In Azur Lane, all ships belong to one of 13 classifications, also known as hulls.
The classification of a ship impacts the weapons they can carry, their playstyle, as well as their overall stat distribution.
You want to have a balance of different types of ships in your fleet to avoid having exclusively one type of attack and defense.
To get the optimal balance of damaging and supportive skills in your fleet, you often need to bring a variety of hulls.
The 13 different ship classifications in Azur Lane are:
- Light Cruiser (CL)
- Heavy Cruiser (CA)
- Large Cruiser (CB)
- Destroyer (DD)
- Aircraft Carrier (CV)
- Light Aircraft Carrier (CVL)
- Battleship (BB)
- Aviation Battleship (BBV)
- Battlecruiser (BC)
- Repair Ship (AR)
- Monitor (BM)
- Submarine (SS)
- Submarine Seaplane Carrier (SSV)
In this guide, we go over some of the most popular ship classifications, which are the ones most players end up having on their team.
Table of contents
Destroyers are part of the vanguard fleet, which are the three ships you control in battle.
Destroyers have the highest fire rate in the game, but they don’t beat cruiser ships in terms of firepower.
Furthermore, Destoyers have low defenses, so you have to be careful not to be hit by powerful attacks.
Luckily, Destroyers have some of the highest speed stats in the game as well as high evasiveness, which you can use to dodge attacks.
Destroyer ships also pack high-damage torpedo attacks and have low oil costs.
To take full advantage of Destroyers’ playstyle, you should play on manual so you can dodge enemy attacks, quickly move up on enemies, and burst them with a torpedo attack.
All in all, Destroyers are quick, squishy ships with high burst damage suited for maneuvering, dodging, and bursting.
A Destroyer ship definitely worth putting in your vanguard is Yukikaze, who brings incredible utility for the entire team and has great damage as well.
Read more about Yukikaze here.
Aircraft Carriers belong to the backline, also known as the main fleet.
Like any other ship, Aircraft Carriers only attack enemies with their main gun if enemies get too close, which they rarely do.
Instead, most of their damage output comes from powerful cooldown-based attacks in the form of airstrikes.
There are several different types of airstrikes, including Torpedo Bomber Planes and Fighter Planes.
Airstrikes can often be the deciding factor in a battle because of the enormous AoE damage they bring, so consider placing an Aircraft Carrier on your fleet.
Besides the regular Aircraft Carrier, some ships are Light Aircraft Carriers, which are very similar.
The only difference is that Light Aircraft Carriers have less power and one less weapon slot, but do charge up airstrikes faster.
A specific Aircraft Carrier you should consider bringing on your team if you get your hands on her is Enterprise.
Not only does she pack incredible power, her skill perfectly compliments her airstrikes. Read more about Enterprise here.
Battleships’ salvo attack is shorter than airstrikes from Aircraft Carriers, but have much less AoE.
For the salvo attack to hit multiple enemies, they have to stand very close to each other, almost stacked.
At the beginning of the game, Air Carrier ships will do more damage than Battleships, but as you progress through the game, Battleships scale better than Air Carriers, making them superior in terms of raw power.
As Battleships’ salvo attack has such a small area of effect, but do more damage than airstrike attacks later on in the game, salvo attacks are perfect for taking out bosses with lots of health.
Battleships have very high defenses and will like Aircraft Carriers, attack enemies with their main gun if they get too close.
When you play on auto-mode with a Battleship, their salvo attacks will automatically be aimed perfectly at enemies prioritizing bosses.
However, playing on manual is still better in many cases, as timing is extremely important.
In terms of oil consumption, Battleships are the most costly in the game because they are such powerful and heavy ships.
If you’re looking for a Battleship to go for and put on your fleet, Monarch is a great choice as she brings incredible damage suited for bringing down tough bosses. Read more about Monarch here.
Submarines are a special ship classification compared to the rest as they don’t appear in battle.
Instead, they help your fleet in battle from underwater by automatically firing missiles and skills at enemies.
Most Submarine ships have skills that boost the damage dealt by your entire fleet, which can change the outcome of a battle.
Besides the in-battle support and damage Submarines bring, they also damage enemies when moving around the battle selection map, which helps out in battle as well.
In the submarine section of your fleet, there are only three slots, all of which are reserved for submarines only, so be sure to fill those up whenever you acquire a new submarine.
There are a few special stages in Azur Lane where players can control submarines in battle, but normally you can’t control them at all.
A specific submarine ship we recommend you put on your fleet if you pull her is U-47. She is in our and the vast majority of players’ opinions, the very best submarine in Azur Lane.
Not only does she pack a punch and will contribute greatly to the total damage dealt in a battle, but she also has skills that boost the damage of your other ships.
Read more about U-47 here.
Cruisers are the other primary classification of vanguard ships.
There are several types of cruiser ships – light cruisers, heavy cruisers, and large cruisers.
In general, cruisers have more defense and greater main gun damage than destroyers, but are slower and have less evasion.
Cruisers have a more consistent damage output, as their main damage source doesn’t rely on a cooldown based skill like destroyers.
Within the cruiser category, light cruisers are the fastest with the highest evasion but have the lowest defense and damage.
On the other hand, large cruisers are the slowest with the lowest evasion but have the highest defense and damage.
To avoid having only burst damage and low defenses, we recommend you bring a mix of cruisers and destroyers.
One of the best cruiser ships in the game is Roon, a heavy cruiser with great damage output and defenses.
Read more about Roon here.
That’s all the most-used ship classifications in Azur Lane, as well as their main features.
If you have any suggestions or input for this guide, you can leave them in the comment section below.