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Love Live! School idol festival!! ALL STARS!!!
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Love Live! School idol festival ALL STARS is a mobile Rhythm Game RPG in the Love Live! franchise, and is the fourth game to join the lineup after Love Live! School Idol Festival, Love Live! School idol paradise, and Puchiguru! Love Live!. School idol festival All Stars is developed by KLab, in partnership with Sunrise, and released in Japan on September 26, 2019. The Global version was released on February 25, 2020.

Taking place in an Alternate Continuity, the story begins when the protagonist and their Childhood Friend, Ayumu Uehara, witness a joint live between μ's of Otonokizaka High and Aqours of Uranohoshi High. Inspired by the joint live, the protagonist tracks down their school's idol club to support them yet they learn from club member Kasumi Nakasu that it's on the brink of closing down. The protagonist, with help from Kasumi and Ayumu, sets forth to reform the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club by recruiting their friends (and friends of their friends), and together, their journey begins.

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Like other idol-themed rhythm games, players collect scores of vibrantly-designed, extravagant cards depicting idols from across the Love Live! franchise, forming them into teams to challenge songs. Unlike other games, ALL STARS takes a decidedly more RPG-influenced approach; in addition to standard mechanics such as unique, personalized Skills for each card and a level growth mechanic, ALL STARS features a Skill Tree through which you can customize your idols further, as well as a unique Strategy system where you can swap between trios of characters in real time to augment gameplay. ALL STARS also features connectivity with SIF via the "SIF ID" function, allowing players to play both games with a single account and receive connectivity rewards for playing both games.

Promotional Videos

ALL STARS contains examples of the following:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Because both Otonokizaka and Nijigasaki are situated in Tokyo, Aqours goes on trips to regularly appear in the main and event stories despite the fact that commuting to Tokyo from Numazu is both long and expensive.note  Fans let this detail slide as the whole selling point of ALL STARS is for the 3 groups to mingle with each other.
  • Alternate Continuity: The game takes place in a continuity where μ’s and Aqours exist concurrently, as opposed to the official timeline, where Aqours was founded some years after μ’s disbanded. That being said, there are references to events from the respective animes here and there, implying that at least some parts of the animes have occurred in ALL STARS canon.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: As per the norm, this is enforced by not specifically dating the setting beyond "present day". However, the Tokyo Olympics being brought up as part of a plot point implies that the actual given time period is potentially concurrent with real time, or at least sometime before or during 2020.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: SR and UR cards have a node on their Skill Tree that bestows an outfit when unlocked. The outfit can be equipped to that character before Lives and that character will wear it during the video. Outfits can also be equipped for a current main menu partner via the Episode menus.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Like School Idol Festival, each song play uses up Live Points (LP), with the more difficult songs requiring more LP. LP can be recovered at a rate of 1 LP every 4 minutes, by getting enough XP for a Rank Up or by using candies or Star Gems to refill it instantly.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game gives the option of toggling Cool Assist Mode, which will automatically lower the graphics quality in real time if the game detects that your phone is getting too hot.
    • If your device is simply unable to run the 3D videos in the first place, you can just turn them off and switch to 2D graphics instead.
    • If you fail a song, the game only takes away half the LP required to play it as opposed to the full cost. In addition, you can toggle an option called Continuous Show Mode, which allows you to continue playing until the end of the Live if you fail out.
    • The Shop's Microtransactions section automatically does currency conversion for your region, even if you're playing outside of Japan.
    • While Shiny Quartz eventually expires for limited banners, any unused Shiny Quartz is turned into Shiny Pieces that can be spent on caches of valuable materials such as Macarons and Memories.
    • The time limit for SP Time hangs at the 0 countdown until you hit a note, ensuring that it isn't wasted during a song's downtime.
    • The event duration is displayed as "days remaining" on the home screen. On the last day, the game counts down to hours and on the last hour, it counts down to minutes. This removes manual checking or using external tools to track event end dates.
    • While playing in SIFAS Big Live (SBL), you'll still be able to clear the song if you ran out of stamina and awards you based on your performance.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Kanata, Shizuku, and Emma were formerly outsourced to other artists for card artwork, but were subsequently relegated to the official art style once they hit Ascended Extra status. This notably affects their appearance, especially in Kanata's case, whose Normal Card artwork made her appear quite a bit older and more mature than her current official artwork does.
    • This also applies to Haruka Konoe, who debuts in the official Love Live! art style for the first time in Kanata's Bond story.
    • Story sprites are a complete improvement over School Idol Festival. Sprites now blink their eyes and move their mouths when speaking. Back sprites are also added.
    • In general, the card art is also a massive improvement over School Idol Festival. This is best seen with the Aqours and µ's Initial URs, which are based on the most popular URs from SIF and have a notable increase in art quality compared to their original variations.
  • Artifact Title: Despite being called "School Idol Festival ALL STARS", the game has very little to do with School Idol Festival aside from reusing the Attributes and having URs based on SIF cards.
  • Ascended Extra: Kanata, Shizuku, and Emma originated as Normal Rarity cards in Love Live! School Idol Festival before being promoted to main characters in this game following a popularity vote.
    • Despite not ascended as much as the above three, Haruka, also a Normal Rarity card, become a voiced supporting character thanks to her status as Kanata's younger sister in Love Live! School Idol Festival.
  • Auto-Revive: A unique skill found in "Eternal Promise" Eli and "TOKIMEKI Runners" Ayumu. If activated at the beginning of a Live, the skill will recover stamina one time if stamina hits 0.
  • Be Yourself: A major overarching theme in the story. The player's solution to the club members having conflicting ideals is to have them all perform as solo acts, supporting each other but still having distinctly unique performances. A later chapter has the club experimenting with group choreography; while the dance is fundamentally sound, the protagonist realizes that the members are sacrificing their individuality to work together, and thus insists that they go back to solo performances.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: In the "Music Made Together" event, both Yoshiko and Karin are bad with maps, yet Karin chose to step up and lead the way to the recital venue because she's both from Tokyo and Yoshiko's sempai. They get lost soon after.
  • Book Dumb: Honoka, Nico, Rin, Chika, Kanan, Kasumi and Karin are bad at academics. Chapter 10 highlights this when the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club made a deal with Mifune that all club members must score at least 60 points on their exams or else the club will be closed. Nozomi then adds another stipulation that the person who scores the lowest will get laughed at, motivating µ's and Aqours to help Nijigasaki. Nijigasaki fulfilled their part, but Kasumi and Nico were named "King of Idiots" as they tied in scoring lowest among the three groups.
    • It became a Running Gag in the Daily Theater afterwards, including:
      • Rin failed in her previous test and asked Karin for help. Karin chose to step up yet she immediately texted Kanata to help her out.
      • Nico and Honoka were escaping from doing homework together.
      • Nico and Rin, instead of studying, did a lot of charms as preparation for the test.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Appeal Passive Insights. They boost the Appeal stat by a small percentage of everyone within a certain group (Subunit/School/Year/Type/Attribute/Group/All). They only give small boosts individually, but stack enough of them and you'll see a substantial enhancement to your group's Appeal stats, which can help with clearing songs.
    • The entire Super Rare tier. With some exceptions, they aren't as strong as Ultra Rares, but they're decent in their own right and are much easier to max out, with an SR being guaranteed with every 10x pull and only costing 1/5th their weight in School Idol Radiance to Limit Break compared to URs. With enough investment, they can still carry you a decent ways even with terrible UR pull luck.
    • Beginner Live Songs. Although they give few rewards than in harder lives, it only costs 10 LP per songnote , which is really useful for clearing certain Tasks easier, and the quickest way to obtain Character/Group Emblems especially the gold ones that require 5,000 plays without using skip tickets.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
    • To prep themselves up, Setsuna and Rin perform Ruby's Catchphrase note , alongside Ruby herself in the opening movie.
    • Dia has a UR with the Japanese name of "Hagu shite sashi agemasu wa!", the phrase being her own twist on Kanan's "Hagu shiyou!" catchphrase.
  • Boss Battle: Each story chapter has a "boss stage" called a Super Stage. It is significantly more difficult than normal Live Stages and tests your knowledge and team power.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: As with any gacha game, you can simply buy premium currency with real money to pull on the gacha more times for a shot at more URs. In addition to buying Star Gems straight, you can also choose from a selection of bundles that award a variety of items such as UR and SR tickets, Star Gem packages or daily login deals, added Star Gem bonuses, and miscellaneous upgrade materials like macarons and memories.
  • Brick Joke: In the "Your Models Are Here!" event, both Dia and Nico make comments about the kimonos looking like those worn for Shichi-Go-Sannote . In the final chapter, the photographer reveals that the photo shoot was for a Shichi-Go-San-themed magazine.
  • Broad Strokes: Aqours keeps their backstories from the anime although some details are changed in this continuity because they are active in the same period as μ's.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Aside from "Stamina", which was reused from School Idol Festival, score is now referred to as "Voltage".
  • Call-Back:
    • Riko's unidolized "Aozora Jumping Heart" SR is directly based on Yoshiko's unidolized "Twilight Demon" UR, itself a reference to a scene from the Sunshine!! anime.
    • The snack shack that Aqours ran in Season 1, Episode 10 of their anime is referenced a few times, such as when Yoshiko is cooking Tears of a Fallen Angel and when Chika mentions the event in Chapter 11.
  • The Cameo:
    • The whiteboard for the Login Bonus has a drawing of Uchicchi on it.
    • The Alpaca appears on Daily/Weekly Tasks when you have no more tasks to complete.
    • Mito Takami has a voiced, offscreen appearance in Chika's Bond Story.
    • Yu Takasaki appears in the "Muteki-kyu Believer" PV as a doll.
  • Character Class System: The game divides the cards into 4 classes: Voltage, SP, Guard and Skill.
    • Voltage-Type cards increase Voltage gain but increase Stamina damage.
    • SP-Type cards increase SP gain but reduce Skill activation rate.
    • Guard-Type cards reduce Stamina damage but decrease SP gain.
    • Skill-Type cards increase Skill activation rate but decrease Voltage gain.
  • Character Select Forcing:
    • Some of the more difficult Advanced songs will almost absolutely require you to run a Cleanse somewhere on your team (usually Angel Riko, but sometimes Fresh Fruits Nico if Riko is unavailable) to S Rank without having massive stats due to the monumental penalties that some songs have, like Snow Halation's 15% Appeal Down. Don't have a Cleanse card? You could be stuck rerolling your Guest List for Riko assists. A few post-release songs have included Cleanse-proof gimmicks as a result (thereby making them much harder).
    • Specific post-release songs invoke this by penalizing/rewarding specific card Types, which tends to make much more of a difference than the typical wrong-Attribute stat penalty.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The Japanese March 2020 update added a collaborative multiplayer event called SIFAS Big Live, or SBL, where a team of 20 players play through one of three select songs, and the players are rewarded based on the combined effort of the team. Players are also individually awarded special titles based on their performance.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Attributes, card types, team subunits, and the school idol groups are color coded.
    • Attributes: Smile (Pink), Pure (Green), Cool (Blue), Active (Red), Natural (Yellow), Elegant (Violet)
    • Card types: Voltage (Red), Guard (Green), SP (Blue), Skill (Yellow)
    • Formations are divided into Red, Green and Blue strategies.
    • School idol groups: µ's (Pink), Aqours (Blue), NijiGaku (Yellow)
  • Continuity Snarl: In Chapter 11, the Nijigasaki girls attending the camp over in Numazu claim to have never been to Numazu before despite having done so in Event Stories.
  • Costume Porn: Like School Idol Festival, part of the game's appeal is to see the cast in a variety of outfits but this time, in 3D.
  • Critical Hit: A critical hit can occur whenever a note is hit. This is marked by a unique "CRITICAL" note judgement that gives a bonus multiplier to the normal note judgement.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: In addition to all 2D songs recycling the same three backgrounds, several 3D songs borrow stages from other 3D songs and simply repurpose the props and possibly change the background. Some of these include the "KOKORO Magic 'A to Z'" stage being reused for "Music S.T.A.R.T.!!", the "Snow Halation" stage being reused for "NO EXIT ORION", and the "HAPPY PARTY TRAIN" stage being reused for both "Bokura no LIVE, Kimi to no LIFE" and "GALAXY HidE and SeeK". There's also the case of "START:DASH!!"'s Special Stage just being a really souped up generic Beginner stage.
  • Damage Reduction: A common skill found in Guard Types.
    • The Shield skill grants a buffer (shown as a blue outline around the stamina bar) that takes damage first before your stamina.
    • The Damage Reduction skill lessens the damage you take from notes.
  • Dialogue Tree: In some bond stories.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • Starting from "KOKORO Magic 'A to Z'", clearing Story songs gets significantly more difficult if you lack understanding of the game's mechanics or don't have the requisite stats to make it through songs.
    • "Thrilling・One Way", "Music S.T.A.R.T!!" and the songs from NijiGaku 2nd single "Love U my friends" have a much higher S Rank voltage requirement, more difficult Appeal Chance requirements with a harsh penalty for failing them, and the Cleanse skill not working on the song gimmick.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • "Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki" uses colored spotlights for each of the characters, replicating the effect from the anime. If you have non-standard characters or characters in alternative formations, the game gives each character the proper color spotlight instead of the μ’s color spotlights.
    • The game normally allows up to three characters to participate in an SP Skill. However, if all four members of QU4RTZ are in the team (with three of them in the center), the game makes an exception and can trigger the unit's unique animation with four characters.
    • The 2D Stage used in Beginner and Intermediate has been made into 3D Models. While Advanced's respective model was not made when the game was launched, it was later added as SKY JOURNEY's stage background.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: "Tokimeki RUNNERS" from Nijigasaki High School Idol Club's debut album is used in the opening movie.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Raising Rina's bond to a high enough level unlocks a side story where she unveils her face to the protagonist. The February 2020 update in the JP version, released June 2020 worldwide, gives players the option to remove Rina's "Rina-chan Board" during Lives after reading the story.
  • Dub Name Change: In a similar vein to "Loveca" becoming "Love Gems" in SIF Global, here "Loveca Stars" has been changed to "Star Gems" in the Global version.
  • Early Game Hell: You need lots of materials to raise your idols, which the game doesn't give many of in Beginner difficulty (which due to the game mechanics, will be the only difficulty you can survive for a while). In addition, the first major node in the skill tree uses items that can only be dropped from Daily Rotation Songs, which can only be played 3x per song. The Training Camp feature mitigates this somewhat but is also limited per day. AP, the currency used for Training Camp, refreshes daily (up to a maximum of 3) or you can speed up the process by using tickets or spending Star Gems (up to 5x a day).
    • The first major patch for the JP version was in mid-October 2019 where the Daily Rotation Song plays were increased from 3 to 5, AP for Training Camp refreshing twice a day at 00:00 and 12:00 JST instead of just once per day, and spending Star Gems for Training Camp was increased from 5x to 10x a day.
  • Easter Egg: While girls will produce generic reactions when tapped on the Home Screen, each girl has 1-2 voice lines specifically for tapping on their hair or being patted on the head.
  • Eating Contest: Resident Big Eaters Emma and Hanayo go head to head in Chapter 5 as part of a μ’s versus Nijigasaki contest engineered by Nico.
  • Elaborate University High: One can tell that whoever designed Nijigasaki High wasted absolutely no expense, considering how gorgeous and upscale the school is. It's quite the far cry from the likes of Otonokizaka and Uranohoshi.
  • Equipment Upgrade:
    • Accessories can be improved by using stickers to give it experience points (leveling up increases its stats), by merging a copy of the same accessory (which increases the level cap up to 5 times) or by merging a different accessory (which gives experience points and a chance of increasing skill level).
    • Dismantling accessories gives you pearls. Using a specified amount of pearls on a fully uncapped accessory at max level will upgrade that accessory to the next tier while resetting the level and cap.
  • Faux Paw: Rin does this in her animations. On her birthday, Honoka and Yoshiko also do this during their birthday quote.
  • First-Episode Twist: The end of Chapter 1 reveals that the mysterious school idol Setsuna Yuki and the student council president Nana Nakagawa is the same person. Balancing her double life then becomes a crucial point of her character.
  • Flawless Victory: Clearing a Live with only "Wonderful"note  notes will spell out "Perfect Live Show"note  at the end of the MV.
  • Foreshadowing: In the opening movie, there's a scene of Kasumi alone, then she is joined by Ayumu, followed by the rest of the group with Setsuna being the last one. This is the order in which they joined the reformed school idol club in Chapter 1.
  • Funny Background Event: During the opening movie when Emma, Rina, and Hanamaru are getting together, Nozomi attempts to grope Dia in the background.
  • Gameplay Automation:
    • By scoring enough Voltage to get three Trophies on a Song, you gain access to using Skip Tickets, which will automatically skip the actual playable portion of the song and just give you rewards as if you had played it. As event point grinding and Item Farming is a real and persistent issue, Skip Tickets can and will save you a ton of hassle.
    • There is also an function called "Auto-Play"; however, it is not fully-automatic: players still need to change subunits and use SP Skills manually. In addition, all taps are considered Greats, which lowers your possible score. It is used for grinding songs when players are short of Skip Tickets or for finishing tasks that cannot be cleared using Skip Tickets.
  • Gameplay Grading: The game bases its ranks on the amount of Voltage you gain ranging from D to S. Like School Idol Festival, higher grades will net better rewards.
  • Gameplay Roulette: The game is essentially a Role-Playing Game with Rhythm Game and Dating Sim elements.
  • Genre Shift: While the game still decidedly has Rhythm Game roots, the influence of RPG Elements has been cranked Up to Eleven to the point where it's more of an RPG that you play as a rhythm game as opposed to the inverse.
  • The Ghost:
    • Saint Snow is mentioned by Setsuna as a famous school idol duo from Hokkaido, when discussing the validity of performing in duos, which are rare, or in solos, which are rarer.
    • A-RISE gets mentioned a few times by other characters, notably the player and Mari (in her bond story).
  • Glass Cannon: Voltage-Type cards are focused on scoring high but have little survivability otherwise.
  • Gratuitous English: Mari's usual gimmick. She manages to confuse Hanamaru at one point by saying "Bon dance", requiring Yoshiko to translate to "bon odori".
  • Harder Than Hard: A new difficulty called "Advanced+" was introduced during the "School Idol Train is Departing!" event. The new difficulty has very steep and very specific requirements requiring max limit break URs, a set of max UR accessories and a deep understanding of the mechanics to clear them.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Advanced charts drop better rewards than Beginner or Intermediate, which makes the overall grind easier.
  • Heroic BSoD: At the end of Chapter 6, the protagonist mentally collapses under pressure and backs out of the song writing contest, realizing that she had gotten so caught up in trying to write a good song that she had forgotten to write it with the other club members in mind. The protagonist spends the next few days extremely depressed and barely sleeps or eats while trying to figure out where she went wrong.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Chapter 2 of the "Your Models Are Here!" event, Dia remarks that Nico's kimono looks like the kind that children would wear for Shichi-Go-San, which Nico immediately refutes. When Ruby comes out wearing her kimono in Chapter 3, Nico makes this exact same remark towards Ruby, which Maki lampshades. Dia's response is to shove Nico out of the way.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Nearly every song in the game uses its transliterated Japanese name... except "Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki", which uses its English translated name ("It's our miraculous time").
  • Irony: Hanamaru, the least athletic competitor, wins the aqua course race in the "Great Battle on the High Seas" event by being so far behind the other girls that she was the only one who wasn't knocked off when a wave hit the course and forced the other five into the ocean.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": The Title Scream reveals that "KLab" is actually pronounced like the word "crab" and not "K-Lab", much to the disbelief of many English speakers.
  • It's Probably Nothing: At the end of Chapter 3, the player sees a news report about a typhoon developing off the coast of Japan, but writes it off as incidental since it doesn't seem to be approaching Numazu. Said typhoon promptly brings torrential rain to the area, throwing a wrench in Aqours' summer festival plans.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Skill-Type cards have balanced attributes and are designed to be slotted into any of your three subunits. This helps when trying to fill empty slots, cover weaknesses, or bolster skill activation rate for a trio whose skills are especially powerful or important.
  • Jiggle Physics: Although extremely subdued, it's possible to notice with certain animations or outfits. The most obvious instance is in Karin's solo song "Starlight", which exploits this at one point.
  • Last Lousy Point: It changes depending on how much you play the game.
    • In the beginning, you will find yourself spamming the hell out of Vocal Training to hoard more 3★ Silver Macarons. Major nodes on the Skill Tree like Story, Voice, and Outfit Nodes need an insane amount of these, and they are among the least common items in the game. Furthermore, even just slotting Vocal Training into all three slots for a session will still take a long time, because Random Number God dictates that you will usually get anywhere between 0 to 5 3★ Macarons per session via this method. What makes this this trope is that because of how hard it is to get them, you will usually get enough of every other Macaron before you finish getting the 3★ Silver Macarons.
    • Once you have a decent team and start going through their Limit Break nodes, the 1★ and 2★ macarons become this. It's common enough that veteran players have thousands of 3★ macarons and less than a 100 for the 1★ and 2★ ones.
    • Once you have your team more or less settled and fully boosted, it then comes down to spamming Training for Appeal Passives, as they are among the rarest Insights in the game but become absurdly powerful when enough of them are stacked together.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Japanese profiles for Kanan and Mari casually mention that Kanan, Mari, and Dia were in a school idol group as 1st years, a massive spoiler for the first season of Love Live! Sunshine!! as this is part of The Reveal late in the season. Possibly in an attempt to avert this, the English version of the profiles remove this statement, making Kanan's profile in particular egregiously short.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Rares are silver, Super Rares are gold, and Ultra Rares are rainbow. For Insights, there are also grey (lowest rarity) and bronze (2nd lowest rarity) tiers. Cards with maxed Limit Break also gain a rainbow gloss effect over the card.
  • Lethal Chef: Chapters or event stories that involved cooking with either Yoshiko or Setsuna usually spelled doom for others. Particularly Setsuna's, which became a repeated trope even before the game released.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: A Downplayed The Power of Friendship version. Bond levels give minor stat increases.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Increasing your Rank will refill your LP.
  • Life Meter: This is represented by the Stamina gauge at the bottom of the screen. Unlike most rhythm games, the Stamina gauge depletes for every note you hitException , not just missing notes, and if it runs dry in the middle of a Live, you automatically fail out.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Nozomi makes this comment about Honoka and Kotori's relationship in Chapter 11. Honoka prefers it if they were newlyweds instead of an old couple.
  • Limit Break: At the bottom of the screen is your SP Gauge, represented by the portraits of your three leader characters. Hitting notes and activating certain Skills will fill it, and when it's full, you can activate it to get a Super Move Portrait Attack that instantly charges a ton of Voltage and enhances Voltage gain for a few seconds.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The game features all 27 idols from μ's, Aqours, and Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The game features μ's, Aqours, and Nijigasaki High coming together under a timeline where all 3 groups exists concurrently.
  • Mighty Glacier: Guard-Type cards reduce Stamina damage, with recovery, shield or damage reduction skills, but they have significantly reduced SP gain, meaning that they get access to Limit Break much less often.
  • Money for Nothing: Once you exit Early Game Hell, you'll start accumulating Gold and EXP at a much faster rate than you can possibly spend, meaning that you'll wind up hoarding millions of the stuff and nowhere for them to go except for new arrivals every so often (unless you pull extremely often, in which case that's a different problem entirely).
  • Mythology Gag: Now has its own page here.
  • No Bulk Discounts: Played straight unlike the other Love Live games, School Idol Festival and Puchiguru! Love Live!.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat:
    • Nana Nakagawa plays the part, as she tells the player and Kasumi that she will close the School Idol Club if they can't find 10 members. Although she subverts it; she's a school idol herself, and was merely testing their resolve.
    • Mifune plays it straight. The girls, with the intervention of μ’s and Aqours, manage to delay her plans to close the Club by cutting a deal with her, where the members need to score at least 60% on their upcoming exams to keep the club open. This makes several of them extremely nervous.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • A balance update in the JP version in April 2020, released worldwide in June 2020, introduced cooldown time for Guest Skills. This is a response to players using "Happiness Cheerleader" Kanan as Guest with any high appeal member as center. Since Guest Skills are inherited by the center as if they had those skills, the aforementioned combination would likely restore the full SP meter immediately upon use of an SP skill, resulting in a loop as long as Kanan activates.
    • The game's approach to meta is to typically add new songs that counter the meta. An overabundance of Cleanse abilities being used to clear initial release songs lead to songs that are immune to the Cleanse effect, and players relying too much on single Strategies lead to songs that drop your Appeal to 0 unless you swap Strategies.
  • The Oner: The MV of Emma Verde's solo "Evergreen" lasts for a one and a half minute shot without a single cut.
  • Original Generation: The Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: For the main subunit/Strategy, maxing Appeal is the only element that matters. One healer/shielder is recommended to stop your Stamina from dipping too early, but your main scorers should be pumping as much Appeal and Appeal boosting skills as possible for maximum points. Backrow generally tends to run Appeal passives as well, with the exception of a Cleanse Skill and/or Stamina padding.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Shioriko Mifune. Prior to her appearance, Nana always assumed the role of Student Council President in her previous schools because she offered to do the job and no one really contested her for the position. This is also the case for Nijigasaki; however, Mifune's presence results in Nana being forced into an actual election, something that she's never done before because she's never had to compete for the job. The result is that Nana is left scrambling to figure out how to present herself as fit for the role, and ultimately her lack of conviction leads to her losing to Mifune.
  • Palm-on-Cheek Pose: One of the idle poses that idols can do. Riko and Ayumu are prone to doing this. Riko also has this as her bond level up animation.
  • Play Every Day:
    • Like School Idol Festival, you get a bonus for logging in every day.
    • There are daily goals and weekly goals that award AP tickets, skip tickets and Star Gems.
    • Up to five times a day, the player can tap any of the 27 girls on the main menu or via the Episode menus to give 20 Bond points. This means one girl can get as many as 100 points a day or up to five girls can get at least 20 each.
  • The Power of Friendship: Lampshaded by Shizuku while she, Karin, and Setsuna are watching one of Setsuna's favorite animes.
    Karin: But the party was just obliterated because of the main character. How can they fight the boss in this shape?
    Setsuna: Just watch... There it is! No matter how much they fight, their bond holds strong and they can't abandon each other!
    Shizuku: That seems... like a very convenient plot point.
  • Powerup Letdown: The most common Rainbow Insight Skill from Training Camp "ボルテージ獲得 [極]:曲開始時" (Voltage Gain [Ult.]: Song Start). It has a 30% chance to trigger at the start (which is already bad enough) and the voltage gained is so laughably low that most SRs and URs would outscore it on a single note.
  • Punny Name: Ai's Pungeon Master status is reflected in her initial SR, whose Skill is named "Ai! LOVE! YOU!".
  • Random Drop: Some items used to unlock nodes in the Skill Tree such as macarons and character memories are dropped when clearing Lives. The game even shows the drops for each song in Free Live mode.
  • Rare Random Drop: Accessoriesnote  and stickersnote  are dropped very rarely after clearing a Live.
  • Relationship Values: Each school idol has her own bond level and cap. Clearing Lives or interacting with the idol in your Home Screen (up to 5 times per day) gives a certain amount of bond points while getting cards of the same idol, duplicate copies count, increases the cap.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: Some outfits aren't obtainable without spending real money. You do get some Star Gems with each pack, but it's a small amount compared to other similarly priced packs.
    • The "KOKORO Magic 'A to Z'" outfits were split into three packs, one for each Attribute grouping, and costed around $28 per pack.
    • The "Love Live! Series' 9th Anniversary T-shirt" pack costed around $10 for 3 tickets that could be exchanged for the outfits. Completing the whole set of 27 outfits costs around $90. The JP version gave out 6 free tickets as rewards, which lowers the price overall. In comparison, the real life T-shirt only costed around $40.
    • The "Aqours Unit Live T-Shirt" pack costs the same as the "Love Live! Series' 9th Anniversary T-shirt" pack. Fortunately, the set is exclusive to Aqours and only costs $30 to complete.
    • The "All Star Prologue" outfitsnote  can be bought via 2 packs. The first pack contains 3 outfit tickets and some Star Gems and costs roughly $15 while the second pack is a one-time purchase that contains 15 tickets, a UR ticket and 10 normal scouting tickets and costs roughly the same as buying the first pack 5 times. Like the previous sets, 6 outfit tickets can be obtained as rewards, but completing the set still costs around $105.
  • Romantic Spoonfeeding: Ayumu does this with the player in her Bond Story with a piece of rolled egg that she put together. While the "romantic" aspect is downplayed, it does have very similar connotations.
  • Running Gag: The Daily Theater has several instances such as Kanan's Infernal Triathlon, Ayumu learning the "washi washi" and A•ZU•NA getting caught up with Yohane's fallen angel persona.
  • Set Bonus: While effectively cosmetic, putting three characters from the same subunit into your SP slots may cue a unique animation based on that subunit. It's also possible to get unique solo animations if you put three cards of the same girl in the slots, as well as an SP Skill animation for QU4RTZ if three of the four members are in the slots, plus the fourth member somewhere in the team.
  • Sick Episode: A chapter in Ayumu's bond story has her nursing her Childhood Friend from a cold. The next chapter reveals that Ayumu has caught it, resulting in a Caretaker Reversal.
  • Skill Tree: Characters now have skill trees that can be used to unlock stats. Nodes on the tree are unlocked by spending materials, granting a variety of benefits such as enhancing stats, upgrading the card, and unlocking voice lines, passive skills, and new outfits.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the underappreciated Playstation Vita game Love Live School Idol Paradise, which shares some features such as the simple two-button controls and the full 3D character models and MV (albeit more polished than the former).
  • Spotlight-Stealing Crossover: The game is advertised as a Massive Multiplayer Crossover between μ's, Aqours, and Nijigasaki, but in the story it's more of a Nijigasaki story with μ's and Aqours as supporting characters note . This is also reflected in the Bond Stories; Nijigasaki girls get their Bond Stories sooner than the others, and their Stories are typically a major source of character development and depth, while the other girls get short, self-contained stories that merely explore other facets of their personality and don't develop the characters much. Nijigasaki's Bond Stories are also the only ones that unlock new songs.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: A unique skill called Cleanse found in "Royal Angel" Riko and "Fresh Fruit Parlor" Nico. When activated, it removes song gimmicks during a Live. However, it doesn't work if the gimmick specifically states that the base value is affected.
  • Story Branching: Used in a specific cutscene in Chapter 2, where the player is given the option to choose who to send a text on the night before a critical live performance. The girl you choose determines the Super Stage played after the cutscene. You can also replay the cutscene and change your pick to get a different Super Stage, resulting in up to nine different songs (and up to 90 Star Gems to be earned).
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: If a chart gives you high-value SP Notes (either 50%s or several 10%s/20%s), you can bet that an upcoming Appeal Chance will be both very short and have a steep Voltage or SP requirement, necessitating using your SP Skill to not fail it.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Ruby's comment on Hanamaru's eating habits.
    Ruby: It's not like I'm always worried about the waists on your costumes because you eat so much! Not at all!
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Similar to SIF, matching a card's attribute to a song grants a stat bonus. Conversely, all cards that don't match the song's attribute get a stat penalty by default, and most songs have a gimmick that lowers stats for mismatched cards further. In most cases, it's possible to remove both type disadvantage debuffs using the Cleanse skill, unless the gimmick is immune to Cleanse.
  • Teru-Teru Bōzu: When a typhoon strikes Numazu on the day of the planned summer festival, all of Aqours and the protagonist hang up dolls (made to look like themselves) at the Tochimann Inn to pray for good weather. The same dolls also appear in the music video for "KOKORO Magic 'A to Z'".
  • Three Approach System: Using Conditional Formations, each of the three strategy teams can be a single type:
    • One team can be your "tank". By fielding Guard Types, you take significantly less Stamina damage when hitting/missing notes and using Skills.
    • Another can be your "DPS". By fielding Voltage Types, you get more Voltage.
    • A third can be your so-called "mage". Fielding SP Types charges the SP Gauge faster when hitting notes, giving you quicker access to your Limit Break.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In the "Come Enjoy These Special Sweets!" event, the entire cast immediately becomes very apprehensive when they find out Setsuna is going to cook. Especially so when she mentions that Kanata told her that she'd rather let the ingredients go to waste than let Setsuna take over.
  • Three-Stat System: Appeal, which determines how much voltage you gain per note; Stamina, which determines how much damage you can take; and Technique, which determines skill rate and critical hit rate.
  • Title Drop: Unlike SIF, where "School Idol Festival" is just the name of the game, in ALL STARS the School Idol Festival is the name of a large-scale event that celebrates school idol culture from the world over. The Nijigasaki idols dedicate much of their time to getting popular enough to perform on the big stage, and the event's cancellation forms the crux of the main conflict of the game's story.
  • Title Scream: One of the 27 girls' voices is heard reading the three company logos and the game title. However, it's inconsistent for the English Bushiroad logo shown onscreen in the global release instead of the Japanese Bushimo logo being voiced in all versions.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting:
    • Starting from Chapter 9, the plot splits into two distinct threads, one following the Nijigasaki School Idol Club and their battle against Mifune, while the other follows the other girls as they prepare for the School Idol Festival.
    • Chapter 11 has Aqours and the μ's and Nijigasaki 2nd and 3rd years figuring out what to do for the School Idol Festival while the μ's and Nijigasaki 1st years enjoy a day off.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Stamina decreases in everything you do during Lives in the same way real life idols get tired while performing.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Most of the Insight Skills fall under this with the exception of passives and AC/AC Success triggers.
  • Video Game 3D Leap:
    • Lives are now accompanied by a video that uses 3D models to recreate the choreography used during live concerts instead of the simple 2D pop-ups used in School Idol Festival.
    • The main menu screen uses the same 3D models used during lives.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Characters in 3D Lives are interchangeable with each other. Because of this, it is possible to make a team composition that is completely different from the original choreography, resulting in oddities like Rina having Nico's voice or Karin having Ruby's voice.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • The "Aozora Jumping Heart" Super Stage of Chapter 3. Players who have neglected the team building and idol raising aspects of the game as well as lack of knowledge on how the Appeal Chance mechanic works will most likely fail.
    • "Yume no Tobira" Super Stage in Chapter 13 features gimmick notes that reduce the appeal of every member by 50% (and it stacks such that getting two of them decreases your appeal by 100%) until the player switches to another subunit. Players who failed to look at the song information, or focused on playing only on one subunit, will probably find themselves scoring nothing at some point, or worse, fail the whole song.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The basic premise in the first chapter is almost entirely recycled from the start of Love Live! and Love Live! Sunshine!! (and the latter did this on purpose, to boot):
    • The Protagonist sees school idols performing at UTX (in this case, a joint live between μ’s and Aqours).
    • They decide to start a school idol club with their friends (in this case, the club already exists and just needs to be restarted).
    • Local Student Council President rejects their request, so they decide to prove their merit to her to start the club (in this case, get more members).
    • The Student Council President later joins the school idol club as a school idol.
    • The idea of reviving a previously-failed school idol group and bringing in the original members parallels the main plot of Sunshine!! Season 1.
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