Adventure Rank is the ceiling for your account. It determines the cap for how powerful your characters can be, how far along in the story you can progress, domains, rewards, and even what your resin is worth. There are very few systems in Genshin Impact unaffected by AR. So how does it work? Simply put you have two sources for increasing your Adventurer Rank: daily EXP and bonus EXP.
Daily experience consists of spending resin on content such as ley lines to domains. You receive 180 resin a day naturally. As of CN OBT this equates to 900 AR EXP daily. Alongside this you have daily commissions unlocked at AR 12. Each commission rewards ~250 AR EXP and you have four to complete. If you complete all four commissions you?re rewarded with an additional ~500 AR EXP. Spending all of your resin and doing all commissions you can expect a daily 2400 AR EXP.
BUT! There is more daily experience to be had if you can and are willing to spend primogems. You can buy six resin refreshes a day with each refresh restoring 60 resin. Equating to an additional 360 resin/1800 AR EXP daily. Below are the prices for each refresh.
Bonus experience consists of opening chests, quests, and statues. Starting with the latter statues revolve around collecting geo/anemoculus to level up their respective statues. Each level grants an increasing amount of experience e.g 400 AR EXP for lv. 10. Quests are exactly what you would expect.
Chests are composed of different tiers such as respawnable common chests to exquisite chests. Opening a chest rewards you with loot alongside 10-50 AR EXP depending on the tier. The overwhelming majority of chests you open up will be 20/30 AR EXP. While bonus EXP does not have a hardcap it certainly has a softcap.
Eventually there will be only respawnable chests to find and open, statues will be capped at lv. 10, and there will be no more quests to complete. When you?ve reached this point you have hit the softcap and the only thing separating you from another adventurer also at softcap (AR wise) will be almost entirely dependent on how you handle daily experience.
With daily commissions taking less than 15 minutes a day; daily experience comes down to how willing you are to spend primogems. Let?s break down the cost/gain differences between zero refreshes, three, and max.
~2400 / ~16,800 AR EXP day/week
0 / 0 Primogems day/week
~3300 / ~23,100 AR EXP day/week
250 / 1750 Primogems day/week
~4200 / ~29,400 AR EXP day/week
800 / 5600 Primogems day/week
Why You Should Or Shouldn?t Refresh
One of the main reasons why you should refresh is that your resin is quite literally worth more at a higher AR. Every five AR starting at lv. 20 your World Level will increase and thus increase your rewards. For example ley lines will provide you with better rewards, you?ll unlock higher difficulty domains, and world bosses rewards will be increased. The next reason is the higher your AR the better your characters, weapons, and artifacts can be. Each character and weapon ascension provides a significant power increase and they all have AR requirements. Artifact domains are debatably a waste of resin until AR 40 as they will not drop the max tier until then.
There is only one reason not to refresh and that?s primogems. Max refreshes for a week comes out to the grand total of ~$70 or 35 pulls. With the CN OBT rates it?s reasonable to assume more often than not you?ll be getting to pity (90 pulls) or nearly there for a 5?. So you could put it as for the price of ~1/3 of a 5? you?ll receive an additional ~13,000 AR EXP for the week. A much more primogem friendly route is an additional ~6,000 AR EXP a week for the price of ~$20 or ~1/9 of a 5?.
My advice to everyone would be to determine how much you care about co-op and playing a specific character if it?s a 5?. If you?re here for co-op it comes down to who are you trying to play with? Genshin Impact co-op works in a very class-based structure, whales play with whales, dolphins with dolphins, etc. when looking at players starting at the same time. You can circumnavigate this by upping your resin refills to match the group you?re looking to play with. The obvious downside is you?ll burn through your primogems at an astonishing rate.
As for wanting a specific 5? character, if it?s Mona, Qiqi, Keqing, Jean, or Diluc rerolling is not a bad option though it?s likely to be miserable. Any character outside of these five will mean preserving your primogems is far more important to ensure you can get as many pulls as possible. Gacha is outside the scope of this guide but note a worst case scenario is 180 pulls for your limited 5? character i.e 28,800 primogems or $360. You won?t get anywhere close to that amount of primogems from simply playing the game for many, many months.
To those that care about their efficiency and AR I?d recommend to max resin refreshes until you?re at least AR 20. For whales continue to max resin daily until AR 40. Then decide if you truly are a whale and continue to max or ease off. For dolphins I?d recommend three refreshes daily till AR 40. For F2P I?d recommend two/three refreshes daily till 30 or 35/40 if you have no must have character. With daily commission primogems, quest rewards, achievements, chests, and events you should be able to easily maintain this even as F2P. Going the route of zero refreshes is absolutely viable but it?s important to point out you might quickly find your World Level outpaced by other active players. Depending on how much you value co-op and who you want to play with staying relatively with the pack might vastly outweigh the miniscule odds of a 5? you?d otherwise be spending those primogems on.