There are a total of 8 classes in Arknights, where each of them plays a distinctive role in battle. It can be essential to have a basic understanding on the differences of each classes, because it would help tremendously in formation building on tackling targeted maps.
For starters, the 8 classes in game are (Red for low terrain, and Blue for high terrain):
- Vanguard – For cost regeneration
- Guard – Close-ranged damage dealer
- Defender – To tank heavy-hitting enemies
- Specialist – Characters with unique abilities
- Sniper – Long-ranged physical damage dealer
- Caster – Long-ranged magical damage dealer
- Medic – For healing purposes
- Supporter – To buff allies or debuff enemies
And within each classes, there are subcategories which further divides the abilities of each characters. In general, it is better to have characters from different subcategory when a lineup has two or more units of the same class. For example, having a solo Caster and an aoe Caster at the same time rather than 2 solo Casters.
For better clarification, the subcategories will be introduced along with each classes:
Vanguards are usually first to be deployed at the start of the map. They have the advantage of having low deployment cost, and are generally tasked as a sub-tank while assist in the accumulation of cost for more units deployment.
Regen-Type Offensive Vanguard
Regen-Type Vanguard regenerate cost over time when they are deployed into the map. Offensive Vanguards have notably higher attack stat, and are efficient in dealing with enemies like bug, small shield, or any unit with low attack and high defense. They can block 2 enemies and clear enemies at a decent rate.
Representing characters: Siege, Texas, Scavenger
Regen-Type Defensive Vanguard
Similar to above, characters of this subcategory will regenerate cost over time upon deployment. They have higher defense stat, and are good in dealing with enemies that has high attack and low defense, like hunting dog or dual wielder. Like Offensive Vanguard, they can block 2 enemies at the same time and is much better in surviving enemy waves.
Representing characters: Zima, Courier, Fang
Kill-Type Vanguard regenerate cost by killing enemy units. When recalled, they restore all cost used in deploying them (instead of half like others). Their attack stat is much higher then Regen-Type Vanguard but can only block 1 enemy at the same time. They are best deployed when facing huge enemy waves (on the condition that they do not die).
Representing characters: Reed, Vigna, Plume
All Guards share the trait of having high attack and low defense stat. Their role varies from assisting in damage dealing, or soloing an enemy faraway. Attack type wise, they can either be dealing physical or magical damage.
Block 1 Enemy-Type Guard
As stated, characters from this subcategory blocks only 1 enemy unit. They specialize in soloing enemy located away from the main team (mages, for example), since other enemies will mostly ignore them and continue their path.
Representing characters: Skadi, Indra, Melantha
Semi Ranged-Type Guard
Semi Ranged-Type Guards can target enemies located 1~3 more blocks away from them, including flyers. Some may even cover both blocks on their side. Similarly, damage dealt by them are reduced as according to the range the enemy is located from them. Their HP is also normally higher than other Guards.
Representing characters: Silverash, Lappland, Frostleaf
AOE-Type Guards can attack all enemies blocked by them (A total of 3 at Elite 2), including those who walked pass them. They are good in occasion where enemies swarm towards you in large numbers. It is also possible to use them in replacement of Defenders when enemies are not as painful.
Representing characters: Specter, Savage, Estelle
Guards that are Unique-Type are usually higher in cost but comes in better overall stat. Their abilities are mostly distinctive and irreplaceable by another character.
Representing characters: Ch’en, Mousse, Castle-3
Defenders job is mainly to absorb damage from its team members. They are among the highest defense and HP characters in game, albeit not all have high magic defense.
Like its name, Healing-Type Defender is capable of healing allies during deployment. Their defense are lower than other Defenders, though normally come with 10 magic defense (which performs better when facing enemies with magic attack).
Representing characters: Saria, Nearl, Gum
Offensive-Type Defender are generally a balanced unit with decent attack and defense. They can *sort-of* be regarded as an upgraded Vanguard without cost regeneration ability.
Representing characters: Hoshiguma, Liskarm
Defensive-Type Defender has low attack in return of very high defense. Their tanking ability is also further improved by their skills.
Representing characters: Croissant, Cuora, Matterhorn
Unique-Type Defenders are characters that cannot be generalized into the three subcategories above. Based on Vulcan, the sole Unique-Type Defender for now, he cannot be healed by allies, and can only regenerate HP through his skills.
Representing characters: Vulcan
The rest of the subcategories will be continued in Part 2.