DoT Honkai Star Rail Featured

Honkai: Star Rail Damage Over Time (DoT) Explained

A slow, painful death

Slowly wearing out your enemy is a tactic old as time itself in video games. It’s particularly efficient in turn-based games, where inflicting debuffs like Poison or Burn is usually a viable strategy for various enemies, with Pokemon being a prime example of that. This specific type of damage is known as Damage Over Time (DoT), and Honkai: Star Rail puts its own spin on it.

Recommended Videos

With the introduction of Kafka, DoT-based teams are getting the spotlight more than ever. And if you’re an aspiring Kafka main or are just curious about the game’s mechanics, this article will present you all you need to know about how DoTs work here.

How DoT Works in Honkai: Star Rail

Damage Over Time is a special type of damage that occurs whenever an enemy starts its turn. There are currently 4 instances of damage classified as DoTs, each with a different damage type: Bleed (Physical), Burn (Fire), Shock (Lightning), and Wind Shear (Wind).

DoTs can be inflicted in two different ways: By Breaking an enemy’s Toughness or with specific Skills that inflict DoT directly. An exception to the rules is the Trend of the Universal Market Light Cone, which allows Preservation characters to apply Burn by simply being hit.

Skill-inflicted DoTs and Break-inflicted DoTs are counted as separate instances, so if you break an enemy’s Toughness with Serval’s Skill, it will receive both the Lightning Break DoT and her Skill DoT simultaneously. Same-type DoTs (Shocks from Kafka and Serval’s Skills, for example) can coexist in the same target. But if you apply a Dot from the same source twice, it will only refresh its duration.

DoT Honkai Star Rail Instances
Break and Skill Shocks applied at the same time | Screenshot by Prima Games

Enemies can resist your DoTs, so you usually want to build some Effect Hit Rate (EHR%) to ensure you’ll land them. A 100% base chance doesn’t actually mean 100% because enemies have Debuff Resistance. Adding some EHR% increases your actual chance to hit them. Characters like Kafka (with 100% base chances in her kit) don’t need much for consistency, while some like Sampo (with his 65% base chance of hitting DoTs) will definitely want a lot.

Also, DoTs can never land Critical Hits. This means that you don’t need to build Critical in your DoT characters. Serval is an exception, as she’s more of an AoE DPS with some extra DoTs in her kit instead of solely revolving around them.

Related: All Luka Ascension and Trace Materials in Honkai: Star Rail

DoT Damage Calculations and Special Rules

All DoTs are affected by damage-increasing buffs, from skills like Tingyun’s buffs to Light Cones’ effects. Lighting damage Planar Ornaments also increase Shock damage, and the same logic applies to other DoTs.

Skill-inflicted DoTs scale directly from the user’s Attack stat, while Break-inflicted DoTs scale with the character’s level. There are actually various factors affecting Break DoT, but the character level is the only one you can actually control. 

Shock and Burn are the simplest DoTs you can get. You apply them, the enemy receives damage on its turn, and that’s it. Wind Shear and Bleed, however, are quite a bit more complicated. 

Wind Shear usually has lower scalings, but it can be stacked up to 5 times at the same enemy. Sampo can do that fairly easily with his Skill. So if each of his Wind Shear hits would deal 500 damage, 5 stacks will deal 2500 each turn.

DoT Honkai Star Rail Sampo
Screenshot by Prima Games

Bleed, on the other hand, is based on the target’s maximum HP and the user’s own Attack. Luka’s Skill deals up to 24% of the target’s HP as Bleed, but the damage cannot exceed a certain amount of Luka’s own Attack.

DoTs don’t snapshot either. This means that if you use Serval’s skill on an enemy and then use Asta’s Skill before the enemy’s turn, the DoT will be based on Serval’s post-buff Attack value. If said buff expires before the enemy has a turn, the DoT will be weaker instead.

Related: Starlight Exchange Rewards in Honkai: Star Rail Listed (August 2023)

DoTs will also be stronger depending on debuffs. Applying Pela’s Ultimate on an enemy will decrease its Defense, increasing its DoT damage taken as a result. Luka’s Ultimate increases the damage taken by its target, including DoTs.

How to Effectively Make a DoT Team

Ok, so let’s recap what we’ve learned up until here:

  • 1 – DoTs have simple scalings and cannot crit.
  • 2 – They don’t snapshot, so applying buffs/debuffs affects their damage when they land.
  • 3 – You can stack multiple DoTs at once. Reapplying an identical DoT will refresh it.

You probably know that Kafka is a DoT-oriented character. And that’s because she can instantly activate all DoTs currently inflicted on the opponent. You know when you use the Nihility path in the Simulated Universe, and you see tons of different-colored numbers on the target? That’s what she usually does.

So DoT teams will primarily consist of Kafka paired with other powerful DoT characters, namely Sampo, Luka, and Serval. And while this is a complete team on its own, you should definitely add some utility in the form of buffs, debuffs, or sustain.

Asta is a great fit here as she can buff her whole team’s Attack, making more powerful DoTs. Tingyun can buff their damage directly and refill their energy. Bronya can advance their turns immediately while also buffing their Attack.

As for debuffs, Pela and Silver Wolf can shred the enemies’ defenses, and Silver Wolf can make breaking enemies even easier for some extra applications. If you need some sustain, any healer (or characters like Gepard) will do, especially if they’re buffing the team with their Planar Ornament sets.

The goal is to apply as many DoTs as possible with the 4-stars, and then explode them with Kafka’s skills. Regardless of which 4-stars you pick, they all have some kind of utility. Serval can refresh Shocks quickly, Sampo can increase DoT damage, and Luka increases all damage taken by the target directly.

Combining these characters can give you good results if they’re well-built and prepared. Kafka’s what keeps the whole team together, so while you can definitely make a DoT team without her, her mere presence peaks it. So don’t waste your time and start leveling her as soon as possible!


Prima Games is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
related content
Read Article Is Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Playable on the Steam Deck? – Answered
Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Steam Deck
Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Steam Deck
Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Steam Deck
Read Article How to Get JAK Scimitar Kit in MW3 and Warzone
MW3 Warzone JAK Scimitar Kit
MW3 Warzone JAK Scimitar Kit
MW3 Warzone JAK Scimitar Kit
Read Article 11 Best PC Upgrades to Improve Gaming Performance
Best PC Upgrades For Gaming Performance
Best PC Upgrades For Gaming Performance
Best PC Upgrades For Gaming Performance
Related Content
Read Article Is Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Playable on the Steam Deck? – Answered
Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Steam Deck
Read Article How to Get JAK Scimitar Kit in MW3 and Warzone
MW3 Warzone JAK Scimitar Kit
Read Article 11 Best PC Upgrades to Improve Gaming Performance
Best PC Upgrades For Gaming Performance
Author
Patrick Souza
Patrick has been working for Prima since 2022 and joined as a Staff Writer in 2023. He's been interested in gaming journalism since college, and that was the path he took once he had his degree in hands. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.