Looking for beginner's tips, tricks, and how to play Honkai: Star Rail? HoYoverse's free-to-play turn-based RPG is one of the most compelling live services on the market, but it borders on impenetrable for the uninformed. Our comprehensive Honkai: Star Rail guide includes a crash course on everything you need to know about the game, but if you're looking for a more specific list of beginner's tips, tricks, and how to play, then this page has you covered.
How Do You Play Honkai: Star Rail and What Are Some Beginner's Tips and Tricks?
Honkai: Star Rail is a turn-based RPG set in outer-space. The core premise of the game is to build parties of up to four characters which can be used to defeat waves of intergalactic enemies. Each party member subscribes to a different Path (or class) and Element. You unlock characters through a gacha system known as Warps, with different Banners promoting different characters.
While these are the basic concepts you'll need to understand in order to play the game, there's a lot more depth and some of its systems are poorly explained. On this page we're going to share some beginner's tips and tricks, with our overall goal being to introduce the concepts of how to play the game.
Start with the Main Story
While there are a lot of complicated concepts introduced in Honkai: Star Rail, the best place to start is with the main story. This is because it will gradually introduce you to the game's systems over time, and it's best not to overwhelm yourself with the more complicated concepts like Echoes of War and Stagnant Shadows right away. You can find a full walkthrough including All Missions and Quests through the link, but we'd recommend you primarily focus on Trailblaze Missions initially to push the plot forward.
Form Your First Team
As you progress through the story, you'll slowly begin to assemble your first team for free. While this is unlikely to be the squad you'll stick with throughout the entirety of the game's lifespan, it's good enough to get you started. The first four characters you'll unlock are: Trailblazer, March 7th, Dan Heng, and Asta. Generally, when considering team compositions, you'll want one or two Destruction or The Hunt characters to deal damage, at least one Abundance (healer) or Preservation (defence) character to sustain your units, and maybe a support character as well. While your starting squad will lack a healer, you will eventually unlock a free Natasha as part of the story to occupy this role when needed.
Understand the Basics of Combat
Honkai: Star Rail is a turn-based RPG, and it's a fairly straightforward one overall. Each enemy has a selection of Elemental weaknesses, so it's a good idea to use units which match up to their weaknesses. This will allow you to "break" their defences quicker, staggering them and subsequently delaying their actions. With each turn you can choose to perform a Basic Attack or a Skill; the former generates a Skill Point while the latter deducts a Skill Point. Energy will charge over the course of a battle allowing you to use a character's Ultimate, even when it's not their turn.
Level Up Your Squad Sensibly
At the beginning of the game, you really don't need to worry too much about the best builds for your squad of starting characters, so don't get too connected to any of the Relics or Light Cones you unlock; we promise you will get better ones later, and won't waste anything. Early on it's best to just focus on the core concepts of the game, so get a grasp on the concepts of How to Level Up Characters and the way Ascending works. Make sure you equip any Light Cones or Relics you unlock, and level those up too. Make sure you're upgrading all of your favourite characters evenly, but try to focus on three or four in these early stages and don't bite off more than you can chew. There'll be plenty of time to build an unstoppable squad much later on.
Warp the Right Way
The most important currency in Honkai: Star Rail, and the resource you should be most careful with as a beginner, is Stellar Jade. This essential currency can be used to purchase all kinds of items in the game, but is best spent on Star Rail Special Passes on limited-time banners. Do not spend Stellar Jade on Fuel for Trailblaze Power or Star Rail Passes for the Departure Warp or Stellar Warp. This is because the former replenishes over time and the latter has no time restriction. You will unlock Star Rail Passes just by playing the game organically, and you should initially spend these on the Departure Warp, which guarantees a 5-star character within 50 pulls. Beyond this, only ever use Stellar Jade to buy Star Rail Special Passes, which can be used on limited-time banners for new characters and Light Cones.
Use Operation Briefings As a Guide
If you're not sure what you're doing or the best way to progress next in Honkai: Star Rail, then the game has a built-in guide known as Operation Briefings. These are arranged into nine different chapters, and will help gradually introduce you to the various concepts of the game. Fulfilling the conditions of these will, of course, unlock a veritable array of rewards, which you can then reinvest into further strengthening your team and improving their overall combat capabilities.
Begin to Learn the Types of Resources
While you shouldn't worry too much about which resources you need and why, it's a good idea to start to get a feel for the various currencies and how they're utilised. For example, Calyxes exist to help you earn Trace Materials, while Stagnant Shadows are mainly used for Character Ascension materials. Often, the game will tell you exactly where you can earn certain types of resources, so it's not as complicated as it may initially seem. And, because most of these activities cost Trailblaze Power, as you begin to build your understanding you'll slowly begin to learn how to make the most of this precious commodity. But don't worry about it too much in the early stages: just focus on what's fun and gradually building up your starting team of characters.
Settle into the Daily Cycle
Honkai: Star Rail is a live service game that does demand some degree of daily repetition. For example, once unlocked, you'll want to complete your Daily Training every day, as this rewards you with Trailblaze EXP and Stellar Jade. As discussed above, you'll also want to think about how to expend your Trailblaze Power, as this recharges while you're not playing so it's best to use it up while you're logged in. There are other tasks on a weekly timer, too, like the Simulated Universe. Don't get stressed about all the activities, anything you do will reward you with progress, but start to understand how everything works and begin to ease yourself into a cycle that will allow you to progress as much as possible.
Find Your Own Rhythm and Playstyle
While it may seem quite intimidating, you can't really make a mistake in Honkai: Star Rail as long as you heed our Stellar Jade advice, and only spend it on limited-time banners. Relics and Light Cones can be replaced, resources can be replenished, and new characters are being added all the time. Focus on completing the story, upgrading your squad, and earning a stockpile of resources. The more you play, the more it'll make sense, and you'll begin to find your own rhythm and playstyle. Remember, you can always refer to our Honkai: Star Rail guide for more specific suggestions.