Upgrading your Characters in Honkai: Star Rail will enhance their combat capabilities, allowing you to challenge and overcome the more difficult content that the game offers.
The main ways for a Character to grow stronger in Honkai: Star Rail are:
- Increasing the Character level
- Upgrading the Character’s Traces
- Unlocking the Character’s Eidolons
- Equipping Light Cones
- Equipping Relics and Planetary Ornaments
Character Level and Ascension
Each Character in Honkai: Star Rail has a Character Level ranging from 1 to 80 and gains additional stats as they level up.
Once a Character reaches certain level milestones, they will need to be ascended in order to increase their level further. Characters start with a base max Level of 20. Each time you ascend a Character, their level cap will increase by 10 up to a maximum of 80. To ascend a Character, you will need to gather materials from the Stagnant Shadow Bosses and enemies in the overworld.
Also, note that your Trailblaze Level (Account Level) will also determine how many times you can ascend a Character. Even if you have all of the required ascension materials, you will not be able to ascend a Character past a certain Level unless your account is also of the appropriate Trailblaze Level.
Traces are a skill upgrade tree that each Character has. Unlocking and upgrading the various nodes in a Character’s Trace will provide them with stat bonuses, extra passive abilities, and enhancements to their 5 Skills.
Traces can be upgraded by using materials found in the Crimson Calyx, as mission rewards, or purchased in the shop. Also, note that the ability to upgrade Traces is tied to your Character’s Ascension, so you will need to level your Character first before being able to upgrade their Traces.
Eidolons enhance Character’s abilities or provide them with new passive bonuses.
Each Character has 6 Eidolon upgrades with each Eidolon upgrade providing a different bonus.
Eidolon upgrades can be unlocked by obtaining duplicate copies of the Character from Warps (the gacha system) or through in-game missions and events. The only exception to this is the Main Character. You can obtain their Eidolon upgrades via in-game missions and Trailblaze Level (Account Level) rewards.
Light Cones are a type of equipment that all Characters can equip. They are the equivalent of weapons in other games and provide stat bonuses to the equipped Character.
Check more information about Light Cones in our guide dedicated to them:
Relics are the other type of equipment in this game and serve the function of armor and accessories in a traditional RPG game. Equipping Relics to your Character will provide them with a variety of stat increases from HP to ATK to Speed. Relics will provide your Characters with the main bulk of their stat increases.
Check more information about Relics in our guide dedicated to them: