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This article covers community suggested gameplay tips and formation layouts to optimize combat efficiency.
- This article should not be taken as a definitive guide, any tips or layouts here are merely suggestions
Feel free to use your own strategies and/or go with what suits your playstyle the most!
- 1 Formation Layout & Composition
- 2 In-Combat
- 3 Corpse Dragging
Formation Layout & Composition
- The most frequent team archetype used is a combination of 3 DPS (MG/AR/RF) and at least 1 Tank (SMG or SG). Due to the flexibility of HGs to serve both as off-tanks and as support for other DPS, it may often be preferable to use HG depending on the difficulty of the stage due to their lower resource cost.
- MGs deal all their damage up front, but will then have to reload for at least 4 seconds. As a result, they tend to be outclassed by AR and RF in longer fights. Consider this carefully when building your team, as their consumption is much higher in comparison.
- Be aware of the effects of buff tiles. SMGs and ARs complement each other, MGs and SGs complement each other, and RFs reduce the skill charge time of HGs. HG buffs can affect all guns.
- Different gun types benefit more from certain stats. ARs tend to favor crit chance and damage over attack speed. RFs favor RoF and damage, MGs benefit greatly from accuracy and damage, and SGs require the greatest amount of accuracy to be effective. Keep these general guidelines in mind when equipping your team and choosing your buffs.
- Typically your tanks will receive much less damage if they avoid the front row. This is because the time it takes for the enemies to move into firing position will be longer, and your own squad won't need to move forward to fire at enemies. It is often better to sacrifice tile buffs rather than losing valuable DPS time repositioning your team at the beginning of each round of combat.
- Due to their naturally high evasion and the fact that no single instance of damage is capable of destroying more than 1 T-doll, High level HGs can be used as resource-friendly secondary tanks.
- For player Tdolls, damage received does not carry over to other dummies. (If an x2 girl has 400 total HP and she takes two 150dmg shots, she'd be left with one dummy at 200 HP.) Because of this, prioritize evasion over HP against bosses, since no Tdoll in the game can take more than 2 150dmg shots per dummy.
- One of the highest DPS compositions is 3RF 2HG. This can be used to farm most content because enemies will often be mowed down before being able to land a single shot. There are also other RF formations available, as demonstrated here. Mobs to take caution over when using this formation are Dragoons (mounted enemies), Dinergates, and basically fast moving enemies that may swarm the squad up and engage in close quarters. In addition to having high movement speed, they also deal high damage per shot and have high accuracy as well.
- A safe, jack-of-all-trades, master of none composition would be 2SMG 3AR or 2SMG 2AR 1HG. As demonstrated here by the Anti-Rain squad, each unit has a role to play in near-perfect tandem. The same concept is demonstrated by Squad 404, and other 'canonical' team. Using other girls with similar skills, other fully-functioning AR SMG teams could be formed. Their only weaknesses would be armored enemies and 'RF/Shield' combinations.
All enemies have a noticeable delay between when they first get into position, and when they take their first shots. The length of the attack animation differs between different types of enemies; RFs and Nemeums have the most noticeable delay. This used to be exploitable by putting your tank in the front line, and right before they take their first shot, moving your tank back to the 2nd line and immediately back to the front line. As of the Arctic Warfare event update, however, enemies no longer have to restart their attack animation and are able to attack as soon as another unit is in their attack range.
While it is no longer possible to force enemies to restart their attack animation via kiting, it is still possible (and very advantageous) to use the Retreat option on an individual T-doll to force an enemy to move forward, thus forcing them to move forward while still being subject to your attacks. In the Episode 5 Night missions, it is not possible to kite the Nemeums backwards because they begin combat in range of your whole team.
As of Patch 1.115, a bug still exists where retreated T-dolls still count as "active" for the purposes of target acquisition for certain enemies. Notably, Architect has a chance to shoot her RPG special attack at an off-screen T-doll.
All bosses except for Destroyer, the EP.5 boss, have some sort of special attack that could formerly be canceled by kiting them. As of the Arctic Warfare event update, this no longer works unless you retreat a girl while the special attack is being used.
Blocking 2 columns with one tank
By constantly moving a T-doll between 2 blocks in a row, 2 enemy columns can be prevented from advancing (especially the shield units and the mechanized ones since they can only be stop by blocking their exact column). However, that certain T-doll will be rendered unable to shoot/use skill and moving another T-doll is obviously impossible. After the enemies start shooting at that T-dolls, stop moving her won't cause enemy units to advance as long as they keep shooting.
Corpse Dragging is where you repetitively complete the same 1-turn mission over and over again while only supplying the main DPS doll in the echelon.
This exploits the fact that only the dolls with resources exhausted will stop attacking, but rest of the echelon can still tank while gaining XP.
This is an extremely time-consuming yet resource-efficient way to grind XP and doll drops, so it is not recommended until the player can meet the requirements below.
- The auto-supply needs to be disabled!
- For echelon formation, refer to Formation Guide.
- The echelon needs at least one well-grown tanker. Although shotguns are preferred for their armor being able to reduce damage taken to 1, AR M4A1 with armor plates or her exclusive equipment or high evasion+health SMGs are great for lower areas. At least 4 links are recommended for SMGs and 3 links for Shotguns and AR M16A1. The tanker doll should be in the foremost lane in the center in order to draw all enemy fire.
- The echelon needs a DPS doll with high initial DPS. Self DPS buffing or grenade ARs with short initial cooldown are preferred for their high DPS to resource consumption efficiency. Although the DPS doll isn't as selective as the tanker, 4-5 star dolls with least 4 links are optimal.
- The rest 3 slots should be filled with those that needs XP, the "tourists".
- Place whichever doll needs XP the most on the echelon leader slot.
- There needs to be an extra empty echelon to be used to refill the DPS doll, along with an extra DPS doll.
- Open stage.
- Place the main echelon with the DPS doll at full supply on the heliport nearer to the enemy command center.
- Place the supplying echelon on the command center.
- Begin stage.
- Supply only the supplying echelon manually.
- Use the main echelon to beat the stage as quickly as possible. This is usually done in a single turn.
- After the stage, swap the 2 DPS dolls between the main echelon and the supply echelon.
- Repeat from #1 as much as you need.
These are stages where this strategy is usually used on.
This stage is very different from other stages. In this stage, you only need 1 echelon and can only have 1 doll that needs XP grinding at a time, but you don't need to spend a single resource, not even for the DPS doll. This is because you can use the dolls the stage drops as the DPS dolls.
Once the stage ends, swap out the 4 exhausted DPS dolls with newly-gained 2-star dolls. Make sure to keep the XP grinding doll as the leader.
This is the earliest stage where you can use this strategy properly. Since there are jaguars, it's recommended to place the dolls in forward positioning, which allows the echelon to kill the jaguar before attacking rest of the enemies.
It should be noted that the XP gain decreases if the doll's level goes over 75.
Basically enhanced version of 4-3E. XP decreases after level 88.
This stage is a little different. This is where the player needs to:
- Supply supplying echelon.
- Evacuate supplying echelon.
- Run around as much as possible against weakest enemies with the main echelon.
- Forfeit the stage.
This stage is also great for boss grinding. However, this is very different from corpse dragging as it requires the tanker to be an SMG and the whole echelon needs to be supplied for this.
XP decreases after level 93. This means the dolls can quickly get to 5 links. However, this stage does not give as much cores as 4-3E.
The next main place for this strategy. From this stage and on, the tanker has to be a shotgun. For this stage, the shotgun needs to have armor of at least 11. Although shotgun with some evasion like Super-Shorty can be used, AR M16A1 with both armor plate and exoskeleton is optimal for this stage.
From this stage on, the DPS doll becomes very limited as the enemies start to get stronger. Notable DPS dolls include AR HK416, AR FAL, AR M4 SOPMOD II, AR G11, AR AN-94, AR M4A1 MOD3, and AR ST AR-15 MOD3.
XP decreases after level 111
The process is a little different for this stage too. On this stage, the player can play the stage infinitely without completing or forfeiting from the stage. This means the process becomes a lot quicker, but the fact that the enemies generated from enemy heliports don't drop dolls means it gives you no core at all.
The armor requirement is 11 and XP decreases after level 115. This means you can farm here for MOD3 mindmap upgrade here.
6-3N Zas Run
On 6-3N, the player can use 1-link AR Zas M21 to minimize the resource used even further. The resupplying process is very similar to rest of these runs, but the process is extremely specific. However, this is a very resource-efficient XP and equipment grinding method.
- You need 2 Zas M21s.
- It's better to keep both 1-link.
- Both needs to have skill damage of at least 77 while keeping damage below 90! This is to make sure the grenade does at least 65 damage to every link of every enemy echelons while none of the enemies die from base attacks, which causes them to attack before the grenade goes out. See the table below.
- Not only do you have to worry about the damage, but you need to cut the Rate of Fire at specific value to make sure The delay made by her base attack doesn't delay the skill too much that the grenade goes out too late and get hurt. Rate of fire can easily be adjusted using red dots or eotechs. Also see the table below.
- Automatic skill use needs to be on.
- Although XP grinding dolls having ammo/food or not wasn't a problem, for Zas run it's important that the rest of the dolls are unable to attack or use skills.
- You need the same 2-echelon like the rest of these runs.
- The formation needs to be L-shape formation as seen in the gif above. Make sure to place Zas where it is shown.
- Mind the buffs! Keep watch on the Damage and Rate of Fire buffs applied to the Zas, including the Technical Fairies' buffs!
|Skill Level||Skill Damage Multiplier||Minimum Firepower|
|Rate of Fire||Frame # of Last Shot|
Process is mostly similar to the original. You engage the Tarantulas and let the auto-skill do the job. Keeping Zas at 1-link for this will save you even more resources as more dummy links will use more resources while extra links don't affect grenade skill.
8-1N Zas Run
Similar to the one above, but much more difficult and much more rewarding. This is actually the most efficient way to grind for XP and equipment. There is also no XP penalty with doll's level, so even dolls that have finished Mod 3 can be brought here as passenger for leveling, for whatever reason you wish to do it for.
For this one, you need to kill Dinergates with base attacks and then kill the Tarantulas with the grenade. This means you need 2 full 5-link Zas' with least 93 damage and the fire rate has to be between 61~62 or 69~74. Considering that Zas' stats at level 100 affinity 100 is 58 damage and 75 rate of fire, and fully upgraded equipment can get firepower up to 86, you need technical fairies to buff Zas' damage up to the required 93!
Note: 8N is only available in Chinese server for now.
Airstrike run is another extremely useful grinding method that can be used on 5-2N, 6-3N, and 10-5. It utilizes Airstrike Fairy to wipe out the enemies. This method does not consume any resources, but it does constantly drain Support Order.
- You need an airstrike fairy.
- For 5-2N and 6-3N, the skill level doesn't matter.
- For 10-5, however, you must get the Airstrike Fairy's skill level to max for the 500 damage.
- You only need 1 echelon of all dolls that needs XP grinding. No resupplying is needed.