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Genshin Impact Review

Game image Genshin Impact
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Posted: 6 months ago, last updated 5 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Genshin Impact is a role-playing adventure set in a fantastical open world you explore by walking, climbing, swimming and gliding as necessary. Like the Zelda games, you can collect items, and craft new weapons. However, in this game to create a party of up to four of their characters.

There are quests to advance the main story and meet the wide range of playable characters. Each has two combat skills and specialises in one of the seven natural elements in the game: Cryo, Dendro, Pyro, Hydro, Anemo, Electro and Geo. Each of these interacts differently with each other and can be used to your advantage once understood.

For example, if you have four characters in your party who are all strong with the Electro element, their abilities stack and increase. Alternatively you could create a party of complementary elements. For example using Hydro to drench enemies and multiply Electro attacks. You can also cook once you have the required resources. Some dishes offer health, attack or defensive boosts.

It's an expansive game and looks beautiful. There are mountains to climb and stamina to manage. You can take to the air across the open world, swim through rivers and seas, and climb huge mountains. Whether you stick to the road or stray off the beaten path, there's all manner of hidden secrets and stories to discover.

You need to make friends in the game and take on enemies. It may be similar to Zelda but it extends this experience onto non-Nintendo platforms as well as adding multiplayer modes.

Although Genshin Impact is similar to Zelda Breath of the Wild it isn't available on Nintendo Switch or Xbox One, there are no plans for those platforms currently.

DetailsGame Details


Release Date: 27/09/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @GenshinImpact


Duration: This game will take between 35 hours and 50 hours to complete. How long the game takes to complete will vary on your play style. There are also timed events that happen in the game like the The Spiral Abyss Event, that extend the duration and length of the game considerably. To fully explore one region will take upwards of 15 hours before you factor in the main missions.
Players: You can play this with 4 players online. The online multiplayer element of the game is unlocked at Adventure Rank 16. Once in an online game you can organise who has control of the 4 characters in your party. You can chat to other players via text, and take on quick tasks, but you can't progress the story, which is paused while in online play.

On PlayStation you play in your home region. On PC and Mobile you select a region. Ensure you select a region that friends are using otherwise you can't play with them.

Cross-Play: You can play online with PlayStation, iOS, PC.


This game is free to play. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. Some of these purchases (known as 'loot boxes') are for a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent. These in-game purchases also offer a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game.  

You will need PlayStation Plus (must be 18 to create, then create sub-accounts for younger players who need be set as 13 or older) to play online with PlayStation 4. There are a series of interrelated currencies in the game that offer a variety of benefits, but largely work towards gaining Wishes to unlock characters and weapons in a Loot Box style:
  • Genesis Crystals currency - can only be purchased with real money and are used to buy Primogems in the game.
  • Primogems currency - can be earned from quests or purchased with Genesis Crystals, they are used to purchase Acquaint and Intertwined Fates or to level up a Battle pass.
  • Acquaint and Intertwined Fates currency - can be used to get Wishes to unlock characters.
  • Stardust currency - is sometimes earned from 4-Star Wishes and can be swapped for Acquaint or Intertwined Fates.
  • Starglitter - is earned from 5-Star Wishes and be used to purchase Acquaint and Intertwined Fates, weapons and characters.
  • Mora currency - is the basic way you pay for levelling up characters, weapons, food and items in the game. There is also Anemo Sigil and Geo Sigil which are similar currencies specific to certain regions.

In addition to purchasing Genesis Crystals you can also buy:
  • Adventurer's Bundle offers wish material, currency, character, weapon and adventurer's experience, food items and ingredients
  • Blessing of the Welkin Moon offers 300 Genesis Crystals, an extra 90 Primogems every day for 30 days.

Although you can spend money in this way to speed up access to characters and enhance your experience, you can do everything in the game without additional spend. There aren't big roadblocks that force you into spending money.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 12 because it features depictions of non-realistic looking violence towards human-like characters. This game contains frequent depictions of non-realistic looking violence towards human-like characters. Impacts result in the appearance of bright lights and magical effects, with numbers showing the amount of damage that has been inflicted. Characters occasionally let out pained cries and stumble backwards, although no visible injuries are shown. When a character has been defeated, they stagger backwards and then dissolve away into flecks of blue light.

ESRB TEEN for Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Users Interact, In-Game Purchases. From a third-person perspective, players explore an open-world environment, interact with characters, complete missions, and battle fantastical creatures (e.g., rock golems, slime creatures, goblins, insects). Players use swords and ranged attacks to fight enemies in frenetic melee-style combat. Combat is highlighted by frequent impact sounds, light effects, and explosions. In some scenes, characters discuss alcoholic beverages, including brief references to underage drinking (e.g., “He's getting drunk at the Cat's Tail”; “Have you seen my alcoholic scoundrel of a husband by any chance”; "His dandelion wine is one of my favorites”; “You seem too young to be drinking”; “No need to worry. When I started drinking, you were still...”).

Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.


Although there isn't a difficulty setting the world you play in scales to match the ability of your character. There isn't a huge amount of reading but the user interface text is quite small and although subtitles are provided you can't scale these.

You are guided in the game with a map where you can set waypoints. The game pops up reminders of the controls on the screen.

On the mobile versions there is a Gyro Aiming option to be able to use your device's motion detection to aim.


How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.


View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play.

Assistance With Controls: You can get the game to assist aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc.

Assistance With Direction: Indication of where to go next with arrows, cookie trail and the like.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.


How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

Speaker Indicator: Captions or icons and speech bubbles indicate who is speaking.

Some Dialogue is Voiced: Some of the game dialogue and narrative is voice acted.


How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Two Taps Targeted: Play with touchscreen, two simultaneous taps in specific locations.


Motion Controls Available: You can use motion controls, tilting the controller to steer for example.

Motion Aiming: Can use small movements of gamepad to fine-tune aiming, or as main aiming mechanism. This is sometimes known as Gyro-Aiming.

Motion Controls Not Required: You don’t need motion controls to play the game.

Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.


How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.


Bright Colourful Palette: Game uses bright colours and is generally high contrast.

Large Game Elements: Game characters and other elements are large and distinguishable.

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events.


How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Visual Cues for Audio Events: Text or other visual indicators of audio events.

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well


How you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction.

Text Chat: Chat to other players by typing text.

System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @GeekDadGamer and @JonahMonaghan

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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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