Everything you Need to Know About Genshin Impact: One of The Biggest Mobile Launches in History

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If you’re spending long hours online, the name Genshin Impact shouldn’t be anything new by now.

The action-packed RPG features a huge world with gorgeous views that you can explore by running, climbing and gliding. It is primarily set in Treyvat, a magical realm of diverse cultures and kingdoms. Every inch of the open world is breathtaking enough to entice players and draw their focus away from their primary quests, sometimes.

Because of its beautiful gameplay and addictive “gacha” appeal, the RPG has been quite the talk of online communities and has even made headlines after raking in successful revenues— particularly on mobile.

What is Genshin Impact?

The Role-Playing Game began its historic rise to the top of the most played free-to-play titles on September 28.

Although the game is attracting more hype on mobile devices, Genshin Impact is not only limited to that. The game’s Chinese developer, miHoYo, carefully planned a wide ecosystem for the RPG and also launched on PC, PlayStation 4, and mobile platforms.

Before the game was even officially released, it successfully attracted a whopping 21.3 million pre-registered players.

Global success

As of writing, Genshin Impact is hailed as the most successful international launch of a Chinese game in history. To back this up, the game grossed miHoYo over $1.84 million on the iOS App Store.

Even though it is classified as a “gacha” game, Genshin doesn’t bombard players with persistent ads and pop-ups which can get annoying at some point. Instead, it takes the familiar Japanese vending machine system and adds it into a well-made RPG.

This new  evolution of gacha games had some players posting the 5-star characters they’ve rolled on social media, or even whining about their costly misfortunes.

It is also considerably one of the best games to stream today, having an average of 19.7k viewers on Twitch. A number of big streamers such as Pokimane and Valkyrae also frequently share their gameplays as they spend a hefty amount on Wishes.

The “Gacha” appeal

Instead of letting players create their own custom characters, Genshin Impact lets gamers pick from a roster of pre-made characters that they need to “pull” from the gacha store. This method is different from other online RPGs, such as Blizzard’s popular World of Warcraft.

With two dozen pre-made protagonists, players may unlock them depending on their luck and of course— in-game currency.

The items used to upgrade these characters are also pulled from the game’s virtual slot machines. Though these practices may be wallet-draining to most players,  some still find it hard to resist.

Genshin’s gorgeous open world design and smooth graphics had some players spend more than $100 before even realizing what they’ve actually done.

Such was the case of Twitch streamer Lacari, who had a crazy, wild reaction after unlocking a rare Genshin Impact character at a whopping $2,000 price tag.

If we were spending that much money just for a single character, we’d probably go ballistic as well— even if it’s a five-star, rare character.

Lacari did not seem too lucky as he tried to obtain the five-star character Keqing, spending thousands of dollars on the Chinese game.

His bad luck continued as he went over $1,500 trying to get the rare character, with his friends beginning to mock him on the chat chat.

“Lacari, do you know the chances of getting a five-star?” “It’s 0.6%.”

After the Twitch streamer spent thousands on the banner with no Keqing in sight, he dramatically begged the heavens to change his luck. Fortunately, his costly attempt didn’t seem so futile, after all.

The well-coveted character soon emerged on his screen, which prompted him to exclaim in delight.

The premise

The immersive open-world rpg game is set in the magical land of Teyvat, where elemental magic, monsters, dragons and spirits are a normal part of everyday life.

As you begin your journey, a beginning cutscene will reveal you’re travelling with a twin. A mysterious woman then suddenly appears and proceeds to attack you both, and as a result, you two are now separated and stranded in the world of Tevyat.

The basic premise of the game is to use your magical prowess and get stronger as you explore the stunning realm and look for your missing sibling.

Tutorial quests

Just like any other game, Genshin Impact requires new players to do tutorial quests in order to understand the basics of the game.

Players can freely roam around the magical realm with three party members— Amber, Kaeya, and Lisa.

Of course, the character list doesn’t stop there. More characters can be summoned from the store or are received with the story’s progression.

Each of these characters work with different weapons and elemental magic. Similar to how other RPGs, your character on Genshin Impact can explore the surrounding area, gather wild ingredients for crafting and cooking, fight opponents, or climb mountain cliffs to reach new places. Opening treasure chests will also increase your character’s level.

A guide to Leveling

Similar to many other MMORPGs, leveling up on Genshin Impact is an attractive feat. Players can enjoy rewards in the form of artifact, adventurer, weapon, statue and character levels.

The game’s default protagonist is Noella, who beginners start their adventure with along with the essentials.

The Adventurer Level is largely based on  your account progress. The respective content you can access (at the moment) is revealed as the game divides the massive areas into different level zones.

As soon as you start completing quests and dungeons, your Adventure level will then increase. Opening treasure chests and other valuable items may also give it a boost.

Cross-platform & Multiplayer features

This free to play RPG can be downloaded on the App Store and Google Play, as well as on the PlayStation 4 and PC. It is available on Cross-platform, hence the game supports a crossplay feature where players can play together with buddies and other users of different platforms.

Recommended Specifications for Genshin Impact on PC:

  • Operating Systems: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, or  Windows 10 64-bit (Windows 10 dev builds are not currently supported)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 or equivalent
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 6GB or better
  • DirectX Version: 11
  • Storage Space: 30 GB of available storage space

Minimum Specifications:

  • Operating Systems: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, or Windows  10 64-bit (Windows 10 dev builds are not currently supported)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or equivalent
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 1030 or better
  • DirectX Version: 11
  • Storage Space: 30 GB of available storage space

Unfortunately, titles like Genshin Impact aren’t released on the Nintendo Switch yet. Switch users need to fret not, however, as a beta version is likely to be released soon since the developers already confirmed the idea of a planned Nintendo Switch port.

Sam Lai, Communications Head at MiHoYo, spoke about the upcoming Switch version in an interview:

“The Switch version of Genshin Impact is currently under development. More information regarding Switch beta testing and launch dates will be announced at a later time.”

Genshin Impact was originally intended to be a solo journey MMO, but after players reach level 16—they may team up with their friends who are also level 16 and higher.

Together with your buddies or guild mates, you can explore the magical realm together, fight opponents, take on Adventurer’s Guild commissions, and rummage around in dungeons.

Zelda parallel?

Fans are already drawing Genshin parallels to the Zelda series. While it does offer a similar gameplay to Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact also has distinctive features and is considerably more close to traditional RPG features that are not observed in Zelda titles.

It is dubbed as the first true AAA gacha game. Underneath the game’s gacha mechanics lies an immersive open-world RPG for all players to enjoy.

The primary aesthetic of BotW is heavily based on the beauty and solitude of nature, whereas Genshin presents a theme park version of that. The former also offers generous hints at hidden treasures and leaves vast spaces in-between. On Genshin, it’s close to impossible not to trip over some glowy object or mysterious chest in a span of 30 seconds.

There’s also a consistent stream of new weapons, trinkets, crafting materials, coins and characters to explore. Thanks to this, Genshin Impact is dangerously addictive to keep playing.

Regardless of whether you have your ideal units in mind or have completely given up on re-rolling, learning the game’s basic mechanics will streamline how it works in the bigger picture.

With four characters that you can freely switch with each other anytime, Genshin Impact presents a great potential for combo plays. Combat is considered as a crucial part of the game, so every player must learn about the basics to take on opponents efficiently. It can be as complex as a combo-heavy fighting game, with each character having unique elemental moves (fire, water, the likes) that combine together to create special effects.

Interactions can make or break the team composition, since all components can make a great, influential impact in the game.

Nevertheless, Genshin Impact provides players the perfect blend of features from Hack-and-Slash, Action, and RPG titles, along with a well-crafted Gacha genre twist unlike we’ve seen before.

Microtransactions as lifeline

The game’s free-to-play model uses microtransactions as its lifeline, thus it’s no surprise some players have to spend a whopping amount for a mere video game character because of its gambling-like transactions.

Genshin Impact rakes in the money by encouraging players to spend their cash for a chance to win new characters of high-rarity. In Japan, this business model is referred to as “gacha,” which is after the gachapon vending machines dispensing randomly selected toys in plastic spheres, sometimes in the shape of a circle.

On Genshin Impact, it is called loot boxes. Of course free-to-play players can still earn a wide array of custom currencies by grinding the game, albeit at a rather slowed pace. Spending your cash for a dice roll, on the other hand, is instant. It may even land you the cutest new 5-star character, if you’re lucky!

There’s no guarantee in scoring epic, rare 5-star characters such as Keqing, Qiqi, Jean, Diluc, and Mona over just a few spins. However, others actually managed to obtain the characters over free rolls… although very rare, of course.

The primary gacha mechanics are similar to EA Games’ loot boxes, where players spend in-game currency to get a random virtual item.

If you’re a  free-to-play player, the good news is: you can still experience a rich gameplay without having to spend actual money. This is a great feature of titles who do not follow a pay to win model.

Playable characters

There are various characters which players can add to their party and take control of in the game. Each character in Genshin Impact is unique, as they differ when it comes to their harnessed elements, weapons used, appearance, core stats, strengths and weaknesses, and more.

Players will be able to meet these characters as the story progresses further. They may also roll these characters through the Gacha system in the form of Wishes.

Anyone can form a party of up to four members at a time, and they are free to switch active characters at any point.

Get to know the leading playable characters on Genshin Impact and their corresponding roles & main weapons used:

  • Jean (Healer, Swords) – As the acting Grand Master of the Knights, Jean has always been devoted to her duties and maintaining peace in Mondstadt. She had taken precautions long before the onset of Stormterror’s assault, and she will guard Mondstadt with her life as always.
  • Amber (Support, Bows) – A perky, straightforward girl, who is also the only Outrider of the Knights of Favonius. Her amazing mastery of the glider has made her a three-time winner of the Gliding Champion in Mondstadt. As a rising star within the Knights of Favonius, Amber is always ready for any challenging tasks.
  • Lisa (Support, Catalysts) – She is an intellectual witch who can never get enough naps. As the Librarian of the Knights of Favonius, Lisa is smart in that she always knows exactly what to do with whatever troubles her. As much as she loves her sleep, she still manages to keep everything under control in a calm, composed manner.
  • Kaeya (Support, Swords) – In the Knights of Favonius, Kaeya is the most trusted aide for the acting Grand Master Jean. You can always count on him to solve any intractable problems. Everyone in Mondstadt loves Kaeya, but no one knows what secrets this witty, charming knight has.
  • Barbara (Healer, Catalysts) – The Deaconess of the Favonius Church and a shining starlet adored by all. Although the concept of a starlet is rather novel in a city of bards, the people of Mondstadt love Barabara nonetheless.
  • Diluc (DPS, Claymores) – As the wealthiest gentleman in Mondstadt, the ever-dapper Diluc always presents himself as the epitome of perfection. But behind the courteous visage burns a zealous spil that has sworn to protect Mondstadt at all costs, allowing him to mercilessly vanquish all who threaten his city.
  • Razor (DPS, Claymores) – Some say he is an orphan raised by wolves. Others say he is a wolf spirit in human form. He is most at home in the wild, fighting with claw and thunder. To this day the wolf boy can be found prowling the forest, where he and his wolf pack hunt to survive using nothing more than their animal instincts.
  • Venti (Support, Bows) – When using his Anemo power to control the wind, it often appears as feathers, as he’s fond of that which appears light and breezy.
  • Klee (DPS, Catalysts) – Sure, time in solitary confinement gives lots of time to think about new gunpowder formulas…But it’d still be better to not be in solitary in the first place.
  • Bennett (DPS/Support, Swords) – He is the only active member of his own adventure group, known as “Benny’s Adventure Team,” after all the other members decided to “take leave” following a series of unfortunate incidents. As a result, the team is currently on the verge of being dissolved.
  • Noelle (DPS/Healer, Claymores) – Like most of Mondstadt’s young people, Noelle always dreamed of being a knight of Favonius when she grew up. She may not have what it takes to be a knight just yet, but she is learning.
  • Fischl (Support, Bows) – A mysterious girl who calls herself “Prinzessin der Verurteilung” and travels with a night raven named Oz. She currently serves as an investigator in the Adventurers’ Guild.
  • Sucrose (Support, Catalysts) – An alchemist with an insatiable curiosity towards the world and everything in it. Attached to the Knights of Favonius as an assistant to Albedo, her area of focus is “bio-alchemy.” She strives to enrich the world by transforming living things with the power of alchemy.
  • Mona (DPS, Catalysts) – A mysterious young astrologer who proclaims herself to be “Astrologist Mona Megistus,” and who possesses abilities to match the title. Erudite, but prideful.

The characters above are from Mondstadt, one of the seven cities in Teyvat and the first location in which the player seeks their lost sibling.  Other characters are from different areas of the open world:


Liyue Harbor, a bountiful harbor that lies in the east of Teyvat.

  • Xiao (DPS, Polearms) – One of the “Mighty and Illuminated Adepti” guarding Liyue, also heralded as the “Guardian yaksha.” Despite his appearance as a young man, occasional legends about him have been documented in ancient books for thousands of years.
  • Beidou (DPS, Claymores) – Captain of the Crux, with quite the reputation in Liyue. There are those who say she can split mountains and part the sea. Others say she draws lightning through her sword.
  • Ningguang (DPS, Catalysts) – Owner of the Jade Chamber in the skies above Liyue, there are stories abound about Ningguang, with her elegance and mysterious smile. As a Tianquan of the Liyue Qixing, not only does she embody law and order, she also represents fortune and wit.
  • Xiangling (DPS/Support, Polearms) – The Head Chef at the Wanmin Restaurant and also a waitress there, Xiangling is extremely passionate about cooking and excels at her signature hot and spicy dishes. Though still young, Xiangling is a true master of the culinary arts with all the skills of a kitchen veteran.
  • Xingqiu (Support, Swords) – The second son of the Feiyun Commerce Guild, Xingqiu has had a reputation for being studious and polite ever since he was a young child. But there is another side to the mild-mannered Xingqiu everyone knows.
  • Chongyun (DPS, Claymores) –  An exorcist who roams the land with Liyue as his base of operations, evil spirits fleeing wherever he goes. As the heir to a clan of exorcists, he has always possessed abilities superior to most. However, these abilities are not the result of training, but of an inborn trait – congenital positivity.
  • Qiqi (Healer, Swords) – An apprentice and herb gatherer at Bubu Pharmacy.”Blessed” by the adepti with a body that cannot die, this petite zombie cannot do anything without first giving herself orders to do it.
  • Keqing (DPS, Swords) – The Yuheng of the Liyue Qixing. Keqing has much to say about Rex Lapis’ unilateral approach to policy making in Liyue — but in truth, gods admire skeptics such as her quite a lot.

Upcoming characters

  • Xinyan – Dubbed as Liyue Harbor’s only rock ‘n’ roll musician. She rebels against prejudices with her music and passion for singing.
  • Ayaka Kamisato – From Inazuma, a city-state that worships the Immortal Shogun, the Electro Archon.
  • Cyno – Hails from Sumeru, which is considered the center of learning and worships the God of Wisdom, the Dendro Archon.
  • Lyney, Lynette – Both are from Fontaine, a city-state that worships the God of Justice, the Hydro Archon.
  • Iansan – From Natlan, a city-state that worships Murata, the Pyro Archon.
  • Tartaglia/Childe, Harbinger Pulcinella – The two are from Snezhnaya, a nation of perpetual snow and ice; considerably much more advanced than the other nations on Teyvat.
  • Bough Keeper Dainsleif – Nothing much is revealed about this character yet, but he is from Khaen’Riah, an unreleased region in Teyvat.

Remarkable mobile success

Not even a full week since the game’s release on mobile, Genshin Impact surpassed the likes of popular titles on mobile like PUBG Mobile and Coin Master. It was crowned as the second-highest grossing game, a great feat for the studio’s flagship international release.

In particular, App Annie’s data analytics reveal that it is in the top ten earning games on the iOS App Store in Japan, the US, and South Korea since the game’s launch on September 28, 2020.

The RPG isn’t only enjoying success on iOS platforms alone, since a similar trend is observed on the Google Play Store.

Upon its launch, Genshin Impact was also briefly considered as the most popular game on Twitch— surpassing the OG, Fortnite. Its review scores are highly favorable as well, garnering an 80 Metacritic Metascore and 74 user score.

The game earned a combined amount of $60 million in player spending from both App Store and Google Play. This places the new game in second place, only behind Honor of Knights. In China, where its developers are based, the game has earned about $25 million. Japan is the game’s secondary market with $17 million revenue so far.

Bottomline

Combining the game’s interesting mechanics, magical powers and the stunning realm of Tevyat, it’s not a surprise how Genshin Impact is successfully dominating the gaming scene shortly upon its launch.

If you’re growing agitated over competitive FPS, Battle Royale, and MOBA titles— this RPG proves to be a breath of fresh air. Have you tried it out yet? Let us know in the comments below!

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