Genshin Impact and the Rise of Gacha Gaming

Emily Bush • Staff Writer

screenshot of genshin impact
Play with your friends in co-op and create some fun memories. Pictured: Emily Bush as Zhongli (left) and her friend as Venti (right) messing with the new statue by giving it a unicorn horn. Photo courtesy of Emily Bush

Genshin Impact, developed and published by Chinese-based company miHoYo, is the biggest mobile game to have come out in recent times, setting a precedent for the rest of the industry as a whole.

With its Legend of Zelda-esque roots, this action-role playing game brings its players into the fantastical world of Teyvat, which is filled with monsters, cute slimes, and amazing characters to meet and befriend throughout your journey.

The game also boasts an enticing soundtrack and cinematic environments that draw the player to explore more and create an addicting atmosphere.

screenshot of a daily commission from genshin impact
Do your daily commissions with your favorite characters to make them more fun! Fight monsters to earn money and even Primogems. Photo courtesy of Emily Bush

Something else to note about Genshin Impact is its position as game of the year on iOS and Android, along with it becoming the highest grossing mobile game towards the end of 2020 and the first quarter

of 2021.

Although it could not have pulled either of those titles without the help of its slow-release story and its dedicated community, the main thing that drew the people (and the money) in from the beginning is the lovable characters.

There are characters to fit nearly every playstyle and every aesthetic, and there are more coming every month.

Looking for a cute, bubbly character who can help out in co-op? Play Barbara, a nun from the Church of Favonius whose healing cannot be beat.

Want to deal big damage and look cool doing it? Play Kaeya, the skilled swordsman from a foreign land who has a dark secret.

Or perhaps you like cute animals? Maybe Fischl with her bird companion Oz or even Xiangling with her bear buddy Gouba will suit you.

However, one thing that all of these characters have in common is that they are completely free. While Genshin Impact is completely free to play, it is a gacha game, which is a system in-game made to incentivize players to spend real-world currency in order to obtain an item or character.

screenshot of characters from genshin impact
A screenshot Bush took directly from the game with one of her personal favorite characters, Yoimiya (right), a fireworks expert from Inazuma and the female main character (left). Photo courtesy of Emily Bush.

The first game of its kind, the main gacha comes from obtaining new characters, which can be done by spending Primogems (an in-game currency) on banners to get certain characters.

The catch is that these banners are only available for around 20 days, and Primogems are quite hard to come by.

I have even fallen into miHoYo’s greedy hands and spent money to get some of the limited characters. My reasoning? I don’t know; I thought they were cute.

Though, the best part about Genshin Impact, besides the characters and the aesthetic elements, is the fact that you can play the game exactly how you want to play it.

Be a big spender, be free-to-play, give the characters items that shouldn’t work in the first place. Who cares!

Teyvat is your oyster, and the world is waiting for you to explore.

I recommend everyone play the game for themselves just to experience what mobile gaming has evolved into and to maybe get a taste of why the game is so successful in the first place.

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