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Backer Beta Info! Novella #1 Delivered! Another Livestreamed Q&A! And More Merch!

Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)

Greetings MechWarriors!

Klimecky here. We have good news for you - we're targeting March 15th as our Beta launch date. (As you'll recall, Beta access was a Kickstarter Reward for all Backers at the $50 MechWarrior Tier and above).  The team has been hard at work getting the game in shape and we’re almost ready for you to take a test drive.

Now, I bet you have a few questions… well, your friendly, neighborhood BATTLETECH Producer is here to fill you in with a FAQ that should answer your most pressing questions right away. As we get closer to our target date, I’ll update you with any final details you may need to be an effective Beta participant.

After you get caught up on the Beta news, scroll down to learn about our latest digital reward delivery for Backers at the $50 MechWarrior reward level - the first in a series of four novellas by the legendary Michael A. Stackpole. Then keep scrolling to see the sweet new merch AVAILABLE NOW at!

It’s about to get real - so strap in!
Chris Klimecky
Sr. Producer

Kickstarter Backer Beta FAQ

Can I still upgrade my reward level or get in as a Late Backer?

If you’re a current Backer and you want to upgrade to the MechWarrior tier at the current $50 price, email us and we will give you directions on how to do this since it’s a manual process.

If you have friends who are kicking themselves for not backing the project earlier, let them know they can still get in on our Digital Reward Tiers, including the MechWarrior level which grants access to the Kickstarter Beta. Just send them to to our Late Reinforcements website to get in on the action. But tell them to act fast! On February 15th, the prices for each digital reward level will go up by $10.

When will the Backer Beta start?

Our target delivery date is March 15th. While we’re on track for this date and looking good, this IS game development, so please take the date with the expected grain of salt. Something may break as we head into this date and it may require us to take additional time to fix it to ensure a good experience for our participants. We’ll let you know as far in advance as possible if something like this comes up!

How long will the Backer Beta last?

We haven’t finalized exactly how long the Beta will remain live, but it should be up for at least two months.

What will the Backer Beta include?

As outlined in our Kickstarter Campaign, the Backer Beta will feature 1v1 multiplayer and single-player Skirmish play. The Beta will include a subset of the 'Mechs and Maps that will be found in the game at launch. Note that the Backer Beta will not include the story campaign or mercenary company management, nor will it include the ability to modify your `Mech loadouts. We hope to update the Beta later with the `Mech Lab feature but can’t commit to that at this time.

What `Mechs will be in the Backer Beta?

We're still determining which `Mechs will be included in the Backer Beta. The target list of ‘Mechs for the full game can be found in our Kickstarter page FAQ.

Will the Backer Beta be under NDA, or restricted in any way?

The Kickstarter Beta will not be under a non-disclosure agreement, though there may be an end-user licensing agreement required to participate.

Can we post screenshots and/or videos of the Backer Beta?


How about livestreaming the Beta or posting YouTube videos? Can we do that?

Yes! Yes!

Oh yeah? Can we write blog posts about it and mini-reviews if we want?

Yes, yes, yes! All of the above.

How will we report bugs? What do you want us to report?

The BATTLETECH Backer Beta (BBB, B3...) is about identifying bugs, collecting data, and gathering feedback. Different mechanisms will be included for each of those three goals. We'll provide detailed instructions to all Beta participants when the Beta is released.

Where will I be able to play the Backer Beta and for what platforms?

The Beta will only be available on Steam for Windows and Mac. Supporting more platforms would require additional development processes that would impact precious development time needed for feature development.

While the Beta keys will be Steam-only, your key for the final RELEASE version of BATTLETECH will still be on whatever platform you chose in your BackerKit survey responses. If you've forgotten what platform you chose, you can check by logging into your BackerKit account and, if you want to change that, contact us and we’ll change that for you manually.

How will I get access to my Steam Key for the Backer Beta?

If you backed the game at the $50 MechWarrior level or higher, you’ll find your Beta Steam key in the Digital Downloads section of your BackerKit account on the target date.

Where can I talk with fellow Backer Beta participants, find folks to play with, or ask questions?

Since this is a Beta, you will not find the regular Community Hub on Steam. Instead, we encourage you to join your fellow MechWarriors on our BATTLETECH Forums. We'll open a new BATTLETECH Backer Beta Subforum on (or a bit before) our target launch date. This is where Beta participants will go to find folks to play with and discuss the game with other Backers who have hands-on time with the game.

Be sure to head to the BATTLETECH Forums BEFORE the Beta starts so you can set up your Forum code to get access to special Kickstarter badges, introduce yourself to the (awesome) community, and get familiar with how the place works.

What can we expect from HBS in terms of feedback on the Backer Beta Forum?

While delivering the Backer Beta will be a major milestone for the project, there’s still a ton of work left to do and the team needs to put their focus on developing the game. For this reason, do not expect direct responses to your feedback or engagement from the dev team in the forums. (But rest assured, we WILL be actively monitoring the Beta Forum feedback and discussions, and it's always very useful to get the pulse of player experiences.)

HEIR APPARENT Now Available for MechWarrior Level Backers

We’re pleased to announce that the first in a series of four linked digital novellas by Mike Stackpole is now available for Backers at the $50 MechWarrior level and above! Again, if you’re a current Backer and you want to upgrade to the MechWarrior tier to get your copy, email us.

You’ll find a file including the pdf, mobi, and epub versions to download when you hit “Get My Digital Rewards” in your BackerKit account. It takes a little time for the files to populate to everyone's account so please check back in a couple hours if you don't see the files right away.


New Crowdfunded Gear: BATTLETECH Stein and Coasters Now Available!

The newest offerings over at hail from the famous drinking halls of Solaris VII, the planet where MechWarriors compete in deadly arenas for the pride of their Noble Houses, Clans, Stables, or just for riches and glory.

This wave of items include a custom ceramic BattleTech Stein with a molded metal Atlas skull top and a set of 6 Solaris VII themed coasters in a decorative storage tin. The coasters are extra large to perfectly fit the Stein, of course!

We started this crowdfunding round just last week and excited to be just about halfway to our minimum order quantity! We need to hit that by March 1st which gets us plenty of time if everyone helps us spread the word to your fellow MechWarriors!


Our Next Livestreamed Dev Q&A

If you’re not aware, we’ve resumed our monthly livestreamed development Q&As and the next one will be TOMORROW Wednesday, February 8th from 12pm-1pm Pacific Time.

Due to scheduling contraints, (the station that brings you DEATH FROM ABOVE) will no longer be hosting our Q&As but we’re happy to report that our friends at No Guts No Galaxy are ready and willing to take up the cause. We’ll also post a recording of the Q&A on the HBS YouTube channel as soon as we can in case you can’t tune in live.

This month’s topic is the Single-Player Story Campaign. As always, we’ll spend the first half-hour taking questions that you post on the BATTLETECH forums before opening up the questions to our live audience on any topic.


 Whew! That’s it for this update. Back to work!!!

-- HBS


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    1. bgannin

      I added the ePub version and it didn't show a cover for this particular novella. The other was fine. Any chance of an update/fix for that?

    2. David Nemeskey on

      @Bryan Letcher The pledges promised a game for Windows/Mac/Linux. They didn't promise "more mechs, maps, AI". So Linux users have a perfectly valid reason for raising concerns if they feel slighted.

      That said, based on their track record, I have utmost confidence in HBS regarding the Linux version. Shame about the beta, though.

    3. Caewyn on

      Yay, the steins reached minimum order in time :D

    4. Missing avatar

      John Vilnis on

      It was annoying that the ebook was in an archive and took a bit of finagling to get it on my iPad to read. Would it possible to have further ebooks, just linked as zip, .epub, .mobi, etc so it is very easy to download them to mobile devices?

      And it is a fantastic read and I am eagerly waiting for the next section to find out how they get out of the predicament they are in. :P

      And just counting down to Beta now. 20 days to go.

    5. Bryan Letcher on

      All the whining for Linux support. Most gamers are on Windows and if not on Windows, then Mac. So few gamers play on Linux, you cannot just expect a developer to support it. I would rather the developer work on more mechs, maps, AI and any other game play elements than worry about Linux support. It is not like you need a server which would be an actual reason to have a Linux server anyways.

    6. RC on

      @Mike Mugler You have to be logged into your account. If you don't have the password, use the forgot password option to recover it. Then you can check on your rewards, and click on the big "Get Digital Rewards" button to see the enovella download. ^_^

    7. Missing avatar

      M & M on

      Clicked on the link for the backerkit account to download HEIR APPARENT. But only have the option for resending a missing survey. Am I doing something wrong? (too soon?)

    8. Brian Poel on

      David, it sounds like you talked to BackerKit customer service -- that's a canned response from them. Talk to HBS and they'll fix you up.

    9. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @David Leiserson - did you get that response from If not, that's the right communication address.

    10. Missing avatar

      David Leiserson

      Immediately after reading this update, I attempted to increase my pledge amount but received this reply: "I'm afraid I'm unable to upgrade your pledge level now that your order has been marked as ready to ship." (Somewhat odd since the $25 level doesn't have physical items to ship). Which was correct? The two statements in this update, or the customer service representative?

    11. tarasis on

      Really enjoyed the novella except for what seemed truly arbitrary chapter breaks.

    12. Valeriy on

      I understand you perfectly. This sudden shift of plans after initial reassurance is bad. Hope you will sort it out. It is just that personally I don't think it is right to extrapolate this beta issue on the quality of the final product.

    13. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      We're very sorry that you're disappointed. Please write to so we can do what we can to help you.

    14. Missing avatar

      Chubango on

      I know it's not common which is why I made sure to *ask* before pledging. They told me unambiguously that the beta would be on all platforms. I know HBS' track record and that was a key factor in getting me to pledge. That they've suddenly decided to go back on their word is concerning and a bad sign for a same-day release given how most kickstarters go. If you're happy with this, good for you. I am justified at raising concerns with the vague assurances ("Linux development comes a little later"). I feel deceived that I won't be getting the access I was promised. I hope they reconsider but if they don't, it'll have soured me from backing any more of their crowdfunding projects in the future despite backing several in the past

    15. Valeriy on

      No need to overreact, friend! No Linux beta is a sad but common case among Kickstarter projects (it began at least from Wasteland 2, maybe even earlier) and that's (partially) why I never ever pledged for the sake of Beta access.

      But HBS has rather good record of previous Linux releases, so it is safe to say that Linux is not an afterthought. Or at least they know common problems already and will not make some stupid novice mistakes like using non-crossplatform plugins (khmm... Obsidian, I'm looking at you!) or assuming there will be no problems at all, AKA "We'll just press the Build button".

    16. Missing avatar

      Chubango on

      I have to admit I'm massively disappointed at the lack of Linux support for the beta. I specifically pledged at the level necessary after asking if the beta would be for all platforms. You guys assured me that it wouldn't be the case: "I just asked our producer and he said that it will be available for all platforms - Windows, Mac and Linux."

      And, honestly, the non-answer about professional testers later does little to allay the concern that maybe the finished product won't be a same-day release on Linux, either. I've seen enough kickstarters to know that if we're told that development for a certain platform will begin later it can mean that it's a complete afterthought. HBS, you guys have really dropped the ball on this one.

    17. Missing avatar

      Steven Bice on

      @krom I had shared the "it will still be 4 novelas" bit in the main comments section about 8 months ago after having a conversation with stackpole at a local convention, he said it was done for "contractual reasons" but did not elaborate more than that.

    18. Missing avatar

      Krom on

      Actually I don't mind if it's 4 novellas or 1 book - yesterday I was unsure about the length of the novella, but seeing it's about 120 pages, I'm happy. It's just that I can't get enough of reading (classic) BT books and it's been years since a new one got released. The more I can get, the better. Already consumed the first 90 pages yesterday, was a very good read, thank you! :)

    19. Miles on

      Nice! Looking forward to do my first skirmishes. :D

    20. Ron Hatch

      VERY disappointed that the Beta won't include Linux support... but certainly excited enough about the game to reboot into that annoyingly persistent alternate OS I've got installed on a small partition. At least I know it won't be a permanent "solution".

    21. Smaug on

      The cover art for the novella is awesome!

    22. Missing avatar

      Sporophyte on

      That novella is a ton of fun! I can't wait until the next part is out!

    23. Doktor Jones

      You guys plan to watermark the beta copies, right? Something that says "THIS IS BETA" (well maybe not that exactly, but you get the gist) so people don't whine about incomplete gameplay and get a bad impression thinking it's the finished product.

    24. Peter Kelly

      @Harebrained Schemes. I have no reservations with you delivering the final game. I've enjoyed all the Shadowrun games you've produced, all top notch. And I'm sure Battletech will be no different. Just very eager to see if it runs on my box ;) Thanks for the reply :)

    25. Missing avatar

      Michael on

      So, how is multiplayer going to work? do we get to pick the 'mechs we want to bring into combat or will it be random 'mechs on each side?

    26. Phil Jefferson on

      Awesome - looking forward to my first skirmish :)

    27. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @Peter Kelly
      We understand your disappointment but rest assured, the Linux version will receive appropriate testing from professional testers. Linux development comes a little later but having shipped the Shadowrun series on Linux our confidence is high. Thanks for your support!

    28. Missing avatar

      Dav on

      Great news! Battletech March Madness.

    29. Missing avatar

      Dav on

      Great news! Battletech March Madness.

    30. Christopher LaHaise on

      March 16th?
      You're so sweet! That is the best birthday present you could ever give me! :)

    31. Peter Kelly

      Its a little a disappointing for us Linux users who are paying for Beta but not getting a chance to help the Linux version be as solid as the Mac and Windows versions. Are you still targeting a day one release for all platforms? Have you at least get a Linux build running? Anyway exciting times, looking forward to the final game with much anticipation :)

    32. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @Krom - Mr. Stackpole decided to serialize the novel into four distinct parts.

    33. Karl Dawson on

      @harebrained D'oh! I forgot that was cross-platform �#steamnoob

    34. Michael Barnhart on

      @Harebrained Schemes LLC - OK, I see now. I have TWO purchases since I also bought the game for my daughter. I was in the Late Recruit section by mistake. Thanks!!

    35. Missing avatar

      Krom on

      Looking forward to the beta! But, one question: did I miss something or weren't the e-novellas supposed to be replaced with a full-length book?

    36. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @Michael Barnhart - If you scroll down your account, you'll see that you're at the Noble House Scion level in your Add-Ons.

    37. Michael Barnhart on

      How does it work for those of us who are Vanguard Backers from GenCon two years ago? My cart does not show the level I am actually at, so how will I get the digital downloads? Loving my house swag, btw! By Freedom's Sword!!

    38. Dale Allen Platt on

      I just read the be patient part, lol...

    39. Dale Allen Platt on

      I logged into my Backer Account and there is nothing about Digital Rewards...
      I know I'm above the $50 level for certain...
      Or did I misunderstand and "Heir Apparent" is not available yet?

    40. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @Karl - Looks like you chose the Steam key. :)

    41. Karl Dawson on

      Dang, I can't see what Platform I chose. Can it be PC please?

    42. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    43. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @David Karl - Good catch and, um,, it'll just be an hour like usual. :)

    44. Missing avatar

      David Karl on

      Thirteen hours of livestream dev q&a? Starting at midnight? ..... You sure about that?

    45. Michaeljack on

      Looking forward to the Beta! Looking forward to the final game too but this'll have to do for the moment i guess ;)

    46. Peter Andersson on

      Oh, I will be watching youtube and twitch 24/7 for beta-streams then :D