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Honkai Star Rail: How to Level Up Characters Fast

Trying to avoid unnecessary grinding? Here's how to level up characters fast in Honkai Star Rail.

Wondering how to level up characters fast in Honkai Star Rail? HSR has a set difficulty loop that will require you to level up your characters if you want to keep winning battles. While the process can be a bit grindy, there are easy ways to manage your time so it doesn’t take too long. Our guide will tell you how to do that quickly.

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Character EXP: How Leveling Up Works in Honkai Star Rail

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It helps to understand the mechanics behind the leveling system first. Separate from your Trailblaze level, each character has an individual level that can be increased through Character EXP. A character’s HP, ATK, and DEF stats will rise along with each level increase.

HSR Character Ascension Explained

You’re bound to hit a maximum level in no time, which starts off at Level 20 for everyone. Reaching the end will prompt the Ascension option, increasing the maximum level by 10.

Ascension requires Character Ascension Materials, which can be ascended a total of six times. Those that have played Genshin Impact will recognize this system.

How to Level Up Characters Fast in Honkai Star Rail

Two methods can be used for leveling up characters fast:

  • Defeating enemies.
  • Using Character EXP Materials.

Defeating enemies only provides a little bit of experience, and it won’t be very noticeable beyond the early levels. Your primary focus will be on farming the following Character EXP Materials, such as:

  • Travel Encounters
  • Adventure Log
  • Traveler’s Guide

Your other focus will be on farming the many different Character Ascension Materials. As a whole, the best farming methods to level up characters fast in Honkai Star Rail will be challenging a particular Golden Calyx, the Simulated Universe, and the various Stagnant Shadows.

How to Farm Character EXP Materials to Level Up Fast in HSR

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There are multiple ways to earn these Character Materials:

  • Opening chests and completing missions are some of the natural methods.
  • The preferred method is to take on the Bud of Memories Golden Calyx in the Outlying Snow Plains.
Easiest Character Materials Farm: Bud of Memories Golden Calyx

This is the first Golden Calyx encountered, and it’s arguably the easiest due to the simple enemies. The first two difficulties will only provide Travel Encounters and Adventure Log materials, while the higher difficulties can provide Traveler’s Guide materials, as well. Like all other Calyx challenges, each wave of enemies requires 10x Trailblaze Power.

Trailblaze Power is limited, so they can’t be challenged consecutively unless it’s replenished with Fuel or Stellar Jade. It takes 18 hours to fully replenish itself on its own. You can wait it out, but it’s entirely up to your preference if you want to use it sooner. As someone who waits for it to fill back up over time, I can attest that I’ve managed to continually level up characters at a decent pace.

How to Farm Character Ascension Materials in HSR

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Naturally, Ascension Materials also play a vital role. These are a bit more complicated because there are two distinct types.

The first type is one you’ll commonly see since they’re also used as Trace Materials and Light Cone Ascension Materials. They come in sets of three across different rarities, with the following being just one example:

  • Extinguished Core
  • Glimmering Core
  • Squirming Core

Higher Ascensions will require an increasing number of materials and eventually higher rarities. The rarer materials will become available from enemies at high equilibrium levels, as well as through the Simulated Universe and Omni-Synthesizer.

Related: Honkai: Star Rail — How to Get Equilibrium Level 3

Best Ascension Materials Farm in Honkai Star Rail: Simulated Universe

Farming Ascension Materials isn’t quite as easy as farming Character Materials. That’s because most methods are RNG. Running through the Simulated Universe is one of the more consistent ways, though, since you can do it as many times as you’d like.

If the RNG isn’t quite in your favor or you’re too busy focusing on grinding out other things, I’d also suggest trying to farm the lower-level versions through Assignments. Simply come back for the rewards after the set time and then put them through the Omni-Synthesizer to fabricate the rarer versions.

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The second type is solely used for character ascension and can only be earned through Material Exchange and Stagnant Shadows, with the latter being the best way to farm them.

Each Stagnant Shadow offers a different Character Ascension Material as a drop, and completing higher difficulties will reward you with more materials. Each attempt costs 30x Trailblaze Power no matter the difficulty, so try to take on the hardest ones you can to make the best use of your time.

With so many different materials and a limit on Trailblaze Power, the time management to level up characters fast is ultimately up to you. Unless you’re someone who enjoys cross-checking stats and requirements across multiple characters, my advice is to focus on just one or two characters at a time to make things less confusing.

Take these tips into account, and you’ll have everything you need to level up characters fast in Honkai Star Rail. If you’re curious about what else can be done with your Trailblaze Power — or anything else you might need for your trailblazing adventure — head over to our HSR guides hub.

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Samuel Moreno
Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.