A player getting S-Rank on the Destroy Artillery Installations Mission in Chapter 1 of Armored Core 6.

Armored Core 6: How to Get S-Rank on Missions

Optimize your tactics to achieve the highest rank.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

Key Takeaway

Here are some tips for getting S-Rank on every mission in Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon:

  • Avoid taking damage as much as possible (using repair kits does not counter the score multiplier lost through taking damage)
  • Use as little ammunition as possible (using strong single-shot firearms and melee weapons can help with this)
  • Finish missions as quickly as you can (don’t bother with most side objectives—for the most part, only main objectives matter for attaining S-Rank)
  • Retrying a mission at one of its checkpoints prevents you from getting S-Rank (but replaying a mission from the beginning is fine)

On the rare occasion, when there’s a unique foe in a mission—like an enemy armored core, taking them down contributes to getting an S-Rank.

If you’re a hardcore fan of this game, you’ll be greatly tempted to get S-Rank on all missions in Armored Core 6. Thankfully, AC6 is very up-front with what you need to do to perform as well as possible. By optimizing your tactics, you can become an S-Rank mercenary.

Table Of Contents

    S-Rank Requirements in Armored Core 6

    The first time you access the Replay Mission menu, the game gives you a few tips on how to achieve S-Rank on missions.

    Armored Core 6's Replay Mission tutorial message about how to achieve S-Rank on missions.

    The four main points you always need to keep in mind when trying to get S-Rank on missions in Armored Core 6 are these:

    • Don’t retry missions at checkpoints
    • Take as little damage as possible
    • Complete missions as quickly as you can
    • Use ammunition sparingly

    With the obvious notes addressed, we’ll get into how you can do all of the above easily and efficiently.

    How to Avoid Retrying Missions at Checkpoints

    Git Gud, scrub! Nah, just kidding.

    At the beginning of the game, avoiding retying missions at checkpoints will be hard to accomplish due to limited funds. To avoid frustration, we recommend coming back to get S-Rank on harder missions after you’ve made a lot of money and have acquired many parts.

    While, conceptually, understanding this criterion is simple, applying it in practice is easier said than done. If you die in a mission and respawn, you’re not getting S-Rank on it. You’ll have to replay the mission from the start.

    As such, you need to perform well throughout the entire mission and not die at any point. However, depending on the mission, how to do so varies quite a bit.

    For some missions, you need to prioritize speed, while, for others, it’s better to opt for more defensive strategies. Due to such variance, your best bet is to swap out parts as needed. This means equipping parts that can increase your Boost Speed and QB Speed (Quick-Boost Speed) or using a loadout that enhances your defenses. Weapon choice is also crucial—but we’ll get into that a bit later.

    Tips for Taking as Little Damage as Possible

    Making use of Quick-Boosts is a great way to minimize how much damage you take. While doing so drains your EN (Energy), it’s worth it to dodge incoming missiles, bullets, and more. Staying in the air also helps you avoid explosions—which are a frequent way you’ll take damage even when successfully dodging projectiles. Equip parts that raise your Boost Speed and QB Speed to help with this.

    Although avoiding damage outright is the best idea for reducing how much damage you take, there’s another method that’ll help. You can increase your defensive stats and total AP (Armor Points) to give yourself some more room for error. The higher your AP, the more damage you can sustain before your rank score multiplier goes down. On top of that, increasing your defensive stats reduces how much damage you take from attacks. Equip parts that give you higher total AP and better defensive stats.

    Here’s what each defense stat does:

    • Anti-Kinetic Defense: reduces damage from projectiles, like standard missiles and bullets
    • Anti-Energy Defense: reduces damage from immaterial sources, like beams and many melee weapons
    • Anti-Explosive Defense: reduces damage from explosions

    The Best Ways to Complete Missions Quickly

    Use Assault Boost as much as possible to get through a mission’s map. You can’t really do so while in combat; however, during the parts of missions where you’re flying between objective points, this is the ideal way to cut down on time.

    A player moving very quickly through the air thanks to the jets on their Armored Core's back.

    While in the middle of combat, using Assault Boost makes it hard to track enemies, but using Assault Boost while you’re approaching enemies is a good idea. Use this method to quickly enter combat and unleash greater impacts on your enemies. When done, this is more likely to stagger foes, which, in turn, lets you deal more damage to them (and take less damage while reducing how much your weapons impact your armored core).

    Clearing out enemies as such helps to further reduce the time spent on a mission. However, keep in mind that you can only use the weapons attached to your arms for rush attacks like this.

    The tutorial message in Armored Core 6 telling player that they can attack with arm-equipped weapons while using Assault Boost.

    Tricks for Reducing Ammo Consumption

    Since melee weapons don’t use ammunition at all, they’re an optimal way to reduce how much ammo you use in a mission. With that said, it’s not a good idea to go for a melee-weapon-only run for some missions. There’s a big recharge time after you swing your melee weapon, so, even if you have two, you can only attack with your arm weapons twice within a few seconds. That’ll leave you vulnerable unless you want to use your shoulder weapons—which brings us to our next point.

    Try not to use your shoulder weapons. The most common and effective shoulder weapons are missile launchers—which consume a lot of ammo. Stick to your arm weapons as much as possible to decrease how much ammo you use.

    Awesome Arm Weapons to Use for Getting S-Rank

    As for great arm weapons to use for achieving S-rank on missions in Armored Core 6: equip ones with a balance between high Attack Power and low Reload Time. An excellent early-game weapon that meets this mark is the MA-J-200 Ransetsu-RF. You can buy this rifle immediately after you complete the Destroy Artillery Installations mission in Chapter 1.

    Stats for the Ransetsu rifle in Armored Core 6.

    Another weapon we’d like to give a shoutout to is the DF-BA-06 Xuan-GE—which is a bazooka. Like with the Ransetsu, you can buy it as soon as you beat the Destroy Artillery Installations mission in Chapter 1. This big gun has basically the same Attack Power and Impact as the melee weapon with which you start the game—but with a much longer range. The Reload Time is slow; however, since you can one-shot most minor enemies with it, it’s a worthwhile trade-off. On top of that, the Xuan won’t use much ammo.

    Addressing Misinformation

    Red text pointing to a paragraph containing misinformation.

    There seem to be some websites out there that claim optional objectives are factored in when the game considers mission ranking. We tested this in the Destroy Artillery Installations mission found in Chapter 1. The optional objective of this mission is to destroy as many non-essential enemies as possible for bonus money. When we were going for our S-Rank run, we didn’t purposely destroy a single enemy besides the Artillery Installations and we got S-Rank on this mission.

    Going for optional objectives uses up valuable time. Furthermore, when trying to fight more enemies, you’re bound to take more damage and use more ammo as well. All of these factors make it harder for you to get S-Rank on missions in Armored Core 6. The only exception to this is when there’s a unique foe like an enemy armored core in a mission—such as in the Destroy the Transport Helicopters mission in Chapter 1.

    But don’t take our word for it; here’s our video of us getting S-Rank on the aforementioned mission as proof.

    Unless you’re an aimbot, you’ll need to get some practice before you can get S-Rank on every mission. Thankfully, you can replay missions an infinite number of times. Don’t get disheartened when trying to perform better—Armored Core 6 isn’t as user-friendly as a lot of other AAA titles out there. With that said, it’s immensely satisfying once you get into it. Lock and load, mercs.

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