Honkai Star Rail character tier list – Best units in July 2024

Aakrit Sharma
Honkai Star Rail official artwork

The roster of playable characters in Honkai Star Rail is always expanding, and the character tier list shifted in July 2024 after the 2.3 update.

Teams can become outdated pretty quickly if you don’t keep up, but getting the best units in the game is no easy task. So, to help you form the best teams, here’s a Honkai Star Rail character tier list featuring the strongest characters released so far in HoYoverse’s RPG.

Character tier list for Honkai Star Rail 2.3

TierCharacters
S+Firefly, Robin, Aventurine, Acheron, Sparkle, Ruan Mei, Jingliu, Fu Xuan, Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae, Luocha, Silver Wolf, Huohuo
SBoothill, Dr. Ratio, Argenti, Bronya, Gepard, Seele, Topaz, Jing Yuan, Bailu, Black Swan
AJade, Trailblazer (Imaginary), Welt, Sushang, Trailbazer (Fire), Lynx, Pela, Himeko, Yukong, Clara, Luka, Guinaifen, Kafka, Hanya, Xueyi
BAsta, March 7th, Sampo, Natasha, Qingque, Gallagher, Serval, Yanqing
CHook, Herta, Dan Heng, Misha
D Arlan, Trailblazer (Physical)

Best Honkai Star Rail characters (S+ tier units)

Firefly

Firefly in Honkai Star Rail
Firefly becomes playable at some point during the Penacony storyline.
  • Path – The Destruction
  • Element – Fire

Destruction characters are always sought-after, and Firefly is no exception thanks to her massive damage output. She can have great synergy with characters like the Harmony Trailblazer, and you can pair her with support characters that enhance her abilities for the best results.

Her Complete Combustion state is key to wiping enemies fast, so make sure you check our Firefly build guide to equip her with the best Relics and Light Cone.

Robin

Robin in Honkai Star Rail
Players met Robin in the Penacony storyline.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Physical

Robin debuted with the 2.2 update and quickly became one of the best supports in Honkai Star Rail. In a turn-based combat system, characters like Robin can shine thanks to their abilities. Making the whole team skip turns to take action all at once allows players to control the flow of battle, so Robin can make a huge difference in HSR.

On top of that, building Robin isn’t an arduous task, as many popular Light Cones and Relic sets work great in her kit.

Aventurine

Aventurine in Honkai Star Rail
Aventurine is a Shielder with great DPS capabilities.
  • Path – The Preservation
  • Element – Imaginary

Honkai Star Rail lets players try Aventurine in the main storyline, so most fans know it’s a great character to add to their teams. As a Shielder, Aventurine can hold its own and keep his allies in one piece, meaning you won’t really need a healer in most cases.

On the other hand, Aventurine can also deal considerable damage, and his DPS capabilities can be enhanced with the right build and teammates. What’s more, since it has a powerful follow-up attack, it’s a great asset for all HSR endgame content like Simulated Universe, Memory of Chaos, and Pure Fiction.

Acheron

Acheron attacking in Honkai Star Rail
Acheron is one of the most powerful characters in HSR.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Lightning

Honkai Star Rail’s update 2.1 added Acheron as a playable character, and many players are picking her as their new DPS. She’s a very unique character, as she doesn’t need Energy regeneration to unleash her Ultimate. Instead, she needs to be in teams alongside other Nihility characters so she can take advantage of the DoTs in battle.

Acheron has one of the biggest DMG outputs in the game, so if you build her properly, you can swift through the Penacony storyline with ease.

Sparkle

Sparkle in Honkai Star Rail
The Masked Fools are at the center of the Pencony storyline in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Quantum

Sparkle arrived with the version 2.0 update, and she quickly became one of the most sought-after characters in the game. She belongs to the Quantum element, which is by far the most popular and effective element in the current meta. However, her strength comes from her abilities and her passive, which adds Skill Points to the team.

In a turn-based combat game where some characters can be extremely Skill Point-hungry, Sparkle can really turn the tide by giving her team a lot more to do in a single turn. She can also boost her allies’ ATK and improve other areas with the right build, so she’s one of the best supports you can get.

Ruan Mei

Ruan Mei in Honkai Star Rail
Ruan Mei is a highly anticipated five-star character.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Ice

After months of Bronya dominance, Ruan Mei arrived in Honkai Star Rail with update 1.6 to give players another extremely powerful support character. The Ice element character in the Path of The Harmony can increase her allies’ ATK for many turns while also enhancing their Weakness Break effect. Additionally, her Ultimate further improves her allies’ Break Effect and Break DMG.

If that’s not enough, Ruan Mei can extend the duration of Weakness Break, preventing enemies from returning to battle quickly, and giving allies the chance to finish them off. Many players saved Stellar Jade to get this powerful support character that is already changing HSR’s meta.

Jingliu

Jingliu in Honkai Star Rail
Xianzhou Luofu’s swordmaster finally arrived in the game.
  • Path – The Destruction
  • Element – Ice

Jingliu arrived in Honkai Star Rail with update 1.4, quickly becoming one of the most sought-after characters. She’s a powerful DPS who doesn’t rely on Skill Points, so she can fit right in any team you had before her debut. Her abilities deal tons of damage and can be enhanced during battle, making Jingliu a powerful force to be reckoned with.

On the other hand, Jingliu can also be a risky asset to add to your team. Her Ultimate draws power from her allies’ HP, meaning you can’t use Jingliu without a healer. While it might be tough to master Jingliu’s kit at first, it can be extremely rewarding. What’s more, other tricky characters, like Blade and Arlan, have abilities that benefit from taking damage, so they can be great partners to pair Jingliu with.

Fu Xuan

Fu Xuan exploring space in Honkai Star Rail
The Master Diviner of the Xianzhou Luofu’s Divination Commission is a great tank in HSR.
  • Path – The Preservation
  • Element – Quantum

Fu Xuan is as close as it gets to being a perfect support character in Honkai Star Rail. By granting her a ton of HP through Planar Ornaments, Relics, and Light Cones, you can make Fu Xuan almost unkillable in the game, and her damage output is high as well.

By activating Fu Xuan’s second trace, you can make her a solid healer and her Technique makes her one of the best characters to start your battles with. During fights, your goal should be to use her Skill every three turns due to which she’ll absorb the team’s damage and build up her damage.

Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae

Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae in Honkai Star Rail
Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae is an iteration of the four-star character, Dan Heng.
  • Path – The Destruction
  • Element – Imaginary

Imbibitor Lunae is one of the most explosive damage-dealers in Honkai Star Rail, as his skills build up aggressive stats such as ATK and Crit Dmg. His damage increases as the battle progresses so you’d want to protect him at all times with healers and shielders.

Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae can deal AoE as well as single-target damage which is exactly what you want from a versatile damage dealer. By pairing him with a character that can boost his Ultimate regeneration ability, you can frequently use IL’s separate skill points without affecting the team’s ability to use skills.

Luocha

Luocha in Honkai Star Rail cut scene
Luocha is a five-star healer in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Abundance
  • Element – Imaginary

We finally have an aggressive healer in Honkai Star Rail because Luocha’s healings scale off his ATK and this alone makes him an S-tier unit. Moreover, this character can form a healing field for all allies and heal teammates based on their own attacks. This means that Luocha heals even if an opponent disables him.

With a proper build, Luocha has the potential to grant over 5000 healing per character with two stacks of his Abyss Flower skill. At the same time, you won’t be sacrificing Luocha’s damage as the healing amount is directly based on his ATK. If this wasn’t enough, he can apply debuffs and remove any active buffs from enemies.

Overall, Luocha seems like the ideal healer for any team in Honkai Star Rail. If you’re yet to unlock a powerful healer or are struggling to survive against tough enemies, pulling on Luocha’s banner is a no-brainer.

Silver Wolf

Silver Wolf in Honkai Star Rail
The hacker Silver Wolf specializes in dealing single-target damage and debuffing enemies.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Quantum

Silver Wolf is a single-target damage dealer in Honkai Star Rail and being a five-star unit, she certainly doesn’t disappoint. Her abilities apply debuffs such as DEF reduction, weakness, ATK reduction, SPD reduction, and more.

Silver Wolf won’t carry your team with explosive damage numbers but the debuffs she applies are great for maximizing the damage of other members of the team.

Huohuo

Huohuo's Ultimate in Honkai Star Rail
Huohuo can also increase the ATK of a team.
  • Path – The Abundance
  • Element – Wind

Honkai Star Rail version 1.5 marked the release of Huohuo, a healer from the Wind element. She’s undoubtedly a decent support character who can heal, remove debuffs, and regenerate energy for the entire team.

Having said that, in the larger scheme of things, Huohuo was released at a time when Honkai Star Rail already had plenty of powerful support characters and healers such as Fu Xuan and Luocha. She’s undoubtedly a great healer, but her support capabilities related to energy generation, removing debuffs, and attack boosting can be easily outshined by other Abundance characters.

S-tier characters

Boothill

Boothill in Honkai Star Rail
The Galaxy Rangers finally made an appearance in the HSR universe.
  • Path – The Hunt
  • Element – Physical

Boothill debuted in the second phase of update 2.2 and became a fan-favorite unit pretty quickly thanks to his DMG-dealing capabilities. What’s more, he can implant Physical Weakness on enemies that don’t have it, which is always a great strategy.

Additionally, Boothill can deal tons of Toughness Break with his abilities, so he can really carry a team on its own. While his kit makes it a very versatile unit, there are many scenarios where Boothill is completely useless, like enemies that lock their Toughness bars. On the other hand, while his signature Light Cone is perfect for him, there aren’t many other viable options to build him with yet.

Dr. Ratio

Dr. Ratio idle in Honkai Star Rail
Players can claim Dr. Ratio for free before the update 2.2 arrives.
  • Path – The Hunt
  • Element – Imaginary

The second phase of Honkai Star Rail update 1.6 added Dr. Ratio as a playable character in the game. Since it’s a free character until the end of 2.1, many players are adding this powerful DPS to their teams.

Dr. Ratio’s kit relies heavily on his follow-up attack which deals more DMG than any of his other abilities. The five-star unit works best alongside Nihility characters that can apply debuffs to enemies.

What’s more, Dr. Ratio debuted alongside his signature Light Cone that is ideal for other characters with follow-up attacks, like Yanqing or Topaz.

Argenti

Argenti in Honkai Star Rail
Argenti debuted with the second phase of the 1.5 update.
  • Path – The Erudition
  • Element – Physical

Honkai Star Rail introduced players to Argenti with its 1.5 update. The first Physical element character in the Path of The Erudition is a very interesting unit that can use two different Ultimate abilities, depending on the battle and the Energy he generates.

Argenti has very powerful abilities that can decimate enemies in an instant and has proven to be an extremely powerful character when it comes to AoE Damage. The only downside to Argenti’s abilities relies on his element. In the current Honkai Star Rail meta, enemies weak to Physical attacks aren’t very common and they’re usually minions you can deal with easily either way.

Nonetheless, many players are trying to get the Knight of Beauty now that his story is unfolding in HoYoverse’s RPG.

Jing Yuan

Jing Yuan in Honkai Star Rail
AoE damage dealers like Jing Yuan specialize in targeting multiple targets simultaneously.
  • Path – The Erudition
  • Element – Lightning

Jing Yuan arrived in Honkai Star Rail after Seele, and despite having big shoes to fill, he was able to impress the community with his high damage output.

Jing Yuan summons the Lightning Lord during battle and it looks as good as it sounds. The damage is equally brilliant and you can easily break the shields of multiple enemies with his consistent AoE attacks. The only thing you’ll have to take care of is Jing Yuan’s energy cost (130 for Ultimate) which can be fixed by having support characters that help in energy regeneration.

It is worth noting that you’ll have no control over the Lightning Lord summoned by Jing Yuan. While some of his attacks might win you battles, others might be as ineffective as it gets. Regardless, the five-star Arbiter General is a true AoE damage dealer as his attacks deal the same amount of damage to all targets.

Topaz

Honkai Star Rail Trend of the Universal Market Light Cone featuring Topaz
Honkai Star Rail leaks suggest players haven’t seen the last of Topaz yet.
  • Path – The Hunt
  • Element – Fire

Topaz arrived in Honkai Star Rail alongside her Trotter companion, Numby, to offer players a new Fire character. Her gameplay focuses on dealing increasing damage with follow-up attacks, which can make her unstoppable under certain conditions.

Players are eager to add her to their teams since she can build an interesting synergy with many other characters. What’s more, Numby’s abilities can also help players explore the overworld to find treasure chests and other items, so getting her in Honkai Star Rail has a lot of benefits to keep in mind.

Bailu

Bailu in Honkai Stair Rail
No Honkai Star Rail healer can revive allies but Bailu.
  • Path – The Abundance
  • Element – Lightning

Bailu is similar to Genshin Impact’s Kokomi but the former fortunately has decent damage stats as well. She is a dedicated healer and early on in Honkai Star Rail, you’ll need a healer so that the damage dealers and supports can stay on the field for longer durations.

Gepard

Gepard screaming in Honkai Star Rail
Gepard can shield your team while dealing strong damage to enemies.
  • Path – The Preservation
  • Element – Ice

When it comes to versatility, Gepard outshines almost every character in Honkai Star Rail. From applying ice damage that freezes opponents to shielding the entire party, this character can attack as well as defend.

Gepard can also revive himself with a talent and this comes in handy when you’re facing tanky bosses with explosive damage.

Seele

Seele in Honkai Star Rail
The first banner in Honkai Star Rail was headlined by Seele.
  • Path – The Hunt
  • Element – Quantum

Seele in Honkai Star Rail is all about dealing damage and unlike other The Hunt characters, she excels in multi-target scenarios because she gets an additional turn after killing an enemy.

Seele is brilliant at breaking shields and her damage against opponents that aren’t weak to Quantum attacks is what makes her the most reliable damage dealer in the game.

Tingyun

Tingyun in Honkai Star Rail
Energy generation helps in getting your character’s ultimate in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Lightning

Tingyun is easily the best four-star character in Honkai Star Rail, thanks to her brilliant buffs for DPS characters. She can generate energy for allies and boost their damage for multiple turns. Hence, using her with the likes of Seele and Dan Heng is a no-brainer.

Support characters like Tingyun become very important once you’ve built your DPS units. From the looks of it, Tingyun has already established herself as a top-tier four-star support and will continue to be the best at it for a long time.

Black Swan

Black Swan in Honkai Star Rail
The Penacony storyline is as mysterious as Black Swan herself.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Wind

Black Swan was one of the most anticipated characters of update 2.0, and players got what they were asking for. While Black Swan is a Nihility character, she can work very well as DPS or Sub-DPS, which makes her a very versatile unit in Honkai Star Rail.

Her kit can deal lots of DMG while also applying much Damage over Time to enemies, which can be an interesting battle strategy on its own. What’s more, she pairs very well with other characters that apply DoTs, enhancing their effects in various ways.

The only downside to Black Swan, at the moment, is that her Ascension and Traces materials are brand-new, introduced with the Penacony storyline. This means players won’t be able to enhance her abilities until they play a good portion of the new update.

A-tier characters

Jade

Jade in Honkai Star Rail
Jade is part of the IPC, like Topaz and Aventurine.
  • Path – The Erudition
  • Element – Quantum

Update 2.3 added Jade as a playable character, and she has many similarities to Argenti. She’s an unstoppable force in Pure Fiction, where you face endless waves of enemies, but lacks abilities to deal with bosses or single-target enemies.

While she’s a DPS, she needs another powerful unit alongside her to make the most out of her kit, which includes a great follow-up attack.

Trailblazer (Imaginary)

Imaginary Harmony Trailblazer and Clockie in Honkai Star Rail
The third version of the Trailblazer is a support character.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Imaginary

The Trailblazer is the main character in Honkai Star Rail, and after the Penacony storyline, they can walk the Harmony Path. This means you can use it as a support character, and most of their abilities are based on Break Effect and Weakness Break.

If you have a team with units that rely on those aspects of combat, you can add the five-star unit and build it accordingly. As always, the Trailblazer can also deal decent damage, and you’ll be able to unlock all their Eidolons just by playing the story, so it’s always good to keep it built in case you need it.

Xueyi

Xueyi in Honkai Star Rail
The Xianzhou Luofu storyline introduced players to Xueyi and many other powerful characters.
  • Path – The Destruction
  • Element – Quantum

Xueyi is the first Quantum character in the Path of The Destruction in Honkai Star Rail. The four-star unit specializes in dealing damage to both single-target enemies and AoE, making it a great addition for mono-Quantum teams that lack a powerful DPS. On the other hand, she can also be an interesting asset on other teams since her Ultimate ignores Weakness Types and reduces the enemy’s Toughness.

Xueyi can also perform follow-up attacks when allies reduce enemy Toughness, meaning she can inflict damage more often. While her stats as a four-star character aren’t anything out of the ordinary, she can be a valuable DPS with the right build and team.

Hanya

Hanya's Ultimate in Honkai Star Rail
Hanya specializes in recovering Skill Points for the whole team.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Physical

Honkai Star Rail players welcomed a new support character with version 1.5 update. Hanya is a Physical element character that can boost allies by increasing their SPD and ATK. However, it’s also worth noting she can apply ‘Burden’ on enemies. Players can earn Skill Points when another character attacks an enemy that has ‘Burden’ applied.

This makes Hanya a perfect companion for SP-hungry characters, so keep that in mind if your team has one. It’s also important to keep an eye on Hanya’s Talent, as it’s the ability that determines the amount of DMG characters can do to enemies with ‘Burden.’

While we’re positioning Hanya in the A-tier, she can very well be considered an S-tier character once you unlock all her Eidolons in Honkai Star Rail.

Blade

Blade in Honkai Star Rail cutscene
Blade’s kit in Honkai Star Rail is very similar to Hu Tao from Genshin Impact.
  • Path – The Destruction
  • Element – Wind

If you’ve ever used Hu Tao in Genshin Impact, then understanding Blade’s kit in Honkai Star Rail should not be a problem. Simply put, he is an excellent AoE damage dealer who deals damage based on his HP and for the highest damage output, Blade must lose HP.

Blade gets enhanced basic attacks through his skill and his Ultimate skill automatically reduces/increases his HP to 50% which reduces the character’s dependences on healers. He doesn’t rely a lot on his skill as the enhanced attacks last 3 turns.

Blade is a self-sufficient damage dealer in Honkai Star Rail and you can primarily focus on HP while building him. He is beginner-friendly and now that Lynx is out, you can unlock a tailor-made healer for him as well.

Kafka

Kafka in Honkai Star Rail
Kafka plays a major role in Honkai Star Rail’s campaign.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Lightning

Thanks to the second phase of the 1.2 banner, players can now play the game as Kafka, a powerful five-star character. She’s a Lightning element character in the Path of The Nihility, meaning she can deal damage to enemies while applying debuffs for greater effects.

Most of Kafka’s abilities allow her to deal Damage over Time (DoT), and her Ultimate, while dealing considerably less damage than others, has a 100% chance of shocking enemies. This can work very well alongside any other DPS character.

Guinaifen

Guinaifen in Honkai Star Rail
Players met Guinaifen in the Aetherium Wars event.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Fire

Guinaifen is a four-star character who will let many players build a mono-Fire team with great potential. Being a Nihility character means she can apply debuffs to enemies while dealing DoT (Damage over Time). In Guinaifen’s particular case, she can burn enemies to deal extended DMG to both single targets and AoE (Area of Effect).

The main problem with Guinaifen is that Honkai Star Rail’s main quests don’t give much room for Fire characters to shine. However, future storylines might give these fighters a chance to show what they’re made of.

Lynx

Lynx sitting on a chair in Honkai Star Rail
Many characters complement very well with Lynx’s abilities.
  • Path – The Abundance
  • Element – Quantum

Lynx is a four-star healer tailor-made for Blade in Honkai Star Rail. Her skill grants single-target healing while the Ultimate is all about healing allies collectively. She can also remove any debuffs through the Ultimate and with the right build that focuses on increasing her max HP, Lynx can easily outshine Natasha.

Lynx has a special ability that lets her control the target of enemy attacks and in a turn-based setting, this is undoubtedly a huge advantage. On top of this, the character deals decent damage as a healer and overall, you shouldn’t have any complaints.

Bronya

Bronya in Honkai Star Rail
The Belobog storyline centers around Bronya.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Wind

Bronya is a solid support character that you’d want to have at the outset of your Honkai Star Rail journey. She can buff the damage of teammates in an AoE, remove debuffs, increase movement speed and Crit Rate, and you can’t expect more from a single unit.

Bronya’s ability to grant an additional turn is like the icing on the cake. By properly utilizing this skill, you can easily deal double damage or heal your team twice.

Bailu’s healing is based on max HP which is why building her in the game is quite straightforward. Her passive talents grant Energy as well and overall, this character brings a lot to the table.

Luka

Luka in Honkai Star Rail
Luka is part of Wildfire even though he isn’t part of that storyline.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Physical

Players met Luka alongside Kafka, and he packs a punch. This Wildfire member has a mechanical arm he uses to inflict damage on targeted enemies. However, he can also apply debuffs to enemies to weaken them even further.

Luka’s abilities make him a versatile character capable of fulfilling different roles in battle. You can set it as a DPS with the right Traces upgraded, but you can also use him as a support character for other powerful team members.

Clara

Clara's ultimate animation in Honkai Star Rail
Svarog fights alongside Clara with powerful counter-attacks.
  • Path – The Destruction
  • Element – Physical

Clara becomes useful in Honkai Star Rail if you largely rely on counterattacks. Her follow-up attacks generate extra energy and deal more damage than standard basic attacks. You can bait enemy attacks with her skill and due to her tanky nature, she can absorb a ton of damage.

Damage reduction and attack are the two things you need to focus on while building Clara in Honkai Star Rail. Overall, she lets your damage dealers deal damage freely and it is hard to find a better tank in the game.

Yukong

Yukong in Honkai Star Rail
While Yukong isn’t a strong damage dealer in Honkai Star Rail, she buffs the damage of allies.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Imaginary

Yukong is a four-star support character in Honkai Star Rail that can greatly improve the damage output of your team. After using her skill, she can grant up to 100% ATK bonus which is as massive as it sounds and after using her Ultimate, allies gain a major Crit Rate and Crit DMG boost.

This also makes Yukong a very flexible character as the buffs she provides can be utilized by any damage dealer in Honkai Star Rail. However, her attack speed can be a major bone of contention and if you’re running two damage dealers, you might get the attack and Crit buffs for only one of them.

Himeko

Himeko in Star Rail
Himeko belongs to the Fire element in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Erudition
  • Element – Fire

Alongside healers and supports, damage dealers are a major part of any Honkai Star Rail team. Himeko can easily fulfill this role with her brilliant Fire AoE damage and her abilities are strong enough to end the entire battle in one turn.

Welt

Welt in Honkai Star Rail
Honkai Impact 3rd fans know Welt from other adventures.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Imaginary

Welt has decent damage-dealing potential in Honkai Star Rail, but he primarily excels in crowd control. He can create portals and control the movement and speed of enemies to a large extent making him the ideal support character for Dan Heng and Seele.

Sushang

Sushang in Honkai Star Rail
Players meet Sushang during the Xianzhou Luofu storyline.
  • Path – The Hunt
  • Element – Physical

Sushang is a solid four-star damage dealer in Honkai Star Rail. Her physical damage will be quite useful during the early game and the four-star Light Cone called Swordplay is tailor-made for her.

Sushang deals single-target damage which is why she can be comfortably replaced with better five-star characters. Having said that, Sushang with her signature weapon makes a powerful combo to carry any team.

Trailblazer (Fire)

Honkai Star Rail official artwork
Trailblazer in Honkai Star Rail can alter their Path and Element.
  • Path – Can change as you progress.
  • Element – Can change as you progress.

The original Trailblazer in Honkai Star Rail can be converted to Fire and this Path significantly improves their performance. The damage output is much better and you can use them as a support character in a wide variety of teams.

Fire damage also allows you to apply debuffs on enemies such as Burning. Overall, converting the Path is one of the best things you can do for the Trailblazer.

Pela

Pela in Honkai Star Rail
Honkai Star Rail’s Pela is all about applying and removing buffs.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Ice

Pela, as a four-star Honkai Star Rail character, offers way more than you’d expect. She can reduce enemy defense, remove enemy buffs, and generate energy quickly. Her low-energy ultimate can be spammed frequently and all you need to do is apply debuffs with her moves.

B-tier characters

Asta

Asta in Honkai Star Rail
Herta Space Station’s affairs are managed by Asta in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Harmony
  • Element – Fire

Asta is a free character in Honkai Star Rail and you should not expect anything outrageous from her kit. She is mainly a support character for Fire DPS units as she increases the Fire DMG of allies and can apply Burning to enemies.

Natasha

Natasha using her attack in Honkai Star Rail
Natasha is a healer in the Undergrounds in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Abundance
  • Element – Physical

While Natasha might not be as good as Bailu, she’s still one of the best four-star healers you can get in Honkai Star Rail. Her skill and ultimate are strong enough to heal allies and save them from explosive attacks.

Natasha also deals physical damage with her basic skill which helps in breaking many shields during the early game.

March 7th

March 7th using her attack in Honkai Star Rail
Players can get March 7th for free in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Preservation
  • Element – Ice

March 7th is another free four-star character in Honkai Star Rail who can deal Ice damage and grant shields to allies. When an enemy hits a character shielded by March 7th, she does a follow-up attack that deals Ice damage.

In terms of utility, March 7th is undoubtedly impressive as a free four-star character. After unlocking good healers and damage dealers, you’d certainly want March 7th to increase their survivability.

Gepard is the only existing character in Honkai Star Rail who feels like a proper replacement for March 7th. Hence, until you unlock the five-star defender, relying on March 7th is not a bad strategy.

Gallagher

Gallagher in Honkai Star Rail
Introduced as chief of security, Gallagher is a mixologist who can heal allies.
  • Path – The Abundance
  • Element – Fire

Gallagher is the latest healer to join Honkai Star Rail, but as a four-star character, he doesn’t offer much to players. He can only heal allies with his skill, but his kit focuses on dealing DMG and applying debuffs to enemies. The unit brings an interesting mix of supporting abilities, but players usually look for better healers who can keep their whole team alive for longer.

Considering there are two free healers in the game, Gallagher might not be the most popular choice between Abundance characters.

Sampo

Sampo in Honkai Star Rail
Players can get Sampo for free during some limited-time events.
  • Path – The Nihility
  • Element – Wind

Sampo’s kit in Honkai Star Rail is quite similar to Welt but of course, the Element and Path are different. He has a bounce skill and the Ultimate applies a DoT debuff to opponents which makes them absorb damage for multiple turns.

Sampo is also brilliant at breaking shields which is one of the primary tasks in Honkai’s combat. To use him efficiently, just make sure to cycle between his skill and ultimate, and as the DoT accumulates, you can spam basic attacks.

Qingque

Qingche in Honkai Star Rail
Qinque has one of the most unique kits in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Erudition
  • Element – Quantum

If the RNG in Honkai Star Rail’s warp system isn’t enough, you can play Qingque who deals damage based on an RNG system. She picks tiles during battles and the amount of the tiles she has impacts her state and damage.

Fans of unique playstyles should definitely try out Qingque but it is worth noting that her damage output isn’t consistent.

Serval

Serval in Honkai Star Rail
Serval is great at playing music.
  • Path – The Erudition
  • Element – Lightning

You’d want Serval in Honkai Star Rail for breaking the shields of enemies with a Lightning weakness which is all she has to offer. Her remaining abilities are underwhelming and her damage output is not even comparable to someone like Seele.

Despite the shortcomings, Serval does more than enough as a free character. Early on, you might want to keep her on the team solely for the Lightning damage and then replace her with Tingyun or Bailu.

Yanqing

Yanqing in Honkai Star Rail
Four-star DPS Yanqing is a solid unit in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Hunt
  • Element – Ice

Yanqing is often outshined by Seele and other Hunt characters as a damage dealer. However, this does not mean that you can’t use him as a main DPS to carry your team.

Yanqing gets massive Crit boosts with his Ultimate and he can follow up attacks that freeze the enemies. When paired with a strong shielder like March 7th, Yanqing can be a consistent damage dealer and unless you get a better five-star DPS, there’s no need to replace him.

C-tier characters

Dan Heng

Dan Heng in Honkai Star Rail
You can get Dan Heng for free early in the game.
  • Path – The Hunt
  • Element – Wind

Dan Heng is a four-star character that you get for free in Honkai Star Rail. He is good enough to clear any early-game content as a main damage dealer but after some time, you might feel the need to upgrade to a five-star DPS unit or better four-star alternatives like Yanqing.

His kit is very straightforward, making him perfect for beginners. You need to slow down enemies to get the most damage from his Ultimate which might compel you to make a team around Dan Heng.

Despite the advantages, Dan Heng becomes easily replaceable as you progress.

Hook

Hook in Honkai Star Rail
Hook can trouble enemies affected by Burning in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Destruction
  • Element – Fire

If combat in Honkai Star Rail was all about dealing damage to enemies affected by Fire, Hook would easily be an S-tier unit. However, that is not the case which is why she is so low on our tier list.

Hook gains extra energy and attack after hitting enemies affected by Burn. For this to work properly, you need to have a Fire DPS and a team that complements her play style. This is undoubtedly too much effort for a four-star character, and you’ll be better off with Himeko or Asta.

Herta

Herta in Honkai Star Rail
Madam Herta has made the Simulated Universe in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Erudition
  • Element – Ice

Herta only provides AoE damage in Honkai Star Rail, which severely impacts her utility in a team. Other free characters like Serval are better damage dealers than her and the multipliers are simply not that big.

Herta’s follow-up attacks can be useful in finishing the job but something so situational isn’t enough to place her higher in this tier list.

Misha

Misha in Honkai Star Rail
Misha is the bellboy of the Reverie Hotel.
  • Path – Destruction
  • Element – Ice

Misha’s element and Path are the same as Jingliu’s, but the Penacony character isn’t as powerful as her. In fact, Misha can’t hold his own as the main DPS in most party scenarios, so you should consider him as Sub-DPS instead.

The most important part of his kit is his Ultimate, which can land up to ten hits to various enemies. This ability also has a chance of inflicting Frozen on targets with each hit that lands. This can make Misha an interesting asset in the Simulated Universe and other special game modes with modifiers.

D-tier characters

Trailblazer (physical)

Trailblazer in Honkai Star Rail
Trailblazer gets access to new Paths and Elements as you progress.
  • Path – Can change as you progress
  • Element – Adaptive

The Trailblazer, which is the main character in Honkai Star Rail, starts their journey as a physical damage dealer. This is arguably their weakest form as there’s a basic attack that deals single-target physical damage and the skill does slightly more by dealing AoE damage.

Apart from breaking shields, there isn’t a lot that Trailblazer (physical) excels in and they’ll most likely be the first character you switch on your team.

Arlan

Arlan in Honkai Star Rail
Arlan is the weakest character in Honkai Star Rail.
  • Path – The Destruction
  • Element – Lightning

Honkai Star Rail is a game where you not only attack opponents but also shield and heal your characters so that they survive. Arlan doesn’t work too well in this setting, considering that his skill costs HP, and his damage increases when he’s low on HP.

Arlan’s damage isn’t good enough for you to use the valuable skills of your shielders and healers on him. There are a ton of alternatives to the character and you can get way more rewards without even sacrificing anything.

At the end of the day, you can have fun and progress in Honkai Star Rail without chasing the meta too. Hence, feel free to focus on unlocking the characters that suit your playstyle and expectations.

But if you’re someone who wants to complete all of the challenges with ease and only wants the most potent characters to be on your team, this tier list will help.

Make sure to check how to get Tears of Dreams if you’re missing materials, as well as all active Honkai Star Rail codes to redeem for Stellar Jade and other free items.

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