Genshin Impact studio teases Honkai Star Rail launch in third beta announcement

Honkai Star Rail
(Image credit: Cognosphere)

A new Honkai Star Rail beta will open next week, and it may be the last test before the full launch of the turn-based RPG from Genshin Impact studio Hoyoverse.

The official Honkai Star Rail Twitter account announced the news last night. "We've received the departure signal and the Astral Express is about to set off," a post (opens in new tab) reads, seemingly teasing the imminent release of the game itself. "Before that happens, Pom-Pom will also open up a new batch of beta tester recruitment on [January 24]."

In a follow-up tweet (opens in new tab), the account clarified that sign-ups for this beta will open on January 23 at 6pm PT / 9pm ET / 2am BT (technically January 24). Like Genshin Impact's updates, this beta sign-up is scheduled on the UTC+8 time zone, so while it's listed for January 24, it will technically open the day before for much of the Western audience. 

This will be Honkai Star Rail's third closed beta, and if Genshin Impact's development history is anything to go by, it will likely be its final one. It's currently unclear when the beta will actually start after sign-ups close, but Star Rail's betas usually have a pretty quick turnaround and last about two weeks. 

Hoyoverse will obviously need time to finalize the game and act on feedback and data from this beta, but with more testing winding up in February, it's possible we'll all get to play Honkai Star Rail within a few months. For reference, Genshin Impact's final closed beta was held in July, roughly two months before its September release. 

Hoyoverse is also juggling action rogue-like Zenless Zone Zero and at least one other new game, reportedly a sci-fi shooter. Meanwhile, Genshin Impact just dropped update 3.4, adding two new characters, another Liyue Lantern Rite event, and a big chunk of Sumeru desert to explore. 

For more on all the biggest upcoming releases, check our new games 2023 guide. 

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.