MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries – How to Get Best AI Pilots?

Guide on choosing best AI pilots.

Brief Overview

In career mode, you can hire AI pilots, who’ll become part of your Lance.

They will pilot Mechs you own and fight by your side on missions.

Pilots have:

  • Weapon Skills
  • Piloting Skills
  • An AI Type (this is hidden from you)
  • Salary
  • Voice & Image (but they’re just cosmetic)

To have the best AI companion pilots, you want them to be 60/60 on skills and for them to have Elite AI.

This guide won’t discuss which mechs & weapons you should give your AI pilots.

Pilot AI

If you observe enemies, you might see “Green”, “Regular”, “Veteran” or “Elite” displayed next to the unit.

This lets you know how competent the AI unit is and how accurate and smart they are.

Green units are more likely to miss you while Elites generally will hit you.

Aggressiveness and spatial awareness are also linked to AI level. (Some AI has been observed to move to stand on a rock to be able to snipe at enemies more easily.)

How Do I Know the Hidden AI Type for My Pilots?

You’re not told directly, but generally their military ranks and bio descriptions inform you of what you’re dealing with.

Compare these two pilots.

Majors, Captains and Lieutenants?

  • Majors have generally the best AI.
  • Captains have generally second best AI.
  • Lieutenants usually aren’t very good.

Even if a lieutenant had 60/60 stats, it might perform considerably worse than a 20/20 Major, as even if they deal more damage they will be less likely to begin targeting enemies early and actually landing shots.

If your pilot has one of these (or something very similar) in their bio, they are likely to have Elite AI:

Look for Majors and check their bio for these sentences.

If another sentence in the bio sounds like they’d be incompetent, you can keep looking for new pilots.

Note that the first part of the bio usually starts with where they come from and why they became a Mech pilot. That part of the biography appears to not influence which type of AI they’ll have.

A pilot’s salary might not determine how good their AI is, but if you’re a superstitious type you could aim to only hire X/60 Majors with a salary over at least 20,500.

How Do I Get 60/60 Majors, Though?

Rank up your reputation (makes higher quality pilots spawn).

And go to check space stations to see which pilots are available.

In my experience, checking star systems around Terra will provide you with easiest X/60 Majors.

You can refresh the pilots available at systems by traveling away from Terra until you no longer see icons like those above Keid and Sirius in the image above.

Then just go back to check the new pilots. (This may cost a lot of money after a while.)

You’re unlikely to find a straight up 60/60 pilot at stores, so you’ll need to train your 48/60 pilot or 55/60 pilot into a 60/60 pilot.

Keep playing with your chosen pilots until they reach max experience with their skills.

Remember to give them a mech with ballistic weapons if you want their ballistic skill to improve, etc.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Low damage in post-mission screens might not indicate the pilot has bad AI.
  • Some maps favor specific types of weaponry.
  • Generally aggressive AI with solid long range weapons (Gauss, Rifles, solid slugs, PCC, etc) will end up dealing a lot of damage on open maps with lots of direct line of sight, as close-combat Mechs won’t get many chances to attack due to how your most suited Mechs will snipe the enemies before they manage to get close.
  • If one of your Mechs is considerably slower than the others, the pilot might also end up dealing low amounts of damage.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3021 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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