Speed, speed breakpoints and turn order are complex but crucial mechanics in Honkai: Star Rail.
Understanding how they work is key to success in combat.
This guide provides an in-depth overview of Speed, Action Value, Action Gauge, and related speed concepts.
Let's dive in!
How Do Speed Breakpoints Work in Honkai: Star Rail?
Turn Order and Speed Basics
In Honkai: Star Rail, Speed determines how often a character can act. The higher a character's Speed, the more turns they take.
Characters with double the Speed of another will take twice as many turns.
Turn order depends on Action Value (AV), seen on the left of the combat screen. The lower the AV, the sooner a character acts.
Higher Speed means lower Base AV, so characters act more often. After a character acts, their AV resets to their Base AV. The game subtracts the same amount from all characters' AV until one reaches 0, and they act.
Enable "Display Character's Action Value" in Settings to see each character's AV.
Is Speed Worth It?
Speed provides many benefits, like activating Planar Ornament set passives (like Space Sealing Station at 120 Speed or Talia: Kingdom of Banditry at 145 speed). Extra turns also improve breaking enemies, applying DoTs, and triggering passives.
However, Speed has opportunity costs, like less damage by investing in Speed over ATK% or CRIT.
If enemies die before extra turns matter, Speed does little to the overall damage output.
5-star Speed Boots provide ~25 Speed, giving one extra turn per four turns, which may not provide full value if battles end quickly.
Extra turns require proper skill and buff management, which can make Speed worse than damage stats if mismanaged.
Roles also impact Speed value. Supports want to be faster than damage dealers to apply buffs first. Some characters like Clara and Himeko deal damage without turns, so ATK% and CRIT are better than Speed.
Speed is extremely useful but can be inconsistent based on difficulty, team composition, character, and RNG.
Free Speed is good, but investing in it over other stats can be detrimental.
Characters That Want More/Less Than 120 Speed
More Than 120 Speed
- Bronya (Fast): ~150 Speed allows two turns before enemies, offsetting high SP costs.
- Pela/Welt/Silver Wolf: Higher Speed allows debuffing enemies quickly and maintaining ultimate uptime for debuffs.
- Sampo/Kafka/Guinaifen: Most damage comes from DoTs scaling with ATK%/DMG%. 120 Speed activates Space Sealing Station but ATK% is more important.
- Blade/Jingliu/Argenti: No reason not to maximize Speed for more energy and skill points.
- Bailu/Luocha/Lynx/Huohuo: Higher Speed generates more SP + healing/energy.
- Fu Xuan: SP positive and will always keep the Matrix up.
- Topaz: Not her top priority, but more Speed means more chances to Advance Forward Numby via follow-up attacks.
Around 120 Speed
- Seele: High base Speed (115) reaches 120 Speed easily. Wants to frontload damage for extra turn on kill, so 120 Speed activates sets but extra Speed unnecessary.
- Dan Heng IL: More speed means more skill point consumption, supports should have higher speed than him.
- Asta: ATK% buff decays each turn, but she buffs Speed, so building over 120 Speed unnecessary.
- Gepard: Needs to be around 120 Speed to maximize energy regen and shield uptime.
Less Than 120 Speed
- Clara: Faster shortens ultimate uptime and counterattacks, while most damage comes from follow-ups unaffected by Speed.
- Qingque (Using Skills): Faster allies mean more talent procs and less SP.
- Bronya (Slow): May go before allies with basic attacks, so maximize or minimize Speed.
In-Depth Speed Guide
Action Gauge, Modifiers, and Invisible Stats
The Action Gauge (AG) determines when characters act, starting at 10,000 and decreasing to 0.
AG is divided by Speed to determine Action Value (AV) and turn order (lowest to highest, ties broken randomly). Displayed AV is rounded up.
For each 1 AV, a character's current Speed subtracts from their AG. If AV isn't 0, this repeats until someone acts. Then, AG resets to 10,000 and they rejoin the turn order.
AG Modifiers like Advance Forward (decreases AG) and Action Delay (increases AG) impact the current turn only.
The formula is:
New AG = Max(0, Current AG - (10,000 * (Advance Forward% - Action Delay%)))
100% Advance Forward immediately sets a character's Action Value to 0, allowing them to take their turn as soon as possible.
Some key points about 100% Advance Forward:
- It only impacts the character's AV, not the AV of other characters. After the character with 100% Advance Forward takes their turn, the normal AV decrease for all characters resumes.
- 100% Advance Forward allows a character to act before their normal turn, but after any queued Ultimates, passives, or other effects that would allow a character to act out of turn order.
Some strategic uses of 100% Advance Forward include:
- Pushing a character with strong burst damage to the front of the turn order to defeat an enemy before they can act. For example, using 100% Advance Forward on Seele against a low HP enemy so she can trigger her extra turn on kill.
- Maximizing the uptime of short-duration buffs or debuffs by allowing the character to reapply them sooner. For example, using 100% Advance Forward on Welt to reapply his Speed debuff.
Buffs and Debuffs
Speed buffs and debuffs directly change Speed, impacting turn frequency.
Higher Speed means lower AG per AV, so buffs/debuffs change AV more at high/low AG.
The formula is:
New AV = Current AV * Current Speed / New Speed
The general formula for AV under Speed and AG changes is:
New AV = Current AV * Current Speed / New Speed - (10,000 * (Advance Forward% - Action Delay%)) / New Speed
To determine extra turns from Speed, use:
Extra Turns/Turns = New Speed / Current Speed - 1
For example, 125 Speed gives 0.25 extra turns per turn at 100 Speed, so 5 turns instead of 4.
Ultimates ignore turn order and end a character's turn after using.
Use an ultimate immediately after a normal action to retain buffs.
Ultimates can also be used immediately at the start of combat to see base AVs and potentially act first.
In-Combat Action Gauge Modifiers
Ambushes push all characters back 20 AV regardless of Speed or other modifiers.
Breaking an enemy's toughness meter applies:
- 25% Action Delay (2,500 AG), unaffected by Break Effect%.
- Imprison (Imaginary, 10% Speed debuff, 30% Action Delay affected by Break Effect%)
- Entanglement (Quantum, 20% Action Delay and DoT on next turn, affected by Break Effect%)
- Frozen (Ice, DoT on unfreeze, no action that turn, 50% Advance Forward next turn. Only DoT affected by Break Effect%)
The formulas are:
Imprison Action Delay = 30% * (1 + Break Effect%)
Entanglement Action Delay = 20% * (1 + Break Effect%)
Speed and turn order in Honkai: Star Rail are complex systems with many intricacies.
But understanding them is key to mastering combat.
Evaluate each character to determine how much Speed they need, and invest in Speed strategically based on opportunity costs.
Manipulate turn order to your advantage using effects like 100% Advance Forward.
Pay attention to invisible stats like Action Gauge and Action Value modifiers. And stay up to date with any changes to Speed and turn order as new content is released.
With practice, you'll be manipulating turn order and maximizing your team's Speed in no time!