Genshin Impact Beginner’s Guide

Genshin Impact is a pretty big game. Here is the ultimate Genshin Impact beginner's guide to get you started right away.

There’s no better time to start playing Genshin Impact than the present.

After all, the game just keeps getting bigger and better with each new update. In a way, we envy all players who are just now getting into the game after it has already received loads of new quests, quality of life fixes, and even whole new explorable regions.

But as with most RPGs, the game throws a lot at you from the get-go. And honestly, the amount of information and game mechanics you’re expected to remember all at once can be intimidating. So here’s a list of everything you need to know as a beginner to Genshin Impact.

Table of ContentsShow

Everything Levels Up Separately

Genshin Impact Release Date

In most RPGs, you just need to level up your character. Weapons and gear typically have levels, but their levels are set in stone.

Not in Genshin Impact, though.

In Genshin Impact, you level everything up separately.

The following are the major aspects that require separate leveling or unlocking, while all being intrinsically linked:

  • Adventure Rank
  • World Level
  • Character Level
  • Character Talents
  • Character Constellations
  • Weapon Levels
  • Artifact Levels

So let’s take a look at how all these separate aspects of the game are leveled and what rewards they yield.

Adventure Rank

How to Get Characters in Genshin Impact

First of all, you have your Adventure Rank (AR). If it helps, you can think of this as your Account Level. You increase your AR by completing Quests, doing Daily Commissions, or anything that costs Resin (we’ll explain Resin a bit later).

Many game systems are locked behind certain Adventure Ranks. The following table shows you which game systems you unlock at certain Adventure Ranks:

ARGame System
8Ley Line Outcrops (Character Exp Books)
12Ley Line Outcrops (Gold)
Daily Commissions
14Expeditions
16Co-Op Mode
Domains of Forgery (Weapon Ascension Materials)
20Spiral Abyss
Battle Pass
22Domains of Blessing (Artifacts)
25Reputation
26Story Keys
27Domains of Mastery (Talent Level-Up Materials)
35Serenitea Pot (Housing System)
35Fishing

Our advice is to race to AR12 as soon as possible, as this will let you spend Resin on Leylines to level up more characters and do Daily Commissions for free Primogems needed to obtain new characters.

World Level

Genshin Impact Tier List

Once your AR is high enough, you can increase your World Level (WL). Doing this will make all enemies in the open world stronger, but it will also increase the quality of their loot.

You start the game at WL 0. It automatically ascends to WL 1 at AR20. Thereafter, you can increase World Level once every 5 Adventure Ranks. World Levels cap out at WL8 which you ascend to at AR55.

Your World Level will determine how high you can level up your characters and their talents. You could, technically, opt out of increasing the World Level at several stages, but we don’t recommend this.

So long as you spend your resources wisely (which will be easy if you follow our advice), you won’t have trouble dealing enough DMG to higher-level enemies. And besides, the drawback of getting worse loot is hugely detrimental.

 Characters – How To Spend Your Resources?

Genshin Impact Free Characters

You can put any 4 characters into your active team, but the game features over 50 of them. And each character needs to be leveled up individually.

You level up characters by giving them Character EXP Materials (EXP Books). They receive a miniscule amount of EXP by killing enemies, but you would need several lifetimes of grinding to level up a single character using this method.

At levels 20, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 you also have to ascend your characters before you can continue to level them up further. Ascensions are locked behind World Levels. They also require gold and specific materials, some of which can only be obtained by beating World Bosses.

The game doesn’t give you enough resources to level up all of your characters! Even players who sink enormous amounts of money into the game need to carefully consider which characters they want to prioritize.

So for beginners, we recommend sticking to just one or two characters. Our Genshin Impact Tier List will let you know which characters are most worthwhile sinking resources into.

The longer you play, the more resources you’ll get to level up your other characters and weapons. But for beginners, spreading your limited resources too thin is a real problem. Invest heavily into your main DPS, and give other characters the gear they have outgrown.

Talents

Leveling up characters only increases their base stats. If you want them to hit harder, you have to level their talents. The three talents you can level up are Attack, Elemental Skill, and Elemental Burst. Needless to say, you level them all up separately. This also requires some materials, most notably Talent Books.

Not all character get equal value from all talents. If you’re unsure which talents to prioritize, we recommend reading our build guides for characters you’re interested in. In these guides, we cover talent priority, constellation value, best weapon and artifact choices, and recommend some ream composition for both beginners with very few 4* characters and advanced players with plenty of 5* ones.

Luckily, you can’t farm Talent Books before AR 27, so this isn’t something you can mess up as a total beginner. By the time you reach AR 27, you should have a solid grasp on how things work.

Constellations – What Happens When You Get A Character Duplicate?

When you get a duplicate of a character you already own, you can unlock their constellations for some added perks. Sometimes it’s just an incremental power-up, but sometimes you get whole new mechanics that unlock different play styles.

Certain characters have constellations that are complete game-changers, while some have utterly useless constellations that can’t even be considered consolation prizes. Before deciding to pull for duplicates of characters, make sure their constellations are worth it.

Additionally, while some 5* characters have incredible first constellations designed to make you try and obtain their duplicates, we don’t recommend you ever do this as a beginner. No constellation offers enough value to match a brand new 5* character, but it will cost you the same amount of resources.

Weapons

Genshin Impact Weapon

You also have to level up each weapon individually. This uses either weapons you don’t need as fodder or Enhancement Ore that you can craft or get as quest and event rewards. Weapons also need to be ascended at the same levels as characters.

Not all weapons are created equal, and since you don’t have enough resources to level them all, it’s best to check out our Weapon Tier List to see which ones are worth investing in. Unlike most other Tier Lists of its kind on the Internet that only take 5* and 4* weapons into consideration, we made sure to rank all 3* weapons as well so that even beginner F2P players can get maximum value out of it.

Artifacts

Best Artifacts For Each Character In Genshin Impact

Next to weapons, artifacts serve as the main equipable items. They also need to be leveled up individually by spending unwanted artifacts. Only here, the level cap is significantly lower. For 1* artifacts, it caps out at level 4 and goes up by 4 levels for every additional rank. So for 5* artifacts, the level cap is 20.

Artifacts can be incredibly confusing, so if you want to know more about them, check out this guide on the best artifacts for each character. Truth be told, artifacts aren’t all that important at the beginning of the game, but they only grow more and more relevant with each World Level.

In any case, it’s NOT recommended to grind for artifacts until you reach at least AR 45. This is because you can’t get 5* artifacts before this point, and all non-5* artifacts will become useless fodder after this point. In other words, all the resources you’ve spent leveling up 3* or 4* artifacts will be wasted when the time comes to start grinding for 5* artifacts.

Until this point, your resources will be much better spent getting your characters and their talents and weapons leveled up. Artifact grinding really is the name of the game past AR 45, so it’s best to have everything else handled prior to this point.

Resin – What Is It And Why You Should Care!

Genshin Impact Resin

Similar to many F2P mobile games, Genshin Impact features a Stamina system that limits how much meaningful progression you can get each day. In this game, this is known as Resin.

You gain 1 Resin every 8 minutes until you reach the 160 Resin cap. You expend Resin to collect rewards from Ley Lines (20 Resin), Domains (20 Resin), World Bosses (40 Resin), and Weekly Bosses (30 Resin for first 3 Bosses, then 60 Resin per Boss).

You can progress far through the game’s story and play for many days without needing to expending any Resin at all. If you’re just here to play through the story and move onto the next game, this is fine. If you care about efficiency, this is bad.

The sooner you start spending it, the more you’ll be able to level up and ascent your characters and weapons.

However, try and save up your Fragile Resin. Fragile Resin is a consumable which will restore 60 Resin. The game hands out loads of Fragile Resin early, but later on, it becomes a rare commodity. This Resin is best spent after AR 45, when you start grinding for artifacts.

Collect Anemoculi And Geoculi

Genshin Impact map

All sorts of collectibles will draw your attention away from the main quest once you start playing Genshin Impact. Oculi are easily the most important ones!

Collecting Anemoculi in Mondstadt and offering it to the Statue of the Seven will increase your stamina. So if you want to climb higher, sprint further, glide longer, and so on be sure to prioritize collecting Oculi.

Once you get to Liyue, Anemoculi will be replaced with Geoculi, but both serve the same purpose.

Electroculi found in Inazuma don’t increase stamina, but you’re no longer a beginner once you get to Inazuma.

The Electroculi in Inazuma instead provide a fair amount of Primogems. While Primogems are the most valuable currency in the game, they aren’t as important as the other Oculi since they don’t contribute toward your Stamina cap.

If you’re having trouble finding these collectibles, try using the official Genshin Impact Interactive Map. It can be used to find the location of all collectible objects in the game, including chests.

Elements And Elemental Reactions

Genshin Impact Elements

Each playable character in Genshin Impact holds mastery over one of the Seven Elements:

  • Pyro (Fire)
  • Hydro (Water)
  • Anemo (Wind)
  • Electro (Electricity)
  • Cryo (Ice)
  • Geo (Earth)
  • Dendo

We know that Dendro will focus on Flora, but it’s not in the game yet so we don’t wish to add potentially misleading descriptions.

When an enemy (or you!) gets hit by any element other than Anemo, they get marked by that Element’s status effect. On their own, these statuses do either nothing or very little, but when an enemy already afflicted by one element gets hit by another element, it will proc an Elemental Reaction. For example, applying Cryo to an enemy already afflicted with Hydro will Freeze the enemy.

Elemental Reactions are easy to use (you will proc several of them without even trying or understanding how they work) but difficult to master for maximum effect.

Here is a brief overview of all the Elemental Reactions:

First ElementSecond ElementElemental Reaction
PyroHydroVaporize
Deals ×1.5 Pyro DMG.
Pyro ElectroOverloaded
Deals AoE Pyro DMG and triggers an explosion.
Pyro CryoMelt
Deals ×2 Pyro DMG.
Pyro DendroBurning
Deals continuous Pyro DMG.
HydroPyroVaporize
Deals ×2 Hydro DMG.
Hydro ElectroElectro-Charged
Deals Electro DMG that can jump to nearby Wet targets. Each instance of damage briefly stuns the target.
Hydro CryoFrozen
Freezes the target.
ElectroPyroOverloaded
Deals AoE Pyro DMG and triggers an explosion.
Electro HydroElectro-Charged
Deals Electro DMG that can jump to nearby Wet targets. Each instance of damage briefly stuns the target.
Electro CryoSuperconduct
Deals AoE Cryo DMG and reduces the target’s Physical DMG Resistance by 40% for 12 seconds.
AnemoPyro, Hydro, Electro, or CryoSwirl
Spreads Elemental Statuses onto nearby enemies, doing both Anemo DMG and Elemental DMG of the corresponding Element.
CryoPyroMelt
Deals ×1.5 Cryo DMG.
Cryo HydroFrozen
Freezes the target.
Cryo ElectroSuperconduct
Deals AoE Cryo DMG and reduces the target’s Physical DMG Resistance by 40% for 12 seconds.
GeoPyro, Hydro, Electro, or CryoCrystallize
Creates an elemental crystal that can be picked up to get a Shield of the corresponding element.

Elemental Mastery is the most important stat for determining how powerful Elemental Reactions are. It’s important to note that only the stats of the character who applies the 2nd Element are used to calculate damage.

Elemental Resonance – Picking The Right Team Members

Genshin Impact Codes (Free Primogens and Mora)

As a beginner, you will only have enough resources to properly focus on one or two characters, but you’ll still want to use four characters in your line-up. Even if some of them are level 1, they will serve a purpose just by being there if they can activate Elemental Resonances.

When your line-up features at least two characters belonging to the same element, you will get an Elemental Resonance – a party-wide buff that can have some powerful effect.

Having four characters all with different elements also gives a resonance. This way, you can get a lot of value out of certain underleveled characters just by keeping them in your party.

Here is the list of all Elemental Resonances:

RequirementBuff
2 Pyro charactersFervent Flames
Affected by Cryo for 40% less time. Increases ATK by 25%.
2 Hydro charactersSoothing Water
Affected by Pyro for 40% less time. Increases incoming healing by 30%.
2 Anemo charactersImpetuous Wind
Decreases Stamina Consumption by 15%. Increases Movement Speed by 10%. Shortens Skill Cooldown by 5%.
2 Electro charactersHigh Voltage
Affected by Hydro 40% less time. Superconduct, Overload, and Electro-Charged have a 100% chance to generate an Electro Elemental Particle (Cooldown: 5s).
2 Cryo CharactersShattering Ice
Affected by Electro 40% less time. Increases CRIT Rate against opponents that are Frozen or affected by Cryo by 15%.
2 Geo CharactersEnduring Rock
Increases shield strength by 15%. Additionally, characters protected by shield will have the following special characteristics: DMG dealt increases by 15%, dealing DMG to enemies will decrease their Geo RES by 20% for 15s.
Any 4 unique elementsProtective Canopy
All Elemental RES +15%, Physical RES +15%.

How To Break Enemy Shields?

Genshin Impact Weapon Tier List

Certain enemies will protect themselves with elemental shields.

Some shields only absorb a portion of the damage, but others negate all damage entirely. In either case, you’ll want to focus on destroying the shield. To do this, you’ll need to attack it with other elements. Geo shields are the exception, as the most effective weapon against them is either the same Element (Geo) or a good old Claymore.

How F2P Is The Game Really?

Paimons Bargains

Every game wants to get a hold of your wallet. In this sense, free-to-play games can be more expensive than games that only require an initial one-time purchase. Sure, it costs $60 to buy Ghosts of Tsushima, but once you buy it you’re done. And if you can get it at a discount, that’s even better.

But free-to-play games try to squeeze you dry at every opportunity. That said, they don’t all go about it in the same way. Whereas many F2P games severely limit your progress unless you pay up, Genshin Impact gives you all the tools needed to beat all of its content.

You get at least one character of every Element and every Weapon type. These characters have been put to the test and they can be used for even the most difficult content in the game.

The game still incentivizes you to spend, especially by locking some amazing weapons behind the $10 Battle Pass, but it won’t make the content unbeatable or even frustratingly difficult if you’re entirely F2P. The same does not apply to the Spiral Abyss, which is frustratingly difficult even for players who spend money in the game to clear quickly enough to receive all rewards.

You can earn Primogems – the currency needed to obtain new characters – by doing daily commissions, getting achievements, exploring the map, participating in events, and using redeemable codes. We’ve even done some calculations to help you figure out exactly how many Primogems F2P players can get.

So even as an entirely F2P player, you can still get the most powerful S-Tier 5* characters if you’re wise about spending your Primogems. To learn how you can get the characters you want, check out this guide.

In-Game Currencies

Genshin Impact has a ridiculous number of in-game currencies, all to prevent you from figuring out the real-life cost of in-game items. The following chart will break down all these currencies.

CurrencyExplanation
PrimogemsPrimogems are the most important currency in the game. They’re used to purchases Fates for 160 Primogems each.
FatesFates are used to wish for weapons and/or characters on gacha (banners). There are two types of Fates.
Acquainted Fate: used for the non-rotating standard banner characters and weapons.
Intertwined Fate: used for the rotating limited character and weapon banners.
Masterless StardustWhenever you receive a 3* weapon on a banner you will get some Stardust. Stardust can be exchanged for various rare resources.
Most importantly, every month you can purchase up to 5 Acquainted Fates and 5 Intertwined Fates using Stardust.
Masterless StarglitterWhenever you receive a 4* or 5* item, you will get some Starglitter. You get more Starglitter if you obtain duplicates of characters you already own. Starglitter can be exchanged for Fates, with no limitations. It can also be exchanged for certain 4* characters.
Genesis CrystalsGenesis Crystals are the currency you purchase with real money. You can convert Genesis Crystals into Primogems at a rate of 1:1.
In addition to this, Genesis Crystals are used to purchase character skins and certain bundles that cannot be bought with Primogems.
MoraMora is effectively this game’s version of gold. It’s used to purchase various things from in-game vendors, but it’s also expended whenever you ascend or level up your characters, weapons, artifacts, etc.
SigilsSigils are regional currencies that are obtained from chests (Anemo Sigils in Mondstadt, Geo Sigils in Liyue, Electro Sigils in Inazuma).
Anemo and Geo Sigils can be exchanged for various materials or Mora.
Electro Sigils can be offered to the Sacred Sakura Tree for rewards.

Don’t Rush

Genshin Impact Best Weapons

For a free-to-play gacha game, Genshin Impact exceeded all expectations with its massive open world and rewarding exploration. With most similar games, especially MMOs, the endgame is where the real content starts. But in Genshin Impact, the exploration and the story are the most enjoyable parts of the game.

Aside from endlessly grinding for perfect artifacts, hunting down achievements, saving up Primogems for future characters, and decorating your in-game home, Genshin Impact doesn’t offer any meaningful content once you’ve caught up with the story and explored everything.

Each patch brings new events and often some mini-games, but most players just play this while waiting for new story quests and explorable areas to drop. Therefore, we urge new players to take their time exploring the world of Genshin Impact.

Armed with the knowledge from this guide, you will be able to optimize your Genshin Impact experience as a beginner. But remember that optimization is not speedrunning. Take your time and enjoy the early game because that is where Genshin Impact is at its best.

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Samuel Stewart

Samuel is GamingScan's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a dedicated gamer and programmer. He enjoys helping others discover the joys of gaming. Samuel closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep the visitors in the flow.

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