Arknights: Meteorite in-depth gameplay analysis

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Hey y'all! I'm back again with another Snipers, bet you didn't expect that! This time is another one who I had been sticking with for quite a long time. Hope you're ready for my conclusion. Anyway, here's Meteorite, the OG explosive AoE/Splash Snipers


Meteorite is a 5* Artilleryman Sniper that specialises in killing a mass of enemies through brute physical damage. She can hurt enemies through a decently high DEF ceiling (even higher through her RNG crits) or is amazingly convenient to use. She can also deliver a deceptively decent DEF debuff for the team to make good use of.


Offensive stats

When it comes to a sniper’s base ATK, the hierarchy goes (from highest) Deadeye, Besieger, Artilleryman, Heavyshooter, Spreadshooters, Flingers, and the Marksman. Meteorite then has quite a high ATK. You probably still remember the comparison in the Sesa post - she has higher ATK than Sesa, and that also compounds later on with her talent and skills. (Un)Fortunately their attack speed is the same at 2.8s per attack, which is 0.1s slower than Wide-range snipers and 0.1s faster than AoE casters. And yes I copy-pasted the whole thing and just switched it up a lil bit. I’ll do that for the next few parts too.

Defensive stats

In contrast, Meteorite has less HP and DEF and Sesa. Though, for a sniper’s defensive stats, none of them are really that amazing except for Flingers (highest base DEF of all ranged units), Spreadshooters (highest HP), and Heavyshooter Sniper (mix of both). So in the grand scheme it doesn’t matter. Although, Meteorite sits somewhere in the lower range.


Artilleryman Snipers have quite a bit of a DP cost, given the fact that they gain +2 DP per promotion, not just once at E1 and done. This added more to their DP cost which is also already high to begin with. Start at 24 at E0, 26 at E1, and end at 28 for E2. There is a reason for this though, however small it may be.

Range, Trait, Talent


This is almost the only archetype in the game that has a range expansion at E2, which explains their E2 extra DP cost. The others one are Kal’tsit, who coincidentally shares the same range; and Fortress Defenders.

This makes them have the second longest base range in the game, losing only to Blast Caster and Fortress Defender, and tied with Deadeye snipers and Besiegers, excluding the side range. Kal’tsit also gain extra range per promotion (yet Kal has no DP cost increase at E2) but she’s not part of a special archetype (as stated by HG)

Artilleryman Sniper's range at base (left), E1 (center), and E2 (right)

The extra range at E2 is the more important part, at least in my eyes. The little range at E1 rarely comes into play, as it is rare that you would be able to deploy a range unit facing straight into an enemy lane (thanks Ifrit). Usually, the range tile will be on the side of the route, and so the range on the side matters more often than the middle one. If you can use that middle range at E1, it’s either an Ifrit spot (Aak put that gun down), or you’re looking in perpendicular from the path and the extra range at E2 still helps you cover the area much further and/or easier.


Deals AoE Physical damage.

Whenever they fire their projectile, at impact it explodes and deals damage in a certain radius around the impact location. This radius is 1 tile.

If the enemy died while their projectile is midair, it will still do AoE damage at the dead enemy’s location, the effect is just not shown (as I have (not) seen from Meteorite’s S1 effect).

Except, for Meteorite, there is an exception case that I will mention later on.


Blast Attachment Refit

Available at E1 – Has a 15% chance to increase the ATK of the current attack by +60% when using Normal Attacks and skills

At E2 the chance increases to 30%.

This talent works like a critical hit in a typical RPG game, a % chance to attack to deal a high % damage. In this game, it’s important to note that the added damage is an ATK Boost. Basically it only affects base ATK and only stack additively with other ATK Boost, such as Warfarin S2. On Meteorite individually though, it doesn’t matter, since both of her skills deal ATK Multiplier – it always stacks multiplicatively with ATK Boost and other ATK Multipliers.

This is another reason Meteorite is much more focused on brute damage than Sesa, whose talent and skills both primarily need/help allies.


RIIC Skills

Blasting Materiology α: When processing Elite Material, increase the by-product rate by 75%.

At E2 it becomes Blasting Materiology β, with 80% extra by-product rate instead.

I think I have had enough spiel about by-product rate with my recent guides by now (Toddi, Sesa,…). But 80% is also fairly easy to obtain like Catapult and Sussurro E1, or from Ceylon if you have been playing during her event (and the rerun), so it’s not necessarily a unique skill.

First skill: Buckshot

Stats at level 7

Next attack has expanded AoE and deals 170% ATK as physical damage. 0 initial SP, 4 SP cost.

Offensive Recovery, auto activation.


M3 deals 215% Physical damage, 3 SP cost.

Advanced Details

The radius for this enhanced attack is 2 (two). This makes it the biggest splash radius in the game; nothing has come close to it except for Catapult with SL7, and Fiammetta S3. Second closest are Dusk and Skyfire at 1.7 tiles.

Do note that Meteorite is an AoE Sniper, so her attack rate is very slow, and so the 3 SP cost for this skill is deceptively longer than it is. She will use this skill roughly once every 11 seconds.

Possible usages

Put her down. Face her toward the general enemies’ direction or whatever direction you want. Hope she has a crit on the skill attack rather than the basic attack.

Bring Archetto with her for great destruction. She’d use her S1 at nearly twice the rate, which means more damage (duh), and the critical hit has a higher chance to proc on her S1.

Second skill: High-Explosive Shell

Stats at level 7

Launches a bomb that deal 240% physical damage and reduces enemies DEF by -210 for 10 seconds. 0 initial SP, 23 SP cost.

Auto Recovery, manual activation


M3 gives 300% physical damage, reduces DEF by -33020 SP cost.

Advanced Details

The skill has the same radius as her normal attack, which is 1 tile.

The skill always benefits from its own -DEF debuff, like most other damage that also inflict a debuff in this game (except for Suzuran who has too many layers of debuff, yes I just like to bring that up every time).

As mentioned in her talent section, the skill does receive the benefit of the critical damage. It’s a beautiful sight as the enemies crumble under the massive 5k damage.

It does have a bad point though. Remember when I said the AoE still impacts other enemies even if the original target dies when the projectile is midair? Yea that only works on her basic attack and S1 attack. With S2, it will be wasted if the targeted enemy died during the windup. So be just a liiiitttle bit careful.

This skill prioritises drones. Yes. That’s a thing. Bet you didn’t know about this. (Nor do I until Anni 6 happens, even though I start using this skill since CC#3. Feelsbadman). But that just means it probably doesn’t matter most of the time. It’s something good to know about though, to prevent being griefed by it if you accidentally use it with a drone in range, and to abuse it when you need to kill a drone.

Possible usages

It can be used for multiple situations: Spawncamp, nuke every 20s, quickly delete or heavily weaken threats, even against high DEF, clean up high armored herds that like to spam in the last few waves of Annihilation, can even clean up trash mobs with careful timing.

This is the reason for the intro, because I will make this statement and hold by it: Meteorite’s S2 is better than S1 in 95% of cases when you can use Meteorite. This is, however, only applicable if you’re willing to commit to using Meteorite as a favorite unit/waifu/etc.

If you had only been bringing her S1 for lazy AoE cleaning, fine, but if you like to use Meteorite but had only been using her S1 because you think, or heard, it’s the better skill, think again. (Yeah I’m ready for the comments. If I get canceled over Meteorite, so be it).

On average, if Meteorite is constantly attacking, both skills have about the same DPS. Now that alone means nothing, but you also have to realise that trash mobs cleaning is not a feat that is unique to Meteorite, nor it is a tough task to do, and the higher damage ceiling to S2 means it loses less damage on higher DEF than S1, plus -DEF debuff, meaning it has an easier time killing the actual threat of the map. Meteorite also gains a lot more from having her crit proc’d on S2 than having it proc’d on S1, but at the same time S1 has a better chance to get the crit.

It can be controlled, and the ability to be able to dictate when the big damage happens is very strong. That’s basically one of the bigger reasons Ash became much more feasible than Exu for general content. And on harder content, Exu is preferred again due to the massively higher damage output. Both lines of reasoning are found with Meteorite S2 over S1, higher damage and controllability.

It can be charged in-between breaks. Meteorite cannot charge her S1 in between waves by herself, effectively reducing the DPS for the skill even further. For S2, its damage can be preserved by properly timing the skill usage for the next wave, and as said, even works as an amazing spawncamp skill. 

The -DEF is more significant than you’d think as well. 330 DEF is a noticeable dent to most elites and still a decent reduction to defender-type enemies. In turn, the damage potential is much higher against defender-type enemies compared to S1, and it even helps out other allies too. That quick burst of damage also means that the enemies hit by it lose a large portion of their HP, so the -DEF becomes more useful at finishing them off as well.

Even more, the -DEF debuff also has a 50% uptime on a relatively long duration of 10 whole seconds, which is amazing as well. So as a result this skill, not only that it deals great damage (at worst decent damage), inflicts a decent -DEF debuff, it also has a strong uptime.

To top it all off, the low cooldown of 20 seconds is amazing, letting you use it and still have it ready for the next threat to show up (again, like Ash). It’s an advantage that other nukers will never have like W or Firewatch. Against slow enemies or/and a long-winded path, the skill can be easily used again on the same enemy, examples being the middle path in PL-5, or the horde of shieldguards in H7-4.

Sadly it was just all text, so you couldn’t feel the full glory of this skill. It’s just so fluid and flexible, and I consider that advantage much better than being hands-free that S1 can give.


ART–У: Tag of Nameless

  • Stage 1:

HP +100

ATK +37

Ignore 100 DEF.

Preliminary thoughts: Actually, not that great. Ignoring 100 DEF when Meteorite usually deals like 2500 damage means the improvement is small. For basic attack, it's fairly okay, though less effective if her talent proc. So almost the same as Cutter's module basically.

  • Stage 2 (Stats boosts do not stack, only replace):

HP +150 

ATK +52

Talent improved: When attacking or using skills, 40% chance to increase ATK by +60% (from 30% chance)

  • Stage 3

HP +180

ATK +65

Talent improved: When attacking or using skills, 50% chance to increase ATK by +60%

Preliminary thoughts: hot damm what an upgrade. I already gushed about how good S2 is and the occasional crit is amazing on it. Now that the chance to crit on S2 is 50%, I do not recommend S1 anymore. Not even with Archetto. Use S2 to support with -DEF debuff for Archetto instead.

Closing Thoughts

I still love using Artilleryman Snipers, despite their popularity. I think I haven’t made that clear yet.

  • S1 is the classic. Its popularity remains overshadowing the other, better skill. I said all that about S2, but make no mistake as S1 itself is in no way a bad skill. As said in its own section, with Archetto, it’s also absolutely destructive, practically doubling the usage rate.

  • S2 is an amazing skill that I implore you Meteorite fans out there to try. This is NOT like Sesa or Aak where I listed their quirks and told you guys: “looks it’s better than you think but it’s still not that great”. Meteorite S2 is great and will be the skill I suggest you use if you are willing to commit to using her, even go as far as to suggest S2M3 first… maybe. It can't one-shot stronger enemies, but it sure weaken them fast enough, and do it faster than her S1.

Unlike Sesa, her kit isn’t that supportive, so there’s no stand out “best partner” for her aside from Archetto, which is just a one-way benefit. If there is Archetto on the field, I'm indeed going to use Meteorite S1. (Though with the module stage 3, I'll keep using S2 anyway. Now Meteorite will be the one to support Arch with that -330 DEF instead). At the same time, the -DEF debuff is great for anyone with physical damage so that’s a huge list. Ash is someone I'd say works well, since Ash benefits from being able to kill an enemy ASAP. Meteorite can deal a quick chunk of damage, and a DEF debuff just to be sure, and Ash can finish her job much faster.


So how do you find Meteorite? I know for a fact that people have always been favoring S1 so it’s probably surprising to see me favoring the other one. Again, Artilleryman Snipers don’t get much love from people anyway, but Meteorite’s abilities are truly amazing and adding her to the team won’t be a huge switch to your playstyle (cough Sesa cough), or worse, detrimental to your team (cough Aak).

Anyway, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

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About the Author(s)

Random wandering pleb Arknights guide writer