Battle Controls

Surprisingly, Girls' Frontline have great controls during battle! In this guide we will go over 3 essential controls: Bullet time, Re-positioning, and Retreating.

Bullet Time


There’s little explanation required for this function as it is turned on as default in the game. When you are moving dolls in the game into different position in the battle, you can see that time is slowed down. This will help with accurate controls and accurate controls will be more important in the later area to preserve echelon combat effectiveness. Be familiar with it, be one with it.


  One thing to go over while covering controls: some people think that you have to touch the T-doll in order to move them in the battle, but in reality it is the tile that they are standing on. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to move your tanker but you end up moving or swapping your DPS dealer by accident. Another small tip is that people are afraid that tile buffs from T-dolls will be removed if dolls reposition; it won’t and will keep the original formation buffs. So move them without worries.


Kiting [Horizontal Re-positioning]

  [Image above from DCinside]
Kiting is control for tankers with low damage potentials to reduce incoming damage and pressure. This can be achieved by at the start of the battle tanker rushes forward to 3rd column in formation grid [usually grid position 6]. Once enemies in the back-line [usually the main source of incoming DPS] reaches the tanker they will stop to prepare before shooting. Before they can fire, you return the tanker to the original position, thus forcing enemy back-line to move once more. This control, while halting enemy progress towards your Echelon, allows you to deal damage and reduce potential damage that tankers will receive.

As you can see in the video, when tanker moves forward and back, the back-line Jaegers [Snipers] just sit there doing nothing. One important thing: if your finger is fast enough you can do kiting up to twice per battle. This is pretty difficult to achieve and if you are clumsy like me, you would be only losing potential damage coming out of your tanker. So try at your own risk.

One enemy unit that you can try more than twice would be Manticore unit which has very long setup time before shooting.

Caution for later areas: as game progresses further into chapter 7~10, some enemies will be position so that there will be an immediate contact, which removes room for kiting. So always be mindful of spacing and timing of your controls. Additionally some enemies in the later area, mainly Striker [Minigun unit], does not have wait time before shooting, which makes kiting useless.

■ Siege Mode [Vertical Re-positioning]


This is same application of re-positioning but vertically up and down the column that often used by RF echelon. Because just like enemy units, RF T-dolls requires small amount of time before firing. By allowing RF T-dolls to fire immediately when enemy enters the range, this control can reduce incoming DPS. Main way to execute this control [in F formation] would be to move main tanker in position 5 in grid to position 2 and repeat the movement until enemy units are in range.

First video is RF Echelon with no control. Notice that RF Echelon moves between waves and there’s a short delay before T-dolls fire.

Now here is the Siege mode control applied to same echelon, against same enemy. Notice the difference?

While this small control does not look like much, it can be difference between your fragile HG getting de-linked in later area or maintaining strong links and surviving few extra battles in later area where enemies have little or no wait time before attacking.

Resetting [Application of Re-positioning]

Resetting is a control used when T-doll is firing on a current target but needs to change to a new target due to higher priority/threat.  This is often the case when there is a high HP target such a Boss or an Elite unit on the field and/or battle will last through multiple phases. 

First example is the resetting via ARs in the game. As you can see the echelon is fighting against Elite unit Smasher with high HP along with periodic spawns of mobs that needs attention or risk getting damaged before Smasher is down.

In order to prevent ARs from taking damage, I quickly move ST-AR 15 forward then back to original grid to reset her target mechanic. In this case, ARs always target closest enemy units then move on to next closest target, therefore eliminating mobs advancing forward. 

[Spoiler Alert for video of upcoming content in EN]

The second example of resetting is with RF also with high HP target [in this case a Boss unit] with periodic spawns of normal units approaching from the rear BUT it will stay behind the boss and AR can’t not reach them even with resetting.

In this case I have re-positioned WA2000 in the video quickly back and forth to reset her targeting to rear to kill Strikers. This way RO can tank the Boss’s attack and not worry about more.  




Perhaps most difficult control to master in Girls Frontline, retreating is a tricky decision that can be clutch in later area, especially in boss fight. However if you misjudge your timing, it could end up doing far more harm than good.

Using individual retreat button on the top left when selecting T-doll during battle, Retreating tanker relies on the ability of your Echelon’s DPS to wipe out the remaining enemies before they hit the squishy back-line. The benefit is that your tanker will be hit less therefore less chance to get hurt further in the mission. For those who are confused, think of it as by tanker retreating, it generates additional space that enemy units have to move in order to attack again, which is another form of kiting.

While benefits mentioned above is great, but it’s not the main purpose for the Retreating. Let’s watch the application of retreating control in Boss fight in area 6.

What you noticed in the video is that the Executioner goes into the sword pattern where it does tons of damage. But as Thompson becomes the target, I retreat her which stops Executioner dead in her tracks… and sits there for good few seconds before she dies.

So, yes. You can skip those dangerous and powerful boss patterns by retreating the targeted T-doll from the battle, which saves you lot of repair cost and free time to put in more damage to the boss. One important thing to note: if you retreat too early because you got nervous, that boss skill will apply to next doll in the line. And you do not want that.