Arknights: Stationary Security Service Mechanics Guide

Introduced with the Lingering Echoes event, Stationary Security Service (SSS for convenience) is a fresh gamemode that morphs Arknights gameplay to share traits with a card game. This new format is considerably more intricate than previous modes, and comprehending its mechanics can be a tad challenging. This article strives to succinctly elucidate the crucial mechanics, ensuring players comprehend what this new mode entails. The Stationary Security Service gamemode becomes accessible after accomplishing Main Story stage 1-5 and acquiring at least one Module.

Deck Mechanics Unveiled

Choosing Operators for this mode deviates substantially from the standard gameplay. To initiate the mode, players are prompted to pick 14 Operators from their existing roster, with the option to include a Support Operator. This collection of 14 Operators forms the initial Team – the card game’s equivalent of a Deck and henceforth referred to as such throughout the article for simplicity.

Additionally, players have the option to decide between two distinct Deployment Strategies. These strategies can influence the potential Operators that appear for deck augmentation after each stage. The Preferred Strategy endeavours to prioritize Operators nurtured by the player, whereas the Free Strategy selects from all Operators, incorporating Temporary Recruitments akin to Integrated Strategies.

Upon successful completion of any of the 8 Stages in a mode run, players get an opportunity to choose one Operator from a pool of four, selected based on the Deployment Strategy, to add to their Deck. This process repeats twice after each Stage, allowing players to create a somewhat randomized squad beyond their initial 14 picks.

At a Stage’s commencement, 10 Operators from the Deck are drawn into the To-be-deployed zone (or the ‘Hand’ for easier understanding). Operators in the Hand can be deployed following standard gameplay rules. If need be, players can transfer up to 4 of these Operators to the Rest Area (referred to as the Graveyard) to draw an equivalent number of Operators from their Deck. This proves beneficial for offloading high-cost Operators that may not be deployable until later in the stage, or Operators that currently lack utility. Once the Deck is devoid of Operators, all Operators in the Graveyard are instantaneously shuffled back into the Deck for further drawing.

Subsequent to the initial drawing and mulligan, players can elect to draw from their Deck at any point by expending Vouchers. The initial draw costs 10 Vouchers, increasing by 2 every time the Graveyard is shuffled back into the Deck. Each stage grants 30 Vouchers at the start, and every enemy eliminated awards an additional Voucher. Certain stage milestones that initiate a “Take a Break” phase also instantly reward 40 Vouchers.

When Operators retreat from the battlefield, either through combat, manually, or due to the mechanics elaborated below, they proceed directly into the Graveyard. Therefore, these Operators can’t be drawn using Vouchers until shuffled back into the Deck, emphasizing the importance of consistent drawing.

The maximum capacity of the Hand is 12, beyond which no additional Operators can be drawn from the deck. This limit also considers deployables like Summons or Traps. Hence, it’s crucial to factor in this limit when recruiting Operators who can utilize these mechanics to avoid running out of Hand space for more significant Operators.

Exploring Relay Mechanics

One of the key distinctive features of this mode is the capacity to stack Operators, which results in the original Operator moving to the Graveyard and the relay Operator receiving a permanent Class-based buff (such as Vanguard, Guard, etc.). These buffs, known in-game as Temporary Equipment, are incredibly vital as foes become progressively tougher, and can be layered multiple times for amplified effects.

At the outset of an SSS run, players are prompted to select two Temporary Equipment effects for each Class individually, which will significantly shape their subsequent strategy. These effects are immutable during a run, so carefully choose the most suitable based on your goals.

Notably, Temporary Equipment Type B is not initially available and requires at least one successful mode completion to unlock.

Each Operator can possess a maximum of 5 Temporary Equipments altogether. Any further relays won’t add new buffs but will preserve the initial five that were applied.

Finally, Operators defeated in combat won’t automatically retreat, but instead, enter a Severely Wounded state for 20 seconds, during which they cannot be targeted or perform any actions. If a Severely Wounded Operator isn’t relayed or treated on time, they will be forcibly retreated and lose all Temporary Equipment, making it crucial to manage this effect promptly to avoid significant progress loss.

Introduction to Conductive Units

During specific points in each stage, players might encounter special Elite enemies (like Speedy-legged Thief, Weeping Detective, and “Shiny Puff”) that don’t deplete HP upon reaching the objective. If defeated, these enemies drop a choice between three unique Conductive Units that go directly to your Hand (or your Deck if space is unavailable) and are included in the Deck for subsequent Stages. These Conductive Units can be drawn like regular Operators but can be deployed only once per Stage, offering immediate effects that could prove quite beneficial in battle.=

The Danger Level Factor

A major contributing factor to the arduousness of SSS is the Danger Level mechanic, which progressively enhances enemy statistics to potentially triple their regular HP.

Every 50 seconds, the Danger Level, displayed to the left of the enemy counter, elevates by 1, augmenting the Attack and Defense of all enemies by 5%, and their Max HP by a hefty 25%. These enhancements stack additively, making enemies at higher Danger Levels notably formidable.

Each stage commences at a distinct Danger Level, starting at 0 for the first and culminating at 7 for the last, with different maximum levels for each stage part, reaching up to 20 during the latter half of a run. Ideally, players should strive to keep the Danger Level from soaring to such high digits (at level 20, enemies have 100% more Attack and Defense and a whopping 500% more Max HP!), but the escalations are inevitable as enemies spawn over time. Players must skillfully utilize the Temporary Equipment mechanic to bolster their Operators to a level where they can still manage these adversaries.

Rewards Overview

The rewards for this gamemode primarily consist of Data Supplement Strips and Data Supplement Devices. Barring occasional event stores, this gamemode remains the singular viable method to acquire these resources to date. These novel materials are necessary for the Module Upgrade system, unlocking a second and third stage that offer additional buffs for all Modules in the game.

These rewards refresh twice monthly, on the 1st and 16th, and comprise up to 30 Data Supplement Strips and 12 Devices. Regrettably, this quantity is NOT SUFFICIENT to upgrade a 6★ Operator’s Module to either of the Stages, instead amounting to just over half of what’s required. Consequently, Module Upgrades are heavily time-constrained and always entail the opportunity cost of other, more impactful Module Upgrades. Be certain about your upgrade priorities when the opportunity arises.

There are also extra Strips, Devices, and Module Blocks awarded for first-time clears of each rotating site. Often, it’s more efficient to repeatedly clear the initial floors and sidestep boss stages to garner the full reward volume, which typically consumes less time.

Top Operators for the Game Mode

Operators that excel exceptionally well in this gamemode are those who can fully leverage the buffs offered by the Temporary Equipment mechanic. Although nearly all Operators can benefit from these, a select few surpass others due to their more potent interactions.

A few of the most favoured Operators for this gamemode include Goldenglow, with 5 Sniper Type A boosts, significantly amplifying her damage output on her Skills through incessant Drone explosions; Mudrock, with 4 Vanguard Type A boosts, enabling her to fully charge her second Skill every 3 seconds with a substantial Attack boost, and Irene, who utilises a blend of Vanguard Type A and Guard Type A boosts for constant usage of her third Skill with powerful Attack boosts for scalability.

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