There’s always a lot going on in Genshin Impact, so we’ve put together a comprehensive news hub to help you keep track of all the updates, events, and more that are going on!
Current Banners (Jan 31 – Feb 20)
4.4 Character Banners
- Xianyun (5-Star Anemo Catalyst) [NEW]
- Nahida (5-Star Dendro Catalyst)
- Gaming (4-Star Pyro Claymore) [NEW]
- Faruzan (4-Star Anemo Bow)
- Noelle (4-Star Geo Claymore)
Phase 1 of Genshin Impact 4.4 has arrived, bringing with it two new characters – Xianyun (the human form of Cloud Retainer) and Gaming to compliment this year’s Lantern Rite! We’ll go over both new characters in detail below, so let’s take a look at the returning characters first.
We hope you’ve been saving up Primogems, because Nahida has finally returned after nearly 9 long months. The Dendro Archon is by far one of the strongest characters in Genshin Impact, providing amazing on-and-off-field Dendro application and supercharging Dendro-reaction teams.
While many players have been saving up for Xianyun, it’s incredibly difficult to beat the sheer value that Nahida provides. We suggest the following to make your decision on who to Wish for:
- If you have neither and care about the meta, we suggest going with Nahida.
- If you already have Nahida, then going for Xianyun is potentially worthwhile solely to make plunging attack team comps viable.
- That being said, getting Nahida to C2 is a significant powerspike for those close to it.
As for the returning 4-Star characters, both Faruzan and Noelle benefit drastically from maxing out their Constellations.
Faruzan serves as a dedicated Anemo support, capable of drastically boosting allies’ Anemo damage and shredding the enemies’ Anemo RES. However, she very much needs to be C6 to properly fulfill her intended role. Otherwise, Faruzan suffers from clunky CC, lack of energy generation, and reduced debuff time. That being said, she’s amazing at C6.
As for Noelle, she only needs to be C1 to be a reliable healer and shielder. However, if you can reach C6 with Noelle, she becomes an very strong one-man tank, healer, and DPS. If you invest in building her, Noelle can rival the output of some of the stronger 5-Star characters.
New Character Analysis – Xianyun
Cloud Retainer has finally graced us with her human form, Xianyun. Fittingly, she’s an Anemo Catalyst user who serves as a dedicated plunge attack support, scaling primarily with ATK.
Not only does her entire kit revolve around plunge attacks, but she also enables any party member to easily perform them as well. While her kit might seem complicated at first, it’s actually fairly straightforward.
Skill: Xianyun can leap up to 3 times, supercharging her next plunging attack to lock onto a nearby target and deal extra AoE Anemo damage in a larger radius.
Thanks to her A1 passive, each enemy hit by the enhanced plunging attack will grant a stack (up to 4 total) that boosts the CRIT Rate of all party members’ plunging attacks for 20 seconds.
Burst: Xianyun deals AoE Anemo damage around herself, applies an immediate heal, and grants a periodic healing effect for 16 seconds. Both the immediate heal and over time effect are party-wide.
Additionally, Xianyun’s Burst summons the Starwicker familiar, which follows the active character and drastically boosts their jump height. Each subsequent plunging attack while the Starwicker is around will trigger AoE Anemo damage (lasts for 8 plunging attacks).
Xianyun’s A4 passive will further boost the plunging damage granted by the Starwicker by triple her ATK, up to an extra 9k damage.
Due to the very generous duration of her buffs and reasonable cooldowns, Xianyun can easily enable any plunging attack team comp. Naturally, she pairs well with characters who already have a focus on it (such as Xiao and Kazuha).
That being said, not every party member needs to focus on plunging attacks. Xianyun performs at her best by buffing one dedicated plunging DPS alongside two other supporting characters (such as Bennett and Faruzan).
While the viability of team comps centered around Xianyun is a bit limited at the moment, we expect future characters to help alleviate this. Currently, the best DPS options to pair with Xianyun are Xiao, Gaming, and Kazuha. Alternatively, any other Claymore character will work, as they have higher plunging attack modifiers in comparison to other weapon types.
Aside from that, Xianyun is also just really fun to play as. Her Skill gives her a lot of vertical mobility and can also be used to traverse horizontally by pausing between each cast. While the lock on plunging attack can be a bit finicky, it’s satisfying to use. The buffs from her Skill and Burst are both easy to manage, and team-wide healing is always appreciated.
Is Xianyun Good and Worth Pulling For?
In summary, if you plan on ever building or using a plunging attack team, you definitely should pull for Xianyun. However, outside of that, she’s a bit too gimmicky and not too much different performance-wise from Jean.
Though if you have Ganyu and Shenhe, you’re morally obligated to reunite them with their adoptive mother.
New Character Analysis – Gaming
Speaking of being paired up with Xianyun, Gaming is the premiere 4-Star plunging DPS character. Gaming’s playstyle revolves around re-activating his skill back-to-back to launch devastating plunging attacks and dealing AoE Pyro damage.
However, each time he uses his skill, he sacrifices some health. While Gaming does some self-healing built into his kit, he functions best when paired with a healer, as he does more damage when above 50% health. We’re sure you can see why Xianyun works well with him.
Skill: Gaming will charge forward. If he collides with an enemy or terrain, he’ll launch himself into the air and can use an empowered plunging attack that deals AoE Pyro damage. However, it will consume a 15% of his health each time he uses the empowered plunge attack.
Luckily, Gaming’s A1 passive will periodically heal for a percentage of his health after hitting an enemy with his empowered plunge attack. Additionally, his A4 passive will make the empowered plunge attack deal 20% more damage if his health is above 50%.
Burst: Gaming will enter the Wushou Stance, instantly healing 30% of his max health and summoning his companion, Man Chai, to attack enemies. After Man Chai hits an enemy, he’ll roll back towards Gaming. If the two meet up, Gaming’s Skill cooldown will immediately end.
As long as Gaming’s health remains above 50% during his Burst, whenever he uses his Skill or the empowered plunge attack, Man Chai will attack another enemy before rolling back again.
As you’ve probably surmised, as long as Gaming has someone else providing healing, he can indefinitely keep his health above 50% and keep throwing Man Chai out during his Burst. This in turn lets him chain cast his Skill again and again.
Without a dedicated source of healing, you’ll only be able to get a couple casts of Gaming’s Skill off before you no longer meet the 50% health threshold for all of his bonuses. Unfortunately, the healing from his Burst and A1 passive are not enough to single-handily sustain him.
While Xianyun is the obvious choice due to her Burst’s healing effects and bonuses to plunging attacks, any other off-field healer can work with Gaming too.
Is Gaming Good and Worth Pulling For?
Although Gaming can work perfectly fine with most teams, his full potential only comes out when he’s paired with Xianyun. If you don’t plan on pulling for Xianyun, then it’s not really worth going out of your way to try and get him.
Though if you do have Xianyun, Gaming can put out some tremendous damage. It is completely possible for Gaming to deal back-to-back 100k+ hits with empowered plunging attacks if you build and support him properly.
4.4 Weapon Banners
- Crane’s Echoing Call (5-Star Catalyst) [NEW]
- A Thousand Floating Dreams (5-Star Catalyst)
- Lithic Spear (4-Star Polearm)
- Sacrificial Sword (4-Star Sword)
- Sacrificial Greatsword (4-Star Claymore)
- Sacrificial Fragments (4-Star Catalyst)
- Sacrificial Bow (4-Star Bow)
Crane’s Echoing Call is the signature weapon of Xianyun and custom-built to enhance her role as a plunging attack support. We’ll be frank, if you don’t have Xianyun herself, skip this weapon.
With an ATK% sub-stat and ability that only procs off plunging attacks, Xianyun becomes the only character who can make effective use of it. Yes, other characters could in theory take advantage of the energy generated by the weapon, but there are far better ER weapons out there for that.
A Thousand Floating Dreams is the opposite case. Although it’s Nahida’s signature weapon, it’s a fantastic weapon for every Catalyst character that relies on EM. The flexibility of its effect makes it work with nearly any party too and skyrockets EM based teams.
As for the 4-Star weapons, all of them are good this time around.
The Sacrificial weapons are all great for any support characters that have long Skill cooldowns. All of them (except for the Catalyst) also have ER as a sub-stat, which further enhances their role as support weapons. That being said, the cooldown on their effect is a bit long until you get enough copies to refine them to R5.
As for the Lithic Spear, it’s a bit of a niche weapon, requiring you to build a team with characters from Liyue. Typically, you’ll need at least 3 Liyue characters in the party to justify using this on a polearm character.
Conveniently, half of the polearm wielders in Genshin Impact hail from Liyue, which helps a bit. As more characters are added to the game, the Lithic Spear’s viability should steadily increase.
Upcoming Banners & Leaked Characters
4.4 Phase 2 Banners (Feb 21 – March 12)
- Xiao (5-Star Anemo Polearm)
- Yae Miko (5-Star Electro Catalyst)
- Yaoyao (4-Star Dendro Polearm)
- Ningguang (4-Star Geo Catalyst)
- Xinyan (4-Star Pyro Claymore)
Fittingly, the next two featured 5-Star characters synergize quite well with their respective predecessor. Though whether or not you have enough Primogems saved up for them in another issue…
Xiao is still one of the strongest main DPS characters, capable of single-handily tearing through crowds of elites on his own. However, his health-draining mechanic makes him a bit difficult to use for some players.
Luckily, Xianyun completely negates this issue with her Burst’s healing and further enhances Xiao’s already impressive plunging attack’s damage. There’s never been a better time to pull for Xiao if you have Xianyun.
As for Yae Miko, she’s still one of the best sub-DPS characters in Genshin Impact thanks to her Skill letting her be a fantastic off-field Electro applier. Her Burst damage is nothing to scoff at either.
Yae pairs extremely well with Nahida, as the two are heavily EM-focused and can regularly alternate on to the field to set up their Skills and Bursts. The subsequent damage from the Catalyze reactions they trigger will make quick work of most enemies.
As for the 4-Star characters, they’re unfortunately all a bit on the lackluster side.
Yaoyao is a fairly potent healer, who’s capable of dealing periodic Dendro damage while off-field. However, she’s typically not enough to fulfill the role of Dendro applicator by herself and doesn’t deal a tremendous amount of damage.
Xinyan is unfortunately in an even worse spot. With a kit that doesn’t really synergize at all, Xinyan doesn’t bring anything unique to the table. She’s best built as a Physical DPS, but that arguably hurts her identity even more in a game that revolves around elemental reactions.
Ningguang is the best 4-Star option this time around but only really shines in a mono-Geo team. While she can deal an absurd amount of damage, it’s a bit of a slow and clunky process that tends to rely on the enemy not instantly destroying her Jade Screen. Unfortunately, most dangerous enemies tend to easily destroy Geo structures.
- Primordial Jade Winged-Spear (5-Star Polearm)
- Kagura’s Verity (5-Star Catalyst)
- Lithic Blade (4-Star Claymore)
- Lion’s Roar (4-Star Sword)
- Favonius Lance (4-Star Polearm)
- The Widsith (4-Star Catalyst)
- The Stringless (4-Star Bow)
Both featured 5-Star weapons are geared towards CRIT and are excellent choices for any damage focused characters.
That being said, Primordial Jade Winged-Spear is always available as part of the standard 5-Star weapon pool, so there’s a decent chance that’ll you end up with it eventually even without trying to specifically get it.
Kagura’s Verity on the other hand is a limited weapon and is mainly useful for characters who can spam their Skill to gain full stacks of the weapon’s buff. As of now, only Yae Miko and Lisa can easily take full advantage of the effect on Kagura’s Verity, but it’s still useful on main DPS characters like Heizou or Klee.
As for the 4-Star weapons, they all have some value in their specific niche cases.
Lithic Blade becomes more powerful the more Liyue characters you have in the party. Typically, it takes at least 3 Liyue characters to be worth it. Luckily, as more characters are added to the game, the more viable the Lithic weapons become.
Lion’s Roar is a decent placeholder for any character who can regularly apply Electro or Pyro to the enemy, but there’s usually better options.
Favonius Lance is a great option for any support character to provide them with enough energy to spam their Burst on cooldown.
While The Widsith isn’t the best-in-slot for anyone, it’s a very flexible Catalyst that can work for pretty much any DPS character. While the RNG nature of its buff can be a bit annoying, it’s all geared towards offense.
Lastly, The Stringless is a great Bow for any sub-DPS character who wants to just swap onto the field to use their Skill/Burst before swapping out again. It’s also one of the few Bows to provide EM as a sub-stat.
We know for a fact that a future playable character will be Chiori, the Inazuman fashion designer who has set up shop in Fontaine. She recently featured in the Roses & Muskets flagship event from 4.3 as the movie’s costume designer and is also the one who designed Kirara’s outfit.
Currently, the only confirmed thing is that she’ll be a Geo character. Leaks suggest that Chiori will be a Sword wielder released in version 4.5 and will be geared towards being an off-field sub-DPS focused on CRIT.
Clorinde & Sigewinne
Both the Champion Duelist and Fortress of Meropide’s Head Nurse are inevitably going to be playable characters, especially given their designs and roles in the story of Fontaine.
At the moment, the only things set in stone are their elements, with Electro for Clorinde and Hydro for Sigewinne. However, leaks strongly suggest the Clorinde will be a 5-Star Sword wielder, while Sigewinne will be a 4-Star Bow user.
The two will most likely appear together on the character banner for version 4.7 of Genshin Impact. This would fit with the speculation that the two are meant to compliment one another with a focus on the Electro-Charged reaction.
If these leaks hold true, Clorinde will be a main DPS with strong energy generation that can slot into multiple Electro-based team comps. Meanwhile, Sigewinne will serve as an off-field sub-DPS Hydro applier, dedicated to Electro-Charged teams.
Given that the entirety of plans for Fontaine was leaked months ago before being taken down, it’s very safe to say that the Fatui Harbringer, Arlecchino, will be playable. However, the details surrounding her are up for debate, as information on her is the least concrete.
Currently, it’s widely accepted that Arlecchino will be a 5-Star Pyro Polearm character. Leaks suggest that she’ll be a main DPS with some form/stance mechanic and that she’ll synergize with the Overloaded reaction in some way, which would make her an ideal teammate for Chevreuse.
But once again, these details are all up in the air. While it’s safe to say miHoYo won’t be pulling another Signora on us, Arlecchino should still be a ways away from release.
Events in Genshin Impact 4.4
For this section, we’ll be focusing exclusively on Genshin Impact events that take place in-game.
There are often some small web-browser based events that can be accessed via Hoyolab’s main page, but they’re often mentioned in the game’s launch browser. They’re all incredibly easy and usually only take about 5 minutes to claim all the rewards, so we won’t be covering those.
Vibrant Harriers Aloft in Spring Breeze (Feb 5 – Feb 26)
The flagship event for version 4.4 of Genshin Impact. The Lantern Rite Festival has once again arrived. The theme of the event this time is kites and will introduce Gaming to the story.
As usual, there are copious rewards for this Lantern Rite, including simultaneous login reward events. Completing this year’s Lantern Rite will grant you a choice of any 4-Star Liyue character (including Gaming) and Xingqiu’s new outfit for free!
Naturally, this event comes with mini-games that award event currency and other goodies:
- Paper Shadows A-Foraging: Control Guoba/Yuegui on a checkerboard-like stage and help solve puzzles within a limited amount of steps to gather ingredients.
- Joyful Beasts and Their Auspices: Compete against other players in 3 different mini-games while making use of the Bumper Wushou mode to send others flying.
- Iridescent Cloud-Striding: Use the new Golden Carp traversal mechanic introduced in Chenyu Vale to soar through the skies and collect lanterns as fireworks go off in the background.
Triumphant Frenzy (Feb 15 – Feb 26)
Another battle domain event! This time around, each challenge will have 4 rounds of combat where you select either 2 or 4 random Trial Characters to form your team.
Each Trial Character starts with 2 Resolve, and using them in a round will consume 1 Resolve. You’ll want to go into each round with as much Resolve as possible, as each challenge has a unique mechanic that gives you more buffs the higher your team’s Resolve is.
If your team has less than 4 Resolve total, it won’t receive any buffs, which will make it difficult to handle the special effects of each challenge.
Since you won’t be using any of your own characters and have only a couple options to choose from, this is a great time to experiment with new team combinations and strategies.
Receiver of Friends From Afar (Feb 21 – March 4)
Help Wangshu Inn prepare dishes for guests in this new cooking mini-game event. The event’s gameplay is similar to cooking a normal dish, but a bit more challenging, requiring you to get the timing down more than once.
Additionally, you’ll need to plate the dish afterwards to appeal to the customer’s tastes.
Journey Through Hilinigmatic Terrain (Feb 29 – March 11)
The Hilichurl tribes in Mondstadt are acting up, and it’s up to you to figure out why. The event is divided up into two major parts.
- Explorotary Journey – With the help of a gadget, you’ll be able to attach yourself to the local Hilichurls and will have to “jump” between nearby ones to find a safe path through their camps.
- Hilinigmatic Duel – A boss battle against an unusually large Samachurl. Take advantage of the environment and its own abilities to topple your foe.
Overflowing Mastery (March 4 – March 11)
The chance to get more Talent Books for cheap has arrived. Each day of the event, you’ll receive double the rewards from Talent Book domains.
However, this only applies to using Original Resin (not Condensed) and can only be done 3 times per day. Just make sure you’re running the right domain for the Talent Books you’re aiming for!
The Forge Realm’s Temper: Clever Stratagems (Jan 31 – March 15)
Genius Invocation TCG continues to get events. This time around, you have 4 challenges with special rulesets to tackle. Your goal is to earn enough points in each match to claim all the rewards.
Additionally, you can earn more points via adjusting the match’s settings:
- Increase the overall difficulty
- Add more health to your opponents
- Limit the amount of rounds you have to win.
Heated Battle Mode: Tactical Formation (Feb 17 – March 4)
Another TCG event that embodies pure chaos. You’ll be playing with randomly generated decks and will have to choose from a selection of Character Cards at the start of the match.
This game mode is largely for fun and a great opportunity to test out card combinations that you would never normally use. Just be like Itto – don’t think, have fun, and blame your deck when you lose.
4.4 Changes & Major Updates
Here’s all the other news and major changes/updates that came with Version 4.4 of Genshin Impact.
New Region: Chenyu Vale
The biggest addition in Version 4.4 of Genshin Impact is the addition of the Chenyu Vale in the northwest corner of Liyue.
The misty mountains that make up the vale have been hinted at since the inception of the game, and at long last, we get to visit them ourselves. Known for its rich teas and springs, Chenyu Vale is a relaxing zone teeming with remnants of ruins and treasures.
NOTE: This may be the last chance to get the 3-Star weapons (Halberd, White Tassel, Twin Nephrite, Skyrider Greatsword, and Messenger) that are exclusive to Liyue treasure chests if you’ve already opened all the other Liyue chests.
You can get to Chenyu Vale easily by taking the automatically unlocked waypoint along its eastern shore (just west of Qingce Village).
However, the first time you step into the Vale (regardless of where you entered from), you’ll be forcibly teleported away to meet someone who’s been waiting for your arrival. This is mandatory to explore the region, so don’t panic.
And for those wondering how large Chenyu Vale is, it’s about half the size of the rest of Liyue (minus The Chasm). As for the completionists, Chenyu Vale has the following counts:
- 333 treasure chests (plus 3 that don’t count towards the achievement counter)
- 20 Seelies
- 57 Time Trial Challenges
New World Boss: Solitary Suanni
Unsurprisingly, the addition of a new region comes with the addition of a new World Boss. The Solitary Suanni is a mystical beast that wields both Hydro and Anemo and drops the ascension materials for Xianyun.
Ideally, you’ll want to bring a team that has access to Cryo and one other reactive element to easily beat the Solitary Suanni. While it’s not particularly difficult, there are two notable attacks to look out for and interrupt.
The first one will have the Suanni begin gathering Hydro energy to unleash around itself. Simply Freeze it and follow up with any other reaction to interrupt it. Failing to do so will cause massive hard-hitting splashes.
The second one is where the Suanni releases 3 spiraling Anemo orbs around itself. You need to imbue the orbs with any element that can cause Swirl to disperse them. Failing to do so will unleash a massive blast of damage and summon tornadoes that’ll suck you in.
Xianyun Story Quest
Following in the wake of her adoptive daughters, Cloud Retainer has chosen to walk amongst the mortals of Liyue as a human once again, donning the name of Xianyun. Discover what has spurred this reclusive adeptus to leave her abode in the mountains.
Canonically, Xianyun’s story quest takes place shortly prior to this year’s Lantern Rite, which is convenient timing to feature her in the event!
More Quality of Life Changes
Version 4.4 continues the trend of quality of life changes. That being said, there are still a lot of changes that should be made to the game, so keep asking for them in the feedback surveys!
- Fast Equip system introduced for artifacts, featuring Quick and Custom Loadouts.
- Quick: Creates a recommended set of non-equipped artifacts based off player data.
- Custom: Creates a set of artifacts based off the criteria you assign.
- Commissions with uncompleted achievements tied to them are more likely to be chosen.
- Rejoice achievement hunters and completionists!
- A notification will be added to the Adventurer’s Journal in the top-right once you finish your commissions to remind you to claim your daily commission reward from Katheryne.
- Number of saved party compositions increased from 4 to 15.
- No longer need to leave the stage during Character Test Trials to select the next one.
- “Borderless Mode” has finally been added to PC Display Mode settings.
- “Dynamic Character Resolution” feature added to make models smoother and less blocky.
- The changes are very subtle, so don’t be surprised if you don’t notice any changes immediately.
Serenitea Pot Improvements
Besides adding some new furniture items inspired by Chenyu Vale, a fair amount of QoL changes have been made to the Serenitea Pot.
- Furnishings have been sorted into new and more accurate categories, and a Filter & Search function has been added.
- If you scroll in the edit menu, it’ll remember that you scrolled if you switch to a different tab.
- The Companion List will now show their friendship levels and be listed in descending order.
- The Lingering Moment furniture item will now prioritize characters that you’ve completed the Hangout Memories for.
This Lantern Rite is going all out with outfits, giving us three new ones for Xingqiu, Shenhe, and Ganyu.
You can earn Xingqiu’s new outfit for free by partaking in the Lantern Rite Festival event. For those who miss it, it’ll presumably be added to the outfit store afterwards.
Unfortunately, the new outfits for Shenhe and Ganyu must be purchased with Genesis Crystals. Both outfits are on sale each for 1350 Genesis Crystals until March 11, where their price will revert to 1680.
New TCG Cards & Updates
More cards have been released! While not as a numerous as the previous update, there are still quite a few changes.
- 4 new Character Cards (Thoma, Sayu, Cryo Hypostasis, and Millennial Pearl Seahorse)
- 7 new Action Cards (1 Weapon, 1 Artifact, 2 Companion, 1 Food, 2 Event)
- Nerfs to “In Every House a Stove”, “Vourukasha’s Glow”, and “Thunder Manifestation”