Our Honkai Star Rail 1.2 tier list for the best characters during August 2023 covers who the best DPS, supports, and healers currently are to help you decide who to use on your teams.
The free characters Honkai: Star Rail provides you with are actually very good for clearing story content, but it's also important to have multiple characters and teams ready to take on different combat scenarios, as even the best characters can't brute force their way through everything.
Below you'll find our Honkai: Star Rail tier list, as of Phase 1 of version 1.2 in August 2023.
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Honkai Star Rail tier list explained
Understanding how good 5-Star and 4-Star characters can be is useful when deciding which Banner to Warp on, or who to invest your resources into, but keep in mind that having a team of 5-Star characters is not essential to clear most content in Star Rail.
It's more important how you build a team around each individual combat scenario than bringing only characters considered S-tier, especially if their abilities don't sync-up, or the enemies aren't weak to their Elemental type.
Our tier list factors in how desirable a character is to have in all combat scenarios, not just their ideal set-ups. This covers fighting through story content, taking on challenging bosses, the Simulated Universe, and the Forgotten Hall.
Additionally, if there are two characters who perform similar functions, but one does it better, then it's likely they won't be in the same tier - but this doesn't mean you shouldn't use the character in the lower tier!
For example, Bailu and Natasha are both healers, but we consider Bailu a better healer because she can revive a fallen ally, so we've placed Bailu in a higher tier than Natasha. This doesn't mean you should use Bailu over Natasha all the time if you have both. You might need Natasha for her Physical attacks instead of Bailu's Lightning attacks, or her more reliable individual healing.
Make sure to read the reasoning for why we've placed a character in a certain tier instead of just basing your decisions of where they rank when making choices on how to build your teams! Often a lower-tier character can clear a lot of content, they just can't do it as well as similar ones we've ranked above them.
Keep in mind that any tier list is a subjective analysis. Although we've tested all of these characters ourselves, and taken into consideration how useful the community finds a character, there's no right answer when it comes to where one should be placed.
Most importantly, have fun building teams in Honkai: Star Rail! There are some really interesting party compositions to play around with, and there's never just one solution to a combat challenge.
Version 1.2, Blade, and Kafka are here! Make sure to redeem those new codes for Stellar Jade if you want either of them - and check them out on our regularly updated tier list. For everything else, we have pages on the next Banner, Ministry of Education quiz answers, how to get more Star Rail Passes, Stagnant Shadows, and an English voice actors list.
Honkai Star Rail 1.2 tier list for best characters in August 2023
We have far more details below in each individual tier list that we highly recommend reading before deciding anything on what characters to upgrade, but to give you a general idea of where each character sits during Phase 1 of 1.2 we've abbreviated this information in a simple table below.
At a glance, as of August 2023, here's our current Honkai Star Rail 1.2 tier list:
|SS-tier||Bronya, Gepard, Luocha, Seele, Silver Wolf, Tingyun|
|S-tier||Bailu, Blade, Clara, Jing Yuan, Pela, Trailblazer (Fire), Welt, Yukong|
|A-tier||Asta, Himeko, March 7th, Natasha, Yanqing|
|B-tier||Hook, Qingque, Sampo, Serval, Sushang|
|C-tier||Arlan, Dan Heng, Trailblazer (Physical)|
We've added an SS-tier To single out some outstanding characters that deserve your attention when deciding who to use in your teams, and we've also added a D-tier to... well, to separate Herta from everybody else. Sorry, Herta.
Divided into their tiers, here's detailed information of what we think of every character in Honkai: Star Rail:
Honkai Star Rail tier list for SS-tier characters
We consider these SS-tier characters to be the best of the best in Star Rail due to their incredible support capabilities, debuffs, or passive and active attacks that add more benefits to your party than just damage potential against enemies weak to their Element.
In alphabetical order, here's our Honkai: Star Rail tier list for every SS-tier character as of version 1.2 in August 2023:
|Bronya||5-Star||Wind||The Harmony||Want another turn? Bronya's skill dispels one all's debuff and lets you advance their turn by 100%, essentially letting you swap to a character who already had a turn. This basically means you can have two goes with a DPS main, healer, or support ability. Her Ultimate and Technique will also buff attack and Crit damage for the whole party, making her useful in a wide variety of teams, regardless of what Element is needed.|
|Gepard||5-Star||Ice||The Preservation||Geaprd shines in single-target or two-target encounters due to his ability to freeze enemies and apply ice damage over time. His Ultimate gives the whole party shields, and his Talent allows Gepard to revive himself after receiving a killing blow. He can also sometimes replace a healer in shorter battles, as enemies can't attack you if they're frozen in place. This can free up another support or DPS slot. However, pairing Gepard with a healer can also see you through longer, tougher battles.|
|Luocha||5-Star||Imaginary||The Abundance||Luocha is a unique Abundance character as his healing capabilities actually scale off attack. Luocha applies a special Field when he reaches two Abyss Flower stacks which heals allies when they attack. Although he doesn't heal with his Ultimate, it applies Imaginary damage to all enemies and dispels one buff from them, and after investing in his Traces, Luocha is the best passive healer in Star Rail. All you have to do is keep attacking in the Field and your party will continue to automatically heal, no Skill Points required. As healers are so important in the hardest battles, Luocha is a fantastic addition to any team in need of one.|
|Seele||5-Star||Quantum||The Hunt||Hunt characters usually only excel at single-target damage when an enemy is weak to their Element. Seele laughs in the face of this logic and is actually best used in multi-target scenarios due to her passive ability giving her another turn when she kills an enemy. This can be exploited with Seele's Ultimate to give her four turns in a row. Pair her with supports who increase her Speed, Crit, or attack stats and Seele can help you through more combat scenarios than any other damage dealer in Star Rail.|
|Silver Wolf||5-Star||Quantum||The Nihility||Silver Wolf goes the extra mile as a Nihility debuffer and can actually implant a new elemental weakness in enemies! This is particularly good against boss and elite enemies in the Forgotten Hall and Simulated Universe when you don't have a good enough damage-dealer with an element they're weak to. The only downside to Silver Wolf is that the element she implants can't be controlled, it picks randomly from your current party line-up. You might have to repeat battles a few times, but that's a small price to pay when you know any of your damage-dealers can get the job done eventually with Silver Wolf on the team.|
|Tingyun||4-Star||Lightning||The Harmony||Pairing Tingyun with a high DPS character ups both of their attacks when she uses her skill, and her Ultimate is one of the best in the game, restoring Energy to one ally while increasing their damage. A fantastic 4-Star support who can also apply a little lightning damage when required.|
Honkai Star Rail tier list for S-tier characters
These S-tier characters are incredibly good at what they're designed for, and can be used in a variety of different combat situations past their Elemental type - but they're either not as good as similar functioning characters in the SS-tier, or they have slight limitations that hold them back.
In alphabetical order, here's our Honkai: Star Rail tier list for every S-tier character as of version 1.2 in August 2023:
|Bailu||5-Star||Lightning||The Abundance||Healers are pretty essential for almost all combat scenarios in Star Rail, especially if you're in battles that take a long time to clear, like boss fights or the Simulated Universe. Her Skill healing is great, restoring health to multiple allies, and her passive ability to revive a fallen ally once per battle makes her a fantastic Abundance character to have.|
|Blade||5-Star||Wind||The Destruction||Blade is an incredibly powerful character to have on your team, consuming his own HP to up the damage potential of his attacks, while also having the ability to heal himself. He's basically a Harmony, Abundance, and Destruction character rolled into one, but you need to be very careful when managing Blade's health, and even though he can heal himself, you should almost always bring along a healer to help Blade stay alive during the fight. With the right team, Blade is up there as one of the best attackers in the whole game, but he's a high risk, high reward type of attacker, so might not be for everyone.|
|Clara||5-Star||Physical||The Destruction||Clara is an interesting character to play, requiring you to really think about your team composition for her to be the most effective, as her helpful buddy Svarog counters with an attack whenever Clara is hit. This means a good shielder or healer is essential for most Clara teams, as you want to keep her alive to ensure Svarog can use his strong Physical attacks. Baiting enemies to attack Clara will increase your DPS potential with her, as long as she survives the fight.|
|Jing Yuan||5-Star||Lightning||The Erudition||Jing Yuan may be of The Erudition path, but he actually packs quite the Lightning punch against single target enemies as well. He is a very skill hungry character to have on your team, and you need to make sure you're building his Lightning-Lord stacks for maximum damage potential. However, if you bring the right team with him and carefully manage your skill points, Jing Yuan is a fantastic damage dealer to build, and can make light work of enemies in the Simulated Universe and Forgotten Hall with a Lightning weakness.|
|Pela||4-Star||Ice||The Nihility||Pela is a very good pick for your team, as she debuffs enemies while gaining Energy with her Skill, which is useful against annoying elites and bosses. Her Ultimate is also super useful, as it applies Ice damage to all enemies and reduces their defence, creating a nice opening for your AOE damage dealers. She's slightly less useful against single target enemies, but only because there are other support characters who can be more effective in this situation, especially if the target isn't weak to ice.|
|Trailblazer||5-Star||Fire||The Preservation||The Fire variation of The Trailblazer is a fantastic tank to have on your team that draws enemy attacks with their Skill. Gaining stacks of Magma Will by attacking or blocking, then unleashing powerful fire damage is also useful when up against tough Elites, particularly if they're weak to fire. You'll have a tougher time taking advantage of the Trailblazer's damage output when up against those not weak to fire, but they can still be effective at baiting attacks.|
|Welt||5-Star||Imaginary||The Nihility||It's Welt's speed reduction that makes him such a desirable character - especially if you have characters who already have a high base speed in your party. Less speed for the enemy equals more turns for your characters, which can give you bonus attack, healing, or other support abilities more often. His slowing Technique is also one of the best in the whole game, giving you a big advantage right at the start of a fight.|
|Yukong||4-Star||Imaginary||The Harmony||Yukong is a very useful Harmony character to build, as her Skill increases the attack stat of all allies, and her Ultimate increases the Crit Rate and Crit Damage of all allies, as long as Roaring Bowstrings is active. That's the only downside to Yukong, as you need to be careful in your rotation to ensure Roaring Bowstrings is active when your DPS is using their most powerful moves. Yukong isn't as easy to use as Tingyun, but she's just as effective at upping the potential of your DPS characters - and she's a great sub DPS character in her own right, pairing very well with other Imaginary characters.|
Honkai Star Rail tier list for A-tier characters
These characters have a lot of potential to excel in their perfect combat scenarios or team comps, but they either have limitations that make them awkward to use, another character does what they do better, or they aren't versatile enough to fit in multiple teams.
In alphabetical order, here's our Honkai: Star Rail tier list for every A-tier character as of version 1.2 in August 2023:
|Asta||4-Star||Fire||The Harmony||Asta is a deceptively good pick for your team. Her Ultimate increases the speed of all party members, meaning some can take an extra turn if their own speed stats are high enough. This is really useful, as having even one extra turn can change a loss into a win, especially in the Forgotten Hall. However, you really have to invest in her Traces and build to get the best fire attack potential out of Asta.|
|Himeko||5-Star||Fire||The Erudition||An AOE damage dealer who launches follow up attacks if allies break enemy weaknesses, Himeko is a great pick when up against multiple enemies weak to fire, but she actually holds her own in single-target encounters too. Her Ultimate is a big nuke of Fire damage, but it also regenerates her energy, meaning she can get it back pretty quickly under the right circumstances - especially when you equip the right Relics.|
|March 7th||4-Star||Ice||The Preservation||Don't underestimate March 7th! Even though she's a free character, March 7th is versatile enough to protect your party even when up against enemies not weak to ice. This is because March provides a little bit of everything when protecting your team. She can shield an ally with her Skill (which can be used to bait enemies to attack a particular character), auto-hit back when a shielded ally is attacked, and freeze whole mobs of enemies with her Ultimate. She's particularly useful in longer battles, helping to draw out the fighting to let your DPS characters deal with the enemies. Buffing her abilities in the Simulated Universe can turn her into an even better character.|
|Natasha||4-Star||Physical||The Abundance||As a healer, Natasha is an essential character to build if you don't have other healers. Her Skill heals one ally, while her Ultimate heals the whole party. She may not have any flashy abilities, but healing your team is required to clear a lot of content, which is why we rate Natasha so highly.|
|Yanqing||5-Star||Ice||The Hunt||Yanqing is good against single-target enemies weak to Ice, but he can double up as a mini support due to his chance to freeze enemies when an Empathic Sword Link is activated by using his Skill. If his freezing and attack buffs were more reliable, we'd place Yanqing higher, due to his usefulness and damage potential against ice weaknesses, but the random nature means he's an unpredictable ally to have at times.|
Honkai Star Rail tier list for B-tier characters
Our B-tier characters are very good against their ideal opponents, while also tending to have some sort of special ability that can make them a viable option - though maybe not the best - during other combat scenarios. Keep in mind that increasing the Eiolons of most of these characters can boost their usefulness quite a lot.
In alphabetical order, here's our Honkai: Star Rail tier list for every B-tier character as of version 1.2 in August 2023:
|Serval||4-Star||Lightning||The Erudition||A very easy character to play, Serval is a great pick if you need AOE Lightning damage for your team. She can shock enemies with her attacks, and when she hits a shocked enemy, Serval will cause more damage. Although she provides nothing else, there are so many enemies weak against Lightning in the main story, especially the early parts, and a lot in the Forgotten Hall and Simulated Universe modes too. It all makes Serval a great 'basic' character, due to her very easy and effective kit.|
|Sushang||4-Star||Physical||The Hunt||As Sushang gets another turn after using her Skill, she's very good against single-target enemies weak to Physical, and can even help out when they're not weak. There are benefits to bringing Sushang in multi-target encounters too, as her Technique hits all enemies at the start of a battle, and when any enemy has their break bar destroyed, her speed increases, which can give her another extra turn. There's a bit of randomness to her Skill's damage, but all-in-all, Sushang is a fantastic damage dealer for a 4-Star.|
|Qingque||4-Star||Quantum||The Erudition||The random nature of Qingque's kit holds her back from reaching her full potential at times, but as one of the only Quantum characters right now, she's pretty valuable at launch. Her whole kit revolves around getting four of the same tiles to boost her attack damage, with her Skill allowing her to draw more tiles and helpfully not ending her turn so you can normal attack as well. As this is all luck, it's hard to ensure Qingque does the Quantum damage you need. If you don't mind repeating battles a lot, she can clinch the win for you in certain situations.|
|Hook||4-Star||Fire||The Destruction||Hook's biggest problem is that the Fire Trailblazer exists. While her playstyle is pretty simple (hit with everything you have and inflict Burn), and she's quicker at immediately damaging enemies at the start of a fight, the Fire Trailblazer is so much better in tougher encounters that last longer. The Fire Trailblazer can also fill a really good tank role, whereas Hook is just good for Fire damage. She's not a bad team member, she's just not essential.|
|Sampo||4-Star||Wind||The Nihility||If you need AOE Wind damage, Sampo's your man. His Technique is also useful for slowing enemies at the start of a fight to give your party more turns as a result. Sampo's AOE Wind damage from his Skill is slightly random though, so it might not hit every enemy. For the most effective Wind damage, you'll want to activate his Ultimate as much as possible.|
Honkai Star Rail tier list for C-tier characters
Our C-tier characters have a place in some specific situations, but offer very little - or no - additional benefits other than their Element type. They're not bad, but they don't have anything special about them either.
In alphabetical order, here's our Honkai: Star Rail tier list for every C-tier character as of version 1.2 in August 2023:
|Arlan||4-Star||Lightning||The Destruction||Arlan is a very good character when you build him correctly, but his skill takes away health every time it's used which can be a huge problem in some battles, although taking a healer or shielder can help. The big appeal of putting Arlan on your team is that he doesn't use a Skill Point to use his Skill. This frees up the Skill Points for other party members to use, which can increase your DPS per turn - making him particularly useful in the Forgotten Hall.|
|Dan Heng||4-Star||Wind||The Hunt||Dan Heng is a great pick to see you through the story, and can help you through a decent amount of the Forgotten Hall and Simulated Universe. He's fantastic against single-target enemies weak to Wind, and can even help out in multi-target situations, as long as they're also weak to Wind, or have low enough health to take out in one hit. The only real issue with Dan Heng is that he doesn't do much else. His skill has the chance of reducing an enemy's speed, but as this is only for a single-target, and not a guarantee, there are other characters who can do this better against multiple targets.|
|Trailblazer||5-Star||Physical||The Destruction||Good survivability and Physical damage in both AOE and single-target situations is about all the Physical version of the Trailblazer offers. Their healing Technique can be useful in the Forgotten Hall and Simulated Universe, but it's not essential if you have a healer on your team. Generally, any other Physical damage-dealer offers more to your team, but don't discount the Physical Trailblazer when you need AOE Physical Damage.|
Honkai Star Rail tier list for D-tier characters
Our D-tier characters have one or two functions that they perform well in, like farming for materials, or breaking weakness bars, but they don't offer much past this and won't be as useful as other characters of the same Path or Element.
In alphabetical order, here's our Honkai: Star Rail tier list for every D-tier character as of version 1.2 in August 2023:
|Herta||4-Star||Ice||The Erudition||Herta's not a bad character - especially if you're in need of AOE Ice damage - but she's not a particularly standout pick either. If an ally gets an enemy's health under a certain threshold she'll do a follow up attack, but that's about the extent of her useful perks, past AOE Ice damage.|
Hopefully our Honkai: Star Rail tier list has helped you in deciding what characters to upgrade, but do keep in mind that the game is more about how effectively you build a team, rather than how good one individual character performs in their role.
All the best building your teams!