Free to play Hawken enters open beta, is available to download right now


Hawken launched its open beta yesterday, the magical date with all the 12s in it, meaning you can trundle off and download the client right now before jumping into some hot, metallic, robot-on-robot action. The open beta follows a series of short closed betas in which the free-to-play mech sim was panel-beaten into shape, though a glut of features are still yet to come. Producer Jason Hughes describes the launch, as well as his plans for the game’s near future.

Hawken’s currently missing its server browser, as well as clan support and dedicated servers, all of which will be added or re-introduced in a later version. Also due to be revamped is the game’s Siege Mode. The new Siege Mode will “build on some of the core mechanics that we really enjoy about the mode but we will be taking it to something a bit bigger”, according to Hughes.

The Hawken devs have also released extensive patch notes alongside the open beta, which we shall dutifully reproduce below. Hoorah!


Our Alpha and Closed Beta test pilots have helped us immeasurably by playtesting HAWKEN and providing their impressions and suggestions on the official forums. As a direct result of your experiences over the past months, we’re proud to present the HAWKEN Open Beta patch notes.


Assault Mech

All players will start with the Assault mech with the following loadout.

  • Name: Assault
  • Class: Medium (Class B)
  • Chassis: Fred
  • Ability: Weapons Coolant
  • Primary Weapon: Assault Rifle
  • Alternate Primary Weapon: Submachine Cannon
  • Secondary Weapon: TOW Launcher
  • Unlockable Prestige Weapon: Point-D Vulcan
  • Support Item: Shield
  • Offensive Internal: Brand-New Radiator (Rookie Offensive Internal)
  • Defensive Internal: Brand-New Cage (Rookie Defensive Internal)
  • Functional Internal: Brand-New Regulator (Rookie Functional Internal)

Vanguard Mech

Players who purchased the Ensign, Lieutenant, or Commander bundles will receive the exclusive, prototype Vanguard mech with the following loadout.

  • Name: Vanguard
  • Class: Heavy (Class C)
  • Chassis: Cupcake
  • Ability: Vanguard Turret (currently operates same as Mobile Turret)
  • Primary Weapon: Submachine Cannon
  • Alternate Primary Weapon: Mini Flak Cannon
  • Secondary Weapon: Grenade Launcher
  • Unlockable Prestige Weapon: Point-D Vulcan
  • Offense Item: Detonator
  • Support Item: Repair Charge
  • Offensive Internal: Brand-New Radiator (Rookie Offensive Internal)
  • Defensive Internal: Brand-New Cage (Rookie Defensive Internal)
  • Functional Internal: Brand-New Regulator (Rookie Functional Internal)


Rookie Internals

All Assault and Vanguard mechs come equipped with “rookie” internals which have no negative effects unlike other internals.

  • Brand-New Radiator (Rookie Offensive Internal): Reduces Weapon Heat Generation by 5%
  • Brand-New Cage (Rookie Defensive Internal): Increases Maximum Armor by 5%
  • Brand-New Regulator (Rookie Functional Internal): Increases Experience Gain by 20%

Please note that while internal slots unlock at mech levels 8, 10, and 12, rookie internals will affect your gameplay starting at mech level 1. You won’t be able to change out these internals until the slots are unlocked.


We’ve added a new gameplay item called countermeasures. These automatic consumables activate when there is a status or condition present. Each activation consumes one countermeasure use. All countermeasures are drawn from an account-wide inventory of countermeasure uses, the pilot decides which (if any) countermeasure type to equip to a mech in their garage. Please note that countermeasures will only activate once per mech “life”.

  • Extinguisher: Reduces weapon heat upon overheat.
  • Battery Charge: Reactivates systems disabled when affected by EMP effect.
  • Descrambler: Renders mech immune to the Radar Scrambler effect.

Team HAWKEN likes to get this party started right, so each HAWKEN account will start with 15 countermeasure uses pre-stocked!

Repair Drones

  • Each repair drone now has its own, unique body style.
  • Commanders of the Vanguard Initiative also start with the exclusive PY-R0 H0G repair drone equipped to their Vanguard mech.


  • Cosmetic thruster effects now have unique nozzle designs.
  • Ensigns, Lieutenants, and Commanders of the Vanguard Initiative also start with the exclusive PY-R0 BURN thruster equipped to their Vanguard mech.


  • You’ll be ready to literally rocket the runway with these awesome camos: Wicked-Grn, Ripples-Yel, Earth-Lime, Pixel-Tan, Wisp-Brn, Worm-Or, Boom-Teal, Checker-Pnk.
  • Ensigns, Lieutenants, and Commanders of the Vanguard Initiative also start with the exclusive Vanguard Bronze, Silver, and/or Gold (depending on their Vanguard Initiative tier) camo equipped to their Vanguard mech.


  • The new Brommens medium chassis is now available in the Body Shop.


  • Auto-switching of items upon use can now be disabled from the Settings Menu.



  • Interactive Basic Training and Garage Store tutorials are now available in the Deploy pane.

Siege Mode

We are extremely excited about the evolution of this mode, but in the short-term we consider it a work in progress. We’re carefully watching how it’s played and are eager to get your insights on how you feel we can improve it.

  • Bases now have integer-based health like mechs.
  • The energy required to launch a battleship now reduces over time instead of increasing over time.
    • Battleships will automatically launch if an energy requirement reaches zero this way.
  • When launched, battleships will stop outside an enemy base and do damage to it.
    • Per team, only one battleship can be active at any given time.
  • Energy Stations no longer run out of energy, but they will provide less per second when simultaneously used by multiple mechs.

Level Cap and Overflow XP

  • The mech level cap is now 25.
  • When you reach level 25, you can unlock each mech’s prestige weapon. You will still gain XP on level 25 mechs. This XP is called “Overflow XP” and can be transferred from the level-capped mech to a lower-level mech in your Garage.
    • Please note that Overflow XP is not active as of this patch.


  • Radar and Radar Scrambler items now bounce off of walls and ceilings, deploying on the ground when they land.
  • Collision on all turret items has been removed, allowing for improved player mobility after deployment.
  • All internals now have positive and negative effects with the exception of rookie internals.


  • The interactive Basic Training tutorial takes you to a new training map, allowing rookies and veterans to the basics of HAWKEN by fighting sweetly inept AI drones.
    • Anticipate updates and improvements to this map on a regular basis.
  • Adjustments have been made to Bazaar’s layout for improved balance between starting locations.
  • Landmarks have been added to all maps to help players become more familiar with maps and make it easier to locate teammates.


Our weapons have undergone balance updates thanks to the community’s great feedback and testing. We all know the weapons are vital to making HAWKEN feel amazing and fun to play. New players won’t notice a difference so this is mainly to inform our more experienced pilots.

Overall, weapons should behave much closer to how they performed in Closed Beta Event 2, with added emphasis on consistent feedback to the player and removing extremely high burst damage.

  • Short to Mid Range
    • Flak Cannon: Slightly decreased damage, but decreased heat generation and spread to compensate.
    • Mini Flak Cannon: Decreased rate of fire and damage, but decreased spread and heat generation to compensate.
    • Submachine Cannon: Decreased spread to make it more effective at mid range. Previously known as Submachine Gun.
    • Point-D Vulcan: Increased spread to make it less effective at range, but reduced heat generation.
  • Mid to Long Range
    • Assault Rifle: Decreased heat generation and spread, making it much more effective at mid and long ranges.
    • SA Hawkins: Decreased heat generation and highly increased accuracy. Also increased rate of fire to more effectively chip opponents down.
  • Long Range
    • Slug Rifle: Highly decreased spread to make it extremely accurated while zoomed in. Also decreased spread while not zoomed in.
    • Sabot Rifle: Highly decreased spread while zoomed in and unzoomed. Slightly increased damage to allow for better bursts.
  • Explosive Weapons
    • Rev-GL: The Rev-GL was overhauled to make it much more effective in every situation, especially in one-on-one combat. Its projectile grenades travel at a higher velocity to hit targets easier and its damage was increased slightly.
    • EOC Repeater: We increased the radius of deployed projectiles. Projectiles now do more damage to players who walk over them.
    • HEAT Cannon: Slightly decreased charged projectile damage.
    • Seeker: Increased projectile speed, but decreased homing strength, meaning they won’t track opponents quite as well. Fixed a bug where projectiles were locking onto opponents too easily.
    • Hellfire Missiles: Decreased damage slightly, bringing it closer to other secondary weapons.


  • The Garage has been renovated with a new look.
  • The Garage and Deploy menus have been improved.
  • The in-game interface has been updated with major changes to the HUD and item icons.
  • Lore and polished descriptions have been added to nearly every item, weapon, and mech.


  • Music has been added to the Garage, Deploy, and Postgame panes.
  • Lots of new sound effects and sound variations.


  • Massive improvements to localization support.
  • Environment collision has been improved on all maps.
  • Optimizations have been performed on all maps.
  • Heavy mechs in turret mode can now use items.
  • XP and HC gain are no longer improperly recorded on rare occasions.
  • Beautified the sky on the Uptown map.
  • Players will no longer see their own thruster exhaust visuals in the HUD.
  • Left and right weapons will no longer appear swapped in Postgame pane or in holograms.
  • The “Syncing Account” message should no longer appear when failing to join a match.
  • Heavy mechs can now exit turret mode while overheated.
  • Players names no longer appear twice on the scoreboard. No more doppelgangers!