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

The Griffin isn't the best, but it's definitely not the worst medium 'Mech.

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

The Razer Wolverine has a very cool paint job.

One of the things I like about Mechwarrior 5’s medium ‘Mechs is their flexibility.  Granted, these machines require a bit of skill to use properly, but mediums are better armored than light ‘Mechs, have sufficiently good damage dealing capabilities and are faster than heavy ‘Mechs.  And unlike their lighter brethren, players can still use some medium ‘Mechs in some of the higher, more difficult reputation contracts.   

Possessing both speed and firepower, medium ‘Mechs are viable for almost every contract mission.  Good thing to know, too since every  mission has a tonnage restriction and fielding medium ‘Mechs can give players more weight you can use for heavier ‘Mechs.  Yeah, I know it sucks to not be able to use 4 King Crabs on every mission but we play the hand we’re dealt, right?    Besides, some mediums like the Hunchback can equip the biggest guns in the base game.  Autocannon 20 round to the face, anyone?  

So before I bore you guys to sleep, here’s the 5 best non hero medium ‘Mechs in Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries.


5. Centurion CN9-D

Sure, we get a Centurion by default in the Campaign but the CN9-D is a bit better.


  • Weight:  50 tons
  • Armor:  272/350
  • Structure:  175 Endosteel
  • Free Tonnage:  21.07 tons
  • Speed: 97.2 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout: 1 LBX/10-CLU (Right Arm), 2 Medium Lasers (Center Torso), 1 LRM 10+ART IV (Left Torso)

Produced initially from 2801 until the main plant on Ramen II was destroyed in 2845, the Centurion was designed and built by Corean Enterprises as an operating for the already successful Trebuchet.  After supplying a steady stream of spare parts to AFFS line units for nearly 150 years, and buoyed by the success and warm reception of the design as a whole, Corean built a secondary manufacturing facility on New Avalon in 3012.  The Centurion represents a well-rounded combat platform in its tonnage range and is known for making slow, steady advances while being tough enough to absorb considerable punishment.  


  • Its XL engine gives it a top speed of 97.2 km/h, making it the fastest CN9 variant there is.
  • Quite tanky for a ‘Mech that weighs only 50 tons.
  • Its balanced weapon loadout makes the CN9-D versatile enough to deal with enemies from all ranges.

The good thing about the Centurion D is its LBX/10.  Few ‘Mechs its size can withstand a continuous barrage of LBX/10 rounds as these will quickly shred an enemy’s armor.  And since the LBX/10 is in its right arm, players need to make sure it doesn’t get blown off.  Use the Centurion’s left arm to absorb incoming enemy fire.  Torso twist if you have to.  Then unload that LBX/10 in the hostile ‘Mech.  If you’re more of a close range brawler, swap the LRM 10 for an SRM6 instead.

Since the Centurion hails from House Davion, it makes sense that their industrial hubs would have this ‘Mech in stock.  Check out the hubs in Federated Suns territory when the year hits 3049.  Scum save if you have to.  


4. Shadow Hawk SHD-5M

The Shadow Hawk is surprisingly resilient for its weight.


  • Weight:  55 tons
  • Armor:  336/382 Ferro Fibrous
  • Structure:  191 Endosteel 
  • Free Tonnage:  26.07 tons
  • Speed:  81 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout: 1 Medium Laser (Right Arm), 1 LRM20 (Right Torso), 1 Streak SRM2 (Head), 1 Ultra AC/5 (Left Torso)

After an unfortunate (and costly) false start caused by quality and safety issues, the Shadow Hawk, now seen throughout the Inner Sphere, began production in 2550.  With a diverse array of armaments, the Shadow Hawk is a highly adaptable chassis, able to fit into almost any situation where a ‘Mech might be needed.  


  • Has 5 jump jets that make the 5M very mobile.
  • Well armored for a ‘Mech of its weight class.
  • Has a torso-mounted medium ballistic slot that can equip an LBX/10 or Ultra AC/5.  Both of which can deal good damage.

Out of the box, the 5M’s Ultra AC/5 can deal a ton of damage really fast, provided it doesn’t jam.  And it’s located in the left torso which means players won’t have to constantly worry about it getting blown off like if it was placed in the arms.  With 5 jump jets, players can use the 5M to make quick hit and run attacks with its Ultra AC or an LBX/10 if they choose to.  Personally, I’d go for the LBX/10 and trade in the LRM20 for an SRM6, along with ammo and heat sinks to make the 5M a more deadly brawler.

The SHD-5M is more likely to be found in the territories of either the Lyran Commonwealth or Federated Suns.  Players need to reach 3048 before this ‘Mech shows up in industrial hubs.  Again, scum save when necessary.  


3. Crab CRB-27SL

The CRB-27SL is probably one of the hardest  non hero medium ‘Mechs to obtain. 


  • Weight:  50 tons
  • Armor:  322/350 Ferro Fibrous
  • Structure:  175 
  • Free Tonnage:  22.74 tons
  • Speed:  81 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  1 ER Large Laser (Right Arm), 1 Small Laser (Head), 1 Medium Laser (Center Torso), 1 ER Large Laser (Left Arm)

When originally built for the Star League in 2719, the approach taken by Cosara Weaponries was to create a battlemech that was easily maintained and well suited for high endurance raiding far from supply lines.  The Crab was seen by many as a reliable standby and the eventual standard for SLDF medium ‘Mechs.  The League’s collapse orphaned the design, however, and the loss of Ferro Fibrous armor production eventually led to centuries where the surviving units were downgraded to carry standard armor.  Even still, the Crab’s elegant simplicity practically assured that enough would survive to the present era. 


  • Laser weapons don’t require ammo, making the Crab ideal for long engagements.
  • 4 Double Heat Sinks vent waste heat quicker, enabling the Crab’s lasers to fire consistently.
  • Fairly well armored for a Medium ‘Mech.

While capable of dealing great damage from afar, those 2 ER large lasers can make the 27SL run hot.  Players will need to use proper heat management to utilize this ‘Mech effectively.  If it will be used exclusively as a dedicated sniper, drop the other lasers and add heat sinks instead.  

While available early in the game, this variant of the Crab can be frustrating to obtain as it’s a rare Star League ‘Mech.  Players might have an easier time getting the 27SL by prowling the ‘Mech markets near Terra than trying to earn this variant as salvage in missions.  


2. Kintaro KTO-19B

The Kintaro is an excellent close range brawler thanks to its SRM 6 missile launchers.  


  • Weight:  55 tons
  • Armor: 358/382 Ferro Fibrous
  • Structure:  191
  • Free Tonnage:  24.85 tons
  • Top Speed:  81 km/h XL
  • Stock Armament:  1 Medium Laser (Right Arm), 1 SRM6 (Right Torso), 1 NARC (Center Torso), 1 SRM6, 1 LRM5 & 1 Medium Laser (Left Arm)

Introduced in 2587 for the SLDF, the Kintaro was designed with one sole mission: to tag enemy units with a Narc Missile Beacon. As such, it is a 'Mech that is intended to work in a team with a missile-heavy lance. 


  • Equipped with Ferro Fibrous armor & an XL engine, the 19B has the most free tonnage out of all the non hero KTO variants.  This gives players more customization options.
  • NARC turns enemies into missile magnets.  
  • Kills light & medium ‘mechs easily with SRM6 alpha strikes.

Honestly, any variant of the Kintaro is a great addition to any starting player’s ‘Mech forces.  A well placed SRM salvo will delete incoming hostiles, particularly light & medium ‘Mechs.  If you have other missile-bearing ‘Mechs, the 19B’s NARC will make their missiles home in on your chosen target.  The Kintaro can run a bit hot so keep an eye on that heat gauge and use double heat sinks if possible.

Players can only obtain the KTO-19B if they have the Kestrel Lancers DLC.  The 19B may be mostly found in House Kurita controlled space from 3015 onwards.  Players can salvage these at the end of missions where you encounter them as enemies or simply just buy the Kintaro from ‘mech markets in Combine space.  Players can also visit industrial hubs near Terra since the Kintaro can also spawn there randomly.


1. Hunchback HBK-4G

The Hunchback has several variants that carry a variety of weapons, the most notable being the HBK-4G with its AC/20.  


  • Weight:  50 tons
  • Armor:  320/350
  • Structure:  175
  • Free Tonnage:  22.57 tons
  • Top Speed:  64.8 km/h
  • Stock Armament:  1 AC/20 (Right Torso), 1 Small Laser (Head), 2 Medium  Lasers (Arms)

A respected and feared brawler, the Hunchback 4G is a platform built around its primary weapon. The 4G's AC/20 is capable of cutting down enemy BattleMechs with brutal efficiency. Its primary drawback is light rear armor and a relatively slow movement speed for a medium ‘Mech.


  • Comes with a large ballistic slot that can equip either the AC/20 or a Gauss rifle.
  • Has a wide torso twist range that can keep enemies within the large torso-mounted ballistic gun’s line of fire.
  • Decently tanky for a medium ‘Mech. (Except for its backside)

The AC/20 is good for the early game and can destroy most, if not all opponents with a well aimed shot.  If you’re not a fan of the big ol’ AC/20, an LBX 10 is a good substitute.  It has longer range and is basically a shotgun that’s ideal for shredding armor off enemy ‘Mechs.  Mounting a Gauss rifle is also an option for those who prefer sniper builds.  Just ditch the small laser & add armor instead.

The 4G is readily available as salvage in many missions as early as 3015.  It’s also commonly sold in ‘mech markets on various planetary systems.  If one doesn’t appear on the market, feel free to reload a previous saved game since the spawn rate is dependent on RNG.


The Yen-Lo-Wang is a deadly close quarters combatant, especially when it's equipped with claws.

While the hero variants of certain medium ‘Mechs are substantially better than their more standard counterparts,  one can argue that using hero ‘Mechs may not always be the best course of action.  Hero ‘Mechs are more expensive to buy and repair.  Assigning one to your A.I. pilots can be a financial risk if that pilot is stupid.  

Non hero ‘Mechs are a safer, more economical solution since they are cheaper to repair and refit.  Besides, when you equip your non hero ‘Mechs with better weapons,  their performance increases dramatically.  One might even say they can almost rival a hero ‘Mech.  


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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.
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