Azur Lane: breaking down the Ship tier list

See who’s the best ship girl for the job.

Azur Lane

You may have seen our recent list of the best ships you can play in the hit mobile game Azur Lane, as well as some reference to this week’s release of Azur Lane: Crosswave for PlayStation 4. But as devoted players might know, there’s a lot more where that came from, with several “shipgirls” available to choose from.

So, to let you know who ranks where we’ve broken down the full list of available ships via tier. They go from grade D to grade S, though your choices may vary.

Grade D is a decent enough ship to get started with, but they aren’t solid enough to cut it for the long haul. Meanwhile, grade S is the top-of-the-line ship that you can ask for in terms of firepower, evasion, defense, and strength. So if you have to make a choice, grade S is the best way to go. And the other tiers are worth experimenting with as well.

Let’s break down each tier, as well as their respective categories. We’ve included their name, what kind of class they are, their position, and which nation they serve.

D Tier

Izuzu- Light Cruiser- Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Zeppy- Aircraft Carrier- Backline (Ironblood)

Chaser- Light Aircraft Carrier- Backline (Royal Navy)

Chaser might just win you over, even in D Tier. (Screengrab via Idea Factory)

Again, you can use these when you first start but don’t expect them to get you through the game overall. You’ll be replacing them rather quickly.

C Tier

Curacoa Retrofit- Light Cruiser- Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Newcastle Retrofit- Light Cruiser- Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Kagerou Retrofit- Destroyer, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Tanikaze- Destroyer, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Sendai Retrofit- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Curlew Retrofit- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Hiryuu- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Souryuu- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

London- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Wichita- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Arizona- Battleship, Backline (Eagle Union)

Fumiruiru- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Utawarerumono)

Anniversary Kizuna Ai- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Kizuna Ai)

Akagi- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Zuikaku- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Shoukaku- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Shangri-La- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Eagle Union)

Taihou- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Prinz Eugen- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Ironblood)

Belfast- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Kawakaze- Destroyer, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Sirius- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Aside from the previously recommended Prinz Eugen, most of these ships will probably need a replacement midway through, due to their lacking amount of power. Still, some players may want to give them a shot if they’re looking for a challenge.

Also, You may have noticed some ships that have the name Retrofit. These can be “retrofitted” to get an increase in rarity. For collectors, they can make a real solid addition to the crew.

With Hiryuu in your arsenal, C Tier isn’t too bad. (Screengrab via Idea Factory)

B Tier

Hyuuga Retrofit- Aviation Battleship, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Shouhou- Light Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Ark Royal- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Royal Navy)

Kizuna AI- Destroyer, Vanguard (Kizuna AI)

Cleveland- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Columbia- Light Cruiser, Elite (Eagle Union)

Nicholas Retrofit- Destroyer, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Z1 Retrofit- Destroyer, Vanguard (Ironblood)

Javelin- Destroyer, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Little Bel- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Aurora- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Queen Elizabeth- Battleship, Backline (Royal Navy)

U-81- Submarine, Support (Ironblood)

I-19- Submarine, Support (Sakura Empire)

Kaga- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Izumo- Battleship, Backline (Sakura Empire)

North Carolina- Battleship, Backline (Eagle Union)

Elegant Kizuna AI- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Kizuna AI)

Ibuki- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Albacore- Submarine, Support (Eagle Union)

B-Tier ships are a better addition to your crew compared to C and D-Tier. That said, they will eventually run out of steam a little later on unless you know how to handle yourself in battle.

Save some room for Shouhou. (Screengrab via Idea Factory)

A Tier

Portland Retrofit- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Saratoga Retrofit- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Eagle Union)

Laffey Retrofit- Destroyer, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Z23 Retrofit- Destroyer, Vanguard (Ironblood)

Vestal- Repair Ship, Backline (Eagle Union)

Jintsuu Retrofit- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Mogami Retrofit- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Jean Bart- Battleship, Backline (Vichya Dominion)

Tirpitz- Battleship, Backline (Ironblood)

Washington- Battleship, Backline (Eagle Union)

Hood- Battle Cruiser, Backline (Royal Navy)

U-101- Submarine, Support (Ironblood)

I-168- Submarine, Support (Sakura Empire)

Amagi- Battle Cruiser, Backline (Sakura Empire)

King George V- Battleship, Backline (Royal Navy)

Bismarck- Battleship, Backline (Ironblood)

Saint Louis- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Iris Libre)

Montpelier- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Neptune- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Eldridge- Destroyer, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Illustrious- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Royal Navy)

Swiftsure- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Royal Navy)

Graf Zeppelin- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Ironblood)

Bunker Hill- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Eagle Union)

Mikasa- Battleship, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Kitakaze- Destroyer, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

While they’re not quite “god-level” like the ships in S Tier, the A Tier models will do your team proud with their balance of firepower, defense, and speed. You can’t go wrong with any of these.

Metro: Redux
U-101 is an A-Tier sort of shipgirl. (Screengrab via Idea Factory)

S Tier

Yat Sen Retrofit- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Eastern Radiance)

Ning Hai Retrofit- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Eastern Radiance)

Ping Hai Retrofit- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Eastern Radiance)

Ayanami- Destroyer, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Unicorn- Light Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Royal Navy)

Helena- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Duke of York- Battleship, Backline (Royal Navy)

Minneapolis- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

I-13- Submarine Carrier, Backline (Sakura Empire)

U-47- Submarine, Support (Ironblood)

Centaur- Light Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Royal Navy)

Essex- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Eagle Union)

Enterprise- Aircraft Carrier, Backline (Eagle Union)

Warspite Retrofit- Battleship, Backline (Royal Navy)

Monarch- Battleship, Backline (Royal Navy)

Roon- Heavy Cruiser, Vanguard (Ironblood)

San Diego Retrofit- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Yukikaze- Destroyer, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Akashi- Repair Ship, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Nagato- Battleship, Backline (Sakura Empire)

Gascogne- Battleship, Backline (Vichya Dominion)

Georgia- Battleship, Backline (Eagle Union)

Seattle- Light Cruiser, Vanguard (Eagle Union)

Friedrich der Grosse- Battleship, Backline (Ironblood)

Azuma- Large Cruiser, Vanguard (Sakura Empire)

Metro: Redux For PS4, PC And Xbox One
Minneapolis is among the best of the bunch. (Screengrab via Idea Factory)

The S Tier is quite simply the best of the best out there. Add them to your fleet without hesitation, and they’re going to last for a good while. Some are pretty rare (like the Friedrich der Grosse), but all the more worth it when it comes to victory.

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