Azur Lane: a name that has become synonymous with scantily clad anime girls, outstanding fan art, and a captivating gaming experience. But what exactly is Azur Lane? Is it a dating simulator, an AFK gacha game, or perhaps an H-game? Well, it’s a little bit of all those things and more. Azur Lane is a bullet hell game that combines strategic thinking with tons of fanservice. And let me tell you, it’s a game that I absolutely love (though I may be a bit of a trashy weeaboo, just like those who downloaded it for the mommies).
But beyond the fan service and skimpy outfits lies a game that requires true strategic thinking and careful management of equipment for your ships. So, let’s dive into the world of Azur Lane and explore how it has become a popular hit among anime fans worldwide.
Azur Lane: A Game Overview
From an outsider’s perspective, Azur Lane might seem like a mishmash of different genres. Is it a turn-based strategy game, an AFK clicker, or even a World of Warships clone? Well, the truth is, Azur Lane is a bullet hell game with a slice of Battleship. The game is based on the naval battles of World War II, but instead of real ships, you control adorable anime girls who represent those ships. It’s like imagining your grandfather’s ship becoming a cute waifu 70 years later!
The Main Gameplay
Azur Lane plays like a bullet hell game with turn-based Battleship mechanics. You’ll need to build a fleet of up to six ships, divided into two divisions: vanguard and main. The vanguard consists of Destroyers, Light Cruisers, and Heavy Cruisers, who act as the frontlines. The main fleet, on the other hand, consists of Battleships, Aircraft Carriers, or hybrid ships, serving as the backline with heavy firepower.
If that’s not enough, you can even bring in a Submarine fleet as backup. These submarines reduce enemy quantity and effectiveness, supporting your primary and vanguard fleets. As for the question of whether there are “best” ships in Azur Lane, there is a meta, but I would say pick the one you think is the cutest. After all, who can resist adorable shipgirls?
Once you’ve assembled your fleets, it’s time to venture into enemy territory through map exploration. Each chapter features multiple maps, each with its own set of enemy placements. Your task is to destroy these enemy fleets until the boss appears. Defeating the boss and the fleets will earn you up to three stars, allowing you to advance to the next map. As you progress, the game becomes increasingly challenging. Enemies spawn more frequently, bosses become more unpredictable, and later chapters require you to carefully consider your equipment choices.
So, how does the gunplay work in Azur Lane? Your vanguards will automatically fire at enemies they encounter. You can control the vanguards using the joystick or d-pad on the lower-left corner of the screen. Most vanguards are equipped with torpedoes, which you can manually deploy during battle.
The main backline fleet unleashes their firepower through aircraft deployment and artillery bombardment. Clicking the aircraft deployment button activates your aircraft carrier, clearing out enemies on the screen. Artillery bombardment, on the other hand, is handled by your Battleships. Aim and release to fire, like a mini sniper game. It’s a satisfying experience whenever your shots hit the mark.
Overall, the gunplay in Azur Lane strikes a perfect balance between casual and engaging. It’s not too automated, but it’s also not too demanding in terms of micromanagement. The real fun begins when you reach the later levels.
You also have the option to switch between manual and auto mode. Auto mode takes care of the fighting for you, allowing you to grind for materials or specific ships while you’re at work or school.
The “Other” Gameplay
One aspect that keeps players hooked on Azur Lane is the relationship system. As you use a specific shipgirl in battle, her relationship with you increases. The shipgirl assigned as your Secretary, whom you can interact with in the main menu, also develops a closer bond with you.
A higher relationship level grants stat bonuses to the shipgirl. Eventually, at 100% affinity, she may even fall in love with you, and you can marry her. Yes, you read that right – you can get married in the game! It’s polygamy at its finest, though we do respect those who choose to remain loyal to one shipgirl. However, don’t expect an actual honeymoon in the game.
In addition, you can upgrade a shipgirl’s stats by salvaging other ships or Limit Breaking their levels. Some shipgirls even have Retrofits, which allow for further upgrades and drastic changes to their appearance.
Graphics & Visuals
Azur Lane primarily features 2D graphics, with 3D effects limited to the water and particle effects. While it may not boast groundbreaking visuals like Honkai Impact 3 or Fate Grand Order, Azur Lane compensates with its adorable chibi versions of the shipgirls.
The game truly shines when it comes to the shipgirl splash art. These captivating and alluring illustrations have made their mark on Pixiv’s trending page and have garnered attention from digital artists worldwide. The attention to detail is impressive, thanks to the talented artists from Pixiv and Twitter. We won’t mention what they’re most renowned for, but let’s just say their reputation precedes them.
The weapons in the depot are also beautifully designed and worth admiring.
Music plays a crucial role in Azur Lane, and boy, does this game deliver! The game’s music rivals that of full-priced AAA games. The main menu’s “Weigh Anchor” theme creates a calming and approachable atmosphere. However, it can quickly transition to intimidating and exciting when you hear “Solomon Night.” The “Port” and “Sortie” themes capture the naval atmosphere perfectly. Even after spending over 1000 hours in the game, I never tire of the songs.
Though not as bombastic as World of Warships or explosive as War Thunder, Azur Lane’s sound effects complement its anime-style bullet hell system. The guns sound powerful, the airplane noises create a sense of imminent danger, and the explosions are highly satisfying.
If the shipgirl splash arts don’t already captivate you, then the voice acting certainly will. Azur Lane boasts an all-star cast featuring voice actors recognizable to weeaboos worldwide. Yui Ishikawa (Attack on Titan, Violet Evergarden), Ayane Sakura (My Hero Academia, Tokyo Ghoul, Show By Rock), Sora Amamiya (Konosuba, Monster Musume), and Rie Kugimiya (Gintama, Toradora, Fairy Tail) bring the characters to life with their exceptional performances.
I’m pleased to tell you that Azur Lane is one of the most F2P-friendly gacha games out there. You have multiple ways to earn free cubes, generous apologems (or apolocubes), and high rates. The probability of obtaining an SSR ship from standard pulls (Light, Heavy, and Special) is 7%, Elite ships have a 12% chance, and Rare ships have a 26% chance.
During limited events, the specific SSR ship rate can be as low as 2%, while Elite ships have a 2.5% rate. The rarest ships, known as Ultra Rares (UR), have a 1.2% chance of appearing, but can be redeemed after 200 rolls. These rates are much better than those of other popular gacha games like FGO and Honkai Impact 3. The only downside is that Azur Lane does not guarantee a rare ship after 10x rolls.
Cons of Azur Lane
While Azur Lane is undeniably fun, there is no escaping the fact that it can become grindy and monotonous in the long run. For example, obtaining exclusive Priority Ships, also known as Grind-to-Earn ships, can be a time-consuming task. The Iron Blood Heavy Cruiser Roon, for instance, requires a whopping 3 million XP from Iron Blood cruisers, in addition to blueprints and other resources. As of now, I’m still only halfway through obtaining her.
Another example of a long grind is World 3-4, also known as Fox Hell. This is the only way to obtain the Carriers Akagi and Kaga. What’s worse is that they are both SSR ships, making the chances of obtaining them very low unless you dedicate your time to repeatedly fight in this map. Thankfully, the auto mode comes in handy for this.
Azur Lane is a welcoming gacha game that serves as a refuge for newcomers and frustrated FGO/Arknights/GBF/Honkai players. Thanks to its F2P-friendly nature, it has garnered a loyal following. While the game’s inventory and upgrading mechanics may feel a bit janky, it is undeniably a fun casual bullet hell strategy game with the best fan service.
In fact, Azur Lane’s fan service is so strong that its fan art consistently trends on Pixiv. The game’s popularity is evident in its major conventions, advertisements in Shibuya train station, an anime adaptation, and even a PS4/Steam spin-off game. Azur Lane caters to players of all tastes, whether they prefer tomboys or fair ladies, cute little shipgirls or the alluring oneesan types. Discrimination has no place in this game.
Now You Can Azur Lane It on PC
And here’s the best part – you can play Azur Lane on your PC without the need for programs like Bluestacks or NOX. It’s not a gimmick or scam; it’s the real deal. Just download the game through Games.lol and embark on your shipfu-filled adventure today.