Honkai: Star Rail’s release date is finally confirmed. As the release date approaches, many questions about the game have popped up. We’ve already tackled the game’s similarities with Genshin Impact, so now let’s talk about the opposite. Just how is Honkai: Star Rail different from Genshin Impact, and what are their differences?
Although Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact do have their similarities (there are quite a bit, actually), there are still some things that are different between the two games. These differences are important to make sure that it doesn’t just feel like you’re playing Genshin Impact in space, although some will argue that that’s all this game is. In any case, let’s jump into it.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two games is how the combat works. Genshin Impact is more of a third-person action RPG, whereas Star Rail is a turn-based RPG. Instead of having to rely on good hand-eye coordination to fight their enemies, players will have to rely more on a strategy to win their fights. Players will have to take into account turn order, skill points, cut-ins, and more when fighting.
This also means that taking damage is inevitable. Although shields and the like exist in the game, it is close to impossible to not receive any form of damage. Players will have to manage their team’s HP well so that they can handle prolonged fights, which can happen if players do not have the right elements in their team.
Elements exist in this game, however, they play out differently compared to Genshin Impact. It plays out more like Pokemon. Enemies have two to three elements they are weak to. Dealing damage of that particular type works towards breaking the enemy, which gives them various status effects. Planning your team out properly, and switching out members as needed is key in this game.
Players can still attack outside of the turn-based fights. However, it’s more of a way to pre-emptively deal damage to the enemy. Think of it as the Ambush mechanic from Persona 3 onwards, where attacking enemies gives while exploring gives you an advantage during the actual fight. Enemies will have various elements listed underneath their names. Attacking with one of the elements listed there deals damage to all enemies weak to said element. This is a great way to lessen their shields, making it easier to break their shields.
Much like Genshin, the player can upgrade their Character’s skills, normal attacks, and ultimate. Unlike Genshin, those aren’t the only things you can level. Each player has their own Traces, which you can think of as a skill tree for that character. The player can not only improve their Character’s skills and the like, but also give them buffs to their ATK, HP, DEF, and more. Players can buy nodes on the Character’s Trace using credits and Character materials.
Much like a skill tree, however, you will have to purchase the skills leading up to the buffs you want. You can’t just immediately buy the buffs you want. The buffs you can buy are dependent on your Character’s Ascension level, so make sure to Ascend the characters you want to upgrade more.
Star Rail already has the Relic system, which is this game’s version of Genshin’s Artifacts. However, there is one key difference, which is the Planar Ornaments. You can think of it as another Relic set on top of the current Relic set. Relics have a 4-piece set bonus, while Planar Ornaments have a 2-piece set bonus. That means players will have a maximum of six Relics and Planar Ornaments on their characters, compared to Genshin’s maximum of five artifacts.
This gives the players more flexibility in their builds, as they can either have a 4-piece set bonus from their Relics and a 2-piece set bonus from their Planar Ornaments or have 2 2-piece set bonuses from their relics alongside the 2-piece set bonus from the Planar Ornaments. This makes it so that the player can have up to three active set bonuses. As for where you can get the Planar Ornaments, you will have to farm them from the Simulated Universe.
The Simulated Universe is a gameplay feature in Star Rail that plays a lot like a roguelike dungeon crawler. Players dive into Worlds with a team of characters and must reach the end. While inside, they will encounter enemies that, when defeated, reward the player with a buff of their choosing. These buffs vary from increasing Freeze timers to decreasing enemy damage, and more.
Not only is this something you can do once you’ve caught up to the game’s latest chapter, but it’s also something you can do every week. It has a score cap that resets every week, so players can keep running the Simulated Universe to get weekly rewards. As mentioned above as well, you will be farming for your Planar Ornaments here. As such, you will always have something to do during your downtimes from the main story of the game.
No Continuous Open World
Star Rail, like Genshin, is an open-world game. Players can come and go on the game’s various maps whenever they want. However, unlike Genshin, it’s not actually one huge map. Instead of having one huge map, Star Rail instead has various small maps, connected by transitional areas. Think of it like older JRPGs, where you have to walk to the area’s edge to load the next area.
While this may be a big difference, it is not at all stifling. The various areas available for the player to explore are all pretty sizeable and are still very much pretty. I personally have a few parts of the map that I go to just for fun because of how nice it looks.
Although this might not be a big change for some, it is still something different between Star Rail and Genshin. Since players don’t fight in the overworld, there’s no need for a dodge button. Not just that, but players cannot jump, climb, or swim in this game. As such, the game does not have a stamina bar. This lets the player sprint as much as they want on the map, as nothing is stopping them from doing so. This is really helpful as walking and running is your only mode of travel other than teleportation. We don’t know if they will introduce mounts or the like in the game. However, judging from how they handled mobility in Genshin Impact and Honkai Impact 3rd, it’s unlikely that there will be mounts.
Variable Daily Training
In Genshin Impact, the Dailies come in the form of Daily Commissions, where players have to do four randomly selected quests. After finishing these four quests, they can claim a reward from the Adventurer’s Guild. In Star Rail, however, the Dailies work differently. Instead of having a fixed set of four quests, players receive a total of five. Not only that, but each of these quests gives a certain number of Activity points. Players have to get a total of 500 Activity points to claim all of the daily rewards. This is where the variability comes in.
The quests you have to do give either 100 or 200 Activity points. That means that you don’t have to do all of the quests given to you to finish your dailies. You can choose to do one quest worth 200 and three worth 100, or do two quests worth 200 and one worth 100. Either way, as long as you reach the required 500 points, you will receive all of the daily rewards.
What makes it even better is that the quests are not always overworld combat quests like in Genshin. Sometimes, the quest requires you to level up Relics or Characters. Other times, it might require you to inflict Break or defeat a certain number of enemies. The variability and variation in the quests you do remove some of the monotony from doing your dailies.
That’s all of the big differences that we have noticed between Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact. Honkai: Star Rail comes out on April 26, 2023. It will be available on iOS, Android, and PC via the official launcher and the Epic Games Store. You can pre-register on the game’s website if the game piques your interest. The more players pre-register, the more rewards players will get once the game launches. Otherwise, you can check out our gaming news articles for the latest in gaming news.
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