Developer Blog #5 – Update

Sep 8, 2023

We’ve been talking quite a bit about how our development efforts so far in Early Access have prioritized a new player’s experience and with Patch out of the way, it’s finally time for us to announce that… new content is on the way to Hawken Reborn! Yes you heard that right. The new release of Hawken Reborn will be a big one that will have some exciting features to sink your teeth into. 


Let’s start with the biggest milestone which comes by way of an “Update”. This is our designation for a build that comes with a significant amount of new content and improvements to the game. Previously, we’ve pushed out hotfixes and patches to address specific chunks of developments, but Update will have an array of new features across many different categories to improve your overall gameplay.


The next evolution of the HUD has some revisions that we’re really excited to share. Since launch, we heard a ton of feedback about how our UI made critical combat information too difficult to discern. From a color palette that blended too much with the background to a health bar that was too far from the action, there was a lot of great feedback for us to digest. 

Here are some noticeable improvements that you’ll see in the new HUD:

  • The weapon reticle has been redesigned at the center of the screen that now communicates how much ammo is left or heat has built up with your weapons.
  • The overall UI is now curved to feel like they’re a part of the cockpit of your mech. 
  • Health and shield bars have been redesigned to be bigger, have more contrast, and are closer to the center.
  • A new Threat Level indicator has been added to the top of the screen and now gives a better assessment of your zone’s risk factor relative to your Pilot Level. As the threat increases, the world threat level will change colors to show how much risk you’re putting yourself in.
  • The fuel gauge now has its own dedicated location at the bottom of the HUD with a similar visual glow up as the health and shield. 
  • The radar has been moved to the top left and mission comms will appear just below it. 



At any time, you can now toggle between first person and third person views when piloting your mechs. This new way of seeing the game not only affects your immersion from within a cockpit, but switching over to third person view also changes the way you play Hawken Reborn as you’ll have more situational awareness with where your mech is. Especially when handling a new combat mechanic against infantry outlined later in this blog.


Weapons, Platforms, and Thrusters have gone through a rebalance that improves their overall experience across the board. Along with these adjustments, weight will also have a bigger impact on movement, especially the Dash which now factors in both the equipped thruster and weight class of your chosen mech.


Traversal has always been a critical part of Hawken Reborn with its open expanses to explore and while bunny hopping has thus far been an effective means of transportation, it never was intended to actually be an option for getting around town. 

To keep traversal more grounded to the sprint ability, Sprint has now been reworked to increase its speed significantly while maintaining better fuel efficiency. Sprint speed will also be dictated by the mech weight class. This is a small, but critical way in designing thrusters to make them feel more unique across the board. 

With these Sprint buffs, bunny hopping will be less of a core mechanic to movement so you’ll find it harder to do on the majority of loadouts. That’s not to say it’s no longer possible however. For pilots who enjoy pouncing around town, be sure to get the new Long Jumper thruster and build it out ASAP.


DASH 2.0

Similar to sprint speeds, the Dash ability will also undergo some changes that feel noticeably different across thruster choices. In the future, certain thrusters will offer design variations such as a much shorter cooldowns that allow them to string dashes together in quick succession.


The Heavy Platform class is getting a buff in the literal sense. From community and internal feedback, Heavies weren’t as popular as other classes due to offering less mobility for only a small advantage in bullet sponginess. While they’ll still retain their heftier mobility, upgrading them will now see noticeable improvements to their armor that will make them feel like a hulking mobile fortress that’ll make them a more viable build. 


The 180 degree turn makes a re… turn to mouse and keyboard with gamepad integration to come in a later update. This popular feature amongst some hardened pilots will come in handy as you maneuver across the battlefield against your agile opponents.


Firing weapons now has a new recoil system that offers a more realistic feel to the spray patterns of different guns. While you could decide to dual wield two Ultra Rapid Fire SMGs, be mindful that this new recoil system will dramatically affect the effectiveness of different combinations of weapons. Remember, many battles are won or lost before you even leave the hangar so choose wisely as you head into battle.


Our time on Illal so far has been spent in the outskirts of the Refuge and the gates are literally about to go down as we open up the next region, Wyndham Moors (Zone B). 

The Wyndham Moors are officially part of The Dawning’s territory, but the sheer number of refugees from the Giga Structure’s spread in the west has overwhelmed their limited resources. Conflicts between settlements for food, water and power are commonplace, and several criminal gangs have moved into the area to exploit the scarcity of these essentials. Wyndham Moors are also thought to house a number of smuggler networks, and members of the Burning Flag revolutionary movement have been sighted near Blackport.

In Wyndham Moors you’ll find 10 additional Patrol Missions and 40 new random encounters scattered throughout the map. For those already familiar with the crafting mechanisms in the hangar, you’ll also find it a more enticing location to visit as you’ll be able to obtain more explosives that are critical to leveling up your weapon’s Mark. With these new rewards comes risk though so be careful when entering Wyndham Moors as the base Threat Level in this area starts at Threat Level 70.


Combat against infantry units is about to step in a new direction. Specifically: a step into the faces of infantry who are fleeing for their lives as you come barreling through them. And we mean that in the literal sense of the word as you now have the ability to crush enemies with the sheer size of your mechs. With the infantry crushing system implemented, infantry shields will pop against the crushing weight of your hulking mechs. This will cost a few ticks of shield damage, but the results are worth the cost of entry.

With this realization of impending doom at the feet of pilots, infantry have also gotten a little smarter with additional actions designed to make fighting them a bit more authentic. They’ll now flee in terror if the odds are stacked against them from fallen comrades or even retreat cautiously laying covering fire as your powerful mechs prove an insurmountable opponent. Plan on dashing straight into them with your newfound crushing powers? Some might successfully dive out of your way to avoid getting classified as a “former” resident of Illal.


In addition to being able to fling infantry to their demise, combat against mech enemies is also getting upgraded with a new crit spot system that will be an important component when entering combat especially against bosses who are able to handle a healthy beating against pilots.

The first iteration of our crit spot mechanic in Early Access comes by way of color indicators that pop up when you hit areas on enemy mechs. Certain crit spots such as cockpits, legs, or shoulders will create damage multipliers that tick numbers above an enemy. Pay close attention to those colors as it’ll help you determine where you’ll want to concentrate your fire on.

Cyan = Shield damage
Grey = Armored spot damage
= Non-crit spot damage
Yellow = Crit spot damage
Orange = Non-crit spot Critical hit
Red = Crit spot Critical hit

You’ll see the crit spot mechanics evolve over time as we continue to iterate and give them a bigger impact on game play. For now, please give it a shot .. or multiple shots and let us know how we can improve this vital part of combat!


Early Access Pilot Level will now increase from 25 to 35 giving players more areas to expand their inventory. At Pilot Level 26, you’ll unlock blueprints for the Ostentum Heavy mech and Ultra Rapid Fire SMG gun. At Pilot Level 27, the new Long Jumper thruster and Micro Missile Launcher (replacing the Loren) blueprints will also unlock. Expect other blueprints to unlock beyond these thresholds, but until then, progression into max level 35 will unlock upgrades for these 4 new items into the Mark V tiers.


“Every specialist soldier is an investment in training, time and equipment. Protect that investment with the Ostentum luxury heavy mech. A single Ostentum can protect your snipers and e-war units, needing only seconds of rest for a full recovery. This is not just any mech, this is the Sentium Ostentum heavy defensive platform.”


“The Ultra-rapid Fire SMG is more than just a force of nature – it’s a force of Prosk! Your enemies will run screaming the moment they see their mech support get liquified in this hail of bullets. Stop wasting time, buy yours today.” – Big Shot bountycast


Akin to its high rate of fire URF cousin, the new Micro Missile Launcher will offer an exciting loadout option for those who enjoy very high projectile velocity with the added joy of explosive AOE rounds.


The Long Jumper is pretty decent on the ground – fast sprint, and the reactor regenerates your fuel really fast. But in the air, it’s… Well, it’s a matter of taste. Do you happen to like being shot out of cannons? Because it’s a lot like that. ~Havn


So when will Update launch? This new build comes not only with the items mentioned above, but it also will come with a hefty list of bugs and other miscellaneous changes that we’ve addressed. Due to the sheer size of the update, QA which is currently underway will take longer than usual and we expect this update to release sometime around early October.


We usually would end these blogs with a few updates of features in development, but today we’re going to wrap it up at this juncture since there’s already a lot of information to digest. Know that we’re still actively working on more features including multiplayer coop. While now isn’t the time to share details on this exciting update, we hope you’re seeing how we’re taking in community feedback and working towards delivering a Hawken Reborn experience that you know you’ve played a hand in helping shape. 

Until next time, be sure to join the conversation on our Hawken Reborn Discord Server and official social media channels to let us know how you’re feeling about the upcoming release of Update!

Hawken Reborn is now available on PC Steam Early Access. To learn more visit our Early Access Blog and Steam Page