[Top 10] Best Mechwarrior 5 Mechs (Non Hero)

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[Top 10] Best Mechwarrior 5 'Mechs (Non Hero)

Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries Launche Trailer

As an up and coming mercenary commander in Mechwarrior 5, it is one of your responsibilities to make sure your merc outfit is properly armed and has access to the best gear your C-bills can buy.  

Hence, you can’t afford to spend your hard earned money impulsively, especially on a ‘Mech that “looks cool” but in reality, performs about as great as a flat tire.  *cough* Vulcan. *cough* That’s going to be a classic case of buyer’s remorse right there, folks.  

So to help all you newbie mechwarriors out there, I have compiled a list of the 10 best battlemechs you need to have in your arsenal at some point.  

Some caveats before we proceed; I have chosen these battlemechs based on personal experience and by no means should this list be considered absolute truth that needs to be zealously followed since we all have different play styles.  Think of it more as a musty guide post on the side of a road.  

I also didn’t include the rare hero ‘mechs as they are obviously better and much more expensive than their normal variants.  Players will almost always not have enough C-bills to purchase hero variants early in the game.  Besides, hero variants also cost an arm & a leg to repair.   


10.  RVN-3L Raven

The Raven 3L is great for messing with the enemy's advance forces.


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

The Raven is a lightweight electronic warfare BattleMech which wasn’t just one of the first truly original 'Mech designs produced in centuries, but also represented the Inner Sphere’s effort to modernize the ever changing landscape of 31st century combat.  .  


  • Can use larger XL engines that make it faster than other Raven variants.  
  • Comes equipped with the Beagle Active Probe and ECM for better command & control of the battlefield.  
  • Great support for LRM based ‘mechs due to its TAG & NARC capabilities.  

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.


9.  WLF-1 Wolfhound

The Wolfhound packs a considerable punch for a light 'Mech.


  • 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) 

The Wolfhound is a light 'Mech with an all-energy weapons payload effective at a variety of combat ranges and sports the maximum amount of armor for a 'Mech of its weight class. It was built to hunt down and destroy swift lightweight 'Mechs of the Draconis Combine.  


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

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.   


8.  GRF-2N Griffin

The GRF-2N is a fire support 'Mech that has no business being on the frontline unless necessary.


  • Weight:  55 tons
  • Armor:  358/382 Ferro Fibrous
  • Structure:  191 Endo Steel
  • Free Tonnage:  19.85 tons
  • Top Speed:  81 km/h
  • Stock Armament:  1 ER PPC (Right Arm), 1 SRM 6 (Right Torso), 1 SRM 6 (Left Torso)

The GRF-2N is an old Star League model that was among the most versatile 'Mechs in its heyday.  Its weapons generated a lot of heat, but Double Heat Sinks were put in to cope with the thermal buildup.  


  • Has increased survivability due to its ECM and jump jet capabilities.  
  • SRMs on both the left & right torso can deal good damage up close.  
  • Large energy hardpoint on its right arm mounted with an ER PPC or ER Large Laser makes it a passable sniper.  

The GRF-2N can be taken as salvage in the first mission of the quest Blood Minerals.  If your luck doesn’t let you get one after completing the mission or if your salvage points are too low, you might want to try going to the Terra system and check the ‘mech markets over there.   


7.  SHD-5M Shadowhawk

The SHD-5M is a fun 'Mech to use due to its jump jets and Ultra AC/5.


  • Weight:  55 tons
  • Armor:  336/382
  • Structure:  191 Endo Steel
  • Free Tonnage:  26.07
  • Top Speed:  81 km/h
  • Stock Armament:  1 Ultra AC/5 (Left Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Right Arm), 1 LRM 20 (Right Torso), 1 Streak SRM 2 (Head)

The SHD-5M is the first complete overhaul and upgrade of the Shadowhawk design for use by the Free Worlds League. Sporting an endo steel frame, an additional ton of armor and two additional jump jets, the SHD-5M is a highly versatile skirmisher.  


  • Versatile weapons loadout that allows the SHD-5M to engage at any distance.  
  • Has more free tonnage than other variants due to endo steel & ferro fibrous upgrades.  
  • Double heat sinks offer better heat management, allowing weapons to be fired more consistently.  

The SHD-5M starts appearing at random primarily in Marik space from 3048 onwards.  Since RNG plays a huge role in spawning certain ‘mechs, make it a point to check systems and industrial hubs.


6.  HBK-4G Hunchback

The 4G is more than capable of wiping the floor with anyone who dares to call it ugly.


  • 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 an Autocannon 20 that is more than capable of one-shotting lighter ‘mechs.
  • Has a wide torso twist range that can keep enemies within the AC/20’s line of fire.
  • Energy weapons on both arms & head provide decent backup should the AC/20 run out of ammo.  

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.


5.  WVR-7H Wolverine 

Probably the only 'Mech players can get as a reward for going to a certain planetary system.


  • Weight:  55 tons
  • Armor:  322/382 Ferro Fibrous
  • Structure:  191 Endo Steel
  • Free Tonnage:  19.85 tons
  • Top Speed:  81 km/h
  • Stock Armament:  1 Ultra AC 5 (Right Arm), 1 Medium Pulse Laser (Head), 1 SRM 6+Art IV (Left Torso)

The Wolverine was developed as a fast striker that could take part in missions requiring speed and firepower but too hazardous for lighter recon 'Mechs. It has since become known for its versatility and is considered a jack of all trades throughout the Inner Sphere.  


  • Incorporates Star League tech like Ferro Fibrous armor & Endo Steel structure, giving the WVR-7H more free tonnage.  
  • Healthy mix of various weaponry make the WVR-7H adaptable at any distance.  
  • Can be obtained for free very early on, bolstering your initial fighting force significantly. 

The WVR-7H is available at the start of the game.  All you have to do is go to the Valentina system in Kuritan space and view Ryana’s transmission.  After which you’ll get the 7H for free.


4.  GHR-5P Grasshopper

The 5P is great if you lke jumping in and out of the battlefield.


  • Weight:  70 tons
  • Armor:  432/446
  • Structure:  223 Endo Steel
  • Free Tonnage:  30.57 tons
  • Top Speed:  64.8 km/h
  • Stock Armament:  1 PPC & 1 Medium Pulse Laser (Right Torso), 1 PPC & 1 Medium Pulse Laser (Left Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Center Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Head)

With great mobility and predominantly energy-based weaponry, the Grasshopper proved itself during the 1st Succession War.  Revolutionary for its time, the appearance of a heavy 'Mech with the mobility of a lighter design caused a change in tactics & the Grasshopper became known for using surprise and speed.  


  • Energy Hardpoints focused on the Torso ensure the GHR-5P can continue fighting even if its arms get blown off.    
  • Has 17 Double Heat Sinks to handle thermal buildup & enable Energy Weapons to fire more often.  
  • Endo Steel structure reduces weight, which can be used to mount heavier Energy Weapons and armor.  

The GHR-5P may start showing up in missions & ‘mech markets as early as 3015.  I found mine somewhere in House Liao territory.


3.  KTO-19 Kintaro

The Kintaro's SRM spam should never be taken lightly.


  • Weight:  55 tons
  • Armor: 358/382 Ferro Fibrous
  • Structure:  191
  • Free Tonnage:  24.85 tons
  • Top Speed:  81 km/h
  • 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. 


  • Ferro Fibrous armor makes the Kintaro lighter, which means the Kintaro can carry more ammo for its missile weapons.
  • NARC turns enemies into missile magnets.  
  • Kills light & medium ‘mechs easily with SRM6 alpha strikes.

The KTO-18, 19 & 19B may be 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.


2.  MAD-5D Marauder

One of the most iconic 'Mechs ever built, the Marauder can fulfill any role easily.  


  • Weight:  75 tons
  • Armor:  448/474
  • Structure:  237
  • Free Tonnage:  37.19 tons
  • Top Speed:  64.8 km/h
  • Stock Armament:  1 ER PPC & 1 Medium Pulse Laser (Left Arm), 1 ER PPC & 1 Medium Pulse Laser (Right Arm), Streak SRM2 (Left Torso), 1 Large Pulse Laser (Right Torso)

The Marauder was first built as an attack and direct fire support unit.  It’s one of the most well-known 'Mechs in existence and originally meant to usher in a new generation of 'Mechs.  On its own merits though, the Marauder is a devastatingly powerful 'Mech, outclassed only by larger machines.


  • Lighter XL engine gives more free tonnage to use on armor, structure, ammo & double heat sinks.
  • Pulse lasers & ER PPCs deal great damage at any range.
  • Double Heat Sinks offer better thermal efficiency, contributing to increased fire rate of energy weapons.
  • Jump Jets make the MAD-5D more mobile than the Marauder’s other non-hero variants.

The MAD-5D starts spawning at around 3047.  Players can try their luck getting one in   Davion ‘mech markets near the Lee star system.  Or RNG might bless you with one in the industrial hubs there. If not, try Terra, which seems to spawn rare ‘mechs more often than other star systems.  


1.  ON1-K Orion

Despite looking like a walking coffin, the Orion has enough firepower to obliterate almost anything.


  • Weight:  75 tons
  • Armor:  464/474
  • Structure:  237
  • Free Tonnage:  27.69 tons
  • Top Speed:  64.8 km/h
  • Stock Armament:  1 SRM4 & 1 LRM15 (Left Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Left Arm), 1 Autocannon 10 (Right Torso), 1 Medium Laser (Right Arm)

The Orion K was the first true Heavy 'Mech. As a multi-role brawler, the Orion can engage enemies at a variety of ranges, and with plenty of armor, it can survive combined fire for quite some time. Slow, yes - but powerful.


  • Good mix of energy, ballistic and missile weapons which makes the Orion capable of fulfilling any role.
  • Quick torso rotation and multiple weapons groups means the ON1-K can quickly pick off multiple targets.
  • Most weapons located on the torso means the Orion can keep shooting despite losing both its arms.  
  • Decent armor, making it a good choice for A.I. lance mates.  

The ON1-K becomes available from 3015 onwards.  Keep an eye out for it in ‘mech markets closer to Terra since it has more chances of spawning there than in the outer regions of space.  

And there you have it.  The top 10 non-hero Battlemechs I always have in my ‘mech bay.  I didn’t include assault ‘mechs since I value having a little bit more speed in my roster.  Besides, I find the Marauder and Orion can punch well above their weight class, especially if you know where to aim.    

One final point I’d like to mention is that players will need to customize ‘mechs and switch to better weapons if you don’t want to have a hard time.  The stock weapon loadouts of many, if not all ‘mechs, can only do so much.  








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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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