Surely you’ve seen the name Genshin Impact pop up somewhere by now, be it on social media or as an ad on YouTube for instance. It looks like an open-world anime game with gorgeous graphics and great music, but what is it really about? Time to find out! Here’s everything you need to know about Genshin Impact!
Where can I play it?
Genshin Impact is available on all sorts of platforms, including Android, iOS, PS4 and PC. Versions for Switch and PS5 have been announced, but there’s no firm release date for either yet. Something to keep in mind here is that there’s no cross-progression (as of yet?), so better pick one platform you want to play it on and stick with it.
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How much does it cost?
Nothing. Genshin Impact is free-to-play with optional in-app purchases. This is the most surprising thing about the whole experience, as it seems more like a full-priced game than a free one.
What is it?
Alright, platforms and price out of the way, let’s talk about the game itself. Genshin Impact is set in the world of Teyvat, which consists of seven different nations. At the beginning of the game, a pair of twins travels to Teyvat but is separated by a god. Here’s your first choice for the game, choose between the brother or the sister of the pair to travel throughout the world for your adventure. The game starts and you find yourself on the beach. You’re free to explore the world from the word go, helpful markers guide you to your first destination. In this open-world RPG you fight enemies in real-time with your equipped weapons and magic spells. You collect experience points, level up and increase your stats over time.
Many compare Genshin Impact to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It kinda looks and feels like it, it even uses the same stamina system. So climbing, running, swimming and gliding uses up stamina. Find yourself in the middle of a lake without it and you’ll lose some health. Find nifty teleportation nodes on the map and you can fast travel to it whenever you want. You can also hunt animals and cook their meat together with other ingredients to temporarily boost your stats. Very Breath of the Wild, isn’t it? There are some key differences, though. For starters, you can have up to four characters in your party and control one of them at each time. With each character having two unique special skills and seven elemental attacks (ice, nature, fire, water, air, electricity, and earth), you can pull off mighty combos and inflict huge amounts of damage on your enemies. Elements interact with each other as well, which adds another layer of depth to the battle system. You can even play with up to four players (cross-platform, too) and combine your strengths, making it a proper online game as well. Elements are being used for the puzzles as well, though. In one of the many puzzle shrines you can turn puddles of water into ice, for instance, if you have a character with that ability. Then you can walk on the ice and reach new areas of those dungeons.
All of this for free? Sounds too good to be true! Well, it is true, but of course you can spend money, if you want. Just like in many other games of this genre you can purchase pulls. These are chances to get rare weapons or characters. Some characters you’ll obtain by playing the story. The strongest and rarest characters, however, you have to pull. That’s called gacha and it can get pretty frustrating and expensive if you don’t get the exact character you want and yet try and try again.
Characters are divided in different rarity grades and new characters are constantly added through events such as holiday events. It takes dozens of hours to finish the story (again, for free), but if you want to maximize your combos and strategies for the end game, chances are you’ll want to try your luck and get the most powerful characters in the game.