How to Level Traces in Honkai Star Rail Explained

Like other HoYoverse games, Honkai: Star Rail has a lot of mechanics to learn if you want to get the most out of the game. One of these mechanics is the Traces system, which is the equivalent of the traditional skill tree in Honkai: Star Rail, complete with a fairly opaque way to level up.

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How Traces Work and Why It’s Important to Improve Them in Honkai: Star Rail

It wouldn’t be much of an RPG without a skill tree packed with abilities to gain and improve. The Traces system in Honkai: Star Rail is incredibly important as it provides scaling for damage and survivability, as well as key passive abilities that will really help to tackle tougher content.

Traces open up further the more you increase a character’s level and ascend them through key level stages. More nodes will become available. If they’re surrounded by a glowing blue circle, you can unlock or upgrade immediately. However, a solid blue circle means you don’t have the right materials yet. And if there is no blue highlight at all, you have not yet fulfilled the requirements to access these skills.

How to Level up Traces in Honkai: Star Rail

Each skill node requires various Trace leveling materials. These can be obtained through defeating monsters, opening chests, completing Simulated Universe runs, spending Trailblaze Power to complete Calyx Crimson battles, and completing Echoes of War. Some of these methods offer more advanced Trace materials for your efforts. 

Each character’s typing will define the materials needed to level up their Traces. Luckily, the game lets you simply click on the materials you’re missing to see exactly which content or monsters you need to go after to obtain them.

This system makes it easy to target farm the Trace materials you need for each character. And leveling up the Traces will ensure you’re making the most of powerful passives. You’ll certainly notice the power difference in combat, as it makes a world of difference going from a couple of Traces to 7+ leveled up several times.

That covers it for what Traces are and how to level them in Honkai: Star Rail. Now that you’re informed, you can get out there, farm those materials, and watch your beefed up characters really start putting in the work for you!


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Alex Berry
Alex Berry has been a freelance contributor at The Escapist since January 2023. His coverage ranges from funny takes on the latest games to a whole bunch of guide content on such titles as Honkai: Star Rail, Genshin Impact, and various new games. Alex is a jack of all trades when it comes to games, playing almost every new title that shows promise. From RPGs to shooters, all the way through to sports games, he plays it all, although he does have a soft spot for turn-based RPGs having started out his gaming journey with a copy of Pokémon Red on the original Game Boy. Alex has a master's degree in Business and is fascinated by online game economies, often spending a lot of time finding ways to maximize wealth in these games (but he should really be doing that in real life instead).