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Fight, in this endless night, until the dawn.note 

Kal'tsit: In the past few years, Originium has become the lifeblood of the world. It first gave birth to greed, power, pain, hatred. And soon it breeds countless monsters - us. We were deprived of our identities, and were named — The Infected.
Amiya: We were manipulated. We were betrayed. We were blinded with hopes. And the dead never returned... If the footprints of life are destined to be buried by time...then we will never stop moving forward. Dr. Kal'tsit, be our dawn...
Kal'tsit: But what about you?
Amiya: With my companions, I am never alone. After all, we are... Arknights.
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Arknights is a mobile Science Fantasy Tower Defense game with RPG Elements developed by Hypergryph Network Technologies and Studio Montagne. Developed in Shanghai, China and originally available in Chinese since May 2019, a trio of international servers (in English, Japanese and Korean, with the English version available in most Anglophone countries, much of Europe, and southeast Asia) were opened to the public on January 16, 2020. The game was made available in Taiwan on June 29, 2020.

The world of Terra is on the brink of ruin. An infectious, incurable disease known as oripathy has been spreading across the populace for the past several centuries, based on contact with the seeming wonder material originium. Originium can power devices and achieve effects that are, for all practical purposes, Functional Magic; but overexposure causes oripathy, in which the afflicted's tissues are slowly transformed into a form of originium that is even more virulent than the "naturally"-occuring mineral. Sufficient crystallization, naturally, results in death. Those with oripathy became known as the "Infected", and are outcast and feared by the general public. In response to the rising oripathy pandemic (as industry begins to rely ever more on originium's incredible generative and transformative properties), many of the Infected banded together to fend for themselves, with only each other to rely on.

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You awaken as the Doctor, a master tactician and member of the group "Rhodes Island", a private medical company based on a small nomadic city of the same name; Rhodes is composed mainly of Infected, drawn from the world over and all walks of life, who seek a cure for oripathy and to end the stigma against the Infected, and in a world as dangerous as Terra has become, maintains a defense force that it has had to use far more often than its leadership would entirely prefer. Severe trauma has resulted in the loss of your memories, and you are greeted by utter chaos: on the brink of a Catastrophe (the manifestation of originium deposits via sudden natural disasters), the forces of the Reunion Movement, a band of Infected who seek revenge on the society that shunned them, have suddenly struck back against the Empire of Ursus, seemingly hell-bent on driving the entire city of Chernobog into the Catastrophe's heart and annihilating the city in the process. With no one but your loyal, seemingly-long-time compatriot Amiya and your fellow Rhodes Island Operatives to guide you, you are now tasked with leading the charge to your freedom and uncovering the truth behind the mysteries of your past and future.

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A manga anthology adaptation was announced on June 18, 2020. It should be noted however that it is non-canon to the story.

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This game provides examples of:

     A-B 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Don't let the numbers fool you: operators of 3-star rarity and up can be promoted once they've hit their respective level caps, which confers beneficial upgrades on top of resetting their level back to 1, allowing one to continue feeding them. The rarer the unit, the higher their effective level caps will be. A 6-star operator with 2 Elite promotions clocks in at what's effectively 220 levels. And good luck raising them that high!
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The money farming in this game is miserable, yet everything meaningful costs a crap ton of LMD to acquire. Building a room in your base? Be ready to fork over upwards of tens of thousands of LMD to cover the cost of raw materials. Spending Non-Combat EXP to level up your operators? LMD. Promoting an operator to the next rank? You can bet it's LMD. One must really wonder why it costs money for someone to sit in a room and watch combat training tapes for a while to gain experience.
    • Keep in mind, the most LMD you can get per instance in this game is 7,500 for a single run of Cargo Escort 5, which costs you a whopping 30 Sanity to do and isn't even for half of the week. Even on the days it is open, the limited Sanity count exists to crimp down on how many times you can farm if you're not willing to recharge with Originite Prime, therefore how much LMD you can earn. Meanwhile, promoting a 6-star operator to Elite 2 costs 180,000 in cash alone, neverminding the amount poured into crafting the rare materials they also need and the sheer mountains of dosh spent leveling them up to that point in the first place. "Money Sink" feels like a severe understatement when it comes to promoting 6-stars, and 5-stars are only marginally cheaper. The second most effective LMD farming map, S4-6, costs 30% less Sanity to run (21 vs. 30) and is open at all times, but it also gives you only about half of what CE-5 would normally yield, so it's not nearly as efficient as an alternative, especially when you're looking to upgrade the final tiers of a base facility or promote someone to Elite 2.
    • Arknights is not a game where Bribing Your Way to Victory can help you in this regard (at least not from the very beginning): the shop doesn't sell LMD packs outside of special one-time, level-gated bundles, which contain sizable amounts of money along with rare materials and Orundum, but won't help you much in the long run. The only recurring bundle you can purchase gives you about 80,000 (which vaporizes in an instant, mind) in exchange for 10 bucks, and you can only buy one per week.
    • With the removal of the Sanity refresh cap, there is a very roundabout way to turn real money into LMD at any time. First, the base must reach Level 4 to unlock Fast Charge (gathering the necessary materials requires beating 3-4); then, the base's Factory and Trading Post productions (preferably the ones with the highest possible productivity) must be accelerated via drones. Use your Sanity to Fast Charge your drone supply, then buy Originium Prime to refill Sanity on the spot. This is unsurprisingly inefficient compared to running the aforementioned CE-5, but those who massively value their time over their money have this option all the same.
  • Aerith and Bob: Characters' codenames range from exotic/fantasy-sounding ("Kalt'sit", "Talulah", "Exusiai") to simple English words ("Savage", "Blue Poison") to foreign/Japanese names ("Shirayuki", "Matoimaru", "Hoshiguma") to Camel case ("SilverAsh", "GreyThroat") to mundane names ("Jessica", "May") to locations ("Texas", "Lappland"). There's even a character who is just named "Big Bob"!
  • All for Nothing: The entirety of Chapter 2's Rescue Arc becomes this in its ending. You'd think all is well when Rhodes Island finally managed to turn over Misha to the LGD, enough for the Penguin Logistics' operators to consider their contract done for the day? Nope, an angered Skullshatterer makes his way to Amiya's group. And even if our protagonists did manage to hold said Reunion leader off, Skullshatter reveals that he's merely acting as a decoy to stall and distract Rhodes Island while W secretly ambushed Misha's new rescue team and retrieved the girl for their group. The first half of Chapter 3 has Amiya's group trying to take Misha back, and although they managed to kill Skullshatterer, in the end Misha herself took after Skullshatterer's identity, ultimately forcing them to kill Misha and greatly disturbing Amiya.
  • All the Other Reindeer: Those infected with oripathy see themselves discriminated, feared, hated, or exiled by the non-infected. But the worst case is when the Infected get killed or "purged" by the opposition.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The cliffhanger that was set up at the end of Chapter 4 has the Reunion Movement taking over the L.G.D. Headquarters and are slowly spreading out across the city of Lungmen. The next chapter involves Ch'en and her group on a mission to take it back. The final cutscenes of Chapter 5 reveal that it was Mephisto and Faust who were behind the takeover, and they've set up the HQ as a place to regroup, with its rooftop as their command center.
  • Almighty Janitor: Certain operators are Inexplicably Awesome despite their occupations being rather mundane and not indicative of any impressive combat capabilities, such as Earthspirit the geologist, Orchid the former fashion magazine editor, and Shaw the firefighter.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Aosta, Broca, Chiave, all part of the same gang.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Your operators will always land their shots or melee attacks so long as they have a valid target to hit, since no enemy thus far has the ability to dodge. Zigzagged with the enemy forces, since some of your operators can dodge their attacks, but their skills generally will hit without fail, such as the Siesta Sniper's stun shots, which will take effect, even if your operators managed to evade the damage they would have otherwise taken from the proc.
  • Amazon Brigade:
    • Due to the game's Improbably Female Cast, it's very easy to build a strong and well-balanced team this way. In fact, many of the playable factions and small divisions within Rhodes Island (e.g. Followers, Penguin Logistics, etc...) are composed of nothing but female operators.
    • Gameplay-wise, until Executor and Flamebringer debuted as playable characters, all 5-star operators are female.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Characters' in-game sprites can flip sideways, but some asymmetrical features (i.e. Lappland's scar) will be swapped as well.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • Based on several conversations, many of the event stories actually happen in the future, implied to be in 1 year after Reunion's occupation of Chernobog (i.e. the main story). For example, in "Code of Brawl", there's a scene where Mostima and Bison walk into a graveyard and watch an old couple tend to the grave of their son Ah Faat, who was Ch'en's informant that died in Chapter 5, and the Rat King mentions mobile cities crashing into each other, which is revealed in Chapter 7 as Talulah's true intention for the attack on both Chernobog and Lungmen. Despite this, nothing's stopping you from deploying the operators introduced in those events in normal story chapters, despite them not appearing in or being part of the plot back then.
    • The additional EX or HX cutscenes in side story events don't necessarily happen in a chronological sequence after the event's plot. For example, in "Knights' Treasure", GT-EX-1 and GT-EX-3 are two separate prologues seen from the perspectives of different characters, while GT-HX-6 serves as an epilogue.
    • Based on story dialogue scenes, it's strongly suggested that Yeti Squadron's last stand to give the Phantom Crossbowmen time to escape Lungmen takes place immediately after Chapter 5. The Yeti Squad segments afterwards in Chapter 6 is How We Got Here.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Certain events will award the player with alternate costumes for their operators, usually via point buy in the time-limited shop, or by maintaining a login streak. Unlike paid costumes sold in the Store for Originite Prime, which are confirmed to eventually rerun, these free outfits are mostly Permanently Missable Content, especially those given from the login streaks.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: Furnitures can drop as mission rewards, but usually at a rare chance. Some challenges and nodes however, guarantee one furniture as the reward upon completion.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: Some female operators are very obviously based on male specimens of their Animal Motifs.
    • Conviction is very obviously based on a peacock, complete with colorful trains and blue feathers. Female peafowl, or peahens, are much less colorful and don't have tail trains. Coupled with Conviction's Ambiguous Gender in the provided bio, fans have theorized that the operator is a Dude Looks Like a Lady.
    • Siege's impressively poofy hair takes cues from the mane of a male lion. It's worth noting that while lionesses usually don't have manes, there have been instances of a few that do, however these are very rare, and their manes are much smaller and less prominent than a male's natural one.
    • Basically the case for all female Forte operators (e.g. Sideroca, Vulcan, etc...), who have big and prominent horns characteristic of bulls. Female bovids, or cows, have much smaller and shorter horns.
  • Animal Motifs: Most Operators are associated with animals. This trait is evident for those with Elite 2 promotions, as their respective animals appear alongside them in their alternate artworks. A character's race may also have something to do with it (and their animalistic traits can also physically manifest on their body); for example, the Lupo race, which is closely associated with wolves as seen in their Elite 2 artworks, have long, pointed hair that resemble a wolf's mane.
  • Animal Stereotypes: The Ancient races don't just share physical traits of their Animal Motifs, some of them also behave like their real-life animal counterparts. Naturally, Truth in Television applies here as well:
    • In Greyy's archive file, it is noted that the race of Perros are known for their loyalty. This is a reference to their animal motif, the dogs, being known as man's best friend.
    • In Haze's assistant line, she mentions that Felines are known for being silent prowlers. Real-life cats are indeed masters of stealth when it comes to hunting smaller prey.
    • According to Plume, the Liberi (those who represent birds) have excellent eyesight that can even distinguish between droplets in a rainstorm. This references the sharp vision of eagles, hence the idiom "eagle-eyed".
  • Anime Theme Song: A curious example wherein the song being used in this style is provided by an American band; "Monster" from Starset has served as the game's vocal theme tune since its 2017 reveal, with late 2019 and 2020 material, most prominently the actual animated global launch trailer, shifting over to using "Unbecoming".
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Dormitories can be customized with purchasable furniture. Higher-quality furniture provides better comfort rating, which in turn improves the morale recovery of operators.
  • Anti-Air: Certain Snipers prioritize airborne enemies over their grounded counterparts. There are also special anti-drone tiles which boosts the damage of the unit standing on it against enemy drones. Some Guards can also do this, hitting airborne enemies with their Sword Beams or equivalent, most prominently SilverAsh, a highly-popular 6-star unit.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Unlike other gacha games, Arknights treat duplicates differently, in that you keep every operator you've recruited without an Arbitrary Headcount Limit, therefore eliminating the need to discard unused ones or buy extra storage space in the cash shop; extras are turned into Tokens, which can be spent to improve a given operator's potentials. If said potentials are maxed out, those tokens can be turned into certificates instead, which can be spent in the shop to buy valuable materials or even other rare operators. Actually accruing enough yellow certificates, or "Distinctions" as the game calls them, to exchange for 5- or 6-star operators can be a tall order, though, considering their rarity and the sheer amount needed.
      • A 5-star operator costs 45 Distinctions to purchase, while a 6-star requires a staggering 180. Given that excess 4-star tokens convert to 1 Distinction each, that means you'd need to get a dupe 180 times if you're looking to buy that shiny 6-star from the shop. 5- or 6-star duplicates offer much more Distinctions a pop, but if you've managed to get that many of them in the first place then there's something wrong with either the game or you.
    • Indeed, for that matter there are no inventory limits, period; the Depot stores as many kinds and as many individual materials as you feel the need to stockpile, with no need to spend premium currency to upgrade storage capacity. This is a marked difference from most Chinese hero-collector-style titles in particular (even Arknight's publishing stablemate Azur Lane) as inventory restriction is a standard method of monetizing or forcing consumption of "free" currency. It makes, needless to say, for a significantly more pleasant experience compared to most other titles in AK's field.
    • Skill upgrades are applied to all of an operator's abilities, even retroactively if they gain new ones via promotion. If an operator has a maximum of three skills and the player upgrades the first one to max level, the other two will also be maxed out when they are unlocked. This does not apply to skill mastery training at base, however, which must be done separately.
    • Quitting out of a level effectively refunds 95% of your spent Sanity, 100% if it's the first time you've played that map, which makes retrying much less punishing compared to similar games of this kind. The exceptions are Challenge levels, which only refund half of the entry fee upon quitting, as well as Annihilation maps, in which the Sanity return scales inversely proportional to the amount of enemies killed.
    • Failing to pull a 6-star in Headhunting can be daunting, but failing 50 times in a row will double the pull rate from 2 to 4%. From the 51st failure onwards, the pull rate will increase in increments of 2% each time, up to a max of 100% if you still haven't gotten any after a whopping 98 headhunts. Granted, this still requires you to attempt and fail an utterly absurd amount of times, but at least it does guarantee you'll get one in the end, unlike other gacha games that don't typically have such a "pity" feature. Moreover, this rate-up does not reset when a banner expires, and continues on through to the next banner you roll on; it only resets when you roll a 6-star (though not necessarily the one who is rate-up on the banner you are rolling on). There have been a few banners which track progress separately, however (most infamously the Nian banner for her debut in China, and the Anniversary rate-up which features W).
      • While still on the topic of gacha, Arknights is lenient enough that most rate-up operators are simply reverted to having a default pull rate when their banner has ended, instead of being removed from the headhunting pool entirely like in Fate/Grand Order or other games with similar summoning mechanics. This way, a player will always have the chance to recruit a given 6-star operator regardless of whether they're having a rate-up or not. The sole exceptions to this rule are, once again, Nian and W, who can only be pulled while their respective banners are up.
      • The introduction of Nian brought forth Arknights' first "limited time" banner, in that it features a 6-star operator that can only be pulled from said banner, and will not be available to pull anywhere else. While this fact alone can make any Doctor wince, especially if they are on a tight Originium/Orundum budget, not helped by the fact that "limited time" banners have a "pity" system that is independent from all other standard Headhunting banners, there is a small silver lining. All "limited time" banners now account for 70% of the odds when pulling a 6-star instead of the usual 50% seen in other banners, reducing the chance of an off-banner pull when obtaining a 6-star operator. Downplayed however, since these "limited" operators are always accompanied by another 6-star operator who aren't burdened with the dilemma of being only obtainable in their debut banner and are allowed to reappear in subsequent banners. In other words, pulling them instead of the "limited" operator can possibly screw your chances of obtaining the latter.
      • Following some controversies regarding the limited time that Nian can be pulled, the next "limited time" banner (which features W) introduced a Spark System. For every pull you perform on a "limited time" banner, you will earn one Recruitment Data Contract, and 300 Contracts can be exchanged for a featured 6-star operator. This example is downplayed in that actually acquiring 300 Contracts requires spending the equivalent of 180,000 Orundum on the "limited" banner, which is very unlikely to happen without significant whaling or several months' worth of unspent Orundum. Saving up Contracts for the next "limited time" banner is a no-go, since all Recruitment Data Contracts in your possession will be converted into Recruitment Data Models (which can be used to purchase materials) once the banner ends. Even then, if you end up needing to resort to spending those Contracts in order to acquire the limited rate-up operatornote , then there is something wrong with either the game or you.
      • Every banner will guarantee you at least one 5-star operator within the first 10 rolls, and some of them are very powerful in their own right, so even if you fail to pull a 6-star, you won't be entirely shafted for spending your hard-earned Orundum on the gacha.
      • That said, the Headhunt "pity" system can become a subversion if you end up pulling a 6-star operator that you already have, which resets your pity rate even if that duplicate wasn't a featured one.
    • Unlike most class-based games, Arknights will give you one operator of each type as Starter Mons after you've completed the relevant tutorial missions, and some of them can be pretty damn strong for their rarity, ensuring that even players with the worst gacha luck under the sun have a fighting chance.
    • Even though the Sanity-restoring consumables expire, the main menu displays a timer on the bottom right that refers to the item(s) closest to their expiration date, as a form of a quick notification and to save the players from the hassle of checking every consumable one-by-one.
    • When assigning Operators to the Base, the UI automatically sorts the list so that those with the matching base skills are already in the leftmost side of the screen.
    • Due to its rarity, the Top Operator tag will never be crossed out if it appears and the player sets the recruitment timer to 9 hours. Be warned that recruiting for even 10 minutes less time than that will still have a chance to fail, however. The Senior Operator tag may still drop.
    • If the player has already maxed out every possible operator in their roster, the "feed XP" daily and weekly missions will be completed automatically once they become available.
    • Clues received from friends aren't counted in the cap of the Reception Room.
    • With the introduction of Etched Seals, the game's form of achievements, players who've had no luck with getting Indra and Vulcan before can earn and exchange Seals by undergoing recruitment a given number of times, the game essentially throwing them a massive bone for failing to pull these rare 5-stars so many times. Keep in mind, however, the stat tracker isn't retroactive, so recruitment tickets spent before Seals are introduced will not be counted.
    • The ballistae present in Annihilation 3 and in chapter 5 are not capable of a Herd-Hitting Attack, and only hit the first operator they 'meet', which means one can put operators who can tank that damage (i.e Saria, Cuora) or Medics in front of places they know the ballistae will spawn.
  • Anti-Grinding: There's a "fatigue" mechanic in the RIIC Base. Operators have Morale meters that determine if their Base Skills are active. While operators can still work even if their Morale drops to 0, there's still a need to check the base once in a while and swap out fatigued/distressed operators if players want to maximize their passive benefits. A Daily Mission even encourages players to do this regularly by having at least 3 operators rest in the Dorms.
  • Anti-Hoarding:
    • Sanity potions have an expiration date, so even if players try to stockpile them, these will eventually disappear.
    • The Annihilation maps are quick and decent sources for farming Orundum, but players can only earn a limited amount per week using this method (the initial cap is 1200, but can be increased through milestone rewards past Annihilation 1), with the counter resetting on Mondays.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: The game runs on a stamina system (called Sanity here) which regenerates at 1 Sanity per 6 minutes. Considering that daily grinding stages use up to 36 Sanity per run, expect a lot of waiting if you don't use Originite Prime or Sanity-restoring items. Initially there was a 10-recharge Cap per day, meaning however many Originite Prime you have, you can only use them to restore Sanity 10 times in a single day. The only other options are to somehow gain a new level (which instantly grants Sanity equal to your new cap, until the current level cap of 120) or consume the ever-so-rare Emergency Sanity potions which give you either 60 or 100 points each, so one has to hit a deadstop eventually.
    • The CN version eventually removed the cap on Sanity restoration months after release, therefore averting this trope. The Global version followed suit after the release of the Code of Brawl event.
  • Apocalypse How: Recurring Class 0: Regional Scale. The Catastrophes that plague the world of Terra are often large enough to devastate entire cities (as seen with Chernobog at the end of Chapter 1), but they are predictable to some degree, making it possible to evade imminent Catastrophes via Nomadic Cities or simply building population centers in areas with low risk of them occurring.
  • Apparently Human Merfolk: Unlike most Ancient races, races with aquatic Animal Motifs lack obvious physical features and appear almost entirely human. It raises the question of how they can breathe in their natural environment with such a biology, or their capacity for locomotion, since the human body plan wasn't meant for underwater life.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • You can only have twelve members on a team, plus one from either your Friend List or a random stranger. Of that, most of the time only eight are allowed to be deployed at the same time in the field; Lancet-2, Castle-3, and THRM-EX are the exceptions to this rule because their innate Traits allow them to bypass the deployment limit.
    • In addition, there are certain challenges in Contingency Contract and event missions that impose an even tighter limit on the team be restricting the number of Operators (usually six at minimum) you can bring to a map.
    • Maps set in Great Lungmen provide a variant of this. While you can typically bring a standard-sized team into such maps, your initial deployment cap will be reduced, until you can activate special Command Terminals around the playing field, which will increase this limit to allow you to place down more operators. If a Command Terminal is destroyed, which it very likely will be, given the special targeting priorities of certain enemies on those maps, then you will take one strike to your total Defense seals, and its deployment slot will be permanently denied. Special challenge or CC versions of these maps may reduce or remove these Command Terminals altogether, thus restricting you to a small deployment limit while also allowing enemies more points of egress to access your base.
    • Summoner-type Operators are unique in that they technically count as multiple Operators as one and their summons count for deployment limit but not team limit. The game explicitly allows for this loophole as it's balanced around the fact that summons are limited and their corresponding Operator usually must be retreated in order for their stock to refresh.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: A recurring theme in the game, as it's indicated that the nobility of several countries in Terra are willing to screw over both Infected and non-Infected alike in their political games or simply because they see the lower classes as theirs to play with and dispose of as they see fit.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Arts Damage ignores the DEF of the target (instead mitigated by their RES). Handy for dealing with enemy Defenders, extremely annoying when enemy Casters arrive on the scene. A few Operators have skills that ignore both DEF and RES.
  • Arrange Mode:
    • This game specifically calls it "Challenge Mode". These challenges are much more difficult versions of the maps that increase enemy stats by roughly 10% and add gimmicks that either handicap some of the player's mechanics, ban a certain Operator Class, or buff certain stats of the enemies even further. Completing challenges awards you with additional Originite Primes.
    • The Contingency Contract event can be shortly described as "create your own Arrange Mode". The event has a pool of maps and modifiers that can be freely mix-and-matched to adjust the difficulty to your squad, and rewards players for clearing stages after making them as hard as (viably) possible.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The Auto mode AI (recognized in a game tutorial as PRTS, funnily enough).
    • It typically handles automatic runs very well, and is capable of memorizing which skills you've used and at what points. But, should you promote any of the units in a given lineup to Elite 1, without also upgrading their potentials to refund the added DP cost, the AI will become confused as it tries to slot those same operators onto the map, but fails due to them costing way more than they used to. It's incredibly rigid, and should the DP disparity becomes too great, it will give up entirely, thus abandoning your lineup to their fate unless you assume manual command. This is especially problematic in Annihilation mode and any other challenge nodes that prevent DP from naturally regenerating. Previous, easier stages can become impossible to win on Auto if this is the case. Thus, it's now a common practice to renew your runs on a previously-cleared stage every once in a while, especially after you've promoted somebody.
    • While on that note, it is simply incapable of accounting for stat changes in your units, especially if you've been busy enhancing their stats via either XP feeding or Trust building. In a rare instance of too much of a good thing becoming bad, if your operators are way more powerful than the Auto mode AI "remembers", they will begin killing off mooks much more quickly, which triggers the next waves to come earlier than they used to, while your deployment order remains the same, which can actually mess with your chance of getting a perfect score when crucial units you wanted deployed at the right time to block enemy waves, aren't.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Some of the Operators eat certain food that are supposed to be lethal or poisonous to the real-life animal counterparts that they represent. This trope just brings in the questions of how exactly Operators' bodies reflect their human or animal traits, or how much their animalistic traits affect their diet:
    • Texas, who's a Lupo/wolf, likes to eat chocolate Pocky. Chocolate is supposed to be poisonous to dogs, and consuming enough will kill them. As a subversion, Dobermann, who is also based on a canine, wants chocolate banned specifically because it's incompatible with her biology. This may hint that this biology differs from operator to operator, and one other important detail to note is that Dobermann is an Infected while Texas is not.
      • It's worth noting that originally Texas DID smoke cigarettes, but the developers decided to change it to eating pocky for several possible reasons (one would be a general desire and pressure to not be a "bad influence"; another, as the game went international, was that the game's rating in some regions could've been negatively affected by Texas openly consuming tobacco products). Fan artists (and her original artist in non-official work) still portray her smoking from time to time.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Ansel states that the Cautus race (the rabbit people) have hormones that allow them to work at night better than the other races. In real life and contrary to popular belief, rabbits aren't actually nocturnal but are crepuscular, or active during twilight.
    • Jessica is fond of candy and other sweet treats. Real cats are practically unable to taste sweetness, or rather their tongues are so unresponsive to sweetness that it might as well be tasteless to them, although we do not know what exactly goes into Terran candy. Subverted in the case of Siege, whose lollipops are actually sour.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The concept of Mobile Cities is not a new thing and admittedly it does sound really cool. However, it also flies in the face of the Square-Cube Law, where having an entire city running on wheels all over the place somehow isn't affected by gravity or the density of the soil underneath it, without even mentioning the absurd lift and suspensions needed to even keep it above-ground to begin with.
    • Real-life cities are often built upon bedrock or solid ground to avoid sinking into the dirt from the weight of the buildings and their inhabitants, and they also don't move, which helps with their stability. Yet, absolutely massive establishments like Great Lungmen can freely roam the planet with several trillion tons of structures and people on them in the least, and somehow haven't buried themselves into the soil yet.
    • Not even mentioned is the total absence of inertia of any kind felt in Great Lungmen from the movement of the city, implying that Mobile Cities probably have some kind of artificial gravity, or the writers just goofed up on this.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: The disorder Nightmare is suffering from is addressed as 'Multiple Personality Disorder' in the game files, while nowadays, it's called 'Dissociative Identity Disorder' (and this is also the name real people who do have this disorder prefer, as it is more descriptive of what it is). One would expect such an advanced medical entity such as Rhodes Island to get the name right.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Reunion forces have no concept of retreat. They will steadfastly charge into your defense lines and fight to the death, regardless of their remaining health or the power disparity between your operators and their own forces.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • 6-star operators are typically extremely powerful, due to their bevy of diverse skills and two Talents. They also cost huge amounts of resources and LMD to raise and promote, which you have to do, as they will only reach full potential at Elite 2. Grinding for a single Elite 2 promotion can take up to a week with the Anti Poop-Socking measure in place, depending on your luck with random material drops. If you enjoy constantly dipping your economy back into the red with the press of a button, then these guys are definitely for you.
    • Orundum trade orders. While free Orundum is a great thing, it's generally an inefficient use of the time and Sanity spent grinding for the LMD and materials required to perform those trades in the first place.
  • Battle Aura: When an Operator has activated an in-game skill, they would usually be emitting a color-coded aura.
  • Battle Butler: The butler for Bison and Eurill Pides initially doesn't seem like much at the start of Code of Brawl, but it's revealed at the end that he's been trailing Bison as a far-range sniper to provide support or trouble for Bison, depending on Eurill's orders.
  • Beach Episode: The entire Obsidian Festival event is one.
  • Beast Man: Operators of various races, if they are not explicitly humanoid like the Sankta, run the gamut between Little Bit Beastly (such as the Feline and Vulpo) and full-on bipedal animal people (such as the lizard-like Savra).
  • Beef Gate: The game very quickly introduces intentional artificial difficulty to entice players into grinding Supply missions and level their operators.
    • Starting from about the final third of Chapter 2, enemy difficulty will be around Elite 1 level-wise, with increments of 10 levels per two or three nodes. Unless you're particularly diligent about keeping your teams up to date, you won't get far, and to put an even bigger crimp on your operator progress, the Supply nodes are also level-gated very early on, forcing you to stomp around the first two to three levels for some time.
    • The entire point behind Contingency Contract is to provide a gigantic Beef Gate that will make even the most well-prepared Doctors wince. Due to the enemy buffs put in place by the Contingency risks, players attempting a high-risk run will suddenly find themselves fighting enemies several dozen levels above their lineup strength-wise. Enemies that were once pushovers suddenly gain double health and massively ramped-up ATK and DEF, allowing them to steamroll even Elite 2 operators with ease. Unless your operators are significantly over-leveled, don't expect them to last very long. To make matters worse, the high-risk class restrictions pretty much require you to use gimmick operators that you normally wouldn't, putting even more pressure on players who came unprepared since they will now have to spend even more resources leveling them up.
  • Beehive Barrier: Operators with the "DEF Up" skill can deploy a personal shield with blue hexagonal patterns all around.
  • Big Storm Episode: The latter half of Chapter 1, specifically from Operation 1-7 onwards has a tornado brewing up in the clouds, with lightning strikes all around its epicenter. It soon demonstrates its devastation with debris flying everywhere as the Rhodes Island rescue team tries to take cover for the meantime.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There's quite a bit of Russian littered throughout the game from Operators' callsigns to text on Kal'tsit's armband to vocal music from chapter 7, which makes sense given how Ursus is meant as an analogue to Russia and serves as a key nation to current events in Terra.
  • Bizarre Human Biology:
    • Operators, if they're not full-blown Lizard Folk (i.e. the Savra), do sometimes have human ears in addition to their animal ones, if they have any, according to Word of God. They can apparently hear from both pairs just fine, which is why many operators appear to wear headsets or headphones where ears are located on a human instead of their own, visible ones.
    • The Sankta is said to gain their halo when they say their first word and gain their wings after they have their 'guardian gun' and develop their Arts with it. Otherwise, a newborn Sankta looks like a normal human baby.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Due to the sheer amount of artists Hypergryph hired on board to design characters, each with their own Creator Thumbprints, operators from the same species and even gender can look vastly different from one another. There have been zero explanations so far on how and why such drastic contrasts exist within the game world.
    • The most prominent example is likely KuroBlood, who's responsible for illustrating Waai Fu, Aak, and Hung, respectively, who look more in line with the furry community and nothing like their fellow Felines or Perros. Compare Waai Fu and Swire, who are both female Felines based on tigers, the difference is night and day. It is possible that these characters are members of subspecies of these races, similar to the four Savra operators presently in the game (Asbestos, Ethan, Rangers, and 12F), whom you likely wouldn't know are of the same species at first glance.
      • Speaking of KuroBlood, the easiest and most egregious example to spot by far would be Wei Yenwu and his niece, Ch'en. Despite being related by blood and are of the same species (Lung), Wei looks like a bipedal Chinese dragon in a robe, while Ch'en looks like, well, Ch'en. It's been speculated that female Lung, or their female offsprings, naturally have a distinctly-human appearance with horns and a tail, since Ch'en's half-sister, Talulah, also shares that description.
    • On one hand, we have Magallan, who's an anthropomorphic penguin; on the other, there's the Emperor, who's literally just an emperor penguin in human clothing.
    • The Rat King and Lin Yühsia are father and daughter, yet the former is entirely rat-like in appearance with a rodent snout and legs, while the latter appears just human with rat ears and a tail. Clearly Yühsia got her looks mostly from her mother's side.
    • The Archosauria as a whole has this going on, as demonstrated during "Gavial: The Great Chief Returns". Male Archosauria look like anthropomorphic crocodiles, while their female counterparts appear however Gavial does.
  • Black Market: These exist in Terra. As explained by Nearl in the "Knights' Treasure" event, the eponymous treasures also contain weapons or equipment that are sold to black markets at high prices.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Raythean is an obvious riff on the real-life defense contractor Raytheon. They manufacture combat equipment, such as Savage's hammer and Vulcan's shield, as well as drones of various types, including the models that Closure kitbashed into Lancet-2 and Castle-3.
    • In the "Obsidian Festival" event, there is an in-universe version of Instagram called "Obsgram".
  • Bleached Underpants: Quite a few of the contracted illustrators are also known to draw hentai, such as Liduke, who's responsible for the artwork of several high-profile characters like Hellagur, W, and Schwarz, to name a few.
  • Blinded by the Light: When W gets herself surrounded by Rhodes Island and the L.G.D. in Operation 3-5, she still makes a quick escape by tossing a flashbang to distract and stun everyone.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • Downplayed. While the localization team has done a commendable job of translating the game's content to other languages, especially English, there still exists a couple of mistakes that leave something to be desired. The most glaring example is the "Illustrator" section for each character, which they rendered as "Painter" instead, which is... less than strictly accurate.
    • The most consistent mistake that the English translator makes is the codenames. This is likely because of how the character names, when rendered in kanji/hanzi, can be read in many diferent ways despite still sharing the same general meaning, and the translators just took the closest literal meaning of the words and ran with it. Sometimes, the mistranslation happens in the same paragraph.
      TW-EX-8's map description before an update: Mudstone (sic) got lost the first time setting foot in Wolumonde. But by the end of the day, Mudrock had taken an extra lap around the town.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Nobody bleeds in this game, regardless of whether they're being slashed by a BFS, shot at by a gun with More Dakka, blown up with explosives, or smashed with hammers the size of household refrigerators.
  • Book-Ends: "Darknights' Memoir" starts and ends with the death of a Sarkaz mercernary and someone else taking up their weapon in their place. W picks up the old W's gear at the start, showing her origins and assuming the role the previous W filled. At the end, W encounters two Ursus children in Chernobog who have picked up a Sarkaz sword with W deciding to tell them about the Sarkaz tradition the boy has unwittingly been initiated into.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The uber-common 3-star and starter 2-star operatives have nothing fancy about them, and in the case of the former can only be promoted up to Elite 1, but they make up for these shortcomings by being incredibly cheap and easy to raise. Provided they are fed well, these low-cost operatives can handily clear high difficulty Supply skirmishes, or hold their own in Annihilation with relative ease, despite their decided lack of flair or even proper skills as in the case of 2-stars. That being said, they certainly are not viable during harder challenges, or maps that require a minimum baseline level far above their cap, although there are a few 3-stars who are capable of punching above their weight to a surprising degree.
    • Lancet-2 and Castle-3 are the only 1-star units in the game. They have very low stats, very low level cap, very long redeployment time, and can't be promoted. But they do have unique talents that may save your operators in a pinch, very cheap to deploy, and that they both ignore the Arbitrary Headcount Limit. Lancet-2 heals everyone for up to 500 HP when she's deployed and Castle-3 buff everyone's attack and defense for up to 20 seconds.
    • Roadblocks. While their utility is to simply block off pathways in exchange for some deployment costs, they are useful in forcing the enemies to change direction. Deploying roadblocks near enemies will also make them turn around from the dead end, leaving them vulnerable for a longer time against your ranged operators (as opposed to deploying roadblocks when the enemies are still far).
  • Bottomless Pit: Present on certain maps. Any enemy unit that is pushed/pulled into one is instantly killed, making certain Specialists extremely effective on these maps.
  • Bowdlerise: At the beginning of "Necessary Solutions", Ch'en and Swire argue at each other when Swire criticizes Ch'en for not doing her job when the L.G.D. headquarters are being occupied by Reunion, which Ch'en rebukes as per her aloof and dismissive nature. In the Chinese and Japanese versions of the game, the argument involves both of them saying certain "exotic" words, hence the aforementioned Cluster Bleep-Bomb or censorship using the phrase "*龙门粗口*".
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Somewhat downplayed.
    • Originite Prime is mostly used to convert into Orundum, which feeds the headhunting gacha, which has a conversion rate so terriblenote  you'd need to purchase a lot of them just to do a 10x pull. Other than that, their use is limited to restore Sanity, which used to be limited to 10 times until the Code of Brawl event update removes the limit.
    • There are some starter packs that you can shell out real money for, in exchange for sizable amounts of resources, but they can only be purchased once, and the stuff they give you will vanish very quickly. Not to mention that the given resources can mostly be easily farmed for normally anyway. They don't give you any of the fancy materials that you'd actually need down the line.
    • There are the Monthly Headhunting packs that offer huge caches of Originite Prime and two 10x headhunting attempts...
    • And lastly the Monthly Card which can be bought with real money for a daily supply of Orundums and Sanity Packs within a month.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The "Extreme Mode" stages that begin in Chapter 5, denoted by the "H" in front of their name (eg. H5-4). These maps feature incredibly tough enemies configured in even tougher formations, and may even bring back a stronger version of the chapter boss for you to fight. Beating them awards you with an extra Originite Prime each.
  • Bullet Time: The gameplay is slowed down for a while whenever you tap on your Operators to view their stats or skills whenever you're in a mission.
  • But Thou Must!: Regardless of what dialogue tree option you choose, they don't have any direct effects on the overall story, nor the succeeding gameplay segments.
     C-D 
  • Cap: So many.
    • The initial player level cap during the initial releases of the game for both CN and Global servers is 100. The level cap for the CN server was raised to 120 in an update alongside the addition of Episode 6; the Global servers would later follow suit coinciding with the release of the Code of Brawl event on May 27, 2020.
    • The maximum character level is tied to the operator's rarity. One and two-star operators have the lowest level cap of 30, while six-stars have one so high due to promotions that it qualifies as an Absurdly High Level Cap.
    • Your Sanity count is limited by your level, and will only regenerate up to this limit by itself without the use of potions or Originite Prime. Gaining new levels will steadily increase this cap by 1 point each. Though, as you reach the higher levels, these cap increases will become more spread-out, resulting in only one or two point differences every ten levels or so. It currently caps out at 130 Sanity, which is unlikely to change unless the maximum player level cap is increased beyond 100.
    • As an Anti Poop-Socking measure, you could only spend Originite Prime to restore Sanity ten times per day, before the release of Code of Brawl removed that cap. Any more than that would require either Sanity potions, or gaining a new level. Unless you were playing the CN build in which case there never was any cap.
    • As an Anti-Hoarding measure, you can only farm a limited amount of Originium per week in the Annihilation maps. The cap starts off at 1200 Originium, but this can be increased further by completing certain Annihilation quests.
    • When in battle, your Deployment Points cap at 99 in most cases. The only exceptions are Annihilation maps, which is increased up to 999 to compensate for the lack of naturally regenerating SP.
      • An operator's DP cost cannot exceed 99, regardless of level modifiers. This is most easily seen when fielding AoE Casters in maps that triple their original cost. Do keep in mind that 99DP translates into a full meter that has reached its own respective cap.
    • The maximum number of Drones in the RIIC base are capped depending on how many rooms have been cleaned, up to a hard cap of 200.
    • When initially built, dorms are limited to 1000 maximum comfort, which increases by increments of 1000 every time they are upgraded, up to a hard cap of 5000.
    • The Reception Room's Clue limit of 10 only counts clues discovered by the player.
    • In the newly-introduced Integrated Strategies mode, operators will be gated by promotion levels when freshly recruited. When first obtained, an operator will be locked to their maximum level, stats, and skills at Elite 1 until you can get a duplicate, which bumps them up to Elite 2. The operators specific to this mode will always be at max level when recruited, though they will still be gated like the other normal ones you can get.
  • Cast From Hit Points: Many operators have skills that enforce this, by bestowing greatly enhanced damage output in exchange for shaving off a huge chunk of their HP, either immediately or gradually. Some Specialists and Medics like Aak or Warfarin also have skills that cast from other operators' hit points as well. These skills are generally considered to be Difficult, but Awesome, as reckless usage can and will kill your operators very easily, and doubly so since the HP loss from different skills stack.
  • Cast Herd: The Operators get sorted into these depending on who they used to work for before coming to Rhodes Island (or are still a part of, in some cases). The Penguin Logistics crew tend to interact with one another and have a linked plot thread, for example, as do the Rhine Lab characters, or the Kjerag characters (centered around SilverAsh and his Karlan Company), or the Lungmen characters, et cetera. The game's relationship web encyclopedia even sorts the characters visually into their respective herds!
  • Cat Girl: The appropriately-named Feline race are cat people, and they also have the typical cat ears on top of their heads.
  • Character Select Forcing:
    • Operators get 50% increased Trust gain in limited-time story events that feature them, such as Grani and Skadi in "Grani and the Knights' Treasure".
    • Some Challenges disallow you from deploying Operators of a given class. In this case, the game gives you a fair warning on the operators that won't be usable in your current squad. You can still bring the banned operators, but you cannot deploy them at all for that map, making them Locked Out of the Fight. Sometimes, this is downplayed in other challenges when you can still bring and deploy operators of that class, but their deployment costs are multiplied.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: The Obsidian Festival is set in the volcano island Siesta. By the time Rhodes Island arrives there, and during a musical concert even, it's already about to erupt.
  • Child Soldiers: Some operators are rather young. The Ursus Students in particular are Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Episode 2 ends with Misha's L.G.D. rescue team getting ambushed by W, leaving Ch'en surprised at the turn of events from the communication radios, with the cutscene itself ending just before Ch'en could guess who the attack was.
    • Episode 4 also ends with one. Rhodes Island managed to hold off the Yeti Squadron and rescue the recon teams sent in the investigated city. But as soon as Meteorite contacted Ch'en, the latter reports that while she's safe for the time being, Reunion took over an important facility of Lungmen and is starting to make their move towards the slums and the outer parts of the city.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The background color of an operator's skills determines its type (i.e. Red for offensive, Yellow for defensive, Blue for healing, Green for obtaining deployment points), in most casesnote .
    • Some room types in the RIIC base are color-coded (i.e. Green for Power Plants, Blue for Trading Posts, Yellow for Factories).
    • The grids of Medics are colored blue in contrast to the orange grids of the other operator classes. Grids for determining the range of an operator's skills are colored red.
    • Additional deployment and skill points can be acquired in the middle of an operation, thanks to some operators' skills and talents. To avoid confusion, these are accompanied with a color-coded text - Orange text for bonus deployment points, and blue text for bonus skill points.
    • Before an enemy wave spawns, a colored line will appear to indicate their route to the blue base, with a red line for ground-based units and a yellow one for aerial units.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers:
    • Relating to operator rarity:
      • Apart from the number of stars, an operator's rarity can also be determined by a color in the bottom part of their squad portrait. Starting from 1-star to 6-star, the colors are white, green, blue, grey, yellow, and orange.
      • When recruiting operators, the color of the glow inside the bag indicates the rarity of the operator you're about to get: white for 1 to 3 stars, blue for 4-star, a subtle gold for 5-star, and bright golden flames with a rainbow glint for 6-star.
      • During gameplay, an operator's portrait in the deployment inventory at the bottom of the screen will have a colored line below their portrait denoting their rarity: a white line for 6-stars and a yellow line for 5-stars; operators of 4-star rarity or lower lack any colored lines below their portrait.
    • Materials have color-coded borders based on their rarity or tier, ranging from white, green, blue, pink, to yellow.
    • In ascending order, Battle Records are colored green, blue, yellow to golden.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • The majority of the Vouivre race are noted to be this. Despite their dragon motifs, according to Liskarm's bio, most Vouivre aren't actually very physically strong or well-versed in Arts, thus instilling a disposition for guns among their operators. That is not to say there aren't melee or Arts users among them, however.
    • In Chapter 3, Skullshatterer hatches a plan to instantly destabilize Rhodes Island's forces by distracting them long enough to lay a trap for the Doctor and kill them with a landmine. Not only does the assassination fail, the attempt on the Doctor's life leads to Amiya turning her powers on Skullshatterer, wounding him badly enough for some quick last words before he succumbs to his injuries.
  • Com Mons: Weirdly enough, the 3-star operatives are this. Unless one is purposefully scouting for 2-stars, all gacha banners and high-level Recruitment are incredibly likely to result in these operatives, due to their broad pull criteria (1 and 2-star units require certain uncommon tags to show up at all, and those are very liable to be crossed out). They typically show up in such regularity that one is more likely to max out their potentials before getting an actual rare character.
  • Complexity Addiction:
    • The enemy AI seems to be rather fond of this at times. On certain maps, most notably CE-5 and 5-3, many enemy units will spawn standing within spitting distance of the player's blue base(s) that they could just waltz into and ruin your day instantly. Instead, these units will often be programmed to take surprisingly complex routes all over the place just so you can have enough time to plop down a reasonable resistance to thwart their whole plan. It's justified in the sense that these specific enemy units will almost always be very strong, therefore having them move around a lot serves to give you enough time to try to take them down, plus having them just simply walk into your base from where they spawned will just be cheap and annoying. Though, it raises the question of why they were standing in those spots to begin with.
    • In some maps with multiple blue bases and allow the manipulation of enemy routes via roadblocks, it is possible to see enemy waves walk right through a blue base instead of, you know, entering that specific base to ruin your run. This is due to the fact that certain wave spawns are designated to target a specific blue base. Have a look.
  • Continuing is Painful: Typically averted when a mission fails, since you'll be refunded basically 99% of its sanity cost, allowing you to simply retry until you win. Played completely straight with challenge maps, however, which only give you back half of their cost, and you will feel it should you fail more than once in a row. Made worse by the fact that the usual "mercy" mode for first-time failures don't apply to Challenge maps, meaning you will still only be refunded half of the entry cost regardless of whether it's your first or tenth attempt.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In Operation 5-2, Ch'en recalls that she, Hoshiguma and their L.G.D. squad got separated from Amiya and Rhodes Island when they were investigating the deserted sub-city. It's a reference to what happened in Chapter 4. Rhodes Island and the L.G.D. were indeed sent together in the city's entrance, but only R.I. was able to make it through the city center and fought FrostNova there.
    • Also near the finale of Chapter 5, Ch'en remembers Faust as the Reunion member who got arrested and interrogated by the L.G.D. on Chapter 3, with his trademark crossbow being her indicator.
  • Costume Evolution: A good number of operators change into modified outfits after being promoted to Elite 2. A few examples are the Rhine Lab trio consisting of Saria, Ifrit and Silence: Ifrit's black ore lesions disappear, and the upper part of her sleeves are connected like a shawl; Silence's green tints change to red such as the inside of her garment and the light of her drone, and Saria dons a completely different coat.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The latter parts of Obsidian Festival has the player literally fighting inside a volcanic cavern, complete with lava flows and the occasional eruption from magma geysers. Nobody suffers from any lasting health effects from staying there, especially those who use fire-based attacks that should have burned up all of the oxygen, if there are still any.
  • Crapsack World: The world of Arknights is plagued by great Catastrophes— manifesting in forms such as storms, earthquakes, and falling meteorites — forcing civilizations to adopt a nomadic lifestyle with the help of mobile cities. The mineral left behind in the site of these Catastrophes, Originium, is valued as a wonder material that can be used in all sorts of applications, but are also able to fuse with living flesh when handled incorrectly, leading to the emergence of the Infected.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Regardless of their remaining health, an operator or enemy's sprite will remain unchanged, until their HP bar empties out, at which point they will keel over and fade away.
  • Critical Hit: Some operators have talents that let them dish out a substantially more powerful hit than normal every once in a while. These special hits have red numerical damage indicators showing above the target.
  • Crossover: Arknights has collaborated with the following companies and product brands so far:
  • Crutch Character:
    • All 3-star operators have comparatively superior stats compared to those of higher rarities at around the same level range, to give the player a leg up during the earlier stretches of the game, but will gradually fall behind as harder content are released and their low stat caps make them increasingly less viable.
    • The Vanguard class as a whole are crutches, typically deployed at the start of battle to make use of their DP-generation skills. They can block and kill a few Goombas at the start, but once the tougher ones start appearing, they won't be able to tank them, let alone stop them.
    • With few exception in form of certain Vanguard units like Bagpipe or unusually durable Vanguard like Siege, although typically you'll switch to more durable and/or heavy hitting unit later on anyway.
  • Cryptic Conversation: A mysterious voice speaks in the prologue cutscene moments before the Doctor regains consciousness.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Getting infected with oripathy may awaken a person's hidden magical talent, or in some cases even enhance it. It still won't save them from slow, agonizing death without proper treatment, and even with treatment, oripathy symptoms and side effects can end up as various flavors of nigh-debilitating (Eyjafjalla, for example, is only barely not functionally deaf, even with RI-supplied hearing aids).
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The exact same stage may appear in multiple missions. The story chapters justify this in a way where a mission is a direct continuation of the previous one (you're just defending against a new batch of opponents), so it would make sense why stages get reused here.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: A lot of operators are significantly more powerful during plot events than they are during gameplay, sometimes boasting feats way outside of their paygrade compared to when actually deployed by the player.
    • For example, Skadi, a Duelist Guard that does poorly against multiple opponents, regularly goes toe-to-toe with many Reunion soldiers during Grani's event without breaking a sweat.
    • Another example is Hoshiguma during a point in Chapter 5, where she single-handedly defeats entire Caster-backed Reunion squads on her own, despite her class being innately vulnerable to magic damage.
    • In general, Amiya is the queen of this trope so far as Arknights goes. Her magic is regularly capable of defensive feats she never seems to trot out in actual battles, including using dark matter to contain Talulah's flames, described as capable of vaporizing materials to the point that no ash remains. Then again, Talulah never wanders into a battle, waves her hand, and wipes out Rhodes Island in a single giant poof either.
    • Finally, Blaze along with Ch'en at another point in Chapter 5 manage to make a joke out of two bosses, their subordinates, and snipers, despite being short-ranged Guards, who are vulnerable to long-ranged damage during gameplay. In the very same cutscene, Amiya is also capable of blocking Faust's ultra-powerful crossbow shots with her magic, something only a Defender can really do, and even then not very well.
  • Damage Reduction: Two types. DEF reduces physical damage in a 1:1 ratio (as in 1 DEF = 1 less damage taken), while RES reduces Arts damage based on a percentage (1 RES = 1% Arts damage reduction).
  • Damage Typing: There are two damage types and two paramters that reduce them: Physical damage is reduced by the target's DEF stat, while Arts damage is reduced by the target's RES stat.
  • Dead-Hand Shot: In Chapter 4, several corpses have their hands raised out of the rubble when Mephisto burned the building and its surroundings. Later on, these dead hands became frozen when FrostNova arrived.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion:
    • Most airborne units are machines, so this naturally applies.
    • Also applies for Infused Originium Slugs, except these ones actually damage Operators.
  • Developers' Foresight: Unfortunately for savvy players, some roadblock tactics cannot be abused in this game:
    • You are not allowed to place roadblocks in every single path leading to the objective, otherwise that would be an unfair Instant-Win Condition.
    • Dare to place a roadblock on a tile already occupied by an enemy? Too bad, the enemy will destroy the roadblock in just a few hits, before continuing its previous path.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • All beginners are given a 5-star Starter Mon upon creating their account, and can get a few more from the beginner gacha, which costs way less Orundum to spin and guarantees another 5-star and a 6-star within the first 10 rolls. Both the starter 5-stars and the 6-star you get from the gacha are some of the most powerful out there, and can carry you well into the late game if you build them right.
    • Some lower-rarity operators are easily capable of competing with high-rarity operators. For example:
      • Melantha is an easily recruited 3-star Guard, who can easily be raised to max level and potential, giving her a base ATK of 824 (1236 with Skill active and maxed out), far outclassing any other 3 or 4-star operator in the game.
      • Cuora is also easy to recruit and upgrade to Elite 1, and is often used as the go-to Defender. Her ridiculous base DEF combined with her popular second skill granting even more defense, Block-4, and self-healing. The only drawback is that while her second skill is active she stops attacking. (Her first skill is generally ignored) However, attacking isn't her job to begin with, so it's easy to ignore.
  • Discard and Draw: Arknights provide players with a plethora of operator subclasses, each with their own niches. Within these subclasses, certain operators are designed in a way that each individual operator will excel in some fields that their peers do not, even if said peers are of a higher rarity level (e.g. Shirayuki deals Arts damage with her S2, whereas Meteorite simply deals high physical damage; Gummy's S1 heal has no condition unlike Nearl's and Saria's, etc...). This way, players are given multiple options for many scenarios, and even 4-star operators can outshine their rarer counterparts given the occasion. No such luck exists yet for operators 3-star and lower, however, due to their simpler kit and lack of specialization.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Rhine Lab trio's relationship is very reminiscent of a dysfunctional family; Silence is a Control Freak and neurotic mother, Saria is a well-intentioned but a Secret Keeper of a father, and Ifrit is their child who falls into delinquency.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Some ancient races like the Lung, Dragon, and Vouire are based on dragons or wyverns. People in this race can also have horns. Then there's Estelle, who is actually an Archosaurus (read: a crocodile) but looks vastly more draconic due to Oripathy-induced mutations giving her metal scales and a pair of gigantic horns.
  • Draw Aggro: Most often, enemies would prioritize attacking the recently-deployed operator when it's within their reach, so this trope can also be invoked for the player's advantage. A tutorial even teaches you how to deliberately draw aggro from an injured operator in order to save them.
  • Dual Boss: Faust and Mephisto make up the boss fight of map 5-10. Though, to be fair, it's more of "one-and-a-half-boss and a bunch of Elite Mooks", since Mephisto is a Support Party Member.
  • Dutch Angle: During missions, tapping an Operator to view their stats and skills screen would also tilt the camera's perspective. Even the "Mission Accomplished" message gets slanted when you complete the mission while this is in effect.
     E-G 
  • Early Game Hell: You'll be lacking on some necessary features and base structures early on, which forces you to proceed with the main story if you even want to unlock them. Promoting operators to Elite 2 and obtaining higher skill levels also require rarer materials, which are hard to come by if you haven't completed some farmable nodes yet.
    • Speaking of materials, the initial global build of the game is very much an early-game hell. As of Chapter 4, which is the global version's initial release build content, farming nodes for blue-rarity materials have only really begun to crop up in small amounts, even less for purple-rarity ones, meaning their drop rates are absolutely abysmal. Unless one is really diligent at farming for scraps in order to craft several tiers of materials in a row, expect to grind for days on end without seeing a single drop of what you need, and high-rarity operators demand truckloads of these things to upgrade and promote, so have fun.
  • Easter Egg: The limited 10 Pull ticked for the first anniversary has a piece of Braille hidden to the side. Translating it leads to the message: "It’s fucking limited!!"
  • Easy Level Trick: Specialists (particularly the ones that manipulate enemy positions) can be used to clear certain maps in unintended ways. For example, beating 4-4 with only Shaw on your team.
  • Elite Four: Wei Yenwu, Emperor, the Rat King, and Eurill Pides are the four most powerful individuals within Lungmen due to their positions and authority they hold over their respective groups. They've agreed to a tentative peace with each other, though they sometimes disagree on how exactly to uphold that.
  • Elite Mooks: While each enemy type has its own specific gimmicks, you could encounter even tougher and trickier enemies of each type as you proceed to the harder stages.
  • EMP: Some stages from Chapter 5 onwards feature Jammers, stationary devices emitting electronic waves that slow down airborne drones, disable their special abilities, and prevent them from attacking.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Happens for a short while in Operation 4-8. As Amiya uses her empath powers to enter Jessica's mind, various images and colors quickly flash in the background.
  • Episode 0: The Beginning: The prologue chapter is named "Episode 00: Evil Time Part 1". Within it, the very first cutscene of the game is also labeled "0-0".
  • Expy: Let's see. Marthe is a big-name brand of clothing originating from Kazdel, the Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Germany, is extremely popular in Ursus, and their best-selling products are tracksuits. Sure sounds a lot like Adidas. In fact, even their logo looks disturbingly similar to Adidas' 3-stripes design, only inverted and having the shortest line filed off.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Amiya points out in chapter 7 that it has only been two weeks ago since their mission to rescue the Doctor from Chernobog. During those two weeks, they made an agreement with the LGD, failed to rescue Misha, killed Skullshatter, then confronted and killed Frostnova, broke off the agreement again, and killed Patriot.
  • Fading Away: This is how operators disappear from the field once their HP gets depleted.
  • Fake Longevity: Farming materials to upgrade anything at all takes a lot longer than it needs to, and the Anti Poop-Socking mechanics don't help.
    • While Tier 1 and 2 materials, denoted by their white and green borders, respectively, are easy to farm en masse, Tiers 3 items are on entirely new levels of rarity, which can cost upwards of several hundred Sanity just to get one. Special mentions go to Loxic Kohls, Grindstones, Manganese Ores, RMA70-12s, Incandescent Alloys, and Coagulating Gels, since they cannot be crafted from cheaper materials.
    • Tiers 4 and 5 are a chore to collect, since many of them require huge amounts of the aforementioned T3 materials to craft. While one can occasionally get lucky and receive a T4 item as map drop, this happens rarely enough that crafting the items themselves are often quicker and more Sanity-efficient. T5 materials ramp this Up to Eleven, as they don't drop from anything and require tons of T4 items to craft. And if you're looking to promote a 5 or 6-star operator to Elite 2, you're gonna need a lot of these.
      • The T5 Bipolar Nanoflakes are particularly loathed by the playerbase due to how many strong operators need these, and the sheer amount of rare materials that go into crafting just one copy is just bananas.
    • And to top it all off, LMD is perhaps one of the most annoying resources to grind for (see Adam Smith Hates Your Guts above).
  • Fanservice: It's still there for both male and female operators alike, which is pretty par for the course in an anime-styled gacha game. It is noticeably tamer compared to mainstream gacha hero collectors like Fate/Grand Order or Azur Lane, though. At most, a character may show some bare skin via exposed shoulders or Zettai Ryouiki.
    • The Coral Coast series of operator skins grants "swimsuit" outfits for some female operators, though. Yet even those are fairly tame compared to more popular gacha games.
  • Fantastic Racism: Though the game focuses more on the conflict between oripathy-infected and non-infected people, background materials hint that not all Ancient races get along with each other. For example, Firewatch's profile mentions that Sarkaz are marginalized to a degree, being stereotyped as selfish, cynical, and malicious. One subtype of Sarkaz, Vampires (which includes Warfarin), are further vilified as night-stalking boogeymen. (Granted, Warfarin herself doesn't refute the stereotypes applied to her kin, and her Elite 2 art demonstrates why others might find them intimidating...)
  • Fantasy Gun Control:
    • Averted, though it's handled in a rather odd way. Guns are stated to be an invention from Laterano, where despite their proliferation, are strictly regulated, and firearm ownership requires several permits to be granted for an individual to purchase one. Without said permits, the most they can use are crossbows. As a knock-on effect, firearms are very rare outside of Laterano, and are often acquired illicitly via blackmarket traders for obscene amounts of money.
    • According to provided lore, Terran firearms do not utilize gunpowder as propellant, but each bullet is instead a quasi-miniature Originium charge, making the use of guns a form of Arts control in itself, which not many people are capable of. Several nations have been trying to find a way to work around this, most notably Columbia, as noted in Sesa's bio. The weapons development firm Sesa worked for was apparently on the verge of discovering a method to let even people with mediocre Arts talent to operate firearms, before a freak accident happened that caused the death of his brother, and the halting of the project. His later archives also imply that Sesa himself may have killed his brother to prevent conflicts that may arise from Originium firearms becoming accessible for everyone.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: As written on the shout-out page, a lot of the Plaque furnitures directly reference fairytale literature.
  • Family Theme Naming: Nearl's family members all have the word for 'light' in them. (光)
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic:
    • During operations, you can double the gameplay speed by tapping on a button. There's also an option to have this pre-enabled immediately whenever you start a mission.
    • In the base, you can trade in Drones to speed up the acquisition rate in Factories and Trading Posts.
    • Expedite Plans are used in the Recruitment feature so that you can immediately recruit an operator regardless of the remaining time.
    • Subverted with upgrading an operator's skill mastery in the Training Room, in which you are required to wait until the allotted time (up to a whopping 24 hours for Mastery 3) has expired for an operator's skill to level up, with absolutely no way of speeding up the process except for choosing a trainer with a skill that naturally reduces the time a bit.
  • Fictional Currency: Aside from tokens and shop credits, the main currency used in-setting is the Lungmen Dollar, or LMD for short in the global release. More exotic currency types extend, but are not limited to, Originium and Orundum.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Vanguards, Defenders and Guards are Fighters who take on enemies face-to-face; Casters, Supporters and Medics are Mages who uses spells to attack enemies or support allies; and Snipers and Specialists are Thieves who uses projectile attacks and more underhanded tactics respectively.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The finale of Chapter 3 involves Misha fighting Rhodes Island and the L.G.D. while she's disguised in Skullshatterer's clothes. Amiya is well aware that it's actually her friend Misha in the previously-dead Reunion leader's image. Even Ch'en is hinted to be aware of the two girls' conflict as well, reminding Amiya to remember her enemies now, no matter how hard it takes.
  • Flashback Echo: In the prologue, the Doctor remembers a monochrome flashback scene of Amiya thanking him when she explains in the present time that they've been working together before. It's one of the earliest memories that they recover after waking up with amnesia.
  • Flat Character: The Integrated Strategies-exclusive operators. They got no backstories, no voice actors, their eyes are invisible (thanks to their hair, visors, or helmets), and half of them got no name! And the cherry on top is, most of their designs are derived from generic Rhodes Island NPCs from the plot. That being said, a few of them make an appearance in Episode 8, most notably Pith.
  • Flavor Text:
    • The item description for Tokens also contain quotes from their respective operators.
    • The descriptions for the Battle Reports make it very clear that they're really just video recordings, as one is stated to include an HD remastered version, deleted scenes and in-depth interviews with participants on both sides of the recorded battle.
    • The various purchasable costumes have their own flavor texts that display in place of a given operator's intro lines. Like real-world clothing ads, these typically describe the occasions for which they were designed.
  • Foreboding Fleeing Flock:
    • In a loading screen showing a tornado-like storm Catastrophe, a large flock of birds can be seen in the sky, flying away from the city.
    • In the "Obsidian Festival" event, the Originium Slugs are agigated from the seismic activities near the Siesta Volcano, hinting at its nearby eruption.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Because of "Code of Brawl" story details, a lot of things in the Reunion Arc's conclusion are spoiled by the event. To wit; Talulah's aim to crash Chernobog on Lungmen is thwarted. the Rat King is still in good term with Wei despite Wei's action, because the Rat King's own scheme counteracts it. Ch'en, Swire and Yuhsia's attempt to integrate the slum properly into Lungmen Downtown succeeds.
  • Freemium: Downplayed. The Monthly Card serves as this but it only gives daily supplies of sanity potions and orundums for a month, yet it still gives the paying user a greater edge over purely free-to-play users.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some of the animated promotional videos by Yostar contain short frames that can only be easily observed when played at slower speeds:
    • "Untitled World" - A huge explosion in a city, a field of flowers, a wall marked "Infection", the burning building on Chapter 4, Patriot making an appearance, etc...
    • "Partial Necrosis" - Patriot getting frostbitten from touching FrostNova, Mephisto's flashbacks as a child, a distressed Crownslayer, Kal'tsit summoning Mon3tr, etc...
  • Friendly Fireproof: Considering the mix between melee and ranged operatives in any given stage, it's probably a good thing that none of their offensive powers can harm each other. Amusing sights of this can include, but are not limited to, melee operatives being showered by Firewatch's Tactical Transceiver artillery strikes, doused in Ifrit's fire blasts, or just being pounded on over and over again by friendly AoE skills. Given the need to funnel enemies into chokepoints some times and Arknights being a Tower Defense game, it's practically necessary that you hit the tiles where your melee operators are stationed. Unfortunately, enemies are also subject to this, which is especially evident Infused Originium Slugs.
    • Subverted, however, with Specialist operator Aak. While his normal attacks play this trope straight, his second and third skills have him outright shoot his teammates to grant both of them powerful buffs.
  • Functional Magic: The Arts functions as the magic analogue in this game. The most common are the Originium Arts, which use Originium, but there are still the more ancient forms such as that by utilized by Pramanix. At first, the Arts were only practiced by a few, but advancements in Originium technology allows otherwise untalented people to use it.
  • Funny Animals: Although they're outnumbered by Little Bit Beastly Ancients, they do exist, if operators like Waai Fu or Spot are any indication. That being said, there have been no in-lore justification for this thus far, and those specific operators appear as they are was seemingly done for no other reason than to satisfy the Creator Thumbprint of their illustrator, KuroBlood.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: It is revealed that the imminent eruption of the previously semi-inactive Siesta Volcano is caused by obsidian overmining; the obsidian is the local Originium Slugs' food and the overmining makes the slugs burrow deeper into the volcano to search for more sustenance. Not only the slugs mutate to adapt with their new molten habitat, making them more dangerous than ordinary slugs, their burrows open up new volcano pipes inside the obsidian mine that disturb the magma chamber. This causes some musing from the Doctor that Oripathy was also man-made, which is supported by Eyjafjalla's thesis that Originium itself is the Catastrophe upon the world.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Newly-introduced operators typically play significant roles in their associated content updates. In practice, unless you've managed to get lucky with the gacha and recruited them, you won't actually be able to deploy them in missions, despite the fact that they're literally right next to you plot-wise. Blaze, Hellagur, Mostima, Schwarz, Skadi, and W are especially egregious cases of this, since they all get A Day in the Limelight via their respective content updates.
    • The Doctor is absent for the majority of Episode 5's story in Lungmen (from 5-1 to 5-9) and the entirety of certain side-story events such as Grani and the Knights' Treasure and Code of Brawl, yet the in-game missions and post-victory dialogue from the Operators act as if the Doctor is the one directing the fights there.
    • Generally, it's understood that new operators are "hired" onboard after they've made their debut. However, there are specific cases that are just baffling, such as Elysium, or frankly any of the 3-stars, who by their own admission are already part of Rhodes Island to begin with (and in Elysium's case, he is of the same level of seniority as Dobermann, since they joined at around the same time). Really, this is usually very egregious when it comes to the launch operators who are affiliated with Rhodes Island, who can be seen wearing their uniforms as they introduce themselves to you, so it really begs the question of why you're having to shell out money and precious resources hiring the employees you already have.
      • In fact, the entire Recruitment and Headhunting system seems to be a gameplay-only element, since it would make no sense at all to keep hiring the same people over and over again through the gacha, and it's never explained why those who are ostensibly always part of Rhodes Island such as Rosmontis (or Babel in W's case) can simply not be recruitable at all outside of a very specific two-week duration. At least in Nian's specific case, her limited availability can be handwaved as her Walking the Earth and only coming back to Rhodes Island once a year (even if she will not leave if you've actually recruited her), but for W and Rosmontis, there's no such excuse.
      • On that note, potential tokens are also not very well explained, since these are usually personal effects or keepsakes of specific operators that they should be giving to you (e.g. Silence's feathers), so it wouldn't be very logical if you can somehow obtain a truckload of them to give back to them as gifts. And even disregarding the implausibility of that, a given operator's stat growth and DP decrease when they go up potential levels are also never explained.
    • Like other gacha games of its kind, Arknights acknowledges the existence of other players. However, where the story is concerned, there's only the one Doctor, a.k.a. you, and the others are simpy disregarded, as are you in another player's game.
  • Gameplay Automation: The Auto-Deploy feature works on a per-stage basis, thus requiring you to get the perfect rating (3-stars) for the stage first before this feature can be unlocked. It basically mimicks the order of deployment, skill usage and location for your operators so that the stage can be completed as smoothly as possible. However, there are some limitations as well.
  • Gathering Steam:
    • 5 and especially 6-star operatives are mostly very powerful, but they also cost a lot of battle drills to level, money to do so, and metric tons of rare materials to promote and enhance. "Money Sink" doesn't come close to describing their upkeep cost. Their rarity also mostly precludes getting duplicates of them to turn into Tokens, which are used to reduce DP cost as well as enhancing their skills and talents. While they may be more powerful comparatively to more common operatives of the same level, their performance will require just as much effort to maintain and improve.
    • Non-passive Operator Skills take a while to be used, since they need to be "charged" or require a certain amount of skill points (SP) per activation, and such points are acquired differently depending on the skill type:
      • Attacking enemies, with each strike giving 1 SP.
      • Automatically charging 1 SP per second.
      • Getting hit by enemies for 1 SP each strike.
    • Certain operators like Saria and Astesia has talents that give them buffs up to a certain point the longer they're on the field.
  • Genre Mashup: At its core, Arknights is a Tower Defense game with RPG Elements, while the RIIC Base feature also introduces the Construction and Management genre in the mix.
  • Geo Effects: Some special tiles come with benefits or drawbacks:
    • Bushes prevent your operators from being targeted by ranged units (unless revealed by True Sight).
    • Certain stages also feature anti-air runes (which boost the damage of units standing on it against airborne targets), medical runes (which heal the operator standing on it), defense runes (which boost the DEF of units deployed on it), and specialist runes (which increase the power of push/pull operators on it).
    • Heated Paths are volatile and periodically burn anyone standing on top of them, allies or enemies alike.
    • The Bottomless Pits are holes in the map that mean instant death for enemies that fall in them.
    • Active Originium tiles hugely boost the offensive stats of anyone passing through them or deployed on them. However, the affected unit's HP is constantly drained under this effect.
    • Eroded Bridges lower the DEF of operators deployed on them.
    • In Chapter 6, Originium Ice Crystals will periodically chill or possibly outright freeze nearby operators for 10 seconds. Don't let the visual effects of the energy blast fool you, their AoE effect has the same range as Texas's Sword Rain skill.
    • Originium Shrines, introduced in Chapter 7, will release a blast of energy, dealing 500 damage to all nearby units that ignores the target(s) DEF and RES. They have the same AoE range as the Originium Ice Crystals.
  • The Ghost: Dr. Atro (Anton in the CN version) from "Twilight of Wolumonde", who was a close friend to both Folinic and Mudrock and got Killed Offscreen. Logos from "Rewinding Breeze" too, since he's a viewpoint character.
  • Global Currency: Lungmen dollars (LMD for short) are generally accepted as currency by most nations in Terra because Lungmen's economically stable enough for its cash to remedy a recent financial crisis. However, it's brought up in Stories of Afternoon that very remote rural towns not in the nomadic city network only accept local coinage. For gameplay purposes, the game has local coinage as a story-only plot point and solely uses LMD in gameplay.
  • Gotta Kill Em All: Achieving a 3 or 4-star grading for a given map requires you to basically eliminate every single enemy that appeared on said stage. You don't have to kill them yourself, however, as certain maps with hazard tiles can do the job for you if an enemy lands on them. The primary exception to this rule are gift drones in the Kazimierz Major event, which are listed in the enemy count but are non-hostile and do not penalize the player if they are not destroyed.
  • Great Offscreen War: Chernobog already fell at the hands of the Reunion Movement even before the start of the story (that is, when the amnesiac Doctor just woke up). The prologue and the first chapters take place in its destroyed landscape, while the next chapters had several characters referencing it as the "Chernobog incident" or some other variants along those words.
  • Guide Dang It!: Reading stats can be confusing if you're only relying on the in-game values.
    • The Operators' Attack Speed (ASPD) and Redeployment Time stats are gauged in-game using words ranging from "Slow", "Slightly Slow", "Average" to "Fast". It's kinda odd for a parameter about speed and time not being measured in numbers. So if you're that type of gamer who got used to seeing numbers for RPG Elements, then you'd need to look for in-depth character info about Arknights if you want to know the precise values of these parameters for each Operator.
    • This can also apply to the skill descriptions. For example, Exusiai's third skill, "Overloading Mode", has an additional effect from Level 4 onwards about some Attack Interval reduction which ranges from "Very minor", "Minor", to "Slight". Again, the game doesn't tell you the exact numerical values that these words represent.
    • Although it may not seem obvious at first, the RES stat is actually measured as a percentage value (out of 100) and not as a simple numerical value that HP, ATK, and DEF is measured as, even though the numbers themselves do not indicate this. This can be easily discerned by looking at the stats of a a Supporter (barring Sora) or Caster operator in the Operator Management menu; one may see that the gray bar for their RES is a little longer than the bar representing their DEF.
    • Enemies have their stats ranked by a letter grade (from D to S) instead of the game giving you numerical values, which makes figuring out just how tough they are an estimation at best without looking it up. Furthermore, some of the grading given to enemies is inconsistent (like how Big Bob and the Senior Armed Militant both have 800 DEF, but the latter has an A in DEF while the former has a B). Another boss example is the difference between Pompeii and Patriot - Pompeii's RES of 70 is labeled A, while Patriot's RES of 45 is labeled as Snote .
    • Saria's third skill heals allies in a wide range by a certain percentage. This sounds already nice in the in-game description, but what it fails to mention is that this is applied per second, which causes many beginning Doctors to assume this percentage is what is given over the entire duration of the skill. In practice, this means that Saria can quickly heal anyone back from the brink of death - despite the per second application not being mentioned anywhere in the game itself.
     H-M 
  • Happy Holidays Dress: Some operators receive themed outfits depending on the given holiday such as Christmas or New Year.
  • Hard Mode Perks: The harder the map is, the more EXP, LMD and additional loot are awarded.
  • Healing Factor: Medical Runes passively restore the HP of Operators deployed on them.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Heartbeats play in the background just as the Doctor is about to regain conciousness in the prologue.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The name you input for the Doctor at the start of the game is used frequently in text dialogue.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: AOE Operators are specialized on this. Certain 6-star Operators are also capable of this through skills.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: If somebody in Terra is affliated with a certain organization, expect their uniform to contain a sigil or logo. Sometimes a lot of sigils and logos, such as most Rhodes Island personnel, whose uniforms typically contain several instances of the emblem, the name of the organization, or both. Some characters can have a logo on their weapons as well, such as Patriot's shield.
  • Holy Halo: People of the Sankta race have glowing yellow halos above their heads, since they are based on Abrahamic angels. Exusiai isn't particularly fond of hers as she can't wear hats because of it.
  • Horned Humanoid: The Sarkaz, being based on demons, make up a vast majority of this among Rhodes Island operators. Other fantastic races like the Oni, Vouivre and Drake have horns as well as they are based on the Japanese demon, western dragon and wyvern respectively. Animal races like the Caprinae, Elafia and Forte, being based off caprines, deers and bovines respectively, also have horns (and in the case of the Elafia, antlers).
  • Hour of Power: Played straight with most operators, since their buffs run on a (often short) timer.
    • Played less straight with certain operators who possess skills that are described to have "Infinite" duration, even though the bar underneath their health meter still visibly diminishes. In practice, an "Infinite duration" skill lasts for about half an hour, which is way longer than a standard level is expected to take to complete, making them infinite by practicality rather than definition.
  • Idle Animation: Certain operators have idle animations when they are assigned in the Base. A few even have these during missions when they're not attacking anything, such as FEater re-adjusting her giant arms.
  • Improbably Female Cast: At its current state, the cast is heavily skewed towards female characters. The developers seem to be aware of this and have been steadily introducing more male operators, though the ratio of newly-introduced females still surpass that of the newly-introduced males.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Every ground enemy who's seen a roadblock will just shrug and try to find another way around to reach the blue base, without pausing for a second to consider nudging it out of the way, climbing over it, or simply bashing it to pieces. Keep in mind, they can attack roadblocks, but only those placed directly on top of them, which even the weakest of mooks can smash to bits in as little as three hits.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Skadi, Specter, Blue Poison and Deepcolor don't seem to have any relation to each other at face value. However, the operator overview screen groups the first two together under the "Abyssal Hunters" tag, and puts the other two right next to the Abyssal Hunters group ala other Operators who are related but not explicitly part of a group (like Lappland & Penguin Logistics), pretty much giving away their shared origins from the Abyss/Deep. Glaucus, who was added later, is also very close to the group (if not as much as Blue Poison and Deepcolor) and also strongly implied to be involved with them.
    • In the English localization, Skullshatterer is referred to as male in both cutscenes and his unit profile, yet curiously the stage description for 2-10 refers to him with female pronouns. While this was probably just a mistake as Skullshatterer is indeed male, it does foreshadow Misha Taking Up the Mantle after his death.
    • The characters' File numbers include an acronym of the faction that they're affiliated with (e.g. RL03 for Ifrit of Rhine Lab, PL02 for Texas of Penguin Logistics, R001 for Amiya of Rhodes Island, etc...) But the file numbers of the Doctor (B101), Kal'tsit (B003), and W (B214) spoil that they are affiliated with Babel.
  • Item Crafting: Made possible with certain facilities in the RIIC base:
    • Factories passively produce items after time intervals, but they require an operator to progress.
    • The Workshop allows some materials to be crafted into others. While an operator's presence is not mandatory for this process, it does enable the creation of "byproduct", which can result in additional instances of the crafted item, a partial refund of the materials used, or sometimes just miscellaneous items. Rarer materials also require LMD.
  • Item Farming: Promoting operators and raising their skill levels require items that drop from campaign missions. This is made easier by combining low-tier items into high-tier ones in the Workshop, and the in-game store sells random low-tier materials for credits (which refreshes daily).
  • It Only Works Once: Stun Generators in certain maps can only be used once all throughout the mission. It's because their EMP Blast skill self-detonates the generator upon activation. Some operator talents also only work once per map even if they're redeployed, such as Blaze's Emergency Defibrillation, as are few skills.
  • It's Raining Men: Operators are deployed this way during gameplay. Instead of walking into the battlefield, they are literally tossed down onto it, sometimes landing on their faces. Blaze in particular loves this kind of Dynamic Entry, often jumping out of her deployment craft from at least 300 meters up in the air.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Since not everyone gets to shine in the main story or limited-time events, the individual backstories of each character are scattered in several areas, requiring players to connect the pieces to understand their plotlines.
    • The Operator Profile serves as their basic biodata, while Archive Files are more detailed reports that are unlocked once certain Trust thresholds are reached for that operator.
    • The voice lines also serve as supplements, such as revealing more of an Operator's personality and their thoughts about another specific character.
    • Then there are the subtle Flavor Text that can only be read by viewing an Operator's Token description.
    • The loading screens that appear just after starting the game reveal some general backstory and key concepts existing in the world of Terra.
  • La Résistance: The Reunion Movement is composed of oripathy-infected people who view the discrimination against them as systematic oppression. As such, they seek to eradicate the system entirely, even through violent means.
  • Leitmotif: Certain Operators will have a theme play when they're deployed onto the field, which temporarily plays over any background music, ie. Sora has a upbeat idol tune and Ethan has a chiptune piece.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Sometimes the game blur the lines between the Doctor as an in-game character and as the player themselves.
    • The Doctor will never speak or have their own thoughts, not unless player prompt them to do so during a dialogue choice, even when there's only one option to choose from.
    • During a PV, just as the Doctor was about to lower their hood and reveal their face, the screen darkens instead and the players can see their own reflection.
    • During Obsidian Festival event, whatever the Doctor's favorite band is always chosen by the player.
    • The Sarcophagus seems to only work on the Doctor's race and not anyone else as Mephisto had to find out the hard way. Essentially, anyone, but the Doctor will be reverted back to the animal they were based on, albeit mindless. As such, implied that the Doctor cannot be reverted because they have no animal to be based off on, just like the player in real-life: a human, not an Ancient.
    • Ines during Darknights Memoir mentioned that the Doctor is the only thing alive on the battlefield and that she is stuck with the feeling she will always be a pawn on a chessboard. Most likely, refering to the player as a real-life figure in contrast to the playable operators that are virtual characters.
    • During an exchange between Kal'tsit and the Doctor in chapter 8, she mentioned that the Doctor have a chance to leave and can turn back after hearing the fate about the Sarcophagus research team. All they have to do is to is to disconnect themselves from PRTS, then everything will disappear, no longer having to log onto Rhodes Island information library ever again. The implication is that, the player can leave the game if the story ever became unbearable.
    • In the secret ending of chapter 8, 12F and the Doctor have a fairly lengthy conversation about the Doctor and their characteristics as a person. Long story short, 12F told the Doctor that they always have a choice even when it seems the game just pushes them along with barely any prompting, and yet here they are still. This indicates that the player have a choice in either continuing the game to see the story or leave the game.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: In Operation 4-6, Amiya, the Doctor, Ch'en and Hoshiguma along with their respective backups from Rhodes Island and Lungmen all meet up in the deserted city's entrance for their mission of retrieving Frostleaf's group, but the rescue team itself eventually got split up for the following reasons. Fortunately, they all went back to their respective homes after this mission was over.
    • Ch'en heard Talulah's voice in the distance and went off alone in a certain direction, ignoring the rest of the party.
    • The remaining ones got ambushed by some Reunion forces, so Hoshiguma and her men voluntarily separated and formed a defensive line to prevent any threats from crossing.
    • The Rhodes Island team then proceeds in the city's center to continue with the search-and-rescue operation.
  • Level Cap: If they're regularly fed with battle drills, all operators will soon hit a soft level cap, at which point they can no longer be improved unless promoted. Promotion resets their level to 1, further increases the level cap, while retaining their current stats in addition to whatever benefits going Elite might bestow. Operators of 4 to 6-star rarity can be promoted twice, up to Elite 2, while 3-star units can go Elite once. 2-star or lower operatives cannot be promoted.
  • Level Grinding: Made possible with the Tactical Drill missions that reward Battle Plans. These missions are open everyday, but the only limitations that would prevent, or slow you down from endlessly grinding levels are Sanity and LMD costs.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Your Sanity is fully restored every time your Player Level increases.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: An operator can only bring one skill in missions, and these can be configured on a per-squad basis, or by selecting which among the given skills will be labeled as the "Default".
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Inverted.
    • From the get-go, high-HP enemies like Defenders, Loggers, or Butchers tend to be introduced rather early, causing operators who mainly deal Physical damage to need some significant upgrading and over-leveling in order to reliably output enough ATK to take them down, while Arts units tend to have an easier time due to the same enemies' low DEF.
    • As the game advances into later chapters, however, enemies tend to trend towards both high DEF and RES, and this is where Physical damage starts to become more reliable. As DEF subtracts flat amounts from Physical ATK, while RES is percentage-based, you can still deal big damage to tanky enemies if you have high enough ATK, while your Casters will be reduced to dealing Scratch Damage. Short of operators who can deal true damage, which disregards enemy DEF and RES, Physical comes back into the meta after Chapter 6 and seems to be here to stay this time.
  • Literal Metaphor: That rumor about the Knights' treasure opening only to "those with the pure bloodline of the Kazimierz"? It refers to a triggered mechanism by the key, which had to be literally soaked with the holder's blood.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Called "Ancients" as a whole, they are further subdivided according to the animals they resemble. Ancients make up most of the population in the world of Arknights and have a higher risk of being infected by oripathy. A majority of these "Ancients" sport animal ears on top of their heads, not unlike an Animal-Eared Headband, with implications that they don't have humanoid ears where we would normally do (though some do have two pairs of ears like Steward, Nearl and Franka). And it's not just their extra ears, the animalistic traits can also manifest in other body parts such as their hair (Lupo) or tails (Drake).
  • Little People: The Durin race is the counterpart of Arknights for the Dwarf race in other fantasy settings. And as expected, they are also stout or smaller than the other races.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Naturally comes with the territory of a mobile hero collector game with gacha-style character acquisition. In the case of Arknights, there is a very useful in-game relationship chart which explains the intricate relationships and alignments held by each character.
  • Loophole Abuse: Enmity-type operators (Vulcan, Hellagur, and Utage) cannot be healed by Medics, and settle for either passive Regenerating Health or Life Drain instead. However, this restriction only applies to direct heals and not passive/skill-based global restoration, making certain Medics such as Perfumer or Gavial extremely handy in keeping them alive.
  • Love Chart: Downplayed. While there is an official relationship chart that can be accessed in the menu, it isn't about romantic relationships. Instead, it graphs who among the Operators and NPCs are acquaintances with one another.
  • Luck-Based Mission: In particular, most high risk run stategies for Area 59 in Contingency Contract rely on FEater holding back the Avengers that spawn in the top lane. Her passive talent that allows her to dodge physical attacks is critical in avoiding being hit by the Avengers, and the proc chance is high enough that it can be consistently relied on. However, there's always the chance that you suffer some bad luck and an Avenger gets a hit in, instantly killing FEater and ending the run.
  • Magikarp Power: The Promotion mechanic works wonders in unlocking the full potential of your operators, whether they may be via new skills, new passive talents, or expanded range, aside from the usual benefit of an increased Level Cap and stats. Elite 2 Promotions usually strengthen the buff provided by an existing talent, while certain Operators (i.e. Amiya, Myrtle, Istina) would have their sole talent unlocked only after being fully promoted.
  • Magitek: Originium powers much of the setting's technology and its magic system, so overlaps between the two are not uncommon. Reunion Casters, for example, are stated to pull double duty as battlefield mages and drone/animal handlers.
  • Marathon Level: Annihilation Mode, which pits you against four hundred Reunion troops of escalating difficulty, in a game where regular stages rarely feature more than 100 enemies. In fact, the game doesn't expect you to finish it all the way (at least at first); rewards are handed out based on how many enemies are killed.
  • Market-Based Title: The game is known as 明日方舟 (míng rì fāng zhōu) in China, which literally translates to "Tomorrow's Ark". Hypergryph uses the title of Arknights (a portmanteau of "Ark" and "Knights" and a pun on the idea of "archknight") for all servers outside of China as an intentionally more straightforward title.
  • The Maze: The interior of Mt. Mortica's cave in Dewville is likened to a maze by the narration.
  • Mêlée à Trois: In "Grani & the Knights' Treasure", the hunt for the treasure quickly escalates into 4-way battle between Grani's team vs Skadi vs the bounty hunters vs Reunion troops.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Some operators belong to specific groups or hailed from regions that the species they are based on aren't native to, such as Istina being modeled after a South American spectacled bear, but hailing from the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Russia, and Ptilopsis' Animal Motifs being found only in Northern Africa, but the operator herself is basically American.
  • Mobile City: "Nomadic cities" are this writ large, as major urban areas are now semi-mobile and move around given areas so as to avoid local capital-C Catastrophes when they strike; living in one place for too long has become rather dangerous and risk-prone, as the immobilized Chernobog demonstrates in chapter one. It's also not made extremely obvious at first, but the Rhodes Island company's base is a somewhat smaller instance of these and is the very Rhodes Island from which the company takes its name. You get a brief look at it at the start of chapter two, and it features in update trailers occasionally.
  • Money Grinding: Cargo Escort maps provide thousands of LMD each (with a successful run of CE-5 granting 7,500 LMD), as opposed to most maps that provide only hundreds. There are maps with dedicated LMD drops, but they are nowhere near as effective as Cargo Escort, costing about as much Sanity per run in exchange for half the haul at bestnote . So woe be to the Doctor who decided to promote someone to Elite 2, or feed a lot of XP to his/her operators on the day Cargo Escort is locked.
  • Money Multiplier: Getting three stars on a mission increases your LMD rewards by 20%.
  • Money Sink: Aside from the hoards of rare ingredients needed, promoting an operator typically costs exorbitant amounts of money, and that's not getting into the LMD investment to bring them up to the necessary levels in the first place. 3-star operators don't usually cost too much to promote, at a very manageable 10,000 LMD, but for those higher up the rarity chart, around twice or even thrice as much money is usually required to promote them once. Six-star operators in particular demand 180,000 LMD to reach Elite 2, and that's still not touching upon the level up fee they would need to meet the criteria in the first place. 3 and 4-star operators can be promoted after some reasonable grinding, 5 and 6-star ones demand an investment of time, Sanity, materials, money, and then some.
  • Mook Chivalry: If your operators are reduced to 0 block, whether via stuns or their own traits (e.g. Myrtle, Elysium), enemy melee units will leave them alone and just coast right past them, even if one more hit will do your guys in (e.g. Specter's post-S2 self-stun). They will do this even if the operators are poking them right in the face, as in the cases of Manticore and Ethan, though ranged units lack such scruples and will shoot at anyone they see.
  • Moveset Clone: Played with. Operators in each class are divided into several subgroups that have generally the same play style, skills, and talents. While they are roughly the same basic kits on paper, some of these moveset clones may have unique traits about them that others in their own subgroup don't, such as Grani being a DP Recovery Vanguard who behaves more like a defensive AoE Guard than her actual class.
  • Mythical Motifs: The Ancients aren't just limited to Animal Motifs. Certain races like the Chimaera, Drakes, Dragons, Manticore, Oni, Sankta, Sarkaz, and Vouire are based on mythological and religious creatures.
     N-R 
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • Air Defense Runes boost an operator's damage output, but with the downside of reducing their attack speed.
    • Higher-rarity operators boast high base stats with more skills and passive talents, but they also cost a lot of deployment points to become usable in the first place. On the reverse side, lower-rarity operators have lower deployment costs to compensate for the lower stats and fewer skills.
    • A lot of operators' skills have these for the sake of game-balancing. For instance, Cuora's second skill drastically increases her DEF (by 90% at max level), gives her Block-4 instead of Block-3, making her the only accessible Defender with this ability, and makes her regenerate 1% of her max HP per second. The only "drawback" is that while this skill is active, she stops attacking, but given her role, that hardly counts as a drawback.
  • New Meat: Several young operators who are recruited to Rhodes Island are assigned as interns.
  • No Body Left Behind: It is stated that Infected people crumble to dust upon death, which may then infect other people.
  • Non-Combat EXP: Your Operators don't earn EXP directly from stages. Instead, they need to watch Battle Records. In gameplay terms, Battle Records are consumable items that you give to operators, and you also need to pay some LMD to have the operators earn EXP and level up.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Should an operator run out of HP, they will be knocked out and disappear from the battlefield. They can be deployed again after they've had time to recover, albeit at a higher cost than before.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Hooo boy, where to begin? Many female operators are guilty of this, because of the race(s) they were based upon. Due to the game's predominantly Little Bit Beastly aesthetics, female operators still have breasts, despite many of them being based on birds, reptiles, amphibians, or their mythical equivalent, who logically shouldn't have any. All Liberi and Vouivre females fit this trope to a T. Then again, their amount of being animal seems to be limited - while they carry some traits of the animal, they are human for 75% as they don't seem to think like these animals do...and even this is inconsistent, with operators like Siege and Dobermann more closely follow animal biology than Jessica and Texasnote .
  • Noodle Incident:
    • How exactly the Ursus Student Group managed to escape Reunion's rioters and the Catastrophe that triggered the fall of Chernobog is completely unknown as both Gummy and Istina refuse to go into any detail about the group as a whole, with the latter stating that the Doctor would be better off not knowing. Given Istina's emotionally charged reactions, Rhodes Island has decided to forgo any probing lest they set off any triggers. The revelation in 'Children of Ursus' proved to be the very good reason why they were very adamant about it.
    • Also, to Rhodes Island folks, the "Flame Demon Incident" at Rhine Lab that led to Saria, Silence, Ptilopsis and Ifrit joining RI (and not all at once, either) is something of a mystery. All we know, all that Saria and Silence and willing to say, is that it involved a devastating accident at one of Rhine's main facilities, that Saria had to "dispose of experimental subjects", and whatever happened, it soured what was seemingly a previously friendly relationship between Silence and Saria (mostly on the former's side).
  • Not-Actually-Cosmetic Award: Furnitures also provide Ambience Points for the Dormitory in which they are displayed in. These points help in increasing the morale recovery rate for operators resting in that dorm.
  • Not Drawn to Scale: The chibi sprites for all operators are of roughly the same height, despite the potentially huge disparity between two given characters in-universe. Really, there's no other way to explain how the sprites of a 135cm-tall Shaw is just as tall as Hellagur, who's almost twice her height. Sometimes this isn't even consistent, with Durin and Myrtle's sprites being of different height even though they are both 131cm tall in their profiles.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Ch'en and her agents wonder how the L.G.D. headquarters appeared so vacant, quiet and unguarded despite having been taken over by Reunion in Chapter 5. As the agents inspected the place, one of them saw Reunion members running around but suddenly disappeared in a corridor, another agent reported hearing voices but found out no one else when he entered the room. Annoyed at these, Ch'en tells her group to cut the ghost stories and assist her to the rooftops where Mephisto awaits for their arrival.
  • Now You Tell Me: In the extra level cutscenes for "Grani and the Knights Treasure", Nearl writes to Grani about something important about her mission. In the next cutscene, which takes place awhile after the event's main story, Grani finally gets the letter, which turns out to be a warning about Skadi, who came to blows with her durring the event. Annoyed by the very late notice, Grani folds the letter into a paper airplane.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: It's usually shown as a sign that the perpetrator is Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
    • In Chapter 4, Mephisto crucifies civilians on stakes and burns a building filled with more civilians inside in the shape of Reunion's symbol. He later uses his Arts on his own men, turning them into zombies who can only beg for death to the heroes. One of the zombies was Ivan, one of Skullshatterer's men, who Misha had sacrificed her life to save from Rhodes Island and Lungmen's encirclement.
    • In Chapter 8, Talulah ended up roasting an entire village that starved several Infected to death while the villagers run around helpless. This event was the last straw that drive Talulah into Koshcei's control. The kicker? It happens in a technically "playable stage"; you have to watch Talulah kills the villagers to "win" the stage.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In some maps, the player can place Roadblocks to force enemies to take a different path towards the blue base instead of, you know, buying time by forcing them to break those down. The thing is, you cannot place Roadblocks if doing so will obstruct the last possible path for the enemy, making it so that there will always be one route open for them to take.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Happens in two separate incidents during Chapter 4:
    • Ch'en went off on her own trying to find Talulah in the city, leaving Amiya and Hoshiguma behind. But when Amiya went to her direction, she saw dead Reunion members everywhere, with only Ch'en still standing.
    • In Operation 4-4, Frostleaf sent a Distress Call just as she, Meteorite and Jessica were about to get surrounded by Mephisto's group and the Yeti Squadron. When Rhodes Island arrived at the supposed scene, they saw signs of struggle, which implies that Frostleaf's group was able to hold their own. True enough, the three girls are still alive, hiding in the city's center square despite suffering some injuries.
  • Only Six Faces:
    • The faces of characters illustrated by Huànxiàng Hēi Tù (e.g. Mostima, Exusiai, Lappland, etc...) are very visibly recycled.
    • The characters drawn by TOKI (Franka, Liskarm, Meteorite, Skyfire, etc...) look a lot like each other.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • You cannot borrow another player's support operator if you already have them in your current squad. No duplicates allowed!
    • There are two entities named "Executor". One is a Sniper of Lateran who uses a codename, while the other is Hellagur's weapon.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Unlike the trend of using umbrella names to refer to most operators' races regardless of their cultural background, there are several different species of anthropomorphic dragons, drakes, and wyverns in-universe. From three separate factions, we have Reed, Ch'en, and Saria, who are a Draco, a Lung, and a Vouivre/Wyvern, respectively. While the case of Ch'en can be handwaved due to her being based on an Eastern dragon, the races of Draco and Vouivre/Wyvern are typically lumped into the Western dragon group, and as a result have no such excuse.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In the "Operator" business of the world of Arknights, going by a nom de guerre or callsign is very common, and the playable characters of Rhodes Island are no exception; most of the names you recruit them by are their codenames, and their real names are sometimes provided in their profiles, in the plot, or in secondary materials (and this is why some of the character names can seem a bit silly at first glance). For some, though, their codename is all they have, for any number of various reasons, and some just use their given or family names as their callsigns.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Some story cutscenes (like the prologue scene "0-0") and miscellaneous dialogue (like Closure's introduction and RIIC tutorials) can no longer be viewed on the same account after the player has watched them for the first time. The only ways to see them again is to create a fresh account, or better yet, search their videos on the Internet.
  • The Plague: One unfortunate side effect of Originium is that exposure may lead to oripathy, a disease where small patches of Originium embed itself on the body, which then grow until the infected is completely engulfed. It is incurable (though, with Rhodes' technology in particular, treatable and manageable depending on infection progression) and is theorized to have 100% mortality rate. Since living and dead Infected serve as vectors of the disease, many cities have taken measures to segregate them from the general populace, which has, as noted, led to problems. One of the narrative thrusts of the game is helping Rhodes Island develop new treatments with an eye toward maybe, possibly, finding a cure.
  • Planet of Hats: Unlike other races, the Sankta race hails universally from the nation of Laterano. Most playable Sankta characters exhibit said nation's unique trait of firearms production by using guns and are classed as Sniper operators. The three remaining Sankta operators who don't use guns in gameplay still have a connection to firearms in their lore. Adnachiel only uses a crossbow because he hasn't finished paperwork for his gun license and his village specializes in producing bootleg gun parts, Mostima's token states she no longer uses her personal blunderbuss and her profile implies it's because she committed some kind of crime when she pointed her gun at a fellow Sankta, and Arene's family studied heritage guns.
  • Planet Terra: The world that the game takes place in is called "Terra", and is for all intents and purposes modern-day Earth with a dash of future tech and fantasy races.
  • Play Every Day: There are daily log-in bonuses and daily missions that reward useful items. For the first week of play, there is an additional week-long log-in bonus that awards Cliffheart on the last day. Many mini-events tend to encourage this in general, offering significant incentives for the player to check in each day, such as free sanity potions, headhunting tickets, rare resources, and usually an exclusive operator outfit and article of furniture at the higher tiers.
  • Player Headquarters: Rhodes Island Infrastructure Complex (RIIC) serves as this. It contains production workshops, trading posts, dormitories for your operators, and a host of other facilities.
  • Point-and-Click Map: Missions are presented as nodes of a map.
  • Pointy Ears: One of the physical traits associated with the Ancients, or races based on animals or mythological creatures.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Following the English release of this game, a Google Image Search of "Lappland" would show you more of the Arknights character over the real-life location in Sweden. Ditto for searching "Ptilopsis", showing the character herself more than her namesake species.
  • Power Creep: Just have a cursory look at the Game Breaker page and despair at how broken some units are, and the page itself isn't even up to date with the CN build. If the newest 6-star operator isn't horridly unbalanced, somebody at Hypergryph is not doing their job properly.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Higher-rarity operators have higher level caps, more promotions and consequently, higher stats compared to the low-rarity operators.
  • Power-Up Food: Some Sanity restoratives come in the form of edibles, such as burgers, chocolates or cookies.
  • Prison Riot: The Mansfield Break sidestory event is based around one of these going on, with most of the enemy units being inmates attempting to escape.
  • Private Military Contractors:
    • Rhodes Island makes use of a few groups like this — they have a small contingent from Blacksteel Worldwide helping them out (consisting of Franka, Liskarm, Jessica and Vanilla) and also make use of the services of Penguin Logistics (who aren't supposed to be a proper PMC, but their specialty in logistics in "danger zones" and the skills of their members make them quite handy in a fight) — and their own security & defense force might qualify but they don't typically mean to use the Operations Teams like that. Rescuing the Doctor from their captivity(?) was meant to be a one-off thing, but it unfortunately gave Rhodes Island a new reputation as experts in fighting Reunion... and Wei Yanwu is eager to make use of those skills in defending Lungmen in a deal that Rhodes can't turn down following the events of Chernobog, transforming them virtually into a de facto PMC, even if legally they're still a medical company.
    • Blacksteel Worldwide is one of the more well-known security contractors in the setting. Aside from providing security work, they also take part in post-Catastrophe relief and operates a biochemical response unit. They seem to have close ties to Rhodes Island, given that four Blacksteel operators are currently under their employ.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The "Evil Time" arc makes up the game's prologue, as its entirety takes place in Chernobog, the starting area of the story. However, this arc is split into two parts, "Episode 0" and "Episode 1", with both episodes accounting for approximately 20 missions. Its only after Episode 1 when the protagonists finally return to their home base at Rhodes Island. Limited-time side story events such as "Grani & the Knights' Treasure" also require the player to clear the Evil Time arc, so a complete beginner with a fresh account has to sit through these 20 missions even before they get a chance to play these limited-time events.
  • Protection Mission: Maps with Command Terminals turn into this. The terminals are stationary structures that can be damaged by nearby enemies. When they are destroyed, the map's "HP" is reduced, which also risks the 3-star rating for that run.
  • Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër: Kal'tsit and Ch'en.
  • The Purge: In Chapter 6 Wei Yenwu uses the Reunion invasion of Lungmen as a cover for his specop units to purge the Infected inside the city.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: 6-stars are the highest rarity units you could possibly have. They all have high stats, great abilities and passives. They are a cut above units of lower rarity, but have the Deployment Points cost to match.
  • Random Number God: Aside from the typical gacha mechanic and item drop system which is given for this game's genre:
    • There are also RNG layers involved in the Recruitment feature, wherein Operator Tags are determined by chance (although they can be refreshed when you have an Office), the selected tags that remain in the end, and the resulting characters themselves.
    • The Workshop can produce "byproducts", or random additional materials. However, there's a visible rate at which byproducts appear, and that can be boosted by the assigned operator's base skills.
    • Even the operators' talents and skills can have RNG factors, such as FEater's talent that gives her a chance to passively dodge physical attacks.
  • Rare Candy: Make no mistake, there are a lot of rare things in Arknights that one will need at some point to raise an operator, but few match the sheer rarity of Chip Catalysts. This is an item needed to craft Dualchips that are required to promote an operator of 5-star and above to Elite 2, at a rate of 1 Catalyst per 2 single chips, up to a total of 3 (4 for 6-stars) units. They are rarely given in tiny amounts as event prizes, or can be exchanged for using shop Vouchers at a rate of 90/1. Mind you, 90 Shop Vouchers translates to about 150 Sanity spent farming non-stop on a map that's not even open half the time. They're even harder to amass than LMD, but fortunately aren't typically spent in large amounts at once, either.
  • Rare Random Drop:
    • Missions have a chance to drop rarer materials apart from the regular drops. These can be checked on a per-stage/mission basis by tapping the Rewards icon before starting the mission.
    • Most missions also have an extremely rare chance to drop Dorm furniture. These are called "Lucky Drops".
  • Real Name as an Alias: While almost every Operator uses a codename, a few go for this instead. Then again, some have excuses: for instance, Enciodas Silverash is a political figure and CEO of a major company, so he'd still be immediately recognizable even if he didn't go by "SilverAsh".
  • Relationship Values: Called "Trust" in-game, which is increased simply by using a given operator often enough, or putting them in the base and collecting the daily Trust generation. Unlike most games, Trust has an immediate effect on gameplay in the form of flat stat bonuses that rise accordingly. As of current, Trust can't seem to decline, and actually goes way over 100%, up to 200% at max.
  • Rescue Arc:
    • The prologue and the first chapters (or collectively named as the "Evil Time" arc), where a rescue team from Rhodes Island was sent to retrieve the Doctor in the city of Chernobog.
    • Chapter 2 focuses again on another Living MacGuffin - Rhodes Island is tasked by the L.G.D. to find Misha and turn her over to Lungmen, amidst fighting off the Reunion forces who are also after her. It fails in the end when Reunion retrieved Misha after a successful ambush. The first half of the third chapter then involves Rhodes Island trying to rescue Misha again from Reunion. That ultimately fails as Misha is fought and killed as the boss of 3-8.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Played in the best tradition of Pulp Fiction in "Grani & the Knights' Treasure": because of a Time Skip that occurs near the finale, we never actually find out what the titular treasure was or why it was locked with a key that nearly drains a person's blood (or why Skadi was so interested in it), and in Big Bob's letter at the end, he even mentions how interesting it was but "that's a story for another time". All we know is that was valuable enough to get Bob & his group to Columbia and onto their own hops farm like they wanted, with some still left over for Dewville.
  • Roofhopping: To the surprise of the Rhodes Island rescue team escorting Misha, this is how Exusiai planned their evacuation procedure within the slums of Lungmen.
  • Rooftop Confrontation:
    • The latter half of Chapter 2 takes place on the rooftops of Lungmen. Fittingly, this is the point where the player is introduced to Bottomless Pits and the push/pull mechanic.
    • The final battles of Chapter 5 take place on the rooftop of the L.G.D. Headquarters that was taken over by Mephisto and Faust.
    • The final battle of Chapter 8 takes place on the very top of Chernobog's Control Tower. A notable visual effect is that since they're fighting Talulah and her forces on the very outer edge of the roof, the roof will occasionally shake from all the chaos taking place and if the player uses Operator selection to tilt the camera on the right tile, the map will reveal Chernobog distantly below, obscured by smoke and haze.
     S-Z 
  • Scenery Gorn: Terra's landmarks are already devastated by both the Catastrophes and the riots caused by the Reunion Movement.
    • As seen on the in-game backgrounds and various promotional materials or videos, the landscape has already turned into a barren wasteland with gigantic Originium crystals looking like mountains.
    • The rescue mission in Chernobog shows a glimpse of what some Catastrophes look like (something that's also shown in loading screens). A giant funnel tornado looms over the city, spawning lightning in its "eye", while birds flee from it.
    • Chernobog is no longer inhabitable with all the destroyed and burned structures, as well as the protruding Originium crystals making it look like a warzone. In Chapter 4, Mephisto even burned an entire building with the logo of Reunion on its front. Around it are several hands of corpses.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • The level of technology presented in the setting varies wildly. A typical battle may see an operator wielding a handgun fighting side by side with operators armed with bows and spears, fighting enemy swordsmen who are dressed in modern tactical gear and accompanied by gun-armed drones.
    • Despite the 20 Minutes into the Future setting, operators still have to watch VHS tapes to gain Non-Combat EXP. Somehow these tapes are not reusable.
  • Science Fantasy: The setting is a melting pot of a modern-day world, Science Fiction-level technology and Applied Phlebotinum, and fantasy races and Functional Magic.
  • Scunthorpe Problem: The custom profile message and custom squad name features leave a lot to be desired as the game would reject your input if it detects certain words within that string of text.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Both averted and one could say almost inverted. Many Reunion members tend to hide their face (and even Crownslayer, who hides her mouth, and Skullshatterer get in on it) and are just as covered-up as the members of Rhodes Island.
  • Sent Into Hiding: In Chapter 2, it's revealed that there are Infected who managed to sneak into the slums of Lungmen after the fall of Chernobog. Unfortunately, this also includes Reunion members who disguised themselves. The latter group revealed themselves after panic ensues as a result of Rhodes Island and the L.G.D. conducting a search operation in the slums.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Played with, as to get a secret cutscene in chapter 8, the player must allow Mephisto's mutated form to pass into the player's box. But because he's still counted as an enemy, this means the player will still get penalized for letting someone through their defenses and will need to play it again for a perfect clear if it's their first playthrough.
  • The Short War: According to Kal'tsit, Chernobog fell to the Reunion Movement within one night.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Ptilopsis and Silence not only look a lot like the owls they were based on, but they also have orange eyes, which is a real trait possessed by both of their owl species.
    • Some of the firearms used by the operators are actually based on real-life models.
    • There are plenty of medical terms and concepts inserted into the setting and dialogue, some major and easily noticeable such as the Hippocratic Oath in Rhodes Island's motto, to minor stuff like Kal'tsit mentioning "rubor, hypothermia, necrosis, and frostbite" after inspecting corpses on Chapter 4.
    • The Chinese words used in signs in Lungmen are correct, which would not be surprising if one knows the Chinese origins of the developers. However, the cyrillic words concerning Ursus and their operators (Gummy is a special case) are also without error.
  • Socialization Bonus:
    • You can borrow other players' support operators for as long as those operators aren't already present in your current squad.
    • Adding other players as Friends allows you (and vice-versa) to visit each other's Base and gift excess Clues for extra Credits.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Timing is crucial in this game, as in the timing of operator deployment and the usage of skills. A Loading Screen tip even gives this tip to the player.
    • The game does give you a bit of a slow-mo effect when you tap on your operators to view their stats during a mission.
    • If you mistime the placement of Roadblocks and put them on top of an enemy (even by an inch), that enemy will just destroy the roadblock, wasting your 5 Deployment Costs.
  • Spell Levels:
    • All Skills have numerical values representing their upgrade levels, which range from 1-7. Three additional upgrades beyond 7 are still possible, but these would be denoted by hexagon icons instead.
    • When comparing operators' similarly-named skills, there's actually a distinction on whose skill is stronger than the other. This is made possible using the skills' names having Greek letters as their suffix. For example in ascending order, "Healing Up α", "Healing Up β", "Healing Up γ".
  • Starter Mon: The game will hand you a sizable amount of basic units as you progress through the first few chapters and completing the relevant tutorial missions. These starter units are actually rather Boring, but Practical, and will serve to keep you viable until the harder maps are concerned. Aside from them, for a limited time an early Global event gave new players the choice between four free 5-star operatives (Pramanix, Silence, Projekt Red, and Liskarm) after creating their account.
  • Stop Poking Me!: While most Operators will emit a generic grunt or noise when tapped on in the Base, some Operators will say something to this effect instead.
  • Super-Deformed: Operators have detailed artworks in menus and in the Visual Novel story parts, but they become chibi-fied in actual gameplay stages and in the base.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Operators of aquatic origin (e.g. Skadi, Specter, etc...) are inexplicably able to breathe underwater, despite conforming to a visually human-like biology with no gills or other adapted respiratory systems.
  • Superpower Lottery: Arts ability varies wildly in function and power, and Oripathy can potentially help boost the power further if the Infected is lucky, as there is also a chance of the person not getting the boost or even have their Arts weakened, as Astesia shows. For example, simple feats include Angelina's gravity manipulation, supportive Arts include Mephisto's necromancy and Faust's invisibility, while others like Blaze and FrostNova are known for their destructive and threatening Arts of fire and ice respectively. Some, however, are massively powerful without Oripathy, like Mostima whose max power is not quite defined since Rhodes Island had to stop testing before she break the testing area, or Nian, whose abilities are not Arts yet display abilities close to that of a Physical God.
  • Symbolically Broken Object: In her home estate's bedroom, Ch'en has a photo of her and Talulah in their younger days, a reminder that they were once friends and family. But there's a crack that splits the two in the frame, symbolizing how they're now in opposing factions.
  • Take My Hand: When the Doctor slowly regains consciousness in the prologue, the first sound and image that they perceive is Amiya pleading for the Doctor to wake up and grab her hand.
  • Take Our Word for It:
    • Due to its Visual Novel storytelling, the "fight scenes" are simply depicted using CG backgrounds, shaking sprites, flashing screens or are merely reacted to. The last part becomes blatant or obvious in the final cutscenes of Chapter 5, with the characters outright narrating or enumerating whatever feats or attacks the opposition does.
    • FrostNova sings in order to channel her ice magic. The narration then makes the other characters react to what she's doing, and having musical notes surround the lyrics in her dialogue.
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion: The game seems to play fast and loose with its cataloging of races, with operators based on a multitude of races tend to be lumped under an umbrella classification.
    • All operators based on felines go into that general group, regardless of whether they're based on small (felinae) or big (pantherinae) cats. This means that Mousse, who's based on a domestic cat, is of the same classification as SilverAsh, who's a snow leopard. The sole exception to this rule seems to be Siege, who is strangely not a Feline, but an Aslan instead note . Folinic further sheds light on it, as she's a mongoose, yet a Feline, which confirms that the Feline race is not based on Felinae, but on Feliformia.
    • All bears are Ursus. That includes FEater, who's a panda. This has contributed to a disturbing amount of fans and artists who lump her in with the Ursus students simply by virtue of them belonging to the same catch-all group, despite their In-Universe cultural differences. It's basically analogous to grouping a Chinese person together with some Russians due to both of their countries being primarily located in Asia. Then again, pandas are bears, and an older name for them was Ursus melanoleucos (i.e 'black and white bear') so it would be incorrect to classify them as anything else.
    • All remotely bird-like operators are Liberi, despite their species diversity running the gamut between peafowl and penguins. Hellagur is also a Liberi, despite his Animal Motifs being hippogriff (half-eagle, half-horse).
    • All non-rabbit rodents are Zalak, and all mustelids are Anaty.
    • Asbestos is classified as a Savra, despite being based on an amphibian that's from a wildly different group than all the other Savra animals.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Limited-time story events, including their event exclusive-rewards including operators such as Grani.
    • So far, the only operators whose availability are tied to a specific banner are Nian, W and Rosmontis, who can only be rolled during the duration of their rate-up.
    • Operator outfits are only available to purchase during the one-month period in which they're in the shop. Once this sale period is over, the costumes will leave with it and no amount of Originite Prime can get them back short of the developers releasing them again in the future.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Chip Operation Maps are designed with specific gimmicks so that specific operator classes can clear them with ease than the rest. However, you can still bring in other classes and over-leveled operators to brute force your way into these maps, it's just that the game recommends you what classes should you bring:
    • Solid Defense - The map has a toxic haze that constantly poisons your operators, draining their HP. Defenders can last for long thanks to their naturally high HP pools, while Medics can continuously heal their allies.
    • Fierce Attack - The map spawns a large wave of enemies at a given time, including airborne machines. There are Air Defense Runes that boost an operator's attack power at the cost of attack speed, so it's recommended to bring in Ranged units. Fortunately, Casters and Snipers can deal with enemies from a distance, including the airborne machines. Some ranged units also have Area of Effect attacks that can deal with tightly-packed clusters of enemies.
    • Unstoppable Charge - The map spawns the faster types of enemies such as Hounds that can easily slip past your defenses if left unchecked. Vanguards have low deployment costs, so you can easily deploy them even before these fast enemies arrive in waves. While Supporters usually debuff or slow down the enemies, which make them useful in dealing with crowd control. While these two classes generally have average health, this downside can be countered by the maps' Medical Runes, passively healing Operators assigned on top of them.
    • Fearless Protection - The map has a very limited number of platforms where you can deploy operators, but there are also Bottomless Pits that you can use to compensate. Many Guards usually have ranged attacks despite being melee operators, so they can still cover a lot of ground even when the platforms are spaced far apart from each other. On the other hand, Specialists usually have abilities that can manipulate their target's position, allowing them to push or pull enemies to death towards this map's pits. There is much less ranged grids in the map which are best saved for Medics who will keep the Guards and Specialists alive.
  • Time Skip: The final scenes of the "Knights' Treasure" event take place months after treasure was opened, with the village now reconstructed, while Big Bob and his men are finally satisfied in Columbia thanks to their share of the treasure.
  • Translation Convention: Aegirian is a foreign language that only some can understand, but the narration easily translates it to the game's local language for convenience. This fictional language's name is prefixed to the sentence as an indication that a character is speaking it. This happens in the "Grani & the Knights' Treasure" event, courtesy of Skadi and Kal'tsit.
  • True Sight:
    • Reunion leaders as well as specialized techs could spot operatives who are cloaked or hiding in bushes. While the techs are of generally low threat, they are often priority targets due to them revealing your squishy ranged units to Crossbowmen or other high-damage enemies.
    • On the player's side, certain maps will have fixed Detectors that can be toggled for a short duration to reveal all cloaked enemies in range, and operator SilverAsh passively uncloaks all enemies within his attack range at Elite 2.
  • The Turretmaster: Certain Operators have the ability to summon their own minions for further damage, which remain placed on a fixed tile. These minions usually cannot be healed by Medics, with the only way to restore HP being to retreat them and replace them. The Operators' skill typically is to buff their minion or grant them a new ability during the skill's duration. Furthermore, some Operators can infinitely deploy and redeploy their minions, while others only have a limited stock and require their own retreat in order to restock.
  • Underground Monkey: Stronger variants of some enemies come with different color themes, like the "leaders" which are red versions and "elites" which are white.
  • Unlockable Content: Many features require you to beat certain missions in the earliest story chapters before they can be used:
    • Beating Mission 0-2 unlocks the Recruitment feature.
    • Beating Mission 0-10 unlocks the Store.
    • Beating Mission 0-11 unlocks the RIIC Base.
    • Beating Mission 1-5 unlocks the Annihilation maps.
    • Beating Mission 1-10 allows you to join limited-time events.
    • Beating Mission 2-9 unlocks Challenge Mode for specific maps.
  • Unobtainium: Originium, a black, crystalline mineral with incredible energy density, which can only be found in the site of great catastrophes, where it is available in a shockingly large amount (see the giant black crystals). It has seen use as everything from power source to construction material.
  • Vague Age: Most of the operators' exact ages aren't directly given, though some can be inferred based on the information that are available (e.g. the Ursus students being in highschool, putting them at around 15-17). This is intentional, as it is irrelevant in the grand scope of things. If anything, it's a limiting factor when it comes to the range of themes illustrators could create their designs with, and also because the various races of Terra age at different rates to each other. This manifests itself in Warfarin having a different perception of how long ago they left from a certain place, and Kal'tsit even outright says that years are different for Sarkaz than it is for Feline.
  • Vendor Trash:
    • Pure Gold and Originium Shards cannot be used for anything else other than being sold in the Trading Post for LMD and Orundum, respectively.
    • Once your Base and its facilities are all fully upgraded and arranged the way you like, all Carbon Sticks/Bricks/Packs effectively become this; subverted, since they cannot be sold for LMD, but they can be converted into Furniture Parts, which can be used to purchase furniture to decorate your dormitories.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: While it is of no surprise, given how the CN servers are ahead of the Global servers by several months, therefore, having certain content exclusive to them for the time being until Global receives them as well, there are some exceptions:
    • The KFC-themed skins as well as Cliffheart's WWF skin and Purestream are skipped and excluded from the Global serversnote , presumably due to their statuses as collaborations.
  • Vicious Cycle: The relation between the Catastrophe and Originium works like this; the Catastrophe occurs in the place with high concentration of Originium, and the Catastrophe will rain the land with more Originium. People in Terra attempt to evade the Catastrophe with mobile cities, but the mobile cities need Originium to power their engine. This causes the Catastrophe to wreak more of the previously untouched lands when these cities traveled through them to avoid the Catastrophe in the first place. Rinse, repeat, and we have an almost dead world that taints its people with an incurable disease.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • The Trust mechanic unlocks new voice lines and information about the Operator the more you use them in missions or in the base. Eventually from hearing the unlocked voiced lines, you'd realize that the Operator would express themselves more to the Doctor. One could even call it a gameplay mechanic that passively brings Character Development the more you rely on the same operator.
    • Operators assigned in the Base facilities would gradually lose Morale overtime, leading to Fatigue, a state that disables their passive Base bonuses. You could assign them to the Dormitories to make them rest and recover Morale in order to become productive again. The game would even reward you for doing so via a Daily Mission.
  • Violation of Common Sense: The game seems to have a rather funny way of dealing with certain things.
    • Chapter 6 introduces the Cold and Freeze mechanics, where enemy units and stationary Ice Crystals will apply Frost stacks to the operators they hit, freezing them solid after several moments, where they will take significantly more damage.
      You'd expect: To be able to use fire-based operators to thaw frozen ones out, and those specific characters to have innate ice resistance, as are those hailing from cold regions like SilverAsh and his entourage.
      Reality: You'd need to deploy specific operators who can grant CC reduction, whether to self or other teammates. While it could be handwaved that the cold damage is ice Arts, there are many fire Arts wielder as well (Ifrit, Eyjafjalla,etc...), and they can't do anything about it. In fact, Arts RES does nothing to prevent or alleviate the freeze, despite some of the cold sources (Yeti Casters, FrostNova) being clearly magical.
    • Unlike many tower defense games, where Arbitrary Maximum/Minimum Range can be handwaved as the traversal limitation of static defenses, it's a lot harder to justify the same concepts in Arknights. Operators have clearly-defined ranges, and will do nothing when an enemy leaves their attack zone. Seemingly, these operators can't be bothered to turn around or look to the sides to attack targets well within their field of view, even when they or other teammates are being pounded into pulp by nearby enemies. If it's any consolation, the enemy (mostly) can't do this either.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Operators can be dressed up with outfits, purchasable for 15 Originite Primes (18, for outfits which add/alter certain special effects for an operator's abilities during operations) each in the Outfit Shop, or unlockable via in-game events such as cumulative log-in rewards.
  • Visible Invisibility: Cloaked enemies are presented as their normal unit sprites with a black shadowy-smoky distortion around them. As long as this distortion effect is still active, they are treated by your operators as completely invisible unless revealed by blocking or by a True Sight effect. Likewise, the few operators who can go invisible themselves (e.g. Firewatch, Manticore, Ethan,...) are also presented like this.
  • We Have Reserves: Considering the sheer number of followers they have, most Reunion leaders have little care throwing their troops at better armed and trained opponents like Cannon Fodder.
  • Wham Episode
    • Operation 3-8. Misha disguised herself in Skullshatterer's clothes following his death, marching in the battlefield and rallying the remaining Reunion forces. The Reunion obviously had their morale boosted and claimed this scene as a miracle, while the Rhodes Island and the L.G.D. forces were left in shock at how the events unfolded. Amiya is the one who's hurt by this the most, as she killed Skullshatterer in the first place, and that she had a strong feeling that it's actually her friend Misha in disguise.
    • Chapter 7 drops a lot, to name a few:
      • 7-1: W triggers her plan to kill Talulah with rigged explosives, but fails as Talulah sees through it in advance. A fight between the two ensues, ending in an explosion that blows W away, seemingly killed.
      • 7-2: Ch'en and Wei Yenwu have a heated argument over who should stop Talulah and the Chernobog city block headed towards Lungmen without compromising Lungmen's diplomatic status. Ch'en herself reveals she is infected, and discards her LGD badge to go after Talulah alone.
      • 7-7: We learn from Wei about a certain "Duke of Kashchey," an Ursus political figure whose death still looms over Wei for some reason. Wei connects the dots and notices that the way the current Talulah is acting is way too similar to the Duke of Kashchey's persona, hinting that she might be possessed by the dead Duke.
      • 7-18: By the end of the fierce battle between Rhodes Island and Patriot, Patriot discovers that Amiya may be the Demon Lord of Sarkaz as foretold by an ancient Sarkaz prophecy, through hallucinations seemingly (and unknowingly) triggered by Amiya, before finally dying.
      • 7-20: Flashback time: we see what happened on the night when the Duke of Kashchey took away Talulah in a power play against Wei Yenwu, kicking off his grand plan of bringing Ursus back to power. Then the Regent and Confessarius of Ursus hint of their plans with a glimpse of what seems to be the body of the dead Sarkaz queen Theresa.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: "What Measure is a Non-Ancient?" is a question one might suddenly find themselves asking. In a world where most of the population is made up of anthropomorphic animals, the one true question is "what do they eat?". The common knowledge is that most Terrans have the same general diets as us humans, which consists of meat and vegetables, so where does that meat come from? Or rather, who does that meat come from? Since they do rear cattle for meat, then what's the dividing line between them and the typical Terran? Does it count as cannibalism if they eat meat from the same animal species as their own? Do those same species exist on Terra? Ethan likes to eat smaller lizards, and Gummy very visibly grills a beefsteak on her pan, so it can be inferred that there exists both Ancients and normal animals, and some of those animals are kept for food, but it doesn't make consuming your own non-sentient counterparts any less wrong from a non-Terran perspective.
  • Winged Humanoid:
    • Those from the Liberi race are based on birds, and several of them have feathered wings. Some operators choose to fold theirs into cloaks or coats instead.
    • The Sankta people are modeled after Abrahamic angels and thus have glowing wings and (presumably decorative) Holy Halos. Exusiai complains at one point that she can't turn hers off.
    • Certain varieties of Sarkaz can also manifest wings, and as you might expect from demon people, these look suitably demonic. Warfarin is one example in her Elite II art.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Played with. Gold Bars are effectively worthless in-game, with no real use outside of selling them for LMD at Trading Posts, so in that sense they are worth something to someone, just not Rhodes Island. Part of the reason is that Rhodes Island has the capability to mass produce gold, and because of this mass production, they sell for a pittance per unit, with trade values of 1,500 and 2,000 LMD being a relative rarity and barely covers the price of anything of importance.
  • You Keep Using That Word:
    • The game, or at least the English localization, has a funny definition of "uncommon". Loot items that are marked as "Chance drop" will usually appear after beating a given resource node, "Rare" ones crop up once in a while but are still generally abundant, while "Uncommon" items are actually much scarcer and harder to get. Really makes one wonder how on earth did the localization team manage to get the rarity order mixed up like this. This was fixed upon the release of the Code of Brawl event, with the former "uncommon" items now properly called "very rare".
    • The "Senior Operator" recruitment tag can also be a bit wonky. From the name, it implies operators who've had at least several years' worth of experience. In practice, it is a guaranteed draw for 5-star operators, experience notwithstanding. The prime examples of this are Istina and Mayer, who lack field experiences due to being a highschool student and a lab researcher, respectively. Meanwhile, there are many operators with close to a decade's worth of field time and don't qualify as a Senior Op, such as Noir Corne and Yato, who both clock in at 8 years.
  • Zerg Rush: The most common tactic for Reunion forces. What they lack in training and equipment, they make up for in sheer numbers and suicidal devotion to their cause.

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