Developed by HyperGryph and published by Yostar Limited, Arknights exhibits the peak potential of the tower defense genre complete with all the elements that make it challenging along with twists of its own to make it even more exciting. Earning well over a hundred thousand downloads and securing top ranks in mobile game charts in several countries, Arknights has proven itself to be among the top of its class within the month of its release.
Arknights sets you off on a unique adventure as a core member of Rhodes Island, a pharmaceutical firm bent on a seemingly never-ending quest to rid the world of various deadly infections. You will not be alone on your journey as you will constantly be recruiting unique and powerful operators to help you combat the waves of enemies. While overall strength is important, strategic team composition and deployment positioning are the more essential weapons in your arsenal.
Beyond the immersive lore of the fantasy world it brings to life, Arknights provides a deep and expansive gameplay that will test your strategic prowess and combat tactics to its limits. If you are up for a fun and challenging tower defense / RPG mix, and likewise enjoy artistic anime-themed graphics, dive into the world of Arknights and see just how widely challenging and addictive the game is!
There is definitely a lot to take in as you dive into the world of Arknights even for experienced and veteran tower defense enthusiasts. As you go through the initial stages of combat, be sure to pay attention to instructional guides and tips. On top of the explanations provided covering the basic mechanics of the game, you will also be taught various strategies revolving around the strengths and limitations of each character class, deployment tactics, and some basic combinations.
Other game features you unlock as you make progress through the main story also come with basic guidelines. If you are stuck on a particular battle or simply looking for more efficient means of training your operators, the stay with us and read our Arknights beginner’s guide. Our compilation of tips, cheats and strategies will certainly help you to jumpstart your adventure!
1. Prioritize The Main Story Campaign
Arknights provides a unique story that should suffice to engage you further into progressing through each chapter. Beyond character introductions as well as background information on what is happening in the world it presents, Arknights make it so that the basic resources you will need to progress further will initially come from the main story. There will be some valuable operators who will join you on your journey through the main story in addition to the experience points and various resources you will obtain. Progressing through the story chapters also lead to the availability of other game modes so pushing to complete each node within it should be top priority.
You may opt to skip through the story scenes if you are very much eager to proceed to the next stage or battle. However, when there are tutorials relating to tactics and basic mechanics, be sure to read through each one carefully. Take note as well that each completion, other than training stages, are graded and completing each while earning the top rank provides you more rewards. As you begin to struggle later on, that may indicate that you already need to enhance your favorite operators or engage in the other game modes to secure needed resources for enhancement. Each battle you engage in consumes sanity, which is the in-game stamina in Arknights, but for starters, you will have more than enough than you can spend.
You can proceed to the next stage even if you fail to achieve a 3-star completion rating on the current stage. Once you secure a perfect mark, however, you can repeat the stage on auto mode simply by ticking the Auto Deploy button before the start of battle. While it may take a lot more exposure to fully grasp each type of resource reward you can earn from repeat battles early on, this will become a very useful feature for you especially if you want to expend some of your excess sanity.
2. Have A Balanced Squad
Arknights hosts a wide array of operators you can recruit and deploy in combat. While each one categorically belongs to a class most of which are common in conventional RPGs, each one exhibits unique skills and attributes that you should identify and consider before you consider them in your squad. Truthfully enough, a lot of the unique traits and abilities you will encounter are highlighted at various points along the main story campaign but just the same, checking each of the operators you recruit is the best way to go.
Just to have a quick run through of the usual class of characters you will most likely have in your squad, we will be going through the most basic ones to give you an idea why you would want to keep them in your team. While there will be special circumstances that would warrant switching members in and out, you will naturally have some core members to take with you through most of the game’s content.
The most basic ground type units are the melee guards who are typically DPS types and are the main damage dealers on the ground. While you may acquire plenty of these characters, you will more likely rely on the defenders more given that the latter type of ground unit can block more enemies and will be consistently needed across most story chapters and game modes. Take note that these units have a range of 0 to 1 block save for some unique ones like Dobermann who can reach up to 2 squares and work best behind tanks.
Another important melee class is the vanguard, characterized by low deployment costs. As some battles have fast-moving enemies that leave you no time to summon defenders, vanguards will typically be the first operators on the field and will also likely leave the fray first. Take note that most vanguards can earn deployment points through a variety of ways. Be sure to choose at least 2 to focus on and utilize their abilities to speed up the deployment of stronger operators.
Snipers are your basic ranged physical damage dealers and while most of them have the same range, there are also a few exceptions who can reach more squares than others like Catapult. Snipers are naturally an important class to have in any squad especially since there are flying enemies that can only be damaged by ranged operators.
While Melee units and ranged operators are supposedly enough to tackle any mix of enemies that come your way, there are also enemies with shields that are highly resistant to physical damage. As such, keeping casters around are also necessary in a number of stages as it will be difficult, if not impossible, to defeat very tough enemies without them. Like snipers, casters are either single target DPS or have AoE skills. Having an AoE damage-dealer is necessary for piling up mobs but keep in mind that these types of damage dealers cost a lot more to deploy than their single target counterparts.
Another must-have are medics who recover HP for all deployed operators. Medics are as squishy as casters and also have low attack stats. These units are exclusively needed for healing but some can offer different boosts once their skills are activated.
You can have a maximum of 12 operators per squad although there are deployment limits on most stages and you will most likely not be able to deploy each one of them. In any case, Pack a good mix of classes on your main squad as doing so will prepare you better for any challenge ahead. For dungeons and other game modes that delimit the type of units you can use, create an alternative squad for thos unique situations.
3. Be Selective When Enhancing Operators
There are various ways for you to upgrade each operative in Arknights. Naturally, you will have a wide roster of units to choose from and given that resources needed to perform these upgrades are limited, you have to be very selective as to which ones you should invest in. While the selection process may be highly influenced by the operators’ rarity level, which spans from 1 to 6 stars, a more ideal approach should consider the class of operators you choose to invest in to ensure that you will consistently have formidable representatives for each class as needed. Do note, however, that operators with rarity level 3 stars can never be promoted past elite 1 and those with 2 stars and below cannot be promoted at all. As such, you should consider on banking on operators with star level 4 and above, as much as possible.
You will secure a 6-star operative early on in the game and by playing further through the initial stages and collecting mission and event rewards, you will soon be able to recruit a couple or more 5-star operators. While it is understandable to want to bank on 5 and 6 star operators, what you should instead consider above all else are the class to which your operators belong to. For efficiency’s sake, you may want to bank on only 2 operators per class at first. There will certainly be no regret in investing resources in high-rarity units but if you will not be consistently able to utilize them in combat because they happen to belong to the same class, then the investment would be for naught.
Likewise, it may happen that you will not be fortunate enough to secure a high rarity unit for the class that you need. In such cases, feel free to still invest in the best you have in your roster but only upgrade them as needed as you will more likely secure better alternatives as you move forward through the game’s content. Some upgrade requirements are relatively easy to farm but as you upgrade more and more, your resources will not be able to sustain with an entire squad’s requirements. With that, learn to be very selective with each upgrade feature early on.
Operators deployed in combat do not earn experience points. The only way to level them up is through consuming battle records through the operator management window. Take note that every level up earns the operative some stat boosts so every bit of level counts. If you are a little short on battle records to share across numerous operators, at least leave each level at zero experience instead of spending extra records that will not lead to a level up. An operative’s max level is dependent on their rarity and once it’s capped, the next step is to promote them.
Promotion has varying requirements based on the operative’s rarity level as well and only 4 to 6-star characters can be promoted to elite 2. Promotions can extend an operative’s range, unlock an additional skills and talents that make them more valuable and take them back to level 1 while keeping their stats. Truthfully enough, even achieving elite 1 can be a challenging feat especially for 5 to 6-star characters so before you push through with it, be sure that the operative you are investing in is really worth the grind. Some 4-star operators that you invest in may be a bit forced but if they are your means to get through some tough stages, then feel free to invest in them.
Another basic enhancement you can perform on your operators is the skill upgrade. Upgrading to skill level 2 only requires a skill summary item but higher levels will need more consumable items. Be sure to check each of your operators’ skill before you do an upgrade as some may not be as important as others. Keep in mind as well that some skills are automatically activated in the field while others require manual activation.
Last, but not the least, is boosting potential, which can only be done when you obtain an extra copy of the same operative. An increase in potential can boost the operative’s talent, reduce cost and redeployment time and can even come with a stat boost. Given that this enhancement can only be done with an extra copy of the operator or rare tokens, it is an enhancement option that becomes difficult to perform on rare units.
4. Farm Resources You Need Via The Supplies Mode
As we mentioned earlier, there will soon come a point in your adventure where it becomes very difficult to make it past a particular stage in the story campaign. While it may just be an issue of strategic placement or roster composition, powering up your squad will always close in the gap between your team’s overall strength and the demands of the stage. If it is indeed more of the latter, then do not hesitate to spend some time farming for the resources you need to enhance and upgrade your core operators.
Some game modes in Arknights are locked behind your progress in the game and increasing difficulty levels also unlock once you complete the current challenge. Some of these dungeons also have limited availability and only opens on specific days of the week. In that sense, be sure to take note of these details and ensure you have enough of what you need for the period of time some of these game modes are closed.
The most basic game mode to farm on is the Tactical Drill. This will be you main source of battle records needed to level up your operators. In this game mode, deployment points are earned per enemy killed so focusing on downing mobs one by one is key to deploying more operators at a faster rate. This is actually as basic as it comes with the vast special conditions you will encounter with the other game modes in Arknights.
Purchase certificates that can be exchanged for a variety of useful resources can be obtained from the Tough Siege. In this game mode, there is a poison haze in the field that constantly reduces your deployed units’ HP. While you naturally need medics to keep everyone alive for the duration of the battle, accomplishing it with a 3-star rating requires not having medics around.
The Resource Search becomes important once you unlock and spend time developing your base. This game mode offers carbon bricks and such other resources needed for you to be able to perform constructions and upgrades within your base of operations.
There is a separate bundle of battles under the Chips Section that you should farm on when you are focusing on promoting your characters. The chips needed to promote your operators can be obtained here although even the starting stages have recommended operator levels of at least 40. There is an Annihilation game mode that serves as a survival run of sorts and can be challenging for beginners. If you engage in it, meeting a certain number of kills can earn you a variety of rewards as well.
5. Accomplish Missions For Extra Rewards
On top of the outright rewards you earn from each battle you engage in, there are still more to be earned through Arknights in-game missions feature. Every bit of activity you engage in form part of the usual objectives and for the most part, you will even accomplish some of the goals without even knowing. While each task is usually easy to achieve, visiting the missions page via the main menu should be habitually done as it should serve as a guide on what you ought to be focusing on to earn some extra rewards.
The Pinboard Missions tab outlines a series of activities you should accomplish to claim a phase reward and move on to the next one. This will be a helpful guide for you to be able to explore everything Arknights has to offer and a great opportunity to rack up some valuable resources for free. Daily and Weekly Missions both provide a list of tasks for you to engage in and the rewards on the left side of the page can be earned based on the number of objectives you accomplish in the list. Be sure to always check the ones you have yet to achieve and aim to always secure the top rewards for both categories.
Last but not the least is the Campaign Missions that give you extra rewards for any bit of progress you make on the main story campaign. Keep in mind that there are main and sub missions on this category but for the most part, the sub missions are subliminal requisites you need to comply with to make it past the stage at hand. If you find yourself failing to beat a stage despite numerous attempts and employing every bit of strategy up your sleeve, then check this tab as the sub mission objectives may just give you some clues as to what you need to do.
Relative he above missions, there are also limited events that you can accomplish for additional rewards to help boost your progress. Most of the objectives you have across all activities in the game also reflect on the time-limited event Be sure to check these through banners at the upper left side of the main screen. Some of these rewards give out huge amounts of Orundums that are very important for you to be able to recruit more operators from the Headhunt.
6. Practice, Deployment, Timing, And Squad Roster
There are some strategies and tactics that will be difficult for anyone to explain especially when it comes to strategy games that really provide a wide array of challenges. As we will not be able to delve into how you ought to set things up on a per-battle basis, we will simply generalize on the 3 factors you need to keep in mind when a stage or battle that you feel should be beatable with your current strength but has become otherwise difficult.
To start off, we already discussed earlier that you should have a good mix of classes in your squad. Of course, that is in general considering that some stages will naturally require more of some types of units while some units may not at all be important in some stages. In any given case, always go for practice on your first run to give you a better idea of what the stage is all about as well as have a better sense of the mobs within it. This is a must especially if you want to conserve your sanity and goes beyond checking the stage layout before the actual fight.
After taking not of the enemy mobs within the stage and which ones go where first, you should already form an idea on your mind as to which operators to bring with you and the sequence of their deployment. You can have a good squad in several scenarios and yet still have a hard time completing a level due to errors in deployment. For the most part, it is a question of whether going for a vanguard first to hold off the initial enemies or go for a defender to block as many while gathering deployment points for the DPS operators.
Knowing the flow of enemies will give you a good idea of how to strategize around defending so pay close attention to everything you experience within the stage. On top of establishing a sequence of deployments, skill activation is also a concern that you need to master especially for tougher battles. Knowing when best to activate a skill is very important in Arknights so be sure to be conscious of it at all times.
Getting to know each operator within your squad goes a long way. Beyond knowing their names and features, it is important to have a solid idea of each one’s range and what they can and cannot handle. In the heat of battle, you should already have a firm grasp of where to deploy each of them based on their skills and range of attack or support. Tower defense games naturally require you to give it a couple of retries before you finally succeed so do not let a few defeats discourage you from pushing forward with your progress.
That is all we have for you on our Arknights Beginner’s Guide and we hope that each basic tip and strategy we discussed will be very helpful for you to make good progress in the game. There are definitely more stuff to cover in Arknights but for now, this should suffice to give you a good understanding of the basic mechanics and features of the game. If you have some of your very own tips and strategies you would like to share with us and our readers, or if you have questions about the topics we discussed, be sure to let us know in the comment area!