Introduction to the game

Honkai: Star Rail is a turn-based RPG very similar to old-school JRPGs (especially the Final Fantasy series). The game is split into two modes: overworld and battle. In the overworld, you run around the map and when you encounter an enemy group, you will 'transfer' into the battle mode where you have to defeat the enemies in turn-based combat.

We will talk about the overworld (also known as exploration) and combat modes in a separate section further down the guide.



Characters are the playable units in Honkai: Star Rail. They are obtained mainly via Warps, the game’s gacha system. However, some Characters can be obtained for free via in-game missions or events.

Character Stats
  • HP - How much damage a Character can take before falling in combat
  • ATK - How much damage a Character deals
  • DEF - Reduces the damage a Character takes
  • Speed - Determines how fast and how often a Character will act in combat
  • Crit Rate - How likely it is for the Character to land a critical hit
  • Crit DMG - Determines the damage multiplier when landing a critical hit
  • Break Effect - Enhances Weakness Break effects (the amount of damage dealt upon it), the amount of DMG dealt by DoT's per turn and also how far enemy actions are delayed
  • Outgoing Healing Boost - Determines the amount of healing done by the Character’s Healing ability
  • Energy Restoration Rate - Determines how fast a Character charges energy for their Ultimate ability
  • Effect Hit Rate - Determines how likely it is for a Character to apply a debuff on the enemy
  • Effect RES - Determines how difficult it is for an enemy to apply a debuff on the Character
  • Elemental Damage Boost - Determines the damage multiplier for skills and attacks that deal Elemental Damage. Note that there are seven different elements in the game and each element has its own separate Elemental Damage Boost stat
  • Elemental RES Boost - Reduces Elemental Damage that a Character receives. Note that there are seven different elements in the game and each element has its own separate Elemental RES Boost stat
Character Elements & Paths

Each Character in Honkai: Star Rail has an Element associated with them. A Character’s Element determines the damage type of their attacks.

There are currently 7 Elements in the game:

  • Physical
  • Fire
  • Ice
  • Lightning
  • Wind
  • Quantum
  • Imaginary

Each Character in Honkai: Star Rail also has a Path as well. You can think of Paths as character classes. A Character’s Path will give you a general idea of what role that Character fulfills in combat as well as what Light Cones they can fully utilize.

There are currently 7 Paths in the game:

  • Destruction (General DPS/Bruisers)
  • Hunt (Single Target DPS)
  • Erudition (Multi-Target DPS)
  • Harmony (Offensive/Utility Support)
  • Nihility (Debuffer)
  • Preservation (Defensive Support/Tank)
  • Abundance (Healer)
Character Skills

Each character in Honkai: Star Rail has 5 different abilities that define their playstyle.

  Basic Attack

The Basic Attack ability is a Character’s auto-attack and is always available to use during combat. It is generally the weakest of a Character’s active combat abilities, but is your main source of generating Skill Points, a resource that is needed to activate a Character’s Skill ability.


Skill is a combat ability that a Character can use with effects ranging from dealing damage to providing buffs for your allies. The Skill ability has no cooldown and instead requires you to expend Skill Point(s) in order to use it.


A Character’s Ultimate ability is generally their strongest combat ability. To use the Ultimate ability, it must first be charged through certain combat actions such as attacking or defeating an enemy. It must also be recharged after every use.


Talent is the Character’s passive ability. Generally, it takes the form of a conditional effect where the Talent will provide some kind of benefit to the Character and/or their allies when certain conditions are met.


Unlike the rest of a Character’s abilities, Technique is an overworld ability rather than a combat ability and is used before combat begins. Depending on the Character, using it will either initiate combat with a special attack or it will provide a buff prior to engaging the enemy.

Character Progression


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

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.

Similar to Characters, Light Cones also have a Level ranging from 1 to 80. They can be leveled up and ascended as well. Doing so will increase the stat bonus that they provide to the equipped Character.

Each Light Cone also has a Light Cone Ability which is a passive bonus that is tied to one of the seven Paths. A Light Cone Ability starts at Rank 1 and can be upgraded to Rank 5 by using the Superimpose function.

To use the Superimpose function, you will need to expend duplicate Light Cones of the one that you are upgrading. Each duplicate Light Cone that you use will increase the Light Cone Ability’s Rank by 1. Note that any Light Cones used as a Superimpose material will be consumed and destroyed. Increasing the Rank of a Light Cone Ability will enhance some or all of the numerical portion of the bonus that it provides.

All Light Cones can be equipped to any Character, however only Characters of the Light Cone’s corresponding Path will be able to use its Light Cone Ability. This means that a Character that is equipped with a Light Cone of a different Path will only gain the stat bonuses that the Light Cone provides and not its Light Cone Ability.

Check the list of available Light Cones here:


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.

There are 6 different Relic types:

  • Head
  • Hands
  • Body
  • Feet
  • Planar Sphere
  • Link Rope

Note that the game refers to the Planar Sphere and Link Rope as Planetary Ornaments rather than Relics. This is only a terminology difference. For gameplay purposes, they are functionally the same.

Each Relic has one main stat and up to 4 substats. Depending on the Relic type, the possible main stats are:

  • Head - Flat HP
  • Hands - Flat ATK
  • Body - HP%, ATK%, DEF%, Crit Rate%, Crit DMG%, Outgoing Healing Boost%, Effect Hit Rate%
  • Feet - HP%, ATK%, DEF%, Speed
  • Planar Sphere - HP%, ATK%, DEF%, Elemental Damage Boost*
  • Link Rope - HP%, ATK%, DEF%, Break Effect%, Energy Regen Rate%

*Note that the Elemental Damage Boost will be one of the 7 possible elements. It is not an All Elemental Damage Boost.

Learn more about Relics in our other guides:


Players are able to roam around and explore the various areas of the Honkai: Star Rail map for treasure chests, enemies, puzzles, and more. However, each area is its own separate zone, so there will be a loading screen when traveling between different areas in the overworld.

When exploring the world, you will select one character out of the four in your team to be your active character. The active character is the one on screen that you control. You can switch the active character anytime when you are outside of combat.

Outside of the town areas, there will be enemies roaming around the map that will aggro and chase you if you get too close to them.

To initiate combat in the overworld, approach an enemy and use your Basic Attack ability.

Some Character’s Technique ability can also be used to initiate combat and when used to do so, will cause the Character to perform a special attack at the start of combat. Note that using a Character’s Technique ability to initiate combat will consume a Technique charge. You can store Technique charges initially. However, the maximum amount of Technique charges that you can store will increase as you level up your Trailblaze Level. Technique charges can be restored by breaking purple containers in the overworld. Breaking one of these containers will restore 2 Technique charges. These containers can generally be found near fast travel points (i.e. Space Anchors and Calyx entrances) that are outside of the city zones.

Combat can also be initiated when an enemy that is chasing you manages to catch up with you. If you fail to hit them with either your Basic Attack or Technique ability before they make contact with you, then you will enter combat in the “Ambushed” state. In this state, the enemy will get to act before you do.



Honkai: Star Rail utilizes a JRPG style turn-based combat system. You build a team of 4 Characters and take them into battle with you. In combat, Characters and enemies will act in a set turn order that is determined by their Speed stat. The Speed stat also determines how long it takes for them to act again.


While exploring in the overworld, attacking the roaming enemies or getting caught by them will initiate a combat sequence. Depending on the condition of how the battle was started, either your team or the enemy may suffer from a disadvantage.

If you initiate the combat by attacking the enemy with either a Basic Attack or Technique, then the battle will commence normally. However, if the element of the active character that is initiating the combat is one that the enemy is weak against, then your team will start the battle with the Weakness state. When starting a battle in this state, the enemy’s Toughness bar will be reduced, making it easier to Weakness Break them. Essentially, this allows your team to have an easier time with dealing damage to the enemy.

On the other hand, if an enemy manages to catch you and you fail to hit them with either your Basic Attack or Technique ability before they make contact, then you will enter combat in the Ambushed state. In this state, the enemy will get to act before you do.

For more details on enemy elemental weakness and Weakness Break, see the “Enemies” section below.

Player Actions

During a Character’s turn, they are able to take one of the following actions:

  • Use Basic Attack ability
  • Use Skill ability
    • Using a Skill ability consumes Skill Point(s).
    • Skills Points can be generated primarily by using the Battle Attack ability.
    • You can hold up to a maximum of 5 Skill Points and they are shared between the whole team.
    • You cannot activate a Skill ability if you do not have any Skill Points.
  • Use Ultimate ability if it is fully charged
    • Using an Ultimate ability during the Character’s turn does not end that Character’s turn. The Character will use the Ultimate ability immediately, then you will be able to select another action for them to use.
    • Ultimate abilities can also be used when it is not currently the Character’s turn. If used in such a way, then the Character will immediately activate their Ultimate ability after the current turn ends. This allows you to interrupt the normal turn order flow. Multiple Ultimates can also be chained in this way which can lead to very explosive out of turn damage.
    • Ultimate abilities cost a certain amount of Energy to activate. Energy can be gained via the following actions:
      • Using Basic Attack ability - Generates 20 Energy
      • Using Skill ability - Generates 30 Energy
      • Using Ultimate ability - Generates 5 Energy
      • Defeating enemies Generates 10 Energy/enemy
      • Getting hit by enemies in combat - Energy gained will vary depending on the enemy
      • Characters and Light Cones effects
    • The amount of Energy gained from each of the actions listed above can be increased by increasing the Character’s Energy Restoration Rate stat.

Enemies in Honkai: Star Rail have two different bars to represent their resilience: HP and Toughness.

The HP bar is the red bar and represents how much damage they can take before falling in combat. The HP bar goes down whenever the unit takes damage.

On the other hand, the Toughness bar (the white bar) can only be damaged by attacks of the elements that the enemy is weak to.

Enemies have a set of elemental weaknesses (generally 2 or 3) which are displayed above their head. Attacking an enemy with an attack of an element that it is weak against will reduce its Toughness (the white bat above its HP). You can inflict Weakness Break on an enemy by reducing its Toughness to 0. An enemy that has been Weakness Broken will suffer additional damage and a debuff based on the element of the attack that reduced its Toughness to 0.

The Weakness Break for each element are as follows:

  • Physical - Bleed
    • Deals additional physical damage and apply the Bleed effect (Physical DoT)
  • Fire - Burn
    • Deals additional fire damage and apply the Burn effect (Fire DoT)
  • Ice - Frozen
    • Freezes the enemy, preventing it from taking any actions and apply an Ice DoT
  • Lightning - Shock
    • Deals additional lightning damage and apply the Shock effect (Lightning DoT)
  • Wind - Wind Shear
    • Deals additional wind damage and apply the Wind Shear effect (Wind DoT)
  • Quantum - Entanglement
    • Applies the Entanglement effect (Pushes the enemy back in the turn order and dealing Quantum DoT)
  • Imaginary - Imprisonment
    • Applies the Imprisonment effect (Pushes the enemy back in the turn order and reduces the enemy’s Speed)

While broken, the enemy’s Toughness remains at 0 and further attacks of an element that the enemy is weak against will have no additional effects on it. A broken enemy will recover from its broken state on its next turn. Its Toughness will also be replenished back to full and it can be Weakness Broken again.

Additional tips

Check below videos if you want to learn more: