Light Cones are the weapons of the Honkai: Star Rail world. Like the equippable Relic sets, they significantly strengthen characters with abilities and boosted stats. However, Star Rail‘s gacha system means that you won’t be guaranteed the Light Cone you want from the standard and limited-time banners. Thankfully, there a few free-to-play options that will always be available for dedicated players who don’t mind grinding for them. We mean “free” in the sense that you won’t need to pull on banners to get these Light Cones, and they are in permanent locations that you can access whenever you want.
Here’s every Light Cone that you can get for free in Honkai: Star Rail.
At the beginning of Honkai: Star Rail, your first free units come with their own three-star Light Cones. You can easily superimpose these Light Cones using copies of the same item that you might get from pulling on banners. All the other free Light Cones come from two main places: Herta’s Shop and the Forgotten Hall.
Herta’s Shop is connected to the Simulated Universe, where you select randomized power-ups to battle through different worlds. It has three five-star Light Cones, custom-made Superimposers for strengthening those Light Cones, and unlimited Star Rail passes that you can buy with the rest of your Herta Bonds.
These are the Light Cones you can choose from:
- On the Fall of an Aeon (The Destruction): 8 Herta Bonds
- Texture of Memories (The Preservation): 8 Herta Bonds
- Cruising in the Stellar Sea (The Hunt): 8 Herta Bonds
Herta Bonds come from clearing new Worlds in the Simulated Universe and earning enough points to clear your rewards queue every week. You won’t have enough Herta Bonds to buy Light Cones right away. After all, you need time to raise your Trailblaze Level, progress through the story, and level up your team. However, you’ll eventually grow strong enough to complete every Simulated Universe World if you keep playing.
You get two Herta Bonds for clearing each World for the first time at the lowest difficulty level. If you clear each World up to World 7, then that’s already 14 Herta Bonds. The rest of the Herta Bonds have to come from Point Rewards, which refresh each week. You can get one Herta Bond per week if you reach 9,600 points, which should take about two to three runs through any level, even if you don’t make it all the way through.
It’ll take longer to unlock the second five-star Light Cone and even longer to unlock the last one. That’s not even including the superimpositions you need to make the Light Cones stronger.
Light Cone Manifest Store
The Light Cone Manifest store pops up after you unlock the Forgotten Hall through the Fleeting Lights mission. Lucent Afterglow, the currency you use to shop at the Light Cone Manifest, comes from completing stages in the Forgotten Hall and Echo of War challenges. Besides Lucent Afterglow, the Forgotten Hall rewards you with Stellar Jade, XP books, Aether, and other resources you need to level up your characters and Light Cones.
These are the Light Cones you can buy from Light Cone Manifest:
- River Flows in Spring (The Hunt)
- Woof! Walk Time! (The Destruction)
- Fermata (The Nihility)
- Past and Future (The Harmony)
- We Are Wildfire (The Preservation)
- Quid Pro Quo (The Abundance)
- The Seriousness of Breakfast (The Erudition)
Each Light Cone costs 200 Lucent Afterglow. Completing each stage grants you eight Lucent Afterglow. However, most of the Lucent Afterglow will come from completing Echo of War challenges every week.
It depends! You should eventually buy every five-star Light Cone from Herta’s Shop. They are the easiest five-star Light Cones to get for free, and they each have abilities that will actually benefit most Destruction, Preservation, or Hunt characters.
The first one you pick just depends on what you get from gacha banners early on and what you value most in your team setup. For example, I chose Cruising in the Stellar Sea sto trengthen my main damage dealer (Seele), and then picked up Texture of Memories so that my shield (Gepard) could have one of the strongest Light Cones in the game. Also, I didn’t have any good Preservation Light Cones besides the three-star Amber, which fell short of expectations for late-game content. In that case, I ended up leaving On the Fall of an Aeon on the backburner. I might have thought differently if I decided to main a Destruction character like Arlan, though.
Most of the Light Cones from the Light Cone Manifest store work better than their three-star counterparts, but not as well as their five-star ones. If you already have a five-star Hunt Light Cone, then you probably don’t need River Flows in Spring. Same with every other Light Cone here in comparison to their five-star counterparts.
That said, I’d recommend choosing Past and Future or Fermata if you don’t already have a better alternative for Harmony or Nihility characters. Destruction, Preservation, and Hunt characters have Herta’s five-star Light Cones as better options. Abundance characters can make better use of a three-star Cornucopia Light Cone, especially when strengthened with copies.
Note: Light Cones from the Light Cone Manifest store also appear in standard and limited-time banners. Don’t rush to get them right away, especially when you can get them from more than one place!
Yes, you can get other free Light Cones in Honkai: Star Rail from pulling on banners and participating in limited-time events. However, the ones listed in this guide are the ones you can farm for from permanent challenges without needing to pull from banners. You can technically get five-star Light Cones for free from Starlight Exchange. However, each of those five-star Light Cones costs 600 Undying Starlight each.
Undying Starlight is one of the currencies you get from drawing four- and five-star characters and Light Cones from banners. In that case, you would need to pull from banners multiple times to even get close to saving enough for those five-star Light Cones. Farming for enough Stellar Jade to get these Light Cones will take exponentially more time than saving for any of the other free Light Cones in this guide.
Limited-time events can also offer free Light Cones for participation. For example, the Starhunt Game event with Silver Wolf offered the Before the Tutorial Starts Nihility Light Cone, which ended up being a popular pick for players who liked using Nihility characters.
Honkai: Star Rail is available for PC, iOS, and Android.