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Combat is a major component of the game in Kantai Collection. Combat is accessed through the Sortie menu by selecting a map to send a fleet. Multiple mechanics weave together to create an intricate combat dynamic. For more detailed explanations on the various combat mechanics, please see the individual pages below. Exercises also consist of one surface combat.

Combat Phases

In each node, combat will consist of at least one, up to several Combat Phases. The number of combat phases depends on the node type, with each node type using a different set of combat phases and order. More information on Nodes.

In no particular order, the combat phases are made out of Aerial Combat, Battle Opening, Day Battle, Night Battle, Land-based Aerial Support, and Support Expedition.

Formation Selection

If the fleet currently deployed has 4 or more ships, the player will be prompted to pick a fleet formation before every battle. Fleets with 3 or less ships will not have a fleet formation prompt and will default to Line Ahead.

  • Sunk ships and ships retreated with Fleet Command FacilityFleet Command Facility
    Striking Force Fleet Command Facility
    Elite Torpedo Squadron Command Facility
    are not counted.
  • Diamond Formation requires 5 or more ships present in the fleet to be selected.
  • Enemy fleets do not have these restrictions. Enemy fleets in Diamond formation with fewer than 4 ships lack formation graphics on the battle screen.
Formation Shelling Torpedo Anti-Submarine Night Battle AA Flagship Protection
Damage Accuracy Evasion Damage Accuracy Evasion Damage Accuracy Evasion Damage Accuracy[1] Evasion
Line Ahead
単縦陣 (Tanjuu-jin?)
Formation 1: Line Ahead 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 60% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 45%
Double Line
複縦陣 (Fukujuu-jin?)
Formation 2: Double Line 80% 120%[2] 100% 80% 80% 100% 80% 120% 100% 100% 90% 100% 120% 60%
輪形陣 (Rinkei-jin?)
Formation 3: Diamond 70% 100% 110% 70% 40% 110% 120% 100% 100% 100% 70% 110% 160% 75%
梯形陣 (Teikei-jin?)
Formation 4: Echelon 75% 120% 140%[3] 60% 75%[4][5] 130% 110% 120% 130% 100% 90%[6] 130%[6] 100% 60%
60% 120% 60% 100% 80% 110%
Line Abreast
単横陣 (Tan'ou-jin?)
Formation 5: Line Abreast 60% 120% 130% 60% 30% 140% 130% 120% 110% 100% 80% 120% 100% 60%
警戒陣 (Keikai-jin?)
Formation 6: Vanguard 50% 80% ?? 100% ?? ?? 100% ?? ?? 50% ?? ?? 110% Medium
100% 120% ?? 100% ?? ?? 60% ?? ?? 100% ?? ?? 110% High


  • Exceptions to the table: Shelling Accuracy and Anti-Submarine Accuracy are 100% for the following combinations of formations:
    • Double Line attacking Line Abreast
    • Echelon attacking Line Ahead
    • Line Abreast attacking Echelon
  • Exact values were datamined from KanColle Kai for the Vita. Testing on the browser version has corroborated these results.
    • Values for Vanguard and new Echelon are vague as they weren't introduced for KanColle Kai.
  • Echelon modifiers were buffed on the 2019-02-27 update. Split cells contain new values above and old values below. All new values are confirmed for Single vs Single fleet battles. However, Single fleets in Echelon fighting Combined fleets (either the player's in 6v12, or the enemy's in 12v6) are confirmed to use the old shelling damage value of 60%.[1] It is unknown if they use new values or old values for other calculations.
    • If a player's combined fleet selects Echelon on a Night Battle Node, it also uses the old shelling damage value of 60%. This can be observed through the damage of Support Shelling, which uses the shelling modifier of the formation.

Flagship Protection

Flagship Protection is when a non-flagship protects the flagship from being targeted by receiving the attack instead. When activated, a "curved shield" animation plays in front of the flagship's banner.

  • Activation rate is determined solely by the selected formation. If activated, a ship with HP above Minor Damage (小破) is randomly selected to be the protector.
    • If no ships are above Minor Damage, flagship protection cannot activate.
    • Having more ships above Minor Damage does not increase the rate.
  • It may activate on any type of attack, including shelling, torpedo, ASW, airstrike, and support.
  • Submarines do not protect surface ships. Surface ships do not protect submarines.
  • Installations cannot perform protection, and cannot receive protection if they are flagship.
  • In combined fleet, the escort flagship does not receive flagship protection.

Vanguard Formation

  • Vanguard is only available when an Event World is active. It is usable in any map during such time, however.
  • The modifiers on Vanguard Formation refer respectively to the "upper half" and "bottom half" of the fleet.
    • For a fleet with 6 or 7 ships, the top row applies to ships 1, 2 and 3 and the bottom row applies to the remaining ships.
    • For a fleet with 4 or 5 ships, the top row applies to ships 1 and 2 and the bottom row applies to the remaining ships.
  • Attacks from support fleets are affected by the top row multipliers, meaning the 50% damage modifier is applied.
  • Vanguard has a further post-cap evasion modifier for all ships in the fleet.[1]
    • For ships at the upper half: Non-destroyers get a 5% bonus. Destroyers get a 20% bonus.
    • For ships at the bottom half: Non-destroyers get a 20% bonus. Destroyers get a 40% bonus.
    • Exception: Ships in position 4 of a 6 or 7 ships fleet receive the upper half bonuses, despite being bottom half ships for all other purposes of vanguard.
    • This bonus applies to shelling and torpedoes, but not airstrike.
  • Bottom half ships have increased chance to be targeted.
    • The targeting is determined as follows: 1. Randomly select any ship from the fleet. 2. If the selected ship is an upper half ship, randomly select any ship from the fleet again.[2]
    • Target rate per ship (without flagship protection) based on the above procedure:
Number of Ships 4 5 6 7
Upper Half 12.5% 8% 8.33% 6.13%
Bottom Half 37.5% 28% 25% 20.4%

Choosing a Formation

Formation Selection Screen

When selecting a formation, its modifiers will be applied to the entirety of the next battle node whenever applicable. Picking another formation will discard any previous formation bonuses and penalties and use the new modifiers instead. Each formation has a general use-case archetype based on its modifiers.

  • Line Ahead: All-out surface combat formation.
  • Double Line: All-around, high accuracy formation.
  • Diamond: Anti-Air formation.
  • Echelon: Mixed surface-ASW combat formation.
  • Line Abreat: ASW formation.
  • Vanguard: Defensive/evasive formation.

Victory Conditions

A damage gauge that is displayed at the post-combat screen for each fleet, using the following calculation:

[math]\displaystyle{ \text{Damage%} = \dfrac{\text{Fleet HP lost}}{\text{Fleet HP}} }[/math]

The following conditions must be met to attain each rank:

Victory State Rank Common name Conditions
Victory Total Victory: S
Perfect S
  • Sink all enemy ships, while taking no damage in return.
  • In special nodes like air raids and RADAR ambush; take 0 damage.
Victory: S
S rank
  • Sink all enemy ships.
  • In special nodes like air raids and RADAR ambush; take less than 5% damage.
Victory: A
A rank
  • Sink 2/3 of the enemy ships.
  • In special nodes like air raids and RADAR ambush; take between 5% and 10% damage.
Tactical Victory: B
B rank
  • Sink the enemy flagship.
    • The number of enemies sunk must be greater than the number of your ships sunk.
  • If the enemy flagship survives, have the enemy Damage % gauge be 2.5x of yours.
  • In special nodes like air raids and RADAR ambush; take between 10% and 20% damage.
  • If any of your ships sink, this is the maximum rank you can get.
Defeat Tactical Defeat: C
C Rank
  • If the enemy flagship survives, have the enemy Damage % gauge be between 0.5x and 2.5x of yours.
    • Also applies if you sunk any ships during the battle.
  • If the enemy flagship is sunk but you have more sunken ships than the enemy, as well as having the enemy Damage % gauge be between 0.5x and 2.5x of yours.
  • In special nodes like air raids and RADAR ambush; take between 50% and 20% damage.
Defeat: D
D rank
  • If the enemy flagship survives and your Damage % gauge is less than 0.5x of the enemy's.
  • If your Damage % gauge is 0.05% (essentially 0).
  • If both fleets deal no damage to each other.
    • This applies to submarine vs submarine battles and air battle nodes.
  • Ships are sunk but not enough to meet the conditions for E.
  • In special nodes like air raids and RADAR ambush; take heavy damage.
Defeat: E
E rank
  • The enemy flagship survives and the number of sunk ships in your fleet meets the minimum kill requirements.
    • Not meeting the requirements for a D Rank.


  • B-ranks are the minimum victory requirements for:
    • Obtaining drops.
    • Clearing a map without a boss gauge.
  • Drops (both rate and pool) scale based on rank obtained. Some drops might be exclusive to higher ranks.
  • Perfect S (Total Victory) ranks count as a regular S-Rank.
    • Perfect S is fulfilled if all ships' final HPs on battle ended are greater than or equal to initial HPs on battle started.
    • So it's possible to obtain a perfect S if the only damaged ship has used a Repair Goddess in battle, and her final HP is still greater than or equal to her initial.


At the end of combat, one ship is picked as the MVP. She gains bonuses to exp and morale. For more details, please see Experience and Rank and Morale and Fatigue.

The way MVP is determined is:

  • The ship who deals the highest total damage (sum of all attacks during the combat) is awarded MVP. This damage is not weighted.
  • If multiple ships are tied for damage, the MVP goes to the topmost ship in the fleet order.
    • As such, if no damage is dealt to the enemy, the flagship automatically receives MVP.
  • Battles ending in an E-Rank have no MVP.
  • In a Combined Fleet, each fleet has their own, independent MVP.

See Also