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Honkai: Star Rail's Banners Are Called Warps (& Here's How They Work)

"Honkai: Star Rail" is the latest entry in the series from the same creator as one of the best RPGs of all time, "Genshin Impact." While its story is original, it does borrow from "Genshin Impact" in terms of its mechanics, especially when it comes to unlocking new characters and items. Names may be different, with banners now being called warps, but it still uses the gacha system that mimics loot boxes and is sometimes viewed as the dark truth behind "Genshin Impact."


It's not necessary for players to engage with the gacha system, and "Honkai: Star Rails" can be fully experienced without ever using warps, but, of course, some fans will enjoy the excitement of unlocking new characters, and veterans will want to shake things up by grabbing new content. For those players, it's important to understand just how warps work and how the gacha system is implemented in "Honkai: Star Rails." Here, the key point to understand is how purchase unlocks in the various warps and how the mechanic known as pity impacts these unlocks. 

Buying passes

Before players can warp new characters or items into their game, they'll need to buy passes to use on the game's warp banners. In "Honkai: Star Rail," these passes are, appropriately, called Star Rail passes, and they come in two varieties. Those looking to grab characters and items from the Standard Warp will want to get a standard pass while those looking to take advantage of limited time, Event Warps, will need a special pass. In either case, passes can be obtained in a number of ways.


Both types of passes will sometimes be rewarded for completing different quests and events, but the easiest way to get new passes is to simply purchase them with Stellar Jade in the Stellar Jade Shop. This currency can also be earned through gameplay, so it's never strictly necessary to spend real money in the game. Those who want to speed up the whole process can, however, have that option.

Players can buy Oneiric Shards at a rate of 60 shards for $0.99 (with bonus Shards awarded for larger orders) and exchange these for Stellar Jade at a 1:1 ratio. With both standard and special passes selling for 160 Stellar Jade, this adds up to approximately $2.50 per pass and gets cheaper as one buys more Oneiric Shards at once.


With one or more passes purchased or earned, players next need to know about the different Warps and what they reward.

The warps

Players generally have multiple Warps to choose from when looking to pick up new characters and equipment.

The Standard Warp, known as the Stellar Warp, is always available and offers a range of characters and equipment, known as Light Cones, for players to acquire. Using a standard pass will warp in a random character or cone to add to one's collection. Further, those new to the game can also take advantage of the Departure Warp, which operates like the Stellar Warp but offers slightly better odds and allows players to unlock 10 warps for just eight passes. This warp is only available for the first 50 warps, so new players should take advantage of it while they can.


Meanwhile, players can use special passes to earn unlocks in the periodic character and cone Event Warps. These warps offer special, limited-time characters or cones that players can't get any other way.

Whichever warps they're targeting, players will want to know their odds of getting that one character or cone they're looking for. Fortunately, "Honkai: Star Rail" isn't entirely random and gives players a better chance of getting the rare stuff over time.

Gacha systems and pity

"Honkai: Star Rail's" gacha system operates like loot boxes, with warps rewarding a random item from a list of possibilities. However, the game does improve players' odds over time to ensure that no one gets stuck endlessly buying passes to get the one thing they're after. This mechanic is known as pity.


The odds are low for getting the best items (four- or five-star items), but they improve over time. This increases to the point where players are guaranteed at least a four-star on their tenth warp if they haven't gotten one in the past nine, and a five-star if they haven't gotten one in the last 89. This means, with the worst luck, players will still get a four-star every 10 warps and a five-star every 90.

Further, pity ensures that, when drawing for a featured item in a special warp, players will be sure to get it eventually. Whenever players do get a five-star, there is a 50-50 chance it will be the featured character for character events and a 75% chance it will be the feature for cone events. If the character or cone isn't the featured one, then the next five-star a player earns is guaranteed to be the feature. Thus, at worst, a player would need to complete 180 warps to get the featured five-star they want, with 90 to get a different five-star and a second 90 to get the guaranteed, featured five-star.


There's still lots of randomness in the system, and it's possible for a player to get very unlucky and be forced to complete a lot of warps. Still, this system ensures that no one is ever shut out of what they want indefinitely.