Arknights is a pretty straightforward game but “operating” its Operators still require a little learning!
Arknights has been making the rounds in the gaming world lately since its release back in January. It’s got a different take on the Tower Defense genre but more importantly, it gives priority to strategy. One big factor to that is on how its characters, a.k.a Operators, work.
Most of them, even the low rarity ones, are more than usable in some stages. Even to the point of needing them for some of the more intricate missions. So, with that in mind, how do we better understand the strengths as well as improve our Operators? Well, we’ll show you in our Arknights Operators Guide. If you want an overview of the game, check out our In-Depth Look here.
What makes up an Operator?
Before we dive deeper into how to strengthen our Operators, let’s first understand how they function and what they offer.
First and foremost, Operators are divided into eight Classes, each with their own different roles in the battlefield:
- Vanguard — Quick deployment Operators meant to either assist in DP (Deployment Points) – Recovery or early game blocking.
- Guard — Strong Melee Operators tasked with handling tough opponents one on one to either eliminate or at least soften them. Some Guards have special abilities that go beyond handling a single opponent.
- Defender — Operators with High Defense meant to be the cornerstone of blockades. Some are geared towards total defense while others have offensive capabilities.
- Specialist — Unique Operators with different skills to fit different situations.
- Sniper — Physical Ranged Operators meant to deal with fliers and aid blockades with additional firepower.
- Caster — Arts-based (Magic) Operators geared towards toppling High Def enemies and/or groups.
- Medic — Healing-based Operators.
- Supporter — Support-based Operators offering various helpful skills such as slow, quick blockades through summons, and buffs/debuffs.
Tags are additional identifiers of how an Operator functions in their Class. Think of it as something like a sub-class. The first tag, however, depicts an Operator’s position, whether they deploy on Melee or Ranged blocks. These, combined with classes, are also what we have to select when recruiting Operators on the “recruit” tab.
Attributes are an Operator’s stats and the most straightforward indicator of their strength in combat. It’s divided via the following:
- Max HP
- ATK (Attack)
- DEF (Defense)
- RES (Resistance)
- Redeploy – The speed at which at Operator can be returned to the field when they retreat or are defeated.
- Block – The number of enemies an Operator can block.
- ASPD (Attack Speed)
- Trust – A meter filled whenever an Operator is used in combat or talked to at the Base. It provides Attribute bonuses once you reach certain percent thresholds.
Traits further define how an Operator will behave on the battlefield. This can range from what type of enemies they attack first or how many they can Block and so on. Most classes share a particular trait, like how Defenders normally Blocks 3 enemies, and Medics, well, heal.
However, there are instances when Operators stray away from the norm of their Class. For example, Plume is different from other Vanguards in that instead of blocking 2 enemies, her trait focuses more on DP-Recovery. So, make sure to review the traits of your Operators when creating a Squad.
Talents are an Operator’s additional perks. It usually adds passive skills, attribute bonuses, and changes in attack patterns. These are considered big bonuses in power as such they are unlocked only after promotion, which we’ll talk more about later. 5-start and below Operators have just one Talent while 6-star ones get two.
Just like in any other game, our Operators are given skills for use in combat. Skills are divided into Auto, Manual, or Passive. Auto skills require no additional action in battle as it automatically activates once charged. Manual, on the other hand, needs your input and Passives are just always active. This is one of the aspects of an Operator that can be strengthened via level-ups and unlocked during promotions.
Other nifty things
You can check an Operator’s profile by clicking on the Operator’s files found on the top of their page. This is just a nifty little addition to knowing who your Operator is. Since the profile includes their biometrics, history, and even the voice overs. Another thing you can do is change an Operator’s outfit. It won’t do anything in combat but at least you can dress up your favorite Operators.
Alright then, now that we know how an Operator “operates”, let’s get to learning how to improve them.
The most straightforward and common way to improve your Operator’s overall combat effectiveness is by leveling them up. Leveling an Operator requires Battle Records, which drops at certain stages or farmed at the “Supplies” tab and LMD.
Same with Level, skills can also be upgraded to further improve their effectiveness. To upgrade a skill you must meet its level requirement and gather the necessary materials. An easy way to check where to obtain these materials is by clicking on their icons. You can then check where the material drops or quickly enter its stages if you have access to it.
Potential is yet another way to improve your Operator. Although, it mostly provides faster redeploy times or lower DP-costs than outright attribute bonuses. Still, this is a good way to increase an Operator’s effectiveness. Upgrading Potential requires duplicate tokens of an Operator or their Class Tokens. Both of these can be purchased at the Store, while dupes are obtained, obviously, when recruiting or headhunting.
Right then, let’s move on to Promotion. Promotions provide the biggest upgrade to your Operator. It not only unlocks new skills and talents but also resets level and increases DP-cost and sometimes range. However, an Operator gets to keep all their previous attribute upgrades despite the level reset. Much like skills, Promotions have level and material requirements and usually cost a lot of LMD. You can view what skills, talents, and other changes a Promotion can do to your Operator by tapping on the details spectacle on the right side of the Promotion screen.
Before we end this guide we’d like to give you guys a few more general tips and tricks in handling your Operators. For starters, it’s best if you create a balanced Squad that can tackle the basics of almost any situation. Be it fighting in stages with a lot of High Def enemies or in ones that have a lot of fliers. Since it will already be a heavy burden to upgrade your Squad of 12, what more if you create multiple ones with different niches. So, until you are able to farm materials and LMD in large quantities its best to stick to one balanced Squad first. Our general setup right now looks like this — 2 Vanguards, 2 Medics, 2 Defenders, 2 Casters, 2 Snipers, 2 flexible spots.
Lastly, remember that in Arknights high rarity Operators aren’t always going to be a must. Unlike other games where rare units can steamroll content, Arknights throws various situations at you. Meaning, even if you are able to pull an amazing Physical unit like Ch’en, she’ll be next to useless when faced with High Def enemies that casters can easily defeat. Although, she does have a skill that bursts Arts damage but under normal circumstances, she’s a bad match-up against High Def enemies.
Either way, do not be disheartened if you have no 5 or 6-star unit yet as each and every Operator in the game is truly useable. However, with that in mind, make it a habit to read through your Operator. Study their skills, talents, and traits, since you can easily check how they will grow anyway as the game gives out all those information with a tap of the screen.