Honkai: Star Rail Starlight Exchange Light Cone Recommendations

Entry #2 of the KQM Recommendations series.

Artist: HoYoverse

What is the Starlight Exchange?

Undying Starlight is a currency that can be acquired from Warps and getting duplicates of characters and weapons. This currency can then be taken to the Starlight Exchange shop and used to purchase Warp Passes, 4★ characters, and 5★ Standard Light Cones. 

Buying Warps/Eidolons vs. 5★ Light Cones

The 5★ Light Cones available in the Undying Starlight shop generally do not provide enough value to recommend prioritizing them over buying Special Passes (Limited Banner pulls) and certain Character Eidolons. The high cost of 600 Starlight for a 5★ Light Cone is equivalent to 30 Special Passes, which could instead be used to gain a better chance at getting a Limited Signature Light Cone or limited Character. With that said, certain Standard 5★ Light Cones can still provide benefits to certain characters and teams and will come down to the individual’s decision. If you’re interested in acquiring one, read on to know more about their strengths, weaknesses, and whether they can help you.

Standard 5★ Light Cones

Abundance – Time Waits for No One

Our current Abundance characters are not particularly gear dependent, and while this Light Cone is certainly the strongest in terms of pure healing numbers for healers that scale with HP, the 4★ (and even 3★) options for Abundance are more than enough for the current healers. Additionally, Quid Pro Quo is completely free and superimposable via the Forgotten Hall Shop, with a much more useful passive. The damage from this Light Cone’s passive is not noteworthy, and it’s limited to a single target. Definitely not worth 600 Starlight. 

Hunt – Sleep Like the Dead

High Base ATK and CRIT DMG make this a strong stat stick for all current Hunt characters. Its main weakness lies in Cruising in the Stellar Sea being completely free and superimposable. However, if you plan on building multiple Hunt carries and you lack additional Light Cones and patience, this can be a decent option.

Preservation – Moment of Victory

Moment of Victory grants DEF% and Effect Hit Rate, allowing characters to access the Belobog of the Architects’ 2-Pc set effect and reach EHR thresholds far more readily than with other Preservation Light Cones. As most Preservation characters scale with DEF% and possess debilitating status effects, Moment of Victory is a very reliable Light Cone, particularly if Effect Hit Rate is valuable to the character.

Before buying it, however, consider whether it is the most significant upgrade you can obtain for your teams. It’s a fairly significant upgrade for the personal performance of Fire Trailblazer and Gepard, especially if Gepard has E1 – but it likely will not save a team’s performance on its own. It is largely a quality-of-life upgrade – keep that in mind.

Harmony – But the Battle Isn’t Over

While the effects granted by this Light Cone are all quite powerful, they are all quite situational. 10% Energy Regeneration Rate is great if it allows a character to use their Ultimate in one less turn than they normally would, but useless otherwise. The Skill Point Regeneration is nice, but it only happens once every two Ultimates. For most Harmony units, that’s once every 6 turns at minimum. Lastly, the DMG% bonus to the next ally taking action is great, but in reality, controlling what order characters act in can be a real pain. This Light Cone is ideal for Bronya if you are using her Skill to advance a damage dealer on every turn. It can be ideal for Yukong if she has specific gear and she is perfectly speed tuned to the damage dealer. In all other situations, it’s not as good as other options like Meshing Cogs, Memories of the Past, and Dance! Dance! Dance!. If you are considering buying it, make sure you understand what scenarios it is actually best in, so you don’t waste currency.

Nihility – In the Name of the World

Nihility characters typically want Effect Hit Rate for reliable debuff application, with DoT units wanting Light Cones that buff DMG%. This Light Cone is more oriented towards a character’s direct ability damage rather than DoT damage and only provides Effect Hit Rate for their Skill, making it fairly niche. Current free and gacha 4★ Light Cones (Fermata, Eyes of the Prey, Resolution Shines as Pearls of Sweat, Before the Tutorial Mission Starts) are either competitive enough or just straight up better, to the point where this Light Cone is only really an option for Welt and sometimes Silver Wolf.

Destruction – Something Irreplaceable

It is essentially impossible to completely avoid taking damage in Honkai: Star Rail, and Destruction characters have one of the higher innate aggro values, which means the damage increase from Something Irreplaceable will trigger somewhat frequently, granting noticeable – if unreliable – spikes of damage and a small amount of healing. While the healing is unlikely to change the outcome of any given turn, the brief damage increase can be nice. However, on characters other than Clara, the free Herta Shop Light Cone On the Fall of an Aeon S5 will generally give more offensive value. Even on Clara, the expected gains over On the Fall of an Aeon S5 are not significant enough to justify purchasing Something Irreplaceable from the shop. If running multiple Destruction characters, consider using a 4★ Light Cone like Woof! Walk Time! or A Secret Vow rather than buying Something Irreplaceable.

Erudition – Night on the Milky Way

Night on the Milky Way boasts high base stats, but many characters struggle to effectively utilize its conditional effects. The Light Cone offers an ATK% buff scaling on enemy group size, and a 1-turn DMG% buff upon inflicting a Weakness Break. However, the game’s most challenging content typically involves defeating 12 Elite enemies accompanied by weaker foes, rather than facing a large group of equally strong enemies. In such scenarios, Erudition characters – who excel at dealing high Area of Effect (AoE) damage – struggle with maintaining multiple enemies on the field or consistently performing Weakness Breaks. These factors make it difficult to fully capitalize on the ATK% and DMG% buffs provided by the Light Cone in practical gameplay. Additionally, the availability of S5 The Seriousness of Breakfast as a competitive option, which is entirely free from the Forgotten Hall’s Light Cone Manifest shop and Echoes of War, significantly diminishes the overall value of Night on the Milky Way.


Written/Edited by AnemoneMeer, Cyn, ducc, ekoap, Eris, jas, Juslin, KB, nyte, Sitri

Transcribed by nyte, yeurei

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