Genshin Impact has taken the gaming world by storm. Developed by Chinese developer miHoYo and released in September 2020, the free-to-play action RPG game has amassed over $1 billion in revenue and has over 20 million downloads worldwide.
The anime-style graphics, fun gameplay, and gorgeous open world have resonated with both veteran gamers and newcomers alike.
But what exactly has contributed to its explosive success?
Here are some of the key reasons behind Genshin Impact’s popularity.
Massive anime-inspired open world of Teyvat
Genshin Impact’s expansive open world setting called Teyvat attracts players from the very beginning. Teyvat consists of seven distinct regions based on real-world cultures: Mondstadt themed after Germany, Liyue after China, Inazuma after Japan and more.
Each region has its own history, landscape, elemental theme and diverse biomes for players to explore. Adventure seekers enjoy climbing extreme heights, flying through the sky using a glider, sailing the oceans, finding hidden treasure chests and solving environmental puzzles as they uncover every corner of Teyvat.
The dynamic weather, day-night cycle and seasonal changes make Teyvat feel immersive and alive. Players often describe the joy of simply wandering the beautiful world of Genshin Impact and are eager to learn more about Teyvat’s rich lore.
Hybrid action-RPG combat
Genshin Impact’s hybrid combat system, combining real-time action with RPG elements, sets it apart from most other gacha games.
The core gameplay revolves around using the seven elemental attributes: Anemo, Electro, Hydro, Pyro, Cryo, Dendro and Geo.
Players control a single character at a time but can switch between characters at will to react to enemy attacks and chain elemental reactions. This hybrid style makes combat feel engaging and requires strategic character building and team compositions.
The combat system allows for a lot of experimentation and creativity, especially with late-game enemies. Mastering combat and taking down tough bosses is extremely satisfying. Fans of both action and RPG games can find something to like in Genshin Impact’s hybrid combat system.
Beautiful anime art style and soundtrack
The anime art style of Genshin Impact, from the vibrant character designs to the lush environments, has captured players’ hearts.
The character designs, while imperfect at times, are unique and creative. The variety of elemental powers that characters wield adds another dimension to the visuals. The game’s art director evokes Studio Ghibli and fantasy anime in the visuals.
The beautiful soundtrack composed by Yu-Peng Chen also enhances the player experience immensely.
From the energetic battle themes to the soothing soundtrack that plays while traversing the vast open world, the music complements the game’s visuals and lore perfectly.
Players often remark that the soundtrack alone makes the game worth playing. The art style and soundtrack work in tandem to create a fantasy world that feels warm, inviting, and full of wonder.
The addictive gacha system
Genshin Impact employs a controversial gacha system for obtaining new characters.
While some criticize the predatory nature of gacha, there is no denying that for some players, the loot box-style dopamine hit of rolling for new characters adds to the game’s addictiveness.
While F2P players can obtain most of the free characters, whaling or spending large sums of money to roll for the rarest characters has become almost mandatory for competitive players.
The more money players spend, the higher their chances of getting the strongest characters.
The ‘rewarding’ feeling of finally getting that rare 5-star character after spending lots of Primogems keeps some players hooked and spending.
Cooperative Play with Cross-Platform Friends
Genshin Impact’s cooperative multiplayer mode allows players to team up with up to three other friends or random players across different platforms including PC, PlayStation and mobile.
By joining others’ worlds, players can complete challenges together, share resources, and take on powerful bosses as a coordinated team.
By intelligently coordinating elemental abilities and reactions, friends can overcome challenges that would be difficult for a single player. Co-op play adds a social element that further deepens the gameplay experience.
Frequent Major Content Updates
MiHoYo keeps Genshin Impact fresh by regularly releasing new story quests, limited-time events, areas to explore, playable characters, weapons, artifacts and mechanics.
Each major update substantially expands the game through additional regions and NPCs, giving players new goals and reasons to keep adventuring in Teyvat.
The steady stream of fresh content helps maintain interest between updates and ensures Genshin Impact remains continually exciting as time goes on.
In summary, Genshin Impact has succeeded by fusing many elements that appeal to modern gamers – an accessible but challenging action combat system, a vast and gorgeous open world to explore, an array of memorable and loveable characters, and consistent free updates and events.
Coupled with a fair free-to-play model, stunning music and voice acting, and anime aesthetics, Genshin Impact has become a phenomenon enjoyed by both casual and hardcore gamers alike.