Following Genshin Impact's massive success, HoYoverse has brought another ambitious title to the table—Honkai: Star Rail, a sequel to the original Honkai Impact 3rd that doubles up as a standalone for new fans to enjoy. With an incredible team behind its development, Honkai: Star Rail is shaping up to be a compelling game that expands the borders of the classic JRPG experience. It's one of HoYoverse's two upcoming games, the other being the stylistically urban Zenless Zone Zero.
Honkai: Star Rail has gone through two rounds of closed beta testing, with the second focused on improving the combat system and balancing the initial roster of characters. However, HoYoverse has yet to reveal a release date for the game, so excited players may need to wait a while longer before Trailblazing across the galaxy.
In an exclusive interview with HoYoverse, we had the opportunity to ask a few questions about Honkai: Star Rail—their first dive into the turn-based RPG genre—from their plans on combat optimization to the future of the gacha system and gameplay localization.
Interview with HoYoverse on Honkai: Star Rail
Pro Game Guides: Since Honkai: Star Rail seems to be a spinoff of Honkai 3rd, new players may feel lost in the story. How will the game ease players into the lore and connect the missing pieces from Honkai Impact 3rd?
HoYoverse: Honkai: Star Rail is the sequel to the Honkai series, as it will continue to incorporate the consistent spiritual core of the Honkai series, showing the symbiosis and confrontation between human beings and destiny. Meanwhile, the game has relatively easy gameplay, so most players will be able to pick up the gaming mechanics and stories easily, and that is also why the title is not numerical to the series.
That being said, the story of Honkai: Star Rail will be independent of the other titles in the Honkai series. We hope for Honkai: Star Rail to be a game that is easily accessible to new players, so they too can experience the beauty of the Honkai Universe. We would like to welcome both new and veteran players to join us and experience Honkai from different perspectives.
Turn-based battles notoriously take a lot longer than hack-and-slashes. Are there plans to implement auto battles?
Honkai: Star Rail will include an auto-battle mode. Players will be able to choose whether to turn on the auto-battle mode according to their own progress and needs.
Can players adjust gameplay difficulty freely?
We do not support changing difficulty in the game for the time being. Although it can be a bit challenging, our tutorial system and various NPC will provide more help to overcome one difficulty after another. After the game is released, we also plan to provide more guides and tutorials to help clear obstacles.
What will the energy system be like in Honkai: Star Rail, and what game modes will it affect?
The Trailblaze Power will be the main energy system in the game. Players may challenge various raids by consuming the "Trailblaze Power" and get corresponding rewards.
Based on the first CBT, each character is structured to only have a basic attack and two skills. Are there plans to make these skills more dynamic in battle, such as by adding assist, combo, and interrupt functions?
Regarding the combat system, we will consider adding more combat-related elements based on feedback from this internal test to enhance the immersion and thrill of battle. The current goal of the development team is to enrich the coordination of abilities between characters and allow players to have more room to strategize.
We've also made more effort in creating dynamic experiences in maze exploring and puzzle-solving. Players can use path planning, enemy encounters, sight avoidance, and other actions to gain the upper hand before entering the combat.
What will the gacha and pity system look like? What kind of premium currency can players expect to use? Will there be some gacha pools limited to paid versions of premium currency? In the first beta, Light Cones could be obtained for free—but will these also be obtained through the gacha in the actual game? Approximately how often will a new banner character release?
The current Closed Beta is focusing on gameplay testing. We would like to put the turn-based strategy combat system, vast maps, maze exploration, puzzle-solving and more mechanics to the test. We are still discussing the monetization of Honkai: Star Rail within the team.
Are there plans to release Honkai: Star Rail on other platforms, such as PlayStation and Nintendo?
The Honkai: Star Rail Closed Beta is accessible on both PC and mobile devices during the Closed Beta. We also understand more players’ needs to have HoYoverse games available on more platforms. If there is any news in the future, we will share with you at once.
In what languages will Honkai: Star Rail be localised to upon release?
This Closed Beta will support subtitles in nine languages including Traditional Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese and Spanish. The languages supported when the official version goes live will be announced in the future.
Can players expect any pre-release events?
Honkai: Star Rail will be an extension of the Honkai Universe. Our whole team has invested a lot of efforts and resources in exploring the turn-based genre. We'll be sure to let you know if there are more details about pre-release events and exhibitions, and we hope that you will continue to support us.
For more information about Honkai: Star Rail, check out Pro Game Guides. And for more HoYoverse gaming content, check out our guide on How to get and use Sign-in Slip in Tears of Themis.