MechWarrior Online – Quickplay Tips for Annihilator

Quickplay Tips

Before you play Quickplay, there are some things you should expect in order to get the most out of quickplay.

Time Zones

Depending on what time of the day you play, you may find that the way matches play out can be very different. In MW:O, the players from each region play somewhat differently. Keep in mind, these are only broad strokes, and sometimes a match during one prime-time can play out similarly to one from another time zone.

NA prime: (12:00AM UTC – 5:00AM UTC) In North American time, players are usually more passive, and will take longer to move around the map. This also means they are usually much more likely to stick together in big “death balls,” which makes it ideal for a big, slow, and durable mech like the Annihilator. This also makes it the best time to play as an immobile sniper, because hardly anyone will run over to kill said sniper, and being immobile gives space for more weapons and heatsinks to farm harder. I recommend medium and long range Annihilators for NA prime.

EU prime: (7:00PM UTC – 12:00AM UTC) European prime time is exceptionally dangerous and unpredictable. Players are more likely to giganascar, run laps around the map ceaselessly, leaving the slower mechs strung out behind them along the entire length of the map. Playing ranged mechs can be more difficult in this time because the moment you stop to shoot, you’re already behind. Sometimes if your mech is slow enough and your teammates are dumb enough, you can be left behind and killed by a horde of enemy lights within first two minutes of the match. Teammates will run to the enemy spawn to do nothing while numerous teammates left behind will be in their own skirmishes with other enemies. I recommend if you’re going in a slow mech like the Annihilator, get speed tweak, and bring brawl weapons. In my experience, the Annihilator 1E is excellent for this queue as the snubs allow you to wreck lights and brawlers, and the nonstop movement allows you to close the gap quickly with the enemies.

OCE prime: (5:00AM UTC – 12:00PM UTC) Oceanic prime time is just a mix of both, and your opponents have worse awareness, aim and positioning than the other time zones. I recommend any build type here.

Map Control

One of the most important things you must do in quickplay is taking map control. This means you have to “take over” parts of the map and wall them off from enemies. You can do this by simply moving forward and watching over sightlines. This makes the game much easier to win for several reasons. It makes it easier for you to find the enemies because you can use logical deduction to determine where they are. Map control also inhibits enemy movement, as they will get shot if they to move through some areas you are looking over, so you will be far less likely to get flanked, and your teammates will last longer as a result.


When a match starts, you may encounter a teammate who starts telling the team what they should do. Some drop callers can be excellent, and their calls will usually win the match. However, many drop callers are incompetent. They will tell the team to do things that will not benefit anyone. Often they will tell the team to go to a terrible spot on the map, or they will prioritize some objective that doesn’t have precedence over taking control of the map first (tells team to take a capture point on conquest without getting foothold over their side of the map first). They may also tell snipers to move up and fight way under their optimal range to “share armor” at the start of the match, when these snipers could be controlling sightlines on the map instead. However, since you are reading this guide and still trying to learn, I recommend you do not try to speak against their orders unless you are 100% certain that they are in the wrong. Just do your best to make best of the situation if you are unsure if the orders are correct or not.

Also, try to pay attention to who is dropcalling. If you notice this dropcaller always makes good calls, encourage others to follow his orders. If you notice a dropcaller in your team who usually makes terrible calls, consider speaking out against him when he tries to take command again. Make sure to use VOIP if the conversation becomes heated so you can avoid being banned.

You Are The Common Denominator

If you are constantly losing and want this to change, you need to reevaluate what you’re doing before you blame others around you. Sure, teammates can and often will make things very hard for you, but you are very much responsible for the outcome of the match. There are players who have hundreds of matches queued solo and have win-rates around 66-80%. This is because they read the map perfectly and deal damage early and continuously throughout the entire match. If you are losing more than you’d like, you need to reevaluate what you are doing if you want it to change. Perhaps group up with better players than yourself and try to learn how to play from them. Watch the best players on and see if they’re doing something you aren’t.

Common Misconceptions

Unfortunately in quickplay you will encounter many teammates who have preconceived notions on how you should play, despite them being very bad players who have no idea what they themselves are doing. Here are some common ideas they may spread.

  1. Armor Sharing: Armor sharing is the idea that every player should be getting shot an equal rate, in order to prevent a single player from being focused down and killed instantly. Although this has some merit, as you can keep everyone alive longer, it is often used incorrectly. Ideally you would armor share when trading at medium range with teammates, or participating in a full send brawl rush. However, what usually happens is a player will take a terrible position and get himself farmed, and then yell at his team for not “armor sharing.” Another common trope includes someone sniping in an incredibly good spot, and someone who died or is dying and doing nothing will complain that you aren’t armor sharing. You don’t have to armor share if you’re controlling the map and dealing high amounts of damage.
  2. Hold Locks: Whenever an LRM boat asks you to hold locks, ignore them. You will always be holding locks passively if you are fighting an advantageous fight, and if you need to poke and peek, holding locks will get you killed. Whenever an LRM boat says that you should hold locks, interpret it as a proclamation that he is useless and you must carry the weight. He often won’t be able to get his missiles on target fast enough before the lock expires, and he will be useless if the enemy begins to fight you directly. His LRMs spread damage all over enemies and are useless in close range. He also must stare at enemies to deal damage, so he will get cored pretty much instantly.
  3. Concentrate on the caps during Conquest: The conquest gamemode includes 5 capture points along the map, which add tickets every second. At 750 tickets the team will win. However, it is usually much easier (and more fun) to win by killing most or all the enemies first. This does not mean you must ignore capture points, but they are not priority, especially to you in an Annihilator. Killing enemies prevents them from capturing points. If a point is along the way, however, feel free to take it if it’s safe to do so. If enemies are alive but they have 4 or 5 capture points, then you should consider it a priority. However, if your team has 2 and the enemy has 3 and they are only 100 or 50 tickets ahead, feel free to ignore anyone screaming about the capture points.
  4. Deathball: The deathball is an idea that the team should form up close together, covering maybe only one or two grid squares, and that will make them win. This is usually not true, because when the team does this, they can easily lose map control and get flanked from all sides.

Skill Trees

I will provide this excellent video made by DATA from JGx. He provides an excellent “do it yourself” guide for using the skill tree.

However, if you don’t want to watch the video, all I have to say is to always run double coolshot, max armor and structure, coolrun and at least 3/5 radar deprivation, but more is better because the Annihilator is slow and massive. Ammo nodes for your ballistics is also mandatory, along with laser duration for your lasers. If you have any projectile weapons, max velocity is also mandatory. Max range is also mandatory on every Annihilator. If you’re running dps ballistics, run some cooldown and heat gen. If you have lasers get maximum heat gen. I do not recommend high cooldown for weapons that reach heat capacity quickly (like ppc and lasers).

Anything else is flavor. Some people like to have speak tweak, some people prefer torso twist speed, reinforced casing is also a very good idea if you can afford it. I also cannot play any mech without maxed out Improved Gyros, the cockpit shake ruins my aim. I recommend that as well but it isn’t necessary. DATA also recommends that you use airstrikes and artillery but I don’t use them, I prefer to use a single UAV for when a light gets around me or when I feel like I’m getting surrounded.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3019 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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