While AWBW offers a large selection of COs, not all of them are equal in strength and therefore viability. To ensure a fair competitive environment where not only a select few COs are used, they are ranked according to their strength into tiers. Those tiers provide the basis for the banlists of games in tournaments, the Global League and the automatically created public Z-games. The tiers have been developed by the community over many years, and are updated continuously based on new gameplay information.
It is important to understand and keep in mind that CO strength can be very map-dependent. This tier list aims to provide an "average" ranking for each CO based on the types of maps that are commonly selected for competitive matches in tournaments or Global League. This means the tier list for standard settings is based on an average map with 3 bases and 1 airport, around 17-22k income, at least 2 fronts, and balanced terrain.
Adjustments to this tier list should be made for maps that deviate from the characteristics mentioned above. COs that strongly favor a specific type of game will thrive on maps that allow for those games while struggling on maps that do not. As a rule of thumb, powerful day to day abilities are always good, but lend themselves to smaller maps with lower overall funding, where games can be decided by small vehicle advantages and the fight for contested properties. Less expensive powers, or powers that boost movement or firepower, are a lot more useful on the same type of maps that encourage early combat, as they are better if a larger part of the army actually makes use of the boosts. Mass damage or otherwise game-deciding powers are stronger on larger maps where more units are produced, or more generally on maps where it is easier to avoid combat without losing too much in income.
The only game mode that significantly alters the standard settings tier list is High Funds. Because the increased availability of expensive units leads to earlier and more frequent use of CO powers, COs who are able to more effectively create advantages with their CO powers rank higher relative to standard in the tier list.