The Beginner’s Guide To Genshin Impact

The Beginner’s Guide To Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact is a complex game.

Genshin Impact is the latest JRPG taking the world by storm. While its gacha-based microtransactions system has turned a lot of people off, there’s still plenty to love about the game. Despite comparisons to Breath of the Wild and criticisms for being a free-to-play title, Genshin Impact has defied expectations to become a surprise hit. It’s fun, very pretty and filled with loveable characters.

If you’re looking to get into the game, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you get started. The game is fairly good at explaining its narrative and gameplay but there are also some systems you’ll need to figure out for yourself.

Here’s everything you should know about Genshin Impact to enjoy the game to its fullest extent.

Forget the comparisons to Breath of the Wild

Genshin Impact first made headlines after its reveal at ChinaJoy 2019, with fans decrying it as a straight Breath of the Wild clone. While its landscapes and some elements of gameplay take inspiration from the award-winning Zelda game, direct comparisons are unfair.

Outside of Genshin Impact‘s wide open world and climbing mechanics, it’s very much its own game. The robust narrative, anime art style and quest-based system is also worlds away from Breath of the Wild. Even if its marketing leaned heavily into Zelda, the game looks and feels completely original.

The game’s microtransactions are unnecessary

Despite Genshin Impact operating on a free-to-play model, its microtransactions aren’t intrusive or needed to play the entire game. If you want, you can dip into your wallet to purchase ‘Fates’ which operate the weapon and character gacha system, but all you’ll get is slightly better items, new characters and some handy objects. None of them are crucial to the game.

You can find out more about the game’s gacha system here:

You’ll need to stock up on cooked meals

genshin impact guide kaeya

Your first priority in Genshin Impact should be foraging for food and cooking meals. These meals restore your HP and they’re super fun to cook, too.

If you come across a campfire in your travels, you’ll be able to create extravagant meals on it. For the first few times you cook a meal, you’ll play a fun reaction-based cooking mini-game. After that, you can auto-cook food and stock up on supplies for your journey. Sometimes you’ll go a long way without meeting a healing statue, so stock up on food when you can.

Level up your characters and weapons ASAP

As you journey in Genshin Impact, you’ll gain experience from fighting and exploring. The game won’t tell you when you can level up, though. Instead, you’ll need to periodically check on your characters and see if you can advance them to the next level.

To see if your characters can level up, do the following:

  • Head to the main menu
  • Select ‘Characters’ and and click into your chosen character’s menu
  • Navigate to ‘Attributes’ then select ‘Level Up’
  • Add as many items as you’re able to level up your character

To level up your weapons, follow a similar process:

  • Head to the main menu
  • Select ‘Characters’ and and click into your chosen character’s menu
  • Navigate to ‘Weapons’ and select ‘Enhance’
  • Add as many items as you’re able to level up your character

Check this frequently to make sure your EXP isn’t going to waste.

Equip artifacts for greater fighting power

genshin impact microtransactions

As you explore the world (or open Fates) you’ll discover special items known as artifacts. These can be equipped to your player for added attack, defence and ranged stats. Each character will have five unique slots, with only one artifact from each category being equippable per character.

Make sure you remember to equip these artifacts when you stumble upon them. Some of them are very powerful and can make a massive difference during battles.

To equip artefacts, head to the character menu and attach them to your chosen character.

Collect everything you see

There’s plenty to find in the world of Genshin Impact, whether it’s just fruit from a nearby tree or slime from a wandering goo enemy. Each item is used in some kind of recipe or for strengthening your equipment so if you see something shiny, your best bet is to grab it. Your inventory is massive, so you’ll be able to store nearly everything you see — and you should.

Focus on building your Adventurer’s Rank

Your Adventurer’s Rank is built as you explore the world of Genshin Impact, take on quests and uncover new treasures. It marks how much experience you have and also prevents you from accessing certain higher quality items and weaponry. If you want to get the best upgrades and unlock more items in the shop, you’ll have to focus on exploring new turf, completing quests and building your rank.

This rank also unlocks a secondary feature for Genshin Impact: co-op. To earn it, you’ll need to spend several hours exploring the game.

You’ll need to grind to unlock co-op

Screenshot: Genshin Impact
Screenshot: Genshin Impact

While the first 5-10 hours of Genshin Impact are a fairly lonely solo experience, the game does actually contain multiplayer co-op (2-4 players). First, you’ll need to be a significant way into the story and be at Adventurer’s Rank Level 16.

Once you’ve hit that magic number, you can jump into the story with friends. They won’t be able to collect rewards from the game unless they’re the host, but you’ll all be able to explore and fight creatures together.

It’s a fun (if a little limited) way to waste a few hours with mates and it’s well worth unlocking even if you have to grind to do it.

Have any tips for your fellow Kotaku Australia readers? Want to share your experiences with Genshin Impact so far? Pop on down to the comments below and share your best advice.


  • I think for me the biggest beginner tip is that the Statue of The Seven, will heal your party members with a resource that regenerates over time. the default is up to 50% but you can change that to 100% (“Statue’s Blessing” on my IPad is the second option when interacting with the statue)

    also I wouldn’t say the microtransactions are unnecessary, while it’s true you’ll get some characters for free, a lot are still locked behind the “loot boxes”. that said you don’t have to spend money. you can find tiny amounts of Primogems everywhere, from opening chest to completing quests…. and like a lot of gatcha games, save for the x10 when doing Wish, don’t buy single ones

    lastly a fully maxed 3 star weapon will beat a single rank 4 star weapon so don’t discount the hundreds of 3 star weapons you’re likely going to be getting.

  • On levels, don’t be too obsessed about it, especially if you’re under Adventure Rank 15 because level 20 will be your max until then. The thing you should focus on is having the proper gear and synergies with both other party members and enemy elements. Skill plays a big part too as it allows you to dodge attacks that would otherwise do a lot of damage. For most of the game until AR15 you can easily take on most enemies 10 or so levels above you with rank 1, 3 or 4 star equipment.

    What you want to focus on is making sure you have gear with the right percentage stat boosts. For your physical damage dealers you want crit rate, attack and effects that boost your ability to do damage. For your healer (if you have her) you want HP, DEF, ability cooldowns and effects that provide additional buffs. (Like the one that gives an attack boost when switching) For your magic damage you want to focus more on ability cooldown and element power.

    Only certain artifact slots give you percentage boosts though with the others being flat. However, there are artifacts that give you a secondary stat increase and you want those to be percentages too. This gives you bigger stat boosts and all the levelling does is gives you a better base number to multiply by.

    Until AR15, enhancing your gear is far more useful than leveling because it increases those percentage bonuses which give better stat gains than levels alone. Once you hit AR15, that’s when you should finish leveling to 20 so you can ascend your characters and then everything should be focussing on continuing the ascension climb and tuning your stats through better gear.

    Oh and an extra tip is to make sure you do your daily run through the ley lines. They’re relatively quick and give you a bunch of exp (character and AR), drops, and experience items.

    Another important one is to level up the statues. This gives you more stamina and a bunch of other super useful boosts.

    • Some additional tips:
      Keep an eye on the Events tab. You will be able to get a bunch of free stuff through these.

      Check your mail. You’ll often get free stuff.

      If you’re about to fall off a cliff, hold down the attack button and you will do a dive slam that take a bit of HP but won’t kill you as the fall normally would.

      Focus on one party at first so you aren’t juggling leveling up too many things.

      In a bit of a contradiction to my previous post, don’t level using boost items if you don’t have ascension materials. You’re just going to waste the char exp you get from quests and the like. As I said, gear will make you much stronger than leveling will.

      Explore everywhere. Like Breath of the Wild, curiosity is often rewarding. There are lots of little mini-puzzles or simply just odd things waiting for you check them out.

  • Big tip from me: Before you enter the Liyue region, start using

    There are 131 geoculus collectibles and you need ALL OF THEM to unlock the nine pillars quest and max out your stamina. Unfortunately, once you’ve collected a hundred and finally turn to a map to find the rest, you won’t be able to tell which ones you’ve collected and forgotten, and which ones you just can’t find and need to look harder. Especially when some are only unlocked through quests and puzzles and won’t show up on your minimap until you do.

    I have 4 left to go and it is going to be a massive fucking pain in my ass to hunt them down.

  • Playing a game which censors the words falun gong, taiwan and hong kong doesn’t sit right with me.
    But we all draw our own lines in the sand I suppose.

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