With HoYoverse’s Honkai: Star Rail set to release on 26 April, we’re sure that a lot of players are already excitedly counting down the days to finally board the Astral Express.
But if you’re already playing HoYoverse's other big title, Genshin Impact, is it worth dipping your toes into this new universe?
The short answer is: yes, of course!
But if you need a little more convincing, here are a few reasons why:
Quick battles for veterans
If you’re a heavily-invested player of Genshin Impact, it’s safe to assume that you’re not into other time-consuming games, or have no energy to invest in another title.
Lucky for you, Honkai: Star Rail is very casual-player friendly, allowing you to play without much effort on your end!
Compared to Genshin Impact’s typical open-world, hack-and-slash battles, you won’t need to sacrifice the dexterity of your fingers to complete combos, swap team mates on the fly, or dodge attacks.
Honkai: Star Rail employs a turn-based system for combat, which gives you an avenue to sit back and strategise instead of keyboard smashing against your enemies, instead making you focus on choosing the right move to quickly end the fight.
There’s also an option to employ “Auto-Battle”, basically allowing the AI to fight your battle for you. As such, you can simply find enemies, sit back and relax, and farm experience to easily level up.
Non-complicated exploration and farming
Because Genshin Impact is an open-world game, the maps are expansive and employ a lot of hidden quests or treasures, which is perfect for players who like to unearth secret lore or exploring every nook and cranny of an area.
But if you’re someone who doesn’t have enough time to get those areas at 100% exploration, you’re of course looking for a more easier experience.
Honkai: Star Rail has a smaller, more limited map that not only shortens your exploration, but also has an indicator of how many treasure chests are available for the taking.
Players will no longer need to boot up their HoYoLAB app for chest locations or search up YouTube video guides that could last up to three hours.
Farming for materials for levelling up characters or lightcones are easier to do as well.
Compared to fighting in different locations, then teleporting out to wait for the boss to refresh like in Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail has a more simplified version which allows you to choose how many times you’ll fight specific bosses in a dungeon-type entrance scattered all over the map.
Auto-Battle can also be employed during farming, so you can just simply wait until the AI is done!
You could say that the quality-of-life updates that you’d ask for in Genshin Impact are already in Honkai: Star Rail!
Graphics, animations, voice-acting
If you’ve been a long-time fan of Genshin Impact’s anime-style visuals and graphics, Honkai: Star Rail employs the same.
The breathtaking experience of viewing the beautiful landscape of Teyvat is akin to the same experience when looking at Belobog’s icy terrain.
Nothing short of marvelous because HoYoverse never fails to disappoint when it comes to detailed scenery.
But Honkai: Star Rail takes the cake with burst animations.
If Genshin Impact reserves animated burst sequences for its 5-star characters, Honkai: Star Rail has a dedicated animation for every character’s ultimates available – yes, even the 4-stars!
If you ask me what my favourite animation from Honkai: Star Rail is, it’s definitely a tie between Jin Yuang and Serval.
Here’s all of the ultimate animations available so far!
Some voice actors who’ve breathed life into our beloved Genshin Impact characters have also found their way inside the Astral Express.
If you’re the type of player who enjoys the voice behind the character, you’ll be happy to know that voice actors in the English dub like Alejandro Saab, who voices our hilariously unfunny Cyno; Dani Chambers, who voices the graceful Nilou; and Amber May, who voices the recently released Dehya, also feature in Honkai: Star Rail. Saab voices Jing Yuan, Chambers voices Arlan, and May voices Yanqing.
For Japanese dub enjoyers, Genshin Impact voice veterans like Daisuke Ono (Diluc), Rie Tanaka (Lisa) will voice Jin Yuang and Himeko, respectively.
A (more) forgiving gacha
Genshin Impact’s gacha system is arguably more forgiving than other gacha games (yes, even more than HoYoverse’s very own Honkai Impact 3rd or Tears of Themis), and Honkai: Star Rail will technically employ the same mechanics and pity systems as Genshin Impact’s.
However, what makes Honkai: Star Rail’s gacha a cut above the rest is the fact that you can get a free standard 5-star character of your choosing when you reach 300 pulls in the Standard Banner!
You can take your pick between Himeko, Welt Yang, Gepard, Bailu, Bronya Rand, or Clara.
The Beginner’s Warp will also have a guaranteed 5-star for new players, as well as up to 80 free pulls at launch, moreso if you pre-registered.
This means you can easily have a 5-star in your hands during early game, and less indication for you to expend more effort if you’re going to re-roll multiple times.
So, are you convinced? It’s not too late to get your tickets ready! Hop on board the hype train for Honkai: Star RailI! The game is still accepting pre-registrations here.
Those who pre-register will receive tons of rewards, including the 4-star character Serval and 20 Star Rail Passes, 50,000, credits, and the 'Trailblazer — Welcome' Avatar.
A little fun fact, in the Lunar Calendar, this April is the third lunar month, while 26 April is 7th day of that month. The game's release date is a great homage to fan-favourite character March 7th!
For everything you need to know about Honkai: Star Rail, check here.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.