Arknights: Operator Recruitment Guide

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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 all 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 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 3 Recruitment slots sufficient, as that enables easy completion of the daily quest: “Recruit 3 Times”. 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, focus on trying 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, until their potential is maximized, you may want to choose to recruit one of them over a 4* already at maximum potential.
  • 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.

Operator Recruitability

Some Operators are not recruitable, while others are only obtainable through Recruitment.  Below are lists of each type.  Any Operator not on one of these lists is obtainable through both Headhunting and Recruitment.

Operators Only Obtainable Through Recruitment

Since these Operators are only available through recruitment, they are high priority if Tags are available to guarantee their recruitment.  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.

Name Star Rarity Tags
Lancet-2 1 Medic, Ranged, Healing, Robot
Castle-3 1 Guard, Melee, Support, Robot
12F 2 Caster, Ranged, Starter
Noir Corne 2 Defender, Melee, Starter
Durin 2 Caster, Ranged, Starter
Yato 2 Vanguard, Melee, Starter
Rangers 2 Sniper, Ranged, Starter
Adnachiel 3 Sniper, Ranged, DPS
Estelle 4 Guard, Melee, AoE, Survival
Indra 5 Senior, Guard, Melee, DPS, Survival
Vulcan 5 Senior, Defender, Melee, Survival, Defense, DPS

4* and Up Recruit-Only Operators

Estelle (4* Guard)

Arknights Estelle

An AoE Tag combined with any of the following Tags: Melee, Guard, or Survival, will guarantee the recruitment of either Estelle or Specter (a 5* Operator).

Indra (5* Guard)

Arknights Indra

The following Tag Combination will guarantee the Recruitment of Indra:

  • Senior, Guard, DPS

Outside of that, the combinations of Tags most likely to get her are as follows, in order of best chance.  These represent the minimum set required.

  1. Senior, Guard

  2. Senior, Survival

  3. Senior, DPS, Melee

  4. Guard, DPS

Vulcan (5* Defender)

Arknights Vulcan

The following Tag Combinations will guarantee the Recruitment of Vulcan:

  • Survival, Defense

  • Survival, Defender

Outside of that, the combinations of Tags most likely to get her are as follows, in order of best chance.  These represent the minimum set required.

  1. DPS, Defense (guarantees Vulcan or Liskarm)

  2. DPS, Defender (guarantees Vulcan or Liskarm)

  3. Senior, Survival, DPS

  4. Senior, Protection

  5. Senior, Survival

  6. Senior, Defender

  7. Senior, Melee, DPS

  8. Senior DPS

  9. Senior Melee

  10. DPS, Survival

Operators Not Obtainable Through Recruitment

Some Operators cannot be obtained through recruitment.  They are either gacha-only, purchased in shops, or given as rewards.

Tag Combination Guarantees

  • Check out the above tool that allows you to click on your 5 active Tags to see which 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

  • This table will change in the future when Skadi gets added to the recruitment pool.

Tags Possible Operators
Guard SilverAsh
Vanguard Siege
DP-Recovery Siege
Caster Ifrit
AOE Ifrit
Debuff Ifrit
Sniper Exusiai
Defender + Healing Saria
Defender + Support Saria
Support + Defense Saria
Healing + Defense Saria
Defender + DPS Hoshiguma
Defense + DPS Hoshiguma
Medic Nightingale, Shining

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

Operator Tag List
SilverAsh Guard, Melee, DPS, Support
Siege Vanguard, Melee, DPS, DP-Recovery
Ifrit Caster, Ranged, AOE, Debuff
Exusiai Sniper, Ranged, DPS
Hoshiguma Defender, Melee, DPS, Defense
Saria Defender, Melee, Support, Defense, Healing
Shining Medic, Ranged, Support, Healing
Nightingale Medic, Ranged, Support, Healing

5 Star and Up

Tags Possible Operators
Senior Operator Any Recruitable 5*
Medic + Support Ptilopsis, Warfarin
Vanguard + Support Zima
Vanguard + Crowd Control Texas
Defender + Survival Vulcan
Defender + DPS Liskarm, Vulcan
Defender + Shift Croissant
Supporter + DPS Istina
Supporter + Debuff Pramanix
Supporter + Crowd Control Mayer
Special + Slow FEater
Special + Survival Manticore
Special + Crowd Control Projekt Red
Special + DPS Manticore, Cliffheart
Summon Mayer
Nuker Firewatch
Crowd-Control Texas, Projekt Red, Mayer
Crowd Control + Melee Texas, Projekt Red
Crowd Control + Ranged Mayer
Crowd Control + Fast-Redeploy Projekt Red
Crowd-Control + DP Recovery Texas
Ranged + Support Ptilopsis, Warfarin
Ranged + Slow + DPS Istina
Healing + Support Ptilopsis, Warfarin
DP-Recovery + Support Zima
Defense + Survival Vulcan
Defense + DPS Liskarm, Vulcan
AoE + Debuff Meteorite
Shift + Slow FEater
Shift + Defense Croissant
DPS + Shift Cliffheart

4 Star and Up

Tags Possible Operators
Guard + AoE Specter, Estelle
Guard + Slow Frostleaf
Defender + Healing Nearl, Gummy
Sniper + Survival Jessica
Sniper + Slow ShiraYuki
Sniper + AoE Meteorite, ShiraYuki
Special Projekt Red, Manticore, Cliffheart, FEater, Gravel, Rope, Shaw
Shift Cliffheart, FEater, Croissant, Rope, Shaw
Debuff Meteorite, Pramanix, Haze, Meteor
Fast-Redeploy Projekt Red, Gravel
AoE + Melee Specter, Estelle
AoE + Survival Specter, Estelle
Melee + Slow FEater, Frostleaf
Slow + DPS Istina, Frostleaf
Defense + Healing Nearl, Gummy
Melee + Healing Nearl, Gummy
Survival + Ranged Jessica
AoE + Slow ShiraYuki
DPS + Support Doberman
Support + > 4h Zima, Ptilopsis, Warfarin, Doberman

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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Arknights: Alyeska#2654

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