When it comes to the Mega Man series of games, players know to expect a challenge, and nowhere is this more true than with the franchise's Robot Masters. These bosses not only throw the Blue Bomber into a nasty themed level of their own, but offer up a vicious one-on-one boss fight. The most recent game in the series, Mega Man 11, is no exception, with its own roster of new Robot Masters to defeat.
Never fear, though, as once again each of the Robot Masters has their own weakness, and Mega Man is able to pick up a suitable weapon to defeat each and every boss from a previously beaten Master. This means that there's an ideal order to complete the levels in - even though players do have the option to choose their own path, these weaknesses to form a route to reduce the challenge.
Related: Mega Man 11 Review
That said, it's sometimes easier to work out some weaknesses than others at face value. Although Mega Man 11 is much more intuitive than some of the other games in the series (who would have guessed that Tomahawk Man's weakness would be Plant Man's Plant Barrier in Mega Man 6, for instance), some are certainly easier to work out than others. To help with this, here's a suggested order for Mega Man 11, with each of the Robot Master weaknesses listed.
Block Man is the Robot Master that has been shared the most in advance of the game's release, forming part of Mega Man 11's demo, and as such it's no surprise that Block Man's stage is a good place to start. The level itself is relatively tame, and Block Man is the Robot Master that's perhaps best suited for taking on with the Mega Buster.
Not only do the regular shots work well in Block Man's somewhat limited pattern, but the default weapon is also suited for Block Man's mid-fight transformation. Using the Double Gear System, the Robot Master turns into a much larger, more imposing foe, but his weak point is at the perfect point for a charged shot with a jump. In the boss rush later in the game, however, it's best to use the Chain Blast to take out Block Man even quicker.
After leaving Block Man in the dumpster, it's time to move on to Acid Man. This stage is one of the most fun in the game overall, full of neat mechanics like the acid pools to avoid and some fun enemies to fight. Acid Man himself, however, shouldn't give Mega Man much trouble at all.
That's certainly the case if you use Block Man's Block Dropper. The attack has a nice wide area of effect, meaning that it works very well against Acid Man's jumping pattern and relatively short projectile length. Simply avoid his acid tidal waves seen in his Double Gear change and keep hitting with blocks until he's neutralized.
Things start to become a bit more of a challenge with Impact Man's stage, however. The construction-themed level is a lot of fun, but the Blue Bomber will need to be careful about numerous enemies that use targeting attacks. This is particularly true near the end of the stage, where a deft hand is needed to avoid some heavy hitters prior to the fight against the robot master.
Impact Man himself can also be quite challenging, with quick melee attacks and the ability to transform into a larger foe. Acid Man's Acid Barrier may be a weak weapon in general, but it does more damage to Impact Man, and since the Robot Master likes to get up close and personal both its short range and its highly useful barrier mean it's perfect for the job.
Don't let the colorful environment's fool you: Bounce Man's stage may be the most frustrating in the game. The constant bouncing segments can send some players flying in the wrong direction, although the sheer fun of using the larger trampolines does make up for some of the shortfalls of the level. Nonetheless, some gamers may be a bit relieved when they reach Bounce Man himself.
This boss fight isn't too difficult, particularly with Impact Man's Pile Driver in hand. It works well to drive into Bounce Man and does plenty of damage, but players will need to both watch out for how the hit the Robot Master and for the different components of Bounce Man that spread out after a successful attack lands.
Fuse Man feels like he's walked right out of one of the classic NES Mega Man titles, and his stage matches that perfectly. Speed is the name of the game, avoiding devastating electrical surges to reach the Robot Master in a fight that feels very similar to the other electricity-themed levels that the Mega Man franchise has seen over the years.
Bounce Man's Bounce Ball at first seems like something of a useless weapon, given that it does barely any damage, but it's exactly what gamers will need to choose to negate the threat of Fuse Man. Fuse Man is already ridiculously fast even before the use of the Double Gear System, so firing out multiple, bouncing projectiles that do solid damage means that no matter how fast he moves, Fuse Man is still going to get hit.
For better or worse (probably worse), the slippery ice level trope that seems to have been part of gaming for as long as it's existed is still going strong. Another example of this is the stage of Tundra Man, which tasks Mega Man with performing nimble platforming without much grip underfoot.
After making it through the stage, Tundra Man is awaiting for the player, although he shouldn't cause much by way of problems. Using the Scramble Thunder from Fuse Man is a great choice here, dealing a lot of damage, while the core issue with the weapon - that it only sticks to the ground, walls, and the ceiling, is taken care of thanks to Tundra Man's reliance on ice skates to get around. Watch out for his jumps, though.
Another major throwback to older Mega Man games is Torch Man's stage. Fire-based levels have always been some of the trickiest and well-loved in the series, and Capcom will no doubt be hoping that Torch Man's level is able to reach those heights going forward.
The Robot Master can certainly be a difficult one if the player hasn't already beaten Tundra Man, but having the Tundra Storm at hand cools off Torch Man substantially. It attacks in a narrow, vertical shot that does a ton of damage, and also has a good area of effect when used with the Double Gear System to boost the attack. An added bonus is that it also freezes Torch Man's attacks, but be careful not to run out of ammunition.
Last but not least is Blast Man. Although his stage can be hairy due to some exploding platforms and aggressive enemy AI, it's extremely enjoyable to play thanks to its theme park-based design and includes perhaps the best mini boss in the entirety of Mega Man 11. All in all, it's a great final Robot Master to take on before going on to the eventual fight against Dr. Wily.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a boss themed around the use of explosives, the volatility of fire attacks doesn't go well, and as such the use of Torch Man's Blazing Torch is required here. The shots fired can also blow up Blast Man's Chain Blast attacks, which is extremely helpful, but be careful about overusing it.
That takes us to the end of the rundown of Robot Master weaknesses and a suggested order. Of course, players are able to choose their start point with any of the robots above, but bearing in mind each Robot Master's weakness is no doubt vital for playing Mega Man 11.
Even so, there are still challenges ahead, including a beefed up version of series classic boss the Yellow Devil that could take some practice to bring down. However, ensuring a smooth run through the Robot Masters should make those additional stages a whole lot easier, particularly with the boss rush later on in the game.