"I've got good news Major, I was able to use parts from some of the heavy 'Mechs to fix the Cougar scout 'Mech" - Foster
An iconic 'Mech in the MechAssault universe, the Cougar scout 'Mech is one of the most cost-efficient Light 'Mechs available on the battlefield. It is also the most underestimated - MechWarriors tend to prefer its cousin - the Puma, which boasts a more powerful arsenal and the Null Signature ability. What the Cougar has over the Puma however is a weapons system that produces less heat, a weapon that can knock down other 'Mechs, and the Anti-Missile System, which protects it from powerful missile volleys.
Most of the Cougar's damage output come from the Javelin LRMs, which need to be at level 2 or 3 to do any appreciable damage. The pulse laser should be used to continue the attack on opposing 'Mechs, but should also be at level 3 for consistent damage. It is advised to only use the autocannon for knocking down opposing 'Mechs, as its damage output is significantly low. The Cougar's best assets are its speed, and its jumpjets, which should be used to jump on opposing 'Mechs are another more powerful form of damage. It is advised to engage enemies with a teammate in a more powerful 'Mech, such as the Atlas or the Mad Cat.
The pulse lasers were severely nerfed in MechAssault 2. In this game, the Cougar sacrifices power for heat management, as the lasers fire in an alternative pattern (one laser cannon fires first, then another) instead of the usual stream of light, heavily reducing the amount of damage output.
The Cougar is frail but mobile, so pilots must always be on the move in order to reduce the damage that the Cougar takes. It does however carry the point defense Anti-Missile System, an ability that prevents most missiles from striking the 'Mech. However, the Mortar and POV Missile bypass the AMS, and the Hammer missile is stopped in midair, but is still able to explode and deal heavy damage. Jumpjets are also key to avoiding most sources of damage, and can be used for even better mobility and to seek cover.
In MechAssault 1, the Cougar suffers the terrible fate of being one of the worse 'Mechs to use, even amongst its Light-class peers, and even before the pulse laser nerf. It also gets no special treatment for being on the cover of the game. It is far outclassed by the Puma, which actually has an ability, and a weapon that can deal considerable damage. At least it isn't the Corvus.
While still outclassed in MechAssault 2, the forced re balancing of the game provides it with a small niche as a support 'Mech, as its offensive capabilities have been reduced further due to the pulse laser nerf. Its anti-missile system and speed tier allows to cover its teammates against incoming Javelins and Crossbows, and can even stop Warhammers in their track. Otherwise, the Cougar should never try to stand its ground. In the standard metagame (Team Destruction), the Cougar only appears once, in the map "Deliverance," where it can support its team against incoming attacks from the Stiletto, but must compete with the Hackman as the light 'Mech of choice.
- The Cougar is the first 'Mech available to players in MechAssault, and is also a possible first choice in MechAssault 2 if the player opts for it instead of the Uller.
- The Wolf Dragoons' trademark 'Mech is the Cougar.
- As seen on the disk cover and early promotional advertisements, the Cougar has an unused PPC, which appears to have taken the machine gun slot, as the promotional video shows the cougar shooting a single rapid fire pulse laser from its left arm and the PPC from its right arm . This was later changed to the three weapon types we see in game.