The free-to-play game Genshin Impact released this month, unleashing an open-world RPG game to PC, PS4 and mobile devices. The massive world has a lot to offer adventurers but there are quite a few systems and mechanics to familiarize yourself with, which can be a little overwhelming. In this Genshin Impact Getting Started Guide we’ll give you everything you should know to get off on the right foot.
Genshin Impact Getting Started Guide
Let’s start by explaining what exactly Genshin Impact is, it’s an online-RPG that’s free-to-play and also features co-op. Genshin Impact invites players into a world full of elemental magic with a number of cute and quirky characters to play. The combat system let’s you form a party of characters which you can switch out on the fly and combo between their abilities. While many have commented the similarities with games such as Zelda BOTW, there are plenty of systems and features that really make this title quite unique to play.
One big questions you might have is which platform to play on? In my honest opinion if you’re looking for a fairly painless experience PC seems to offer the best performance, plus better graphics. Another bonus for choosing PC is you can use the same account to log into mobile (iOS/Android). PS4 has a separate server so you can’t use the same account, but you can co-op (after unlocking Adventure Rank 16) with other platforms as long as you’re on the same region. Switch has been announced to be coming in the future, but no fixed date has been set.
I’m a little biased when it comes to PC as I feel most comfortable using KBM, but you can also hook up a controller if that’s your preference. Mobile controls are touch screen, and they are ok but can be a little hectic when you try to perform more intricate manoeuvres such as climbing and gliding, or trying to attack a number of enemies, but there is some auto assist for combat. I usually use mobile to do some Character leveling for example, and is great for on the go.
On PC and mobile you can choose your preferred region, but you cannot migrate characters across region servers, so be wary in case you want to play with friends on other regions. You can create 1 character on each region’s server though, without loosing your progress on other servers, just know that they act completely independently of one another (and that includes currency).
What to do first?
You’ve landed in Monstadt, what do you do first? It might be tempting to run off into the wilderness and get lost in the many things you can do, but the best thing to do first is to do the main quests. This will get you your first four characters, plus increase your Adventure Rank, which will unlock more story and stuff to do.
Concentrate on levelling a few characters first, this way you won’t be under-leveled when facing mobs while exploring. It’s tempting to spread your EXP items across all the waifus, but to begin with, at least until you reach level 20, it might be worth just picking a few favorites and sticking to those. There is an abundance of EXP items, so this should not concern you too much.
Upgrade your weapons and Artifacts. Your weapons give you some good physical damage, while Artifact bonuses can help give you extra ATK, increase your Critical Chance, etc. I will go into more details about each of these things below, but characters aside, this it where you should start.
Explore – Leave No Stone Unturned
Genshin Impact is a game that rewards curiosity. See something sparkle? Notice a strange pattern of rock piles? These are puzzles, hidden treasures and more to discover. As you travel around the different regions, you will notice different wild flowers, ingredients and chests to loot.
Make sure to unlock the Waypoints you come across, not only do they allow you to painlessly port from one place to another with no cost, they also reward you some Adventure Rank experience in the process. The more Waypoints you unlock, the easier it will be to travel from one place to another.
You should also make sure to talk to the different NPCs dotted around towns and in the wild. And I don’t just mean the ones that have a Quest symbol floating above their head, they not only have a few interesting stories to tell but may lead to a hidden reward. They have a few conversation options to choose from, so investigate them all, and more often than not you’ll get something for your troubles.
One thing you’ll notice is that you will use Stamina for a number of things, not just in combat. You will use Stamina in order to run, climb, swim and even glide. It’s an important resource and it’s a good idea to spend time increasing your max Stamina. You can do this by visiting the Statues and worshiping them. You will need however Anemoculus or elemental versions that can be found by exploring the world. They also grant a number of rewards such as Primogems or Adventure Rank EXP, so it’s worth doing.
Adventure Rank (AR) acts as your account level, and you can earn Adventure Rank experience by doing the main questline the Archon Quest, Story Quests and even World Quests. Each quest will usually tell you in your Journal what they will reward. Unlocking a higher AR will come with some benefits, if you want to co-op for example with friends you will need to unlock Adventure Rank 16 before you can do dungeons together.
Increasing your AR will also offer you more challenging Daily Commissions (which act as daily quests), which means better rewards. You can also earn AR experience from doing Daily Commissions, and even a bonus on top for completing all 4 of them.
It’s a good idea to do the main questline when you start Genshin Impact as you will gain a few base characters that actually have some great abilities. You will gain of course your main character, Amber (Pyro), Kaeya (Frost) and Lisa (Electro) from the main quest. You can also unlock more characters through the Wish system.
Wish System & How to get Primogems
While Genshin Impact is a free-to-play game, if you’re wanting to unlock more characters you will need a currency called Primogems, and these can be earned in a number of ways in-game. This can be from exploring, completing Achievements, doing questing, daily rewards and so on. You can also use them to purchase two types of Wish currency, Acquaint Fate and Intertwined Fate, both will require 160 Primogems, and each will grant one Wish.
In the Wish system there are a number of banner promotions which detail the characters, weapons and items you could gain from wishing, and some of these are rotated periodically. There is a higher probability to gain less rare characters/items, so it may take you some Wishes before you get the ones you want. Another way to gain Primogems is to use real money to purchase a monthly pass or Genesis Crystals (1:1 Primogem).
To say the least there are a number of different currencies which can be a little confusing at first. There is even Mora, which is in-game money used to purchase items from ordinary merchants that sell food ingredients. You can use the Starlight exchange to use Masterless Fate currency (earned from Wishes) to purchase characters available in the Shop.
Other Ways to Gain Characters
There will also be limited time events that you can take part in to gain a character. For example right now you can unlock Xiangling by doing the Abyssal Event, but there is a requisite of AR 20 in order to attempt it. However, this means you can still gain some new characters for free with a little grind.
You will also need to level your characters individually, this is done by accessing your chosen character from the Character menu, and leveling them manually by using such items as Wanderers Advice. You gain such items from opening Chests, and completing quests. You can also gain these from increasing your AR and get the rewards from the Adventure Guild.
Once your character level reaches 20, you will need to Ascend it in order to unlock more levels, which in turn increases your base stats including elemental mastery and unlocks new Talents.
You will need to find particular Ascension materials in order to Ascend, and these can usually be bought from the Souvenir Shop using Anemo Sigils, which can be gained from Monstadt Expeditions. However, some of these items can also be farmed by going to an area to loot them or from certain mobs. Note that you must be Adventure Rank 15 in order to do this.
Constellations are a type of passive skill tree which provides some upgrades, but can only be obtained by acquiring duplicate characters. The way it works is any character duplicate you may unlock through the Wish system will grant you items used to unlock Constellation levels. Your main character however is slightly different as you can gain these items from the Main Quest, Adventure Rank reward, or they can be purchased from the Souvenir Shop in Monstadt.
You can have a maximum of 4 characters per party, and you can create different party combinations so you can change them easily. When creating a party it’s best to think about what characters could work well together, and that will be down to their element type and elemental abilities.
For example I like to use Amber who uses a Pyro element with her bow, she has an AOE ultimate which can rain down arrows on mobs, lighting the grass on fire. Then you can switch to Lisa and use her Electro abilities to cause Overload, dealing a good chunk of damage. Additionally, if you click the “Elemental Resonance” button in Party Setup you can see the added benefits you gain from having 2 characters of the same element in your party.
Remember which elements cause which reactions, as this will help you plan your parties, creating some devastating combinations depending on the task at hand, whether you’re doing a timed challenge or dealing with a mob.
My top tip for loot is: loot everything. For hoarders like me who have trouble with maxing out inventory easily in most games, Genshin Impact gives a very generous 30,000 slots, but you will definitely need them. It is loot galore as you will need duplicate weapons, materials, ingredients, Artifacts and more for upgrades. So pick up everything and don’t worry about storing it all, you will use it up over time.
While there isn’t gear in the game, you will have Artifacts, a set of 5 for each character. There are different Artifact sets that provide 2 and 4 bonuses. Pay attention to what these set bonuses are, because they can really boost the effectiveness of your character.
You will also find that you gain a number of duplicate Artifacts, and these will pile up in your inventory. You will need to use them to upgrade your current Artifacts for each character, so don’t destroy them or sell them until you’ve done so.
The weapon system is similar to Artifacts but you have options to Enhance or Refine your weapon. Duplicate weapons can be used to Refine the same weapon, increasing its bonus, but not its base damage. While Enhancing a weapon uses Enhancement Ores that you will find, and will boost the damage of the weapon. This is the easiest way to increase your damage, and you should Enhance any 4* or 5* weapon you find as high as you can and equip it on your favorite character that uses that type.
Visit the Blacksmith called Wagner in Monstadt to get him to create Enhancement Ores if you’re lacking weapon upgrades. He will need Iron Chunks, or White Iron Chunks (higher upgrade potency for Fine Enhancement Ore) which can be mined outside in the world by crushing rocks. Use a character with a two-handed weapon or use a Geo element character’s ability, as they are more efficient at breaking these rocks, saving you time.
As you explore the world you will come across cooking ingredients, these can come from looting barrels, breaking boxes, exploring food stands out in the world and picking fruits from trees. Pretty much anywhere you will run into ingredients and it’s worth picking these up.
Certain ingredients may be hard to come by or only available from a store, so you will need Mora to purchase them, and you may be limited to how many you can acquire in a day. Recipes can also be purchased from merchants, but you may need a certain AR before you are able to do so, so pay attention to what the requirements are.
You will find cooking spots throughout the world, in town or even outside. These may need you to light them before you can cook by using a character with a Pyro ability such as Amber.
Once you have your ingredients you can cook a recipe, which is a sort of quick mini game. Each recipe will have a minimum number of dishes you will need to cook before you become proficient and unlock Autocook. Autocook allows you to cook multiples of that dish at once, which saves some time.
You can also choose which character cooks that dish, as certain dishes will gain bonuses if a certain character cooks it. These can be extra portions made or increased health granted.
Each recipe also has a different effect, it may heal a character in one go, heal over time, be used to resurrect a fainted character or give some other effect such as increased Critical Chance. Pay attention to what each recipe does for best results.
Useful Things to Know
Here are some other useful things to know:
- You can create a Main Character on any region (PC/iOS/Android) but you cannot co-op across other regions.
- You can add friends by adding their User ID (UID) which can be found either at the bottom right of the screen, or found in the main menu.
- You cannot transfer characters across region servers.
- You can drown if you run out of Stamina.
- You can take fall damage from falling from high heights, and can even die this way.
- You can use elements such as Cryo to freeze water and walk across lakes, use your Main Character’s wind ability to extend the frost.
- Complete your Adventurer Handbook to gain some extra resources, it helps you keep track of things that will help your progression.
- Don’t forget to check your mail you may get sent some Primogems from Paimon and you might not have realized.
- Pay attention to the current Events and try to complete these as soon as you can for extra rewards!
Hopefully this guide helps you navigate the big world of Genshin Impact, and helped shed light on some of the in-game systems that may be a bit overwhelming to new players. You’ll be able to get the hang of it in no time. If you have any other tips to share with new travelers let us know in the comments below.
Genshin Impact is available to play on PC, iOS, Android and PS4. For more Genshin Impact help be sure to visit our wiki for all the latest, and help others by contributing.