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Zenless Zone Zero best Nicole build

The best Drive Discs, W-Engines, and teams for Nicole.

Nicole splash artwork from her Zenless Zone Zero character demo, with her name and Faction printed in block letters behind her.
Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse

Nicole is an A-Rank Ether character with the Support Speciality in Zenless Zone Zero who you get for free as part of the story.

You can also get Nicole's Agent Focus by pulling her again on the Star-Studded Cast Banner, and you have a higher chance of getting her again if she's one of the boosted A-Rank characters in an S-Rank character's limited-time Banner. You can then use this Agent Focus to unlock Mindscape Cinema levels for Nicole, with each upgrade either improving an existing attack or passive ability.

As you have her anyway, and she's part of the very useful Support Speciality, it's good to know the best Nicole build in Zenless Zone Zero so you can make the most out of her kit. This includes the best Nicole Drive Discs, the best Nicole weapon, and the best Nicole teams to use.

On this page:

Best Nicole Build

We have more detailed explanations and alternative picks below, but at a glance, here's what we consider the best Nicole build in Zenless Zone Zero:

  • Best Weapon: S-Rank Weeping Cradle.
  • Best Drive Disc Set: 4-piece Swing Jazz and 2-piece Freedom Blues.
  • Best team: Zhu Yuan and Anby.

As Zhu Yuan isn't out yet, we recommend running Nicole with another Attack character and Anby until Phase 2 of version 1.0.

Nicole from Zenless Zone Zero in the character selection screen.
Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse

How to play Nicole

Nicole's kit is designed to boost other characters' Ether damage, group mobs, and lower enemies' defense so your Attack character can swoop in and deal even more damage.

Apart from just passively boosting Ether damage, to achieve this, you should deploy Nicole's Energy Field as often as possible, and hit with her enhanced bullets when available, to reduce the enemies' defense for 3.5 seconds. Then, immediately swap to your main DPS and use their most powerful attacks while the enemies' defense is lowered.

Nicole from Zenless Zone Zero covering her ears as her Energy Field is seen forming in the background.
Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse

Nicole can hit with a Basic or Dash Attack to enhance her bullets and lower enemies' defense when she uses a Special Attack, EX Special Attack, Chain Attack, or Ultimate - so you should be aiming to do these moves as often as possible, especially the ones that create and Energy Field like her EX Special Attack and Chain Attack.

Lastly, remember to hold down the EX Special Attack button to build the attack up to make it even better! Don't worry about taking damage while doing this, as Nicole is invulnerable while using her EX Special Attack.

Best Nicole teams

Zhu Yuan from Zenless Zone Zero posing.
Zhu Yuan. | Image credit: HoYoverse

Nicole is best when used in an Ether team, but that won't be a viable squad until Zhu Yuan is released in Phase 2 of the 1.0 Banners.

Until then, Nicole is still a good pick for teams that need a Support who can lower enemies' defense while providing a little mob grouping with her Energy Field. With this in mind, you can run Nicole with almost any high DPS-Attack character, especially if they have good burst damage that can be used while her Energy Field is deployed.

So, if you don't have Soukaku (or don't want to play her), Nicole can help out in your Ellen teams. Other good attackers include Soldier 11 and Nekomata, but really, you can put Nicole in any squad that has a free slot and she'll be useful.

While Lycaon is the better Stun character overall, Nicole's Cunning Hares Faction passive means she works better with Anby. So unless you're running another Victoria Housekeeping character with Nicole, or the enemies are weak to Ice, we recommend using Anby with Nicole in most situations.

Best Nicole Drive Discs

We think the 4-piece Swing Jazz is the best Drive Disc set for Nicole in Zenless Zone Zero, as its 2-piece increases Energy Regen, and its 4-piece increases all squad members' damage when Nicole uses a Chain Attack or Ultimate.

You could also use the 4-piece Freedom Blues if you have enough Energy Regen on Nicole, or are running an Ether team, as its 2-piece increases Anomaly Proficiency, and its 4-piece reduces enemies' Anomaly Buildup Resistance when her EX Special Attack hits an them.

Nicole fighting in Zenless Zone Zero with time slowed down and a switch bar showing Lycaon and Ellen character options.
Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse

For your 2-piece, we recommend running either Swing Jazz or Freedom Blues, depending on what you've got as your 4-piece.

Best Nicole weapons

Nicole can actually make use of almost all the support W-Engines out there, but we recommend using one that has a lot of Energy Regen buffs, as you want to activate her EX Special Attack as often as possible.

Menu view of the Weeping Cradle W-Engine weapon in Zenless Zone Zero.
Weeping Cradle. | Image credit: HoYoverse

With this in mind, we think the S-Rank Weeping Cradle is Nicole's best weapon in Zenless Zone Zero. It increases Nicole's Energy Regen when she's off field, and enhances the entire squad's damage for three seconds when they hit a target - aligning almost perfectly with the defense reduction time Nicole applies after hitting an enemy with her Energy Fielf or enhanced bullets.

Nicole also has brilliant A-Rank alternative weapons, and The Vault is particularly good for her, as it passively increases her Energy Regen and further increases Energy Regen when she uses an EX Special Attack, Chain Attack, or Ultimate. The entire squad's damage is also increased when she performs these moves.

Alternatively, you could use Kaboom the Cannon for its passive Energy Regen and boost to your squad's attack, or Unfettered Game Ball (if you're confident in doing Counters with Nicole) for its squad-wide boost to Crit Rate.

As for B-Rank options, Reverb Mark II is best for its Energy Regen and increase to all squad members' Anomaly Mastery and Anomaly Proficiency, but the Reverb Mark II is also useable for its increase to your squad's attack.

All the best building Nicole in Zenless Zone Zero!

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