Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

If you, like thousands of others, have recently dived into the mystical world of Teyvat to play Genshin Impact, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the systems, numbers, characters, and mechanics. While on its surface Genshin Impact is a straightforward action-adventure that tutorializes itself pretty well, there are a lot of hidden systems buried in the menus that can make the game complicated to navigate.

Explore the vast world of Teyvat

Genshin Impact

A Ghibli-esque open-world adventure

Genshin Impact puts you in the shoes of the Traveler, a world-hopping protagonist stranded in the world of Teyvat, which is stuffed with elemental magic and mystical beings. As you search for your lost siblings, you'll meet new companions with elemental powers, seven deities, and a strange sprite named Paimon who will help you hone your abilities and meet your destiny.

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Fortunately, once you get past all the buttons, notifications, and currencies, Genshin Impact is still a pretty straightforward experience. So while you're wrapping up the tutorials and deciding which mountain to climb first, here are some basics to the game that will help you as you set off on your adventures with Paimon and friends.

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What is Genshin Impact?

Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

Genshin Impact is an open-world action-adventure title developed by Chinese studio MiHoYo and released on mobile, PC, and PS4 (with other platforms to come). It's free-to-play with gacha microtransactions, and while it's mostly single-player, there are some cooperative elements in the later game.

There's more info on what exactly this game is and whether you should play it in our guide on the subject, but suffice to say: if you like open-world titles, games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and are happy trying something to free to see if you like it, it's worth giving Genshin Impact at least a shot.

What character should I play as in Genshin Impact?

Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

You'll begin Genshin Impact in the shoes of the Traveler, selecting either the male or female of the Traveler siblings at the outset. The Traveler is a sword wielder who at first will use Anemo (wind) magic, but later will gain access to other elements. They're solid enough for the game's story and will be required for some in-game moments, but they're not mind-blowing in the late game.

You'll gain three other characters just by playing the tutorial: Amber, a fire-element archer, Kaeya, another sword user with ice powers, and Lisa, a mage with lightning abilities. Kaeya is fine, Lisa is decent, and while fire attacks and ranged abilities are critical for exploring the world, Amber isn't very strong at all. Additionally, if you're playing during the game's early launch period, you're likely to get Noelle from your first gacha roll. Noelle's pretty solid.

Basically, these four are fine if you just want to play through the story. But if you want to use powerful characters to beat some of the game's difficult later challenges, you'll need to engage with the game's gacha mechanics to roll for others. More on how to do that later, but here are the characters of each element you should be on the look-out for:

  • Wind: Venti, Jean
  • Fire: Diluc, Xiangling
  • Ice: Qiqi, Chongyun
  • Water: Mona, Barbara
  • Lightning: Fischl, Kequing, Razor
  • Earth: Ninguang, Traveler (The Traveler's Wind form is actually stronger than their Earth form, but there just aren't nearly as many good Earth users in the gacha pulls as there are Wind)

How do I get more characters in Genshin Impact?

Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

Aside from the Traveler, Amber, Kaeya, and Lisa, all other characters in Genshin Impact are obtained via the game's gacha system, where you can spend a currency called "Fate" for a chance at new weapons and new characters.

You can acquire Fate by spending 160 Primagems for either an Acquaint Fate or an Intertwined Fate, and each Fate is equal to one "roll" of the gacha system. You can also save up your Fates and use ten at once for a guarantee of one rarer item or character in that set of ten.

The currency system can be a bit complex, and if you want to spend real money you'll be buying an entirely different currency that you'll then convert to Primagems, but the game gives you a lot of free Primagems just for playing, finishing achievements, and progressing the story. It's easy enough to roll a new character every week or so if you're playing regularly, so keep an eye on those Primagems, spend them on Fate when you can, and hope for the better characters!

How do I level up my characters in Genshin Impact?

Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

You may have noticed as you play Genshin Impact that there are two different ways to level up. One is your Adventure Rank, which we'll get to in a moment. But separate from that are the individual character levels, which impact how strong they are in combat.

Characters will get small amounts of experience from defeating monsters, but that's not at all the ideal way to level them up. Instead, you want to visit their character screens and choose "Level Up," then spend different types of tomes to give them EXP and raise their levels.

There are three types of tomes: Hero's Wit, Adventurer's Experience, and Wanderer's Advice. Hero's Wit gives the most EXP, Adventurer's Experience gives a moderate amount, and Wanderer's Advice gives a small amount. You'll get all three by completing achievements, progressing the story, defeating monsters, and searching treasure chests out in the world, and you can use them in bulk to raise a character's levels rapidly.

Once a character reaches certain level milestones (20, 40, 60, etc) they'll no longer be able to level up, and you'll have to use a combination of rarer items to "Ascend" them to the next rank and enable them to level up again. Ascension items are different for each character and can be obtained in a variety of ways. Once they Ascend, they'll learn a new talent and you'll be able to level the character up again. It's also worth mentioning that you don't unlock Ascension at all until you're at least Adventure Rank 15 in order to use the feature, and higher Adventure Ranks are needed to unlock higher Ascensions too.

How do I raise my Adventure Rank in Genshin Impact?

Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

Adventure Rank is separate from character levels in Genshin Impact -- think of it more as your level as a player. Adventure Rank is increased by finishing quests, opening chests, and completing various objectives out in the world.

To gain EXP toward your Adventure Rank, you can:

  • Worship at Statues of the Seven
  • Open treasure chests
  • Complete story quests
  • Do commissions for the Adventurers' Guild
  • Complete tasks for the Adventurers' Handbook
  • Complete Shrine of the Depths
  • Complete dungeons

Every time you raise your Adventure Rank, you can collect rewards from the Adventurers' Guild in Monstadt. You also unlock certain features at higher ranks, such as Ley Lines at 8 and 12, Expeditions at 14, co-op mode at 16, and a Battle Pass at 20.

How do I get better weapons in Genshin Impact?

Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

Though you can acquire some weapons just by exploring and opening treasure chests, you'll obtain the better weapons in the game by engaging with the same gacha system that allows you to unlock new characters. Just like with characters, you'll need to spend Primagems on Fates, then spend those on the gacha for the chance to get random weapons for your characters.

The good news is, you will get a lot more weapons than you will characters -- far more than you need. The bad news is, you won't get a lot of the really good weapons, which you do need.

You see, the way weapons work in Genshin Impact is that most weapons are fairly weak when you first get them. However, you can break down weaker weapons to level up the ones you are using, and you can use duplicates of the weapon you're using to "refine" it to get stronger still. All this happens in the "Weapons" menu.

Like leveling up characters, eventually you won't be able to level up a weapon anymore, and you'll have to use special materials to "Ascend" the weapon further. These items come from a wide range of sources including monsters, dungeons, and shops, so you'll have to hunt far and wide to empower your best equipment.

How do I finish the story of Genshin Impact?

Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

For now, the story of Genshin Impact isn't finished. You can get as far as Chapter 1, which takes you to Liyue, but many of the game's regions and plotlines haven't been released yet. That's okay, because MiHoYo is still working on the game, and more chapters will be released at later dates. Plus, the content that's already in the game will take hours to finish, and there's plenty of places to explore and things to do even after you hit pause on the story.

That said, you might find yourself stuck and unable to progress despite there being more story to go. When this happens, the best thing to do is work on increasing your Adventure Rank. There are multiple points in the story where it won't move forward until you've achieved a certain Adventure Rank, so if nothing seems to be happening, then get out there and open chests, explore, finish commissions and sidequests, and complete dungeons until you get a bit higher up the ranks.

Any questions about Genshin Impact?

Still stuck in the world of Genshin Impact? Let us know in the comments and Paimon (or us) will help guide you forward! If Genshin Impact isn't quite your jam after learning all this, there are a number of other great Android games that you can try instead.

Explore the vast world of Teyvat

Genshin Impact

A Ghibli-esque open-world adventure

Genshin Impact puts you in the shoes of the Traveler, a world-hopping protagonist stranded in the world of Teyvat, which is stuffed with elemental magic and mystical beings. As you search for your lost siblings, you'll meet new companions with elemental powers, seven deities, and a strange sprite named Paimon who will help you hone your abilities and meet your destiny.

Genshin Impact

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Genshin ImpactSource: miHoYo

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