The most important element that will affect how you build your teams in NIKKE is the Burst Type of your characters.
As you are killing enemies in the battle, the Burst Meter slowly builds up and once it fills fully, you are able to use the most powerful ability your characters have - Burst Skill. But there's a catch. The Burst Meter is split into 'phases' - I, II, and III - and during each phase, only the characters that have matching Burst Type, can use their skill.
What's worse, if you don't use a skill of a matching type during the Burst phase, it won't progress to the next one. This forces you to build a team that has all three Burst Types, because this is the only way to reach the 4th stage (called Full Burst) that starts after you use a skill during the 3rd phase.
Furthermore, after entering a Burst Phase, you only have 10 seconds to use a skill. If you won't use it, you will have to build the Burst Meter from the scratch again.
Generally, characters with Burst I type are supporters or healers and Burst II and III fulfill the role of damage dealers.
Also, the cooldown for the Burst Skill is what you need to always check - some characters have long cooldown (40 seconds) and other have much shorter one (only 20 seconds). For Burst I and II characters having 20 second cooldown is really important as it allows you to enter the Full Burst mode more often.
Each character has one of the 5 elements available in the game, but compared to the Burst Type or Weapons, they are not that important. Mainly because elemental advantage only gives 10% increased damage.
Here is the list of elements in the game and how they work with each other:
You can bring 5 characters into the battle, and if you're using the Auto-Skill feature, you have to make sure you set your team right.
Let's look at the formation below to better understand how the Auto-Skill works in NIKKE.
Using the Auto-Skill mode means that AI will scan your formation from left to right, searching for Burst I characters first - as they are the ones that start the burst. If you have no Burst I characters in your team, Auto-skill won't do anything. This forces you to have at least one character of each Burst Type in your team or else you will never reach Full Burst mode (that activates after using Burst III skill).
In the team above, since Product O8 is the first Burst I character when scanning from left to right, her Burst will be used. Next, again scanning from left to right, the AI will search for the first Burst II character - in our case it's Anis - and use her burst skill.
The last step is to scan for Burst III characters and Rapi skill will be used by the AI.
Important! If a character's skill is on cooldown, she's dead or stunned, she will be skipped and the next character of the same Burst Type will use her skill instead.
Also, keep in mind that some characters have longer cooldowns on their Burst Skill, and it's also an important factor when building the team - if you only use characters with 40s cooldown, you will have to wait for a long time to enter Full Burst.
This gives you limited freedom with how you can build the team and in the CBT two formations were the most popular:
2x Burst I, 1x Burst II, 2x Burst III
This is a balanced formation that allows you to weave the skills and enter the Full Burst phase as often as possible, but it's really important for the Burst II character to have 20 second cooldown on her Burst Skill.
The 2-1-2 formation is also the best choice if you lack top tier characters, so it will be great at the start of the game where you will have to use what RNG gave you.
For specialized teams that want to focus on one weapon type and make it as strong as possible, this formation is also the best one as it gives you more support characters that are required for specialized compositions to work.
1x Burst I, 1x Burst II, 3x Burst III
This formation exchanges flexibility for tons of firepower, but to make it work you will need some of the best Burst I and Burst II characters in the game or else your team will lack healing and supportive skills and it will be very hard to survive in harder stages.
Check our early and meta team guide for some example teams.