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‘Genshin Impact’: Why this free-to-play game is big right now

By Gia Catimbang Published Oct 11, 2020 8:00 pm

Amid the growing list of video games to play during this pandemic, a new and unexpected free-to-play RPG emerged to sweep players off their feet. Some say that it’s just a knock-off of Breath of The Wild from The Legend of Zelda series, but Genshin Impact from China-based developer miHoYo proves to be more than that.

This new, free-to-play, game became such a banger that it hit 17 million mobile downloads and became one of the top-grossing titles of the moment, alongside Among Us and Fall Guys.

But in parallel with its whirlwind success, recent concerns – such as the game’s censorship of the words "Taiwan" and "Hong Kong" – have also been threatening its successful run as the latest Chinese game to reach worldwide trending status after the surprise gameplay reveal of upcoming AAA game, Black Myth: Wukong.

To get you well-versed on what Genshin Impact is, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about the newest blockbuster game that came out of nowhere, months before the arrival of the much-awaited next-gen consoles.

Delve into the world of Teyvat in this open-world action-RPG

Genshin Impact puts you in the shoes of a young man or a woman called the Traveler. Both character options are twin siblings. Regardless of who you pick, your character and their twin sibling will be separated by a god-like, time and space warping mysterious woman, who will then send you alone into the fantasy world of Teyvat, a vibrant and magical place inhabited by a plethora of creatures, human civilizations, spirits, and many more.

Accompanied by your small, magical sidekick named Paimon, you as the Traveler will truly live up to your name by taking on quests that will make you venture far and wide by going through dungeons, climbing cliffs, swimming in virtually cool blue waters, and even gliding on air for more convenient travelling around Teyvat’s regions.

Travelling is just one of the many exciting parts of ‘Genshin Impact'. You’ll be solving puzzles, fighting monsters, bosses, scavenge resources for crafting, and so on to progress through the story of finding your lost twin. At the same time, raising your Adventure Level to unlock more content challenges that are guaranteed to easily wipe off your real-life hours.

As you do all of these, you’ll also be managing not only your main character, the Traveler, but also your party members – who will play an important part in the story, especially during combat. Each of these switchable party members specializes in a specific element and weapon type, which is encouraged to be used to deliver effective blows against enemies.

Genshin Impact also features multiplayer, but you have to achieve a certain Adventure Level first. In multiplayer mode, you’ll be able to roam Teyvat together with your friends, go dungeon-crawling, do quests together, just like your good-old MMORPG. But in multiplayer, you cannot progress the main storyline together, as it is tailored for a solo experience.

Gacha at its non-intrusive best

Although ‘Genshin Impact’ won’t ask for your card details before you play, the game profits using the "gacha" mechanic, which are microtransactions that are present between the lines of free-to-play mobile games.

But these purchases are optional. The game won’t push you to convert your real-life cash into premium in-game currency called Genesis Crystals, but only if you want to add more playable characters to your party roster, weapons, and even subscribe to a monthly card or battle pass.

In short, you can play Genshin Impact as the free-to-play game it is without spending anything. Unless you’re aiming to unlock premium content to spice up your gameplay.


With its massive and intricate open-world, fun and captivating characters, their unique developments, and exciting combat, Genshin Impact is one of those games that truly lives up to its hype, and it's offered for free.

Genshin Impact is now available on PS4, PC, Android, and iOS.

(Images from miHoYo)