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Tutorial: Leveling

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Overview

This is a guide to leveling your ship girls effectively through sorties. Experience (XP) increases the level of ships, which leads to increases in Evasion, LOS, and ASW stats, as well as passive increases in accuracy. Leveling ships can also unlock remodels at higher levels.

2-2B 3-5B 4-5B/D 5-2C 5-3P 5-5B
Base XP 150-200 300 170-230 140-160 700-750 200-250
Bucket Usage very Low Low Low Zero High Low
Red/Orange Morale? yes yes yes yes no yes
Battle Type Surface Combat Surface Combat Anti-Submarine Airraid Night Battle Anti-Submarine
Target Ship-class Any Any Any AV, CV(L/B), BBV, CAV, SS No CV(L/B), BBV Any
Main Requirement 3 CVL CV(L/B) or CLT, SS ASW Escorts RLK2 2 DD ASW Escorts

Suggested places to level:

  • 2-2B: For lower level admirals to train CVLs, finish weekly transports and gain bauxite while doing so
  • 3-5B: Mostly subcheesable node with decent XP
  • 4-5B/D: First Node ASW leveling/leeching suitable for all ship types
  • 5-2C: Airstrike Node leveling suitable for aviation vessels and submarines
  • 5-3P: High XP leveling for night battle capable ships
  • 5-5B: First Node ASW leveling/leeching suitable for all ship types

02 02.png
  • Base-XP: 150-200
  • Requirements: 3CV(L/B)
  • Notes:
    • Equip your CV exclusively with Torpedo Bombers to maximize the opening damage. The slot sizes should be smaller than or equal to 17 to prevent plane loss during the fighter combat phase due to Aerial Combat rules.
      • Anything slot size 18 or larger will have a chance of losing plane(s) due to the aforementioned rules.
    • Opening Airstrikes are not affected by morale, so you can run this map indefinitely
    • A Submarine will be able to tank up to 4 of the remaining ships depending on enemy fleet composition
    • Even if a ship gets heavily damaged on this Node you can advance after this node to Node A to gain bauxite and end the sortie
    • Equipping Daihatsu-class Landing Craft and Drum Canister on the remaining ships will increase Bauxite gain at Node A

3-5 Map.png
  • Base-XP: 300
  • Requirements: 1CLT or 1CV(L/B), 1SS
  • Notes:
    • The submarine will be tanking 4 of the enemies present at this node
    • Try to frontload as much damage as possible in the Opening Airstrike and Torpedo Phase to weaken the enemy before the Shelling Phase
    • The presence of Ri-Class FS and Ta-Class Elite will lead to damage taken on all ships, especially when at low morale
    • End the sortie after finishing Node B
    • Not recommended when you have access to 5-2 and/or 5-3 leveling

4-5 Map.png
  • Base-XP: 170-230
  • Requirements: Preferably 5 Ships capable of OASW
  • Notes:
    • Put the Ship you want to level into Flagship Position, this method is suitable for all ship types
    • Set up your remaining Ships for OASW attacks to clear out Submarines before their opening Torpedo Salvo
    • If your Flagship is capable of ASW attacks as well, give it your strongest ASW synergy to ensure it achieves MVP more frequently
    • A BB will enable a second shelling phase if you struggle to disable the Submarines before the Ending Torpedo Phase
    • It is recommended to use DE for the escort ships. Their low consumption, repair times and OASW requirements make them prime candidates
    • As these are Submarine nodes, they only take small amounts of fuel per sortie
    • Node B yields higher XP than D
    • End the sortie after one Node
    • Please note that unlike opening airstrikes, OASW is affected by morale.

5-2 Map.png
  • Base-XP: 140-160
  • Requirements: 12cm 30 Tube Rocket Launcher Kai 2
  • Notes:
    • This Leveling Method utilizes the ability of the RLK2 to negate all damage from the opening airstrike of the Airstrike node C
    • Shiptypes eligible are: CAV, BBV, CV, CVB, CVL, AV, SS, SSV
    • Equip every ship you intend to level with a 12cm 30 Tube Rocket Launcher Kai 2 and High-Angle Guns aswell as AA-MGs until you have 100% Activation Chance for the Anti-Aircraft Rocket Barrage. This stat can be looked up in most viewers when a Ship is equipped with said equipment. Otherwise, refer to this Page for additional info.
    • Modernizing AA stat of the ships helps increase the activation chance of the AARB/AAPB
    • Morale has no influence on the activation; it is therefore possible to level here indefinitely
    • As this is an Airstrike node, fuel and ammo consumption is low
    • The Flagship will always get MVP
    • SS(V) take no damage on Airstrike nodes, guaranteeing perfect S ranks when using them exclusively
    • Taking more than 2 CV(B) or 4 CV(B/L) or a SS(V) introduces a chance to get routed to the Maelstrom Node B, increasing sortie costs slightly
    • End the sortie after Node C

5-3 Map.png
  • Base-XP: 700-750
  • Requirements: 2 Destroyers, No CV(L/B), BBV, SS(V). Max 2 (F)BB, 1 slow BB max
  • Notes:
    • This leveling method costs Buckets/Repair Time, but has huge payoff
    • Both Combat Nodes I and P are night battles.
      • It is recommended to bring Star Shells Star Shell to reduce enemy Cut-In Chance. Using Searchlights is highly discouraged.
    • Node I is a night battle against an Abyssal Heavy Cruiser Squadron containing Ri-Class Flagship.
      • This Node is capable of damaging your ships heavily and/or forcing retreats, costing Buckets.
    • After going to O, you select Node P.
    • End the sortie after defeating the Transport Node P.
      • You can also complete both weekly Transport quests while leveling here
    • The recommended Setup consists of 1XX (MVP Ship you intend to level) and 5DDs
      • The Flagship should be using a Night Double-Attack set-up to maximize Damage and ensure MVP is achieved
      • To control which ship gets MVP, the remaining DDs could use the (RADARTorpedo-based WeaponSsp c.png) Cut-In to reduce their damage instead of a regular double attack if deemed necessary; this also has an evasion synergy bonus for better survivability
      • It is also possible to use 5 fodder DDs instead; a disclaimer can be found further below

5-5 Map.png
  • Base-XP: 200-250
  • Requirements: No more than 3 Destroyers
  • Notes:
    • This method is essentially identical to 4-5 with slightly stronger subs and more XP
    • Taking more than 3 Destroyers will cause you to route to A instead. You can however take as many Destroyer Escorts as you like
    • Put the Ship you want to level into Flagship Position, this method is suitable for all ship types
    • Set up your remaining Ships for OASW attacks to clear out Submarines before their opening Torpedo Salvo
    • If your Flagship is capable of ASW attacks as well, give it your strongest ASW synergy to ensure it achieves MVP more frequently
    • A BB will enable a second shelling phase if you struggle to disable the Submarines before the Ending Torpedo Phase
    • It is recommended to use DE for the escort ships. Their low consumption, repair times and OASW requirements make them prime candidates
    • As this is a Submarine node, it only takes small amounts of fuel per sortie
    • End the sortie after one Node

General Tips

  • XP differs across the enemy compositions a node can spawn. The Boss node usually yields the most XP on any given map
  • Submarine, PT Imp, Airstrike and Night Battle nodes consume considerably less fuel and ammo than regular surface battle nodes
  • Modernization: Improves the primary four stats of your ships. AA tends to be difficult to modernize but is generally the least important for farming XP. Firepower and armor can help the most. Stats gained during modernization are lost upon remodel, so typically modernization is used after the first remodel.
  • For more experienced Admirals that do not need ships drops, leveling speed can also be increased by sortieing with maxed out ship slots so that you do not waste time getting new ships.
  • Using spare level 1 ship drops can help reduce the cost of sorties. This is usually used with the objective of focusing XP on a single ship as it takes other slots away from being able to gain XP. When the ship is heavily damaged or runs out of supplies (fuel/ammo), they can be used as modernization fodder or scrapped.
    • Spare BB can be used to grant double shelling without having to resupply them.

Sinking

Avoid sinking ships by ending sorties if a ship is heavily damaged. Do not deploy ships that are heavily damaged. Ships entering a new node at Medium damage will not sink, but having the flagship heavily damaged during a sortie will force your fleet return to base and requires immediate repair/change of flagship to continue. Sinking ships can also lead to lower battle ranks, lowering your XP gain and making consecutive sorties slower due to morale drain.

Using Fodder Ships

If maps require passing a dangerous node (like 5-3 I) first to get to the leveling spot, it is possible to exploit disposable escort ships that can be sunk during the sortie to save on buckets and time. Be aware that sinking Ships intentionally can generate quite a bit of hostility from other admirals. It is generally not recommended to utilize these strategies, but are included here for sake of completion of the guide. Be aware of the following:

  • Equipment from sunk ships is permanently lost, do not use anything but the most basic equipment on them
  • Losing Ships can affect Battle Ranks
  • Unmodernized Level 1 ships with disposable equipment will struggle to make any meaningful contribution to the battle, which will also affect Battle Ranks
  • Sinking Ships can also lead to failure to fulfil certain branching rules later on in the same map

Submarines as tanks

Submarines draw fire from all ships that can target them (DD, CL, certain CV(L)s) This helps to prevent damage to other ships and lowers your repair costs as submarines have very low repair costs. Non-Aircraft carrying Submarines also have low repair times, making cycling them for tanking an option. Early on, submarines can be obtained through Construction or from the map 1-5. They have low sortie costs.

Morale considerations

Morale affects ship performance like accuracy and evasion which can affect rank and help influence MVP

  • CV(L/B)s' opening airstrike is not affected by morale
  • OASW is affected by morale
  • If you intend to level a single ship on a map requiring the escort ships to have morale, consider using Fleet Presets to quickly rotate out the escorting ships to accelerate sortie rates.

Experience Mechanics

Tips to Maximize Experience

  • Flagship gives 50% extra XP.
  • MVP gives double XP. Can be combined with Flagship bonus for total of 3x bonus.
  • MVP is awarded to the ship that does the most total damage with ties going to ship in highest slot.
  • S rank gives 20% extra XP; C/D- ranks have XP penalty
  • Airstrike Nodes automatically reward MVP to the Flagship
  • Placing a ship at flagship and achieving MVP grants the most XP. This is useful for quickly leveling up a single ship or focusing XP on more resource expensive ships to reduce the resource costs of leveling it up.
  • Where applicable, proceeding to night battles (after daytime battles) can increase rank earned and resulting XP. This is recommended for losing ranks (C,D,E) but not for winning ranks (B,A). Night battles increase fatigue and cost 1 additional bar of ammo. An exception can be when you want to give your flagship another chance to get MVP or want to score an S-Rank for Bonus XP in PvP.

Difference between HQ XP and Ship XP

  • HQ XP and ship XP are two different things.
  • HQ XP increases the most when you achieve victory at a boss node.
  • Earlier on, It can help to try to reduce HQ XP gain as certain maps get more difficult (in terms of enemy fleet compositions) at certain HQ tiers.
  • More details on the topic can be found on the Experience and Rank page.

Equipment Configuration

Artillery Spotting

  • Artillery spotting helps increase the chances of doing damage and the amount of damage done.
  • Achieve air superiority during an air phase to utilize it.
  • Double attack, Mixed and Cut-in will vary in damage output (depending on trigger chances and multipliers).
  • Usually, it is advisable to put Double attack (with Radar) or Mixed (AP) on the ship you want to MVP.
  • Common Double Attack Setup: (Intermediate Caliber Main GunIntermediate Caliber Main GunSeaplane )
  • Common APCI Attack Setup: (Large Caliber Main GunLarge Caliber Main GunSeaplane Armor Piercing Ammunition)

Carrier Equipment Configuration

  • Torpedo bombers Dive Bomber Aircraft tend to do more damage on average.
  • Dive bombers Dive Bomber Aircraft have more consistent damage.
  • Both contribute similar amounts to shelling damage (Dive bomb stat adds x2 firepower and Torpedo stat adds x1.5 firepower).
  • You can place torpedo bombers on a carrier you want to MVP, and weaker or fewer bombers on other carriers.
  • A Saiun on any carrier avoids getting Red T (both sides do 60% damage). It is often useful to help you achieve consistent results.

Anti-Submarine Equipment Configuration

  • Equipping a SONAR SONAR and reaching 100 Anti-Submarine-Stat will enable Opening Anti-Submarine Attacks on Light Cruisers and Destroyers.
  • Equipping a SONAR SONAR and reaching 60 Anti-Submarine-Stat will enable Opening Anti-Submarine Attacks on Destroyer Escorts.
  • To maximize (or restrict) damage against submarines for MVP-Control, it is recommended to make use of Synergy-Bonuses, which can be read upon here.

Range

Range determines which ships attack first, which can help influence MVP. It is not possible to reduce the base range of a ship, but certain equipment is capable of extending it:

Equipment Usecases
GFCS Mk.37, SG Radar (Initial Model) Medium Range on DD, CL
203mm / 53 Twin Gun Mount Long Range on CL, CA
381mm / 50 Triple Gun Mount Kai, 46cm Triple Gun Mount, 46cm Triple Gun Mount Kai Very Long Range on (F)BB(V)
51cm Twin Gun Mount, Prototype 51cm Twin Gun Mount Very Long Range on Mutsu Kai 2, Nagato Kai 2
SCAMP Long Range on CV(L/B), Yura Kai 2, Tama Kai 2, Gotland
Night Operation Aviation Personnel + Skilled Deckhands Long Range on CV(L/B)
Suisei Model 22 (634 Air Group), Suisei Model 22 (634 Air Group/Skilled), Ju 87 C Kai 2 (w/ KMX / Skilled) Long Range on CV(L/B)

Formation

  • Formations can help you achieve the best results.
    • Line Ahead maximizes firepower and is considered the go-to formation.
    • Double Line reduces firepower but can help if you are having issues with accuracy (Carriers tend to be less accurate in shelling), or used for mixed-fleet encounters containing surface ships and submarines.
    • Line Abreast is the best formation for Anti-Submarine operations.
  • Formations can also be used to help influence damage and be used to help certain ships be more likely to achieve MVP.
  • For more detailed info about Formation modifiers, refer to this Page

Other ways to level

  • PvP - can give high amounts of XP with no need to repair and low HQ xp gained.
    • Only refreshes twice a day for a maximum of 10 opponents per day.
    • Targeted admiral might change his fleet composition while you are initiating attack.
    • Different ship types may appear with various base XP gains depending on battle rank achievement and total level of 2 first ships on your opponent fleet.
  • Expeditions - Can be a source of XP for lower level ships.
    • Expeditions 22, 23 focus on XP instead of resources, but these specific expeditions are not recommended in general as they are very slow and resource inefficient as well as taking away the use of a fleet in gathering resources.
    • Sparkling can help achieve Great Success, which doubles the XP gain
      • It can be useful to combine leveling with sparkling to help increase your resources.

Links to other Guides

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