Azur Lane Retrofit Guide - Everything You Need To Know About Farming Retrofit Blueprints

Shipgirl modernization requires a ton of grinding and farming, but in the end the results speak for themselves.
Azur Lane Laffey Retro
Here's a guide on farming retrofit blueprints needed for the final enhancements for your shipgirls. Yostar

When it comes to your fleet of shipgirls in Azur Lane, there will ultimately come a time when you have to improve them for better battle stats as you face more difficult enemies. Leveling up your shipgirls is simple enough, as you only need to constantly use them in sorties and commissions to earn EXP. However, after a certain point, some shipgirls may move past simply leveling up as well as Limit Breaks in order to achieve a new form altogether. This process is known as retrofitting, which permanently increases a shipgirl’s stats with a series of subsequent upgrades. This also grants them a brand-new look, raises their rarity by one level and modernizes them for harder challenges.

Azur Lane Sara Retro
Retrofitting takes time and a lot of resources. Photo: Yostar

Retrofitting is a core part of Azur Lane’s endgame, and if you want the best fleet possible you will ultimately want to retrofit the best shipgirls whenever possible. The three starting shipgirls (Javelin, Laffey and Z23), make great use of retrofits to really improve on their battle performance; it’s not uncommon to see higher-tiered exercises with some of these shipgirls at the forefront, carried by their incredible speed, evasion, and high damage output.

As it is an essential part of the endgame, there’s a bit of farming and grinding involved in order to be able to retrofit certain ships. Even then, fully completing a retrofit requires a certain level, and some levels can only be accessed through Limit Breaks, which means that retrofit is truly reserved for the final stages of strengthening your chosen shipgirl.

All of that said, let’s take a look at one of the key components you’ll be needing when retrofitting your shipgirls.

Retrofit Blueprints

Azur Lane Destroyer Blueprints
Retrofit blueprints are the most essential resources to have for your retrofits. Photo: Yostar

By far, retrofit blueprints are the most important part of your retrofits. Each subsequent stage requires a number of them, in addition to gold – sometimes even parts and Bulins or duplicate shipgirls, too. Retrofit blueprints can also only be obtained through daily farming maps called Hard Mode, which itself requires higher-leveled ships to unlock.

Azur Lane Hard Mode
Hard Mode is usually denoted by a reddish hue creeping from the sides of the map. Photo: Yostar

Hard Mode can be accessed through the lower left button of the map screen. The button itself remains locked until you manage to get all stars across all maps for that specific chapter, which requires the completion of three main objectives:

  • Defeat flagship (easiest star to achieve).
  • Defeat a number of escort fleet (requires multiple runs).
  • Defeat all enemies (requires you to sink all enemies in a map in one run).

This has to be done for all maps in a chapter in order to unlock Hard Mode. The mode will then place you into a different set of maps for that chapter. Hard Mode has higher-leveled enemies, so it’s important that you’re clearing them with a fleet sufficiently strong for the task. In addition to the regular rewards you get from stage clears, Hard Mode also rewards you with:

  • Two Retrofit Blueprints of random rarity
  • Core Data, which you can exchange in the shop for equipment and other munitions

While you cannot choose what rarity drops from map nodes, the map node you complete will determine what shipgirl classification you get for the retrofit blueprints (x stands for the chapter number).

  • Clearing x-1 nodes will reward you with Destroyer (DD) blueprints for shipgirls like Laffey, Javelin, and Z23.
  • Clearing x-2 nodes will reward you with Cruiser (CL) (CA) blueprints for shipgirls like Portland, San Diego, York, and Exeter.
  • Clearing x-3 nodes will reward you with Battleship (BB) blueprints for shipgirls like Fusou, Yamashiro, Warspite, Nevada, and Oklahoma.
  • Clearing x-4 nodes will reward you with Cruiser (CV) (CVL) blueprints for shipgirls like Hermes, Long Island, Saratoga, Langley, and Ranger.
Azur Lane Hard Mode Side Missions
Completing all stars in a Hard Mode node will reward you with Super Rare retrofit blueprints. Photo: Yostar

Hard Mode can only be completed three times a day, and earning all stars in a specific node will also grant you two Super Rare blueprints for the node’s classification. It’s important to note this especially once you reach the end stages of your retrofit and the drop rates for the Super Rare blueprints are abysmal.

Other ways of farming for Retrofit Blueprints

Azur Lane Medal Exchange
You can exchange medals for retrofit blueprints, although the shops' wares are randomized each day. Photo: Yostar

You can exchange medals for retrofit blueprints, which can be accessed through the Build window under the Exchange tab. The item exchange section refreshes daily, and if you’ve got the medals for it, you can easily obtain retrofit blueprints here, although the classification and rarity are randomized each day.

Azur Lane Monthly Login
You can also get retrofit blueprints from the monthly login rewards. Photo: Yostar

Login rewards also give out retrofit blueprints on specific days, so it’s worth logging in every day even if you have no intentions of playing. A weekly mission of tasking you to complete a Hard Mode stage every day for five days also gives out a random Super Rare retrofit blueprint, so it’s best to try and always go for at least one Hard Mode stage a day.

Besides this, there are tons of events each month in Azur Lane that give away freebies, retrofit blueprints sometimes included. There’s really no outright way to buy them with real money either, which I’m assuming was done for balancing issues and keeping pay-to-win mechanics out, so expect some grinding in the endgame either way.

Stay tuned for more guides on Azur Lane. Check out a recommended shipgirl guide for Destroyers (DD) here, Light Cruisers (CL) here, Heavy Cruisers here, Battleships (BB) and Battlecruisers (BC) here, Aircraft Carriers (CV) here and Light Aircraft Carriers (CVL) and Repair Ships (AR) here. You can also check out a cost-effective low-level farming guide for materials and resources here, as well as a guide to raising shipgirl affection here.

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