Armada was the first Transformers cartoon to be co-developed in the United States and Japan. However, it was produced in Japan and aired there first. It was then dubbed into English for the North American market. The cartoon served as a media tie-in for the overall Transformers Armada franchise.
Armada is set in a Unicron Trilogy universe, and is the first series its continuity. Thus, the Armada cartoon was responsible for establishing the animated UT universe. (There are also comic books based on Armada that are set in slightly different UT continuities.)
Armada added to Transformers mythology the notion of Mini-Cons, a tiny (human-sized) race of Transformers that, when "powerlinked" to their larger brethren, would unleash a floodgate of energy. Because of the great potential for their exploitation, the Mini-Cons attempted to abstain from the Autobot/Decepticon war and fled Cybertron, crashing several of their ships on or near Earth. When some Mini-Cons are accidentally reactivated in 2002 by clumsy teenagers, a beacon alerts both the Autobots and Decepticons on Cybertron, who track them to Earth and continue their battle here.
Armada was plagued with translation errors, particularly the repeated misnaming of characters in dialog, and as far as writing quality it was not nearly up to the standards Beast Wars had set six years before, often containing juvenile dialog and stock science-fiction plots. Still, after the failure of Beast Machines (cartoon) and lukewarm reception to Robots In Disguise, many welcomed the freshness of Armada, as well as the new features it brought to both the Transformers toyline and its greater story as a whole.