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Honkai: Star Rail launch guide: Start time, preload, rewards, and more

Published Apr 24th, 2023 5:45PM EDT
Honkai: Star Rail launches on April 25 in the US.
Image: HoYoverse

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Honkai: Star Rail, the latest RPG gacha game from Genshin Impact developer HoYoverse, is finally launching on PC and mobile devices on Tuesday after years of anticipation. As with the developer’s previous games, Honkai: Star Rail tasks players with exploring a fantastical world while battling foes, collecting loot, and spending currency to unlock new characters. The most significant departure is that Honkai: Star Rail features a turn-based combat system.

Below, we’ll do our best to tell you everything that you need to know about the game before it launches, so you’ll be ready to jump in when the servers go live.

When does Honkai: Star Rail launch?

Depending on where on Earth you live, Honkai: Star Rail will launch on Tuesday, April 25th, or Wednesday, April 26th, on PC, Android, and iOS. HoYoverse says the servers will go live at 10:00 (UTC+8), but here’s the start time for several common time zones:

  • April 25 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
  • April 25 at 10:00 p.m. EDT
  • April 26 at 1:00 a.m. BST
  • April 26 at 2:00 a.m. CEST
  • April 26 at 9:00 a.m. JST

Given there aren’t any technical hiccups, that’s when you can start playing the game.

Can I preload the game ahead of time?

Yes, you can preload, and you probably should pre-install Honkai: Star Rail before it launches. Genshin Impact is outrageously popular, and plenty of people who have played that game will want to see what this one has to offer. If you’re reading this prior to the servers going live, you can click on the links below to download the game right now:

A word of warning: This is a huge game, so make sure you have enough room on your device before you start the download. HoYoverse says PC players will need at least 20GB of storage space, iOS players need 9GB, and Android players need 8.5GB.

Are there any pre-registration rewards?

Indeed there are! Because 5 million players pre-registered for the game and 2.5 million people followed the game on social media, Trailblazers (that’s what HoYoverse calls Honkai: Star Rail players) receive the 4-star character Serval (The Erudition: Lightning), 20 Star Rail Passes (to summon new characters), the “Trailblazer — Welcome” avatar, and 100,000 credits.

Head to the Mail feature in-game to claim these rewards after you log in.

Honkai: Star Rail beginner resources

Once you start the game, you will play through a helpful tutorial that will teach you the basics. After that, you’re on your own, but there are countless resources online to help you figure out what to do and where to go. That includes which activities you should be focusing on, which characters you should be trying to pull, and how to spend your credits.

In my opinion, the best place to start learning more is, which is a huge database that includes a tier list of Star Rail characters, guides for nearly every aspect of the game, lists of Light Cones and Relics, a team builder feature, and more.

There are also plenty of beginner’s guides on YouTube — here are a couple I liked:

That should be enough to get you started on your journey through the cosmos.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.