Arctic Cheetah

Last Updated: 8-Aug-2015

The cheetah is the biggest kitty that purrs, and the cheeter is the littlest kitty that pwns.



The Arctic Cheetah was the second Clan scout mech to be added to MWO, and it is the first good one. In lore, it was designed by Clan Ice Hellion to replace the Mist Lynx, and while I don’t think it’s possible to replace something which is already obsolete, it has certainly done a great job at exceeding it in every possible metric. It even shows as a strong competitor to the traditionally dominant IS light mechs. Basically, shit’s broke yo (sorta).

Since it’s an omnimech and none of the CT’s have unique hardpoints, the main/only way to differentiate is by quirks. The CT’s all come with at least 10% acceleration quirks, so the difference is in the secondary ones, which are teeny tiny, but still worth mentioning. The ACH-Prime is arguably the best variant, due to the turn rate quirk which helps out a bit with short range engagements. After that, we have the ACH-A which has half of the ACH-Prime’s turn rate quirk, but 2% torso twist speed on top of that – this one is basically a hybrid of the ACH-Prime and the ACH-B, which has 4% torso twist and no turn rate bonus of any sort. Finally we have the ACH-C which has its 10% acceleration quirk bumped up to 12.5%…and that’s it…woo… It’s also worth mentioning that, while I do think the prior ranking of variants is accurate for the most part, there are situations when you don’t really need some things (for example, at super-long range you don’t really need turn rate).

Oh yeah, and this is another case where the early adopters got the goods in terms of having 2 omnipods which are almost indisputably the best in their location, and another couple which are situationally useful.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • Runs at the same speed range as IS light mechs, which is just super badass.
  • All of the bonuses that come with Clan tech – cXL engines, longer range, more damage, generally just better everything.
  • Pretty good hitboxes, to the point where I’d say it’s marginally tankier than the Firestarter despite being a teeny bit slower and 5 tons lighter.
  • Up to a whopping 7 hardpoints really makes the chassis what it is. Even though only 6 are really useful (ECM too valuable), it’s still more than any other Clan Light and even most IS lights.
  • Side torso energy mounts (and I guess the arm missile mounts) are really high mounted, which helps a bit with hillpeaking, but there only being 2-3 of them kinda limits the usability of that bit.



  • It has the second least pod space of any Clan mech (only beating out the Mist Lynx) which can really be felt in the heatsink department. The tonnage really gets cut out by the whole “but I’m just 30 tons!” thing, and of course the wholly unnecessary 6 jumpjets.
  • Speaking of jumpjets…it’s kind of nice that you get to jump like crazy, but it also has a substantial impact on your heat efficiency. Even little hops can cost you. Was never a fan of this mechanic…would be nice if they could get rid of it, or make it not stack per jumpjet. Lil backstory, they were like “we don’t want people to stack jumpjets we gotta disincentivize that somehow” and then they were like “lets make them produce heat” and then they were like “yeah and we’ll make it so that more heat gets produced with more jumpjets”. -_-


Generic Tips

  • It’s tempting to go crazy with the jumpjets, but remember that as long as you’re in the air, your trajectory is easily predictable, soooo unless you really need to soar try to stick to wittle jumps.
  • If you have weapons in your might mounts, try out some hillpeaking…but don’t get predictable. I’d only do it once from any location, really, cuz there are no builds which use the high mounts to enough firepower to be worth a real trade (max reasonable damage is like 27 or 29 if you’re a nutter for heat).
  • With very few exceptions, shield with your right side.



For those of you who are not familiar with the general format, here’s how it goes (and it is different from the IS ones). We’re going to be identifying build archetypes (generally listed from long range to short) and customizing them to fit the variants, often coming up with a few separate versions of the same type of build which function differently in some way. Some Clan mechs (like the Summoner) share the same CT and so don’t need differentiation based on the variant, but others (like the Timber Wolf) have variants with very different center torsos and so a custom build for each of those variants must be made (if it’s getting a bit confusing, don’t worry it should all become clear momentarily). I will italicize the variant(s) that the archetypical build fits best in as well. In general, the builds will be labeled according to their armament, but occasionally I will name a build if it is particularly badass.

Also, the consumables I’ve listed are the ones that are best for normal play, but while leveling the mech you may want to swap the less important one out for a UAV, if you can afford to use consumables at all (they aren’t necessary, just nice).

Now then, on with it!


Laser Sniper

This is about as straightforward as it gets. You got the cERLLs for super long range pokeys, you got the ECM so you don’t get pokey’d back, and everything else is just for show. There’s two things of note about this build though – first is that it is potentially the best super long range light mech in the game (though probably second to the RVN-4X). The second is that it’s really not that good in PUGs at all. That kind of range is really situational, and in any battle which doesn’t last forever, you won’t have the time to get the damage (we’re talking about maybe like 130 damage per minute after quirks at maximum which is pathetic).

Stay as far away from the bad guys as you can, cuz if they get close they’ll hurt you way worse than you can hurt them back. Fortunately, the ECM, jumpjets, and speed really really help on this point. The only thing you can’t really evade is another light mech like a Firestarter or short-range Arctic Cheetah. Other than that, shoot at the enemy as much as you can, repositioning whenever you’re hot or are getting shot back at, and just be a general pain to the other team’s big guys.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Seismic Sensor, Sensor Range

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERLL Cooldown, cERLL Range

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Air Strike


Pure Laser Vomit

So if you’re willing to give up the ECM, then maybe this is what you’re looking for. This is your mid-range hill-humping build, and as far as mid-range hill-humping light mech builds go…this is pretty much the best. That being said, you’re still not playing to the strengths of the chassis, and 27 damage isn’t all that much really (half of a Timber Wolf’s laser vomit damage) so expect to get out-traded.

This is more of a reasonable playstyle than the Laser Sniper – you still want to be using the same shooting tactics (hill-hump and pew pew till you start getting shot back or get hot, move to a new position, rinse, repeat), but you get to do way more damage with a lower beam duration. Unfortunately, the lack of ECM means you gotta be pretty friggin careful. Also this is pretty much the only build where you want to shield with your left side instead of right.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERML Range, cLPL Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Air Strike



cERML Spam

Aaaand now we’re cooking with gas. No, seriously, this thing’s hot as fuck. But it’s the first build which can really hold its own in a trading game – 35 damage is nothing to scoff at (it actually used to be considered high…heh) and you can be super mobile between pokes. This is the sort of mech that ends up being the last one alive and gets 1000 damage at the end of a 12 minute game because it just kept poking like crazy and the enemy team couldn’t pin it down. Very effective, but pretty challenging to play to be honest.

You can’t get many alphas off in a row (like, 2), so focus on blasting the bad guy in the face before running off to get a new angle to blast him in the face with. It may be tempting to use those high mounts to poke but usually the situation is “either he’s looking at me and the 14 damage will get out-traded” or “he’s ignoring me so I might as well fully expose and nail him with 35”, and it’s very rare that you want to use just the two guns up top. For the most part, though, you just want to do damage and stay alive. Easier said than done, I know.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Seismic Sensor, Sensor Range

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERML Range, cERML Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

Iz bad, but fun. Also hey 12.5% pulse laser heat gen quirk!

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cMPL Range, cMPL Cooldown


Red Lasers

All about dem wubs. Best and most appropriate build for the Arctic Cheetah. Seriously this thing’s a goddamn assassin. It’s got ECM so you don’t notice it sneaking up on you, it’s got crazy burst DPS and a high alpha for a light, and it can escape with ease too. It’s like…the FS9-A 2.0.

So yeah there’s all sorts of ways you can do this. Play in a wolf pack with some buddies, strike off on your own to 1v1 scrubs, or get in the thick of a brawl. Don’t bite off more than you can chew (maybe try to avoid 1v1ing streak crows, for example), but you can take on most ranged heavier mechs pretty handily if you can just avoid getting shot back too much. And maybe try to stay out of the center of the brawl so you don’t get like struck or just randomly focused, but you can skirt the edges and occassionally dive in for kill secures. Just…go nuts with it. And remember, you’re invincible.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Seismic Sensor, Target Info Gathering

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSPL Range, cSPL Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

Like…”No ECM”? “Nauseam”? No? Okay…

What’s the word for something that’s still good but not nearly as cool fun or good in any way?

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERSL Range, cERSL Cooldown

lel bad

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cERSL Range, cSRM4 Cooldown



Ya there’s really not a whoooole lot of builds for this mech, byproduct of the limited hardpoint options (2 missile isn’t really enough for anything fun, and ballistic are too heavy), but on the bright side the builds here are all perty fun and good.


Pilot Skills

I’ve figured that this is the best skill order for pretty much any mech, and so I’m just going to customize it for mechs that have to emphasize unusual pilot skills.

Basics: Cool Run – Heat Containment – Hard Brake – Kinetic Burst – Twist Speed – Twist X – Anchor Turn – Arm Reflex

Elites: Speed Tweak – Fast Fire – Quick Ignition – Pinpoint

Then just master it. I’d hold onto all of them for now unless you need the $$$ because we don’t know what’s gonna happen with quirks…but I sold the ACH-A myself cuz it splits quirks from the other 2 which is bleh.


And that’s that. I hope you enjoy your mech, let me know if you have any questions, and as always glhf

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