Battleframe is the name assigned to the cybernetic exoskeleton that is worn by ARES Operators as well as many Accord soldiers who patrol Earth after the Firefall. A battleframe improves one's running speed, jumping height, ability to take damage from enemies, and is equipped with short duration jets to allow the battleframe to fly, hover, and maneuver around the battlefield - even while under fire. Accord manufactured 5 core battleframes to use in their front-line fighting against the Chosen, as well as to serve as security forces in their own territory. These battleframes, in no particular order, are the Dreadnaught, Assault, Biotech, Engineer, and Recon.
The battleframe's role in the battlefield is determined by ability modules that are fitted to the battleframe prior to combat. For example, the Biotech battleframe has abilities that assist the squad by healing damage to their operators, while the Assault battleframe is built simply to do as much damage as possible. ARES pilots are known to be skilled in operating many different battleframes over the course of their career, and can be unpredictable in what they will bring to a fight.
Equipped battleframes can be switched at a Battleframe Station, allowing players to change their combat role outside of battle.
From the official site:
If any battleframe is synonymous with the Accord, it’s the Assault. Provides a generally even distribution of offense, defense, and maneuverability.
Combat Medics Lead the Way
The Accord Biotech battleframe allows the operator to defend itself with rapid-fire weaponry, as well as heal allies and itself with specialized medical compounds.
The One-Man Army
The heavy machinery of the Accord military, the Accord Dreadnaught may be slow, but it can throw down enough weapons fire to keep the opposition at bay.
A balance of offensive and defensive technology, as well as a grenade launcher to keep the opposition from coming too close.
Spying Behind Enemy Lines
Balanced for medium-ranged sniping, and built with decoy and SIN beacon systems to hide from enemies while lighting them up on radars.
In addition to the original battleframes that were manufactured by the Accord, Omnidyne-M and Astrek manufactured their own battleframes to sell to rich ARES Operators as well as their own security forces. These battleframes tend to be less multi-role than their Accord peers, but can be extremely powerful in the area they are proficient in.
Once an Accord battleframe reaches level 20, a mission in Trans Hub will allow the player to test and choose one of the two advanced battleframes available for it's archetype. The advanced battleframe equipped when the player leaves the Battle Lab will become the battleframe that character is using.
Because of this change, Accord battleframes do not exist above level 20, and previously unlocked ones above level 20 were removed, with XP packs being given as compensation packages.
After reaching level 40 with your first battleframe, other advanced battleframes may be unlocked through the Elite Ranks system, making it possible for a player to have all 10 advanced battleframes unlocked in a single account. They are:
Nearly indestructible, the Mammoth trades speed and firepower in favor of incredible damage absorption.
Duck and Dodge
Lighter than other Assault frames, the Tigerclaw is more maneuverable. The trade-off for this speed is lighter defensive plating and weaponry.
Lighting the Fire
Utilizing super-heated plasma projectiles and flame exhaust from the chassis, the Firecat is a devastatingly powerful, if somewhat slower, Assault-class battleframe.
A Healing Hand
Focused primarily on supporting allies, the Dragonfly features a number of abilities which can revitalize wounded soldiers and keep them in the fight.
The Biological Terror
The Recluse turns its operator into a walking biological time bomb, with several poisons and toxins that can be used to cripple enemy forces.
Unequaled in terms of deployable battlefield tech, such as setting up multiple turrets and erecting defensive barriers.
Constructing Technological Terrors
The most offensive-minded of the Engineer-class battleframes, the Electron utilizes several attacks and a powerful Shock Rail to incapacitate approaching enemies.
Plucking the Feathers off a Bird
Equipped with a long-range bolt-action rifle, the Nighthawk can cripple enemy forces from impossibly far ranges.
Invisible to the Naked Eye
A support-focused Sniper-class frame, the Raptor still utilizes teleport beacons to travel long distances instantly, and a Charge Rifle with an electric alternate fire.
The Arsenal battleframe was removed in Update 1.6, and it's Red5's intention to reintroduce him in the future, also adding more battleframes to the game. A compensation package was given out to players who owned the Arsenal prior to migration.
From the official site
Since the advent of crystite reactors, MEK systems (Mechanically Enhanced Kinetics) have come into their own as an essential part of any battleforce. Before CP (crystite power) powerplants, MEK systems were largely the realm of heavy industry or short duration uses, such as the popular Holmgang battleframe sports. Military grade frames are primarily manufactured by Enermax, Inc., who remain the largest supplier of weapon systems in the world.
During the Crystite Wars, Enermax Industries introduced modular upgrade components to battleframes, allowing their wearers to customize the abilities and weapon systems of assault frames to tailor their role on the battlefield. This robust “plug-n-play” system allowed the wearer to slot standardized modules into their frame to greatly enhance capabilities. Modules permitted the assault frame to perform maneuvers, release kinetic energy in bursts, or even summon electrical barrages or boost damage and speed output for short periods of time. This was achieved through software programming and “burning in” of crystite matrices that channeled crystite energy in highly specific ways and sequences. By diverting power through the matrix of crystite nano-conduits, different effects could be achieved, limited only by the imagination and talent of the programmer and the amount of power and crystite available.
The immense power of CP powered Battleframes also enabled much greater agility. By the end of the Crystite Wars, Jetboots were standard on all battleframes. These allowed the soldier to leap great distances and hover momentarily in the air, which proved an immense tactical advantage over all previous frames.
Jetboots is a known means of enhancing player movement through the world, among with Gliders, Vehicles, and Dropships. With jetboots, thrusters on a battleframe's boots, the player boost up to more than 20 feet into the air. It's possible to reach high heights in the game by finding a path that leads up the mountain, which is either cut out or set out in a platform manner so that a player can boost from one rock platform to another.
Gliders can be activated by setting down a glider pad or using one available in towns and watchtowers. A glider will also open up if you exit a dropship mid-flight.
Vehicles are available as a transportation faster then running on foot. While LGVs carry one person, MGVs can transport up to 5 people at a time.
Many facets of player movement are affected by equipment and perks, including jump height, run speed, jet duration, etc. A player may also teleport between SIN Towers in the same region at the cost of Credits.