MechWarrior 3

aka: MW3
(prices updated 9/19 12:44 AM )

Description official descriptions

The Inner Sphere is launching a counterattack on the Clans, and the Smoke Jaguars is the first target! Operation Democles will attack the planet Tranquil. As Connor Sinclair, you're leading the Democles Commando team lance, part of the Eridani Light Horse, on the attack. The op went terribly wrong when one of the two drop ships was hit during descent, and your lancemates have been scattered to the four winds in the frenzied drop. You must attack through Clan territory, meet up with your lancemates, remove any resistance in your path, and try to find a way off the planet, while also accomplishing what you came to do: destroy the Smoke Jaguars!

MechWarrior 3 features detailed mechs (they limp when legs are hit, and destroyed limbs spark and trail wreckage) with slow and ponderous movements, as 100 ton mechs should. Firepower and precise application are the key in winning your engagements. Plenty of mechs are available. You start in a 55-ton Bushwhacker and work you way up to the really heavy stuff in a 20-mission campaign. Full multiplayer is supported with Internet play at Microsoft Zone. Your MFB has limited capacity so you'll need to decide what supplies to keep or dump for your salvage. You'll need to track ammo, weapons, equipment (like heatsinks), and the mechs. Keep the MFB safe or you'll have even less room! Redesign mechs to utilize newly captured weapons or adapt to the changing ammo situation.


  • 机甲战士3 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

163 People (131 developers, 32 thanks) · View all

Assistant Producer
Game Design
Executive Producer
Story Line
Script Writing
Additional Script Writing
Project Management
Art Director
Design Lead
[ full credits ]



Average score: 86% (based on 31 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 41 ratings with 10 reviews)

Bigger, but not that much better.

The Good
Good graphics, decent net connectivity, plenty of weapons and mechs, good briefing videos, good mech design interface, good missions (those that are there).

The Bad
Horrendous AI (you can snipe at enemy and they don't chase you). AI relies on triggers, so if you avoid the trigger, nothing happens. Horrendous interface to manage MFB inventory, nothing's sorted. Too few maps, too few missions (only 20). No mission editor, no mission saves. Inability to export/import the custom mech configs to share with others.

The Bottom Line
MW3 is better than Mechwarrior 2, but it's merely an evolutionary step forward. The story is less grand (you're just a grunt raiding the Clans), and game mechanics are nearly identical. The ability to gain salvage is fine, but the interface to manage the salvage is horrendous. The rest of the game is filled with "could have been better" things like that. If they had just spent a bit more time on it... It's worth playing, sure, but it could have been much better.

Windows · by Kasey Chang (4601) · 2000

A pretty good Mechwarrior game.

The Good
First of all, when I put the game in, I was blown away by the graphics. They are still pretty good today. Very realistic Mech responses make the game even better.(Shoot a mech in the leg, it will limp). The gameplay also is very good. You can twist your torso,and target indiviual parts. The mech customization is also very good. The sound is crisp and solid.

The Bad
The AI is where this game really stumbles. If you stay far enough away, you can bombard them with missles from extreme long range and all they do is continue their normal behavior. Some bugs also make the game less fun. Aside from the classic " fall through the ground", (very rare) every time I load a certain mission, the game crashes.

The Bottom Line
A solid game with excellent grapics and terrific sound. It has every thing a great game needs except good AI. The AI is very poor. If you are a fan of Mechwarrior, then this is a must have. If you are not, this is merely an average game.

Windows · by James Kirk (150) · 2003

Hits the target like a salvo of Clan Streak SRM-20

The Good
Right from the opening cinematic you can tell that playing this game will be like opening one extra large can of whoop ass...the fighting is explosive, with huge war machines going at it with missles, lasers, and cannons.

The mission variety is pretty good...Yes, it has its share of the regular old "eliminate all threats in the area", but some missions are refreshing, and the salvage system keeps you on your toes and attentive to where you are hitting.

The visual and audio effects are stunning...hit a mech with a PPC, and that part will be faintly glow blue for a while, shoot a limb off of a mech and you can see wires hanging out of the mech...Explosions are beautifully rendered, and missiles leave realistic smoke trails...the battle chatter from the radio makes you feel like you are actually sitting inside of a mech, and the sound effects and music really immerses you in the game...

Heat management has been drastically improved and adds to the strategy...You can flush your coolant, and fire from water to keep your heat from rising too quickly...the MFB's are a nice touch as well...reloading ammo, coolant or refitting damaged parts have never been easier...

The weapon variety and balance have made the game very challenging multiplayer wise...everything has its use (except for the flamer...I have no idea why they keep putting it in the game everytime when no one uses the damn thing), and the accessories like AMS, narc beacons and the targeting computer fill the battle with new tactics and surprises...

The mission briefing is the best in the business, period...while the mission data is loading, you can already be planning your moves, as the tactical map is right on the screen...flyby drones and your mission coordinator makes the planning stage a snap by providing you with usefull information such as enemy placement...

Your lancemates, are quite helpful, as opposed to most other teammate AI in the gaming business. They are quite capable of keeping themselves in one piece, and enemies off your back while you go for a quick reload in the MFB...granted, they are not as good as humans, but if you give them the right orders, they will bring in their share of the kills...

The Bad
The game has a serious location damage problem...anyone can strap on some autocannons and win by blowing off people's legs. This creates the extremely unrealistic scenario of an assualt mech getting the crap blown out of it in one alpha strike to the leg by a wimpy little light mech with autocannons...that however, can be circumvented if all players agree to hit "above the belt"...

Jumping has some serious disadvantages...Although it looked pretty cool in the cinematic...Death From Above was such supposed to be a kick ass move, but most people only end up using jump jets defensively, to avoid missiles. I think the developers should have put more into jumping and make it a lot more powerful than it is...

The campaign is totally linear...If you screw up, you gotta play it over and over and over and over...maybe players could decide to move on, with some penalties of course, like more enemies next round...but having a total linear campaign turns many gamers off...Also maybe if players can choose to play the Clanner side...that would increase the playability of the game by leaps and bounds as well as let the players get into some clan mechs that they weren't able to salvage...

Lancemate commands can be improved and more specifics should be added in, like "attack from far range with ER laser", or "conserve ammo," or "automatically rendezvous with MFB when all parts are in/past condition yellow"...this could add much more depth into the game, and you as a lancemate can execute better missions...

The Bottom Line
Mech fighting at it's best...there is so much action that the FPS fan in me really got into this kind of gaming...FASA has a real winner on its hands, and for those of you who are into "bigger is better," MechWarrior 3 has bigger guns, bigger mechs, and gives you a bigger bang for your buck than the any Earth/Starsiege game or any other Mechwarriors in the series...

Windows · by MadCat (53) · 2000

[ View all 10 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Need Help configuring... Bob Bob Jul 16th, 2013


German version

The German version of the game has been censored: Foot soldiers disappear as soon as one aims at them or one is in an position to smash them with the mechs' legs.


This game has its own unique style and is, in some places, technically superior to MechWarrior 4: Vengeance. For instance, MechWarrior 3 features landscape mesh transform when you hit the terrain with a weapon. This means that you don't just leave a char mark, the terrain actually changes when you strike. MW4 leaves a decal and that's it. The decal then fades or disappears suddenly after a period of time. In MechWarrior 3, if you leave a crater, it's there until you leave the map.

OEM release

MechWarrior 3 was the bundled software that came with the second production run of the Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro 1.0 joystick. The first release was bundled with Urban Assault.

Rights and development

Activision was unable to develop a sequel to MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat after the FASA Corporation, the creators and then-owners of the BattleTech universe, refused to renew the licensing contract after the delays and troubled development of the game, despite its subsequent success. However, this did not prevent Activision from creating and patching the two expansion packs, Ghost Bear's Legacy and Mercenaries.

Initially, development on MechWarrior 3 was influenced by another 3D BattleTech game from the mid-1990s, created by the Virtual World Entertainment Group, which featured eight mutually connected cabinets called "Tesla pods" where players would fight in 'Mechs against each other. FASA acquired this technology to be used in a full-blown video game that was to become MechWarrior 3, under the publishing of MicroProse. For this reason, the FASA Interactive Technologies (FIT) division was formed to develop it. The process was delayed, however, due to struggles with the engine incompatibilities with concurrent hardware.

In 1996, Spectrum Holobyte, MicroProse's parent company since 1993, lays off much of the MicroProse staff and renames itself into MicroProse, and is purchased by Hasbro Interactive in 1998. FASA Interactive merged with Virtual World Entertainment Group, but their version of MechWarrior 3 is eventually put on hold, as Zipper Interactive was called to finish the game. They used a combination of the already developed assets and their own engine, most likely from the 1999 game Recoil.

Meanwhile, Microsoft bought the Virtual World Entertainment Group, but only kept FASA Interactive, and by transition, they now had the rights to the BattleTech license and MechWarrior games, hence the Microsoft logo's appearance in the MechWarrior 3 back cover art and intro.

The original MechWarrior 3 project would be the base of FASA Studio's MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, released a year and a half after Zipper Interactive's finished MechWarrior 3.

Information also contributed by Zaghadka.

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Related Sites +

  • Mech 3 Community Project
    A nice and big Community Website with a good Download-Section (official patches/fanpatches), a good program ( for playing Mechwarrior 3 online and a well sorted Forum with a very good support.
    The forum-site for Very good support regarding technical problems.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Raphael.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, Kasey Chang, Unicorn Lynx, BostonGeorge, Patrick Bregger, Plok.

Game added September 20th, 1999. Last modified September 16th, 2023.