Honkai Star Rail tier list May 2023 – best characters

Our Honkai Star Rail tier list highlights the best characters, what makes them worth adding to your team, and what they specialise in.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Jing Yuan poses dramatically, his silver hair streaming around him, dressed in ceremonial armour and surrounded by his lightning spirit summon.

Looking for a Honkai Star Rail tier list? Judging the best Star Rail characters is tricky. Not only is your roster subject to the whims of Hoyoverse’s infamous gacha mechanics, each character’s abilities are so varied that it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Lucky for you, we’ve put each character through their paces to provide you with the definitive Honkai Star Rail tier list.

When choosing the best Honkai Star Rail characters for our tier list, we’ve taken great care to evaluate how each character excels in a variety of situations, including battling through story quests, boss challenges, and game modes. Of course, with more Honkai Star Rail banners on the horizon, you might want to check out the latest Honkai Star Rail codes to net some free Warps while you’re here. That said, here are our expert tier list rankings for the best Honkai Star Rail characters in the free PC game right now.

Honkai Star Rail tier list

Here’s the latest Honkai Star Rail tier list:

Tier Characters
S Bailu, Bronya, Seele
A Clara, Trailblazer (Fire), Tingyun, Welt, Yanqing
B Asta, Gepard, Natasha, Pela, Sushang
C Arlan, Dan Heng, Himeko, March 7th, Sampo, Serval
D Herta, Hook, Trailblazer (Physical), Qingque

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Bailu, a cutesy young girl with a flowing purple braid and horns, pulls down her lower eyelid and sticks her tongue out at the viewer.



If you’re looking for a reliable healer, then you simply can’t get any better than Bailu. The High Elder of the Vidyadhara is the only character on the Honkai Star Rail tier list that’s capable of reviving teammates in combat. What’s more, the power is triggered passively via her talent, so you don’t even have to spend a skill point to revive anyone. Bailu’s healing capabilities easily outstrip Natasha’s, but she doesn’t just replenish your characters’ existing health pools – she also extends them. This overheal effect is entirely unique to Bailu and can be considered a shield in its own right, since it ultimately offers the same degree of protection. If you’re looking for a support unit that’s capable of keeping everyone on their feet no matter the situation, it really doesn’t get any better than Bailu. Here’s the best Honkai Star Rail Bailu build at your disposal.


Bronya is an incredibly powerful support character that has the unique ability to place the turn order directly in your hands with her Combat Redeployment skill, which causes a targeted ally to take their turn immediately after her. This dedicated single-target support ability is enhanced further with a built-in damage boost and debuff dispell. If you’re short on skill points, don’t fret – even Bronya’s basic attack advances her next action forward, so you can get her back to form as fast as possible. Unsurprisingly, Bronya pairs extremely well with Seele and in team compositions that are designed to support a single character, since she can get them back on the field in record time. For more tips, check out our best Honkai Star Rail Bronya build.


Seele is capable of dishing out extraordinary single-target quantum damage, which is impressive enough in its own right, but it’s her Resurgence talent that really steals the show and places her firmly near the top of the Honkai Star Rail tier list. Defeating an enemy grants Seele an extra action, this time with an increased damage buff. As a result, Seele excels at tearing through waves of enemies in record time, especially when paired with the speed bonus granted by her skill. Seele’s additional actions also have the welcome side-effect of quickly replenishing your skill points, so you can maximise the performance of your other characters once Seele finally slides back into rotation. If you prefer turn-based games where every turn is your own, then Seele is the one for you. Check out our best Honkai Star Rail Seele build to get her performing at her best.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Clara, a young girl dressed in an oversized red jacket, looks towards the viewer in horror with tears in her eyes, embers flying around her.



While Clara may appear weak at first glance, she actually comes as one of a pair. The crux of her kit revolves around baiting enemies into attacking her, only to receive a devastating counter-attack from her robot guardian, Svarog. To facilitate this, Clara is one of the tankiest units in the turn-based game, and she also draws the ire of enemies away from the squishier characters on your team. However, to keep her on her feet, it’s imperative that you pair her with a healer or support character. Outside of Clara’s counter mechanic, she can also deal out area-of-effect damage with both her skill and ultimate, leaving the single-target DPS on your team to serve as the clean-up crew. Take a look at our best Honkai Star Rail Clara build to put Mr. Svarog to work.


Tingyun is one of the best four-star characters available in Honkai Star Rail due to the staggering amount of support she alone can bring to a team. Instead of health or shields, Tingyun’s skill bestows an attack boost on a single target, applying the percentage of her own attack stat to an ally. Not only that, her ultimate replenishes the energy of your chosen character, which is a boon when pairing her with characters like Gepard, whose defining ability is attached to their ultimate. If that wasn’t enough, Tingyun also sports one of the best techniques in the RPG game, allowing her to replenish her own energy reserves outside of combat. Tingyun is an ideal unit when crafting teams around a single character, such as Seele, but you might find her spot is better taken up by someone who can deal out more damage than she can buff. That said, here’s the best Honkai Star Rail Tingyun build to turn this foxy lady into a bona fide buff bank.


Yanqing is yet another single-target damage dealer, though he relies on his crit rate to deal a high amount of burst damage via his ultimate. His Soulsteel sync is activated each time he uses his skill, which applies a buff to his crit rate and damage. If that weren’t enough, his talent grants him a 50/50 chance to deliver a follow-up attack immediately after his attack, with a high chance to freeze the target. Yanqing’s major drawback is that he loses his buffed state once he takes damage, so it’s vital you protect him at all costs. While Soulsteel Sync does reduce the chance for him to be hit while active, we recommend pairing Yanqing with a taunt unit to avoid a stall in his rotation. Yanqing may be small, but he’s certainly mighty, especially when kitted out with our best Honkai Star Rail Yanqing build.



If you feel the need for speed, then Asta will be a mainstay on your team. The speed stat of characters dictates which orders allies and enemies take their actions in battle, so having the opportunity to manipulate that order is a huge benefit. Asta’s ultimate bestows a hefty speed boost to your entire team that sticks around for two full turns. Her talent also applies an attack buff to allies dependent upon how many characters she hits, which compliments the splash damage bombardment effect attached to her skill. Her damage output isn’t much to sniff at on its own, but when paired with the right team composition and Light Cone she can become one of the strongest fire-oriented characters in the roster, which helps her position on the Honkai Star Rail tier list. Here’s the best Honkai Star Rail Asta build if you fancy turning her into a real speed demon.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Gepard is ordering his army to rush down the enemy.


Gepard is a stalwart knight of the Silvermane Guard, so it should come as no surprise that he’s a dependable defensive unit, hence his placement on the Honkai Star Rail tier list. He can apply shields to all characters via his ultimate, which leads us to his primary drawback. Given that Gepard’s core ability is tied to his ultimate, his value hinges almost entirely on your energy replenishment. His technique certainly goes some way to mitigate it by granting you the opportunity to apply shields across the team ahead of combat, but this still doesn’t do much good during long boss fights. Tingyun can certainly help in this regard, but without her, you’ll be relying on Gepard’s skill for energy recharge, which means juggling skill points to the detriment of your damage dealers. However, there’s no denying that he’s a robust unit – he can even revive himself when knocked down once per battle.


If you don’t have a shield support, then Natasha will be your go-to primary support healer, especially in the early game. Not only is she one of the few healers available, her talent scales her outgoing healing against the health of your allies, meaning she increases in value the more your team is in dire straits. As a dedicated healer, it should come as no surprise that Natasha’s damage output is highly underwhelming. What’s more, her healing ability is tied to her skill and ultimate, so you may run into skill point management issues if you include her in a team of characters who rely on their own skills to perform at their best. However, if you can achieve that balance then you’ll find that Natasha is a reliable support unit that can keep everyone on their feet during grueling, lengthy boss battles. Here’s our best Honkai Star Rail Natasha build to see you through.


Pela is a dedicated debuffer, which makes her a boon against more complex enemies and bosses that utilise buffs that can quickly change the course of a battle. However, what sets her apart from the other situational units on this list is her defence reduction, making her an excellent support for the heavy hitters in most team compositions. While this highly useful debuff is tied to her ultimate, she has less chance to stall in her rotation thanks to the energy buff from her talent. It also extends to her talent as well, so you can inflict that damage reduction before a battle even starts. She also dishes out a respectable amount of Ice damage between debuffs, placing her in an excellent position to finish off vulnerable foes.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Sushang, a young girl in a flowing purple and yellow dress, holds a paintbrush and talisman as birds flock around her.


If you’re looking for an alternative to Seele, then Sushang is your best bet. Not only are you more likely to pull her from banners, Sushang excels in her role as a single-target breaker that comes with a number of powerful attack and speed buffs built into her kit. While her devastating Sword Stance has a chance to trigger any time she uses her skill, it automatically triggers when causing a weakness break – which also grants her the opportunity to attack again while your foe is vulnerable. Sushang is a sturdy DPS unit, especially if you’re looking for a unit that inflicts a punishing amount of Physical damage, but she’s undeniably outpaced by her scythe-wielding counterpart, Seele.


Dan Heng

Dan Heng is a dedicated single-target damage dealer and one of the few characters that use the wind element. Consequently, he’s very useful in Simulated Universe, where large swathes of enemies are often susceptible to wind attacks. Dan Heng can reduce the target’s speed upon landing a critical hit with his skill, which increases the damage output of his ultimate – but the dependence on landing that hit relies upon the amount of effort you’re willing to put into kitting him out with Relics that maximise his hit chance. He works well in tandem with support-oriented teammates that inflict speed debuffs to facilitate the potency of his ultimate, and he even receives a boost to his elemental effect when targeted by an ally. All that being said, this is a lot of team compositional effort to expend for a character whose performance is often outclassed by other damage dealers at higher levels, hence his middling placement on the Honkai Star Rail tier list. To maximise his potential, let our best Honkai Star Rail Dan Heng build guide you.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: March 7th is taking a photograph with her teal camera.

March 7th

March 7th is one of the earliest characters you acquire on your journey, but don’t let her cheerful disposition fool you – she’s a solid defensive unit, applying shields to your characters that also double as a built-in taunt when applied to allies above 30% health. This skill synergises well with her talent, which allows her to deliver a follow-up attack to enemies that attack shielded allies up to two times a turn. Not only is this an excellent way to quickly and passively generate energy for her ultimate, it’s also a strategic way of picking off smaller enemies without wasting turns. March 7th is an exceptional character in the early game, which certainly helps her placement on the Honkai Star Rail tier list, but she’s outclassed by the likes of Gepard and other characters that have more scope in their kit. The best Honkai Star Rail March 7th build should be your next stop.


Serval is middle of the pack on our Honkai Star Rail tier list, strictly because her performance is so heavily dependent upon the enemy encounter, team composition, and Light Cones you have to pair with her. She excels against robots, which makes her incredibly useful in the early game, but her value drops as soon as you pit her against anything that isn’t weak to electricity. Her splash damage is undeniably useful for picking off additional enemies when going up against bosses, and the quick turnaround time on her ult caused by her talent is also helpful for dishing out an effective AoE – even better when receiving an attack boost from the likes of Tingyun. Again, like so many others placing lower in this tier list, her main issue stems from the straightforwardness of her kit, but she still shines during calyx farming or simulated universe runs. To ensure her efficacy, our best Honkai Star Rail Serval build is a must.

Honkai Star Rail tier list: Herta, the puppet girl of the Herta Space Station, lies back on pillow as she holds up an X-ray scan that inexplicably contains her memories.



Herta is a fiendishly difficult character to place, strictly because of how situational she can be. She’s currently the only character aside from Seele that deals quantum damage, which is a clear point in her favour when taking on the Forgotten Halls. Her abilities are almost exclusively geared towards dishing out AoE damage, but it’s her talent that really sets her apart from the straightforward damage dealers in lower tiers. Every time an ally halves that enemy’s health, Herta launches a follow-up attack, and its efficacy fluctuates massively depending on the characters she’s paired with. She synergises extremely well with Himeko, since their follow-up attack passives can trigger one another repeatedly, but she can easily fall flat in other team compositions. Make the most of her with our best Honkai Star Rail Herta build.


Hook finds herself low down on the Honkai Star Rail tier list because she’s just too straightforward to justify using once you get those higher-tier damage dealers with abilities that change the landscape of combat. However, given how straightforward her kit is, Hook’s major strength is her overall versatility. She can plug any gap in Honkai Star Rail team comps that require a single-target damage dealer, especially if you’re going up against enemies weak to fire. You can also get some great mileage out of her burn effect, so if you’re looking to maximise that damage as much as possible, be sure to prioritise her ultimate. Additionally, her talent regenerates five energy when attacking a target afflicted with the burn status effect, so it’s fairly easy to keep her ultimate ticking over using her skill.

That wraps up our Honkai Star Rail tier list. Remember to check back often as we get our hands on upcoming characters and provide further details on their effectiveness in battle. If you’re looking to fill out your roster, then be sure to bookmark our guide to farming Honkai Star Rail Stellar Jade. If you’d prefer to take your characters on the go, we’ve got the lowdown on Honkai Star Rail crossplay – though you may need to refresh yourself on the Honkai Star Rail download process while you’re at it. Finally, kick back with our Honkai Star Rail review, to find out how we got on in Hoyoverse’s latest gacha game.