Video Games

Is Honkai Star Rail Free to Play?

is Honkai: Star Rail free to play with gacha system like Genshin Impact from HoYoverse yes

It’s time to board the train to the hottest sci-fi role-playing game with top-notch tactical combat, Honkai: Star Rail. From developer HoYoverse comes a fresh style of game that I have to say definitely rivals its previous smash hit, Genshin Impact, but does it follow the same structure? Here is the answer to whether Honkai: Star Rail is free to play and/or has a gacha design structure.

Is Honkai Star Rail a Free-to-Play Gacha Game like Genshin Impact?

If you love a good free-to-play game, I have great news for you. Just like Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail is entirely free to play and is also a high-quality game to try out. The anime visuals, well-designed characters, and incredibly cool turn-based strategy combat are easily on the level of a AAA full priced game. So what’s the catch? Well, like most free-to-play games, the developers have to be able to make money somewhere, and there isn’t any character customization like a lot of free-to-play games rely on.

If you’ve played Gensin Impact, you’re probably familiar with the gacha system in that game where you can redeem a token for a loot roll and a chance at one of the awesome permanent companions that joins your roster. Honkai: Star Rail follows the same principle using a ticket system, and when a ticket is redeemed, a cool sequence with the train and conductor plays out before rewarding you with loot. Of course, there are ways to earn these tickets through gameplay and events, which is awesome, but where they get you is with their amazing 5-star-rated characters.

5-star character Honkai: Star Rail gacha free to play yes

The 5-star characters in Honkai: Star Rail are on a whole other level from the rest of the roster that you can get, and they love to tease you with these characters by giving them to you at certain points of the game to try as trial characters. The chance of unlocking them from redeeming tickets is less than 1%, so it would take a ton of tickets to hit one — or you can guarantee one but only after hitting certain requirements, like having redeemed 70 tickets.

If you don’t care about the 5-star characters or rare Light Cones, then you really don’t have to worry about spending any money on the game and you’ll have an amazing experience for free. I can’t resist spending a bit, so I’ll be relying partially on events and rewards from playing as well as some purchased tickets to get me through to those sweet, sweet 5-star characters. I really don’t mind spending a bit on the game if I’m really enjoying it, and it will help the studio to create more excellent content and future games!

So yes, Honkai:Star Rail is fully free to play and a game well worth checking out. You don’t need to engage with the gacha system at all to get the full experience, but if you do, let me know if you get any super cool 5-star characters!

About the author

Alex Berry
Alex Berry is a freelance contributor at The Escapist. Alex has been writing about games for less than a year but is thoroughly enjoying it. Having worked in marketing as his main role, he’s no stranger to writing creatively. His coverage ranges from funny takes on the latest games to a whole bunch of guide content. Alex is a jack of all trades when it comes to games, playing almost every new title that shows promise. From RPGs to shooters, all the way through to sports games, he plays it all, although he does have a soft spot for turn-based RPGs having started out his gaming journey with a copy of Pokémon Red on the original Game Boy. Alex has a master's degree in Business and is fascinated by online game economies, often spending a lot of time finding ways to maximize wealth in these games (but he should really be doing that in real life instead).