While Girls’ Frontline is very friendly to Free to Play (F2P) players due to the character and equipment gacha being based on free resources, the game still has a premium currency whose use should be carefully budgeted.
The currency in question, Gems, are primarily used for improving base infrastructure or purchasing cosmetics. They can also be used to purchase consumable items and Tokens, the premium currency used for the costume/furniture cosmetic gacha.
Gems can be earned by F2P players from achievements, quests, log-in rewards, and a weekly social media share. See the Earning Gems section for more information.
The most important usage of the scarce Gems earned early on by Commanders are as follows:
Unlock the 5th and 6th Echelon slots.
Once possible, unlock the 3rd and optionally the 4th Dormitories.
Unlock the 7th and 8th Echelon slots.
The 7th Echelon slot may be unlocked before the 4th Dormitory at the Commander's discretion.
Unlock the 5th and 6th Dormitories after acquiring enough furniture to fill their comfort.
Optionally, unlock Equipment Production slots after acquiring the essentials.
This will not be relevant until the Commander can sustain the resource and core income needed to fully occupy more than two Equipment Heavy Production slots.
Unlock the 9th and 10th Echelon slots and the remaining Dormitories if needed.
T-Doll and Fairy storage slots can be acquired as needed.
Oaths are optional, but useful, purchases for Neural Upgrade candidates.
The Gem Budgeting section outlines the detailed reasoning behind this recommended purchase order.
Commanders will receive an abundance of Gems from many sources:
x1800 once total from 10 story chapters, awarded for first-time S-Rank quest completions of story maps.
x660 once, from the cumulative "Acquire x Gold Medals" Achievements after fully S-ranking all 10 story chapters.
x240+ once, from Achievements related to T-Doll Collection
x10 for acquiring the first 3-star T-Doll
x30 for acquiring the first 4-star T-Doll
x50 for acquiring the first 5-star T-Doll
x10 for unlocking 20 different T-Dolls, or 10 of any specific type (i.e. HG/SMG/AR/RF/MG/SG)
x30 for unlocking 40 different T-Dolls, or 20 of any specific type (i.e. HG/SMG/AR/RF/MG/SG)
x50 for unlocking 60 different T-Dolls, or 30 of any specific type (i.e. HG/SMG/AR/RF/MG/SG)
x100 for unlocking 80 different T-Dolls
(Additional achievements for higher tiers not achievable early on are omitted here for brevity.)
x150 once from Defense Drill first-clear reward packages.
x30 once, for downloading the full resource package
Aside from the one-time rewards, there is a steady and reliable monthly Gem income consisting of:
Commanders can click "share" then cancel from the authentication screen, and still receive the rewards.
Additional sources of Gems include:
Miscellaneous achievements such as from establishing Oath, purchasing furniture, collecting a variety of fairies, etc.
In-game events and social media raffles/competitions.
Any Gems a new Commander may have received during the 7-Day Frontline Supplies campaign as a bonus for purchasing Gems with money.
The good-ol' 💳
Commanders can generally expect to unlock up to the sixth Echelon slot and the fourth Dorm for free with the one-time rewards, with additional purchases trickling in over time from the monthly free gems.
As the one-time Gem rewards become exhausted from regular gameplay, Gem accrual will eventually slow. It is therefore important to use the premium currency efficiently to avoid becoming paywalled due to unwise purchasing decisions.
Unlocking the 5th and 6th Echelon slots
The first priority for new Commanders will be unlocking the fifth Echelon slot: This allows for four Logistics to be run around the clock while reserving an Echelon for clearing combat missions or leveling.
As many missions are much easier to do with two echelons, the sixth slot is highly recommended as the next purchase despite the increased price.
Why are logistics important?
Logistics missions are the primary source of the four main resources and consumable contracts, i.e. T-Doll/Equipment Contracts and Quick Repair/Production Contracts.
A maximum of 4 Echelons may be sent on Logistics missions simultaneously. As a Commander starts off with only four Echelon slots, full Logistics saturation cannot be achieved if a Commander wants to use one echelon slot to run combat missions.
Thankfully, early-game Logistics are not particularly high in yield, so Commanders are not losing too much by running only three teams for a while until they buy their sixth Echelon slot.
Some decent early-game logistics are as follows (run the best ones available, with longer-duration ones used for overnight Logistics):
- 2-2, 3-3, 5-2, 0-1 (Resources, Quick Repair Contract)
- 4-1, 5-3, 7-3 (Resources, Equipment Contract)
- 4-2, 6-2, 7-4 (Resources, Quick Production Contract)
- 2-4, 0-2, 7-2 (Resources, T-Doll Contract)
- 3-2, 6-1, 7-1 (Resources)
Note: The 1-4 Logistics mission is not recommended because its T-Doll Contract drop rate is an abysmal 20% without Great Success! It is deceptively bad and will usually give nothing.
Unlocking the 3rd and 4th Dormitories
With six echelon slots unlocked, Commanders can comfortably run Logistics and still send two Echelons out on combat missions. The next priority would be unlocking Dormitories starting with the 3rd Dormitory, as the first two are unlocked by default.
Dormitories, while primarily a cosmetic feature, impact gameplay rather significantly due to their effect on battery generation. For more information on why batteries are important and how Commanders should allocate their battery income, please refer to the following guide:
The Battery Condenser provides batteries based on a combination of Dorm count and total comfort, where comfort is derived from furniture placed in said dorms.
Tip: The exact battery yield can be calculated here.
Since Commanders need to be able to furnish the dorms with furniture from the re-supply gacha to increase battery generation, it may be wise to defer purchases of the 4th+ Dormitories until the Commander actually has enough furniture to fill those dorms.
Unlocking the 7th and 8th Echelon slots
The 7th and 8th Echelon slots are the best to acquire next. They enable more combat echelons and dummy echelons to be deployed for particularly challenging missions, allowing for the Commander to clear harder content requiring additional teams without sacrificing Logistics.
Dummy Echelons are echelons consisting of one unleveled HG, primarily used for generating additional AP (as each deployed echelon gives 1 AP per turn), or to save movement points for resupplying in missions via echelon swapping.
Commanders may also make use of these extra slots to conduct Auto-Battles as another method of leveling dolls or acquiring enhancement fodder, but they are not resource efficient and are generally not recommended for Commanders who have time to actively play.
Beyond this point, Infrastructure upgrades are primarily up to the needs of the Commander and how much money they are willing to spend once the essential infrastructure has been acquired.
Echelon Slots: Additional Echelon slots are always nice to have, especially as the challenging event maps become larger and more complex.
Dormitory slots: Additional dormitory slots past the 4th dorm will grant battery income based almost entirely on furniture comfort, at approximately 1 Battery per day per 1000 comfort.
This is quite negligible for the gem cost, therefore many F2P Commanders elect to stay at three or four opened dorms.
Equipment Production slots: Unlocking these allow Commanders to perform more Equipment Productions and Equipment Heavy Productions at once.
The additional slots can be useful for saving some Quick Production Contracts during Equipment General Rate-Up, or for squeezing in more Fairy production attempts daily. The first slot purchase will cost x180, and each subsequent slot will cost x380.
Oath Certificates: These rings can be purchased as an investment in Neural Upgrade candidates, though it's a bit heartless for a Commander to establish an oath purely for increased stats or faster experience gain.
Oath Certificates will generally be used to show a Commander’s devotion to their true waifu.
T-Doll and Equipment Storage Slots: While more T-Doll and Equipment storage slots are not strictly required for general progression, the tangible quality-of-life improvement from the increased storage can be appreciated. They should be bought on a rolling basis as needed.
Commanders can grind longer without interruption, or keep more T-Dolls around without retiring them.
All T-Doll Slots purchases cost x280, and all Equipment Storage slots will cost x120. No first-time purchase discount is available.
Tip: Retired T-Dolls can be recovered from the Index once per week for the core cost of a single Dummy Link. If running low on storage space, do not be afraid to retire units one is not planning to use any time soon, since it is possible to get them back later if needed.
What not to buy
Other sections of the Gem Store primarily offer convenience purchases, cosmetics, and miscellaneous bundles.
Resources: These are generated over time through Logistics, and with good time management and Logistics combinations, Commanders should rarely find themselves short of resources. A late-game Commander (with four Level 90+ echelons running Logistics at a 50% or higher Great Success rate) will earn resources at a daily rate equivalent to over x5000 of purchased resources/contracts.
When efficiently grinding and crafting only the Daily Quest requirement of 4 T-Dolls per day, and even taking into account the Expedition cost, Commanders will still find themselves gaining a lot of resources each day.
Repair Slots: Quick Repair Contracts are plentiful, and there should rarely be a need to repair more than the frontline tank T-Dolls after each mission. After a brief early-game drought, Commanders will typically find themselves with more Quick Repair Contracts than they know what to do with.
Contracts: Aside from Rate-Up events and the initial early-game production spree to gain useful units, Commanders should limit their daily production attempts to the 4 needed to complete their Daily Quests that refund the contracts used.
Through Weekly Quest rewards and Logistics Missions, Commanders can potentially save up over 100 T-Doll and Equipment Production Contracts per week even when crafting 4 T-Dolls and Equipment daily.
Quick Production Contracts and Quick Repair Contracts are typically in generous supply as long as the player waits out the timers that don't need to be rushed.
All Gem purchases should be made responsibly and thoughtfully.
I'm running out of T-Doll space and I haven't even bought my sixth Echelon slot yet! What should I do?
In the T-Doll section of the Index, Commanders will find the option present to recover any T-Doll previously acquired, but of which no copies are present in the Armory. This means that Commanders are free to retire even high rarity T-Dolls that may require large investments that they wish to use later but cannot afford to raise at the present time.
Therefore, the sixth Echelon slot should still be prioritized over T-Doll Storage Slots.
Should I re-supply from the Radiant Collection to get furniture faster?
While new Commanders without any furniture can roll the Radiant Collection to fill out their first dorm quickly, it is worth noting that each item of furniture provides comfort to a fixed cap which can only be surpassed using Set Bonuses; by acquiring and placing a number of unique, individual furnishing from a Collection, bonus comfort will be awarded.
Due to the eclectic mix of past Collections present in the Radiant Collection Re-Supply, it is much harder to acquire any specific set bonus, and Commanders looking to increase Dormitory Comfort should make use of the Time-Limited Re-Supply gachas instead, once they have a comfortable supply of Tokens to guarantee a few sets.
I'm planning to buy Gems, are my priorities different?
Short answer: No.
Long Answer: The outlined expenditures of Gems are the ones that will give the highest return on investment to Commanders. The sequence is optimal for Gem expenditure effectiveness and the impact on general gameplay, regardless of whether or not a Commander plans to spend money for Gems. Most other purchase options are convenience items that will be gained over time for free, such as contracts, resources and tokens.
Commanders who regularly spend on the game may, however, find themselves purchasing the following:
- Daily Special Offer Packages: The packages often contain timegated in-game resources such as Training Data or Calibration Tickets. New whales looking to catch up with veteran F2P Commanders may find this useful.
- Combat Sim Extra Energy: Purchasing this once per day at the cheapest price of x20 can be lucrative for Monthly Gem Card purchasers that need the extra energy for Neural Upgrades or Training Data.
- Monthly Special Offer Packages: These packages are often just x100 or x200 Token packages at the regular price with extra freebies thrown in. Commanders who already purchase Tokens with Gems regularly will find them to be a good deal.
Which gem packages are the most cost-efficient?
For instant bulk Gem purchases, new Commanders can take advantage of the First Time Purchase bonus that doubles the value of Gem purchases. This bonus will typically reset on each Anniversary for the game server.
It is recommended to purchase one of each pack while this bonus is active, as that offers the best value over re-purchasing an existing pack without the double Gems bonus.
The packages break down into the following prices (in US Dollars):