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Is Genshin Impact pay-to-win?

Genshin Impact is free-to-play, but does that mean it is pay-to-win?
genshin impact screen showing jean lisa and kaeya
Credit: HoYoverse

Genshin Impact is an extremely popular mobile game that’s also free-to-play (F2P). These kinds of games are often shunned of pay-to-win elements. Is that so? Is Genshin Impact pay-to-win?

To answer that question, it’s important to understand exactly what Genshin Impact is.

Genshin Impact is a (mostly) single-player adventure game that has players exploring a vast, open world. You’ll compose your team of four unique characters, all with different abilities.

The game is a ton of fun and mostly a story-driven adventure. But the pressure to spend money is obviously there.

It would be impossible to collect all the characters without spending some money. But is Genshin Impact actually pay-to-win?

Do you have to spend money in Genshin Impact?

liyue harbor in genshin impact
Credit: HoYoverse

To put it plainly: No, Genshin Impact is not pay-to-win. Pay-to-win in mobile games is typically related to player-vs-player (PVP) content or end-game content that requires specific characters or abilities.

PVP content is often considered an “end-game” challenge for mobile game players that have run out of single-play activities.

With PVP content, you will be up against players that potentially spent thousands of dollars. Which makes it difficult to compete. But with Genshin Impact, there is zero PVP content.

Additionally, in Genshin Impact, single-player game content can be completed with any group of characters. That means you can play your favorite characters and feel confident you can enjoy story content, grind artifacts, and more.

The biggest hurdle players will face in Genshin Impact is the Spiral Abyss. Any group of characters can complete the Spiral Abyss technically. But it is made much easier with powerful characters like Ganyu, Yelan, and Hu Tao.

genshin impact hidden dreams in the depths banner screenshot
Credit: HoYoverse

That said, completing the Spiral Abyss is totally optional and only provides a small number of Primogems for completing it. It ultimately comes down to how you want to enjoy the game.

Gacha rates in Genshin Impact

yelan banner in genshin impact showing different characters
Credit: MobileBytesGG

If you are starting your journey in Teyvat, you might be interested in knowing the percent chance you have to pull a desired 5-star character.

On any given pull, your chance is 0.6%. That chance increases once you hit “soft pity.” On a Genshin Impact character banner, soft pity starts at 75 pulls.

Each pull after that increases your chance slightly. Then, hard pity is set at 90 pulls, but percent chance all but guarantees you’ll get it before hard pity.

Weapon banners have a hard pity of 80, and a soft pity of 65. But, with three potential five-star weapons, it is actually more difficult to get the weapon you want.

Genshin Impact is a great experience regardless

At the end of the day, Genshin Impact is not pay-to-win, and players can enjoy the content regardless of how much money they spend.


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