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4 Things Genshin Impact Players Need to Know Before Playing Honkai: Star Rail

honkai: star rail
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4 Things Genshin Impact Players Need to Know Before Playing Honkai: Star Rail

Moving starward from Teyvat.

It’s no secret that Genshin Impact was one of the biggest game releases of 2020, and continues to hold up strong as one of the most popular gacha games on the market. To follow up on that, miHoYo has announced Honkai: Star Rail, which is currently in its closed beta phase.

As the latest installment in miHoYo’s Honkai series, it carries on the lore and mythos of the Honkai universe, while also taking cues from Genshin Impact. If you’re a Genshin Impact player looking to check out Honkai: Star Rail during its beta phase or when it launches later this year, here are a few things you need to know.

It’s a Turn-Based RPG

4 Things Genshin Impact Players Need to Know Before Playing Honkai: Star Rail

combat in honkai: star rail
Image Source: miHoYo

If you’re getting a bit fatigued with Genshin Impact and you’re looking for something new, one of the biggest distinctions between Genshin and Honkai: Star Rail is that the latter is a turn-based RPG. This means that you can expect a much slower-paced game, with a larger focus on strategy and team-building.

That’s not to say that Star Rail’s combat is boring, though. Far from it. Honkai: Star Rail makes use of a break system where you can exploit an enemy’s elemental weakness to break their guard, and deal massive amounts of damage to them. Limit break abilities can be used at any point in battle (as long as they’re charged up), and every character has a unique skill to execute once you have enough action points stored up.

There are plenty of flashy animations to enjoy in this turn-based affair, even if it might mark a huge departure from the fast-paced nature of Genshin Impact.

There’s More Character Interaction

4 Things Genshin Impact Players Need to Know Before Playing Honkai: Star Rail

texting in honkai: star rail
Image Source: miHoYo

While Genshin Impact is a story-driven RPG, it wouldn’t exactly be controversial to say that it’s pretty hard to form any meaningful bonds with the NPCs you meet in that game. Most of the characters are really just fleeting friends who come and go as they please, and even if you manage to recruit them to your party, there isn’t really a sense of camaraderie that you might expect from your typical RPG.

Honkai: Star Rail really leans into its characters, following the tried and true RPG formula of introducing key party members early on, and having them fight alongside you throughout the course of the story. Even outside of party members, NPCs are more willing to interact with and talk to the protagonist, making the world feel more alive as a result.

Player Choices Matter (Kinda)

4 Things Genshin Impact Players Need to Know Before Playing Honkai: Star Rail

dialogue choices in honkai: star rail
Image Source: miHoYo

In addition to improved character interactions, miHoYo has also stated that player choices will play a slightly larger role in Honkai: Star Rail. Whenever you’re speaking with NPCs, you’ll be allowed to choose from a few dialogue options to keep the conversation flowing. While it’s unlikely that your choices will affect the overall story in any real meaningful way, this may cause NPCs to react to you differently, or view you in a different light.

During my time with the beta, it definitely felt like I had a lot more agency in shaping the protagonist’s personality via the dialogue choices made available to me. It’s a far cry from the stoic Traveler in Genshin Impact, who’s really just meant to be a silent avatar for that entire journey.

Star Rail’s Trailblazer feels more colorful and unique as a result, and even if my choices won’t impact the story in some crazy way, it’s still nice to be able to give them some flavor.

The Leveling Systems are More or Less the Same

4 Things Genshin Impact Players Need to Know Before Playing Honkai: Star Rail

Image Source: miHoYo

Now that we’ve established the major ways in which Honkai: Star Rail is deviating from Genshin Impact, it’s also worth taking a look at some of the similarities shared in both games. For starters, the leveling and ascension systems seem to be mostly identical. The gacha system will allow you to pull for both units and weapons to power up your account, and you can expect the majority of your pulls to be comprised of weapons.

Speaking of weapons, they’re referred to as Light Cones in this game, but they should feel very familiar to Genshin Impact players. You can feed spare Light Cones to the ones you like to level them up, and also fuse them with dupes to enhance their unique abilities.

Characters can also be leveled up normally up to a certain point, and you’ll have to consume materials to ascend them and raise their level cap. And in case you’re wondering, yes, dupes are also extremely important in Honkai: Star Rail. Similar to the Constellations system in Genshin Impact, Star Rail makes use of an Eidolon system, where you can raise a character’s Eidolon level if you manage to pull an extra copy of them.

And as you might expect, raising the Eidolon level will also enhance their unique traits and make them even more powerful. 5-star units are still perfectly playable without any Eidolon levels, but it could be challenging trying to max them out if you’re not planning to whale on this game.

Honkai: Star Rail is now in its closed beta phase, and is set to be released on PC and mobile devices later this year.

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