Honkai: Star Rail is a game where team building matters most and you can't just throw characters with high ratings in your team and expect them to perform well. But the synergy between your team mates isn't the only thing you need to keep in mind - with how the elemental system works in the game, even if you build what on paper looks a perfect team full of synergy, it may struggle against a boss when you can't break its toughness bar.

Also, since the game doesn't have a timer or a turn limit (there's one exception to that), focusing on making sure your team can survive and recover is actually important - having the best damage in the world does nothing if the enemy one-shots your DPS character.

So to summarize, there are 4 important factors you need to consider while building a team:

  • Sustain - you need a Healer or a Shielder in the team (or even both). Monsters hit hard and since this is a turn-based game, they will get their turn and will use their attacks. And if you don't have a way to recover the damage done (via a Healer) or prevent it (via a Shielder), the enemy will slowly whittle your team's HP down,
  • Synergy - some characters simply don't work or work badly when you just throw them in your team. Clara is a good example of that - majority of her damage comes from Counters and to trigger them, she wants to get hit. So when you pair her with March 7th and use her Shield on Clara every turn, she will also be more likely attacked by enemies,
  • Skill Points - to use a Skill, you need Skill Points (obviously) and you generate them by using the Basic Attack. This means that you need to create a balanced team that has characters who don't really use their Skill or use it only in specific situations, so your main damage dealers can use their Skill every turn. This translates to consistent DPS and is superior to only using a combo every other turn,
    • You don't have to worry that much about Skill Points balance in the early game, but this becomes really important later down the line - especially in Forgotten Hall.
  • Elements - the elemental system in Honkai: Star Rail is pretty important and while during the story you can ignore it and just use one team, once you start tackling harder content - like Simulated Universe or Forgotten Hall - you will need to build the team around the boss weakness or you will simply struggle against him. This is especially important because Break builds are really strong early as it's much easier to stack the effect to over 200%, so you can do massive damage to the boss when you break its toughness bar.

Early game (story)

During the prologue you don't really have to worry about team building, since you will be limited to the characters given to you. Only once you reach the point when you unlock Warping and do your first 20 pulls, you will get more freedom.

Also, keep in mind that you need to do up to 50 pulls on the Beginner Warp banner to obtain one of the seven available 5★ characters. You might get lucky and get one of them within the 20 pulls, but the majority of players will need to do all 50 pulls to get their first 5★ character (not counting Trailblazer).

The below team is a generic team template only containing characters everyone will get for free and it will work as our base template that we will modify as we progress through the game.

Sub DPS (AoE)

Overall, the first half of the planet you will visit after the prologue (Jarilo-VI) is filled with enemies weak to Physical and/or Wind which allows the Trailblazer and Dan Heng to shine - as you won't need to switch to another character to break the toughness bars.

Still, when you will need more AoE and Lightning-weak enemies will start to appear, adding Serval instead of the Physical MC is a great thing to do. Serval is a really strong AoE damage dealer who is great alternative to Physical MC - you can even bench the Physical MC and just use Dan Heng + Serval duo too if you want! Just keep leveling the Phys MC as you will need him the moment you unlock his Fire variant, but more about that later.

Let's continue.

Somewhere in the middle of Jarilo-VI storyline, you will unlock Natasha who is Healer. Trust me, you really want to slot her into your team instantly as the difficulty of the game spikes up right after you get her - you will really struggle on the next major boss you will encounter without her. So this is how your team will look now:

Sub DPS (AoE)

Once you finish the last main story mission of Jarilo-VI, you will unlock the Fire variant of the Main Character who is a Shielder/Taunter/Breaker hybrid. Overall he is among the strongest characters in the game, so once you unlock him, he will never leave your team.

This is how your team will look from now on:

Your main DPS will be switched around based on the enemies you encounter - if they are weak to Lightning, but not Wind for example, just go back to Serval. Still, with Dan Heng and Fire MC you should have enough elemental coverage to not struggle.

The team above with 3 defensive support characters is something we coined in the Final Beta as the Turtle Team. While you progress through the game there's no turn limit that you need to worry about, so doing things the safer way is actually superior to trying to build a hypercarry team (more about them later). Also, you will really suffer if you will want to try using anything else than Turtle team in Simulated Universe.

Still, if the gameplay is a bit too slow for you in the Story, you can use this team instead:

4★ characters

If you get lucky and pull either Sushang or Tingyun, your early game progression will be much smoother.

Sushang can act as replacement for Dan Heng when you will need a Physical Attacker - and she's the best 4★ damage dealer who becomes a god when running Break Effect build.

As for Tingyun, you can replace one of the Shielders (most likely March 7th) to gain a massive boost to your carry as her buffs as simply obnoxious. Just keep in mind that buffers like Bronya and Tingyun aren't that good at the start as they require the main carry to actually have some stats they can further boost. But around level 40 or 50 you can safely start using her.

And here's the best part - you can even run them together!

Newbie banner

Every player will receive a free ★5 star character by doing 50 pulls on the Departure Warp (Newbie banner). There are 7 characters available there and this section will give you ideas about early game teams you can use with them.


Well, this one is the easiest out of the 7 - you simply replace Natasha with Bailu and use the teams above till you end up with this Turtle Team variant:


Bronya is a bit more complicated. Since buffers are stat and damage amplifiers it means that if the carry is weak, her impact will be small. That's why Bronya really starts to 'come online' around the 40/50 level mark as then you already have a sufficient amount of stats for her to do her thing. The team below is a modified Turtle Team with a single DPS, but you lose one Shielder and count on Bronya increasing your main carry damage so you can kill things fast enough, so the lack of additional Shielding won't become an issue.


Clara is a DPS who has a unique gameplay - you want her to be hit, a lot, so Svarog can pummel the enemies a few times every turn. To get more Counters, you can use March 7th and Shield Clara constantly, but while it's nice to have, it isn't required.

With Clara you actually have two teams you can run, but the second one requires a gacha 4* character - and it's also way more offensive.


Gepard is a Shielder who compared to March 7th can Shield the whole team at the same time with his Ultimate. You can never use his Skill and just use him as Skill Point generator, but keep in mind that while March 7th can use her Shield every turn, he is limited by his energy gain and Ultimate.

Also, early game, March 7th is simply stronger than him, so keep that in mind.


Himeko is a damage dealer who specializes in AoE damage - you can think about her as a stronger variant of Serval. Her biggest issue is that her single target damage is terrible, so you need to either run her in 2 DPS team or try to turn her into hypercarry (but same as with other characters, this is only possible past level 50).


Welt is a defensive and offensive debuffer who also can deal decent damage on his own. He's also the only Imaginary character in the game and there's a lot of Imaginary-weak enemies, so he will help you in that regard.


Yanqing is a damage dealer who is all about single target damage. He has no AoE skills which is one of his cons, but he makes up for it with his nuking potential. Similar to Himeko, you can run him either together with a second damage dealer (to cover for the weakness) or in carry hybrid team.