If you’re in the mood for a veritable buffet of news about the world’s most popular anime gacha games, today is your day, because Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail both aired special program livestreams detailing their next updates.
This is the first time that special program livestreams for both games have taken place on the same day, thanks to the Genshin Impact stream being delayed from last Friday (October 27th). This is speculated to have occurred as a result of the death of former Chinese premier Li Keqiang on the same day the program was originally planned to air, although HoYoverse haven’t given an official reason. Whatever the cause, the knock-on effect of the delay was that, for the first time, preview livestreams for both of HoYoverse’s flagship games aired back-to-back.
So what’s new? Well, over on the Star Rail side, it’s a little disappointing that there’s still no sign of a playable Screwllum, despite his prominence in recent key art seeming like an obvious tease — on V1.4 promotional materials he replaced March 7th, one of the game’s actual main characters, so you’d think they were building to something with him, right? Ah well, at least the new update will include a minigame where you help March with her photography, so she’s not been entirely usurped.
For now, the upcoming Version 1.5 will see the introduction of three new characters — 5-stars Huohuo and Argenti and 4-star Hanya — all of whom bring a new element/path combo that’s not yet been represented in the game. Huohuo will debut on Phase 1 when the version launches, while Argenti and Hanya arrive during Phase 2 in December; Argenti’s banner will run alongside a welcome first rerun for Silver Wolf. You can read a more detailed run-down of everything announced in the Star Rail special program here.
Star Rail will also be home to some belatedly spooky shenanigans in V1.5, the form of an event including a new quest chain and minigame, centred around a haunting on the Xianzhou Luofu. Halloween may have been and gone but hey, it’s never too late (or early!) for a good ghost story.
Meanwhile over in Genshin Impact, it’s Archon time once again as the God of Justice and Hydro Archon of Fontaine, Furina, is due to be added to the playable roster in Version 4.2. Genshin archons are added to the game just once per year and are usually some of the most powerful — and therefore popular — 5-star characters in the game. Needless to say, Furina’s arrival promises to be a big deal.
Version 4.2 will also see the long-teased introduction of familiar NPC Charlotte as a playable 4-star character, who has some unique combat moves centred around her passion for photography. Furina and Charlotte will debut together during Phase 1, alongside a rerun for sought-after Dendro healer Baizhu. Phase 2 won’t feature any new characters, but will see concurrent banner reruns for favourites Cyno and Kamisato Ayato.
Genshin, having recently celebrated its third anniversary, is far more established than Star Rail; and yet is behind its younger sibling in several quality-of-life areas. So in many ways, despite the excitement around the packed banner line-up, it’s the system optimisation tweaks that stand out in the Version 4.2 program.
Perhaps most notably, players at Adventure Rank 40 and above will soon be able to farm weekly boss drops outside of Mondstadt before they advance the story to a given boss’s area of the map, removing a painful barrier to levelling up characters whose home nation you hadn’t explored yet. This is great news for anyone who came late to the game, and will hopefully soften the introduction experience for newbies considerably. Fingers crossed they’re working on allowing you to replay events soon too!
Genshin Impact V4.2 is expected to launch on November 8th (next Wednesday), while Honkai: Star Rail V1.5 is expected the following week, on November 15th.
If you’re a fan of both Genshin and Star Rail, this unusual livestream double-bill means a lot of admin to keep on top of, so remember to redeem today’s Genshin Impact codes and Honkai: Star Rail codes before they expire!