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Honkai: Star Rail terms and mechanics, explained

What do all these fancy fantasy terms mean in Honkai: Star Rail?

Pom-pom, a black and white rabbit-like creature in a train conductor outfit, in Honkai: Star Rail Image: Hoyoverse via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Honkai: Star Rail is a mobile gacha game through and through, and uses a ton of the same mechanics that you’ll see in other games of the same genre.

While the game has tons of similar UI elements and general mechanics as Hoyoverse’s other games, Honkai Impact 3rd and Genshin Impact, it’s actually way easier to grasp if you just know what all these mumbo-jumbo terms mean.

Below, we list out all the terms and mechanics, explaining them for the modern gacha player to get up to speed.

Account information

  • Trailblaze level: Your account level. As you rank up, you can claim rewards from Pom Pom and increase your Equilibrium Level.
  • Equilibrium Level: The difficulty level of your game. You need to increase this to power up your characters further.
  • Trailblaze Power: Your stamina. You can only complete certain gameplay elements if you spend this. It caps out at 180. It takes six minutes to regain one Trailblaze Power and 18 hours to refill all 180.

Characters and equipment

  • Paths: Character types, classifying them into defensive, healing, AoE, etc. roles. There are seven classifications and each use different Light Cones.
  • Light Cones: Weapons. These are the primary pieces of equipment your characters use. You can pull for them in the gacha or you can farm some lower-rarity ones from various fights.
  • Traces: Character skill levels. Increase the damage output from your characters by using simple materials to upgrade these.
  • Relics: Sub-equips, similar to Genshin Impact artifacts. They have set bonuses and roll random substats.
  • Eidolon: When you pull duplicates of the same characters, you can upgrade their stats and skills by increasing their eidolon.
Serval’s Eidolon upgraded to rank three in Honkai: Star Rail Image: Hoyoverse via Polygon
  • Talent: A passive ability that can buff the character, cause them to make follow-up attacks, etc.
  • Skill: An ability that requires skill points to use.
  • Ultimate: A powerful ability that requires a full ultimate gauge to use.
  • Technique: An ability that is used outside of combat to supplement an incoming fight.

Dailies and weeklies

  • Nameless Honor: The battle pass. You can rank it up to level 50 for free by doing daily and weekly tasks, but you can expand upon the rewards by paying money.
  • Daily Training: A set of five tasks you can do to earn “activity.” For each 100 activity you earn, you get a handful of Stellar Jade.
A list of tasks to complete to earn daily points in Honkai: Star Rail Image: Hoyoverse via Polygon
  • Assignments: Send off characters to get you different materials. The longer you send them away, the more materials they’ll bring back. The characters you send away can still be used in battle.
  • Synthesize: Create healing food and combine small materials into bigger materials using this simple crafting system.
  • Simulated Universe: A roguelite combat mode where you travel to different “worlds” and take different paths to fight enemies and earn buffs that are only active in this mode. It’s very similar to Honkai Impact 3rd’s Elysium Realm, though on a simpler scale. There are rewards that reset every week.
  • Forgotten Hall: A combat mode where you have to clear enemies within a number of turns to earn rewards. It’s similar to Genshin Impact’s Spiral Abyss.

Gacha and currency

  • Stellar Jade: The main premium currency you earn from opening chests, completing quests, etc.
  • Star Rail Special Pass: The currency you use to roll on the event gacha banner. These cost 160 Stellar Jade each.
  • Star Rail Pass: The currency you use to roll on the standard gacha banner. These cost 160 Stellar Jade each.
  • Undying Starlight: Currency you get for getting four-stars or higher via gacha. You can spend this on more passes, four-star characters, or five-star light cones.
  • Undying Embers: Currency you get for getting three-stars via gacha. You can spend this on more passes and upgrade materials.
  • Oneiric Shards: Premium currency you can only buy with real money. You can convert this to Stellar Jade at a 1:1 rate or use it to buy special bundles.
  • Credits: The common currency used to upgrade characters, buy items from NPC shops, etc.

Farming materials and equipment

  • Calyx (Golden): Farming stages for character and Light Cone EXP materials, as well as Credits. Costs 10 Trailblaze Power to run.
A golden Calyx in Honkai: Star Rail, bloomed open Image: Hoyoverse via Polygon
  • Calyx (Crimson): Farming stages for Trace and Light Cone ascension material. Costs 10 Trailblaze Power to run.
  • Stagnant Shadow: Small-scale boss enemies that drop character ascension material. Costs 30 Trailblaze Power to run.
  • Cavern of Corrosion: Farming stages for Relics. Costs 40 Trailblaze Power to run.
  • Echo of War: Bigger, weekly bosses that drop four-star weapons and Trace materials. Costs 30 Trailblaze Power to run and you can only do these three times per week.

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