Honkai: Star Rail is the newest live service offering from Genshin Impact and Honkai Impact 3rd developer HoYoverse, but it’s not exactly the same as either game.
With Honkai: Star Rail’s release date coming soon, you can prepare for its release by reading the brief explanations below in the meantime.
For more in-depth details on Star Rail’s systems, features, daily activities, and how it plays, you can check out our Honkai: Star Rail preview from our time playing the final closed beta.
In this page:
Closed Beta Final Trailer: Space Comedy | Honkai: Star Lane.
What is Honkai Star Rail?
Honkai: Star Rail is the newest live service game from Genshin Impact and Honkai Impact’s third developer, HoYoverse, which will be available for PC and mobile devices when it launches, with a PlayStation version in development. It has a futuristic setting where you travel to different planets on a very convenient space train, the Astral Express, which takes you across the universe.
It will have full cross-save support at launch, meaning you can pick up your save and start playing the same save file on your mobile or PC any time you want. We don’t know if this will also apply to the PlayStation version.
Gameplay-wise, it’s completely different than anything HoYoverse has done before, as Star Rail has a turn-based combat system, but with some modern improvements, such as auto-battle and the ability to fast forward during combat.
The rest of the game feels more like Genshin Impact than Honkai Impact 3rd, involving traveling to specific locations to fight enemies for equipment and resources. However, this has also been improved, allowing you to automatically fight during fights, transporting you directly to the fight location, and allowing you to queue up multiple battles to spend most of your daily currency at once.
Although the main and secondary quest system is almost identical to that of Genshin Impact, there is a big difference in exploration…
Is Honkai Star Rail open world?
No, Honkai: Star Rail is not an open world game. Instead, it has small areas that you can explore, but they’re not connected like they are on Genshin Impact’s huge regional map.
This is most likely because you’re exploring multiple planets in Star Rail, not just one area, like Teyvat in Genshin Impact.
Instead of exploring a large map looking for treasure chests, puzzles, and other items, you’ll find them in the smaller areas of each planet. This creates a faster-paced gaming session, allowing you to instantly transport yourself to almost any location and explore it quickly.
Version 1.3 is here! Be sure to redeem those new codes for Stellar Jade if you want Imbibitor Lunae or Fu Xuan, and check out all the characters in our regularly updated tier list. For everything else, we’ve got pages on the next Banner, answers to the Ministry of Education questionnaire, how to get more Star Rail passes, Stagnant Shadows and a list of English voice actors.
Is Honkai Star Rail a gacha game?
Yes, Honkai: Star Rail has a gacha feature, but like Genshin Impact, it’s an optional element of the game where you can save up free money to spend if you wish.
In fact, the gacha system seems almost identical to that of Genshin Impact. As of the final closed beta, Star Rail has the same pull rates for 4- and 5-star characters and weapons, and has event banners and a set standard banner that doesn’t change what you can get from it.
The only differences seem to be that you can save up to buy 5-star weapons by participating in optional activities like the Simulated Universe (a sort of rogue-like game mode), and the names are different.
Stellar Jade is the currency you need to use on a Banner, and the process is called “Warping”, reflecting the sci-fi setting.
Is Honkai Star Rail a related sequel to Honkai Impact 3rd?
Yes, it’s the fourth in the Honkai series, so Honkai: Star Rail is technically a sequel to Honkai Impact 3rd, but it’s set in an alternate universe with (mostly) alternate versions of previous Honkai characters.
So while it’s connected to Honkai Impact 3rd, it doesn’t feel like you have to play it to understand Star Rail’s history and lore. However, there are nods to previous characters and events for those who have played previous Honkai games.
Additionally, we only played until the beginning of the Xianzhou Luofa area in the final closed beta, so there may be larger story elements connecting the two games in the future.
Honkai Star Rail Returning Characters Explained
While most of the characters in Honkai: Star Rail are new or alternate versions of previous Honkai characters, it appears that Welt is the same version found in Honkai Impact 3rd. Talking to Himeko on the Astral Express is more than a clue to her past in the final closed beta.
Welt is the only character we’ve come across so far who is the exact version found in a previous Honkai game.
Here is a list of every alternate version of a Honkai character that returns in Honkai: Star Rail:
- silver wolf
- Welt (same character seen in Honkai Impact 3rd)
If you’ve decided you want to play Honkai: Star Rail when it launches, be sure to visit our 1.0 Banners and Events hub, and pre-register for some useful rewards available when it launches.
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