“Can you beat Armored Core 6 with no weapons?”, YouTuber ZeroLenny asked in their newest video. The answer is yes. You can punch your way through Rubicon without so much as touching an assault rifle or missile launcher.
The run nearly ended with the tutorial as you’re handed guns without the option to access the assembly. That means you can’t customise your mech to remove them. But ZeroLenny found a workaround – you can charge into enemies to deal damage. So, they started barging people out of the way and into heaps of scrap metal. It even worked on the helicopter boss.
Punching might not use ammo – you are just wailing with your fists – but it does deplete stamina, so you can leave yourself open to devastating attacks if you spam. ZeroLenny planned around this, saving up enough credits for the DF-GN-02 LING-TAI generator, the battery with the quickest recharge delay in the game. That means stamina recovers much faster, letting ZeroLenny punch even more baddies in an even shorter time frame.
Punching might seem like a surefire way to make the game needlessly difficult, but it does a surprisingly good amount of posture damage, breaking enemy stamina bars faster than most weapons. And while they’re stunned, punches do increased damage, so it’s not an unviable method to beating Armored Core 6, just not an advised one. Even the notoriously difficult Balteus was easy enough, getting stun-locked punch after punch.
ZeroLenny later found that the tank legs boosted the damage of the mech’s punches the most, but the poor mobility offset this increase since so much of the no weapons run relies on being able to dodge enemies. This left normal or quad legs as the best option. They also began to use the kick ability, which is handy for booting enemy mechs off cliffs. Granted, it uses a lot more stamina than punching, so it’s all about timing so as to not leave yourself wide open to attacks.
One of the more difficult challenges for this no-weapon run was the tower defence mission in which you have to protect three missiles from waves of attacks in a five-minute window. Where normally you can spin around and shoot targets dealing damage to your base, in this run, you have to fly over to them which takes far more time. Winning this meant mastering the mission, learning which enemies have to be dealt with immediately and which can be left. By the end, ZeroLenny only lost one missile.
Later in the run, they begin to employ the shield burst which deals a little damage while breaking posture quicker. They also have to utilise the anti-Ice-Worm missile launcher for its respective boss fight, an unavoidable weapon. But for the most part, none are used, just ‘tools’, fists, and the odd kick. With all of that, they push ahead through the video and beat each boss of each chapter, culminating in the final fight who they shred with nothing but right hooks.