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Integrated Strategies.png

Integrated Strategies (I.S.) is a seasonal roguelike game mode in Arknights. It was first introduced alongside Gavial the Great Chief Returns as the first season, Ceobe's Fungimist.

In the CN server, I.S. had become a permanent game mode with the release of the second season or "theme", Phantom and Crimson Solitaire, available in the Terminal similar to Contingency Contract. The key difference is while C.C. is only permanently available in a limited capacity (Training Grounds and Permanent Trade Center), I.S. themes are fully available at all times with each theme adding new content to the mode and lasting for six months before immediately being followed by another.

Note: This article pertains to information from Ceobe's Fungimist and will be updated once Phantom and Crimson Solitaire is announced in the Global server of Arknights.

Overview

The player must complete one I.S. "run" by clearing various operations and events divided through branching paths with different possibilities, hence the player must be ready for literally any situation although this is not always the case due to the intrinsic nature of the mode.

Other than that, I.S. features the following unique mechanics that separates it from regular game modes:

  • Various items, referred to as "Collections", can be obtained to help the player and their team through various effects and statistical advantages and disadvantages.
  • The player does not have access to all of their Operators. Instead, using recruitment tickets acquired at the start of a run and from shops or clearing operations, they get awarded Vouchers allowing them, incurring a cost of Hope increasing with the rarity of the Operator. As both Hope and Vouchers are scarce resources, this means they must carefully consider which Operators to add to their available pool.
  • Integrated Strategies has a leveling system specific to the mode, and which is unique to the run. Every run starts at level 1 and new runs reset it. This level increases various resource caps.
  • Life Points are shared across all Operations. Effectively, the player starts out with a Life Point count (called Objective HP in the mode) available at all times, and all Operations played in the run use that shared count. Although there are no major downsides to losing Life Points in I.S., similar to C.C., there is an additional reward for perfect clearing an Operation. If the Objective HP of the run reaches zero, the run ends in failure.
  • The player may pause an I.S. run by quitting out of it in the menu, but quitting out of an Operation ends the run in failure.

The player can leave the I.S. menu, which will pause the current run and resume it upon re-entering it. The player can also prematurely end the current run from the main I.S. menu after pausing it, but doing this will not hand out any rewards.

Unlike other events, Ceobe's Fungimist lasted for three weeks with the third week being "Unrestricted", where all Collections and Squads as well as the Treacherous Road mode were available for all players regardless of their progression or whether they had met unlock conditions.

Gameplay

Starting up

Before starting a run, the player must choose one of three difficulty levels listed below. Note that Treacherous Road (Hard) is only available after completing a run in Outfitted Attendance (Normal) for the first time.

Difficulty Effects
Joyous Wandering (Easy)
Operators are stronger, but cannot unlock units and collectibles, and rewards are reduced by 50%.
"Bad Guy" is on standby.
  • Starts with The Bad Guy Is Here!.png The "Bad Guy" Is Here! (friendly HP +45% and ATK/DEF +35%).
  • Halved rewards.
  • Progressions in this mode do not contribute for unlocking new Collections and Squads.
Outfitted Attendance (Normal)
Normal mode, recommended for all players.
Just an ordinary day for Rhodes Island's operators.
Treacherous Road (Hard)
Play through a more difficult adventure for 20% increased rewards.
Suffer a random curse, and get a minor collectible.
  • 20% more rewards.
  • Starts with a Common Collection and one of the four Collections listed below, both of which are selected at random:
    • Demonblood.png Demonblood (enemy HP/ATK/DEF +20%)
    • Frozen Claw.png Frozen Claw (enemy HP/ATK/DEF +12%; boss HP +36% and ATK/DEF +16%)
    • Witch King's Twishorn.png Witch King's Twishorn (enemy HP/ATK/DEF +12%; lose 1 Objective HP when entering a new node, but will never go below 1)
    • Whispers of the Shallows.png Whispers of the Shallows (enemy HP/ATK/DEF +8%; Operators cost +1 Hope.png to recruit)

After choosing a difficulty, the player should choose one of the following "Squads" to help them throughout the run.

Squad Effects Unlock condition
Leader Squad.png Leader Squad Starts with 4 bonus Life Points in every I.S. operation, which won't deduct Objective HP if lost (stacks with Fragmentation Mine.png Fragmentation Mine and/or Self-Defense Handbook.png "Self-Defense Handbook").
Gathering Squad.png Gathering Squad Increases the squad size and Unit Limit by 2. Clear Chapter III.
Support Squad.png Support Squad Starts with +20 Originium Ingot icon.png and +2 Hope.png. Collect 150 Originium Ingot.png Originium Ingot across all runs.
Spearhead Squad.png Spearhead Squad Friendly units have their maximum HP and ATK increased by 15% but the starting Objective HP is reduced to 1. Complete a run with at least 10 Objective HP remaining.
Tactical Assault Operative.png Tactical Assault Operative All 4★ or higher Guards and Vanguards are automatically promoted when recruited. Complete a run with at least 5 Guards or Vanguards recruited.
Tactical Fortification Operative.png Tactical Fortification Operative All 4★ or higher Defenders and Supporters are automatically promoted when recruited. Complete a run with at least 5 Defenders or Supporters recruited.
Tactical Ranged Operative.png Tactical Ranged Operative All 4★ or higher Medics and Snipers are automatically promoted when recruited. Complete a run with at least 5 Medics or Snipers recruited.
Tactical Destruction Operative.png Tactical Destruction Operative All 4★ or higher Casters and Specialists are automatically promoted when recruited. Complete a run with at least 5 Casters or Specialists recruited.

If the player manages to clear Chapter II on the previous run (regardless of whether it is completed, failed, or abandoned), one of the following six bonuses can be chosen at the player's discretion upon starting the next run, but only three of them are available at a time, selected at random:

  • Gives 3 Objective HP.
  • Gives Hope.png.
  • Gives Originium Ingot icon.png.
  • Exchanges all Originium Ingots for a random Collection.
  • Exchanges Hope.png for a random Collection.
  • Gives Water Boiler.png Water Boiler (+2 Objective HP, +1 Hope.png).

Operator recruitment and promotion

Operators in I.S. can be recruited by using the various recruitment tickets listed below.

Ticket Use
Caster Rec. Voucher.png Caster Rec. Voucher Recruits a Caster.
Defender Rec. Voucher.png Defender Rec. Voucher Recruits a Defender.
Guard Rec. Voucher.png Guard Rec. Voucher Recruits a Guard.
Medic Rec. Voucher.png Medic Rec. Voucher Recruits a Medic.
Sniper Rec. Voucher.png Sniper Rec. Voucher Recruits a Sniper.
Specialist Rec. Voucher.png Specialist Rec. Voucher Recruits a Specialist.
Supporter Rec. Voucher.png Supporter Rec. Voucher Recruits a Supporter.
Vanguard Rec. Voucher.png Vanguard Rec. Voucher Recruits a Vanguard.
Elite Caster Rec. Voucher.png Elite Caster Rec. Voucher Recruits a Caster, one 4★ of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.
Elite Defender Rec. Voucher.png Elite Defender Rec. Voucher Recruits a Defender, one 4★ of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.
Elite Guard Rec. Voucher.png Elite Guard Rec. Voucher Recruits a Guard, one 4★ of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.
Elite Medic Rec. Voucher.png Elite Medic Rec. Voucher Recruits a Medic, one 4★ of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.
Elite Sniper Rec. Voucher.png Elite Sniper Rec. Voucher Recruits a Sniper, one 4★ of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.
Elite Specialist Rec. Voucher.png Elite Specialist Rec. Voucher Recruits a Specialist, one 4★ of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.
Elite Supporter Rec. Voucher.png Elite Supporter Rec. Voucher Recruits a Supporter, one 4★ of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.
Elite Vanguard Rec. Voucher.png Elite Vanguard Rec. Voucher Recruits a Vanguard, one 4★ of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.
Assault Co-op Rec. Voucher.png Assault Co-op Rec. Voucher Recruits a Guard or Vanguard.
Fortification Co-op Rec. Voucher.png Fortification Co-op Rec. Voucher Recruits a Defender or Supporter.
Ranged Co-op Rec. Voucher.png Ranged Co-op Rec. Voucher Recruits a Medic or Sniper.
Sabotage Co-op Rec. Voucher.png Sabotage Co-op Rec. Voucher Recruits a Caster or Specialist.
Frontline Corps Rec. Voucher.png Frontline Corps Rec. Voucher Recruits a Defender, Guard, Specialist or Vanguard.
Backline Corps Rec. Voucher.png Backline Corps Rec. Voucher Recruits a Caster, Medic, Sniper, or Supporter.
HR Dispatch Letter.png HR Dispatch Letter Recruits any 5★ or lower Operator.
Elite HR Dispatch Letter.png Elite HR Dispatch Letter Recruits any Operator.
Special HR Dispatch Letter.png Special HR Dispatch Letter Recruits any Operator, one 4★ or higher of which is guaranteed to be a Temporary Recruitment one.

Initially the player have 2 regular Rec. Vouchers and 1 Elite Rec. Voucher of different classes, selected at random, and can obtain more by clearing I.S. operations, from certain non-operation nodes, or buying them with Originium Ingot.png Originium Ingot at the Cunning Merchant.

Each recruitment ticket gives the player an opportunity to pick one Operator to be added into their I.S. roster, or promoting Operators already added to the roster. Only Operators in the player's roster and I.S.-exclusive Operators (see below) that can be recruited through regular Rec. Vouchers; Operators not present in the player's roster are available through Elite Rec. Vouchers (but only as Temporary Recruitment ones, see below).

Do note that the level, potential, and skill level of the Operators in I.S. will match with that in the player's own roster (e.g. if the player have SilverAsh at Elite 1 Level 60, their SilverAsh in I.S. will be at the same level and unable to use Truesilver Slash even when promoted; conversely, if the player have Exusiai at Elite 2 Level 50, their Exusiai in I.S. will be at Elite 1 Level 80 when recruited and will reach the same level and can use Overloading Mode once promoted); newly recruited Operators will be in at most Elite 1 maximum level with the skill level of 7 when recruited, and 4★ or above Elite 2 Operators will reach their highest level (and skill Mastery training, if one had done so) when promoted. Therefore, don't neglect on building non-core Operators (especially low-rarity ones) because they can (and will) be useful in a pinch during I.S. runs!

Recruiting/promoting Operators cost Hope; initially the player starts with Hope.png, and can gain more by leveling up, from certain Chance Meetings, or through certain Collections, with the costs being:

Rarity Recruit Promote
6★ Hope.png Hope.png
5★ Hope.png Hope.png
4★ Hope.png Hope.png
3★ or lower Free

The following upgrade tickets can be used to promote Operators without spending Hope.

Ticket Use
Combustible Building Mats..png Combustible Building Mats. Promotes any 5★ or lower Operator for free.
Elite Logistics Rations Voucher.png Elite Logistics Rations Voucher Promotes an Operator for free.

Occasionally, "Temporary Recruitment" Operators will be available for recruitment, which costs no Hope and starts at Elite 1 maximum level with their skills at Level 7 and maxed potential (except for I.S.-exclusive Operators, see below); they will be at Elite 2 maximum level and Mastery 3 for all skills when promoted, both of which applies regardless of whether or not the player have that Operator in their roster.

Nodes

Each I.S. chapter consists of several "nodes" of varying types listed below which are randomly generated in each run, though some are fixed.

Node Description
Operation
Everyone has their weapons drawn. They're definitely not here to negotiate.
Self-explanatory.
Emergency Operation
Some violence may well exceed your expectations, a very common occurrence.
An Operation with various handicaps, similar to that of Challenge Modes and Contingency Contract operations. Awards a Collection when cleared.
Treacherous Foe
Criminals, ruffians, and the damned... You're in trouble.
An Operation featuring I.S.-exclusive bosses. Awards a Rare Collection when cleared with the boss defeated.
Cunning Merchant
Not an ally, or an enemy. Some people like to sit on the fence.
Spend Originium Ingot.png Originium Ingot for recruitment tickets and Collections. See Cunning Merchant for more information.
Safehouse
Quiet, comfortable, and secluded from the world. It's time to take a break.
Choose one of three free rewards listed below.
  • Boost morale: Gains Hope.png.
  • Intensive training: Promotes an Operator for free.
  • Take a break: Gains 5 Objective HP.
  • Reorganize: Increases the squad size by 1.
Chance Meeting
New friends, old rivals...
A random event. The player can usually choose to leave, forfeiting the event's possible outcomes.
Supplies
A little bit of help for your journey.
Gives a random, free Collection.
Leisure Entertainment
All work and no play makes even clever Operators become dull.
Spend Objective HP or Originium Ingots in various mini-games for a chance to gain Originium Ingots or Objective HP, and Collections.

Operations

The following are unique mechanisms for I.S. operations:

  • Initially the player can only include 6 Operators in their squad, which is increased by one at Level 6, 9, and 10 of the I.S. run, totaling of 9 Operators. The maximum possible amount of Operators that can be included in the squad is 13, which can be reached through certain Collections and Gathering Squad.
  • One particular operation can appear in the same or later Chapters, and in some cases, the enemy lineup may be different with each other.
  • The Life Point matches with the player's current Objective HP; any LP loss will deduct Objective HP as well. Therefore, watch out for bosses like the Rusthammer Warrior who will deduct a grand 30 LP if they managed to enter an Protection Objective!
    • Using Leader Squad and/or possessing Fragmentation Mine.png Fragmentation Mine and/or Self-Defense Handbook.png "Self-Defense Handbook" will give bonus Life Points in every I.S. operation that will not deduct Objective HP if they are lost.
  • Sometimes the player can encounter "bonus enemies" (currently Duck Lord and Gopnik) who will not reduce Life Points when they enter a Protection Objective but award a free Collection when defeated.

Operators

There are eight Operators exclusive to I.S..

All of the above Operators are always available as Temporary Recruitment ones, but their potential cannot be improved in any way. Unlike other Operators, I.S.-exclusive Operators have no base skills since they are only usable in the said mode.

The Reserve Operators are unique in which they can be recruited multiple times, allowing more than one of them to be deployed in an I.S. operation.

Results

An example of the I.S. result screen with the run completed with the Dust of Dreams ending

When a run ends, the ending will be shown if the run is completed; if the run fails, the "You Failed" message is shown instead. The following message is also included:

You,
Dr. (nickname)
used
(Squad)
for
xx hrs xx min xx sec
on
yyyy/mm/dd hrs:min:sec
reached the final destination
(ending)
/got lost in
(chapter)

In addition, the following will also be displayed:

  • A flavor text that varies depending on the run's outcome, after the above message.
  • A list of Collections the player have obtained during the run.
  • A list of Operators the player have recruited and promoted during the run.

Afterwards, the player's final score will be shown, which is based on their progression during the run:

  • Floors cleared: 90 points are awarded for every Chapter cleared.
  • Steps taken: 1 point is awarded for every node entered.
  • Normal battles: 10 points are awarded for every Operation cleared.
  • Elite battles: 20 points are awarded for every Emergency Operation cleared.
  • Leader fights: 40 points are awarded for every Treacherous Foe cleared.
  • Collectibles obtained: 5 points are awarded for every Collection obtained.
  • Operators recruited: 3 points are awarded for every Operator recruited.
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