Azur Lane, one of the best mobile RPGs of all time, features side scroller-type naval battles with a twist – the warships you get in-game are anime-style mechanical girls. Collecting characters is not all about fun. You have to plan your ship lineups and strategies to win the war at sea. That is why this Azur Lane tier list is here. We will show you the best girls to complete your fleet.
Inside This Article
If you do not have experience playing Azur Lane, spend a few minutes learning its shoot ‘em up and gacha mechanics. Otherwise, navigate further down the article for our tier list.
For newbies, let us talk about how to engage in combat first. Upon selecting Battle then Main Campaign from the home interface, a map will be onscreen. Your main ship girl will appear on a tiled area to scan for naval battles or supplies after you click on a stage on the map. Once you made the character walk into the enemy icon, the side-scrolling war at sea will start. You will be on one side of the screen while the enemies, Crimson Axis or Sirens, appear on the opposite end.
The ship girls, inspired by real-life naval vessels, use different gear and have special skills. They will fire their weapons automatically, but you still have to move them vertically or horizontally on the screen to make sure the shots hit the opponent. By helping them shoot and evade, you will eventually be able to empty the health bar of the enemy ships or bosses to survive each mission.
Next comes the gacha aspect of Azur Lane. Gacha is a Japanese term that refers to the random generation of characters like that of capsule toy vending machines. You are probably familiar with it if you have played any of the best gacha games on our list.
Given that, it is mostly by luck that you will get the best ship girls for your team. To elaborate, here are the three main ways to obtain new ship girls:
1. Finish Missions
Completing tasks may reward you automatically with a random ship girl, so embark on more expeditions. Although a new character is available after a mission, do not forget to check your daily or weekly missions list. Some ship girls can be obtained there, too.
2. Build Ship Girls
Building your fleet means using coins and wisdom cubes to generate random ship girls whenever you want. Just click on the Build tab at the bottom part of the main interface, then hit the Build button once you see a ship girl you like from the gacha interface. Note that you have to wait a few hours to get a new character unless you want to spend your rare Quick Finishers. Also, the availability of characters may change depending on the in-game event that is ongoing.
3. Consistently Log in to the Game
Loyal players who have been present all days of the month in the game can obtain the featured character in daily rewards. The method does not rely on random character pulls, so you will instantly get the ship girl upon reaching the number of login days required for her.
Once you obtain new Azur Lane characters, you can access the Formation option from the home interface. You will see six tiles per fleet and three tiles for submarines afterward. Add the new ship girls to your vanguard and main lineups, also known as the front and back rows, of your fleet. Destroyers, and light and heavy cruisers should be on the frontline. Battleships, cruisers, and carriers must comprise the back row. Submarines, meanwhile, should be on the submarine tiles.
There are hundreds of ship girls in the mobile game, including the common, rare, elite, super rare, priority, and decisive types. Being super rare, priority, or decisive does not mean they are guaranteed to be the best, though. And that makes it more difficult for you to decide who makes up your fleet.
To help you decide which characters to assign to your fleet, we grouped the ship girls from the highest to the lowest tiers per role in the game’s main mode, player versus environment (PvE). We also highlighted our favorites from the best tier below each Azur Lane character group. That way, you can get to know them more and add them to your bucket list if you want to.
This Azur Lane tier list will feature destroyers first because they are the first ship girls you can obtain in the game. Destroyers are great attackers because of their torpedoes that are not as plenty as regular bullets but inflict more damage per second (DPS) to enemy vessels. Contrary to the misconception that they are only attackers, the said characters can evade well because they are speedy.
|Ultimate||Kitakaze, Tashkent, Tashkent µ, Ayanami, Yukikaze,
Le Malin, Le Malin µ, Suzutsuki, Naganami,
Marie Rose, Allen M. Summer, Le Triomphant, Nicholas,
An Shan, Tai Yuan, Tanikaze, Kawakaze,
Yuudachi, Kagerou, Z1, Z46, Yoizuki,
Harutsuki, Hanazuki, Fu Shun, Chang Chun,
Amazon, Shigure, Kizuna AI, Hamakaze,
Kiyonami, Hardy, Hatsuharu
|Strong||Minsk, Carabiniere, Cooper, Hibiki, Eskimo,
Gromsky, StremiteIny, Z24, Z28, Hatsushimo,
Fubuki, Maury, Fletcher, Kasumi, Kasagumo,
Cygnet, Shiranui, Shirayuki, Z23, Laffey, Javelin
|So-so||Vauquelin, Fortune, Tartu, Grozny, Z2,
Z25, Z26, Grenville, L’Opiniâtre, Forbin,
Niizuki, Bailey, Z35, Z36, Vincenzo Gioberti,
Le Mars, Gremyashchy, Le Téméraire, Sims, Mullany,
Foxhound, Hammann, Matchless, Comet, Urakaze,
Isokaze, Hazelwood, Nekone, Blanc, White Heart,
Nowaki, Makinami, Matsukaze, Uranami, Musketeer,
Acasta, Kamikaze, Vampire, Icarus, Crescent,
Ooshio, Asashio, Gridley, Shiratsuyu, Michishio,
Inazuma, Akatsuki, Wakaba, Arashio, Kuroshio,
Oyashio, Ikazuchi, Hatakaze, Jupiter, Benson
|Weak||Halsey Powell, Charles Ausburne, Cassin, Glowworm,
Downes, 22, 33, Z18, Z19, Z20, Z21, Thatcher,
Dewey, Bush, Radford, Jenkins, Hunter,
Hobby, Kalk, Kimberly, Echo, Aylwin, Mutsuki,
Bache, Juno, Jersey, Kisaragi, Uzuki, Mikazuki,
Minazuki, Fumizuki, Nagatsuki, Stanly, Smalley,
Aulick, Craven, Beagle, Foote, Spence, Bulldog, McCall,
Specialized Bulin Custom MKIII, Prototype Bulin MKII,
Kitakaze is the favorite destroyer of many of the game’s fans, too. That is because of her impressive firepower and DPS. She can bombard enemy ships or ship girls with torpedoes after 10 seconds or 10 of her regular torpedoes hit the opponent fleet. That means you need to be highly accurate in manual aiming so you can experience Kitakaze’s skill.
Ayanami is also dependent on her torpedoes and is the best when it comes to statistics related to the said weapon. To elaborate, her torpedo damage and evasion can improve while in battle if you progress from her first to third limit break levels. Limit breaking in the game means improving a ship girl’s star rankings using duplicate or universal ship types.
Yukikaze is quite similar to her Sakura Empire comrades we have mentioned already in this Azur Lane tier list. She also has a full barrage skill that automatically activates after her main weapon is fired 15 times. That is provided that you maxed out her limit break. Also notable about her is the HP restoration and damage reduction that comes with her firepower. For example, she can restore ship health by 4 or 10 percent if that falls under 20 percent during the enemy encounter.
Tashkent or Tashkent μ
There is more to Tashkent than her having an idol-inspired mu version. That makes her worth highlighting in this Azur Lane tier list. The ship girl can call forth Snezhinka, a fairy-like being that deals aircraft damage. She also gets better firepower the more you engage in battle, as long as you do not leave the stage.
Le Malin or Le Malin μ
Le Malin, who also has a mu version, is great when your vanguard lineup is multiple destroyers. After getting her first limit break, she can heighten damage caused by allies of the same class. That is provided that her main weapon shoots an enemy successfully 10 times. Her firepower also gets a boost once the target enemy ship sinks.
Battleships are known for their offense-oriented capabilities, just like destroyers. They are the best in taking down multiple enemy ships at once, thanks to their high-caliber guns.
|Ultimate||Friedrich der Große, Sovetskaya Belorussiya, Nagato,
Richelieu, Monarch, Howe, Champagne, Georgia, Gascogne,
Sovetskaya Rossiya, Odin, Warspite, Bismarck,
Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Alabama, Amagi,
Honoka, Tosa, Jean Bart, Marco Polo
|Strong||Super Gamer Kizuna AI, King George V, Izumo, Kii,
Gascogne µ, Littorio, Suruga, Kaga, Washington, Hood,
Massachusetts, South Dakota, North Carolina,
Nagisa, Hyuuga, Tirpitz, Gangut, Valiant, Dunkerque,
Little Renown, Queen Elizabeth, Mutsu, Yamashiro
|So-so||Nelson, Mikasa, Rodney, Maryland, Ise, Fusou, Kirishima,
Colorado, West Virginia, Giulio Cesare, Erebus,
Abercrombie, Gneisenau, Hiei-chan, Terror, Scarnhorst
|Weak||Hiei, Kongou, Haruna, Renown, Conte di Cavour,
Oklahoma, Nevada, California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Repulse
Friedrich der Große
Friedrich der Große is not only the most powerful battleship girl in this Azur Lane tier list. She is a contender to be the best character in the game. Her red-and-black dragon-themed original outfit, which is fit for a ship girl boss, is already a hint about how strong she is. Indeed, Friedrich is a force to reckon with because she can bombard enemy ships effectively, regardless of the latter’s armor type. Her critical damage rate and firepower also increase automatically every salvo and as her HP decreases, respectively. She gains those skills as you improve her using in-game items called blueprints. A word of warning, though. Getting Friedrich to her maximum level or form can take you many months.
When joined with the other Sakura Empire ship girls from this Azur Lane tier list, Nagato might be the key to piecing together the best fleet. She can improve the firepower and accuracy of any character from the same faction. Moreover, her barrage-type skill is often enough to clean the screen of any opposing ship.
In Azur Lane, you might be fast but remember that the enemy is quick, too. If that troubles you, then Sovetskaya Belorussiya might be the right battleship girl to choose. After her first limit break level, Sovetskaya’s barrage skill can slow down enemy movement by 40 percent. On higher levels, she can heal herself and shorten the time burns from enemy attacks take effect.
Richelieu is great at inflicting critical damage and burns if you level her up. The critical hit is guaranteed the first time you manually aim at the enemy ship, provided that the ship girl is already at her second limit break. Also, a barrage skill is possible on the third limit break level and has a 70 percent chance to burn an enemy ship.
Monarch is another high DPS Azur Lane character. She bombards enemies while slowing them down. On higher levels, Monarch can restore her health for a few seconds and increase her reload speed every time she gets hit. Her damage to Sirens rises too, making the skill worthy of being called Siren Killer.
Heavy Cruisers in Azur Lane are slow but compensate for that handicap by being durable. That makes them great to have for optimum fleet protection. Furthermore, many of the said ship girls are effective long-range attackers against battleships and aircraft carriers.
|Ultimate||Drake, Tallinn, Azuma, Saint Louis, Cheshire, Roon µ,
Roon, Prinz Heinrich, Baltimore, Ibuki, Bremerton, Anchorage,
Minneapolis, New Orleans, Portland, Zara, Kasumi, Ägir
|Strong||Elegant Kizuna AI, Prinz Eugen, Mogami, Algérie,
Takao, Pola, Wichita, York, Exeter, London,
Baltimore µ, Choukai, Atago, Admiral Graf Spee,
Deutschland, Maya, Black Heart, Astoria,
Quincy, Indianapolis, Vincennes
|So-so||Suzuya, Kumano, Kuon, Admiral Hipper µ,
Admiral Hipper, Noire, Dorsetshire, Ashigara,
Norfolk, Chicago, Northampton, Suffolk,
Kako, Furutaka, Nachi, Myoukou
|Weak||Shropshire, Kent, Salt Lake City, Houston, Sussex,
Trento, Pensacola, Aoba, Kinugasa
Drake is a great matchup for ship girl bosses that have shields. Upon improving her, she will be able to use explosives or activate her barrage skill that can pierce through protective barriers. To top that, she also has the Siren Killer and All-Out Assault perks.
Tallinn excels at defense, unlike many of the attack-focused entries in this Azur Lane tier list. She can generate a barrier for herself that has dire consequences for enemies if they break it — her barrage skill will activate. She also has an All-Out Assault mode if she already is on the last limit break rank.
Azuma is a high-caliber gun specialist. Give her a 280mm or better weapon and she will attack enemies with increased efficiency, as well as physical and burn damage. Moreover, she also has the Siren Killer skill.
Saint Louis is not your typical slow-paced heavy cruiser. She gains speed-boosting abilities as you level her up and can use those for a limited time at the start of every battle. That is as long as she meets the level requirements. Additionally, Saint Louis can activate Siren Killer and All-Out Assault, which makes her even more effective against enemies.
Baltimore is a ship girl you might be familiar with already because of her appearance in the early phases of the game. If your first impression of her was cool, then you might like her more when it comes to skills. If you intend to form an Eagle Union fleet in Azur Lane, she is great to have because she can boost the anti-air capabilities of the team. She can also convert the team’s guns into Special AP type, which shoots AP ammo that may break through shields.
Light Cruisers deal less but consistent damage, making them quick enemy finishers. Additionally, many of the said ship girls are not tedious to level up compared to the other character types in this Azur Lane tier list.
|Ultimate||San Diego, Noshiro, Seattle, Dido, Chapayev,
Mainz, Pamiat Merkuria, Yat Sen, HMS Neptune,
Misaki, Reno, Sirius, Jintsuu, Montpelier,
Swiftsure, Kirov, Isuzu, Ping Hai, Ning Hai
|Strong||Cleveland, Cleveland µ, Kinu, Hermione, Columbia,
Denver, Sendai, Lena, Birmingham, Biloxi, Belfast,
Émile Bertin, Li’l Sandy, Newcastle, Yuubari, Curacoa,
Nürnberg, Sheffield, St. Louis, Little Bel, Phoenix, Black Prince
|So-so||Rurutie, Purple Heart, HDN Neptune, Ajax, Köln,
Juneau, Achilles, Agano, La Galissonnière, Sheffield µ,
Glasglow, Edinburgh, Brooklyn, Leander, Chao Ho,
Ying Swei, Penelope, Honolulu, Naka,
Abukuma, Mikuma, Karlsruhe
|Weak||Memphis, Fiji, Marblehead, Jamaica, Concord, San Juan,
Southampton, Arethusa, Galatea, Richmond, Atlanta,
Raleigh, Nagara, Omaha, Königsberg
San Diego is among the most notable characters from the Eagle Union, one of Azur Lane’s most popular factions, because of her top-of-the-line anti-air statistics. She has, at the least, a 50 percent chance of initiating a barrage. With her, you can get rid of airstrikes fast. Airstrikes are the bane of many Azur Lane players because they add more bullet hell madness to the warzone.
The earliest to get a retrofit among super rare characters, San Diego becomes more powerful than before. For starters, a retrofit is the character’s version that surpassed her maximum limit break level and statistics through special blueprints.
Noshiro is a great companion ship for your Vanguard fleet. She has various buffs for your frontline, including those for better evasion, torpedo damage, and critical hits. Moreover, she is capable of a full barrage if she has gone past her final limit break.
Yat Sen is best paired with Ping Hai and Ning Hai. If in battle alongside the two ship girls, she can significantly improve her and her comrades’ defense and evasion. Once past her second and third limit breaks, Yat Sen can intensify the damage dealt to opponents from the Sakura Empire and carry out a full barrage.
Seattle, like her Eagle Union comrade San Diego, is good when it comes to anti-air attacks. That is because she can use more than one anti-air gun in her weapon slots. Also, Seattle can eventually learn the Siren Killer and All-Out Assault skills as you level her up.
Dido is well known for her buffs. She can improve in almost all aspects of an Azur Lane character, including firepower, torpedoes, anti-air perks, and reloading. That is as when she reaches higher limit break ranks. She can also grant an all-around buff for Royal Navy comrade Queen Elizabeth when they are together in battle.
Carriers are responsible for bringing in fighter planes or torpedo or dive bombers in the battle. Fighter planes are great at facing off their counterparts from the opponent’s side, and bombers deal massive damage by shooting torpedoes or dropping bombs on enemies.
|Ultimate||Hakuryuu, August von Parseval, Shinano, Formidable,
Essex, Centaur, Ark Royal, Enterprise, Shangri-La,
Peter Strasser, Saratoga, Illustrious µ, Graf Zeppelin,
Shoukaku, Akagi µ, Taihou µ
|Strong||Akagi, Hiryuu, Intrepid, Kaga, Zuikaku, Taihou,
Souryuu, Anniversary Kizuna AI, Victorious, Bunker Hill,
Ranger, Green Heart, Lexington, Hornet, Nyotengu,
Akagi-chan, Eagle, Béarn, Bataan,
Weser, Little Illustrious, Zeppy
|So-so||Independence, Vert, Ryuujou, Yorktown, Princeton,
Bogue, Houshou, Hermes, Langley, Long Island
|Weak||Saraana, Uruuru, Chiyoda, Chitose, Hiyou,
Junyou, Wasp, Glorious
With Hakuryuu, you get the most of your airstrikes. For example, there is at least a 50 percent chance that a special airstrike will follow her initial airstrike. If you improve her level and arm her with fighter planes, she can carry out a special or slashing barrage. The attacks happen every 12 seconds or after each airstrike, respectively.
August von Parseval
August von Parseval is a great pick if you want to deal with multiple ships at once. Her airstrikes have a 45 or 75 percent chance to damage each vessel of the opposing fleet by 234 points. Enemies are slowed down too for a limited time. She also gains the Siren Killer skill as she levels up.
Supports are what their class name implies. They aid ships that engage in battle. Most of them focus on healing or repairs. Note that supports in this Azur Lane tier list may come from the main classes previously discussed. Many of them are carriers and cruisers.
|Ultimate||Ryuuhou, Perseus, Helena, Unicorn, Illustrious,
Jeanne d’Arc, Shouhou
|Strong||Ardent, Akashi, Casablanca, Aurora, Curlew, Ariake,
Stephen Potter, Yuugure
|So-so||Avrora, Vestal, Chaser, Arizona, Monica, Eldridge,
If you wish to heal one ship girl, Sakura Empire’s Ryuuhou can do that for you during a battle. With her high HP, which the healing percentage is based on, you can make a fleet member as good as new.
Perseus is as great as Ryuuhou, but she excels in healing the entire fleet instead of only one Azur Lane character. She can do that at maximum limit break and for a limited time during the battle. She can also carry out up to three airstrikes in her best state.
Submarines are Azur Lane characters you cannot control. You can only summon them in exchange for ammunition and fuel. Once they are at sea, they attack the enemy fleet on their own, consuming oxygen. Submarines are challenging to enhance, though. That is because you have to let them stay at your dorm for leveling up and give them the rarest equipment to be at their best forms.
|Ultimate||U-81, U-96, U-37, U-47, U-101|
|Strong||Nautilus, Cavalia, Albacore, Albacore µ, Surcouf,
I-168, I-13, I-19, I-25, I-56, U-522, U-110, U-410
|So-so||U-557, I-26, I-58, Bluegill, Dace|
U-81 is best paired with another Iron Blood submarine girl so that she can get a torpedo, reloading, and accuracy boost. Aside from her effective torpedoes, she can also trigger flooding that can damage the enemy fleet for nearly half a minute.
U-96 is a submarine girl that has a good torpedo critical damage boost. She can also enhance her Iron Blood comrades’ accuracy and critical damage rating, making her worth it to be alongside U-81.
Conquer the Seas of Azur Lane Today
It’s a wrap. You already know this time which Azur Lane characters are good to add to your fleet as soon as you get them. We just have a reminder, though. The performance and success of your ship girls will still depend on your expertise as a player and the naval battle strategies you use. That means some recommendations might not be ideal for you. Nonetheless, we hope this Azur Lane tier list helped you on which characters to try or consider. Complete your fleet and conquer the seas of Azur Lane now!
Want more Android and iOS games made into or inspired by anime? Check out our list of the best anime games, too.