Highlights Armored Core 6 features challenging bosses that demand players to be skilled and strategic, knowing their loadouts and reflexes. The SMART CLEANER, AH12: HC Helicopter, and IA-13: SEA SPIDER are some of the hardest bosses in the game, each with their own unique attacks and weaknesses.
Armored Core 6 continues the From Software tradition of introducing players to a slew of challenging bosses as they progress through the game. Unlike their other titles where everything is mostly grounded and has ebbs and flows, Armored Core 6’s combat is always frantic and demands players to know their loadouts and have their reflexes on point at all times.
But even with above-average reaction times, these bosses have players seeing the Mission Failed screen more times than any other enemy in the game. From hulking damage sponges that hit like a truck to extremely speedy murder machines that rain down tons of laser beam death, these are the hardest bosses in Armored Core 6:8 EC-0804 SMART CLEANER
Encountered in Chapter 2, the SMART CLEANER is a souped-up version of the Juggernaut during the Operation Wall Climber mission. This boss fight sees players pelting away at a gigantic moving furnace that’s brandishing two industrial-grade ground mulchers that can take out humongous chunks of AP if it manages to land its sweeping strikes.
Taking out the SMART CLEANER is similar to the Juggernaut, and there lies the tricky bit. Players shouldn’t take this boss fight lightly because its attacks, while on the slower side, can deal significant damage. Its sluggish movement might lull players into a false sense of security and lead players to toy with it, but it is best to take it out as quickly as possible: its weaknesses are the aforementioned furnace part on its back, and its front head area.7 AH12: HC Helicopter
The first mission in Armored Core 6 has players get accustomed to how piloting an AC works in the game. But once they reach the area for the last AC License, players are greeted with the AH12: HC Helicopter.
Prior to this entry boss, the opponents players encounter are extremely easy to take out. The HC Helicopter, on the other hand, escalates the difficulty spike tenfold: players need to get acclimated with the locking system as well as how to maneuver their AC to avoid machine gun attacks. Meanwhile, they also need to make do with the available weapons they have: a shoulder-mounted missile launcher, a semi-automatic rifle, and the Pulse Blade.
Given that ammunition is limited in the game, players are also taught how to manage their ammo and approach the Helicopter with a balanced attack of melee swings and ranged assaults. Doing these will eventually whittle down the Helicopter’s Attitude Stability and leave it open for direct hits.6 IA-13: SEA SPIDER
Chapter 2 in Armored Core 6 is a relatively quick one to complete. However, to reach the next chapter, players need to contend with the IA-13: SEA SPIDER. Getting to this boss fight is a difficult trial on its own, and this encounter is another hard one that will test how well players have fine-tuned their respective ACs.
The SEA SPIDER’s attacks are a mix of lasers and lunging attacks that see it slam the ground with red energy. Players who get hit with the SEA SPIDER’s lunging attack will receive terrible damage to their AP. Getting bombarded with its vertical lasers will not only deal damage but also fill up players’ Attitude Control System (ACS), eventually leaving them staggered and open to its laser beam attacks. What makes this fight a truly frustrating one is that the SEA SPIDER’s attack pattern is erratic: one minute it’s hell-bent on getting up close and personal, and the next minute it’s resorted to firing its laser weapons with reckless abandon.
Eventually, its second phase sees it suddenly use its legs to hover and unleash more laser beams that deal a good amount of damage. This culminates in a huge laser blast that can one-shot players who are too close to its radius.5 NIGHTFALL RAVEN
Encountered during Chapter 3, when players choose to Defend the Old Spaceport. As the name suggests, this RAVEN is the AC Pilot who owns the callsign the players acquired during the first mission in Armored Core 6.
This fight is a test of how well players have tuned their ACs and whether they have mastered how to pilot and maximize their loadout. NIGHTFALL RAVEN mixes mid-range attacks with its Pile Bunker to devastating effect if it manages to stagger players’ ACs. Players have to match NIGHTFALL RAVEN’s aggressive tendencies to take out its AP before it does its damaging strikes.
Adding to this already challenging fight is that since NIGHTFALL RAVEN is an AC, it can replenish its health via Recovery Kits just like the player. It will use its Repair Kits when its AP is low, further prolonging the battle.
As far as early level bosses are concerned, BALTEUS is one of the hardest bosses in Armored Core 6 that players will encounter. Part of the reason why this battle is an extremely difficult one is the fact that this fight comes right after a mini-boss fight en route to the conclusion of Chapter 1.
During the fight itself, BALTEUS sports a pulse shield that needs to be destroyed before players can work on taking down its ACS which, in turn, will leave it susceptible to more damage from direct hits. This is easier said than done, however, since BALTEUS is constantly jetting away from the player, and has the tendency to unleash countless heat-seeking missiles that will blow away ACs that aren’t fast enough to dodge them or close the distance and continue their assault.
Its second phase sees it utilize flamethrower swipes to deal massive damage if it manages to land its hits on players. This boss fight is a litmus test for players to check how well they can manage their weapon usage as well as their Energy Load for Quick Boosting to either close in on BALTEUS or evade its highly damaging attacks.3 IA-02: ICE WORM
One of the bigger automatons players have to bring down, the IA-02: ICE WORM is a mammoth of a boss that is seemingly impenetrable due to its massive armored frame. Players will encounter the ICE WORM in the Central Ice Field, and its attacks are what anyone would expect for a giant worm that has huge drills for a mouth.
The ICE WORM will burrow into the ground and breach to dive onto the players’ AC for massive damage, which is why constant movement is key. It will also deploy heat-seeking missiles in between its breaches to further make the encounter a difficult one. While its body is indeed immune to damage thanks to its bulk and its pulse armor, its one weakness is its mouth: shooting at its mouth deals significant damage to it, and enough attacks can eventually stagger it.
This boss fight is a test of patience for players since they need to wait until the boss emerges and aim for its mouth while at the same time making sure that they won’t get squashed by the multi-ton behemoth hurtling toward them.2 IB-01: CEL 240
Encountered at the end of Chapter 4, CEL 240 is an extremely fast AC that also utilizes beam weapons to lay waste against opposing ACs that dare to challenge it in combat. At times, CEL 240 seems to be impossible to hit due to its incredible agility: it can both dodge attacks and hit players with its assortment of energy-powered weapons to quickly end the encounter.
What makes this fight even more frustrating is that CEL 240 has two health bars: once players manage to take it down the first time, it will reconstitute itself and be more aggressive with its strike patterns as it endeavors to blow up the player. Much like other From Software bosses, recognizing CEL 240’s attacks is essential to besting this boss: players need to note which attacks leave it open, even if it’s only a small one, and choose which weapon can deal the most damage.1 AAP07A ARQUEBUS BALTEUS
Just when players thought that they wouldn’t be seeing BALTEUS anytime soon, it reappears as a more powerful version thanks to the addition of Arquebus’ technology. This encounter is more of a battle of attrition since ARQUEBUS BALTEUS has beefier armor to go with its pulse and laser beam weaponry. Aside from its upgraded loadout, it still retains its annoyingly quick movement which it will capitalize on to get some distance away from players and shoot them from afar.
ACs that do not have bulky frames can get easily shot down by ARQUEBUS BALTEUS’ arsenal: opting for an AC that has a ton of AP can help take the brunt of the damage this boss can dish out. Of course, it is still better to evade its attacks whenever possible, but the sheer bullet hell this boss can unleash can become insurmountable at times.
Armored Core 6 is available for PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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