Before Honkai: Star Rail Version 1.1 drops, you should get a firm handle on the game’s pity system. For any Genshin Impact players, you should be familiar with HoYoverse’s system – it’s exactly the same in Star Rail. But for players new to gacha mechanics, just know that HoYoverse has a slightly more forgiving system than many other games. But what does it all mean?
Many mobile games have taken a free-to-play (F2P) approach, allowing players to opt into purchases if they want to. HoYoVerse took this format and expanded it beyond the standard, creating AAA titles that are accessible without a paywall. In exchange, HoYoverse games operate on gacha.
Gacha is a highly controversial subject in the gaming world, primarily for its similarities to gambling. You have a certain amount of materials you can use to get what you want – in the context of Star Rail, you use Stellar Jade to pull for a character or Light Cone. Your chances of getting what you want are slim without spending money. The ethereal nature of mobile games doesn’t help – the average lifespan for a mobile game is around 3 years.
Many developers and players in the F2P gaming space believe that paying for game updates is a more equitable, moral system for players over gacha. However, there are pros and cons to both approaches. Both systems rely on the player becoming immersed in the world and characters of the game. Either you want a character enough to pull for them or you enjoy the game enough to continually spend money when a new update drops. One relies on gambling psychology, the other relies on putting content behind a paywall. Essentially, pick your poison.
However, at the end of the day, game developers need to make money somehow to keep the game going. As a general rule in gaming (and in life), be aware of your surroundings. Budget out funds for your games and stop when you hit that limit. As we say in the F2P world: Gacha Responsibly.
The IRL Costs
Star Rail doesn’t allow you to buy Stellar Jade outright. Instead, the game allows you to buy Oneiric Shards. These can be used to purchase other items from the Contract Shop. However, most players will convert Oneiric Shards to Stellar Jade.
To break it down further, here are the costs associated with Star Rail Warps. HoYoverse does a promotional first-time purchase bonus by doubling the amount of Oneiric Shards in each package.
|Oneiric Shards||Cost (USD)||Warps with Purchase Bonus||Warps After Bonus||Cost per Warp with Bonus||Regular Cost per Warp|
|6,480||$99.99||81 Warps||40 Warps||$1.23 per Warp||$2.50 per Warp|
|3,280||$49.99||41 Warps||20 Warps||$1.22 per Warp||$2.50 per Warp|
|1,980||$29.99||24 Warps||12 Warps||$1.25 per Warp||$2.50 per Warp|
|980||$14.99||12 Warps||6 Warps||$1.25 per Warp||$2.50 per Warp|
|300||$4.99||3 Warps||1 Warp||$1.66 per Warp||$4.99 per Warp|
|60||$0.99||0 Warps||0 Warps||N/A||N/A|
The Pity System
HoYoverse has set numbers and hard resets for its pity system. As soon as you get your 5-Star, your pity counter resets. It doesn’t matter when you get the 5-Star. It can be at 20 Warps or the full 90 Warps. No matter what, your pity will reset.
The pity system is identical to the one in Genshin Impact. Pity can be described in two ways: Soft Pity and Hard Pity.
Soft Pity is when the chances for getting your 5-Star go up, but the 5-Star isn’t guaranteed yet. This happens around 60 Warps and generally refers to when you get your 5-Star before your 90 pulls.
Hard Pity is your 90th pull. You are guaranteed a 5-Star at 90 pulls on any banner. This can be a character or a weapon. Again, once you get that 5-Star, your pity counter resets and the process begins again.
Event Warps vs. Regular Warps
Like Genshin Impact, the Honkai: Star Rail banners count pity separately. Currently, there are three separate banners in Star Rail: Event Warps, Light Cone Event Warps, and Regular Warps. The two Event Warps typically rotate every 2 weeks. After two Event Warp cycles, HoYoverse usually releases a version update and announces the next two Event Warps. Again, each banner has a separate pity counter. Pulls from the Regular Warp will not count towards the pulls you make on the Event Warp, and vice versa.
This is where the limited-run characters live. Previously, this banner hosted Seele and Jing Yuan. The characters featured here are not available on the Regular Warp.
The event banner also has a 50/50 system – once you hit your pity pull, you have a 50/50 chance of getting either the event character or a 5-Star character from the Regular Warp. It can take you up to 180 pulls to get the event character, so keep that in mind when pulling.
Light Cone Event Warp
This banner is specifically for getting the limited-time 5-Star Light Cones. These Light Cones are usually designed for the featured Event Warp character, meant to enhance that character’s performance. However, they can easily be used on other characters in your party.
You shouldn’t really see 5-Star characters on this banner, but you do have a chance to get some 4-Star characters. Basically, use the Light Cone Event Warp if you want to increase the effectiveness of a featured event character.
This is the permanent banner of Honkai: Star Rail. The 5-Star characters and Light Cones here don’t change. Each time you hit a pity pull, you’ll receive one 5-Star character or Light Cone at random.
The 5-Star characters on this banner are the ones who may break your 50/50 on the Event Warp. For example, on the Jing Yuan banner, you may get Jing Yuan or you may get Welt Yang. The Event Warp 50/50 will never give you a Light Cone. It will either be the featured 5-Star character or a Regular Warp 5-Star character.
Guaranteed Standard Character
Unlike Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail will allow you to choose a 5-Star character after your 300th pull. Granted, that is a lot of Star Rail Passes, but you should be able to get these through character ascensions, challenging the Simulated Universe each week, and various other in-game events. Currently, I’ve hit 110 pulls on the Regular Warp without using any Stellar Jade on it. The early-game bonuses really go far for you.
You can choose between Himeko, Welt, Clara, Bailu, Gepard, Bronya, and Yanqing. During your 300 pulls, you should get at least three 5-Star somethings out of the Regular Warp. You can use the 300th pull reward either to add an Eidelon to a character or to get a new character.