Armored Core 6: How to beat the CATAPHRACT PCA SP craft boss

 Armored Core 6
Armored Core 6

Most of the bosses you fight throughout Chapter 3 of the Armored Core 6 campaign are mechs like you, but one of the big exceptions to that is the PCA's deadly CATAPHRACT vehicle. This heavy supertank is extremely resilient and capable of dishing out tons of damage, yet is also quite agile. This makes it one of the tougher bosses you'll encounter at this stage of the game.

With that said, the CATAPHRACT is far from unbeatable, and if you challenge it with a good Armored Core build and apply the right tactics, you shouldn't have too much trouble taking it out. Here's a full guide on everything you need to know about the fight with it, including which types of loadouts work best, how to avoid its attacks, what you'll need to do to counter it, and more.

Armored Core 6 CATAPHRACT: Best build, weapons, and loadout

Armored Core 6
Armored Core 6

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There are many different ways you can build your Armored Core in order to deal with the CATAPHRACT effectively, but in our experience, there are two types of builds that stood out as the best.

The first is a medium Armored Core with a long-range shotgun in one hand, a bazooka in the other, and missile launchers on the shoulders. These weapons do excellent burst damage to the MT core at the center of this thickly armored PCA tank, while allowing you to stay a good distance away from it. The medium weight also ensures you'll have solid durability without compromising on your ability to maneuver and avoid incoming attacks.

Alternatively, you can opt for a more heavyweight build that incorporates tetrapod legs, dual bazookas, and dual grenade launchers on the shoulders. By going with a tetrapod build, you can hover in the air for extremely long periods of time, giving you a great angle to pound the CATAPHRACT with your heavy weapons whenever it faces you. With this setup, you'll enjoy greater durability and firepower, but will have to be more patient in the second half of the fight since the CATAPHRACT won't willingly show its weak point as much as it does in the first phase.

Both of these builds can dodge the tank's weapons equally well, so regardless of which one you opt to use, you'll be fine as long as you have good positioning and boost in the right direction (more on that below).

For your Expansion, we suggest using Pulse Armor. It'll come in handy over the course of the fight, as the shield it creates when activated can help mitigate the chip damage you'll be taking from the CATAPHRACT's various weapons.

Armored Core 6 boss guide: How to beat the CATAPHRACT

Armored Core 6
Armored Core 6

The CATAPHRACT may seem like an invincible juggernaut of a tank, but once you get the hang of targeting its weak spot, you'll realize just how vulnerable it is. Here's a full rundown of the fight with it.

  • Throughout the fight, the CATAPHRACT will fire streams of machinegun fire and vertical missiles at you. You can avoid the former with simple lateral movement while hovering, while the latter are best dodged with Quick Boosts to the side.

  • Your warning indicators will pop up whenever it's about to shoot a spread of lasers; avoid them by hovering and Quick Boosting backwards. Taking advantage of the fact the tank is grounded is the best way to ensure they miss, as the upward angle it has to fire at when you're airborne makes them easier to dodge.

  • Shoot at the exposed MT core on the tank's front whenever you can; its stagger meter will build up very quickly. Once you've momentarily disabled the CATAPHRACT, blast the MT core with whatever weapons you have loaded for huge damage.

  • When you land to recharge your EN, the boss may attempt to ram you. You can dodge this by Quick Boosting to the side, or by using Assault Boost to do so if the tank's charge was initiated at a closer range.

Armored Core 6
Armored Core 6
  • Around 50% health, the CATAPHRACT will switch up its tactics and become more evasive, making it harder to get an angle on the MT core. At this point, you simply have to be focus on avoiding its attacks.

  • Above all else, be patient here. Getting overly aggressive can lead to you being grounded without EN, making it extremely easy for the boss to hit you with its lasers. You'll get your opportunities to do damage, don't worry.

  • The boss also gains a new attack in this phase: a massive laser beam. Watch out for a glowing ball of charging blue energy from its laser cannon to identify when it's coming, and Assault Boost to the side to avoid the blast.

  • Try to keep the CATAPHRACT in medium range in phase two. It will use its laser spread attack more often in phase two, and the farther away you are, the less of a chance there is that it will hit you.

Armored Core 6
Armored Core 6

Keep dodging those lasers while laying into the CATAPHRACT's MT core every chance you get, and you'll eventually turn the PCA's supertank into a smoldering husk. Congratulations — you've taken out one of the PCA's fiercest weapons, giving mercenaries like you and the corporations that employ you more room to operate while weakening its stranglehold on Rubicon.

Armored Core 6 is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, PS5, and PS4. It's one of the best Xbox games and best PC games of 2023, and we can't recommend it enough.

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The long-awaited reboot of FromSoftware's mecha action series is finally here, and it's an absolute triumph. Between its exhilarating combat systems, intriguing story, and excellent presentation, Armored Core 6 is undoubtedly one of the best games of the year.

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