Honkai: Star Rail pity system explained
Learn how pity affects your likelihood of pulling your desired character from HSR's gacha
What is the Honkai: Star Rail pity system and how does it work? In a gacha game like Honkai: Star Rail, the pity system is there to ensure that you eventually get a few of the game's most desirable characters and weapons, even though the base odds of any given loot box containing even one of them are really very low.
Whether you regard this as a kind gesture to reward loyal players or a cynical ploy to ensure you're permanently kept just on the right side of "too frustrated to keep gambling", it's worth understanding the pity system of a gacha game you're invested in. While as ever I don't recommend or endorse spending real-world money on gachas, HSR's pity system applies just as much to F2P players plugging in the freebie currencies they've managed to save up.
Read on for everything you need to know about how pity works in Honkai: Star Rail, including details of how this system influences all of the game's different banners.
How does the Honkai: Star Rail pity system work?
If you've played HoYoverse's previous game Genshin Impact, you'll already be broadly familiar with Honkai: Star Rail's pity system, since both games follow very similar formulas when it comes to anything related to their respective gachas. You can read our explainer of Genshin Impact's pity system too if you like, to help you get a feel for the comparison.
However, HSR does a few things a bit differently when it comes to pity, so it's worth getting to know Star Rail's pity system too, even if you're a Genshin player in good standing. And this page covers everything you need to know about HSR's pity system, so we've got you covered even if you've never touched a HoYoverse game before in your life.
Character Event Warp pity
The base chance of pulling a 5-star character on a Character Event Warp is 0.6%, which is pretty measly. However, two other factors are at play that you need to be aware of to understand what your real odds are of pulling what you want from these banners.
First, soft pity refers to a system whereby that 0.6% chance of pulling a 5-star character gradually rises over time, essentially ensuring that long-time players won't be left totally empty-handed despite the poor base odds. Soft pity accumulates on every pull on a Character Event Warp banner, and between your 75th and 90th pull, it causes that 0.6% chance to incrementally increase until it's at 100%. In short: pity ensures that your 90th pull will guarantee a 5-star character if you haven't pulled one by then, but soft pity means it'll quite likely happen a little bit sooner.
However, pity doesn't quite guarantee that you'll get the featured character after 90 pulls on any given Character Event Warp banner, thanks to another system known as the 50/50. Thanks to the 50/50, you have a 50% chance of netting a banner's featured character when you get your 5-star pull, and a 50% chance of instead pulling any one of the seven 5-star characters who appear in the game's permanent wish pool. However, if the 50/50 doesn't yield the featured 5-star character the first time, your second attempt (with pity kicking it at or before 180 total pulls) guarantees the event's featured character.
The 50/50 also applies to featured 4-star characters on a Character Event Warp. Every 10 pull on one of these banners guarantees a 4-star item, which has a 50% chance of being one of the three featured 4-star characters, and a 50% chance of being any 4-star character or light cone from the standard pool. As with the featured 5-star character, you're guaranteed a featured 4-star as part of your second 10-pull set if you didn't get one the first time.
Standard Warp pity
The Standard Warp banner in Honkai: Star Rail (officially referred to as "Stellar Warp") is the gacha's permanent banner. It works similarly to a Character Event Warp banner: every 10 pulls guarantees at least a 4-star item but the base odds of pulling a 5-star item are 0.6%, rising to 100% between 75 and 90 pulls thanks to the pity system and the accumulation of soft pity.
However, the big difference is that the Standard Warp never features characters or light cones with a boosted drop rate. This means that the 5-star item you're guaranteed after 90 pulls can be any character or light cone that appears on the banner, and there's no way to narrow down or guarantee what you get — with one small but significant exception.
Stellar Warp Additional Rewards
After your 300th pull on the Stellar Warp standard banner, you'll be given a one-off "gift": the chance to choose one of the seven 5-star characters from the permanent pool and claim them immediately. Note that this only happens after the 300th pull, not every 300 pulls, so you can only ever do it once in the entire game; but it is a unique opportunity to guarantee a 5-star character from the standard banner.
Beginner Warp pity
The Beginner Warp (officially called the "Departure Warp") is intended as an introduction to the game's gacha for new players. However, despite its name it doesn't expire over time, instead disappearing forever after your 50th pull on it. This limit stays in place regardless of how long you've been playing the game for, or whether you've pulled on other banners in the meantime.
The Beginner Warp features all 4-star characters and light cones and all 5-star characters from the standard pool, but does not feature any 5-star light cones.
As an opening sweetener, the Beginner Warp is a bit more generous than other banners in a couple of ways. It requires only eight Star Rail Passes for 10 pulls, while other banners are one-to-one in their currency-to-pull ratio; and you're guaranteed a 5-star character by your 50th and final pull, rather than the 90 pulls required by other banners.
Light Cone Event Warp pity
HoYoverse seem well aware that weapon banners aren't quite as attention-grabbing as character banners, which is probably why Light Cone Event Warps have a slightly more generous drop rate and pity system than the character-centric equivalents. The base drop rate for the featured 5-star light cones during these events is 0.8%, and pity guarantees a 5-star light cone after 80 pulls, although 4-stars are still only guaranteed every 10. Also, instead of the 50/50, Light Cone Event Warp banners have a 75/25 chance, with the odds in favour of pulling a featured light cone. (This applies both to featured 5-star and featured 4-star light cones.)
Does pity carry over between banners in Honkai: Star Rail?
Pity carries over between banners of the same type in Honkai: Star Rail, but not between banners of different types.
In other words, any pity accumulated on a past Character Event Warp banner will be retained once that event ends, and carried over to the next Character Event Warp banner(s) you choose to pull on. So, for example, if you pulled 80 times on Seele's banner but didn't get a 5-star, you're guaranteed a 5-star character from your first 10 pulls on Jing Yuan's banner, with a 50/50 chance of pulling Jing Yuan himself at that point.
The same is true for Weapon Event Warp banners, but pity accumulated there doesn't carry over to Character Event Warp banners or vice versa. The Standard Warp banner only accumulates pity on its own behalf, and doesn't influence the pity of either type of Event banner.
Now that you understand HSR's pity system, you might want to familiarise yourself with the various Honkai: Star Rail currencies that you plug into the gacha. You can also get a top-up on free currencies with any active Honkai: Star Rail codes you haven't claimed yet.