The Marauder is the first of the unseen mechs to be included in MechWarrior Online, which was a big deal for a lot of people. In the months since its inception, it has proven to be very much a decent mech, but I have been left feeling conflicted about it – I believe it to be on the stronger side of average, but I can’t quite seem to reliably enjoy it.

There are 3 C-Bill variants and one hero, meaning that most people will just get the base 3. But the hero (the Bounty Hunter 2) is pretty much tied with the MAD-3R for being the best variant, at least in the current meta. So, what I recommend is that you get two of the C-Bill variants to get a feel for the chassis, and if you find that you’re really enjoying the chassis itself and want the best laser vomit option, you can get the BH2. For your second C-Bill variant, I would recommend the MAD-5M: it’s essentially the MAD-3R but with less quirks and some jumpjets. And if you don’t go in for the BH2, the MAD-5D is fine, I suppose.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • The hitboxes are definitely a strength. This mech can shield very well: the side torsos are massive and will take up your whole profile, and when you’re staring an enemy down, damage gets spread pretty nicely.
  • Quirks are pretty good. Sort of. Defensively, the MAD-3R has a full 50% bonus while the others are at 25%, and they’ve all got some extra spice on offense. Overall, it’s not stupendous, but they’re solid.
  • You’ve got a couple high mounts in there. At most, you’re going to get a couple UAC/5s out of it, but it’s definitely a nice boost. And the other mounts are surprisingly ok – they look like typical shitty low arm mounts, but they’re not as low as they look and they’re nice and tight to the body which is great.
  • The engine cap is pretty good. It’s not really XL safe, so the cap of 360 doesn’t play into it much, but the headroom is nice. Except for on the BH2…



  • The hitboxes are also, weirdly, a weakness as well. The side torsos have a bit of Stalker syndrome to them, making XL engines a risky proposition (it’s an option, but I feel like STDs are the obvious choice). This is particularly true when you consider how ineffectual the arms are at catching all but the stray-est of shells.
  • The actual model of the Marauder itself is a negative, too. Nothing about the aesthetics or anything like that, but the mech just hardcore gets in the way. It makes the mech itself feel a bit clunky in my experience, but it’s not always such a huge deal.


Generic Tips

  • Focus on asymm & shielding. This is the sort of mech that would have been crazy good a couple years ago, because it can really pull off Misery- or Highlander-style play. So while that style isn’t quite meta anymore, the Marauder’s damn good at it.
  • Don’t be scared. You’re a nasty cat and if you keep cool you can crush it. Almost all of the Marauder builds are DPS-oriented (and the ones that aren’t are still bursty as hell) and at least a little tanky, so feel free to get aggressive.



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 base variant of the Marauder has no jumpjets, but has the most ballistic hardpoints and 50% extra structure. It’s also got 10% to ballistic range and velocity, 5% to energy heat gen generically and PPC heat gen in particular, and 50% to PPC velocity. It’s also got great mobility quirks, like 50% accel/decel, 35% turn rate, and 45% torso twist speed.

Build 1:

This build is, without doubt, my favorite for the Marauder in general. There are a lot of iffy things about it when you look at it (seems hot, no jam chance quirk, the meta is soooo last year), but it actually works! Oh yeah and the PPCs are incredible on this thing!

Asym poking is back babyyy, with a dakka twist! You can stick your right side out around a corner and fire before backing off if you want, which will usually net you a nice trade. Or you can stay out for the 3 seconds or however long it takes to fire your PPCs twice and dakka the whole time. And you can hill hump and you can snipe and you can do all sorts of crazy fun stuff! In particular, I love just boring through an assault’s CT because you do it surprisingly fast. Just try not to trade against a line or what have you. For more on playing this sort of build, check out the PPFLD guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: UAC/5 Cooldown, PPC Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This is a bit more meta than the PPCs, but a bit less exciting to me. Still works fine, though!

Weapon Modules: UAC/5 Cooldown, Large Pulse Range

This was the most exciting build when I first looked at the MAD-3R, but…I was really disappointed to be honest. The refire rate isn’t quite fast enough to feel good, the third mount isn’t super high, it’s too easy to strip…everything just kinda adds up. Still worth a go, though.

Weapon Modules: AC/5 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

This build is certainly viable, but is a bit too risky to be a main build – as soon as your armor gets penetrated, you may end up stripped, which sacrifices one of the biggest advantages of the variant (extra structure HP). But the 50% boost to PPC velocity means that the sync up is grand.

Weapon Modules: Gauss Cooldown, ER PPC Cooldown


Build 2:

So, this isn’t the “right” variant to run laser vomit on, so I’m not gonna go into it all that deep, just gonna cover the essentials for this particular build. First essential is to not alpha strike. I mean, if you’re running super cool or whatever, knock yourself out. But in general, your best bet is to stick to 2+2 or 3+1 if you don’t mind the weirdness of the weapon distribution. You’re also looking at a pretty tough, low-mounted, symmetrically-built mech. This kinda means that you don’t want to be just hill-humping or corner-peeking, but it doesn’t force you to rotate. Pretty much all the options are equally unattractive, so really just try to roll with the punches. Other than that…it plays a lot like a laser vomit mech, so check out that guide thingy.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike


Bounty Hunter II

The Bounty Hunter is the natural choice for laser vomit, it just is not quite as good as the competition there. Its biggest asset, as far as quirks go, is the 20% (10+10) bonus to Medium Laser Range, but it also gets 5% energy heat gen. On top of that, there’s the 25% structure boost that most Marauders get, as well as 65% accel/decel, 30% turn rate, and 40% torso twist rate. But its stuck with a 300 engine cap which…isn’t great.

Build 1:

This mech has a few unique things going for it that are worth discussing. First off is how great the 20% Medium Laser range is. It doesn’t sound like much (and well, it’s not gamebreaking or anything), but what this boils down to is that, at over 500 meters, this will do more alpha strike damage than a Black Knight would with an extra Medium Laser. Is it enough to make this mech better than a Black Knight? HELLLLLL naw. But it’s something. And it also has a STD engine, and jumpjets.

This plays like pretty much every other Laser Vomit mech. You move in on the enemy, blast him full power once, maybe twice, maybe even three times, and then maybe you run away because you’re woefully outgunned, and maybe you just keep firing 2 of your Large Pulses because that’s all the heat you can afford. Sometimes, you might be doing some right-side corner-peeking, and sometimes you’ll be involved in a full-on push, but at the end of the day it’s a really simple build that relies on shooting more than the other guy. And for more about such super-in-depth topics, check out the Laser Vomit guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, Large Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This manages to pick up a couple heatsinks, a bigger engine, and an extra jumpjet by dropping endo and picking up an XL. Which is actually pretty good as far as XL versions go. But, it’s not good enough in my opinion, as the risk of the XL is pretty big.

/u/akodoreign gave this a shout on reddit, and it’s alright. Trouble is, it’s weaker and shorter range, but it’s still decent enough. If you can’t take the heat, might be worth a go.

I’m not a huge fan of this particular mix of weapons, but if you wanna pick up some speed, range, and jumpjets…there’s worse ways to do it.

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, Large Laser Range


Build 2:

The Laser Vomit build is, of course, stronger. But this one’s way more fun. There are two actual issues I’ve seen from this build that hold it back from being really good, though. First off is the AC/20 itself. Sometimes you forget how slow those shells go without velocity quirks! I mean, really…super sluggish for all but full-on brawls. The other bit is that…the range does hold you back. The lasers have good range and all, but most of the time the mech is a brawler, and it has trouble in a real brawl.

But you don’t have to be in a real brawl! Your Medium Lasers have an optimal of 350m, your AC/20 is high-mounted, and you’ve got jumpjets damnit! This thing can do work as kind of a pokey sumbitch from around 400 meters without much issue (alphas will still do around 40 damage), but if you do get to close in…it’ll be awesome. You can combine poptarting with corner-peeking, and you’ll be able to win a lot of trades if you can close in.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, AC/20 Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This build straight swaps the AC/20 for a Gauss, which is pretty sweet for the range and heat issues, but sort of risky as far as losing that side torso goes. It’s also a tad slower.

Weapon Modules: Gauss Rifle Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

The ability to load all of your weapons on the right side can be very valuable and the low-heat option of the AC/10 comes in handy, but an XL engine isn’t exactly safe on this mech, and it’s not even a large XL.

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, AC/10 Cooldown



This mech seems a bit like a discount MAD-3R; same basic setup but sacrifices the specialness for jumpjets. Offensively, it gets 5% energy heat gen and 10% laser duration which is…ok, I guess. Defensively it gets 25% extra structure like the others, and in terms of mobility it has 30% accel/decel, 15% turn rate, and 25% torso twist rate.

Build 1:

This is basically one of the secondary builds for the MAD-3R (which you may notice becomes a pattern). You can’t use the PPCs nearly as effectively because it lacks the velocity quirk, but the Large Pulses work great too! And the jumpjet is very useful. You’ll have to be a bit careful with your ammo in this particular build, but it’s not a huge issue once you get a feel for it.

Much like the MAD-3R, you’ll want to play this with a focus on the corner-peeks and hill-humps. You can play it with a focus on quick pokes and trades (just get an alpha out before returning to cover) if you like, but I find it to be more effective if you keep your head out and try to get some real DPS down instead. You can shield pretty hard with your left side if you must, and it does alright in a rotation to the right (though you’re a bit slow), but this is more optimally played in a bit of a sedentary style.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: UAC/5 Cooldown, Large Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This build trades out a bit of duration and damage for extra range, speed, and ammo. It’s actually a pretty sweet deal, because they sync up better with the UACs, but I still prefer the original a bit more.

Weapon Modules: UAC/5 Cooldown, Large Laser Range

This one goes the other way, upping the short-range damage and turning it into a bit of a mid-range skirmisher. I think it’s the weakest, but it’s not bad.

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, UAC/5 Cooldown


Build 2:

As with the MAD-3R, I’m not going to go too deep on this, but it’s worth mentioning. This build’s big problem is the focus on low mounts, but the bonus to duration is quite nice and you can make it work. It’s a bit boring to force this mech into the meta when it doesn’t really belong there, but if you’re having a bad time with the dakka-style builds and are looking for something more…relaxing? This is a good bet. For more on laser vomit, check out the guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

I don’t like XL Marauders in general, and this build in particular has awkward tonnage and armor values, but you get a heatsink and a fair bit of speed.

It’s obviously not the way to go, but the Marauder pulls it off surprisingly well! I think it’s slightly better on the MAD-5D, though.

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown



This is the energy/missile variant and the quirks reflect that pretty well. It’s got 10% energy heat gen (fantastic), 10% missile cooldown, and 10% missile velocity. Defensively, it has the usual 25% structure boost, and it also gets 35% to accel/decel and torso twist speed, and 25% to turn rate.

Build 1:

The hardpoint count for energy weapons is a bit low to boat them like this, but it remains one of the best options. I chose to go with Medium Pulse over mediums on this build because, most of the time I find that I don’t actually want to expose all the way. So, having the Med Pulse over Meds does mean that you lose some range, but if you’re ever forced to be fully exposed, you have more power at your disposal.

With this build, you’re mainly set up to play similarly to the BH2 or Black Knight, fully exposing to get off an alpha (or a few) before returning to cover. There’s a slightly larger emphasis on asym corner-peeking, but that’s more because your weapons on the other side are wimpier, not that the weapons on the main side are stronger. And while the high mount is nice and all, it’s just a single Large Pulse which makes it a bit useless as far as hill-humping is concerned. For the most part, just play like the other IS laser vomit mechs.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This is more of a typical speedy laser vom-er. Trouble is, it doesn’t have quite the firepower to get away with being brutally effective in that playstyle. It still works alright though, and going fast is just more fun than going slow, regardless of survivability issues.

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, Large Pulse Range


Build 2:

Well, it’s sort of a brawler. You usually will be playing this as more of a skirmish style than a full engagement, but your alpha strike gives you the power necessary to cripple mechs quickly in a real brawl. The SRM mounts being decently high helps too; your poptarting isn’t quite there (only one jumpjet on this version), but you can smack opponents hard without fully exposing against a line.

Being a brawler means that you won’t get to shoot as much as your allies for the first bit of the match, but that’s no excuse for laziness! Always be running around looking for a new angle that will let you poke (250m will give you full damage, and you can still leave a dent up to around 400) or pick off an isolated enemy. And you can work on countering enemies that are trying to do the same to your team. Don’t get damaged before you even get to shoot stuff, but it’s too easy to play scared in a brawler, and you can’t carry games like that.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Med Pulse Range, SRM6 Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

It’s not fantastic at either playstyle, but you may find success with this build. Your focus is obviously on corner-peeking most of the game, but if you get pushed on, the SRMs can be incredibly valuable.

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, SRM4 Cooldown

2 missile hardpoints is not enough for a LRM boat. But this build lets you use real weapons too! If you’re riding the heat threshold, stick to the Larges, but the LRMs can give you a bit of extra utility I suppose…mainly if you’re too damaged to poke, though.

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, LRM10 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.

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 MAD-3R and Bounty Hunter II are the only ones I would go out of my way to use, but if you have fun with the others, be my guest.


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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