Is Honkai: Star Rail like Genshin Impact?

Is Honkai: Star Rail like Genshin Impact?

One of the big questions going through many a player's minds is this one: Is Honkai: Star Rail like Genshin Impact? Seeing that HoYoverse had a global blockbuster with the Traveler's adventures in Teyvat and that open world action RPG is still going strong, many fans are wondering if they are in for another similar sprawling game where hours just fly by and there's so much lore and characters that you feel overwhelmed by all that goodness. That's what we're going to explain here in some detail, detailing some of the features from the upcoming and almost certain hit Honkai: Star Rail.

Are Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact Alike?

Despite the similarities, there are some mechanics that make these games fairly different from one another. From gameplay systems to world exploration, you will discover more than enough twists that will be more than telling. But we're here to lay it out for you as it is.

Honkai: Star Rail vs Genshin Impact – World Exploration

Is Honkai Star Rail like Genshin Impact world exploration

Don't Miss: Honkai: Star Rail Hands-On Preview – Turn-Based Combat Goodness

In Genshin Impact, you have the massive world of Teyvat at your disposal – or at least, for as long as you trigger the story missions that allow you to travel to other regions and discover new and amazing cities, as they are released. You, the Traveler, are free to explore every corner of the map, every floating isle, look around for secrets, and just enjoy the sights. Genshin Impact delivers what we call a full open world.

On the other hand, Honkai: Star Rail's world exploration is more linear. This doesn't mean that it's worse than Genshin Impact, just different in the way it approaches the planets and the cities.

Starting with the planet exploration, you will often find yourself thrown into cities with various points of interest that you can travel to via a teleport point. You have large plazas and impressive spots to visit, but the truth is that you will mostly be confined to a corridor – no matter how large it may seem – as you move towards the objective. There are branching paths, but these are often designed to make you face a stronger enemy – with the consequent bigger reward – and end up with a bit of backtracking to the main path. There's no jumping around, exploring the rooftops or the skies, everything in Honkai: Star Rail is more grounded and restrictive than in Genshin Impact.

The Astral Express will take your crew to various planets, so that doesn't mean you won't find less restrictive worlds to explore. Still, given the design, it's fairly obvious that Honkai: Star Rail is a game that steers you in the direction of enemies, so that you get into those frantic turn-based battles that the game excels at, and it wouldn't make sense if you could just go around and avoid them all.

Honkai: Star Rail vs Genshin Impact – Battle System

Is Honkai Star Rail like Genshin Impact Battle System

The battle system in Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail couldn't be any more different. In fact, this was one of the touted features of the new Honkai chapter, as HoYoverse wanted to create an engaging experience with a deep and gripping battle system to boot.

So, Genshin Impact has this exciting action-combat that captured the hearts and minds of players all over the world, with a well-defined set of characters, weapons, and elemental options. It's fast, fun, and the constant character switching is a crucial part of how it all works.

In Honkai: Star Rail, we have an even more tactical approach to combat, as our party faces opponents of varied numbers and sizes. In our first impressions, we have a Honkai: Star Rail combat guide where you can find tips about it, but we're going to cover it here in a brief way as well.

Before you get into combat, you have a few seconds where you can attack first using an elemental advantage, slightly decreasing your opponent's toughness. But beware, as the opposite may happen as well, if you get ambushed.

You will now see your team members facing their enemies, each one sporting an elemental affinity. Enemies have two bars: toughness/shield and health, and you can bring the former down by hitting them with their elemental weakness. Your characters have two attack skills and an ultimate, and you can use this one at any point where you can interact, you're not forced to wait for a specific character's turn to trigger it.

Honkai: Star Rail vs Genshin Impact – Elements

Honkai Star Rail Element Weakness Break Guide

Genshin Impact has seven elements, but did dendro take its sweet time to arrive: hydro, cryo, pyro, electro, geo, anemo, and dendro. We can find some similarities in elements from Honkai: Star Rail, but some of the names have changed: ice, fire, lightning, wind, physical, quantum, and imaginary.

As you can see, the three last elements may be new to Genshin Impact players, but two of those (quantum and imaginary) may be equated to the traditional light and dark elements seen in many other games. Some enemies have several elemental weaknesses and it's up to you to explore this with your team.

Going for the weakness break is a recommended move, as it captures the last elemental attack you used and gives you important damage over time  buffs and occasional enemy debuffs. You can check the table above explaining the Honkai: Star Rail element weakness breaks and their results (credits to user Skyverlash), and we'll also post them below:

  • ICE: Apply frozen to the enemy preventing them from taking action + Ice DoT
  • FIRE: Deal fire damage to the enemy, apply fire damage + Fire DoT
  • WIND: Deal wind damage to the enemy, apply wind shear to them + Wind DoT
  • LIGHTNING: Deal lightning damage to the enemy, apply shock effect + Lightning DoT
  • QUANTUM: Apply entanglement effect to the enemy, delaying enemy actions + Quantum DoT
  • IMAGINARY: Apply imprisonment effect to the enemy, delaying enemy actions + reduce enemy speed
  • PHYSICAL: Deal physical damage to the enemy, apply bleed effect to them + Physical DoT

Honkai: Star Rail vs Genshin Impact – Character and World Level

Is Honkai Star Rail like Genshin Impact character elements

Now this is something that doesn't change much between the two games. We have to level up our characters and world rank in Honkai: Star Rail, something that can be attributed to Trailblaze level and Equilibrium level.

When your Trailblaze level reaches a certain milestone, you have to complete a Trial of Equilibrium to unlock the following limits. The higher the Equilibrium, the better the rewards you earn from certain challenges,  main quest or side quests, but the enemies will be stronger as well.

Honkai: Star Rail vs Genshin Impact – Gacha Banners

Is Honkai Star Rail like Genshin Impact gacha banner

Honkai: Star Rail couldn't leave out the gacha banners, as these are the main revenue source that keeps development going for a long time. The Genshin Impact wishes are called Honkai: Star Rail warps here, with different types of tickets to use on the various banners.

You can also use Stellar Jade that you earn by playing, or purchase Oneiric Shards from the store. There's the traditional pity system that will reward you with a 4-star or above character.

Honkai: Star Rail vs Genshin Impact – Domains and Trial Events

Is Honkai Star Rail like Genshin Impact trial event

In Genshin Impact you have domains, and in Honkai: Star Rail you get cocoons, which is the same apart from the name. You should be farming these quite often, but there's also an energy system to keep an eye on.

You can also try some characters and earn a few rewards in the process, another staple coming from Genshin Impact. Mostly featured gacha banner characters will be available, usually four at a time, and you can get the valuable Stellar Jade and other items just by doing this.

To answer the question “Is Honkai: Star Rail like Genshin Impact?” The conclusion is that despite some obvious similarities in UI, art style, and mechanics, at its core the two games are extremely different. From Genshin Impact's action combat and open world to Honkai: Star Rail's turn-based tactical battles and more linear flavor, there's a lot that will make a fan of the former pleased with the experiences offered by the latter.

Honkai: Star Rail releases April 26, 2023 on Epic Games Store, PC, Android,  and iOS, with a PlayStation launch date to be announced.

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