How do I unlock different paths and elements for the Trailblazer in Honkai: Star Rail? In Honkai: Star Rail, your main protagonist has the unique ability to switch out their elemental alignment and the path that they follow. However, for quite a long period at the start of the game, your Trailblazer will be locked into a Physical/Destruction path, which might leave you wondering how you get access to the other types.
The only alternate path for the Trailblazer at the time of writing is the Fire/Preservation alignment, but if we know our HoYoverse, there’ll be more on the way in future updates. For the time being, though, read on to learn how to switch between the two Trailblazer paths in Honkai: Star Rail.
How to unlock the Preservation (Fire) Trailblazer in Honkai: Star Rail
You initially unlock the Fire/Preservation Trailblazer as you progress through the main story of Honkai: Star Rail. Without wishing to give spoilers, I’ll just say that you initially make the switch as part of a story beat during the main story mission “The Return”, which you reach towards the end of the Jarilo-VI storyline that is the game’s first full chapter.
You then revert to your original Physical/Destruction path at the end of the mission, but you now have the choice to switch between them.
How to switch between Trailblazer paths in Honkai: Star Rail
To allow you to switch the Trailblazer’s path and element at any time, Honkai: Star Rail simply gives you a “Switch” button on the main “Details” tab of the Trailblazer’s character management screen.
Experienced HoYoverse players who are familiar with “adaptive” characters like Genshin Impact’s Traveler will be pleased to learn that switching between the Trailblazer’s paths is much more straightforward than in previous games. While Genshin requires you to travel to certain areas of the map to “resonate” with the local element, HSR makes it much easier.
Click this button and you’ll have the option to switch to any of the Trailblazer’s unlocked alignments, and you can do this any time the character screen is accessible (i.e. other than in combat or during dialogue and cutscenes).
Benefits and drawbacks to switching Trailblazer paths
There are numerous benefits to switching Trailblazer paths: you can plug gaps in your team composition by having one character built for two different roles, and alignments you unlock later tend to be more powerful (and with cooler weapons) than the one you get at the very beginning of the game.
There are downsides too, although hopefully nothing so bad as to put you off wanting to get your hands on that awesome fire lance. While the Trailblazer’s overall character level carries over between paths, their combat skills and eidolons are discrete for each path, meaning that you’ll need to level those aspects of each path separately if you want to regularly switch between them.
Furthermore, Light Cones (and some Relics) are only effective on a character whose path (or element for Relics) matches the item’s alignment. Since you can’t currently save a preferred loadout for each Trailblazer path, this does unfortunately mean you have to change out every item manually every time you switch.
Can I combine different paths and elements for the Trailblazer?
The short answer here is: no, you cannot combine paths and elements for the Trailblazer as you please. The Physical Trailblazer always follows the path of Destruction, while the Fire Trailblazer always follows the path of Preservation. This is both for story reasons and because the unique combat skills associated with every path followed by the character can’t be simply switched out for different elemental alignments.
In total, there are seven paths and seven elements in Honkai: Star Rail, which strongly suggests that the Trailblazer will eventually get access to another five combos. However, I wouldn’t expect to see any repetitions or opportunities to mix-and-match.
If you’re looking for more HSR advice starring the Trailblazer, be sure to check out our build guide covering the best Trailblazer (Physical) build in Honkai: Star Rail, as well as our guide on how to unlock all free characters in Honkai: Star Rail.