Advanced strategies

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This article will give an insight about advanced strategies in Arknights, which are generally applicable to more late game content, assuming the operators are already promoted to Elite 2 or when operations are harder and more complex.

Strategic redeployment

Strategic redeployment is a mechanic tutored by the game early on: it is understanding that sometimes, the player has to retreat an Operator to free up space in the deployment limit, or to redeploy them somewhere else after their cooldown, or to end a skill early. A lot of late game content effectively requires strategic redeployment. The logical extreme of this mechanic is the reactive, or helidrop — deploying Operators as they become needed and often, retreating them immediately afterwards — and 1P relay — self-imposed challenge wherein only a single Operator may be deployed at a time, with the exception of robots, as they do not count towards deployment limit — playstyles.

For example, without Ptilopsis, it tends to be beneficial to retreat SilverAsh before/when his skill completes should his presence on the field no longer be necessary, as waiting out his skill's completion, then a complete full SP charge would effectively take longer than waiting out his shortened redeployment timer (by virtue of his talent) and redeploying him in the same position with the initial deployment SP charge.

Advanced mechanics

Splitbox

Splitboxing is a semi-advanced mechanic wherein an Operator is deployed as a enemy is between two tiles in order to keep it blocked there, effectively "splitting" its hitbox between two tiles instead of one. It is possible as all Operators have some amount of shifting regardless of enemy weight upon their deployment that pushes enemies closer to the outer edge of their hitbox, and sometimes, overlapping two tiles.

Off-String Arrow

"Off-String Arrow" is an advanced technique that is available to Operators whose attacks have projectiles. Due to Arknights' damage calculation algorithm, most of the damage is calculated when the projectile hits the target, and some skills can reset the Operator's attack animations. Using this technique can effectively raise attack output, especially for low-ASPD skills like Schwarz's Skill-Schwarz3.png Final Tactics. When a skill is activated before an attack "lands" on the enemy, the attack will be updated to receive the effect of the skill regardless of when it was fired — which can help getting the absolute most out of skill uptime.

Attack Breaking

Enemies need to go through a full length of its attacking animation to deal damage. Therefore, it is possible to "break" their attack by stun, sleep, or shift. This technique is especially useful against enemies with high ATK but relatively low ASPD, for example, Big Adam. The commonly used operators to break enemies' attacks are Red (with Skill-ProjektRed2.png Wolfpack), a certain Minoan priestess (with Skill-Pallas2.png Whip of Conviction), Blemishine (with Skill-Blemishine2.png Deterring Radiance) and, with luck, Phantom and his Shadow (with Skill-Phantom3.png Night Raid)

Skill Cycle Correcting

Some skills, notably Skill-Exusiai3.png Overloading Mode, have low to medium SP requirement, and are auto-triggered, can often be found triggered when no enemy's around. Other skills like Skill-Ebenholz3.png The Sound of Silence rely on the "rhythm" of the enemy wave greatly. Therefore, it is necessary to manage their deployment time and/or their time to activate the skill instead of just deploying when the DP is enough and activating when the SP bar is full. One may also alternate the skill cycle by manually stop a skill, though this is not always possible.

The ways to correct skill cycle include:

  • Deploying operator earlier/later than usual
  • Activating the skill earlier/later than usual
  • Deploying SP buffs like Ptilopsis or Stainless later than usual
  • Ending the skill before it runs through

Common skills that might need some cycle correcting are:

  • Skill-Exusiai3.png Overloading Mode of Exusiai
  • Skill-Holungday3.png "Holiday Storm" of Ch'en The Holungday
  • Skill-Ebenholz3.png The Sound of Silence of Ebenholz
  • Skill-Angelina3.png Arcane Staff - Anti-Gravity Mode of Angelina
  • Skill-Surtr3.png Twilight of Surtr. This is done by retreating Surtr before she runs out of health
  • Skill-RadiantKnight2.png Night-scouring Gleam of Nearl the Radiant Knight. This is also done by retreating her earlier
  • Skill-Horn3.png Ultimate Line of Defense and Skill-Horn2.png Tempest Command of Horn. This is to make sure that she has a full (overloading or not) skill ready when the next wave hits.

Certain Operators, like Liberator Guards and Phalanx Casters, requires cycle correcting on all of their skills as they don't attack which their skills are inactive.

Proper Buffing

While all Doctors know that buffs like Skill-Suzuran3.png Foxfire Haze are incredibly powerful, different buffs suits different operators best. For example, Skill-Warfarin2.png Unstable Plasma provides a +90% ATK for a single operator for 15 sec, but this effect is reduced to about 29% during Skill-SilverAsh2.png Truesilver Slash because of buffing algorithms, and its addition to the total damage of Skill-SilverAsh2.png Truesilver Slash is only 16% because the buff only lasts for 15 sec while the skill lasts for 27. This means that different skill lengths and algorithms will change its buff preference.