Last Updated: 11-June-2016

I wish it was a cricket.



The Grasshopper is the Black Knight’s smaller (and in many ways, weaker) brother. But lately, more and more people have been giving the edge to the Grasshopper for its higher mounts and jumpjets, and arguably better quirks. Who knows how long that’ll last (I doubt we have much time before the next rebalance), but for now the Grasshopper is a great pick-up.

There are currently four variants, and the top two are both very good and pretty evenly matched. I give an edge to the GHR-5P, due largely to its higher torso mounts and defensive quirks, but the GHR-5H has by far the best offensive quirks, making it nearly as good. The GHR-5N has worse quirks than either of those, but its hardpoints keep it in third place. Of course, the worst is the GHR-5J, as it has pretty much no advantage over the others.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • Decent hitboxes and armor/structure quirks make this chassis one of the tankier heavies, though tanking is not exactly a heavy’s job and it can’t do it nearly as well as a 75-tonner. Still, it can soak a good bit of damage as a result, making for relatively safe trades. It is also relatively XL safe, though side torso kills aren’t unheard of.
  • One of the IS mechs with the most energy hardpoints.
  • Jumpjets help a lot for getting in and out of trouble, and the speed is nothing to be scoffed at either.
  • Some of the hardpoints are well placed, right next to the face, and the lower mounts are pretty tight to your body, helping convergence and corner-peeking.



  • But most of the hardpoints are pretty low mounted, making full exposures more frequent.
  • Despite having a decent-sized max engine, it’s too small for many build options which gets super frustrating.
  • It’s a very tall mech, making it pretty hard to miss.


Generic Tips

  • Use your arms for shields whenever possible – they’re pretty beefy and can catch a few shots if angled right. Particularly when using low-duration weapons, you’ll want to start shielding almost before the beam duration is over, leaving your torso vulnerable for as brief a time as possible. Even twisting to spread damage over your torso sections can help due to how slender they are.
  • Be patient, and stay close to cover – laserboats are, by their very nature, hot as hell. You’re usually better off exposing for a few well-placed alphas and then returning to cover as you heat up than you are in a full engagement.
  • The cockpit is offset a teeny bit to the left. It’s not a big deal at all, but it was really bugging me that my LT high mount seemed a bit lower than the one on my RT, until I realized why. So if something about your lasers is bugging you, might be that.



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!



The main virtue of this variant is its high mounts, but that’s hardly the only one. Offensively, it only gets 10% energy range and 15% laser duration, but defensively it is pretty stacked with almost 50% extra structure all over the mech. And for agility, it gets 35% to its accel/decel and torso twist speed and 15% to turn rate, which is shared by all the Grasshopper variants.

Build 1:

This isn’t exactly a cool build, but it mounts some impressive firepower that reaches out over a 500 meter optimal, which isn’t super long range but it’s long enough for our purposes. For weapon groups, I recommend one for the LT, one for the RT Large Lasers, and one for just the top 2 (or 4). And maybe one for the small laser too, but that’s really not meant to be fired – still up to you! Oh yeah, and it should go without saying, but you can quickly swap out some or all of the Larges to ERLLs, which is particularly useful in comp play.

This plays pretty much exactly like your typical laser vomit style. Stay at medium range, poke whenever is convenient, and hide whenever you can’t poke for whatever reason. Try to stagger your beam fire so as not to exceed the ghost heat limit of 3. Shield with your right side if you have to, until you can’t shield with that side anymore without risking death. Other than that, go wild and try to maximize your DPS. For more on this style of build, check out the Laser Vomit L2P Guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike


Build 2:

Again – this is hardly the definition of keeping it cool, but it’s certainly ballsy. Plus you get two high-mounted LPLs (and a sorta-high one) with an optimal range over 400 meters. One of the larger strengths of this build is the sheer alpha strike potential it comes with – rivaling even the Clan heavies, though at a shorter range and more heat. If you have experience with the Black Knight, you’ll see that it has a very similar weapon loadout (indeed you can run almost the same exact build, though in my opinon it requires a bit too much sacrifice to fit on this mech).

As such, this build plays a lot like the Black Knight, but with a few differences. The biggest thing is that you can hill-hump without worrying about your lasers scraping the ground. You should be doing this with your LPLs pretty much throughout the game, and stick to just those when your mech starts to boil as they’re more heat-efficient than the meds. But you should feel comfortable adding the meds whenever they’re decently within range, and you have less than 50% heat. Keep alpha striking as much as you can, and you’ll rack up the damage in no time. For more on playing laser vom, check out the L2P Guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

Pretty similar, but with less damage & range, an extra heatsink, and a bit more survivability. Maybe you’ll prefer it, who knows!

It’s a much more brutal alpha, but you gotta get way too close for comfort. Still, might as well try it.

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Pulse Range

I put in a STD just cuz the engine cap’s too small to fit anything worthwhile, but you also do get a heatsink and some nice survivability out of the deal! The main point of this is the extra range, but you don’t lose any of your shorter-range alpha strike.

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Medium Laser Range

Definitely not the variant of choice for this build (that’d be the GHR-5H), but it can be done here too if you’re a big fan, and with slightly higher mounts. Stay away from the meds unless you need them, and try to not break ghost heat!

Weapon Modules: LPL Range, LPL Cooldown



While the GHR-5P is simply a better variant, the GHR-5H is still pretty good. It has 15% to heat gen, 9 armor to each arm, 12 to each leg, and 9 structure to the CT, and it has the same agility quirks as the others.

Build 1:

This is sort of similar to the GHR-5P’s laser vomit (same exact weapons), but it is much better done on this variant thanks to the 15% heat gen quirk. 2 of your LPLs remain high mounted, but the third unfortunately gets stuck way down in the CT, which is my biggest problem with the build when comparing it to the GHR-5P. Aside from that, you’ve got a nasty alpha strike and solid sustain, even if you’re a bit squishy.

Much like the GHR-5P version of the same build, you’ll spend the first part of the engagement trying to find a good position and poking with your LPLs, but when you get the chance to start opening up, you should start to have some real fun. Feel free to hill-hump with those two LPLs whenever you get the chance, but if you’ve got the heat and opportunity, start wrecking shit with those alphas. For more on this sort of thing, there’s the Laser Vomit L2P.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

You lose out on some damage and range, but the result is way more DPS. Seriously, with this many heat sinks you can hold down the trigger forever on your LPLs, but you can also fire your full alpha several times before getting too hot.

This feels a lot like the QKD-5K, but with way more power to it. It’s actually my favorite build on the Grasshopper at the moment, and I highly recommend you give it a go.

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown


Build 2:

Ok yeah so maybe there’s only two types of builds that are any good on this chassis. But, that’s better than only having one! While the previous build works better on this variant than the GHR-5P, this one I feel is a bit inferior here. Sure you get some heat gen, but two of the mid-level mounts are lower, the duration is higher, and your much squishier. And, as with the GHR-5P, you can swap out to ERs. Other than that, it’s pretty damn similar, but there’s a couple of things worth mentioning.

First off, you can corner-peek with pretty much the same effectiveness to either side. Which is real nice. And you can hill-hump…sort of well with just your top two lasers, though I wouldn’t advise trying to trade with this (18 damage is pretty puny). But it’s worth trying it out. And the Laser Vomit L2P Guide has more on this style of play.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This is a bit weird, but I’m personally a fan of it. Your super-high mounted weapons are crazy-long range, but you still have the low-mounted stuff for more heat efficiency. And the reason I’m recommending an ERLL Cooldown module instead of Large Laser Range is that it syncs up the cooldowns almost perfectly, allowing you to corner-peek with the same effectiveness.

Weapon Modules: ER Large Cooldown, ER Large Range



With the same number of hardpoints as the GHR-5P, it’s their positions that really hurt it. And it’s only offensive quirk is 10% energy heat gen. Defensively, it’s got the same 11 armor to arms and 15 to legs as the GHR-5H, but with 9 structure to each side torso instead of 11 to the CT. And, of course, it’s got the same agility quirks as the rest.

Build 1:

This build serves as a brawler for the most part, but can dish out some pokes too. It has plenty of speed, firepower, DPS, pretty much everything it needs to wreck in a short-range engagement. Plus, it’s got a STD engine to really help out its survivability. The high-mounted medium lasers are in there so that your alpha strike doesn’t break ghost heat, but also give you some extra range on your pokes (though I wouldn’t recommend trying to trade with those).

You’ll want to play this as a traditional brawler in most respects – carefully and only poking when your enemy is close. The nature of the weapon mounts make this build pretty asymmetrical – 5 of your lasers are on your right side and only 3 on your left, so you can corner peek with your right side decently effectively if you have the weapons mapped right. Though, for the most part, you’ll want to stick to alpha striking.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Med Pulse Range, Med Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


Build 2:

Yup, that’s a Black Knight clone! Sadly, it lacks some of the range, heat sinks, and durability of the original…but at least it can jump! Heat is a huge issue on this mech, and the 18 heat sinks aren’t nearly enough to dissipate what you produce, but you can at least alpha strike twice before exploding. One of the few bonuses this has over the Black Knight is that it has slightly better asymm on your right side, and it even has a Large Pulse and Medium up at eye level, while the rest are at least higher than the mounts on a Black Knight.

Hit your targets hard and fast before melting back into cover. When you’re running hot, stick to your LPLs for heat-efficient damage, but if you can afford it just keep alpha striking. Try to focus on flanking in order to get free trades, but don’t be afraid to trade either – you may not be as durable as a Black Knight, but there are few mechs in the game which can out-trade you. For more on this style of play, check out the L2P Guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

It’s not better, but it’s at least intriguing! You’re fully right-side asym in this one so corner-peeking will be the go-to, just try to shield enough!

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Pulse Range



Pretty much a shittier version of the other variants – its only real advantage is that it gets a higher engine cap, but in the end it doesn’t even matter. In terms of quirks, it gets 10+10% ER Large Cooldown and 10% heat gen. It also gets 25% extra armor on the legs and arms and 25% extra structure in the CT, and is the only Grasshopper with nerfed agility quirks – 20% accel/decel and torso twist, and 5% turn rate.

Build 1:

I tried playing to its quirks and all that, but this is the best build I could get working on it. Essentially, it’s just a worse version of the other builds. On the bright side, it’s got decent alpha and DPS, but not enough range to really be worth it.

Corner-peeking will be a big help for you with this, but you’ll have to do it carefully. Your right side (and CT if you get the chance to use it) are decently powerful but you won’t be able to out-trade anything that’s ready for you. Use your speed to flit about the battlefield if you can and use hit and run tactics, but if you feel like you can do it usefully feel free to full engage. The Laser Vomit L2P Guide should be useful reading here.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

Definitely more of a typical build. Still crap.

Do you want a build that would be decent on almost any other chassis but sucks here? Then boy have I got the one for you!

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Laser Range


Build 2:

I really tried to make it work, and sometimes it does, but side peeking and using range to tank has pretty big flaws when it doesn’t even have anything like range or duration quirks to help it out. It’ll get hot if you’re using all your guns, but it’s meant to be able to corner-peek either side with ease.

Keep to your maximum optimal range (or preferably a bit outside it) as much as possible, peeking out to the left of any sort of cover that can help you avoid taking return fire. It helps a lot if your team is tanking for you, but you really can’t rely on that. You do have pretty good DPS from just using those ERLLs though, and try to get into a position where you can focus on suppressive fire rather than occasional trades. Oh yeah, and take advantage of that STD engine to use your right side as a hard shield.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Sensor Range

Weapon Modules: ER Large Range, ER Large Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

It’s way faster and cooler, but your main weapons are just 3 ER Larges, which is kinda pathetic on a 70-tonner. Still, at least you’ll get to shoot them a lot!


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. Really, the GHR-5P and GHR-5N are the only ones worth keeping, as the game stands right now.


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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