Whether you’re a commander looking to get their echelons ready for future content or a commander who’s hoping to compete for the high spots on the ranking leaderboards, the act of duping, or raising multiple copies of the same T-Doll, is one of the oft-touted ways to help make that easier.
From a gameplay standpoint, duping can offer higher return-on-investment than raising unique T-Dolls only. Many people however (including myself) choose not to dupe for various reasons.
So the question remains: Should you dupe? This is what this article aims to answer. It will cover what duping is, the reasons for duping, and why certain dolls are duped over others. Altogether, this should help you to come to the conclusion of whether or not you wish to dupe.
4/17 update: Minor content edits thanks to feedback from Kazuki and Ceia.
What is Duping?
Duping in Girls Frontline is, quite simply, the act of raising multiple copies of the exact same T-Doll. Every doll in your armory can only be assigned to one echelon at a time, so raising additional copies beyond the first allows that doll to be used in multiple echelons that are deployed simultaneously.
The vast majority of content in GFL, like all story and event maps including ranking stages, allows duplicate dolls to be used. Theater (which is currently running at the time of publication on the EN server) is the only event in GFL that doesn’t allow for dupes to be used, both for dolls and fairies. As such, even if you do choose to dupe, you should still aim to raise a wide variety of different dolls so you are prepared for future Theaters and in case any future events also restrict the use of dupes.
The most important thing that you need to understand about duping is this:
Duping is NEVER a necessity. You are not required to dupe dolls for ANY content in Girls Frontline.
With that in consideration, why do people dupe then?
Why Do People Dupe?
The benefits of duping will typically only be relevant for one particular mode: Ranking maps. These maps, found only within major events such as Singularity and Continuum Turbulence, are some of the hardest content within the game and encompasses GFL’s primary competitive experience. They are high score trials where the player is presented with various objectives to perform that reward points. People who compete in these maps will be ranked based on their high score in a single run.
The competitive nature of these maps, combined with their difficulty, is what most people dupe for. Most ranking maps contain extremely challenging enemies that can only be dealt with by highly optimized teams, so having multiple copies of certain dolls with highly valuable niches such as Carcano M91/38 makes the team-building aspect much easier. For players that can easily afford to raise dupes, duping makes it easier for them to rank as high as possible, potentially even letting them enter the top 100 leaderboard.
That is not to say you can skip on leveling more general or niche dolls though. As stated earlier, commanders that dupe will still need a well-built roster with a variety of dolls in order to succeed. This applies not just for Ranking maps, but for the game in general. Commanders should only start to consider duping when they already have every uniquely useful doll in their armory raised. Just ask all the commanders stuck with multiple UMP45 or PKP how that worked out for them.
Does this mean you need to dupe if you want to reach these super high positions in Ranking maps? No, not at all. A player with enough investment and knowledge will be capable of reaching high ranks without duping, if not even reach the top 100 if they’re particularly skilled.
At the same time, duping does not make you automatically good or guarantee extra points in Ranking maps. Skill and knowledge are still imperative to doing well in these challenges. A skilled commander with no dupes would perform far better than a commander with five copies of Carcano M91/38 and no knowledge of how to use them. One quick look at the CT Ranking survey results shows this cold hard truth:
Why Are Certain Dolls Duped?
Generally speaking, there are three main reasons why someone would consider duping a certain doll. This section will go over those reasons and some dolls that accompany them.
Unparalleled Power and Utility
There are some dolls that are so powerful within their niche that they can be considered as almost irreplaceable. It is dolls within this category that are the most frequently duped and for good reason.
Also commonly referred to as “Purple” or “Grape” within the community, Carcano M91/38 is a prime example of a doll who offers an incredibly useful and almost unrivaled ability.
For general usage, Carcano M91/38 will be generally lackluster compared to more general RFs such as WA2000 and Lee-Enfield. Where she comes into her element is against high HP mobs, such as Hydras and Doppelsöldners. Her skill, Mask of Hermes, makes her perform a powerful attack whenever she reaches 18 stacks. When maxed, she has a 70% chance to gain 2 stacks per attack and her active skill instantly gives her 18 stacks. This attack deals 3x damage to bosses and elite enemies, but a whopping 45x damage to anything else.
Hydras and Doppelsöldners both count as elite enemies. For some reason however, they lose their elite status once they stop moving for the first time in a battle. Because of this, Carcano M91/38 is incredibly effective against these types of mobs. Few other RFs can even come close to defeating a Doppelsöldner in a single shot while she can do it almost effortlessly.
As very dangerous high HP enemies such as Doppelsöldners infest future Ranking maps, Carcano M91/38’s utility will more than prove its worth, hence why she is a common dupe doll of choice.
Below is a video demonstrating Carcano M91/38 in action against a 31k Doppelsöldner squad in Hurricane Rescue, the Ranking map of Continuum Turbulence. Being able to defeat these squads was a pivotal part of the map. Strategies such as this can also start to be useful in Chapter 11 onwards as that’s when Doppelsöldners start appearing in the story.
A HG that will be farmable from Isomer, EN’s next major event, P22 is an incredible doll that offers extreme versatility that no other HG can match.
Her skill is a buff skill, as many HGs possess. What is so unique about her skill though is what it grants is conditional depending on the column that a doll is in. Dolls in the front column get a sizable shield, dolls in the middle column get an evasion and accuracy boost, and dolls in the back column get a damage boost on par with dedicated buffers such as Grizzly.
What is so great about this skill is not only is it the typical best buff for a doll in that column to receive, but you can also move dolls to give them different buffs if necessary. Want an SMG to get a shield? No problem, just move them up front, get P22 to give them the shield, and move them back. You can even time it so that P22 hits your main tank between columns to get both the shield and evasion buff.
This skill alone makes P22 worth anyone’s time. The cherry on top though is her amazing buff tiles which can cover the entire back column from position 2 and buff for both damage and accuracy.
You almost cannot go wrong with P22. Practically any team comp will benefit from her. She can support an ARSMG at night without sacrificing an AR DPS. She can support an MGSG with both offensive boosts to MGs and shields for the SGs. She can be an amazing buffer for RFHG and even provide the main tank with a little extra defensive help. P22 can do it all and that’s why she’s a frequent dupe that remains relevant for several rankings in a row from Isomer onward.
Another HG hailing from Isomer, HS2000 may not be quite as insane as P22 but is nevertheless an amazing addition to any armory.
Her skill provides an excellent mix of offensive and defensive utility. When triggered, she gives a shield to all allies. If that shield remains active 3 seconds later, that ally receives a massive 35% damage and accuracy boost.
This buff is somehow even higher than that of dedicated damage buffers, and matches Jill’s Fringe Weaver buff in magnitude but without the debuff component. The back column will rarely have their shields broken unless there is an AoE attack or the tanks are not present for whatever reason. As such, the tanks can enjoy their shields while the DPS units can benefit from the offensive buffs.
Her tiles are also excellent, save for the awkward layout. She buffs rate or fire and evasion, thus offering benefit to all dolls in the team. She can buff every doll in a typical F formation from position 1. For RFHG squads in particular, this means the RFs must be positioned in positions 4 and 7, which makes the layout incompatible with some buffers like SAA or Calico. Nevertheless, HS2000’s skill is so strong that this tradeoff is well worth it.
While HS2000 does not have the versatility of P22, she nevertheless is highly powerful and is a desirable dupe. Do note though that HS2000 is obtained from the crates in Isomer, so duping her from this event alone would be completely dependent on RNG.
The last doll I will mention in this category, Kord, is a farmable MG obtainable from the Shattered Connexion event.
What makes Kord so amazing (aside from her insane base stats) is the fact that she is one of only a handful of dolls to possess the pierce effect. What this means is her shots travel through her target and hit every enemy in the bullet’s trajectory. Her skill is a toggle that has two switchable effects, the first of which grants her the pierce effect on EVERY attack at the cost of damage and armor penetration. This gives Kord phenomenal AoE DPS like no other MG.
She needs to fight something where the pierce won’t be beneficial? No problem. With a click of the skill button, she can switch straight over to her second effect which grants her a simple but effective damage and accuracy buff. Both of these effects are permanently active by the way until they are switched, so Kord will always enjoy either of the effects.
The pierce effect combined with the ability to switch to a general buff if necessary puts Kord a significant cut above the rest above other MGs. Combine this with the fact she gives a 15% armor buff to SGs and you have a complete package of a doll.
Other Best-in-Class Units
There are several other highly versatile T-Dolls who may be worth duping; as their skills are fairly straightforward, I will just list a few of the dolls whom you might want to keep 2 copies of. Raise them if and only if you're done leveling your other good units.
Simply Strong or Unique Niche
Many dolls are just powerful, and that’s why they might be considered for duping - and this is why many guides from early GFL recommend duping generalist T-Dolls. Some dolls also have unique niches that they can excel at, also why they might be considered for duping. For dolls like this however, there are more considerations that you should take into account, mainly if you really need them duped (i.e. you have a pressing need to deploy two copies of her simultaneously in a map). Dolls in the category above are in there because what they offer is not only incredibly useful, but also in high demand and typically cannot be found elsewhere.
Consider for a moment some of the top generalist dolls in their class. Dolls like Grizzly, AK-12, AN94, and WA2000 probably come to mind. These dolls are all undeniably powerful, but is what they offer really so much of an advantage above the alternatives that you would consider them “irreplaceable”? Realistically speaking, plenty of strong alternative dolls exist for these units, even if they don’t quite have the exact same kit.
Consider also the dolls which do have unique niches. Contender and Python are two HGs which come to mind. Both offer a unique niche that can help certain team compositions to excel. In these cases, you need to consider how much you’ll actually want to utilize their niche. Python for example offers great utility for 5HG team and RF compositions utilizing Carcano M1891, but will you really be running teams like this often enough in ranking to warrant multiple copies?
Take this cautionary tale from Singularity ranking, for example: Contender was duped by many players expecting to use multiple “gunboat” echelons in singularity, but when the actual ranking map was being played, alternative gunboat DPS units like AUG/SR-3MP and even capeless RFs quickly became popular choices due to superior kill speed and versatility compared to Contender, which made a lot of the Contender dupes worthless in the end.
For both of the scenarios above, whether or not you consider these as worthwhile reasons to dupe will be your own choice. For most people whoever, these will typically not be worthwhile reasons to dupe. Sticking to dolls that match the first category of unparalleled utility is advised.
There are several personal reasons which might make you want to dupe dolls. Maybe you just want to be able to use your favourite doll more. Maybe a certain doll offers a unique gimmick which you want to mess around with more. Maybe you’re trying to do some weird challenge where you’re sticking only to dolls which match a certain criteria.
Duping for reasons such as what are listed above can actually be actively detrimental from a performance standpoint and can handicap one's own gameplay. This will ultimately be your own choice and nobody else can really decide for you if you should dupe for personal reasons.
Should I Dupe?
So with everything said and done, the ultimate question remains: Should I dupe? There is one simple answer to this:
IT’S COMPLETELY UP TO YOU!
At the end of the day, you are the one in charge of your own account and nobody has the right to tell you if you’re wrong or right for duping or not. To remind ourselves of some of the key points discussed in this article:
- Duping is NEVER a necessity.
- Duping is done primarily for Ranking maps only.
- Duping can make building teams for Ranking easier due to having increased access to dolls with unparalleled utility.
- Duping is not needed to rank highly in these maps.
- Duping does not make you a better player by default. Skill and knowledge is still of the utmost importance.
There is one final point to discuss. Let’s say you decide to dupe, now there’s a new question: When should I start duping? I already briefly mentioned earlier how all commanders will want a large and varied roster of dolls before they start duping, but there is more to it than that.
You need to consider the cost of duping a doll: leveling it to at least 90, giving it all its dummy links, enhancing the stats, and leveling their skill. Of these four things, the biggest limiter is by and far the skill level. Experience, cores, and enhancement fodder can all be farmed, while farming data is a lot more difficult. There are options to data farm on some regular maps, but mostly, data will come from the data simulations available on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. Not only is it harder to farm, you also need a lot of it since dolls, fairies, and HOCs will all be using it for their skills.
All commanders are heavily advised to prioritize getting their varied doll roster, equipment collection, fairy collection, and HOCs all up to a good level before they start duping. These aspects are all far more important than having some duped dolls at the ready. Several copies of Carcano M91/38 will only get you so far if everything else in your arsenal is underdeveloped. Here’s some general guidelines for where I would recommend you be at before you start duping:
- Enough unique dolls across all weapon types to make a large variety of strong combat echelons. Future ranking maps heavily favour RFHG compositions. Commanders are recommended to have the means to make at least six RFHG and six ARSMG teams at once. MGs and SGs, while still useful to have, are not as important as the other four weapon types. You don’t need the means to make a lot of MGSG teams, but being able to make a couple will be beneficial.
- On top of this, performing the digimind upgrades for the AR team is highly recommended. M4A1 is the highest priority and should be modded by everyone. ST AR-15 and M4 SOPMOD II are not as important but are incredibly powerful and should still be modded whenever possible.
- The necessary gold/green equipment to supply all those dolls. Gold equipment naturally takes priority over green, but green equipment would still serve you fine until you have enough gold versions. Equipment should be max enhanced and max calibrated whenever possible.
- A good collection of fairies to utilize.
- Every commander should aim to have at least one Parachute Fairy and one Illumination Fairy at Skill Level 10 due to the strategic advantage their skills offer.
- For Combat Fairies, the highest SL10 candidate is the Taunt Fairy whose utility mostly comes from her Skill Level. The Airstrike Fairy can also be leveled due to its massive frontloaded AoE damage; she's seeing a bit less use now in endgame content with 2B14 in the game, but an Airstrike Fairy can help a lot when you're starting or struggling to field multiple high DPS echelons.
- Fairy rarity is also very important! Not only does raising fairy rarity (via feeding duplicates to your main fairy for development EXP) improve the passive aura buff, but the talent proc chance also goes up a lot, making it much more consistent. The Fairy aura can account for over half of your echelon's DPS at 5-star rarity! Make sure to craft 500x4 in Equipment Heavy Production regularly so your fairies can be improved over time.
- Fairies and dolls are different matters entirely when it comes to duping. While doll duping is completely a choice, Fairy duping is extremely recommended - Parachute Fairies in particular. The utility that the Parachute Fairy offers is unrivaled, provided you can afford the data and crafting costs to get a second one to SL10.
- All HOC units to at least level 60 (so they can use 5 star chips) with chips boosting important stats in place (optimizing chip placements should be saved until a HOC is 5 stars. Before then, simply place in whatever beneficial chips you can) and their most important skills to at least Skill Level 10. Refer to this guide here for further advice on HOCs.
Taking these key points and the rest of the article into consideration, you should now be able to make your own choice on whether or not you wish to dupe. If you want to dupe so you have more access to those incredible doll options such as Carcano M91/38, go for it! (as long as you have everything else mentioned above ready). If you don’t want to dupe since it’s not necessary or you want the challenge of only having one of each doll, great! In either case, just make sure to consider whatever is coming up in Girls Frontline and plan accordingly so you’re ready for whatever trials and tribulations may lay ahead.