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The best Honkai: Star Rail Serval build

Learn how to build Serval in Honkai: Star Rail

Serval smiles warmly while sitting next to one of her steampunk-y machines in her Honkai: Star Rail character introduction image. A purple-lit industrial space forms the background.
Image credit: HoYoverse

What is the best build for Serval in Honkai: Star Rail? Serval is a bonus starting character in Honkai: Star Rail, given to the player for free once they gain access to their in-game mailbox in celebration of the milestone number of pre-registrations the game reached before launch.

The good news is that you get hold of Serval without ever having to interact with the gacha, and that as a follower of the Erudition path she makes a decent 4-star replacement for Himeko if you don't fancy adding Asta to your party. The bad news is that, while perfectly serviceable, she's one of the lowest-rated playable characters in the game right now.

Still, if you're an F2P player, Serval has a lot going for her, especially with the right build in place. So read on for our best Honkai: Star Rail Serval build advice, including relics, light cones, and more.

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Honkai: Star Rail best Serval build

Serval path and element

Serval follows the path of the Erudition, meaning that she specialises in attacks that hit multiple enemies simultaneously. Erudition characters are comparatively tricky to build well in Star Rail, with a lot riding on whether a group of enemies contains multiple targets who are weak to your character's element. However, Serval can perform effective crowd control, especially since her Lightning elemental debuff Shocked can deal continuous damage to afflicted enemies over time.

Best light cone for Serval: Before Dawn

  • 4-star alternative: Make the World Clamor

Among the limited selection of 5-star Erudition light cones on offer at launch, Serval's build benefits most from Before Dawn. It grants base increases of 32% to crit damage and 20% to skill and ultimate damage, along with a special buff (Somnus Corpus) that activates after Serval's skill or ult is triggered. Somnus Corpus grants a 48% damage increase to Serval's next follow-up attack.

Make the World Clamor is Serval's signature light cone, her canonical equipment that comes in at a 4-star rarity. Slightly more modest than Before Dawn, it's a safe but sturdy choice for building her, allowing her to regenerate 20 energy immediately upon entering combat and increasing her all-important ult damage by 32%.

Best relics for Serval: Inert Salsotto and Celestial Differentiator

To really stack up Serval's DPS potential, equip her with the two-piece sets Inert Salsotto and Celestial Differentiator. While there's no four-piece bonus to be had on either, they each grant Serval a base 8% increase to her crit rate apiece. Meanwhile, the former set grants a 15% buff to her ult and follow-up attack damage once crit rate reaches 50%, while the latter adds 20% to her basic and skill damage once crit rate goes above 80%. It's a good, well-rounded way to bulk out Serval's somewhat underwhelming kit while keeping her nicely balanced.

For more build advice — this time centred around Honkai: Star Rail's three actual starter characters — be sure to check out our Trailblazer, March 7th, and Dan Heng build guides. And for our thoughts on the best characters in the game at launch, see our Honkai: Star Rail character tier list.

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