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Honkai Star Rail light cones and paths

Honkai Star Rail light cones are an important part of any build, so let's take a look at what they are, how they work, the Honkai Star Rail paths, and more.

Honkai Star Rail light cones: Gepard's official artwork

Honkai Star Rail light cones are a super important part of any character’s build – setting off on your trailblazing adventure without equipping one of these beauties is essentially like charging into battle without a weapon. So, what exactly are they, and how do you get your hands on them? Lucky for you, we’re here to share all in this guide, including a rundown on all the different Honkai Star Rail paths.

If you’re wondering who to pull for, check out our Honkai Star Rail tier list and Honkai Star Rail banner guides, and be sure to snap up some goodies with our Honkai Star Rail codes. Oh, and to fully boost your build, we’ve also got a guide to all Honkai Star Rail relics for your perusal.

Now, let’s get our heads around these wonderful little gizmos, with our Honkai Star Rail light cones guide.

What are Honkai Star Rail light cones?

Light cones are, according to the game, ‘solidified phenomena sealed inside slices of pure light’ that are used to upgrade abilities. Basically, they appear as a card-shaped item that you can equip to different characters, depending on their type. They essentially work in the same way that weapons do in Genshin Impact. Just like an archer has a bow, a character on the Preservation path must have a light cone on the Preservation path, too.

Cones are available in three rarities – three-star, four-star, and the coveted five-star. Equipping your characters with the best light cones doesn’t necessarily mean the highest rarity, as each cone provides different benefits that can work for specific people. Luckily, you can easily see which ones are best for each character, as their face is often on them!

Honkai Star Rail light cones data bank entries

What are the Honkai Star Rail paths?

In Honkai Star Rail, there are seven different paths that both characters and light cones can follow. You can’t equip any random light cone to just any character, they need to align with the same path. For example, Honkai Star Rail’s Sampo should only use light cones on the Nihility path.

Similar to classes in other games, Honkai Star Rail paths dictate what type of role a character fulfills. Below, we list all the paths that are currently in the game, along with a brief description and the general roles they fall under. If Hoyoverse adds any new paths in the future, we’ll be sure to add them here.

Keep in mind that there is some flexibility in roles, so it’s best to check out the character skills or head over to our various Honkai Star Rail character builds to work out how to make the most of your trailblazing pals.

Path Description Character role
Destruction Deals outstanding amounts of damage and possesses great survivability. Suitable for various combat scenarios All-rounder DPS
Hunt Deals extraordinary amounts of single-target damage. These characters excel as the main damage dealer against elite enemies Single target DPS
Erudition Deals remarkable amounts of multi-target damage. These characters excel as the main damage dealer against groups of enemies AoE damage
Harmony Applies buffs to allies to improve the team’s combat capacities Support buffer
Nihility Applies debuffs to enemies to reduce their combat capabilities Sub-DPS or enabler
Preservation Possesses powerful defensive abilities that allow them to protect allies in various ways Tank or shielder
Abundance Heals allies and restores HP to the team Healer

In addition to their unique skills, each light cone has three sub-stats. These are:

  • HP
  • ATK
  • DEF

What are the best Honkai Star Rail light cones?

Our recommendations for the best Honkai Star Rail light cones are still a work in progress but below are some of our recommendations. Really, any light cone is worth its salt, it all depends on who you’re using it on and how you want them to perform. We do have build guides for every Honkai Star Rail character that offer our specific recommendations based on the characters’ kits, so be sure to check those out. Every time a new five-star character comes out, a specific light cone releases alongside them, which is obviously their best in slot – but can be hard to get.

Recommended light cones

Here are the easily attainable light cones that we recommend – that is to say, none of these are five-star limited light cones, they’re all either purchasable, free items, or attainable in any banner.

Light cone Path Rarity How to obtain Skill
Night on the Milky Way Erudition Five-star Standard banner For every enemy on the field, increases the wearer’s attack, up to five stacks. When an enemy is inflicted with a weakness break, the damage dealt by the wearer increases for one turn.
Something Irreplacable Destruction Five-star Standard banner Increases the wearer’s attack by up to 40%. When the wearer defeats an enemy or is hit, they restore HP equal to a percentage of the wearer’s attack. The wearer’s damage is also increased until the end of their next turn. Can only trigger once per turn.
The Seriousness of Breakfast Erudition Four-star Mission reward, Forgotten Hall store Increases the wearer’s damage. For every defeated enemy, the wearer’s attack increases and can stack up to three times.
Shared Feeling Abundance Four-star Any banner Increases the wearer’s outgoing healing by up to 20%. When using a skill, regenerate some energy for all allies.
Birth of the Self Erudition Four-star Battle pass reward Increases damage dealt by the wearer’s follow-up attacks. If the current HP of the target enemy is below 50%, this cone further increases damage dealt by follow-up attacks.
Chorus Harmony Three-star Any banner Increases the attack of all allies when entering battle.
Collapsing Sky Destruction Three-star Any banner Increases the wearer’s basic attack and skill damage.

If you want to see the skills for all the light cones in the game – even ones you haven’t unlocked yet – you can check out the data bank in the in-game menu.

Honkai Star Rail light cones: Welt's five-star light cone screen showing talents and upgrades

How do I get Honkai Star Rail light cones?

Light cones are super easy to get in Honkai Star Rail, though the five-stars are a rarer drop. Three-star light cones make up most of the drops you get from pulling on the banners, with the occasional four-star appearing in your pulls. You can also get three-star and four-star light cones in treasure chests around the map and or from quest rewards.

There is a light cone banner alongside every limited five-star character, which has their signature five-star light cone, and boosted rate four-stars, too. For instance, Seele’s banner has her light cone In The Night as the main attraction, with light cones for each of the four-star characters on her banner, boosted as well.

There are also three unique, five-star light cones that you can purchase from Herta’s Store in exchange for Herta Bond currency that you earn from progressing through the Simulated Universe. They are:

  • On the Fall of an Aeon (Destruction)
  • Cruising in the Stellar Sea (The Hunt)
  • Texture of Memories (Preservation)

If you manage to save up a whopping 600 Undying Starlight by pulling on the banners, you can purchase one of seven light cones from the Starlight Exchange store. These seven options not only cover all of the paths but are also the signature light cones for the standard characters on the Honkai Star Rail banner – though, of course, they can be just as useful for other characters. They are:

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How do I upgrade my Honkai Star Rail light cones?

There are two different ways to upgrade your Honkai Star Rail light cones – leveling them up and superimposing them. If you have more than one copy of a light cone, you can click ‘enhance’, then choose ‘superimpose’, then meld them together. This boosts the effects of their skill. You can superimpose each light cone to a maximum of level five.

Leveling up your light cone is a simple process. When looking at the light cone, go to the ‘level up’ tab and add materials. The best way to do this is using aether, the light cone EXP material that you can farm through Calyxes or daily assignments. You can use light cones that you don’t need, but we generally recommend only doing that with three-star light cones that you definitely won’t use.

Every ten levels you need to ascend your light cone before you can upgrade it further. This requires specific materials, such as extinguished cores or thief’s instincts. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to earn these materials, such as enemy drops, assignments, the Embers Exchange shop, or even the Omni-Synthesize material exchange.

That’s all we have for Honkai Star Rail light cones for now – why not check out our build guides for characters like Honkai Star Rail BronyaHonkai Star Rail BladeHonkai Star Rail Herta, and the lion man himself, Honkai Star Rail Jing Yuan?