ReviewsHonkai: Star Rail review 2023: action-packed mobile game

Honkai: Star Rail review 2023: action-packed mobile game

Honkai: Star Rail is the best free-to-play game of the year so far.


Chain reaction
Turn-Based Excellence
Take your turn at your own pace


It's a tonal chameleon that switches modes so deftly that I had to root for it. It's as vibrant and imaginative as the fantasy world of Genshin ever managed to be. Where it goes from here is a mystery, but the sheer creativity convinced me that it was a journey worth taking.

Honkai: Star Rail starts with a bang, with a symphony and the destruction of a space station. You quickly find yourself in a world with code-locked chrome doors, mech-like invaders with bladed arms, and rooms with monitors all over the walls. Its hook of a prologue tells you just enough about the story and gameplay to make you want to stick around without making you grind. The game has enough content to keep you entertained for well over 50 hours. It uses polished versions of the progression systems from Honkai Impact 3rd and Genshin Impact to make HoYoverse’s best RPG yet.

Honkai: Star Rail: Description

HoYo is known for making gacha games that put a lot of focus on the story, and Honkai: Star Rail is no different. You play as the Trailblazer, a character with no memory who goes from planet to planet on the Astral Express, which looks like a train but is actually a spaceship. It turns into a story about the people who work on the train, their pasts, and the different planets they go to. The story has its own twists and turns, and the pace isn’t always great, but it ends in a way that kept me interested and made me want to read more.

Major plot lines involve the political fights in the city of Belobog and its poor Underworld. It also has a good mix of serious topics like loss and funny jokes, some of which are references to pop culture or RPG tropes. By tying these threads together, you can put the focus on other characters and make the story as a whole flow better. I couldn’t sleep because of these arcs, and I had to grind through levels just to get to the next quest.

Minimum Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory8 GB RAM
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 650 or better
Storage20 GB available space
Operating SystemWindows 7 64-bit or better
Direct XVersion 11
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7
Memory8 GB RAM
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or better
Storage20 GB available space
Operating SystemWindows 7 64-bit or better
Direct XVersion 11

Honkai: Star Rail: Chain reaction

Honkai: Star Rail review

Your job is to clean up the area so things can change. There are many different kinds of enemies, from humans to robots that look like Evangelion but have destructive powers. In Belobog, these metal monsters walk around the places where the Stellaron’s effects are bad. Exploring is like a limited version of Genshin’s third-person movement: you sprint down streets and into caves with chests, hacking minigames, and health pickups while avoiding or running into enemies. You can sneak up on enemies to find out which elements they are weak to. You can also use a technique from one of your four characters to start battles with an advantage, like a damage boost for your whole party or a chance to freeze enemies in place right away.

In Star Rail, you need a mix of characters that have elemental weaknesses that match those of your enemies and abilities that help you deal with damage and debuffs. Every character has a basic attack, a skill, a passive ability, and an ultimate ability. These are tools that can be used to stop the enemy. When you attack with the right element, you use up a white bar that makes enemies weaken, take more damage, or have their next turn delayed. By chaining your skills together, you should try to stop your enemies from doing anything. But you won’t always have the right things, and attacks that stop, slow down, or weaken your party’s moves will be a problem.

We led a group that was based around Seele, a person who deals damage and gets an extra turn when she kills an enemy. She works well with Bronya, a supporter whose skill gives an ally a free turn. When the elements were in my favor, I could feed my incredibly strong Seele with killing blows so she could chain enough attacks to charge up her powerful ultimate, which would lead to another killing blow. Other characters, like rockstar Serval, are good at dealing damage to weak enemies on a regular basis so that the rest of your team can focus on stronger enemies.

Honkai: Star Rail: Turn-Based Excellence

The turn-based combat is also fun right away, with smooth animations making the first battles feel flashy and powerful even though they are mostly used to teach players how to play Star Rail. There are seven elements that can be used to exploit enemy weaknesses. Balancing a team that has many of these elements and still works well is a very hard task. Traditional roles like tank and healer are kind of turned on their heads here, but there are still clear examples of both.

Honkai: Star Rail seems to be all about being flexible. The ability to switch teammates after seeing an enemy’s weaknesses on the map helps make sure there aren’t too many fights that feel impossible to win because you weren’t prepared. Honkai: Star Rail’s exploration is linear, but the maps are full of things to do. Most of them are like traditional JRPG dungeons, with collectibles, treasure chests, elite enemies, and puzzles. The cities that serve as hubs for each world the Trailblazer visits are interesting and different.

There is a lot of lore hidden in these cities for those who want to learn more about the universe the Trailblazer lives in. The whole idea of the game, from how it handles different types of content to how it handles battles, feels much more mobile-friendly. Honkai: Star Rail doesn’t have this problem, while Genshin Impact does. This is especially true during boss fights that take a long time and involve swapping abilities and moving around. It’s true that it drains the battery a bit, but it’s made for mobile in a way that makes it much more fun to play on the go.

Honkai: Star Rail: Take your turn at your own pace

Honkai: Star Rail review

It’s time to talk about the big problem, which is turn-based combat. HoYoverse’s first attempt at a dynamic turn-based combat system, Honkai Star Rail, was good. But it’s easy for me to say because I’ve played so many JRPG games in the last ten years.

Let’s talk about how someone who has never played a turn-based game might feel about the whole thing. When fighting or exploring, a party of up to four characters can use Honkai Star Rail. Each character has three sets of attacks and skills based on their role. You could call this a “seamless turn-based” game, but fans of HoYoverse’s previous games will also like the idea of ult animations.

Everything looks good, with each character’s elements and roles working well together to exploit the weaknesses of the enemy. Turn-based games, on the other hand, are hard to talk about. Players can get tired of the whole system, and it’s not for everyone. On top of that, HoYoverse is coming off of two big games that fans are used to playing with a hack-and-slash style.

So, everyone should just give the company a chance and try something new. There are improvements to the way combat works that let everyone speed up the fight and set enemy encounters to play on their own. For people who want to grind a lot of materials, this makes the process a little less stressful.

Final Words

Based on HoYoverse’s other games, players will probably recognize almost every part of Honkai Star Rail. But it does its job well when it matters, like when it comes to selling a character’s design and skills, and when it comes to making turn-based combat fun and interesting. Honkai Star Rail is a great game for people who like both Gacha and anime-style games. Everyone can enjoy a little bit of everything, except for the occasional hack-and-slash.


Is Honkai: Star Rail like genshin?

Action and the reactions of the elements happen in real time in Genshin Impact. Honkai Star Rail is a turn-based RPG with parts that change as the battle goes on. This comes down to personal taste, but we like the combat in Genshin Impact more.

Why is Honkai: Star Rail good?

Star Rail is colorful and fun, and each member of the party has a unique look that makes them stand out in a crowd. The animations for combat are also very well done, giving battles a fun feel even when they drag on a bit.

Amy Hinckley
Amy Hinckley
The Dell Inspiron 15 that her father purchased from QVC sparked the beginning of her interest in technology. At Bollyinside, Amy Hinckley is in charge of content editing and reviewing products. Amy's interests outside of working include going for bike rides, playing video games, and watching football when she's not at her laptop.
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It's a tonal chameleon that switches modes so deftly that I had to root for it. It's as vibrant and imaginative as the fantasy world of Genshin ever managed to be. Where it goes from here is a mystery, but the sheer creativity convinced me that it was a journey worth taking.Honkai: Star Rail review 2023: action-packed mobile game