Armored Core Wiki

There are many rules and concepts regarding the vast Armored Core universe, but the basic and most important rule still stays the same, which is to destroy the other AC or to achieve the mission's goal (which usually involves destroying something, like an AC). How to do such a task is what requires knowledge of the game's basic concepts. (This article covers only the concepts of Armored Core 1 to Armored Core Last Raven)

Some of the basic concepts of the game include:[]


In order to be able to play Armored Core without too much difficulty, one needs to master the art of maneuvering. That includes moving at high speeds without completely using up all of your energy while evading enemy fire and using overboost efficiently. The first step is to get used to the game's controls. You will need to master them, because using your AC can be a chore if you don't know how to control it properly. Learn how to Dash and Bunny Hop; the ability to use your boosters to propel your AC to one side but being able to manage your energy levels at the same time. Bunny hopping is the act of boosting then jumping when your AC's feet hit the ground and then boosting again to preserve energy while keeping a decent amount of speed. Get a feel for the game and move around, try playing the "AC Test" option on the garage and try evading enemy fire. Maneuvering is a big part of the game, and being able to master it is half the battle won.

Managing your Energy[]

This is just as every bit as important as maneuvering, perhaps even more important, because if you do not know how to manage your energy levels correctly, you could be left out in the open charging, waiting for your energy to completely recover as booster movement and energy weapon use are not allowed while in this state. Charging is a state that your AC enters after you completely use up all of its energy. Its energy slowly recharges again, and at this time you are not allowed to use anything that uses energy from your AC. Depending on your Energy Output, your AC may charge faster if you have a high Energy Output rating and low energy drain parts. When building your AC, pick a good generator that will have enough energy for your AC's energy needs. Since energy weapons consume energy, being able to use them efficiently and maneuvering correctly while still keeping your energy can be very difficult. But like anything in Armored Core, with enough practice you will be able to master it. Just be careful when picking parts for your AC, especially your generator, your booster and your energy weapons, if any, as these make a huge difference depending on what kind of part you use for your AC. When in battle, don't use up all of your energy on overboost or by boosting too long or by using up your energy by continuously firing your energy weapons while boosting. Overboost is an option that some cores have. This option was only added in Armored Core 2, as the previous games did not have this feature. It involves thrusting your AC forward by using the boosters built inside its core. This makes your AC go up to 900 km/h but drains a lot of energy in a short amount of time, so skill is needed in order to use it correctly. Managing your energy from Armored Core up to Armored Core Last Raven generally stays the same with a few additions. But in Armored Core 4 and the games that followed, managing your energy is completely different. 


Combat differs from each Armored Core installment, but the idea is still generally the same. The idea is to lock on to your opponent and once the AC gets a full Red lock-on to your opponent, you then fire your weapon. Although there are some exceptions to this such as rockets, the main idea is to fire at your opponent with the arsenal of weapons that you have currently equipped until your opponent's Armor Points reach zero. To do this, you will need a good AC with a good arsenal of devastating weapons. There are a vast amount of weapons for you to choose from, ranging from weapon arms (arms that are weapons themselves and cannot hold ordinary arm weapons), left and right arm weapons, shoulder weapons and even inside weapons. Choose a weapon that fits your style of playing, as these will determine whether or not you will succeed in battle.

There are many kinds of weapons in the world of Armored Core, but the main ones include:

Shoulder Weapons[]

  • Missiles - Missiles that follow your opponent's designation. Some fire 5 missiles simultaneously in one lock-on, while others fire more, but lock-on much slower, each missile requiring one lock-on, and one lock-on can last up to 3 seconds, depending on the FCS that you are using. Despite its arguable speed, missiles are a good option for beginners because of their decent damage, and can be difficult to dodge if the the opponent isn't experienced in evading missiles. Vertical type missiles fire in a vertical trajectory and cause a little more damage than small sized and medium sized missiles. Large missiles cause massive damage despite taking very long before they lock-on to the enemy.
  • Cannons - Shoulder cannons that cause your AC (if bipedal, reverse-joint and hover) to kneel down before firing. There are two types of shoulder cannons: These are heavy cannons and normal cannons.  Heavy cannons include grenade launchers, laser cannons, railguns, slug guns and plasma cannons. These cause a huge amount of damage and are much slower compared to normal cannons. Normal cannons include chainguns, linear cannons and pulse cannons. These cause less damage to an enemy when compared to heavy cannons but are much faster and easier to use. Take note that tank legs do not need to kneel when using shoulder cannons, as they sacrifice mobility for firepower. Quadruped legs do not need to kneel either, but they cannot fire shoulder cannons while airbourne.
  • Rockets - Rockets are bazooka like weapons that deal a good amount of damage to the opponent. They do not lock on to the opponent, and require the player to manually aim at their target, making this a bad choice for beginners.
  • Dual Weapons - Twin weapons attached on each shoulder of the AC. Dual weapons vary from missiles, grenade launchers, laser cannons, rockets, etc. As with the shoulder cannon rule, bipedal, reverse-joint and hover ACs will still need to kneel when using Dual Cannons, but will not need to do so when using Dual Missile type weapons.
  • Radars - Shoulder mounted radars that give your AC a radar function in case it doesn't have one built-in on its head. These cause no damage at all and aren't really considered shoulder weapons.
  • Stealth - These weapons were only available as shoulder weapons in Armored Core: Master of Arena and Armored Core 2. Their purpose was to remove the user from the opponent's radar, providing stealth. They then reappeared in Armored Core 3, this time as extensions, and completely removes the user from the opponent's lockbox and radar.

Right Arm Weapons[]

  • Rifles - Arguably the most balanced type of weapon in the Armored Core series. These weapons cause only a fair amount of damage and fire slowly compared to most handguns and machine guns. Some rifles fire a burst of 3 rounds in succession then stopping to reload for a short while before firing again. These standard rifles can be quite effective in the right hands and have range behind them. They have been rebalanced in the later Armored Core games and are more effective than their older countparts, but are still weak compared to other, more powerful weapon types.
  • Handguns - Fast, small weapons that have a high heat rating. Constantly bombarding your opponent with a handgun may cause its heat levels to rise, as they have a better rate of fire when compared to normal Rifles. Cons include a low ammo storage and bad range. 
  • Machineguns - Rapid fire weapons. Machine guns are a standard in the AC games, and are possibly the most efficient type of weapon in the game. In the previous Armored Core games, machines guns would fire endlessly without any need to reload, until in Armored Core: Nexus, they were given the reload feature in which they would stop firing after a given number of shots before resuming fire once again. High ammo stores and a high rate of fire make these weapons a good choice for any beginner. In later Armored Core games, the Energy Machine Gun was added; a rapid fire weapon that does not need to reload but consumes energy with each shot fired. 
  • Laser Rifles - Devastating, single shot rifles that use up energy. Most Laser Rifles are slow, but have alot of Attack Power behind them, making them deadly in mid to long range combat. The KARASAWA is known to be the most powerful laser rifle in the entire series, with each shot causing massive damage and heat to the opponent, taking away chunks of AP in only a few hits.
  • Grenade Rifles - Powerful, slow grenade weapons mounted on the arms of an AC instead of its shoulder. These are useful for quadrupedal, reverse-joint, and hover ACs as they do not need to kneel when using these weapons. They are just as deadly as their Grenade Launcher counterparts, only being slightly weaker in terms of Attack power.
  • Hand Missiles - missiles mounted on an AC's arm. Hand missiles are arm-based missile launchers that fire small-sized missiles. These are not recommended, as there are other, much stronger weapons for an AC's right arm slot, and their attack ratings are comparable to small-sized missiles, which only do a fair amount of damage.
  • Plasma Rifles - These rifles fire extremely powerful, slow moving bolts of energy. Despite being very slow, if they do manage to land, they cause an extremely high level of heat and damage on the target. These also consume a very high amount of energy with each shot fired.
  • Pulse Rifles - These small, handy weapons fire small, energy pulses that cause a fair amount of heat and damage when they hit. These are similar to Pulse Cannons but do less damage and heat. 
  • Sniper Rifles - These are accurate, long range, high powered rifles. While slow, these fire very fast, high velocity rounds that hit the target with deadly accuracy. These have a small hitbox and require a vast amount of skill in order to use them properly, so beginners should stay away from these weapons if possible.
  • Bazookas - Weapons that fire slow, damaging, solid rounds. Their attack statistics can be compared to rockets, but unlike rockets, these lock on to the opponent and fire rounds much slower compared to rockets.
  • Parry Blade - Extremely short range blades that cause a massive amount of heat and damage. These are the hardest weapons to use in the whole Armored Core series and require extreme skill to be able to use them properly.

Left Arm Weapons []

Left arm weapons are the weapons an AC may equip on its left arm. In Armored Core 3, the option of an AC wielding another projectile weapon was added. In Armored Core: Nexus, most of the Right Arm weapons have been added as Left arm weapons as well, creating "twin versions" of some of the weapons. This article will only list the Left Arm exclusive weapons and will not list the twin versions of the right arm weapons.

  • Laser Blades - short range, blade like weapons that create energy waves when used. The energy wave that laser blades create have varied with each Armored Core game, but in Armored Core: Nexus, all laser blades have been granted the ability to create energy waves. In order to create an energy wave in Armored Core: Nexus, all you need to do is press the blade button (which is typically Circle or O) and then press the boost button (which is typically X) at almost the exact same time. This will create an energy wave which adds damage but in return will use up more energy from your AC.
  • Howitzers - Howitzers are grenade like weapons that fire in an arc, and explode on impact. Howitzers were only available in Armored Core 3 and Armored Core 3: Silent Line and have been removed in the games that followed. 
  • Shields - Shields are small plate like shields that an AC uses in order to protect itself from incoming enemy fire. There are 2 different kinds of shields; the energy shield and the normal shield. Normal shields do not consume energy while in use and usually protect better against solid shell rounds, while energy shields use up energy while in use and usually protect better against energy type rounds. 

Inside Weapons[]

These include Napalm Rockets and normal Rockets, and, like any other Rocket, fire without a lock. So manual aiming is once again required to use these weapons.

Weapon Arms[]

Weapon arms are like Normal Weapons, except they are much stronger and that using them prohibits the use of normal arm weapons. These arms have almost no defensive stats with them, but are exceptionally stronger when compared to their normal counterparts. Weapons arms include Grenade Launchers, Bazookas, missiles, Laser Cannons, etc.

Building your AC[]

Before you can head on to battle in the form of missions, or duke it out with other AC pilots, you have to first, build yourself a good Armored Core. The variety of parts and combinations that the game offers is one of the very fun and creative parts of the game. As you keep playing, you will come across different designs, some better than the others, and it is up to you what design you will choose as your main blueprint for building your Armored Core. Some important things to keep in mind when building your AC are:

Energy Consumption

This concludes the amount of energy your AC has. More energy means more time for when your AC can use its boosters, energy weapons and any part that uses energy (extensions, overboost, etc). The amount of energy your AC has depends on what kind of generator you use. Some generators give out lots of energy and in return are very heavy, while some are very light but not very efficient at all. A generator's efficiency can be determined by noting that a high Condenser Capacity will mean the AC will have more energy to use when fighting. A high capacity AC means it will have more energy to use in battle, while a low capacity AC means it will have only a small amount of energy to use in battle before it becomes depleted. A generator's Energy Output will determine its ability to distribute energy to every part of the AC. Output also determines the rate in which the generator creates energy for the AC. A high output AC would mean that the AC's energy would recharge much faster while in battle, while a low output AC would mean that the AC would recharge energy much slower and is in danger of not having enough energy. Every part of an AC uses energy, and you can tell how much energy it needs by reading the part's Energy Drain. A generator will provide a certain amount of Energy Output for your AC, and depending on what parts you use will determine the rate in which your AC's energy regenerates. Parts that use less energy leave more Energy Output for the generator to produce more energy for the AC providing a faster energy recharge rate. Parts that use lots of energy could mean slower energy recharge rate and even insufficient energy.

In older AC games, ACs with insufficient energy could not go into battle, but in Armored Core 3, they were allowed to do so, provided that their energy would deplete much faster than usual and that moving without boosting would use up energy as well.

Leg Weight

This concludes the weight that your AC carries with its legs. This includes the ACs entire weight load, such as it's generator, boosters, arms, core, etc. Less weight means more mobility. Heavier parts mean less mobility and could even result in the AC being overweight. Like before, in previous Armored Core games, overweight ACs were not allowed to go into battle, but in Armored Core 3 they were allowed to fight granted that they would have very low mobility and slow turning speed and boost speed. Overweight ACs are very difficult to use and players are highly advised to avoid making their ACs overweight by putting too much weight on the ACs legs. 

Arm Weight[]

This is based on the weight that your AC carries on its arms. This includes all arm parts, including the arm parts themselves, arm weapons, extensions and inside parts. Too much weight on the AC's arms could mean lesser targeting proficiency which is is very important in the heat of battle. ACs that have excessive weight on their arms are "Arms Overweight" ACs. In older AC games, Arms Overweight ACs were not allowed to fight, but in Armored Core 3 they were allowed to do so in exchange for very bad targeting proficiency.


These are your ACs Armor Points. These are like the "life bar" of your AC. Once your Armor Points reach zero, your AC explodes and any mission you were on would automatically be failed or any fight you were having with another AC would have been lost. AP is solely based on the AC's head, core, arm and leg parts. Heavier parts mean more AP but more weight and possibly less mobility. Carefully analyze each part and decide what part you will use for your AC as each part has its own plus and minus points, depending on your playstyle. 


These are very important, especially for players who plan on using Bipedal and Quadrupedal legs and Reverse-Joint legs. These will heavily determine your AC's total mobility, as when playing Armored Core, you will notice that you will be spending most of the time flying with your boosters. Boosters vary from size, shape and performance. Other boosters propel your AC higher and faster into the air in exchange for a higher energy consumption rate when in use. Other boosters use up less energy when in use, but are much slower and do not immediately reach maximum flying speeds when activated. In Armored Core: Nexus, the concept of booster heat was introduced, as an AC's temperature will rise when their boosters are in use. 

Targeting Proficiency[]

This is based purely on the ACs arm weight, arm statistics and its FCS. Depending on your playstyle and what kind of weapon you use, an ACs targeting proficiency could greatly decrease if the weapon you use does not match the FCS you currently have. An FCS is what gives an AC the ability to lock on to targets. If you rely heavily on missiles, you could have a much easier time if you were to use an FCS that specialize in targeting with missile type weapons. This is a very important concept of the game and will heavily determine your ACs total effectiveness on the playing field. How fast your AC locks on to a target and how wide your lock box is could mean life and death on the battlefield, because an AC having trouble locking on to its opponent would be vulnerable to a volley of vicious attacks from its target.

Types of Leg parts[]

This heavily determines the total mobility of your AC, as different kinds of leg parts mean different kinds of movement and different turning, braking and jump speeds. Leg parts also determine your LEG WEIGHT, so heavier leg parts are allowed to carry heavier parts, while lighter, more agile leg parts are not allowed to carry too much weight. There are 4 types of leg parts and these are:

  • Bipedal - These are the standard leg parts of the Armored Core series. They look similar to human legs, and are divided into 3 sub-groups. These include Heavy, Medium and Light. Heavy Bipedal legs move very slowly and are very well armored compared to Medium and Light Bipedal legs. Medium Bipedal legs have a balanced armor rating and can maneuver quite well compared to their Heavy counterparts. Light Bipedal legs move extremely fast and are only lightly armored. Their leg weight load ratings are also quite poor compared to Medium and Heavy Bipedal legs, so only light weaponry is allowed when using light Bipedal legs.  
  • Quadrupedal - These are spider like leg parts that are divided into 4, equal leg parts. These legs are very mobile and are fairly well armored, but pale in comparison to a bipedal leg's defense stats. They do not need to kneel when using shoulder cannons, but use up massive amounts of energy. From Armored Core 1 up to Armored Core 2: Another Age, quad legs acted much like hover legs, as they slid through the floor as if they were slightly hovering from the surface.  In Armored Core 3 onwards, they no longer slid as if they were hover legs; each leg would move as how a giant spider like mech would move. They were much slower in Armored Core 3 when compared to their older versions, but they still did not need to kneel when using shoulder weapons. It is also important to note that while Quadrupedal leg types DO NOT need to kneel while using shoulder cannons, they are not allowed to fire them while they are airborne.
  • Reverse-Joint - These are also Bipedal type legs but they resemble the legs of a bird. They share basically the same statistics as their bipedal counterparts, the main differences being that reverse joint legs jump much higher than bipedal legs and have less armor. They tend to have very low energy drain and good load weights with light frames also.
  • Tank - Slow, heavily armored moving fortresses, these leg parts are known for their tough and extremely resilient armor while being able to carry an immense amount of firepower because of their high capacity leg weight. Tank legs do not need to kneel to be able to use shoulder cannons. Though slow, they can take very high amounts of damage before succumbing to destruction due to their thick armor plating. There are light and heavy versions of tanks, the former of which when combined with an OB core can still be very agile in the hands of a skilled player. The latter, the more traditional tank, will require more effort to be effective in an arena setup, but is very good at clearing missions.
  • Hover - Mobile versions of the tank leg parts. These legs only appeared in Armored Core 2 onwards. They float from the ground, and move in high speeds even when not boosting. In levels with large amounts of water, they float above it without costing energy, making them invaluable. The horizontal thrust is very powerful and effective at spacing through a level arena - however it has no ability to jump and the flying ability is weak in comparison. They have a very low armor rating and are vulnerable to any kind of damage, so be careful. Please note that these leg parts do need to kneel when using shoulder cannons.

As you can see, building your AC requires a lot of careful thought and planning. To maximize effectiveness, you need to figure out your playstyle and what AC will fit your style best. Are you a speed demon, who specializes in running circles around heavier ACs while slowly chipping away on their AP? Or are you the Juggernaut type AC pilot, the type that uses brute force and sheer firepower to put away his enemies. Or maybe you'd like a more balanced AC, just enough mobility to keep up with lighter ACs and enough defense to hold your own against the heavies. The possibilities are endless. Will you become the next Nine-Breaker? There's only one way to find out. So get inside that AC and start burning up some scrap metal!