Counter:Side Complete Beginner’s Guide (Tips + Do’s and Don’ts)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Counter: Side is a tactical action RPG with a lot of engaging game modes and combat mechanics which may be challenging for new players.
From combat to powering up units, Counter: Side demands players to focus and plan ahead before acting.
This guide covers everything that new players should know about the game — along with a checklist of stuff to do (or not do) to make sure that you have a terrific early game experience.
- Starting Out (Rerolling)
- Game Modes (Operations)
- Counter:Side Unit Roles
- Counter:Side Combat Guide
- Powering Up Units
- Guide to Ships
- Gauntlet (PVP)
- The World Map
- Counter:Side General Tips
- Counter:Side Do’s & Don’ts
Starting Out (Rerolling)
Upon starting the game, you will be able to recruit several times — once with a free 10x Summon after getting to a certain point in the tutorial and another which is done with the free Quartz from your mail.
To reroll, you must prepare duplicate email accounts beforehand as you cannot clear an account’s progress once it’s been created.
TIP: The best SSR units you can get from the beginner gacha will be Chifuyu, Xiao Lin, and Kyle Wong.
If you aim for at least two out of these three, you’ll be able to breeze past the Main Stream stages pretty easily.
Game Modes (Operations)
Unlike most gachas, Counter Side has a ton of playable game modes which can be accessed by going to the Operation page.
To further elaborate, here are all of the game modes along with brief explanations for each of them.
Main Stream is Counter Side’s equivalent of a Story Mode or a Campaign Mode.
Here you can go through progressively hard combat missions and tune in on the game’s main story all while learning the basics of combat.
Clearing Main Stream stages will also allow you to level up your account and unlock more game modes as a new player.
TIP: Clearing as many Main Stream stages as you can should be your #1 priority as a new player.
Doing so will let you unlock more game modes — more importantly, the ones that will give you materials to strengthen your Units.
Supply Operations, hence the name, allows you to farm all kinds of materials that are necessary for your character’s growth.
Each of the stages in Supply Operations is further divided into levels. The higher the level you can clear, the more resources you’ll be able to farm.
TIP: The ones you’ll need to clear consistently are the ones called Profit Creation and Riot Suppression.
Investigation Activities and Military Supply Acquisition are great for one-time clears but are otherwise negligible when it comes to farming.
Simulation stages are much like Supply Operation Stages in that they both give you precious materials that can be used to level up your units.
The only difference is that you can only enter each Simulation stage a limited amount of times per day. The amount you can farm from them, however, is worth it.
TIP: To farm as many resources as you can, try not to settle for any stage other than the highest one.
Also, make sure to clear these Simulation stages every day. Doing so will ensure steady progress for your account. Keep in mind that you can buy Simulation Tickets from the Shop.
Side Stories are special story-centered stages that’ll allow you to see the lore behind certain characters.
Of course, that’s not all of it. Provided that you’re strong enough, you can actually farm Units from these Side Story Stages!
TIP: There are a lot of great farmable units here, and that includes solid SR and SSR units which will be great additions to your squads.
Be sure to visit Side Stories often as more stages (and free units) may come after each update.
Challenge, once again, gives you a lot of precious materials that allow you to strengthen your Units.
Each Challenge stage gives you different types of resources to farm. To see what they are, check the Major Rewards listed in every stage.
TIP: Hence the name, you will have to go through several unique types of challenges to clear each stage.
For some stages, you might have to bring along units with specific skill sets to help you clear more efficiently.
Counter Cases allows you to view data about every playable character in the game via investigations. Doing so will also let you obtain all sorts of resources.
To unlock Counter Cases for specific units, you’re required to fork over Information Resources which you can farm from several sources in the game.
Free Contract stages require you to undergo missions under clients for Credits and gear.
You can also farm EXP for Units here, although you’ll only be able to bring along a limited amount because of the unit restrictions.
TIP: Stage 3-3-3 is among the best stages to farm in Free Contracts for Credits and EXP.
Like all gachas, Counter Side has Events where you can access special or seasonal story stages and farm resources while you’re at it.
They work more or less like Main Stream stages do, only they are time-limited and can only be revisited once they’re rerun by the developers.
TIP: Events have a ton of possible rewards ready for all players to farm, so don’t forget to clear them whenever they come around!
Counter:Side Unit Roles
To understand the basics of Counter Side is to understand the basics of Units. More specifically, how each of their roles is different from each other.
To address that, here are all of the Unit Roles in the game along with a brief explanation as to what they do for your Squad.
- Striker – They are melee damage dealers who commonly specialize in both dishing out and taking large amounts of DPS. They are effective against Rangers.
- Sniper – They are long Range DPS units that counter air units like no other. They are also quite effective against land units as long as they’re well protected. They are effective against Strikers.
- Defender – They are your mobile frontline tanks that’ll protect the units behind them. What they lack in damage they make up for by having high survivability. They are effective against Snipers.
- Ranger – They are ranged DPS units that are best deployed after Defenders and Strikers. They’re squishy but not as squishy as Snipers in general. They are effective against Defenders.
- Supporter – They either heal and buff allies or debuff enemies — making them essential additions for any Squad.
- Siege – They are special units that are great for assassinating bosses. They will not engage with mobs and will go straight for bosses instead.
- Tower – They specialize in defending your ships rather than going on the offensive like the rest of the units. They’re great for long, drawn-out battles.
TIP: Units are also further divided into four classes, namely: Counters that have skills, Soldiers that are deployed in droves, Mechs that have unique passive skills, and Others that are commonly used as materials instead of in actual combat.
Counter:Side Combat Guide
The combat system in Counter Side is fairly simple at first glance, but it becomes a bit more complicated once we get deeper into the mechanics.
To put it simply, however, you are given an energy bar at the bottom of your screen which is reduced every time you deploy a unit.
In order to win, the units you’ve deployed must get through the mob of enemies and eliminate the enemy boss that is generally located on the other side of the map.
TIP: In general, the best strategy to go by is to set the defenders down first before following them up with your DPS and Support Units.
Also, it is advisable to read through your Units’ skills first before deploying them in combat. After all, most of them have situational skills that can turn the tide of combat in your favor!
In Counter Side, we have a place called Headquarters which is made up of Dorms and Facilities.
This is where the “management” part of the game comes in. Like most games, Counter Side allows you to house your units in dorms and manage facilities for additional resources.
Dorms are where you can put your Units together to socialize. You can buy additional spaces as soon as you unlock specific story stages with Quartz.
If you feel like it, you can also buy furniture to decorate your Dorms with by using Quartz.
TIP: Decorating your Dorms are largely for aesthetic purposes only. It does not do much for your account as a whole so spend your Quartz wisely.
Facilities allow you to work on getting more resources along with getting more opportunities to upgrade all sorts of stuff.
You can spend resources to upgrade your Facilities which in turn will provide specific bonuses that’ll help your account grow over time.
TIP: The best Facilities to level up first are your Branch Manager Office, Future Strategy Department, and PR Department — exclusively in that order.
Powering Up Units
As a beginner, there are several ways for you to power up your units and make them stronger. They are as follows:
Salary Negotiation can be used to increase a unit’s level.
Doing this consumes Contracts and lots of Credits as materials.
Limit Break increases a Unit’s max level, skill levels, and stat growth rate.
Doing this consumes either Dupes or APT Cores (recommended) as materials.
Skill Training can be used to upgrade a Unit’s basic and passive skills so they’ll be more effective during combat. Doing this consumes Information and Training Data as materials.
Gears can be crafted and equipped to bolster your Unit’s overall stats. They also have Options and Set Options which can improve specific stats significantly.
Guide to Ships
Ships are the “vehicles” that carry your Units around on a map.
- Cruiser Ships
- Assault Ships
- Auxiliary Ships
- Armored Ships
Each Ship has its own pros and cons along with its own unique skills which can be exhibited during combat.
TIP: Taking your time in choosing and crafting the best ship for each Squad is one of the most important things you can do in the early game.
In general, the best ships you can construct as a beginner are:
Stellar is also a viable ship choice for beginners, mostly because of its low rarity and faster construction speed.
Gauntlet is Counter Side’s version of PVP.
It allows you to battle other players’ Defense teams and set own your Defense team to see how it’ll fare against other players.
The Gauntlet is further divided into Strategy Battles, Ranked Battles, and Friendly Matches.
The first two are for competitive matches while Friendly Matches are more for casual PVP players or players who’d like to test out their teams before competing for real.
TIP: As a beginner, you shouldn’t focus on Gauntlet matches too early as they are reserved for more experienced players.
First and foremost, make sure to strengthen your account first before going too deep into this game mode. Keep in mind that you won’t get far in the rankings without proper units in the first place!
The World Map
World Map is where you can unlock different Branches of your company which allows you to farm all sorts of resources.
Additionally, you can also find additional game modes such as Danger Close, Shadow Palaces, and Dive in the World Map.
Dispatch Missions can also be found here. You can send your Units out on Dispatch Missions for all sorts of great loot. Don’t forget to do it every day!
TIP: Unlock as many Branches as you can so that you can farm resources like Eternium, Gears, Information, and Ship Materials early on. You can unlock one branch every 15 levels.
If you’re a beginner, you’re going to have to wait until you can explore Dive and Raid Battles fully. After all, these game modes typically require 4-6 Squads to clear.
The best Dispatch Missions to choose are those that provide you with Employment Contracts, Quartz, or Simulation Tickets as Great Success rewards.
Counter:Side General Tips
To help boost your understanding of the game further, have a look at several tips that all new players must keep in mind!
Clear Your Daily and Weekly Missions
After you’ve gone through all the F2P Quartz you get from Stage Rewards, Achievement Rewards, Mail Rewards, etc., your Dailies and Weeklies will be one of the few sources of Quartz left for you.
This is exactly why it is important to build a habit of completing them consistently early on in the game.
Never Miss Events
Events are another one of those things you can’t just ignore even as a new player.
After all, they’ll allow you to get not only Quartz from clearing Event Stages but also highly valuable items from Event Shops. Seriously, do not miss them!
Always Offer 30% More in Salary Negotiations (Except…)
When it comes to Salary Negotiations, all you have to remember is that, more often than not, you must select the “Offer 30% More” option.
This is because you’ll get more Loyalty and higher “Great Success” chances if you do this.
However, do note that your Unit cannot gain any Loyalty if the EXP gained is less than 15,000. Consider this before you make your decision.
Once you’ve reached maximum loyalty for a Unit, feel free to go for the “Appeal to Passion” option instead!
Expand Your Unit Inventory Limit to At Least 300 to 400 Spaces
Expanding your Unit Inventory Limit will save you a lot of future headaches as you get more and more Duplicate and Fodder Units.
While it does cost about 2000 to 4000 Quartz, this fairly hefty sum is more than worth it if you don’t want the hassle of clearing up your Unit Inventory every time you get new Units.
Use Normal Units as Fodder & Dismiss Rare Units
If you’re wondering what to do with your low rarity Units, then wonder no further.
The answer’s right here!
Doing this will not only clear up space in your Unit Inventory, but it will also give you Ownerless Business Cards which you can use to buy all sorts of goodies in the Shop.
Do note, however, that there are several Rare Units worth investing in and shouldn’t be dismissed like Hound, Fione Lowell, Cindy Looper, Ironside, etc.
Counter:Side Do’s & Don’ts
To summarize this entire guide (and to share some extra info) here’s a list of things that you absolutely should and should not do as a beginner in Counter:Side.
- Do unlock all of your Squad slots
- Do invest some Quartz in your Facilities
- Do your Dailies and Weeklies consistently
- Do focus on clearing Main Stream stages first
- Do use N Units as fodder and Dismiss some R units for Ownerless Business Cards
- Do try to select a Mentor ASAP
- Do try to join a Consortium ASAP
- Do select the “Offer 30% More” option in Salary Negotiations
- Do increase your Unit Inventory Slots ASAP
- Don’t unlock any Crafting Slots
- Don’t use up too much Quartz on decors
- Don’t miss any events
- Don’t select the “Offer 30% More” option if the EXP gained isn’t more than 15k
- Don’t use Unit Shards when Limit Breaking
- Don’t Dismiss viable Rare Units