When initially starting out in GFL you will be forced through the tutorial, as well as the first few missions of chapter 1, after which you may proceed at your own leisure.
After clearing mission 6 of any chapter, the emergency maps as well as the next chapter will both unlock. While you could push onwards to the next chapter immediately, it is highly recommended you clear both normal and emergency as you make your way through the early chapters as several things are locked behind clearing enough maps and emergency maps. In addition, managing to S-rank maps will give you some nice early gems to unlock some permanent improvements such as additional echelon slots. More on gem sources and where to spend them are available on the Kalina’s Shop and Gems page.
Note that should there ever be another new chapter added you will likely have to re-clear the current final chapters map 6 to unlock the new one.
To start a mission, all friendly HQs must have an echelon deployed on them. You may also deploy additional echelons on any friendly Helipads available.
After starting the mission, if you do not have auto-resupply enabled in the Settings menu, you will need to manually resupply your echelon so they can fight.
Echelons can only be resupplied on a friendly HQ, friendly Helipad or any Resupply point.
Echelons will consume 1 tick of Ammo and Rations per fight, as well as 1 tick of Rations over the endturn.
To move your echelons around the map, select the echelon and click an adjacent node.
In GFL Friend Echelons do not scale to your level or strength or anything like that, they are at exactly the power level that they are for the player who made them. Do note that some fairies’ power comes from the fairies skill and you cannot activate fairy skills for Friend Echelons.
Getting a few friends with strong echelons can help you easily bust through harder bosses or maps with very annoying unit compositions early on.
You get 20 uses of Friend Echelons per day, which are highly recommended to be used as you make your way through the main story. Progressing swiftly and unlocking further Career Quest rewards will allow you to power up your own echelons much quicker and allow you to unlock further systems such as Heavy Ordnance Corps and Coalition Forces that are rather time gated.
Each friend’s echelon can only be used once every 6 hours, limiting each friend’s use somewhat, but seeing as you can have 100 friends and only use 20 echelons per day this is rarely an issue.
There is also the Griffin echelon that you can use as many times as you want. This preset echelon has a different set of dolls depending on the map and is generally just strong enough to take a few fights to help you out. If you have limited friends early on and just need a little extra help clearing a map this might be enough. Do note that this still counts as using one of your 20 Friend Echelons.
The main limitation with Friend Echelons is how they are controlled. You must click the Friend Echelon and select one of three AI modes for it, after which it will either move or standby at the end of your turn, depending on the setting chosen.
This limits the Friend Echelon to 1 movement per turn outside swapping with your own echelons, limiting their usage slightly but with some planning can be easily directed to where they need to go.
- Eliminate Enemies
The Friend Echelon will attack the nearest enemy.
The Friend Echelon will not move at the end of the turn, standing by at the current location.
- Capture HQ
The Friend Echelon will move towards the enemy HQ in the shortest path possible.
In case of tiebreakers for Eliminate or Capture, the chosen path is deterministic but depends on map state. Generally guide makers will take this into account when using Friend Echelons if you are following any guide.
Do take note that kills by Friend Echelons do not count towards the S-rank requirements and your own echelons will need to put in enough work to gain this medal.
Map level introduction
Understanding enemy movement logic makes clearing maps and understanding how enemies will move to attack your echelons far easier.
- Attack (Capture HQ)
Picks the shortest path towards your HQ and moves in that direction.
Moves to a random adjacent node.
Will not move.
Follows a preset path but will deviate up to 1 node away to attack if you end your turn next to it.
Moves towards the nearest Blue node. Note that this requires the node it is standing on to be of its own faction to move, if it is not it will stand still until it is.
Has a set alert radius and will move towards any enemy that ends turn on a node within the radius.
Attack is by far the most common movement logic in the early game with some maps having Random instead, this makes most of the early game fairly consistent and easy to understand how enemies will move.
After Chapter 8, enemies are entirely on Random and adjusting is often required.
Note that third faction (yellow) enemies may deviate from their regular patterns slightly such as Patrol AI ignoring your echelons stopping next to their patrol path.
This can be done either through long clicking on enemies or clicking the radar button and then selecting enemies with a click. If one of the methods doesn't work, try the other.
From here you can see the enemy team composition as well as check what each individual enemy does by clicking on them. You can also save enemy teams for testing under the Target Training section of Combat Simulations.
In addition to viewing enemies and the general info of enemies in the enemy team, you can also view how they are positioned when you engage them in combat, allowing you to better prepare for how to tackle them.
By selecting a Patrol or Alert enemy you can also see their patrol path or alert range respectively.
Patrol path visible. Alert range visible.
The only thing not visible from inspecting enemies is sadly enemy Force Shields. The game will warn you if you try to walk into an enemy with extremely high force shields but this can drastically change how difficult an enemy is to fight even with lower amounts.
To view far more details than are available directly in the game you would have to rely on external tools such as Pengu’s Map Tool, a very handy tool for when you are trying to find the specifics on enemies.
Mica has added a lot of new tutorials in the Career Quests and completing these is expected.
The ones under Command Missions cover map mechanics and situations in more detail.
Early on combat is overall very basic and you get a mix of generic enemies that run against you that you have to kill. As you progress through the game enemy teams will start being more complex and you will need to start picking the correct team for a fight.
As an example, armored enemies reduce damage taken from units without AP (Armor Piercing), meaning you should select dolls that can equip AP ammo. Alternatively enemies might be lined up such that killing the backline first is preferred over trying to beat through the frontline first. Both these situations are quite common and the usual answer to both of them is an RFHG echelon.
Pausing can allow you to take a moment to keep track of what is happening in a fight, before putting a plan into action. While this is often not needed much at the start, later on it can become highly advantageous as enemies and enemy teams become more complex.
You can also set your game to Freeze Time when you select a doll, allowing you infinite time to think about where to move her, reducing the hectic nature of combat significantly.
Microing, also referred to as kiting, is moving your dolls around in combat. This can allow seemingly impossible fights to be done with no damage taken or allow you to make an utter mess of an easy fight making it seem impossible to clear.
Learning when you should move dolls and when you should not move dolls is something that takes a lot of practice, trial and error. Similarly learning how each enemy behaves based on being in attack range can also greatly improve your ability to clear content.
As an example Rodeleros will stop briefly when they are in range, before jumping towards the nearest doll and channeling a piercing damage beam doing damage to anyone in range. This can easily be dodged if you know what you are doing, avoiding their constant damage ticks as long as the beam persists.
Red markers on the ground indicate where an enemy’s attack will land, and moving out of the bad is highly recommended.
Another example involves how G&K echelons gain increased range as long as a doll occupies the front column, as such you can move one of your tanks or HGs to the front column at the start of combat to allow your dolls to stop moving and start shooting earlier before moving the doll back as enemies approach to avoid getting shot at.
For more kiting info and tips see Varz’s kiting document.
If you feel you have messed up something in a fight, simply pause the fight and click the Restart button and try again.
If you end up not being able to complete the fight, restarting and then immediately retreating will allow your dolls to come out with the health they had before the fight started, letting you avoid pointless casualties.
Freeze time was added with update 2.09 and has since lowered the difficulty of kiting correctly in combat significantly, no longer do you have but a split second to select a doll and move her but can instead take as much time as you need after selecting your doll.
Individual settings can be set for tapping vs holding a doll, it is highly recommended to set Bullet Time (what happens when you hold a doll) to Freeze Time if you are struggling with some fight. “Effect of Selected T-Doll” or Tapping can be set to whatever you prefer.
For developing proper kiting techniques it is however recommended to leave it on Bullet Time, for the most part, to learn proper habits first.
Freeze time gives you all the time you need. Slow time kills you for not being fast.
As Teambuilding is an entire topic by itself, please see the Teambuilding page for more info.
Night map introduction
Night maps have some crucial differences to normal day maps:
Sight Range is limited at night, and by default the sight range of your echelons is 0, meaning you cannot even deploy another echelon as you cannot see adjacent helipads.
Adding a HG to an echelon allows them to see 1 node.
Radar Nodes can be captured to grant 2 nodes of vision range from the Radar.
Illumination Fairy skilled to level 3 or 10 grants an additional +1 or +2 sight range to an echelon. Do note that this is a very hefty investment and should not be considered early on.
Night Vision Penalty
Accuracy at night is reduced by 90%, allowing enemies with just the smallest amount of evasion to become incredibly evasive.
Equip PEQs on your ARs to overcome this issue and avoid letting your RFs take fights against evasive enemies.
Flare HGs have been changed as of 3.0, now granting their echelon Night Vision while the skill is actively counteracting the penalty. Note that this still isn’t really all that useful as there are better ways using RFs and MGs against evasive enemies at night such as surehit RFs like M200 and Nova granting MGs flat accuracy.
If there is a current event ongoing you should make sure to gather your daily boxes and make an attempt at clearing the event before it ends for all the rewards available.
More on events here.
Logistics are how you gain resources in GFL, sending up to 4 echelons out on timed missions that return resources and possibly tickets depending on which ones you select.
Logistics are generally referred to as their chapter plus their column position. For example the highlighted logistics above (Code No.54) is 13-2, as it is from chapter 13 and it is the second logistics from the left.
Not all logistics missions are equal and a lot of the earlier ones should be replaced with better ones later on. Shorter missions tend to have better rewards per hour, but this is not always true.
Each Logistics mission has a level requirement for the leader of the echelon, while the rest of the echelon can be filled with nothing but level 1-30 dolls without an issue. Keeping the pre-leveled dolls you receive through Career Quests and using them for Logistics is highly recommended.
After you clear mission 6 of a normal chapter the next chapter’s logistics will unlock together with the next chapter.
Note that later chapters offer far better logistics than earlier ones. Chapter 13 has some of the best logistics in the game being 13-2 and 13-4.
When logistics return you may resend all of them, or just individual ones.
For optimization and additional stats see the GFL Logistic Support Calculator. Keeping a healthy income of Equipment Tickets and resources is crucial to being able to keep crafting fairies and building your armory up. See the Fairies page for more information on Fairies and why they are so important.
Great Success rate is based on the total levels of dolls in the logistics echelon, the higher the higher your chance to gain a Great Success.
Great Successes increase the resources gained by +50% as well as guaranteeing the drop from the logistic.
For optimization later on putting your higher level dolls in logistics when you do not need them is highly recommended to increase your logistics gains.
Combat Simulations are how you gain Skill Data, Neural Fragments and Calibration Tickets asides from the Boxes from Major Events. You gain 12 energy for free per day to spend and you should ensure it is spent before the next day arrives and the energy is reset to 12 again.
For more info on Combat Sims, optimizing and which ones to avoid, see the Combat Sims section of the Resource Allocation, Combat Sims and Forward Base page.
These are old Major Events that have since been added permanently, with some of their rewards and drops stripped away.
Note that these scale in difficulty throughout the event and can often be somewhat challenging to clear in ‘story order’ if such is desired. However with some clever Friend Echelon abuse and knowledge or following a guide it is possible to do so if desired.
Do note that Cube ch2 is not ch5.5, it is actually set much later story wise and also much more difficult than Cube ch1.
Some of the newer Major Events are easier than older ones as there is a difficulty selection added, older Major Events do not have this toggle and while the game has been powercrept over time a newer player won’t have access to all the new fancy things yet.
There is a large amount of FCCs available in the Major Events from Shattered Connexion onwards and clearing some of the earlier chapters for some early and easy FCCs when you unlock modding is recommended for 416.
More on this on the Mods page.