MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
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Starting (and unique) pilots have high skill caps, and all pilots level up faster!

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Frustrated of having to always fire Freeman or your House pilots in Career mode because they just kind of suck? Do you feel like they should be pilots you maintain a connection with throughout the game, rather than readily replaced by some random mechjock you pick up along the way? Also, do you feel like your pilots level up so slowly that you're always firing them simply because you come across new pilots with higher skill caps, rather than having to decide whether you really want to immediately fire your 38/38 pilot just because a 20/45 showed up?

This mod changes the 3 unique pilots you can find during the campaign (Freeman, Fenstrom, and Shenzeng) to have the max 60 skill cap.
NOTE I do not think this will affect them in an existing campaign if you already have them hired.

This mod also changes the 3 starting pilots you get for each House in career mode to have a 50 skill cap: a max of 8 for 5/6 skills, and a max of 10 in the last skill. This last skill is what I believe thematically their House would specialize in.
NOTE I do not think this will affect them in an existing career.

Davion: Ballistics
Kurita: Energy
Marik: Missiles
Liao: Evasiveness
Rasalhague: Heat Management
Steiner: Shielding

There is an alternate version of this mod which gives the career starting pilots skill caps of 60 instead, if you'd rather just have them be able to reach max level than caring about any House "flavour" to their skill caps.

There is also an optional add-on mod available which boosts the pilot skill XPgain by 2x. XP gain is based on performance in a given skill category in a mission (damage dealt with a weapon type, damage taken, overheats, number of shots evaded, etc).

Low performance: 100xp -> 200xp
Average performance: 150xp -> 300xp
Oustanding performance: 200xp -> 400xp

Installation Instructions
1. Unzip into your MW5Mercs/Mods folder
2. Launch game
3. Activate the "BetterPilots" mod in your "Mods" menu from the title screen
4. Restart the game for the mod to take effect

NOTE: This mod will conflict with any other mods which change the unique/starting pilot stats, or pilot XP gain. You can change the "defaultLoadOrder" to a higher number in this mod's mod.json if you want this mod's changes to take precedence.