Game Guides

MechWarrior 5 – How to Pilot Your Mech

What do you mean I can't strafe?

by Brandon Adams


You’ve strapped into the cockpit of your Firestarter, and you are ready to roll. Problem is, you have no idea how to pilot your mech in MechWarrior 5. Well, I understand: the tutorial wasn’t the most inspired of things, and you just wanted to shoot other BattleMechs. So, here is a quick refresher.

Use WASD and your mouse to control your mech.

While that may sound like ninety-nine percent of first-person games on the market, there is a bit of a twist to how your WASD and mouse work in MechWarrior 5. First, W and S control your throttle: push up on W to increase your speed, and S to decrease it or reverse. You can also use the numpad to pick a percentage for your throttle, with one being ten-percent and so on.

A and D will turn your mech’s legs, but not your torso: there is no traditional strafing here. The mouse controls your torso independently of your legs, so you will need to rely on either the radar or the bar under your crosshair to determine which direction your feet are facing in relation to your feet.

That said, you can easily recenter your BattleMech with either the F or C keys. F will recenter your legs under your torso, and C will recenter your torso over your legs. Just remember, the arrow on the radar indicates your legs, and the cone your torso if you ever need a quick reference.

For gamepad users, it’s even easier: left stick controls throttle and legs, right stick the torso. You can recenter over your torso with the B button (gamepad right), and over your legs with A (gamepad bottom).

Finally, you can toggle a couple things on your mech on or off: throttle decay (where letting go of W will cause your speed to diminish back to zero) can be enabled with the Add key on the numpad, and arm-lock (where your torso and arm weapons will become locked to a single crosshair) can be enabled by either holding down shift, or toggled with the Z key. You can also turn these on permanently in the options menu.

That’s all you need to know in order to get stomping. Just…try to keep an eye on your legs. You’re a multi-ton tank with feet; you’ll crush anything you walk on. For more guides be sure to keep an eye on our guides page.

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