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The writing for Honkai Star Rail is pretty charming at times (Image via HoYoverse)

Is Honkai Star Rail worth playing for newcomers to the series?

Honkai Star Rail is a F2P-friendly title that newcomers to the series may enjoy. It first came out on April 26, 2023, to the delight of many mobile and PC gamers. Since then, many new players have been picking up the title and having a blast. The only question is how the game is worth playing for those who haven't started yet.

There is no video game that's universally great for everybody, so let's look at what makes this title special. Honkai Star Rail is a turn-based RPG gacha with a science-fiction story and setting. However, it is not pay-to-win in the traditional sense.


Note: Some aspects of this article are subjective.

Why Honkai Star Rail is worth playing at least once for a newcomer

The mascot for this game is also pretty cute (Image via HoYoverse)

First off, Honkai Star Rail is a free-to-play title. That means it won't cost a player a cent to try the game for a few minutes. If the size seems too big for your storage to just download it right out the gate, the following reasons should serve as motivation:

  • Turn-based RPG: Many modern RPGs tend to be action-based, so having an actual turn-based AAA title is amazing.
  • Rich cast: Like most gacha titles, there is a plethora of characters to collect.
  • Anime-like designs: If you fancy characters that look like they would come from an anime, then this game's cast should be aesthetically pleasing to you.
  • Good balance: Unlike many gacha games, Honkai Star Rail is pretty well-balanced. No character is absolutely useless, with most of the cast fulfilling some sort of niche.
  • Constant updates: There's a big patch every ~42 days. Inside those updates is plenty of content to keep you entertained.
  • F2P-friendly: It is possible to beat the entire game without ever spending a dollar on it. It's not hard for F2P players to pass most content.
  • No required prequel to understand the lore: While playing Honkai Impact 3rd is good for fully understanding everything, the vast majority of topics can be understood just by playing Honkai Star Rail.

The prologue isn't too long, and the game won't hold the player's hand. Hence, you should be able to get a good feel for whether you would enjoy this title or not in just an hour or two.

Honkai Star Rail is a free game to play

It will only take up a small amount of your time to try the game (Image via HoYoverse)

Honkai Star Rail has Pity Rates, meaning a player is guaranteed to get a certain 5-star after a certain number of rolls. Getting any 5-star is guaranteed within 90 pulls on a Character Event Warp. There is a 50:50 mechanic in the game where if you don't get the featured 5-star character on a banner, the subsequent 90 pulls will guarantee that you're guaranteed to get him or her.


Other Warps have similar mechanics. The currency to do summons can be obtained just by playing the game. It's easy to save Stellar Jade and Star Rail Special Passes, meaning a smart F2P player can easily get any 5-star character or Light Cone they want.

Whales will more easily get those 5-star items, but there is no PvP where such a difference matters.

Edited by
Rachel Syiemlieh
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