[Top 5] Mechwarrior 5 Best Gauss Mechs

Mechwarrior 5 Best Gauss Rifle Mechs
Despite being slow & ugly, the Hunchback is a fan favorite.

[Top 5] Mechwarrior 5 Best Gauss Mechs

I love the smell of burning wreckage in the morning.

Taking out enemy ‘Mechs at long range before they even know what’s going on can be quite the satisfying experience in Mechwarrior 5: Mercs.  Lucky for us, there are several weapons that we, the players, can use to live our dreams of being a sniper mechwarrior.  

Large lasers, PPCs, ER large lasers and heavy rifles are all great for sniper ‘Mechs although lasers need to be continuously aimed at a specific part to deal their full damage within the laser’s duration.  Heavy Rifles aren’t heat efficient and have a piss poor ammo to tonnage ratio.  

Enter the Gauss Rifle.  Arguably the best weapon for sniper builds in Mechwarrior 5: Mercs, the Gauss Rifle, like the Heavy Rifle, is a ballistic weapon that deals all of its damage to a singular point.  This means you only have to aim them until the bullet leaves the chamber.  Another advantage over the Heavy rifle is that the Gauss rifle generates barely any heat.  Couple that with better ammo capacity than the heavy rifle and you have the perfect sniper weapon in all of MW5: Mercs.  

So without adding any more fluff, let’s get to it.  Here’s the 5 battlemechs that are great with the Gauss Rifle.


5. Diana RFL-DNA

Although not as sturdy as the others on this list, Diana can still take down most enemies with its 2 Gauss Rifles.


  • Weight:  60 tons
  • Armor:  352/414
  • Structure:  207 Endosteel
  • Free Tonnage:  33.07 tons
  • Speed:  64.8 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  1 Gauss Rifle (Right Arm), 1 Medium Laser (Right Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Left Torso), 1 Gauss Rifle (Left Arm)

The name Silvan Vaughn is probably as fake as the “Eyes on Democracy” watchdog group he represented.  Digging around after him has turned up surprisingly little information, but it seems clear he’s been working to destabilize Federated Suns worlds near the Capellan border.  Recovering his ‘Mech proved equally dry on answers.  All we know is that he called his Rifleman “Diana” and it’s not your run-of-the-mill RFL-3N.  Clearly, Vaughn had some powerful backers.  


  • The only heavy ‘Mech that can mount 2 Gauss Rifles.  
  • Can decimate almost any ‘Mech with a well placed dual Gauss salvo to the head or back.
  • Has the most free tonnage out of all the Rifleman variants.

Diana is a very capable sniper ‘Mech.  That said, players need to always keep their distance when piloting this battlemech since most of the damage they deal comes from the 2 Gauss Rifles on the arms which have less armor than the torso.  Hang back and let your teammates soak up the aggro while you take them down with head shots or leg shots from a safe distance.

Players will need to have the Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC and unlike other hero ‘Mechs, players won’t have to rely on RNG to acquire Diana.  This ‘Mech can be obtained as a reward for finishing the 4th mission of “The Conspirators” quest chain which becomes available  on Aug. 9, 3025.  Players also need to be at reputation 7 or higher.


4. King Crab KGC-000B

The KGC-000, KGC-0000 and KGC-000B have near identical specs except for double heat sinks on the 000B and Ferro Firbrous armor on the 000 & 000B.  


  • Weight:  100 tons
  • Armor:  573/626 Ferro Fibrous
  • Structure:  313 
  • Free Tonnage:  47.54 tons
  • Speed:  48.6 km/h
  • Standard Loadout:  1AC/20 (Right Arm), 1 Large Laser (Right Torso), 1 LRM 15 (Left Torso), 1 AC/20 (Left Arm)

Introduced in 2743 near the end of the Star League, the King Crab fulfilled General Kerensky’s order for an assault ‘Mech able to cripple or destroy another battlemech in one overwhelming salvo.  Though not sporting as much armor as other assault ‘Mechs, the firepower mounted by the original King Crab and its successors admirably fulfills the roles for which the ‘Mech was designed.


  • Has 2 Double Heat Sinks to disperse waste heat faster.
  • When mounted with 2 high tiered Gauss Rifles in both arms, the King Crab becomes an excellent sniper with above average armor.
  • Its low squat profile means it can duck behind cover fairly easily compared to ‘Mechs like the Annihilator or Atlas

While having 2 AC/20s makes the King Crab a fearsome foe at close range, swapping out those autocannons for Gauss rifles transforms the KGC-000B (or any other non hero variant) into a deadly sniper that can finish off hostiles from more than 700 km away.  A dual Gauss salvo to the center torso of any lighter ‘Mech can destroy it immediately.  If aimed at the head, a dual Gauss salvo will most certainly delete any ‘Mech regardless of weight class.  So practice those head shots.

The King Crab is a pain in the butt to get since it’s a very rare ‘Mech.  Players can try their luck in the industrial hubs near Terra.  Scum Saving is a huge help.  If you don’t have the patience for it, you can get a damaged King Crab 0000 (not the 000B but they’re basically the same except for the double heat sinks) as a reward for completing the Killing Kane campaign mission which becomes available at reputation 12.


3. Privateer COR-PVT

Despite being the ugliest ‘Mech in MW5, the Privateer has 2 Large Ballistic & 2 Large Energy critical slots that can mount the heaviest Ballistic and Energy weapons.  


  • Weight:  95 tons
  • Armor:  576/598
  • Structure:  299
  • Free Tonnage:  52.32 tons
  • Speed:  48.6 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  1 Heavy Rifle & 1 LRM 10 (Right Torso), 1 Autocannon/20 (Right Arm), 2 Large Chem Lasers (Left Torso)

In the Periphery, battlemechs aren’t simply field repaired.  All too often, mashups and grafting whole parts to make something combat worthy is the only resort.  Some call them “FrankenMechs”; the Oberon Confederation scoundrels call the big ones Corsairs.  This one’s about as big as they come, and the wretch that got pulled from it, one Tyler Erickson called it “Privateer.”  It makes you wonder how these pirates got their hands on so many ‘Mechs in recent years.  


  • 2 Large Ballistic hard points that can equip the biggest autocannons (or Gauss Rifles) you have.  This makes the Privateer a deadly brawler (or sniper)
  • 2 Large Energy hard points that can be fitted with long range lasers or PPCs make this ‘Mech capable of dealing damage from afar.  
  • 4 Double Heat Sinks dissipate excess heat faster, allowing the Privateer to shoot more often.  
  • Has a good amount of armor that makes the ‘Mech able to tank hits to a certain extent.

I usually equip the Privateer with 2 Gauss rifles & 2 PPCs.  Enemies die before getting too close.  You can use the extra weight for ammo or heat sinks.  Practice your head shots.  Alternatively, taking out the legs of opposing ‘Mechs also works well, especially if you’re going for more salvage.

Once players reach Reputation 11 and have advanced to April 19, 3026, the “X Marks the Spot” quest will appear.  Finishing the questline will net you  a damaged Privateer as one of the rewards.


2. Nightstar NSR-9J

Sleek design combined with long range weaponry makes the Nightstar a fan favorite.


  • Weight:  95 tons
  • Armor:  592/598
  • Structure:  299
  • Free Tonnage:  52.32 tons
  • Speed:  48.6 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  1 Gauss Rifle & 1 Medium Pulse Laser (Right Arm), 1 ER PPC (Right Torso), 1 Small Laser (Head), 1 Gauss Rifle & 1 Medium Pulse Laser (Left Arm)

The Nightstar was born in the early years of the Amaris Civil War when it became clear that battlefield commanders, especially those piloting Marauders, were being specifically targeted by Amaris troops.  8 months after the SLDF commissioned this support and command ‘Mech, the first Nightstars were put into production in 2767.  Following Kerensky’s exodus, it became an early casualty of the First Succession War, with both of its production facilities being destroyed in 2786.  A pair of Gauss Rifles, supplemented with an ER PPC, give it unprecedented long-range capabilities.  


  • Equipped with 4 Double Heat Sinks to help handle the heat generated by its energy weapons.  
  • Deadly long range damage dealer due to its 2 Gauss Rifles and 1 ER PPC.
  • Excellent armor for a sniper ‘Mech, comparable to that of the King Crab & Atlas.

With more than enough armor, players might be tempted to charge ahead with all guns blazing but this is the wrong ‘Mech for that.  Players need to maximize those 2 Gauss Rifles and 1 ER PPC by one-shotting enemy ‘Mechs either in the rear or the head.  The armor on the Nightstar is there in case opponents manage to get close.  Keep your distance and use those pulse lasers when necessary.  Also, drop the small laser.  Add armor instead.

The Nightstar is obtained as a reward after finishing the entire campaign.  If playing in career mode, the Nightstar can be purchased in the industrial hubs near Terra as a rare ‘Mech when the in-game year hits 3049.  Look for the rare ‘Mech icon.  


1. Sleipnir CP-S

Dual Gauss Rifles on the torso.  That’s all you need to know.  


  • Weight:  90 tons
  • Armor:  544/570
  • Structure:  285 Endosteel
  • Free Tonnage:  44.19 tons
  • Speed:  64.8 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  1 Gauss Rifle (Right Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Right Arm), 1 Medium Laser (Head), 1 SRM 4 (Center Torso), 1 Gauss Rifle (Left Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Left Arm)

The daughter of Col. Charles Wilson, Ariana was a mercenary raised by the soldiers of the Eridani Light Horse.  What could easily have turned into nepotism was anything but as she joined basic training after her nineteenth birthday.  Forswearing even a hint of favoritism, her poor study skills left her struggling under the extra burden of too many watchful eyes.  Despite an inauspicious start, through grit and determination, she ultimately graduated top of her class.  Upon taking command of the Seventh Striker Battalion, she chose a Cyclops (which she named Sleipnir) knowing the ‘Mech’s poor reputation would test her skills even further.  


  • The Sleipnir can take on enemies from all ranges due to its varied default loadout.
  • Outfitted with Endosteel structure and an XL engine, the Sleipnir has more free tonnage to use on ammo, heat sinks, armor & weapons.
  • Out of the box, it has 2 Gauss rifles situated high in the right & left torso.

The Sleipnir is best used as a long range damage dealer & sniper mainly because of its dual Gauss rifles.  Equip high tier Gauss rifles, practice those headshots and soon you’ll be taking out Banshees and Annihilators with little difficulty.

The Sleipnir will start showing up in industrial hubs from 3031 onwards.  Save & pray to RNGesus before heading out to an industrial hub with a skull icon.  Reload if unsuccessful.


Honorable Mention:  Atlas AS7-K

Never underestimate an Atlas with a Gauss Rifle.


  • Weight:  100 tons
  • Armor:  608/626
  • Structure:  313
  • Free Tonnage:  54.94 tons
  • Speed:  48.6 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  1 Gauss Rifle (Right Torso), 1 ER Large Laser (Right Arm), 1 ER Large Laser & 1 Anti Missile System (Left Arm), 2 Medium Pulse Lasers (Center Torso)

When General Aleksandr Kerensky laid down the design specifications for the Atlas in 2755, he decreed it should be “a ‘Mech as powerful as possible, as impenetrable as possible, and as ugly and foreboding as conceivable, so that fear itself will be our ally.”  The Atlas met those ambitions, and from its first deployments would grow a terrifying reputation.  Heavily armored, heavily armed, and heavily feared, the Atlas is a lumbering monstrosity of firepower.  


  • One of the best armored assault ‘Mechs in the game.  Great tank that’s hard to kill.
  • Great sniper due to its Gauss Rifle and 2 ER Large Lasers. 
  • Has AMS which protects it from enemy missiles.  

The Atlas K is great for tanking enemy fire.  Also, having long range weapons means the K can soften up targets before they can get close.  Use this ‘Mech with an A.I. lance mate to draw the opposing force’s aggro while you finish them off. 

The AS7-K can be found most commonly in Combine space during 3049 and above.  Pay attention to the ‘Mech markets in industrial hubs there; or you can take contracts against House Kurita and hope the K shows up & be available as salvage once the mission is over.  


Go for tier 5 weapons whenever you can.  

Unlike Autocannon and Missile ammo, Gauss Rifle rounds have no danger of exploding while stored inside your ‘Mech.  However, it is important to note that the actual Gauss Rifle itself can explode if it takes too much damage from enemies.  

This is made worse if the Gauss Rifle is located in the torso since if it explodes, it will most likely destroy that part of the torso.   Keep that in mind before charging into enemy fire.  Play smart and use your lance mates to your advantage.


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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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