Honkai: Star Rail is all about the characters, with a solid roster that ranges from adorable to badass to thirst trap. With new characters scheduled to be released alongside each monthly patch, the roster is already growing and won’t slow down! This ranked tier list aims to help you understand who the best characters are in Honkai: Star Rail and is current as of patch 1.3. I’ll be updating this list each time a new character is added, so bookmark this page or check back later!
Honkai: Star Rail Character Tier List
Dan Heng’s dragon form Imbibitor Lunae is now in Honkai: Star Rail. This is the strongest character yet, topping the charts in both single-target damage and multi-target damage. He’s very skill point hungry, though, needing up to three skill points per turn to reach his maximum damage output. You’ll need to build a team comp around him to suit this need, and there are very few characters that make an ideal team. He is worth it though. His superb animations and crazy damage output make him currently the best character in the game.
If you were fortunate enough to pull Seele on the first limited character banner from the game’s launch, you’re in luck. You already have one of the best DPS characters in the game, and she’s yet to be dethroned as the best single-target damage dealer in the game. Her ability to reset and attack again after taking out an enemy unit and having an ultimate that hits like a fully loaded truck gives Seele a much deserved spot in the SS Tier.
Kafka joined the roster in the second half of patch 1.2 as a 5-star Nihility Lightning character. She brings a whole new viability to a handful of characters thanks to her skillset focusing around Damage over Time and improving both her own and teammates’ DoT. The result is an absolute monster damage dealer. Kafka falls just behind Seele and Yanqing for single target damage, but rivals Blade for the best AOE damage dealer. This makes her one of the top damage dealers. Throw in her ability to enable whole new team comps focused around DoT and you have a very well-rounded character.
Blade is the first new 5-star character joining the roster in patch 1.2, making a splash with his incredibly strong kit. He’s a Destruction character of the Wind element and he works off of HP: the lower his HP, the more damage he does. This means Blade wants to be getting attacked a lot and using his abilities to drain his own HP to get the most damage output. His Talent is where a good chunk of his damage comes from. After consuming HP, Blade will gain stacks and at 5 stacks will launch a devastating AOE follow-up attack with damage scaling from both his HP and attack values. This means you can build him with HP, Attack, and Crit and it will all scale his damage which is very convenient! His skill scales his damage output, and his ultimate is a very powerful attack that hits a primary target plus adjacent targets. Overall, his damage output is just below Seele and Yanqing for single-target DPS (at E0—he actually beats them at E6), and he beats out Jing Yuan to be the strongest multi-target DPS by a good margin as well. This makes Blade one of the best damage-dealing characters in the Honkai: Star Rail so far.
Bronya is hands down the best character in Honkai: Star Rail for applying damage buffs to teammates. Pair her with either of the units above and you’ll really see some big numbers. She can also help any other damage character exceed their limits and move up a tier in damage from her buffs—they’re just that good. If you ever get Bronya, she is well worth building up and investing into.
The best shielder in the game, Gepard is an absolute blessing thanks to the massive shield that his ultimate provides to the whole team. He outclasses any other shielder by far and should absolutely be invested into and built up as a core character if you pull him.
As a 5-star, single-target-focused debuffer, Silver Wolf has carved out a spot in the SS Tier among Honkai: Star Rail characters. She has Quantum damage typing and performs very similarly to Welt, with the main difference being that she doesn’t have much area of effect capability and instead excels at single target debuffing and damage.
Silver Wolf also has the unique ability to enable type weakness of a random selection from your team comp to be placed on the enemy that she attacks with her main skill. This is incredibly strong if you reduce the number of elements running on your team. For example, if you were to run a full mono Quantum team (which isn’t yet possible), then she would apply Quantum weakness to 100% of targets she hits with her skill. You could then use that kind of team to defeat literally any content in the game. Silver Wolf is also able to shred enemy resistances and defenses by huge amounts, enabling damage-over-time inflictors like Sampo to be more reliable and damage dealers to output far more damage.
Luocha is the pinnacle 5-star healer in Honkai: Star Rail. Luocha’s healing output is right on par with that of Bailu, but there are two big differences: Luocha scales off of Attack, which makes him a capable damage dealer, and he can do most of his healing and debuff removal completely passively. Luocha’s skill allows him to heal a target based on his Attack, and he also gains an Abyss Flower stack that then triggers for free when an ally gets below 50% HP. That makes it an incredibly useful targeted and passive heal that can be triggered without an extra turn or skill point being needed.
His ultimate is also stacked full of useful utility—Luocha will remove 1 buff from every enemy, hit them all with damage based on his attack, and gain an Abyss Flower stack. Luocha’s passive talent is also strong—when reaching 2 stacks of Abyss Flower, both stacks are used up and a field is deployed that allows any ally attacking within the field to receive healing when they attack an enemy. This kit is absolutely wild, and Luocha is a top pick to pair with almost any team if you have him.
Fu Xuan is an incredible new Quantum 5-star character added in the second half of patch 1.3. She follows the Path of Preservation and fulfills the role of a powerful tank. She now outclasses Gepard as the best tank in the game. She has the abilities to take damage in place of her teammates, heal herself, and buff the team’s Crit. This combination is just wild and she’s an absolute boon to any team comp!
Lynx is the new 4-star Quantum character added in the second half of patch 1.3. She’s a Path of Abundance character and one of the best healers in the game at high Eidolon levels. With her E6, she rivals Bailu in terms of healing output and utility. That’s pretty amazing for a 4-star! It’s well worth trying to pull her. She’s also part of the very powerful new mono Quantum team.
Bailu has been dethroned by Luocha as the best healer in the game. She’s still better than Natasha, especially in terms of her high healing output and her special, built-in defibrillators that can revive a downed character once per battle, which can really make all the difference in a tough fight.
Welt has the best disables and debuffs in the game. You can’t go wrong with using him, and he’ll fit into almost any team. He can lock down enemies and deal Imaginary damage, which is very useful as he is currently the only user of this type so far. You can’t go wrong investing into Welt; he will serve your teams well.
Tingyun is effectively the 4-star version of Bronya. She performs the exact same damage buffing role, just not quite as well as Bronya. If you don’t have Bronya, Tingyun is the best thing for a strong DPS buffer. If you already have Bronya though and you also get Tingyun, it could very well still be worth building her to serve as a dedicated buffer for your second team when tackling Forgotten Memories.
With the addition of Fu Xuan and Lynx in patch 1.3, Qingque gets bumped up into the S Tier as part of the powerful new mono Quantum team. Earlier on in the lifecycle of Honkai: Star Rail Qingque’s damage output seemed too random for her to be a top damage choice. We’ve found that, with high investment, she is actually incredibly strong and deserving of the S tier.
High investments means Eidolon level 6, good relics, and talents highly level up. If you meet these conditions, she becomes an absolute beast rivaling some of the strongest 5-star characters in the game. Pair her with Seele in a mono Quantum team and you’ve got a force to be reckoned with! She’s still quite RNG-based but at high investment it’s less of an issue and she’ll be hitting hard pretty frequently.
The best shielder alternative to Gepard, with a teamwide shield and full enemy team taunt, the Fire Trailblazer has an excellent kit and will serve any team well. Chances are you’ve already built up your Trailblazer a fair bit, so using them as a dedicated shielder and taunt tank is an excellent choice, especially if you don’t have Gepard or need a shielder for your second team.
Pela moves up to the S tier with the release of Imbibitor Lunae. She’s one of his best teammates due to her not needing to use her skill at all. She can simply focus on generating skill points for Imbibitor Lunae who needs tons. Pela is a good debuffer, able to shred enemy resistances with her ultimate and use her ability to remove buffs from enemies. She’s still a good choice for other teams as well if you don’t have someone like Bronya or Tingyun available.
Clara has incredibly good synergy with Luocha, in being able to use his healing to recover every time she counterattacks. With her robot homie Svarog, Clara is both a tank and a top-notch damage dealer. Able to retaliate after being attacked, she can be an absolute menace, especially when you can provide her with shields and a taunt. Meanwhile, Svarog will be blasting to bits anyone who dares try to strike Clara. If you get her, she is well worth investing into as she can be an awesome addition to any team.
Jing Yuan has fallen down the ranks of damage-dealing characters quite a bit. He is still an awesome multi-target damage dealer but is easily bested by the likes of Kafka, Blade, and Imbibitor Lunae. He’s still one of the coolest characters though! With the unique ability to summon an entity that gets its own attack on the timeline that hits all enemies up to 10 times, his damage output can be absolutely outrageous. If you have Jing Yuan, then he is well worth investing into as he can easily carry a team.
Natasha is now not necessary at all in Honkai: Star Rail. She used to be the go-to healer for all players who didn’t have Bailu. However, with the releases of Lynx and Luocha, she’s now at the bottom of the barrel in terms of healers. That’s not to say she isn’t still a solid healer; she’s just getting further and further away from being the best.
Sampo is a legend. He’s not just a funny character, but also one that deals quite a lot of damage, particularly if you go all-in on his ability to deal damage over time. He falls into the same boat as Himeko, though, providing good multi-target damage but lacking when in single-target fights like bosses. Sampo is in the A tier as a match with Kafka thanks to her new age of DoT greatness. Sampo can now shine alongside her and is an excellent damage dealer in a Kafka team.
Yukong is another Imaginary character, a 4-star offensive support with some of the best buffing capability in the game, rivaling that of Tingyun and Bronya. Yukong’s specialty is being able to buff your main attackers’ Crit stats. Both Crit Rate as well as Crit Damage are increased by significant amounts, all while dealing damage with her Ultimate to an enemy at the same time. Her skill is also incredibly powerful, applying a team-wide Attack boost of over 40% for a couple of turns. With these kinds of insane damage buffs, she will be an excellent addition to any team, and pretty much every main damage dealer in the game will thrive on her buffs.
Asta has a pretty powerful team-wide speed-boosting buff with her ultimate, which can make her a great addition to teams. Asta is in the same boat as Pela, though. While she offers very good utility, it’s not better than a damage buff like what Bronya or Tingyun can offer. Even so, she’s a worthwhile alternative if you don’t have those characters.
Himeko is the next best multi-target damage dealer behind Jing Yuan, so if you don’t have Jing Yuan she can take that role and will deal a ton of damage if you invest in her. The downside is that she lacks in single-target damage compared to Jing Yuan, so it can be difficult for her to be a solo damage dealer on a team, and she may need to be paired with a single-target damage dealer.
Hook is a good single-target damage dealer but worse than Dan Heng in all aspects. If you need a main damage dealer for a secondary team and don’t have a better option, Hook is pretty decent.
Luka is a 4-star character added in the second half of patch 1.2 alongside Kafka. He’s all about DoTs with his powerful bleeds, and he has a very strong mechanic similar to Blade in that he only needs to use his skill occasionally to empower his basic attacks. This means he works very well in teams with multiple damage dealers and is particularly useful in a team alongside Kafka to get the most out of his bleeds.
Yanqing is a single-target damage powerhouse just a step below Seele. He comes with one caveat, though: he needs to be uninterrupted to deal the most damage. Unless you have someone else on the team to taunt and provide shielding, Yanqing won’t be able to reach his full potential. If you have the team to pull that off, he’s definitely worth investing in, especially if you don’t have Seele or need a main DPS for a second team. He’s being power crept more and more with each new damage dealer released though, so in patch 1.3 he drops down to the A Tier.
Dan Heng is the free-to-play champion of single-target damage. He rivals Yanqing and can’t quite catch Seele. As a free character, though, he can certainly get the job done and will make an excellent choice to build and use as a main DPS if you don’t have Seele or one of the other top damaging 5-star characters.
March 7th is less relevant than ever with the likes of Fu Xuan being added. Gepard and the Fire Trailblazer are also superior choices, so she’s moved down to the B Tier. She does provide quite a big shield, but it uses her skill and can only be applied to one teammate at a time. This makes her quite the drain on team energy to get her shields up. On the other hand, you can build her as a tank with the right Light Cone, and she increases the chance of enemies attacking who she shields, so it can work quite well. She is also a perfect partner with Clara: put her shield on Clara and watch the enemies attack her and eat tons of retaliation damage.
Sushang is another single-target damage dealer, but is worse off than Dan Heng and Hook when it comes to her damage output. As such, there’s very little reason to invest in her, other than if you enjoy booty slamming enemies with her giant chicken’s ass.
Serval is the 4-star option for a good multi-target damage dealer, but only as a free-to-play choice because she is quite weak and squishy compared to 5-star alternatives. She’s well behind Himeko and just ahead of Sampo in terms of her multi-target DPS. But if you need a good multi-target damage dealer and don’t have Jing Yuan, Himeko, Blade, or Clara, she can fill the role quite nicely.
The Physical Trailblazer isn’t too shabby at dealing multi-target DPS, but there are better 4-star options in Serval and Sampo and much, much better 5-star alternatives like Jing Yuan. In this form, they’re not worth using, so stick to using them as the Fire Trailblazer.
Other than her excellent and catchy memes doing the rounds, Herta provides very little damage output and will struggle no matter how well you build her or what team support you give her, which is unfortunate because she’s a pretty interesting character.
Arlan is hands-down one of the worst characters in the game. Not only does he do very little damage, but he also needs to use HP to deal damage, which is annoying to sustain and very inefficient when he needs dedicated healing. I’d completely avoid using Arlan and spending any of your resources on him.
That’s all the characters in Honkai: Star Rail as of patch 1.4 ranked. I will update this list when patch 1.4 comes around and we get more new characters to try out! In the meantime, why not check out our full set of guides for advice on getting through content, setting up team comps, and much more.
Related: Honkai Star Rail: All 6 Fire Trailblazer Eidolons and How to Get Them on Attack of the Fanboy