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Arknights Operator Tier List

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Other Tier Lists

  • Also check out our new player Tier Lists below!
  • Many low rarity Operators are worth investing in to fill roles until players can find higher rarity replacements or on maps with tight Deployment Point constraints. See a guide on them below.

Introduction

  • Tier lists for Arknights are often considered to be difficult to create, as many Operators have very specific situations in which they excel to such a degree that they would be a top pick for a certain map but not for others. Tier Lists are not a substitute for game knowledge!
  • It is commonly agreed that having a balanced roster that covers multiple niches is the best way for players to build their team. However, there are some standout Operators that appear within each Archetype. As a result, the tier list prioritizes comparing Operators within their Archetypes over across Classes and Roles.  Filters are provided to allow easy selection of desired Classes and Archetypes.  For more detailed information about Classes and Archetypes, refer to the guide here:
  • Lower rarity Operators are still useful in certain situations, generally due to their lower deployment costs. They are also much cheaper to develop, making them good choices to develop early to progress through the game faster.  Low rarity Operators that are good choices to develop early are indicated by a red border.  The Operators marked are typically easy to acquire, being 3 Star or available for purchase in shops.
  • Since every tier list needs a baseline with which to compare, this tier list compares units at their full development (their highest promotion stage and maximum Operator and Skill level)

Legend

These Operators can be easily recruited or obtained for free (without having to rely on the gacha) and are good early investments. Remember that low rarity Operators are sometimes stronger than higher rarity Operators when they are both at equal, lower Promotion 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.
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

  • Gamepress’ 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.   We've also started to ask for more opinions from the gaming community, with a new channel in the GamePress Discord where players can share their voice.
  • Updates to the tier list are done slowly and gradually, and only when new Operators are added.  We typically only review/evaluate a few Archetypes 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.
  • This Tier List prioritizes comparisons of Operators within the same Archetypes.  It does not attempt to compare every single operator with every other single operator, even if they share similar uses or roles.
  • Why? 
    • For most operators, comparing them makes no sense.  We don't try to compare Dualstirke Guards against AoE Casters against Duelist Guards against Medics, because there is no point.  We don't try to compare operators with similar usage roles because defining them all and comparing them all would add another layer of subjectivity and cause as much disagreement as the rankings themselves.  If you need help with team building and deciding which archetypes/roles will be most useful to you, then it is better to use a teambuilding guide or reading up on Operator details.  If you are deciding whether to build a specific operator or not, then you are better served reading their eval summaries or overviews.
    • Besides being not useful, trying to compare every single operator with every other single operator would required more letters and +/-'s than exist, would be convoluted to the point of uselessness, and be impossible to maintain with reasonable time/effort.
    • Is our approach perfect?  Of course not.  There are flaws with every approach, but we have found the current one to be the best as far as understandability, helpfulness, and ease of updating.  In the end, a Tier List can never provide the perfect answer to a player's question, and cannot replace game knowledge.
  • But then how do you rank Operators that only have 1 or a few in their Archetype?  Why is Leizi not an S+ Chain Caster since she is the only one?!?
    • Especially for Archetypes that don't have many Operators, we try to consider the potential of those Operators within that Archetype to impact the game.  Specific letter rankings alone do not represent only "strength of operator within the archetype", but "strength/potential of the Operator to have a meaningful impact on the game".  So just because an operator is alone in their archetype and doesn't have S+ does not mean it is being compared directly to other Archetypes, nor is it impossible to give a ranking based on overall game potential without multiple Operators existing in an archetype.
  • But that is so subjective!
    • Tier Lists are based on data, empirical evidence, and opinions.  Opinions are subjective.  Feel free to share yours in the comments.
Rank Movements

10/21/21

For this update we looked at the following Archetypes: Aura Supporter, ST Medic, Puller Specialist, and Enmity Guard

S+ Tier

Skadi the Corrupting Heart: A strong meta Operator that becomes the new best buffer in the game.
Kal'tsit: A terrible healer, but a strong meta DPS and laneholder and the new best source of True damage.

S Tier

Gladiia: While pulling is an inherently worse niche than pushing, Gladiia has shown that she can pull her own weight both as a guard replacement for newer players with limited rosters and for late endgame content. Since her release she has actually participated on every max (possible) risk CC, even carrying pretty hard in Wild Scales.

A- Tier

Akafuyu: A defensive oreinted enmity guard could find a use for 1v1 against high ASPD/low ATK enemies, but it just doesn't have a place in the current meta, though the on-demand HP cut can be useful for her archetype. Lack of non-attacking self-regen limits her lane soloing capabilities, and there isn't much she can do that Hellagur doesn't do better.
Arene: up to A- from B+ on-demand and good skill cycle, we wanted him to be at the same rank as Ayerscarpe (who has higher max damage potential, but poor skill cycle and strengths that don't synergize strongly with current low block meta)
B Tier
Vulcan: down to B from A poor skill cycle times and skills that are prone to leaking.
Snowsant: down to B from A-We wanted her to be the same rank as rope, as it didn't seem like her slow/Arts or higher force against infected clearly outweighed ropes extended reach.
C Tier
Frostleaf: down to C from C+we wanted her to be the same rank as midnight, since even though she has slightly higher DPS at max development, her slow only has 33% uptime, we don't think those things push her above Midnight's Arts-on-demand.

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

Aura Supporter
Summoner Supporter
Slower
Debuffer
Buffer Supporter
Enmity Defender
Healing Defender
Normal Defender
Duelist Defender
Arts DPS Defender
Ranged Guard
Arts Guard
AoE Guard
Brawler
Enmity Guard
Dualstrike Guard
Duelist Guard
Support Guard
DP-On-Kill Vanguard
Standard Bearer Vanguard
Skill-DP-Recovery Vanguard
Summoner Vanguard
ST Caster
Ifrit, The Burninator
AoE Caster
Modal Caster
Charge Caster
Drone Caster
Chain Caster
Anti-Air Sniper
AoE Sniper
Heavyweight Sniper
Aftershock Sniper
Close Range Sniper
Spreadshooter
Deadeye Sniper
ST Medic
AoE Medic
Wide-Range Medic
Fast-Redeploy
Pusher
Puller
Sacrificial Specialist
Trapper Specialist
DP-Drain
Stalker

Caster AoE Caster

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

Caster Chain Caster

B+
Explanation
Explanation

Caster Charge Caster

A
Explanation

Caster Drone Caster

A-
Explanation

Caster Ifrit, The Burninator

S
Explanation

Caster Modal Caster

A+
Explanation
A
Explanation

Caster ST Caster

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

Defender Arts DPS Defender

A
Explanation
B-
Explanation

Defender Duelist Defender

S-
Explanation

Defender Enmity Defender

S+
Explanation
B
Explanation

Defender Healing Defender

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

Defender Normal Defender

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

Guard AoE Guard

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

Guard Arts Guard

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

Guard Brawler

S+
Explanation
A+
Explanation
A
Explanation
B
Explanation
Explanation

Guard Dualstrike Guard

A+
Explanation
Explanation
A
Explanation
A-
Explanation

Guard Duelist Guard

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

Guard Enmity Guard

S-
Explanation
A-
Explanation
Explanation

Guard Ranged Guard

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

Guard Support Guard

A
Explanation
C
Explanation
C-
Explanation

Medic AoE Medic

S
Explanation
Explanation
A
Explanation
A-
Explanation

Medic ST Medic

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

Medic Wide-Range Medic

A
Explanation
B+
Explanation
B
Explanation

Sniper Aftershock Sniper

S
Explanation

Sniper Anti-Air Sniper

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

Sniper AoE Sniper

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

Sniper Close Range Sniper

S
Explanation
A
Explanation
B
Explanation

Sniper Deadeye Sniper

A
Explanation
Explanation
B-
Explanation

Sniper Heavyweight Sniper

S
Explanation
A-
Explanation

Sniper Spreadshooter

A
Explanation