Honkai: Star Rail is full of great quality of life features, but auto-battle has the game’s community divided. Rather than playing traditional turn-based RPG battles, auto=battle essentially does the work for players. Some fans love it because of how it helps them grind through daily resource runs or overcome early-game hurdles. Others, though, complain that it problematically automates what’s supposed to be a main component of the gameplay.
So, is it worth using? Yes. For the most part, it’s a helpful tool — when used properly. There are just a few exceptions that players should be wary about if they want to take advantage of the feature. Auto-battle works best in specific scenarios. Nine times out of 10, you’re smarter than the AI. That’s why so many people complain about dumb decisions it makes, like buffing a teammate that doesn’t need it or popping an Ultimate when a battle is nearly finished. At its core. auto-battle is meant to automate the most monotonous parts of the game and leave the most challenging (and frustrating) content for you to enjoy. If you’re looking to experiment with it, here’s how to use it to its fullest.
Auto-battle offers a solution where you can blow through battles with the press of a button, so you don’t have to stay engaged during the entire process. You can press the little double arrow icon in the top-right corner of your battle menu, surf the web in another tab, and check your game after a few minutes to find all your rewards waiting for you on the screen. I use auto-battle to fight waves of Calyxes, one of the challenges you can complete for experience books and level-up materials. It’s a big ask for players to commit even 30 minutes a day to grinding through the same challenges.
You can also use it for higher-level content like Echoes of War, Simulated Universe, and Forgotten Hall — with caution. Auto-battle doesn’t work equally as well for every challenge. Some enemies like Wooden Lupus multiply, so you’ll probably want to handle something like that yourself because auto-battle doesn’t always prioritize the right enemies. It might also attempt to “divide and conquer,” even when focusing on one target would better benefit the player, or vice versa. These quirks emphasize that the AI follows a hidden set of rules that a real person might not necessarily agree with, and it isn’t an objectively better way to fight.
Thankfully, you can still get the most out of it if you avoid the pitfalls. For example, if you’re fighting against a mob that includes Wooden Lupus, you can steer the battle so that you eliminate them before turning on auto-battle. You can also build a team that’s less prone to auto-battle inefficiencies.
Auto-battle infamously insists on spamming Support character Skills. Certain characters like Tingyun even have a reputation for annoying the player base because of how inefficiently they use skill points. Tingyun’s Skill lasts three turns, yet auto-battle will make her use it before the last cast even expires. Some players even complain about auto-battle using her Ultimate on the least optimal character, like having her spend it on a defender that is taunting or shielding when it should’ve been used on a heavy-hitting enemy with an empty gauge. If Support characters will make or break the battle, then it’s best to take the reins yourself.
The AI better handles specific kinds of characters, though. It’s competent at healing, not wasting a Skill or Ultimate until a unit has a significant amount of health missing. That way, you don’t need to worry about it healing a character that’s almost at full health. Some players report that it will even save multi-unit healing until more than one character can benefit from it. In my experience, it will also activate healing “Ultimates” out of urgency if one character is on the brink of death. In this case, you won’t need to worry about the AI forgetting to heal.
Beware: Auto-battle sometimes “wastes” Skill Points and Ultimates. It tends to use them right away, even though they will barely have any utility or should be saved to use in an emergency. It might deploy Gepard’s shields and Bronya’s buffs when the battle is one turn away from ending. It prioritizes moves that do the most damage without considering if there will be another battle (like a Wave) right after the last enemy in the current batch is dispatched. Even if Seele’s Normal Attack can finish off an enemy, it will often deploy her Ultimate instead. At the very least, you can stop auto-battle from using Ultimates from the settings menu if you want to do a hybrid approach where the AI does most of the battling, but you deploy the Ultimates yourself.
Honkai: Star Rail isn’t like chess, where an AI can escape capture as long as a solution exists. Auto-battle won’t necessarily guarantee victory, even if there’s a way to survive a particularly difficult battle. It can, however, save you time you would have spent grinding through dailies.
Honkai: Star Rail is available for PC, iOS, and Android.