Haiii everyone! I’m getting a lot of questions from friends about how to get started in Genshin Impact, and so I thought it would be worthwhile to put together a basic guide so everyone can come and join me so we can co-op play together! ^_^
Genshin Impact is currently available to play on Mobile, PC, and PS4. Eventually, they’ll add an option to crossplay on Nintendo Switch, but that is not currently available. It is an open-world action RPG with a gacha monetization system. What exactly does that mean? Let me break it down:
Open-world means that there is a virtual world that you can explore and approach objectives freely. This is different from a linear and structured type of gameplay because you can decide when you want to complete various quests. There is a storyline with quests, but for the most part, you can also freely explore the areas around you even though you may have a quest active.
Action RPG (role-playing game) means that there is real-time combat where you have direct control over your playable character. This is different from a turn-based RPG, like Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross, where you only get to move when it is your turn. The action RPG in this game is seriously beautiful, and the enemies make adorable noises when you kill them.
Gacha monetization is basically based on Japan’s gashapon toy vending machines (the ones that dispense cute toys, similar to America’s gumball machines). When playing in these types of machines, you have a random chance of getting something super rare; otherwise, you get just normal or average items. Gacha games are very similar to this — when you spend in-game currency, you have a random chance of getting a really rare character or weapon. You’ll never walk away without anything though — if you don’t get the rare drop then you’ll at least get an average drop, which you can then use to equip your other characters or “feed” to your more rare characters/weapons to make them better. To acquire these characters, you will spend Wishes on banners, which are these pages that show which characters are available to acquire if you pull on this specific banner. Genshin Impact has more specific information about how their gacha system works on their website if you want to find out more about how the pity system and gacha rates work.
OK, now that the overall concept of the game has been covered, I want to go through the basic aspects of gameplay. Since you will want to progress not only your user level (known as Adventurer Rank) but also your characters’ levels, I will go through:
Adventurer Rank Progression
Early-Game Character Improvements
Mid-Game Character Improvements
Last, but not least, I will also cover some F2P suggestions on how to make the most of your time in the game without spending any money.
Adventurer Rank Progression
Your Adventurer Rank (often abbreviated as AR) is your user level. This progresses only through completing “big” tasks, such as:
Quests, including daily commissions, side quests, story quests, and Adventurer’s Handbook
Donations to the Statues of the Seven
Clearing Dungeons and exploring the map by opening up teleports
Story Quests are the fastest way to quickly increase your AR, although you’ll cap out at a certain point and need to complete other side quests or domains. After AR 16 you can participate in co-op play, which means you can have others help you with boss battles and exploration of your world. One thing to note in co-op play is that you cannot do any quests other than daily commissions, so this type of play is intended only for exploration and real-time combat and not for storyline progression.
Early-Game Character Improvement — Leveling Up, Weapons and Artifacts
Your character can level up either through feeding it XP books or through using it in combat. You gain very little XP from combat, so using books is a much faster route to go. Level 20 and level 40 both require ascension, and then after level 40, every 10 levels require ascension. Character ascension will require four main types of materials:
Element-specific agate chunks, which are acquired by elemental bosses
Element-specific level up materials, which are acquired by elemental bosses
Some kind of ore or ingredient, which is typically found in the wild
Some kind of level up material that can be acquired from battling specific mobs
Higher-level ascensions will require progressively more materials and a higher rarity of agate chunks.
3rd ascension level material preview for Xiangling, a pyro character
Each character has a specific type of weapon that they can be equipped with, which may be enhanced and refined. The weapon that you equip on your character will be visible when using them in open-world play. Enhancing weapons is done by consuming other weapons or by consuming weapon XP (weapon enhancement ore that looks like purple crystals), and ascension is required after level 20. Weapon ascension will require three main types of materials:
Weapon ascension material, which is acquired from specific domains on certain days
and 3. Typically two types of character level up materials that can be acquired from battling specific mobs
Refining weapons requires duplicates of the same weapon and will unlock additional boosts with a higher rank. At the early stages of the game, a high rank 3* weapon can actually be better than a low rank 4* weapon, so don’t fret if you’re getting a ton of repeats of 3* weapons and no 4* weapons.
Artifacts come in five categories and are not visible when your character is in open-world play. These artifacts will be in these five categories:
Flower of Life
Plume of Death
Sands of Eon
Goblet of Eonothem
Circlet of Logos
Artifacts can come from various sets, and equipping one to four pieces from the set will give extra bonuses (as shown from the artifact selection screen) <<image>>. Enhancing of artifacts is done solely by consuming lower-tier artifacts as “food”. 4* artifacts can be acquired through quests, chests, domains, and boss battles.
Mid-Game Character Improvement – Constellations and Talents
Constellations are leveled up by acquiring dupes (duplicates) of the characters. Dupes from pulling Wishes will be turned into Stella Fortuna, which is a constellation activation material.
dupe acquired from gacha (wish) pull, converted into Stella Fortuna
Each character has six constellations that can be unlocked, and you must unlock them in order. As you acquire higher level constellations, you’ll unlock new skills/bonuses for each character.
second constellation on Noelle, a geo character
As you ascend your character, you’ll unlock higher-level talents. Talents work with your existing attacks and skills but just make them better. You can begin increasing your talents after the second ascension (level 40). Passive talents max out at level 1, but higher levels of other talents get unlocked as you level up and unlock higher ascension tiers.
example of level 3 talent on Venti, an anemo character
Materials for ascending require farming in certain domains with talent level-up materials, which change each day what kinds of materials you can acquire. Pay attention to which days will have the materials that you need so that you can utilize your resin on those days.
Artifacts & Weapons
As you naturally progress in Adventurer Rank and World Level through the mid-game to late-game gameplay, the rarer artifacts (4* and 5*) will start to become more common, at which point you’ll want to start converting your 3* over to 4* (and eventually 5*) weapons and artifacts. Focus primarily on your high DPS characters and healers (the ones you’ll be using in most situations). 4* weapons that can be crafted at the forge are a great option because they’re currently the only 4* weapons that can continuously be refined.
Once you are able to unlock the Battle Pass at AR 20, you’ll want to put effort into completing these daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. The daily tasks never change, and are:
Spend 150 resin — you’ll want to check in on your game periodically throughout the day to complete this, as you cap out at 120 resin max and resin replenishes one every eight minutes
Complete 4 daily commissions — whenever possible, never skip these, as they’re great for your AR leveling as well as the Battle Pass rewards
Mine 10 items — this should be easy to do — equip someone with a Claymore or Geo skill and you can mine rare items very quickly, although anyone with a Sword can also be useful
Log in — all you have to do is lock in each day and you’ll get 120 BEP
Earning BEP (Battle Pass Experience) goes toward your BP level, which will unlock free rewards along Sojourner’s Battle Pass. You can also buy the Gnostic Hymn for $10 USD or the Gnostic Chorus for $20 USD for even more rewards along the bottom track, but there are still plenty of rewards along the top track if you want to stay F2P.
battle pass — top row (Sojourner’s Battle Pass) is F2P
The daily missions give a maximum of 645 BEP, the weekly missions give a maximum of 4995 BEP, and the monthly missions give a maximum of 6000 BEP. There is a weekly EXP limit of 10000 BEP. You can also spend Primogems to increase your BP level but I don’t think this is a good investment.
In addition to the above, you’ll want to spend your resin on grinding for materials to develop your characters (as detailed earlier). Since resin caps out at 120 (will be 160 after patch 1.1), you never want to leave your resin maxed out. Domains and ley line battles cost 20 resin (but can be claimed without limit), elite elemental bosses cost 40 resin (but can be claimed only once per day per world), and the wolf (Lupus Boreas) and dragon (Dvalin/Stormterror) both cost 60 resin (but can be claimed only once per week). Once you run out of resin, gather ingredients and ore and grind the resin-free bosses for level up/ascension mats. Resin replenishes at a rate of 8 per minute, so if you spread out your resin usage throughout the day you can make the most of it without letting it sit capped out.
Recap & General Impressions
Overall, Genshin Impact is very easy to progress in and you can play at your own pace. I have friends who are well above me in AR, and friends who are way behind me in AR (slackers! j/k). In my opinion, there is really something for everyone in this game. If you love beautiful graphics and great music alongside fun puzzles, this game has that. If you love an intricately developed storyline with fantastic character depth and world exploration, this game has that. If you love combat and murdering mobs, this game has that. If you love interacting with other players and helping them through difficult challenges (or being carried through yourself by stronger friends), this game has that! The one thing that this game doesn’t have is a server or public chat, although honestly after the toxicity you’ll see sometimes in other MMORPG games, I’m OK without it in this game!
In my opinion, the best thing to do when you’re just getting started is to get to AR 16 as quickly as possible. Follow the storyline quests and do as much as you can to progress on your own up until that point, but don’t worry about doing any farming or grinding until you’re able to play cooperatively with others. Once you can get to AR 16, ask some kind friends to help carry you through boss battles so that you can then quickly level up your characters and make them nice and strong.
That’s it for now – I hope that was helpful and that you will come to love Genshin Impact as much as I do! If you’re interested, I do share some fun gameplay screenshots on my Instagram (yes, it’s cluttered with lots of other games as well), and I’m also lowkey attempting to learn how to stream on Twitch in support of ExtraLife’s charity efforts, although it’s pretty tough getting started! I’m happy to write guides for any other more specific content if y’all would like as well — just let me know! ^_^