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Neural Upgrade Priority Guide

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Latest Additions

The November 2021 Neural Upgrade batch includes:

  • PP-19 (No Priority) - While by no means a bad upgrade, there is simply not much reason to use or upgrade PP-19 within the current GFL meta. Offensive tanks and ARSMG teams in general are becoming less and less desirable, and in cases where you would want an offensive tank, Micro Uzi MOD simply makes for a much better option.

Click to jump to the PP-19 Mod analysis section

  • M1897 (No Priority) - A meme that is great for saying “Wow!” once when you see a GIF of her spraying flechette everything, but not much else. M1897’s upgrade tries to fulfil her namesake by “sweeping” through the mobs, but this concept is limited in applicability and offensive shotguns are generally not desired.

Click to jump to the M1897 Mod analysis section

  • Galil (No Priority) - A very interesting concept, Galil has the intention of making her AR allies accurate enough to equip VFLs at night. Unfortunately, this is barely needed. Night maps are becoming more and more of a rarity and when they do come up, AR teams are likely not needed anyway.

Click to jump to the Galil Mod analysis section

Tier Changes:

  • M500 (Medium to High) - Admittedly, she probably should’ve been in High from the start. M500’s usefulness in future events cannot be understated and when every commander can get one for free, there’s no reason not to upgrade her.
  • SAA (Medium to High) - SAA was moved from High to Medium in the last update, and while the reason for the move is still valid (abundance of strong HGs reducing the need for her), it doesn’t change that everyone has her and she’s a relatively cheap and highly effective upgrade.
  • AS Val (High to Low) - This one was a long time coming. With the passing of the last currently known night ranking and the fact both night maps and AR teams are becoming less and less needed, AS Val MOD is simply not important anymore.
  • KSVK (High to Medium) - While KSVK MOD is still strong and definitely useful, her use cases are not as high as before. She will still prove her worth when you need frontline targeting, hence why she is moving to the top of medium.

Other Changes:

  • 416, M14, and Mosin Nagant have had their recommended upgrade levels changed to MOD2 (previously MOD3).
  • M1911 has received minor adjustments to her description.

Introduction

The Neural Upgrade system (Otherwise simply referred to as “modding”) allows you to enhance the performance of certain dolls. Those dolls which have access to Neural Upgrade can enjoy better stats, new/improved skills, Special Equipment, and even a rarity and art upgrade - often making them much stronger and more usable. 

With the process being costly however, it can be daunting for commanders who are getting into modding for the first time to choose where to start. This guide aims to help those commanders who might be struggling to decide on where to start, or even anyone simply trying to select an upgrade candidate among their own short-list of T-Dolls they want to upgrade next. While this article does provide a general overview of all currently available Digimind Upgrades and rank them by priority, knowledge of the basic system mechanics are assumed.

Before continuing, reading the below guide to obtain a good understanding of the system as a whole is recommended if you’re new to the concept of Mods/Neural Upgrades:

Ranking Explanation

  • In terms of priority, dolls are sorted into four tiers: High, Medium, Low, and No (sorry IDW). 
    • For High, Medium, and Low Priority dolls, they have been ordered within the tier based on their overall value. Even within the same tier, some mods do still take clear precedence over others.
    • For No Priority, they are ordered alphabetically. When you’re at the point of doing these mods, order is irrelevant because of how little all of them offer.
  • Neural Upgrades are ranked based on overall value vs cost. Dolls with higher priority will generally have a higher return on investment: they offer more to the average player for the resources required compared to lower priority dolls.
  • This does NOT mean that Low Priority MODs are bad. Certain Low Priority Dolls actually have great upgrades, but they simply don’t have as much value as other higher priority dolls for whatever reason.

Certain upgrades may be more or less valuable to you depending on certain personal factors such as if you have access to comparative dolls, or if you simply like the doll a lot and would like to upgrade them ASAP. An example of this would be that FN-49 may have greater value than normal to someone who doesn’t have Lee-Enfield.

High Priority

These Neural Upgrades are highly valuable for what they offer and should be the first dolls that you invest into.

M4A1 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD3

M4A1 is objectively the most valuable MOD in the entire game and should be the first MOD performed by everyone. The amount of applicability that M4A1 MOD has to almost all important aspects of the game is unparalleled. She can do everything she could before and much much more.

The most important aspect of her upgrade is her new Skill, Seal of the Avenger. While her Damage Focus skill is active, she will mark whoever she is targeting and, more importantly, will pull out and use a cannon when there are three or fewer friendly dolls on the field. This cannon majorly reduces her fire rate, but gives a massive damage boost and splash damage capabilities. This cannon lets M4A1 deal absolutely ridiculous amounts of damage and enables team compositions that can kill otherwise impossible enemies. Look at her insane damage output:

The sheer power and utility of M4A1 cannot be understated. At an absolute minimum, she should be brought to MOD2 to get Seal of the Avenger. MOD3 is absolutely recommended though in order to obtain her amazing Special Equipment and bonus stats from affection if you oathed her. For more information on how exactly her skill works and which teams to build around her, check out the article below:

NOTE: In the future, M4A1 MOD’s Speq will be buffed to give considerably more Firepower and a hefy Rate of Fire boost as well. This is to make the Speq competitive with the #2 Chip, a new equipable for ARs that is not yet available on EN.

M950A Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

M950A (Calico) MOD brings some powerful and interesting upgrades to the mix. She’s already an amazing HG and only goes up from here.

Even at just MOD1, Calico already gains an excellent boost from her enhanced tile formation and improved Skill 1 multiplier. Not only does her tiles’ buff amount improve, she even gets a new tile positioned straight behind her, allowing her to not only buff the position 4 HG (which can be great with Python for example) but also be used more effectively in teams with HS2000 or teams where another position 5 HG is desired.

Skill2 from M950A’s second Neural Upgrade stage is where things get really interesting though. SOUL LIVE! grants one of two different effects depending on the type of node that her echelon enters combat in. 

  • If it’s an allied node, a deceleration zone in front of the echelon will be made that reduces enemy movement speed and evasion. 
  • If it’s not an allied node, she’ll give everyone a small RoF boost for a short time and also massively buff non-HG doll movement speeds up to roughly the same speed that HGs enjoy.

On allied tiles, the whole echelon will enjoy the safety that comes from the reduced enemy movement speed, buying them more time before they enter attack range - especially useful due to the long initial cooldowns and low initial DPS of RFHG echelons. On non-allied tiles, the extra ally movement speed allows for some otherwise impossible micromanagement potential when such a thing is needed - like dodging enemy AoE attacks with otherwise slow RFs.

Overall, this is an extremely impressive MOD for an already strong HG. It’s worth getting her up to MOD2 for the new Skill and some players even go so far as to dupe multiple M950A Mod (at the cost of not being able to reach Mod 3 due to a lack of Fire Control Cores). Even then, if you’re really short on fragments or cores, MOD1 is still a strong enough option to be worth considering if you don’t need the FCCs for anyone else.

UMP45 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD1

UMP45 MOD… is actually not that substantial of an upgrade overall. So why on earth is she in High Priority and this high? It’s simply because of how cheap she is compared to other MODs in the game.

UMP45 is one of the few upgrades where MOD1 is the most beneficial. This gives her even stronger tiles, a stronger Skill 1, and a nice stat bonus. Overall, MOD1 is a simple but effective upgrade for a cheap price. Her Skill 2 and MOD3 Speq are pretty underwhelming upgrades and are not worth the extra memory fragments and cores.

MOD2 and MOD3 for UMP45 are definitely lower priority. Getting her to MOD1 however is highly recommended simply because it’s so cheap to do for what you get. For only 20 cores and 200 memory fragments, UMP45 MOD1 is a more than worthwhile upgrade.

ST AR-15 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD3

ST AR-15 is an extremely beneficial MOD. The substantial performance upgrade that comes with her Mod skyrockets ST AR-15’s damage output through the roof and makes her the highest single-target DPS AR in the entire game against unarmored enemies, only contested by 89 Shiki (who requires manual control for maximum damage) or AS Val Mod with a very specific setup.

ST AR-15 can cap her RoF from Skill 1 alone and her Skill 2, Crime and Punishment, has her pull out a secondary weapon that deals 10% of her normal damage (bumped up to 20% if she is attacking an opponent marked by Seal of the Avenger). This combined with her ability to equip two DPS-boosting accessories gives ST AR-15 incredible sustained DPS in long fights against unarmored or lightly armored enemies. Since she fires two shots at once as well, she can somewhat avoid the issue of leaving enemy dummy links with a tiny amount of health left, which is somewhat helpful for her DPS capabilities. 

ST AR-15 MOD is extremely useful as a DPS AR and typically works in a different type of echelon than M4A1 Mod, so don’t be fooled into always running them in the same team! ST AR-15 should be brought up to MOD2 at minimum, but MOD3 is recommended. In day battles, her MOD Special Equipment is very strong, especially given that she can use it with a VFL. Note that at night though, she will want to use VFL + PEQ.

Type 88 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD3

Now… this is certainly one hell of an upgrade to try and explain.

Well, while it can seem overwhelming at first, there’s only a couple of key points you need to actually understand so that you can see why Hanyang Mod is so beloved. She gets one of the most overwhelmingly unique neural upgrades available. Previously an undesirable night focused RF, her upgrade boasts insane levels of AoE capabilities not seen on any other RF.

Let’s start at the main meat of the upgrade. Her new Skill 2: Almighty Combat Skills. This skill is overloaded with a ton of different effects, the most important of which is her giant freakin’ laser beams! Specifically, all of Hanyang’s shots will gain the pierce effect when Skill 1 is active. Note that while this is visually represented by the aforementioned laser beam that only shows as shooting straight forward, Hanyang can and will still shoot in other directions. Having pierce is a massive boon, particularly for large clusters of enemies and helps her to outperform many other general RFs.

Skill 2’s other effects include a variety of different attacks to her regular shots. When enemies are directly in front of her, she’ll switch to a melee attack that will send out waves of energy that hit the entire row. She’ll also launch either a cluster grenade or a missile when Skill 1 triggers. The missile will launch if her target is armoured and has the highest HP, while the cluster grenade will launch if her target is unarmoured.

As for the other new components of her kit, she receives a healthy boost to both her Damage and Rate of Fire, two upgrades she sorely needed. Her Accuracy also gets a considerable boost, though she still remains on the lower side of Accuracy for RFs. Damage Focus N also receives more damage and a much needed reduction in Initial Cooldown. On top of all this, Damage Focus N receives a new effect: a whopping 500% movement speed increase. If Hanyang ever needs to move for whatever reason, this will be of great value.

There's no need to worry too much about the seemingly complicated details, since in practice all of this simply translates to Hanyang dealing tons of damage. Here's a video of her in action that'll explain this far better than any text description:

It’s a lot to take it at once, but put together the pieces and you’ll see why she’s such a powerful RF. With her massive laser beams and all her additional sources of damage, Hanyang boasts AoE performance unrivalled. Whether you’re looking to rank or just have another insanely fun RF to use, Hanyang Type 88 should be one upgrade on everyone’s radar. She’s best at MOD3, coming with a powerful Special Equipment and enjoying the extra stats from Oath. MOD2 is still strong though for those who don’t have the immediate resources to get her straight to MOD3.

HK416 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

You like boom? If the answer is yes, 416 MOD has got all the boom you’ll ever need. Much like with SOPMOD, 416 MOD becomes an incredibly powerful grenadier AR.

How does 416 achieve a lot of boom? Well, she gets a fairly good boost to all stats across her upgrade and also receives stronger tiles and coverage. The big buffs though come from her Skill 1 and new Skill 2. Her grenade not only receives a stronger damage modifier, but gets a whopping two second reduction to her ICD, meaning her bonkers powerful grenade gets fired in 6 seconds, the same ICD that FAL enjoys.

Her Skill 2 is Parasitic Grenade, which makes one of two additional effects happen depending on if 416 does or does not kill the main target with her grenade. If she does kill the main target, a second explosion with lower damage but a larger (4 yards!) blast radius will occur. If she doesn’t kill the main target, that enemy will instead take damage over time and also take more damage from other sources, which is a very useful debuff that keeps 416 somewhat relevant against elite enemies or bosses. Regardless of which effect occurs, 416 will be contributing colossal amounts of overall damage from her grenade.

If you want to deliver a nuclear blast unto the enemies quickly, 416 MOD has your needs more than covered. 416 MOD also has the notable advantage of being the best option for corpse dragging 12-4E, which is the overall best farming map in the game for both experience and cores for the foreseeable future (and if you want to do Chapter 13's 1-link Vector drag, you'll need 416 MOD's buff tile there too - there's no escape).

MOD2 is the best stopping point for 416. MOD3 is not a bad upgrade if you have an oathed 416, but it is very expensive and her Special Equipment is not as beneficial as one might think. It is also worth attempting to acquire 416’s special Scope from the Singularity event, since this scope offers comparable bullet damage to a typical VFL while also boosting grenade damage.

NOTE: In the future, 416 MOD’s Speq will be buffed to give a hefty Firepower boost. This is to make the Speq competitive with the #2 Chip, a new equipable for ARs that is not yet available on EN. Because of this, 416 may be recommended to MOD3 once this buff arrives.

M500 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

IDW’s American cousin bursts her way onto the Neural Upgrade scene as our first upgradeable SG. Thankfully, M500 got the memo on what a great MOD should be, unlike her British cousin.

Her Skill 2, Hunting Instinct, will grant herself and other units in her column with a 25 HP shield for 5 seconds whenever she receives any sort of buff that isn't a shield buff or movement buff. Note that this shield can stack up to 3 times and also REQUIRES another ally in her column, otherwise the skill does nothing. Similarly to how AS Val can attain perfect uptime on her Skill 2, you can achieve similar with M500 to ensure she and her same column allies are receiving constant shields.

In the coming events, there’ll be groups of enemies that will need to be continuously sustained under heavy fire for considerable lengths of time. For the echelons which carry the burden of facing foes like this, M500 will be an extremely valuable asset, helping to drastically increase the sustainability of not just herself but for the entire team. She will also naturally shine in any situation which calls for 2 SGs, such as facing Pyxis.

The rest of her neural upgrade is not too important. The most important part is the extra point of Armour she receives, helping more than one might think at first. She also gains a boost to HP. Her tiles now also buff Accuracy and her Armour boost from Skill 1 is higher. Skill 2 is the definitive selling point of the package, hence why MOD2 is her recommended upgrade level. Her Special Equipment is a red dot sight with some extra crit damage, so it can be safely ignored.

M4 SOPMOD II Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

While lagging behind the other AR team members in terms of raw DPS, M4 SOPMOD II nevertheless has a very powerful MOD which makes her one of the best grenadier ARs in the game.

Her Skill 2, Hysterical Circus, turns her grenade into a cluster bomb. After the initial explosion, it splits into three smaller grenades which will deal a small amount of AoE damage. (You can mostly ignore the synergy with M4A1 Mod’s Seal of the Avenger, since you won’t usually run them in the same team) The extra smaller grenades don’t quite have the same destructive power, but free damage on top of M4 SOPMOD II’s already amazing AoE damage potential is always welcome.

Outside of her grenade, SOPMOD MOD also enjoys a nice stat boost and even a base crit rate boost. Her Speq is also great, being an improved EOT with far better stats. This lets M4 SOPMOD II maintain decent DPS outside of her grenade, something most grenadiers cannot do. 

Overall, SOPMOD’s Neural Upgrade is a highly worthwhile MOD that everyone should eventually do. MOD2 is sufficient for her, as obtaining her Speq is not as important as it once was. MOD3 is still a nice upgrade regardless.

Stechkin Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD1

Stechkin MOD is a worthwhile upgrade to an already strong HG, but not in a way you’d normally expect a HG to be. She’s a member of the illustrious MOD1 club and actually doesn’t offer too much beyond her initial upgrade.

Her Skill 2, Percussion, is actually a fairly loaded skill in terms of effects. She will increase her own Damage and double her Crit Rate when her Skill 1 is active. She’ll also target whoever has the lowest HP and reduces evasion of enemies below 30% HP. In practice though, this skill doesn’t offer as much as one would probably hope. The one support centric aspect of it (the evasion debuff) is tied to a rather harsh below 30% HP requirement.

Stechkin's MOD III equipment is effectively an X-Type Exoskeleton with 20% free crit rate. When combined with the 20% base crit of HGs and her Skill 2's crit-doubling effect, Stechkin can reach 80% crit rate at Night with her MOD III speq even when she has a PEQ equipped, which can let Stechkin effectively clean up low health enemies. This is unfortunately extremely expensive and not likely to be worth the investment cost, due to the inherent low DPS of HGs. 

MOD1 is therefore Stechkin's most cost-effective upgrade. For a relatively low price, Stechkin will enjoy improved Skill1 and tiles that make her buffs even stronger than many 5-star HGs. For the cost, she’s more than worth it.

SAA Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

Rejoice, for at long last we can finally complete Singularity!

Memes aside, SAA MOD is a strong HG and offers a lot to all players. On top of her enhanced tiles and Skill 1, her new Skill 2, Duel Survivor, periodically increases the Rate of Fire and Accuracy of all allies every 4 seconds (and continues to work even if SAA retreats from the battle). Combined with her already immense damage boosting capabilities, what you have now is an incredible HG who buffs team DPS far above that of other damage buffers. As a fun fact, you can even reduce the interval between her Skill 2 boosts with RF buff tiles that reduce cooldown (not that it matters much practically).

The versatility of what SAA Mod offers makes her a worthwhile Neural Upgrade for most commanders. As she is a support through and through, her MOD3 Special Equipment is not hugely beneficial overall, so it is recommended to upgrade her to MOD2.

Medium Priority

These Neural Upgrades offer great value for the cost and are worthwhile to be invested in. Certain factors however make them not as necessary or desirable as those in High Priority.

KSVK Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD3

As the first non-construction doll to receive an upgrade, KSVK does not disappoint. KSVK MOD packs a lot of fun, a lot of firepower, and most importantly of all: floofier ears than ever.

KSVK MOD’s biggest selling point is her Skill 2, Shockwave Demolition Round. When there’s any enemy under the effect of a negative status effect, she will prioritize the closest enemy with a negative effect and her shots will deal splash damage behind the target. She’ll also see a statistical improvement primarily to Damage and Accuracy, increased modifiers on Skill 1, and an interesting new set of tiles that buffs shotguns.

With her Skill 2 in action, KSVK now boasts amazing damage output that only gets better with more present enemies.  Her main downside is her fairly rigid team requirements. She needs someone that can provide consistent debuffs, such as M950A MOD with deceleration zone, HP-35, or the Beach Fairy. Without this, her performance does drop off considerably. 

I think all you need to see is the below video where a KSVK exodia single-handedly mops her way through 60 Hydras:

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1864y1u7iC

If you can provide the debuffs, KSVK will provide the destruction. Overall, KSVK MOD is an impressively fun and explosive upgrade. She’s definitely a worthwhile upgrade for all commanders and her overall usefulness cannot be understated. Do note though that you’ll need a well developed arsenal of dolls first for her to shine, so she’s not recommended for newer commanders. She’ll want to be brought up to MOD3, for both her strong Special Equipment and bonus stats from oath.

MP5 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

From a meme to a force (shield) to be reckoned with, MP5 MOD sets out to eliminate the bad rep she got from appearing in everyone’s heavy constructions.

Besides the objectively badass art upgrade, MP5 MOD receives some shiny new tools to allow her to serve her Main Tank role a lot better. Statistically, she primarily improves her HP which was her previous biggest flaw. She also gets her Force Shield brought up to the 4 seconds of duration that G36c and Thompson enjoy. 

MP5's new Skill 2, Immaterial Defense, boosts her Evasion by 20% for every remaining enemy group when Force Shield expires, up to a maximum of 60% with 3 or more enemy groups present. With fights becoming longer thanks to tougher enemies, and MP5's special GSG UX Exoskeleton that has more Evasion on it (58) than an entire max-leveled Thompson (56), this all offers MP5 an overall significant boost to her tanking abilities that far surpasses other force shield SMGs.

The other amazing feature of MP5 MOD is she carries the rare niche of being able to buff RFs. Her tiles go great with RFs in night battles, capping their Crit Rate (assuming the RFs have maxed VFLs) and providing some helpful Accuracy. This makes her a strong choice for both RF squads where survivability is needed and also Hybrid squads which utilize both ARs and RFs.

This doesn’t mean you should always use MP5 in RF squads. You’ll want to decide, as per usual, which squad needs her the most instead of just defaulting her to any old RFHG team. That extra survivability won’t always be as beneficial as raw damage buffs from a HG!

If you are interested in rising to the top of rankings, MP5 MOD is a High Priority upgrade. As shown in the below chart for Polarized Light Ranking, all Shield SMGs play a pivotal role in this ranking.

For the average player however, MP5 MOD is a very worthwhile upgrade but not one you would necessarily miss. If you do upgrade her, make sure you farm the GSG UX Exoskeleton from Night Chapter 4. It is recommended for her to be brought to MOD2. Her Special Equipment from upgrade is a EOT alternative, despite MP5’s focus being survivability, so she’ll still want a Suppressor.

...Let’s be real though, anyone upgrading her will still take her to MOD3 for that art alone.

NOTE: In the future, MP5 MOD’s Speq will be buffed to lose the Rate of Fire reduction and instead gain an Evasion boost higher than the typical Suppressor. Because of this, MP5 may be recommended to MOD3 once this buff arrives.

M1895 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

The time-tested Nagant Revolver brings a solid MOD to the table, packing both good offensive and defensive support.

Her main upgrade lies in her Skill 2, Seven Tone Paean. This skill makes her reload after every 7 shots, but the first shot after every reload (including the first shot at the start of battle) will give all allies a nice buff to Damage and Accuracy for 4 seconds. On top of this, her already legendary Damage/Crit tiles get even stronger, and her first skill sees a further bump in effectiveness.

All in all, a great MOD for any battle you need a boost to both power and survivability. In particular, M1895 pairs well with HS2000 for shield teams (though TEC-9 can be a different budget option if you don’t want to pay the MOD cost) and is great for MGSG teams as well. The defensive nature of Nagant Revolver’s first skill does mean she won’t typically be the first choice for general use, even if her Skill 2 does patch it up somewhat.

You will want to get her to MOD2 for her Skill 2. Her Special Equipment is just a bonus and not imperative for her (though her Mod 3 art is amazing).

NTW-20 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD3

NTW-20 MOD is something that sounds like it’d be really powerful on paper, but in practice is not as universally applicable as you may hope for from such a costly upgrade. She is one of the best charged-shot RFs in the game when you do need that niche, however - and demand for this niche shows up pretty often in future events.

The upgrade reworks her first skill, now named Hunter’s Mania, to change her targeting mechanics, ignore shields, and gain better damage output. This is to go along with her new skill 2, Chain Reaction, where if her first skill kills an enemy, she shoots again up to three times with no aiming time and a flat 4x modifier, though sadly now with the ability to miss. This Skill 2 also has a passive component that buffs NTW-20’s normal attack damage against enemies with above 50% HP.

Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, it is cool, but sadly isn’t as special in practice as it might sound. For the most part, you’ll still be having her do what other nuke RFs like Grape and M82 do: hunting dangerous foes such as Doppelsöldners or Hydras, or killing enemies with high Evasion. The problem there is that NTW-20 MOD is way more expensive than both of those, primarily due to needing New Type Fire-Control Components to be upgraded.

Still, her second skill does offer something quite unique that can help her to contribute more to mopping up the enemies accompanying these dangerous foes. It’s a pretty nice upgrade from her base form, just extremely expensive for what is ultimately on offer. Her Special Equipment is very nice and offers a great damage boost, so MOD3 will be beneficial. Though given the cost, just MOD2 for the skill can also work.

Micro Uzi Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

Uzi was tired of being a joke in the community and decided to bring up her game! Micro Uzi MOD brings a pretty strong upgrade that can stand out in the right situations.

While she still possesses a lower Damage stat than one would like, Micro Uzi does make up for it with her peerless Area of Effect potential. Burning Chain, her Skill 2, will cause the burning damage effect from her grenade to spread around. This spreads both through new burning ground being created and through enemy groups simply burning each other. Against dense groups of enemies, this proves to be devastating due to the amount of damage ticks that enemies will experience.

Outside of dense enemy groups, Uzi will still enjoy good performance as an incendiary grenade off tank. She even has her tiles fixed so now she’ll buff the AR behind her!

If you’re looking for another relatively traditional incendiary grenade SMG with some insane potential against clusters of enemies, Uzi will be a great choice to upgrade. This AoE is very fun to play with and very strong against the right types of enemies, but strictly speaking it is nothing you’ll necessarily miss if you don’t MOD. Bringing Micro Uzi to MOD2 for the Skill is recommended. Her Special Equipment is really unsuitable for her. She wants an EOT, yet the Speq is an ITI - Accuracy won’t help the AoE!

NOTE: In the future, Micro Uzi MOD’s Speq will be buffed to give a Firepower boost higher than the typical EOT. Because of this, Micro Uzi may be recommended to MOD3 once this buff arrives.

Low Priority

These Neural Upgrades are good upgrades for their respective dolls, but typically don’t offer as much or don’t offer enough for the price as other upgrades.

AS Val Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD3

AS Val MOD used to be a true zero to hero. Technically she still is, but her value has diminished greatly over time. AS Val does rise from one of the weakest base ARs to being one of the strongest ARs for night performance assuming you can give her the right support to reach her max potential. However, this simply isn’t needed in the current Girls Frontline meta.

What used to make AS Val MOD so incredible is Faith, her Skill 2. Whenever AS Val receives a damage buff from any source (Fairy Skill/Talent, HG buff, or even her own Skill 1), she gains perfect accuracy for 3 seconds. When combined with certain support, she can completely forego using a PEQ at night in favour of a VFL. The best choices for her are Python, M1895 MOD, and a Fairy with the Fervor talent. All of these factors alone already increase her skill coverage considerably, but when combined will allow for almost perfect coverage in the first 20 seconds. This Google Sheet and the below infographic contains all the specific details you need.

It should be noted that if you lack the means to give her this Skill 2 coverage (specifically a Damage boosting Fairy Talent/Skill), then AS Val does become considerably less worthwhile against unarmored enemies due to a lack of continuous Faith activation - forcing her to wear a PEQ.

AS Val MOD also enjoys a nice stat boost, an upgraded Skill 1, tiles that finally face forward (which is great since her tile buff is actually strong), on top of a good Special Equipment that bumps her raw damage up further. Everything combines to give her some of the highest DPS at Night for ARs, easily surpassing the former “Night Queen” Groza and reaching levels competitive with ST AR-15 Mod against certain enemies.

Unfortunately for AS Val, the current latest content upcoming to Girls Frontline is not kind to her. At the time of the latest guide update, none of the future ranking maps take place at night, not to mention the game heavily moving in favour of RFs anyway. Even when night maps come up and you happen to need an AR, plenty of other ARs can perform perfectly well without needing to go through the upgrade. If you do upgrade her in this day and age, getting her to MOD2 for the skill is the minimum, but getting her to MOD3 allows her to enjoy her great Special Equipment and additional stat bonuses if oathed.

M1911 Mod III


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Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

The MOD for this classic handgun gives her a rather unique identity, with M1911’s new upgrade leaning more towards a damage dealing role than the buffing/debuffing that is typically expected for most HGs.

Her Skill 2, Desperate Sharpshooter, has M1911 fire off 7 quick attacks after throwing her smoke grenade - they deal double damage and progressively target the furthest enemy first, progressing onwards to the closest. Thanks to being a smoke grenade user (the only HG to be so at time of writing), M1911 can be highly useful for keeping the team safe from threatening foes; her MOD skill’s appreciable early burst can help deal with any potential smaller mobs, or for using M1911 as the solo farmer in low-difficulty event maps.

That’s right, M1911 Mod is also good for cheap farming! The burst damage can be enough to take out many easy formations by herself, and M1911 works great when paired with either another HG or AR as a flexible and low-resource farming team if her own DPS is insufficient. Running these budget teams can save you a lot of resources when farming the same map hundreds of times in events - the reduced cost adds up pretty quickly.

However, as time has gone on, the amount of enemy echelons M1911 Mod can effectively solo has decreased. HP values are only increasing, and the dedicated farming maps simply don’t have enemies weak enough for her to solo. This is not to say M1911 does not have her place in farming, she’s still good at it and some might find value in her. She’s still a HG and is held back by HG stats and lack of Armor Penetration, but M1911’s unique abilities make her a good Neural Upgrade candidate. MOD2 is the best value overall as her Speq is a fairly underwhelming upgrade over regular Hollow Point ammo.

M14 Mod III


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Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

M14 MOD plays on all of her original strengths and simply makes her even stronger. While the need for her has dwindled over time, she still stands as a strong RF.

Her primary issue before the upgrade was her low Damage stat. The upgrade helps this through a raw Damage stat increase and her new Skill, Clear Fighting Spirit, that buffs her crit damage while her Skill 1 is active. This compounded buff results in M14’s DPS being similar to other powerful DPS RFs such as WA2000. Her Special Equipment is also very helpful, being a VFL with a substantial accuracy boost - a stat M14 needs badly due to her deficit in this particular attribute. With armoured evasive enemies becoming more common at night, the extra accuracy does help considerably.

All this considered, she’s still all she was before: a strong general RF. Not to mention the constant influx of top tier RFs, making her upgrade less and less lucrative as time has gone on. If you do upgrade her, she will want to be brought up to MOD2 for the skill. Hardcore fans can go up to MOD3 if they wish for the extra stats when oathed, but it’s not worth it for her Speq alone.

Mosin-Nagant Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

You wouldn’t typically expect a RF with an aimed shot skill to be an effective generalist RF. Mosin Nagant decided she didn’t like that mindset and became just that with her MOD!

As long as you have both of her Special Equipment, Mosin Nagant’s damage output is amazing. The raw damage she can deal per shot thanks to her Speq and new Skill 2 is extremely high. Her new skill in question, Pale Reaper, boosts her damage for 3 seconds when she kills with a normal shot and boosts her Rate of Fire for 5 seconds when she kills with her Skill 1.

Sadly, in practice this is not as effective as it once was. With a large variety of high HP foes now being prevalent in the latest content, she struggles to kill these foes with her Skill 1 and thus cannot consistently proc her Rate of Fire boost in every fight. That’s not to say she still can’t be effective though, but her use cases have gone down considerably.

If you do upgrade her, bringing her to MOD2 will be sufficient. Her Speq is not worth the cost, even with the slightly higher Crit Rate it offers. Commanders who really love Mosin though can take her to MOD3 for the oath stats, but otherwise MOD3 is not advised.

MP-446 Mod III


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Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

The precious little Viking gets a simple but effective boost to her capabilities from her MOD.

The most important of her upgrades is her new Skill, Tidal Breach. This grants her allies a decent Rate of Fire boost for 4 seconds when her Skill 1 activates. On top of this, her tiles now give even more Damage and her higher post-MOD Evasion stat makes it safer for her to be used on the frontline than before. This sadly doesn’t change the usefulness of her Skill 1, however. Decreasing the enemy Rate of Fire is not typically useful for increasing survivability when compared to debuffing Damage, which in itself is already niche in usage.

It’s not a fancy upgrade, but it’s effective and also cheap. The ability to boost Rate of Fire while having Damage tile buffs is rare, though the RoF buff duration isn’t as high as what’s offered by a dedicated buffer. Viking will definitely be more useful for those who don’t dupe T-Dolls in particular. She will want to be taken to MOD2 to unlock her Skill 2, as her Special Equipment is not impactful overall on her performance.

LWMMG Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

A highly anticipated upgrade, LWMMG MOD is a solid upgrade that has ultimately come too late for her full usefulness to prevail. 

Statistically, she notably receives a nice Damage bonus and a boost to her clip size. Hunting Impulse also receives more accuracy and her tiles improve, though she still lacks armour and still only buffs straight in front of her. Shining Barrier, her new Skill 2, can grant a 5 HP shield to dolls on her tiles. This is at a 20% chance to activate per shot, bumped up to 100% during Hunting Impulse.

Her MOD DPS can be comparable to that of other MGs such as MG5, M2HB, and PK, plus she has the defensive shield utility when needed. It’s a nice upgrade to a popular doll, but it’s not something so impressive that developed commanders need to rush out and get. She will be particularly nice for newer commanders who may not have obtained alternative stronger MGs yet. Getting her to MOD2 would be a nice and cheap upgrade. Her SPEQ isn’t anything too Special, but she does enjoy the extra Damage from Oath if you’re willing to put in the investment.

One last point to note, for new commanders that might be needing strong MGs, it is highly recommended to raise LWMMG to MOD1. MOD1 is extremely cheap and offers a very substantial upgrade to her performance, helping to cover your MG needs until you acquire other options.

NOTE: In the future, LWMMG MOD’s Speq will be buffed to lose the Rate of Fire reduction and instead gain a considerable Crit Rate buff. Because of this, LWMMG may be recommended to MOD3 once this buff arrives.

M1918 BAR Mod III


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Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

While the Reload Cancelling days have passed her, Auntie BAR nevertheless has a still solid MOD.

Her upgrade does improve one of her primary issues, which was lackluster upfront damage from her first volley. Battlefield Magic, her new skill, makes the initial shots in each volley come with a substantial damage boost. This improves her first volley significantly and makes her second volley extremely strong due to both skills being active at that time. This skill also gives her a flat reload time that’s fairly low for MGs, which helps offset the issue of her low clip size and perfectly synchronizes her 2nd/4th/etc. volleys with her Damage Focus MG skill.

All of this requires a fairly high investment cost to realize, however. While not quite as much of a cost as Mosin-Nagant is (since you only need to enhance one of BAR’s Speqs and can arguably skip both), it’s still very costly due to ideally wanting to oath her for the extra stats at MOD3 if you plan to use teams that rely on min-maxed damage output from M1918 Mod.

M1918 MOD is a costly but effective option who gets most of her potential unlocked at MOD2. The overall cost effectiveness sadly hinders her and places her towards the lower end of Low Priority, even below LWMMG who’s much cheaper.

NOTE: In the future, M1918 MOD’s Speq will be buffed to lose the Rate of Fire reduction and instead gain a considerable Crit Rate buff. Because of this, M1918 may be recommended to MOD3 once this buff arrives.

UMP 9 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

UMP9 MOD gets an overall good upgrade to her abilities, though still suffers from most of the same issues that her base form does.

Statistically, her Evasion see’s a nice improvement with all other stats bar Rate of Fire getting a decent buff too. Her tiles also see a boost in how much Rate of Fire they give and her Stun Grenade now lasts for slightly longer. Her Skill 2, Snow Owl’s Roar, allows UMP9 to buff herself and the others in her column depending on what the Stun Grenade does.

If the Stun Grenade doesn’t stun her main target or said main target dies before the grenade hits, she and the others in her column get a small shield and small evasion boost. If she does stun her main target however, she instead gives a significant 50% damage boost. With the right timing, you can abuse this by moving UMP9 into the back row so she gives said damage boost to your DPS dolls.

Source: 命运の乐章

Also here's a video of this buff being used to kill doggo/archer combo with minimal losses: https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1P4411k7WC

Sadly though, UMP9 is still a stun grenadier. Her ICD didn’t receive an upgrade, still too volatile in targeting, and the stun grenade still does not work on bosses. Her usability remains niche overall and when that niche is needed, you could still just use Type79 instead, who will be similarly strong while not having the costs of upgrading.

UMP9 is definitely a good upgrade to a doll who’s sadly past her prime. She’s overall a low priority upgrade in terms of performance, but I know most of you will upgrade her anyway because of her story involvement and adorable smile. In that case, MOD2 is the optimal stopping point. Her Special Equipment from MOD3 is barely an upgrade over an EOT and she’s a main tank anyway, so she’ll want a suppressor in most cases.

NOTE: In the future, UMP9 MOD’s Speq will be buffed to lose the Rate of Fire reduction and instead gain an Evasion boost higher than the typical Suppressor. Because of this, UMP9 may be recommended to MOD3 once this buff arrives.

G36 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: MOD2

G36 MOD may not be extremely flashy, but is still a good upgrade to an already good AR.

Her new Skill, Arclight Contract, combines support for the tanks with further buffs for herself. She will raise the Evasion of allies on her tiles while also buffing her own Rate of Fire based on the number of allies on her tiles. On top of this, she gets nice boosts to her overall stats, first skill, and tiles. This allows her to be an overall versatile AR that doesn’t falter in any particular area.

One drawback is that people looking to maximize her effectiveness will be in for the long haul. Her raw RoF caps at 76, but reaching this point requires her to be level 120. This singular point of RoF does help her to pass thresholds for decreasing the total frames between shots when buffed by RoF tiles, so there’s a long grind ahead for min-maxers who want to raise G36 MOD.

Overall though, G36’s actual biggest drawback is the need for more specialised ARs. Her versatility is hindering her overall usefulness for newer content and there are now many better options than her in most cases. She’s still won’t be a terrible pick for most cases, but you’ll often find yourself desiring other ARs over her for most content.

If you do raise G36, it is recommended you get her to MOD2. The investment needed to raise her to level 120 is too astronomical to recommend MOD3 for most people. Her Special Equipment, while good, is not something she’ll miss a whole lot.

No Priority

These Neural Upgrades have next to no reason to be done.

Bren Mod III


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Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

Bren MOD is special. I always thought these upgrades were supposed to improve the doll. Now don’t get me wrong, Bren’s MOD is technically an improvement on her base self, but it’s so poor of an upgrade that it is never worth it.

For some reason, Bren MOD decides to hyper focus all aspects of her kit on her Accuracy. She already enjoyed a good Accuracy stat, but now she pushes it to unnecessary extremes. Her Skill 2, Interval of Strength, gives her a stack of accuracy and extra ammo after every reload up to three times. It’s like Lewis, except without the good. Her Speq is also an EOT on crack, cranking the accuracy buff up drastically. She’s going to be reliably hitting targets for sure, but so are all of the other better MGs without all this accuracy padding.

With so much focus on accuracy, her damage gets left in the dust. She does get a pretty big raw Damage stat buff but that’s it. Not even the enhanced Lock and Load helps since she decided more bullets was more important. Even with all the extra ammo, she still falls behind the primary MG competition.

Bren MOD is painful. Such a revered Machine Gun deserved better than this. If she focused on her damage more, she could have potentially been a decent alternative to Lewis. But that’s not what we have. What we have instead is a doll too fixated on hitting her targets to understand she also needed to hit them harder. If you upgrade her, you’re probably doing it either to get the spot in collection or her amazing new art. Or to CE stack in Theatre, I guess - no one else can quite match her CE (but you won’t out-whale Fiddlekins or Eoneo anyway so why even bother). If you’re considering Bren MOD for any of these reasons, you probably have way more cores than you know what to do with - and way more options for MGs.

C96 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

C96 is an upgrade that’s easy to look at and immediately write off as worthless. For the most part, she is a pretty weak upgrade, but she does have a couple of things going for her.

Her new Skill2, Night Sky Pursuer, grants allies 2 ammo to their current clip (if they even have a clip size) and raises their critical damage by 20%. C96's base stat upgrade is focused primarily on her Accuracy and Evasion, and her Skill1 and tiles also get stronger - but that's not the main reason why you would mod her.

C96 is forced into Position 5 if you're using her as an HG in RF teams at night, thanks to her odd tile layout. The 20% critical damage bonus may as well be an effective 20% DPS increase for RFs, plus the huge amounts of accuracy she gives can really help RFs a lot against evasive enemies. The main point of contention here is that Type59, a login 3 star HG who can debuff enemy evasion, fills this niche already and outperforms C96.

For a really out there quirk, C96 can meme Hunting Impulse MGs into outputting DPS numbers competitive to strong AR teams at night thanks to the massive accuracy buff and initial cooldown synergy. This will require there to be at least 2 seconds of walk time and for the enemies to all die within the first volley, so it’s not extremely practical but is at least fun.

Some may be able to have a little fun with C96’s interesting quirks. For most though, she’s a safely ignorable upgrade.

FN49 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

FN-49 MOD actually addresses a lot of the issues that her base form had, taking her from a bad RF to a good one.

With all the new upgrades that is brough, from the raw stat increase to the new and enhanced Skills to her new useful Special Equipment, FN-49 sets out to fix her DPS issues and make herself comparable to the likes of Lee-Enfield. She may face issues at night however, considering her still relatively poor Accuracy.

While FN-49 MOD is good, she is very costly. Getting her to MOD3, levelling her skills, enhancing her Special Equipment, and ideally giving her an oath ring leads to a doll that’s only comparable to Lee-Enfield before Special Equipment. For the cost, can I say it’s worth it? I’d honestly say no. Though out of all the dolls in this tier, she’s probably the best one. You won’t be hurting too bad if you upgrade her for waifu purposes. Outside of her fans though, FN-49 is too much for too little.

G3 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

While not an outright terrible upgrade, G3 sadly continues to be weak in the grand scheme of grenadiers.

Let’s start with the good: Her raw stats get a good buff that helps her offensive capabilities, plus she gets improved values on her grenade and her tiles. On top of this, her tiles finally face forward and she has a decent Special Equipment.

That probably all sounds well and dandy, but she still has notable faults. She still has poor DPS compared to other top grenadiers thanks to her low Rate of Fire and also has an underwhelming Skill 2. The Freezing Point of Courage gives her grenade an additional effect depending on the enemy health. Enemies hit below 50% HP take additional damage while everyone else gets stunned for a brief moment. Sounds good, but in practice will typically not offer too much benefit. The additional damage will typically only add overkill unless against very high HP opponents and the stun can be a nice bonus for hindering enemies she can’t instantly kill in one grenade.

G3 lovers will probably find an alright upgrade that will satisfy them. For most people though, there is basically no reason to upgrade her. The one niche she did have, which was being able to corpse drag 11-5, is now irrelevant with 12-4E being available to play instead.

Galil Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

There was initially a lot of buzz in the air about Galil MOD, at least within my circle. We thought “Wow, any AR can now be AS Val!”, but we were short sighted and not considering the whole picture. Now on paper, Galil should actually enable ARs to use VFLs at night much like AS Val can. But within the current GFL meta, Galil MOD doesn’t have any major value to speak of.

Her new Skill 2, Eagle Eye Awakening, primarily aims to capitalize on her otherwise useless Skill 1. First, when her Accuracy is higher than the enemy Evasion, 20% of the Accuracy value over Evasion will be added as Crit Rate. This will barely benefit her for day fighting, but at night will let her crit more consistently with a PEQ equipped.

The more interesting part though is she will give 10% of her own Accuracy to any AR or SMG on her tiles, at the cost of herself losing 20% Accuracy. While Galil’s S1 is active at night and she has a PEQ equipped, she’ll be handing off a decent chunk of Accuracy to her AR teammates, thus enabling them to have good Accuracy at night even with a VFL.

Sounds great right? Well, not really actually. In practice, this is little more than a fun gimmick that doesn’t really help all that much. The accuracy increase is barely comparable to AS Val, who can get perfect accuracy shots. Not to mention the fact that night maps are becoming more of a rarity in the latest content, and when they do come up, you’re likely not needing AR teams anyway.

Galil MOD is a fun cutie, but she’s nothing more. Basically just a gimmick to barely mess around with when everything else is said and done. Outside of love for Galil, and I know Galil has her few fans, there is basically no reason to do her upgrade.

GSh-18 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

Our adorable little medic GSh-18 sadly doesn’t improve a whole lot with her upgrade. While there is an interesting idea at play, it is ultimately not that practical.

Her new Skill 2, Twin Star Protection, gives her a chance per shot to grant all allies on her tiles with a 1-HP shield. This chance is equal to her crit rate and can be stacked indefinitely. Also, her crit damage during Skill 1 is increased and she receives all the usual upgrades like better stats, improved tiles, improved Skill 1, etc.

The concept of infinitely stacking shields is an interesting one, but it sadly falls flat once you account for two major flaws. One, the chance being equal to her critical rate means these shields will proc unreliably. Two, the shields don’t actually “stack” on top of eachother and more merge together to increase the HP of a single shield. This ultimately means GSh would need to stack a lot of shields for it to block more than one attack.

While you could theoretically have GSh-18 proc her shields on each attack and improve the tank’s survivability quite a bit, it is ultimately too small of a shield and too unreliable in its activation chance. Her upgrade is not downright awful, but it is not worthwhile for most commanders.

IDW Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

Everyone’s favourite meme comes back with a new upgrade and a vengeance!... Except not really, considering IDW MOD remains pretty bad.

Her upgrades do little to fix her primary issues and certain aspects of the MOD itself actually conflict with one another. Statistically, she remains with low HP and instead decides to buff her Evasion even more, despite this being one area she didn’t need improvement. Her tiles are now slightly better too with a 10% crit rate buff (still bad overall though) and her Skill 1 sees a decent improvement.

Her new Skill, Electro Hijinks, goes against her main tank nature and tries to buff her DPS potential for whatever reason. It gives her 3 charges which boost Damage and Rate of Fire, with charges going away every 2 seconds and refreshing when her Skill 1 activates. You can probably guess this still doesn’t make her good at DPS. Then her Special Equipment, which is barely an improvement over a T4 Exo to begin with, still hits her Damage stat as hard as usual.

With all factors considered and an already abundant pool of strong main tanks available, IDW MOD offers nothing worthwhile to justify the costs. If you’re someone who’s just collecting MODs, get her to MOD1 and then forget she’s there. Not that you can actually forget IDW, since you’ll probably get her again in your next doll production.

M1897 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

The meido has obtained angery! Now she’s gotta Sweep Sweep Sweep!!!!

M1897 MOD is a meme. You’ve probably seen one of the GIFs posted somewhere of her just spraying flechette goddamn everywhere. If you haven’t, here’s one to feast your eyes on:

While this is a hell of a spectacle to watch, the actual effectiveness in practice leaves a lot to be desired.

If you’re confused how this is even happening, just look at her Skill 2: Explosive Cleaning. Every time someone on the field reloads, M1897 will gain a flechette, and she will prioritize using these over her regular shells. Each flechette fires a whopping 20 hits of damage, each one randomly targeting enemies within range. This is how all those clips exist. Note that each hit only has a 1x multiplier to begin, which actually gets lower with consecutive hits on a single target. Beyond this meme of a skill, M1897 receives the usual range of upgrades. Increased HP, an extra point of Armour, improved tiles, and so on.

In theory, this MOD was supposed to “sweep” through the mobs you find yourself facing, saying true to the Trench Gun’s legacy. A really cool and fun idea, but in practice, the applicability of this is limited. Offensive shotguns in general are not desired, and even then, the reliance on needing people on her team to reload to get her flechettes makes it inconsistent in usage and almost impossible to get flechettes early into the battle. An exception would be with Defender, since she has to reload after every shot.

Don’t let all those hilarious clips make you think M1897 is anything more than a meme. A fun meme for sure, but if we’re being serious for a moment, upgrading M1897 can’t be recommended. If you’ve got nothing else to do and just want a silly spectacle to watch though, go for it I suppose.

M38 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

M38 is a real cutie. If that was the only factor in upgrading, I’d say “yes, go and upgrade!”, but it’s not. M38 is the second 2 star stun SMG to get a MOD, the first being Type 64. While she doubles down on the stun grenade, M38 instead tries to branch off for more offensive utility… though this still falls just as flat.

Her Skill 2, Scarlet Flame Pursuit, is quite literally just an incendiary grenade. Except on a longer ICD and with REALLY bad modifiers. The initial impact of M38 MOD’s incendiary grenade deals 2.8x damage, which is downright pathetic. To put this into more perspective, MP40 is a 2 star with an incendiary grenade and her direct impact deals 5.5x damage. Her DoT is also 0.6x, as opposed to the typical 1x that other incendiary users have.

M38’s advantage over these is the radius of her incendiary is 2.5 units, as opposed to the 1.5 units of other incendiary users. This means that M38 can theoretically stack up to the others when there’s a lot of enemies present and she can hit foes that the other incendiary users cannot. But this is a very specific scenario and even though her damage can add up, it’s more likely that she’s going to fail to kill her foes.

M38 is safe to ignore for practically everyone. Not even the fact she can buff RFs makes up for the lackluster damage output that her newfound grenade brings.

PP-19 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

PP-19 MOD isn’t in this tier because she’s a bad upgrade. Meta shifts are sadly not kind to her, which leads to the simple matter of: PP-19 MOD doesn’t really offer anything you need.

Let’s go over the good regardless, because there is good to be found here. Her Skill 2, Savage Instinct, has her mark the enemies she damages with her grenade. If marked enemies are still alive after a grenade throw, each of her remaining dummy links will throw an additional weaker grenade. You could think of her kind of like an SMG version of K11, but with more nuance to how it works. This doesn mean PP-19’s highest damage potential needs her to maintain as many links as possible, which is a lot harder for her to do than it is for K11.

The other part of her skill is based around her MOD3 Special Equipment. If she has it equipped, she’ll check her own HP every 6 seconds against everyone else in her column. If she has the highest HP, she will boost her FP for 15 seconds, otherwise she’ll boost her Evasion. Note that due to PP-19’s HP being lower than popular main tanks, she can struggle to get the FP boost. These buffs always stack, so she can get up to a theoretical extra 30% FP or 30% Evasion this way. On top of this skill, PP-19 gets the usual assortment of buffs. A nice increase to her HP and FP particularly, as well as a stronger Skill 1 and tiles.

PP-19’s main issue mainly stems from the meta. ARSMG teams in general are losing favour compared to RFHG team, and on top of this, offensive tanks are becoming less and less desirable in general. In situations where you want an offensive tank, most would turn to Uzi MOD first. As such, there’s just not much need to do PP-19’s upgrade. Her fans will find a relatively fine upgrade though, she’s by no means bad like some of the MODs in this tier.

Sten MkII Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

Sten MOD packs a decent boom, but it’s far from enough to make her a worthwhile investment.

One the one side of good, her aforementioned Hand Grenade does back a decent punch after her upgrade thanks to the buffed Skill 1 and improved Damage stat. Her new art is also really good, but that’s hardly going to help her in combat.

Her new Skill 2 is Valiant Shield. She places down a shield that reduces incoming damage by 35%. It’s a decent defensive boost, but marred by a poor uptime and cooldown. It lasts for just 5 seconds and comes with a 16 second cooldown, which simply cannot compete with other SMGs like MP7 who have insane 180% Evasion buffs that have double the uptime. 

In practice, Sten's survivability fails to reach anywhere close to other top options. To make matters worse, she continues to maintain her trademark awful tiles. Evasion and Accuracy is the worst practical combination you could have for ARs, primarily thanks to the Evasion side of it being largely irrelevant for backline units. If this was changed to something like Damage, then we would’ve had a good set of tiles. Alas though, that is not the case.

All in all, Sten MOD is an ignorable and completely forgettable upgrade when it comes to gameplay investment. Nobody but her biggest fans will be in a rush to perform this upgrade, but her fans will be happy at least, since she is a real cutie after all with a great set of MOD 3 art.

StG44 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

Being the first successful Assault Rifle in history, StG44 deserves so much, but sadly got so little. Like with G3, StG44 MOD is not a terrible upgrade, but it is one that won’t convince anyone that doesn’t already love her to give it another glance.

Her new Skill2, Firestorm, sounds a lot more powerful on paper than it actually is in practice. Her raw grenade damage is increased by 20% and there will be 3 secondary explosions after the initial, each one occupying a different radius of her HE grenade splash damage. Enemies can be hit by multiple of these secondary explosions, but when this occurs, the damage is often less than expected thanks to how dummy links interact with explosive damage. StG44 MOD still deals passable grenade damage in most cases, but she is forced to compete with Anti-Personnel Grenade users like 416 or M4 SOPMOD II since StG44 maintains her 8 second initial cooldown, the same as AP Grenade ARs.

The core problem of High-Explosive Grenades is that they are just so utterly dreadful that this still doesn’t make them anywhere close to competitive, especially with the high HP, low dummy link enemies that are far more prevalent nowadays. StG44's overall damage as a grenadier is going to be low: in cases where you’d want a grenadier, her DPS will be comparable to just using an ordinary self buffer. If she launched an AP grenade instead, we would probably have an entirely different story here. Honestly kinda sad to think about.

As a fun side note, StG44 does get a slightly interesting change to her tiles. She now buffs ARs and gains extra tiles similar to what Ribeyrolles has. The problem here is that she is hardly a support AR, since her tiles buff Accuracy and Evasion. The stat boost StG44 gets from the Neural Upgrade is relatively good, gaining a decent chunk of Damage and Rate of Fire.

As with pretty much all dolls in this tier, StG44’s biggest selling point is just the art, which IMO is some of the best art that Neural Upgrades has to offer. She will actually be the first and likely only doll in No Priority that I will personally oath and raise to MOD3. For anyone who doesn’t already love StG44 like myself, there won’t be anything worthwhile found in her upgrade.

SV-98 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

SV-98 is sadly one of the bottom of the barrel upgrades. While it’s not the absolute pits like Bren and IDW, there’s still basically no reason to ever do this mod outside of love.

SV-98 had the base to form a decent MOD from. Her stats were fairly good for a 3 star but suffered from her Skill, Interdiction Shot. Her upgrade decides to focus more on improving her damage with this skill instead of her general performance. Her Damage sees a decent boost and her new Skill 2, Shadow Savior, does give a small Accuracy and Rate of Fire boost when she’s cloaked. 

Still though, the primary focus is on improving Interdiction Shot as this Skill 2 also boosts her Skill 1 damage by 18% when she’s cloaked and then removes the cloak, resulting in her temporarily losing the Accuracy and Rate of Fire bonus. Becoming cloaked already requires her to not move for 3 seconds, so it is highly inconsistent.

One look at the DPS numbers shows this direction was the entirely wrong path to take. Her DPS at level 120 while oathed is comparable to T-CMS… A 3 star login RF. Yeah sure, T-CMS is one of the decent login dolls, but visualise that for a second. T-CMS is comparatively the same DPS, but with much MUCH lower costs.

Overall, SV-98 MOD is an upgrade that only her hardcore fans will like, and those people are still likely only doing it for the art. For everyone else, it’s a completely ignorable upgrade that’s not worth the cores and fragments.

Type 64 Mod III


Normal

Damaged

Recommended Upgrade Level: No

Type 64 is a decent upgrade at a low cost for those that like her

Her Skill 2, Silent Flash, now has her Stun Grenade offer an accuracy debuff. On top of this, the accuracy debuff component affects stun immune enemies, making her the only current stun grenadier to offer anything against bosses. Unfortunately, the time that accuracy debuffing is useful has passed us and now this skill is not very effective. Her Special Equipment is also fairly underwhelming, only being a small upgrade over a typical suppressor.

Because of all this, Type 64’s biggest upgrade is actually her MOD1. The boost to stats and improved Skill1 and tiles are a nice upgrade, particularly the increase to 24% Rate of Fire on her tiles. Considering she’s also a 2 star, her MOD1 upgrade is cheap as chips to do.

For the majority of players, what Type 64 MOD offers won’t be worth it, hence the placement in this tier. UMP9 and Type 79 are still better choices for stun grenadiers which are already a niche class in nature. If she’s one of your favourites or you just lack those other two dolls, it’s a decent upgrade at a very low cost. But at that point, I’d just start crafting SMGs.

Something interesting to note, CN recently got a Type 64 Special Equipment as a monthly login reward. This Speq allows her to remove buffs and shields from enemies that get stunned by hers. Sounds great on paper, but since the threatening enemies that do buffs and shields can’t actually be stunned, it’s not actually a big help to her.

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About the Author(s)

GP Fire Emblem Heroes Site Lead. Also aids the Girls Frontline team with Doll analysis and guides. Has been with GamePress since November 2017 and became FEH Site Lead in July 2019. From the UK.

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