Drone is a gameplay element in Arknights.
- A machine that is important for the Base construction of Rhodes Island. Can be used to clean, construct, and upgrade base facilities.
- Drones used for construction. They are controlled by the Rhodes Island Logistics Department. Without them, Operators would have to wait 10 times as long to get base housing.
Maintaining a vast facility such as the Rhodes Island landship is nearly impossible to be done with only R.I. personnel themselves, thus R.I. uses a large number of multipurpose quadcopter drones – different from those encountered as enemies – to provide essential support in construction, production, and others.
In Arknights, Drones are used in the RIIC early on clear rooms and build facilities; later on, they are generally used to speed up trade order acquisition and factory production. Therefore, Drones are essential for the player's infrastructure construction and Operator development by speeding up the resource acquisition that would otherwise take time.
Drones are generated over time by Power Plants at the same rate as Sanity (1 Drone every 6 minutes, or 10 Drones per hour), although the process can be sped up by building more Power Plants and assigning Operators with base skills pertaining to Drone recovery rate. It can therefore be inferred that "expended" Drones are merely out of power.
When the Control Center is upgraded to Level 4, the player can use Fast Charge, which consumes Sanity to generate 2 for 1 , though using this is ill-advised unless the player urgently needs to fill the gap.
Players start with a rather low maximum Drone capacity and will have it increased every time a room is cleared. The maximum Drone capacity that a player can have is 200.
It is advised to use Drones to adjust production (if one has Pure Gold in excess, or conversely, not enough) and to speed up the production of Dualchips. Each Dualchip costs exactly 20 drones to speed up, provided work has not begun yet. The recommendation is the following:
- If the player possesses from 100 to 150 Pure Gold bricks, they may consider that they are in a safe area. Feel free to spend drones on Battle Records, or on Trading Posts.
- If the player possesses below 50 Pure Gold bricks, they should consider spending drones towards their Factories producing Pure Gold to get the number back to a safe area.
- If the player possesses more than 150 Pure Gold bricks, they should spend the drones towards their Trading Posts to speed up LMD production.
These values are relatively vague and offer a wide margin of error, and, depending on the speed at which the player's Operators obtain trade orders, they may find that these safe zones are not adapted to their own base. The preferred end goal is to never fail to accept a trade order because of a lack of Pure Gold, and having it in excess is a lesser offense.