BATTLETECH – Mechwarrior Skills and Classes

Description and evaluation of mechwarrior skills, abilities and classes.
Suggestions on how to spec your pilots and which mechs to put them in.

Other BATTLETECH Guides:

Mechwarrior Titles

Mechwarrior with no skills is called a recruit. As fist of their skills reaches 5 they’ll receive a title appropriate to the skill. They keep the title until they receive a their third ability.

The following table shows the all the titles your mechwarriors can have:


Gunnery is pretty straight forward. The higher the skill, the higher the chance to hit is.
+2.5% increase per skill level.


Allows you to target multiple enemies.

Used for:

  • Stripping off evasion points off multiple targets.
  • Finishing off weak enemies.
  • Utilising weapons with different ranges to their full potential.

Useful for:

  • + Mechs with multiple long or medium range weapons.
  • + Mechs with very varied weapons with different ranges (e.g. SRM+LRM). 

Useless for:

  • – Mechs with only short range weapons.
  • – Mechs with only one long range weapon.

Breaching shot

Single shots ignore Cover and Guarded.

Used for:

  • Negating damage reduction effects.
  • Finishing enemies taking cover or bracing.
  • Combining with with multi-target.

Useful for:

  • + Mechs with a PPC, LRM20 or AC20.
  • + Mechs often using multitarget.

Useless for:

  • – Mechs with only short range weapons.
  • – Mechs with multiple weak weapons (like SRM2 or LRM5).


Gunnery is useful for all mechs with ranged weapons, so even LRMs and SRMs benefit from it. And I presume it also applies to support weapons also, but purely melee oriented builds can ignore it though.

Recommended Investment: As much as you can spare.


Piloting doesn’t really make your mech move or turn faster. The speed is up to the engine on the Mech and there’s no piloting tricks that help with that. What Piloting helps with is mainly melee. Think of it as your mechwarriors martial prowness rather than racing skill.
+2.5% melee hit chance per level.

But wait there’s more!

Piloting also gives you:

  • Higher max evasion (lvl 4 and 7)
  • Higher “unsteady” threshold (lvl 4 and 9)
  • Longer sprint distance (+20% at lvl 6)
  • Safer DFA (-25% leg damage at lvl 10)

(Unsteady status: No sprinting, knocked down if next stability bar fills up)

Evasive Movement

Gives you an extra point of evasion when you move.

Used for:

  • Getting more evasion when moving.

Useful for:

  • + Most Mechs really.
  • + Light Mechs especially.

Useless for:

  • – Support Fire Mechs.
  • – Mechwarriors with “Bulwark”.

Ace Pilot

Mechwarrior can shoot before moving.

Used for:

  • Tactical flexibility.
  • Tactical withdrawal.
  • Tactical reserved turn with reversed actions next round.

Useful for:

  • + Most Mechs really.
  • + Light Mechs especially.

Useless for:

  • – None, really.


Piloting is useful for your short ranged melee mechs and light mechs relying on the extra evasion pips. The abilities also are especially useful for lights.

Recommended Investment: 4 points for all mechs.


Guts affects your pilots health, both the maximum amount of injuries they can receive as well as how likely they are to survive after incapacition from injuries. Mechwarriors with very high guts might even survive the destruction of the cockpit if they are very lucky.

Likelihood of death from incapaciation: 90%-(5%*Guts).

The real benefit of guts is in the other bonuses:

Guts also gives you:

  • Higher max health (+1 at lvl 4, 7 & 10)
  • Higher recoil compensation (-1 at lvl 5 & 8)
  • Higher heat threshold (+15 at lvl 6 and 9)


Gives you “Guarded” when don’t you move. (Guarded = -50% damage from the front & sides).

Used for:

  • Tanking incoming damage.
  • Holding and defending a good position.

Useful for:

  • + Heavily armored and slow Mechs.

Useless for:

  • – Light Mechs.


Successful Melee attacks knocks your target back one Initiative Phase.

Used for:

  • Adding more benefits to melee attacks.
  • Allowing your heavier mechs to finish off an enemy before it can act.

Useful for:

  • + Mechwarriors with high piloting skills.
  • + Mechs good at melee attacks.

Useless for:

  • – Fire Support Mechs.
  • – (Against) Assault Mechs.


Guts is useful for all sorts of mechs, but especially ones meant to take a hit rather than relying on evasion. It will keep your pilots alive and helps to keep your mechs firing.

Recommended investment: 4 or 6 points recommended for all mechs.


Tactics works in very different manner to gunnery which was a straight up percentage increase every level. It’s more like Guts where the extra benefits are the main interest instead of the linear percentage boost. Tactics doesn’t have that and doesn’t even give you anything until the 4th level.

Tactics gives you:

  • Indirect fire penalty reduction (lvl 4, 7 & 10)
  • Mininum firing rande reduction (-45m at lvl 5 & 8) 
  • Better Called shots (lvl 6 & 9)

Sensor lock

Reveal target until the end of current round and remove 2 points of evasion.

Used for:

  • Identifying and targeting enemies without line of sight.
  • Getting rid of evasion points.
  • Designating targets for Fire Support Mechs.

Useful for:

  • + Light Mechs.

Useless for:

  • – Support Fire Mechs.

Master Tactitician

Piloted Mech gets +1 initiative, and reserving a turn removes a stability damage bar.

Used for:

  • Tactical flexibility.
  • Additional reduction of stability damage.
  • Reserved turn+high initiative double action.

Useful for:

  • + Most Mechs really.
  • + Light Mechs especially.

Useless for:

  • – None, really.


Tactics is a little bit trickier skill to evaluate. It is crucial for Fire Support Mechs with LRMs, due to the minimum range and indirect fire penalty reductions. The abilities are somewhat situational and more useful for light mechs.

Recommended investment: All or nothing.

Skills Summary


Useful for all mechs
Get lvl 5 as soon as possible unless a Light Mech Pilot
+ Multitarget is one on best abilities (recommended)
+ Breaching shot also is one of the best


Good for melee and evasion, mainly light mechs
Get lvl 4 on all pilots
+ Evasive Movement is a solid basic skill for all mechs
+ Ace Pilot offers a lot of extra tactical flexibility


Good for survivability and fringe benefits like heat threshold
Get lvl 4 (+1 health) or 6 (+15 heat capacity) on all pilots
+ Bulwark is very useful for slow heavily armored mechs
+ Juggernaugth is quite situational, but good for melee


Good for Fire Support Mechs
Skip entirely or invest heavily
+ Sensor lock is situational, but very useful to have (1 per lance recommended)
+ Master Tactician is allows more control over initiative, situational

Mechwarrior Skill Builds

Some combinations of skills work better together than others.
Same goes for the abilities and these 2 don’t go always together.

Like Piloting improving your melee hit chance, but Juggernaut, a melee orientated ability, being in Guts. Or the benefits of tactics being great for Fire Support Mechs while the abilites themselves benefitting mostly Light Mechs. Of course you could make a light fire support mech, but it wouldn’t really excel in either task.

Recon / Scout

Piloting + Tactics

This combination works well for light tanks. As the Mechwarrior titles imply, these skills offer the abilites most benefitial for scouting. Both masteries are valid here. They just offer a different type of tactical flexibility, but I’d prioritise Piloting.

Skirmisher / Flanker

Gunnery + Piloting

Here we have another good light mech pilot, but even better for the more mobile mechs among the mediums. As the name implies, this class is about flanking and harassing the larger enemy mechs and dealing with enemy scouts. Either class works.


Gunnery (8) + Guts (5)

This is your standard heavy/assault mech pilot. Get them to a good spot (with cover) and fire away, letting your guarded status and armor take tank the hits. The reverse, Gladiator, is more melee orientated, but still decent. Lancer is superior though in most situations.


Guts (8) + Piloting (5)

For the Melee Mech with tons of support weapons, this combination offers the best benefits. The reverse of this class, Outrider, is rather terrible. Ace Pilot only applies to shooting.


Gunnery (8) + Tactics (5)

Again the class name is pretty descriptive. This the Mechwarrior for your Fire Support Mechs armed with LRMS, or other long range weaponry. The reverse, Striker, isn’t bad here, just not as good.

Sentinel / Vanguard

Guts + Tactics

Avoid this combination, there is no synergy here. The only thing these guys are good for is standing around.

Building Your Lance

There are some missions and tactics that use very different builds for a lance. Some missions can be done easily with lightly armed, well “armored” light mechs, but usually a well balanced lance is what you want and that’s what I’m going to help you with.

Abilities you want in any lance:

1 Sensor Lock (not on your Fire Support Mech). Rest is up to you really.

Well, that’s pretty easy to do, right?

Not much of a guide if I left it at that though, huh?

So you usually would have a light mech, a fire support mech and 2 short/medium range mechs, the heavier the better, really.

So here’s a simple guide for the perfect set of pilots for your lance:

For a Light Mech (choose 1)

  • Scout
  • Recon

For every Heavy / Assault Mech

  • Lancer

For any other mechs (Choose any)

  • Lancer
  • Flanker
  • Skirmisher

Optionally substitute one your warriors with:

  • Brawler (for light/medium melee mech)
  • Gladiator (for heavy/assault melee mech)
  • Sharpshooter (for fire support mech)

Fire support can be piloted by any class really, they just need high Gunnery and Tactics skills. Gunnery abilities are recommended however.

Tips & Tricks

So, here’s a few itemised tips and tricks, both mentioned, implied and deducted from this dive into the skills, as well as some other things I’ve learned worth mentioning.

  • Light mechs benefit most from evasion (piloting skill and abilities)
  • Heavy (& assault) mechs benefit most from guts
  • Fire Support Mechs benefit from high Tactics skill, but not the abilities really
  • Light Mechs are best for use of Sensor Lock
  • LRM5 is more weight efficient than LRM10
  • SRM4 is more heat and space efficient than SRM2 and SRM6
  • L Laser is kind of useless, use M Lasers for hear and weight efficiency or PPC for range+stability

Pilot Skill Combo Builds and Lance Building Setup Guide

A Battletech pilot skill combinations setup guide that helped me build and setup my lance of Battlemechs. This is a “Note to Self” video that I hope will still help fellow Battletech fans.

Written by Lavikon

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.