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How to Play Genshin Impact

Zakaria Almughrabi

Genshin Impact is one of the fastest-growing games in the entire gaming industry. The action RPG was released by Chinese gaming house miHoYo in September 2020 and has been the talk of the internet since. Not only was it rated the number one game by both the Google Play and Apple App Stores last year, it is also the most talked about game on social media.

How to Play Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact is one of the most popular games out there, but it can be difficult to get started. (Image Credit miHoYo)

With a massive world to explore, hours of engaging story content, tons of unique game features, and even a multiplayer system to enjoy with your friends, there is something for everyone in Genshin Impact. If you’re looking to get in on the hype and start playing one of the most popular games out there, here is your guide on how to play Genshin Impact.

Welcome to the World of Teyvat

Upon booting up Genshin Impact for the first time, you’ll find yourself in a cutscene that features two unnamed siblings fighting a powerful foe. You will then be prompted to choose one of the siblings to take control of. There are no differences between the two aside from their appearance. You cannot change which one you want later, so choose wisely!

The next scene will unfold with you washed ashore. Here, you will be introduced to Paimon, Genshin’s guide character similar to Navi from Ocarina of Time. Paimon will then prompt you forward in a short tutorial. This tutorial will include the basics such as movement, combat, and menu navigation. Just follow her lead for now.

At this point, you are technically in the wide-open world of Genshin Impact! You can choose to continue following Paimon’s prompts to continue with the story, or you could start running around to explore the world. There is no right or wrong way to continue the early game, but there are two things to keep in mind when deciding where to go next.

If you choose to follow the story quests, you will find yourself in Mondstadt, The City of Freedom. Here, you will learn more about the world of Teyvat and some core mechanics in Genshin Impact. You could also decide to wander off into the open world, exploring whatever you see by fighting enemies and completing puzzles. Whatever you choose, there are some things you need to know about progression in Genshin Impact.

Mondstadt

Mondstadt is the first major city you will come across in your travels. There are many new things to see and people to meet here.

How to Increase Adventure Rank

Genshin Impact has one major source of progression: Adventure Rank. You may have noticed a prompt in the earlier tutorials about your Adventure Rank increasing. Your AR determines a number of things that are accessible to you, as well as the difficulty of your world. Story quests will also eventually be locked behind AR levels, meaning increasing it is a priority even for players who just want to enjoy the story.

So, how do you increase your Adventure Rank? Since AR is the main overall progression system, almost everything you do in Genshin Impact can help get that number up. Firstly, completing any and all quests will reward you with Adventure Exp. Opening any chest you find will also give Exp. There are a wide number of ways for you to find and access chests which we will go over in just a bit.

Another very important aspect to increasing your Adventure Rank has to do with Waypoints. In the tutorial, Paimon tells you to interact with Teleport Waypoints and the Statue of Seven. When activated, both act as teleport points that you can use at any time from your map. Interacting with a new Statue of Seven also carries the benefit of lighting up the map surrounding it, allowing you to traverse to new areas and find new Teleport Waypoints. And yes, doing all of this grants Adventure Exp.

As your Adventure Rank increases, you will unlock new mechanics within the game that help you progress even further. If you haven’t by this point, make sure to stop by Mondstadt and get acquainted with some of the townsfolk. Speaking with Katherine allows you to interact with the Adventurers’ Guild. Here, you can claim rewards for increasing your Adventure Rank.

At AR 12, you will unlock the Daily Commissions system. Every day, you will be given four random quests out in the world. Each quest gives a reward which includes Exp. There is also a bonus reward for completing all four of them and reporting back to Katherine. Completing your Dailies is essential to increasing your Adventure Rank.

Genshin Impact Katherine

Katherine is the receptionist for the Adventurers’ Guild. Adventure Rank rewards, Daily Commissions, and Expeditions all go through her.

Rewards for Increasing Adventure Rank

In addition to the Adventurers’ Guild rewards and story progression, there are many reasons for players to want to increase their AR. New features will progressively become unlocked. For example, AR 14 lets you send characters on Expeditions at the Adventurers’ Guild which can help you gather resources. AR 20 unlocks Spiral Abyss, Genshin Impact’s challenge dungeons. There are too many additional features accessed via AR to go over here, just know that there will always be something new awaiting you.

Another important mechanic that is based on AR is World Level. In Genshin Impact, the difficulty of the enemies and bosses you will be facing is determined by your World Level. As you become more experienced and increase your Adventure Rank, your World Level will increase. Your Teyvat will start out at World Level 0 and will increase to WL 1 at AR 20. Every five Adventure Ranks you gain after that will also increase your World Level by one. Sometimes this increase is automatic, while other times there will be a quest to activate the increase.

While this higher difficulty may seem like a bad thing, increasing your World Level is actually essential. As enemies and bosses get tougher, they will provide more loot in the form of materials, Exp, and Mora, the currency of Teyvat.

How to Explore Teyvat

Now, if doing quests, exploring the world, and opening chests are some of the best ways to increase Adventure Rank, it’s important to know how to navigate Teyvat with this in mind. In addition to the base movement and stamina system introduced in the tutorial, you will also gain access to the Glider in Mondstadt. The Glider will allow you to cover large distances when jumping from a tall landmark. Using all the tools at your disposal, you can collect countless treasures across the land.

Chests

Chests are the universal reward for exploring in Genshin Impact. You can find and unlock chests in a multitude of ways, such as clearing enemy monster camps, completing puzzles, and taking part in challenges. There are four main types of chests you can find: Common, Exquisite, Precious, and Luxurious. The more difficult the task, the better the chest you will receive. Rewards will increase proportionately as well.

Genshin Impact Chests

Many chests can be found by exploring Teyvat. The red sealing runes surrounding it will be removed when you complete the objective tied to it, usually clearing monsters or solving a puzzle.

While there are too many puzzles in the game to list them all, the most common ones that you will come across early are Elemental Monuments and Seelie. Elemental Monuments are small statues that require the corresponding element to be used on it. These puzzles could require multiple different elements or be time-gated. Seelie are floating blue fairy type creatures who when walked near, will start to move. Escorting a Seelie to their statue will allow them to rest and will reward you with a chest.

You will also come across various Time Trial Challenges while exploring. They appear as small red statues with stone bases. By interacting with one, you can start a time trial for Archery, Defeating Opponents, or Gliding. Completing these challenges will net you a chest.

Collectibles

There are many kinds of Collectibles littered across Teyvat for you to find. The most important kind are Oculi. Oculi are floating orbs of energy that can be picked up by making contact with them. Some Oculi are simply there to be collected in the world, while some require a puzzle to be solved for access. Each region in Genshin Impact is associated with a specific element. Mondstadt’s element is Anemo, so their Oculus is the Anemoculus.

Genshin Impact Amenoculus

Oculi can be found by exploring. While some will be easy to get, others may require specific movement or solving puzzles.

Oculi are used to offer worship to each region’s Archon, or deity, at the Statue of Seven. Upon collecting enough, you can level up the region’s Statues to receive many useful rewards. One of these rewards is Sigils. Much like Oculi, each region has its respective elemental Sigils that are collected via quests and opening chests. These Sigils can be used to purchase items from regional shops.

Gathering Items and Their Uses

Genshin Impact is absolutely filled to the brim with different kinds of materials. Everything that can be acquired on your travels is useful in some way or another. While you don’t need to go picking up everything that exists on the map, it’s never a bad idea to collect materials you find on your way. The countless items are split between two categories in game: Materials and Character Items.

Materials

Materials are items that allow you to craft things. Plants, ores, and small creatures can all give you crafting materials. Some of these materials can also be purchased at various shops. While the plant Materials can often be picked up off the ground, ores require you to break the ore before grabbing it. Some Materials can also need a different prerequisite to collect, such as using elemental damage on them.

These Materials can be used to cook food at any lit fire or stove, forge weapons at the Blacksmith located in every city, and craft helpful gadgets and potions at Crafting Stations also located in town. All Crafting Materials will respawn after one day, making them very farmable if needed. It’s also worth noting that all Materials have fixed spawn positions.

Local Specialties are a special type of Materials that are specific to certain locations across Teyvat. These Specialties can be plants, ores, or objects. Each of these items has its uses, so collecting anything you come across is likely a good idea. Some characters may even require bulk amounts of them. Local Specialties will respawn after two days, making them harder to farm than generic Crafting Materials.

Character Items

Character Items are items that are used to strengthen your different characters in Genshin Impact. There are many different ways to upgrade them, each requiring different Items. Unlike Materials that are always accessible out in the world, many Character Items are locked behind a system called Resin which we will go over in a bit.

The one Character Item type that is readily accessible to you is Monster Drops. After defeating any enemy in Genshin Impact, they will drop an item. These items appear as small orbs on the ground and can be collected by interacting with them. Each specific item belongs to a line of three with different rarity values. Stronger mobs will drop the rarer versions of these items, but you can also combine three of the lower rarities into the next tier up via crafting. Every naturally spawning enemy has a respawn time of one day.

Another Character Item that you will be using early on is Character Experience Books. These three items are all used to level up your characters with the higher rarity books being worth more. Character Exp Books can be acquired by the one-time source of quests and chests, but the only way to farm them is related to the aforementioned Resin system.

Also a part of the Resin system are the rest of the Character Items. Ascension Gems, Weapon Materials, Boss Materials, and Talent Books are all items that you will eventually use to make your characters stronger. While you will find some of these via natural means, farming them is one of the core aspects of Genshin Impact, which brings us to Resin.

What is Original Resin?

Original Resin is Genshin Impact’s take on a gacha game staple. Resin is essentially an Action Points, or Stamina system that puts a limiter on how much you can farm. Up to 160 points of Resin can be held at once. When some resin is spent, it will start recharging naturally over time until it reaches 160 again. You can check how much Resin you currently have by looking at the top right of your map page.

Resin can be spent by going to one of many world landmarks and completing a challenge. The Resin is then used to receive the rewards for clearing said challenge. While exploring, you may have noticed large stone gates represented by a diamond on the map. These are Domains. Each Domain contains a different kind of material reward and can be utilized as Teleport Waypoints once activated.

The highest tier of bosses, known as Weekly Bosses, are major story fights that take place throughout Genshin Impact. Once defeated for the first time, you can rematch them once a week for special Character Items. It does cost Resin to redeem these rewards, so make sure to spend some time to do these.

Different world bosses can also be accessed while traveling through Teyvat, represented by a circle with the boss’s icon in it on the map. Defeating them in a fight and spending Resin will also net you unique Character Materials. Lastly, Character Experience Books can be farmed at Ley Line Blossoms in the same way, as can Mora.

Original Resin

These Blossoms contain the rewards for defeating bosses or clearing Ley Lines. Players can claim their rewards using Resin.

It’s important to note that aside from the world bosses, all of these uses for Resin are locked behind either Adventure Rank or story progression. As such, new players shouldn’t worry too much about maximizing your Resin usage. As long as you try to spend it whenever possible on whatever you feel like you can use, you’ll be fine.

Gearing Up Your Characters

There are more ways to increase your character’s strength than just leveling them up. Artifacts are items that can be equipped to your characters in order to give them stat boosts. Up to five can be worn on a character at a time. These items can be found via quests, chests, and by killing certain monsters and bosses. There are also Domains that can be used to farm specific Artifacts using Resin that become unlocked with AR.

Each Artifact can be upgraded with other Artifacts as fodder, raising their main stat with it. Alongside this static main stat are up to four sub stats which get randomly increased when leveling the Artifact. Additionally, Artifacts grant extra bonuses for having multiple pieces in an Artifact set equipped. Don’t worry too much about going for full Artifact sets with good RNG early on, just equip whatever you find.

The other equipable piece for your characters is Weapons. As you can imagine, Weapons are what your characters use to do battle. There are a total of five different Weapon types: Swords, Polearms, Claymores, Bows, and Catalysts. Every character in Genshin Impact uses one of these Weapons and will start with a low-tier One-Star version.

Just by exploring, you can find Two and Three-Star Weapons to equip your characters with. Leveling these works the same way as leveling characters. Some Stronger Four-Star Weapons can be crafted at the Blacksmith with ores and a Weapon Mold of the correct type. Occasionally, Four-Star Weapons will even be given away for free during events.

Genshin Impact Weapons

Weapons are one of the most important factors in strengthening your characters. Every weapon can be leveled with higher rarity ones being the strongest.

However, in order to obtain the elusive and powerful Five-Star Weapons, you’ll need to use the Genshin Impact gacha system. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of “gacha” in video games, look it up before returning here.

How to Roll Gacha in Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact has two different types of gacha to roll on. The first is Character banners. There are two tiers of characters in Genshin Impact, Four and Five-Star characters. Five free-to-play Four-Star characters are gifted to you throughout the tutorial and early story. Sometimes, you can also acquire new 4-Stars for free during special events by completing challenges or stories. However, the vast majority of new 4-Stars and all 5-Stars you will get come through the gacha. The second type of gacha is Weapon banners. By rolling on this type of banner, you have a chance at getting gacha exclusive Four-Star Weapons, as well as limited Five-Stars. The third banner is a mixed banner of non-limited characters and weapons.

So, how do you participate in this gacha system? The main currency used for rolling in Genshin Impact is Primogems. Primos are rewarded to the player for all of the usual progression they make. Sometimes, they are given away during events or as compensation for errors. And of course, Primogems can be purchased for real-life money in the in-game shop via the Crystal Top Up.

Using these Primogems, you can exchange for either Intertwined Fates or Acquaint Fates. The former can be used to roll on the limited time Character Only and Weapon Only banners. As such, they are much more valuable than the latter. Acquaint Fates can only be used to roll on the Mixed Character and Weapon banner which contains no limited units. Usually, you should only use Primogems on the Intertwined Fates.

Now, early on in the game, you will find yourself earning a decent amount of Primogems and Fates just by completing the content. As for what you should use them on, it’s really all up to you. Some people prefer to do research on what characters are the best or most versatile, while others just choose to go for characters that appeal to them in one way or another. As a side note, all of the characters currently on the Limited Character banner can be tested in-game using the Test Run feature in the Events menu.


Genshin Impact is a massive game. Its phenomenal visuals, beautiful music, engaging gameplay, and cast of lovable characters have made it one of the most popular pieces of media to sweep the industry. A game of this size and scope can be a bit overwhelming at first, but there really is something for everyone to enjoy. It’s fine if you don’t understand everything right away. The most important thing is have fun. Take in the scenery, go wherever you please, get lost in the world. There is always time to learn about the more complex aspects of Genshin Impact.

Zakaria Almughrabi
Zakaria Almughrabi

Zakaria is a former professional TF2 player turned caster and analyst. He has had a passion for gaming and esports for years and hopes to use his skills and experience to convey why gaming is so great. His specialty games are League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros, and PUBG.

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