Survival Tree

The Survival Tree is much simpler than the Firepower Tree, and it’s one of the best ones – almost every mech should invest heavily in the Survival Tree. Usually you’ll even want to nearly max it out, but there are some efficient paths to get a lot out of it without investing too many nodes.

These paths are all predicated on your mech not having AMS; obviously, you can (and probably should) swap those nodes in for the Shock Absorbance nodes if you are running a mech with AMS.

Structure or Armor?

This has been a hot debate, as far as which is worth focusing on in this tree. As it turns out, there is a mathematical answer! I did all the calculations in this table, which you should feel free to check out yourself, but basically it boils down to this: If your mech weighs 80 tons or less, focus on Armor nodes. If it weighs 85 tons or more, focus on Structure nodes. This will maximize the effective HP of your mech. That being said, there are caveats.

  • If the mech weighs 80 tons or less, and the total amount of structure that your mech gains from quirks exceeds a certain threshold as determined by its weight, focus on Structure nodes.
Tonnage 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80
Minimum Structure from Quirks 19 24 27 29 32 33 32 31 29 25 19 13 6
  • If the mech weighs 85 tons or more, and the total amount of armor that your mech gains from quirks exceeds a certain threshold as determined by its weight, focus on Armor nodes.
Tonnage 85 90 95 100
Minimum Armor from Quirks 8 33 66 107
  • If your mech gets armor and structure from quirks, just go with your heart because I ain’t doing that much math.
  • If you don’t care about the bonuses applied to your arms and head, the threshold changes and you’ll want to focus on armor for mechs weighing 85 tons or less rather than 80.
  • If you’re using Gauss Rifles, the extra risk of being crit means that you should focus more on armor.

Why Not Both?

In many cases, a mix of Structure and Armor nodes will give you the most efficient path, and I’ll provide a few sample paths with varying levels of investment for a hybridized solution. But about half the time, the gap between efficiency of these nodes results in me strongly encourage focusing on one or the other. The sweet spots:

  • Focus on Armor: 25-60 tons
  • Focus on Structure: 100 tons
  • Hybridize: 20 tons, 65-95 tons

Regardless of sweet spots, it’s still usually a good idea to invest heavily in both of these main aspects of the Survival Tree, so you may want to consider skipping the Budget paths altogether (though I’ll include them anyways).


  • Goal node: Armor Hardening
  • High-Priority node: Skeletal Density
  • Low-Priority node: Reinforced Casing
Budget Path (16 nodes) Middling Path (26 nodes) All-In Path (29 nodes)



  • Goal node: Skeletal Density
  • High-Priority node: Reinforced Casing
  • Low-Priority node: Armor Hardening
Budget Path (16 nodes) Middling Path (20 nodes) All-In Path (29 nodes)



  • High-Priority node: Armor Hardening, Skeletal Density
  • Low-Priority node: Reinforced Casing
Budget Path (11 nodes) Middling Path (23 nodes) All-In Path (32 nodes)


Other Skill Trees