After selecting a song and difficulty, a list of center divas from other players is given. Every center diva shown will also have its main episode plate equipped. Players should choose their assists carefully as the stats and center skill of the assisting diva's episode plate will also contribute to the overall strength of the player's team. Players can also utilize the refresh button to generate a new list of assisting divas should the current list provide a lackluster list of assistants to pick from. Players on the list who are also friends will have mercat icons next to their episode plates.
Unit Formation Changes
After selecting an assisting diva, the player will be taken to the last part of the preparation screen. This screen is exactly the same as the unit formation menu, and it gives players the same functionality without having to cancel their current song selection.
Super Dimensional Prism
Players may choose to activate the super dimensional prism in the same screen where they can make changes to their unit formation as shown below:
Players will be taken to another screen where they can configure the super dimensional prism. Here players can choose the diva and Valkyrie that will be performing in the place of those set on their current team. Players also have the liberty of choosing the outfit the performing diva will wear. This way, players have full control over the quality of the live performance without having to make sacrifices to their team formation to accommodate them. This also solves the issue for players who may feel uncomfortable playing a song without using the original performing character(s).
The last option before a live show starts is to decide how fast the notes enter the tapping areas. The default speeds for difficulties are:
Live Screen Layout
The layout of the live performance includes:
- Pause Button - At the top right corner is the pause button. Pressing it will pause the song until the player either resumes playing or quits the performance. Resuming the song will initiate a 3 second countdown to let the player readjust to where they left off.
- Bio Fold Wave/Enemy HP Bar - The top of the live performance screen will display the current Bio Fold Wave levels of the player's performing diva and the enemy's HP bar during Valkyrie Mode.
- Score - The player's score is displayed at the bottom left.
- Letter Score Gauge - This gauge displays graphical progression of the player's score relative to the song's letter score requirement. The letter score gauge is broken into 4 sections with each of them glowing a different color. Players initially start at a C rating and continue climbing to B, A, and S after breaking into the next section. Completely filling up the gauge means that the player has reached the requirements for an SS score ranking.
- Active Skill - Players can tap the bottom-center button to trigger their equipped active skill.
- Life Gauge - An indicator of how much life the player currently has. Should the life gauge be completely drained during a live performance, the player must either pay Song Crystals in order to continue or retire. Any progress and loot will be forfeited if the player chooses to retire.
- Loot Drops - The bottom right section displays the amount of loot the player has obtained over the course of the live performance.
Rhythm Game Mechanics
Uta Macross utilize rhythm game mechanics that are very similar to other rhythm games on smartphone and tablet systems. Circular notes will drop from the top in accordance to the beat, instrumentals, or vocals of the song and players must time the proper inputs depending on the note type on the area the note will eventually drop down to. In the moment of panic and frenzy and the player touches outside of the expected input zone, the input can still be accepted so long the location of the input reasonably close to the area. The primary, but minimal goal is to complete the song without running out of life. As players improve, the game becomes more centered around consistent performance and properly timing inputs as they will inevitably lead to higher scores and better rewards.
There are 4 main types of notes that may appear in a live performance:
- Regular notes - White circles that simply require the player to properly time and tap.
- Long notes - Blue circles with a trailing line that to another connecting blue circle. The player must time, tap, and hold down their finger on the first blue circle until the other circle reaches the tapping zone in which the player must release their finger. The timing of both the initial press and the release are important with maintaining the player's combo count.
- Sliding notes - With the addition of 6 lane beat maps, players will encounter a new type of long note that requires them to hold down and shift left and/or right to the next connecting circle.
- Flick notes - Pink circles with an arrow attached to it. The player must produce a flicking motion starting with the area the note is expected to fall and flicking towards the direction designated by the arrow.
- Double notes - A combination of 2 of any above types of nodes connected with a line. Players must perform the actions designated by the notes at the same time at the expected areas of input. These notes either emphasize patterns in lower difficulties or attempt to throw off players in higher difficulties by giving unexpected note pairings.
Notes may also have symbols embedded inside them and certain episode plates and effects can increase the number of appearances of these special notes:
- Recovery Notes - Tapping this note will restore missing life.
- Item Notes - Tapping this note will accumulate common loot. These notes have an increased chance of appearing during Diva/Super Diva Mode.
- Rare Item Notes - Tapping this note will accumulate rare loot. Having more luck stat points will increase the probability seeing rare item notes. These notes may also have an increased rate of appearance during Diva/Super Diva Mode.
- Event Item Notes - Tapping this note will accumulate special event loot in the form of Zodiac Constellation medals used in the Xaos Store. These notes only appear during events, so players should be on the look out for them.
- Fold Wave Notes - Tapping this note in the beginning phase of a live performance will give a bonus to the Bio Fold Wave gauge of the performing diva.
- Attack Notes- Tapping this note during Valkyrie Mode will deal a critical hit to the enemy.
- Score Notes - These notes grant more score points than regular notes and only appear during Diva/Super Diva mode.
- Live Skill Notes - Tapping this note activates the live skill of the main episode plate equipped onto the center diva. Under normal circumstances, this skill does not activate, but having lucky leaves on the player's episode plates and assisting plate can allow for activation to occur with the Live Skill note.
Skills may trigger during the course of the live. The skills that can trigger differ depending on what episode plates are equipped to the performing divas. Skills that trigger during lives are either categorized as active or live. Active skills are triggered manually by the player by tapping on the active skill button. Once the active skill is triggered, the note areas will typically change from empty space to the active skill icon. Active skills provide a great boost, but can only be activated once during the entire performance. The current active skill is determined by the main episode plate equipped onto the center diva. Live skills are similar in terms of effect, but are weaker, last much shorter than active skills, and activate at specific timings given by their descriptions. Live skills are provided by all the other episode plates that is not the main plate on the center diva, so long as the conditions allow for them to occur. Multiple skills can be activated at the same time, and this will be reflected by the alternating skill icons in the tapping zone. Active and live skills can be summarized into the following categories:
- Recovery Skills - Instantly restore missing life upon activation.
- Damage Reduction Skills - Reduce the amount of life taken from BAD and MISS notes during the skill's duration.
- Score Up Skills - Increase the amount of points gained per note during the skill's duration.
- Combo Control Skills - Prevent the player's combo from breaking during the skill's duration as a result of mistimed notes.
- Lax Timing Skills - The ranges for determining how well the note is timed greatly increases. during the skill's duration.
The live performance usually consists of 3 phases: normal game play, Valkyrie Mode, and Diva/Super Diva Mode. Understanding the 3 phases and consistently playing well will ensure the player higher scores and maximum rewards. To sum up the live performance, players should quickly build up Bio Fold Waves, quickly defeat the stage boss, and take advantage of Diva/Super Diva Mode.
In normal mode, players focus on building the Bio Fold Wave gauge. Every well timed note will increment the gauge a small amount, but poorly timed notes will cause deductions from the Bio Fold Wave gauge. Fold Wave Notes will grant an extra bonus to the Bio Fold Wave gauge and only appear during the beginning phase. Item notes may also appear during normal mode. Should the Bio Fold Wave gauge not reach 100% by around the halfway point of the song, the game will display a LOW ENERGY warning and an audio cue that they will not transition to Valkyrie Mode and continue to play normally for the rest of the performance. Having high fold wave stats on the player's divas and episode plates will increase the rate of Bio Fold Wave generation.
While playing the song for a while and with a current Bio Fold Wave gauge of 100% or more, the game changes the perspective from the performing diva to the sortied fighter. In this mode, players must defeat the stage boss by damaging it with notes before the timer runs out. However, in order to deal damage to the boss, players must first charge up the counter that appears beside the center interface. After charging up the counter with a 4 note combo, successive well timed notes will begin to damage the boss. PERFECT notes have a chance of dealing a critical hit, and attack notes will also deal guaranteed critical hits. Should the player break their combo while the counter is fully charged, the counter resets and the player must quickly regain the charges in order to continue damaging the boss. Players must defeat the boss within the allotted time period given in the song. Should the player fail to do so, the enemy will retreat, the game will display a TARGET LOST notification, and the fighter pilot will mention something regarding not being able to finish off the target. The game will then transition back to normal mode for the rest of the performance. Having high support stats on the player's divas and episode plates along with a strong fighter will help increase the damage done to the boss. The support stat will not only boost the fighter's damage, but it will also increase its critical hit rate.
Should the player successfully engage and defeat the boss, the border area of the screen changes to a light blue color, the diva gives an audio cue that Diva Mode has been activated, and the game will transition to Diva Mode. In this phase, the player is usually treated to a rewarding phase of increased loot drops and bonus score notes as they are treated to background animation if the option is enabled and finish the rest of the song.
Super Diva Mode
Super Diva Mode is similar to Diva Mode in that it activates after an enemy has been dispatched by the player. However, Super Diva Mode only activates if the player can take out the enemy at a much quicker rate. Like the transition to Diva Mode, an audio cue from the diva will state that Super Diva Mode has been activated, but the border area of the screen will change to a rainbow colored background instead of light blue. The increased loot and bonus scoring opportunities is double that of Diva Mode, and players should always strive to reach this phase of the song.
After the completion of a successful live performance, the player will be taken to the results screen. Here they are given their score, score rank, and the number of notes the player achieved in each timing category. Players can also see their progression towards the next player rank and the play log graph.
Play Log Analysis
The in-depth play log can be accessed by tapping on the magnifying glass nearby the play log graph. The play log analysis screen provides a graphical display of the player's performance over time and also makes special note of mode transitions if they occurred. Each bar in the play log graph represents a player's performance within the 10 second interval of time elapsed during the live performance. Tapping on the bar will show even more information such as how many note types were achieved or what skills were activated during the 10 second interval bar that was selected. The bars can display multiple colors based on the judgement received on the player's notes:
- Purple portions represent PERFECT notes
- Orange portions represent GREAT notes
- Green portions represent GOOD notes
- Blue portions represent BAD notes
- Gray portions represent MISS notes
The player can also press the dual-arrow button on the top right corner of the play log analysis screen to change the bar sizes of the play log graph to reflect note distribution by interval instead of the default option of full sized bars for every interval.
Proficiency Points and Loot
- Main article: leveling divas
The second part of the results screen will display the proficiency points gained and any progress towards the song's proficiency level for the performing divas. The current experience and levels for all divas are also displayed and show animated progress should the diva gain a proficiency level. The last screen shows all acquired loot from playing the song and item notes successfully confirmed. Depending on the score rank the player has earned on the song, there will be a bonus multiplier on the loot gained. After applying the multiplier, the total loot is then rounded to the nearest whole number. The bonuses for obtaining certain score ranks are shown below.
The base maximum item drops for each difficulty are as follows.
These can be further increased using certain plates with the item icon. Rare loot acquired will also be shown in the last screen with golden borders. However, unlike regular loot and items, score ranking multipliers have no effect on the quantity of rare loot obtained. Only the luck stat plays a role in determining the quantity and quality of rare loot.
In-depth Live Mechanics
- At any time during a live performance can a player check for input responses by tapping around and within the input areas. Glowing effects should appear within the input circles with valid inputs.
- Pausing/resuming on a long note will not drop a combo so long as the input for the long note is properly held down when the pause button is being pressed and during the resuming countdown.
- Double flick and multiple flick notes that come down consecutively in the same flicking direction cannot be done with a single fast swipe. The game expects individual finger inputs.
- While combo control skills prevent a combo from being dropped, any 'MISS notes will deny the player the credit of a full combo even if the combo is never broken during the entire song's duration.
- Combo control skills will not drop a combo upon encountering a GOOD or BAD note, but it does NOT substitute them with PERFECT notes like in other rhythm games. For those who wish to prioritize Deculturing live performances, it is much better to utilize Lax Timing skills instead.