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Honkai: Star Rail release date, preload date, pre-registration rewards, and more

Departure date announced, all aboard!

When can I play Honkai: Star Rail? Honkai: Star Rail is HoYoverse's hotly-anticipated follow-up to Genshin Impact. Switching out the studio's signature ARPG style for a more strategic (but still very roleplay-oriented) gameplay approach, Honkai: Star Rail promises a whimsical trip through a sci-fi galaxy aboard the titular space train.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, the good news is that you don't have long to wait before you can experience Honkai: Star Rail for yourself. Read on for the latest details about Star Rail's release date, preload date, how and why you should pre-register for the game, and more.

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Honkai: Star Rail release date

Honkai: Star Rail is due for release on April 26th, 2023. The long-rumoured release date was finally confirmed during the special program stream marking the end of the final closed beta on March 24th.

Preload for Honkai: Star Rail will be available from April 23rd for PC and mobile. Players eager for the newly-announced PlayStation port will have to wait a while longer, but hopefully can console themselves with the knowledge that it's happening at some point in the future.

Honkai: Star Rail pre-registration

It might be a few weeks yet before you can play Honkai: Star Rail for yourself, but you can pre-register now via the game's official website or the Epic Games Store for PC. You'll just need a HoYoverse account linked to an email address you use in order to do this.

Pre-registration brings with it a couple of benefits. First and foremost, you'll be alerted as soon as the game launches, allowing you to jump in and join the fun as quickly as possible.

As an added bonus, HoYoverse are throwing in a few nice little extras based on how many people pre-register before the game becomes available. So by registering now, you're helping to unlock the following stretch goals, the rewards for which will be delivered digitally to players on all platforms upon the game's release:

  • 500,000 pre-registered players: Credit ×50,000
  • 1,000,000 pre-registered players: Star Rail Pass ×3
  • 2,000,000 pre-registered players: Avatar Trailblazer — Welcome ×1
  • 3,500,000 pre-registered players: 4-star character Serval (Erudition: Lightning)
  • 5,000,000 pre-registered players: Star Rail Pass ×15
  • 2,500,000 followers on social media: Star Rail Pass ×2 and credit ×50,000

Can I still sign up for Honkai: Star Rail's final beta?

The third and final closed beta for Honkai: Star Rail began on February 10th and ended on March 24th, so there's no way to play the game right now even if you were one of the lucky people who got in. However, with release confirmed for just a month after the end of the beta, at least you won't have long to wait this time.

Pom-Pom, a cutesy rabbit-like train conductor stands in front of a train door that's about to burst open in Honkai: Star Rail.

Does Honkai: Star Rail tie in to Genshin Impact?

HoYoverse have been making games since 2011, but their break-out hit (particularly among western players) was 2020's Genshin Impact. This high-fantasy ARPG is currently one of the most popular video games on the planet, receiving regular six-weekly updates and with a detailed content roadmap planned out into at least mid-2025. Honkai: Star Rail is HoYoverse's first new game since Genshin Impact launched, so you might well wonder if you need to know anything about their other games to enjoy Star Rail.

The short answer is good news: Honkai: Star Rail can be enjoyed entirely stand-alone, and you don't need to be familiar with any of HoYoverse's other games in order to play it.

The slightly more complex answer is that Genshin Impact exists in a sort of multiverse with many of HoYoverse's other games, including the Honkai Impact series, into which Honkai: Star Rail is technically the fourth entry. Players familiar with Honkai Impact 3rd will recognise a few familiar faces among Star Rail's cast, although (with one exception) these will be alternate-reality versions of those characters. Knowing their backstories will allow you to appreciate some easter eggs here and there, but still, a familiarity with older games in the series is far from essential to understanding Star Rail's plot.

If you still have unanswered questions about Honkai: Star Rail, be sure to check out our page on everything we know about Honkai: Star Rail, where we look at gameplay, story, monetisation, platform availability, and more in a lot more detail.

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