Genshin Impact continues to capture our attention, and if you're looking for a good way to understand the game's systems and how to optimize your progress, you've come to the right place. There's myriad systems, currencies, etc. in this game and it is a lot to take in, but with this handy guide, you should be able to get a leg up on progressing in the game's early going.
For the purposes of this guide, this applies to players who are just starting the game up until around Adventure Rank 25. We'll be developing more guides for later ranks as we get there.
Do those story missions
At the outset, Genshin Impact seems very much like a standard single-player open-world adventure. You're dropped into the world of Teyvat and begin your adventure exploring the free city of Monstadt. There's no free-to-play tricks at the beginning, so your best bet is to simply play the game like a linear experience.
In bouncing from mission to mission, you'll get a whole lot of great world-building, but you'll also end up learning a lot about all systems in Genshin Impact. Story missions also tend to have pretty great rewards, so completing them should be a priority whenever possible.
Spend resin (unlocks at Adventure Rank 8)
Outside of spending fates to pull characters, the first free-to-play layer that unlocks for you in Genshin Impact is the resin system. Resin is essentially a stamina meter that applies to certain kinds of repeatable side missions, which grant tons of sweet rewards like adventurer experience, mora, artifacts, and weapon ascension materials.
Beginning resin missions cost 20 resin each to reap rewards from, and higher level missions currently can cost upwards of 60 resin or more. To maximize your progress, you should prevent your resin meter from capping at 120 whenever possible. If you have room in your resin meter, you'll always be replenishing it (at a rate of 1 every 8 minutes). Otherwise, you'll be leaving potential rewards on the table!
In terms of which rewards to pursue, it's really up to you and what you're trying to upgrade. I found the Blossom of Revelation quests particularly helpful at first to always ensure I always had items for leveling adventurers. You can always check what upgrade items might need and how to get it by investigating in menus though, and the higher level materials are almost always locked behind quests that require resin.
Do your dailies (unlocks at Adventure Rank 12)
The eternal refrain of all gacha players is "do your dailies," which in Genshin Impact come in the form of daily commissions. Daily commissions are four missions you receive each day that grant rewards if you complete them. As a bonus, if you complete all your commissions within the day, you can also get a bonus reward from Katheryne at the Adventurer's Guild after they've been completed.
This daily grind is worth doing to advance your progress, as it gives you a little bit of everything as a reward, including Primogems. Luckily, grinding these out doesn't take too terribly long, particularly once you've uncovered a good chunk of the map and teleport points.
Always be expeditioning (unlocks at Adventure Rank 14)
At Adventure Rank 14, you unlock the ability to perform expeditions. Expeditions involve sending characters out to explore and harvest resources for you. Whenever possible, always have characters out gathering things for you so that you are constantly making some progress in the game, even when you aren't actively playing.
You can send adventurers out on expeditions from the Adventurer's Guild in both Monstadt and Liyue. Simply speak with Katheryne and select "Dispatch Character on Expedition" from the list of dialogue options. In terms of what to prioritize, I suggest sending adventurers to harvest Crystal and White Iron Chunks, as those are essential for crafting weapons and you need a lot of them.
Level your battle pass (unlocks at Adventure Rank 20)
Just like basically every free-to-play game these days, Genshin Impact has a battle pass that you can perform tasks to level up and reap rewards from. These tasks include things I've already mentioned like completing daily commissions and spending resin, but there are also others that involve cooking, crafting, and harvesting materials.
Each time you level up the pass, you get rewards, some of which can be pretty significant, including fates. If you opt to purchase a battle pass, you'll get even more rewards per level, including a bounty that--at least at the time of this writing--lets you pick a four-star weapon of your choice if you manage to reach a battle pass rank of 30.
Unlock all statues and teleport points (no unlock necessary)
If you feel like you're running out of things to do to progress in Genshin Impact, it's worth taking time to simply scout the land in search of Statues of the Seven and Teleport Waypoints. Not only do discovering these things grant Adventure Rank experience, but they also give you more freedom to do things more quickly in the game.
Once you have a good amount of these unlocked, it should be relatively trivial to bust out your daily commissions, warp between story quest locations, and figure out where you can go to get certain materials yourself, like Jueyun Chilis or the aforementioned White Iron Chunks.
Up that Adventure Rank (no unlock necessary)
Finally, if you've uncovered the map, completed your dailies, leveld your pass, are waiting on resin, have expeditions going, and find yourself locked out of the next story quest, there's nothing left to do but try and up your Adventure Rank. The only real way to do this outside of all the other things mentioned above is to find chests scattered across Teyvat and open them.
The more you explore, the more you'll find that opening chests can involve anything from combat encounters to environmental puzzles, and you'll generally get better rewards and Adventure Rank experience for chests that are harder to open. There are also little secret chests to uncover, like this little puzzle in Monstadt that grants a chest if you climb the courtyard wall and hop across it successfully.