Tuesday, 26 March 2013

MechWarrior: Online - Cataphract CTF-4X Build

Update 1: This build is now outdated, however it is still usable. For an updated Cataphract CTF-4X Build see the new post [Here].

Image courtesy of the MechWarrior: Online Wiki

There has been many builds for the Cataphract CTF-4X, and I know that out of all the Cataphracts, the CTF-4X is considered the weakest. That may be so, but it is my personal favourite of all the variants (Hero Mechs notwithstanding). The reasons being; is that I love the sound of ballistic weapons, also it looks less "FrankenMech" weird and pretty damn awesome!!
I don't buy MC, not because I don't want to support the game, but because I actually have no credit card... and I'm kinda poor. So that means I have to make do with what I got and slowly grind C-Bills. Which means I have to make do with cheap (C-Bills wise) Mechs. With that in mind, it's time I reveal some useful (yet cheap) builds.
They say that in order to mount Ballistic Weapons and still be an effective Mech is to have an XL Engine. But I'm poor and I swear by Standard, so that's out of the question. Which leaves me with that option of "Here's a menu of 3, pick any 2, but only 2".

So here are our 3 options:
  • Speed
  • Firepower
  • Rate of Fire
Basically, just pick 2. That leaves you with only 3 different Mechs (for those of you who are good at Maths, it's basically 3C2).

Firepower + Rate of Fire < MechLab Link

This can be considered the weakest, even though it's considered the "Firepower + Rate of Fire" options of 2. This is mainly due to a VERY low speed (for a Heavy). Yes you can put an XL Engine and that'll solve the problem. Saying that; you're just telling me you're an idiot and haven't read anything in this post.

Anywho, this build may only walk around with a Firepower rating of 25 (which might seem weak). But you should take into account Chain Firing ALL 4 AC/5s. That's the key to Firepower in this build. When you Chain Fire, you'll never have to wait for reloads, you unleash a hail of bullets which is akin to an AC/20... but with range!!

When using this build, consider yourself a "Squad Automatic Weapon". You lack the speed to keep up, but you're a Second to Third Line Mech. Have a Light or Medium Mech buddy to protect you, or stay close to another Second or Third line Mech. Shoot at what your First Line Mech buddies shoot at and basically support them.

If you really want to "cheese" it out, have a group consisting of a fast "Light Hunter" and another CTF-4X like this, and watch the enemy hurt!

Speed + Firepower < MechLab Link

This is my personal favourite of the 3. It may not be able to make use of all 4 Ballistic Hardpoints, but oh well. You can consider this a biased opinion, but this is in my opinion, the most powerful of the 3. Dual AC/10s equate to a an AC/20. Chain Fire both of these and you'll be set. There is no room for error, so learn to be accurate. If you're a beginner, this Mech will teach you how to aim. As a side note; this is the most beginner friendly CTF-4X build. It's cheap to buy and comes with all your basic needs, including secondary weapons for self defense!!

You can consider this a Brawler Mech, but I've never really played it like that. Instead I use this as a Second Line Mech, leaning towards First Line. Brawl when necessary and stick to an Atlas. Really stick to one and DON'T abandon him. A lot of people make the mistake of abandoning him (yeah you might survive longer) but it's not nice :P

You can also fire those AC/10s at range, they have a maximum range of 1350, I believe. Hence you're a Second Line Mech, that leans towards First Line.

Remember to Chain Fire, and if you're skilled enough (or remember to) switch between Chain Firing and normal Firing with those AC/10s.

Speed + Rate of Fire < MechLab Link

Out of the 3, this is the most expensive options of 2!! You need both Double Heat Sinks and Endo Steel to make this build work!! If you don't know, 4 AC/2s generate a major load of heat!! They also have a very, very fast Rate of Fire.

Unlike the other 2 builds (which I recommend Chain Fire), this build should not Chain Fire whatsoever. There is currently a bug with the Chain Firing of AC/2s which hasn't been addressed yet.

With this build, you can snipe, suppress and brawl when necessarily. Still, you're a Second Line Mech. Which means you can go to the First Line and brawl if needed, or you can retreat to the Third Line to help/support your Artillery and Support Mechs.


  1. How the hell do you fit 2 AC-10s with a med laser

  2. As states in the Update; this is a super old post for cheap/budget Mechs. So practically most of these builds are useless.

    Anyway, the first thing you need is Endo Steel and Double Heat Sinks. This will save you a heap of Tonnage. With twin AC/10s, 1 Large Laser and the largest Standard Engine the CTF-4X can fit, the Mech would look something like this.

    However, the most optimal build for a CTF-4X is with an XL255, 4 AC/5s, 2 Medium Lasers and AMS; so something like this.