Here is our complete Honkai: Star Rail tier list, rating every character in the game. We also have summaries for each one, explaining their rating.
Honkai Star Rail has released 23 playable characters during the 2nd beta. Some of them are 5-Stars characters, while others are 4-Stars.
You will get a free 5-Star main character (Trailblazer) and some free characters such as Dan Heng, March 7, Herta, and Asta. There is also Natasha, which you can get for free in the 2nd close beta, who acts as a healer. As well as Serval, who acts as your AoE attacker.
How good is each character in Honkai Star Rail? This guide will break down all 23 playable characters and why they stand in that tier list rank.
Interested in more tier lists? Check out our Tower of Fantasy tier list guide for the best characters and weapons in the game.
Honkai Star Rail Paths
In Honkai Star Rail, each character has their own path. The path plays a role in determining what each character would do during the battle. Some act as the main DPS, Sub DPS, support, and many more.
Here are all seven paths that exist in the current Honkai Star Rail gameplay.
The Destruction path is the all-rounder character that will act as the damage dealer. The characters on this path are Arlan, Blade, Clara, Hook, and Trailblazer.
You probably want to consider having at least one character of The Hunt, because they are your single target main DPS. They can dish out big damage if you build them properly. The characters on this path are Dan Heng, Seele, and Sushang.
Unlike The Hunt, which targets a single enemy only, The Erudition is another DPS character that will deal AoE damage to the enemies. The characters on this path are: Herta, Himeko, Jing Yuan, and Serval.
Instead of dealing big damage, The Harmony acts as your team support. They are the character that has the buff skill to help you in the battle. The characters on this path are Asta and Bronya.
The Nihility is the opposite of the Harmony path; they give debuffs to the enemies instead of buffing your team. The characters on this path are Kafka, Pela, Sampo, Silver Wolf, and Welt.
If Destruction, Hunt, and Erudition excel in dealing damage, then The Preservation path excels in increasing Defense for your team. The characters on this path are Gepard and March 7th.
The Abundance is the healer role. Probably the role that you would use when facing harder enemies. The characters on this path are Luocha and Natasha.
Honkai: Star Rail Ratings
Now that you know what each character’s path will do in Honkai: Star Rail, here are the ranking explanations for the tier list.
High tier, with the best of the best characters. The most recommended character that we will suggest if there is a chance that you can try to get them. Their role has the best kit that Honkai: Star Rail can offer right now.
A high potential character with useful skills and roles for your team. Despite it being 1 tier lower than the S Rank, they could still be a great character that would significantly help you progress in the game.
Characters that are still useful, but you would want to consider switching them during the mid-game progress. Despite the fact that they are B tier rank, these characters are still great and will definitely help you during the early game.
C tier ranks are the characters that could be useful, but only after you heavily invest in them. Usually, this is not possible during the early game progression. And even with the huge build investment, their kits or attributes are quite lackluster. Thus, you can consider substituting these characters instead of using them.
Honkai Star Rail Tier List
Here is our Honkai Star Rail tier list. You can filter characters between their Rarity, Path, and Element.
S Tier Characters
Able to advance the turn of 1 character in your team, buff their DMG outcome, and not to mention her ultimate that increases ATK and CRIT DMG for 2 turns, Bronya is one of the best buffers in Honkai: Star Rail right now. Need your main DPS to skip a turn and potentially kill the boss, or in dire need of your healer to heal you? Bronya will be the answer that could change the tide of the battle. This is the reason why Bronya stands in the S tier right now, because she’s the only one that could continuously advance your ally’s turn from the skill and the only one that buffs your entire team’s CRIT DMG.
The Mom in Honkai: Star Rail. The reason Himeko is the S tier character is because of her AoE fire skill mechanics. Himeko’s skill will deliver fire attacks to the adjacent enemies, and her ultimate will dish out big fire damage to all enemies. Not only that, once Himeko fully charge (3 stacks) her passive, which is stackable every time enemy’s weakness is broken, then she will deliver an AoE fire attack to all of the enemies too. Isn’t it lovely to see big damage everywhere while Himeko just casually sips a cup of tea? The reason Himeko stands in the S tier is because of her high AoE damage that comes from her passive and the big AoE damage from her ultimate.
When you use Luocha in your team, you will keep seeing all the healing that Luocha will do automatically for your ally. Oh, your team already passed below the 50% HP mark? Here, let Luocha heals you. Oh, Luocha’s stack already stacked up? Now every time the enemy attacked the ally, your ally will get healed too. Do you see the enemies got buff? With Luocha’s ultimate, he will deal AoE Imaginary attack to all enemies and he will dispel 1 enemy buff. And the best part is, that dispelling the enemy’s buff will also increase Luocha’s stack, thus more healing for your team. Who knows, maybe this time you will be able to beat the boss that always has ATK buff to them thanks to Luocha’s skill. Preventing the death itself because of the healing rate that Luocha give is the reason that Luocha deserves to be on the S tier rank.
The best of the best DPS. What’s better than 1 buff? 2 buffs! Activating Seele’s skill will buff her SPD by 25%, and if she is able to defeat 1 enemy, she’ll gain an additional turn and she’ll gain an additional DMG buff too. Not only that, her ultimate’s damage is actually one of the biggest damage dealers in entire Honkai: Star Rail characters history. Either early game, mid game, or even end game, Seele will definitely hook you once you see her damage numbers. Pair her with Bronya for more damage buff, you will probably see not only 5 digits damage number, but probably even a 6 or 7 digits number. This is why Seele instantly become one of the S tier characters because it will be quite challenging to compete with Seele’s nuke damage.
A Tier Characters
Blade’s skill mechanics are filled with HP depletion penalty. But, do not be fooled by his HP depletion because his AoE Wind attack from his ultimate and from his passive are actually one of the best AoE damage dealers in Honkai: Star Rail. The reason Blade is in A tier instead of S tier is that you need to invest good build on him first before he can finally shine his true potential. And if you can’t make sure Blade will endure the attack from the enemies, or if you are unable to keep up with his survivability despite you already pairing him with the healer, then that is the drawback of entering the battle with Blade. But what makes him not being in the B tier or the C tier is because he can actually dish out big damage while at the same time healing himself, which other characters with the same HP depletion mechanic like Arlan is unable to heal himself. So if you can utilize his skills wisely, Blade is actually a real beast in the combat.
The person that almost kissed you in the story intro. If only he kissed the main character, then it’s an auto S tier list for Dan Heng. But joking aside, Dan Heng’s skill will apply slow debuff, which will enhance his ultimate’s damage to the enemy. If his ally applies their skill on him (heal, buff, etc) then his passive chance to apply Wind RES PEN to the enemy will be higher, thus resulting in higher damage. That is the reason why Dan Heng can also be your trusty main DPS single target unit. Not to mention, since you will get Dan Heng earlier in the story, Dan Heng can help you with your early game progression. This is why Dan Heng also stands in A tier right now.
Your trusty defender. As a sub-dps tank, Gepard’s kit revolves around coating your entire team with his shield and a high chance of freezing one enemy from his skill. His shield only comes from his ultimate, meaning you need to keep recharging energy to make sure Gepard can protect your team from his shield which is scaled on his DEF. Thus, timing and energy management are really important if you want to use Gepard in this team. Near the mid-game and above progression, his shield is actually quite reliable. This is why Gepard also joined the A tier list gang.
Jing Yuan is your AoE lightning DPS character. His skill will deal AoE lightning damage to all enemies, and his ultimate will also deal higher damage of AoE lightning attack to all enemies. What makes Jing Yuan different from other AoE DPS is his passive. Jing Yuan will also have the Lightning Lord, which will also deal with additional attacks on one enemy and additional AoE attacks on adjacent targets. Instead of dealing nuke damage, Jing Yuan is your bursty spam AoE DPS character. You can’t underestimate Jing Yuan’s AoE damage outcome, because it’s actually quite satisfying to see a lot of numbers everywhere from Jing Yuan’s attack. That is why, Jing Yuan is also part of the A-tier list team.
If the majority of the characters act as straight DPS or Sub DPS or support characters, Kafka’s role can act as a DOTer character. From her ultimate, she will deliver shock debuff to the enemies, which will deliver lightning DoT or Damage over Time for 3 turns. One thing that makes Kafka unique is every time your ally attacks the enemies who got a shock debuff, Kafka will also do a follow-up attack afterward. But, this passive can only be activated once per turn. Despite her kit revolves around the DoT mechanic, you could also see how effective this DoT is in a battle if you gave her a chance. With that reason, Kafka is also in the A tier list.
Similar to Kafka, Silver Wolf also acts as a DOTer character. But, instead of delivering shock debuff, Silver Wolf deliver entangled debuff instead, delaying the enemy’s action by 40%. If Kafka delivers DoT to all enemies from her ultimate, Silver Wolf’s ultimate only attacks one enemy. What makes Silver Wolf unique is her skill that could impose a random ally’s weakness on the target enemy, making her a good Sub-DPS debuffer. Either reducing the attack by 10% or reducing the defense by 10% or reducing the speed by 10%, those are the important debuff that Silver Wolf could apply to the enemy even from her normal attack only. Thus, you can even potentially have an infinite loop of debuffs on one enemy. She is actually one of the best debuffer that you could get in Honkai: Star Rail right now. And she’s also deserves to be in the A tier list.
Rapid attack, is the description that suits Sushang because her kit revolves around RNG which will make her attack the enemy multiple times. Sushang is a single target physical DPS where her skill will deal big damage to one enemy and ⅓ chance to deal additional physical attack to the enemy. What makes Sushang’s kit very useful is the fact that her ultimate will deal high physical damage to single target, advance her own action so she basically have additional turn, and her chance of triggering additional hit increased again for 2 times. After activating her ultimate, she will also get the attack buff, thus she also deserves to be in the A tier list because of her high single damage outcome.
Welt is your slow debuffer with Imaginary element. With his skill that deals attack to a random target that has ⅔ chance to slow them, and his ultimate that will attack all enemies, which will imprison them, delaying their action by 41% and slow their speed by 15%. In a turn-based game, slowing the enemies could give a significant impact because your team will have more turns compared to your enemies. Giving him enough reason to be included in the A tier list too.
B Tier Characters
Asta is your team ATK and SPD buffer. Her skill delivers “weak” fire damage to the enemy target and additional 4 times to random target enemies, which will increase her stack for every different enemy hit. Her stack will buff the team’s ATK, from 6% and up to 30%. Her ultimate will buff all allies SPD by 45 for 2 turns. This buff is relatively good, but Asta’s stack relies on RNG, thus sometimes you will get a high ATK buff, and sometimes it will be lower. Thus, it’s not really reliable to use Asta’s role to buff your team’s ATK.
Clara acts as the punching bag in your team, literally. Her ultimate will provoke the enemies, a higher chance for the enemies to attack Clara instead of your other allies. With a damage reduction kit and AoE physical attack to all enemies, Clara can act as your tank Sub-DPS. The reason Clara is in B tier despite being a 5 Star character is that you need to invest great build on her so that she can truly shine. And if you don’t have a solid healer, Clara’s ultimate could backfire on you, since Clara doesn’t have the skill to heal herself, only provoking the enemies to attack her.
Kuru Kuru! Every time the enemy’s HP fall below 50%, Herta will deal an AoE ice attack to all enemies. Unfortunately, this damage only deals 25% of Herta’s attack, thus the damage is not that significant. With AoE ice damage to all enemies on both her skill and ultimate, Herta is the character that will attack entire enemies. The reason she’s in B tier is that her damage is not that significant, even in AoE character caliber. Thus, if you really want to use Herta, you really need to invest strong relics into her.
The healer that could boost your early game progress because she could potentially prevent your team’s death. Natasha will heal a single target from her skill and heal all allies from her ultimate. Once you reached mid-game progression, where your team’s attribute will have higher HP and you’ll meet stronger enemies, Natasha’s healing rate is actually quite lackluster, thus it will be hard to maintain your team’s HP if you meet a strong enemy that could deal big damage to your team. But for early game, she’s very useful. So you can temporarily use her even when facing the boss in your main story. This is why Natasha stands in the B tier right now.
One of the key characters in Honkai: Star Rail besides Dan Heng and Trailblazer. With her skill that will create a shield to an ally, an additional higher chance of the enemy to hit them if they have above 30% HP, and her ultimate that deals AoE ice attack to the enemies, March 7th’s shield could be a dual-edge sword. Because if her shield is not strong enough, and it indeed provoked the enemies to hit that ally, it could be a drawback to your team instead. March 7th’s Defense is relatively low on early game progression, thus the shield’s strength is not that ideal. This is the reason why she is in the B tier right now.
Giving the tier list rank to Trailblazer is one of the hardest choices because you actually can switch Trailblazer’s element and it will entirely change their skill mechanics and eidolons. Great all-rounder attacker for their physical element, great provoker, and great AoE fire damage from their fire element, there are a lot of factors that could give Trailblazer a higher or lower tier list. But the reason why Trailblazer stands in the B tier right now is that how their attribute is very balanced in the middle average, thus in terms of damage outcome, there are a lot of better DPS characters that you can choose from instead of the Trailblazer.
C Tier Characters
The single target lightning DPS character that will sacrifice his own HP to deal higher damage to the enemy. With 15% max HP depletion every time Arlan used his skill, and not his current HP, this could be a big drawback if Arlan’s HP starts to get low. His ultimate will deal big lightning damage to one enemy and additional attacks to the enemies adjacent to the target. The reason why Arlan is in the C tier right now is that his kit is relatively lackluster and he doesn’t have the ability to heal himself. Thus you need to pair Arlan with the healer, which require more investment again if you only have Natasha as your healer.
Hook is your fire DOTer that will frequently apply burn DoT to a single enemy. This DoT chance is 100%, thus it will be a guarantee to apply burn to the single enemy target using Hook’s skill. Hook will also deal higher damage to the target with burn DoT. Hook’s ultimate will deal big fire damage to a single enemy, and enhance Hook’s skill so she will deal higher enemy and this time attacks the adjacent enemy too. Unfortunately, despite the DoT mechanic is really useful and reliable, the damage outcome is not as big as you would hope. Thus, Hook also part of the C tier in this game right now.
The ATK reduction debuffer for a single enemy from her skill and AoE defense break debuff from her ultimate, Pela’s role shine upon giving debuff to the enemies. Pela can’t shine alone as her damage outcome is relatively low, and the defense break will not give significant results if your DPS is unable to deliver high damage yet. Since there are a lot of things that you need to rely on, this gives the reason why Pela enter the C tier in this tier list.
The key character that could give a significant impact on the story progression in the main story quest. His skill will deal wind damage to the target, and it will bounce randomly to the enemies up to four times and his ultimate will deal AoE wind attack to all enemies and an additional chance to increase the DoT damage by 20% for two turns. With Sampo’s passive that has 65% to deliver wind shear from his attack, which deals wind DoT to the enemies, this DoT could stack up to five times. Unfortunately, the damage scalings are relatively low, thus this could be a drawback if you planning to invest a great build on Sampo. And with that reason, Sampo also part of the C tier.
Shocking the enemies are part of Serval’s kit. With her skill that will deal lightning damage to the target enemy and additional attack to the enemies adjacent to the target, Serval has ⅘ chance to apply shock DoT to the enemies. Unfortunately, her ultimate will deal AoE lightning damage to all enemies, but it will not have the chance to apply shock DoT to them too, but only extend the shock DoT on the enemies for two turns. The reason this is unfortunate is that Serval’s kit also relies on the shock DoT that got applied to the enemies, because at the end of the turn, Serval will do a follow-up attack that will attack all enemies that have shock DoT. But back again, the multiplier for the damage is relatively low, so you really need to invest a lot of great build for her before she can truly shine. Pairing her with characters that could apply shock like Kafka is actually a good idea, but that doesn’t leave the fact that Serval stands in the C tier because of her low multiplier damage outcome.
In the future, Honkai: Star Rail might release more playable characters, and there might be some character modifications to balance the gameplay experience in this game. But for this time, this is the character tier list that we will offer to you. Of course, you can still progress the game event with the C Tier characters instead of the S tier characters. But having an S tier character would help you progress your game faster, thus we would recommend you to try to aim for those S tier or at least A tier characters to make your game easier to complete. In the end, go with the characters that you enjoy the most because what matters the most is you enjoy the thing that you do.
If you’re interested in more HSR content, we also have:
- Is Honkai: Star Rail like Genshin Impact?
- Everything You Need To Know About Honkai: Star Rail Elements Weaknesses
- Honkai: Star Rail Combat System Guide
Visit the official HSR website here for more information about the game!