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Genshin Impact beginner’s guide for 2023, tips and tricks

Not sure where to start? We've got advice for new and returning players.

Our Genshin Impact beginner's guide is for anybody looking to jump into the vast world of Teyvat in 2023 but doesn't know where to start, or needs explainers on one of the gacha game's many features.

Whether you're a new or returning player, we've covered all the essential information below, including tips and tricks for Genshin Impact, and explainers to refer back to if you want more detailed information on gameplay features and systems.

When you're more familiar with its ever-expanding world, then we also recommend regularly checking our ongoing character tier list, banner schedule, and codes pages.

On this page:

Version 4.2 "Masquerade of the Guilty" Trailer | Genshin Impact.Watch on YouTube

What is Genshin Impact?

Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open world RPG that is constantly being updated to add new characters, regions, story, limited-time events, gameplay features, and much more.

It also has a gacha system for spending in-game currency to get new characters and weapons. Although this is technically optional, it's a large part of what makes Genshin Impact as popular as it is.

For more information on what it's like to play, you can check out our Genshin Impact State of the Game piece.

What to do first in Genshin Impact

If you're just starting out your journey in Teyvat, we suggest playing through as much of the story as you can first (this is called the Archon Quest), and getting to at least Adventure Rank 12, as this is when Daily Commissions unlock.

Complete four of these purple-coloured quests everyday and claim your rewards from Katheryne.

Commissions are your daily source of Primogems, the primary currency used to buy Fate, which is used for rolling for new characters or weapons through the gacha system. Daily Commissions are also a great source of Adventure EXP, which is needed to raise your Adventure Rank in order to take part in story missions and limited-time events.

Opening any chests you come across and activating Teleport Waypoints is also recommended, as they both give you Primogems, and Teleport Waypoints make travelling a lot easier.

Finding chests and Teleport Waypoints will happen naturally as you explore.

What to do daily in Genshin Impact

We've got more information on what these activities mean below, but in general here's everything you can do daily in Genshin Impact:

  • Daily Commissions
  • Expeditions
  • Spending Original Resin
  • Daily battle pass challenges
  • Logging in to HoYoLAB for free rewards

Apart from Original Resin which replenishes once every eight minutes, the rest of these daily activities reset at 4am (server time) every day.

You can send characters on Expeditions and still use them in your party.

You don't have to do all of these activities in one day, but if you want to make sure you're not missing out on any rewards, you should aim to do most of them. If you want to save time, then we recommend dropping spending Original Resin, as it takes longer than all the other activities combined.

Genshin Impact's regular update schedule

Genshin Impact is pretty good for consistently sticking to a regular update schedule. Apart from one delay and a few reduced update times, there has been a new named update every six weeks.

This update comes with a number like 3.3 or 3.4. This resets the battle pass, adds new quests, and sometimes new features - like fishing, or the Genius Invokation card game.

A card game was introduced during the 3.3 update.

When there's a full number like 4.0, a new region is added to the game along with new systems and features linked to that region - like new Reputation rewards, collectibles, enemies, and main quests.

Every three weeks there's a Banner change that replaces the featured character and weapon Banners, meaning you have a higher chance of getting the characters or weapons featured.

Character and weapon Banners usually change every three weeks.

Throughout each update, there will be at least four limited-time events. Their lengths vary, but all of them will end before the new named update. Make sure you complete all that you can before their individual end dates, and spend any event currency in the special shops that pop up during some of the more unique events.

You can jump ahead to our tips and tricks section now, or continue reading for explainers below first.

Version 4.3 with Navia is coming soon! For now, in version 4.2, Ayato and Cyno are reruning, and you need Scarabs to Ascend Cyno. Our Fontaine guide can also help with Fontaine's Reputation and the Fountain of Lucine amongst other details, and you can also redeem new codes for Primogems, and check out our regularly updated tier list. You need luck from the Pity and 50/50 systems to Wish with Fate for characters on Banners, and you always need the right Adventure Rank for events. Elsewhere, we have tips and tricks for beginners, Dendroculus locations, fishing locations, and TCG card locations.

How to get characters in Genshin Impact

You will get Amber, Kaeya, and Lisa for free near the start of the game, but the main source of getting characters in Genshin Impact is by using Fate to Wish on Banners as part of the gacha system. While you can spend real money to get Primogems to buy Fate, there are plenty of ways to get free Primogems by just playing the game.

To unlock Banners and the ability to Wish on them in Genshin Impact, you need to complete the 'Prologue, Act 1: The Outlander Who Caught the Wind - Knights of Favonius' Archon Quest.

This is the menu where you spend your Fate to Wish on Banners.

It may seem complicated and overwhelming at first, but it is optional, and if you want to know more, we've got full explainers on how getting new characters works in our dedicated Banners, Fate, and the Pity and 50/50 system pages.

You can also occasionally get a 4-Star character for free as part of limited-time events, and you can save up to buy 4-Star characters from the in-game shop - but this requires using currency you only get from Wishing on Banners.

How to level up characters in Genshin Impact

There are technically a few ways to level up your characters in Genshin Impact, but you should only really use one of them. While you can raise a character's EXP by defeating enemies, bosses, and completing certain quests, it's a ridiculously low amount compared to the best method.

The best way to level up characters in Genshin Impact is to use EXP books called Wanderer's Advice, Adventurer's Experience, and Hero's Wit.

Purple books are the best character EXP sources.

Here's how much EXP you get from using one of each:

  • Wanderer's Advice - 1,000 EXP
  • Adventurer's Experience - 5,000 EXP
  • Hero's Wit - 20,000 EXP

For comparison, defeating a regular enemy usually only gives your character 14 EXP.

These EXP books are usually rewarded in limited-time events, but you can also get them from playing the game. Completing quests, opening chests, and taking part in the Blossom of Revelation Leyline recurring event (the blue, foggy circle symbol on your map) are some of the best ways of getting EXP books.

Look out for this symbol in each region for a Blossom of Revelation Leyline.

To use these books, you need to go to the character menu then select the 'Level Up' button displayed in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Select what books you want to use (the faded blue bar will show how much EXP you will gain) then hit 'Confirm'. This costs 1 Mora for every 5 EXP gained.

Every ten or twenty levels, however, you will need to Ascend a character before you can level them up any further. Every character needs different types of Ascension materials, which range from items dropped from defeating regular enemies, bosses, and materials found growing in the wild.

The higher the level, the more Ascension materials a character will need.

Level 90 is the maximum for every character, but not everyone needs to be maxed out to be effective in your team. Save those resources unless you really need them!

Artifacts in Genshin Impact explained

Artifacts are items you give characters to raise their stats, but they also have bonus effects if you equip them as 2-piece and 4-piece sets. If you've ever played a Diablo game, it's a pretty similar gear system. Unlike Diablo, however, you're not locked out of equipping certain Artifacts if they aren't meant for a certain type of character, which can make the system pretty overwhelming for beginners.

Get a good set or two for your characters to improve their skills.

At the beginning, you should focus on trying to equip 2-piece or 4-piece Artifact sets on your characters. You'll only have lower rarity sets near the start, but that's perfectly fine for the level of enemies you'll be up against at this point. If you do have a lot of repeats, that's the point where you should pay attention to the main stat and sub stat numbers. These can raise your attack, health, critical hit, Elemental Recharge, and Elemental Mastery capabilities. Each character should ideally prioritise stats that are relevant to the build you're running on them.

The numbers above the Artifact descriptions tell you that Artifact's main and sub stats.

With that said, you can almost ignore Artifacts at the beginning of the game. When you play more and the enemy encounters become tougher, that's when you should aim to get better Artifacts for your characters.

You can get more Artifacts by searching chests, buying them from main cities, completing quests, and achieving tasks from the Adventurer's Handbook. The best way to get good Artifacts in Genshin Impact, however, is to complete Domains and Boss Domains. Domains are the black diamond symbols marked on your map, and Bosses are usually a unique circle symbol.

Primogems in Genshin Impact explained

Primogems in all their impractically shaped glory.

Primogems are the rarest and most sought after currency in Genshin Impact, as it's what you need to exchange for Wishes (Fate) to get characters as part of the gacha system. You can also use them to buy Resin, but we recommend only using Primogems for buying Fate if you want a mostly free-to-play experience.

The good news is that almost every activity in Genshin Impact rewards Primogems, but it does take a while to save them up. Limited-time events, Daily Commissions, and redeeming codes are some of the best ways to consistently get Primogems.

Check out our dedicated Primogems page for a more detailed explanation on all the ways you can get Primogems in Genshin Impact.

Battle Pass in Genshin Impact explained

The Battle Pass is an entirely optional feature that rewards you for completing daily, weekly, and event tasks. It's unlocked at Adventure Rank 20, and there's a free tier and a premium tier (called the Gnostic Hymn).

You can get a wide range of items and materials from the Battle Pass, including Fate, Character EXP books, Mora, Mystic Enhancement Ore, Primogems, Artifacts, and a choice of five weapons on the premium tier.

We don't recommend getting the premium tier unless you've already reached max level, or are certain you're going to. Even then, it's not essential. It's basically just a nice optional bonus to anybody who plays regularly.

The daily and weekly quests will always be the same.

Adventure Rank and World Level in Genshin Impact explained

We have a more detailed explanation in our dedicated Adventure Rank and World Level page, but in summary, Adventure Rank is your entry level to start quests and events, and World Level is how difficult the enemies are. A higher World Level also increases the quality of your rewards from Domains, and Bosses.

Adventure Rank stops at Level 60, but most quests and events only need you to be between Level 35 and 40 for higher-level content. You can't claim Adventure Rank rewards after levelling up unless you're at the right World Level.

Go to a Katheryne in any main city to claim Adventure Rank rewards.

When you get to a high enough Adventure Rank, you will have to complete a quest to test and see if you're ready to increase your World Level. It's not recommended to do this until you're sure you want to take on higher-level enemies. It's sometimes unavoidable, though, as you can't climb Adventure Ranks until you complete this quest when you receive it.

Archon Quest and Story Quest differences in Genshin Impact explained

They're awkwardly named, but Archon Quests are actually your main storyline quests and Story Quests are character-specific quests.

Archon Quests follow the Traveler and Paimon's journey through Teyvat's nations as they meet each of the gods as they look for the Traveler's sibling. They're labelled in Acts and Chapters, with the prologue taking place in Mondstadt, and Interlude Archon Quests taking place in between main Chapters.

Raiden Shogun is a big part of Inazuma's Archon Quest.

Story Quests are usually unlocked by spending Story Keys, earned from completing Daily Commissions. They unlock at Adventure Rank 26. You need to complete certain Story Quests in order to continue with Archon Quests.

There are certain Story Quests that are available outside of spending Story Keys, but not many. We recommend completing these when they appear, as they are usually needed to progress with the Archon storyline.

Claim your Story Keys and unlock quests from the 'Story Quest' tab in your log.

Events in Genshin Impact explained

Events are time-limited quests that are regularly added to Genshin Impact. There are always Adventure Rank requirements for starting an event, and some have Archon and Story Quest requirements. For example, any event in Inazuma requires you to have completed the Ritou Escape Plan part of the Chapter 2, Act 1 Archon Quest, which opens up the region to you.

If you meet the requirements, we recommend participating in every event that you can. They're a great source of Primogems, level up materials, Mora, and sometimes even offer a free 4-Star character or weapon.

There's also usually one main event with side content involving lots of main characters. These are worth doing for their story content alone, as once the event ends that content is unfortunately gone forever.

Original Resin and Fragile Resin in Genshin Impact explained

Wondering what that crescent moon symbol in the upper right-hand corner of your map is? This is called Original Resin and it's the currency you use in exchange for claiming rewards from taking on Domains, Leyline Outcrops, and Bosses. These challenges are where you get Character EXP books, Artifacts, and Ascension materials from.

This is where you can see how much Original Resin you currently have.

Original Resin replenishes every day at a rate of one every eight minutes, capping out at 160. Fragile Resin is a consumable item that can be used to instantly replenish 60 Original Resin, which can go past the cap, up to 2,000.

We don't recommend worrying about Original Resin in the beginning, unless you're looking for a daily source of Adventure Rank EXP on top of completing your Daily commissions.

Spiral Abyss in Genshin Impact explained

If you don't care about optional combat challenges, then you can completely ignore the Spiral Abyss unless you want some extra Primogems and other rewards, or two free 4-Star characters.

The Spiral Abyss is unlocked at Adventure Rank 20, and is accessed from a portal on an island in Musk Reef. You build one or more teams to battle mobs of enemies to clear chambers and floors in the Abyss. The higher you climb, the harder the enemies become.

When you complete the permanent floors, you'll unlock Abyssal Moon Spire, which refreshes its challenges and rewards twice a month. This is very high level stuff though, so there's no need to worry about it at the beginning, or even the mid and end game if you don't want to.

Achievements in Genshin Impact explained

Achievements are in-game accolades that reward you with Primogems. Visiting their hub menu is a great way to find ways to earn more Primogems quickly, but some take far longer to unlock than others!

There are Achievements for every type of gameplay in Genshin Impact. You'll get them for completing quests, exploring, opening chests, playing cards, fishing, beating bosses, Levelling up characters, performing Elemental Reactions, and many, many more activities!

Genshin Impact tips, tricks, and things we wish we knew before starting

There's always a lot of things going on at once in Genshin Impact, but over time you will get used to it when you start to understand the basic systems and update schedule more. We can't guarantee you'll ever be able to find your way through the many, many menus though, as we still get lost sometimes. Why have one main menu when you can have three, right?

There are some things that are good to know that aren't as essential as the explainers we have above, but will make your time exploring Teyvat a lot easier, especially at the beginning of the game.

Here's some tips and tricks for Genshin Impact that we wish we knew before starting:

  • Use HoYoLab site or app - You can log in daily or complete special online activities for free rewards like Primogems, Mora, and level up materials.
  • Don't forget to cook - Meals heal characters and raise attack, defence, and critical hit stats. Some characters will even give you more food, or return resources if you select them in the cooking menu.
  • Use Statues of Seven - These are where you fast travel to instantly heal your party, or bring 'oculus' collectibles found floating every region. These are the green 'Anemoculus' in Mondstadt, and giving them to statues in the Mondstadt will give you rewards, including increasing your stamina.
  • Don't leave anything behind - Everything dropped by an enemy can be used to upgrade characters and weapons, and anything found in the environment can be used in cooking, crafting, or sometimes even to level up your characters.
  • Create an exploration team - Throughout the regions, you'll come across small environmental puzzles that require you use a specific element or weapon type. The recommended elements to bring in your party change with each region, but having an archer is always recommended. Some characters also mark Ascension materials on your map, an incredibly useful skill when farming for them.
  • Use the Adventure's Handbook - This book gives you a good set of goals to work towards at the beginning, but will also tell you where to find specific types of enemies. This is useful if you need to farm resources and are looking for enemies that drop them
  • Press the navigate button while an enemy is selected in the Adventure Book to see where it is on the map.
  • Follow the floating blue Seelies for hidden rewards - These ghost-looking creatures are found all over the map and will lead you to hidden chests.
  • Don't spend Primogems on Aquaint Fate - It's Intertwined Fate you need to Wish for the event characters, and Acquaint for the permanent Banner available. While the permanent character and weapon Banner does have good characters on it, they're also included on event Banners, meaning you will get them eventually just by wishing on the event character Banners with Intertwined Fate.
  • 5-Star characters and weapons aren't automatically better than 4-Stars - It's all about making the best teams that work well together in Genshin Impact. A team of 4-Stars who create more damage by activating and combining elements or healing and shielding is far more desirable than only using a 5-Star with good damage numbers but lacklustre support from the rest of the team. With weapons, it's usually best to look at the bonus it gives rather than its raw stats.
  • Use custom map icons - Using these icons can save you a lot of time when farming for materials! Following a guide will help, but nothing beats following your own markers, as they appear on your mini-map. It's also great for marking good mining or food item areas.
  • Don't ignore events - Events are limited-time quests that offer a lot of rewards, including free characters sometimes. Once they're over you can't claim any of their rewards, however, so prioritise them over regular quests when you can.
  • Check out all the shops in a new city - You'll be surprised at the useful items you can find being sold in some cities. Each region will also have a dedicated place where you exchange Sigils with for rewards - just like the 'Oculus', these are different collectibles for each region.

Genshin Impact guides list: All our Genshin Impact guides listed

When you're ready to tackle other features and systems in Genshin Impact, you can refer back to this list for detailed information on many different aspects of the game:

Current Banner and event schedule:

Region guides:

  • Fontaine guide, including Fontaine characters, Archon Quests, and World Quests
  • Tier list:

    Banners and Wishing:

    Character builds and materials:

    Free rewards:

    Features and system explainers:

  • Swimming and Diving, including diving spots, underwater mechanics and abilities
  • Reward systems and locations:

    Collectible locations:

    Weapon locations:

  • How to get Sumeru craftable weapons and 'Stories of You and the Aranara'
  • How to get Fontaine craftable weapons
  • Side quests:

    Optional activities:

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    Jessica Orr avatar

    Jessica Orr

    Senior Guides Writer

    Jessica is a guides writer from Northern Ireland who likes screaming at her TV. Often at horror movies, occasionally at a Fortnite win. When not damaging her vocal cords, Jessica likes stressing over her inventory in RPGs, and getting lost in open worlds.