‘Genshin Impact’ starter guide: updated for Version 1.1

Genshin Impact officially went live on the 28th of September, an addictive new MMORPG full of personality. Here’s everything you need to get started.

Genshin Impact mixes its gacha origins with some strong The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild influences to create the ultimate fiesta of luck and skill.

The game features a collection of cute anime girls and boys, a beautiful open world to explore, and plenty of opportunities to polish your combat skills. The game is absolutely free (until you decide to spend money that is) and it’s available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS and PC. Sorry, Xbox and Mac users.

Genshin Impact has always been described as a Breath of the Wild clone with anime aesthetics, which is certainly true. But this is more often a compliment than an insult – it takes some excellent execution to create an experience featuring everything that made Nintendo’s influential game so amazing.

Offering smooth gameplay at the cost of very few drawbacks, it’s hard to resist the allure of this rising MMO.

genshin impact starter guide

Over the first four days it was released, Genshin Impact boasted a staggering 17 million downloads – and that was just on mobile. It’s estimated the game’s developers, miHoYo, have grossed around $50 million on the game already, making it one of 2020’s biggest viral hits.

If you’re not playing yet, you should be. And if you are, here’s what you need to know to get started.

Re-roll guide

No gacha game is complete without a re-roll guide. Gacha games highlight a collection of units which can only be obtained through spending in-game currency, with the high-tiered premium units appearing at a lower rate. Often compared to gambling or loot-boxes, these gacha games have tempted many to empty their wallets.

The act of re-rolling consists of restarting a game to create the ideal starting team, thus creating an account worthy of investing into. However, Genshin Impact has strict policies on the practice, implementing bans on accounts with 5-star rolls yet limited game activity (to prevent selling accounts).

We have estimated the re-roll process to take up to 20 minutes, so it’s a little tedious and hardly recommended for anyone who simply wants to enjoy the gameplay. But we got you covered if you’re ready to enter this gacha-hell.

Or you could just destroy your wallet like this guy:

The requirement for the first 10-roll is completing the first main quest, meaning players will have to ignore all side quests and make a beeline for the primary objectives. We encourage everyone to sprint when possible and use the climbing function to overcome walls (trust us, taking the prescribed scenic route is inefficient). This will guarantee your first 10-roll within 20 minutes.

Newbies are offered four banners to roll from. The beginner banner, the Venti (now Klee) Banner, the weapons banner, and the basic banner. We recommend players to roll from the beginner banner first as it’s discounted and offers a guaranteed 4-star unit.

All newbies are given the premium in-game currency for free so be sure to check your inbox for some sweet rewards.


For optimal efficiency, we suggest players reach Adventure Rank 7 before resetting their accounts. Rank 7 allows the player to gain additional rolls and it only takes around five minutes to level up. We recommend the cooking and mining side quests (which are easy to do) and obtaining the Adventure Handbook from the Adventurer’s Guild for easy experience points.

As 5-star units come at a abysmally low rate of 0.6%, we urge players to give up on re-rolling before it consumes your sanity. The Venti banner becomes the main priority after the beginner banner as it offers a rate-up on 5-star units, but the weapons banner is recommended for players who have completed their ideal team of four.

Levelling guide

As with most MMOPGs, levelling up is crucial as it provides rewards. This can come in the form of adventurer, artifact, character, statue, and weapon levels. As the default protagonist and the guaranteed 4-star, Noelle are great beginner units to kick off your adventure with the bare essentials.

The adventurer level corresponds to your account, dictating the content you can access as the game splits the areas into loose level zones. Adventurer level is greatly raised by completing quests and dungeons, but opening chests and other little things in the field also contribute to this.

We suggest using the Adventure Handbook and visiting the Adventurer’s Guild for bonus quests and rewards.

genshin impact

Artifact and weapons are both equipment which can be improved. There are two ways of doing this: iron ore can be refined into fuel to level up weapons if you complete the blacksmith’s quest, or you can use dropped or rolled equipment as fuel. Most importantly, only consider heavily investing into 4-star plus weapons and saving duplicate ones to ascend them (this upgrades the weapons’ unique effect rather than increasing the stat bonus).

Gacha and MMO rules apply to levelling up characters, meaning they’ll receive experience from consuming tomes that are dropped or given as a reward, but they also receive experience from slaying enemies (most notably, bosses).

As characters become level-capped and require ascension to increase said cap, be sure to not over-invest into any single character.

Statue levels might be something Breath of the Wild fans are familiar with. Spirits are scattered all over the open world, barricaded with simple puzzles which must be solved to access each. Upon offering a certain amount of these spirits to the Statue of Seven, players receive permanents buffs. Be sure to mark these on the map when exploring!

genshin impact

Genshin Impact: gameplay guide

Now that you have your ideal units or you’ve straight given up on re-rolling, it’s time to learn how the game mechanics work. Breath of the Wild fans can rejoice as Genshin Impact is very similar to what they’ll know, but there are also some distinctive, more traditional RPG features that don’t exist in the Zelda games.

Remember, you have four characters to switch in and out of instantly, allowing for combo plays.

Combat is very important and every player should at least know the basics. The elements have a huge a impact in this game, with interactions making or breaking your team composition.

It’s advised that your team of four is balanced as you won’t ever stick with a single character — the game encourages you to switch and combo your elements together (much like weapon switching in Breath of the Wild). Thankfully, the game bookmarks and alerts you each time you find a new interaction.

For instance, Cryo + Hydro = Frozen, working on enemies as well as the environment.

Players should also be looking to combo their abilities to produce higher DPS. The cooldown animation between your basic attacks allows for skills to be weaved in, meaning a stream of left clicking can be alternated by a quick E or Q.

Furthermore, Genshin Impact isn’t a mindless hack-and-slash, so you should definitely be watching your opponents. Right clicking allows you to dodge attacks, encouraging a hit-and-run style of play.

Dungeons have recommended elements and require specific interactions to conquer. Bosses also have determined resistances and weaknesses, but even field mobs can be invincible if you use an element they’re immune to. Always be on the lookout to switch up your characters. The game always prompts enemy weak points and hints, so be sure to pay attention to these alerts.

The key takeaway here is that this game is beautifully designed and can be played even without the high-tiered units. Luck is a skill but skill is also a skill – play the way that suits you best and, most importantly, have fun.

New Banner: Klee

Out now! Replacing the Venti Banner, Genshin Impact players will now have increased chances of rolling Klee instead. Banner features receive doubled rates, granting players a 50% chance of scoring Klee within the first 90 rolls. If not, she becomes guaranteed so you’ll be getting her on the 180th roll in the worst case scenario.

genshin impact

This new character is a Pyro (fire) element character that functions as a support damage unit. As a ‘mage’ who throws bombs far and wide, her DPS will be highly situational. This means that whilst her raw damage will still be beneath Diluc (the other 5 star Pyro unit), the utilisation of her skills will be the key to maximising her damage output.

For instance, a Venti whirlwind would be an easy way to generate some massive Pyro + Swirl damage as it sweeps up Klee’s scattered bombs into a single location. The trick will be manipulating enemies into suffering the full brunt of her low accuracy attacks.

Version 1.1

After a hugely successful first couple of months, miHoYo have outlined the details of their first major Genshin Impact content patch which went live on November 11th. There’s a ton of new goodies coming to the game, but here’s the top-line info.

A total of four new playable characters are included, including two new 5-star characters. “Childe” is the first, a Hydro archer who’s able to easily switch between ranged and melee combat modes. The second is Zhongli, a Geo polearm user with the ability to turn enemies into stone, inflict large quantities of area-of-effect damage, and comes equipped with a toolkit of defence focused abilities.

The remaining two newcomers are 4-star characters, Xinyan and Diona, offering Genshin Impact players even more options when it comes to diversifying their parties.

Version 1.1 also introduced a new major questline to the game, including the conclusion to the Liyue story arc many players will have encountered in the main game.

Also included in the first major Genshin Impact update are a brand new city reputation system with region-specific rewards to unlock, a seasonal event named Unreconciled Stars, and PS5 compatibility meaning improved graphics and faster load times.

genshin impact version 1.1

Download Genshin Impact for free on the official site.