Honkai: Star Rail Early Gearing Guide

For those desiring a comprehensive understanding of the Relic system in Honkai: Star Rail, we strongly recommend perusing our other guide first. This article is designed to expand upon that base knowledge, focusing particularly on the management and strategic use of your Relics, optimal farming times, and other nuanced details.

Establishing Your Priorities

In numerous games, a character’s performance is significantly influenced by their gear sets. This principle holds true for Honkai: Star Rail as well. However, during the initial phase of the game, you’ll likely find yourself bypassing the sets in favour of concentrating on the Main stat. Why, you might ask? Let’s delve into a sample Relic piece to unravel the answer.

The Main stat, highlighted in yellow, is your first line of focus. You can potentially derive a considerable 43.2% ATK from a single Relic piece – a truly significant amount. Clearly, during the early stages, acquiring 5★ Relics may prove challenging, compelling you to opt for lower rarity ones, which offer slightly lesser values.

The substats, outlined in white, are randomly generated for each Relic piece, and they gradually increase as you level up a Relic. However, in contrast to the Main stat, which consistently increases at a predetermined rate, the substats are not only subject to random stat gain but also require you to hit the right stat. Consequently, it becomes a game of double chance every time the Relic is enhanced by 3 levels.

To put things into perspective, equipping 2 Relics from the Musketeer set merely grants you 10% ATK, whereas an upgraded +9 3★ Relic offers 17.2% ATK exclusively from the Main stat. It’s important to note that the Head and Hands gear pieces consistently roll the same Main Stat (Flat HP and Flat ATK), making them flexible components that aid in completing the sets.

Optimizing Your Progress

As you advance, your gear valuation and usage will undergo several shifts:

  • Initially, you’ll primarily be searching for Relics with the character-appropriate Main stat and equipping them. This will be your sole interest during the first few days.
  • As your characters become outfitted with the desired Main stat Relics and you’ve performed a few upgrades, your focus will shift towards locating Relics that possess the Main stat you need as well as belong to the set you covet.
  • Initially, aim for completing 2-piece bonuses prior to progressing to 4-piece ones.
  • This marks the mid-game of gearing.
  • Once your characters have been equipped with Relics that have both the appropriate Main stat and Set, you can start hunting for items that additionally possess the substats you seek.

Beyond the priority order of Main Stat > Set > Substats, you’ll also need to keep an eye on the rarity of the Relic. A higher rarity Relic equates to superior Main and Substats, but be mindful that the cost of upgrading them also escalates considerably. Hence, caution in upgrading is paramount during the early phases of the game.

The Golden Rule of Thumb:

To manage the complexity, here’s a general guideline to follow:

  • 2★ Relics, which cap at +6, are worth equipping, but you may forego upgrading them.
  • 3★ Relics, capping at +9, can be upgraded to +6.
  • 4★ Relics, reaching their limit at +12, can be upgraded to either +6 or +9.
  • 5★ Relics, topping out at +15, can be upgraded to +9. Beyond that, the costs become exorbitant. It’s only sensible to push past if the piece boasts impressive substats and well-rolled points.

Navigating Gear Farming:

Given the significant role that rarity plays, we advise against expending stamina on Relic farming until you’ve sufficiently elevated your Equilibrium Level. Initially, in the Cavern of Corrosion, you’ll be restricted to farming 3★ Relics with a slim chance for 4★ Relics. The opportunity to drop 5★ Relics only presents itself upon reaching Difficulty 3 of the Caverns, peaking at a 100% drop rate on Difficulty 4. However, attaining this point requires several weeks of play.

Fear not, though! The Main Story rewards, treasure chests, and leveling rewards will provide you with plenty of 3★ and 4★ Relics to facilitate progression. To put it succinctly:

  • Before reaching TL 40, direct your efforts towards farming Ascension/Traces materials and Character/Cone EXP.
  • Upon hitting TL 40, start farming CoC and SU, as you’ve just gained access to Gold rarity.

Character Preferences:

Each character demonstrates a distinct predilection for certain Sets and Main stats. However, in the early game, the luxury of choice may be sparse. Hence, we can broadly classify them into four categories:

  • Classic DPS: Their Main stats of interest are ATK % and Ele DMG %. The classical DPS (damage dealer) craves the holy trifecta of stats: ATK%, Crit Rate, and Crit DMG. However, accumulating adequate Crit in the early game to justify the investment is quite improbable, so you’ll be honing in on ATK% and Ele DMG % wherever feasible. This includes characters like Physical MC, Dan Heng, Arlan, and Seele.
  • Healer/Buffers: They favor HP and Speed. Given that a Healer’s efficiency scales with their own HP, focusing on this stat is intuitive. Although HP doesn’t influence any buffs for Buffers, it still enhances their survivability. Characters in this category include Natasha and Bailu.
  • Shielder: Their attention is on DEF and Speed. Much like Healers scaling with HP, Shielders scale with their own DEF. Thus, stacking the DEF stat leads to heightened shielding numbers. Characters like March 7th, Fire MC, and Gepard belong here.

The Break Effect build was discontinued due to significant nerfs in the release, rendering it no longer viable as a full investment.

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