Genshin Impact is a huge open world magical adventure game developed by miHoYo that has very quickly shot to the top of many favorite game lists. But with the reputation of it having gambling and loot boxes, is Genshin Impact a gacha game?
Genshin Impact is a gacha game as the main loot mechanic particularly for the best loot is via a gacha mechanic. There is a lot more to the game and some decent items and characters can be obtained via completing ingame tasks.
Let’s look at what a gacha game is, whether Genshin Impact truly meets this definition, how it compares to other similar games and whether you need to be prepared to spend a lot into the gacha system to get the most out of it.
Is Genshin Impact Considered a Gacha Game?
Genshin Impact is certainly a gacha game, as at its core the main mechanic for accessing the best characters and items is gacha-style gameplay. This is via earning or buying in-game currency with real money to buy the loot boxes called Wishes.
What Makes Something A Gacha Game?
Gacha is a randomized loot mechanic where you can purchase a chance to have a good item, character or other important resource.
A gacha game operates via using some type of currency that may be limited to real money purchases or can be earned in game to then buy a loot box or crate that has a range of goods inside it.
Depending on whether the game is pay to win or offers free to play players a chance to do well, these items will either only be available via the gacha mechanic that only can bought with real money or there may be ways to earn these gacha rolls.
As when you open the item in a gacha system, you’re only offered from a range of items, characters or whatever and you’re not guaranteed to get the best items from the mechanic. This randomness means you have to keep opening crates to get what you want.
If the gacha system can only be accessed with real money purchases, then you’ll be much more powerful as a paid player than other players who are free players, as it will likely be an almost impossible advantage to overcome.
Even if you can grind in the game to get the ingame currency necessary to access the gacha mechanic, only a very tiny pool of players will get lucky enough to get what they need from that small amount of pulls.
Can You Play Genshin Without Gacha?
You can’t trade items to other players in Genshin Impact meaning you can’t get access to anything apart from via the ingame drops or gacha mechanic
There is limited trading of event-specific items for the duration of the event itself but this can’t be relied on to power up in the game.
Co-operative play can give you more chances of getting things like fish and ore from another player’s world, but again this won’t give you better weapons or characters as you can only get these from the gacha system.
Genshin Impact isn’t one of those games where it is impossible to be a free-to-play player and just lose or can’t progress.
You could still end up with the characters you want by being smart with the gambling system by using it in a targeted way and taking every opportunity to gather the proper materials through ingame offerings.
It’s also worth keeping tabs on the rare event rewards because these characters and weapons will give great value to your damage output.
There is a meta in Genshin Impact and so you’ll want to research good team compositions and synergies so that you’re only upgrading characters that you need.
Genshin Impact vs Other Gacha Games
Genshin Impact is a free to play game that has optional ingame transactions. In terms of gacha mechanics, you can still access the gacha system by grinding tasks, quests and other ingame events to obtain the ingame currency.
If you use real money via Paimon’s Bargains to obtain Crystals, these Crystals can be converted into Primogems that are the currency used in the gacha system.
So of course, those that pay into the game are going to have many more chances to get the best characters, known as 5-star characters.
This also goes for weapons, as Primogems are also used to get the good weapons. This is slightly more limited to pay-to-win, as while some weapons are obtainable from chests, the maximum is a 3-star weapon.
As Resin is required to level up your characters, the leveling up of characters is still possible as a free-to-play player because this can be obtained ingame via completing various tasks, but this process can be sped up significantly via using Primogems to obtain Resin.
Because a gacha mechanic will be quite addicting, it often becomes the main part of the game, really making it a very boring experience with no real skill or strategy needed if you take a big picture view.
This is particularly the case with mobile games that offer an Auto Battle feature or the option to speed up actual gameplay in order to get your hands on the currency for the gacha transactions.
Genshin Impact instead has involved gameplay, a fun story and great art design with a large open world. There is a big exploration aspect to Genshin Impact, and you have to actively play to earn materials in game.
The voice acting is high quality and critics point to the beginning and middle phases of the game being the best in terms of story.
Gameplay generally involves effectively managing a team of four and timing attacks properly, which is an enjoyable and fun mechanic.
Even as a free player, there are good amounts of serious loot and also many chances for top tier weapons and characters from the gacha mechanic.
Unlike many similar games, there is no Player vs Player mode so the competitive aspect of the game is lacking, but otherwise is an enjoyable anime-inspired adventure game.