Hey friend! Are you just starting your journey in the massive world of Genshin Impact? Still figuring out the ins and outs of building your dream team of 5-star husbandos and waifus?
Well, you came to the right place. As a fellow traveler and Genshin expert, I‘m here to give you the inside scoop on how to expand your character collection without spending a single primogem.
An Overview on Getting Characters for Free
Let‘s start with the basics. Currently, there are over 40 playable characters you can unlock in Genshin Impact, covering all the elements and weapon types.
- 5-star characters are the rarest and most powerful
- 4-stars are still formidable, especially at higher constellations
- You can test characters out during timed trials and story quests
Now, Genshin heavily incentivizes wishing on banners to acquire new characters. But wishing requires precious resources like Primogems, Intertwined Fates, Starglitter, etc.
As a free-to-play player, those resources are finite. So today I‘ll be sharing tips to optimize your roster and snag great characters without relying on wishes alone.
Permanently Free Characters
First, let‘s look at the characters you can obtain permanently:
As the main protagonist, The Traveler is the first 5-star character you receive for free. Their elemental skill and burst change based on whether you are using Anemo (wind) or Geo (earth).
The Traveler makes a great addition to early game teams, dealing steady elemental damage. You can upgrade them over time alongside your Adventure Rank.
Amber is the very first playable character you unlock, serving as the starting Pyro archer. She can draw aggro, deal ranged Pyro DMG, and her elemental burst Baron Bunny taunts enemies.
Amber is rated 4-star rarity. As one of your starting party members, she helps new players ease into combat, exploration and puzzles.
Next is Kaeya, your free 4-star Cryo sword user. Not only is he skilled with a blade, but his elemental skill Frostgnaw deals AoE Cryo damage.
Plus, Kaeya‘s elemental burst Glacial Waltz allows him to sprint across water, useful for both exploration and combat re-positioning.
For your starting mage, you‘ll get the 4-star Electro catalyst user Lisa. As a sorceress, Lisa utilizes her Elemental Skill Violet Arc for targeted lighting strikes and Elemental Burst Lightning Rose for sustained AoE attacks.
Lisa unlocks at Adventure Rank 10. She serves as an easy introduction to ranged elemental combat and reactions.
The Maid of The Knights of Favonius, Noelle is a handy 4-star Geo claymore user that protects your team with defensive utility.
Her Breastplate skill shields allies and her Sweeping Time burst swings her massive sword at nearby foes while regenerating HP. Noelle is guaranteed from your beginner wish rolls.
This powerful 4-star Pyro polearm user dishes out damage over time with her Elemental Skill Guoba and Burst Pyronado. Unlock her by clearing Spiral Abyss floor 3 chamber 3.
The energetic Dendro archer Collei is Genshin‘s first free Dendro character added in Version 3.0. Complete the Graven Innocence world quest in The Chasm area to add her to your team.
Her skill Thorny Bouquetrap deploys an exploding Dendro shuriken while her burst compartments enemies then carpet bombs with further Dendro damage.
The latest free 4-star is Dori, an Electro claymore user added in Version 3.1. Dori provides energy restoration and electro-charged attacks.
You can unlock Dori by completing the new Sumeru world quest "Under The Ancient Stones" involving an precious ore forgery scam.
So in summary, you are guaranteed the Traveler, Amber, Kaeya, Lisa, Noelle, plus Xiangling, Collei and Dori from natural progression – a nice diverse starter team!
Event and Campaign Free Characters
Now let‘s discuss limited-time characters awarded during events and livestream campaigns:
- Fischl – Powerful Electro dps bow user given out during events like the Stellar Reunion exchange shop.
- Beidou – Electro claymore user and ship captain rewarded in the Thunder Sojourn event.
- Xingqiu – This Hydro sword user was obtainable during the Lantern Rite Tales event for Chinese New Year celebrations.
- Ningguang – The stylish Geo catalyst dps was the free character in the Stand By Me login event.
- Xinyan – Pyro claymore user and rock musician awarded during the Labyrinth Warriors dungeon event.
miHoYo is always adding more of these mini events and campaigns, so keep an eye out! Participating consistently will net you free characters.
During major version livestreams, they also provide primogem redemption codes. You can use those precious resources to wish. So tune into the pre-launch events to get insider previews and freebies.
Methods to Unlock Additional Free Characters
Beyond the above, here are some other methods I‘ve used to get free characters for my party:
Clear main Archon quests – Completing certain chapters in the core story unlocks new members, like the Xiangling quest I mentioned earlier. Always be progressing the main questline!
Raise your Adventure Rank – Gaining AR grants acquisition rewards like premium fates to use on banners. Higher ranks increase your chances of getting free characters.
Test out trial characters – The test run events let you briefly use 5-star characters at max power to decide if you want to save up for them.
Check the shop regularly – The vendors can directly sell characters for currency like stardust/starglitter acquired from wishing dupes.
Stay patient – Building your roster slowly over time with the free acquired resources gives you something to work towards. Enjoy the journey!
Set small goals, participate in every event, and manage your currencies wisely. With some persistence, you‘ll get a solid team ready for end-game content.
Statistical Probability of Getting 5-Stars Without Wishing
Now I know what you may be thinking next – what about getting those elusive 5-star characters as a free player? Let‘s dig into the stats and probability behind that:
- There are currently 17 permanent 5-star characters available
- Standard banner: ~0.6% base chance per wish of a 5-star
- 50/50 system gives a 50% chance of the event 5-star, otherwise one of the standard pool
- Requires 90 wishes max to trigger hard pity system for 5-star
- Around 1 in 167 probability on standard banner per roll
As you can see, the rates are quite low. But there are a couple ways you might get lucky:
- Winning the 50/50 early into soft pity (74+ wishes)
- Randomly getting a standard 5-star from free acquaint fates
Realistically though, free-to-play players will spend months accumulating enough primogems through quests, events and exploration to spark a 5-star pity. Wishing strategically on banners you like is advised.
But don‘t worry! 4-star characters can still carry you through all the story and events at high investment. Focus on building up their levels, talents, weapons and artifacts.
Phew, that was a lot of info to cover on collecting characters for free in Genshin Impact! Here are the key tips to recap:
- Claim all the permanently free characters like Traveler, Amber, Kaeya, etc.
- Participate in events, livestreams and redeem codes for the chance at free 4-stars
- Roll thoughtfully on banners with the free fates from leveling up
- Directly purchase characters from vendors using acquired currencies
- Focus on elevating your starter 4-stars before chasing 5-stars
Take it step by step, be patient with progression, and optimize your primogem income via quests and exploration. Over time, you‘ll assemble a diverse roster rivaling even paying players!
The gacha gods favor persistence. Enjoy the journey, and may fortune find you, dear friend. Let me know if you have any other questions on getting those free characters!