Gauss Rifles are among the most deadly ballistic weapons any unit can carry. Capable of dealing heavy damage at long range they are well suited for both assault and long range fire support roles.
The Gauss Rifle works by propelling a projectile through the barrel using a series of powerful magnets rather than chemical propellants. This process enables the round to reach astonishing velocities while producing very little waste heat, giving the weapon its impressive maximum range and high burst damage. Currently there are four Gauss weapons deployed by the Inner Sphere: the LtGauss (light), the Gauss, the HGauss (heavy) and the IHGauss (improved heavy). In contrast the Clan only field one version, the CGauss (clan).
Similar to Standard AutoCannons and Ultra AutoCannons, Gauss Rifles can reach targets slightly beyond their listed range. Because of the high speed of the fired round it is actually easier to strike targets at long range with a Gauss Rifle than similarly ranged AutoCannons, both because of the shorter delay between firing and the round striking the target and also because there is little noticeable drop in the round trajectory.
|Weapon||Max Range|| Dmg Drop
| Dmg Drop
| Hit Damage
| Ammo cost|
|Air LtGauss||1255m||---||---||700||Heavy Kinetic||13||---||176||3300||11||16||1000|
|All stats are current as of release 0.14.4|
Gameplay & Hints
All Gauss rifle projectiles deal Heavy Kinetic damage, which does extra damage against Air units, making the Gauss rifles very potent anti-aircraft weapons in spite of their slow rate-of-fire and high skill-cap since a single hit will heavily damage most aircraft.
A smaller version of the Gauss, the Light Gauss Rifle is portable enough that even light units, such as the Osiris E can carry one. It maintains the longest range of any Gauss Rifle, though this comes at a significant reduction to its damage potential. Despite a loss of hitting power, the Light Gauss can fire its smaller rounds faster, farther and with greater accuracy than a standard Gauss Rifle — factors that combine for a much-improved effective range.
A note on the Air Light Gauss Rifle: It does not require the short spin up time that other Air Gauss weapons do. Despite this, pilots are still advised to give their targets a significant lead when shooting at long range as even Light Gauss slugs have travel time.
The "basic" Gauss Rifle. It combines good burst damage and high range with almost no heat production into a weapon that is solid in every regard. The Clan version differs little from the Inner Sphere counterpart, having only slightly increased heat production.
A note on both the Inner Sphere and Clan Air Gauss Rifles: They require a short spin up time before the Gauss slug actually leaves the barrel. Pilots are advised to give their targets a significant lead.
The Heavy Gauss is one of the most powerful weapons capable of being mounted upon a BattleMech, dealing almost double the damage of the normal Gauss on close range. Of all the Gauss Rifles, its projectile travels the slowest. In addition the weapon's damage falls off significantly outside of 450 meters, making the HGauss most effective in close quarters. The main drawback of the HGauss is its ammunition limitations, being able to carry only 6 rounds per ton.
The Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle took the Heavy Gauss Rifle, and altered the ballistic properties of the projectile, resulting in a lower maximum damage, but removed the damage falloff associated with the original model, allowing it to inflict consistent damage at all ranges.
The first Gauss Rifle was introduced in 2590 by the Terran Hegemony, and despite its age has remained the standard all other weapons are measured against. While the Inner Sphere lost the technology in 2865 during the Succession Wars, the Clans were only able to make moderate improvements upon the weapon; reducing both bulk and weight. The Inner Sphere was only able to place the Gauss Rifle back in general deployment in 3040, just in time for the Clan Invasion.
The LtGauss was developed by the Free Worlds League in an effort to duplicate the lighter, more compact Clan Gauss Rifle. Although they succeeded in producing a weapon equal in mass to the CGauss it was only able to fire shells half as large, resulting in roughly half the damage. The up side, however, was that these rounds were fired at very high speeds, enabling accurate targeting at longer ranges.
It wasn't until 3061 that the HGauss was developed by the Lyran Alliance. With their love of powerful guns the Lyrans sought to not only close the technology gap with the Clans, but to surpass them. Although the final weapon was quite bulky and creates too much structural strain when fired to be mounted outside of the torso, the HGauss succeeded in this goal. Unfortunately the velocity of the round dropped off significantly after being fired, requiring short range for maximum effectiveness. In addition the weapon was powerful enough that when fired from an unbraced bipedal 'Mech the whole unit was destabilized and risked making it fall down.
Work on the Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle began in 3061 after the Heavy Gauss Rifle entered production. Though the Heavy Gauss Rifle was mostly effective, engineers thought they could improve the ballistic performance of the projectile. This would lead to a more consistent damage profile, making the Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle effective at all ranges. After four years of work, the engineers had created a weapon that occupied the same amount of space as the Heavy Gauss Rifle but was able to inflict consistent damage at all ranges.
The following assets equip Gauss Rifles:
|Asset||Type||Faction||Tons||LtGauss||(c)Gauss||HGauss||iHGauss||Air LtGauss||Air Gauss||Air HGauss||Air iHGauss|
|All stats are current as of release 0.14.4|