Honkai: Star Rail tier list rework!

As Honkai Star Rail crosses the one-year service mark, it has collected far more characters than it originally had with many of those characters being incredibly viable in the endgame. The increase in overall power and number of characters revealed some flaws in our old tier list we aim to remedy under the reworked one.

The letter system changed to the number system

Under the letter system, we felt the closeness of character power was not well conveyed. The difference between an A-tier character and an S-tier character was largely up to the interpretation of the viewer and whatever experience they’ve had in the past with tier lists and their letter rankings. To help with this we’re changing the format from letters to numbers to better represent the closeness of the characters between the tiers. For those used to our old tiers here is how things changed:

  • S+ Tier -> Tier 0
  • S Tier -> Tier 1
  • A Tier -> Tier 2
  • B Tier -> Tier 3
  • C Tier -> Tier 4
  • D Tier -> Tier 5

New feature – Meta Lines

The above is a start but not good enough to fully explain the positioning of characters on the list. For this reason, we’ve also added a new feature “Meta Lines” which categorizes each section of the tier list into a power bracket. Here are the brackets:

  • Apex Characters (T0 & T0.5) – characters in this bracket are the cream of the crop. They can do outrageous amount of damage, provide massive buffs (or debuffs) or keep the team alive no matter what the enemy throws at them. They simply can achieve the best, most consistent and accessible results in their best teams, allowing you to easily clear MoC and PF,
  • Meta Characters (T1, T1.5, T2) – characters in this bracket make clearing MoC and PF a breeze, but compared to the Apex characters they require more work from your side. Either their team options are more restrictive, they require bigger Relic investment or they possess a notable weakness or downside. Still, they are all great and won’t disappoint you if you give them what they need to shine,
  • Niche Characters (T3 & T4) – characters in this bracket are lacking in one or many fields of their role in MoC or PF. These characters still possess the ability to clear all content with the right build, endgame blessing, team or enemy line-up but have much lower play rates and success rates than Meta and Apex characters,
  • The Forgotten Ones (T5) – characters in this bracket struggle. A lot. Either their kits simply don’t work in the mode or they require a ton of investment and love to be able to work. Just avoid them unless your husbando or waifu landed here and you believe in the power of love.

Half tiers

To further define the tier list and correctly represent the power level of each character in relation to each other we have added half tiers to the higher tier brackets. Under our previous system, a tier rating jump of 1 tier rating made it difficult to position characters accurately, often leading to multiple characters ending up in the same tier despite a clear power and utility difference.

New feature – Tags

Tags are another new feature that should improve the tier list.

They are split into 3 categories: ProsCons, and Archetype which represent the most defining features of a character’s kit and the current meta archetypes they fit into. Archetype tags indicate a connection between characters with that tag e.g. Acheron requires debuffs to work and Silver Wolf applies them. Here is a full list of all current tags and what they mean:

  • Break – the character belongs to the Break archetype focusing on Break Effect and Break Efficiency,
  • Debuff – the character belongs to the Debuff archetype applying one or many debuffs or has a kit that directly relies on them to function,
  • DoT – the character belongs to the Damage-over-Time archetype specializing in applying and/or amplifying DoT effects,
  • FuA – the character belongs to the Follow-up Attack archetype benefitting from, buffing or delivering powerful Follow-Up Attacks.,
  • Advance – the character can manipulate the turn order by either action advancing their allies or themselves,
  • Buff – the character can apply various Buffs to help their teammates,
  • Delay – the character can delay enemies and hinder their actions in battle,
  • Energy – the character can recover the teammates’ energy,
  • SP+ – the character is substantially more skill point friendly than other characters in their role.
  • SP- – the character is substantially more skill point un-friendly than other characters in their role.

New Light Cone criteria

Star Rail has been out for a year now and many players have accumulated a very healthy amount of characters, but also Light Cones on their account compared to the early days of the game. Due to this, we’ve decided to relax the Light Cone restrictions on the tier list by slightly changing the criteria from only allowing exclusively absolutely free Light Cones to also including S5 gacha Light Cones (Like S5 Memories of the Past) and S1 standard banner lightcones (Like Clara’s Signature).

Please note that this change does NOT include any form of battle pass Light Cones, any event limited Light Cones, or higher superimposition levels of standard Light Cones.

Some tier placements explained

Acheron

With Acheron’s release firmly in the past, she has since proven herself to be an absolute powerhouse at almost all levels of account investment thanks to her flexibility in team building, strong inherent damage increases and multipliers, and the ability to deal toughness damage to all elements. For these reasons under the new half-tier system, we feel she edges out Imibitor Lunae and Jingliu at this time.

Robin, Sparkle, and Ruan Mei

The holy trinity of Harmony with each having their own defined specialty but with the capability of being used in almost any team to great success.

After extensive testing and long long discussions, we’ve decided to place all 3 of them in the same tier for MoC and Robin and Ruan Mei slightly above Sparkle in Pure Fiction for now.

  • In Memory of Chaos, these 3 characters are all absolutely at the Apex tier but with such defined specialties and varied powers our team could not decisively place 1 or 2 of them in the absolute top tier of T0 just yet. And as a result, we’ve placed them all in tier 0.5 together.
  • For Pure Fiction, double-DPS teams are far more common than in MoC. That’s why we feel Robin and Ruan Mei are more valuable in this mode and we have placed them a half tier above Sparkle. Still, with many highly anticipated damage units on the horizon, we will be revisiting the trio in the future.

Feedback

You can find our tier list here and if you want to give us feedback, please leave it in the comments of this post or join our Discord. The latter option is better for us as the team is daily discussing stuff in the H: SR channels.

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44 Comment

  1. Name

    Imagine saying Acheron has flexible team options… And saying she’s a beast at all investment levels when her only proper light cone options are literally just her sig and GNSW 😭😭😭 bffr, she’s restrictive atm

    1. lol

      nah that’s normal for them, they think that getting those gacha lightcone and teamates is much easier than just playing smartly. The should just abolish the tierlist and makes it more like percentage appearance only.

    2. Aquila

      They have done the math on Acheron with F2P LC like Fermata and she still does strong damage. All you need to get is Sampo and Fermata can work for Acheron. the more Nihility characters you collect and the more flexible her potential teams become. Even Welt LC can work even though its merely a stat stick for her.

      1. NAME

        and how does the ‘strong damage’ is compared to the other DPS character with their F2P LC? is she still above them? I purely doubt it.

      2. Welt Simp

        > “and how does the ‘strong damage’ is compared to the other DPS character with their F2P LC? is she still above them? I purely doubt it.”

        Acheron with sub-par F2P investment far surpasses any other damage dealer released so far with average, even above average F2P investment.

        E0S0 Acheron likely surpasses even E0S1 carries you’d find in S tier (now tier 0.5).

        The amount of power difference between Acheron and the other damage dealer characters in the game is difficult to state.

    3. Vaxu

      Tell me you don’t have Acheron without telling me you don’t have Acheron lmfao

    4. Puredragons

      How is she restrictive? Shes one of the most f2p friendly unit you can ever get. Just get a fermata and either Pela, Sampo, Guinaifei…there’s so many options

    5. Bob

      She might not be strictly better than JL at poverty levels of investment but not far behind either. Also you have to consider how she performs at medium and higher investment level too. She is more restrictive but not to the point that the average player would have problems making her function. All things considered I think the placement is correct.

    6. Dora

      You know we just got a new LC with crit stats, right? Do your research first before talking

    7. DK

      You’re looking at how much weaker she is with a pure F2P setup vs her best teams and seeing a huge gap. But what you’re not seeing is how even with these F2P units and light cones, she’s still extremely powerful. I’m just using her with the fire trailblazer, E2 Pela, and E1 Guinaifen, and she’s ulting frequently and melting bosses.

      1. DK

        Oh, and my account is just three months old and have spent none dollars, and yet I somehow managed to get two nihility characters for her. Helps that one was an event reward. This wasn’t exactly a difficult party building exercise.

      2. Bootmei

        That’s the thing others dont see. With F2p setup like basically any 4* LC and 4* team comp Acheron will still deal above average damage. I have 2 accounts and one with Jingliu having RM, bronya, FX and her LC and the other one is with Acheron+LC, and her team is basically Aventurine, pela and Guin. She deals way more damage but yeah She’s cost way much unlike jingliu that have native crit. What i meant is Acheron is superior with f2p setup than the others.

    8. Marci

      Acheron above Jingliu and DHIL is a joke, has the tier list maker ever played the game? If so, then they should have realized that Acheron needs a tremendous amount of investment compared to the Jingliu and DHIL

      Acheron’s good 4 Star F2P LCs are all Gacha and require imposition 5 to be viable; her best Relic set is a must have due to her iffy crit rate and even if u have a hald decent set, getting a decent crit rate value on e0 acheron is very hard on top of all the other required stats that u also have to farm; also generating her own stacks on e0s0 is unreliable and her two other Nihility team mates will not contribute much to any damage; in comparison to that DHIL and Jingliu will dish out much more consistent damage with way less investment and more leeway on things like LC and relics

      Acheron -> one tier below
      DHIL and Jingliy -> move up one tier

      1. Nephi

        I agree IL and Jingliu are very strong, but saying they’re above Acheron is nonsense.

        First, talking about Light Cones. She’s absolutely fine with Fermata – a free LC you get from the shop. Sure her signature is very strong, it doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t function without it.

        Second, about team mates. IL and Jingliu are as restrictive in teammates, if not more, than Acheron, in my opinion. Almost every Nihility character in the game works well with Acheron, and any Preservation character would do as well with Trend LC. If you check on the top teams using Acheron, you’d see very interesting teams, not fixed at all.

        Third, about stat balancing. Finding crit pieces for damage dealers has never been a sweet process. I believe it’s the same with all 3 characters we’re talking about. The interesting fact about Acheron is, even though you don’t use Bronya/Sparkle here, she doesn’t need a single speed point anyway. If it’s the same with all of them, then there’s no point talking about it at all.

        Hope all of this changed your mind. You’re hating a character for no reason lol.

    9. rona

      Lmaoo calcs don’t lie in this case, do some actual research (there’s even info ok this very website can you believe that??!?) since the best you acheron haters can come up with is: “hurr durr she might do less damage with this overtly unrealistic scenario where my account has 0 characters and 0 lightcones on it!!1!! hurr durr my team with 0 other nihility characters gets beaten by jingliu with her signature cone and premium team hurr durr”

  2. Ghoti Styx

    A change needed for a while! Recognizing team comps is a key resource for all players to understand Hoyoverse’s experiments in team composition metas and predicting future pull value!

  3. XYZ

    I don’t get why every time there’s a tier list change, the majority of players get pissed and complain. Tier lists aren’t the definite source of whether you should pull or how strong a character really is. It gives a good idea of what to expect for a character but that’s all it is. Do your own research, watch guides, and look at your account to see if you need a character. Basing your decision purely from a tier list is just weird.
    And if your favourite character is a tier or 2 lower than you’d give, who cares? The tier list is just a group’s opinion, why get so mad over it?

    1. Puredragons

      I dont get it either, a few people are getting tilted over absolutely nothing

    2. bleh

      because gacha gamers take things so personally… acheron higher than my favourite character? clearly this is a personal attack on me… i cant believe prydwen.gg hates me in particular…

      the way that gacha games (hsr and genshin in particular) have formed their strong online communities leads to this downside.. that communities are built based solely on I Like This Character And Am Tied To Them On A Deeper Level, therefore tier list change = i must fight for Fictional Character’s Honor

  4. Arha

    “With Acheron’s release firmly in the past, she has since proven herself to be an absolute powerhouse at almost all levels of account investment thanks to her flexibility in team building,” meanwhile, she has a trace that require 2 Nihility…

    I feel like “Either their team options are more restrictive” of “Meta characters” is more appropriate for her tbh.

    1. Puredragons

      Do you have Acheron? You can easily just fulfill one condition (have 1 nihility + harmony) and you’ll do fine, she’s still very powerful

    2. DK

      If someone told you that Acheron needs 2 supporting nihility characters to be strong, they were very wrong. What makes her so good is that she’s really strong even with just one nihility character, while having a second takes her from strong to broken.

  5. diffusion

    Good changes, except changing letters for decimals, it’s not intuitive

  6. Kuroh

    I don’t think you read Acheron cons listed on your own website. Just stop pretending and admit that you rate characters only based on the best possible team and best s5 gacha light cone that almost no one will have.

  7. DUle

    with how things work here, if somehow boothil is not on t0 rank because of his not ‘flexible’ team. I will laugh at prydwen tier list hypocrisy lol.

  8. Najoon

    I really like the new tier labeling system, it just instantly makes more sense to anyone looking. I have to agree that Acheron’s placement feels a little weird for F2P.

  9. l

    I started a new gacha game in addition to Honkai Star Rail recently. While browsing the subreddit for new player info, I saw a comment asking if Prydwen was a trustworthy source, and was met with replies saying no one takes Prydwen’s tier list seriously.

    Anyway, I sleep easy knowing that Prydwen tier lists aren’t respected in any fandom.

    1. Rj_Jen

      If you are new to the game and want to know who to invest your limited pulls and energy, then it is absolutely accurate. All the drama happens over who gets to be S+ over just S ( now i guess T0 over T0.5). If you know how to read tier lists past the very top tier, hard thing to do for many people for some reason, and especially if you are able to read tier descriptions and placement criteria, then it’s very much accurate, maybe with a Margin of error of 0.5 to 1 tier maximum.

      1. L

        If you know how to read tier lists past the very top tier, the tier list is even worse and really drives home how much of a double standard they treat some characters with

        Only someone with 0 knowledge of the game would think Yanqing is about as good as Herta in MOC. “But he needs a shielder!” Yeah and that’s way less requirements than for Acheron to be as good as they’re saying lol

  10. Waifu over meta

    I hope Devs make filter for the tags in the future.

  11. Sky

    Agree with the comments finding funny that people always complain about Tier Lists. Tier Lists should be taken at face value (like somebody giving their ‘opinion’) and not something that should dictate your judgment and completely alter the way you play or do your teambuilding.

    That being said… I completely disagree about your gacha Light Cones at S5 rule. I’ve been playing since day 1 and getting the Monthly Pack rigorously; and yet the only 4* gacha Light Cone that I’ve been able to fully Superimpose is the Resolution one. Light Cone gearing it’s (in my opinion) the worst thing in this game if you’re not pulling the 5* ones. Way too many units benefit from the same Light Cones, so most of the time you can’t Superimpose them.

    1. P

      Also day 1 player, and I still don’t have a single copy of Pearls, making my Acheron (with Pela) quite a bit worse.

  12. Junko

    Anyone thinking that Acheron isn’t T0 is insane, she has a good amount of F2P LCs and can work in almost any team structure

  13. Taia

    It’s funny to see so many people bitching over acheron being placed higher over jingliu and DHIL and even funnier with the “b-b-but she needs 2 nhility units to work” headasses out here not realising that frees up harmony units for other teams allowing you to hypercarry on the other team too.

    Also DHIL should be T1 we all know that, boy needs way too many skill points to achieve not much more than jingliu who’s sp positive any team with him is truly desperate for a sparkle. Give that boy a special SP– tag.

    1. Nephi

      Bro come on, aren’t you doing exactly what Acheron haters are doing?

  14. Christopher

    ya I think after today I won’t be following prydwen anymore. their lists just get worse and worse. Will be following cn analysis even more now. like the harmony trinity should be 0 tier for starters and acheron is strong but she’s not in a class of her own when in moc the latest clear time is still with dhil. prydwen just sucked off gacha smack because this list looks almost like the changes he wanted.

  15. Juro_Ichigami

    I believe that Qingque should not be on the same level as Seele it should be above it

  16. Malthael

    Interesting change! While it’s mildly disheartening that Acheron is the undespudited top it also doesn’t surprise me given she shares a resemblance of Hoyo’s other favorites in their two other games. Still great work! My only suggestion would be I know you all usually put “Suggested Teams” on characters before we get MoC data and I think that’d be good to add back since not all the DPS will make it into which ever the current MoC rotation is and having a general guide line might be nice for new people and verterans to refer to when considering who to pull, who they work with, etc. The Tags will go a long way to help this tho!

  17. Yo

    Honestly a tier list shouldn’t be taken that seriously and we should know that for a fact (hopefully) so making all these sudden changes with these decimal points just makes this superfluous. This is comparable to a company where they want to make changes to something that nobody complained about only to make it worse because they got to meet quota from higher-ups that they need to do their jobs to change… something. If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it. But again if this is your goal to showcase miniscule difference, then so be it. In the end, a tier list is just a tier list.

  18. Val

    Naaah what is this 😭😭!! Was the point of this to make a new tier JUST for Acheron fr, if anything just keep it how it was before with the FUA, SP+ tags at the bottom

  19. Radagon

    Jingliu is frankly just better and more reliable then Acheron.

    What do you need to make Acheron perform? Two Nihility characters, godlike subs on Pioneer to get good rate, and her Lightcone. Without all of those things she straight up barely keeps up with JL and Daniel. E2 Acheron is significantly more flexible but her team and LC options are frankly extremely limited without Eidolons.

    Jingliu out of the gate is the easiest dps in the game to build and use and perform with. 50 free rate, she can use Quantum or Ice sets and go all in on crit damage, and her teams can be flexible as a hypercarry not dependent on support types. Having a healer helps but honestly it makes Blade dual dps teams with her even better in something like PF. Her LC options are also in a good spot, S5 Herta Destruction is only 10% worse than her sig versus Acheron losing out on frankly absurd 24% damage increase compared to GNSW. She can also perform better in this PF then Acheron by abusing the energy blessing with FUA characters to almost stay infinitely powered up.

    I just fail to see how Acheron can be considered better and ‘more flexible’ than her in the current state of the game. You can make an argument for Daniel being equally restrictive as Acheron, but Jingliu simply isn’t.

  20. Nephi

    Idk why you guys even have any problem with Acheron being T0…

    I believe the list is quite reasonable. Supporters’ evaluations are quite confusing, but I guess because they don’t deal damage on themselves, it’s much harder to tell who’s better.

    Prydwen has always overestimated Silver Wolf for whatever reason.

    1. Radagon

      Considering Ratio and Acheron are the two most prevalent DPS characters right now and SW is in both of their teams, it’s not hard to see SW’s value. She’s also still the most reliable way to get the most debuffs on a single target and Pioneer in general is a great dps generalist set. It’s a Furina/Marachaussee Hunter situation.

  21. Axor

    Acheron haters are hilarious. Look, it’s fine if you don’t like her as a character, that’s whatever. But you’re being wilfully ignorant of the facts if you think she’s not the single strongest character in the game currently.

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