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Honkai: Star Rail characters list and attributes explained

What do a character's Path and Element mean in Honkai: Star Rail?

The original crew of the Astral Express — Welt, March 7th, Himeko, and Dan Heng — stand in front of their steaming train inside a station, beckoning the viewer towards adventure in a section of the main cover art for Honkai: Star Rail.
Image credit: HoYoverse

Who do you play as in Honkai: Star Rail? As a gacha game, Honkai: Star Rail will feature a large roster of playable characters for you to collect. Early previews suggest that engaging with those gacha mechanics will be a bit less optional than in HoYoverse's previous title Genshin Impact, which is honestly not great news for F2P fans. However, even if you limit yourself to judiciously plugging in your free currencies, you'll roll a new character pretty frequently.

On this page we'll go over the key details of every playable character confirmed for Honkai: Star Rail's release, as well as explaining what some of those attributes mean in more depth. We'll keep this page updated with more information as we learn more from the game's final beta and upon its full launch.

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Honkai: Star Rail characters list

Below are the 28 characters expected to be available in Honkai: Star Rail at launch, along with details of their key attributes:

Name Rarity Path Element Affiliation
Arlan 4-star The Destruction Lightning Herta Space Station
Asta 4-star The Harmony Fire Herta Space Station
Bailu 5-star The Abundance Lightning Xianzhou Luofu
Blade 5-star The Destruction Wind Stellaron Hunters
Bronya 5-star The Harmony Wind Silvermane Guards
Clara 5-star The Destruction Physical Prospectors
Dan Heng 4-star The Hunt Wind Astral Express
Fu Xuan 5-star The Preservation Quantum Xianzhou Loufu
Gepard 5-star The Preservation Ice Silvermane Guards
Herta 4-star The Erudition Ice Herta Space Station
Himeko 5-star The Erudition Fire Astral Express
Hook 4-star The Destruction Fire The Moles
Jing Yuan 5-star The Erudition Lightning Xianzhou Alliance / Cloud Knights
Kafka 5-star The Nihility Lightning Stellaron Hunters
Luocha 5-star The Abundance Imaginary Intergalactic Merchant Guild
March 7th 4-star The Preservation Ice Astral Express
Natasha 4-star The Abundance Physical Wildfire
Pela 4-star The Nihility Ice The Union
Qingque 4-star The Erudition Quantum Xianzhou Luofu
Sampo 4-star The Nihility Wind Wildfire
Seele 5-star The Hunt Quantum Wildfire
Serval 4-star The Erudition Lightning The Union
Silver Wolf 5-star The Nihility Quantum Stellaron Hunters
Sushang 4-star The Hunt Physical Xianzhou Luofu / Xianzhou Alliance / Cloud Knights
Tingyun 4-star The Harmony Lightning Xianzhou Luofu
Trailblazer 5-star Adaptive Adaptive N/A (Player Character)
Welt 5-star The Nihility Imaginary Astral Express
Yanqing 5-star The Hunt Ice Xianzhou Luofu

Who are the starter characters in Honkai: Star Rail?

Your nominal player character in Honkai: Star Rail is the Trailblazer, whose name and gender can be selected by the player, and whose path and element are adaptive and will change over the course of the game. The Trailblazer is given the special-case 5-star rarity HoYoverse affords to its main player characters.

You'll also be given access to three more characters over the course of the story's opening, allowing you to field a full team of four regardless of whether or not you're engaging with the gacha. In at least some of the closed betas, the Trailblazer's team was rounded out with Dan Heng, March 7th, and Natasha. This seems like a plausible starting party for the full release, but remains unconfirmed and subject to change.

Additionally, a new player pulling on the gacha's limited Beginner's Banner will be guaranteed Asta. This informal fifth starting character isn't technically free, but can be guaranteed with free currencies and is likely important for plugging skill gaps in the entirely-F2P party composition.

The main cast of Honkai: Star Rail assemble in front of the Astral Express in the game's banner image.

Honkai: Star Rail paths

In Honkai: Star Rail, one of the key attributes possessed by any playable character is their path. The seven paths in the game can be regarded as somewhat akin to character classes. A character's path determines the role they are best suited to play in combat, as well as the skills and attack types they can utilise.

Of the seven paths in Honkai: Star Rail, three are DPS types and four are support types:

  • The Destruction: Aggressive DPS especially well-suited to solo combat situations.
  • The Hunt: DPS characters who specialise in single-target attacks.
  • The Erudition: DPS characters who specialise in multi-target AoE attacks.
  • The Abundance: Support characters specialising in healing allies.
  • The Preservation: Support characters specialising in shielding allies.
  • The Harmony: Support characters specialising in buffing allies.
  • The Nihility: Support characters specialising in debuffing enemies.

Honkai: Star Rail elements

Characters in Honkai: Star Rail possess affinity with one of seven elements, a concept that will be very familiar to long-time HoYoverse fans. However, HSR's elements are a little different: while four are admittedly familiar variants on the classical elements, the other three are more unusual. In addition to Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Wind, the heroes of HSR might find themselves wielding Physical, Imaginary, or Quantum elements.

Each element, when used in combat, applies a unique set of effects to afflicted enemies:

  • Fire: Deals Fire damage and applies the Burn debuff. Burning enemies take additional Fire damage over time.
  • Ice: Deals Ice damage and applies the Freeze debuff. Frozen enemies are immobilised.
  • Lightning: Deals Lightning damage and applies the Shock debuff. Shocked enemies take additional Lightning damage over time.
  • Wind: Deals Wind damage and applies the Wind Shear debuff. Wind Sheared enemies take additional Wind damage over time.
  • Physical: Deals Physical damage and applies the Bleed debuff. Bleeding enemies take additional Physical damage over time.
  • Imaginary: Deals Imaginary damage and applies the Imprisonment debuff. Imprisoned enemies suffer reduced movement speed and delayed actions.
  • Quantum: Deals Quantum damage and applies the Entanglement debuff. Entangled enemies have their combat turns delayed and take additional Quantum damage over time.

If you're itching for more Star Rail details, take a look at our Honkai: Star Rail release date guide to find out when you can join in the fun for yourself. Or, if you want you want to compare and contrast Star Rail's cast with that of another HoYoverse gacha game, you might like our Genshin Impact character tier list.

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