Honkai Star Rail version 1.6 update: Release date & downtime, banners, more

Ezequiel Leis
Honkai Star Rail version 1.6 official artwork

Honkai Star Rail version 1.5 is almost over, and HoYoverse is ready for the next big update of their hit RPG. Here’s everything you need to know about the version 1.6 update of Honkais Star Rail, including its release date, how to preload, banners, a new free character, and much more.

Honkai Star Rail launched its 1.5 update on November 15, bringing new missions, characters, and locations to discover. While players are still pulling both Huohuo and Argenti, HoYoverse confirmed everything coming with the highly anticipated 1.6 update titled “Crown of the Mundane and Divine.”

So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Honkai Star Rail 1.6, including its release date, character banners, Light Cones, a new game mode, and more.

Ruan Mei character card in Honkai Star Rail
Many Honkai Star Rail players are saving Stellar Jade to get Ruan Mei in update 1.6.

Honkai Star Rail 1.6 release date & downtime

HoYoverse confirmed the Honkai Star Rail version 1.6 update will arrive on December 27, 2023. The current Honkai Star Rail banner featuring Argenti will end on December 26, so keep that in mind.

Honkai Star Rail will experience downtime starting on December 26 at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET / 8 PM BST, and the update will take approximately 5 hours, according to HoYoverse.

How to preload version 1.6 of Honkai Star Rail

Honkai Star Rail players can preload the 1.6 update ahead of launch on PC and mobile devices, and you need to follow these instructions to be ready when new content arrives:


  1. Open the Honkai Star Rail launcher on your PC.
  2. Click the “Game Pre-Installation” button on the left side of the “Start Game” button.
  3. Click “Get Now” to start the download.
  4. You can still play the game while the content downloads.

Mobile (Android and iOS)

  1. Launch the game on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the “Resource Pre-Download” button in the bottom-right corner of the login screen.
  3. Wait until it finishes downloading to keep playing the game normally.

The download size is approximately 9GB, so it is recommended to be connected to a Wi-Fi network during the process. It’s important to note that mobile players will still need to update the app when the new version goes live. PlayStation 5 players, on the other hand, just need to wait for the update to go live to get Honkai Star Rail’s latest version on December 27.

Honkai Star Rail 1.6 banners

HoYoverse revealed Xueyi, Dr. Ratio, and Ruan Mei as upcoming Honkai Star Rail characters, and they’ll headline the version 1.6 banners. What’s more, Kafka and Blade‘s banners will be returning to end the year on a high note.

Honkai Star Rail 1.6 will feature the following banners:

Phase one

  • Ruan Mei – Five-star | Ice | The Harmony
    • Xueyi – Four-star | Quantum | The Destruction
    • March 7th – Four-star | Ice | The Preservation
    • Tingyun – Four-star | Lightning | The Harmony
  • Blade – Five-star | Wind | The Destruction

Phase two

  • Dr. Ratio – Five-star | Imaginary | The Hunt
    • Sushang – Four-star | Physical | The Hunt
    • Natasha – Four-star | Physical | The Abundance
    • Hook – Four-star | Fire | The Destruction
  • Kafka – Five-star | Electric | The Nihility

The second phase of the update will feature Dr. Ratio, but HoYoverse confirmed players will be able to claim the character for free. The surprise was well received by fans since they didn’t expect to be gifted a five-star character during the first year of the game.

To claim Dr. Ratio for free, you must complete the Trailblaze Mission titled “The Blue – A Moment of Peace” and unlock the Mailbox function before version 2.1 ends sometime in 2024.

Dr. Ratio character card in Honkai Star Rail
Dr. Ratio is a highly anticipated five-star character.

Honkai Star Rail 1.6 Light Cones

Since new five-star characters are debuting with the Honkai Star Rail version 1.6 update, players can expect new Light Cones to be added as well.

Ruan Mei’s Light Cone, “Past Self in Mirror,” will be a great addition for support characters. Its official description is as follows:

“Increases the wearer’s Break Effect by 60%. When the wearer uses their Ultimate, increases all allies’ DMG by 24%, lasting for 3 turns. Should the wearer’s Break Effect exceed or equal 150%, 1 Skill Point will be recovered.
During the start of every wave, all allies regenerate 10 Energy. Effect of the same type cannot stack.”

Dr. Ratio will also get his own Light Cone, “Baptism of Pure Thought,” for characters in the Path of The Hunt. We’ll make sure to add official details once they’re released.

Honkai Star Rail 1.6 events

Honkai Star Rail players can expect new events with the version 1.6 update, including a new edition of Gift of Odyssey to claim up to 10 Star Rail Special Passes. Additionally, HoYoverse revealed what events Trailblazers can look forward to:

Critter Pick

Players will spend most of their time in Herta Space Station during the 1.6 update, and they will encounter special little critters all around. Players will be tasked with taking care of these critters, as well as breeding them to obtain new ones with different genetic traits. What’s more, players will also have to build different functional zones to keep the critters entertained and fed to get all possible rewards.

Virtual Scentventure

Players will also get an invitation from the Department of Ecology to take part in a special test involving smell-induced hallucinations. In terms of gameplay, the event will center around Honkai Star Rail’s bosses, giving players the chance to tackle them again with different buffs to try to achieve a new high score.

Additionally, two returning events will boost drops on version 1.6 of Honkai Star Rail:

  • The Planar Fissure event will double Planar Ormanet drops in the Simulated Universe.
  • The Realm of the Strange event will double the rewards for completing Caverns of Corrosion.

Honkai Star Rail new Pure Fiction game mode

A new game mode called Pure Fiction will arrive in Honkai Star Rail with update 1.6. While details are scarce, the official description suggests Pure Fiction will task players with defeating constantly respawning enemies. After each battle, players will be able to register their high score to try to get enticing rewards.

Trailblazers will be able to choose between different buffs at the start of each phase, which will make battles easier and unpredictable. The battles will also get random effects that may change the tide of the action in different ways, to keep the new game mode fresh.

On top of Dr. Ratio, players will be able to get Lynx as a free reward for beating the Pure Fiction mode, so be on the lookout.

More new content coming to Honkai Star Rail with update 1.6 includes new gameplay for the Simulated Universe titled “Gold and Gears,” as well as a new Trailblaze Continuance headlined by the members of the Genius Society and Intelligentsia Guild. In addition to clearing the new main quest, players will be able to tackle the new Echo of War: Borehole Planet’s Old Crater to get new Ascension materials.

That’s everything we know about the version 1.6 update of Honkai Star Rail. For more on the sci-fi RPG, check out our guides below:

Best Argenti Honkai Star Rail build | Best Hanya Honkai Star Rail build | Honkai Star Rail The Adventurous Moles quest guide | All Honkai Star Rail Administrative District Treasure Chest locations | Honkai Star Rail PC and mobile requirements | How to unlock daily missions in Honkai Star Rail | Honkai Star Rail 2023 player count | How to reroll in Honkai Star Rail | Honkai Star Rail codes for free Stellar Jade

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