Armored Core 6 Balteus boss guide: How to beat the Watchpoint boss

Armored Core 6 gameplay
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

If you've just died to Balteus and are looking for a guide to the last boss of Armored Core 6 chapter 1, I know what you're probably thinking: man, that was a lot of missiles. It was a lot of missiles. Balteus moves fast, has a tough shield, and fires missile volleys that even the bosses in bullet hell shmups would be envious of. It's a tough fight the first time you take it on, but luckily the right AC build makes Balteus much, much easier to handle.

Here's how to build your AC to take down Balteus, and a guide to recognizing and avoiding this Armored Core 6 boss's most dangerous moves. 

Best AC build for Balteus

(Image credit: FromSoftware)
  • Right arm weapon: Pulse gun
  • Left arm weapon: Plasma blade
  • Back weapons: Missile launchers
  • Legs: Bipedal
  • Booster: Prioritize Quick boost
  • Arms, Core: Prioritize AP

The most important part for this fight is your right hand weapon: the pulse gun. While it doesn't have much range and quickly overheats, this weapon is purpose built for taking down shields like Balteus's. Your goal is to get in close and use this weapon to drain the shield, then unload with the rest of your damage.

In this build I've gone for a straightforward pair of bipedal legs, with other basic parts like the arms and core prioritizing AP, aka your mech's hit points. While you don't want to sacrifice too much speed, you're inevitably going to take some hits in this fight, and a bit of extra health is a nice cushion. Balteus is fairly easy to hit with missiles, but if you have an alternate shoulder weapon you prefer, give it a shot.

How to beat Balteus, Attack the Watchpoint's boss

Boss attacks to watch for 

  • Balteus will launch a volley of dozens of missiles at you; while it's tempting to use this opening to get in a melee attack, the missiles have tracking and will likely hit you during the attack animation. Focus on quick boosting out of the way before the missiles make contact
  • When Balteus reaches about 40% health, it'll recharge it shield in a huge, damaging burst—get far away to avoid taking damage
  • Directly after that shield recharge, Balteus will launch into a set of sweeping flamethrower attacks that do major damage. Be ready to quick boost away from them
  • Balteus has one other dangerous attacks, a high damage cannon—watch for it firing right after Balteus has shifted positions

Quick strategy tips 

  • This fight is all about your pulse gun: Get in close and use it to take down Balteus's shield. Missiles or a blade slash can help seal the deal, but you'll want to save some damage for just after the shield drops and Balteus is vulnerable
  • Assault boost into an plasma blade combo as soon as Balteus's shield drops for maximum damage
  • When Balteus's health hits 40%, back off and focus on dodging his flame attacks—this is the most dangerous bit of the fight

Balteus makes a scary first impression. With a little practice its missile volleys are easy to dodge without taking more than a few glancing blows, but when you do get caught in one, hoo boy do you get rocked. The key to this boss is using the pulse gun, a weapon you probably haven't bought or spent much time with before this fight. It's actually cleverly telegraphed earlier in the mission: the mercenary you fight just before Balteus is wielding a pulse gun himself. I won't say the pulse gun trivializes this battle, but it makes a huge difference.

Use your pulse gun at close range to absolutely chew through Balteus's shield. As soon as it pops, Balteus will be staggered, which is your cue to Assault Boost in with a pulse blade attack. Fire your missiles as quickly as they come off cooldown and get in as much damage as you can while Balteus is staggered. Then back off, make sure your boost meter is recharge, and watch for Balteus's cannon attack or a massive missile volley.

After Balteus's health drops to 40%, be on the lookout for those flamethrower attacks. Avoiding those is your top priority, but otherwise the strategy here doesn't change: keep using your pulse gun to drop that shield and then get in some damage. Balteus will go down quick.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).