Mechwarrior 5 Light Mech Tier List [Best And Worst Light Mechs Revealed]

This Hero Locust is fast. Very fast.

Mechwarrior 5 Light Mech Tier List [Best And Worst Light Mechs Revealed]

The Jenner is slower than the Locust but it’s significantly better armed. 

Light ‘Mechs often see limited use in Mechwarrior 5: Mercs.  They are often overshadowed by heavier, better armed and more tanky battlemechs at higher reputation levels in the late game where using light ‘Mechs is often considered a niche playstyle.  Normal players often start using heavy ‘Mechs when mid game comes around since that is the practical choice.  Afterall, heavies can dish out a lot of damage, and the faster you destroy an enemy, the less chances he has to deal more damage to you.  Thus, saving you money on repair bills at the end of the contract.

But unlike heavy and medium ‘Mechs, there’s one thing light ‘Mechs have in spades.  Speed.  Lots of speed.  This makes lights the perfect battlemechs for taking down enemy structures, disrupting the advance of hostile forces and hunting down artillery.  

Sadly, not all light ‘Mechs are created equal and some of them will always be better than others.  That’s why I’ve come up with a tier list for these guys that should help players, both new and old, decide which ‘Mechs they should spend their time and C-bills on.  


S Tier

The best of the best.  S tier light ‘Mechs excel at their given roles on the battlefield.  These guys have the best combination of speed, firepower & armor.  In the hands of a decent pilot, these light ‘Mechs can wreck enemies heavier than their weight class.


S Tier: Ember FS9-E

4 machine guns can quickly deal a ton of damage.

Ember is the perfect light ‘Mech for raid and demolition missions.  Its weaponry is well-suited to bring down structures and it’s fast enough to outmaneuver the enemy’s forces.  With some practice, players can even run raids solo piloting Ember.  


  • 3 double heat sinks dissipate excess heat faster.
  • 5 jump jets make Ember very agile and capable of bypassing walls in demolition missions.
  • 4 torso-mounted machine guns deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
  • Available for purchase in the early stages of the game.  
  • Has 4 small energy slots that can be used to equip 4 flamers which destroy enemy structures quickly or raise the heat level of a hostile ‘Mech, forcing a shutdown.


S Tier: Hi There! JVN-HT

A dual SRM6 barrage from a ‘Mech that can appear out of nowhere is a scary thought.

Like it says on the tin, the JVN-HT is an excellent ambusher.  It can use its jump jets to quickly get within range to fire its SRMs.  ‘Mechs lucky enough to survive 2 SRM6 salvos can then be easily dispatched with its 4 medium lasers.  Make no mistake.  Hi There! is a deadly ‘Mech.


  • Equipped with 3 Double Heat Sinks to vent thermal build up more efficiently, ensuring consistent damage output from weapons.
  • Has the most free tonnage out of all the Javelin variants, giving you more customization options.
  • Deals considerable damage for a light ‘Mech thanks to its 2 SRM 6 launchers.
  • 6 jump jets make the HT highly mobile even in rough terrain.
  • Can be bought very early in the game.


S Tier: Raven RVN-3L

The Raven 3L is loaded with advanced tech that makes it an excellent scout ‘Mech.

This is a great control and support ‘Mech.   With its advanced electronics, players can disrupt the advance of hostile forces and make them easier to be taken down by allied missile boats.  Ideal for players who want to role play as a scout.


  • It has the most free tonnage out of all the Raven variants, giving it more customization options. 
  • Its Beagle Active Probe can identify hostile forces faster than normal radar.
  • TAG & NARC systems make it an ideal support for missile based allied ‘Mechs.
  • ECM makes the 3L take less damage since it disrupts enemy sensors.
  • With a top speed of 97.2 km/h, it’s the fastest non hero Raven there is.


S Tier: Grinner WLF-GR

Grinner has more weapons than your average light ‘Mech.

The GR is probably the best light laser boat in the game.  It’s decently fast & well-armored for a light ‘Mech and packs a meaner punch than some mediums.    Aside from the Raven 3L,  Grinner

Is the only light ‘Mech I’m comfortable bringing on the field at higher reputation missions.  With enough back up, of course.  


  • Can poke enemies from long range with its large laser and is sturdy enough to bring the fight closer thanks to its 4 medium lasers.   
  • Has an ECM suite that messes up a foe’s targeting system.
  • It’s the only Wolfhound variant equipped with Double Heat Sinks, allowing for better damage output.
  • Laser based weaponry means you don’t have to worry about ammo.
  • Most of its lasers are located in the torso.  That means Grinner can lose both arms & will still be able to continue fighting.


A Tier

‘Mechs in this category are still among the best.  The only things that separates these guys from the ones in the A tier are that the ‘Mechs here require a bit more skill to use, their overall damage potential and/or how difficult it is to get them.


A Tier: The Death’s Knell COM-TDK

The color scheme is one of the things I love about  this ‘Mech.

The Death’s Knell is a good ‘Mech to use if you love to use speed to outflank and outmaneuver enemy ‘Mechs on the map.  It can easily run circles around slower, heavier battlemechs while slowly chipping away at their legs and rear armor with its 4 medium lasers.  Perfecting this style of play requires a bit of practice though since it’s fairly easy to receive lethal damage when a mistake is made.


  • Has a top speed of 113.4 km/h, enabling the TDK to chase down or outmaneuver most hostile ‘Mechs.
  • 4 double heat sinks cool down the ‘Mech faster, ensuring a consistent rate of fire from the TDK’s lasers.
  • Has above average armor for a 25 ton ‘Mech, rivaling even the armor of a Firestarter.
  • Equipped with 4 medium lasers that can deal with most enemies its size.
  • Can be bought fairly early in the game.  (It appears in 3015.)


A Tier: Firestarter (All non hero variants)

Flamers are the weapon of choice for Firestarters.

Firestarters are unique in the sense that they specialize in using flamers instead of the more commonly preferred lasers or autocannons.  These ‘Mechs excel at razing enemy structures to the ground, as well as forcing hostile ‘Mechs to shut down by raising their heat to dangerous levels with the use of the aforementioned flamers.  


  • Best suited for raids and demolition missions since flamers deal absurd damage to enemy structures.
  • All variants have 6 jump jets, enabling Firestarters to navigate rough terrain & bypass enemy walls. 
  • The FS9-S variant comes with AMS and Beagle Active Probe, making it a great scout ‘Mech.
  • The FS9-S1 is equipped with ECM and AMS, which makes it a decent support unit.
  • Flamers can force enemy ‘Mechs to shut down, making them easy targets for allied forces.


A Tier: Firestorm FS9-FS

Firestorm trades in half of its flamers for 2 medium lasers instead.

The FS9-FS is the opposite of the FS9-E.  While the E has flamers in the arms and machine guns in the torso, the FS has machine guns in the arms and its flamers in the torso.  It also has less flamers but adds 2 medium lasers, instead.  This gives Firestorm a bit more range than Ember, but with a slight drop in damage dealt to enemy structures.


  • Firestorm is great for raid and demolition contracts since its machine guns & flamers deal extra damage to enemy structures.
  • 6 jump jets make it an agile harasser that can destroy enemy installations protected by walls.
  • Unlike other variants, Firestorm has 2 medium lasers that can deal damage without having to get too close.
  • Its 4 machine guns can shred an enemy ‘Mech’s armor, as well as bring down structures fairly quickly.
  • Firestorm has a top speed of 97.2 km/h, enabling it to close the distance rapidly before unleashing its flamers and machine guns on its target. 


A Tier: Javelin JVN-10N

Having 2 SRM6 launchers makes the 10N a deadly close range combatant.

The Javelin 10N has 2 SRM6 launchers situated in its torso.  With some degree of skill, players can flank hostile ‘Mechs and unload its SRMs into the legs or rear armor.  Those that survive the initial salvo can be punched to death soon afterwards.  


  • Has 2 SRM6 launchers that can, with a well-placed salvo, destroy or cripple most ‘Mechs except for the biggest ones.  
  • 6 jump jets enable the 10N to quickly get in and out of battle, making it an ideal skirmisher.
  • The 10N is a common ‘Mech that is readily available at the start of the game.
  • Has a decent top speed of 97.2 km/h, making the 10N capable of getting in SRM range quickly.
  • Perfect for chasing down & taking out isolated targets due to its speed, agility and dual SRM6s.


A Tier: Jenner JR7-D, K, P

With its speed, the Jenner can chase down almost any ‘Mech on the field.

Jenners are fast, jump-capable light ‘Mechs that make them excellent scouts and harassers.  This battlemech is adequately armed but it won’t hold up against continuous enemy fire.  A good degree of piloting skill and situational awareness will help players survive longer.


  • A top speed of 113.4 km/h makes 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.
  • 5 jump jets make all non-hero Jenners (except for the P variant)  able to handle rough terrain.  
  • The JR7-P has MASC that boosts its speed significantly.  


A Tier: Oxide JR7-O

Even without jump jets, Oxide is still very agile.

Oxide may not have medium lasers like other Jenner variants, but it should never be underestimated.  Equipping it with SRM4 launchers makes it able to chase down and destroy light and medium ‘Mechs with ease.  You just need to be careful not to isolate yourself from the rest of your lance since light ‘Mechs don’t have the armor for prolonged engagements.


  • Designed with 4 small missile slots that can equip SRM4s which deal great damage up close.  
  • Has the most free tonnage out of all the other Jenners, giving players more customization options.
  • Uses double heat sinks for faster heat dissipation.
  • With a top speed of 108.77 km/h, Oxide can quickly close the distance to unleash SRM salvos into a hostile ‘Mech’s face.
  • Can be acquired very early in the game if players have enough C-bills to buy it.


A Tier: Pirate’s Bane LCT-PB

Pirate’s Bane is a really fast ‘Mech that can be annoying to pin down.

If you feel the need to roleplay as an extremely fast scout ‘Mech, the LCT-PB is for you.  Swap out those small lasers for flamers and you get a caffeine-fueled Firestarter wannabe that can pretty much solo raid missions.


  • With a top speed of 153.9 km/h, the PB is the fastest ‘Mech in the game.
  • Equipped with ECM, which disrupts enemy sensors and lessens the damage PB sustains.
  • 3 double heat sinks ensures faster heat dissipation.
  • Has 4 small energy slots that can mount 4 flamers that deal extra damage to structures
  • Outfitting the PB with 4 flamers and 2 machine guns make it the perfect ‘Mech for raids.


A Tier: Panther PNT-10P

The 10P is a rare ‘Mech, which means it’s a pain in the ass to get.

The Panther 10P is quite well armed for a light ‘Mech.  More so if players choose to mount heavier weapons on it, like an LBX/10 and an SRM6.  Add that to its speed and jump jets, and you get a light ‘Mech capable of crippling even medium ‘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.
  • Its medium ballistic slot can equip an LBX autocannon that can shred an enemy’s defenses.
  • Can be fitted with an SRM6 that deals superb damage at close range.


A Tier: Katana Kat PNT-KK

KK has 1 of the best weapon synergies in a light ‘Mech.  PPCs for long range & an SRM for close range.

Despite its the slow speed, the Katana Kat can deal devastating long range damage for something that weighs only 35 tons (thanks to its 2 PPCs.)  Early game enemies don’t stand a chance when faced with consecutive PPC blasts from this hero Panther.


  • Comes with 2 arm-mounted PPCs that can wreck enemies from afar.
  • Has a medium missile slot that can house an SRM4 or SRM6 for dealing with enemies that get too close.
  • Equipped with 5 double heat sinks to quickly vent heat buildup from its 2 PPCs.
  • Has the most free tonnage out of all the Panther variants, giving players more options to customize the KK.
  • 4 jump jets enable the Katana Kat to quickly get in & out of trouble at any moment.


A Tier: Hugin RVN-H

The RVN-H excels at close range encounters.

Hugin is a good close range harasser unit that’s equally capable of destroying enemy structures quickly.  This ‘Mech, with its 4 machine guns, can do a ton of damage real fast if enemies don’t try to stop it.  And if they do try to stop Hugin, it can blast their faces in with an SRM6 salvo.


  • 4 machine guns make short work of any enemy structure, making Hugin perfect for raids.
  • Hugin has an SRM6 & a Streak SRM2 that can cripple or destroy most ‘Mechs its size.
  • Has a good amount of armor for a ‘Mech that only weighs 35 tons.
  • Can reach a top speed of 129.6 km/h, enabling Hugin to outrun anything heavier.
  • As if its speed wasn’t enough, Hugin also has 2 jump jets that make it more agile.


A Tier: Anansi SDR-A

With 2 anti-missile systems, Anansi is the bane of enemy missile boats. 

Anansi is for players who love running circles around an enemy while slowly shaving away their armor with its dual machine guns.  Hostile ‘Mechs will have a hard time trying to take down Anansi due to the combination of its dual AMS and agility.  


  • One of the fastest light ‘Mechs in the game with a top speed of 129.6 km/h
  • Perfect for raids & missions that require you to navigate treacherous terrain quickly (like 4th Crimson Crusade quest mission)
  • 2 anti-missile systems make the Anansi almost immune to enemy missiles.
  • Available for purchase very early in the game, unlike other hero ‘Mechs that require you to finish a number of quests.
  • Has more customization options thanks to its huge free tonnage space. 


A Tier: Spider SDR-5D

Spiders are well known for their jump capabilities.

The 5D can equip a large laser along with a medium laser.  Combine that with the Spider’s insane jump range and you got yourself a very nimble scout that can take down enemy artillery or structures.


  • It’s the only Spider variant that can mount a large energy weapon.
  • The 5D is absurdly fast, clocking in at a top speed of 129.6 km/h
  • 8 jump jets on a ‘Mech that weighs only 30 tons.  This thing will almost fly if you wish it.
  • Great ‘Mech to use early on due its agility and size, especially in raids. 
  • It’s a common battlemech that is cheap to repair and refit.


A Tier: Wolfhound WLF-1, WLF-1B

Tanky for a light ‘Mech but with weapons fit for a medium ‘Mech.

Arguably the most well-rounded light ‘Mech in Mechwarrior 5, the Wolfhound can fulfill the role of a scout, a flanker and harasser with little difficulty.  The only thing holding it back is, unlike its hero variant, the stock Wolfhound doesn’t have double heat sinks.  And with an all laser loadout, this makes the Wolfhound run hot faster than normal.


  • 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.  
  • Most of its weapons are situated in the torso, ensuring the Wolfhound can keep on fighting despite losing both arms and a leg.  
  • Decent speed for a well-armored light ‘Mech.


B Tier

‘Mechs in this tier are by no means trash.  They are very much viable and will be sufficient in early missions.  The only problems these guys have is that they are lacking more DPS, survivability, speed or a combination of these.   


B Tier: Commando (All non hero variants)

The Commando is the 2nd lightest ‘Mech in Mechwarrior 5.

Weighing only 25 tons, you’d expect the Commando to be flimsy & underpowered.  But in reality, this ‘Mech has enough slots to mount an SRM6, or a large laser, or even sometimes, both.  It has above average speed for its size and will perform its assigned role to the letter.  Just don’t expect it to live through late game missions if you adamantly refuse to switch it out.


B Tier: Javelin JVN-10F

Players get a JVN-10F by default at the start of Campaign mode.

The 10F is a decent light ‘Mech that fulfills the role of a scout that’s capable of dealing good damage.  It’s fast and those 4 medium lasers don’t need ammo, which makes this ‘Mech very sustainable on the field.


B Tier: Jenner JR7-F

The F variant traded in its SRM weapon for more armor.  

Unlike its other variants, the Jenner F doesn’t have a small missile slot.  That means it can’t use an SRM weapon.  Too bad since SRMs deal good damage.  Players will have to make do with the F’s 4 medium lasers. 


B Tier: Panther PNT-8Z, PNT-9R

Armed with a PPC, the Panther can wreck other light ‘Mechs with just a few shots.

The Panther lacks speed for a light ‘Mech but makes up for it with its arm-mounted PPC or large laser and the ability to use jump jets.  Combine that with some extra tons of armor and an SRM4 or an SRM6, and you got a decently powerful but slow light ‘Mech. 


B Tier: Raven RVN-1X, RVN-2X, RVN-4X

The Raven is House Liao’s most advanced light ‘Mech design.

The Raven 1X is a support ‘Mech that’s good enough for a lot of early missions due to its Beagle Active Probe and ECM.  The 2X swaps out all the fancy electronics for more damage and armor, while the 4X opted for jump capabilities.  All of these variants can fulfill your scouting needs but they don’t really excel at them.  


B Tier: Spider SDR-5V

With 8 jump jets, it’s only a matter of time before a Spider punches a VTOL out of the sky.

The Spider 5V is a very agile light ‘Mech that can fulfill the role of a scout.  Sadly, it is also a bit lacking in the weapons department as it’s only armed with 2 medium lasers.


B Tier: K-9 UM-K9

That Ultra AC/5 is not to be underestimated.

The K-9 can do serious damage with its UAC/5.  Players will have to use the terrain as cover while advancing towards enemies since this ‘Mech is a slow moving egg with legs.


B Tier: Street Cleaner UM-SC

There’s just something whimsical about this UrbanMech’s paint job.

Equipping an LBX/10 autocannon will make the Street Cleaner deadlier than it was with just a standard AC/10.  Too bad it’s still slow as hell even at top speed.   


B Tier: Wolfhound WLF-1A

It’s basically the same as other Wolfhound variants sans 1 medium laser.

While still a good laser boat, the 1A’s DPS has been slightly reduced due to the removal of 1 of its medium lasers.  Too bad they didn’t trade the laser for more armor.  It would’ve been a fair exchange.


C Tier

Don’t bother with these light ‘Mechs.  They are riddled with at least 3 of these problems: poor weapon placement, subpar survivability, slow as heck or they are underpowered.  Players will have to put in extra effort to keep these ‘Mechs from getting destroyed.


C Tier: Flea FLE-15, 17

At just 20 tons, the Flea is the one of the lightest ‘Mechs in the game.

Granted, the Flea can deal a bit of damage with its machine guns and medium lasers, it’s still disastrously flimsy and slower than a Locust.  Players will need to keep this thing very mobile to even stand a chance of surviving a mission.


C Tier: Javelin JVN-10P

Even with Streak SRMs, this ‘Mech is still worse than the 10N.

The 10P would’ve been good if it had at least a couple of lasers.  But instead, it only has 2 small and 1 medium missile slots, giving it a limited operational range and a heavy dependency on ammo.


C Tier: Locust (All non hero variants)

The legs of this ‘Mech are so squishy, you’d think they were made of wood.

While the Locust has an abundance of speed, it has very little in terms of weaponry & armor.  Not very practical in later missions, even in raids.


C Tier: Spider SDR-5K

Spiders need to keep moving unless they want to end up as smoking wreckage.

The 5K exchanges 2 of its jump jets for a bit more firepower.  Not that it helps much, though.  If the Spider isn’t mobile enough, it’s as good as dead, especially when it becomes isolated from the rest of its team.


C Tier: UrbanMech UM-R60, UM-R60L

The UrbanMech has been relegated to a meme in the Battletech community.

While both variants can mount powerful autocannons, it doesn’t take much to turn these slow moving eggs into smoking wrecks.  


Don’t be afraid to run if you’re outnumbered.  

Light ‘Mechs, like every other battlemech in Mechwarrior 5, are not immortal and will be destroyed after taking too many hits.  This is why it is quite important to learn evasive maneuvers early in the game since Mechwarrior 5 can be a bit unforgiving at higher reputation levels.  

Have some degree of situational awareness, play smart, learn to lead targets and don’t overextend yourselves in battle, my fellow Mechwarriors.  Practice is key.


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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
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Genshin Impact
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