Honkai Star Rail update 1.6 adds Ruan Mei, all players get free Dr. Ratio on December 27

HoYoVerse gave players a detailed preview of the next major Honkai Star Rail update, version 1.6. The next update will see three new playable characters added to the roster, one of which will be distributed to all players for free. The update will launch on December 27, 2023, and in addition to new characters, will also contain new story developments set on Herta's Space Station.

Check out a preview trailer for Honkai Star Rail update 1.6 below:

Officially titled "Crown of the Mundane and Divine," Honkai Star Rail update 1.6 will bring the Astral Express back to Herta's Space Station, where the game's story first began. The latest event will see the crew explore the Seclusion Zone: A new, previously inaccessible section of the space station that plays host to Ruan Mei's biological experiments. There they'll encounter Ruan Mei, another member of the Genius Society - the exclusive club of galactic luminaries that Herta belongs to. They'll also meet Dr. Ratio, a member of the Intelligentsia Guild, an academic institution with a more populist bearing and open recruitment. Ruan Mei is an Ice-element Harmony character, while Dr. Ratio is an Imaginary-element Hunt character.

Both Ruan Mei and Dr. Ratio will be the 5-Star banner characters for update 1.6, but every player will get the chance to hang with Dr. Ratio. HoYoVerse announced that every player who has unlocked the in-game mailbox will receive a copy of Dr. Ratio . Though promos featuring freely earned 4-Star characters are relatively common, a 5-Star giveaway is much rarer in  Honkai Star Rail (not counting the Trailblazer). The exact timing of the giveaway will coincide with Dr. Ratio's appearance on the in-game Warp banner, which is likely to happen in the latter half of the update cycle ("phase 2"). Once available, current and new players will have until the conclusion of Update 2.1 to claim their Dr. Ratio.

Finally, the banner 4-Star character for update 1.6 is Xueyi, a member of the Xianzhou Luofu's Ten Lords Commission. Like Herta, Xueyi appears in a puppet body, though unlike Herta, she's a Quantum-element Destruction character. Rerun banners will include the Stellaron Hunters Blade (in phase 1) and Kafka (in phase 2).

Besides new characters, Honkai Star Rail update 1.6 will feature updates to existing game modes, as well as new temporary and permanent ones. A new "Gold and Gears" expansion to Simulated Universe will debut, with new randomized mechanics and path options to explore. The "Critter Pick" event will add a temporary monster-raising mode to the game for cute animals. Finally, the previously announced Pure Fiction mode will be added to the Forgotten Hall, taking place in the permanent game mode rotation.

Honkai Star Rail is available on mobile devices, PC, and PS5. Update 1.6 launches on December 27, 2023.

Honkai Star Rail Update 1.6