Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is shaping up to be the biggest game in the series, both from a scale and popularity standpoint. And while it’s going back to its roots in some ways, it’s embracing the new in others. In the ten years since the last game, developer FromSoftware has made a name for itself creating masterpiece after absolute masterpiece with the Soulsborne series and, most recently, the smash hit Elden Ring. Every entry in the franchise has had a player-vs-player (PvP) element, and while they aren’t known for their esports readiness nor their quality online connections, they’ve still built a dedicated community of players ready to smack each other around. The Armored Core series is no stranger to competitive play, with AC4, For Answer, and especially V and Verdict Day leaning heavily into player vs. player combat. But will AC6 PvP be the generation-defining experience fans have been waiting for? It’s complicated.
Does Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon Have PvP?
In short, yes, Armored Core 6 has a PvP element, but it’s unlike what fans of the Soulsborne series are familiar with. Rather than open areas where another player could appear at any moment, in AC6, PvP is 1v1 or 3v3 in bespoke arenas made specifically for the mode. You’re free to bring any kind of kitted-out mech that actually functions in the PvE mode (isn’t overweight, is missing parts, etc.), and no strategy is off the table. Any sense of Dark Souls-esque “honor” is out the window. You and I are mercenaries — we kill and destroy for money and reputation, not some outdated set of morals.
As for how the mode will play, based on the gameplay footage we’ve seen so far, Armored Core 6 PvP will likely seeks to strike a balance between the heavy, sometimes clunky mechs of AC2 and 3, and the maniacally fast NEXT mechs of 4, For Answer, and 5. As such, expect a fast pace, but one that still feels like its two or six people piloting giant hunks of steel.
We do have the ability to drift, catapult, and boost around more than in the classic games, and movement is a key focus of the core experience in AC6, so I’d wager arenas will have plenty of inventive ways to get around. That said, the main issue is likely to be technical. There’s been no announcement of dedicated servers for the online, and FromSoftware games are notorious for their janky connections, so enter the ring with that in mind.
You will want to play all the way through the main story campaign before jumping into PvP, however. You won’t have access to almost any of the best mech parts until you’ve progressed at least a few hours into the game, and while scuffed PvP can be fun, you’ll likely be trounced by those with better and more lethal equipment before you can hardly get out of the starting gate.