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Is Genshin Impact Pay to Win?

Despite being billed as a free-to-play game available on PlayStation, PC, and Mobile, it’s natural to wonder if Genshin Impact is truly free or if it’s actually a pay-to-win game. The game has hundreds of hours of content, quests, items, and more that are available without spending a single cent.

The catch though (there’s always a catch), is that the game also has a gacha system where players can obtain new characters and weapons. There are also item packs and character skins available exclusively to players who pay.

With all of that, we thought it was time to answer the question: is Genshin Impact pay to win?

What is “Pay to Win”?

Klee wondering if Genshin Impact is pay to win.
Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Before we talk about how it applies to Genshin Impact, let’s define what “pay to win” means. 

While the term implies you have to literally pay in order to win a game, that’s not really what it means. Usually when someone says a game is pay to win, they mean that players who pay are going to have a huge advantage over those that don’t. 

That typically means players who are willing to shell out money are able to get better resources, characters, etc. In games focused on PvP, pay-to-win can pretty much ruin the game for casual players, since they’ll be unable to compete on an equal playing ground against those with premium characters and weapons. 

Since there is little to no PvP in Genshin Impact though, let’s talk about how paying does affect gameplay.

Paying in Genshin Impact – Is the Game Pay to Win?

The Blessing of the Welkin Moon is one of the features you can pay for in Genshin Impact.
Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

In Genshin Impact, players are given many incentives to spend actual money, there’s no denying that. The two biggest draws are new characters and new weapons. Most other resources in the game can be obtained without needing to buy anything. 

New characters are constantly added to the game. Major updates usually include one or two of them, which is great. Unless you want to get them all. Hoyoverse has consistently rolled out updates every 6 or so weeks which means there isn’t as much time as players would like to save up their primogems

That being said, is Genshin Impact pay to win? No. 

We’ll be the first to say that spending money is going to enhance your experience with the game. Being able to nab all the new characters and weapons is an exhilarating experience. While the gacha system can be a gamble, the odds will eventually be in your favor… if you’re willing to open up your wallet. 

Having a wide variety of characters is not only exciting since it lets you try out all the different playstyles. It also means you can be prepared for any and every scenario the game throws at you. You’ll be able to easily switch up your team comp when you have most (or all) of the characters best suited for the job.

Thankfully, there’s also a pity system that guarantees you a 50/50 chance at the 5-star of the banner you’re wishing on. If you lose that 50/50, the next 5-star is guaranteed to be the banner-specific one.

Genshin Impact is definitely easier when you don’t have to track each and every primogem you spend. Even so, we promise it’s entirely possible to remain completely free-to-play and still enjoy the game to the fullest.

How to Succeed as F2P

Wishing for new
Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

There are two things to do if you want to play Genshin Impact without draining your bank account. The first is to play consistently. Second, you’ll need to spend your primogems wisely. 

Spend Primogems Strategically

Genius Invokation TCG is one of the completely free-to-play elements
Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Playing the game will naturally grant you tens of thousands of primogems. Players will need to work in order to get them all, but they are definitely there. As you obtain them, it’s important to think about how you want to use them.

It’s easy to blow all your primos at once on the first banner that comes up. If you want to stay free-to-play though you’re going to want to put in some thought though. Remember that most players spend their primogems on new characters. The more characters you have, the easier the game gets because you’ll have access to more team comps as well as more Elemental and Passive Skills.

We aren’t saying you need to research the game meta or anything (you can do that if you want but it isn’t absolutely necessary). Just keep in mind which 5-stars you want the most. When you know which characters you want, you can decide whether to pull for their Constellation or signature weapon and that will give you a rough idea of how many primogems you’ll need for their next banner run.

Free-to-play players will want to focus on 5-star characters first and foremost. 

4-star weapons and characters are pretty easy to obtain without spending all of your primogems, and some of them are even better than some of the 5-stars out there. Tons of events also let you pick a specific 4-star character to add to your team for free, which means you can still get new characters without wishing on banners.

Play Consistently

Is Genshin Impact pay to win?
Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

As long as you grab all the free primogems given during events, quests, and patches you will absolutely get enough to grab some 5-star characters and even their weapons. Like we mentioned above there are tens of thousands of primogems available in the game up for grabs. You don’t need to pay to get to them.

The hard part of course will be picking which to roll for. Thankfully, if you ever miss a banner or lose too many 50/50s, you can always save up again and wait for a rerun. If you play long enough though, you can save up for the characters you really want. You can even save up for their Constellations too. 

While the amount of primogems available at one time can feel really small, they start to add up as long as you save them. Doing daily commissions alone will net over 1,000 every month if you’re able do them every day. 

Genshin Impact is a game that requires a lot of time investment whether you’re F2P or not. Anyone can invest their time and resources into a few characters to main and build teams around those characters without spending real money. 

When you have a few well built characters, you’re not really going to see that much of a difference in the difficulty of the game. Even if you have every 5-star character out there. It’s about quality over quantity after all.

The gameplay itself does not usually have a high degree of difficulty. In the end, paying for more doesn’t really give that much of an advantage when there are so many great 4-star characters out there that can be gotten for free. 

Join the High Ground!

What do you think, is Genshin Impact pay to win? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

For those free-to-play players out there, we have a guide on the best 5-star characters you should be rolling for. Players in need of fast primos before the next character banner can also check out our ranked guide on the best ways to get primogems

Until next time, ad astra abyssosque and happy gaming!

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