I've been playing Mega Man 2 for over 30 years and have finished it countless times so allow me to share my go-to boss order and strategies. This walkthrough follows the optimal order to face Mega Man 2's bosses so you can make the most of each stage with unlocked items and weapons as well as exploit every boss's weakness.
Mega Man 2 Boss Order / Weaknesses
This guide is for every single boss in Mega Man 2 (not just the Robot Masters) and is structured so bosses' weaknesses are beside their names in the headers then I'll describe how to defeat them with some extra tips, too. We'll tackle the Robot Masters in this order:
- Metal Man / Mega Buster (Metal Blade for 2nd encounter)
- Wood Man / Metal Blade (Atomic Fire for 2nd encounter)
- Bubble Man / Metal Blade
- Air Man / Leaf Shield
- Crash Man / Air Shooter
- Heat Man / Bubble Lead
- Flash Man / Metal Blade
- Quick Man / Time Stopper
Metal Man Mega Buster (P)
Although the exact order of which bosses to tackle next is often debated, there's no denying that defeating Metal Man first is the best way to go. To beat Metal Man, simply jump to avoid the blades that he throws while shooting like crazy. He'll sometimes leap to the other side so stay somewhat in the middle to avoid the most damage.
Metal Man is the ideal boss to fight first because the weapon you get from defeating him is Metal Blade; perhaps the most useful weapon in Mega Man 2 as it's effective against a few other Robot Masters and makes dealing with many of the regular enemies much easier as you can shoot it up, down, and at any 45° angle. Now that we have it, let's move ahead with our boss-slaughtering escapades!
Wood Man Metal Blade (M)
What's a good way to chop wood? With Metal Blades, of course. I like to challenge Wood Man next because, well... isn't that music awesome?! During the fight, avoid shooting when Wood Man's leaf shield is up then toss a few Metal Blades his way whenever he's exposed. Make sure to jump over the shield when he launches it and stand between the leaves when they fall down.
Bubble Man Metal Blade (M)
I like getting Bubble Man out of the way next because his stage can be quite annoying with all of those spikes everywhere. Anyway, fire Metal Blades at Bubble Man as he swims around the arena and make sure not to jump up into the spikes at the top of the screen because they'll end your life instantly. As a reminder; you can shoot Metal Blades at 45° angles as well as straight up so aim right at Bubble Man as he jumps and swims around to finish the battle as quickly as possible.
Air Man Leaf Shield (W)
Now that we have Leaf Shield and got the underwater level out of the way, it's a good idea to beat Air Man next. The fight with Air Man can be mildly tricky as you have to leap over the little tornadoes that he sends your way before attacking him because they will deflect your attacks. After jumping over the wind gusts, tap the attack button then tap the direction towards Air Man to launch your Leaf Shield which will hopefully hit him for massive damage. Once you defeat him, you'll get the very useful Item-2. Yay! 😁
Crash Man Air Shooter (A)
Another excellent stage tune! Anyway, use Metal Blades in the stage to make it easier then face Crash Man with Air Shooter equipped. Crash Man is a hyperactive fellow as he jumps all over the arena while shooting bombs at you so stay diagonally underneath him and shoot the Air Shooter up at him for a quick defeat. Fun fact: the Crash Bomber weapon that you get can destroy certain walls. 💥
Heat Man Bubble Lead (B)
I recommend Heat Man after Crash Man so you can use the Crash Bomber weapon to create little shortcuts by destroying the weak wall segments. Also, Item-2 makes Heat Man's stage much easier so now that we have it, you can use it during the final disappearing blocks segment for an easy-breezy time. Specifically, deploy it on the ledge right before the lava river so you don't run out of energy.
Anyway, Heat Man himself can simply be dispatched by jumping over him while weaving between his fireballs that rise to form walls after landing and then releasing Bubble Lead shots so they hit him underneath at an angle. They also travel along the ground so you don't have to try hard to aim. Once Heat Man is defeated, you'll receive Item-1 for your efforts. 😄
Flash Man Metal Blade (M)
Wow, these Metal Blades sure are versatile, aren't they? Well, Flash Man is the last of the 3 Robot Masters that I recommend using them on so here we go! Again, use the Crash Bomber weapon to destroy the walls throughout the level which makes it easier to navigate and also use Item-1 to make platforms so you can reach the paths with sweet bonus items like 1-ups and E-Tanks.
When you've completed this short and intricate stage, Flash Man is quite an easy boss so equip the trusty Metal Blade and have at it. Good thing these blades can travel through walls! Once you're done, you'll finally receive Item-3 to complete your collection.
Quick Man Time Stopper (F)
Speaking of Item-3, use it to snag a 1-up and don't be ashamed to use Time Stopper during the tough second laser segment in order to stop the lasers dead in their tracks. If you do, recharge Time Stopper's weapon gauge by farming the 2 big enemies within the area before the boss. When you're ready, use Time Stopper as soon as the fight with Quick Man begins which will deplete half of his health. Then, use carefully-aimed Crash Bomber shots to finish off the battle. Quick Man sure wasn't all that quick, was he? 🤔
Mecha Dragon Quick Boomerang (Q)
After carefully leaping from block to block, stand on the highest block and rapidly shoot Quick Boomerangs at Mecha Dragon. Try to jump over the fireballs, too, but if you unfortunately get hit, you will hopefully land on the bottom block which acts as a nice safety net.
Picopico-kun Bubble Lead (B)
As the blocks assemble 2 at a time, jump over them when needed then blast the assembled enemies with Bubble Lead which should defeat them in 1 shot each. The boss will be annihilated once most of the blocks are taken care of; specifically, after you destroy 14 enemies. Keep in mind that some of the enemies move more aggressively than others so stay on your toes.
Guts Tank Quick Boomerang (Q)
Quick Boomerang comes to the rescue yet again! To beat the colossal Guts Tank, jump on top of the red ledge of the tank then shoot a bunch of Quick Boomerangs at its head. For such a big boss, it sure is easy to defeat, isn't it? 😊
Boobeam Trap Crash Bomber (C)
When working your way through this next stage, ensure that your Crash Bomber ammo remains topped-up and avoid falling down the false floors; using the Items will help a lot with that. Anyway, this is the most annoying boss in the whole game. For starters, you need to beat it in 2 phases so ensure that you have at least 1 extra life before challenging it. If you don't, keep biting the dust then continue.
In the first phase, only destroy the walls with Crash Bomber while using Item-1 to move around the room easier then let the boss defeat you so you can conserve the rest of your ammo. Next, refill your Crash Bomber gauge by farming enemies (Quick Boomerang helps beat them faster) and when you face the boss again, the walls will be gone. Finally, clear out the cannons and you're done - hurray! 😅
Robot Masters Revisited
Starting in the top-right and moving clockwise, the bosses that you'll face here are: Flash Man, Metal Man, Crash Man, Quick Man, Bubble Man, Wood Man, Air Man, and Heat Man. The only 2 bosses that you should use a different strategy for than you used before are Metal Man who can be defeated with just one Metal Blade and Wood Man who will burn up completely with a single fully-charged Atomic Fire (H) shot by holding the shoot button down and waiting until the charge reaches its 3rd and final state. Pretty neat, huh? 🔥
Wily Machine 2: Part 1 Atomic Fire (H)
First, simply charge up an Atomic Fire shot all the way, launch it at the black bubble window, and that's it! However, if you don't have enough for a fully-charged Atomic Fire, you can use Crash Bomber but conserve your ammo because you're going to need it in part 2.
Wily Machine 2: Part 2 Crash Bomber (C)
Simply jump over the bouncing projectiles while shooting Crash Bomber at Dr. Wily and the fight will be over soon. If you don't have enough ammo, you can use Quick Boomerang instead which should do the trick and you'll probably have plenty of ammo for that!
Alien Bubble Lead (B)
The only weapon that's effective against this... "Alien" is Bubble Lead so carefully attack it by jumping right up to it and shooting Bubble Lead as viciously yet carefully as possible. After dodging its many projectiles and doing enough damage while using E-Tanks when needed, you'll beat this epic classic Mega Man game; congratulations! Thank you for playing... and for checking out my guide! 😄