Honkai: Star Rail follows the turn-based RPG gameplay model which is similar to classic JRPGs like the Final Fantasy series. The game is divided into two modes: overworld and battle. During the overworld mode, you explore the map and encounter enemy groups, and once you engage them, you will enter the battle mode where you have to defeat them in turn-based combat.

Honkai Star Rail Exploration

Gamers have the freedom to wander and investigate diverse sections of the Honkai: Star Rail areas, in search of valuable chests, adversaries, puzzles, and other surprises. Nonetheless, each region constitutes an autonomous domain, requiring a loading screen to transit from one zone to another.

Underworld Beta Screenshot
Honkai Star Rail

While embarking on your adventure, you will designate a sole member from the four-person crew as your active character. The active character is the one visible on the screen that you manage. You have the flexibility to switch between active characters anytime when you are not engaged in combat.

How to initiate battles

Beyond the urban regions, adversaries will be wandering around the terrain, ready to become hostile and pursue you when you come near them.

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Turn based combat

If you want to engage in a fight while exploring, simply move towards an enemy and trigger your Basic Attack capability.

Certain Characters possess a Technique skill that can serve as a means to trigger a battle, and when employed for this purpose, it will prompt the Character to launch a unique attack at the beginning of the confrontation. However, using a Character's Technique ability to commence a fight will deplete a Technique charge. You are capable of stocking up to 4 (3 initially) Technique charges, and to replenish them, you can break purple receptacles in the terrain. Breaking one of these containers will recover 2 Technique charges. You can typically discover these containers close to teleportation spots (e.g., Space Anchors and Calyx entrances) that are situated beyond the city areas.

You can also trigger a battle if an adversary that is pursuing you catches up. If you fail to strike them with your Basic Attack or Technique skill before they reach you, you will be drawn into a confrontation under the "Ambushed" condition. Under this circumstance, the enemy will gain the first turn before you can act.

Honkai Star Rail Combat System

Honkai: Star Rail features a combat system inspired by the JRPG genre, which is turn-based. You create a team composed of four Characters and bring them into battle. During combat, Characters and foes will execute actions in a fixed sequence that hinges on their Speed attribute. Moreover, the Speed attribute governs the duration of time before they can act once more.


While exploring the terrain, striking the roaming foes or being caught by them will trigger a battle sequence. The outcome of the fight may favor either your team or the enemy, depending on how it was instigated.

Star Rail
Honkai Star Rail characters

If you begin the confrontation by launching an attack with either the Basic Attack or Technique ability, the battle will ensue as usual. However, if the attribute of the operative character that initiates the fight corresponds to the weakness of the enemy, the enemy will begin the battle under the "Weakness" condition. Starting a battle in this state will lower the enemy's Toughness meter, facilitating the process of Weakness Break. In essence, this will make it easier for your team to inflict damage on the enemy.

On the other hand, if a foe catches up to you, and you cannot land an attack using the Basic Attack or Technique ability before they reach you, you will enter the "Ambushed" state when the fight begins. In this state, the enemy will have the first turn.

For additional information regarding enemy elemental weaknesses and Weakness Break, refer to the "Enemies" section located below.

Player Actions

During a Character’s turn, they are able to take one of the following actions:

  • Use Basic Attack ability
  • Use Skill ability
    • Using a Skill ability consumes Skill Point(s).
    • Skills Points can be generated primarily by using the Battle Attack ability.
    • You can hold up to a maximum of 5 Skill Points and they are shared between the whole team.
    • You cannot activate a Skill ability if you do not have any Skill Points.
  • Use Ultimate ability if it is fully charged
    • Using an Ultimate ability during the Character’s turn does not end that Character’s turn. The Character will use the Ultimate ability immediately, then you will be able to select another action for them to use.
    • Ultimate abilities can also be used when it is not currently the Character’s turn. If used in such a way, then the Character will immediately activate their Ultimate ability after the current turn ends. This allows you to interrupt the normal turn order flow. Multiple Ultimates can also be chained in this way which can lead to very explosive out of turn damage.
    • Ultimate abilities cost a certain amount of Energy to activate. Energy can be gained via the following actions:
      • Using Basic Attack ability
      • Using Skill ability
      • Using Ultimate ability
      • Defeating enemies
      • Characters and Light Cones effects
    • The amount of Energy gained from each of the actions listed above can be increased by increasing the Character’s Energy Restoration Rate stat.


Enemies in Honkai: Star Rail possess two distinct meters that gauge their durability: HP and Toughness.

Honkai Star Rail Characters Skills
Having a character that counters enemies weakness is vital.

The HP meter is indicated by the red bar and represents the amount of damage that they can sustain before being defeated in combat. The HP bar decreases every time the unit receives damage.

In contrast, the Toughness meter (the white bar) can only be reduced by attacks that utilize the elements that the enemy is vulnerable to.

The Weakness Break for each element are as follows:

  • Physical - Bleed
    • Deals additional physical damage and apply the Bleed effect (Physical DoT)
  • Fire - Burn
    • Deals additional fire damage and apply the Burn effect (Fire DoT)
  • Ice - Frozen
    • Freezes the enemy, preventing it from taking any actions and apply an Ice DoT
  • Lightning - Shock
    • Deals additional lightning damage and apply the Shock effect (Lightning DoT)
  • Wind - Wind Shear
    • Deals additional wind damage and apply the Wind Shear effect (Wind DoT)
  • Quantum - Entanglement
    • Applies the Entanglement effect (Pushes the enemy back in the turn order and dealing Quantum DoT)
  • Imaginary - Imprisonment
    • Applies the Imprisonment effect (Pushes the enemy back in the turn order and reduces the enemy’s Speed)

When an adversary is broken, its Toughness will stay at 0, and additional strikes of an element to which the enemy is vulnerable will have no further consequences. A broken enemy will return to its normal state on its next turn. Its Toughness will be completely restored, and it can be Weakness Broken once more.

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