[Ultimate] Arknights Guide for Beginners – Team Building, Leveling
With global Arknights coming soon, players can now start looking up guides to get a good start in the game.
By: Chris Wang
Chris Wang gives us a very in depth basic guide/tutorial for the game. This will be perfect for beginners and also give you a nice advantage starting the game. He learned all the mistakes by trial and error. Check out the channel!
If you want to save some cold hard cash that you don’t want to waste on doing unnecessary stuff. Be aware that all the terms I’m using is just a rough idea that I came up with. The actual name of the items and stuff will most likely be different when global is released.
I will be talking about the recruit system, the shop and building at your base. Let’s talk about what we all care the most about – the waifu summoning system recruit! This game consists of two resources for recruiting and as you can tell these 2 type of recruits both of them obtainable for free. However, one can be purchased.
This is your summoning crystal.
This is the premium currency.
You can buy them with cash. I will start from the premium recruiting since it is the simplest. There is always a different pickup character that is in the Gacha. Every time you get a pickup in a new pickup pool, you will get a bonus that you’re guaranteed a five star or six star character in your first ten summons.
There is single gacha and ten gacha at once. There are also gacha tickets you can obtain through events or shops and all that good stuff. I would recommend you save at least 10 single gacha tickets over single ones.
Also, never buy the crystal directly I will explain the free gacha system for you. As with most gacha games, you get free currency that you can earn from the game, but the difference is in this game, you can actually get five and even six star units!
6 star is the highest level and highest rarity you can get in this game. You get tags that you can select when you are summoning and what can be summoned also depends on the time.
As you can see with one hour I can get 1/2/3/4 stars. If I increase the time I spend, I can eventually only get 3/4/5 stars, which is really useful.
The second part is the tags. There are five tags in place. I have snipers ,healers, units and all sorts of tags. There is one special tag that allows you to get 6 star characters.
I am not sure what the exact term will be but there is also one 4/5 star characters so if you select that tag you’re pretty much guaranteed a 5 star character.
There are specific characters like a 5 star character or 4 star characters that has its unique set of tags. Every time you get like a random selection of tags, you can get a decrease in speed and then there is a character that just perfectly has those few tags.
If I select those tags I will be guaranteed to get the character. You can even just get 5 star units that way. This system is actually really complicated and I would suggest you to learn your characters.
The currency that is required for this summoning is the free gacha ticket. There is two ways to get this:
- from your daily/weekly missions
- your shop
The shop has some recommended stuff such as time limited items that you can buy right now. There are costume sets that you don’t really need to buy it, just skip.
This pack is the reason why I say do not buy summoning crystals directly. This pack is given to you every 5 levels and you will be paying your premium currency that you earn from clearing stages.
You will get the exact equal amount of summoning crystals as you would, but you will also get money, skill book and all these materials that can help you level up your character and level experience books.
You will get this every five levels and trust me you will need all your crystals unless you want to spend money on the game. There are monthly tickets that you get 6 crystals at the start and then you get 200 summoning crystals every day and some stamina to clear the stages.
When I start playing the English version, most likely I will be getting this. The costume is what most people are really interested in.
These are all pretty much limited and you see that I’ve bought them so they’re staying here. If I haven’t purchased them they will be gone forever. I think that’s where most people spend money on and they just earn the summoning crystals like playing the game.
This is another type of currency so as you can tell I actually bought the premium summoning ticket through this.
The green thing at the top is is this is a list of how to get them. Once you have maxed out your character and that is having the same character six times, which is really easy for low star characters.
You will have extra materials that you’re given. You can sell this 3 star character and get five of this green currency. If I trade in a four star character material I will get higher version, which is this:
You want to use them really wisely as you can use it to buy 6 star characters too. These are really rare so you should save up because this is a monthly replenished pool of things that you can buy.
This is your typical friend point. You can buy all sorts of materials like money, free summoning ticket and actually some good characters. You are probably going to be using other people’s unit and then you’ll be getting them as you play of game.
Visiting friend base will net you 30 points for every character you visit ,up to 20.
The second way you can get friend points is in your base. You will have your units working.
They will be making products for you and you will be trading these gold bar looking things into money that you can spend on your character to level up.
You can also get the summoning crystal but I do not recommend it because money is really important in this game as a F2P player. When you are just leveling up your character you will need a lot of it. Just invest in getting more money.
You also need your units working for you to get the building working. When they finish, they will use up stamina and you will need these domes for them to rest in and get the stamina back. You get friend points is when you’ll be recovering clues.
Gathering all seven clues and then clicking the button below unlocking the clues and I will get 210 point after a certain period of time. This clues will show up often and you can increase the speed by putting more units in there and that will increase the speed.
If you have extra clues you can give them to your friend. You will be earning a lot of friend points just going through the basic system.
You will be getting the summoning crystals in your daily missions as well and your weekly missions. You get 500 per week for weekly missions and 100 per day for daily missions. That is 1200 every single week just by playing the game.
There is actually this quest that you can tackle and you can get even more crystals. Even if you are at like 10 percent of the challenge, you will still get crystals. It is just that the maximum number of crystals that you can get is less because when you finish these challenges you can actually increase the amount of crystals that you get per week.
So you will be getting at least about 2,000 ish even you are just starting per week. So in three weeks you can do 10 summonings. It is so simple you don’t need to spend too much money on the game if you don’t want to. The system is really friendly for those that didn’t want to pay like tons of money.
Not everyone has all the characters in the game, so building a team will be different for everyone. If you don’t have the certain characters, you will need replacements using lower rarity characters to beat various stages.
The diversity in this game is large that break down the section into 2 parts – Melee and Ranged. The names will most likely be different from Global, so keep that in mind. Just use the pictures to spot the characters.
Scouts are usually low-cost characters. For example, Fang is one of the first characters you’ll probably be using and she has a 9 cost. When you go into the stage, you will be able to place one of these characters down. What they do is really simple.
Their skill gives you more costs. So, for example, Fang will gain skill points as time pass on and after her skill point is filled up, she will use her skill and grant you 6 skill points at level 7.
Generally I would separate Scouts into three types. The first type is the damage scout and the highest rarity I have is Texas.
There is a 6 star variant of the attack base Scout and she is super good with a high attack value that you can use her like a DPS. If you can, try and have at least 1 damage type as they are useful in taking on lots of enemies coming in at the start of battle.
The four star variant would be Scavenger. I did not level her up too much since I already have Texas. The three star variant would be Vanilla.
The second scout type is the defense type. I would consider 3Nma as the highest level defense. However, I don’t really use defense type scouts as much so I just stay with lower tier ones. The second one would be Courier. Fang would most likely be the one that you get at the start as she is also a defense type.
The last type of scout is the cost recovering scout. When you put down a unit and you want to retract it back, you only get half the cost that it took you to place down a unit. But with cost recovering scouts, you actually get all the costs back.
Plume would be considered a cost recovering scout, but I haven’t used her because they can only block one unit in front of them and the second enemy will just run by. Usually they are used to just kill enemies to get cost. For every enemy they kill, they get one point and then when you retract them you get all the cost back.
I would recommend at least having one defense type scout and one attack type scout and maybe one cost refunding scout.
Warriors are even more diverse and there are so many characters in this type. I have arranged them into six types.
The first type is the melee single target warriors and are quite useful.
Malentha, Matoimaru and Franka are so strong that even the three star variant Melentha is super useful. She can only stop one unit but her damage is high. Level her up!
The second type are those that can attack from range. It is a bit weird because they are in melee slots. Some examples are Midnight, Frostleaf, SilverAsh and Lappland. These four can attack at a range of three slots away from them and also beside them.
They are more useful late in the game, so I don’t recommend leveling up them at the start. For example, the most recent event SilverAsh is one of the most useful characters that I have used and it is important to just level at least one of them up. Another example is Lappland. You can change her damage into magical damage so she can bypass normal defense and kill tanky enemies.
The third type are multiple target warriors. Examples are Popukar, Estelle and Specter. These three can attack all of the enemy in front of them at once and at least two enemy at the same time. Generally they have decent defense and health. They are sub tanks with good damage. I just look at their stats and categorise them based on that.
There are also support roles for warriors. For example, Dobermann, her skill can improve all three star unit attack by 5% and also her five-star variant would be Swire and her skill grants all allies around her 6% damage.
Another type of warrior is the Beehunter and Indra. What is special about them is they have really high attack speed and they’re really low in cost. For example, Indra’s skill can allow her to ignore 35% of enemy defense and her second skill and her talent grants worth 15% evasion. They have high damage and high output but they can only stop one enemy. is They will be useful later.
The last type is really special and I only have one of this type and that is Ch’en.
The main thing about her is that her skill outputs so much burst damage in a short period of time. Her third skill does close range damage and stuns the target for 3 seconds. There are some stages that you can’t place down any ranged characters. She can take out six enemies at once and is super usefu. I would level her up once she is released.
I only level up 2 type of tanks and those are defensive tanks and healing tanks. There is a 3rd type that grants buffs or debuffs but I haven’t really used them as much. They will be useful later though.
For defense tanks, examples are Beagle, Cuora, Matterhorn and Hoshiguma. I would consider Matterhorn a better replacement then Cuora since he has way higher magical defense and health then Cuora.
If you can get Hoshiguma, she is the one of the beefiest tank in the game. She is well worth it.
The healing tanks, for example, are Cardigan, Gumi, Nearl and Saria.
Saria is so good. She can heal all unit all allies around her for a skill and the cost is so low that she is just healing like every few seconds. She is also super tanky. Saria and Hoshiguma are the two tanks that I would definitely recommend.
The last type are the special units. I would seperate them into four types.
The first one is speed revive. I would name it that way but depends on the translation. What is special about them is once you take them down from the field or they die, the time that you can place them on the field again is super short.
For example, you can put Gravel on the field for like about 16 seconds later, while some other units it may take like a minute before you can place them on again. There are very special stages that you will definitely need them.
The second type of unit that can actually push enemy away from them and they are Shaw, and FEater.
The third type are the type of units that can pull enemies towards you. They are Rope and Cliffheart. They are really useful in some special occasions because you can just push them off into like Dark Void and the enemy just die instantly. You will at least want one of each type.
The last type is even more special and there’s only one so far, Manticore. If she is standing in front of the enemy and blocking the enemy’s way, they will ignore her.
For example, if you only have one path that the enemy is coming in from, you put Manticore at the front so she can deal damage all around her so she is constantly dealing damage all the time.
Then, you put someone like Shaw behind her, who pushes the enemy away so you can see the enemies are coming in, and Manticore is attacking and she just pushes them back so the enemies will just stay there forever and they don’t even get a chance to attack you.
However, this has really limited use but can be super useful so it is optional. Overall, I would say you want different units as they will become useful in certain scenarios.
Before we carry on with ranged units, I have something to explain real quick.
In this game there is a really special property where your ranger will actually attack an enemy that is closest as in the time it takes for them to get to the goal, not as in physically close to the goal.
For example, the boss will travel through all these nodes on this path until it’s going in. At the start when he’s coming through this way. Even if you put an Archer or Magician over there, if there is another enemy, they will attack the other enemy first because the boss is still so much further away from the goal.
Hence, they will attack other enemies first that is crucial On 1-8, you will encounter this kind of this kind of mechanic, so be really careful. Now onto the ranged attackers.
The first type of ranged attackers are snipers. There is 3 types of snipers. The first one is Firewatch but not very useful.
The second type is solo snipers that attack air units. They prioritise air units when they’re attacking. Kroos, Meteor, Jessica, Platinum, Blue poison and Exusiai.
The last type are AoE snipers. Examples are Catapult, ShiraYuki and Meteorite. You will want at least 2 solo snipers and 1 AoE sniper. That is the bare minimum that you want at the start.
There are only two types of healers. The first one is solo healers. Examples are Gavial, Myrrh, Warfarin and Shining. The AoE healers that can kill three units at a time are Perfumer, Ptilopsis and Nightingale. I would recommend at least have one of each.
There is solo and AoE attack type magicians. Solo ones are Pace and Nightmare, Amiya and Eyjafjalla. Emiya will be given to you at the start of the game. You can only increase her potential by playing through the story.
The AoE magicians are Lava, Greyy, Gitano, Skyfire and Ifrit. Ifrit’s attack range is a straight line while others are like this 3×3 shape. If you have a really long path that the enemies will come through and at the end of the path, you can put her there and she will be doing huge amount of damage.
There are three types of support. First type would delay units to slow the enemy down. Examples are Orchid, Earthspirit and Angelina. They also help your other characters deal more damage.
The second type are summoners. Examples are Deepcolor and Mayer. They are not needed at the moment.
The last type would be buffers and debuffers. Examples are Pramanix and Sora. Sora increases your damage and your allies damage and decreases the enemy’s defense. I would recommend leveling up at least one that can slow the enemy, the higher the rarity the better.
Basic Team Building and Setup
By – Peacecow. Check out the channel!
In the previous section, some units were recommended to use and mechanics were explained briefly. In this team building section, we will go more in depth and the pitfalls to avoid. We will also discuss some characters that will be useful additions to the team early on and those that are great late game.
Let’s go over some stat basics first.
Deployment points – this is the resource used to determine whether or not you can deploy a character.
Block count – this is the amount of enemies that a certain operator will be able to stop. Any more than that and enemies will pass by them.
Elite – this is limits breaking. It resets the character level while keeping their stats. At the same time, it gives them new abilities or talents.
When talking about elites we will use the term E1 to refer to their first promotion and E2 for the second promotion.
You will have at least completed chapter 0 of the story or rolled on the Gacha. Either of these 2 actions will provide us with the characters that are necessary to create a team.
It is quite tempting to deploy all of your high star characters that you might possibly get, but don’t fall for this trap. In the early game, you are usually strapped for deployment points and since higher rarity characters cost more to deploy, adding too many of them reduces their effectiveness of a deployment speed.
At bare minimum, have 1/2 of the team before 4 star or lower rarity characters. You can change characters as your units get stronger and you become more familiar with the team setups.
We will star by setting up our core team composition. The characters included within this group will be the backbone of your team.You will use it 90% of the time.
- 1 Vanguard
- 1 Anti Air Sniper
- 1 Mage Caster
- 1 Defender (Tank)
- 2 Healers
First, we need someone cheap and reliable to hold the frontline. At the start of the map, until we can get things settled. If they can provide us with extra deploy points would be great. These are exactly the traits of vanguards (scouts). They have the lowest cost out of all characters and have skills that provide an extra deploy points.
Secondly, in many stages there are drones that need to be destroyed and they can’t be blocked in most situations. Your characters will prioritise the enemy that is closest to the escape point and let those unshockable Ronan’s pass. We need an character that will prioritise attacking the drones to prevent that from happening.
This is where the anti-air sniper is useful. We can check for the correct trait by selecting the characters information page and looking at the bottom right of the screen. As a bonus these characters cost relatively low deployment points and still deal decent damage.
Third, there are enemies with high defense stats and this usually means that physical damage dealers will deal poor damage. We can choose to use magic attacks which completely ignore defense and are only influenced by magic resistance.
Although supports and a few select guards have magic capabilities, magic casters are our main source of magical damage. It is a good idea to have at least one of them in our team.
Then, we also need a character that is tanky. Defenders have the ability to block a large number of enemies and generally has the highest defense and health stats. For survivability, when selecting our defender, there are some defenders that have healing skills instead of defense buffs. These defenders can only block two enemies at a time as opposed to normal three before their promotion to E1.
Even though the difference between two and three blocks might not seem that large, it actually is quite huge when playing the stages. The reason for this is the wave design. Enemies sometimes come in pairs and clusters, or even as a whole pack. Small differences like this will decide whether or not you hold the line.
The two healers are fairly straightforward. Enemies retaliate and characters will take damage. We will need healers to sustain the defense. It suggested to have a single target healer against burst damage as well as a AoE target healer for damage over time.
With that in mind, we finish setting up 1/2 the team. Now, let’s complete it by filling out the remaining 1/2. We will first go over a basic setup template that allows our team to be generally balanced and be able to deal with most situations.
Then we will go over some of the more advanced setups that can be used. The basic setup is an extension of our core where we take almost every class and add them all over again. The difference is instead of having 4 healers, we keep the original 2 and add 2 guards and instead of having 2 defenders we keep the original and allow that last spot to be a flexible choice.
In this team composition our second sniper doesn’t have to be anti-air. We can an AoE sniper like Shirayuki. For example, the same goes for the mage caster slot. If we chose for an AoE caster before we can opt for a single target one like Amiya.
For the guard slots, it is highly recommended to have a duelist. These are easily found by checking their trait description which should specify that they can only lock one enemy at a time. The other is a free pick.
We should have:
- 2 Vanguards
- 2 Snipers
- 2 Casters
- 2 Healers
- 2 Guards
- 1 Defender
- 1 of your choice
This is just a an example. You should adapt your team to what the situation calls for.
Forming a team composition for a specific situation such as this map where there is only one exit and a huge flow of enemies single target operators might not kill them all in time. That means we will want a large amount of AoE characterss along with an extra defender to hold the enemies in place.
For this we need to form a team that involves gathering all the enemies into one concentrated location and weaving in a kill zone. We build a team that house three AoE characterss and two defenders as the core. The defenders gather all the enemies and the AoE operators defeat them all in one fell swoop.
Keep in mind that defenders and AoE characters are rather costly, taking as much as 32 points. It may take too long to deploy if you don’t have a sufficient income of deployment points.
To balance this out, we will need to take an extra Vanguard with us and to complete this team. We still bring along our anti-air sniper and duelist to deal with drones or stray single enemies. you may have noticed the absence of the support and specialist classes.
This is because these two type of classes like their names imply or specialize in some aspects like having greatly decrease re-deploy time or pushing and pulling enemies off ledges. That doesn’t mean that supports can’t deal damage. Specialists also cannot be used as guards.
It just requires knowledge about specific characters within these categories. You can further diversify your teams with specialists and supports to match your play style once you are familiar with the game.
Let’s go over some characters that are great picks for new teams. Starting off you have Shaw, a specialist character that has the ability to push enemies.
In some maps of Arc Knights you can push or pull enemies into holes or off ledges which is an instant kill. Shaw is able to be placed on both ranged or melee tiles and can also serve as a frontline unit.
Next is Melantha. A guard type character that has high health and attack while also being relatively cheap to deploy. Sometimes, we will want to play aggressively and assassinate specific targets before they can wreak havoc on our defensive line.
Melantha is a duelist and having high HP allows her to withstand attacks for long enough to assassinate her target. Once her job is done we can simply have a retreat until she is needed again.
Next up, Rangers are 2 star sniper characters. Despite the low rarity he has an incredible talent which allows him to deal 50% more damage against their targets, which in turn makes him useful from the early and mid stages of the game and all the way to some endgame stages.
Being 2 stars means that he is very cheap to deploy but also limits his growth and makes him relatively weak when dealing with anything outside of air units. He is easy to level up and provides a lot of utility.
For anti-air units, we also have Cruz and Jessica both are able to deal with air and ground units easily. Unlike Rangers, they have the ability to receive promotions to further increase their strength.
The main difference between Cruz and Jessica lies in the difference of promotions. Jessica can be promoted up to E2 but cost more materials, while Cruz can only be promoted once to E1 but has a lower cost of promotion.
Finally, we have Fang, a vanguard character. Cheap to deploy and boasting relatively high defence. Her selling point is her talent, which almost halves her deployment costs in comparison to Vanguard’s of higher rarity.
These few points may not seem like much, but in reality every point counts when we’re trying to set up quickly. We also want to make sure we have at least 2-3 star operators in the team as the game completely refines the cost of leveling them up via a mission board, making it basically free.
When leveling the team, we want to operate as level evenly rather than have one certain character outleveling the others. It is important to remember that our characters function as a team.
- Damage dealers can’t deal damage if they’re low level.
- Defenders cannot hold the line if Healers are weak
- We might not even get past the first wave if Vanguards are falling left and right
How Far Should I Level Up?
Answers will vary depending on player and play style. My personal recommendation is to get an character to E1 level 30. Doing so allows you to actually get a feel of how they operate and then decide whether or not you want to continue using them.
Hopefully this guide has helped clear up the basics of team building. Take care and have fun in Arknights!
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