal achievement system that gives varying rewards from C-Bills, GXP or even a special title that will show up when targeted. The Steam release shares some of the achievements but are typically the really challenging ones such as scoring a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each 'Mech got its own short story that demonstrates how badass it can be with the right pilot.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Players can grind for "C-Bills" (using a selection of Trial 'Mechs, which cannot be customized and change from time to time), or spend real-world money to acquire 'Mechs in-game. An Atlas might cost 9.7 million C-Bills — requiring more than sixty ten-minute matches worth of grinding for an experienced player to buy — but you can instead spend about $20 worth of "Mech Credits" (MC) to acquire it instantly. Early in open beta, players running any sort of advanced technology could lose money if they lost a match and then fully repaired and reloaded their 'Mech, unless they were a Founder or paid real money for "Premium time". That infelicitous system has since been removed, and now even the most miserable performance in a match will always make the player some money. There is also now a "Cadet Bonus" fountain of C-Bills in the first 25 games, quickly giving new players enough in-game Monopoly money to buy something of their own. The game also now feature different discount 'mechs every week so you can potentially fill up your bays quickly after starting with the difficulty being picking which ones to buy.
    • The "Hero" 'Mechs — with a unique configuration and paint job, which can only be purchased with real money — have caused a lot of "pay2win" accusations. The Hero 'Mechs are meant to be balanced to prevent them from having any real advantage over standard variants, and this is the case for most of them; only a few of the more than thirty Heroes available as of mid-late 2014 are actually the "winningest" variant of their 'Mech model.
    • There are advanced (read: better) versions of each consumable that, initially, could only be bought with MC. They were balanced by preventing premium consumables from being equipped alongside other consumables of the same type. The free versions can also be grindingly upgraded to be equal to the premium versions.
    • The fact that additional 'Mech Bays could only be bought with MC, however, did play this trope straight, Especially considering that the default four is not anywhere enough to allow players to get the most out of the game.
    • Averted, somewhat: The Community Warfare (CW) mode now allows players to aquire 'Mech Bays, and eventually MC, by playing in CW matches. Additionaly, events are held occasionally whereby players can win small amounts of MC, a 'Mech bay, or even a 'Mech plus a Bay to put it in, just by performing well enough in enough matches.
  • All There in the Manual: The Battletech.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Streak SRM missiles are guaranteed to hit their target provided nothing gets in the way, engaging in some ridiculous Robo Teching to hit their mark.
  • Ascended Meme: A fanart of an UrbanMech with a top hat and a monocle has made its way into the game as a cockpit item. bobblehead with a tophat and a cigar.
  • Another instance of it appeared with the Solaris VII update. Aside from bringing back Duncan Fisher from MW 4: Mercs to provide the commentary, one of his remarks at the end of a 2v2 match has him saying that he should report the winning team for cheating because they used teamwork. In the game's early days, "Teamwork is OP" was something of a running joke among the community due to the game's lack of communicative features back then or even reliable ways to drop as a group.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Many Min-Maxed builds end up falling into this catagory due to Crippling Overspecialization
  • Beam Spam: A perfectly viable tactic and the whole idea of Laser Vomit builds. The Black Hawk Prime is probably the most ridiculous stock example with twelve energy hardpoints all mounting ER Medium Lasers resulting in yellow beams of death. Of course you can take these lasers off for other weapons or put these arms on other Black Hawk variants with the omnipod system.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The cockpit is essentially a 3d box around the view camera. This is especially glaring on Atlas, which should have a tiny window based on the exterior model, but the interior view gives you an enormous glass window.
  • Bling of War: There are many choices of paints for you to pick. Hero 'mechs often have it by default.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • Originally, players started out with no C-bills and had to either cough up cash to buy a mech or use a selection of (usually terrible) 'Trial' mechs that cannot be customized. An update later added a 'Cadet Bonus' that gave significant C-bill bonuses for the first 25 matches, giving players enough cash to buy a heavy mech.
    • New mechs are often launched as timed exclusives; pay X dollars, get the mech now plus some bonuses. Free-to-play players usually have to wait upwards of a month before the mechs can be acquired with C-bills.
    • Single-use support modules have more powerful versions that can only be purchased using the premium currency. For example, players can buy Cool Shots to cool down their mech, but only weaker versions can be bought with C-bills. The weaker versions can be upgraded to be as potent as the premium versions, but it requires an enormous expenditure of valuable General Experience Points.
  • Charged Attack: The Gauss rifle requires a short charge up time before it can fire. If it's held for too long then the charge resets though it's convenient if you want to save the shot for later instead.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The battle on Terra Therma takes place in and around an erupting volcano. Fighting on the platform suspended above the caldera isn't all that much hotter than anywhere else in the map but lord help you should you actually fall in.
  • David Versus Goliath: Like some earlier games, Light 'Mechs are some of the best Heavy and Assault 'Mechs killers in the game due to their trouble aiming for something fast that can quickly get to their blind spots. This is one of the main reasons Assaults should always be escorted.
  • Fake Longevity: Attaining all the chassis skill bonuses requires the player to 'master' three different variants by completing all 8 of their basic bonus skills. Skills can only be purchased on mechs the player owns, so it is necessary to buy three nearly identical mechs with slightly different loadouts to get the most out of the chassis. It's not too bad on the cheap light mechs, but a nightmarish C-bill grind for both Clan and Assault Mechs.
    • Removed by the implementation of the "Skill Tree" system. A player may now buy any variant of any chassis and skill it out completely, either with chassis-specific XP earned by using the 'mech or General XP earned by using any 'mech the player owns. The only barrier is the C-bill cost for converting XP to Skill Points.
  • Fragile Speedster: Most light 'mechs, except the Urbanmech.
  • Glass Cannon
    • The JagerMech, can pack more firepower than most assault mechs but it comes at the expense of tissue-paper armor, a wide profile for easy torso shots and an XL Engine.
    • The Awesome also suffers from this to a lesser extent, it is a ranged fire-support 'Mech that can carry a staggering amount of ordinance but it is slow and prone to overheating, with a profile like a barn-door which often leads to it getting focused down and picked apart. One build in particular, called the "Thor's Hammer", was loaded with several ER PPCs that could potentially blow the enemy's cockpit off in one volley at the cost of having to shutdown from overheating often. Unfortunately, doing this leaves the 'Mech quite defenseless in close-range combat...
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Atlas originally had glowing eyes, but due to the way the game rendered light sources, they became visible clear across the map even through fog. The effect was later removed, leaving it with mere reflective red glass for the cockpit..
  • Go for the Eye: How you go about Sniping the Cockpit on an Atlas.
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: Standard Inner Sphere battlemech color is an olive drab green, while Clans are painted shiny gunmetal grey with olive stripes. However, alternate colors can be purchased to make your Atlas say, neon pink, yellow, and green with a flame paintjob.
  • Informed Equipment: Like Living Legends, the appearance of a battlemech changes based on what weapons are equipped. However, the implementation is sometimes goofy. In the early days, the game was pretty bad about scaling, leading to the popular Catapult-K2 firing gauss rifle slugs from machine gun barrels. Mechs have a limited number of missile tubes even if they can fit more; the Atlas can fit 3x LRM-15 launchers, but can only fire 30 missiles at once, forcing it to quickly reload the tubes and automatically fire off the last 15. Most ridiculously, a Raven variant with a NARC beacon (which counts as a missile hardpoint) can be loaded with an LRM 20 in that slot, letting it fire twenty missiles... one at a time through its sole launch tube.
  • Large-Ham Announcer: The Clan announcer in particular speaks very loudly and in over the top manner, not so much with the IS counterpart.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Urban Mech is a comically slow Light 'Mech that looks like a walking trash can and packs the firepower of 'Mech twice its size. Naturally it is a cult favorite.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The afore mentioned Terra Therma.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Marauder IIC. This battlemech, being a Clan modification of the original Marauder mech, can be equipped with Clan Fusion Extra-Light Reactor (which provides an excellent mobility for a 85-tonn walking tank without great disadvantages in survivalability) and armed with Clantech weapons (which are lighter than Inner Sphere counterparts).
    • Kodiak KDK-3. It is also powered by Clan Extra-Light Fusion Reactor and can be armed with four ultra-autocannons. Compared with a Dire Wolf, a Kodiak is faster and more maneuvrable.
  • Meaningful Name: Inverted by the background material for MechWarrior Online. While all of the BattleMechs use the same names that they were given in the original tabletop game, the short stories that accompanied some of them were based off of what the 'Mech in question was named after.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: A couple of differences from the BattleTech rules and previous games
    • Because the game has convergent pinpoint aiming (BT uses mostly random distribution), damage and armor are rescaled, firing several combinations of weapons is restrcted and/or their damage is splashed to adjacent armor and 'Mechs are slowed but not dropped by having a leg shot off. With BT damage and MWO aiming, fights would last for a salvo.
    • Double Heatsinks are nerfed so that only the ones automatically included with the engine (up to 10 in a 250+ rated engine) gain double the cooling effect. All other heatsinks, whether they're installed in the spare slots in a 275 or larger engine or elsewhere on a mech, have somewhat less cooling. While still more effective than single heatsinks, this reduces the chance of out of control Beam Spam, or even some munition based builds, such as missiles.
    • Inner Sphere LRMs do not arm within a minimum range of 180m. Clan LRMs use a ramp up damage mechanic, doing reduced damage to targets within 180m. This prevents them from being used as pseudo-SRM pods, instead of their intended role of medium to long range fire support.
  • Permadeath: While your lancemates will usually eject safely if their 'mechs are destroyed, occasionally this trope is invoked, forcing you to hire a replacement pilot.
  • Power Creep: The first series of battlemechs haven't aged well, particularly the 'Dragon' and 'Awesome', which are absolutely gigantic for their tonnagenote  Clan omnimechs, which came out a year after release can quite handily curb-stomp Inner Sphere mechs of equivalent tonnage. However, Clan upgraded battlemechs ("IIC") take the cake for power creep, having all the benefits of a Clan Omnimech with basically none of the downsides: While they lose the modular components, they can be fully customized unlike omnimechs. The 'Jenner IIC' can mount a whopping six Clan SRM-6 launchers which will quite handily allow it to out-Alpha Strike assault mechs; the standard Jenner doesn't get half the firepower and is far more squish thanks to inferior Inner Sphere XL engines.
  • Private Military Contractors: Players are basically these, even those participating in Solaris Arena.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: There's an achievement of this name for having your team win with one 'mech left on the team, all players on that team will get the achievement even if they're not the one pulling it off.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The "Heavy Metal" Hero 'Mech from default camo pattern is hot pink. In-universe it's the iconic 'mech of a female pilot.
  • Reporting Names: Averted in this game, Clan 'Mechs go by the original Clan names instead of Inner Sphere reporting names except for the Mad Cat Mk 2 since it was named that way by the Clans in the first place.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: Online will have cosmetic items that can only be purchased with Mech Credits (bought with real money), such as bobbleheads in your cockpit. "Hero" Mechs, unique Mechs from the boardgame and expanded universe (such as the Yen-Lo-Wang Centurion) have unique paintjobs and loadouts, and can only be bought with Mech Credits.
  • Running Gag: Hula girls became this based on the 2009 trailer, in which a hula girl statuette was visible in the cockpit of the protaganist's 'Mech.
  • Scenery Porn: The Tourmaline Desert map features black, crystalline growths about the map while the center is dominated by a giant arc of metal — part of a long-since crashed dropship and is probably the most visually striking map in the game at this time. The Viridian Bog map features lush trees, lilly pads, and map-traversing insectoid carapace that all dwarf the 'Mechs that fight in it
  • Set Bonus: Omnimechs has an advantage of being able to mix and match limbs and torso parts you need, but you get bonus some bonuses if you are using only that model's parts so you have to weigh your options.
  • Situational Damage Attack: Flamers and Machine Guns do very little damage against armored targets. However hits on exposed Internal Structure do substantially more damage and and have an increased % Chance to disable critical equipment, or cause an ammo explosion.
    • Advanced Tactical Missiles do damage in three stages, each missile doing 3 damage at relatively close range, then stepping down to 2 and then 1 damage each as the range increases. This is a somewhat kludgy adaptation from the source material, in which the launchers could be loaded with different types of missiles, each with its own optimal range and damage profile- something impossible to do under MWO's current engine.
  • Urban Warfare: River City and Crimson Straits both fulfill this trope while still featuring a few open areas for longer-ranged builds to shine. Befitting the name, this is where the Urbanmech really becomes a Lethal Joke Character.

    MechWarrior: Living Legends 
  • Anachronism Stew: The game revolves around an Inner Sphere vs. Clan conflict, yet features BattleMechs and vehicles that did not enter production until after the Clan Invasion ended. Justified, as the developers weren't trying to establish canon. The level of technology is around the same level as the late 3060's FedCom Civil War era, with the most recent mech being the Solitaire (3064) and the most recent weapon being the Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle (3065).
  • Anti-Air: The Huitzilopitchli and Partisan tanks. Both spew out hundreds of pounds of ammo every second when firing at enemy aerospace assets. They're needed to protect your team from enemy bombers if your doesn't have anybody piloting air superiority fighters. The Rifleman in has superior twist capabilties in addition to all of its variants carrying anti-air weapons — shotguns, autocannons, pulse lasers, and light gauss rifles.
  • Anti-Infantry: Rotary autocannons, autocannons, LBX shotguns, machine guns, and short ranged missile launchers are capable of turning battlearmor to a fine red mist. Most of these weapons are also amazingly good Anti-Air, which makes the anti-air tanks mobile battlearmor blenders.
  • Anti-Vehicle: Rotary Autocannon/5s have a damage multiplier against tanks, allowing them to rip through the normally incredibly heavy armor in no time at all.
  • Asteroid Thicket: "Extremity" as the map (which is actually just a large asteroid) rotates around, hundreds of large, rotating asteroids come into view. A work-in-progress community map actually takes place in an asteroid field, with only aerospace and Battle Armor being usable.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Long Tom artillery piece, which is one of the heaviest weapons in the game, and you need to be damn good to hit anything further than 300m away with it, When you do hit targets though, they will feel it. The Living Legends version of the Long Tom can one-shot any medium or lighter Mech with a direct hit, but it has an extremely long reload time, only one vehicle mounts it, and the design of the gun makes it impossible to hit anything closer than 400 meters away unless the Long Tom tank is parked on a hill.
  • Diegetic Interface: All of the games have this to an extent (the HUD being part of the pilot's neurohelmet), but Living Legends expands on the idea.
    • The Battle Armor HUD is a Diegetic Interface, with the visor being both the view into the world and the HUD. All of the HUD is integrated into it, such as the radar and weapons display. If the battle armor takes damage just to its armor, the visor begins to (permanently) crack. Breaking through the armor and hitting the player inside directly causes blood and harjel to splattered onto the visor, obscuring your vision. When near death, the visor plasters warnings and circuit diagrams onto the sides of the screen, and will display a notice on the side of the screen when it begins dispensing morphine. Taking EMP damage will temporarily disable the visor and obscure the player's view in a hail of static
    • The mech HUD has elements designed to evoke the heads-up display from a jet fighter helmet.
    • The tank HUD is designed to look like the player is actually looking through a viewport in the turret or through a periscope. All the HUD elements are designed to look like actual displays, ala-EarthSiege.
  • Auto Doc: Battle Armor has a self-healing system, which seals the suit and injects morphine into the player.
  • Back from the Dead: Meta. Living Legends development was picked up again by a different team and released a new version in 2016, three years after the last official version, with subsequent updates adding new weapons, vehicles/mechs, and maps.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: You suffer no adverse effects when your cockpit or Battle Armor is breached on "Extremity".
  • BFG: The Long Tom Artillery Piece makes every other weapon in the series pale in comparison; it is mounted on a single, specialized tank that carries no other weapons, but it is capable of smiting mechs from across the map. For the scale, the cannon is longer than most mechs are tall, and the recoil compensator is about the same size as a suit of Powered Armor. The Thumper is the Long Tom's smaller brother, trading raw firepower for a straighter trajectory, a faster refire rate, and a more mobile firing platform on top a modified Rommel chassis.
  • Blinded by the Light: The Warhammer has a very large spotlight mounted on the shoulder, which is effective at blinding enemies using the nightvision overlay.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Marshes. Large mounts of silt and mud covered in trees, murky water full of reeds, and fireflies (And yes, we mean ACTUAL fireflies, not the 'Mech) everywhere.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: "Sandblasted" is dotted with large stone pyramids with partial gold covers, hieroglyphics, and a giant laser beacon on the top. The map is also dotted with obelisks and ancient homes. "Oasis" is an alternate take on Sandblasted, featuring additional erosion, vegetation, and a river running through the valley of the dead.
  • Camera Abuse: Battle Armor gets a hefty dose of this in Living Legends. Taking EMP damage from a nearby critical explosion or from a PPC causes the HUD to vanish and causes the visor to get filled with vision-obscuring static. Taking damage to your health causes the visor to crack. Further damage causes suit sealing agent and blood to splatter onto the visor, which eventually fade away. Visor cracks however, cannot be fixed.
  • Captain Obvious: Early versions of TC_Inferno in had signs helpfully pointing out things like LAVA IS HOT. DO NOT WALK INTO LAVA, signs saying DO NOT TAXI INTO WALL on the runway as well as LAVA IS HOT. DO NOT FLY INTO LAVA.
  • Car Fu: A bug in version 0.3.0 caused the Harasser hovercraft to weigh several hundred tons, allowing the tiny, annoying, and agile hovercraft to punt around 80 ton Demolisher tanks like they were toys. While it was fixed relatively quickly, ramming is an effective way to deal with enemy tanks. The Hephaestus hovercraft is particularly good at wedging its nose under Oro tanks, which prevents the Oro from firing back. Demolishers can plow most other vehicles out of the way. Aircraft are particularly effective at ramming tanks, which in 0.5.0 would cause the tanks to go flying 200+ meters, spinning wildly. Ramming enemy aircraft will usually instantly destroy both aircraft
  • Cast from Hit Points: Lasers, if you fire them while out of coolant and at the heat red-line. In laser-boating aircraft such as the Sulla "A", it's commonly said that its ammo is its armor.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Version 0.7.0 introduced heavy scaling on points and cash. When a player in a light mech shoots at a player in an assault mech, the light player will get a huge bonus to their C-Bill reward and rank-up points. If the player in the assault mech fires back, he will receive a penalty to the regular c-bill reward and rank-up points. The system was put in place to stop the curb-stomp battles that often occurred in earlier versions. Now, if a player brings out an Assault Mech very early in the game (from banking with other players), he is essentially shooting himself in the foot — crippling his cash rewards and rank-up points.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Base turrets always hit with 100% accuracy, save potentially for the first shot, when they occasionally fire while still spinning into position. Because of how CryEngine handles turrets, all their weapons are Hitscan and deal damage instantly, even for obviously projectile-based weapons like the SRMs on Calliope turrets used near main bases.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: "Mixtech" matches (the default mode) in Living Legends allows the Inner Sphere forces and Clan forces to use any asset, regardless of origin. Averted with "Puretech" matches, which limits each team to using only that side's assets — for example, the Clan team cannot use the Long Tom, while the Inner Sphere cannot use the Clanner's (usually) superior end-game assault units, which results in puretech having a very different playstyle.
  • Cut Short: Living Legends's final content release came with several documents showing what never made it into the game due to legal issues — dozens of assets such as the Marauder and alternate battlearmor, the much-anticipated Mechlab, a full soundtrack, dozens of maps, alternate gamemodes, etc. Even more depressingly, some of the assets such as battlearmor were almost totally finished and only needed some XML work to get them in-game. However, a separate team restarted work on it a few years later, releasing new updates in 2016 and 2017 featuring new tanks, mechs, and weapons.
  • Damage Is Fire: Rear torsos will smoke and burn when critically damaged. Overheating will also cause large heat distortions to appear behind the mech as it tries to shed excess heat.
  • Development Gag: Early versions of TC_Inferno had big signs in the aircraft hangar spawn rooms telling players DO NOT TAXI INTO WALL — at the time, the aircraft hangar spawned aerospace fighters facing towards a wall, meaning players had to taxi out, then turn towards the runway to take off. Most alpha testers would simply mash the throttle to max then plow into the wall at 400kph. Unfortunately, the signs didn't make it into the final version of the map.
  • Dual Mode Unit: The Long Tom Artillery Tank must be deployed in order to fire its 30 ton high explosive cannon, which can smite an enemy mech (and instagib light mechs) from almost two kilometers away if the pilot has a Target Spotter aiding them.
  • Fan Sequel: MechWarrior: Living Legends, a Crysis mod, made when it appeared that there wouldn't be any more MechWarrior games. It combines most of the better parts from previous official MechWarrior games, and introduces player-usable tanks, powered armor and aircraft.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Bubbles is a one hundred ton bipedal tank with three ten ton rotary autocannons which can shred anything in the game in seconds.
  • Freeware Games: The game now comes bundled with the free Crysis Wars multiplayer demo, allowing anyone to pick up the game and play; previously, it was compatible only with the retail version.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • The Sparrowhawk aerospace fighter which is one of the fastest and most maneuverable asset in the game. It has so little armor, that if you try to run over a battlearmor at max speed, you will both explode. Other vehicles don't even take damage from doing the same thing.
    • Battle Armor. While it's actually quite slow, it's extremely maneuverable, and can jink around under a Mech's legs, hiding from its fire as the Battle Armor proceeds to RIP AND TEAR at the mech's legs. They need to do this, in order to not die instantly from weapons fire.
    • The Black Lanner. It's a Medium Mech with the appropriate amount of firepower, yet it is capable of outrunning every ground asset in the game except for the Owens and Solitaire. Because of this, and because it has so much electronics packed in, it has about the same armor as an Owens.
    • The Solitaire Light Mech is capable of 151kph standard, and it's capable of mounting MASC to increase its top speed to 216kph. It is also the most lightly armored asset in the game — the entire Mech has less armor than a Daishi's arm. It makes up for its lack of armor with a very big gun.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The CRAP, Close Range Assault Puma — a variant of the Puma which has loads of heavy lasers.
  • Future Copter: The unused transport VTOL craft, the Karnov and Anhur. They feature rotating (like on an V22 Osprey) jet turbines. Averted with the other VTOL craft, which have been modified from their more plain helicopter design from the boardgame to having a centrally mounted jet turbine.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The Hollander II; it caries one huge gun which makes up the entirety of the right torso; However, the mech is prone to having its sides cored out due to its asymmetrical design and armor configuration.
    • The Loki, which is a very powerful, very squishy heavy mech. Most variants are also susceptible to melting their own armor off thanks the Clanner trademark tactic of mounting effectively no heatsinks on mechs multiple energy weapons.
    • The Mauler, the king of long range trading and point blank faceblasting, spends just about all of its tonnage on its weapons, leaving most variants comically underarmored compared to other assault mechs.
    • Battle Armor. They die from a pair of medium lasers, from being run over by tanks or from running into a tree too fast. However, they have a huge amount of firepower when fully loaded up with C8 grenades, a Heavy Micro Laser or AC/2 and a PPC.
  • Gravity Screw:
    • "Extremity". The gravity there is around 25% of normal gravity, causing Mechs and tanks to be extremely floaty. Battle Armor can zip through the sky, rolling around crazily. The map also breaks the impact prediction mechanism on Long Tom artillery and Firebombs (they use "normal" gravity in their impact predictions), so you have to eyeball your shots.
      • In user-made (typically for racing) maps, mappers can set custom gravity zones in certain areas; so one area might have 5x gravity, while another area might have negative gravity. Or the mapper can set up gravity spheres to place mechs in orbit around each other.
  • Heroic RRoD: Continuing to build up heat from firing all your weapons or running in Living Legends will cause your mech to literally melt from heat — the arms will often be the first thing to fall off, but it's also possible for running mechs to explosively leg themselves and face-plant into the ground. If you continue to ignore your arms falling off, and the computer screeching about heat, your reactor will explode, instantly killing you.
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: The game makes a distinction between camouflage, and paint. Camouflage are all reasonable patterns (i.e. jungle, arctic, blue-and-aquamarine underwater camo), but there are a number of comical eye-searingly bright paint patterns, such as neon pink and neon green zig-zag stripes, solid Pepto-Bismol pink, or dazzle camouflage. The original secret developer camos — now integrated into the paint menu as proper universal paint options — were all conspicuous, though they now pale in comparison to some of the newer options; "sbaros" covered the Warhammer in blue-and-black hexagons, and "tiger" gave the Bushwacker and Black Lanner tiger stripes.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Cockpit kills cause it to explode in a shower of blood the size of a small tank. This has been lovingly dubbed by some of the community as a 'slushie kill', in which the blood is said to be replaced by a large, make-believe red slushie.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: Aerospace fighters and VTOLs in Living Legends can fly underwater just as well as they fly in the sky.
  • In-Series Nickname: Some mechs in Living Legends were given nicknames by the developers, such as the Bushwacker "Warthog" variant, which carries twin RAC/5 Gatling guns, or the Mad Cat MKII "Beatstick", which carries a pair of LBX/20 shotguns and jump jets.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Anti-air units carry copious amounts of dakka-spewing weapons, the vast majority of which are capable of killing battlearmor players with a single hit or a short burst at close or mid-range. Ironically, the safest place to be when fighting an anti-air unit is to be right next to it, as they generally have trouble aiming down.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Rommel main battle tank is a 65 ton generalist, carrying a wide assortment of weapons, on a well armored and fairly agile platform. Its main downside is that it is often outgunned by mechs of comparable tonnage, and has abysmal turret depression.
  • Jump Jet Pack: Mechs can mount standard Jump Jets, or Improved Jumpjets, both of which provide jumping capability with regenerating fuel. Standard jets have enormous vertical impulse, but very little fuel and poor vectoring characteristics. Improved Jump Jets have less raw power and weigh more, but carry more fuel and regenerate quicker, and have superior thrust vectoring capability, allowing mechs jump into and out of cover. Battlearmor have a jump pack that allows them to jump around mech firing arcs and gain the high ground.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • Battle Armor have paper armor and are (fairly) slow, but will utterly tear Mechs apart if left alone. Most players can easily kill them with a PPC blast to the feet or by hosing them down with machine guns, but if the Battle Armor gets on top of your Mech, you're doomed unless you can smash your Mech into a nearby wall or have a teammate blast him off. If you can't, the Battle Armor player can hose down your cockpit or rear torso armor (which is made of paper) with his guns without a fear in the world of getting killed or knocked off.
    • The Sparrowhawk used to be a joke vehicle, but after the flight model was changed to make heavier aircraft less maneuverable, the Sparrowhawk effectively Took a Level in Badass. If a Sparrowhawk gets on your tail when you're in a Shiva or a Sulla, you have no hope of escaping from the Sparrowhawk as it pounds your engines into dust.
    • The normally-useless Harasser, which can vary from mildly annoying to frighteningly lethal, depending on who's driving.
      • This goes double for the flamer-only version, which has pathetically short range and insignificant damage output. However, it's ability to overheat enemy vehicles will cause mechs to shut down, drop any ASF flying over and cook infantry in their suits. It suffers from the same light armor and janky controls as the standard version, and a newbie in a Flamasser is a free kill. An experienced pilot, however, is a whirling, unhittable engine of fiery doom.
    • The Bushwacker Prime, which was an infamously bad medium mech. It's big, every single weapon on it has a completely different firing characteristic so Alpha Striking is nearly impossible, the individual weapons are weak (It can easily be overpowered by one of the starting light mechs), and it's expensive. In a scrim, both teams took only Bushy Primes. Within 2 minutes, most of the Bushwackers were down to only using their Large Laser and a pair of machineguns, as it carries a pathetic amount of spare ammo for its autocannon. The mission timer ran out before the teams could kill each other. After being crap for 90% of the game's history, it was finally buffed up in the 0.7.0 final update (mostly from the AC/10 being buffed)
    • The AC/10 and UAC/10 ballistic weapons. It used to be likened to hitting the enemy with a wet noodle; by the time you started dealing appreciable damage to the enemy, the gun would overheat and prevent any further firing. The weapon is heavily affected by lag, and the projectile requires you to lead your shots and lag-shoot. The 0.7.0 final update significantly increased its damage, making it a frightening weapon to fight.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Inferno. Rocky terrain, large lava flows sliding down mountains, distant volcanic explosions, a smoky atmosphere, and extreme heat which causes mechs to overheat easily.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • The Corsair medium aerospace fighter carries an impressive amount of firepower (such as dual light gauss rifles or twin firebombs), is well armored, has an odd silhouette which makes firing at it awkward, and it is flat out the fastest asset in the game, with a top speed of 450kph, even faster than the Sparrowhawk scout plane.
    • The Bushwacker medium mech is fast (86kph), is the most well armored medium mech, has a narrow silhouette which makes it hard to hit, and carries a huge amount of firepower which is scattered across the entire mech, making it difficult to strip it of its powerful weapons. It's the Inner Sphere's most versatile combat unit, as has a loadout for almost everyone's taste, and is exceptionally cheap for its power.
    • By far the most terrifying mech in Living Legends is the Fafnir "Foxtrot" variant. It's one of the most armored asset in the game, carries a pair of Ultra Autocannon/20s, and ten flamers. Normally, you could just shoot a brawler Fafnir from afar and laugh at as it slowly waddles towards you. But not this one, no. This one mounts MASC, capable of propelling it to 75kph to sprint up to enemies and start blasting and melting them. Thankfully, it's as much of a danger to itself as it is to the enemy team.
    • The Rommel main battle tank. Most variants can reach 90kph on level ground — just slightly slower than most medium mechs — while carrying the firepower and armor of a heavy. A few, like the Delta variant with its LBX 20 shotgun and SRM-6 missile rack can cripple, if not kill, assault mechs, and possess surprising combat endurance.
  • Lightning Gun: Living Legends adds the infantry-sized Manpack Particle Projector Cannon, and the Heavy Particle Projector Cannon. The manpack PPC, exclusive to battlearmor, deals moderate/heavy damage, but has some pretty extreme recoil and only about 70% of the range of a standard PPC. The Heavy PPC, exclusive to the Inner Sphere, does roughly twice the damage of a standard PPC with a larger splash radius with surprisingly moderate overheating risk, but fires slower and loses some range.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Living Legends features the standard complement of the Gauss Rifle, Heavy Gauss Rifle, and Light Gauss Rifle, but tosses a few new ones into the mix. The Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle boosts the range and removes the damage dropoff of the Heavy Gauss, but carries less ammo and does marginally less damage. The Clan's Hyper-Assault Gauss Rifle, available in classes of 20, 30, and 40, is a ultra-high velocity rapid fire brawling gauss rifle with extreme burst damage but mediocre sustained damage due to its high jam rate. This is a translation of the fact the number next to a HAG model represents how many shots it can fire before the capacitor has to recharge, meaning HAG 40s can fire 40 successive shots before having to recharge which translates into a jam in this game.
  • Meta Mecha: Present in Living Legends, though it's for gameplay. When a pilot ejects from his mech, he goes flying into the sky in a full suit of Powered Armor (although it spawns without any "armor"). However, when you look at the cockpit of a mech, the pilot is simply wearing a jumpsuit and Neurohelmet. The community devs are planning on doing away with this in a future Battle Armor update where players will spawn as pilots and will have to purchase dedicated Battle Armor.
  • More Dakka:
    • The handheld AC/2 in Living Legends is best described as a bullet hose. While it's extremely accurate on the first shot, it has a ridiculously fast fire rate and insane amounts of recoil. When an AC/2 Battle Armor confronts another Battle Armor, the most common response is to hold down the left mouse button and run at them, and hope the odd bullet actually manages to hit them.
    • Anti-Air works on the principle that flinging out several tons of lead a minute is the best way to deal with enemies. The Huitzilopotchli tank has four Ultra AC/2s, and two Ultra AC/5s; standing next to one while it holds down mouse1 at anything flying is deafening — and you can see a solid waterfall of spent bullet casings streaming from the weapons. Rotary autocannon boats like the Partisan, Rifleman, Avatar, and Fafnir are even more preferable when you want to drown the enemy in bullets.
  • Multitrack Drifting: The Chevalier wheeled tank can drift.
  • Nitro Boost: All ground vehicles can accelerate to flanking speed by holding left-Shift at the cost of reduced cooling or very slow heat buildup. AeroTech fighters can activate an afterburner but will overheat very quickly.
  • Nose Art:
    • The Sparrowhawk has a shark mouth and triangular eyes painted on each side of the catamaran-like fuselage. The rest of the craft has dark red stripes.
    • The Uziel in Living Legends has a special variant of the "red" solid color camo that gives it teeth and eyes on its protruding cockpit.
  • Oil Slick: An amusing bug in Living Legends. The Chevalier light tank is prone to being flipped over by weapons laying on the ground — if you're on flat ground as a Battlearmor and see a Chevalier bearing down on you, simply hurl your Bear Autocannon into the path of the Chevy's wheels, and watch in amazement as the 30 ton tank's wheels ricochet into the air as it hits the gun laying on the ground, sending the tank into a roll that leaves it helpless for a few seconds.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: In general, Inner Sphere mechs can be summed up as "big dumb bricks of armor", while Clan mechs go full speed and weaponry. The Inner Sphere is well suited to taking a base and sitting on it, while the Clan is geared for kiting in open terrain.
    • Inner Sphere equipment is a mixture of simple, tried-and-true mechs and weaponry, mixed in with advanced but situational specialist equipment such as the Long Tom Artillery Piece or Heavy Gauss Rifle. A Spheroid mech will always be slower than a comparable Clanner mech and typically with worse firepower, but mounts much more armor. Sphereoid mechs are skewed towards carrying balanced generalist loadouts, and their equipment runs cool with good endurance.
    • Clan Equipment uses top-of-the-line advanced but often functionally plain weapons. Everything is a front line combatant; even their artillery units carry direct fire weaponry. Clan mechs typically eschew armor in favor of more dakka and a bigger engine for faster movement. Clan mechs are usually focused into a specific niche, having significantly more pure single weapon spam mechs, and their equipment runs hot with spare ammo capacity and heat endurance as an afterthought.
  • Personal Space Invader: Battlearmor in Living Legends die in a couple shots from most mech-sized weapons, so they rely on getting as close as physically possible to enemy mechs and tanks. If a battlearmor manages to latch himself onto the head of an enemy mech or tank, the mech is almost totally helpless unless he gets a buddy to shoot the annoying battlearmor off, or if the mech fires all of his splash-damage weapons while pressing his face into a large wall.
  • Regenerating Health: Battle Armor in Living Legends will slowly regenerate their health and armor when not in combat courtesy of their Auto Doc, to compensate for them being so easy to kill with any Mech weapons.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: It doesn't matter how big your mech or aircraft is in Living Legends, the mech/aircraft hangar can "build" one in about ten seconds.
  • Robo Teching: Arrow IV missiles have a range far greater than their max lock-on range, making laser guidance a very effective tool. However, the laser guidance has a range of 1 kilometer, and the missiles ignore the guidance until they are within that 1 kilometer bubble, at which point they will swerve (sometimes 90 degrees) to try to hit the target.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Early versions of Living Legends had battlemechs and tanks killing each other with alarming speed; a Heavy Gauss slug could One-Hit Kill any light mech and cripple anything else, for example. Version 0.3 buffed all land vehicles to have more armor to increase the duration of fights. Aerospace Fighters, however, were frequently capable of instagibbing each other with LB-X shotguns and Heavy Gauss Rifles, and was only partially alleviated in the final update with the infamous Shiva "E" being gimped and other variants being tweaked for more tradition dogfights rather than rocket-tag.
  • Scenery Porn: Take a look... TC_Altay, for example, has large snowcapped mountains in the distance, with most of the fighting takes place on the shoreline of a tropical continent. The water is crystal clear, full of fish and coral reefs, there's a full day-night cycle (with the sun cresting over the ocean), bases are extremely detailed (including the underwater habitat), and a small river runs through the map, which leads to a series of waterfalls which can create rainbows. TC_RingOfFire
  • Shifting Sand Land: "Sandblasted", complete with fake Egyptian pyramids, fake ruins, lots of sand dunes, and a very light sandstorm. "Deathvalley" has lots of sand, but it has no dunes, being more rocky.
  • Shoot the Hostage: The ultimate goal of every Battlearmor player in Living Legends is to get the enemy team to shoot each other in the face, in an attempt to dislodge the battlearmor from their mech. Bonus points if they fire Arrow IV missiles, MRMs, [[LightningGun Clan ERPPCs]] and end up killing the mech that the battlearmor is riding.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted by low caliber LB-X Autocannons in Living Legends. The LB-X/10 has a relatively tight spread up to 500 meters, and the LB-X/2 and LB-X/5 have nearly no spread at all (since they're basically buckshot for killing jet fighters) Played very, very straight with the LB-X/20, however, which is useless beyond about 200 meters, but utterly lethal within it.
  • Shout-Out: Many nicknames for variants invoke other pieces of media
    • The A variant for the 100 ton Behemoth tank is called the "Apocalypse" and is appropriately equipped with twin UAC/10s and many Streak SRMs for, say, engaging VTOLs overhead. Variant E, meanwhile, is named "Sheila".
    • On the subject of that franchise, the Commando D is named "RealToughGuy" and even has the cameo icon of that game's commando in the cockpit.
    • The Atlas Prime is nicknamed "Mr. Bubbles".
    • Variant A of the Schrek is nicknamed the "All-Star"
  • Sighted Guns Are Low-Tech: The handheld medium machine gun, Flamer, and Manpack PPC have no visible iron sights of any kind. Averted by the handheld Small Laser and Heavy Micro Laser, which have a simple set of open iron sights on the top of the gun.
  • Sniper Pistol: The handheld AC/2 had a range of about 3 inches when fired fully automatic, but when fired semi automatic was as accurate as a gauss rifle. Its replacement, the medium machine gun, loses a tiny bit of damage and perfect semi-accurate accuracy for actually usable fully automatic fire.
  • Space Is Cold: "Extremity" is the coldest level in the game when the sun is set; a chilly -150 Celsius. During the day, when the sun is blaring overhead, it's somewhere around 250 Celsius.
  • Space Plane: Aerospace fighters. Because they have fusion engines, they do not need air in order to get thrust, and thus work perfectly fine on maps like "Extremity". The Donar VTOL works the same way. However, the Hawkmoth VTOL works perfectly fine on "Extremity" despite having an internal combustion engine. Heck, the VTOLs are actually helicopters in canon but redesigned as such for maps like "Extremity".
  • Space Zone: "Extremity" takes place on a large asteroid, with very little gravity (something like a tenth of normal), massive heat variations as the asteroid rotates into the shade and in direct sunlight (Day time? Enjoy watching your arms melt off next time you Alpha Strike!), annoying amounts of bloom during the day and absolutely pitch black nights, and malicious terrain, all of which combine to make it an extremely different combat experience.
  • Splash Damage: Particle projector cannons, missiles, and the Long Tom Artillery Piece all have splash damage. PPC splash damage mostly just screws with electronics, while Long Toms are capable of killing several enemies at the same time with its massive damage and splash radius.
  • Sprint Shoes: Myomer Accelerator Signal Circuitry, or MASC, functions much like sprint shoes. If a mech has MASC, the pilot can hold down the MASC button to dramatically increase the running speed of the mech, at the cost of building up tremendous amounts of heat.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Loki. Several of the variants carry devastating long range or close range firepower, it's fast, and most of the variants carry plenty of radar equipment. It's also pathetically armored, causing it to die very quickly when focused on.
  • Stealth Expert: The Anubis scout mech mounts Stealth Armor, allowing it to sneak up almost right on top of enemies before being detected - standard mechs can be picked up on radar at a kilometer out, ECM mechs at 500m, and the Anubis at only 350m. This sneakiness comes at a cost - the Anubis cannot dump coolant if it overheats.
  • Sticky Bomb: Battlearmor had 3 varieties of sticky grenades prior to version 0.10 - an incendiary charge, an explosive charge, and a NARC missile magnet. Due to pervasive bugs (including hardlocking Windows), they were replaced with dumbfire missiles in 0.10
  • Stone Wall: A number of mechs have variants the eschew the typical extra-light fusion reactor for the heavier but more durable standard reactor, such as the Atlas Delta and Warhammer Prime. They trade firepower and E-War capability in exchange for incredible durability and dirt cheap prices; you can buy a 75 ton Warhammer Prime before you can buy a 55 ton Bushwacker with the XL engine. In Ye Olde days, buggy damage resistance values caused the fast and poorly armed Hephaestus hovercraft to have the effective armor of a tank twice its weight.
  • Tank Goodness: Living Legends has tanks become awesome death machines. While they may not be as fast or maneuverable or adaptable as a mech, they mount truly absurd amounts of armor and big guns. Very big guns. A pair of Demolisher tanks is a truly terrifying sight, especially if they're sitting at the entrance of a base you need to capture. Light tanks like the Chevalier and Harasser are hilariously maneuverable, and they can both do powerslides.
  • Tanks, but No Tanks: Tanks in Living Legends include typical tread-equipped vehicles like the Rommel, alongside hovering tanks like the Regulator, 8 wheel drive scout tanks like the Chevalier, and half-track tanks like the Mithras. The only ground vehicles not in the 'tank' category are support vehicles like the Long Tom Artillery Tank and the tracked Armored Personnel Carrier.
  • Tech-Demo Game: Living Legends required an obscenely powerful computer when it came out, one that would shame even the ridiculously powerful Crysis rigs, due to the huge and detailed maps, high-poly characters and assets, and lots of explosions and other effects. Later patches significantly improved the optimization (along with the switch to the much more optimized Crysis Wars engine), allowing even cheap(ish) gaming computers to run it.
  • Turbine Blender: Battle Armor trying to ride on a Hawkmoth will die almost immediately if they fall into the turbine, though they are perfectly fine if the Hawkmoth is stationary on the ground.
  • Underground Level: Thunder Rift. Most of the edges of the level are completely covered and full of stalactites and stalagmites, raining chipped rocks. The center of the level opens to a rift in the cavern's roof, where water comes splashing down in waterfalls.
  • Universal Driver's License: Players in Living Legends can pilot almost any military vehicle they can see (asides from the DropShips) — a player can go from being in a suit of battlearmor to the cockpit of an aerospace fighter to the armored hull of an Oro to the cockpit of a Mad Cat.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Can hit Living Legends pretty hard, especially on certain maps in Team Solaris Arena. Because players start off in light assets and have to work their way up (via kills, assists, and objectives) to heavier assets in each round, getting an early lead can lead to a crushing advantage; this primarily happens in Team Solaris Arena and Solaris Arena. This can reach the point where one team is stomping in Mad Cats and Fafnirs, while the other team is still scrambling around in Uziels and Owens. Terrain Control can automatically balance itself out, because the team that are now stomping around in assault mechs will be unable to capture bases or respond to attacks because they are too slow, allowing the loosing team to catch up (and often win).
    • The curb-stomp battles have mostly nullified by the introduction of a Comeback Mechanic (see above) in version 0.7.0, which gives more cash and point bonuses to players in lighter assets when fighting heaver assets.
  • Urban Warfare: There are several community-made city maps, where combat is close and brutal, which allows Battle Armor to go from being annoying little bastards to demonic death machines.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Sort of. It's possible to kill Battle Armor by throwing your gun at them at close range — the weapon will spawn inside the Battle Armor, instantly killing him in a shower of gibs. Of course, when said Battle Armor dies, his dropped weapon will on rare occasions, spawn inside you, if you're close enough.
  • The Workhorse: The Warhammer Prime, Catapult Prime, and Atlas D are centuries old designs still in service in the Inner Sphere. While they get outgunned and outran by their more modern counterparts, their archaic Standard Reactor and basic weapons make them exceptionally cheap — they cost about as much as mechs 20 tons lighter — and durable.
  • Zerg Rush: Battle Armor sometimes works on this principle. Because they are only worth 1 ticket in ticket-based game modes, or a piddly amount of points in point based game modes, they often try to drown the enemy in a sea of their own dead bodies, by repeatedly flinging themselves at the enemy while tossing as many grenades at them as possible.

    MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries 
  • Ace Custom: In addition to the obligatory Design-It-Yourself Equipment, the game features numerous "Hero 'Mechs" which offer unique configurations on their various chassis, often involving LosTech. Two examples are the Cicada CDA-X5 and the Catapult CPLT-BB "Butterbee". Where a normal Cicada cannot max out its armor even if completely stripped of weapons, the X5 has an XL engine, endo steel structure, and ferro fibrous armor that allow it to max out armor without sacrificing speed and leaves tonnage over for weapons, which it can mount more of than any other Cicada variant. The Butterbee's changes are more modest, swapping a normal Catapult CPLT-C1's two large missile hardpoints for four medium ones, allowing it to act as a close-in fighter with four SRM-6s instead of the standard two LRM-15s. You can of course also customize the Hero 'Mechs to you liking, making an ace custom out of an ace custom.
  • All There in the Manual: Origins, a short story anthology first released on the game's website and later published under the title The Mercenary Life by Catalyst Game Labs, serves as a prequel to the game. Ryana, Spears, and Fahad all receive short stories detailing their backstories. While the stories reveal how Nikolai Mason and his wife Chloe create their own mercenary unit, The Cavaliers, very little is revealed about Mason's past. The game's ending implies that Mason may have actually been sent by the Clans as a scout.
  • Canon Foreigner: "Call to Arms" adds several 'Mechs whose model name ends in "P", which denotes a melee model and have special melee hardpoints that can take Axes, Maces, Claws, Swords, or other melee weapons more sophisticated than knuckles and hammerfists as the DLC focuses on melee combat. Most of these melee models have no canonical counterpart. Generally, they trade off a ranged hardpoint or two for the melee capability, but those melee weapons can do monstrous damage if you can get in range to use them.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: In "Legend of the Kestrel Lancers", your unit is split off from the Second Crucis Lancers and sent to link up the Fifth Syrtis Fusiliers and assist in the initial assault, but by the time you arrive, the battle has already begun and the Fifth Syrtis Fusiliers have been nearly wiped out by Maccaron's Armored Cavalry and other Federated Suns forces are hurting badly.
  • Continuity Nod: As time passes in the game, the news entries will mention numerous events from the novels and sourcebooks happening across the Inner Sphere. The Starmap also shows the changing borders as time passes ending on the 3049 Inner Sphere map.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Much like previous games and BattleTech (2018), MechWarrior 5 allows the player to customize what exactly is on their 'Mechs, but compared to previous games the hardpoint system downplays it. Where MechWarrior 4 allowed the player to mount however many weapons they liked so long as their size fit within the given hardpoints (eg. three medium lasers could fit in the same space as one PPC) and BattleTech (2018) permitted any weapon to be mounted to the correct type of hardpoint so long as tonnage and critical slots allowed for it, MechWarrior 5 has both hardpoint types and sizes, so you can't take your starting Centurion, carve out some extra tonnage, and mount an AC/20 in the place of the AC/10 because the AC/20 is a large ballistic weapon and the Centurion only has a medium ballistic hardpoint. However, the reverse is possible and an AC/10 can be put in a large hardpoint. Additionally, BattleTech (2018)'s "support" size hardpoints are gone and instead very small weapons like machine guns and small lasers use the smallest hardpoint of their type. All in all, while you still have some flexibility, MechWarrior 5's MechLab favors designs that hew much closer to stock than previous BattleTech-based computer games.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Black Inferno is taken out somewhere a little over half-way through the main campaign. ComStar serves as the antagonist from then on.
  • Foreshadowing: During Act 2 of the campaign, Ryana is perplexed that the Free Worlds League is not sending their military after Black Inferno. This is a big hint that whoever is backing Black Inferno has the power to keep one of the Great Houses off their backs.
    • Upon first learning the name of the mercenary outfit who killed your father, Fahad has a quite prescient insult for them, remarking that a "Black Inferno" is just smoke. Black Inferno turn out to be a cover group, or a smokescreen, for the real villains.
    • Even from the very start of the game, Black Inferno shows up with a King Crab, a very rare 100-ton 'Mech, and for a previously unheard of company to show up with such firepower suggests some manner of outside backing.
  • Game Mod: Officially supported via an integrated mod loader and official modding tools, though the latter are only available via the Epic Games Store and not through other storefronts the game is sold through.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The game starts in 3015 with appropriate borders and technology (mostly) and adjusts the borders and introduces new technology at the appropriate times. This means for example that the Capellan Confederation will lose a large portion of its territory in 3030 as a result of the Fourth Succession War and that Gauss Rifles will (re)enter production in 3040. Additionally, it is possible to occasionally find items that haven't yet been re-introduced before then as rare LosTech.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Several weapon distinctions are made that haven't traditionally been made in the franchise or represent different means of achieving a result that were not traditionally distinguished, such as whether high-rating autocannons fire one very large shell or several more modestly-sized shells.
    • Rifles are balanced completely differently from tabletop - on tabletop, a Heavy Rifle is less powerful than an AC/10 and only narrowly outranges it, and is only really intended to represent very old direct-fire ballistic weapons. In MechWarrior 5, they hit nearly as hard as an AC/20 and have more or less the range and projectile speed of an AC/2 all in a medium-sized package. However, they pay for both of these features with an extremely low rate of fire and attrocious ammunition density. Additionally, while on the tabletop, the Light Rifle is outright incapable of damaging modern 'Mech armor, it does damage between an AC/5 and an AC/10 in MechWarrior 5.
    • Lasers are broken up into regular lasers and short-burst lasers (not to be confused with pulse lasers). The former does more damage but needs to be held on target longer to do their full damage, while the latter shoots faster and needs less time on target, albeit at the cost of total damage dealt. Short-burst lasers do not exist in tabletop, but play closer to how lasers were depicted in previous MechWarrior games.
    • Missiles are split into regular and stream versions (not to be confused with homing streak missiles), which launch all their missiles at once and one missile after another, respectively, with the latter offering slightly better spread. For SRMs, stream missiles give higher DPS, while for LRMs, they give lower DPS. Like with the lasers, this isn't a distinction that exists elsewhere, though both depictions have been made in other media without distinguishing them as separate types of weapon.
    • Autocannons are split into standard and burst autocannons (not to be confused with ultra autocannons), with the former doing all their damage in one shot like how they're normally portrayed, while the latter does a little more damage over a short burst with some spread and more consistent with how an autocannon might be expected to behave given the name. Like short-burst lasers and stream missiles, this isn't really a distinction that exists in other BattleTech media, but it does represent that autocannons are variously described as firing one really big shot or a short burst of smaller shots, and that either method can lead to a particular numerical autocannon rating.
    • LB-X autocannons firing in shotgun and solid-shot mode are treated as entirely different weapons when canonically, they're separate modes for the same weapon. Additionally, both modes use LB-X autocannon ammo, rather than scattershot using LB-X autocannon ammo and solid shot using standard autocannon ammo.
    • Interstellar travel takes a fixed amount of time solely based on the number of jumps taken. While this is lore-appropriate on the FTL portion of interstellar travel (K-F drives have always jumped up to 30 light-years instantly with a three day cooldown, though the game treats this as seven days between jumps), it standardizes the sub-light portion by standardizing travel time between to and from jump points when various population centers may be actually closer or further from a system's jump points.
    • The game features tiers of weapons of a given type made by different manufacturers, with higher tiers having more range, doing more damage, and shooting faster. This distinction does not exist on tabletop, where any given Inner Sphere AC/10 is treated as the same as any other Inner Sphere AC/10.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: With the "Legend of the Kestrel Lancers" expansion, 'Mechs can now properly smack and punch each other for the first time in the series. Naturally, if your mech has a proper fist on their arm instead of a gun barrel, the damage from such a blow is greatly increased. "Call to Arms" allows the installation of better punching fists along with the other melee weapons it adds.
  • Joke Weapon: MechWarrior 5 features two of the most infamous joke 'Mechs in the franchise - the Cicada and the Charger. Both are massively overengined in their stock configurations to the point that it completely cripples their ability to actually fight, though for once the Charger can actually throw its bulk around to bully lighter 'Mechs if it gets into melee range and even gets a melee variant in the CGR-1P5. However, both 'Mechs have variants, and especially Hero 'Mech variants, that mitigate their weaknesses by either downsizing their engines or using LosTech/recovered technology like XL engines to reduce their weight without sacrificing all their speed.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Perhaps unsurprisingly to anyone familiar with BattleTech media, Comstar is backing Black Inferno.
  • Marathon Level:
    • The main campaign of the "Legend of the Kestrel Lancers" DLC puts you in the shoes of a mercenary auxiliary to the Second Crucis Lancers taking Tikonov, Tigress, and Sarna. Each of these campaigns has fixed downtime between missions, giving little time for repairs more extensive than patching armor. The Sarna campaign in particular puts you through six back-to-back deployments with minimal rest and repair time between the first five missions, and none whatsoever between the fifth and sixth missions.
    • Smaller examples can also be found in multi-mission contracts, which can task you with two to four back-to-back deployments.
  • Mook Chivalry: In defense and hold missions, enemies usually attack in small packets of 4-6, and keep coming in these small waves rather than pushing their full force of at least 15 assorted 'Mechs, ground vehicles, and aerospace assets all at once.
  • Must Have Caffeine: One of the options for procedurally-generated random missions sees your outfit contracted to blow up a rival's strategic coffee reserves.
  • Overdrive: 'Mechs can be equipped with Superchargers or MASC, either of which improves their speed so long as they're active, but if run too long, starts to cause structural damage.
  • Private Military Contractors: This is what the player is. They also can fight on the different sides of the same conflict multiple times.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Hunting down the people who killed your father is your Causus Belli, even though he was a mercenary, and death is a known risk of the job... and in your revenge quest, you frequently smash civilian buildings underfoot, and crush hundreds of (non-combatant) fathers to paste, without any impact on story progression.
  • Psycho for Hire: Some of the pilots you can hire for your mercenary outfit can be this, according to their description.
  • Sequel Hook: In the final campaign mission, Mason and Ryana notice an odd symbol, a rotated Cameron Star colored red, was more recently added to the blast door of an old Star League cache. Also, Mason learns his father was sent into the Inner Sphere as an advance scout by what was likely the descendents of General Kerensky's Star League Defense Force. And they were probably on their way back.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • Chemical Lasers are common lower-end laser options in the game despite not officially being introduced in the timeline until 3059, when Clan Hell's Horses invented them for ICE vehicles. This is perhaps more realistic than the established lore, but contradicts it nonetheless.
    • With "Call to Arms", a wide variety of melee weapons are available during the game's time period, such as swords and maces, even though the 'Mech-scale Sword was canonically introduced in 3058 and the 'Mech-scale Mace was introduced at a similar time. The only melee weapon that's actually definitively in-period is the Axe/Hatchet.
  • Shout-Out: One of the pilot portraits has a helmet with a very distinctive oxygen mask and goggles.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The main character's father dies at the start of the game because A) he decides to walk all the way around a building that's brought down between his mech and the main character's mech rather than using his ''Victor's'' jump jets to simply jump over it and B) he reacts to being ambushed by several enemy mechs including a King Crab, which is larger, more heavily armed, but also slower than his mech by charging straight at them instead of trying to evade them or retreat into the city where he'd have more cover and the opportunity to take the hostiles on one a time instead of all together. Fridge Brilliance kicks in if Mason Senior really was a Clansman deep cover agent and fell back on his old combat training in the heat of the moment. While the clans are legendary for their 1v1 dueling skills, to the point that he might have been capable of obliterating the King Crab with a lower weight class in a straight fight, the clans practically ignored 'dishonorable' asymmetrical combat, meaning he was never trained in situational awareness in his youth and forgot it when ambushed.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Especially in comparison to the MechWarrior 4 titles, which restricted travel to a handful of plot-relevant locations, MechWarrior 5 allows the player to go virtually anywhere in the Inner Sphere (plus much of the Periphery) and search for mercenary work or visit industrial regions to buy new 'Mechs and weapons and hire new crew. However, while the campaign map is wide open, contracts are carried out on relatively confined maps no more than a few kilometers across.
  • You Killed My Father: The protagonist's motivation in the main campaign.

Primary Objective: Inspect Tropes Page: Successful

Return to Dustoff Zone for Extraction

Alternative Title(s): Mech Warrior231st Century Combat, Mech Warrior 3, Mech Warrior 4 Black Knight, Mech Warrior 4 Mercenaries, Mech Warrior 4 Vengeance, Battle Tech Firestorm, Mech Warrior Online, Mech Warrior 2, Mech Warrior 4