Honkai: Star Rail is a unique gacha game, with mechanics more similar to that of a JRPG. This can pose a challenge in terms of getting used to its combat and although we touched on it in our Beginner’s Guide, we didn’t explain everything. In this guide, we will take a look at exactly how combat works in Honkai: Star Rail and give some specific tips on what you can implement to improve your game in this area.
When you’re putting a team together in Honkai: Star Rail, it’s important to balance your team’s Combat Types and Paths. Each character in your team should fill an important niche and hit the opponent’s weaknesses to deal optimal damage. To do this, however, you need to know the details of what things you’re trying to balance.
Honkai: Star Rail Combat Types
There are 7 combat types with each dealing different elemental damage, Weakness Breaks, and debuffs on the opponent. When building a team, try to pick the Combat Types in which enemies will be weak so as to have the chance to inflict a Weakness Break. Each of the Combat Types in Honkai: Star Rail are as follows:
- Fire – applies Burn, which deals Fire Damage over Time (DoT).
- Physical – applies Bleed, which deals Physical DoT.
- Ice – applies Freeze, which immobilizes the energy and deals additional Ice DMG.
- Lightning – applies Shock, dealing Lightning DoT.
- Wind – applies Wind Shear, dealing Wind DoT.
- Quantum – applies Entanglement, which delays the enemy’s action and deals additional Quantum DMG at the start of the next turn. This extra DMG increases when the enemy is hit.
- Imaginary – applies Imprisonment, delaying the enemy’s action and reducing their SPD.
Honkai: Star Rail Paths
Paths are similar to classes in other games whereby this determines what role a character will fulfill in a team. You should balance these with at least one buff/debuff character, one healing/shielding character, and damage dealers. Each is tied to an Aeon, the gods within Honkai: Star Rail’s story which also plays a big role in the Simulated Universe game mode.
- Harmony – applies buffs to allies to improve the team’s combat capabilities.
- Destruction – deals powerful damage and can tank hits easily.
- The Hunt – deals powerful single-target damage which can prove powerful against bosses.
- Erudition – deals powerful multi-target damage which is powerful against groups of enemies.
- Nihility – applies debuffs to enemies to reduce their combat capabilities.
- Preservation – powerfully defends allies and applies shields or defence-boosts.
- Abundance – heals allies.
Improving Characters in Honkai: Star Rail
Before you can even put a team together you need to make sure your characters are combat-ready. While Ascension and leveling are vital for this, there are several other aspects to maintain as well! Indeed, without good Light Cones, for instance, characters will fall behind. Here, we’ll go over every improvement method and how to use them to progress through Honkai: Star Rail!
Honkai: Star Rail Character Ascending
Ascending your characters is the most standard method of improving them in Honkai: Star Rail. Ascending them basically allows you to increase the character’s level cap with each additional level improving their stats. Only Ascend characters you use to preserve resources. However, be mindful that Ascension milestones reward you with Star Rail passes. As such, if you have leftover materials, it might be worth Ascending characters you don’t use for more gacha pulls.
Each with a different rarity, piece of art, ability, and story, characters can be assigned Light Cones. These are upgraded and Ascended similarly to the characters themselves and serve several functions such as improving their stats and giving them an ability associated with the Light Cone. For example, a Light Cone ability may increase the wearer’s Break Effect or their Outgoing Healing.
These can take up quite a lot of resources to improve, but they’re incredibly useful, especially if you can get Light Cones with art and story that matches a character you tend to use, as this usually means that their Light Cone Ability is tailored to that character’s skill set. You can also Superimpose Light Cones if you get any duplicates, resulting in an upgraded, more powerful version.
Traces are individual skill trees for each character, allowing you to expend resources to upgrade their stats and skills, along with adding new passives. These are extremely important for optimizing your characters, as they are tailored to each character and can make them much more powerful.
Relics are items that can be equipped to a character to provide aditional ability and stat enhancements depending on the type equipped. They belong to different Sets, which benefit a specific Path or Combat Type, and provide extra benefits if multiple relics of the same Set are equipped, for instance, the Head and the Feet.
Which relics work best depends on the character in question, but this can be found out quite easily through trial and error. Getting more relics can be done through Cavern of Corrosion fights, except for Planar Sphere and Link Rope relics, which are found in the Simulated Universe.
Eidolons are six upgrades, unique to each character, that are massively helpful and can drastically improve a character, making them way more useful. These can only be upgraded with duplicates of that character, however, meaning that it’s very difficult to activate the Eidolons of rarer characters.
Honkai: Star Rail Combat Mechanics Guide
Now that you know how to optimize your character for combat, let’s go over how to use them! There are three types of attack: Basic ATK, Skill, and Ultimate. How you use these and which you default to depends on the character you’re using and their Path, but you’ll usually have to employ a mix to effectively manage your resources.
Honkai: Star Rail Combat Skills
You begin each battle with 3 Skill Points which are shared between your team. Using a Skill uses up one of these Skill Points, and using a Basic ATK replenishes them. This means that you need to balance the use of both abilities to make sure that you always have enough Skill Points to use your most important Skills.
Ultimate abilities are an exception, charged up when their character uses any type of attack or takes damage themself, and can really turn the tide of a fight. These attack types can be improved through a character’s Traces, so make sure that you pay attention to what has changed to see if it changes your approach to combat!
Honkai: Star Rail Combat Techniques
Combat Techniques are attacks/abilities you can activate outside of combat using replenishable Technique Points. These should not be forgotten as they can make combat significantly easier. For instance, they can deal extra damage to enemies, debuff them, or buff your allies. Using Combat Techniques before big fights is vital, so make sure you keep them in mind if you’re struggling!
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