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GFL Explained: Circuits and Tetris Minmax

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8/29 update: Added the Iteration Priority Recommendations section. 

3/27 update: Added the chip enhancement XP requirements (thanks to corsage#0001). 

3/21 update: Added information pertaining to the new Theater reward HOC, AT4.

1/12 update: Added extra table to Chip Basics section to explain how increasing HOC rarity improves Circuit stat cap. Added note about Chip rotation with Calibration Tickets and Level Requirement. 

1/7 update: Added Iteration mechanic details. 

Base Stats

Similar to T-Dolls, only the HOC's stat caps are increased when they level up. To improve the actual stat value, Enhancement Capsules must be used. 

When used to improve HOC stats, each Enhancement Capsule will only improve one stat. Fortunately, most stats will improve by more than one point per capsule; each pill is worth 1 Lethality3 Pierce, 3 Precision, or 2 Reload depending on which stat you are enhancing. 

The cost varies per HOC, but is generally around x300, with slightly more capsules being needed after iteration.

The stats from gaining experience are only a small part of a HOC's maximum potential stats, however; most of them will come from the Chips equipped on the HOC's Circuit Board.

Iteration

The process of Iteration can further enhance your HOC's stat caps beyond 5★, with each Iteration adding what are colloquially called "red stars" to a HOC, up to 10 times (5 red stars).

Iteration can be performed when a HOC reaches Level 100 and 5★.

Iteration requires Data Patches, obtained automatically from excess copies of HOC Central Data gained after a HOC has already reached 5★.

  • The "Code Refactoring" UI can let you manually disassemble Central Data from HOCs that are not yet 5★, but this is extremely not recommended because Iteration stats are negligible compared to stat increases from increasing rarity. 
Iteration Level Data Patches Needed Total
5 5
8 13
★☆ 10 23
★★ 15 38
★★☆ 20 58
★★★ 25 83
★★★☆ 30 113
★★★★ 30 143
★★★★☆ 30 173
★★★★★ 30 203

For detailed stat gains at each Iteration tier, check the HOCs' individual pages. 

Who should I iterate first?

Iteration is expensive and most players would not be able to max iterate all of their HOCs. This means the decision should be made based on whether the additional stats enable you to do something that is otherwise not possible. Consider each HOC: 

  • BGM-71: Has enough base pierce to work well even without iteration. 
  • 2B14: Contributes direct damage. Not generally used for shield piercing. 
  • AGS-30: Uniquely provides shield Pierce with 3 range, but is held back by poor stats. 
  • AT4: Can benefit from increased stats, but is limited by 2 range. 
  • M2: Contributes direct damage. Not generally used for shield piercing. 

From this comparison we can see that iterating AGS-30 first has the biggest payoff potential, because it compensates for her weakness and she provides something no other HOC does. After maxing AGS-30, the next viable candidates would be AT4 and 2B14. 

Chip Basics

When performing Intelligence Analysis, the bulk of your yields will be Chips. Chips are basically equipment for HOCs; they come with a random allocation of stats and can be placed into a HOC's circuit board. To recap what was mentioned in the main article, this is how they work:

After increasing the HOC's rarity, more of their circuit board will become unlocked, correspondingly increasing the number of tiles and stat cap. (For exact shape and stat caps at each rarity, check the individual pages for BGM-71, AT42B14 and AGS-30)

Rarity % of 5★ Stat Cap Available
50%
★★ 60%
★★★ 70%
★★★★ 85%
★★★★★ 100%

Chips will vary in four ways that the player should be aware of: RarityColor, Shape & Size, and Stat Distribution

Rarity

Chips acquired from Intelligence Analysis will vary in rarity between 2★ and 5★. Higher rarity chips are always better, because they are almost always strictly superior to their low-rarity counterparts. 

Increased rarity also means increased level requirement - which is why players are recommended to use Special Combat Reports to boost their HOCs to Level 60 ASAP. 

While the idealized endgame Circuit Board is going to be full of 5★ chips, it's totally fine to use lower rarity chips if there's no better chip of a higher rarity. There's no cost for adding or removing chips (so long as you don't rotate them!) so players are free to swap them in and out as desired.

It's even safe to enhance decent lower-rarity Chips that you're currently using, because you can feed them to a higher rarity Chip later and retain 80% of the accumulated EXP. This is technically still a lossy process (and costs double the resources), but can be worth it.

Color

All chips are either Blue or Orange. This affects their affinity with HOC circuit boards, where a Same Color Bonus is given for using Chips that match the color of the equipped HOC.

Commanders do not need to worry about matching color early on, as the scarcity of chips with good stats will be more of a bottleneck than anything else. 

Shape & Size

All HOC Chips consist of 3-6 square tiles connected orthogonally. Unfortunately, as a rule of thumb, the more difficult a piece is to fit into the Circuit Board, the better its raw stats per tile are

For example, consider two 3-tile Chips and one 6-tile Chip. The two 3-tile Chips are easier to fit into the Circuit Board since their shapes are more flexible, but their combined overall stats will be slightly lower, assuming a similar stat distribution. 

Similarly, consider the 5-tile Chips shown below. The two groups shown below have slightly different base stat values, with the bottom group having very slightly better stats while also being harder to fit into the Circuit Board. 

For endgame minmaxing purposes, all 5★ hexominoes (6-tile Chips) and all 5★ pentominoes (5-tile chips) in the lower category should be kept. From there, it's a matter of picking out the ones with correct stats. 

  • Since Storeroom space is plentiful, it may be desirable to keep some blue 5★ Chips of size 3/4 for an upcoming HOC, M2
Stat Distribution

Finally, the Stat Distribution of HOC chips is the last random factor players need to contend with. 

Every Chip is generated with a set of different stat allocations based on their size (number of tiles). For the "optimal" chips shown above (i.e. the class-2 5-tile Chips and all 6-tile Chips), each tile converts to one random stat at the ratios shown in the below table: 

Lethality Pierce Precision Reload
4.4 12.7 7.1 5.7

The resulting values are then rounded up. The below infographic shows an example of how random allocation can cause identical-shape chips to have entirely different stats: 

Chips of other shapes or of lower rarity will have slightly lower stats per tile. To keep things simple, this guide will not consider the per-tile stat values for those Chips. 

Chip Enhancement

Chips with 3★ or above rarity can be enhanced, with each enhancement level providing a multiplier to the Chip's stats. Enhancement uses other Chips to grant EXP to the chip being enhanced. Chips can also be rotated with Calibration Tickets if their orientation is undesirable, consuming tickets if the rotation is saved. 

Chip Rarity Level Requirement Fodder EXP Calibration Cost
★★ 1 50 20
★★★ 20 100 30
★★★★ 40 200 40
★★★★★ 60 300 50

Enhancement will cost a fairly negligible amount of resources, scaling based on amount of EXP gained. Fodder stats have no effect on the enhancement outcome. 

If the Chip fodder is already enhanced, 80% of its accumulated EXP is transferred over.

Enhancement XP Requirement

The below table shows the multiplier and XP needed for enhancing 5★ Chips at various levels. 

  • 4★ Chips require 2/3 as much XP
  • 3★ Chips require 1/3 as much XP
  • 2★ Chips cannot be enhanced
Enhancement Level Multiplier XP needed Cumulative XP needed
1 1.08 150 150
2 1.16 225 375
3 1.24 300 675
4 1.32 375 1050
5 1.40 450 1500
6 1.48 600 2100
7 1.56 750 2850
8 1.64 900 3750
9 1.72 1050 4800
10 1.8 1200 6000
11 1.87 1350 7350
12 1.94 1500 8850
13 2.01 1650 10500
14 2.08 1800 12300
15 2.15 1950 14250
16 2.22 2100 16350
17 2.29 2400 18750
18 2.36 2550 21300
19 2.43 2700 24000
20 2.5 3000 27000

Note: a 1.2x bonus is applied to the EXP gain when the fodder Chips used are the same color as the Chip being enhanced (does not apply to accumulated EXP). Therefore, it is always recommended to enhance using only the same-color Chips.

Enhancement maxes at Level 20

Recall that stats round up; correspondingly, while these are the approximate stats per tile you can expect from +20 (2.5x stat multiplier) top-tier Chips (5★ variant of 6-tile Chips or class-2 5-tile Chips) when fully enhanced, the actual number may be slightly off due to rounding:

Lethality Pierce Precision Reload
11 32 18 15

From the above table and the known stat caps of 5★ HOC Circuits, we can extrapolate the number of tiles allocated per stat needed to reach their caps. 

BGM-71
Stat 5★ Circuit Stat Cap Tiles Needed
Lethality 190 18
Pierce 329 11
Precision 191 11
Reload 46 4
Total 44

Since BGM-71's full board is only 36 tiles and she needs 44 tiles to cap her stats, she cannot fully cap her Circuit stat caps at 5★.

2B14
Stat 5★ Circuit Stat Cap Tiles Needed
Lethality 227 21
Pierce 58 2
Precision 90 5
Reload 107 8
Total 36

Since 2B14's full board is only 32 tiles and she needs 36 tiles to cap her stats, she cannot fully cap her Circuit stat caps at 5★.

AGS-30
Stat 5★ Circuit Stat Cap Tiles Needed
Lethality 106 10
Pierce 130 5
Precision 120 7
Reload 233 16
Total 38

Since AGS-30's full board is 38 tiles and she needs 38 tiles to cap her stats, she can fully cap her Circuit stat caps at 5★.

AT4
Stat 5★ Circuit Stat Cap Tiles Needed
Lethality 169 15
Pierce 261 8
Precision 190 10
Reload 90 6
Total 39

Since AT4's full board is 36 tiles and she needs 39 tiles to cap her stats, she cannot fully cap her Circuit stat caps at 5★.

Chip Prioritization

Most players will be massively overloaded with Chips after a week or two of Intelligence Analysis; here's a quick rundown on which Chips to keep, in descending order of preference: 

  1. 5★ Chips with good stat distribution and optimal shape
    • 6-tile Chips, or 5-tile Chips of the second kind listed above
    • Feed fodder Chips to these, because you're likely to keep them forever.
  2. 5★ Chips with good stat distribution that fit easily into your Circuit Board.
  3. 5★ Chips with passable stat distribution and optimal shape
    • They may become useful later.
  4. 5★ Chips with passable stat distribution that fit easily into your Circuit Board. 
    • Do not enhance these Chips unless you are sure you will be using one.
  5. Other 5★ Chips
    • Do not enhance these Chips unless you are sure you will be using one.
    • Once your HOC reaches 5★ and the Chip Calculator is used to minmax your Circuit Board, these Chips may actually turn out to be useful. 
  6. Lower Rarity Chips with good stat distribution. 
    • These will be useful if you need to fill space or equip them on sub-Level 60 HOCs. Do not enhance these Chips.
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About the Author(s)

(AKA Nonotan, Discord Cleista#7481)

Guide writer and editor for Girls' Frontline, and one of the few people who like its gameplay more than the gacha. Got MICA to pay me 8000 gems once. 

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