Arknights: Operator Recruitment Guide

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Updated for 1/29/23

In Arknights there are two ways to recruit new Operators.  The first is Headhunting, which is the traditional gacha mechanic of using premium currency and tickets to pull a random assortment of allies.  The second method is Recruitment, where players use a Recruitment Ticket and LMD to get a semi-random Operator based on some inputs chosen by the player.  Even 6* Operators can be recruited!  

In this guide we will explain the recruitment process, how it works, tips for how to get the most out of your recruitments, which Operators are only available via recruitment, which ones cannot be recruited, and important Tag combinations that guarantee high rarity Operators.  To find which Operators can be recruited with your specific tags, or all of the Tags for any specific Operator, see the Operator Recruitment Filter Tool.

Recruitment Inputs

The following are the parameters chosen by the player that determine the outcome of the recruitment.


Each recruitment will be assigned 5 semi-random Tags that describe various traits of Operators.  The player can choose from 0-3 tags to influence the outcome of the recruitment. The Operator recruited will have the Tags chosen by the player unless:

  1. The Tag is lost over the Recruitment Period, which can happen at random.

  2. The player selects mutually exclusive Tags (for example, Medic Class Tag and Guard Class Tag)

There are four Tag Classifications, listed here in bold case followed by the potential Tags in that category:

Qualification: Starter, Senior Operator, Top Operator

Position: Melee, Ranged

Class: Vanguard, Medic, Guard, Supporter, Caster, Defender, Sniper, Special

Affix: Debuff, Support, Slow, DPS, Healing, DP-Recovery, Survival, Defense, AoE, Fast-Redeploy, Shift, Summon, Crowd-Control, Nuker, Robot

Recruitment Period

The amount of time spent recruiting can be set between 0 and 9 hours, at 10 minute increments.  Choosing longer recruitment times removes the chance of getting lower rarity Operators and lowers the chance that one of the Tags is removed from the search.  However, the LMD cost of the recruitment increases with the length of time.

Once the Recruitment Period starts, an Expedited Plan can be used to immediately complete the recruitment.  There is no penalty for using an Expedited Plan, and results are the same as they would have been had the Recruitment Period completed normally.

Recruitment Strategy

  • Whenever possible, the player should choose a combination of Tags that guarantees either a high-rarity Operator, or one they are specifically looking for.  When a desirable combination is found, Recruitment Time should be set to the maximum 9 hours to reduce the chance of losing a Tag. Tags that guarantee recruitment-only Operators and combinations that guarantee 4*s or above are listed later in this guide.  You can look for possible outcomes for your Tags in our Recruitment Tag Filter.
  • If no set of Tags guarantees a desired Operator, the player can save LMD on recruitment costs by setting the Recruitment Time to 7:40:00, which is the shortest time that guarantees at least a 3*. For recruiting Robots, the time should be set to 3:50:00, which is the longest time that does not remove 1* Operators.
  • Senior and Top Operator are rare Tags that guarantee high rarity Operators.  Obviously, prioritize these when they appear, and choose the maximum Recruitment Period to reduce or eliminate the chance that these Tags are dropped.
  • Building the HR Office in the base will produce chances to re-roll Recruitment Tags and allow unlocking of additional Recruitment slots, up to 4 in total.  Most players will find 2 Recruitment slots sufficient.  Be sure to understand the opportunity cost of upgrading the HR Office before you do it.  The “Recruit 3 Times” mission can be completed with expedited plans if necessary, and be sure to pace the use of Recruitment Tickets to ensure 3 are available each day!
  • For early game, if you don’t have a Tag combination guaranteeing a 4 star or above, try to maximize the potentials of your useful lower rarity Operators.  It should be noted that the Tags guaranteeing the Robots (Lancet-2 and Castle-3) are relatively rare, so, If you care about them, until their potential is maximized, you may want to choose to recruit one of them over a 4* already at maximum potential (keep in mind this will be a sub-optimal resource use, however) .
  • When a new Operator is added to the recruitable pool, all existing Recruitment Tags will be refreshed. This means it is not possible to save a Top Operator or Senior Operator tag for a future unit.  Players should use these Tags when they get them.  
  • The results of a recruitment is limited to the pool of Operators available when the recruitment was started.  It cannot result in an operator added to the pool while the recruitment was in progress.

Operator Recruitability

Some Operators are not recruitable, while others are only obtainable through Recruitment.  This information can be found in the "Obtain Approach" section of the Operator pages.  For example, here is Eyjafjalla:

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 2.43.24 PM

It can also be seen in List format in our Interactive Operator List, in the "Obtain Method" View.

Obtain Method

Below are lists of Operators that are Recruit-only and Headhunt-only.  Any Operator not on one of these lists is obtainable through both Headhunting and Recruitment, or an event..

Operators Only Obtainable Through Recruitment

Since these Operators are only available through recruitment, the Vulcan is high priority if Tags are available to guarantee her recruitment.  When nothing 4 Star or up can be guaranteed, the player may want to choose tags that give a chance at Purestream, Estelle, Indra, or Vulcan.  Here is a list of all of them, their Rarity, and their Tags. Below the table we address in more detail the 4* and above Operators.

4* and Up Recruit-Only Operators

Purestream (4*Medic)

Tag List: Medic, Ranged, Healing, Support

The following Tag Combinations will likely achieve the Recruitment of Puresteam:

The Support Tag alone will grant a 50% of getting her.

Estelle (4* Guard)

Arknights Estelle

Tag List: Guard, Melee, AoE, Survival

There are no set of Tags that guarantee the recruitment of Estelle.  You best chance is An AoE Tag combined with any of the following Tags: Melee, Guard, or Survival, and hope you get Estelle instead of Popukar.

Indra (5* Guard)

Arknights Indra

Tag List: Senior Operator, Guard, Melee, DPS, Survival

There are no set of Tags that guarantee the recruitment of Indra.  Your best chance is the tag combo of Senior Operator + Guard + DPS, which has a 33% chance between Indra, Swire, and Astesia.

Other Tag combos to try:

  1. Senior + Guard (Indra, Sepcter, Swire, or Astesia)

  2. Senior + Survival (Indra, Specter, Vulcan, or Manticore)

  3. Senior + DPS + Melee (Indra, Liskarm, Vulcan, Cliffheart, Astesia or Manticore)

  4. Guard + DPS (and hope to get lucky with a 5*, but most of the time this will get you Melantha)

Vulcan (5* Defender)

Arknights Vulcan

The following Tag Combinations will guarantee the Recruitment of Vulcan:

Other Tag combos to try:

  1. DPS + Defender (guarantees Vulcan or Liskarm)

  2. DPS + Defense (guarantees VulcanLiskarm, or Astesia)

  3. Senior + Survival + DPS (Indra, Vulcan, or Manticore)

  4. Senior + Defense (Vulcan, Nearl, Liskarm, Astesia or Croissant)

  5. Senior + Survival (Vulcan, Indra, Manticore, or Specter)

  6. Senior + Defender (Vulcan, Nearl, Liskarm, or Croissant)

  7. Senior + Melee +DPS (Indra, Liskarm, Vulcan, Cliffheart, Astesia or Manticore)

  8. Senior + DPS (11 5-Star Operators)

  9. Senior + Melee (14 5 - Star Operators)

  10. DPS + Survival (and hope to get lucky with a 5 Star, but most of the time you'll get 3 stars)

Operators Not Obtainable Through Recruitment

Some Operators cannot be obtained through recruitment.  These include:

  • Any Operator introduced to the game after launch that have not been specifically added to recruit.
  • Any Operator that has been given to players free through an event.  Some examples are included below, full list can be found here
  • The following Operators are not recruitable:

Tag Combination Guarantees

  • Until you have tag combos memorized, a great way to ensure you don't miss any high-rarity guarantees is to use the Recruitment filter tool.  Select your 5 Tags and it will show you the possible Operators for the tag combinations you have available!


  • Top Operator: Any Recruitable 6★

  • The Tag combinations in the following table, along with the Top Operator Tag, will guarantee the specific stated 6★ (assuming that none of the Tags get crossed out).

  • The Top Operator Tag (and only the Top Operator Tag) will not be crossed out after it has been selected as long as the Recruitment Time is set to 9 hours, and as long as there isn't a different Tag that contradicts it (for example Starter). Source

(Last update: 01/29/23)

In case it is of interest, the full tag set for each 6* Operator is displayed in the table below:

5 Star and Up

(Last update 1/29/23)

4 Star and Up

(Let update: 01/29/23)

Tag Appearance and Rarity Rates

The appearance rate of Tags or Tag Combinations has not been made public by the game, nor has the rates of getting high rarity Operators from Recruitment.  For the best data collection analysis we have seen to try to determine the rates, see the following post:

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About the Author(s)

Arknights: Alyeska#2654

Discord: Alyeska#7717