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Armored Core 6 Complete Guide: Combat Mechanics, Bosses & Story in AC6

Everything fans need to know about FromSoftware's Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubcon, a brutal mech fighter set on a desolate world.

Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon is the latest game in FromSoftware’s over-the-top mech-action series, which hasn’t seen a new release in a decade. Fans of the series are hungry for a new title to dig their teeth into, and many new players are looking forward to diving in, having played FromSoftware’s other titles such as the hugely popular Elden Ring.

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While FromSoftware developed Armored Core 6, that doesn’t make it anything like the company’s insanely popular Elden Ring or Dark Souls franchises. This is an Armored Core game through and through, with deep mech-building mechanics, intense robotic combat with dozens of inputs in a single second, and a gritty futuristic setting filled with the aftermath of war.

Related: The 10 best Armored Core games, ranked

How to Manually Reload in Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon

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To manually reload in Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon, players need to press Triangle and R2 on PS5 or Y and RT on an Xbox controller. Of course, the controls can be completely remapped to any button or combination so players are comfortable in combat.

Manual reloading is essential for any player because it helps conserve ammo and take down enemies quickly. With large groups of enemies, it’s better to unleash magazine after magazine, but individuals only require short bursts, so ammo can be saved by reloading between those encounters. This will help keep ammo costs down and ensure players earn as much profit as possible. This is just one of the essential tips & tricks players would do well to learn before diving into more missions.

What is Loghunt in Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon

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Loghunt is an optional objective system that players will unlock after completing the first two missions in Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon. Once unlocked, players will start seeing enemies in each mission that are marked with the “LOGHUNT” icon. By destroying these targets and collecting their combat logs, players can deliver them to ALLMIND and collect cash and parts to strengthen their Armored Core.

What is EN Load & How to Increase it in Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon

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EN Load is the total amount of power an Armored Core has for all equipped weapons and parts. Players need to keep an eye on it and restrict their loadouts so that everything equipped on their Armored core doesn’t cause the power requirement to exceed the EN Load.

If an Armored Core exceeds its EN Load in Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon, then it won’t be able to use certain weapons. This is catastrophic for all players because it means they’ll be lugging around equipment that sits there and does nothing.

To increase an Armored Core’s EN Load, players can purchase new parts, such as Generators, that will push up the limit they have. This can’t be done until a handful of missions have been completed because players must first unlock the Parts Shop and then have enough cash to buy these parts. If players want to create an Armored Core that uses an unfathomable amount of power, though, they’ll need to prioritize buying a new Generator right away.

How Does Mission Pay Work in Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon

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Players will see a breakdown of the pay they’ve earned on the end screen of every mission. But it’s not as straightforward as getting the full amount owed from the mission start screen. There are many variables to take into account.

The base rate for a mission is displayed on the Sortie screen before a player starts it. This screen also shows any bonuses players can earn, such as a small bonus for destroying Light MTs in an early mission. Once players have completed the mission, they’ll see a breakdown of their full pay plus any bonus due. The screen also displays any costs for ammunition used, which must be paid for so players have enough for future missions, and repair costs to get their Armored Core back up to fighting strength.

It can feel harsh when this screen pops up and displays a huge cost for ammo or repairs, but it’s the realistic angle that Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon employs to help immerse players and get them in the mindset of a mercenary. Players are effectively freelancers in a world of constant war, so they must bring the ammo they need with them, at their own cost, and pay for their Armored Core to be repaired so they have the best chance of completing future missions. We have no insight into how the tax system works, but we suspect mercenaries don’t pay any, so the profit players see is what their character will take home.

Does Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon Have Giant Bosses

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Yes, there are giant bosses for players to attack and destroy in Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon. In the first gameplay trailer for the title. We’ve already defeated one boss in the opening mission of the game, and it’s just as touch as Elden Ring fans might want, so it’s perfect for any FromSoftware fan.

For the smaller bosses such as other Armored Cores, players will need to stay on their toes and fight intense, frenetic battles. Smaller foes have much more mobility and an array of weapons to push players to their limits. They’re also much harder to hit with ranged weaponry, forcing close-combat encounters.

The largest bosses and enemies in Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon may look like battles of attrition, but they’re not. For example, the STRIDER Weaponized Mining Ship is a gargantuan machine that’s been retrofitted with weaponry to become the biggest walking laser tank we’ve ever seen. Instead of being a bullet sponge, this boss is a puzzle to be solved. It makes it far more engaging to fight and helps build up that fantasy of being a true mech pilot.

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The Juggernaut from Operation Wallclimber is almost the opposite to the STRIDER. It’s a colossal tank atop a giant wall that players must battle in close quarters, forcing them to be far more agile than they’ll have had to try to be up until that point. For Chapter 1 though, it’s Balteus that will be the real test to see if players want to continue pushing through the game.

The first boss of Chapter 2 is a nice combination of the two styles of boss. It’s a real challenge that’s fast without being so fluid that it’s impossible, but the bulk of the machine can make it feel like that. The Cleaner is no joke and requires a specialized tactic to be employed if players want to take it down.

Armored Core 6’s accessibility options allow players to craft any control scheme that suits them. This makes bosses so much more approachable to everyone, something that’s important when those bosses are so challenging.

Is Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon Multiplayer

Yes, Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon does have multiplayer. The multiplayer element must be unlocked, but it allows players to join each other in particularly brutal missions to make them more manageable and share the load on ammo and damage.

One aspect of the game that is like multiplayer is the Arena. Once unlocked, players can battle against other Armored Cores as if they were other players. While these enemies are pre-defined builds from the developer, it feels a lot like facing off against builds other players have made.

Is Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon Open World

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No, Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon is not an open world game. The game is made up of open world sandbox locations that are absolutely massive. However, players won’t be able to explore a fully open world like they can in titles such as Elden Ring. The reason for this is likely because of the mission-based structure of the story.

When was the Release Date for Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon

Screenshot via Bandai Namco Entertainment’s YouTube channel

Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon was released on August 25, 2023. This was confirmed in April 2023 alongside a new trailer. While the game’s reveal trailer did little to show off the gameplay, a later trailer you can see below focuses on this element and reaffirms what many fans of the series were hoping for. This is an Armored Core experience, not a mech-fighting version of Elden Ring. Players will be customizing their mechs with weapons, traversal parts, and much more.

The exact release times for Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon are as follows. This list shows the relevant timezone and the exact time the game will be released for consoles and PC in that region.

  • PTConsoles: August 24 at 9 PM, PC: August 24 at 3 PM
  • MT Consoles: August 24 at 10 PM, PC: August 24 at 4 PM
  • CSTConsoles: August 24 at 10 PM, PC: August 24 at 4 PM
  • CTConsoles: August 24 at 11 PM, PC: August 24 at 5 PM
  • COTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 24 at 5 PM
  • ETConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 24 at 6 PM
  • BRT Consoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 24 at 7 PM
  • BSTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 24 at 11 PM
  • CESTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at Midnight
  • SASTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at Midnight
  • EESTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 1 AM
  • ASTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 1 AM
  • GSTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 2 AM
  • UTCConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 6 AM
  • SGTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 6 AM
  • KST Consoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 7 AM
  • JSTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 7 AM
  • AESTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 8 AM
  • NZSTConsoles: August 25 at Midnight, PC: August 25 at 10 AM

Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon Price, Editions & Bonuses

Screenshot via Bandai Namco Entertainment’s YouTube channel

The standard game version of Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon will be priced at $59.99 from most retailers. You can upgrade to the Digital Deluxe Edition and pay $69.99 to get some bonuses, including a digital artbook and soundtrack. There’s also a Day One Edition from UK retailer GAME priced at £69.99, though it’s unclear what if any, extras this edition comes with at the time of writing.

Screenshot via Bandai Namco Entertainment’s YouTube channel

For those fans who want something a bit more premium, there are the Collectors and Premium Editions of Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon. The Collectors Edition costs $220 and includes a set of pin badges, the digital soundtrack, a physical artbook, a set of stickers, an exclusive steelbook case, and a 19cm figurine.

Screenshot via Bandai Namco Entertainment’s YouTube channel

The Premium Edition of Fires of Rubicon may be the best Armored Core collectible on the market, but at $450, it’s probably only for those who have been eagerly awaiting a new release in their favorite series for the last ten years. It includes everything from the Collectors Edition, but the figurine is swapped out for a 32cm version that includes the garage the mechs are housed in.

All preorders for any version of Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon entitle the owner to the Melander C3 G13 special Customization “Tenderfoot.” This appears to be a specific mech model that will give you something that looks a little different from the standard starting models. There may be gameplay advantages to this model, but without knowing what other players start with, it’s hard to tell.

What Platforms is Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon on

Screenshot via Bandai Namco Entertainment’s YouTube channel

Armored Core 6 Firest of Rubicon is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The game was built for modern platforms and will almost certainly use the upscaling abilities and added power of current-generation consoles like the PS5 to enhance the game on those devices. While the game’s visuals isn’t as high quality on last-generation platforms and PCs with less powerful components, FromSoftware is usually quite good at creating a solid experience for every player regardless of where they’re engaging with a title.

Related: Every Armored Core game, in release order

All Trailers for Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon

The live action trailer for Armored Core 6 features Karl Urban in a performance reminiscent of his role in the Doom movie. While there’s no new cinematic footage of the title, it’s an exciting trailer that gets fans pumped about playing.

The Gameplay Preview for Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon was the first glimpse of actual gameplay anyone had ever seen. It showcased a few missions and the sandbox open world areas players can explore in addition to the bosses they’re able to fight.

The story trailer for the sixth mainline Armored Core game shows off some details of what players can expect between battles. To us, it looks like humans are having their minds uploaded to armored cores once they’re unable to survive after serious injuries. We’ll need to wait until release day to confirm that though.

A trailer for Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon from April 2023 was the first to detail the physical and digital editions of the game. It showed off both collector boxes, which pack in colossal mech replicas.

The reveal trailer for the Fires of Rubicon was an emotional experience for many. It was dropped out of nowhere during The Game Awards 2022 and changed the way many people thought about the Armored Core series.

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Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp is a Staff Writer at Gamepur. He's been writing about games for ten years and has been featured in Switch Player Magazine, Lock-On, and For Gamers Magazine. He's particularly keen on working out when he isn't playing games or writing or trying to be the best dad in the world.