The Beginner Doctor’s Handbook to Arknights

Greetings and welcome (or welcome back) to all the memory-loss-stricken Doctors across the globe to the fascinating realm of Arknights! This manual primarily aims to aid the newcomers who are baffled by their friends’ lamentations about No Sanity memes and, possibly, the Contingency Contract. Yet, who knows? There may even be insights here that seasoned players might have overlooked.

Undoubtedly, completing the beginner missions brings a wealth of benefits, including a bounty of precious materials. The gacha currency in Arknights, Orundum, fuels Headhunting. A single roll requires 600x Orundum, while a 10-roll demands 6000. The initial 10-roll in the Newbie’s Headhunting assures at least one 6-star Operator (although multiple 6-stars are feasible), and the banner permits a total of 21 rolls at a discounted rate (3800 to 6000). This banner is here to stay, so if you’d prefer to conserve your Orundum for a different banner, you have that option. Be aware that the Newbie banner features a finite pool of Operators.

Doctor’s Handbook

Should you choose to reroll in this Newbie Headhunting, each Operator has a unique specialty and wields potent abilities, particularly once they attain their Elite 2 promotion. However, for fledgling accounts, here are the 6-star Operators you could acquire:

Exusiai

This rapid-fire Sniper decimates light armor adversaries. Her deployment cost is relatively low, allowing for swift elimination of weaker foes. In later stages, she struggles against high armor enemies, needing at least Elite 1 status to inflict notable damage. By this stage, you’ll likely have more units to back her up. She comes highly recommended.

SilverAsh

Known for more than just the memes, he’s a Ranged guard capable of targeting airborne enemies, typically prioritized by Snipers. His Elite 2 skill, Truesilver Slash, enables him to effortlessly dominate most standard content. A highly recommended choice.

Siege

She shines post her Elite 1 promotion, featuring a skill that deals AOE physical damage. As a Vanguard, she’s somewhat expensive and lower rarity Vanguards could potentially fulfill her role in providing deployment points.

Hoshiguma

As a Defender, she offers some decent DPS, especially post Elite 2. Her second skill, Thorns, which is unlocked at Elite 1, boosts her Defense and passively rebounds damage to enemies who attack her.

Angelina

She requires her Elite 2 promotion to unlock her true potential. However, if you prioritize her upgrades, she will indeed prove rewarding. She is a quasi-Caster fulfilling a Supporter role, though her other skills demand precise timing as she does not perform standard attacks.

Shining

Despite her position as a Medic, she’s not an ideal 6-star choice for beginners due to her lack of attack ability. However, she can enhance the physical defense of allies within her range and provides a physical damage shield upon reaching her Elite 1 promotion.

The subsequent 10-pull guarantees at least one 5-star Operator, so here are some of the more significant Operators to note:

Ptilopsis

A highly favored AOE medic, she stands out due to her passive ability to accelerate skill point recharge for allies within her range (provided she’s at least Elite 1).

Texas

As a Vanguard, her Skill 2 is her mainstay, delivering both crowd control and damage while also supplying deployment points. She is a robust Operator.

Lappland

A Guard who enjoys immense popularity, she can silence enemy abilities at Elite 1, deal Arts (magic) damage, and attack flying units when required. Her versatility makes her an excellent choice for general content.

Silence

Along with Ptilopsis, she’s a Rhine medic, a single-target healer with an AOE burst heal ability at Elite 1 promotion through her drone. This drone can be placed at any valid empty tile during a crisis.

Specter

A crucial component of high difficulty Contingency Contract runs, her Skill 2 prevents her death as she dispatches units in front of her. Reaching Elite 2 gives her maximum block count (3) to attack the units she blocks herself. Though effective outside of CC, her Skill 2 requires careful timing as it can stun her.

BASE MANAGEMENT

To fully upgrade your base’s Control Center, unlocking the rest of the base, you need to clear the story up to chapter 4-7 to acquire the Keel item. This will require some effort and materials for room upgrades, so there’s no need to rush. However, do strive to upgrade it to unlock the Reception Room and the Office.

The Reception Room aids in earning more Credits for the shop, where you can purchase 4-star Operators – Courier, Gavial, and Dur-nar – all valuable units in their own right. The clues you generate and those you receive from friends can help you open a Clue Exchange for 24 hours, offering a flat rate of 210 credits. Keep in mind that your maximum daily credit limit is 300, so be sure to monitor your balance to avoid overflow. Moreover, visiting friends will also provide 30 credits.

A typical layout you might encounter is:

1 Trading Post, 5 Factories (1 for Precious Metal/Gold Bars and 4 for EXP cards), 3 Power Plants, 4 Dormitories (Dormitory total Ambience contributes towards daily Credit amounts – max 200 for each 5000 Ambience Dormitory), 1 Reception Room, 1 Office (Can hold up to a maximum of three tag refreshes for Recruitment), 1 Workshop, 1 Training Room.

This layout facilitates the accumulation of EXP for your Operators. Generally, players find themselves farming for LMD, and this approach reduces the need to farm for EXP. There’s an option to trade for Orundum, but the resources required for that could hinder the leveling up of your Operators’ skills and is, therefore, not typically advised.

Placing Operators in the Control Center boosts Trading Post efficiency and diminishes Morale consumption. However, unless an Operator has specifically increased Morale consumption, each Operator’s Morale should last until the following day, rendering this slightly less crucial. When choosing which Operators to place in a facility, the game conveniently aligns those with relevant Base skills on the left for easy selection.

Don’t forget to assign RIIC assistants to develop Trust with Operators, as assistants can bolster Trust twice a day. Trust enhances stats up to a maximum of 100% Trust and also unlocks furniture, adding to dorm Ambience, depending on the faction of the Operator. Operators positioned in facilities can earn Trust with each daily reset. Even if they aren’t actively doing anything, you can have them occupy a facility to increase their Trust.

Upgrading the Command Center also unlocks more of your Friend Support slots, up to 3. The first slot can hold up to a 5-star Operator, while the other two slots can accommodate 6-star Operators.

The Training Room is the place to further invest in Skill Mastery, once an Operator has reached skill level 7. This step is typically reserved for later stages as the material cost often equates to elevating an Operator to Elite 2.

PROGRESSION

Develop your 3-star Operators (and even your 2-star ones)! While they may not reach Elite 2 promotion, at max level, they’ll enhance their Talent in return. They are also the easiest to raise given their low rarity, freeing them from the need for various rotating Chips. Like all Operators, leveling them up also unlocks new or improved Base Skills.

Progressing through the story enables you to earn Originite Prime, a valuable resource that can be used to refresh Sanity or exchanged for Orundum. It’s beneficial to run the story to unlock maps for material farming as well. Challenge modes of maps, which impose added difficulties to the same maps, provide extra Originite upon first-time clearance and one-off furniture for certain maps.

Most maps will only deduct 1 Sanity if you retreat, but Challenge maps will take half of the Sanity cost. To prevent significant loss, you can use the Drill Plans to rehearse your strategy – 1 for Normal, 3 for Challenge. Alternatively, consult guides. Clearing a map first using a Friend Support, which doesn’t unlock Auto Deploy, is also a viable strategy. Friend Supports scale according to your highest-level Operator, so having a 4-star Elite 2 unit just to access your friend’s Elite 2 6-star Operator is not a bad idea. It’s cost-efficient to level up Elite 2 units to at least level 40.

Annihilation stages are another crucial aspect of progression. Every week, you can earn up to a maximum of 1700 Orundum for your Headhunting funds. Most players prefer to clear Annihilation 3 only once due to the longer duration compared to Annihilation 2 and relatively insignificant increase in Orundum cap. After unlocking the rewards from Annihilation 3, continue farming Annihilation 2. If you find yourself slightly short of maxing Orundum for the week, you can run an Annihilation map and quit every 100 kills as necessary as it will partially refund Sanity inversely proportional to kills.

It’s advisable to first raise your “core” team of 12 Operators – a full Squad – before working on others to avoid diluting your resources. With Sanity recovering every 6 minutes, you’ll want to optimize every point. Upon leveling up, you can buy the level-up packs in the shop for additional materials, up to level 70. The shop offers both free packs and those purchasable with Originite.

While raising the Potential of Operators isn’t essential unless you’re min-maxing your 6-stars, 3-star and 4-star Operators are easy enough to raise, so there’s no need to buy Tokens from the shop. Once you’ve upgraded enough units, revisit old maps to set up new Auto Deploy formations for efficiency and to ensure no failure occurs with an old formation.

If possible, aim for the guaranteed 5-star and above in every new Headhunting banner. Solo attempts are acceptable.

HOW TO GIT GUD?

Becoming proficient at Arknights is largely a matter of acquired practice. Here’s a common squad composition you might consider:

  • 1 to 2 Vanguards
  • 2 to 3 Guards (given how crowded this Class is). Consider their archetypes:
    • Duelist: excels in 1-on-1 battles and takes out certain enemies, usually with a Block 1 ability.
    • Ranged: May reduce the need for Snipers.
    • Arts: Effective against high armor enemies.
    • AOE (Area of Effect)
    • Support (e.g., Swire, Dobermann)
  • 1 or 2 Defenders
  • 1 or 2 Casters, either AOE (Area of Effect) or Single Target (ST)
  • 1 or 2 Snipers, more if there are flying enemies (drones)
  • 1 or 2 Medics, depending on need. If you have Healing Defenders, these may not be necessary.
  • Supporters and Specialists, based on the situation. Push or Pull Specialists are handy on maps with holes or open edges. Summon Supporters can potentially solo a map with enough investment.

Before entering a map, try to get an idea of the enemy types and the layout. Trying out a map reveals the enemies that will appear (Enemy Intelligence) until the point of failure, allowing you to better prepare for the next attempt, or you might clear it entirely.

Knowing your Operator’s range of effectiveness is vital, as well as the deployment order—enemies typically attack the last placed Operator—and, of course, skill timing usage. You can use Operators to herd enemies into another Operator’s range, which is something Fast Redeploy Specialists like Projekt Red or Gravel excel at.

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