Honkai Star Rail vs. Genshin Impact: Major similarities and differences

A good comparison between some similarities and differences between the two games
A good comparison between some similarities and differences between the two games (Image via HoYoverse)

Honkai Star Rail is the newest game made by Genshin Impact's development team, so there are bound to be some interesting similarities and differences between those two titles. A few distinctions will be obvious. Others will be a bit more nuanced. Either way, some Travelers are interested in becoming Trailblazers, so let's look at the major similarities and differences between the two games.

Everything listed here would be apparent to a person who has played both games. If somebody is familiar with one title and not the other, the following information might sometimes seem confusing. Nonetheless, let's start with the Honkai Star Rail and Genshin Impact's similarities before diving into their differences.


Honkai Star Rail vs. Genshin Impact: Similarities

The banners look different visually but work the same for both games (Image via HoYoverse)
The banners look different visually but work the same for both games (Image via HoYoverse)

The two games largely follow the same formula for numerous features. Here is a quick rundown of the obviously similar gameplay mechanics. The ones in Honkai Star Rail are on the left, with Genshin Impact's equivalent on the right:

  • Warps: Event Wishes
  • Stellar Jade: Primogems
  • Star Rail Special Pass: Intertwined Fate
  • Star Rail Pass: Acquainted Fate
  • Eidolons: Constellations
  • Traces: Talents
  • Aptitude Showcase: Test Run
  • Express Supply Pass: Blessing of the Welkin Moon
  • Starlight Exchange: Starglitter Exchange
  • Embers Exchange: Stardust Exchange
  • Contract Shop: Gift Shop
  • Oneiric Pouch: Crystal Top-Up

Both games also feature many similar stats and minor features, such as Achievements and Redemption Codes.

Star Rail UI looks very similar to Genshin's (Image via HoYoverse)
Star Rail UI looks very similar to Genshin's (Image via HoYoverse)

Of course, the two game's UI interfaces share many similarities, too. Both Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail have the following:

  • A minimap on the top left
  • Quest details below the minimap
  • Characters on the right side
  • Abilities on the bottom right
  • Many minor shortcuts on the top of the screen

The anime-inspired visual design is also something shared by both games, although it's worth noting that Honkai Star Rail is much more vibrant by comparison. This game also references Genshin Impact with some Easter eggs.

While there's no doubt that the two titles share many similarities, it's not as if one is a complete copy of the other. There are genuine differences worth highlighting in the next section of this article.


Honkai Star Rail vs. Genshin Impact: Differences

This screen alone shows several differences for HoYoverse's newest title (Image via HoYoverse)
This screen alone shows several differences for HoYoverse's newest title (Image via HoYoverse)

Honkai Star Rail is a turn-based RPG game, which makes it play drastically differently from Genshin Impact, even though both games feature Normal Attacks, Elemental Skills, and Bursts. The former title differentiates itself from the latter by:

  • Letting you attack monsters in the Overworld to start turn-based combat.
  • Speed is a stat that determines who goes in what order.
  • You use a Skill Point to cast an Elemental Skill.
  • You gain Skill Points by doing a Normal Attack.
  • Skill Points are shared across the whole team.
  • Elemental Bursts can interrupt turn order, as you can activate them at any time once the character has enough Energy.
  • There is an auto-battling feature.

Apart from that, some other interesting differences were also introduced in Honkai Star Rail. For example, Physical is now an element, and not every character has access to it. Paths help make entities stand out more, especially since some Light Cones have more synergy with one Path than others.

The new game has more futuristic elements in its overall design (Image via HoYoverse)
The new game has more futuristic elements in its overall design (Image via HoYoverse)

Also, all four-star entities have brief cutscenes that play when using their Elemental Burst in Honkai Star Rail, whereas Genshin Impact's characters typically only have a short cutscene for five-star units. The latter game also has a traditional fantasy setting, whereas HoYoverse's newest title is much more futuristic.