As a gaming and streaming enthusiast, I often get asked – is Genshin Impact really free to play? With so much hype around this anime-style RPG, it‘s natural for gamers to be skeptical.
Well, I‘m here to give you the real lowdown on whether you can enjoy everything Genshin has to offer without paying. After playing for over a year and following reactions from the community, I‘ve got all the details.
So grab some snacks, take a seat, and let‘s dive into this guide on Genshin Impact‘s free-to-play model. I‘ll cover what exactly is free, how much it costs to unlock different aspects, and tips to get the most out of Genshin without spending.
Can You Really Play Genshin Impact 100% Free?
The short answer is yes! I know it may be hard to believe for a game this high quality, but the core Genshin experience is totally free. That includes:
- Exploring the massive open world regions like Mondstadt, Liyue, and Sumeru
- Completing the extensive main story and side quests
- Participating in limited-time events
- Unlocking teleport waypoints and Statues of The Seven
- Claiming free characters like Amber, Kaeya, Lisa, etc.
- Using the wish/gacha systems with free currencies
- Co-op multiplayer with friends or random players
- The Spiral Abyss end-game challenge
- Customizing characters with weapons, artifacts, ascension materials
You can sink dozens if not hundreds of hours into all of that content without hitting any paywalls or restrictions. Once you download Genshin, you have unlimited access.
There‘s also no energy system limiting your playtime each day – a big advantage over many free mobile RPGs. You can play as much or as little Genshin as you want daily.
So yes, absolutely 100% of the core gameplay and story content is free!
What Does Genshin Impact Monetize?
Now that we‘ve established the base game is free, what exactly can you pay for? Well, Genshin monetizes primarily through its gacha wish system.
There are two banners that let you spend currencies to receive randomized items:
Character Event Wish: Requires Fate currency earned in-game or Primogems which cost real money. Grants a random 5-star character alongside 4-star characters and weapons.
Standard Wish: Uses Acquaint Fate only from playing. Also provides 5-star characters but of the general pool, not limited.
So in summary, spending money lets you access 5-star characters faster, especially limited ones. The standard wish and some given for free let you play normally without paying.
But what about weapons, costumes, inventory, XP, etc? Thankfully all progression systems are free including:
- Leveling up characters through XP and ascension
- Improving skills and getting talent materials
- Crafting and forging weapons
- Farming artifacts and upgrading them
- Inventory expansions
- Outfit skins (a few paid cosmetics exist but are optional)
- Materials like Mora, EXP books, enhancement ore
Basically only the randomized gacha characters and weapons require real money. Everything else in Genshin Impact can be unlocked for free with time and effort.
How Much Would It Cost to Unlock Everything?
While getting literally every single character and weapon in Genshin Impact would cost a fortune, you can unlock almost everything that matters for free.
Let‘s break down real estimates for unlocking certain aspects:
- $0: Main story and side quests, events, exploration, Spiral Abyss
- $5 one-time: Battle Pass (optional quality of life perks)
- $15 per month: Welkin Moon blessing (extra premium currency)
- $100+ per 5-star character: Getting the rate-up banner character
- $200+ for constellations and 5-star weapons: Maxing out characters
As you can see, you can experience probably 90-95% of Genshin for free. Even as a free player you‘ll get some 5-star characters and weapons over time through the pity system.
Only the last 5-10% of premium characters and max constellations/refines are behind big paywalls. But they are absolutely not necessary to enjoy everything Genshin has to offer.
Can You Beat Genshin Impact as a Free Player?
This is a big question in the community – can you truly finish and beat all Genshin content without paying? Based on my experience, the answer is 100% yes!
I‘ve completed every story quest, cleared the challenging Spiral Abyss end-game, and participated in every event without paying a cent. You can absolutely experience it all as a free player:
Main story – Easily beatable with free characters. Some parts even encourage using the story free characters!
Limited events – Always balanced around free/low investment characters with adjustible difficulties.
Spiral Abyss – With smart team building and investment, free characters can 9 star clear.
Exploration – No benefits or bonuses for paying here, totally even playing field.
Hangout Events – Pure visual novel style quests unrelated to gacha.
Teapot – Your own base to decorate with no monetization.
The key is investing your resources carefully as a free player. Focus on maximizing 1-2 DPS characters first. Prioritize limited 5-stars since you can get standard ones later. Build top 4-star supports like Xiangling rather than spreading yourself thin.
With the right strategies, Genshin Impact offers hundreds of hours of meaningful content accessible to all. No need to pay to win when skill matters most.
Will Genshin Impact Get More Expensive Over Time?
This is a common concern – will Genshin eventually gate more behind paywalls? Well, based on miHoYo‘s track record so far, that seems unlikely.
Recent large regions like Inazuma and Sumeru have not added any new monetization or restrictions. All progression systems like artifacts, talents, weapons, ascension materials remain free.
The only thing that may get more costly is acquiring specific characters you want. As more 5-stars enter the game, the gacha pool dilutes. So saving enough Primogems as a free player does require patience.
But miHoYo has given no signs of deviating from Genshin‘s core free-to-play model and emphasis on accessible open world gameplay. The gacha remains optional and circumstantial.
Barring any dramatic shifts in direction, you can expect future Genshin Impact updates to uphold the same free experience with reasonable monetization. No worrying about hitting surprise paywalls down the road!
Tips for Completely Free Players
If you want to experience all Genshin has to offer without spending, here are some key tips:
Focus resources into 1-2 main DPS characters to carry your teams. Spreading too thin will hurt progression.
Prioritize limit-broken 5-stars since you can acquire standard 5-stars later through losses.
Build top meta 4-stars like Xiangling, Xingqiu, Beidou. At high investment they can match or beat 5-stars.
Craft new weapons, enhance, and farm artifacts consistently to raise power. Don‘t neglect gear grinding.
Utilize Paimon‘s Bargains shop each month for resources you need like materials, constellations, etc.
Do daily quests and spend resin to accumulate materials. Consistency compounds over time.
Explore thoroughly and grab chests for extra Primogems, materials, artifacts etc. Open world content respawns every 48 hours.
Sticking to these tips will help you maximize Genshin Impact as a free player while avoiding wasting resources and hitting frustrating walls.
Will Genshin Impact Ever Add PVP?
This is a hot debate within the Genshin community – will miHoYo ever add competitive PVP? Currently, there are no official plans to implement it. The endgame remains focused on solo progression.
However, Honkai Impact 3rd eventually got competitive modes years after launching. So down the road, Genshin may add some form of PVP or leaderboards.
If that does happen, it‘s likely matchmaking would separate free and paying players. That would prevent pay-to-win advantages. Co-op also seems destined to remain optional rather than directly competitive.
Overall, Genshin seems committed to its PVE core for the foreseeable future. But light competition could spice things up down the road once the PVE ecosystem matures.
Is Genshin Impact Worth Playing in 2023?
For anyone debating trying Genshin Impact in 2023, I couldn‘t recommend it more highly. This game offers one of the most polished free gaming experiences across any platform.
The beautiful anime-styled open world, engaging combat, frequent updates, and reasonable free-to-play model make Genshin a must-try.
It does have flaws of course – the gacha can be frustrating and co-op is limited. The endgame also revolves around daily grinding which isn‘t for everyone.
But as long as you enjoy exploring, progressing characters, and a good anime-styled adventure, Genshin Impact absolutely delivers. And trying it is easy since it‘s free on PC, console and mobile!
Quick Genshin Impact Review Summary
- Gorgeous massive open world regions to explore
- Hundreds of engaging quests and stories to complete
- Satisfying action combat with elements and combos
- Frequent major content updates every ~6 weeks
- Full cross-play and cross-save on PC, console, mobile
- Gacha system for characters but no paywalls
- Relaxing soundtrack and Japanese voice acting
- Housing system, co-op, mini-games provide variety
For a free game, Genshin Impact is an absolute triumph and one of the top RPG experiences available now. I highly recommend giving it a try in 2023!
Let me know if you have any other Genshin questions. I‘m happy to provide advice for new players looking to try out this amazing game completely free.