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The combat system in Honkai Star Rail: how it works, vulnerabilities and abilities

Combat system in Honkai Star Rail

Honkai: Star Rail has a unique turn based combat system and can be quite tricky to figure out if you're playing for the first time.

Barely entered the game world Honkai: StarRail, you will immediately begin to fight with enemies in a turn-based combat system. Even if you have already played previous Hoyoverse games, this system will be completely new to you. The game lets you fight as Kafka and the Silver Wolf until you wake up the Pathfinder.

Not only do you have to fight enemies to progress through the story, but you also have to loot treasures and items to elevate your characters. It is important to know all the combat mechanics well if you want to have an interesting time in the game.

How turn-based combat works in Honkai: Star Rail

The combat system starts as soon as you find an enemy, but the real battle only starts if you attack or get attacked by this enemy. Then an exciting animation will play and you will be taken to the battle screen, where you will see your characters and enemies lined up against each other.

It's always better to attack the enemy first, because if you get attacked first, the "Ambush" effect is triggered.

This effect gives enemies the first turn, which can affect the outcome of the battle, especially against strong opponents.


On the battle screen, you will see a lot of icons, but the most important of them is the panel on the left, which displays the arrangement of moves. The top of this panel will show the character currently performing the attack, with upcoming moves displayed in order below it. If you change the enemy's move, he will also be shown here.

This panel allows you to plan your attacks and support abilities accordingly. Moreover, you can use it to prioritize enemies in order to delay damage to your characters as much as possible. This also shows the enemy's vulnerability bar on top of their health, and this mechanic is discussed in more detail below.

In the upper right corner of the screen there are buttons for acceleration, automatic battle and pause. The pause button can be used to retreat from combat.

The boost button doubles the speed of all abilities, and auto battle button allows you to relax, letting the game's AI fight for you.


One of the most important aspects of combat in Star Rail is keeping an eye on your opponent's attacks. Some of these attacks can bind to your character, apply debuffs to him or put him to sleep for one turn. You can see all these debuffs on your characters at the bottom of the screen, so it's important to pay attention to it.

There is a small magnifying glass icon in the lower left corner. You can use this icon to see all buffs and debuffs your characters currently have. In addition, there will be an icon at the top showing a specific enemy. Clicking on it you will get information about each enemy and his attack pattern.

Also in this menu you can see your character's skill setby clicking on the white button in the upper left corner.

How to exploit vulnerabilities in Honkai: Star Rail


Vulnerability is the most important mechanic, what to focus on if you want to win battles, especially in the late game. You can use this mechanic both in and out of combat to gain a huge advantage over your enemies. Whenever you get close to an enemy, you will see their level and name at the top of the screen.

Under his enemy name are shown certain combat elements. This means that the enemies you are about to fight are vulnerable to such elements. Make sure your the first attack at the beginning of the battle is made by a character with one of the indicated types of elemental damage. Then the attack will reduce the resistance of all enemies vulnerable to this element.

In the open world, you can only see one enemy, but when you start the battle, there will be several of them.

Items displayed under the name of the enemy in the open world, enable elemental damage vulnerabilities for all enemies you will fight.


Once you enter combat, you will be able to see each enemy's toughness bar on top of their health. Above the bar are the elements to which they are vulnerable.. When you use an ability with the corresponding element on these enemies, they will have a yellow bar on them, and their toughness will decrease to the level indicated by this yellow bar.

If an enemy's toughness bar reaches zero, Vulnerability Break is triggered. This gives different effects depending on the element you use to attack:

PhysicalDeals instant physical damage and Applies a Bleeding effect that deals Physical Damage over Time.
IceDeals frost damage and freezes the target. This immobilizes the enemy and grants additional frost damage .
WindDeals wind damage and applies weathering effect that causes periodic wind damage.
FieryDeals fire damage and inflicts a burning effect with periodic fire damage.
ЭлектрическийDeals lightning damage and applies a shock effect that deals additional damage.
QuantumTriggering a Vulnerability Break with Quantum Attacks places a Binding effect on enemies. This delays their actions for the next turn and deals additional quantum damage.
ImaginaryPlaces a confinement debuff on an enemy and deals imaginary damage to them. The action speed of imprisoned enemies will be lowered.

Another important thing to know about a stamina bar is that if that bar gets depleted, the enemy fully restores it whenever it gets the next turn. This action does not consume his turn, so he can still attack after that. Which can be especially frustrating if you're fighting a boss and spending a lot of turns getting rid of his tenacity and then running into it again.

Therefore, you need to plan your attacks in such a way that at the beginning of your turn you deprive the enemy of stamina, and then the rest of the characters could do a lot of damage to him.

How to use abilities in Honkai: Star Rail


Each character in Honkai: Star Rail has a set of skills that can be used both in and out of combat. Here are all the abilities of the playable characters:

Ability TypeWhen usedDescription
Basic AttackOut of combatYou can use any character's basic attack outside of combat to start fighting. When the correct item is selected, it inflicts vulnerability on enemies.
TechniqueOut of combatThis is a special ability that can be used before the start of the battle. She usually gives you various buffs for your next fight, and some of them can also place debuffs on enemies.
Basic AttackIn battleThe usual attack deals damage to the corresponding element of the character. This will give you one skill point.
Additional SkillIn battleIf you are using Consumes one skill point and performs a character special attack.
SuperpowerIn battleOver time, you will receive points that will recharge your ultimate, shown at the bottom of the screen next to the character icons. Once your character is ready to use the ultimate, it can be used at any point in the fight.
This ability allows you to bypass the turn queue in the upper left corner of the screen, and you can even activate it in the middle of your opponent's turn.

As mentioned above, when using basic attacks and skills during the battle, you need to save skill points. Their maximum number is five points, if there are none, you won't be able to use your skills. Your current score is shown at the bottom right next to your skills.

That's all you need to know about how the combat system works in Honkai Star Rail. Now you can read our other guides on new quests, events and content in the game. Leave your comments below and bookmark our site so you don't miss anything.

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