One of the coolest things about Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is the ability to customize your mech from head to toe. Your Armored Core can be completely redesigned, painted, and outfitted with weapons in whatever way you see fit, as long as you have the parts necessary. But new equipment isn’t the only option you’ll have for determining your Armored Core’s abilities.
As you begin to take on Arena challenges and battle other high-powered ACs, you’ll earn OST Chips for defeating them. These chips can be used for OS Tuning, allowing you to add perks, bonuses, and even new abilities to your AC’s operating system. You’ll definitely want to invest in the best ones first, so here are our favorites of the bunch, from least to most useful.
9 Quick Turn
While many of your OS upgrades will increase firepower or defensive capability, there are a few that simply give quality-of-life upgrades to help improve your overall performance. Quick turn is one of those upgrades, and it’s a pretty essential one.
Quick Turn is pretty self-explanatory: with this upgrade, you can quickly turn your AC to either side, or behind you. This upgrade takes away some of the slow-turning monotany out of moving your AC around, and it can help you get a read on your enemy much faster.
8 Weapon Bay
There are a number of OS upgrades that will be more or less useful to you depending on your particular style of play. Weapon Bay is one such upgrade, but the option to use it is extremely valuable nonetheless.
With Weapon Bay unlocked, you have the ability to equip a second primary weapon to your shoulders, rather than a shoulder-mounted weapon. If you have a primary firearm set on one of your shoulders, pressing the corresponding button will swap that weapon for the one in your hand. If you’d prefer to have a wide variety of guns, swords, and other handheld weapons, this is the upgrade for you.
7 Boost Kick
Armored Core 6 is a game about managing your weapons and ammunition, maximizing your damage output at any given moment against your opponents. With that in mind, you’ll want to be sure you have as many offensive abilities as possible, and that’s where Boost Kick can come in extremely handy.
Costing just one OST Chip, you can activate Boost Kick when boosting forward to deliver a heavy kick to an opponent in your path. In a pinch, the Boost Kick gives you a highly damaging blow to add to your repertoire.
6 Terminal Armor
Terminal Armor is one of a handful of Core Expansions that you can equip while building your AC. Only one can be equipped at a time, and while most Core Expansions need to be manually activated, Terminal Armor will automatically kick in once you run out of AP.
If you have Terminal Armor on, instead of dying after your health is depleted, you’ll retain a single AP, and you’ll also receive a temporary barrier. This will shield you for damage for up to two seconds, letting you heal or deliver a finishing blow.
5 Assault Armor
There are a few options when it comes to Core Expansions, with most focusing on shielding you from incoming damage. Pulse Protection creates a stationary barrier that you can use to shield you from damage for 25 seconds, though it only protects one area. Pulse Armor will create a barrier that actually surrounds your AC, but would be much more useful if it lasted a bit longer than ten seconds.
Although it’s not as focused on protection as the others, the Assault Armor outclasses them in a few key ways. It’s a one-time pulse burst, and while the explosion will block your AC from incoming projectiles, its true purpose is to rattle your foes with its mid-range pulse blast. Not only does this deal damage and take out small enemies, it can also devastate your enemy’s stagger meter if timed properly.
4 Explosive Weapons – Fuse Control Tuning
There are a handful of OS Tuning options specifically designed around increasing the damage your weapons deal, with one upgrade for each weapon type — kinetic, explosive, and energy — as well as one specifically dedicated to melee attacks.
While you should obviously choose to invest in the upgrade that suits your particular build, we’d recommend the Explosive Weapons option to most players. You’ll most likely wind up with at least one bazooka, grenade launcher, or missile launcher equipped to your AC, so this upgrade tends to be very useful for most players.
3 Repair Kits – Optimization
No matter how good you are at Armored Core 6, you’re bound to run into a few tough challenges. Enemies hit hard in this game, especially the bosses, and you’ll want to make sure you’re as prepared to deal with their highly powerful weapons as possible.
Using the Repair Kit – Optimization upgrade is invaluable, no matter how you’re playing the game. Each level of this OS feature will increase the amount of AP that you’ll heal with each repair kit used, which will reduce how often you’ll need to heal.
2 ACS – Dynamic Deflection Control Tuning
You’ll need a high level of firepower to make it through Armored Core 6, but defense is also extremely important. No matter how quick or agile your AC is, you will be getting hit, but the ACS – Dynamic Deflection Control Tuning upgrade can help.
This straightforward upgrade will help to mitigate any incoming damage by a certain percentage, reducing the amount of AP you’ll lose each time. Buffing your AC to withstand the barrage of bullets and ballistics coming their way will help you get much further into the game.
1 Direct Hit Modifier – Damage Tuning
If you were to explain Armored Core’s most difficult boss fights to someone, you’d most likely tell them that their first goal is to deal enough hits to stagger the enemy. While most hits will chip away at the boss’ AP, your real damage will be dealt after you’ve filled the yellow bar above them and the boss is staggered and vulnerable. It’s the most important gameplay loop that you’ll find in Armored Core 6.
The Direct Hit Modifier – Damage Tuning upgrade is one that’s tailor-made for these encounters, and for that reason, it’s the most important OS upgrade in the game. Some of the other options may help you specifically, but this is a universally useful perk to have. “Direct damage” is the game’s term for the damage you deal to staggered enemies, and each tier of this OS feature will increase that damage a significant amount. It’s helpful in casual encounters but essential for bosses, so unlocking this upgrade will vastly improve your Armored Core 6 experience.
NEXT: Armored Core 6: Achievement/Trophy Guide