Manual Play Guide

Learn the way of gamer hands here!


This article aims to explain how campaign | Manual play works in a more detailed manner. This assumes you know the basics of how the games works, and aims to expand your knowledge when it comes to manually playing the game.

Benefits of Manual Play

Despite Nikke being a Idle game in its core, Manual play is heavily recommended to make strides of progress. Manual play involves controlling Nikkes manually in game, and its benefits can range from improved burst generation, heavily increased DPS and healing, being able to manipulate game mechanics and more.

Learning to manually play isn’t hard once you have a general grasp however it does take time to understand and apply the knowledge into actual gameplay. This guide aims to help notify the player on what tricks do exist in the game that they may be completely unaware of.

Campaign – Game Modes

Understanding Manual play, especially as a newbie who wants to progress faster than others, is extremely important. There are multiple game modes in campaign with notable “cheeses” for each. Let’s see what they are first.


Destroy is the most common stage you’ll encounter. The game mode consists of waves of enemies and a “target” at the final wave of the stage.


Defense is where you defend enemies from fully crossing the right side of your screen. You start with 20 HP and the commander loses if either:

-All Nikkes are destroyed
-Your HP is depleted

HP loss depends on what type of enemy passes through. 1 HP for small Raptures, 2 HP for bigger raptures and 5 HP for elite raptures (Raptures with HP bars)


Base is where you defend a point until the timer runs out or until you reach 100% defense. The player loses if either the defense lands at 0%, the defense is below 50%, when timer runs out, or all Nikkes are destroyed.

Defense score is gained when there are no Raptures on the point at a rate of 2% per second and destroying Raptures. Defense score is lost when there are raptures on the point (% loss depends on how many are on the point).

Boss Stages

Usually encountered in the last stage of the chapter, occasionally EX stages appear in the form of boss stages too. Boss stages usually only has one main target in the whole round with the occasional mob spawns in some stages. Destroying the Target ends the round even if there’s mobs still on screen.

CP Deficit

Manual play helps the player win against Combat power deficits, however there are simply stages where it becomes too difficult or near impossible. Know when a stage is simply too hard, and try again when the user gains more power to retain enjoyment of playing the game.

For more details about the stat punishments for attempting stages below Recommended combat power, check here.


Burst Generation (Important)

Full burst is a mechanic that allows your Nikkes to activate their burst skills during battle. To achieve full burst, burst generation is needed.

Weapons usually determine the burst generation capability of a Nikke, with Rocket launchers usually being able to generate full burst the fastest due to being able to hit multiple Raptures at once, and having high energy generation values per hit.

The more targets hit, the more burst generation is acquired, this includes environmental objects hit. For example, a rocket that hits 5 targets and has a burst generation value of 3% will generate a total of (3 x 5) 15% of full burst meter.

Charge value does NOT determine how much burst generation is acquired, therefore a method called “Spam shooting” is usually used. It is simply technique where you shoot before full charge is achieved when manually controlling a rocket launcher Nikke. Video reference below.

Also show cases Mag vs Clip rocket launcher generation.

Sniper rifles also generate good burst energy under manual play via “Spam shooting”, more notably on Alice as she has a Pierce mechanic, which enables her to hit multiple targets at once. This allows her to generate much more burst energy than other sniper rifles.

Note: Alice is a late game unit, and is not recommended to use her early on.

Bosses / Final Targets generate 2x more burst energy than normal raptures, this includes chapter bosses and the final target of destroy stages. If the boss has parts, each part is counted as a different “target” and will generate burst gen accordingly if pierce shots or rockets hit multiple parts.

Below is a chart of burst generation for each Nikke per target hit | bullet landed. Shotgun Nikkes have a total of 10 pellets, and each pellet generates a certain amount of burst generation.

Cooldown Reduction

Now that we (most likely) have a good burst generator in a team, we need a cooldown reduction Nikke in the team or the burst generation we produce is useless! As our bursts will be in cooldown anyways.

Liter,Dorothy,Volume,Dolla,Helm: Aquamarine

Having a Cooldown reduction unit is almost always vital, so make sure you have one in your team at all times.

Wave Stalling

Waves are not based on a timer, but rather the amount of raptures that is currently on the screen. The easiest visual example about this is the wave before the final wave, where you leave one rapture alive before target appears.

The benefits to stalling a wave is to reset your cooldown timers or to prepare a new full burst before the final wave which can be vital in most cases.

This is the easiest form of wave stalling, however this can be used in other cases prior to the final wave. A user can notice this when destroying raptures and eyeballing how many raptures can be left on the screen before the next wave spawns. There is no set number and varies from stage to stage.

Why would you stall waves prior to final wave? Sometimes, if killing waves too fast, there will be scenarios where big rapture waves spawn in and can’t be cleared without a screen wipe burst from Scarlet, Harran, Modernia, Privaty Etc. You may be caught in a cooldown or still during full burst mode. Stalling or slowing down clearing the waves will help manage your cooldowns better to better prepare against big rapture waves.

Leaving the small raptures to live while focusing on 2 Elite mobs. Dealing both damage while stalling the next rapture wave.
Killing the small raptures in screen, which prompts the next rapture wave to appear without full burst ready / in the middle of a full burst.

Advanced Tips

Base Defense (Cheese)

Wave stalling in base defense can more often than not, secure much easier wins when used properly. more specifically against air mobs. Air raptures technically don’t “contest” the point. So when air raptures appear, make sure you don’t destroy them by covering your whole squad (spacebar on PC). Usually there is enough air raptures that are spawned where it is just enough to wave stall.

I-Framing or “Dodging”

Assume there are two positions, Position A (firing/shooting), and position B (cover/reloading). Most enemies targets one of these positions depending on what position the unit being targeted is currently on. Switching positions just after the AI targets a position will result in a I-Frame, think of it as “dodging” an attack. Usually this is used against bosses, but there is use case scenarios in campaign. Namely against Jihads, or the kamakazi like raptures.

Note: Do note that some Nikkes are unable to dodge due to hitbox sizes. Such examples are Liter and Noah.

More specific Examples: Alteisen (Train) & Modernia

Manual Intensive Nikkes

These Nikkes benefit greatly from Manual play, and will explain which scenarios they shine in. The benefits can range from increased healing, DPS, or team utility.

Pepper,Noise,Alice,Maxwell,Snow white,helm

Pepper Healing + Last Bullet

Simple enough, manual her so she doesn’t fully reload as her healing is based on emptying her mag. This greatly improves her healing capabilites. Pairing her with Privaty + resilience cube drastically improves her healing if needed.

Pepper healing both herself and Maxwell much better than Auto can. (Clip will be replaced with a better visual example soon)

Helm also falls into this category, however she’s more offense orientated. Emptying her clip gives the team critical rate buffs, which gives a pretty nice boost to damage.

Burst Holding

Usually used when the user has a raised Maxwell or Snow white (Level 8+ skills). These two enables a playstyle where you can technically have 2 bursts active during the boss wave. It works by holding either ones’ burst by manually not firing it, and preparing another full burst for the final wave. This allows the user to have a Maxwell or Snow white shot ready in tandem with another burst III burst. This makes the final wave much easier by either reducing the pressure of the wave or by bursting down the boss extremely fast, simplifying the last fight.

Noise Healing + Max HP

Noise can technically heal herself due to a buff called Increase Max HP. This buff does two things. It increases Max HP and heals according to Max HP gained, however it only heals when it is first active or when a new instance of Max HP buff has been applied. Refreshing its duration doesn’t heal the Nikke, but does extend the duration of Max HP.

Auto Noise is able to shoot faster than the speed of which the Max HP expires, which is not preferred. The only way to fix this is to manually control her firing speed so Noise can heal with each shot.

■ Affects the target(s) when attacking with full charge.
Taunt for 2 sec.
■ Affects self.
Max HP ▲ 24.86% for 1.8 sec.

Noise skill 2
Heals with every shot due to applying Max HP buff after it has expired.
HP not healing due to re-applying Max HP buff before it expires.

Note: Max HP mechanic applies to all Max HP buffers (Unless stated), however is much more prominent with Noise.

Alice Manual + Pierce

This only applies on a Invested Alice (Charge speed 99%~ from overload gear and Alice skills at 10/x/10). For a complete guide, click here.

But to summarize, the user is able to shoot much faster than what the game is capable of on auto play. Drastically improving DPS.

Manual play can also take advantage of Nikkes with the pierce property, much more efficiently than auto-aim/play can manage. This is extremely beneficial against bosses with parts, as at certain angles, the user can hit multiple parts drastically multiplying damage output and burst generation.

Dealing two instances of damage when aiming between the legs and bodies
Harvester Pierce Spots

Misc Info

Modernia Burst

A rather confusing topic for newbies who have Modernia. When do I use Modernia’s Burst? Where would i use it?

To start, Modernia’s burst ALWAYS has weaker single target DPS compared to her normal attacking. The reason is, her normal attack values are not applied to targets hit under her burst, and her burst modifier is weaker than her normal attack, even at max level.

It also lowers overall team DPS as most team buffs last 10s, and her burst extends full burst timer to 15s. This means the team is running 5s without buff refreshes. Modernia burst is usually only used if the user needs to clear out multiple projectiles (chatter box missiles, Blacksmith Bombs) or multiple waves of raptures in campaign. However sometimes Modernia doesn’t do enough damage to clear out rapture waves in time, so judgement is still needed.

Dangerous Raptures (Target priority)

Some raptures have the potential of severely damaging or even one shotting Nikkes at certain power deficits, while some do close to no damage. These images show some of the normal type raptures that are are rather dangerous. It is recommended to aim for these raptures first before they’re able to shoot.

There are still a couple more, but you’ll figure them out (・ω<)

Closing words

Although looking like a simple game, there is a good bunch of mechanics involved that is not explained very well. Hopefully by knowing that these mechanics exist, will encourage more experimentation that will lead to improved campaign progress and enjoyment or rage with the game!


Valkkin has been an avid gamer ever since birth. Writing nerdy and light-hearted guides while despising math. Support his work on Ko-fi!

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  1. A minor nitpick, but it does not suit Gigachad to say “ez”, something like “No problem” would feel more appropriate.

  2. Is motion cancelling with Alice only applicable with 99% charge? So until the player has 99% charge, manual play will offer little to no benefits if you the enemy has no parts to take advantage of? Also, does Alice benefit from manual play outside burst beyond generating burst energy?


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