[Top 5] Mechwarrior 5 Best Light Mechs (Non Hero)

The Raven... One of the best light 'Mechs ever.

[Top 5] Mechwarrior 5 Best Light Mechs (Non Hero)

Light ‘Mechs are a lot of fun to pilot if you’re not reckless.

Ah, light ‘Mechs.  The quintessential cannon fodder of the Inner Sphere.  While it’s true that these ‘Mechs are often lacking in firepower and can be easy to kill, one must never underestimate them.  Most light ‘Mechs have the one thing that all other ‘Mechs lack.   Speed.  

Light ‘Mechs don’t have to stand there and exchange weapons fire with an enemy because they can easily flank said enemy and shoot their vulnerable backsides.  Additionally, light ‘Mechs can be problematic for players in defense missions.  They don’t have to blow you up to make you fail the mission.  They just have to destroy whatever it is you’re defending.  

These ‘Mechs are fast enough to slip by hostile forces and take out designated structures, which is why light ‘Mechs are great for demolition and raid missions.  They can get in quickly, get the job done and get out without alerting the whole enemy battalion in the region.

Have I piqued your interest in non hero light ‘Mechs, my dear reader?  And you might be wondering, “Why focus on non hero ‘Mechs and not their hero variants?”  Good question.

Allow me to explain.  It’s true that the hero variants are mostly better since they come with better weapons, armor and/or equipment by default.  Oftentimes, they also have better weapon placements than other more common versions.  However, they are also harder to obtain.  Furthermore, hero ‘Mechs are way more expensive to buy than standard ‘Mechs, about 2-3 times more expensive.  They are also more exorbitant to repair.  That means having your hero ‘Mech get blown up in a mission will cost you a ton of C-bills to fix.  

Non hero ‘Mechs, on the other hand, are easier to come by, way cheaper to buy & easier to repair.  Besides, outfitting your non hero ‘Mechs with better weapons make them almost as good as their hero versions.   So without further ado, here are the 5 best non hero light ‘Mechs of Mechwarrior 5.  


5. Jenner JR7-D

The Jenner is fast enough to chase down almost any target.


  • Weight:  35 tons
  • Armor:  128/250
  • Structure:  125
  • Free Tonnage:  6.69 tons
  • Speed:  113.4 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  2 Medium Lasers (Right Arm), 1 SRM 4 (Center Torso), 2 Medium Lasers (Left Arm)

Unlike most other battlemechs designs before the 31st century, the Jenner was a source of national pride for a single state.  Designed, produced and used solely by House Kurita in 2784, the Jenner became synonymous with the Draconis Combine.  Later, the Jenner’s prominent role in the Kentares Massacre would tarnish its reputation.  Regardless, its speed, mobility and firepower make it ideal for destroying enemy targets and scouts alike.  


  • 5 jump jets & a top speed of 113.4 km/h make the Jenner a highly mobile harasser & flanker.  
  • Versatile short to mid range attacker thanks to its 4 medium lasers & 1 SRM 4 launcher.  
  • Great for earning C-bills early on in raid missions since the Jenner is easily buyable at the start of game.

The Jenner is a good ‘Mech to have in early game since it’s both fast and well armed for a light ‘Mech.  Players can do raid & demolition missions with ease since these missions only require you to destroy a few enemy structures.  Players can ignore and outmaneuver hostile ‘Mechs using the Jenner’s speed & agility.  Just practice those piloting skills.

The Jenner is available for purchase at the start of the game.  Industrial hubs in Draconis Combine space easily have Jenners since it's a common ‘Mech in their region.  When playing the campaign, players get a free Jenner D along with Leon Freeman after completing a  couple of missions for Sebastian Spears.


4. Javelin JVN-10F

Players get a 10F by default at the start of the campaign mission.


  • Weight:  30 tons
  • Armor:  192/222
  • Structure:  111
  • Free Tonnage:  11.07 tons
  • Speed:  97.2 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  2 Medium Lasers (Right Torso), 2 Medium Lasers (Left Torso)

In 2751, Stormvanger Assemblies introduced the Javelin as a recon ‘Mech with the firepower to survive being spotted.  By the opening shots of the 1st Succession War, the Javelin had not yet been fully integrated into most regiments, but centuries of warfare have proven the reliability of the design.  Despite the destruction of its only production facility, the Javelin remains a popular ‘Mech, especially in the regiments of House Davion.  It has gained a reputation as a versatile and mobile ‘Mech that can appear almost out of nowhere, giving rise to the aphorism “sneaky as a Javelin.”


  • Torso-based weaponry ensures the 10F can continue fighting despite losing both of its arms.
  • 6 jump jets enable the Javelin to traverse any terrain with ease.
  • The 10F’s 4 lasers don’t require ammo, enabling it to stay on the field for longer.  

Like the Jenner, the Javelin is particularly good for raid missions.  I don’t recommend it for demolition missions, though.  It takes too long to bring down an enemy complex to 0% with just 4 lasers.  Machine guns, flamers and SRMs deal better damage to structures compared to lasers.  Aside from that, you can use the Javelin to flank enemies & shoot their weaker backsides while they are busy dealing with your other team mates.

Players have a better chance of buying the Javelin in Federated Suns territory.  It’s a common ‘Mech so it won’t be that hard to find.  When playing the campaign, players will already own a Javelin 10F and will be using it in the first mission.  


3. Panther PNT-10P

It may be slower than most light ‘Mechs, but the 10P has enough firepower to destroy most of them quickly.


  • Weight:  35 tons
  • Armor:  208/250
  • Structure:  125 Endosteel
  • Free Tonnage:  19.69 tons
  • Speed:  81 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  2 Autocannon/2 (Right Arm), 1 SRM 2 (Center Torso)

Originally conceived and designed as a fire support vehicle for reconnaissance units, the prototype Panther was first built for the Star League in 2739.  After the disastrous battle of St. John in 2759, the Star League reevaluated the design, replacing the large laser with a PPC.  Slow for its size, but well armored and known to hit hard, it’s a great support unit for other ‘Mechs.  


  • Comes equipped with 3 double heat sinks to cool down the 10P faster.
  • 4 jump jets to help  it negotiate rugged terrain.  
  • Has a top speed of 81 km/h, making it the fastest Panther variant available.

For a more DPS build, players can opt to swap out the Panther’s dual AC/2s with a more hard hitting autocannon like the LBX/10.  This would make the Panther a nasty little shotgunner.  Additionally, switching to an SRM4 is good, too.  Out of the box, you can use the 10P’s speed and dual ACs in raid and demolition missions.  Spam raid missions if you want to earn C-bills fast. 

The good news is Panther 10P becomes available for purchase from 3015 and up.  The bad news is it’s a rare ‘Mech that can randomly appear in industrial hubs either along the Davion/Kurita border or in Liao space.  Scum save for best results in getting one.


2. Raven RVN-3L

The 3L’s NARC can make your missile boats more damaging to enemies. 


  • Weight:  35 tons
  • Armor:  179/250 Ferro Fibrous
  • Structure:  125
  • Free Tonnage:  16.03 tons
  • Speed:  97.2 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  2 Medium Lasers (Right Arm), 1 NARC Beacon (Left Arm), 1 SRM 6 (Right Torso), 1 TAG Laser (Right Torso)

Originally prototyped in 3024, the Raven is the result of a Capellan research & development program.  The Raven was a bold attempt to recreate the sophisticated electronic warfare technology of the long-lost Star League era.  Though a technical success, the prototypes met with mixed results and many were subsequently refitted with more weapons instead of the expensive electronic suites, giving it a surprising amount of firepower for a light ‘Mech.


  • XL engine makes it faster than any other non hero Raven variant.
  • Beagle Active Probe and ECM give it better battlefield command & control capabilities.
  • TAG & NARC systems make it an ideal support for missile based allied ‘Mechs.

The 3L is great if you want to mess with enemy ‘Mechs.  The ECM disrupts enemy targeting systems within its range while the BAP helps identify all enemies  in your vicinity.  Shooting any hostile with NARC turns it into a missile magnet.  This is especially useful if you have a missile boat like the Archer or Catapult on your team.  

The RVN-3L has a higher chance of showing up in the Capellan Confederation after the year 3024.  Players might also want to check the industrial hubs there as you might get lucky and find one for sale in the ‘mech market.  Scum saving might offer better chances of acquiring the 3L.


1. Wolfhound WLF-1

The Wolfhound has the same amount of firepower as some medium ‘Mechs.


  • Weight:  35 tons
  • Armor:  240/250
  • Structure:  125
  • Free Tonnage:  10.69 tons
  • Top Speed:  97.2 km/h
  • Stock Armament:  2 Medium Lasers (Center Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Right Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Left Torso), 1 Large Laser (Right Arm) 

Debuting as a prototype design first field tested by the Kell Hounds and Wolf’s Dragoons mercenary commands in 3028, the Lyran-made Wolfhound is regarded as one of the greatest light ‘Mechs ever produced by the Steiner military.  As a “laser boat” with plenty of armor and speed, the Wolfhound is ideal for quick strikes.  


  • Ideal for long engagements since its energy weapons don’t require ammo.
  • Better armed than some light ‘Mechs.  
  • Has more armor than your average light ‘Mech, which means it can survive longer.  

The Wolfhound’s lasers make it a fearsome opponent at any range & is perfect for any type of mission short of a full scale assault.  It is a light ‘Mech afterall.  Circle strafing and flanking enemies is the way to go when it comes to light ‘Mechs like this one.  It will take some practice to do those maneuvers well, but it’s all worth it in the end.

The Wolfhound only starts appearing on the Lyran side of the starmap in the year 3028.  However, it becomes more common everywhere and shows up randomly in missions and industrial hubs after that year.   


A T5 Heavy Rifle is excellent for a light ‘Mech if you don’t mind the long cooldown, heat & limited ammo capacity.  

Light ‘Mechs are fairly great at early to mid game.  I wouldn’t recommend fielding them any longer than that, though.  The late game missions can be hard and a couple of direct hits from a  hostile Awesome’s PPC is enough to cripple a light ‘Mech.  

That said, use light ‘Mechs to rack up those C-bills early so you can buy heavier, better armed ‘Mechs that you’ll use well into the late game. 

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