Genshin Impact

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Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact logo.png
Composer(s)Yu-Peng Chen
  • Windows, PS4, Android, iOS
  • September 28, 2020
  • Switch
  • TBA
Genre(s)Action role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Genshin Impact[1] is a free-to-play action role-playing game developed and published by miHoYo.[2][3] The game features a fantasy-based open world environment and action based battle system, using elemental magic, character switching and uses gacha game monetization for players to obtain new characters, weapons, and other resources.[4][5] The game features a limited multiplayer mode allowing up to four players to play together.[6] It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Android and iOS on September 28, 2020.[7] The game is also planned for the Nintendo Switch,[8] but no release date has been announced.[9]

Genshin Impact takes place in the fictional world of Teyvat, which is home to several nations. Each nation is with an element and worships a god associated with that element. A pair of twins arrive on Teyvat in the distant past but are barred from leaving by an unknown god. After trapping one, she seals the other for some time. After the sealed twin, referred to as the Traveler, awakens, they travel across Teyvat with their newfound companion, Paimon, to look for their twin. The game received a generally positive reception, with critics praising the combat and open-world freedom, while some criticism was raised at its monetization. The game grossed over $100 million in twelve days, recouping its entire budget.


The player may freely explore an open-world map with tools. The green gauge displays the character's health and current level.

Genshin Impact is an open world action role-playing game that features the player controlling one of four interchangeable characters in a party. Switching between characters can be done quickly and during combat, allowing the player to use several different combinations of skills and attacks at once.[10] Characters may have their strengths enhanced in various ways, such as increasing a character's level and improving artifacts and the weapons that the character equips.[11] In addition to exploration, the player can attempt various challenges for rewards. Scattered across Teyvat are highly powerful enemies and domains that reward highly valuable resources, but claiming them uses up a currency called resin, which slowly regenerates over time.[12] Completing these challenges grants the player progress towards increasing their Adventure Rank, which in turn unlocks new quests, challenges, and raises the World Level.[13] The World Level is a measure of how strong the enemies within the world are and the rarity of rewards that defeating them gives.[14]

The player can control their character and perform actions such as running, climbing, swimming, and gliding.[15] These actions are limited by stamina, which is the same for each character, but can be improved.[16] Some characters possess abilities that can alter the environment, such as creating updrafts[17] or freezing water[18] that can aid the player in traversing terrain. Many teleportation nodes exist throughout the world that players can warp to,[19] and some unique statues heal and revive characters[20] as well as provide benefits such as increasing player stamina if the proper item is offered.[21] Items such as food and ore may be procured from the open world, while enemies and treasure chests drop other types of resources that may be used in enhancing a character's strength. Players can obtain food from hunting animals, gathering wild fruit and vegetables, or purchasing them from a store. Most ingredients can be cooked into a dish. Some meals regenerate characters' health, while others boost various statistics.[22] Mining can be done by attacking and destroying mining nodes to produce ore,[23] though certain characters' attacks will be more effective in procuring ore.[24] Ore can be refined and then used to enhance weapon strength or create weapons.[25]

Each character has two unique combat skills: an elemental skill and an elemental burst. The elemental skill can be used at any time except for the cooldown period immediately after use.[26] In contrast, the elemental burst has an energy cost, requiring the user to amass sufficient elemental energy by defeating enemies or inflicting elemental statuses.[27][28] Characters have control over one of seven natural elements: Cryo, Dendro, Pyro, Hydro, Anemo, Electro and Geo, which correspond to ice, nature, fire, water, air, electricity, and earth respectively.[29] These elements can interact in different ways; for example, if a Hydro attack hits a target, the enemy will be inflicted with the "Wet" status, and if they are hit with a Cryo attack, it will inflict "Cold."[30] These two statuses combine into the "Frozen" status, temporarily preventing the target from performing any actions or until the player deals enough physical damage to the enemy.[31] Switching between characters during combat and executing those skills allows those elemental interactions to take place. Certain elemental abilities may be required to solve puzzles within the overworld.[32]

A multiplayer mode is available in the form of co-op. Up to 4 players can play together in the overworld and join domains.[33] Player matching can either be done by requesting to connect with another player. If the player wishes to clear a domain with other players, they will be automatically matched up with others looking to tackle the same objective.[34] The game features cross-platform play, so players on any platform can play with each other.[35]

By completing quests to advance the story, the player can unlock three additional playable characters,[36] and other characters can be obtained via a gacha mechanic.[37] Several premium in-game currencies, obtainable through in-app purchases, and playing the game, can be used to obtain characters and weapons through the gacha system.[38]



Genshin Impact takes place on the island of Teyvat, which is divided into several nations and regions: Mondstadt, Liyue, Inazuma, Sumeru, Fontaine, Natlan, Snezhnaya, and Khaenri'ah. Currently, players can only visit Mondstadt and Liyue. Mondstadt, known as the city of freedom, worships Barbatos, the Anemo Archon, and sits on an island in the middle of a lake. Mondstadt's region occupies the northeastern half of the map, and in the southeastern half of the map lies the nation of Liyue, which worships the Geo Archon Rex Lapis and is the largest market harbor in Teyvat. Each country takes inspiration from a real-world region, incorporating regional aesthetics. Mondstadt uses central European influences while Liyue uses many common Chinese elements, such as the Stone Forest.

Each nation is associated with and worships an Archon, of which there are seven. Each Archon is tied to one of the game's elements, reflected in their nation's aspect. An Archon's strength is tied to how firmly they control their region. Specific individuals chosen by the Archons are given a Vision — magical gemstones that give their bearers the ability to command an element. In gameplay, each playable character (except the Traveler) is a Vision wielder.


The game starts as two twins traveling across the stars who arrive in Teyvat and find that it is ablaze with war fires. However, as they attempt to leave, they encounter and fight a mysterious god. The god captures one of the twins and seals away the other one, depending on the player's choice. Some undisclosed amount of time later, the sealed twin, referred to as the 'Traveler,' awakens and meets Paimon while fishing. Soon after they encounter a dragon named Stormterror, who later attacks the town of Mondstadt. After saving the township, the Traveler meets Jean, the acting leader of the Knights of Favonius, and joins the Knights to help restore the region's stability. It is discovered that the dragon's name is Dvalin and that he was once a guardian of Mondstadt. The Traveler encounters a bard named Venti, who is actually Barbatos, the archon presiding over Mondstadt. Venti develops a plan to quell Dvalin's rage, for which they need to steal a holy lyre, that by playing it to Dvalin would calm his anger. However, they are beaten to it by a member of the Fatui, a group of diplomatic agents from the nation of Snezhnaya, and are framed for the robbery. The Traveler and Venti take refuge with bar owner Diluc, reuniting with Jean, who is working unofficially with the group to avoid damaging diplomatic relations with Snezhnaya and the Fatui, who wish to see Dvalin killed. The group retrieves the lyre from a nearby Fatui hideout and repairs it. Venti plays the lyre to summon Dvalin, but it is revealed he is under the influences of the Abyss Mages, sorcerers who are a part of the Abyss Order that despise humanity. The group pursues Dvalin to his hideout and frees him from the Abyss Mages' influence. After returning the lyre, the Traveler and Venti are ambushed by a group of Fatui and their elite envoy, La Signora. Venti's Gnosis, a conduit that allows Venti to use magic, is stolen.

The Traveler resolves to meet all seven of the archons to find their sibling's whereabouts and the unknown god. Venti advises the Traveler to travel to Liyue next to meet Rex Lapis, the god presiding over the city. However, Rex Lapis is assassinated during a ritual, and the Traveler is suspected of killing them. The Traveler is rescued by a member of the Fatui who reveals himself to be named 'Childe', belonging to the Harbingers, of which La Signora belongs to as well. Traveler, at Childe's behest, goes to petition the adepti, spiritual guardians of Liyue, for help. Once they return they discover that the body of Rex Lapis has been hidden away for unknown reasons. Childe arranges for the Traveler to meet with Zhongli, whom the Traveler aides in helping prepare the funeral for the fallen archon in order to see the body. After making preparations they receive an invitation to meet Ningguang, who oversaw the ritual and is one of the commerce leaders within Liyue.


Genshin Impact was developed by the Shanghai-based studio miHoYo, who announced in June 2019.[39][40] The game's developers sought to create a game that was distinct from Honkai Impact 3rd in terms of its quest and combat systems as well as its random events and mode of exploration.[41] The game had a development and marketing budget of around $100 million.[42] Two closed beta tests were held, the first in June 2019[43] and the last in July 2020.[44] It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Android, and iOS on September 28, 2020, and features cross-platform play between them.[45]

Musicians and staff of HOYO-MiX, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra created the music for Genshin Impact.[46]


On October 12, 2020, miHoYo announced a series of events and content updates heading to the game in upcoming patches.[47] These content updates, as well as additional ones in the future, are planned to be implemented into the game every six weeks.[47]

Patch Release date Notes
1.0 September 28, 2020 Initial release of the game, included the 'Elemental Crucible' event.[48]
1.1 November 11, 2020 Includes the 'Unreconciled Stars' event.[49]
1.2 December 23, 2020 Adds an additional area, Dragonspine, and an event related with it.[49]
1.3 February 2021 Includes the 'Lantern Rite' event series.[49]


Genshin Impact is available in several languages, with voiceovers in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and English.[50][51] Genshin Impact takes a different title in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, being simply shortened to the first word of the international title (i.e., Yuánshén 原神 in Chinese, Genshin 原神 in Japanese and Wonsin 원신 in Korean). The different pronunciations reflect the local way of pronouncing the original Chinese title, which means "primordial gods."


Aggregate score
MetacriticPC: 83/100[52]
PS4: 80/100[53]
Review scores
Game Informer9.25/10[55]
Hardcore Gamer4/5[57]
PC Gamer (US)84/100[61]
Pocket Gamer4.5/5 stars[60]

Genshin Impact received "generally favorable reviews" according to review aggregator Metacritic.[52][53] The open world of Teyvat drew praise; IGN's Travis Northup described Teyvat as "a world that is absolutely bursting at the seams with possibilities."[58] Game Informer describes the game as an incredible experience, noting that "the gameplay loop of collection, upgrading, and customization is captivating and compelling",[55] Destructoid's Chris Carter called the combat system "one of the most interesting things about Genshin Impact".[54] The game's similarities to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sparked controversy at 2019's ChinaJoy convention among some fans of Breath of the Wild.[62] In contrast, The Washington Post wrote that the game wore its inspiration from Breath of the Wild "proudly".[63]

Most of the criticisms about Genshin Impact come from the endgame aspects of the game, particularly the resin system.[64] Paul Tassi of Forbes noted that to progress past a certain point one must "spend an absurd amount of money to get around the last few timegates of the game."[65] PC Gamer said that playing the endgame becomes "a slog", and that the resin system "feels so unnecessary".[66]


Prior to its release the game saw 21.3 million registrations, 16 million of which being China. According to some, Genshin Impact was the biggest international release of any Chinese video game.[42][67]

During the week of its release, Genshin Impact saw over 17 million downloads and grossed approximately $60 million.[67] Within two weeks, it was estimated that the game had grossed over $100 million, recouping its budget.[68] Its largest revenue came from China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.[69]

Controversy and censorship[edit]

When the game was released to the public, players discovered that the game's kernel-based anti-cheat system would remain active after the game was closed or uninstalled,[70] which raised concerns that the game had installed spyware.[71] Some Japanese players using iOS devices also observed that the game read the contents of players' clipboards while starting up.[72] The official announced both issues have been addressed and fixed.[73]

On October 6, 2020, journalist and Twitch streamer Kazuma Hashimoto published a video on social media site Twitter demonstrating how Chinese political terms such as "Hong Kong" and "Taiwan" are censored within the in-game chat.[74] As the developer of the game, miHoYo, is based in China, they are subject to China's censorship policy, which includes complying with a list of banned words that cannot be used in game or via chat.[74] Other terms not related to Chinese politics are banned as well, such as "Putin", "Hitler", and "Stalin".[75] Several threads on the game's subreddit discussed the censorship, with various users noting that innocuous terms such as "enemies" and "words" were also being censored.[76]


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External links[edit]