Honkai: Star Rail is set to launch on April 26, taking players on an interstellar journey across many worlds alongside a colorful cast of characters.
But before you can set off on this new adventure, it’s best to be prepared. After all, a journey across the universe will surely lead to countless battles against a wide variety of enemies.
Honkai: Star Rail is the latest title in the HoYoverse Honkai series and is the spiritual successor to Honkai Impact 3rd.
However, this new entry differs from its predecessor as it combines elements of open world exploration, roguelike dungeon traversal, and turn-based RPG combat.
With that in mind, read on for everything you need to know before setting off on your interstellar adventure Honkai: Star Rail!
Know your characters
Honkai: Star RailThe playable characters of are the heart and soul of the game.
While the player will have a replacement character in the form of the protagonist, named “Trailblazer”, he can also take control of any character of his choice in a party of four if he has them unlocked.
There are two main ways to get new characters. The first is to complete some missions. At the start of the game, the player is able to control Trailblazer, March 7th, Dan Heng, and Asta. Others like Herta, Natasha and Qingque are acquired after completing certain missions or challenges.
In addition, players who pre-registered for the game received the Serval character for free.
The second way is through Warp, the game’s gacha system. We’ll talk more about this system below, but it should be noted that characters are divided into two rarities: 4-star and 5-star. In general, 5-star characters are stronger than 4-star characters, but are more difficult to acquire through Warp.
Other than that, each character is able to wield one element and follows a certain “Path”.
The elements are easy enough to understand. Honkai: Star Rail it has seven elements: Ice, Fire, Wind, Lightning, Quantum, Imaginary, and Physical.
Enemies have certain elemental weaknesses that are indicated during battle, so be sure to use characters of the right elemental type against certain enemies to make fights easier. Starting battles with a character using an element that an enemy is weak to will also give you a head start in combat.
Aside from elemental types, another distinguishing characteristic of characters is their “Path”, which denotes their role in a party. There are seven Paths within Honkai: Star Rail: “The Hunt”, “The Learning”, “The Destruction”, “The Preservation”, “The Abundance”, “The Harmony” and “The Nothingness”.
Here are the roles each Path corresponds to:
Hunting: Single target damage dealers
Erudition: AoE damage dealers
The destruction: generalist damage dealers
Conservation: Shields and defenders
The Harmony: tampons
You should always know what role your characters play in your party and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Make sure your party has at least one damage dealer, healer or shield, buffer or debuffer, with fourth place flexible.
For example, a good general purpose composition might have a character from The Destruction Path as the sole dealer of damage along with characters from Plenty, Harmony, and Nihilum supporting them.
Alternatively, you can go all-in on aggression with a duo of Hunt and Erudition characters supported by Abundance and Harmony or Nihility characters. When facing single unit bosses, you can opt for a Hunt character supported by the characters Abundance, Harmony, and Nihility.
Feel free to mix and match your compositions depending on what you’re up against.
While the characters are strong enough on their own to take down most enemies, you can further increase their strength by giving them cones of light and relics – the equivalent of weapons and artifacts respectively from Genshin Impact, for reference. That said, you don’t need to worry about these when you’re just starting out.
Know your enemies (and their weaknesses)
To be victorious in battle it’s not enough to know the characters in your party, you also need to know your enemies and what you must do to defeat them.
As mentioned above, each enemy has certain elemental weaknesses which are indicated by symbols above their HP bars. Next to an enemy’s HP bar is a “Stamina” gauge, which appears as a white bar.
All attacks will reduce an enemy’s stamina, with attacks of the type of element the enemy is weak to drain them faster. Completely draining the Break Gauge will trigger the “Break” effect, which will have different effects depending on the element that triggers it, while also causing additional damage to the enemy.
Here are the different effects each element will activate when it knocks down an enemy:
Ice: Apply Freeze, inflicting Ice damage over time and preventing the enemy from taking action
Fire: Apply Burn, deals fire damage over time
Wind: Apply Wind Shear, deals wind damage over time
Lightning: Apply Shock, deals lightning damage over time
Quantum: Apply Hinder, dealing quantum damage over time and delaying enemy actions
Fictional: Applies Imprisonment, dealing imaginary damage over time and delaying enemy actions by reducing their speed
Physicist: Apply Bleeding, deals physical damage over time
If you know your enemies and what their weaknesses are, then you would have won before you even landed your first blow.
Know the order of battle
Honkai: Star Rail is a turn-based RPG, so both the player characters and the enemies they’re facing will take turns to launch attacks. When in battle, the turn order for both your characters and enemies will be shown on the left side of the screen.
During your character’s turn, you can perform one of three actions: perform a normal attack, use your ability, or unleash your ultimate.
Performing a normal attack causes your character to attack a single target or multiple enemies, depending on their path. A character’s normal attack also deals elemental damage, making it your primary method of draining an enemy’s Stamina. But the most important thing about normal attacks is that they give your character energy, which allows him to use his skill and ultimate and is indicated by the meter to the left of the skill and ultimate buttons.
If you have at least one energy point, your character will be able to use his ability and what he does is often dictated by his path. For example, Destruction Path characters can use their skills to deal more damage while Abundance characters can heal teammates with their skills.
Accumulating enough energy will allow your character to use their max, which is indicated when the circle next to their portrait at the bottom of the screen starts to light up. Just like skills, what a character’s ultimate does will depend on their path.
One thing to keep in mind about ultimates is that you can use them at any time, even if it’s your enemy’s turn, as long as you have enough energy. With that, using your ultimate at the right time can turn the tide of battle.
For example, your damage dealer can finish off a wounded enemy even after they finish their turn using their ultimate. You can even save characters in a flash by using your healer’s maxim to heal them just before an enemy can deliver a killing blow.
This now brings us to probably the most important stat in Honkai: Star Rail battles: speed.
A character’s Speed determines how often they can have a turn to act in battle. Characters with high speed stats can act multiple times before slower enemies can have a breakthrough!
Since normal attacks are so important to keep the energy flowing to use abilities and ultimates, characters with high speed will have more opportunities to use their abilities and ultimates in addition to performing normal attacks to recharge their energy.
With that in mind, try to give your characters as much speed as possible. Most damage-dealing characters have high speed stats by nature, but support characters can also give their teammates speed buffs, with one example being Asta’s ultimate.
If you ever get bored of micromanaging your party during each encounter, don’t worry, as Honkai: Star Rail has a great auto-battle feature that can be turned on or off at will. From what we’ve seen so far, the AI for this feature is very competent, it does what it takes to win the battle while making sure the party survives.
Explore, explore, explore!
While we’ve talked a lot about battles, there’s more to it than just fighting for fun Honkai: Star Rail. The game allows the players to explore a wide variety of worlds and dungeons if you are more in the mood for a leisurely stroll instead of bashing enemies.
However, the exploration aspect of the game is more than just a way for players to have fun while admiring the scenery; it is also one of the main methods of acquiring Stellar Jade.
Stellar Jade is a form of in-game currency to purchase Star Rail Passes and Star Rail Special Passes, which can be used across the Warp to acquire new characters and Light Cones and are priced at 160 Stellar Jade each.
Star Jade can be acquired in many ways, but most often it is given as a reward for opening chests or completing quests. With that in mind, explore as much of each world you traverse as possible. There will always be a chest or quest-giving NPC hidden in some corner to give you the precious star jade.
Spend Stellar Jade on Star Rail Passes Honkai: Star RailThe gacha system is a different beast altogether, so check out our guide soon!
Honkai: Star Rail will officially launch on April 26 on PC, Android and iOS. The game will also be made available on PlayStation sometime after release. You can download the game here.
For all you need to know Honkai: Star Railcheck here.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time gamer (gacha), and part-time writer.
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