Genshin Impact Beginner’s Guide

by Majesty

Introduction

First off, why should you listen to what I write?  Well, since CBT3 was the most recent beta, let’s use that.  Here’s what I got done during CBT3:

(Aside from me flexing on you people), what do these random screenshots actually mean.  Two things.  1) I’m some level of competent at the game, so I have a generally good idea how to progress, as well as how to build a functioning team, and 2) even having gotten all of this done there’s still a bunch of stuff I don’t know and I’m going to make mistakes too.  It’s important to know who’s giving out the information that’s being given out, since I’ve seen gross misinformation on all of the different platforms at times.  You should understand that AR level =/= an indicator you know how to play the game, but no AR lvl = you probably haven’t played enough to know what to do.  Since the current end goal is to be able to efficiently do Spiral Abyss for a large portion of your monthly primogem income, as you can see as the individual with the most Abyssal Stars in CBT2 and CBT3, I probably know what I’m doing for Spiral Abyss, not to say I’m the best at it.  However, when I say “Kaeya is trash,” my word holds infinitely more weight than someone who says “Kaeya is good” and then is hard stuck on floor 4 of Abyss.  To clarify, when I say “X is trash,” I’m not calling them unplayable garbage that’s completely unusable.  Moreso, I’m saying they’re a bad investment for the mileage you get from their investment.  Ultimately, when I tell you to do something in this guide, it’s to maximize your resource gains, of which Spiral Abyss is a major driving factor.  If you’re just here to play casually, most of this won’t apply to you.

Getting Started

To start off, there’s probably three broad types of players for the game. 

One-timers: here to just play through the story and explore the world.

Casuals: ~30 minutes of game time every day

Invested Players: Can put substantially more playtime into the game than the other two

Now, these categories are really broad, but you should probably figure out which one you identify mostly with.   If you identify with the first, you can really go about playing however you want since you can do all the story/ world exploration with your starting characters and you won’t go drastically wrong regardless of how you play.  If you identify with the second, your first priority is to do your commissions and spend your daily resin; everything else in this guide will be secondary and what you do with free time.  If you identify with the third the guide is mostly for you.  If you’re not going to be spending copious amounts of real $$$, you’re going to have to start prepping and planning early, or else you’re going to have a really rough time down the road.

To reroll or not to reroll

Before we start diving into the game, as this is a Gacha game many players are curious about rerolling.  You can sum up rerolling in its current state in one sentence: yeah it’s good valuewise, but it’s painful as heck and I don’t recommend it unless you’re super invested.

As of CBT3, you have to go through a somewhat lengthy tutorial until you are even able to use the Wish system, which is the summoning system.  Tack onto that you’ll have almost no premium currency when you unlock, and you can probably see why it would be painful.  It will probably take you several hours to get enough relevant primogems (premium currency) to make a relevant amount of wishes.  This could change depending on whether you get extra primogems or wishes during launch or other events, but as of now it’ll be a rather lengthy grind for each reroll.  The other factor into this is your reroll target.  From what we expect, there probably won’t be a special banner immediately when the game launches; it’ll likely show up a little while later.  This means you’ll be rerolling in the standard banner.  In the standard banner, there are two 5* characters, Jean and Diluc, and 10 5* weapons.  Out of all those items, your only real reroll target would be Jean.  Diluc is a good character… if you have him fully geared and 6 constellations (C6), which is probably never happening if you’re F2P.  5* weapons also aren’t unconditionally better than 4* weapons; first off at max refine lower rarity weapons are comparable to higher ones, and it’s very dependent on use.  For example, if you end up rolling a 5* bow for sniping and have no usable snipers, that 5* bow is pretty much useless for you.  That means when rerolling, for usage you’re specifically targeting Jean.  If you re-roll optimally, you can probably get Jean within a week of straight grinding Genshin.  Could you get enough currency to get Jean within a week of play normally?  Definitely not.  Do you have to also reroll Genshin for a significant amount of time for an entire week?  Probably.  That’s the tradeoff.  You’ll almost definitely get better value if you reroll than just playing during that period, but you’re going to be subjecting yourself to that rather painful and boring process, and if you play the game for a long period of time it becomes less and less relevant.  Weigh the options and make your decision.

Gameplay Priority

After you’ve gone through the tutorial, you’ll get thrown into the game with a main story and big open world and you’ll probably have no idea what to do.  First off, you’ll want to hit AR 20 as soon as possible.  AR 20 is important since by AR 20 all of the relevant features will have been unlocked and AR 20 is when you go from world level (WL) 0 to WL 1, which is the largest bump in rewards and when you reach 100% efficiency on Commission and Leyline Adventure Rank (AR) Exp as well.  That aside, there’s a very established hierarchy of what you should be doing every day with your time.  

When booting up Genshin every day, your order of play should be: Commissions > Daily Resin > Main Story > Chest Exploration/Culus Collection/Side Stories/Adventure Handbook > Collecting/Elite Hunting.  This ordering is based first on primogem acquisition and then on AR exp acquisition.  You want to first exhaust your renewable sources, before switching to your one-time permanent sources.  Keep in mind that if you want to be super efficient as well, you explore the entire world ASAP.  The amount of one time AR exp in your world is more relevant when you’re AR 10, where it gives you several AR levels, then when you’re AR 40, where you might not even get one level.  There’s at least enough AR exp in exploration across Mondstadt and Liyue to get you to AR 25, probably AR 30 within the first week with your renewable sources.  The quicker you level up, the more time you have where you get better rewards, since your rewards from resin is directly related to your WL and thus your AR exp.  

In addition to maximizing your AR exp, you want to make sure you’re completing your Battle Pass (BP) missions daily.  From CBT3, you could get 66 BP exp a day, 156 BP exp every week, and 720 BP exp every period.  The BP was at least 6 weeks based on CN, but you could get to lvl 30 if you did every mission within 25 days (as you can see I was lvl 29, but I missed the first day since I didn’t unlock it yet).  You’ll definitely want to complete the period and weekly missions, and do as many daily missions as you can.  If you do that, you should not have any problem reaching level 30 within each BP period.

Resin Usage

If you’re F2P, and most likely unless you’re a pretty big spender, you’re not going to be spending your primogems on resin since they have better use.  With that said, that means most players are going to be sitting on 180 resin a day.  That might seem like too little for everything you can run them on, but that’s because you need to prioritize.  

For artifacts/weapons/talents, you will almost never run them before you are able to run the highest tier of them.  You’ll probably run weapon material domains for weapons for one or two weapons that your DPS are using, but generally you wait until you can run the highest one.  You’re never going to encounter having too many higher level materials and not enough lower level ones, since even at the hardest difficulty higher level materials still have lower drop rates so you’ll most likely always be crafting up.  Same can be said for talent materials, the game will give you a lot of low level talent materials in chests, so as long as you plan ahead you can get decently leveled talents on your important characters early on and then farm the harder domains when they’re best efficiency.  Artifact domains you have even less reason to run at lower levels, since you’re going to be using 5* sets exclusively at end game so farming them at any time before those show up is just bad efficiency and could be used for other investments.  

Setting those aside, for early game that just leaves exp, mora, and bosses.  You’re going to want to run the weekly bosses Dhvalin and Boreas regardless of anything else, preferably at the end of the week if you can advance to a higher WL but it doesn’t matter otherwise.  Out of the three of the remaining options, I would recommend running cubes, exp, and mora in that level of priority since the efficiency loss is the lowest in that order compared to the higher world levels.  You’re going to be hurting on all three of those materials come late game anyways, and mora and exp are technically farmable while ascension materials are not.  Doesn’t matter how many millions of mora you save and those hundreds of purple exp tickets, it’s going to evaporate with 1 or 2 lvl 90 characters.  In any case, the bulk of your resin should be spent on those 3 until you unlock the highest level of the other three, when you swap out depending on your needs.

Another question that shows up a lot is whether to hold onto the Fragil resin you’re given as level up rewards or to spend them as they come.  The short answer is: doesn’t really matter.  The longer answer is that technically it’s more efficient to hold onto them as long as possible, but not by much.  If you hold onto your fragile resin, you’re basically trading extra resin at higher WL for time, since resin spent is going to get you the same AR exp regardless of when you spend it, but you have AR exp from commissions.  Basically, every every day in commissions is worth 5 fragile resins in AR exp.  As a tradeoff, your commission rewards are going to be slightly worse, and you’re going to have a harder time in Abyss without world levels to boost your levels.  This is all going to be irrelevant with a larger amount of time anyways, so basically it doesn’t matter but I would encourage that if you hold onto them to use them to push AR 5 increments if possible before the end of a week so you get better rewards from weekly bosses. 

Investment Priority

Aside from what you should be running in order to maximize your efficiency, you also need to know what you should be investing in or else you’re not going to get great mileage either.  You’re going to have to choose for your investments in characters, weapons, and artifacts, and everything will fall into place after that

Character Investments

Out of the starting 4 characters, you only have two options to invest in: MC and Lisa.  We don’t know if any other characters will be given out and through what methods since that’s changed in every beta, but it’s a sure bet that we’ll get the starting 4 since the game is literally designed to be playable entirely with just those 4 so it would be weird if they didn’t give you those.  Kaeya and Amber aren’t the greatest investments early on, and they don’t need any investment to do their non-damage roles anyways.  Out of the two to invest in, I would recommend to invest in MC since not only are all his ascension mats free (given through story and AR instead of needing to be farmed), all of his constellations are free too.  However, some people like to play ranged characters and Lisa definitely does more damage than him early on and her major support ability isn’t unlocked until you ascend her past lvl 60, so you’re okay investing in her too.  Of course, this all changes depending on who you pull from wish, but if no banners show up with characters you want and you’re saving for 5*’s, you’ll need to at least have a mildly usable party early on.  

Speaking of 5* characters, there’s a very clear hierarchy of who you should prioritize when investing into 5* characters.  Unless you’re a whale, you’re mostly going to be considering C0 5* characters when determining when to invest, maybe C1 5* characters later down the line when there’s more time for you to have accumulated primogems but certainly not this early on.  Along that line of reasoning, you’re going to prioritize characters who can kill things and kill them fast, since being able to kill things and kill them fast is going to get you higher in Abyss, which will in turn net you more primogems to pull more. 

In that case, your first target will be Xiao, if he is unchanged from his CBT2 state.  Xiao is Anemo and thus is basically usable against 90% of the content in the game.  That and when his burst is active he kills everything, no exceptions.  In CBT2, my lvl 82, 20 lvl suppressed Xiao was able to kill both 102 Ruin Guards in 12-5 in literally 2 ult cycles.  Xiao’s good against both solo and mobs, so he’s a generally good investment character.

If Xiao is unavailable or was changed, then your next investment priority is Venti.  Venti’s also a great general use character because he;s anemo and he’s the best mobber in the game.  His burst has an extremely large range and can generally pull every mob in the entire room.  Not only that, his elemental infused burst and elemental skill both do a lot of damage.  A geared Venti can easily kill one group of enemies and pull a second group, which is important since most of Abyss is group based and a lot of enemies will naturally spread out, such as human type enemies.  

After that, Jean is a good support and burst character, but her sustained damage isn’t very good from her basic attacks and thus should not be an investment priority until you have good DPS.  Klee is an all-around okay DPS, but is mainly built for killing large mobs at C0 for which her elemental skill can hit entirely and suffers from being Pyro which a large number of floors in Abyss were for both CBTs.  Diluc suffers from too many issues until C6, so you shouldn’t invest in him at all if you’re F2P.

Weapon Investment

In CBT3, you were able to craft select 4* weapons from weapon prototypes that were given out through gameplay/quests and further dropped from weekly bosses.  The drop rates weren’t the greatest, considering I literally went 8 bosses without seeing a single one and I was killing the relatively high level bosses due to being high world level.  As such, you can probably expect to go awhile without getting extra copies of these 4* prototype weapons.  The earliest you can reasonably expect to get a R5 4* prototype weapon is probably after half a year.  On the other hand, you’ll have a plethora of 3* weapons, either from wish or exploration.  If the 3* weapon is found in Liyue you’ll definitely have enough for a R5 version and more; if it’s from Mondstadt you’ll probably be able to R5 it too, though not as quickly since there’s just fewer chests in Mondstadt.  

Why is this important?  Well, unless you sack a 5* weapon from standard supply and its usable for your main character, you’re probably going to be choosing between R5 3* weapons and R1 4* weapons for the majority of your foreseeable future when you first start the game.  For a lot of people, this seems like a no-brainer.  Why invest in lower rarity weapons when the higher rarity weapons are available?  A good example to illustrate this is Skyrider Greatsword and Whiteblind.  Skyrider Greatsword is a 3* weapon that’s found in droves in Liyue and has a passive that increases your base attack% by 6-10% depending on refine amount up to 4 stacks.  Whiteblind is a 4* weapon that you can craft from prototypes that has a passive that increases your base attack% and base def% by 6-12% depending on refine amount up to 4 stacks.  Whiteblind looks like just a superior weapon right?  Not exactly.  First off, for a while you’ll only have a R1 whiteblind, so you’ll only have 24% atk% from its passive.  On the other hand, you can find enough Skyriders to get a R5 version in one day if you really feel like, so you can get access to 40% atk% super easily.  Second off, whiteblind’s passive stat is def%, which is useless on every character not named Noelle, while skyrider’s is physical damage bonus.  Despite the difference in base attack on the weapons, you’re going to end up doing more damage with a R5 skyrider than a R3 whiteblind up to lvl 70 at least as a result of this, so it isn’t so simple as higher rarity is always better.

If you invest in 3* weapons, you’ll find that they’re less expensive, you’ll be able to max refine them very easily, and that they’ll carry you through all of early and mid game at least up to level 70.  The tradeoff is that their base attack loss is too high at 90 to be used compared to 4* and 5* weapons and you’ll suffer some resource loss (not the worst since 5* weapons are so god awfully expensive exp wise that you won’t lose any cap exp feeding a 3* weapon to it, but you will lose the weapon ascension materials and ~15% of the total fed exp to the weapon as an efficiency loss).  If you’re planning on investing into 5* weapons later, you’ll definitely want to invest in 3* weapons first and then go to 5* weapons, directly skipping the 4* weapons.  If you’re planning to invest in R5 4* weapons eventually instead, then you can opt to not invest in 3*’s.  However, you will need to prepare yourself to suffer comparatively for a few months if you do so.  

Artifact Investment

The most common mistake I see from players is that they don’t start leveling their artifacts until they hit 4* artifacts, and as a result they wonder why enemies/bosses are so hard to kill early on and they do no damage.  When you hit AR 10 you should already be rolling in 3* artifacts, and you’ll definitely have your pick of the litter for main stats.  Artifacts are only leveled from feeding other artifacts, and there’s similarly a 15% exp loss when you feed a leveled artifact to another so you can easily feed your 3* artifacts to 4* artifacts later.  You might not find a useable 4* artifact for a slot until much later, so if you’re holding out for that you’re going to suffer if you don’t have a useable 3* artifact.  

Early on, you’ll most likely be using either a 2/2 berserker/sojourner if you get good main rolls on the sojourner pieces found in the open world, otherwise you’ll be running 4pc berserker, since it’s the most universally useful set and it drops from both elites and world bosses, which you will find yourself killing an extremely large number of them since you need the ascension materials.  Afterwards, you’ll be using 2/2 berserker/gladiator for your long, long foreseeable future.  You can swap to 4 piece gladiator if you manage to pull a 5* crit chance circlet; however, if you don’t pull one you’ll most likely want to stick to 2/2.  That’s because the 2 piece set from berserker makes up for the stat difference between 4* and 5* circlet and you can always run a flower as your other berserker pieces, since it’s the lowest priority in terms of artifacts.  

For main stat rolls, aside from the feather which is fixed as flat attack and the flower which is fixed at flat hp, the other three pieces have variable stat rolls.  All of them can roll base atk%, base hp%, and base def%.  Goblets can roll type dmg% (any elemental or physical), circlets can roll crit rate, crit dmg, and healing bonus, and sands can roll elemental mastery or energy recharge.  Early on, you;ll want to dump everything in base atk%, since you won’t be able to get high enough multipliers from other sources to make them worthwhile.  Once you can make a full 4* lineup, you’ll have a different stat priority.  On goblets, you’ll want to aim for type dmg, with base atk% as a backup.  On circlets, you’ll want to roll crit rate or crit damage for whichever stat is lower (aiming to have at least 50% crit rate), with base atk% as a backup.  Sands you’ll want to roll base atk% on, going elemental mastery only if your base atk% is super saturated from other sources and then it’s still questionable.  If you’re a support, you’ll want to run healing bonus if you’re a healer and energy recharge if you’re burst dependent.  For substats, you’ll want crit rate, crit dmg, and base atk%.  Keep in mind that you cannot roll the same substat as your main stat.  Aside from those 3 stats, you’ll either want EM, energy recharge, or flat atk, though for the most part those stats are low priority and you won’t have to worry about them since it’s super hard to even get the first 3 as substats.  

I want to reiterate that you do not want to run artifact domains at all until you can the highest level one.  First off, from stat loss and substat loss, you’ll never run anything that doesn’t have a 5* version at end game.  There are some exceptions, such as support sets like exile or instructor that you might put on support character, but for your DPS characters they’ll exclusively be picking between 5* sets.  That’s because not only do 5* artifacts have better scaling per level and base amounts of their main stats, they have more substat upgrades.  In general, 5* artifacts will be better than 4* artifacts of the same type unconditionally, unless your 5* artifact has 0 offensive substats and your 4* has 3 offensive substats, for which the 4* will win out marginally.  Second, there’s a huge drop rate difference between the highest level domain and lower level ones.  The second highest level will only drop you a 5* maybe 1 in 3 runs on average, while the highest level one is guaranteed to drop you a 5*, possibly two.  You do not have the spare resources to both run the domains and level up artifacts that aren’t 5*’s from those domains.  Also, you’re going to have to run an insane amount of domains to even get usable main stat artifacts, so get ready for the long haul.  

Spending Efficiency

Quick section on this.  Like most gacha games, the more you spread out your spending the more efficient it is.  The most efficient is the monthly card, followed by the battle pass.  Aside from the fact that you’re guaranteed to be resource starved so I recommend you always buy the battle pass if you spend, it’s still the most primogem efficient after monthly card.  After that, we’re assuming there might be bundles you can purchase.  You’ll always be comparing any bundles against the largest pack, which is ~8000 primogems for ~$100, so you can make evaluations based on that.  

Conclusion

To be honest, the only thing playing optimally at this point is going to affect is your ability to do Spiral Abyss, since everything else in the game can be experienced regardless of what you’re doing.  I encourage you to take your time to explore, since there’s so much more to do in this game then just grinding Spiral Abyss.  If there’s anything else you’d like me to cover that’s more complicated, feel free to leave a comment below.  There’s enough videos/guides out there about the simple stuff in the game, but a lot of the games systems are kind of complex/ counterintuitive, so if you have a topic like that feel free to suggest it.

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