The absurd Silver Macaron grind was quickly addressed by KLab within a week of release, awarding 100 3★ Silver Macarons to all players and promising to tone down the required grind.
A series of patches in October 2019 rebalanced the gameplay loop based on the complaints KLab received from players.
Version 2.0.0 reworked a significant chunk of the story to remove a portion of the playable songs, often accused of padding; and beginning in Season 2, the song lists now have 2 difficulties making easier to catch up the story. It also updated the Goals to remove the Weekly Goals that require playing the game, and updated Story Songs so that they now count towards Goals.
The protagonist / Yu Takasaki is also divisive; some fans feel that her character is too defined for a self-insert character, leading to debates if she could be considered as one. Some think that she's taking too much of a role as the club president that makes the NijiGaku idols feel less independent compared to µ's or Aqours. Fans that don't like yuri are also disappointed that the self insert character is, not surprisingly, canonized as a girl.
Ayumu Uehara is either a refreshing and likeable take on the lead character, thanks to her kind and shy personality, and showing a fantastic character growth through the storyline; a boring, yet inoffensive character that probably doesn't deserve as much focus as she gets; or the worst lead character in Love Live, owing to how passive, possessive and co-dependent on the protagonist she appears to be. The Chapter 15-16 conflict also didn't help to endear her to some fans; some feeling she overreacted a lot, and almost ending up ruining the School Idol Festival thanks to her fight with the protagonist.
Kanata Konoe is particularly divisive; unlike the rest of the cast, who have more complex personalities or stronger appeal with fans, Kanata is mostly defined by her drowsy demeanor and laid-back attitude, which is either endearing or boring depending on the viewer. There's also the fact that being one of the three Normal Cards voted into the group, some fans wish that she was replaced by a different "N" girl or by Haruka.
Setsuna Yuki/Nana Nakagawa has evolved into this over time. While she is very popular thanks to her powerful heavy rock songs and voice, the fact that she is an idol, anime, and videogame otaku, and also the school council president, that collection of attributes (along with a lack of perceived character flaws) also ends up making her feel as a massive Creator's Favorite for some hardcore Nijigasaki fansnote Even the anime seems to have picked up on this, actually showing Setsuna to be the main culprit of the dissolution of the original club. The game never showed what actually happened to make the club dissolve.. It doesn't help that Setsuna is a Spotlight Stealing Character for some of the more overlooked girls, constantly winning character and concert polls, and getting a lot of attention in both the game and anime storylines.
Due to the way subunits work, many players get better mileage out of simply cramming two powerful cards and a strong healer/shielder card into a single subunit and using the rest of the team to stack Appeal/Technique boost Passive Skills and pad extra Stamina, then never swapping subunits for the entire song. KLab is addressing the issue with songs that heavily benefit other card types while heavily penalizing the others as well as debuffs that last until you switch strategies.
Player profiles are demanding that others set up UR idol cards on their profiles or they'll get their friend requests denied. This makes the game lean toward paying players.
One easy way to snag Skill Awards in SBL is to run Fes Yoshiko, who has one of the more unique Skill rate boost effects in the game by providing a massive rate boost but only good for the next two notes, meaning she cannot affect herself. The latter usually isn't important as her effect alone hikes up the chance of proccing your other cards enough that you can easily rack up a ton of Skill activations in a short period of time.
Continuing on from the original School Idol Festival, Shizuku Osaka is once again shipped with Hilda from the Pokémon games in crossover fan art as well as in the crossover fanfiction universe Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee. Joining Shizuku, Rina Tennoji is also involed in a crossover ship in Fanon as well, with her being shipped with Freya Jerbarn from the Xak series of games by certain people on DeviantArt.
In addition, Emma Verde is also shipped with Risa in certain fanarts on Deviant Art as well as in the aforementioned PokéLive! fanfic series.
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.
Dream Live Parade in general is much more difficult as an event than typical events, as instead of tiering for rank against other players you must push through a gauntlet of songs as far as possible with each card in your stock having limited uses. As songs rapidly scale up in difficulty and requirement, extremely careful planning and gauging of your teambuilding strength and skill is needed to keep going before you burn out.
In DLP specifically, songs that released earlier in the game's life tend to prove more challenging than the later ones. This is because while a song's stage placement in DLP determines its Voltage goal and difficulty, its Appeal Chances stay the same. ACs for earlier songs typically give far less Voltage due to the comparatively low Voltage goals in their Live Show counterparts, meaning your team has to put in much more work to hit the point target.
Eight Deadly Words: A possible interpretation of the massive amount of backlash surrounding Season 2 is that after going the entire first Season with almost zero relevancy or development, the story suddenly putting Karin, Ai and Shizuku into the spotlight doesn't make viewers sympathize with their cause, as they lack any sufficient motivation or explanation for their actions to convince viewers that they did something right or even in-character, thus creating the notion that the writers threw them under the bus because they wanted to make them do something in the story.
Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Due to the appealing premise and gorgeous cards, there is a portion of the playerbase who couldn't care less about the gameplay and would rather watch the story and collect their favorite cards.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Sasuke, Ayumu's pet snake from the early Famitsu Yonkoma is incredibly popular thanks to pretty much encapsulating the early Nijigaku material's craziness that many people fell in love with. It has gone on to feature on multiple fanart, and inevitable comparison memes between him and his similarly-named-counterpart from Naruto, or Ekans from Pokémon. It came to a head when the "Muteki-kyuu*Believer" PV featured it as a gigantic plush owned by Ayumu, and the next day, official merchandise of it - in the form of a 70 cm plush - was released for Nijigaku's 2nd Live. Even the promotional page has fun with this, acknowledging that the fanbase asked for this... for some reason.
Many fans expect the story of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club to be the same as the previoustwo series: The announcement of the school closing down, and the school idols going their separate ways (read: disbanding) in the future.
Some of the fans assumed that every member of the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club are genuinely queer lesbians (in contrast to Ambiguously Gay characters from previous series), as the word "Niji" on Nijigasaki translates as Rainbow, which is also associated to homosexuality.
Fanon: Listed here under "Love Live! School Idol Festival ALL STARS"
Every Love Live! series has always had a character who was significantly Denser and Wackier than the rest of the cast—the original had Nico and the sequel had Yoshiko, and the latter is significantly wackier than the former—but both of them were playing characters: Nico is explicitly The Fake Cutie, and the difference between the hyper-saccharine idol persona she puts on and her cynical, grumpy real self was played for much humor. In Yoshiko's case it was debatable how much of her Chuunibyou persona was an act, but her introduction episode, as well as several gags later on, seem to suggest she is at least somewhat playing up the stereotype. Rina Tennouji, however, is not playing a character and really is somehow able to hide her face at all times; the player is just expected to believe that she just behaves that way in her normal life, which breaks the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for many. Additionally, while Nico and Yoshiko's quirks were exaggerated versions of behaviors that can and do occur in real life, Rina's quirk is not something that is common at all and brings up a lot of Fridge Logic about how someone who is an idol is able to hide her face so well that the viewer can't see it, even when singing or dancing.note Though there is in fact a duo named Claris whose gimmick is that no one ever sees their true faces.
A major criticism of Kanata is that she comes off as a ripoff of Anzu Futaba, right down to the appearance and personality. Love Live! in general has never been shy about taking inspiration from other series—several characters are Expies. Most obviously, Honoka and Umi from the original series resemble Haruka Amami and Chihaya Kisaragi respectively, Eli has much in common with Anastasia, and Nico shares many traits with Sachiko Koshimizu. But all these characters received plenty of unique traits as well—they were inspired by their predecessors, not blatant copies of them. The same can't be said about Kanata, who is so similar to the character she is an Expy of that it's easy to see her as a blatant copy.
"Scarlet Courage" Setsuna is the best card in WW server due to her absolutely monstrous Appeal statnote 7759 at LB0, the highest Appeal in the game allowing her to pull her weight even with comparatively little investment as well as a solid Skill spread.
"Happiness Cheerleader" Kanan has a very good Active abilitynote If activated upon using SP skill, adds 8% of own Appeal to the SP gauge (30% activation chance) only balanced by her poor stats due to being an SR. The Guest mechanic gives your formation center the Active and Passive skills of the Guest card. Due to this interaction, you can pass Kanan's skills to a high appeal card like the aforementioned "Scarlet Courage" Setsuna, resulting in a loop that lets you spam Limit Breaks in a short time. While it has been indirectly nerfed, many teams still use this setup to score high in voltage rankings.
"Secret Galaxy" Kanan is the best card in JP server for being a straight upgrade of "Scarlet Courage" Setsuna.
Harsher in Hindsight: The School Idol Festival being cancelled because of the Olympics is likely harder to stomach after the fact, considering the Tokyo 2020 Olympics themselves were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ditto Karin's single on the third album, "Fire Bird", same title with one of Roselia's singles.
In the main series, Dia is Eli's biggest fan due to being in a similar position as a school council president. Fast forward to ALL STARS, and the two of them can be seen in the background chatting it up in the opening movie, essentially making it an Alternate Universe dream come true.
Memetic Badass: Kanan seems to consistently get extremely good or powerful cards, including both her first and second URs and her Fes card, one of the two cards to Power Creep the almighty Fes Setsuna. Some fans joke that Klab is making up for her lack of meaningful screentime by making her overpowered.
Memetic Loser: Nozomi is consistently saddled with bad cards for no clear reason, with only her Magical Time UR being good. Fans like to poke fun every time she gets a new card and (surprise) it's not good.
The Stamina mechanic has been fairly controversial. As the game eats Stamina for simply playing it, unlike normal rhythm games where the Life Meter only decreases when you get bad judgments, the mechanic pretty much enforces team-raising to be able to even survive harder songs regardless of player skill. This is a massive departure from SIF (where a Low-Level Run is possible if the player is skilled enough), and some players do not like how it places much more emphasis on grinding than on the player's ability to play the game.
Some elements of Dream Live Parade are not particularly well liked, most notably the PP mechanic that makes up the core of the format. Cards can only be used a limited number of times per DLP, with most cards only being able to be used once and boosted cards up to twice. PP can be recharged, but only once free per event and up to three times maximum via Bottles and Star Gems. The mechanic's existence drags out both the time investment and difficulty by magnitudes, as teams must be reformed per stage and you must plan extremely carefully to maximize card usage or else suffer early burnout and be forced to wait for the next DLP. Even worse, the mechanic inherently punishes players with fewer cards, especially those who save for long periods of time to pull on specific banners.
Special Effect Failure: For MVs where multiple characters physically interact with each other, the game automatically scales certain characters if there is a height difference that would otherwise break the choreography. This is primarily noticeable by pairing characters with large height differences (Karin and Ruby, for example), and it can look quite jarring when noticed.
Suspiciously Similar Song: When the extended preview of Setsuna Yuki's solo "CHASE!" was released with the Tokimeki RUNNERS reveal, jokes about it being a Sword Art Online theme song started circulating. The song has general stylistic similarities to the SAO series theme songs, and Setsuna sounds somewhat like LiSA at certain points. It also helps that her voice actress' most famous role was as the protagonist of Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, LLENN, and performed said anime's ending song.
The idea of the "Biristar corner" for the Dengeki G's Magazine, which features the girls in last place drawn in fanservice shots. This idea does not bode well with some parts of the western fanbase.
The intermission chapters introduce two new characters, Zhong Lanzhu and Mia Taylor, who are set up to become Nijigasaki's rival characters in Season 2. While not outright disliked for the most part, the initial reception to their characters through their introductory chapter has been mostly lukewarm to cold, with a significant lack of appeal compared to the other rivals. Season 2 pushing attention on them also didn't sit well with fans due to stealing more attention away from the Nijigasaki girls, most of whom already suffered from Setsuna and Ayumu taking up most of the screentime in Season 1.
That One Attack: The Appeal Chances where the player must Activate Card Skills for X times. This type of Appeal Chance first appears in TOKIMEKI Runners Chapter 17 Ver. and is one of the few AC that is entirely luck-based. It's entirely possible to fail this Appeal Chance if the RNG dislikes you even if you run multiple Sk-type Cards or fielding the correct subunit as there's a hard cap on the skill activation chances at 70% chance.
That One Achievement: One of SBL Goal requires winning at least one of 4 special awards once to obtain a 10x Free Gems, however you have limited tickets to play daily against 20 random players competing for awards too, and progressively harder in subsequent events as the participants becomes better equipped.
"Snow Halation" Advanced is notorious for being one of the hardest initial release songs. On top of its outrageously high 3.7 million Voltage requirement, the stage has a universal 15% Appeal penalty to all cards, forcing you to run a Cleanse or have a pocket Angel Riko/Fresh Fruits Nico on Assist to gain a fighting chance at an S Rank.
"Nemureru Mori ni Ikitai na" Intermediate and Advanced. Befitting of the singer's main trait, despite having a soft and relaxing melody, Kanata's solo song will attempt to quickly bleed you out with so many unavoidable stamina decreasing notes and difficult Appeal chance. Expect to fail very quickly if your team doesn't have enough stamina and a way to mitigate the damage.
"Ketsui no Hikari" on Advanced is extremely hard just to even clear it and is even harder to obtain S Rank because the song requires massive amounts of stamina due to its gimmick. Half of its Appeal Chance will inflict massive damage at the end of it no matter what, with the last Appeal Chance inflicting 80.000 stamina damage. You basically need lots of max limit break Guard type UR characters just to even reach that threshold. It doesn't help that 2 of it's Appeal Chance are Activate Card Skills which can further screw you over.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The heavy RPG elements and less than usual focus on the rhythm action, when compared to School Idol Festival, have attracted some complaints post-release.
Some fans weren't particularly pleased that Setsuna ended up in the "genki"-type subunit given the raw strength and energy of her voice, believing that it clashes too hard with the other members.
Initial reception to Season 2 has been divisive partly because of the shift to focus on the new rival characters (who are already bordering on scrappy territory) while the bulk of the main Nijigasaki cast remains severely unexplored outside of their Bond Stories and have very little story contribution.
Poor Shizuku in particular. Even among the characters who don't do much, they at least endear to fans with a gimmick or a niche. Shizuku sticks out for doing absolutely nothing meaningful or interesting in any official content and can basically be summarized as "pretty" and "good at acting". Most of her interactions outside of the main story are also very basic and lack characterization. It gets even worse when Chapter 20 rolls around, where Shizuku leaves the school idol club to join the new one Lanzhu started. While some fans feel that this development will go some ways to giving Shizuku more to do in the plot, others contend that her lack of prior character development makes it difficult to sympathize with her motivations and cynically believe that the writers simply handed her the Conflict Ball without a compelling reason.
There are three types of defensive techniques: Healing, Shields, and Damage Reduction. Of these, you will rarely ever see anyone consciously run damage reduction, as it's generally the least efficient way of directly preserving Stamina, and it makes it counterproductive to run them in the same Subunit as Voltage cards due to the damage penalty that Voltage cards incur by simply existing. There are songs that enforce the use of damage reduction to not die, but these are few and far between compared to standard songs.
Similarly, there are three types of direct offensive techniques: Appeal Boost, Voltage Boost, and Voltage Gain. Voltage Gain is typically the worst of the lot, as unlike Appeal/Voltage Boost, which raise Appeal/Voltage directly and can be applied to the whole strategy with the right builds, Voltage Gain simply takes a percentage of the card's stat and adds it to your Voltage as a flat number without scaling, making it contribute significantly less score than usual over the course of a song. Fes Setsuna and Fes Kanan are exceptions since their Appeal stat is so ridiculous that it makes up for having Voltage Gain as an Active.
Visual Effects of Awesome: Some MVs have some particularly stunning visual work. "Sky Journey" and "Wake Up, Challenger!" are notable examples.
In the original Japanese, the main character's gender was significantly more ambiguous as the game enforced Gender-Neutral Writing with a lean towards a female disposition; the implication that the player was explicitly female was only revealed later in the story. In the English translation, due to the inability to use gender-neutral pronouns, the protagonist's gender is outright stated to be female from the get-go.
You's Youkisoba is translated as "Niceoodles" in Chapter 3 Episode 8, the same as in the English subbed version of Love Live! Sunshine!!.
Also similar to the dubbed anime, a portion of Mari's Gratuitous English is parsed as Gratuitous Italian instead, as it's difficult to convey the use of Gratuitous English in... well, English. This is also subverted in Mari's Bond Story, as the use of English is relevant in a certain cutscene, during which the English is parsed normally but with "<< >>" surrounding the English spoken parts.
Hanpen, the name of the stray cat that Rina looks after, is subtitled as "Fishpuff" in Rina's Bond Episodes.
WTH, Casting Agency?: Fans are puzzled on why AZUNA ended up being the genki subunit, given the track record and personality of its members, and the fact that none of them are actually Genki Girls, personality-wise. In Ayumu and Shizuku's case, both have emotional ballads as their solos and are reserved, calm and mature. In Setsuna's case, see the entry on They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character. There's also the fact that the subunit Ai was chosen to be in did not receive the genki image instead. Considering the fact that Ai actually is a Genki Girl, this was particularly jarring to some fans.