This article aims to provide a rough guide to help you decide on what to spend your screws on. Because of the way most improvement bonuses are square rooted, the first upgrade provides you with the largest gain. Therefore it is critical to get important equipment to ★+1 before working on others.
Please refer to Akashi-List or Improvement for more details on the process.
The Breakpoint Myth
Breakpoints refer to points where upgrade bonuses reach whole numbers. These points are stressed because of the way the game rounds down the results of most formulas. The misconception is that a 1.99 bonus is just as good as a 1.00 bonus because of rounding. While there is a slight grain of truth to the myth, things get a little complex in practice. Due to how many multipliers and other bonuses are involved, trying to hit equipment upgrade breakpoints doesn't affect very much in the grand scheme of things.
The most important thing to do is to upgrade your equipment to certain critical points:
- ★+1 - Provides the biggest power increase. Only applies to equipment with square rooted bonus curves.
- ★+6 - The point when failures start to kick in and costs take a large jump.
- ★MAX - The final step to maximise upgrade bonuses.
- Get at least 6 10cm Twin High-angle Mount + Anti-Aircraft Fire Director to max.
- Ideally you should have around 14 20.3cm(no.3) Twin Gun Mount but 8 is a good number to start off with. You can round out the numbers of 20.3cm guns with 8inch Triple Gun Mount Mk.9 and 8inch Triple Gun Mount Mk.9 mod.2 if you have them.
- The 35.6 and 41 prototypes are not the best battleship guns but they are cheap and useful across many different battleships. Upgrade about 4 each but you can lower their priority as you get other, better guns.
- You can effectively use a maximum of 9 12cm 30 Tube Rocket Launcher Kai 2 at one time. You can get away with 2 to start off with.
- The Type 91 Anti-Aircraft Fire Director is currently the best thing to put in reinforcement expansions if you're not otherwise using lookouts for cut-in boosts or Rocket Kai Nis for airstrike immunity. It provides bonuses to firepower, torpedo and fleet AA.
- Start off with upgrading 4 Quad torpedoes then focus on Quintuples as you get them. You'll want at least 12 torpedoes.
- The Iwamoto is currently the best fighter in the game. You should upgrade it at your earliest opportunity.
- It is important to have at least 8 seaplane fighters.
- The SONAR upgrades aren't that important from an ASW standpoint, but SONAR Conversion to Type 4 SONAR can help reach OASW thresholds.
- AP Shells are incredibly important for your battleships and you should be aiming to get 4.
- The Ka-Mi tank is the best all rounder against installations. While it's best that you match the number of special landing craft (T89, 11th Division, M4A1), getting 4 to start will be good.
- Upgrading the searchlight will decrease enemy CI chance and give bonus firepower. Important for night battle.
- The 12.7cm Twin Mount Type-C Kai 2 has fit bonuses across a wide variety of destroyers, making it one of the more useful main guns. Keep at least 6 of these.
- You'll want to upgrade 8inch Triple Gun Mount Mk.9 into 8inch Triple Gun Mount Mk.9 mod.2 then max the latter. It is currently the most powerful cruiser gun and can be complemented with the 20.3n3 to get the night battle accuracy bonus. Try to match
- The battleship guns listed below are luxuries but very useful if you can spare the resources to upgrade them.
- Both the late model torpedoes may have less raw torpedo power than a Quintuple but they have fit bonuses on certain destroyers that make them useful. Note that the fit bonus increases once the torpedoes are maxed.
- It is important that you max the Zero Fighter Type 52 Model C (601 Air Group) before conversion as it is the only way to obtain an upgraded Reppuu 601.
- You'll want at least 4 Zero Fighter Type 21 (Skilled) maxed for use with LBAS.
- The Zero Fighter Type 62 (Fighter-bomber/Iwai Squadron) is quite useful when you need to eke out that last bit of fighter power and maintain CVCI. As a bonus, it counts as a night battle plane and it has shootdown resistance.
- The Type 98 Recon Seaplane (Night Scout) is upgraded purely for the bonus LoS. You can ignore this recommendation if you feel you aren't struggling to hit LoS requirements.
- The Type 1 Fighter Hayabusa Model III A is currently the best interceptor outside of events or quests.It also doubles as the best common 6 Range LBAS Fighter. You'll want to upgrade enough to fill out your LBAS slots in order to meet base defense unlock requirements in events.
- Upgrade enough Daihatsu-class Landing Craft (Type 89 Medium Tanks & Marines) to pair with your Ka-Mi tanks.
- The Type 96 150cm Searchlight functions like the basic searchlight but with better effects. It is less important because fewer ship girls can equip it.
- While the 16in Triple Gun Mount Mk.7 + GFCS, Prototype 51cm Twin Gun Mount, and 51cm Twin Gun Mount are great guns, the cost far outweighs the benefits. It would be a good idea to +1 them as a high priority though.
- You'll want to upgrade torpedo bombers into night bombers to complement your night fighters. Don't bother if you don't have enough night fighters.
- Both the Zuiun Model 12 (634 Air Group) and Zuiun Kai Ni (634 Air Group) are currently the best seaplane bombers. Getting them to their skilled versions is a good idea. They have shootdown resistance and function like fighter/bombers.
- Getting the Prototype Keiun to it's jet fighter/bomber version will open up more options for you.
- Depth charges aren't really important to upgrade but do it if you need the extra ASW power.
- Upgrades on the OTO 152mm Triple Rapid Gun Mount can be useful if your ship girls are expected to fight under air denial or incapability.
- Upgrading the Type 0 Observation Seaplane is only necessary if you find that you're struggling to meet LoS requirements.
- You'll only want 1-2 autogyro/helicopters. Their main purpose is to allow Hyuuga Kai Ni to OASW.
- As with the T3DC, upgrading depth charges is not terribly important. The Type 2 Depth Charge benefits from having a small armor-piercing ability and the mortars can double up as anti-installation equipment.