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Arknights Operator Tier List

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  • Also check out our new player Tier Lists below!

Introduction

  • Tier lists for Arknights are difficult to create, as many Operators have very specific situations in which they excel to such a degree that they would be an amazing pick for a certain map but worthless in another. No Tier List can perfectly compare all Operators in all situations: Tier Lists are not a substitute for game knowledge! That being said, there are bad Operators and exceptional Operators, and some Operators are better than others and will make it easier for players to succeed. 
  • This tier list compares units at their full possible development with end-game content in mind.  Evaluation and ranking is based on the strength/potential of the Operator to have an overall meaningful impact on the game, across all the different modes and content, and is based on data, empirical evidence, and opinions.  
  • New Players should NOT use this list for operator development priority for early-mid gameplay. Instead, new Players looking for early game development priority help should use the [New Player Tier List] instead. Some higher rarity operators (especially 5 stars) are not worth their E2 or mastery development costs for most players because they become obsolete when better 6 Stars are obtained.  Lower rarity Operators have cheaper development costs and so can be more efficient to develop for early game even though the higher rarity operators have higher full development potential.
  • For ease of use and understandability, Operators are grouped by their Class Archetypes.  Filters are provided to allow easy selection of desired Classes and Archetypes.  Advanced Filters are provided to more easily compare Operators by the utility they provide. For more detailed information about Classes and Archetypes, refer to the guide here:
  • With enough skill, any Operator can contribute to a squad for clearing "normal" reward-giving content. so players need not be afraid to develop Operators they want to use even if they aren't highly ranked for the meta.
  • This Tier List is not written by a single person. Instead, it is a combined effort by multiple GP collaborators, most of which are endgame players with extensively developed rosters that write guides for the website, such as operator reviews or Contingency Contract homework documents.   There is a channel in the GamePress Discord where players can share their voice. Tier Lists are based on data, empirical evidence, and opinions.  Opinions are subjective.  Feel free to share yours.
  • Updates to the tier list are done slowly and gradually, and only when new Operators are added to global.  We typically only review/evaluate a few Archetypes/Operators at a time.  We do this because gathering/discussing opinions from multiple contributors can take a lot of time, and discussions are often not as clear-cut as “just move X up/down a tier”.  Trying to re-evaluate everything in the Tier List every update is just not feasible nor productive.  There will always be updates and changes moving forward as we get to them, and as the game evolves.

Legend

These Operators can be good early-game investments for players that lack their top end-game replacements. Remember that low rarity Operators are sometimes stronger than higher rarity Operators when they are both at equal development levels.
Blue Borders represent Operators especially worth considering for Promotion to Elite 2 (E2). For more details on why, and which to promote first, check out the Elite 2 Priorities Guide!

YES!: I need you NOW - With these Operators, you will feel the difference of their E2 gains immediately. New doors of power will open, the sun will rise in radiance, and you will fall deeper in love. These Operators tend to be the best immediate “Return on Investment” of the Promotion materials.
Mastery: Masters of Specialization - These are Operators that see their most noticeable gains from increasing the Mastery (Specialization) of their Skills. Since this process is quite expensive in itself, further investment is required to bring out the best in these Operators. For a discussion on which Skill Specializations/Masteries to focus on, check out the Elite 2 Priorities Guide.
STATS: Beat them with the Stat Stick - These are the Operators you promote primarily for the stats they can gain at the higher levels enabled by E2. These Operators typically do their job fine at E1. Promotion makes them better, of course, but is not critical for their performance.
Specialty: Because Niche is Nice - These are Operators that provide niche utility, have unique roles, or are commonly used in some specific end-game strategies or situations.
Click on the blue "?" box in the lower right-hand corner to see an Evaluation Summary and Overview/Analysis of the Operator.
Operators with a Red star on the lower right corner are LIMITED Operators (only available during certain banners / campaigns).
Tier Meaning
S A highly effective Operator in their role, one of the best available.
A Extremely proficient Operator in their role.
B The Operator is very good at their role, and can complete the duties of their role competently.
C A sufficient Operator for performing their role, even if not always the best option.
D If other options are unavailable, they will generally satisfy the need for a niche.

Latest Additions/Changes

12/28/2021: Advanced filters added!

12/20/21: Introduction And Archetype Philosophy Update

When this Tier List was first created 2 years ago, it prioritized comparisons within Archetypes.  This made more sense at the time, since there were less Operators in the game that tended to have abilities/roles consistent within the Archetype, and the only content that existed was normal story and event stages (for example, Contingency Contract didn't exist).  With the addition of more and more operators with abilities and roles that overalapped with Operators of other Archetypes, and with more types of content that demanded more out of the Operators, the comparing of Operators only within Archetype had less and less value.

About 6 months ago, we started to update rankings to transition away from comparing Operators only within Archetype, and to attempt to create rankings that applied over the breadth of all Operators.  We believe we have progressed to the point now that we can eliminate the caveats of Archetype prioritization.  Keep in mind that maintaining the Tier List is a constantly ongoing activity that will continue to be done over time.

Summary of the updated philosophy:

  • This Tier List organizes Operators by Class Archetypes in order to make the list easier to search, filter, understand, and compare.  This does not mean that comparisons are only being done within Archetypes.  Evaluation and ranking is based on the strength/potential of the Operator to have an overall meaningful impact on the game.  Thus, we consider and compare operators that provide similar roles/functions even if they don't share the same Archetype, and attempt to assign rankings suitable to comparison over Operators of ALL Archetypes.
  • Advanced Filters are provided to more easily compare Operators that provide similar specific utility or function.

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The Introduction section has ben updated.

Rank Movements

04/28/2022: Added Nearl the Radiant Knight, Flametail, Corroserum, Wild Mane, Pudding, Honeyberry, and Justice Knight.  Updated Passenger.

S Tier

Nearl the Radiant Knight: Powerful and unique heli-drop option with S2. S3 is a strong skill and has interesting uses as well.
Flametail: Dodge-focused kit that combines ok DP generation with good survivability and small-fry slaughter... if you feel lucky... well, do you? punk?
Passenger UP to S from A+: The (first) module completes the ascension to GODssenger. Will the newest modules cause him to rise even further?

A Tier

Honeyberry:- Generally a worse option than Mulberry that doesn't really work as a Medic replacement under most circumstances, though the elemental damage regen of S1 can be pretty powerful even if it is limited with targets.
Pudding:- Better than Leizi, worse than Passenger. Suffers from being a 4*, but she's still great and can output really good damage and slow.

B+ Tier

Wild Mane:- Worse option than Vigna under most circumstances, but her Talent and S2 are interesting tech options sometimes.

B Tier

Corroserum:- Low DPS and there are better options for Silence where it is applicable.

E Tier

Justice Knight:- the useful utility she may have she does worse than other low rarity options.

Tier List

Filter Tier

S+
S
S-
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
E+
E
E-
X

Filter Rarity

Filter by Class or Archetype

Anti-Air / Marksman
Boomstick / Spreadshooter
Close Range / Heavyshooter
Heavyweight / Besieger
Aftershock / Flinger
Long-Range / Deadeye
AoE / Artilleryman
ST / Core Caster
Burninator / Blast Caster
Chain Caster
Modal / Phalanx Caster
AoE / Splash Caster
Drone / Mech-Accord
Charge / Mystic Caster
Ranged / Lord
Arts Fighter
AoE / Centurion
Brawler / Fighter
Duelist / Dreadnought
Enmity / Musha
Reaper Guard
Support / Instructor
Dualstrike / Swordmaster
Liberator Guard
Aura / Bard
Slower / Decel Binder
Summoner
Debuffer / Hexer
Artificer
Buffer / Abjurer
Enmity / Juggernaut
Healing / Guardian
Normal / Protector
Duelist
Fortress
Arts Protector
ST / Medic
AoE / Multi-target Medic
Wandering Medic
Wide-Range / Therapist
DP-On-Kill / Charger
Skill-DP / Pioneer
Flagbearer / Standard Bearer
Summoner / Tactician
Fast-Redeploy / Executor
Pusher / Push Stroker
Puller / Hookmaster
Sacrificial Specialist
DP-Drain / Merchant
Ambusher
Trapmaster
Substitute / Dollkeeper
Advanced Filters

Caster AoE / Splash Caster

S-
Explanation
A
Explanation
Explanation
B+
Explanation
Explanation
C+
Explanation
Explanation
C
Explanation
D
Explanation

Caster Burninator / Blast Caster

S+
Explanation
B
Explanation

Caster Chain Caster

S
Explanation
A
Explanation
C+
Explanation

Caster Charge / Mystic Caster

B-
Explanation
Explanation

Caster Drone / Mech-Accord

A+
Explanation

Caster Modal / Phalanx Caster

S
Explanation
A
Explanation
Explanation

Caster ST / Core Caster

S+
Explanation
S
Explanation
A
Explanation
Explanation
B
Explanation
C+
Explanation
C
Explanation
Explanation
D
Explanation

Defender Arts Protector

A-
Explanation
B+
Explanation

Defender Duelist

S-
Explanation

Defender Enmity / Juggernaut

S+
Explanation
B
Explanation

Defender Fortress

A
Explanation

Defender Healing / Guardian

S+
Explanation
S-
Explanation
A+
Explanation
B+
Explanation
B
Explanation
C
Explanation

Defender Normal / Protector

S-
Explanation
A+
Explanation
Explanation
A
Explanation
A-
Explanation
Explanation
Explanation
Explanation
B+
Explanation
B-
Explanation
C
Explanation
Explanation
D+
Explanation

Guard AoE / Centurion

S+
Explanation
S
Explanation
A-
Explanation
B+
Explanation
B
Explanation
C
Explanation

Guard Arts Fighter

S+
Explanation
A+
Explanation
A-
Explanation
B+
Explanation
B
Explanation

Guard Brawler / Fighter

S+
Explanation
A-
Explanation
B-
Explanation
Explanation
C
Explanation

Guard Dualstrike / Swordmaster

A+
Explanation
A
Explanation
Explanation
A-
Explanation

Guard Duelist / Dreadnought

S
Explanation
A
Explanation
B+
Explanation
B
Explanation
Explanation
B-
Explanation
Explanation
C
Explanation

Guard Enmity / Musha

S-
Explanation
A-
Explanation
Explanation

Guard Liberator Guard

A+
Explanation

Guard Ranged / Lord

S+
Explanation
Explanation
A+
Explanation
A-
Explanation
Explanation
C
Explanation
C-
Explanation

Guard Reaper Guard

S-
Explanation

Guard Support / Instructor

S-
Explanation
B-
Explanation
C
Explanation
C-
Explanation

Medic AoE / Multi-target Medic

S
Explanation
Explanation
A
Explanation
A-
Explanation

Medic ST / Medic

S+
Explanation
S
Explanation
Explanation
A+
Explanation
A
Explanation
A-
Explanation
B+
Explanation
B
Explanation
B-
Explanation
C+
Explanation
C
Explanation
Explanation

Medic Wandering Medic

S-
Explanation
A
Explanation

Medic Wide-Range / Therapist

A
Explanation
Explanation
C+
Explanation

Sniper Aftershock / Flinger

S
Explanation

Sniper Anti-Air / Marksman

S+
Explanation
Explanation
S-
Explanation
A
Explanation