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Armored Core For Answer is the last of its breed for the 4th-generation Armored Core universe, and one of the only titles that represents a true challenge to its AC designers. This article will help you understand the basics and may even unlock some of the more complicated aspects of building a combat ready AC.

Let's start with the obvious: When building an AC from Armored Core For Answer, one has to take into account several things, some of which are more important in this title than its predecessor (Armored Core 4).

FRAME[]

Starting off, there is the frame of the unit, which consists of the four main body parts of the AC; the HEAD part, the CORE part, the ARM part, and the LEG part. How you put your frame together will determine your basic stats, such as the base energy drain and total weight versus load capacity (for LEG part only). In the case of combat, the arms can determine EN weapon skill, firing stability, and accuracy, as well as arm mobility - all of which directly affects how any equipped weapon performs. The CORE, in conjunction with the legs, affects movement speed, stability, and overall AP and defense ratings.  The head is the electronic warfare section of the frame, and is responsible for things such as how far you can actually see an opponent, your base radar range, lock speed, and ECM (electronic counter measures) resistance.

INNER PARTS, MOVEMENT, AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY[]

Moving on to the "guts" of your AC, which consist of the boosters, FCS (fire control system) and the generator. All of these, even the FCS, impact movement and EN efficiency. Although the main body of the AC requires a considerable amount of energy by itself, the inner parts of the machine are where most of the energy goes into account. You cannot simply build the most EN efficient frame, fill it with high performance yet EN costly parts, and expect it to outrun and outmaneuver your opponent while still maintaining peak EN efficiency; such a build would instead drain your AC of all its available energy in a very short time and, depending on how everything else is constructed, you will have to frequently halt your movement to recharge. It is advised that one finds a medium ground between EN efficiency and speed.

Generally speaking, a good AC requires a proper pairing of Boosters, Generator, and overall weight of the frame. High-drain boosters paired with a light generator will lead to drain issues, as lighter generators tend to have lower EN output; likewise, a lightweight frame with a powerful but heavy generator will experience mobility issues even with strong boosters, especially when weapons are factored into the overall build.

As stated above, the weight of the frame effects mobility and turning speed. The heavier an AC is, the more power it will require to move from point A to B.While heavy AC's tend to have a longer duration in which their energy can be used (heavy generators have high-EN capacity), it can take three times as long to recharge depending on how the inner parts are structured in comparison to the frame's overall energy demands.

Using the right leg parts alongside the proper generator can affect overall movement speed. The legs of an AC handle load weight, regular movement and turning ability; however, given their role in handling your AC's weight, they also require more energy to function, giving them the highest energy costs of the basic AC frame. Thus, overall mobility requires legs with a high enough load tolerance to handle your AC's weight, but low enough EN costs to handle the demands of the rest of the frame, boosters, and weapons.

Believe it or not, the FCS also has a very significant impact on how your AC moves and behaves. Also, depending on the FCS you have chosen, it can impact EN efficiency. It all depends on the FCS's features.  In talking about how FCS affects EN efficiency, some FCS are specialized to one parameter, say Lock Range or Parallel Processing, have low EN drain but their other features are sub-par, such as low Missile Lock Speed and ECM Resistance. This makes you maximize and play along the FCS part's specialty. Other FCS have better overall stats, featuring high Missile Lock Speed, long Lock Range and reliable ECM Resistance all in one package, but they also have high EN drain, making them less desirable if your AC already has a high overall EN drain.

From a movement and behavior standpoint, some FCS have very high Lock Speed but suffer from short Lock Distance, forcing you to close in on the enemy quickly and stay close. This limits your weapon options to assault rifles and machine guns and such, and your booster selection to powerful main boosters that let you dash towards your targets in a snap. Other FCS have very long Lock Range but have horrendous Lock Speed, thereby forcing you to keep your distance from enemies, and also limiting your weapon options to sniper weaponry and high-speed missiles. This also makes you choose a back booster that allows you to move backward for long distances.

The FCS' overall performance can be enhanced by pairing it with the proper head and weapons (for example: a long-range FCS paired with a sniper rifle and sniping head can achieve a better lock than the same FCS with an assault rifle and mid-range head). Your FCS' ECM resistance will determine how long ECM can interfere with your lock-on capabilities, which will vary depending on what kind of combat your FCS is designed for.  While there are players who are skilled enough to use "manual aim" to sidestep ECM issues, the FCS is absolutely required for missile usage.

 WEAPONRY[]

An AC was conceived for the purpose of multiple warfare's at the command of either a company soldier or a LYNX. However large and as fast these machines are, an AC will get nowhere fast by equipping a weapon that simply does not suit the mission you are on or the opponent you are currently facing. One must be able to either conceive a weapon set for their AC that can handle a number of tasks, or refit the machine every mission to achieve a single objective. Either way, one must make sure that their AC can use the selected weapons to the best of its ability so that one isn't wasting unnecessary ammunition due to incompatible parts. An AC's weapons are split up into five categories: the right and left arm units, the right and left back units, and shoulder-mounted weaponry. contained within these categories are different types of weapons; generally, weapons in the back slots are more powerful than their arm weapon counterparts, but they have limited attack angle, meaning you can't aim back weapons all the way down or all the way up. They are also heavier, making them cumbersome at times. Arm weapons on the other hand, are lighter than their back-mounted counterparts and are weaker but have more ammo (in most cases). If you don't fancy back-mounted cannons, there are plenty of different types of missiles to mount on your back slots, ranging from standard direct-fire missiles, to vertical missiles that have better homing ability, scatter missiles that fly as a group in a single launch, to large missiles that are slow but possess insane amounts of damage. The shoulder slots are a mixed bag containing both offensive gear (such as supplementary missiles, dumb-fire rockets, or even a shotgun attachment) and defensive gear (such as ECM jammers, flares, and PA rectifiers).

Weapons, like everything else on an AC, take up energy - especially the ones that rely on energy output to be used (such as EN rifles, laser blades and above all, Kojima weaponry), which can hamper energy recovery. Weapon weight is also a factor - heavy weapons like gatling guns, grenade launchers and bazookas add on to the machine's overall weight. To that end all weapons (even ones that are light in weight) will contribute to the stability of the AC. For example, picture a standard build such as an AALIYAH or a LANCEL and then equip a light weight weapon on the left arm and a heavyweight weapon on the right arm -  you'll notice that when you turn the AC, it turns faster towards the right side than the left. The Stabilizer mechanic (seen only in AC4 and AC:fA) has been added to counteract this, which uses an additional stat system to determine how the AC's weight is distributed; however, effectively using the stabilizers demands advanced experience in handling how the AC bobs and weaves. Now that you are familiar with the basics, I will move on to building strategies that illustrate what design is best for what job.

[[Editor's note: I suggest more information at some point concerning Stabilizers and how to choose the right type and placement for your build. As this feature wasn't included in the previous games, and as Stabilizers really do impact the way the AC behaves, we should definately go into further detail|Editor's note: I suggest more information at some point concerning Stabilizers and how to choose the right type and placement for your build. As this feature wasn't included in the previous games, and as Stabilizers really do impact the way the AC behaves, we should definitely go into further detail]]


CLOSE QUARTERS COMBAT (WEAPONS)[]

There are two different classes of close quarters combat: short range and melee. Beginning with short range, one pictures assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, and pistols. While these are all close combat weapons, this does not mean one can solely rely upon one gun, such as the shotgun, to handle all situations. While the shotgun in said example is a powerful short range weapon, it suffers from spread shot and fast ammo consumption in comparison to a machine gun with its high rate of fire and hit accuracy - but on the other side of the coin, the machine guns are great for MT'S and normals, but when used against a high-speed NEXT, half the clip will be spent just trying to land shots and cutting through their primal armor before any true damage is done. Both weapons with their shortcomings can be handled by an AC with ease. assault rifles and pistols suffer from the same general issues as the other two mentioned above but they also have inherent traits that most classes of weapons have. These issues, starting with the assault rifle, are lower Melee Ability. When the assault rifle is equipped on an AC built for the use of shotguns and machine guns it is a decent combination at a range of about 250 to 340, depending on the rifle in question.

when the target exceeds this range it is all too obvious how shots tend to miss sixty percent of the time. Most would chalk that up to the weapons ballistic velocity, which is only part of the problem. The other part is staying locked on - on an AC designed for shotguns and machineguns, the user would build something to get at your flanks and maintain high EN efficiency allowing them to damage you just outside your ability to counter attack. Now, with an assault rifle this again isn't a problem... at the range specified above. However, the minute your opponent out-flanks you and sets up a counter attack from mid range your combat ability suffers if you can't aim your weapons quickly to the flanking enemy. Since the battle has now turned into a flanking game, you need to be able to make your weapons stay on the enemy that's moving as quick as you are. To remedy this you must find an ARM part with above average Maneuverability.

Once this is achieved, then a counter attack can be mounted with above average efficiency. If there are complications preventing you from selecting an alternate arm part (such as high EN demands or ARMS that exceed your build's weight restrictions), one can achieve higher maneuverability without changing the part already equipped by using any FRS Memory (tuning points used to enhance the standard abilities of the CORE, ARM, LEG, and HEAD parts as well as boosters, generator and FCS.) that you earned from various missions and Order Matches. 

Other weapons some more advanced players might consider using for close-range combat are the Gatling Guns and Bazookas. These are weapons that possess high single-shot damage, but are heavy and possess high recoil, making them very difficult to wield. Because of this, your AC needs to have a high degree of Stability and Firing Stability. With this in mind, Arm Maneuverability becomes second priority, and players would have to make up for this lack of Maneuverability by using their skill to position their ACs so that they have a clear shot at all times.

Moving on, we now discuss back-mounted weapons that are meant for close quarters. Armored Core: For Answer reintroduces Chain Guns and Slug Guns in the game. They have lesser ammo than their handheld counterparts (chain gun is to machine gun, slug gun is to shotgun), but possess higher overall firepower.

these weapons however aren't the only ones that can be used for close quarters combat, like any other veteran of this title and its predecessor's multiplayer will tell you, any gun can be used for close up engagements but once we stray from short range solutions and enter into grenade cannons, rocket launchers and kojima weaponry, then you as a builder must find a fire control system (fcs) that can tie a mid to long range support weapon to a close quarters play style.

((yup still working))

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