Welcome to the beginners guide for Arknights. In this tutorial, we will go over the basic mechanics of the game, the different classes, re-roll recommendations and also team building for beginners. Get ready for all the info coming your way!
Game Gameplay and Mechanics
Arknights is a tower defense based gacha games where you pull units that are utilized as your defenders on a map. Each unit will have different stats, range, utility and skills that will aid you in defending your base. You want to stop your enemies from entering your base.
Some maps will also have different types of enemies that you have to deal with using the different classes, so you are going to need a diverse team to take on tougher maps.
Also, this game is very free to play friendly. You do not need the best units in the game to clear it. A lot of people have done it with just 3/4/5 star operators.
The Different Operator Classes and Their Range
There are currently 8 class types you can get from the game.
Vanguards are your fast deployment type of units. They are cheap to quickly deploy to block enemies (usually only 1) and also deal some damage. Depending on the operator, some can help regain deployment points faster or some can block 2 enemies. They are not very tanky, so they will go down easily to melee heavy enemies. They are best used when there are not too many heavy hitting enemies. Their range is short and can usually only hit 1 block ahead of them.
Vanguards cannot be placed on higher ground, only on the floor.
Guards are your melee attackers that are a hybrid between Vanguard and Defender. They hit quite hard and can usually block 1 enemy. However, they also cost a bit more to deploy than Vanguards. In certain maps where enemies move fast, it is better to use Vanguard over Guard. But, if you need more durability, then Guards are preferred. They do really well against ranged mages if you park them right on top of them. Like Vanguards, Guards can attack 1 block ahead of them.
Guards cannot be placed on higher ground, only on the floor.
Defenders are the tanky version of Vanguards but in exchange, they deal less damage and have slower attack speed. However, they can block 3 enemies units instead of 1. They also have way more health and are beefier. They can take a lot of punishment against melee heavy units, but will also melt quickly against magic attacks.
They are useful in certain maps where there are only 1 or 2 entrances. You park a Defender in that spot to block any incoming intruders. They can tank even more if you have a medic supporting it. Defenders have the shortest range of all classes. They can only attack on their own space.
Defenders cannot be placed on higher ground, only on the floor.
Snipers are your ranged attacks. They usually have an attack range of 3×3 and some even have more. They are great against fast moving enemies with light armor and also good against air units. They deal way less damage to heavy armored units. Most snipers have fast attack speed and are best used in maps where there are many air units.
Most of the time, snipers cannot be placed on the floor and only on higher ground.
Casters are mages that have low health but can deal good damage against heavy armored units. Some mages deal single target magic damage, some can deal AoE magic damage. AoE magic damage is very strong against groups of heavy armor enemies. Most mage’s attack speed isn’t as fast as snipers, but they do pack a punch. Casters are vulnerable to ranged enemies and also ranged AoE mages.
Most of the time, casters cannot be placed on the floor and only on higher ground.
They are your healers in the game. Normally, they have a heal range of 3×3+1 block ahead of them. Some others will have wider heal range once they get to their E2 promotions and heal 4×3 range.
Medics are vital in maps as your operators will take damage and a medic will keep them healthy. Some maps will have damage over time dealt to your units at all times and they will be key to passing those maps.
Supporters are attackers that can fulfil niche roles. Some can deal magic damage and slow enemies. Lancet-2 can heal allies and can ignore max deployed unit count. They come in handy in certain maps.
Much like Supporters, they also can fulfil niche roles. Some of them can be quite useful later in the game. For example, some operators can push (Shaw pushes enemies into holes etc.) or pull units around, displacing their path. Some others can summon units in battle. Shaw, a melee specialist can actually be placed on higher ground and attack all blocked enemies.
Let’s go over all the main resources in the game so you are aware of what to save and what to spend on.
- LMD – Your main currency used for a variety of things, such as upgrading/leveling operators
- Originium– The premium currency that you use to summon banners in Headhunt or buy specific operator skins. Can also be gotten from completing missions and is a very rare resource.
- Orundum – Also premium currency, but you can earn them in game. These are also used to summon for operators.
In the shop under certificate, you can buy summon certificates to try and get your favorite 6 star operators.
- Qualification Certificate (Green) – Used to buy items from Commendations tab.
- Advanced Certificate (Yellow) – Used to buy items from Distinctions tab. You can buy rare 6 star operators.
- Purchase Certificate (Red) – Used to buy items from Shop Vouchers. You can buy contracts for operators here.
You can sell 1/2/3 star operators to get Qualification Certificate (Green), 4/5/6 star operators to get Advanced Certificate (Yellow). Purchase Certificate (Red) can be farmed by doing Tough Siege mode.
Leveling and Promotion
To level your operators, you can level them normally through doing missions, but the fastest way to level them is to farm for Battle Records in Tactical Drill event. This is open 24/7, so you can farm as long as you have enough sanity daily. I recommend quickly maxing out your main operators that you use often so you can promote them later on.
Only 3 star and higher rarity operators can be promoted. 3 star operators can only be promoted once to E1. 4 to 6 star operators can be promoted to E2, which is the highest promotion you can get in the game.
- 1/2 star – Max level 30
- 3 star – E1 max level 55
- 4 star – E2 max level 70
- 5 star – E2 max level 80
- 6 star – E2 max level 90
As you can see, 6 star has the highest max level at E2 and generally have better stats overall. That doesn’t mean that the lower rarity operators are not useful at all. They have their uses in different parts of the game.
Promotion costs quite a bit and requires LMD, promotion materials which you need to farm specific class materials for and also regular materials from the story mode.
In this game, it is not necessary to re-roll, but it is nice to have shiny 6 star rarity operators in your inventory. The cool thing about this game is that they already are going to give you 1 free 6 star operator from your first 10 summons. So you might as well just go ahead and re-roll for your favourite one. I will list the 6 star operators below:
Siege is good Vanguard with low deployment cost. Her first skill gives instant 12 deployment points in battle, giving you even faster deployment of other operator. Her second skill can attack adjacent enemies while her third skill can stun enemies.
Exusiai is a popular choice as she is a raw DPS sniper that does incredibly well against non heavy armor units. All 3 of her skills improves her overall DPS, making some stages easy due to her sheer amount of damage.
As a Guard, Silverash has incredible range. He can hit enemies 2-4 spots ahead of him. He is also quite versatile since he can switch between melee and ranged mode. His second skill turns him full melee and can only attack adjacent of him but he gains more defense and has % max hp recovery per second. His third skill switches to very long range (3 tiles) but loses defense for it. As you can see, he can be a hybrid defender that deals ranged damage. I picked him as my starter.
Hoshiguma is a sturdy defender that can inflict physical damage back to her enemies when she is attacked via second skill. Her third skill improves her durability and also damage. She is a offensive attacker as well. A good pick if you like a strong wall that can deal lots of damage.
She has great utility and can slow enemies with incredible attack range. Her second skill basically perma-slows enemy due to the attack speed increase. Her skill 3’s attack range increases and can slow up to 4 enemies. Keep in mind she can’t attack when skill is not active.
A healer that can also deal damage. If you are looking for a hybrid attacker that can provide shield buffs and heal your team, she is the one to pick. Her skill 3 improves the defense of all operators within her attack range.
A strong AoE healer that will keep your team alive. She has innate magic resist boost that will also affect allies, so she is a good pick in magic heavy maps. She can also provide shields for allies. Her skill 3 increases her attack range, boosts her attack and give allies more magic resist.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of these operators. They are all good and it all comes down to preference and who you like more.
You will be getting the summoning crystals in your daily missions and also 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.
Recruitment and Tags
The cool thing about this game is that you can get rare operators via recruitment tags. This is done by heading over to the recruit tab on the home screen. You get tags that you can select when you are summoning and what can be summoned also depends on the time.
Senior and Top Operator are rare tags that guarantee high rarity operators. Also, improve your HR in your base will unlock more recruitment spots, up to 4. Not all operators can be gotten from this recruitment process and they are only available in head hunting (aka premium operators).
The tags you get are random, and you can refresh it for a different tag combination. The reason for that is sometimes you can get high rarity operators using specific tags.
If any of the tags aren’t the options you need to get a specific operator, you can save LMD on recruitment costs by setting the recruitment time to 7:40:00.
That is the shortest time that guarantees at least a 3 star. For recruiting Robots, set the time to 3:50:00, which is the longest time that does not remove star operators.
Below is a list of combinations that will give you the operators you are looking for (credit to ironmikey):
1. Does it have any these solo tags “combos”?
Crowd Control = Texas, Projekt Red, Mayer
Nuker = Firewatch
Summoner = Mayer
2. Does it have melee or range tag? If so, check for these combos:
Melee + Crowd Control = Texas, Projekt Red
Ranged + Support = Ptilopsis, Warfarin
Ranged + Slow + DPS = Istina
3. Does it have a class tag? If so, check for these combos:
Defender + DPS = Liskarm, Vulkan
Defender + Shift = Croissant
Defender + Survival = Vulkan
Medic + Support = Ptilopsis, Warfarin
Specialist + Crowd Control = Projekt Red
Specialist + DPS = Manticore, Cliffheart
Specialist + Slow = FEater
Specialist + Survival = Manticore
Supporter + Debuff = Pramanix
Supporter + DPS = Istina
Vanguard + Crowd Control = Texas
Vanguard + Support = Zima
4. Lastly, check for the below affix combos:
AoE + Debuff = Meteorite
Crowd Control + Fast Redeploy = Projekt Red
Crowd Control + DP-Recovery = Texas
Defense + Shift = Croissant
Defense + DPS = Liskarm, Vulkan
Defense + Survival = Vulkan
DP-Recovery + Support = Zima
DPS + Shift = Cliffheart
Healing + Support = Ptilopsis, Warfarin
Shift + Slow = FEater
The base is where all of your operator reside and they can be used to help you complete various tasks. You can assign operators to various buildings to help you get resources. Below are a list of buildings you will eventually get:
- Control Center – Operators with bonuses for this room buff certain parts of the Base and some can slow down moral decrease. You can assign 1 leader and 4 assistants (for additional trust).
- Power Plant – Provides power to the other rooms in the base for upgrades.
- Factory – Produces LMD, Battle Records, Dual Chips etc.
- Dormitory – This is to put all your low morale/fatigued operators to recharge them to full. Having a higher ambience(via furniture) improves their morale faster.
- Trading Post – Allows players to sell gold bars for LMD/Originium/Orundum.
- Reception Room – Receive clues and organize search parties for friend credits, which you can use to buy stuff in the store.
- Workshop – Produces base building materials, skill books, recycling furniture and also elite chips.
- HR Office – This unlocks your 3rd/4th recruitment slot.
- Training Room – Upgrade skill mastery beyond level 7.
When building your base, you have a few options:
- 2 Trading Posts, 4 Factories, 3 Power Plants
- 2 Trading Posts, 5 Factories, 2 Power Plants
- 3 Trading Posts, 3 Factories, 3 Power Plants
The first option is the most newbie friendly and that is what I built. It gives a good mix of everything you need. 3 power plants allows you to fully upgrade your base. If you opt for more factories, your resource generation will be higher.
This game is all about having a balanced team that can handle any of the missions that you come across. It is best to level up various operators of different classes than it is to only power level 1 or 2 strong operators. Also, it is not good for you to only use all 6 star operators your deployment costs will be higher, which can make the difference of winning or losing for certain missions.
Here are my recommendations. The operators included in this group will be the foundation of your team. You will use it most of the time.
- 1 Vanguard
- 1 Sniper
- 1 Caster
- 1 Defender
- 2 Medics
Having at least 1 Vanguard ensures you have a low deployment cost front line that you can use for emergency situations. 1 Sniper ensures you can deal with air units. In some stages there are air drones that need to be destroyed and they can’t be blocked. Your operators will prioritise the enemy that is closest to the escape point. So snipers will do the trick here.
1 Caster allows you to deal with heavy armor units. A Defender will give you the endurance you need to block 3 units and withstand heavy attacks. 2 Medics will make your team survive in tough situations.
As for the remaining spots, you can mix and match based on what you prefer after playing the game for a while.
Here is what I ended up with:
- 2 Vanguards
- 2 Snipers
- 2 Casters (1 with AoE)
- 2 Medics
- 2 Defender
- 1 Guard
- 1 of your choice
The last spot is interchangeable based on what I need for the specific mission.
I have compiled a list of useful resources that will help you in your Arknights journey.
A lot of F2P friendly mission guides to help you out.
Progression guides and also showcasing various operators.
No commentary guides for those that just want to watch and read.
A veteran player that played in the China server. Has tonnes of experienced info for all newbies.
- Toolbox Kit – A database and useful tools made by GraueNeko, Aceship and Faryzal2020.
- Gamepress Arknights – A wiki and database.
That concludes the guide. Hope this helps!