Honkai Star Rail Basic Combat Guide
Welcome to the turn based combat guide for new players! We will be going over the basics to help you understand the mechanics and how the battle works in the game.
Although this is a turn based game, you actually get to adjust some stuff before battle begins. You can utilize your character techniques prior to the fight where you get a bonus right after entering the battle. For example, March 7th’s technique freezes an enemy unit right upon engaging in a battle, which gives you a nice advantage there. Some other characters have techniques that give pre-emptive attacks or heal/buff and so on.
You can store up to 3 technique charges initially and it can be recovered by breaking purple containers in the overworld. They can be found near fast travel points and city zones.
Also, battles can be initiated either by you or when enemies are chasing you, like final fantasy turn based games. If you sneak up on your enemy, you get to ambush them and go first. Vice versa, if the enemy sneaks on you, they will get first strike.
In-Battle Combat Mechanics
In the battle, your characters can use a normal attack, skill and ultimate. Each character will have a talent that gives them an advantage such as healing, bonus damage or buffs etc.
When using a skill, it consumes a skill point. Skill points can be generated when using normal attacks. A maximum of 5 skill points can be stored and it is shared between the entire team. Learning how to manage your skill points will be vital in your success in most of your battles.
For example, Seele is a very skill hungry character and requires high usage of skill points. You want to use her ultimate as soon as possible to trigger her resurgence to activate her bonus turn when she kill off an enemy. That makes her really good in normal battles where you want to end it fast. Pair that with another unit like Bronya to advance Seele’s action bar to keep going and you can do more damage.
That sounds really good, but that eats up skill points and if you fail to kill your enemy, you will not have enough skill points to use defensive skills such as healing etc. So you do want to consider that as well.
It is also good to sometimes use normal attacks to generate skill points and not always spam skills and ultimates all the time. Ultimates also cost a set amount of energy to activate. Energy can be gained by skills, normal attacks, ultimate attack and specific light cones. Ultimates can also come in the form of damage, healing or buff. It is not always damage only.
When battling enemies, the white bar above their head is called the toughness bar. You need to break it to do more damage. The red bar is their actual health bar. You will do more damage to their health bar when the toughness bar is broken.
Also, you need elemental advantage to break toughness bars, so you can’t always use the same team without any elemental advantage to deal with the enemy all the time. This is a must. If enemy is weak against fire, you must bring a member on the team that has advantage.
You can see the elemental advantage by looking on top of the toughness bar as it is displayed there.
Once a toughness bar is broken, there is a weakness effect associated with it.
- Physical – Bleed + take extra physical damage
- Fire – Burn + take extra fire damage
- Ice – Frozen + damage over time
- Lightning – Shock + damage over time
- Wind – Wind Shear + damage over time
- Quantum – Entanglement + pushes enemy back + damage over time
- Imaginary – Imprisonment + pushes enemy back + reduce speed
As you can see Quantum and Imaginary attacks have very good bonus weakness and therefore very sought after elements. Enemies will take a turn to recover their toughness bar once it is broken. However, in the case of an enemy being able to attack twice, they will take a turn to recover and then attack you after.
Sometimes, enemies will have charge moves and you want to break their toughness bar so they won’t use that big attack on you. That is why you won’t go very far if you don’t have elemental advantage. You want to only break their toughness bar when they start charging their move. Since it is AI controlled, they can be quite predictable. Once broken, then you can go ham and do as much damage as possible before they recover.
One last thing to mention, you cannot use items in battle. So keep that in mind.
That sums up how the battle system works. Hope that helps!