Honkai Star Rail: Everything you need to know

Honkai Star Rail
(Image credit: miHoYo)

The wait is finally over and Honkai Star Rail has now been released, opening the doors for players to explore HoYoverse's new RPG. Expectations are high for this release from the team that produced Honkai 3rd and Genshin Impact, so we've got all of the latest information about this turn-based space adventure in a world rich in lore. Get ready to meet a cast of quirky characters and engage in a team-based combat system, all presented in the beautiful anime-inspired art style we've come to expect from the series.

Here's everything we know about Honkai Star Rail, from launch bonuses and release formats to the list of confirmed characters. Are you ready to hop aboard the space train? Then let's begin.

Honkai Star Rail is out now

Honkai Star Rail

(Image credit: HoYoverse)

The Honkai Star Rail release date was April 26, 2023 – which means you can play it right now! If you pre-registered in advance then you should have the following rewards awaiting collection:

  • 50,000 Credits
  • Star Rail Pass x 3
  • 'Trailblazer - Welcome' avatar
  • 4 Star Character - Serval
  • Star Rail Pass x 15

If you missed out on that then don't worry, as there are still rewards you can claim by redeeming Honkai Star Rail codes. Some of those expire at the end of April 2023, so don't delay if you want to collect all of the available items.

Honkai Star Rail platforms and cross-saves

Honkai Star Rail

(Image credit: HoYoverse)

Upon launch, Honkai Star Rail has released on the following platforms: PC, iOS, and Android. In other words, the same platforms as predecessor Honkai Impact 3rd. Since the game’s beta tests featured a cross-save function between PC and mobile devices, we can assume that it will be part of the final game as well. Note that you can’t play on more than one device at the same time.

As was confirmed in the Honkai Star Rail PlayStation trailer, Honkai Star Rail is coming to the PS4 and PS5 as well. The official PlayStation release date has yet to be revealed.

Honkai Star Rail gacha system

Honkai Star Rail

(Image credit: HoyoVerse)

Like previous HoYoverse games, Honkai Star Rail uses a ‘gacha system’ with chance-based character and weapon rewards. While the game itself is free to play, you’ll have to use this gacha system, also known as the Warp system, to obtain characters and weapons of the highest rarity (five stars). The Warp system features permanent and time-limited banners, with the time-limited banners rotating every few weeks. There’s a time-limited banner offering the chance to obtain new characters, and another one focused on Light Cones (weapons).

To use a Warp, you’ll have to spend a Star Rail Pass (permanent banner) or Special Star Rail Pass (time-limited banners). One Warp equals one item of four- or five-star rarity. The Star Rail Passes are bought with an in-game currency called Stellar Jade. While it’s possible to buy extra Stellar Jade using real-life money, you can also get it by simply playing the game.

As the Warp system may sound a bit complicated, here’s the main takeaway:

  • Stellar Jade is used to buy (Special) Star Rail Passes (similar to Genshin Impact’s Primogems).
  • One Star Rail Pass can be exchanged for one pull on a Warp banner.
  • There’s a starter Warp, a permanent Warp, a time-limited character Warp, and a time-limited Light Cone Warp.
  • Honkai Star Rail has a pity system which guarantees one five-star character or weapon per 80 or 90 pulls (depending on banner).

Honkai Star Rail gameplay and story

Honkai Star Rail

(Image credit: HoYoverse)

According to the developer, Honkai Star Rail is a newcomer-friendly turn-based RPG with an emphasis on strategic combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving. The game has a sci-fi theme and a visual style similar to previous HoYoverse games. Although the story takes place in the same galactic universe as the first Honkai game, Honkai Impact 3rd, Star Rail has its own standalone story. The characters are a mix of familiar and new faces.

As Star Rail’s protagonist, you’ve been implanted with a Stellaron, a seed of ruin. The guy responsible for your predicament is Destruction, an Aeon (godlike creature) who believes that all civilization should be wiped out. Luckily, that won’t stop you from boarding the Astral Express and travelling through Star Rail’s universe. You’re not alone either; a group of passengers claiming to have inherited the “spirit of the Trailblaze” will join you on your adventures. 

Honkai Star Rail combat system 

Honkai Star Rail combat

(Image credit: HoYoverse)

Teambuilding is at the core of Honkai Star Rail’s combat system. With up to four playable characters per team, you need to consider attacks, support abilities, and Elemental types to form the best combinations. Honkai Star Rail features seven different Elements:  including Physical, Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Imaginary, and Quantum.

Once you’ve entered a Honkai Star Rail battle, you can see the attack order in the upper left corner. Be sure to consider your opponent’s weakness; if you see a little icy icon underneath their name, for example, it means they are weak to Ice damage. 

Each character has three types of attack: a basic attack, a Skill, and an Ultimate. A Skill costs Skill points, while basic attacks recover Skill Points. In other words, you need to carefully balance between basic attacks and Skills throughout the fight. Ultimates can be used at any time and don’t cost any Skill points, but it takes a while to charge them.

Honkai Star Rail Paths, Elements, Light Cones, and Relics

Honkai Star Rail Paths and Elements

(Image credit: HoYoverse)

While Honkai Star Rail has tons of interesting gameplay features, these four play an essential role in team building, character building, and combat:

  • Paths: in Honkai Star Rail’s lore, a character’s Path refers to their alliance, which is rooted in a certain philosophy. The Harmony Path, for example, values cooperation and support. In combat, however, it says something about the character’s combat role: a Harmony character typically buffs their teammate while a Destruction character is better at DPS.
  • Elements: each playable character is blessed with one of seven elemental powers. These Elements are used to exploit enemy weaknesses, e.g. a Fire character should target an opponent who is weak to Fire damage.
  • Light Cones: characters’ main piece of equipment. It doesn’t change your character’s look (their default weapon will still appear in their hand), but it improves the character’s stats and grants them a passive ability. They’re very similar to normal ‘weapons’ as seen in Genshin Impact. 
  • Relics: equipment pieces worn to improve the character’s stats. Again, for the Genshin Impact players: it’s very similar to Genshin’s Artifacts.

We have separate guides covering those Honkai Star Rail Paths and Elements, along with details of how to increase your Honkai Star Rail Trailblaze Level and an explanation of the Honkai Star Rail Simulated Universe.

Honkai Star Rail characters

Honkai Star Rail

(Image credit: HoYoverse)

Curious about the Honkai Star Rail playable characters? Here’s an overview of the confirmed characters so far, divided by Elemental types: 


  • Natasha: one of the few doctors in Belobog’s Underworld.
  • Sushang: An amateur but ambitious member of the Xianzhou Luofu Cloud Knights.
  • Clara: a young girl who takes logic and calculations very seriously. She was raised by a robot named Svarog.


  • Asta: Lead Researcher at the Herta Space Station.
  • Hook: leader of The Moles adventure squad, a group of friends located in Belobog’s Underworld.
  • Himeko: an adventurous scientist who repaired the Astral Express.


  • Gepard: captain of the Silvermane Guards in Belobog.
  • Herta: Herta Space Station’s brilliant leader who often appears as a puppet.
  • March 7th: a spirited girl who suffers from amnesia. 
  • Pela: Intelligence Officer of the Silvermane Guards.
  • Yanqing: brilliant swordsman and lieutenant of the Xianzhou Luofu. 


  • Serval: Rebellious daughter from an important family. Following her wish to become a mechanic, she opened a workshop where she also hosts the occasional rock ‘n roll concert. 
  • Arlan: head of Herta Space Station’s Security.
  • Kafka: a Stellaron Hunter whose name is on the Interastral Peace Corporation’s wanted list.
  • Jing Yuan: general of the Xianzhou Alliance and leader of the Cloud Knights.
  • Bailu: a talented healer who can’t bear to see people suffering.
  • Tingyun: the silver-tongued leader of the Whistling Flames, a merchant guild.


  • Sampo: a persuasive salesman from the city of Belobog.
  • Bronya: heir to the Supreme Guardian of Belobog and Commander of the Silvermane Guards.
  • Blade: wielder of an ancient sword, filled with cracks. “Just like his body and mind’, according to the official character description. 
  • Dan Heng: a reserved man who acts as the Astral Express’ guard.


  • Welt: the wise and experienced former Anti-Entropy Sovereign.
  • Luocha: A foreign tradesman with medical knowledge. For some reason, he carries a coffin on his back.


  • Seele: spirited member of Wildfire, an Underworld Faction in Belobog. 
  • Silver Wolf: Stellaron Hunter and genius hacker.
  • Fu Xuan: the confident and blunt Head of the Xianzhou Luofu Divination Commission.
  • Qingque: a very lazy employee of Xianzhou Luofu’s Divination Commission.

Honkai Star Rail locations

Honkai Star Rail

(Image credit: HoYoverse)

The sci-fi universe in Honkai Star Rail is packed with different worlds, each with their own unique landscapes and stories. At launch, we’ll be able to explore the following areas: Herta Space Station, the Astral Express, Jarilo-VI, and Xianzhou Luofu. 

The Herta Space Station is a massive research facility, led by the genius researcher Herta. This is where the story begins, but you’ll soon be exploring the rest of the galaxy aboard the Astral Express space ship.

Jarilo-VI, a very cold, snowy planet, is home to the last remaining city with human civilization, Belobog. Or, as it is also known, the ‘Last Bastion of Mankind Against the Eternal Freeze’. Belobog is divided into the modern Overworld, from where it is governed, and the Underworld, filled with the remains of the Old World. 

As part of the Xianzhou Alliance, the gargantuan Xianzhou Luofu space ship travels from world to world, fighting civilizations aligned with the Abundance faction along the way. Far from an ordinary space ship, Xianzhou Luofu is basically a floating metropolis.

© GamesRadar+. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Marloes Valentina Stella

I’m a freelance journalist who (surprise!) kind of has a thing for videogames. When I’m not working on guides for GamesRadar, you can probably find me somewhere in Teyvat, Novigrad, or Whiterun. Unless I’m feeling competitive, in which case you should try Erangel. You can also find my words on PCGamesN, Fanbyte, PCGamer, Polygon, Esports Insider, and Game Rant.

With contributions from