Last Updated: 22-May-2016

Today, we’ll be examining the Centurion!



The Centurion is one of the original eight mechs. It was an absolute powerhouse in closed beta, and even for a while afterwards, but suffered as brawling became less relevant. And with the power creep that has taken place in the form of 55 tonners and Clans, it has been consistently passed over. Despite that, it can still be very fun, a worthy addition to your garage, and even competitive on occasion.

The most meta-relevant variant is the CN9-AL, as it plays the role of energy boat. The quirks and hardpoints certainly leave a bit to be desired, but it’s not half bad. Next up is the CN9-AH, which doesn’t fit well into the meta, but is an absolutely devastating brawler with the ability to wield an AC/20 and missiles. Choosing the third mech for Centurion Mastery can be rough, as the Yen-Lo-Wang and CN9-A are both great options. The CN9-A is a classic tanky missile brawler, which has a history of supremacy, and the Yen-Lo-Wang is a brutal AC/20 platform. I’d recommend trying out the first two variants to get a feel for the chassis before deciding if you want to invest MC in a Hero, and make your decision based on that. At any rate, I’d take either over the CN9-D – it’s not horrible, but it isn’t exactly great either.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • A combination of good hitboxes and structure quirks make the Centurion fairly tanky, which is pretty vital.
  • Fairly strong quirks on all variants, some even allowing for multiple sorts of builds without compromising the emch (though of course, boating a particular weapon system will always be the best way to go).
  • Torso-mounted weapons let you zombie fairly well (continue doing work after your arms and even side torsos have been blown off).



  • Lack of jumpjets and (relatively) low engine cap on the basic variants really hinder the Cent, leaving it as almost a strictly inferior alternative to mechs like the Griffin and Shadowhawk.
  • Hardpoints are fairly limited by today’s standards, as well as tonnage availability. This limits how powerful they can get, particularly since it is relatively non-XL-safe.


Generic Tips

  • You can shield like crazy, and so you pretty much need to take advantage of that. Your left arm is quirked to have extra armor, and it offers good coverage for your left torso – plus it has one of the best torso twist rates in the game. Just practice to get the angle right, and you’ll find it to be very valuable. In fact, the Centurion is easily one of the best mechs to practice shielding with at the start.



If you’re not familiar with my Inner Sphere Master Guides, each pretty much follows the same formula. Each variant gets its own section; within that section I try to include at least two main builds, each with a few variations on the core principle (if applicable).

Each build has one paragraph about the build itself – going over anything I feel is relevant to understanding it such as quirks, tonnage issues, how it fits the meta, my general feeling about it…just whatever. And then there’s a paragraph about using the build, going over tactics, tips, and whatever I feel is relevant to that, including links to L2P guides, on occasion.

I may miss a build that you like, or my builds may differ slightly from what you find works best for you because our philosophies may differ – I strongly encourage that you experiment for yourself to see what works best for you.

The modules are listed in order of which one is most important and the consumables I’ve listed are the ones that are generally the best, but while leveling the mech you may want to swap the less important consumable out for a UAV. That is, if you can afford to use consumables at all (they aren’t necessary, just nice, and if you’re low on C-Bills they’re not necessarily worth it).

On with it!



This mech was iffy for quite some time, but it has a decent affinity for lasers. Its quirks help with that, with 20% quirks for energy heat gen, laser duration, and Large Laser cooldown (with a 15% generic component). It also does get 10% to missile cooldown and velocity, and 50% bonus structure (with an extra 8 armor in the RA, too), and 20% extra torso twist speed wraps up the list.

Build 1:

With just enough damage for me to consider it adequate, this build can get some real work in at mid-range. Its quirks leave you with very high DPS and very low duration, giving you the ability to core people out extremely quickly. The engine does leave a bit to be desired, but it’s about as good as it gets.

You want to spend most of the game corner-peeking at exposed dudes from within 500 meters, as there’s not much else that the build excels at. It can keep up on rotations and it can help in a push, but those aren’t exactly optimal scenarios. This build does have the benefit of having a CT laser, which will protect you against losing all relevance to the battlefield when your RA goes bye-bye. For more on playing this sort of build, check out the Laser Vomit guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

For the low price of one heatsink, you can upgrade the engine to max and get an even beefier shield arm! I prefer the heatsink, but it’s an option.

You have a lower alpha strike and a higher duration, but you do get quite a bit of tankiness and speed out of the deal, not to mention range.

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown


Build 2:

This is probably the worst of the Centurion brawlers, but it’s not bad. You really have to watch your heat, as the build is primarily energy based, but it’s manageable and you cool off quickly enough thanks to your heatsinks.

This plays like your usual brawler, but with a bit of extra pokeability thanks to your ~300m Medium Lasers. Plus, the build is pretty great at going zombie mode, and can keep fighting effectively after losing both side torsos. Otherwise, play it like you would any other brawling medium.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

This serves as kind of a mix between brawling and Large Laser poking, leaving both on the table but without doing either particularly well.

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, SRM4 Cooldown




This badass makes for a very strong brawler, but tends to come up short on tonnage. Still, it gets 10+10% AC/20 cooldown, 20% ballistic velocity, 15% missile cooldown, and 10% missile velocity, which is pretty incredible across the board. It also gets 50% bonus structure across the board, and an extra 16 armor in the RA, as well as 35% turn rate and torso twist speed.

Build 1:

It’s a pretty obvious layout, all things considered. Before the quirks, the DPS is pretty great and it would already be the best build to take on the chassis (in my opinion), and the quirks make it roughly 20% better offensively! The only limitations on the build are the range (obviously), 50-tonner XL durability (again, obvious), the lack of proper heat dissipation (oh boy), mediocre speed (oof), and ammo (gahh). But the ammo limitation shouldn’t hinder you too much when you consider that you will probably die before you get through it all anyways, due to the first four limitations.

For the first part of the battle, you are the definition of a medium brawler – sitting back, waiting for opportunities to arise, taking them immediately, and fading away if the opportunity runs awry. Once an opportunity presents itself – often in the form of  full-blown engagement between the teams – you’ve gotta take full advantage of it, but heed this word of warning: use ammo sparingly. Most of the times, I’m pretty careless with weapons fire, but in this case your low cooldowns and ammo counts can conspire to make you run out before you’d like. Other than that, just shield with your left side (until it gets opened up) and try to do and tank as much damage as possible before going down.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, SRM4 Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

This is designed to alleviate the ammo, speed, and heat issues so that you can stay in the fight longer. You still have the issue of 50-tonner durability, and you sacrificed a fair bit of damage, but it’s oftentimes worthwhile.

Sacrifices speed and DPS for extra survivability via the STD engine (MWO: the only place where STDs let you live longer!). SRM2s aren’t as efficient as the SRM4s, but they’re still pretty effective.

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, SRM2 Cooldown


Build 2:

Your primary ballistic quirk may come in the form of an AC/20, but the 10% generic ballistic cooldown makes boating AC/2s an option, particularly thanks to being one of the few 50-ton mechs to have the ability to do so reasonably.

You’re in the awkward position of having to be (and remain) exposed to get out your maximum damage potential, but you also have low mounts and are exceptionally fragile. The best way to be alive is to be not shot, sotay on the outskirts of the fight in all nearly all circumstances, but if the enemy is shooting one of your teammates, you’re perfectly situated to wreak havoc from range. Just duck out of their attention if you get shot back, before showing up somewhere else to resume your torment.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/2 Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike



The classic example of a true medium mech, the CN9-A has certainly gone downhill over the last couple of years, but quirks have made it a…bit better. Most of its quirks revolve around ballistics, with a 15+5% AC/10 cooldown quirk and 30% ballistic velocity, but it does also get 10% laser duration, missile cooldown, and missile velocity. You also get roughly 25% extra structure across the board, as well as 16 armor in the RA, and to top it off you get 10% turn rate and 35% torso twist speed.

Build 1:

One of the few truly classic builds in the game which is still useful, at least sort of. It’s the sort of thing that I think everyone should at least try once, to get a taste for what used to be good, and for what I think is the most fun. Fast, high-intensity brawling and flanking tactics with the ability to tank more damage than it had any right to…sadly it is only a shade of its former self, but still.

You need to get to well under 300 meters to use your weapons at peak effectiveness, and you’re best off doing so against stationary or slow-moving targets. Your heat isn’t too bad and alpha striking is your best option for the opening bit of the engagement, but very quickly you will see that you’re best off sticking to your missiles only most of the time, and using your lasers to pick off components or finish off mechs, when necessary (or when outside of optimal SRM range).

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shoot, Artillery Strike

This build uses pulse lasers and SRM4As in order to concentrate firepower better than the normal build. Otherwise, very similar.

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, MPL Range

It’s not horrible, sort of like the CN9-AH build but less powerful. The heat and DPS are pretty nice, but it’s a bit squishy.

Weapon Modules: AC/10 Cooldown, SRM4 Cooldown


Build 2:

Wow, how overwhelming! So many weapons! How can I possibly manage the weapon groups! Yeah, not the most impressive build I’ll admit. But, it’s very cool (temperature-wise), has decent mid-range  power, and can keep shooting for pretty much ever.

This one will actually play similarly to your usual 3xLL build, except it swaps two of those for an AC/10 of course. Still, it has a similar range and DPS profile, though the alpha is obvious lacking and using the two in combination will be more difficult than just boating one or the other would have been. The quirks do help, though, and it can be an enjoyable playstyle.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/10 Cooldown, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

So yeah, I really had to include this because it was one of my favorite builds way back in the day, shortly after the YLW came out. The build is actually done best on the CN9-D, but most people will probably not be interested in that.

Weapon Modules: Gauss Rifle Cooldown, ER Large Laser Cooldown



The first ever hero mech! This bad boy got 10+10% AC/20 cooldown and 20% ballistic velocity, as well as 10% energy cooldown, in addition to the 50% structure and 16 armor in the RA. It does get the best mobility quirks of the bunch, with 35% to accel/decel, turn rate, and torso twist speed.

With a very similar/identical build to the HBK-4G (depending on your exact configuration), the main difference comes in the form of hitboxes and weapon locations. It lacks the super-high mounts and ridiculously quirked RT of the 4G’s AC/20 (as well as 5% across the board to all the AC/20 quirks), but has much better shielding and zombibility, as well as the ability to take an XL if you feel like it.

This is a very effective hit and run brawler. You can poke very effectively at short range by sticking your right side out to fire before running away and twisting your left side towards the bad guys because if you lose that arm you’re FKD. But if you don’t get shot back, you can pick and choose the shots carefully and do great DPS. Otherwise, it plays very similar to most other medium brawlers.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artilery Strike

Super-fast, more focused power, and extra heat sinks; what’s not to love! Oh yeah, it has an XL and can’t zombie effectively. Meh.

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, MPL Range



The most heavily quirked, yet still the worst, Centurion. It has 30+10% LB10X cooldown, 20% ballistic velocity, and 10% for laser duration, missile cooldown, and LBX spread. It has about 25% extra structure, and some extra on the arms, and to finish it off, it gets 50% accel/decel and 10% turn rate.

Build 1:


The only things that makes the CN9-D truly unique are the ridiculous LBX quirks and the (basically) lack of an engine cap. This does its best to take advantage of both, but the build tends to come up a bit short. It is the fastest and (statistically) most brutal of the Centurions, but it is squishy and cannot focus its damage for shit.

Despite its weaknesses, you can still contribute to your team by playing like an aggressive hit-and-run brawler. Your main job is to just hold down the trigger at short range, and do your best to avoid getting focused down. The great thing about the speed is that you have some ability to get out of sticky situations, the bad thing is that you might get bursted down before you get the chance.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: LB 10-X AC Cooldown, Med Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike


Build 2:

This build takes advantage of the 30% generic ballistic cooldown to maximize DPS. It’s the straight-up best option for the variant, but there’s nothing about it that’s uniquely CN9-D. You do end up getting about 12 DPS out of just the ACs, which is quite nice, but the low mounts and XL do hold you back.

When playing this build, you’ll want to just stick your right arm around a corner and hold the trigger down, using your Medium Lasers when the enemy gets close (but I wouldn’t go out of my way to close on them). Don’t stray far from your team, but if you think you can open up a good flanking angle without overextending, go for it.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/5 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

It’s not much like the dakka build, but it doesn’t quite deserve its own section. I mentioned it in the CN9-A section, but it really does fit best on the CN9-D, thanks to its fantastic quirks.

Weapon Modules: Gauss Cooldown, ER Large Cooldown


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. This is one of the few that I’m going to adjust in that sense, because torso twisting is one of the Centurion’s largest strengths, and as such I’ll be emphasizing that.

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

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

Then just master it. They’re all (well, maybe not the CN9-D) worth holding on to and thus mastering, but do whatever your hear tells you!


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


Have I missed your favorite build or trick? Let me know!

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