Last Updated: 1-Jul-2015

And it’s time for the Adder.



I’ve always thought of the Adder as not really worth taking, and perhaps that’s still true. But with the recent unlock of the Flamer, as well as the quirk pass and general shifts of the meta over the last year or so, it’s become a more and more attractive prospect. It has more pod space than the Nova and Shadow Cat for crying out loud (though this is partially balanced out by the lack of hardpoints and jumpjets) and the Clan XL makes up for a decent chunk of the survivability it loses from having light mech armor at a low relative speed.

The Adder variants are some of the more balanced in terms of quirks, in the sense that each has a clear specialty. However, some specialties are (in my opinion) more valuable than others, which leads me to placing the ADR-D at the top of the list of variants to buy. The 20% torso twist speed is just too useful to pass up on – it helps with shielding, aiming, and general responsiveness, and it gets a bit extra torso twist range of motion too. Next up is the ADR-A, which retains a bit of that torso twist speed (10%), but pairs it with twice the torso twist angle bonus as the ADR-D, at 12°, which means it performs a bit worse at the aforementioned tasks, but can also shoot nearly all the way behind it. The third best variant is a close one, but I give the edge to the ADR-Prime over the ADR-B; the ADR-Prime has twice the acceleration/deceleration quirks as the other Adders in addition to a bonus 10% to its reverse speed, each of which helps you poke and escape very well. The unique turn rate quirk on the ADR-B does help (particularly in brawling), but it just isn’t enough.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • Great pod space for a light mech, comparable to (and even exceeding) Clan Mediums.
  • Having a Clan XL as well as pretty decent and shieldable hitboxes make it one of the most durable light mechs (at least on paper).
  • Good assortment of hardpoints – I still really wish there was one more energy to round out a brutal 6 x cERML build, but 5 is alright too…I guess…
  • It’s friggin’ fun. Not much else to say on that.



  • Low top speed for a light mech: when competing against mechs like the Firestarter who have comparable firepower (albeit at a shorter range) that go almost half again as fast, it’s hard to pick the Adder. Plus, since a traditionally huge asset of light mech survivability is speed, the Adder starts at a significant disadvantage.
  • The lack of jumpjets hinder the Adder’s offensive and defensive capabilities. It’s harder to chase down mechs, it’s harder to get away, and it is more vulnerable to unfavorable terrain.
  • Apart from the one almost awkwardly high mount in the CT, the Adder does not having great weapon locations.


Generic Tips

I really want to go over the Omnipods here to help you when you make your own builds

  • Head doesn’t matter (unless you somehow have the same variant’s omnipods everywhere else on your mech, in which case keep with that variant)
  • We’ve already gone over CT
  • For Legs, I recommend sticking with those of the ADR-D thanks to their extra structure quirks – your legs aren’t always targeted but having that extra survivability even once in a while is worth.
  • This leaves us with the Side Torsos and Arms, which I’ll go over configurations of here:
    • There is only one set of Side Torso/Arm hardpoint combos with missile hardpoints, so we’ll ignore those builds for now
    • For laser boats, your best bet for cooling efficiency, beam duration, and burst damage is:
    • Right Arm: ADR-B; Right Torso: ADR-B; Left Torso: ADR-B; Left Arm: ADR-D
    • For ballistic/laser mechs, your best bet for ballistic cooldown and energy cooldown is:
  • Right Arm: ADR-D; Right Torso: ADR-A; Left Torso: ADR-A; Left Arm: ADR-B

There are of course special cases (Prime Arms are best for ERPPCs, and maybe your build needs to focus on energy cooldown over heat gen), but these are the two most useful omnipod configurations.



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

It runs hot, but it packs quite a punch for its range and mech class – it’s pretty much the same build you’d find on a Stormcrow Laser Sniper (though with less heatsinks of course). Sometimes you do want to alpha strike to minimize exposure time, but if you don’t feel at risk of getting shot back I recommend firing in groups of 2 and 1.

This plays like a traditional Laser Sniper for the most part – stay out of the way of both teams, try to get angles where your teammates don’t have them, and do as much free damage as you can while using range and exposure time to limit effective return fire.

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

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

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

For the most part, this functions the same as the original build (though obviously with less sniping power), but it adds backup damage for when you are at medium range from the target.

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


PPC Sniper

The effectiveness of this build is…questionable. However, it’s a viable way to play and it has 15% bonus cERPPC velocity which certainly helps the situation. However, the heat gen quirks from the side torsos do not apply to the cERPPC so you don’t get to shoot as often as would be good.

It’s got a powerful and bothersome alpha strike, but you only get to do it so often. Try to set up a pattern of firing several times until you’re pushing the heat threshold, and then relocating to keep the enemy guessing where you’ll be coming from. The disruption you provide can be about as useful as the damage. Just…don’t get caught by faster mechs, cuz you won’t survive.

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

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

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

Similar effective range, much cooler, but not pinpoint and it’s a beam instead of a projectile. Make of it what you will.

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



It’s a LRM boat. There’s just not enough tonnage on the Adder to make a Hybrid version to have fun with, and even an effective full LRM boat stretches the tonnage pretty thin even without TAG and CAP (ammo is a bit lower than I would like, but I prefer 3×10 to 2×15). The quirks help out quite a bit to make the damage as effective and concentrated as possible (the velocity quirks add 10m/s to the speed which means less wasted ammo), but I don’t recommend taking this unless you’re looking to play braindead-mode. Included the build for the sake of completionism…and also, though I hate playing them, building LRM mechs is kind of interesting…

Due to the lack of TAG and CAP, this is a pretty team-reliant build. Thankfully, your speed helps a lot with that. While your job for the most part is to sit in the middle/back of the formation and add DPS, you should always be looking for better angles that you can LRM from without the enemy having cover (and that let you be safe from return fire). Positioning is the only element of play you need to focus on, so make the most of it.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Target Decay, Advanced Sensor Range

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cLRM10 Cooldown, cLRM10 Range

Consumables (In order of importance): Air Strike, UAV


Laser Vomit

The worst part about PGI unlocking the flamer is that now, some of the best builds have that really annoying “.7 tons” at the end. Ugh! But if you want to use all 5 energy hardpoints, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. At least, nothing that I’d say is a good idea. But anyways, this isn’t the most devastating build out there, its range is decent but not crazy, and it’s the most basic build out there…but it’s good. And if I had to describe it in a word, it would be “reliable”. It’ll never be useless, it’ll occasionally be amazing, and it’s just solid as hell.

This plays a lot like a typical laser vomit, like the old Stormcrow. Stay mobile, stay with your team, and never stop shooting. I mean, unless you’re running hot…or don’t see any targets. For more in depth information on playing Laser Vomit, check out the guide I wrote about it.

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

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

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

This takes the old Laser Vomit Adder build and just…moves it to take advantage of the new open hardpoint in the CT. It’s still very effective, powerful, et cetera (and it doesn’t have an awkward tonnage!) but I think it’s just a tad less badass than the previous build.

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


Gauss Vomit

Another traditional, almost cliché build, this mixes Gauss & Lasers to max out damage and cooling efficiency. My main concern about this build (and one that I really felt when I was playing it) is that it’s just not enough. The Adder has quite a bit of room for weapons for its weight, but not enough to mount an effective Gauss Vomit build. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still one of the best builds for it, but it just doesn’t have the oomph I’m looking for. You may notice that I’m also using the ADR-A Side Torso Omnipods for this as well, since it’s already plenty cool and DPS is more of an issue.

In a lot of ways, this plays the same as the previous Laser Vomit builds. Stay at mid-range, stay with the team, and keep shooting until you can’t shoot no more… The main difference comes in the ease of use category, where the Gauss Rifle can really throw a wrench in the works. It takes practice to get the timings and aiming down, but eventually it’ll become second nature. For more information on playing Gauss Vomit builds, check out the guide I wrote on it.

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

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

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



I’ve made no secret of my love of the cMPL, and it comes in with a fury on the Adder. Probably the most fun I have with the mech, this build packs a punch with a low beam duration, acceptable range, and plenty of DPS. Most of the time, you’ll be playing outside of the cERSL’s range – I only added it to fix some slot/tonnage issues because I’d rather have it than a TC2 – but if you get down to 250m or so, you’ll want to start adding that to your punch (extra damage ftw!).

cMPL builds tend to focus around the 400 meter range, give or take a hundred. Try to keep in that area and keep up the DPS (and damage avoidance tactics like poking and repositioning) and you’ll do fine. This means no trading at 700 meters against Laser Vomit builds, and no brawling with Streak or SPL mechs either.

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

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

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



It’s not the most powerful build you can run on an Adder, but it’s brutal against light mechs and even holds its own against bigger ones. The hard range cap will screw you if you don’t pay close attention to not just range but direction and speed, but if you pick your shots carefully it should be fine. When poking, alpha striking is fine, but in full engagements you’ll want to split up your weapon groups into either left/right or 6s & 4s to avoid ghost heat.

The long cooldowns mean that you don’t necessarily want to stay in a protracted engagement unless it’s with other mechs that you have a clear advantage over (so…pretty much just light mechs). You’ll want to ambush enemy mechs whenever possible, and fade back after each shot. Poking can be risky too, having your targets pre-locked via UAV or friendly mech helps a lot with that, but your best bet is to avoid larger mechs if they’re looking in your general direction. Really…just try to protect your team from light mechs.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSSRM6 Range, cSSRM4 Range, cSSRM6 Cooldown

Consumables (In order of importance): Air Strike, UAV

Same basic idea, but no worrying about ghost heat, and that is a pretty serious alpha strike… I recommend shielding with your left side for the most part – you risk losing the laser, but at least you’ll hold onto your missiles and most of your ammo.

Mech Modules (In order of importance): Radar Deprivation, Target Decay

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSSRM6 Cooldown, cSSRM6 Range


“Boom Snake”

This is one of the first builds I made for the Adder when it came out, but now it has a cERSL instead of a Flamer! Total downgrade, I know. But still, it’s pretty similar to the old AC/20 & ML IS brawling mediums, and the comparison is definitely a favorable one – scatter instead of slug, but more DPS, faster, and only requires a 35 tonner! It’s not the meta for brawling anymore, but that doesn’t make it bad by any means.

Play it as a hit-and-run brawler for the most part. The cXL helps a lot for surviving short range engagements, but it still has light mech armor. Don’t press up ahead of your team or else you’ll get caught, but when the range closes you can get some frequent shots in. Plus you’ve got plenty of ammo to keep the party going all game long.

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

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cLB20X Cooldown, cERSL Range

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

This has a few advantages, including not having to mount every single piece of ammo in the Side Torso. It runs hotter, but has extra range and burst potential from the double tap.

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cUAC20 Cooldown, cERSL Range


Energy Brawler

This is the most meta-friendly brawling build for the Adder, and holy crap does it run cool. I was considering adding on a little something extra, but ballistics are all too heavy, missiles require boating for effectiveness, and I already have a cMPL build. In the end, it’s a pretty brutal build. It can sustain its nasty DPS for quite a while, tearing out legs with the ferocity of an amped up FS9-A. Again, I used the ADR-A Side Torso Omnipods for cooldown reduction instead of the heat gen quirked ADR-B Side Torsos.

These lasers have an optimal range of 185m, meaning you can poke with them from even further (I would stop at around 250m, because you’re barely scratching them after that and even if you’re 90% sure they won’t shoot back I’d say it’s not worth). But if you can get into an extensive short-range engagement, you can go crazy tearing up legs (or whatever’s open) and, as long as your teammates are fighting their teammates, it is very possible that you’ll go mostly ignored. This is best done in small squads.

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

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

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

Like I said, you can mix in a couple of cMPLs to improve firepower and take advantage of the extra heat you have from running a pure cSPL boat. It’s less brutal in the long term, but it is a more than serviceable option.

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


Missile Brawler

The last brawling option (at least the last one I’ll talk about), this is focused around pure damage over trivial things like usability and heat efficiency. It’s the least reliable of the brawling builds, but if you play it well, it can be very rewarding. The heat looks intimidating I know, but if you don’t use your cERML in a brawl (which you really shouldn’t be doing) it can keep up the damage for a while before you have to jut out.

Missile brawlers are probably the most risky to run, because while the others can be effective past their optimal range, SRMs aren’t even effective at quite a bit under theirs. You have ammo to spare for most games, but your missiles still are most effective under around 200 meters to make sure they don’t spread out too far. Depending on the game, you might spend most of it waiting for an opportune moment to pump out your missiles, but if you get the right situation, you can rack up the damage.

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

Weapon Modules (In order of importance): cSRM6 Cooldown, cERML Range

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

SRM4s are superior to SRM6s in a few ways, including a lower cooldown and a tighter spread, but you are giving up a bit of alpha strike potential. Still, at least the extra heatsinks mean that you can use an energy weapon in the brawl.

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


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 only ended up holding on to my ADR-D, but keep as many or as few variants as you like.


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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