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Combat in Arknights is Tower Defense-style. Enemies spawn in from set locations and move in a pre-determined line towards the player's base(s). Each stage has a set number of enemies in it, and a limit to how many can enter your base before you lose.

Left: Enemies defeated/total. Right: Enemies that can enter the base before failing the stage.

Certain maps have more interactivity to them, like single-use traps, holes to push enemy towards, or the ability to place blocks in the enemies' path, forcing them to reroute.

At the end of each stage, you're evaluated based on your actions. Quitting or failing a stage will only yield a small reward (based on how far into the stage you got), but will only consume 50% of the sanity used to enter the stage.


Cost (or "C") is the in-combat currency used to deploy your units. The Cost of each unit differs depending on their rarity and class (i.e Exusiai (5★) and Kroos (2★) are both Snipers, but they cost 12 and 8 respectively, due to their rarity).

  • Vanguards are unique in that they have special Cost Recovery ("CR") skills.

Most maps give you a steady auto-Cost regen, but it's too slow to rely purely on it, and in some maps, you can only gain Cost from kills and/or Vanguard CR skills.


  • Each unit costs C to deploy.
  • Units can be placed either on elevated ground or in the enemies' path, depending on their class.
  • There's a limited number of units that can be active at once (usually 8).
  • Certain units can bring other units with them as support (i.e Kal'tsit bringing Mon3ter with her).
  • Units go into cooldown, along with a Cost increase, when they're withdrawn or killed.


Planning mode lets you enter a stage without spending sanity, but you won't gain any rewards from completing the stage.

  • You can use planning mode to check if you can clear the stage, and to test out strategies before taking on the real one.
  • planning mode can only be used 30 times a day.


  • After getting a 3/3 rating on a stage, you're able to auto-rerun your last perfect run of that stage.
  • It costs the same as manual play, and even yields the same rewards, so it's a good option for grinding.
  • You can not auto-play a run where a friend's unit was used.

Keep in mind that auto-play only remembers which units and skills you used, and in what order they were placed, not their level, upgrades, or elite ranks. This can cause discrepancies between the recorded run and your current team's stats.

For example: In your perfect run, you used a non-elite Frostleaf, which costs 17C, and you placed her the moment you were able to afford her. Later on, you got her to elite I, raising her Cost to 18. Now when you auto-play that stage, it's gonna stop completely until it can reach 18C and place her, which can sometimes result in enemies passing through and lowering your rating.


At the end of each stage, you're evaluated based on how many enemies entered the base, with each rating giving a multiplier to EXP and Money earned.

Rating Condition Reward
3/3 No enemies have entered the base. x1.2 EXP/Money multiplier. Can auto-play the stage.
2/3 Some enemies have entered the base. x1.0 EXP/Money multiplier.
1/3 Unknown how to achieve in CBT2. N/A

After getting a 3/3 rating on certain stages, you unlock the option of playing a harder version of the same stage. Clearing the hard mode version gives a 4/4 rating.