One of the best parts of playing a gacha game is building a one-of-a-kind, well-balanced team and then watching it annihilate the competition. This is also true of the gameplay loop in Girls’ Frontline.
Players can create any army they like to take on the game’s challenges thanks to the game’s robust gameplay and wide variety of units (called Tactical Dolls or T-Dolls).
However, with over a hundred T-Dolls to choose from, it can be daunting to even begin planning your ideal roster.
A ranking list is useful for this purpose.
You can always refer to this list to see which units are worth getting and which you can safely drop once you reach a certain point in the game.
Girls Frontline – A Quick Introduction
Mica Team and Sunborn Japan created the mobile game Girls Frontline. On May 20, 2016, it was finally made public. In the game’s alternate universe, intelligent machines known as “the enemy” have nearly wiped out humanity.
The player leads a group of T-dolls, anthropomorphized military dolls, into battle against the bad guys. The game’s combat takes place in a turn-based system, making it a tactical role-playing game. The player must employ each T-doll’s special abilities while making strategic use of cover and the environment.
Check out the Girls Frontline tier list to make sure you’re using the best T-Dolls for your playstyle. So, let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!
Girls Frontline’s Pre-Development History
2008 – Girl of the Bakehouse
The plot of Codename: Bakery Girl had previously been told. There are motifs in Girl of the Bakehouse that readers will recognize from MICA’s earlier novels.
The kinetic visual novel Girl of the Bakehouse is only a few pages long. The entire story can be read in about an hour and a half, with no player choice or multiple paths to complete.
Instead of using character sprites with different facial expressions like other games, Bakehouse uses fully illustrated scenes to establish the tone and mood.
During the time that his unit occupies the town, Mendo, a war correspondent and battlefield reporter for the Antarctic Army, recuperates at the Girl of the Bakehouse, Jefuty.
I won’t give anything away about the plot, so go ahead and read it for yourself if you’re interested. Even though the visual novel was only released in Chinese at its initial release, I have released an English patch for it along with a how-to play guide in the accompanying readme file.
Not only do I have a vested interest in your reading it, but I also think it’s a story that every serious GFL fan should have read for themselves.
Whether or not you end up enjoying it, this is the germ that grew into everything else about Sunborn that you know and (maybe) love.
Despite the copyright date of 2008 displayed in-game and on the box art, mail reservations for Girl of the Bakehouse and its standalone OST, Withered, opened two weeks prior to the game’s release on May 28th, 2009, at ComiCup 4. There were 400 copies of the game and the OST printed, and while there are no hard numbers to back up Yuzhong’s claim that sales were “satisfactory,” he did so as the current CEO of Sunborn.
However, the game’s development history goes all the way back to early 2008.
In April of 2008, Yuzhong began sharing first reveals and updates on the game’s development, primarily showcasing a small number of CGs and revealing that the game was originally intended to follow the standard VN structure, with character sprites being displayed over backgrounds.
In June, the “final” box art was unveiled, and it features a name that rings a bell.
It’s fascinating to consider how a single flower has featured so prominently in the symbolism of MICA Team’s works for over a decade now.
Although it’s barely present in Girl of the Bakehouse, save for a brief cameo after the credits roll, the themes for which it would come to stand are all over this tale.
Queen of the Night or Epiphyllum oxypetalum is the name of the flower in question here. A true outlier of natural selection, this flower opens its petals for just a few hours each year and then withers by morning. There’s even a Chinese idiom dedicated to the concept, “,” which is typically used to describe someone enjoying a fleeting moment of great success. Fittin
Epiphyllum’s transformation into Girl of the Bakehouse was never officially confirmed, but the game’s box art for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 ports was revealed on December 22, 2008, and it gives a pretty good idea of what to expect. The cover featured elements later used for the covers of Girl of the Bakehouse and its’ OST, while still carrying the Epiphyllum name, most notably making use of Jefuty’s final design, even though this post was a joke Yuzhong made to come back with news after fighting through a bad time.
Recently, we’ve learned that Vanguard Sound, the company that provides the soundtracks for all of Sunborn’s games today, was actually involved here in the 1990s under the name Viva-Team. It’s crazy to think about how far back all these ties go.
This, along with the complete absence of further mentions from Epiphyllum, strongly suggests that the project abruptly shifted course into becoming Girl of the Bakehouse, possibly due to issues with a third party, OTAKU FOUND, who seems to have played a role similar to a publisher, since their credit is entirely absent from the final release of the game.
2009 – ATLNA
Yuzhong wrote on his blog on June 2, 2009 that he was happy with the reception of his debut game, was looking forward to a second round of sales at the upcoming ComiCon4, and that he had been inspired to begin development on an SLG (strategy game) after meeting someone at ComiCup4 who shared his vision of making a more complex work. This thread also featured his early concept art and ideas for the game’s characters.
After having to scrap her inclusion in the previous project, Yuzhong finally got to use this female character design for this new game. She had previously appeared in a few artworks alongside Epiphyllum’s original Jefuty design.
Later on August 4th, he unveiled the project’s title and the first piece of key art, which featured the same girl and a soldier who looks eerily like Mendo.
Exactly two months later, another blog post stated, “The game is still in production, but an SLG is a lot more difficult to make than I originally thought. Making a game that can be enjoyed by a wide audience is challenging because it takes time to develop the game’s mechanics and structure. We’re slowly but surely enhancing the environment. It’ll work out wonderfully, I just know it.
While this wasn’t the final chapter in the game, ATLNA was never heard from again.
2010 – A year of Doujinshi
In the year following the release of Girl of the Bakehouse, not only did MICA Team’s modest fanbase grow increasingly excited for ATNLA, but the team also began placing a greater emphasis on artwork in subsequent releases. After all, MICA’s original purpose was as a doujin circle, and even now, as seen in the most recent Girls’ Frontline collaborations, the group frequently alludes to the members’ favorite works within their own.
In the beginning, Team Shanghai Alice’s Touhou Project was one of the most frequently mentioned franchises, as it was the subject of many individual fanworks by MICA Team members.
Moriya no Shoujo, a Touhou artbook by Yuzhong with full-color drawings throughout, was the first publication of 2010. It had a small format and was only 28 pages long.
I realize this isn’t the proper forum for penetrating artistic critique, but please indulge me. Moriya no Shoujo’s art was surprisingly dark for such a lighthearted source material. War is never shown (at least in the pages that were displayed and are therefore available digitally), but even the most beautiful scenes can’t compare to the hope carried by those who haven’t been affected by war.
In addition to Moriya no Shoujo, the MICA team has released a crossover doujinshi comic titled Suzumiya Haruhi no Chousen, which pits the cast of K!ON against the titular Haruhi Suzumiya’s arbitrary will.
While MICA Team’s subsequent work, Touhou Modern Warfare, did not entirely shed Moriya no Shoujo’s gloomy emotional undercurrent, it did ditch the artsy pretense present in its style, with Yuzhong switching to his cleaner art style we know from works we’ll cover later, or T-Doll 6P62, and relying more heavily on Touhou’s innate whimsy.
Unfortunately, the size and number of pages for this and future art books are not provided.
Because of this series of releases, Yuzhong stopped making announcements and releasing content on his personal blog and instead began using an official Weibo account, which he still uses today. This was because MICA Team had become well-known enough at this point to consider their future in terms of making money. At the same time, with the aid of a friend who was the administrator of a game development forum where Yuzhong had met him, they began publishing a magazine about the Chinese doujin industry.
2010 – Girl of the Bakehouse 2
From here on out, things may become muddled as multiple projects run in parallel and different stages of development overlap and wind in unexpected ways. I need you to hear me out.
A sequel to Girl of the Bakehouse with the same title was announced on Weibo by the MICA Team on August 2, 2010. A full-fledged sequel to Girl of the Bakehouse, with gameplay centered on Tactical Role-Playing Game (RPG) combat and interspersed with adventure and visual novel sections.
With clean character art and relatively sketchy environments that aren’t quite as unintelligible thanks to the higher fidelity and resolution of the artwork, the accompanying image showed that the art style was aiming for a happy medium between the ones featured in the Touhou artbooks.
The logo reverted to the Gunslinger Girl–inspired design seen in Epiphyllum and still in use today, featuring the silhouette of an armed character (likely Mendo), a lengthy subtitle, and the words “Tactical Action Shooting,” which likely took inspiration from the “Tactical Espionage Action” tagline used by the Metal Gear Solid franchise.
Until recently, this game was thought to have been Codename: Bakery Girl 2 due to a lack of discovered material and proper context between it. An entire period of change in MICA’s past that we were unaware of!
Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to unearth any particularly useful information about the game; only a small amount of artwork has been preserved, and the few surviving promotional banners have such poor resolution that the Chinese text, while not illegible, makes translation by non-native speakers extremely challenging.
It was originally planned for release in late 2011, and one of the few concrete texts we have about the game notes that it is indeed a direct sequel to Girl of the Bakehouse, with the primary aim to vastly expand the budding franchise’s world.
Despite this dearth of details, much can be deduced about Girl of the Bakehouse 2 by looking at it in the light of what we already know.
The marketing materials make it clear that this story takes place either before the post-credits scene of the original game or during a new war that occurs afterward, and that by this point Mendo is a full-fledged member of the Antarctic Federation military.
This character sheet and some concept art give us a glimpse into the world as it is being developed. The former depicts what appears to be the inside of an abandoned high-tech laboratory.
It’s safe to assume that ATLNA morphed into Girl of the Bakehouse 2 during production, as there was contemporaneous artwork of this pigtailed girl character that looked strikingly like her first appearance. The time will come, no doubt, when those with more extensive knowledge will see red flags all over this promotional material.
Girl of the Bakehouse HD
Remaking a visual novel that ends so definitively would be difficult for anyone, so shortly after the release of Girl of the Bakehouse 2 in early 2011, MICA Team also announced a remake of the original game.
This would involve redoing every scene from scratch in high-resolution color, adding branching paths with multiple outcomes, and perhaps even introducing some light interactivity. Even though it wouldn’t be out until late 2012, almost a full year later, the remake promised a much more cohesive story and visual experience that would coincide with the sequel.
Wow, that’s some serious side by side analysis there.
Girl of the Bakehouse HD, however, had something on the cover that should be familiar to many, just like its sequel.
2011 – Guns&Girls
In the years that followed, MICA Team kept putting out prints, including the first in their Guns&Girls art book series in June 2011.
Each issue of these artbooks would focus on the weaponry of a single country and would feature the – by now familiar – concept of firearms anthropomorphized as girls.
The first volume covered Soviet and Russian mainstay weapons, and the second, released in November 2011, covered the United States’ vast arsenal of recognizable weapons.
Each issue featured one girl and was printed in B5 format with 28 pages. The first page featured the main artwork of the girl, while the second page provided a description or data sheet of her weapon, as well as a section on her character.
Featuring a surprising variety of modern and Third-Reich era weapons, Guns&Girls Volume 3 was released in July 2012 as MICA Team’s first original online retail product, with a focus on the German armory. Weapons as varied as the MP40, MP5, UMP45, and G11 were displayed.
Other volumes and MICA Team projects were also advertised on the back cover pages of Guns&Girls issues (pictured: Vol 3), including a fourth, as-yet-unrevealed mystery volume of the artbooks and, of course, most importantly, the duo of Girl of the Bakehouse games, with the release window for the sequel having passed and that of the remake rapidly approaching.
2012 – Valkyria Chronicles
Maybe you heard that Sunborn wanted the first GFL crossover event to feature Sega’s Valkyria Chronicles. It had come a long way in development by the time it was canceled, with chibis and animations datamined from the client at the time.
As shown in MICA Team’s final release of 2012, an artbook for the Valkyria Chronicles franchise covering the first two games, this story adds a lot of painful contexts, as this collaboration was already one Yuzhong had probably dreamed of.
Despite the artbook’s rumored huge popularity at the time, unfortunately, not much seems to be known or has surfaced about it.
2013 – Girl of the Bakehouse – Codename: Bakery Girl
Most fans of MICA Team were beginning to doubt the studio by late 2012, when neither Girl of the Bakehouse game had been released.
In November of that year, Yuzhong started showing off his redrawn Jefuty and a screenshot proving that, despite taking a new path, Girl of the Bakehouse 2 was still in the works.
After they stopped putting out the small doujin scene magazine, Yuzhong’s friend started a studio called Game Master, where he mostly helped out with the development of Touhou fangames, but he also made a highly regarded online multiplayer fangame based on the Hatsune Miku Project Diva games.
Yuzhong had called up an old friend to ask for assistance with the Bakehouse games because development seemed to be going in circles. Unfortunately, two games were too much for even them, so it looks like MICA fans will be getting a spin-off after all.
Don’t worry if you’ve ever wondered how Epiphyllum and Girl of the Bakehouse 2 could’ve developed; I have, too. I’ve started making my own visual novel, using the scant information we have about these two cancelled games and a remake of Girl of the Bakehouse. The latest updates will be posted here.
Game Master announced the March 2013 release of Codename: Bakery Girl on Valentine’s Day.
Despite being a spin-off, the game makes extensive use of the two cancelled projects for its own sake, borrowing the main story structure from the original Girl of the Bakehouse and giving it the worldbuilding and conspiracy twist set up from the sequel, as well as using many assets originally intended for use in either project, most notably many CGs and the character designs covered earlier in this article.
Take note of the fact that Girl of the Bakehouse’s chinese lettering is used in the game’s primary logo. Codename: Bakery Girl is used here only as a subtitle to indicate that the game is a spin-off. Also, the Chinese title for Reverse Collapse, for the first time formally separating it from the Bakehouse canon, omits this string of characters entirely.
Codename: Bakery Girl was so well received that it cemented MICA Team, their new art lead lowlight, and Game Master at the pinnacle of the Chinese doujin scene.
2014 – Guns&Girls Volume 4
The fourth and final volume of Guns&Girls, released in February 2014, was the last project released directly under the MICA Team name rather than a brand, and it focused on weapons from the People’s Republic of China. It also served as something of an All-Stars compilation of the series, with artwork from the girls of previous issues spread across 8 extra pages, bringing the total page count to 36.
Unfortunately, no scans of this artbook seem to exist, so we don’t know very much else about it.
2014-2016 – The Sunborn Saga
Yuzhong and his friend agreed to get together in the early months of 2014 to brainstorm a new game idea. This time around, they had bigger ambitions, setting their sights on the burgeoning mobile gaming market after being impressed by Kantai Collection but frustrated by the dearth of a comparable homegrown competitor.
After creating the world and setting for Codename: Bakery Girl, Yuzhong’s friend Yao Meng proposed making a game about warship girls. Yuzhong, however, rejected this idea. This, along with the recent release of Guns&Girls Vol. 4, is what reintroduced the subject of women with firearms to them.
Warship Girls, which many would call a bona fide KanColle clone, was allegedly developed by a former Game Master employee who then founded their own studio, MoeFantasy. We really got away from that one unscathed.
The scope of this undertaking necessitated the merging of two teams: the MICA Team with Sunborn Network Technology and the Game Master with Array Network Technology. The former oversaw the game’s core features, visuals, and design while the latter managed the app’s servers, backend, and release.
Girls’ Frontline was hailed as the answer to KanColle that the two friends sought to create by the Chinese games media soon after it was announced and first images were released by Sunborn, a statement that is now debatably true.
But the good times couldn’t last forever. Fans’ enthusiasm was unfazed by the first beta’s shaky execution. After all, this was their initial attempt at something on this scale.
Sunborn and Array had very little in the way of effective communication. Furthermore, both Yuzhong and Yao Meng secretly sought out additional publishing parties to bolster the game’s budget, gradually eroding their mutual trust in the process.
The second Closed Beta test was so plagued by technical issues that the game was largely unplayable; this time, it took a sizable chunk out of the credibility of the two studios, but the hype train kept on rolling.
After tensions between the two studios continued to rise, Sunborn decided to relocate from their shared office space into one of its own.
They had reached the end of their mutually beneficial working relationship. Despite the best efforts of all involved, Sunborn signed a publishing contract with Digital Sky and retained the services of Array.
The third beta test, conducted shortly before the game’s release, was a smashing success thanks in large part to the additional funding and on-premises support from Digital Sky. Unfortunately, by the time this was proven, Array had already shut down.
Shortly after, Yao Meng founded Yostar, and despite his best efforts to mend fences with Sunborn (which ultimately led to the cancellation of Girls’ Frontline’s planned early launch in Japan), he found success with the acquisition of Manjuu and the development of Azur Lane by Yongshi studios for release in Japan and other overseas territories.
The MICA Team’s art lead and the AR Team’s designer, lowlight, also left Sunborn in late 2017, just before Singularity, as was previously mentioned. Soon after, he joined Yostar and established Hypergryph, the studio responsible for Arknights, the Chinese ACG mobile game that would eventually dethrone GFL and become the industry standard until it was itself dethroned by Genshin Impact.
The launch of Girls’ Frontline on May 20th, 2016, was met with lukewarm reception at best, and the game’s player count continued to decline until the final event, Singularity, propelled it to new heights of popularity in the first months of 2018.
You won’t find better Dolls anywhere else in the game. They can be used in either the offensive or defensive units, making it simpler to construct a team with few weaknesses.
You won’t regret recruiting them into your team, despite the fact that they are notoriously hard to find.
|Mark 2 Welrod||Handgun|
|MG4||Rifle-like Machine Gun|
These dolls pack a punch, but they can’t compare to the S-tier dolls in terms of all-around strength. You can still win games with these dolls, so they’re a necessary part of any winning lineup.
|Am RFB||Machine Gun|
|Zas M21||Combat Rifle|
|Type 95||Machine Gun|
|Type 97||Combat Rifle|
|The M1891 Carcano||Rifle|
|Weaponized M91 Carcano||Rifle|
If given the right opportunities, these dolls can truly shine. To achieve their full potential, these dolls will require additional investment in strategy and synergy with other units.
|AS VAL||Machine Gun|
|Type 56-1||Machine Gun|
|An Update to the M4 SOPMOD||Rifle, Assault|
|Ak 5||Machine Gun|
|M60||Rifle-like Machine Gun|
|Type 80||Assault Rifle|
These are just regular dolls that won’t be able to separate themselves from the crowd. Putting together a team to support them requires extensive planning.
|The C96 Mauser||Handgun|
|FF FNC||Machine Gun|
|M1919||Rifle-like Machine Gun|
|M2HB||Fire from a Machine Gun|
Planning the perfect celebration for these dolls will be time-consuming and likely fruitless. Their usefulness depends on how well your team is organized. It’s usually not worth the trouble.
|Model L||Machine Gun|
|M249 SAW||Automatic Weapons|
|RPD||MG – Submachine Gun|
As much as possible, stay away from these dolls. They’re not very useful, and there are plenty of alternatives that can be used instead.
|Pistol with a Nagant cylinder||Handgun|
|Model 38 Beretta||SMG|
|The M4 Specter||SMG|
|Type 63||Machine Gun|
|FG42||Armament: Machine Gun|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does tier mean?
A tier is a method of organizing things into hierarchies based on criteria such as value or difficulty. Girls Frontline uses tiers to categorize T-Dolls according to how effective they are as a whole.
2. What is the difference between S-tier and A-tier?
S-tier is distinguished from A-tier primarily by the strength and utility of its T-Dolls. The best and most useful T-Dolls are the S-tier variety, while the A-tier T-Dolls are still quite powerful and versatile.
3. How often does this Girls Frontline tier list get updated?
The T-Dolls are reevaluated and the tier list is typically updated once a month or whenever there are significant changes to the game.
4. Why should I care about this Girls Frontline tier list?
Anyone looking to put together the best possible Girls Frontline team will find this tier list invaluable. When choosing which T-Dolls to use in a fight, knowing which ones are the most powerful can help.
5. Who made this Girls Frontline tier list?
A group of seasoned players compiled this Girls Frontline skill ranking. We asked numerous professional players who they thought were the best T-Dolls currently available.
6. Why do players use tier lists?
Tier lists are used by players to quickly determine which T-Dolls are optimal for a given scenario. They also serve as a useful tool for contrasting different T-Dolls.
While having access to the best dolls in the game can make short work of the game’s challenges, there’s more to the action in Girls’ Frontline than that. It’s important to keep in mind the types of weapons your units use so that you can plan accordingly.
With this list, you should have a better idea of how your final party will look. You can also use it to zero in on specific dolls you’d like to purchase so that your army is as powerful as possible.