Originally revealed on Oct. 7, 2021, “Honkai: Star Rail” is an upcoming turn-based role-playing game set to release on April 26 at 10:00 AM (UTC +8). For players in northeastern United States, this means the game will be available on April 25 at 10:00 PM EST. Developed by HoYoverse, it will join the company’s lineup of popular games such as “Genshin Impact” and “Honkai Impact 3rd,” and has already garnered mass anticipation with over ten million pre-registrations. So what can new players boarding this hype train do to prepare?
What is “Honkai: Star Rail?”
One of the first things a player can do before pre-registration is to understand what the game is about. “Honkai: Star Rail” is the second installment of the Honkai Impact series where familiar faces from the first game, “Honkai Impact 3rd” will appear. Despite this, it is not necessary to play “Honkai Impact 3rd” to understand “Honkai: Star Rail,” as the characters and plot are introduced to players as if they have never seen them before.
In terms of the general plot, “Honkai: Star Rail” players play as
a Trailblazers that board s the Astral Express. Aboard this flying galactic train, Trailblazers will be able to explore different planets and meet companions to fight alongside. As revealed in the special program, Trailblazers can travel to the Herta Space Station, Belobog and Xianzhou Luofu. With each region having a different aesthetic style and secrets to uncover, there is much to discover.
At its core, “Honkai: Star Rail” is a turn-based RPG, where Trailblazers can collect characters to add to team loadouts. Characters have unique play-styles and can be collected by playing the game and through the gacha system. On initial release, Seele and Jing Yuan will have increased rates for the special Event Warps. Since the system is similar to “Genshin Impact’s” gacha system, it is recommended for new players to pull on Event Warps as opposed to Stellar Warps. This is because featured characters in the Event Warp cannot be received in the Stellar Warp, but both standard and featured characters can be received in Event Warp pulls.
Pre-registration & pre-downloading
Now that you know more about what the game is about, it is time to pre-register! Players can pre-register at Honkai: Star Rail’s website, where registration grants rewards such as the 4-Star Character Serval and enough currency for up to 80 gacha pulls.
Along with pre-registration, players are able to download the game ahead of the release date. The game will be available to play on iOS, Android, PC and Playstation, where accounts allow for crossplay. Meaning if you start playing on one platform such as mobile and want to switch to PC for a more immersive view, it is possible to do so!
In anticipation of the game’s release, HoYoverse has prepared multiple online and offline events for Trailblazers to engage in. For instance, players can create their own DIY ticket for the Astral Express in the All-Stars Invite event and get in-game rewards by completing daily missions. A YouTube launch event with guests like LilyPichu, Mark Phillips and Sydness Goodman will also be on April 25 at 9:30 PM EST.
Want to learn even more about the game? Check out “Honkai: Star Rail’s” YouTube channel where “Boarding Preparation Special Program” was posted on March 24. The 48-minute program details the game’s plot, game mechanics and upcoming events in greater detail. Uploaded on the same day, the “Honkai: Star Rail – Out of Control” album boasts seventeen tracks that allow players to immerse themselves into the techno and mysterious music landscape of “Honkai: Star Rail.”
Want to go offline and still experience “Honkai: Star Rail?” The Astral Express Global Tour involves special advertisements and events that will take place in locations like New York, Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Jakarta, Rio De Janeiro and many more. In Offline Special Events, players can show up at the designated location and upon completion of tasks can receive special merchandise items like postcards and badges. Players can also receive a “Star Rail Pass” at Kinokuniya stores after pre-registering for the game.
Most recently, the game holds the title for #1 downloads on the App Store, so there is much anticipation for the game, even among the UConn community.
“I’m pre-installing the game so I don’t have to wait to play it,” said Kristine Tran, a second-semester cognitive science major. “I’m excited to play another game in the Honkai series since the characters are familiar but new.”
“As someone who hasn’t played a ton of miHoYo games, the tons of characters and pre-registration gifts have made me really excited to give the game a try!” said Benjamin Lassy, a fourth-semester history major and English minor.
Overall, players trying the game out should play at their own pace as the game will likely receive new content on a regular basis. So trailblazers, enjoy your time aboard the Astral Express, and may this journey lead us starward!