heat penalty tagged posts

Heat Penalty Explained Simply (with Optimal Weapons Table)

MWO Heat Penalties Comprehensive Guide

A few patches ago, a heat penalty system was introduced to Mechwarrior Online. It generates ghost heat, if a pilot fires a certain amount of the same type of weapons at the same time. The problem is: there is no explanation for this mechanic in the game. You will have to read through a lot of forum entries and do a crap-ton of calculations and experimentation to figure out, how many of which weapons can be used. This guide will provide you with a simple table from which you can see immediately if your desired weapon group is a good idea or not. At the end of this post will be a list with other resources, links, and references which you can read if you want to go more in-depth.

Heat Penalty Easy Table

The following table provides a clean and easy overview of how many weapons you can fire at the same time. The symbols will give you an idea about the heat penalties without overwhelming you with numbers and formulas. Here is how you read the table:

MWO Green Weapon Group - Heat PenaltyNo heat penalty – A green tick means that you can fire this many weapons without any penalty.


MWO Yellow Weapon Group - Heat PenaltyLow heat penalty – A yellow plus means, that there is already a ghost heat penalty when firing this many weapons. If your build is reasonably heat efficient, you can use this many weapons in special cases. However, you will sacrifice additional heat generation for more fire power. Experiment with these amounts of weapons and if you find yourself running too hot, remove the weapon.

MWO Red Weapon Group - Heat PenaltyExtreme heat penalty / Have to use Chain fire - A red cross means that you should never ever fire this many weapons of that group at once. If you do, you will generate so much heat that the additional weapon is not worth firing at all. If you still want to use that many weapons, be sure to wait .5 seconds before firing the next one. Setting such weapon groups to chain fire (default hotkey BACKSPACE) can greatly help while playing. If you click a chain fire group once, it will only fire the currently outlined weapon. Wait .5 seconds and then click again. This way, you won’t have to deal with a lot of unnecessary weapon groups. Dual AC/20 builds are an example for this.

Linked Groups – All weapons in a linked group will share their maximum alpha heat penalty. If you fire a mixture of weapons from a group (for example PPCs and ER PPCs) at the same time, you will still receive a heat penalty. In such a case, sum up all weapons and look at the icons in the group’s row for reference. For example, if you use 2 ER Large Lasers and 2 Large Lasers, check the 4th entry of LRG LS Linked Group.

Weapons which do not appear in the table have no alpha strike heat penalty and can thus be used at will in any amount.

 MWO Heat Penalty Easy Table mwo-builds.net

Examples from the Table

2x SRM2 + 2x SRM4 – SRM2s and SRM4s are not in a linked group. 2x SRM2 is green, and 2xSRM4 is green, as well. No heat penalty when firing these 4 weapons at the same time.

2x Large Laser + 1x Large Pulse Laser – Large Lasers and Large Pulse Lasers are in a linked group. In total 2+1=3 weapons. Look at the 3rd entry for Large Laser Linked Group: orange. It could work out, but is not recommended.

Interesting Links, Resources, and References

If you want to check out the mechanics and actual numbers on a more in-depth level, you might want to have a look at the following resources.

Get Connected!

If you know of an excellent build, resource, or guide, submit it and maybe it will be featured on mwo-builds.net and seen by thousands of players. You can submit builds by sending us an e-mail, post it in the official looking-for-builds thread, or send us a private message via the official forums. You can also submit guides and builds via Facebook or Twitter (see below). Join hundreds of other Mechwarrior enthusiasts and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Receive the latest guides and the best MWO builds directly to your favourite social platform!

Read More

Alpha Strike, Fire Power, and DPS Explained

What is Alpha Strike, Fire Power, and Damage Per Second?

This guide will explain the important difference between fire power and damage per second. There are a lot of misconceptions about these terms. Many people consider only one of many values or give them no thought at all. The truth, in my humble opinion, is that different weapons excel at different jobs. Somehow, all these three terms refer to the damage of a Mech. On the other hand, their importance is often distorted by players, and they are mixed up frequently. The following short explanations will shed some light on the confusion.


Alpha Strike

An Alpha Strike in Mechwarrior Online is the act of firing all your weapons at the same time. Since the matches in MWO favoured (and in part still favours) bursty builds, this term became very popular. If all weapons on a Mech are very similar, it makes sense to fire them in one huge Alpha Strike. Those builds play very boringly, but can be insanely effective. Popular examples include the Splat-Cat (Catapult stuffed with SRMs) or PPC boats.

Fire Power

This term is one of the stats shown in the in-game mechlab. The number is the theoretical maximum damage dealt by an Alpha Strike with his Mech. Theoretical, because there are several things you have to consider when analyzing this value: If the Mech was weapons with different effective ranges, you won’t be able to fire all of them at the same time. If the chassis has weapons with very different aiming mechanisms, then you probably won’t hit all your weapons on the same target in the same salvo (for example, Lasers need you to stay on target; a Gauss Rifle requires the pilot to lead but hit only one bullet). In addition, the fire power value does not take into consideration how heat efficient a build is or how much ammo is available for all weapons.
Fire Power alone does not make for a very good indicator of how good a build really is. However, if most weapons (or all of the most powerful ones) have similar ranges, than fire power can be an indicator of how bursty a build is. For random PUG games, it is nice to have at least some burst potential. Numbers will change with patches, but at the moment the following rough outline can help with judging these numbers:

  • 0-30  No relevant burst potential. Probably a lighter Mech with a very sane armament.
  • 30-50  Some burst potential. Many builds, which are not centered around powerful Alpha Strikes, will probably be in this range.
  • 50-60  Above the average firepower. Usually found on Heavy and Assault Mechs. A well placed hit will cause serious problems.
  • 60+  Insane burst potential. Splat-Cats, Assault SRM+AC/20 brawlers and outdated PPC boats fall into this category. One direct hit and you are toast!

Fire Power Explained

Damage Per Second (DPS) and Sustained DPS

Most people think that they understand what damage per second is and what exactly it means. In my experience as a gamer, this is only partially true...

Read More

MWO Patch Notes July 30th Summary – New Map, more Heat Penalties and Seismic Nerf

Click here for August 20th Patch Notes <

MWO Patch Notes July 30th Summary/TLDR

New MWO Map: Terra Therma

If you don’t have the time to read through all the extensive patch notes or simply prefer a more condensed style, here are the MWO July 30th patch notes’ most important points:

  • New Map: Terra Therma (check out video below)
  • Seismic Sensor ranges nerfed to 180m/250m (down from 200m/400m)
  • ERPPCs and PPCs are now treated as a group when calculating heat penalties. They will share their max alpha limit.
  • Same goes for the following groups: LRM20+LRM15+LRM10, LL+ERLL+LPL, and SRM6+SRM4.
  • Small area-of-effect buffs to Artillery and Air Strike consumables.
  • Various performance improvements and bug fixes.

If you would like to learn more about the ghost heat, check out this guide: MWO Heat Penalty System explained without formulas

Terra Therma Map Reveal Video

Terra Therma is the newest addition to the Mechwarrior Online map pool. It features vast valleys of black rock and glowing lava flows. The map has a relative high environmental heat level (the video suggests a heat level even slightly higher than Caustic Valley). There are also some bridges and a central installation which should make for interesting battles.

Trouble watching the video? Click here.

Get Connected!

If you know of an excellent build, resource, or guide, submit it and maybe it will be featured on mwo-builds.net and seen by thousands of players. You can submit builds by sending us an e-mail, post it in the official looking-for-builds thread, or send us a private message via the official forums. You can also submit guides and builds via Facebook or Twitter (see below). Join hundreds of other Mechwarrior enthusiasts and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Receive the latest guides and the best MWO builds directly to your favourite social platform!

Official Original Patch Notes


Open Beta Update #22

Upcoming Patch – Tuesday July 30th @ 10AM – 1PM PDT

Patch Number: 1.2.233

Change Log


Greetings, MechWarriors.

What is this? A third patch in July? Madness!

First off, we want to acknowledge the amazing work the community is doing with the Sarah Jenner! We knew you were a caring community but these results are exceeding our expectations and for that we truly thank you.

It’s summer and things are heating up around here with the release of our latest map Terra Therma. Lava is hot! So read the Patch notes for a full description...

Read More

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


Get social and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

If you know of an excellent build or guide, submit it and maybe it will be featured on mwo-builds.net and seen by thousands of players. You can submit builds by e-mail, post it in the official looking-for-builds thread, or send us a private message via the official forums.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive the most recent guide directly to your favourite social platform.

Like MWO-BUILDS.NET on Facebook!Follow MWO-BUILDS.NET on Twitter!

Read More