Counter:Side is a live-service game which means things can and will change, for better or worse. The two most prominent examples are the CC-Resistance and the DMG Calculation rework. This means the guide might become obsolete / less relevant. If it does happen, do let us know so we can make changes to the guide to keep them up-to-date.
Min-maxing for Specific Content
As you progress through the game you will find things you enjoy and want to be better at. We have a limited number of Maze, Humming, and Gordias gears so eventually you will be faced with choosing how many sets for each gear you want to have. Back then we had: 9 Maze Hands, 9 Maze Case, 13 Maze Crowns, 2 Humming Hands, 5 Gordias Crowns, and 3 Gordias Movements.
Examples of Maze, Gordias, and Humming gears:
You should try to tune them all first before going all in on one single gear as per the tips in “Beginner Guide to Gearing”. Once you have done so, you will want to min-max your gears to your needs. We will not tell you “you must have X amount of gears for this content” but we will try to show how many gears are needed for each type of content so you can draw a conclusion yourself.
Update: We can craft Maze gears now. This means there is less need for min-maxing your Maze gears and you can focus on your Relic gears.
You can bring 8 units in your team for PvP. You will be given 1 Leader + 3 randomized units at the start of the fight + 4 randomized sequences. Knowing this, you will want a team that will allow a good flow of deployment no matter what happened during the fight.
A basic team for PvP consists of 2-3 Tank (1 Main + 1-2 Off-Tank), 3-4 DPS (Defender shredder, Striker killer, Backline deleter), and 1-3 Flex (Crowd Control, More DPS, DP Battery, Helidrop/Nuker, Healer, Buffer)
Tank will obviously need defensive gear:
HP/DEF/EVA set: generally for your Tank that just needs to survive and be a wall to disrupt the enemy (Yumi and A-NYB for example).
Defensive ASPD: generally for your Tank that has utility that needs them to hit (Chifuyu and A-Jake for example).
Defensive CDR: generally for your Tank that has useful Special and Ultimate skills (Serapel and A-Hilde for example).
You can gain 67.2% Ground RES + some Type/Role/Range-Melee RES to maximize your gear. CDMG RES is not very useful in PvP as only some hits will eventually CRIT and you do not try to tank Kestrel shots (guaranteed CRIT), it’s either you kill her fast or you die.
While you can use a standard 20% ASPD from set, you might want to have more haste than the standard 30%. This means you will need to sacrifice some RES for Haste. The best way to do it is to get the Haste from latent, and use the gear’s substats for the RES.
DPS will need either ASPD, CDR, or ATK-Spectral gear:
Offensive ASPD: generally for your DPS that doesn't need/have skills with cooldown to use (Soldiers/Mech and units with “do this after x hits” skill for example)
Offensive CDR: generally for your DPS that need to spam their skills by reducing it’s cooldown as much as possible (most Counter units for example)
ATK-Spectral: generally for your DPS that has Exclusive Equipment (EE) and you want to maximize its damage by using role-dmg + ground-dmg stats from Spectral gear too (Gaeun and Nestkeeper for example)
The best ASPD will be Swift Relic aspd obviously; you can get 40%+ ASPD just from the gears (20% set + 7.6% 1st substat + 26.2% latent). Add ground-dmg from 2nd substat and you will have your unit shred your opponents.
The Maze CDR is arguably the best offensive CDR there is, but there is also Challenger CDR for units with huge damage on Special skill and Sc CDR for budget gear.
A compromise between ASPD and CDR will be Maze ASPD. This gear set can get 20% ASPD + 42% Haste (46.2% if T7) + 44.8% ground-dmg (51.2% if T7).
Update: We have some new sets from the new Relic gear Jungle and Volcano. These are useful in niche situations. We suggest focusing on preparing the universal gears (hp tank, defensive aspd, defensive cdr, offensive aspd, offensive cdr, cdmg set) before looking for ground res, special dmg amp, def pen sets, etc.
Once the universal gears are ready you can start looking for niche PvP gears. For example there is ground res set (2 piece) that give 10% res. This combined with the Jungle gears giving 2.2% HP in 1st substat for accessory (2% for armor and weapon) can be quite a good gear once built. It will be good to combine it with Inhibitor on Weapon and Armor because Jungle doesnt give ground res on weapon. The new niche set will be HP-GRES using Inhibitor and Jungle. This is a niche for PvP because only in this gamemode will one need to stack groundres above the limit because the opponent has anti-ground dmg stats. On PvE you will hit the max without the need for ground res set, making the universal HPHP set already more than enough.
Another example are the Special DMG Amp (4 piece), Ultimate DMG Amp (4 piece), Ground DMG (2 piece), DEF Pen (2 piece), and ASPD II (2 piece).
This gives you a picture of how many gears you will need. The Flex units will need gear following the role they have. Most will be CDR (Crowd Control, DP Battery, Healer, Buffer) but some Nuker/More DPS will want Anti-X or ASPD gears (Kang with anti-sniper for example). Some Nuker would want Special DMG Amp set + latent from the Volcano relic gear, giving a total of 100%+ DMG Amp on special skill (57.8%(gear and set) + 45.6%(latent)).
Example of Maze CDR T7 (Offensive CDR):
Example of Inhibitor Weapon + Maze Armor + Swift Accessories CDR (Defensive CDR):
Example of Maze ASPD T7 (Offensive ASPD):
Example of Inhibitor Weapon + Maze Armor + Polymer Accessories ASPD (Defensive ASPD):
Example of 2-piece Def Pen:
Example of Inhibitor Weapon + Maze Armor + Gordias Accessories (HPHP):
You will need 8 units for Danger Close (DC). The team will be fixed, no randomizer. Different with PvP you don’t need to adapt to the flow; you create the flow. Problem for DC is that the bosses are unique and will need a different team for each. Add another layer to it: each DC will have special battlefield conditions and a certain buffed unit faction. There are already guides on each boss in “Danger Close” Guide Section, each with detailed boss mechanics and how to tackle them.
This guide will only say that you will need to prepare several Tank, ASPD, CDR, and Anti-X gears enough for a flexible team. That means having 1-2 Tank gear, 3-4 DPS gear, and 1-2 Flex gear.
The guide will focus on Worm 1-7 because to get the max reward you are only required to kill these. Worm 8-15 are for the leaderboard with no reward.
Similar to Raid, you will have 16 units with no respawn. The key for co-op is to have your DP Battery + Healers out early, then have DPS, Debuffer, Buffer out in that order.
You need a defender so you get the Protection effect, best is Mone but can also use Serapel (1 ASPD/CDR)
Linxien as DP Battery (1 CDR)
You only need Harim + RChinatsu (or Evelyn) as the healers (2 CDR)
You need someone to kill the flying mobs, best option is A-LSY (1 CDR)
If you can full seal the worm you dont need this
You need to seal/delay the worm’s skills using John Mason (1 soldier CDR)
With the addition of Jin Bora you can full seal the worm without Mone and JohnMason, just make sure to give her aspd set + aspd buff
You want to have enough DPS to kill Worm 1-7, typical units used are Kestrel Xiaolin, ROrca, A-Mina, A-SY (1 CDMG-EE + 1 CDR + 2 ASPD)
We also have Agnes, a sniper that can perma def shred
You want to full-strip the defense of the worm by using Chifuyu, Terminator, Tarras, Roy, Seoyoon (3 ASPD + 2 CDR)
The rest will be DMG Amp/Buffer/more DPS like Doma/R-Queen/Shinjia/Hilde/Ifrit depending on how many slots you have left
Other PvE like Shadow Palace, Dive, Dimensional Trimming and Raid will also need proper gearing so you can clear them. Generally you don’t need to prepare specific gears for these if you have done preparing your gears for previous contents. The guide will give a quick look on each as well as what gear will be needed.
Shadow Palace 4 - the fast and consistent team to clear this is using the Striker+Ranger team, it works for all rooms (1-5) and this means you will just need to set up one team. 3 ASPD and 5 CDR should suffice. More details on the Shadow Palace Guide section.
Update: There is Shadow Palace 5 and you can sweep Shadow Palace, meaning no need for a team that can consistently clear it. Treat it like a normal stage you only need to clear once. As for gearing your gear for PvP should suffice.
Relic Dungeon Weapon 4 - The boss is a Striker, meaning anti-striker gears will help you here. Xiaolin will be a must bring (can use ASPD/CDMG/Anti-Striker). You will also need 1 defensive gear and 3-4 CDR sets for your Supporters and DPS.
Relic Dungeon Armor 4 - The menace is “Jake”, a striker, meaning anti-striker gears will be your best ally here. Note that you cannot bring Counter units here so prepare Mech gears.
Relic Dungeon Accessory 4 - This stage is cheesed with 3 flying units (A-LSY, Rosa, Lyudmila) each with CDR gears (Rosa can also use ATK/Spectral gear).
Update: The previous Relic Dungeons are now in Dimensional Trimming combined into Swift Dimensional Trimming section. You still need to set up 3 teams but this time with additional constraints of no duplicate unit/ship/operator.
Dive - you will eventually need 4 teams, each with 6-8 units or even less. Only around half of them will be properly geared while the rest can use random aspd/cdr standard set. More details on the Dive Guide section. You do not need to set up 4 actual teams, you can use 1 team + 3 support for the whole fight because there is no limit to how many times a team can fight in Dive (there used to be a limit). This puts gearing for Dive easier for new players and older players alike. The drawback is you need to manual the movement from node to node because auto will sometimes use your support team instead of the main team.
Note: If you want to do auto Dive for the Dive spawned from Dispatch without sweeping and without manual movement from node to node, you will need to set up 4 teams. This means you need 4-8 Tank gear, 12-16 DPS gear, and 4-12 Flex gear.
Raid - If you are ready for co-op, chances are you are also ready for raid. More details for Britra and Inhibitor raids are in the Raid Guide section.
Gear tuning has no pity, unlike when you roll for a unit. This means that improper investment can potentially brick your account. Tips for min-maxing will be: Make sure you know what you are doing before committing to prepare your gears. We have a discord server with lots of helpful people willing to share, so do check it out.