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Genshin Impact - Six months in the free-to-play wonderland of Teyvat

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 29th, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

Six months ago this week, Genshin Impact released on multiple platforms, promising a vast open world of adventure and element-based combat. The only catch was that all of this action would be monetized via virtual slot machines known colloquially as "gacha."

Gacha games have their advantages in that they have a low barrier to entry, allowing players to hop into an experience without having to spend any money. The dark side of this design is that all of the most desirable game items and characters are locked inside a storefront that uses myriad psychological tricks to convince you that spending money for more chances to use this slot machine is a good idea (it's not).

Genshin Impact Guide - Gacha Strategy: When to Spend and When to Save (Part 2)

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 3rd, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

This is part 2 of our Genshin Impact gacha strategy guides. See part 1 hereYou can check out more guides for Genshin Impact here.

It's no secret that Genshin Impact's gacha system is designed to make you want to spend money. You absolutely don't need to do this, though. Since launch, I've been enjoying the game without spending a dime (I should also say I'm not part of any of miHoYo's content creator programs that deal out free currency to content creators).

I've managed to do this all while building out a roster with all the characters I want. How, you might ask? Well, the short answer is math, a pessimistic attitude, and discerning taste. You can also read on below to understand exactly what I mean by this.

Genshin Impact - Everything you need to know about Theater Mechanicus

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 12th, 2021

It's Lantern Rite season in Genshin Impact! The latest update to the game adds a whole bunch of new stuff to see and do to commemorate this in-game holiday, which is presumably a reflection of Chinese New Year. Celebrated primarily in Liyue Harbor, the bustling merchant city has transformed into a festive market where merchants sell their wares to raise funds for the construction of Xiao Lanterns.

As part of this celebration, game designer Ruijin has set up her game, Theater Mechanicus, in the harbor, which you can spend Xiao Lanterns to play to earn sweet rewards while playing a cool tower defense mode in the process. Check out some video above to see how the mode works, and read on below to learn what you should know about Theater Mechanicus, including some tips on how to make you a Mechanicus Master.

Genshin Impact - Lost Riches Guide

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 13th, 2021

As the Albedo banner and freshness of the new Dragonspine region begin to wane, a new event rears its head in Genshin Impact that promises an extremely rare reward. This event, known as Lost Riches, has you playing treasure hunter, collecting Iron Coins all across Teyvat which you can then exchange in a special shop for Primogems, Mora, and--believe it or not--your own pet Seelie.

Genshin Impact - 1.2 Update Overview (Dragonspine)

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 29th, 2020

Anyone who talks to me about games knows that I haven't been able to shut up about Genshin Impact since its launch this past fall. It's a game with a lot of faults--namely its predatory monetization scheme--but it also provides a vast (and interesting!) open world, a novel and nuanced combat system, and a surprisingly compelling story, all of which you can experience without spending a dime.

Since my initial burst of playing in September, though, my excitement to log in every day was beginning to wane. New events and characters were nice new additions, but they weren't entirely well-conceived or received. That is, until miHoYo pushed their 1.2 update which unveiled a new region of Teyvat: Dragonspine Mountain.

Genshin Impact - Finding the fairness in a fundamentally unfair game

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 7th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »


Update: Shortly before this piece was posted, miHoYo released an official response to the community feedback around Zhongli. You can read it here.


The official statement acknowledges the feedback and some specific bugs with Zhongli’s abilities , but makes no promises about fundamentally changing the character beyond that. As a result, the contents of this post remain relevant to the current community conversation around Genshin Impact.

There's no getting around the fact that gacha games are predatory. Their entire design is contingent upon luring as many people as possible into an experience that will tempt them to spend money over and over again. This makes Genshin Impact--despite all of its other positive qualities--a predatory game, but is it too predatory? Does such a distinction matter? And, if so, who gets to draw the line of demarcation?

These are the kinds of questions that have risen to the top of the Genshin Impact community over the past week, ever since a new banner event allowed players to feed the in-game slot machine for a new playable character: Zhongli. In the lead up to his release, players awaited anxiously, poring over his teaser trailer, investigating leaked footage, and analyzing his strength based on his importance to Genshin Impact's story, only to face disappointment once they finally got their hands on him.

Genshin Impact Progression Guide - Late-Game (Adventure Ranks 35-45)

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 3rd, 2020

As you get deeper and deeper into Genshin Impact, the more you have to prepare and think about what your next moves are in terms of progression, particularly if you're not spending money on the game. As your world level increases, so does the toughness of the enemies you face, and so you'll need to make sure you can still take them down, whether that's with friends or by yourself.

At Adventure Rank 35, the game should still be pretty manageable in terms of difficulty no matter what characters you are using, which makes it a perfect time to start preparing for World Level 6 and getting ever closer to maxing out your characters. Read on below to figure out the best way to do this.

Genshin Impact - Unreconciled Stars Event Guide

Posted by Campbell Bird on November 20th, 2020

Genshin Impact's 1.1 update has brought a ton of new content to the game, and one of these things is a brand new event: Unreconciled Stars. This event kicked off yesterday and is running through the end of the month. There are sweet rewards and some cool world-building that happens across the event, so make sure you hop in and start it as soon as possible.

Just keep in mind that Unreconciled Stars is only available to players who are Adventure Rank 20 or higher. If you need tips on how to advance up to that rank quickly, check out our progression guide here before reading on about how to get involved in this event.

Genshin Impact Guide - What you need to know about the 1.1 update

Posted by Campbell Bird on November 9th, 2020

The time is almost here for Genshin Impact to get its first significant update since launch. There's a lot to look forward to once the game hits 1.1, and we've got you covered on what to expect out of it.

Read on below to learn a bit more about what is coming to Genshin Impact when it updates this week.

Genshin Impact Guide - How to unlock Taishan Mansion

Posted by Campbell Bird on November 4th, 2020

While exploring Teyvat in Genshin Impact, you might find yourself stumbling across an abyssal domain that is seemingly inaccessible. When you first discover Taishan Mansion, it is completely submerged underwater. To unlock it, you'll need to do some puzzle-solving, which the video above can walk you through. Or, if you'd prefer, read on below about how to unlock Taishan Mansion.

Genshin Impact Progression Guide - Mid-Game (Adventure Ranks 25-35)

Posted by Campbell Bird on October 29th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

Once you get up to around Adventure Rank 25, Genshin Impact starts to turn into a different thing. What was once a story-driven affair evolves into something more like a traditional MMO.

This isn't to say there isn't anything to do, though there are fewer novel things to uncover at this stage in the game. That being said, this is where you really need to start focusing your energy in the right direction, particularly if you're a non-paying player. Read on below to get a sense of what to expect in Genshin Impact's mid-game.

Genshin Impact review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on October 26th, 2020
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA
Genshin Impact is a legitimately incredible open-world adventure with a business model that mostly stays out of your way.
Read The Full Review »

Genshin Impact Adventurer's Guide

Posted by Campbell Bird on October 26th, 2020

Genshin Impact Guide - Everything you need to know about the Elemental Crucible Event

Posted by Campbell Bird on October 14th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

Genshin Impact has unveiled its first of what we can expect to be many special events and ongoing content updates. This latest update adds the Elemental Crucible Event. This event is available to any players that have reached Adventure Rank 20, have completed the Prologue, and completed a minor new quest from Timaeus that introduces the event itself.

Read on below for more info about how this event works and if you should take it on.

Genshin Impact Guide - How to Build a Quality Team

Posted by Campbell Bird on October 9th, 2020

We're still trucking along with Genshin Impact and having a great time. In case you're still on the fence about playing it, check out this piece that should be helpful in making your decision.

Otherwise, let's assume you've been playing the game for a bit and have unlocked a few characters via wishes. Now what? Your next step is to try and figure out who among your heroes belongs on your team to make you as capable as possible. Check out some tips on how to do exactly that below.