Armored Core 6 first boss: How to beat the HC Helicopter

Armored Core 6
(Image credit: Windows Central)

While the vast majority of the enemies you'll come across in Armored Core 6's opening mission are easy pickings, the HC Helicopter boss you fight at the end of it is a much different story. This massive thickly armored aircraft will quickly blow you to pieces if you don't approach it the right way, but once you do, you won't have too much trouble taking it down.

In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about the HC Helicopter and how to beat it. This includes an overview of its attacks, details about its combat behaviors, the best way to avoid taking too much damage while maximizing your own, and more.

Armored Core 6 boss guide: HC Helicopter

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Here's what you need to know about the HC Helicopter boss fight in Armored Core 6 so that you can approach it with the right tactics and mindset. Note that you're stuck with the rifle, energy blade, and missile launcher you start the game with for this fight, so we won't be giving any loadout advice here.

  • Take advantage of the HC Helicopter's scripted entrance to get in free damage. When the aircraft flies in, it will stay in place for a few seconds before beginning to fight you. Hit it with some bullets, missiles, and a charged melee attack while it's in this state.
  • Primarily, the boss attacks you by firing streams of machinegun fire. You can avoid it by going airborne and moving laterally, which will throw off the craft's tracking.
  • When you see red squares and hear warning beeps, missiles will be fired at you shortly after. These have a wide area-of-effect and hit very hard, but like the machinegun fire, they can be dodged by going airborne and strafing around. Don't forget to use your evasive dash, too.
  • When you need to land for a few seconds to regain your energy, use the large structures around the arena as cover. These will block the attacks from the boss, ensuring you don't take unnecessary damage when you're on the ground.
  • Constantly pepper the boss with bullets and missiles. This will chip its health down and build up lots of stagger, which you can then capitalize on with energy blade attacks.
  • The boss is unable to hit you when you're right next to it, so try and fly into close range. It will periodically attempt to fly away, but you can chase it easily with your boosters.
  • At this range, make sure you hit the boss with your energy blade melees. These do a ton of damage and build up a ton of stagger.
  • When the boss staggers, it will hover in place unable to move or attack for several seconds. Take this opportunity to hit it with everything you have, especially a charged energy blade swing if you can.

Keep up the pressure with your bullets and missiles while evasively avoiding the HC Helicopter's machinegun and rocket fire, and you'll eventually take down the deadly aircraft. Scoring big hits with your energy blade as much as you can is key if you want to end the fight quickly, so be aggressive and don't be afraid to get up close and personal with the boss.

Congratulations — you've defeated Armored Core 6's first boss! Plenty of tougher encounters are on the horizon, but for now, pilot, bask in the glory of your victory before you continue your fight on Rubicon 3.

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.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

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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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.