Honkai Star Rail tier list – best characters January 2024

Who is on the Honkai Star Rail tier list? Judging the best Star Rail characters can be tricky. Not only is your roster subject to the whims of HoYoverse’s infamous gacha mechanics, but each character’s abilities are so varied that it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Lucky for you, we’ve put each character through their paces to provide you with the definitive Honkai Star Rail tier list.

When choosing the best Honkai Star Rail characters for our tier list, we’ve taken great care to evaluate how each character excels in a variety of situations, including battling through story quests, boss challenges, and game modes. It should also go without saying that this tier list goes hand in hand with our Honkai Star Rail builds. Of course, with more Honkai Star Rail banners on the horizon, you might want to check out the latest Honkai Star Rail codes to net some free Warps while you’re here. That said, here are our expert tier list rankings for the best Honkai Star Rail characters in the free PC game following the second phase of the 1.5 update.

Honkai Star Rail tier list

Here’s the latest Honkai Star Rail tier list for January 2024:

Tier Characters
S Argenti, Bronya, Fu Xuan, Huohuo, Imbibitor Lunae, Jingliu, Luocha, Seele, Silver Wolf, Tingyun
A Bailu, Blade, Gepard, Hanya, Jing Yuan, Kafka, Lynx, Pela, Topaz & Numby, Welt, Yukong
B Asta, Clara, Guinaifen, Luka, Natasha, Yanqing
C Himeko, March 7th, Qingque, Sampo, Sushang, Trailblazer (Fire)
D Arlan, Dan Heng, Herta, Hook, Serval, Trailblazer (Physical)

S-tier Honkai Star Rail characters

Here are the S-tier Honkai Star Rail characters.

Argenti

Argent is an astonishingly powerful multi-target DPS unit with a simple kit that requires very little finesse. Everything is in service to his game-changing ultimate: an AoE burst that can be triggered at full-cost or half-cost. As you might expect, the half-cost damage output isn’t a show-stopper, but a full stack delivers devastating burst damage to all enemies. It’s also accompanied by six random single-target follow-up attacks.

As impressive as this may be, it does come at an exorbitantly high energy cost. Thankfully, the majority of his kit outside his ultimate is geared towards energy regeneration, and his talent allows him to stack crit rate while performing basic attacks. However, Argenti’s overwhelming reliance on his ultimate as the driving force behind his damage output means that he can often stall during energy downtime. We recommend keeping a half-stack of Argenti’s ultimate available at all times so you can call upon that higher echelon of damage whenever needed. Argenti obviously benefits from Tingyun’s ability to regenerate energy, but the synergy he has with Huohuo makes her a must-have pick.

Bronya, one of the best characters on our Honkai Star Rail tier list, reprimands an unseen Belobog guard in the barracks of the Fragmentum.

Bronya

Bronya is an incredibly powerful support character who has the unique ability to place the turn order directly in your hands with her Combat Redeployment skill, which causes a targeted ally to take their turn immediately after her. This dedicated single-target support ability is enhanced further with a built-in damage boost and debuff dispel. If you’re short on skill points, don’t fret – even Bronya’s basic attack advances her next action forward so you can get her back to form as fast as possible. Unsurprisingly, Bronya pairs extremely well with Seele and in team compositions that are designed to support a single character since she can get them back on the field in record time. For more tips, check out our best Honkai Star Rail Bronya build.

Fu Xuan

Fu Xuan is an exceptional defensive tank, thanks to a combination of her skill and talent. Her Matrix of Presience redirects over half of all damage taken to herself over the course of three turns. While Fu Xuan might appear delicate, she’s certainly capable of soaking up all that damage; not only does she boast a massive health pool, but she’s also granted further protection by her talent, which applies teamwide damage reduction. Fu Xuan ultimate is an offensive burst of AoE damage that scales off her health, dealing a percentage of her max HP stat to enemies – and given just how high that’s liable to be, it’s certainly nothing to sniff at when coming from a defensive unit. To top her off, she has a self-heal that triggers whenever she drops below half-health. All in all, Fu Xuan is an excellent tank that pairs well in many team comps, and while she can’t offer much in the way of teamwide healing, you’re still likely to come out of the vast majority of battles unscathed.

Huohuo

Huohuo is a hybrid support that offers a full suite of healing, cleansing, energy regeneration, and more. Her skill provides a two-in-one burst heal and debuff cleanse to a single ally, with allies adjacent to her target also receiving a supplementary health boost. Huohuo also delivers supplementary passive healing thanks to her Ethereal Metaflow talent, which activates her Divine Provision state whenever she uses her skill – though it’s important to bear in mind that this procs when allies are taking their turn or performing their ultimate, rather than a direct response to their health falling below a certain percentage like Luocha. Finally, Huohuo’s own ultimate bestows energy regeneration and applies a damage buff to all teammates, though it does come at a high energy cost in itself. Despite these few caveats, Huohuo is certainly up there with Luocha as one of the best healers in Honkai Star Rail, and the sheer diversification of her kit makes her a good fit for most teams.

Imbibitor Lunae

Imbibitor Lunae is a staggeringly powerful DPS unit that outclasses both Seele and Blade in a hypercarry composition. However, his main drawback is the level of investment you have to put into units that can carry him well. He demands careful skill and team management to maximize his damage output, which hinges on buffing his basic attack via his skill. He can do this up to a maximum of three times, moving from single to multi-target at higher levels. Naturally, you want to ensure that he’s dishing out the most damage possible per attack, which makes him an enormously skill-hungry unit and liable to stall if you pair him with other characters that rely on their skill to perform at their best. However, as long as you pair him with skill-positive units like Luocha, Yukong, or Tingyun, you’re sure to have an unstoppable powerhouse on your hands.

Jingliu, one of the best characters on our Honkai Star Rail tier list, holds a snowflake in the palm of her hand.

Jingliu

Jingliu is a fantastic primary damage dealer who can comfortably slot into almost any team comp. Her kit revolves around accruing stacks of Syzygy to activate and maintain her Spectral Transmigration state, which transforms her single-target skill into an AoE blast that costs zero skill points to execute. Jingliu’s attacks also siphon the max HP from her allies while in the Spectral Transmigration state, which is then used to bolster her damage output even further. This built-in lifesteal mechanic makes Jingliu a great partner for units that revolve around HP sacrifice, such as Blade, since it’s possible to trigger those passive effects ahead of their turn. Jingliu’s low skill point consumption also synergizes with more point-hungry units like Bronya, who can ensure that Jingliu is on the field as much as possible while also providing hypercarry buffs. All in all Jingliu’s sheer versatility and ability to maintain a high damage output with little assistance puts her at the top of our Honkai Star Rail tier list.

Luocha

Luocha’s defining feature is the passive healing provided by his Abyss Flower skill, which automatically triggers as soon as an ally’s health drops below 50% and doesn’t consume a skill point. This gives Luocha more freedom than any other healing unit in Honkai Star Rail; instead of dedicating his every action to topping up health bars, you can let him get a taste of the action, too. Luocha’s offensive capabilities shouldn’t be underestimated either – his healing scales off his attack stat, so his best relics and artifacts are guaranteed to increase his DPS. This results in a highly versatile, well-rounded support unit capable of keeping his teammates alive while also picking off extraneous enemies and inflicting devastating weakness breaks. His ultimate is the final flourish to a solid kit, an AoE burst, and debuff rolled into one.

Seele

Seele is capable of dishing out extraordinary single-target quantum damage, which is impressive enough in its own right, but it’s her Resurgence talent that really steals the show and places her firmly near the top of the Honkai Star Rail tier list. Defeating an enemy grants Seele an extra action, this time with an increased damage buff. As a result, Seele excels at tearing through waves of enemies in record time, especially when paired with the speed bonus granted by her skill. Seele’s additional actions also have the welcome side-effect of quickly replenishing your skill points so you can maximize the performance of your other characters once Seele finally slides back into rotation. If you prefer turn-based games where every turn is your own, then Seele is the one for you. Check out our best Honkai Star Rail Seele build to get her performing at her best.

Silver Wolf

Silver Wolf is a single-target support debuffer that pairs exceptionally well with single-target offensive units. Her signature skill applies an additional Weakness to enemies selected from the pool of elemental types that comprise her team, creating synergy where none currently exists. You can manipulate the odds of applying a specific Weakness by packing your team with multiple units of the same element, making dual-element teams more viable than ever before; there’s even the possibility of transitioning to a complete Quantum mono team once Xu Fuan enters the roster. Until then, her kit shines alongside Fire, Lightning, or Ice units, and the abundance of stat reduction debuffs on offer, thanks to her talent and ult allows her to comfortably shred through enemies in her own right. All in all, pulling Silver Wolf is a fantastic opportunity to correct a flagging team comp and puts the Weakness Break mechanic in the palm of your hand.

Tingyun

Tingyun is one of the best four-star characters available in Honkai Star Rail due to the staggering amount of support she alone can bring to a team. Instead of health or shields, Tingyun’s skill bestows an attack boost on a single target, applying the percentage of her own attack stat to an ally. Not only that, her ultimate replenishes the energy of your chosen character, which is a boon when pairing her with characters like Gepard, whose defining ability is attached to their ultimate. If that wasn’t enough, Tingyun also sports one of the best techniques in the RPG game, allowing her to replenish her own energy reserves outside of combat. Tingyun is an ideal unit when crafting teams around a single character, such as Seele, but you might find her spot is better taken up by someone who can deal out more damage than she can buff. That said, here’s the best Honkai Star Rail Tingyun build to turn this foxy lady into a bona fide buff bank.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Bailu, a cutesy young girl with a flowing purple braid and horns, pulls down her lower eyelid and sticks her tongue out at the viewer.

A-tier Honkai Star Rail characters

Here are the A-tier Honkai Star Rail characters.

Bailu

If you’re looking for a reliable healer, then you simply can’t get any better than Bailu. The High Elder of the Vidyadhara is the only character on the Honkai Star Rail tier list who is capable of reviving teammates in combat. What’s more, the power is triggered passively via her talent, so you don’t even have to spend a skill point to revive anyone. Bailu’s healing capabilities easily outstrip Natasha’s, but she doesn’t just replenish your characters’ existing health pools – she also extends them. This overheal effect is entirely unique to Bailu and can be considered a shield in its own right since it ultimately offers the same degree of protection. If you’re looking for a support unit that’s capable of keeping everyone on their feet no matter the situation, it really doesn’t get any better than Bailu. Here’s the best Honkai Star Rail Bailu build at your disposal.

Blade

Blade can deploy a devastating amount of damage to a single target, as well as dishing out bonus AoE attacks that can tear through a full line-up of additional enemies with ease. He’s also an incredibly robust unit overall, which more than justifies the health consumption required to make use of his abilities. While this type of sacrificial kit usually requires at least one solid support unit to keep it ticking over, Blade has a heal bundled into both his talent and ultimate. However, Blade’s damage buffs aren’t tied to his current HP value, leaving you free to replenish his health if needed. Unsurprisingly, Blade performs best when paired with a healer to keep him on his feet during long fights, whereas shields will actively hamper his damage ramp. Our Honkai Star Rail Blade build is guaranteed to get him performing at his best.

Gepard, a high-ranking character on our Honkai Star Rail tier list.

Gepard

Gepard is a stalwart knight of the Silvermane Guard, so it should come as no surprise that he’s a dependable defensive unit, hence his placement on the Honkai Star Rail tier list. He can apply shields to all characters via his ultimate, which leads us to his primary drawback. Given that Gepard’s core ability is tied to his ultimate, his value hinges almost entirely on your energy replenishment. His technique certainly goes some way to mitigate it by granting you the opportunity to apply shields across the team ahead of combat, but this still doesn’t do much good during long boss fights. Tingyun can certainly help in this regard, but without her, you’ll be relying on Gepard’s skill for energy recharge, which means juggling skill points to the detriment of your damage dealers. However, there’s no denying that he’s a robust unit – he can even revive himself when knocked down once per battle.

Hanya

The buffer and debuffer roles collide in Hanya. Unlike most buffers that bestow immediate benefits upon their allies, Hanya inflicts Burden upon enemies via her skill: a unique debuff that grants a two-turn damage bonus to all characters who deal damage to the affected target, along with the opportunity to restore a skill point every second time a unit takes action against them.

As you might expect, Hanya is a fantastic pick alongside skill-hungry characters like Imbibitor Lunae and Jing Yuan. She’s also an excellent complement to Qingque, making the tile-flipping damage dealer more viable than ever. Hanya’s robust support capabilities come to a head with her ultimate, which provides a temporary boost to attack percentage and speed. All in all, she’s a versatile support unit that offsets the skill point deficit endemic to many hypercarry team comps.

Jing Yuan, the AoE Lightning DPS unit that sits at the top of our Honkai Star Rail tier list, smiles enigmatically as his silver hair falls in his face.

Jing Yuan

Jing Yuan bucks the trend of Honkai Star Rail’s affinity for single-target damage dealers with a kit that’s packed with area-of-effect attacks. All of his abilities revolve around his Prana Extirpated talent, which automatically summons Lightning-Lord at the start of combat. While the strength of this powerful lightning spirit scales to Jing Yuan’s stats, it attacks separately from Jing Yuan altogether, performing multiple AoE attacks over the course of a single action. This forms the basis of Jing Yuan’s extraordinary AoE burst damage, though the number of hits may only be increased by Jing Yuan’s own skills. Consequently, Jing Yuan flies as part of a hypercarry team that’s built to facilitate his speed and damage but can easily stall in less refined compositions.

Kafka

Kafka is a staggeringly potent DoT specialist – but don’t be put off if you’re not a fan of juggling damage stacks. Kafka kicks DoT teams into overdrive via her skill, which detonates stacks in one blow. Of course, when she’s not detonating DoTs, she’s applying them. This is best achieved via her Ultimate, a robust AoE that applies two stacks of Lightning DoT, which comes with an added burst of damage that’s almost triple her attack stat. Unsurprisingly, Kafka synergizes extremely well with other DoT units such as Blade, Sampo, and Luka. She also requires a ton of speed, which makes Asta indispensable if you’re looking to make the most out of Kafka’s kit. She might demand a high level of investment in her stats, team comp, and eidolons, but if you’re willing to devote yourself to this alluring Stellaron Hunter, you’ll have an explosive rotation on your hands that can only get better as more DoT units are introduced to the roster. Take a look at our best Honkai Star Rail Kafka build for a real shock.

Lynx

Lynx is all about survivability, and she proves that by going one step further than the average healer by increasing the health pools of her allies via the Survival Response buff bundled into her restorative skill. If you’re partial to Destruction or Preservation tank units in your team comp, you’ll really feel the benefit from this buff, since it redirects aggro onto her chosen target for two turns – along with continuous healing thanks to her talent. As you might expect from a dedicated healer, Lynx’s ultimate consists of a powerful AoE burst heal, along with a teamwide cleanse that’s great for countering debilitating crowd control effects that can throw off your rotation. Overall, Lynx is a straightforward healer who slots into most team comps, though she flies when paired with the likes of Blade or Clara.

Pela, one of the characters on our Honkai Star Rail tier list, nervously adjusts her large jam-jar glasses as she converses in the desolate, snowy plains outside of Belobog.

Pela

Pela is a dedicated debuffer, which makes her a boon against more complex enemies and bosses that utilize buffs that can quickly change the course of a battle. However, what sets her apart from the other situational units on this list is her defense reduction, making her an excellent support for the heavy hitters in most team compositions. While this highly useful debuff is tied to her ultimate, she has less chance to stall in her rotation thanks to the energy buff from her talent. It also extends to her talent as well, so you can inflict that damage reduction before a battle even starts. She also dishes out a respectable amount of Ice damage between debuffs, placing her in an excellent position to finish off vulnerable foes.

Topaz & Numby

A powerful debuffer, Topaz & Numby’s skill applies a Proof of Debt debuff to enemies, leaving them susceptible to the damage they receive from follow-up attacks – a core component of their rotation, given that their kit consists entirely of follow-up attacks. While Topaz lays down cover fire, Numby is a battlefield summon that inflicts follow-up attacks upon marked enemies. Topaz & Numby can be a great support, but there’s no denying they’re a complex unit, and they can easily be held back if you don’t have the team comp for a hypercarry. However, it certainly helps that they’re not a skill-hungry damage dealer, leaving more breathing room for the rest of your team to support them. In particular, Topaz & Numby benefit from buffers like Asta and Tingyun to elevate their speed and elemental damage output.

Welt

Welt is a highly versatile debuffer that’s capable of holding his own when required. The core of his kit comes from his inordinately high chance to apply slow to enemies, delaying their turn and allowing your teammates to squeeze in an extra hit instead. Welt’s skill deals damage up to three separate times, making him excellent against large foes that take up most of the battlefield, as well as picking off weaker enemies that serve as back-up. He also inflicts bonus damage on slowed enemies, thanks to his talent. This isn’t restricted to any particular ability in his kit, so you can fall back on Welt’s basic attack to replenish skill points without losing momentum.

However, the jewel in Welt’s crown is his ability to inflict Imprisonment on enemies on demand via his ultimate – a powerful turn delay debuff that usually requires an Imaginary weakness break. All in all, Welt is a powerful unit that can seamlessly switch between team roles when required, and he’s a great companion to speed-dependant units like Imbibitor Lunae and Seele. Our best Honkai Star Rail Welt build will serve you well if you’ve just pulled this mysterious, universe-hopping traveler.

Yukong

Yukong is a powerful sub-DPS support unit, but she’s surprisingly tough to master. Her skill applies two stacks of Roaring Bowstrings to Yukong, which extends an attack buff across the entirety of her team. The major caveat here is that Yukong loses a stack every time an ally ends their turn, so it’s vital to be aware of your turn order and take advantage of sneaking in extra damage with ultimates, follow-up attacks, and DoTs. Her ultimate extends this attack buff to crit rate and damage – though, again, this only occurs if Roaring Bowstrings is in effect.

Yukong and Yanqing make the perfect pairing, but she’s an excellent support unit for any main DPS that benefits from crit boosts. Her own damage output is respectable, and Yukong is primed to be a mainstay unit in a mono Imaginary team in the future. Yukong has incredible potential to carry a team to victory, but her high learning curve holds her back from topping this tier list. Thankfully, our Honkai Star Rail Yukong build is here to help you wrap your head around her kit.

Asta, one of the many characters that appear on our Honkai Star Rail tier list, smiles brightly at the viewer as she swings her staff to performs her ultimate.

B-tier Honkai Star Rail characters

Here are the B-tier Honkai Star Rail characters.

Asta

If you feel the need for speed, then Asta will be a mainstay on your team. The speed stat of characters dictates which orders allies and enemies take their actions in battle, so having the opportunity to manipulate that order is a huge benefit. Asta’s ultimate bestows a hefty speed boost to your entire team that sticks around for two full turns. Her talent also applies an attack buff to allies dependent upon how many characters she hits, which compliments the splash damage bombardment effect attached to her skill. Her damage output isn’t much to sniff at on its own, but when paired with the right team composition and Light Cone she can become one of the strongest fire-oriented characters in the roster, which helps her position on the Honkai Star Rail tier list. Here’s the best Honkai Star Rail Asta build if you fancy turning her into a real speed demon.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Clara, a young girl dressed in an oversized red jacket, looks towards the viewer in horror with tears in her eyes, embers flying around her.

Clara

While Clara may appear weak at first glance, she actually comes as one of a pair. The crux of her kit revolves around baiting enemies into attacking her, only to receive a devastating counter-attack from her robot guardian, Svarog. To facilitate this, Clara is one of the tankiest units in the turn-based game, and she also draws the ire of enemies away from the squishier characters on your team. However, to keep her on her feet, it’s imperative that you pair her with a healer or support character. Outside of Clara’s counter mechanic, she can also deal out area-of-effect damage with both her skill and ultimate, leaving the single-target DPS on your team to serve as the clean-up crew. Take a look at our best Honkai Star Rail Clara build to put Mr. Svarog to work.

Guinaifen

Guinaifen’s kit is straightforward but no less devastating, applying Burn DoTs for an explosive ultimate finale. Her talent applies the Firekiss damage vulnerability debuff to an enemy whenever they receive Burn damage, causing them to take up to 21% additional damage. This applies regardless of who inflicts the Burn, making Guinaifen an excellent unit to pair with Asta or Kafka. Naturally, Guinaifen excels at applying AoE Burn to targets via both her basic attack and skill. This kit versatility means Guinaifen synergizes well with more skill-hungry units that can drive damage while she plays to her strengths as a dedicated support that can also bring the pain. Her ultimate does just that, delivering an extraordinary amount of burst damage to all enemies while detonating Burn DoTs simultaneously. Guinaifen is an extremely versatile and F2P-friendly support unit, and while she won’t be topping damage charts, she’s well worth the investment.

Luka

Luka is a single-target debuffer that specializes in applying Bleed and Break effects to shred enemies over the space of a few turns. It’s worth bearing in mind that his skill’s Bleed DoT is capped at Luka’s own attack stat, but it’s possible to improve that percentage by leveling up his Traces – so if you’re looking to shave off larger health pools, you should absolutely prioritize those materials. Luka’s talent serves as the core component of his kit, which allows him to accrue one stack of Fighting Will whenever he uses his basic attack or skill. These stacks can then be consumed to dish out an enhanced basic attack, which procs the Bleed effect on any enemy in an instant. Like most DoT units in Honkai Star Rail, Luka pairs exceptionally well with Kafka in a DoT-driven team comp. However, his kit has enough utility to be beneficial as a sub-DPS support unit in other team comps as well. However, his Bleed damage cap and single-target specialization make him less useful against swarms of enemies.

Natasha

If you don’t have shield support, then Natasha will be your go-to primary support healer, especially in the early game. Not only is she one of the few healers available, but her talent scales her outgoing healing against the health of your allies, meaning she increases in value the more your team is in dire straits. As a dedicated healer, it should come as no surprise that Natasha’s damage output is highly underwhelming. What’s more, her healing ability is tied to her skill and ultimate, so you may run into skill point management issues if you include her in a team of characters who rely on their own skills to perform at their best. However, if you can achieve that balance, then you’ll find that Natasha is a reliable support unit that can keep everyone on their feet during grueling, lengthy boss battles. Here’s our best Honkai Star Rail Natasha build to see you through.

Yanqing, one of the top performers on our Honkai Star Rail tier list, dashes in front of the camera with a bright smile, his sword held aloft behind him.

Yanqing

Yanqing is yet another single-target damage dealer, though he relies on his crit rate to deal a high amount of burst damage via his ultimate. His Soulsteel sync is activated each time he uses his skill, which applies a buff to his crit rate and damage. If that weren’t enough, his talent grants him a 50/50 chance to deliver a follow-up attack immediately after his attack, with a high chance to freeze the target. Yanqing’s major drawback is that he loses his buffed state once he takes damage, so it’s vital you protect him at all costs. While Soulsteel Sync does reduce the chance for him to be hit while active, we recommend pairing Yanqing with a taunt unit to avoid a stall in his rotation. Yanqing may be small, but he’s certainly mighty, especially when kitted out with our best Honkai Star Rail Yanqing build.

C-tier Honkai Star Rail characters

Here are the C-tier Honkai Star Rail characters.

Himeko

Himeko thrives on teams that prioritize breaking the weaknesses of enemies thanks to her talent, which triggers an automatic follow-up attack that inflicts damage on all enemies. She has exceptional synergy with Herta as a result since their follow-up attacks can trigger one another in tandem, tearing through swathes of enemies in a matter of moments – if you’re farming for materials or running dailies, look no further than this pair. However, while Himeko inflicts a decent amount of damage, her kit falls short of other five-star characters due to its relative simplicity, and even that coveted follow-up attack is beholden to the number of Charge points she can accrue per turn. If you can’t conceal your desire to control the heavens, then choose our best Honkai Star Rail Himeko build.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: March 7th is taking a photograph with her teal camera.

March 7th

March 7th is one of the earliest characters you acquire on your journey, but don’t let her cheerful disposition fool you – she’s a solid defensive unit, applying shields to your characters that also double as a built-in taunt when applied to allies above 30% health. This skill synergizes well with her talent, which allows her to deliver a follow-up attack to enemies that attack shielded allies up to two times a turn. Not only is this an excellent way to quickly and passively generate energy for her ultimate, it’s also a strategic way of picking off smaller enemies without wasting turns. March 7th is an exceptional character in the early game, which certainly helps her placement on the Honkai Star Rail tier list, but she’s outclassed by the likes of Gepard and other characters that have more scope in their kit. The best Honkai Star Rail March 7th build should be your next stop

Qingque

Qingque is a single-target damage-dealing unit with a clever gimmick, bringing gacha to the battlefield with a kit that heavily relies on tile-flipping RNG. You can increase Qingque’s probability chance by pairing her with Bronya and ensure that she’s hitting like a truck with Tingyun – but of course, that requires both pulling and building them, which is a tall order for a four-star character. Her skill also has the added bonus of stacking the damage buff she receives from it until the end of the turn while simultaneously extending that turn upon use. You might see some similarities between Qingque and Arlan, but we’ve placed her higher due to her stackable damage and her capacity to ramp with extraordinary speed when paired with the right characters. However, there’s no getting around the fact that Qingque’s kit is a gamble by design, and we can’t justify placing her higher than other damage-dealing Quantum units like Seele and Silver Wolf.

Sampo, a character that appears on our Honkai Star Rail tier list, smiles at the viewer in a picture of innocence, his navy blue bangs falling over his forehead.

Sampo

Sampo stands as a counterpart to Dan Heng, with a kit that strikes the balance between single and multi-target attacks. His ultimate increases the target’s damage taken over time by 20% for a couple of turns, so it should come as no surprise that he pairs exceedingly well with teammates that inflict Burn or Shock effects. Thankfully, you don’t have to give up a slot on your team to feel its benefit, since Sampo’s Wind Shear talent has a chance to passively trigger and inflict Wind damage over time, with the potential to stack up to five times. While Sampo can definitely hold his own, it’s his overreliance on teammates that hold him back, and his low defense makes him a vulnerable target when going up against bosses. To get him performing at his best, check out our best Honkai Star Rail Sampo build.

Sushang

If you’re looking for an alternative to Seele, then Sushang is your best bet. Not only are you more likely to pull her from banners, Sushang excels in her role as a single-target breaker that comes with a number of powerful attack and speed buffs built into her kit. While her devastating Sword Stance has a chance to trigger any time she uses her skill, it automatically triggers when causing a weakness break – which also grants her the opportunity to attack again while your foe is vulnerable. Sushang is a sturdy DPS unit, especially if you’re looking for a unit that inflicts a punishing amount of Physical damage, but she’s undeniably outpaced by her scythe-wielding counterpart, Seele.

D-tier Honkai Star Rail characters

Here are the D-tier Honkai Star Rail characters.

Arlan

Arlan is a single-target DPS unit with a unique kit that is as fun as it is suboptimal, sacrificing health for bonus damage. His damage output scales to his HP thanks to his passive: the closer he is to death, the more damage he dishes out. His kit also boasts a Skill that doesn’t actually require skill points to use; instead, Arlan consumes 15% of his max HP to deliver a colossal blow that amounts to 120% of his Attack stat to a single target, exceeding the average damage dealt by most skills from other characters. There’s no denying that Arlan’s kit is a suite of fun, gimmicky abilities, but altogether, he becomes a little too high risk, high reward for comfort – particularly when compared to his fellow Lightning users, who all offer a reliable damage output. While all characters require some degree of support regardless of team comp, Arlan limits your compositional choice to a healing-oriented support user over shieldbearers.

Dan Heng

Dan Heng is a dedicated single-target damage dealer and one of the few characters that use the wind element. Consequently, he’s very useful in Simulated Universe, where large swathes of enemies are often susceptible to wind attacks. Dan Heng can reduce the target’s speed upon landing a critical hit with his skill, which increases the damage output of his ultimate – but the dependence on landing that hit relies upon the amount of effort you’re willing to put into kitting him out with Honkai Star Rail Relics that increase his hit chance. He works well in tandem with support-oriented teammates that inflict speed debuffs to facilitate the potency of his ultimate, and he even receives a boost to his elemental effect when targeted by an ally. All that being said, this is a lot of team compositional effort to expend for a character whose performance is often outclassed by other damage dealers at higher levels, hence his middling placement on the Honkai Star Rail tier list. To maximize his potential, let our best Honkai Star Rail Dan Heng build guide you.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Herta, the puppet girl of the Herta Space Station, lies back on pillow as she holds up an X-ray scan that inexplicably contains her memories.

Herta

Herta has always been a bit tricky to place on a tier list, and it’s not just because of her shifting element. Originally a quantum character, she is now of the ice type, which only serves to make her stand out even less compared to other Erudite characters. Her abilities are highly situational and almost exclusively geared toward dishing out AoE damage. However, her talent is what makes things a bit complex, as every time an ally halves that enemy’s health, Herta will launch into a follow-up attack. The effectiveness of this technique depends heavily on who she’s paired with. Even after the update, she still synergizes extremely well with Himeko since their follow-up attack passives can trigger one another repeatedly. However, Herta can easily fall flat in other team compositions, so make sure you read up on the best Honkai Star Rail Herta build to get an idea of her most effective companions.

Hook

Hook finds herself low down on the Honkai Star Rail tier list because she’s just too straightforward to justify using once you get those higher-tier damage dealers with abilities that change the landscape of combat. However, given how straightforward her kit is, Hook’s major strength is her overall versatility. She can plug any gap in Honkai Star Rail team comps that require a single-target damage dealer, especially if you’re going up against enemies weak to fire. You can also get some great mileage out of her burn effect, so if you’re looking to maximize that damage as much as possible, be sure to prioritize her ultimate. Additionally, her talent regenerates five energy when attacking a target afflicted with the burn status effect, so it’s fairly easy to keep her ultimate ticking over using her skill.

Serval

Serval is bottom of the pack on our Honkai Star Rail tier list, strictly because her performance is so heavily dependent upon the enemy encounter, team composition, and Light Cones you have to pair with her. She excels against robots, which makes her incredibly useful in the early game, but her value drops as soon as you pit her against anything that isn’t weak to electricity. Her splash damage is undeniably useful for picking off additional enemies when going up against bosses, and the quick turnaround time on her ult caused by her talent is also helpful for dishing out an effective AoE – even better when receiving an attack boost from the likes of Tingyun. Again, like so many others placing lower in this tier list, her main issue stems from the straightforwardness of her kit, but she still shines during calyx farming or simulated universe runs. To ensure her efficacy, our best Honkai Star Rail Serval build is a must.

That wraps up our Honkai Star Rail tier list following the 1.5 update. Remember to check back often as we get our hands on upcoming characters and provide further details on their effectiveness in battle. If you’re looking to fill out your roster, then be sure to bookmark our guide to farming Honkai Star Rail Stellar Jade. If you’d prefer to take your characters on the go, we’ve got the lowdown on Honkai Star Rail crossplay – though you may need to refresh yourself on the Honkai Star Rail download process while you’re at it. Finally, kick back with our Honkai Star Rail review, to find out how we got on in HoYoverse’s latest gacha game.

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