Mechwarrior 5 Best Factions to Choose

The Draconis Combine: Expansionism by Any Means Necessary

Mechwarrior 5 Best Factions to Choose

The Atlas, with its commanding presence, is always an impressive sight to behold.  

One of MW5’s core gameplay mechanics is having the player work for a number of factions throughout the Inner Sphere.  These factions will act as the player’s employers, offering payment for accomplishing missions under their name.  

The more you work with a certain faction, the better your standing with them becomes.  This results in the said faction having a better view of you, thus increasing your reputation.  The better your reputation, the better the discounts (up to 25% off) the faction will offer you when you buy ‘mechs & equipment in their territory.    

Conversely, when you take missions targeting a certain faction, you will lose standing with that faction and thus, result in having a bad reputation with them. Have a bad enough reputation with them, and they will make you feel unwelcome by jacking up prices (up to 25% markup) if you choose to buy from them.  

Personally, I think MW5 should have taken a page out of the original 1989 Mechwarrior game.  Factions there had distinct traits.  House Steiner paid us more in C-bills rather than salvage. House Davion was generous with both.  House Liao had a tendency to not pay you at all.  Bunch of lousy cheapskates…

But I digress.  With numerous potential employers in MW5, players might feel the urge to work for all of them.  While there is certainly no harm in doing so, it isn’t the most efficient way of doing business in the Inner Sphere.  That’s why I’ve chosen the best 3 factions that will be useful to players when they start a campaign mission.  


Lyran Commonwealth

House Steiner is one of the wealthiest Successor States in the Inner Sphere.

The Lyran Commonwealth, or House Steiner, is one of the five Successor States of the Inner Sphere. Founded in 2341 as a union of three smaller mercantile alliances, the Commonwealth has traditionally been regarded as the wealthiest of the Successor States. This industrial might and a number of talented military leaders enabled the realm to survive the Age of War and the Succession Wars.  

There really isn’t any point in gaining reputation with the Lyrans early on since whatever rep you gain or lose with them gets reset once the Lyran Commonwealth & Federated Suns merge to become the Federated Commonwealth.  

So you’ll only want to really increase your reputation with them after this happens in 3040.  Before then, I suggest making them your punching bag early on.  Take missions against them & collect their ‘mechs as salvage since any infamy you get from them will be reset after the Steiner-Davion merge.  

Reasons for Choosing the Lyran Commonwealth:  

  • House Steiner has end game conflict zones where you can get some good ‘mechs and equipment as salvage.
  • They have a lot of industrial hubs where you can purchase rare ‘mechs and equipment.   
  • Once merged into the Federated Commonwealth, any reputation you gain(or lose) with House Steiner also applies to the Federated Suns a.k.a. House Davion.  
  • Being 1 of the 5 great Houses, the Lyran Commonwealth has the potential to pay us more than other factions like Pirates or Independents.  
  • Great place to acquire the Zeus assault ‘mech (& its variants)



The Independents is a faction mainly composed of people from widely different backgrounds.  .  They are the farmers, miners, corporate workers, business owners, spies, etc.  Do take note that increasing reputation with Independents is only good in campaign mode. Independents offer very little in career mode.  

Negotiation points increase mission rewards significantly.  So stay on your chosen faction's good side.

Build up a good rep with the Independents early on so that when you get to the end game, you’ll have more negotiation points to put into salvage and C-bills.  After finishing the campaign, feel free to take missions against the Independents since they don’t have any real use by then.  

Reasons for Choosing Independents:  

  • The Independents are the ones that help you get off planet at the start of the campaign.  You will also end the campaign with them.  So it doesn’t make any sense to have a bad reputation with them.  
  • A lot of your campaign missions will be from the Independents so having a good reputation with them means you get more points to use when you negotiate a contract with them.  I spend most of these points on salvage rights, myself.  
  • With high reputation, you can get Black Inferno battlemechs & good equipment as salvage in later campaign missions.  
  • You can get Comstar ‘mechs as salvage late game.  
  • Independents are almost always present in every conflict zone.  There will be no shortage of contracts should players choose to side with them.  


Draconis Combine

House Kurita views mercenaries as expendable tools; lacking honor, loyalty & will do anything for money.

Founded in the 24th Century by members of the Great House Kurita, the Draconis Combine is as feared as it is respected.  Solely focused on manifest destiny, the Draconis Combine’s main objective is to aggressively expand across the Inner Sphere, no matter the cost.  

The Draconis Combine is where a lot of the end game campaign content happens.  As such, it’s a pragmatic decision for players to have a favorable reputation with the Combine.  After all, we will be using their industrial hubs to repair and refit our ‘mechs during our time there.  House Kurita also happens to sell assault ‘mechs and some Lostech early.  

Reasons for choosing the Draconis Combine:  

  • Has end game conflict zones where you can salvage better ‘mechs and equipment.  
  • Sells the bigger assault ‘mechs earlier in the game, which is a big help if you’re looking for extra muscle to add to your lineup.
  • They gain access to Lostech early.  Lostech weapons like pulse lasers, ER lasers, LBX autocannons can increase your fighting capabilities significantly.  
  • A good part of the campaign’s end game story quests happen in Kurita territory.  We might as well be on good terms with them so we can receive discounts on everything while we’re there.    
  • Has a lot of industrial hubs where we can find rare ‘mechs and equipment.

While choosing factions doesn’t really have much of an impact on MW5’s gameplay, it does add a small layer of immersion.  You get rewarded with discounts and more negotiation points when the faction likes you.  You get penalized with markups and less negotiation points when they hate you.  

My advice is to choose 2 factions like the Bandits & post campaign Independents to be your default punching bags.  That way, you can increase your standing with the other major factions like the Great Houses.  After all, it’s always a good thing for a mercenary to side with the ones who can pay you the most.  






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As the lone practitioner of the ancient martial art of Kung Pao Chicken, Jonathan trains daily for his inevitable fight with Son Goku.
Gamer Since: 1991
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