The new Module Upgrade system has just been launched, with all modules gaining Stage 2 and 3 versions with more powerful effects. Here are our first impressions of the impact some of those upgrades look like they will have on their Operators’ viability (this is to say, how much better that Operator gets in a vacuum, and not compared to the entire metagame). If it does benefit the Operator so much that their actual usage cases would increase significantly, though, it will still be mentioned. It is also important to note that none of the upgrades are negative for the Operator they apply on, so “bad” here exclusively refers to poor resource investments.
As always, keep in mind that this list is purely meta-oriented and represents the opinions of the author extracted from the available data.
As if she wasn’t already one of the most insane Operators in the game, Ling gets BY FAR the best Module Upgrade in the game as well. With her Stage 2 Module she becomes able to deploy an additional summon. This has a massive impact on her viability (as if she needed any more!) by allowing her to enhance an additional summon to its Higher Form variety with her third skill, To Remain Oneself. It is also a massive upgrade to her not quite as popular but still incredibly good second skill, Amidst Pleasant Melodies, vastly improving her control of the battlefield and overall damage (which, once again, she definitely does not need). Her Stage 3 upgrade simply improves her summons stats, which, though a welcome upgrade, is definitely nowhere near as powerful as the previous stage. Ling is indubitably the biggest winner of this update.
Surprise! Mostima is finally getting some love! And this time the buffs she is getting are absolutely massive. While the additional effects she will get from the Module Upgrades are quite interesting (18% Global slowdown is a very unique effect), the thing that actually makes her a force to be reckoned with is how her third skill, Key of Chronology, interacts with the Stage 3 upgrade to her Talent slowdown, bumping it from 15 all the way to 30%. With both a fully upgraded Module and her third skill active, Mostima will constantly apply a 90% slowdown to all enemies within her range (99% at P5!), giving her a unique niche as the best pure slower in the entire game, by quite a wide margin.
One of Passenger’s biggest issues is the severe cycling issues of Glorious Shards, his third skill. This Module seeks to upgrade just that by giving him extra SP recovery whenever his second Talent is active. With the Stage 3 bonus, Passenger will recharge SP 25% faster than usual, greatly boosting the uptime of his bursts of Arts damage without hindering his positioning.
Wait, two entries for the same Operator? Yes! Passenger is one of two Operators to have received a second Module that he can opt for instead of the first. While the first one provided longer Slow infliction and extra SP gain, this one focuses entirely on Passenger as an Arts burst Operator. The basic Module entirely removes the damage falloff on consecutive jumps, and the Module Upgrades significantly boost his first Talent, giving him a 33% damage boost against enemies with over 70% HP for 4 seconds. This enables multiple consecutive casts of his third skill to deal incredible burst damage.
Specter the Unchained
One of the biggest reasons why Specter the Unchained was considered a mediocre Operator compared to her non-Alter version is that her archetypal traits essentially worsened her cycling by a pretty significant amount. Thanks to these Module Upgrades, Specter the Unchained will immediately gain 15 SP when recovering from her Doll status, fixing her cycling nicely.
There are no words to describe how sorry I feel for all Tachanka fans out there. His Module Upgrades are so terrible it almost feels like a cruel joke: his Talent changes from giving 10% extra Defense to 23%, and that’s it.
Ask yourself what Blemishine would benefit the most from if she were to get a buff. What would you think she’d get? More interactions with sleeping enemies? Better damage? She’s got none of that. Instead, her Module gives her 3 extra SP whenever another Kazimierz Operator is deployed, which essentially amounts to comboing her with Gravel or reaping no benefit from it.
At least her base Module effect is pretty good, though!
Nightingale is a very powerful Operator, easily the best one in her archetype, as she has powerful healing and excellent tactical options to mitigate damage. What she does not have is a good Module Upgrade: a grand total of 5% extra HPS when upgrading her Module all the way to Stage 3.
Much like the previous Module, Angelina’s is a massive waste of resources for incredibly little gain. Instead of improving her slowing capabilities further, giving her better damage or even boosting her Attack Speed Talent, all Angelina gets is 15 extra HPS of regen via her Talent at Stage 3.
And last but certainly not least, we have Kafka’s disappointing Module. Not only is the damage upgrade nothing to write home about (it just gives her +10% more Attack while her skills are active at Stage 3), it does not decrease her deployment cost in any way. There’s still no real reason to raise Kafka for meta purposes, as these Module Upgrades didn’t give her anything of the sort.
Other Notable Upgrades
Saria’s Module Upgrades are not too exciting, but they are definitely welcome upgrades to her kit. With her Stage 2 upgrade, Saria will provide 2 SP to any Operator she heals, double the amount she would without it. At Stage 3 she also provides one additional SP to Rhine Lab-affiliated Operators, but considering their skillsets there really isn’t much of a synergy here.
Just a simple 6 second redeployment timer reduction for the Mirror with the Stage 3 upgrade. Nothing flashy, nothing gamebreaking, but definitely a good improvement thanks to Phantom’s redeploy-heavy toolkit.
While still definitely nowhere near enough to propel her to the usage of her Alternate version, Ch’en’s Module Upgrades significantly boost her SP recovery, somewhat improving the aspect in which she was lacking the most. At Stage 2, her Talent grants 1 SP to all Offensive and Defensive SP Recovery Operators every 3 seconds, 1 faster than she used to; and with Stage 3 she grants herself twice that amount every time. Quite decent!
Skadi’s second Module focuses exclusively on her helidrop abilities with her second skill, Wave Strike. At Stage 2 it reduces her redeployment timer by 10 additional seconds with her second Talent, and at Stage 3 the redeployment timer is reduced again by a total of 30 seconds, letting players redeploy Skadi every 40 seconds. While this likely won’t make her as useful as Surtr or Nearl the Radiant Knight it’s still an incredible buff to her combat capabilities that boosts her viability.
Surprisingly enough, Leizi has also obtained a really powerful Module Upgrade for her combat capabilities. One of the worst parts of her kit is the horrible cycling of her second skill, Thunderclap, and these Module Upgrades exclusively focus on solving that problem. At Stage 2, Leizi will gain one additional SP whenever she hits any unblocked enemies, and this includes every single one of her lightning jumps, resulting in 4 additional SP per Attack under ideal circumstances. These Module Upgrades also boost her damage to unblocked enemies somewhat, but it’s definitely not as notable as a betterment in her cycling.
Module Upgrades are the final frontier of endgame upgrades for all Operators. They are incredibly costly and timegated by the new gamemode, and their effectiveness varies from incredibly powerful from practically worthless. Still, don't take this list as the only Module Upgrades worth/not worth getting. There are many more that are possibly worth the resources (look at Flamebringer!) and there are even more to come in the future as they release batches of modules for new archetypes.