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Lrm Guide: Lrms Require Skill To Properly Use

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#1 Tesunie

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

Edits: Spacing to maybe help making this easier to read. Also, this guide is old, but is still relatively relevant, as far as I am aware. Did not update any information as of this time. (Probably wont either to me honest.)


I want to open up by saying that, anyone who states LRMs are easy weapons that require no skill is only partly right. To get a lock, fire and pray that they hit and do damage requires little skill. However, to use LRMs well, and get reliable hits requires skill. If you follow some of these pointers (more tips than guide), you should see some of your LRM damage increase. They are easy to use and hit with, but can be some of the most fickle and hardest weapons to use. Take these tips to heart and play in a style that works for you. (Most of these tips are how I personally use LRMs, particularly with the Stalker class mech, though it holds true for most any mech design in the game.)

Here is a list of situations where LRMs require skill to use:
- When your opponent is "bobble" or "pop tarting" up and down a cliff, letting you get lock ons, fire and not hitting. Knowing enough after a couple of times of this and not causing damage to stop shooting at them and to reposition yourself into a new spot to actually hit them anyway, is a skill.

- Knowing when a hill, ridge or building is in the way and will block your shot and not to even bother shooting till you have bypassed the obstruction is a skill. It's handy to not waste all your ammo into a building and hill.

- When someone gets too close and (if you are not smart enough to place defensive weapons) can't shoot at them with your LRMs, to ignore them, deflect damage by moving (twisting your torso to spread the damage as much as possible) between shots, while trying to maintain that lock), and shoot at a target you can actually hurt is a skill. (Instinct always says to shoot and destroy what is closest or hurting you. You have to overcome this and call for help while throwing LRMs where you still can.)

- If a target has ECM, to learn and be able to blind fire your missiles and still hit. (Also referred to as Dumb fire.) This is where true skill with the weapon will show. Sometimes, not locking on and shooting blind LRMs can be a great way to get a couple of volleys on, say, an Atlas who is standing back and sniping in the distance. No warning bells go off for him telling him missiles are coming in, and you can pepper him (or any stationary target not paying attention) with LRMs. (LRMs will arc and hit the ground where your reticule is positioned. So you don't really aim at the mech, but just behind him if you can, if not at his feet.)

- Learning how to spot for yourself. Sometimes, even with LRMs, it is best to hang with the pack (although, in the middle or back of the pack I will admit) for your own protection. If there is no pack, you can and should also move to see your own targets. This takes some skill, especially in ECM land. It's okay to take some damage, as long as you dish more than you take.

- Learning to type while being shot at for communication (for any Assault mech really, but especially for LRM based designs) to request aid and help. (Don't know and can't tell you how many times my "I NEED HELP! E3 (or whatever)" has saved my skin.

- You have to learn to read the map. Learn to observe the flow of battle. If you see only a couple of enemies being spotted over that ridge, and it's "too quite" behind or to the side of you, probably someone is going to pop out there, seeing your stream of LRMs, and it's really not wise to stand still and wait for them to come. Trust your instincts. Stay on the move.

- Resisting the urge to "stand still and just unload with all the other LRM people in the back". This just leads to one GIANT target for any fast mechs (especially ECM ones that lock down your targeting abilities) to come charging right into you and rip you and your LRM buddies apart.

- Not "boating" LRMs only onto your mech for "maximum damage in my role". It's asking to be killed. I have, and will, charge such LRM designs, and win every time when left alone to do so. (Reminds me of my Stalker vs Stalker exchange. I saw all the enemy Stalker had was 4 LRM 20s and TAG. I laughed, crawled my butt over there taking his LRM damage, closed in beyond minimum range, even for my own LRMs, and plowed my 6 Med Lasers into him. He didn't stand a chance.) Place a few defensive lasers on your mech. 2-4 med lasers (preferably 4 depending upon weight class) to defend yourself.

- Learning that you should always be trying to reposition yourself into a better tactical position. People can trail your LRMs back to you. If you stand still they will find you, and close in with you. It takes skill to know where to be, and where not to be, and when and where you should and shouldn't be there. Move around, even if you are slow and crawl.

- LRMs, despite what you might originally think, have a MAX range. This range is 1000M. No more than that (unless you really seem to know your weapons and distances. I've gotten a few hits outside this range, but it's really tight). You also have a MINIMUM range of around 180-200M. I've hit targets around 190m before, but I tend to prefer them around 200m.

- LRMs are bad against lights at long range. People tend to loose their spotting locks, and they tend to outrun/dodge/make the missiles chasing them hit other things. I find, it is best (unless they have no shelter like they are sitting in the middle of the lake) to not shoot LRMs at lights, besides to get the warning bells going in their cockpit and have them run and hide. Best to shoot lights with LRMs at mid range. Gives them less time to duck for cover.

- LRMs can be great to force someone into cover, merely by letting them hear that missile lock has been achieved. Sometimes, if you see a friend being hounded, it is great to shoot LRMs at the foe, even if you know it wont hit. It might force them off your friend, who can later on possibly protect you from someone who got to close. Them being dead, doesn't help you.

- Despite common belief, LRMs are not "Fire and Forget" weapons. Once your volley is in the air, you must maintain your lock on the enemy for them to continue to be guided to your target. If you lose this lock (lock on and shoot at someone else, etc), your missiles will no longer track and follow in onto the target. They will, however, hit the last spot they tracked the target when the lock was lost. This means, if you lose your lock and your opponent was standing still, you will still hit. If you lose your lock and they are running, you probably will miss unless you literally lost the lock JUST before the missiles hit. Aim at, and fire at, one target till either you lose the lock, a better target comes up, or your target is dead or hiding and isn't getting hurt.

- Sometimes, it is best to only shoot one volley out, wait and see if it hits and causes damage before continuing. Unless you can see your target, you are essentially shooting blind, your missiles being guided by your friend's targeting systems. LRMs are dumb. They will not dodge around a building or hill (or even another mech, friend or foe) to hit your target. They shoot at an upward angle, and fall in a downward angle. Watch the angle. It will tell you if something may or may not hit.

- On to Artemis. Artemis is great, if you can afford the extra weight for it. However, (as far as I know) Artemis is useless unless you, yourself, have line of sight and is spotting your own target. If someone else is spotting your target, Artemis will not work. It is a waste of weight.

- Some LRMs systems are best when broken down. LRM 5s are very economical, if you have a lot of missile hard points. 3 LRM 5s weight less than a single LRM 15 (from my last recollection), yet will launch the same number of LRMs into the air. (LRM 5s also seem to reload faster, but cause more heat.)



I shall now admit that, yes, LRMs are easier weapons to use, but they are by no means "skill-less" weapons. They have to be used correctly. You have to know when to shoot. Anyone can shoot them at any lock they can get, but it takes skill to know where you need to be, what targets you should shoot at, and to learn when a target isn't/can't be hit by your LRMs. The most skilled use of LRMs require even MORE skill than any other weapon in the game, and that is to blind fire your LRMs and be able to actually hit your target!

So, in retrospect, LRMs can be easy weapons to learn and use, but they can also, as counter to that statement, be one of the hardest weapons to use well and reliably in the game.

#2 SPencil

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:06 PM

Good tips. Since ECM dropped LRMs have been a lot harder to use effectively, but it still can be done (to great effect). I've found that a lot of people who run ECM have become complacent, and discounting the LRM boats when they are still the biggest damage dealers on the field is a huge mistake.

View PostTesunie, on 29 January 2013 - 06:55 PM, said:

- LRMs are bad against lights at long range. People tend to loose their spotting locks, and they tend to outrun/dodge/make the missiles chasing them hit other things. I find, it is best (unless they have no shelter like they are sitting in the middle of the lake) to not shoot LRMs at lights, besides to get the warning bells going in their cockpit and have them run and hide. Best to shoot lights with LRMs at mid range. Gives them less time to duck for cover.


If you have a clear shot at a light mech and you're confident he won't have the time to move into cover, take the shot. If the salvo doesn't kill them, it'll severely damage them, which gives your own light mechs an edge in taking them down.

I can't count the number of times I've fired a single salvo and killed a light, it doesn't happen too often but if you are launching enough missiles (as an example I use four LRM15s) the damage you deal will spell their doom anyways.

Edited by SPencil, 29 January 2013 - 07:07 PM.


#3 Vanguard319

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

agreed, some people seem to think that ECM will protect them from LRMs. Not true, you can still lock on, it just takes more time to get a lock. If you are using inderect fire, your spotter has to maintain thier target tracking, otherwise, you'll lose your lock almost immediately.

#4 Tesunie

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:09 PM

Wow. I'm surprised at the positive responses I've been getting. I was sure someone was going to charge in here with a boat full of LRMs and try to ******* up with them from 20m away (AKA: Say I was completely wrong, tell me how skill-less LRMs are, and that real mechwarriors use blah blah blah instead). Really impressed.

(This site has some very odd censored words.)

View PostSPencil, on 29 January 2013 - 07:06 PM, said:

If you have a clear shot at a light mech and you're confident he won't have the time to move into cover, take the shot. If the salvo doesn't kill them, it'll severely damage them, which gives your own light mechs an edge in taking them down.

I can't count the number of times I've fired a single salvo and killed a light, it doesn't happen too often but if you are launching enough missiles (as an example I use four LRM15s) the damage you deal will spell their doom anyways.


If you noticed, we are in agreement. If you see you have a clear shot, take it by all means. Sometimes, it's even worth the little ammo (if no better targets are there) to shoot at a light mech you know you can't hit, just to see them run into cover and stall their approach (or test them to see if they are smart enough to move out of the way, or just take the damage). By all means, if you think you can hit, anything, shoot it.

I never load that many missiles into my mechs. My normal Stalker has 20 LRMs (usually 4 LRM5s) total, and 6 Med Lasers. Most people are funny, see the LRMs coming out of me, and charge me to stop the LRMs. Only to find that I'm more than capable of also handling most close range situations. But with your fire power, when you hit, they most certainly feel it.
I do have a Stalker with more LRMs. It's got 40 total (2 LRM5s, and 2 LRM15s) with 4 med lasers. Not as effective I find as my other Stalker, but it's very nice at the same time.

Edited by Tesunie, 29 January 2013 - 09:11 PM.


#5 Elkarlo

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:47 AM

I would add some Points:
Knowing the Maximum Throwing Weight of a Mech per Wave
Using the Modules which help a Missle Boat (Target Decay and Adv Sensor Range)
Using Tag by yourself helpt a lot.

Selftagging together with Artemis is a Key of fast coring an enemy Mech. My CPTL-1C is as effektiv as Missleboat as my Stalker. Because i can stay in the Group and Tag the Enemy and fight at 400 Meters in LOS. On my Stalker i save the weight and have Tag only. (Both have M-Lasers for the other Energy Slots)

Target Decay will allow your Missles to reach a Mech which went the Hill Backwards which most do against Missles. They run as far as possible out of sight, but behind Cover would be wiser.

For the throwing weight: Most Mechs have a Tube limit ( the 3H on the outer not and the C4 not) which splits the Launchers into Groups. Knowing this will increase your effektivness. As example i take your 40 Launcher Build on a standard Stalker it's pretty useless:
The first Wave goes out: 10 on both Outer Launchers, 5 on the Inner Launchers= 30 on first Wave.
Second wave will be 5 on the Outer Launchers, none of the Inner Launchers= 10 Second Wave.
An enemy AMS will always get down 5-7 Missles. So from your last Wave only 3-5 Missles will hit, when the enemy got ONE AMS. You can use it with the Narc Slot on the 5M to Draw AMS ammo out, as the enemy will shot at your single Missles with EVERY AMS in range 10 shots.

To your Config: i would suggest getting the LRM15s down to LRM10s. Or upgrading the LRM5s to LRM10s.
Both would be better then your current Setup: a Single Wave of 30 Missles and you save 4 Tons and Heat. Or two Waves of 30 and 20 Missles. ( the inner will break up in 5 Missles Packs on LRM).

Most useless are the Stalkers using 4x LRM15. 2x LRM20 and 2x LRM10 would be far better but weights more. For the Same weight you get more out it by 1x LRM15, 1xLRM20, 2xLRM10.
Missles Waves 4x LRM15= 30, 20, 10
Missles Waves 2x LRM20, 2xLRM10 = 30, 30
Missles Waves 1x LRM20, 1xLRM15,2x LRM10= 30,25
Remember there will be always at least one AMS downing 5-7 Missles per wave ! (or two)
So this would be the Netto Waves
1) 24(18), 14(8),4(0)) = 42 (26) Missles reached.
2) 24(18), 24(18) = 48 (36) Missles reached
3) 24(18), 19(13) = 43 (32) Missles reached
Configuration 3 weights 2 Tons less then configuration 1 and still is more effektiv against a SINGLE AMS somewhere on the flightpath ! Worst configurations seen are the 4x LRM 20 Stalkers, as the Damage increase for 10 Ton of Weaponry is 8 Missles ! (LRM20 compared to LRM10 against a single AMS, with TWO AMS in flightpath the Damageincrease is.. 0 Missles !!!)

So knowing the Tube Launcherslots is essential for an effektiv LRM Boat as well.

Btw i got a sick version on my 5M which eats in 20 Secs 1 Ton AMS ammo per AMS installed

Edited by Elkarlo, 31 January 2013 - 02:02 AM.


#6 CECILOFS

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

Agree with the advice in this thread. I usually try to only fire missiles at 200-500m with LOS and when the enemy can't find cover. Stick with the pack for protection. LRMs are not dead, but ECM shuts me down quite often, even with TAG.

I hear what you are saying about the missile waves and I will try that for serious builds. Though I do note that AMS is a lot less popular since ECM has come out.

I usually use 4xLRM15 on my 5S and occaisionally 4xLRM20. They are mostly joke builds (Using XL engine for a start) just for the entertainment of melting people with 60-80 missiles. I bought the chassis to be a missile boat and that's what I do lol.

4xLRM20 is 144 damage and I'm pretty sure that's one of the highest alphas available. Some mechs die in only 1 volley and only the legs are standing afterwards :D

Of course even a Spider can completely ruin it's day and its not exactly subtle, so they will be coming for you.

Edited by CECILOFS, 30 January 2013 - 12:53 PM.


#7 StalaggtIKE

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

Nice post. I have a question concerning the following:

Quote

No warning bells go off for him telling him missiles are coming in, and you can pepper him

I was under the impression that as long as the missiles are heading in your general direction you get the warning. I swear I've had the missiles fly over my head to someone else before, yet get the warning as well.

#8 Tesunie

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:17 PM

View PostStalaggtIKE, on 30 January 2013 - 12:59 PM, said:

Nice post. I have a question concerning the following:

I was under the impression that as long as the missiles are heading in your general direction you get the warning. I swear I've had the missiles fly over my head to someone else before, yet get the warning as well.


As far as I know, and experienced myself, and watched, no. I could be wrong, but this is what I experienced myself:
- I've only ever gotten the warning when someone had a lock on me and was shooting the LRMs directly at me.
- When I shoot my missiles blind without a lock (particularly at ECM mechs standing still), they always seems to be standing still for a volley or two before they suddenly wake up that LRMs are hitting them. Then they run behind cover. (I don't think they are getting the warning.)
- Those missiles that were shot at you might have been shot at you, and you broke lock before they hit so they went behind you. Possibly into a different mech. Remember, those missiles don't care about what's in front of them for the most part. They just fly up in and arc, and back down in an arc.

Otherwise, I don't know. Maybe? I'm not the ultimate source of LRM knowledge. I just play the game and notice certain patterns. I'm guessing I'm surprising people with the blind LRM shots as they don't even try to move till it hits, if not hits a couple of times.

#9 CECILOFS

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:28 AM

Pretty sure you don't get the warning but not 100%.

Especially on the hill in caustic if missiles come for you and you reverse and turn, the lock will break and the missiles will hit anyone standing directly behind you. I've been hit by them when I was standing behind someone and didn't get any missile warning.

One more tip: If you fire your missiles with a lock, but then lose the lock, WAIT to see if you can lock again. If the missiles are still in flight (ONLY if fired when locked) then they will start tracking again if you can regain your lock.

#10 MagicHamsta

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

View PostSPencil, on 29 January 2013 - 07:06 PM, said:

If you have a clear shot at a light mech and you're confident he won't have the time to move into cover, take the shot. If the salvo doesn't kill them, it'll severely damage them, which gives your own light mechs an edge in taking them down.


Me find using the enemy light as cover be quite effective as well.
Just time your run so that the enemy mech will "shield" you from his own teammates' LRMs.
Tis hilarious when you make them team kill their own lights.

Me had a cicada & raven after me in Frozen, had the LRM warning go off.
Went into a ditch & acted like me overheated. (Just stopped moving.)
Cicada went right in front of me & took a wall of his own teammate's LRMs.


View PostCECILOFS, on 31 January 2013 - 02:28 AM, said:

Pretty sure you don't get the warning but not 100%.

Especially on the hill in caustic if missiles come for you and you reverse and turn, the lock will break and the missiles will hit anyone standing directly behind you. I've been hit by them when I was standing behind someone and didn't get any missile warning.


Aye, only the one that the LRM boat has locked on will get the warning.
Tis actually possible to dumb fire your LRMs and not have the enemy receive the warning. (They can still see the flying missiles quite easily though.)

#11 StalaggtIKE

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

View PostStalaggtIKE, on 30 January 2013 - 12:59 PM, said:

Nice post. I have a question concerning the following:

I was under the impression that as long as the missiles are heading in your general direction you get the warning. I swear I've had the missiles fly over my head to someone else before, yet get the warning as well.

Seems I'm mostly getting "pretty sure"s and "I think"s. Does anyone know? Anyone actually test this out? Not trying to be condescending, just want a definite answer. I would say this is important info.

Edited by StalaggtIKE, 31 January 2013 - 12:51 PM.


#12 Tesunie

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

View PostStalaggtIKE, on 31 January 2013 - 12:48 PM, said:

Seems I'm mostly getting "pretty sure"s and "I think"s. Does anyone know? Anyone actually test this out? Not trying to be condescending, just want a definite answer. I would say this is important info.

Hard to test without being shot at and I can't say if they had a lock when they shot at me or not. If I could test it in a planned 1v1, I would. Sadly this game doesn't have that system up yet so I can't personally test it. If you know of a way we can test and find out I'm all ears as I would really like to know for certain myself. It can be important depending upon your strategy but we just can't say for certain at this time. I'd have to say they don't with what knowledge I have at this time, but there is a chance I am wrong.

#13 Havyek

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

Another tip I would put in is have your LRMs set up in 2 groups. 1 group with all of them firing as a group, and the other group set to chain fire.

Chain firing at a light 'Mech can hound them into hiding, or at least if they jump behind cover and you lose lock, you have only wasted 1 or 2 launcher's worth of missiles, and not a full salvos worth.

#14 StalaggtIKE

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

View PostTesunie, on 31 January 2013 - 01:03 PM, said:

Hard to test without being shot at and I can't say if they had a lock when they shot at me or not. If I could test it in a planned 1v1, I would. Sadly this game doesn't have that system up yet so I can't personally test it. If you know of a way we can test and find out I'm all ears as I would really like to know for certain myself. It can be important depending upon your strategy but we just can't say for certain at this time. I'd have to say they don't with what knowledge I have at this time, but there is a chance I am wrong.

Yeah. :P It would be nice to know.

The few times I've ran LRM, I actually used it more as a deterrent tool. In order to funnel someone, I would fire them off towards paths we didn't want them taking. Mind you this was without a lock-on, however if they were getting the warning sign, then I'm sure it was more persuasive. :mellow:

Edited by StalaggtIKE, 31 January 2013 - 01:57 PM.


#15 Crescent Fresh

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

View PostStalaggtIKE, on 30 January 2013 - 12:59 PM, said:

Nice post. I have a question concerning the following:

I was under the impression that as long as the missiles are heading in your general direction you get the warning. I swear I've had the missiles fly over my head to someone else before, yet get the warning as well.


You only get the warning if the initial lock was on you and the missiles are fired. This warning stays active while the missiles are still airborn, even if the attacker has lost the lock on you. What you may have experienced is that the missiles had lost its lock on you, and flew over your head which happen to hit someone else.

Edited by Crescent Fresh, 31 January 2013 - 02:12 PM.


#16 Draal Kaan

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

Several weeks i was thinking that my LRM boat is useless due to ECM... I just re-activated it and it can be great when used right.
Once TAG was added on my cat, everything was fine and the first ECM Atlas crossing the ridge did burn in hell a few volleys later. *evil laugh*

But in general, there are lots of people using them simply wrong and making even the easiest mistakes again and again. It is amazing.
I hope such guides will be read... But to be honest, i have little hope for that.

#17 Flapdrol

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

I've started running this build a bit:
http://mwo.smurfy-ne...f5355d7562452f9

slow as hell and not enough ammo to spam and miss at long range targets but it'll destroy an atlas at 400m very quickly. watch the heat when shooting the lasers but you can just hold down the lrm's.

Edited by Flapdrol, 31 January 2013 - 02:34 PM.


#18 Wrenchfarm

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

Nice guide!

The only improvement I would recommend is a section on moduals and a deeper look at the effects of TAG and Artemis. Gaining a quicker and longer lasting lock will help you decimate less equipped LRM boats.

#19 Artificer

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:46 PM

I'm not convinced that blind-fired LRMs actually cause damage. On numerous occasions I've walked into a volley of LRMs that have either been blind-fired or lost the original target they were tracking, and I've taken no damage at all.

I'd appreciate it if anyone could clarify this phenomenon as I often attempt to blind-fire LRMs at stationary targets under ECM and can't tell if I'm harming them.

#20 Wrenchfarm

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

View PostArtificer, on 31 January 2013 - 03:46 PM, said:

I'm not convinced that blind-fired LRMs actually cause damage. On numerous occasions I've walked into a volley of LRMs that have either been blind-fired or lost the original target they were tracking, and I've taken no damage at all.

I'd appreciate it if anyone could clarify this phenomenon as I often attempt to blind-fire LRMs at stationary targets under ECM and can't tell if I'm harming them.

I'm very sure they cause damage. I have been the victim of this tactic myself.

I know there is a bug where sometimes missiles that cruise through cover will appear to still hit the mech and make the metallic impact sound of a hit but cause no damage. Perhaps that is what you have observed.





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