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Honkai: Star Rail uses the same randomized gacha mechanic as Genshin Impact for getting new playable characters. While this is one of the fairest implementations of gacha available, you’re still asked to trust your luck and possibly invest real money into the system, which isn’t something many people want to do.

Honkai: Star Rail does provide you with a bunch of free characters over the course of your journey, though, so you can build a solid team without engaging with the gacha mechanic at all. Here are all the Honkai: Star Rail characters you can unlock for free and how to do it.

Honkai: Star Rail – how to unlock free characters

  • Trailblazer: Destruction, Physical – starter character.
  • March 7th: Preservation, Ice – starter character.
  • Dan Heng: Hunt, Wind – starter character.
  • Asta: Harmony, Fire – guaranteed pull from gacha tutorial.
  • Serval: Erudition, Lightning – obtained from in-game message as a pre-registration reward.
  • Herta: Erudition, Ice – obtained after completing “Simulated Universe: First Closed Beta”.
  • Natasha: Abundance, Physical – obtained after completing “Lying in Rust”.
  • Qingque: Erudition, Quantum – obtained after reaching Level 21 and clearing “Forgotten Hall – Memory Stage 3”.

Trailblazer is your main character and will obviously be available right from the start. March 7th and Dan Heng are members of the Astral Express crew and will accompany you right from the beginning as well. You’ll get Asta to complete a four-person team very quickly, as she’s pulled when the game introduces the gacha system to you.

Thanks to Honkai: Star Rail reaching the milestone of ten million pre-registrations, everyone will gain access to Serval. All you need to do to obtain her is to check your in-game messages through the main menu once they are available and tap the “claim” button.

Herta is another early addition you unlock through a Trailblaze Mission, a quest in the main story. The same goes for Natasha, who will become available a bit later on. Qingque is the last addition you can make to your roster for free.

It’s noteworthy that Genshin Impact later made several characters available for free through in-game events, which may well happen in Honkai: Star Rail as well.

Check out our Paths and Damage Types overview to find out more about how to use these characters on your teams.