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by Naryoril

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Scoring Mechanics Guide by Naryoril

Version: 1.3 | Updated: 03/29/17

Introduction

This is a guide about how scoring in The Idolm@ster: Platinum Stars works and how to use all that information to get as high a score as possible with your current idols, costumes and accessories, as well as what steps to take next to further increase your score

I stick to using romaji for songs, skills, costume types and such to make it easier to read and and remember. Since most of these things are English words written in katakana anyway, you don't need to be able to read kanji to make the link, and the song names i use are the names generally used by the English speaking Idolm@ster community. But nevertheless there is a translation list at the end of the guide for those who can't read Japanese at all and still want to enjoy the game.

Scoring Mechanics

In this section i will describe how the scoring system in The Idolm@ster: Platinum Stars works in detail. With this information you can make your own decisions on what skills and songs to use in which situation, or when new skills which are not described in this guide are introduced to the game through DL lives, or skills become available on slots where they were not available before.

Normal Appeals

Mechanics

Generally, the points you get for a normal appeal (where you have to press square, triangle or circle) is linear to your unit's appeal stat. So if you increase your unit's appeal by 50%, the points you get from normal appeals also increases by 50%.

Double appeals (appeal where you have to press triangle and up at the same time for example) give double points.

A long appeal (where you have to keep the button pressed until it's over) is basically 2 appeals connected together, for most scoring purposes you can regard the beginning and the end as separate appeals. The only exception to this is the timing.

Depending on how good your timing is, the points you get for a normal appeal is multiplied by a factor:

TimingFactor
Bad0
Normal0.5
Good0.75
Perfect1

The timing at the end of a long appeal can't be better than the timing at the beginning of the appeal: So if you get a good at the beginning, you will never get a perfect at the end. If you get a bad at the beginning, you might as well let go of the buttons, since you will only get a bad at the end, which doesn't give any points anyway.
In addition, you don't have to lift off the button at the end of a long appeal, you can keep pressing the button for as long as you want after the appeal is over.

After conducting a series of tests i came to the conclusion that the total amount of points you can get from normal appeals is 3000 if your unit's appeal stat is 100. In other words, the total score of normal appeals is your unit's appeal stat multiplied by 30. The double points from double notes are considered as is the bonus from EX mode.
That means it doesn't mater what song you are using or what difficulty you are playing on, the total score for normal appeals is always roughly the same. There are 2 reasons for differences though. If you are not interested in the details: The effect is fairly small, changes around to favor one or the other song as your appeal stat and the number of hearts changes, so they are hard to calculate in advance. As a result, these effects can be ignored when it comes to choosing a song.
If you are interested in the details, here they are:

  1. Rounding errors
    Let's say your song has 150 normal (non double) appeals and your unit's appeal stat is 100, this means every normal appeal gives you 3000 / 150 = 20 points. Now let's assume another song has 151 normal appeals, this means a normal appeal is worth 3000 / 151 = 19.87 points. Depending on how the game rounds (i don't know if it always rounds up, always down or mathematically correctly) you get either 19 or 20 points per appeal, which means in total you'll get either 19 * 151 = 2869 or 20 * 151 = 3020 points.
    This changes around as your appeal stat changes and it generally gets less important with a higher appeal stat, as a result this effect can be ignored when it comes to choosing a song.
  2. The appeals replaced by omoide appeals
    If you have 4 hearts, 4 normal appeals will be replaced by omoide appeals (more on omoide appeals later). Depending on what type of appeal is replaced, you lose out on more or less points.
    Let's stick with the example from the rounding errors: a song with 150 normal, non double appeals and an appeal stat of 100. The 4 omoide appeals will replace 4 normal appeals, which means you'll lose out on 4 * 20 points and thus your total score for normal appeals will be 2920 points.
    Now let's assume the song has 142 normal appeals and 4 double appeals, this still equal 150 normal appeals and every appeal is worth exactly 20 points. Now let's further assume that exactly those 4 double appeals are replaced by omoide appeals, this means you'll lose out on 4 * 2 * 20 points and your total score for normal appeals will be 2840, or 80 less than with the other song.
    Usually it isn't one of the extremes, so the effect is smaller. In addition, it's hard to verify what type of appeal is replaced by omoide appeals. As a result, this effect can also be ignored when it comes to choosing a song.

However, it seems that the DLC Song My Only Note is scaled to 4000 instead of 3000 points. I don't know if this is on purpose, or if it's a mistake, and whether there are other songs like that. Since i don't have this DLC (or hardly any other DLC song), i can't do extensive tests on that.

If your costume matches the event's type (idol, shiny star, kirakira girl, heartful lady and genki musume) the points gained from normal appeals are doubled. You will see a smiley displayed next to the type in the costume selection if the type matches. If the type of the event is "standard", no costume will match, since there is no "standard" costume.

The special types on some of the DL live costumes also count as the corresponding normal type. For example charming lady also counts as heartful lady, but not the other way around. This can easily be seen through the smiley display in the costume selection.

Example

A unit with 667 appeal is using a costume which matches the type of the event. The expected total number of points from normal appeals is 667 (appeal) / 100 * 3000 (or simply * 30, for the total number) * 2 (for the correct costume) = 40020 points.

For the following detailed reality check you might want to read the mechanics of omoide appeals and the extreme burst first.

The unit in question has 5 hearts and is performing edeN on master difficulty. In this setup the song has 108 normal, 71 double and 4 omoide appeals before the burst, as well as 12 normal, 29 double and 1 omoide appeal in EX mode. If this is converted into an equivalent of normal appeals we get 108 + 71 * 2 (double) + 12 * 2 (EX mode) + 29 * 2 (double) * 2 (EX mode) = 390 appeals. The omoide appeals replaced an equivalent of normal appeals between 6 (4 normal before the burst and 1 normal in EX mode) and 12 (4 double before the burst and 1 double in EX mode). So the total equivalent of normal appeals of edeN on master difficulty is somewhere between 396 and 402. If we take the total amount of 40020 points we calculated earlier, this means the unit should get between 40020 / 402 = 99.55 and 40020 / 396 = 101.06 points, and then apply rounding.
In reality, the unit gets 101 points for a normal appeal, so it matches the calculation.

Next, the same unit performs Kiramekirari on master difficulty with 208 normal and 46 double appeals before the burst as well as 77 normal and 21 double appeals in EX mode which results in 208 + 46 * 2 (double) + 77 * 2 (EX mode) + 21 * 2 (double) * 2 (EX mode) = 538 normal appeals. Adding the omoide appeals we get between 544 and 550 appeals, and the points for a normal appeal should be between 40020 / 550 = 72.76 and 40020 / 538 = 73.57 points.
In reality, the unit gets 73 points for a normal appeal, which also matches the calculation.

Extreme Burst and EX Mode

Mechanics

Towards the end of each song there is an opportunity for an extreme burst. This shows up as a star symbol and you have to press the touchpad. By successfully performing the extreme burst with normal, good or perfect timing you enter EX mode and the appeal icons change, they kind of get a glow. The points of all appeals in EX mode are doubled. While the background animation for the extreme burst is running you will stay in EX mode no matter what. After the animation is over, you will stay in EX mode as long as you hit every appeal with a good or perfect timing.

The points for the extreme burst itself are based on your unit's burst stat. It simply is the burst stat multiplied by a factor depending on the burst type. The timing doesn't matter as long as it's at least a normal.

Burst SkillFactor
No skill2
Solo Burst 26
Solo Burst 38
Duo Burst 14
Duo Burst 24.5
Duo Burst 35
Duo Burst 45.5
Duo Burst 56
Trio Burst 16
Trio Burst 26.5
Trio Burst 37
Quintet Burst 110

The timing doesn't matter as long as it's at least a normal.

To perform a certain type of burst you need a costume with the corresponding skill and you need a sufficient charge level. If you don't reach the required charge level or don't have the required number of idols (so for example if you try to perform a quintet burst with just 3 idols on stage), you perform a burst as if you had no skill.

To increase your charge level you need 2 things: Skills and omoide appeals. If you have the charge level 1 skill and perform an omoide appeal, you reach charge level 1. If you also have the charge level 2 skill and perform a second omoide appeal, you reach charge level 2. And in the same way, if you also have the charge level 3 skill and perform a third omoide appeal, you reach charge level 3.
So to reach charge level 3, you need the skills charge level 1 (typically on head slot accessories), charge level 2 (typically on hand slot accessories) and charge level 3 (typically on leg slot accessories), as well successfully perform 3 or more omoide appeals.

Duo bursts require charge level 1, trio bursts require charge level 2 and quintet as well as solo bursts require charge level 3.

A little bit of extra information about bursts not connected to scoring: The burst animation if you don't have a skill is different for each idol. If you have a burst skill though, the animation is always the same, no matter who is standing on the stage.

Example

A unit with 770 burst, accessories with the skills charge level 1 and charge level 2, as well as a costume with the skill trio burst 2 gets 770 * 6.5 = 5005 points from the extreme burst.

Omoide Appeals

Mechanics

Omoide Appeals are the appeals where you have to press the X button. The number of omoide appeal opportunities in a song is equal to the number of hearts you have. The number of hearts in a song is decided by the number of hearts of your leader, the other idols don't matter at all. Some high ranking costumes also give you up to 3 extra hearts. Since the maximum number of hearts an idol can have "naturally" is 5, you can have up to 8 omoide appeals in a song.

If you have an item with the drive duo skill (usually on the body slot), you can perform duo omoide appeals. If you also have an item with the drive trio skill (usually on the leg slot) you can perform trio omoide appeals. If you have the drive quintet skill on top of that (a skill on some costumes) you can perform quintet omoide appeals.
The omoide appeal types are performed one after another in ascending order as far as you have the necessary skills, then it restarts with solo. To give you an example:
If you have the drive duo and drive trio skill in a quintet event, the first omoide appeal will be solo, the second a duo and the thrid a trio. The 4th will again be a solo omoide appeal, the 5th a duo, the 6th a trio, the 7th a solo again and finally the 8th a duo appeal.

The base score for an omoide appeal is exactly your unit's omoide stat. It is then multiplied by a factor depending on the type of omoide appeal:

TypeFactor
Solo1
Duo1.5
Trio2
Quintet3

The timing does not matter, as long as you get at least a normal.

On A rank and S rank most events list a costume image (cute, cool, clever or cosmic). If you wear a costume with the matching image, the points from omoide appeals are multiplied by 3. If you use the opposing costume image (cute vs cool as well as clever vs cosmic) the points from omoide appeals are halfed.

If you have 5, 6 or 7 omoide appeals, the last omoide appeal will be in EX mode if you don't lose the EX mode bonus early by getting a normal or worse timing. If you have 8 omoide appeals, the last 2 omoide appeals will be in EX mode. The points of these appeals are doubled as for any other appeal.

So on an event with a costume image and you perform a duo omoide appeal on the 5th omoide appeal, you will get omoide stat * 1.5 (duo) * 2 (EX mode bonus) * 3 (costume image) = omoide stat * 9 points.

Here is a table of the total factor you get over the course of a song. If there are more than 5 omoide appeals, the last is one counted double, with 8 appeals the last 2 are counted double. The costume image bonus is not factored in, which means these factors must be multiplied by 3 if it is an event with a costume image:

HeartsSingleDuoTrioQuintet
11111
222.52.52.5
333.54.54.5
4455.57.5
5678.59.5
6791111.5
789.51114
81012.51420

Example

To show the huge amount of points you can get from omoide appeals and thus the importance of omoide appeals later in the game, here the pretty much most extreme example:

A quintet unit has a total of 1265 omoide (5 girls with omoide level 20, you could probably select girls with a little bit more), wears accessories with drive duo and drive trio, as well as a costume with hearts +3 and drive quintet which also matches the event's image. The total amount of points from omoide appeals is 1265 * 3 (costume image) * 20 (1 (solo) + 1.5 (duo) + 2 (trio) + 3 (quintet) + 1 (solo) + 1.5 (duo) + 2 (trio) * 2 (EX mode) + 3 (quintet) * 2 (EX mode), or simply from the table above) = 75900 points.

This is enough to EX clear the most difficult quintet live in the game (not counting DL lives), and it doesn't even include the points from normal appeals or the extreme burst, just the omoide appeals alone.

Chain Bonus

There is a combo counter displayed at the bottom of the screen. The chain continues as long as you get normal or better timings.

Every time the combo counter reaches a multiple of 10 you get some bonus points. The base bonus is 50, and for every rank your song gains it increases by 25, up to a maximum of 275. For the more mathematically inclined the chain bonus is 25 * (1 + song rank).

There are accessories which increase the chain bonus. Not counting DL live rewards there are 50 and 100 point variants, and they are all on the leg slot where they compete with drive trio, which is also only available on the leg slot, so you can't have both at once. There are 2 or so costumes with chain bonus 100 however.

The DL lives changed this restriction though. The 1th event of the アナタとノクターン DL live rewards you with a leg slot accessory with chain bonus 150, and the first event of the いつまでもこのままで DL live gves you an accessory with 100 chain bonus on the arm slot. There are also other DL lives which reward you with such items, but they are more difficult to beat.

Chain bonus skills on different slots do not stack.

The chain bonus is the only significant difference when it comes to scoring potential between different songs and difficulties, and it can easily be calculated and compared: just check the number of appeals a song has on any given difficulty and round it down to the previous multiple of 10. So here is a list of all non DLC songs with their number of appeals on every difficulty.

SongDebutRegularProMaster
Happy!113149221260
The Live Kakumei de Show!129168249300
THE IDOLM@STER130157253317
my song81113159270
Watashi wa Idol114155249264
GO MY WAY!!94135217277
Honey heartbeat99130157259
Kimi channel92127217251
READY!!82139207297
CHANGE!!!!121145211266
Jibun Rest@rt121157246301
99 Nights82125209267
Visionary125165254308
edeN116148202226
Vault That Borderline!99144200249
Nanairo Button90111150211
Kiramekirari109162218358
Ippai ippai105140205256
Kirakira Ippai Way medley138182256372
The Happy Live medley159207285358

So let's compare the 2 most extreme cases (not counting the medleys since they can only be used at very limited times): Kiramekirari at rank 10 on master versus my song at rank 1 on debut, while wearing the an accessory with 150 chain bonus:
The chain bonus for Kiramekirari is 275 for rank 10 plus 150 from the accessory, and you can get it 35 times since the song has 358 appeals. This means your total chain bonus is 35 * (275 + 150) = 14875 points.
The chain bonus for my song is 25 for rank 1 plus 150 from the accessory, you can get it 8 times since the song has only 81 appeals. The total chain bonus is 8 * (25 + 150) = 1400, a whopping 13475 less than in the kiramekirari case.
If it's just about your favorite song and you will have it on rank 10 and play on master anyway, the difference becomes smaller of course, but it is still significant. The song with the lowest scoring potential in that scenario is Nanairo Button with only 211 appeals. The chain bonus potential for Nanairo Button is 21 * (275 + 150) = 8925, which is still 5950 points less than Kiramekirari.

The chain bonus potential of the different songs becomes less relevant as your idols become better since it is completely independent of your unit's stats. In the end you will be able to get over 100'000 points on a quintet live, the almost 6000 points difference between Nanairo Button and Kiramekirari will not matter as much percentage wise. On the other hand, if you are doing a solo live, especially early on, and you can only get about 20000 points, the 6000 points difference between those 2 songs is really significant.

Other Scoring Mechanics

Swipe Appeal

Once per song there is this long yellow appeal where you have to swipe the touchpad to get point. To be honest, i have no idea how the points you get for it are calculated, but you only get a few hundred points out of it anyway, so i simply ignore it. It also feels quite out of place and doesn't really fit in with the rest, there are also no skills to influence it in any way. Maybe it's the game's way to correct rounding differences from normal appeals or anything.

Chain Complete

Some costumes have the chain complete skill, it comes in variations between 2000 and 7000 and others might be introduced in further DL lives. If you get a full combo in the song, which means you hit every single appeal with a timing of normal or better, you'll get the points in the skill's name as a bonus. So if you get a full combo and wear a costume with the chain complete 4000 skill, you get 4000 extra points at the end of a song.

Scoring Strategies and Considerations

In this section i will describe different skill setups and when to use them. I will also describe what you should do to increase your score when you can't ex clear an events (which will most probably be a DL live) even though you use the best skill setup at your disposal. In addition, there are some other things you should consider or maybe are considering. The most important one for you probably is...

What Idols to Use

I'm really glad i can answer this issue is: Whichever you want to, it doesn't really matter.

Of course, if one idol is of a higher level, be it the "normal" level, the burst rank or the omoide rank, or if she has more hearts, she is better than the others, but in the long term it hardly matters. While their stats differ at max level, the differences are small and if an idol i strong in one part, she is weak in another, so the effects more or less cancel each other out, with a small advantage for girls with high omoide.

But let's have a detailed look.

Omoide

At max omoide rank (20) all idols have between 245 and 260 omoide, so it's only a difference of about 6% between the extremes. Ritsuko, Mami and Miki are at the low end, Haruka, Iori, Makoto, Ami and Hibiki are at the high end.

That said, if you absolutely must optimize, you should choose the idols with the highest omoide potential in events with a costume image. In the most extreme case (8 hearts, drive quintet and matching costume image) the difference in points between the high and low end is 15 (difference) * 3 (costume image) * 20 (total omoide factor for drive quintet with 8 hearts) = 900 points per idol. Considering a quintet unit with maxed out omoide rank, the highest omoide stat the unit can have is 1300 and lowest is 1235 omoide, which makes a difference of 3900 points. This is a bit balanced out because the idols with lower omoide have higher burst and/or appeal.

While 3900 is quite a significant difference, you hardly ever have the opportunity to use drive quintet with the correct costume image. But even if you can, the 74100 points just from the omoide appeals of the weakest unit alone are almost enough to EX clear every quintet event currently in the game. At the time of writing the most difficult quintet is a DL live requiring 78000 points for ex clear, so you only need 3900 points from normal appeals and extreme burst to ex clear the event. So the omoide your idols can have at max omoide rank really doesn't matter in the case where the difference has the highest influence.

Usually you have drive trio available in a trio unit. In this case, the unit with the highest omoide stat has 780, and the unit with the lowest has 735. Since you can't use drive quintet, the total factor to the omoide score is 14, so the difference in points between the trio unit with the highest and lowest omoide stat is 45 (difference) * 3 (costume image) * 14 (total omoide factor for drive trio with 8 hearts) = 1890, which again is set off a bit because the idols with less omoide have more burst and/or appeal. This can be the deciding difference whether you successfully ex clear an event or whether you don't, so you can use it to your advantage if you fall just a few hundred points short of ex clearing an event. Usually this difference doesn't really matter though, considering you can reach over 80000 points with a trio unit.

Burst

I only have about half the idols at max burst rank (20), but they all have between 250 and 260 burst. I assume the range is the same as with omoide, so guess there are some idols with 245 burst.

The strongest burst is a quintet burst with a factor of 10, which means the point difference from the idol with the worst and the idol with the best burst stat is only 150 points. In addition to this, most of the time you will not be doing quintet bursts, but trio burst 3 at best, which has a factor of 8 and thus a point difference of 120, for a trio unit that's is only 360 points.

So the burst stat really doesn't matter.

Appeal

I only have Yukiho at max level (99) and her appeal stat is 142, so i can't really comment on the difference between the idols at max rank from experience. It takes a lot of time to get an idol to max level, even though i kept Yukiho as the unit's leader whenever possible it took me over 150 hours to get her there.

But every other of my idols has at least one other idol which isn't more than 1 level apart from her, and the largest difference in appeal between those pairs is just 3 appeal. So i think the differences at level 99 will be fairly small as well. A difference of 10 appeal would mean a theoretical point difference of 600 if you are wearing a costume with a matching type (3000 (base) / 100 * 10 (conversion to the effect of 10 appeal) * 2 (costume type). In reality this difference will be a bit lower on average due to normal appeals being replaced by omoide appeals, and due to rounding errors it can differ by 300 or more points from this number.

What Song to Use

As we have seen in the mechanics section, the points from normal appeals is more or less the same for all songs on all difficulties apart from rounding errors and appeals being replaced by omoide appeals. But these two factors change around a lot, a difference of just 1 appeal can mean that the rounding tips in the other direction and thus it's hard to control. Having up to 3 hearts more or less due to the omoide appeals +1/+2/+3 skills can change which song gets more double appeals replaced. So apart from them changing constantly, they are also very hard to predict and the effect is small, so it's best to simply ignore it.

Omoide appeals and extreme bursts are completely independent of the song, so the choice of song doesn't matter in any way for them.

That leaves us with the chain bonus as the only significant and predictable difference between songs, and here we have 2 factors. The first is the rank of the song, the higher, the better. The other is the number of appeals the song has, the more the better. Assuming all your songs have the same rank (which they will in the end because the max rank is 10), this means Kiramekirari is the best song on master difficulty, on pro difficulty it's THE IDOLM@STER and Visionary, closely followed by The Live Kakumei de Show, Watashi wa Idol and Jibun Rest@rt.

In general the difference isn't large enough to force you to always use a song with lots of appeals. But if you want to beat the DL lives as soon as possible, i highly suggest to get Kiramekirari up to at least rank 9. With Kiramekirari on master, each rank makes a difference of 25 (chain bonus per rank) * 35 (358 appeals) = 875 points. Even if you don't like the song much and don't want to play it all the time to get it to a high rank, i recommend selecting it early when you can choose a new song and then using all the magazines you get on it, until it reaches at least rank 9.

That said, it seems that the DLC song My Only Note is scaled towards a higher score by normal appeals, which makes it a very strong song. I don't have the DLC myself so i can't do extensive tests, and there might be other DLC songs like that. If you do have My Only Note, i suggest you give it a try if you are having trouble with an event, it might improve your score.

The Best Skill Setups and When to Use Them

There are 3 general skill setups which yield the good results, one is focused on omoide, one on chain bonus and one is a combination of the 2. At the beginning of the game you don't have costumes and accessories with the necessary skills to make them, but after reaching rank C you should be able to get all the necessary items as rewards from clearing and ex clearing events to at least make the omoide and the chain bonus setups. The usefulness of these setups varies depending on how far you are into the game, for example the omoide setup isn't of much use for events without a costume image, and events with a costume image only appear on A and S rank.

Often the costume to use is more or less given by the event, especially for the difficult events (which are mostly DL lives). Due to this, i consider the costume as fixed and build the skill setups around them by using accessories. Additionally, the costumes mostly have skills which are not available on accessories and the other way around. Some costume skills however, affect the accessory setup, most importantly the burst skill on the costume determines the charge level skills you will need to have on your accessories. I will mention those when discussing the setups.

In addition, 2 of these 3 setups only consider the skills, not the actual items, since there usually are several accessories on the same slot with the same skill. If you need to squeeze out every bit you can, you should always take the item with the highest appeal which has the required skill, this is hardly ever necessary though. Most of the time you can just use the accessory with the look you like the best, as long as it has the required skills.

Chain Bonus Setup

The bottleneck is the accessory on the leg slot, the most important skills are only available on the leg slot, with one exception, but more about that in the combined setup. The chain bonus setup uses the chain bonus skill on the leg slot. In general you should use the following skills:

SlotSkill
HeadCharge Level 1
BodyDrive Duo
ArmsCharge Level 2
LegsChain Bonus (best available)

If the costume you use only has duo burst, you can replace the item on the arms slot with whatever item you want (or the one with the highest appeal). If the costume has a quintet burst skill and you are in a quintet live, or it has a solo burst skill, you should use the F rank tiara you got at the beginning of the game. This tiara has the unique skill charge level 1 & 2 & 3, which combines all charge level skills on a single item. Usually charge level 3 also comes on the leg slot, but you can't give up the chain bonus for it since you can use the tiara. If you use the F rank tiara, you can also use whatever item you want on the arm slot, since you already have the charge level 2 skill.

The chain bonus skill comes in 3 varieties: 50, 100 and 150. You get chain bonus 50 items early in the game and chain bonus 100 can drop from presents right from the start as well. But if you are not lucky with getting a chain bonus 100 item, the C rank event at the very bottom gives you such an accessory as an ex clear reward. So if you are C rank and still haven't got an item with chain bonus 100, focus on getting that reward, since this setup will be the best for a while. The easiest way to get an item with chain bonus 150 is to do the first event of the アナタとノクターン DL live, you will need 35150 points to ex clear it and thus get the item.

A few costumes have chain bonus 100. If you use one of those, only consider using the chain bonus setup if you have an accessory with chain bonus 150 because chain bonus does not stack, only the highest one counts. So usually it's better to use the omoide setup with these costumes.

Omoide Setup

This setup is the same as the chain bonus setup, apart from the leg slot. So it uses the following skills:

SlotSkill
HeadCharge Level 1
BodyDrive Duo
ArmsCharge Level 2
LegsDrive Trio

The same rules for the head and arms slot apply as with the chain bonus setup, change them as necessary to get the charge level required by the burst skill on your costume.

The drive quintet skill is only found on very few costumes, and if you happen to use one of these in a quintet event with the matching costume image, make sure you use the omoide or the combined setup, since they are extremely strong. Unfortunately the opportunities to do this are really rare.

Combined Setup

The combined setup uses the chain bonus 100 as well as the drive trio skills. Once you have the necessary items, it will be your strongest setup for every event, except when you can use a costume with chain bonus 100. This only changes when you can get your hands on an item with chain bonus 150.

The drawback of this setup is, that the hand slot accessory is fixed on a certain item, and the head slot is also fixed in most cases. If you don't like the look of one of these, you might consider using one of the other setups when you don't need every single point. But now to the setup:

SlotSkill
HeadCharge Level 1 & 2 & 3
BodyDrive Duo
HandsChain Bonus 100
LegsDrive Trio

The item which makes this setup possible is the arm slot with chain bonus 100. You can get it by ex clearing the first event of the いつまでもこのままで DL live, which isn't all that difficult.

Since the arm slot is now occupied you need the charge level 1 & 2 & 3 skill on the head slot if your costume has a solo, trio or quintet burst. The only item with this skill is the F rank tiara you got in the beginning of the game. If your costume only has a duo burst, you can use any head slot item with charge level 1, and if it doesn't have any burst skill (or you don't have enough idols on stage for the given burst) you can use any item on the head slot you want.

When to Use Which Setup

Normal events

Most of the time you can use any of the above setups and you will still ex clear events. Sometimes you need the best possible setup to ex clear an event though without grinding too much first.

Since Kiramekirari is the best song for solo or trio events, i will assume you are using it whenever possible when comparing the different setups. Once again, in the vast majority of cases, any of the setups above will do, especially the omoide setup is often better than the chain combo setup if you are not using Kiramekirari.

As a rule of thumb you can follow these rules to determine which setup to use, just use the first one where all requirements are fulfilled:

  1. If it's a trio event that doesn't have a costume image associated with it and you have an item with chain bonus 150, use the chain bonus setup.
  2. If you have the items required for the combined setup, use the combined setup.
  3. If the event has a costume image associated with it, it's a quintet event and your unit has at least 667 omoide (which is easy to get with 5 idols) use the omoide setup. This is because you can't use Kiramekirari due to the quintet, and you don't have the items for the combined setup.
  4. If the event has a costume image associated with it and you have 6 hearts, use the omoide setup.
  5. Use the chain bonus setup.

I can't stress enough, that it usually isn't necessary to use the absolute best you can, especially if you are not using Kiramekirari the omoide setup is often better on events with a costume image, and even with Kiramekirari it comes extremely close, or even beats it by a tiny bit if you use 3 idols with 260 omoide each. The omoide setup also has the advantage over the chain bonus setup that it raises your idols' omoide rank faster.

But now for the detailed look:

Kiramekirari on master difficulty has 358 appeals, and thus you can get the chain bonus 35 times. With chain bonus 100, that's 3500 points you get from the skill.

To compare it to the omoide setup we need to find out how many more points we get due to the drive trio skill. Since all the setups contain the drive duo skill, we need to calculate the difference between just drive duo and drive duo and drive trio. From the table in the omoide appeal mechanics chapter we can see that the difference in the total omoide factor is 1.5 for 5, 7 and 8 hearts, and 2 for 6 hearts. If the event has a costume image associated with it, these factors are multiplied by 3 and become 4.5 and 6.

To get more than the 3500 points from chain bonus 100 on Kiramekirari in an event without a costume image we need 3500 / 1.5 = 2333.33 omoide, or 3500 / 2 = 1750 omoide in the case of 6 hearts. This simply is impossible with a trio unit, so the chain bonus 100 will always be better.

If the event has a costume image though, things change: now we need 3500 / (1.5 * 3) = 777.77 omoide, or 3500 / (2 * 3) = 583.33 omoide. 777.77 can only be beaten by 3 idols with 260 omoide, they have 780 omoide in total. 583 omoide however, is easy to reach.

Now let's check a case where you are not using Kiramekirari for whatever reason, maybe because it's a quintet live. The best quintet song is Jibun Rest@rt with 301 appeals, so you get 3000 points from chain bonus 100. To beat that on an event without a costume image you need 3000 / 1.5 = 2000 omide or 3000 / 2 = 1500 omoide, both are impossible to reach with a quintet unit. In an event with a costume image though you only need 3000 / 4.5 = 666.66 or 3000 / 6 = 500, which are easy to reach with a quintet unit. Even with a trio unit you can easily reach those numbers. So as soon as you are not using Kiramekirari you are better off with the omoide setup than with the chain bonus setup, given the event has a costume image.

Of course, the combined setup is always better than the omoide setup or the chain bonus setup with chain bonus 100, since it contains the important skills of both.

So all that's left is comparing the combined setup with the chain bonus setup with chain bonus 150. Since the combined setup contains drive trio and chain bonus 100, we can remove the chain bonus from both setups and we end up with a comparison of chain bonus 50 versus drive trio. The points you get from chain bonus 50 when using Kiramekirari on master are 50 * 35 = 1750. For events without a costume image you need 1750 / 1.5 = 1166.66 or 1750 / 2 = 875 omoide, both are impossible to reach with a trio unit and thus the chain bonus 150 is better than the combined setup. For events with a costume image however, the required omoide is 1750 / 4.5 = 388.89 or 1750 / 6 = 291.67, both of which are easy to reach with a trio unit. and thus the combined setup is better in these cases.

If we don't use Kiramekirari the extra chain bonus 50 result in 30 (Jibun Rest@rt) * 50 = 1500 points. For events without a costume image, this requires 1500 / 1.5 = 1000 or 1500 / 2 = 750 omoide to beat. 1000 omoide can easily be reached by a quintet unit, but is impossible to reach with a trio unit. 750 however can be beaten with a trio unit, but not by much and some trio units will not be able to reach this. As a result, in a quintet event you are better off using the combined setup, even if there is no costume image associated with it.

In general, the less appeals a song has, the more the balance moves from the chain bonus setup towards the combined (or omoide) setup. More idols also move the balance towards the combined setup since the chain bonus does not depend on the unit's stats in any way.

If you just want to know whether to use the chain bonus setup or the omoide setup with a song of your choice you can just follow these simple rules:

  1. If the event does not have a costume image, use the chain combo setup.
  2. If you have 6 hearts and the points you get from the chain bonus skill you are using divided by 6 is greater than the unit's omoide stat, use the chain combo setup.
    Example: Using edeN on pro difficulty with chain bonus 100 is 2000 points, so if the unit's omoide is less than 2000 / 6 = 333.33, use the chain combo setup.
  3. If you have 5, 7 or 8 hearts and the points you get from the chain bonus skill you are using divided by 4.5 is greater than the unit's omoide stat, use the chain combo setup.
    Example: Using my song on master difficulty with chain bonus 100 is 2700 points, so if the unit's omoide is less than 2700 / 4.5 = 600, use the chain combo setup.
  4. Otherwise, use the omoide setup.
All Star Events

All star events are a bit different in their mechanics and several variables fall away: There are no all star events with a costume image, and the number of idols is fixed (although you can do an all star event with less idols, you won't do that if you are aiming for a high score). There are 2 types of all star events.

Medleys
The better medley is Kirakira Ippai Way with 372 appeals. Scoring wise, the difference between medleys and normal events is, that the stats from all idols contribute to the unit stats. If all idols are at max omoide rank, the total omoide is 3295. Chain bonus 100 is worth 3700 points, chain bonus 50 (to compare the chain bonus setup with chain bonus 150 and the combined setup) is worth 1850 points.

With 5, 7 or 8 hearts you need 3700 / 1.5 = 2466.67 omoide to beat chain bonus 100 or 1850 / 1.5 = 1233.33 omoide. Especially the latter is easy to beat, so for all star medleys you are better off using the combined setup, and if you don't want to use the combined setup, it's still very much possible for the omoide setup to beat chain bonus 100. Chain bonus 150 however, is worth 37 * 150 = 5500 points, and to beat that you would need 3666.67 points, which is not possible.

With 6 hearts, you need 1850 / 2 = 925 omoide to beat chain bonus 50, 3700 / 2 = 1850 omoide to beat chain bonus 100 and 5500 / 2 = 2750 omoide to beat chain bonus 150. So with 6 hearts it is possible to beat the chain bonus 150 setup with the omoide setup.

All Star Lives
All star lives consist of 1 trio and 2 quintet lives, during all lives the stats of all 13 girls are in effect as if all of them were on stage. Of course you can't trigger quintet omoide appeals or quintet bursts during the trio song.

The best songs to use for an all star live are Jibun Rest@rt (301 appeals) and The Live Kakumei de Show (300 appeals) as quintet songs and Kiramekirari (358 appeals) as trio song, so in total you get the chain bonus 95 times. On the other hand, you get all your omoide appeals 3 times, once for each song.

So the numbers points you get for chain bonus 50, 100 and 150 are 50 * 95 = 4750, 100 * 95 = 9500 and 150 * 95 = 14250.

To beat these numbers with due to drive trio with 5, 7 or 8 hearts you need 4750 / (1.5 * 3) = 1055.56, 9500 / (1.5 * 3) = 2111.11 and 14250 / (1.5 * 3) = 3166.67 omoide. Since having all idols at omoide rank 20 means you have a total of 3295 omoide, all these numbers can be reached. The factor 3 comes from the fact, that you have 3 songs, not because of a costume image.

If you have 6 hearts it gets a bit easier, in this case you need 4750 / (2 * 3) = 791.67, 9500 / (2 * 3) = 1583.33 and 14250 / (1.5 * 3) = 2375 omoide.

Since even the omoide setup can beat a chain bonus 150 setup, your best possible setup should be the combined setup once you get all items for it.

Since all star lives give you no restriction at all concerning your costume, you might wonder what costume you should use, what skills it should have. To answer this, it really depends on the costumes available to you. One thing to consider is, that the chain complete skill can trigger once for each song.

If you are considering whether you should use a costume a costume with quintet burst or not, keep in mind that the quintet burst can only trigger in the 2 quintet songs, on the trio song you will get an extreme burst as if you had no skill at all. This means the total score from extreme bursts equals your idol's burst stat * (10 + 10 + 2), which means a factor of 7.33 in average per song. The only burst to beat this is the solo burst 3 skill, which has a factor of 8 per song. Although the difference to trio burst 3 isn't big, and skills such as chain complete or omoide appeals + can make other costumes better.

The best costume without relying on present drops from DL lives is the S rank costume you get by ex clearing the 4th event of the -KEEP OUT- DL live, it has omoide appeals +3, trio burst 2 and chain complete 7000, and increases the fans, money and XP you gain by 10% as a bonus on top. This is true for medleys as well as all star lives.

How to Beat the First DL Live

For the first 2 event of the first DL live, you don't have a matching costume, you get such a costume by ex clearing the second event of this DL live. Fortunately, the first 2 events are not that difficult, which doesn't mean you'll be able to ex clear them right from the start.

If you can't beat the first 2 events of the first DL live, make sure you get the items necessary for the chain bonus skill setup and get Kiramekirari to a highish rank.

After that you should also be able to beat the first event of the いつまでもこのままで DL live and get the necessary item for the combined skill setup and beating the third event of the first DL live shouldn't be that far off.

The real difficulty comes with beating the 4th event. Before the arm accessory necessary for the combined setup existed, you needed your leader on 5 hearts, all the idols in your unit on omoide rank 15 or above and Kiramekirari on a high rank.

With the combined setup however, it might be possible to beat the DL live with just 4 hearts if you have all idols of your unit on omoide rank 20 and Kiramekirari on rank 10. Getting your idols to omoide rank 20 doesn't take that long if you do the corresponding level 3 lesson, and if you put all the magazines you got since you started the game in Kiramekirari it should also be at rank 10 or at least close.

If you have the mail DLC you sometimes get a mail which gives you a boost for the following week. This boost increases the idol's omoide by 50%. This is almost impossible to control and only happens about 4 times with each idol, but if it happens, it might be what you need to beat that 4th event.

If that isn't enough, the advice from above should definitely do the trick: Get your leader to 5 hearts. To do so, simply use her on stage or do promotions or lessons with her. While getting an idol to 4 hearts is relatively fast, getting her from 4 to 5 takes a long long time, i'd say quite a lot longer than getting her from nothing to 4 hearts. On the upside, by the time you get her to 5 hearts, your unit definitely is strong enough to beat the DL live.

Once you can beat the first DL live, you are prepared to beat the others as well, they generally get gradually more difficult though, so you might need to get better items and level up your idols further. But just because you can't beat a DL live that doesn't have to mean you can't beat the next one either, even if it theoretically is more difficult. Maybe you have been lucky and got a costume drop that helps you with the event in question.

What Costume to Use

It's almost always best to use a costume with a matching costume image and costume type. In these cases it's usually quite easy to determine which one is the best costume among the matching ones. But sometimes, especially with DL lives, you will come across an event where you don't have such a costume, so you have to choose one where only the type or only the image matches.

Which one you should use depends a lot on the skills your potential costumes have to offer, mostly the burst skill, chain complete skill and omoide appeals + skill.

But for the sake of simplicity, let's assume the costumes have no other skills at all. In this case you have to compare the extra points you get from a matching type versus the extra points you get from a matching image.

Let's use an example to see how to do this. Our example unit has 650 appeal and 760 omoide, the leader has 5 hearts and we are using a combined setup, so we have drive trio.

The points you get from normal appeals is roughly 650 * 30 = 19500, if you use the costume with the correct type this amount is doubled, so the difference between the 2 costumes when it comes to normal appeals is roughly 19500. However, in reality this difference will be a bit lower because of the appeals replaced by the 5 omoide appeals, and because you probably won't always hit a perfect timing.

With 5 hearts and drive trio, you get a total of omoide * 8.5 = 760 * 8.5 = 6460 points from omoide appeals. Using a costume with the correct image triples these points, so the difference is 2 * 6460 = 12920.

So in this example it is clearly better to use the costume with the correct type.

But if both costumes also had the omoide appeals +3 skill for example, the total number of points would be 760 * 14 = 10640, lifting the difference from omoide appeals between the costumes to 21280, and thus the costume with the correct image would be better.

But honestly, instead of making all these calculations it would probably be faster to just try out both costumes and see which gives you the higher score in the end.

Consumable Items

In the clothes shop you can also buy a bunch of items which make the rhythm game aspect on stage easier, they get unlocked as your idols raise in rank. Out of these, the best you can us is target support Z, it costs 1000 and turns all appeals with a bad or normal timing into a good timing. So if you have trouble getting a chain complete on a song, just use target support Z to make it much easier. Personally i almost always use it when tackling the 4th event of a DL live using Kiramekirari.

Translations

As mentioned in the introduction, since this guide doesn't use the Japanese names of skills and such as they appear in the game, you can find the translations between the actual Japanese name and the name used in this guide here. For anyone able to read katakana most of this should already be clear, there are only a few things written in kanji apart from song names. The song names used in this guide are the names generally used in the English speaking Idolm@ster community.

Skills

Skill NameSkill Name in the Game
No skillスキル無し
Drive Duoドライブデュオ
Drive Trioドライブトリオ
Drive Quintetドライブクインテット
Omoide Appeals +1思い出アピール+1
Omoide Appeals +2思い出アピール+2
Omoide Appeals +3思い出アピール+3
Solo Burst 2ソロバーストII
Solo Burst 3ソロバーストIII
Duo Burst 1デュオバーストI
Duo Burst 2デュオバーストII
Duo Burst 3デュオバーストIII
Duo Burst 4デュオバーストIV
Duo Burst 5デュオバーストV
Trio Burst 1トリオバーストI
Trio Burst 2トリオバーストI
Trio Burst 3トリオバーストIII
Quintet Burst 1クインテットバーストI
Charge Level 1チャージLv1
Charge Level 2チャージLv2
Charge Level 3チャージLv3
Charge Level 1 & 2 & 3チャージLv1&2&3
Chain Bonus 50チェインボーナス50
Chain Bonus 100チェインボーナス100
Chain Bonus 150チェインボーナス150
Chain Complete 4000
(various versions exist)
チェインコンプ4000