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What is the Best PPC/Gauss Sniper Build?

What is the best, most optimized, polished, and efficient PPC/Gauss sniper build in Mechwarrior Online?

Short Answer: this one!

Long Answer

PPCs and Gauss Rifles form a unique and powerful combination. High pin-point damage combined with an excellent range. Every chassis which has 2 energy hardpoints and which can equip a Gauss Rifle is theoretically able to use such a sniper build. However, if your Mech is not agile it can’t utilize the weapons. If you have low armor and/or an xl-engine, you will have no chance to withstand counter-sniper fire and LRM salvos. Using an assault Mech seems reasonable and all assault chassis (except the Awesome) have at least one variant which can realize such a sniper build. You don’t want to go too heavy though since you would be wasting tonnage which could be additional speed and manoeuvrability.

The Highlander 733C really is the best variant to build this thing. 40 Gauss Ammo to last you exactly as long as a 12vs12 match. Insanely high heat dissipation allowing you to fire constantly for 10 or more times. Other Mechs will overheat after their 3rd salvo, and you will be the grinning a*shole still blasting their shoulders, legs, and weapons apart. A single jump jet allows you to cross a chasm on Canyon Network and pop-tart effectively. Survivability is extremely high, as well, since you are rocking over 450 armor and using a standard engine. Most other sniper builds will use an xl-engine making them easy prey for you. All weapons are parked on one side of your Mech, allowing you to sneak around corners and using your naked arm as a simple shield. Together with the jump jets you should be able to spread the damage across your whole chassis very easily, allowing you to live more than twice as long as your opponents.

The 733C Highlander Sniper build is used by multiple top tier players, amongst which is the infamous Kaffeangst of Hell’s Black Aces. He scored a first place in all but one tournament so far. Check out his twitch.tv stream and see this build live in action.

If you do not own a Highlander 733C, you can still work with the following builds. They are not that much worse. They are just not as perfect as the 733C. There are also several other variants which can be used to build sniper builds, for example the Cataphract 3D. Here are three more builds for comparison and reference: Dragon Slayer, Misery, and Highlander 732.

The Dragon Slayer sacrifices heat efficiency for mobility. The Victor Hero Mech is much more fragile and uses an xl-engine, making your Mech susceptible to carefully placed shots at your shoulders. If you are looking for a decent Dragon Slayer build, this one is not recommended, since it does not use both ballistic hard points. There are other more powerful builds out there which utilise AC/5s and other auto cannon calibre sizes to be more effective in competitive gaming. This build is just here for demonstrative reasons. After all, it is an effective PPC/Gauss Sniper Build.

Misery, Stalker Hero Mech, suffered a lot from the introduction of ghost heat. The Stalker has no jump jets and is not as agile as, for example, the Highlander. Although, the load-out is almost identical, the play-style is very different. You will have to move slower and more cautiously, acting from behind the front lines. Choose your positions and battles wisely, since you can not easily back out, once you have been spotted or overwhelmed. A good Misery sniper is always shooting, but never eating return fire.

The same load-out with a stronger engine and on a 732. This version of the sniper build plays very similar to the 733C, however, it is not as heat efficient. This build is just here to illustrate a similar load-out, which trades heat efficiency for slightly increased agility. Of course, one can also turn the Heavy Metal, Highlander Hero Mech, into such a sniper. If you own multiple Highlanders or are thinking about getting a new variant, I definitely recommend the 733C.


After all is said and done, the 733C comes out at the top as the sole winner in the contest for the best PPC/Gauss sniper build in Mechwarrior Online. Especially, if you are a skilled pilot and know how to pop-tart, the proposed version here does not hinder you and let’s you do all the nasty stuff you always dreamt about.

Be sure to check out Kaffeangst’s Stream. He plays almost daily in small groups and a lot of 12vs12.

If you would like to read more about the mechanics behind these builds check out the Alpha Strike, Firepower, and DPS Guide or the excellent guide on the new ghost heat system (explained without any math!).

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Highlander 732/733C PPC Sniper Build (updated for Alpha Patch July 2013)

Updated Version of this Highlander 732/33C Sniper Guide is available!

Note: An updated version (September 2013) of this Highlander PPC/Gauss Sniper build guide is available. Click here to view it.

The Highlander 732/733C PPC Sniper Build (updated for Alpha Patch July 2013)

MWO Best Highlander 732 Sniper Build Foreword

The Highlander is one of the best assault chassis and quickly became a favourite of my own. Sniper builds are everywhere, and no match goes by without countless PPCs fired at you. It is time to strike back. Obviously, some variants are better suited for the job than others. If you like a sturdy armor and heavy armor, but don’t want to slack on the mobility side: Congratulations! You just found one of the best PPC sniper builds currently known to the Mechwarrior Online community. This Highlander 732 PPC sniper build combines the unmatched armor and firepower of assault chassis’ with excellent mobility.

View Highlander 732 Sniper Build Build Online at mwo.smurfy-net.de

Note: this exact same build can be built on the 733C as well.

The recent Mechwarrior Online Patch made PPC boats very ineffective. However, you can use the following build until July 20th 2013. After that you will have to rely on the above build.

Warning: the following builds are not very effective any more! You must use chain fire or multiple weapon groups in order to still use them. It is highly recommended switching to the a fore mentioned builds.

The 3 PPCs and the Gauss Rifle will grant you with unmatched firepower. Alpha strikes of 45 damage at a reasonable heat dissipation will tear enemies to shreds with only a few shots. Light Mechs will die instantly most of the time.

Since LRMs are making a huge comeback you may want to add an AMS to your build. Here is a slight variation on the above build which includes an Anti-Missile-System. This will reduce your damage only very slightly, but the increased survivability is often worth the small cost. This Mech is using an XL-engine after all.

Highlander PPC Sniper Playstyle and Hints

  • For maximum efficiency, group your weapons as follows: 1 Gauss Rifle 2 All three PPCs 3 Gauss Rifle plus one PPC (when high on heat) 4 All three PPCs in chain fire (for test shots and disabling ECM).
  • All your PPCs and the Gauss Rifle are on one side of your Mech. Whenever you are under heavy fire or LRMs are inbound, turn your upper torso so the other side of your Mech faces the enemy.
  • Use jump jets to look over cliffs. Often times you will be able to even shoot Mechs will falling back down.
  • Be careful not to harm your legs from excessive jump jet usage. Rule of thumb: when using more than 75% of your jump jet energy, you will take damage to your legs upon landing. Try to reserve some fuel to soften your landing.
  • When close to overheating, keep firing your Gauss Rifle plus a single PPC. This will cause very little heat and allows you to continue damaging the enemy with roughly 60% of your firepower. This is always better than overheating or not firing at all.

MWO Highlander 732 Sniper Build Screenshots

Highlander 732 Sniper Build Good Game ScreenshotHighlander 732 Sniper Build Good Game Screenshot


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