Here’s How to Take Down Balteus in Armored Core 6
Time for a skill check.
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon is a FromSoftware game through and through, right down to the tough-as-nails boss fights that stop you in your track. While Chapter 1 has a few tough fights, none of them hold a candle to Balteus, a hulking mech that’ll stop you in your tracks with its missiles and flamethrowers.
This boss can easily be a roadblock that stops your progress for hours, which is why we’re here to provide you with some tips on how to get through it more easily. Keep in mind that you’ll likely be taking on Balteus multiple times, no matter how much guidance you have, so don’t get discouraged. Here’s how to beat Balteus in Armored Core VI.
Best Armored Core Build For Balteus
The main thing to keep in mind with Balteus is that so many of his attacks hit fast or have homing capabilities, so you’ll need a build that can match that speed. You’ll absolutely want to go for a lighter and faster build, and be on the move constantly during the battle, You also need to have weapons that can hit quickly and do lots of damage. The first time through the game your options are going to be quite limited, but on subsequent playthroughs, Balteus will be much easier.
For your AC parts you can get away with almost anything, just focus on Boost Speed and having a light overall weight. Weapons, on the other hand, are much more important. On our first playthrough, here’s what we went with.
- R-Arm: VVC-760PR Plasma Rifle
- L-Arm: HI-32 Pulse Blade
- R-Shoulder: BML-G1 Homing Rockets
- L-Shoulder: Vvc079VPM Plasma Rockets
For the shoulder weapons you absolutely want weapons that have homing capabilities, as Balteus is too fast and having to stop to fire a weapon could spell your doom. We went with the basic rockets on the right and the vertical plasma rockets on the left, because they pack a punch on Balteus’ shields and the delay can help them hit better.
For your main weapon, the Plasma Rifle is a great option because of its high damage and firing speed. It’s a great way to damage Balteus after dropping his shield, but you can also swap it out for a Laser Pistol or Machine Gun if you want.
The Pulse Blade is definitely a deliberate choice, as Balteus’ moveset has a couple of points where you can swoop in with a blade strike. The blade also causes huge damage if you hit Balteu’s right after he’s staggered. If you’d rather stay ranged the entire time, however, you could swap it out for a Pulse Gun. These will drop Balteus’ shield incredibly fast, opening him up to damage much more often.
Balteus Phase 1
The second the battle begins Balteus will fire off a huge wave of tracking missiles at you. The easiest way to avoid this is to simply use Assault Boost to charge straight at Balteus, then hit him with a Pulse Blade strike and back off behind the boss. In fact, any time Balteus uses a missile attack like this, the best way to avoid it is to charge straight at him. The missiles have a hard time tracking you when you do this, and even though you might get hit by a few random ones, you’ll avoid most of them by and large.
Verticality is your best friend with Balteus, as many of his attacks have a hard time hitting if you keep changing elevation. Again, constantly keep on the move and constantly keep jumping up and down, which should help you avoid most attacks.
In addition to the missile barrage, which has a vertical and horizontal version, here are the attacks you’ll want to watch out for in Phase 1.
- Missile Burst - Outside of the cluster missiles, Balteus will often shoot out a little burst of a few missiles. These are typically easy to evade with a quick boost.
- Machine Gun - At mid-range Balteus will spray you with a quick machine gun blast. It doesn’t do a ton of damage, but try and avoid it if you can. (Another reason to not stand still.)
- Shoulder Grenade - Balteus has a highly damaging grenade launcher that moves surprisingly fast. The telltale sign for this is a quick lock-on alert as the boss jumps into the air, with a targeting reticle appearing on its shoulder. When this happens you have about five seconds to get ready to dodge out of the way.
- Shotgun - Balteus has a devastating shotgun blast that it uses if you spend too much time in close. This is why mid-range is always a good bet, except for when you dash in to get a Pulse Blade hit, and dash back out. If you are in close, make sure to keep strafing around the boss to avoid the shotgun.
While you’ll want to pepper the boss with ranged attacks at all times, your best bet for a Pulse Blade hit is right after a cluster missile, or when the boss boosts away from you around the battlefield if you can get there in time. Of course, whenever you pop Balteus’ barrier it’ll be stunned for a few seconds, so make sure to get a hit in then.
At roughly fifty percent health and with its barrier down, Balteus will use a massive shockwave attack to re-establish its barrier. You’ll know this is happening as the boss stops and electricity starts charging around it. You have roughly 5-10 seconds to get out of the blast radius, so instantly dodge away. Now the second phase starts.
Balteus Phase 2
The second phase of this fight is even more challenging than the first, as Balteus can use all of its previous attacks and a selection of deadly new ones. The key difference with this phase is that Balteus starts moving in for close-range attacks with a flamethrower, that can take out over half your health in one hit. You need to avoid the flamethrower attacks at all costs, and be much more careful about when you use your Pulse Blade. Here are the attacks to watch out for.
- Flaming Sword (Horizontal and Vertical) - With this attack Balteus lights a massive flaming sword and charges straight at you with a single swing. It’s important to keep in mind that there are two versions, one that swipes horizontally and one vertically. It’s important to watch for which angle Balteus is going for, as you’ll need to dodge a different way for each. A good option for dodging this attack, in general, is to jump and gain as much height as you possibly can, as soon as you see the boss launching it.
- Flamethrower - Balteus will jump into the air and spray the ground with a huge blast of flames. This has a fairly long tell so it’s easy to dodge, but also see this attack as an opportunity to cause damage. If you jump and dodge you can quickly fly in for a Pulse Blade attack, then boost back out and keep peppering with ranged attacks.
- Dual Flame Swords - For this attack Balteus will conjure a flame sword in each hand, then execute a wide slash that brings them together. This covers a huge area so it’s almost impossible to avoid on land. Your best bet is jumping high enough to avoid it.
Again, staying in the air and constantly jumping is your best friend in this battle. Don’t ever stand still, and make sure to only use your Pulse Blade when Balteus stops for the Flamethrower attack, or when it’s staggered/barrier is broken. The second phase is more about dodging attacks and whittling the boss’ health down, so just stick with it.