Estimated achievement difficulty: 3/10
Offline: 0/30 (0/400)
Online: 30/30 (400/400)
Approximate amount of time to 400: 30-50 hours boosting if you pay for Gold VIP status in-game, 300+ without boosting if you pay for Gold VIP status in-game, 1000+ if you choose to not pay for Gold VIP status in-game.
Minimum number of playthroughs needed: N/A
Missable achievements: None
Does difficulty affect achievements?: No
Unobtainable/glitched achievements: None
Extra equipment needed?: None
AirMech Arena is a freemium real-time strategy mechanized combat game, using fixed bases that need to be captured to obtain resources and build units, with an ultimate goal of winning by destroying the main enemy fortress. It has micro-transactions built in that are generally focused on encouraging you to upgrade from free to Silver VIP or Gold VIP and/or purchasing diamonds (one of the two in-game currencies) so that you can obtain better gear and level up faster. The game has solo, co-op and peer-vs-peer scenarios (where you will spend most of your time). While the maximum level in the game is 100, the achievements only require that you advance to level 30. As with many strategy and freemium games, the the developers have designed the achievements such that you have quite a long grind ahead of you, even if you upgrade by spending money. The game is all server-side based, so if you are unable to connect to the AirMech Arena servers you will not be able to play any portion of the game (or even load the menus). Note also that the developers have changed various game mechanics since release and may do so again. Most notably, they made diamonds much harder to get and XP accumulate much slower than when the title was first released. Both of these changes have made the game take a significantly longer time to complete.
The first thing you should do is go to the Solo menu and complete the tutorial to unlock "Getting Started," and then (also found in the Solo menu) complete the challenges. While you will need to get three stars on each challenge to unlock "Challenger: 45 Stars," I recommend that you go through all of the challenges first without getting the best rating so you can unlock the last two challenges at the lowest possible experience level. The AI you fight on those two challenges have the same level that you do when you play them, so the higher level you are, the harder it will be to get 3 stars. Once you have 3 stars on the last two levels, go back and earn three stars on the other 13 challenges.
At this point, you should decide if you are going to aim for the 1000 hour grind or spend $5-10 to get an in-game boost. I strongly recommend the $10 gold VIP package, but it is possible to beat the game without spending any money. If the game had been released as a non-freemium arcade title, a $10-15 price point seems reasonable, and I do feel that the developers should be rewarded for their efforts just like I get paid for my work and you likely do for yours.
When you first start, you only have access to the Solo menu, so you will need to win either a skirmish or survival mission against the AI. Skirmish is much easier than survival, so I recommend that approach. The next step will be to unlock the PVP menu by winning a co-op game, which can be done with random teammates or AI bots on your team. Again, skirmish is much easier than survival, especially when you are a low level, so take that approach.
Once you have all of your game options unlocked, you will want to start leveling up and earning Kudos (in-game currency) and diamonds (if you purchased a VIP package) so that you can buy and use better equipment and mechs. Your ultimate goal is to be able to win 3 different survival games (solo, 2-player, and 4-player) before moving purely into the grind of leveling up. See the guide for "The Four Horsemen" for details.
Presuming you can dual-box or have a boosting partner, most of your time will be spent in PVP Custom Skirmish 1v1 matches. There is a requirement that you win a 3v3 PVP game in a certain way, but it can be done with five bots as the other players, and you will want to level up and have particular gear before you attempt it (see the guide for "Valedictorian" for full details). Most achievements will be unlocked here and can be easily boosted with a partner. If you need to play public matches they will take longer, but are all straightforward and obtainable.
AirMech Arena is a well done RTS that most people will be able to pick up without much trouble. If you enjoyed the Halo Wars mechanic, this is very similar but without a story and nothing to do with Bungie. The one downside is that it has a frequent tendency to lag heavily even with geographically close players.
[XBA would like to thank Creech for this RoadMap]