Genshin Impact’s multiplayer mode is, to put it mildly, unusual.
Some features are not available for co-op play, and others are merely implemented in a non-intuitive manner.
Here is everything you need to know about co-op in Genshin Impact, so you don’t have to keep banging your head against the wall in a never-ending cycle of trial-and-error learning.
What is Genshin Impact?
Open-world action role-playing game Genshin Impact features “gacha” (we’ll get into that later) mechanics. The Chinese company miHoYo is responsible for both its creation and release. It allows players to take charge of a large party, each member of which has their own unique set of skills, arsenal, and playstyle. Players engage in real-time combat with a wide variety of enemies in both the game’s open world and dungeons, using a wide variety of ranged, melee, and elemental attacks.
Genshin Impact is a multiplayer-focused MMORPG that can only be played online. It features many of the same elements as popular games as a service, such as daily quests, rewards, and loot, to keep players coming back for more.
Genshin Impact has been likened to an anime version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by critics and players alike. Many of the settings and locations are similar between the two games, so it’s a valid comparison. The ability to climb almost any surface in Genshin is most similar to Breath of the Wild, with the amount of climbing being limited by a stamina meter. Another parallel is that you can quickly move around the map by gliding once you reach the peak of your destination.
While there are similarities to Breath of the Wild, calling Genshin Impact a “Breath of the Wild clone” is an oversimplification.
Let’s dive into the game’s “gacha” elements, which make up a sizable chunk of the experience. Similar to random loot boxes or a slot machine, the “gacha” element is used to describe the game’s monetization. Characters, loot, and equipment packs can be purchased with in-game currency (or real money) and contain random items of varying rarity.
It’s possible to get the desired character on the first try, or it could take hundreds of hours (and a lot of money) to get them. It feels like “luck of the draw” because different characters and items have different drop rates. You can, of course, acquire playable characters through the course of regular game play as well. However, players will spend hundreds of dollars on currency to get their hands on the most coveted items or characters.
Banners for individual characters change at various points in the game’s lifespan. This translates to a higher chance of encountering a specific character and thus keeping players around. Sometimes after a character has been pushed during a Banner, the community will re-roll them, giving them another shot at getting the character. In a nutshell, this is the game’s primary means of making money, as the element of surprise is what keeps players coming back.
What platforms is Genshin Impact available on?
Genshin Impact is currently playable on PC, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5, and a dedicated Nintendo Switch version is planned for the future. The fact that people who play it on PS4, PS5, PC, or mobile can all join in on the fun together is a big reason for the game’s popularity. Genshin Impact combines the advantages of console gaming with the ubiquity of mobile games, giving players the best of both worlds.
Unfortunately for Xbox players, miHoYo, the game’s developer, has no plans to port Genshin Impact to the Xbox platform. We wouldn’t rule out a port just yet, though, as Xbox’s popularity has skyrocketed thanks to its first-party output and Game Pass.
At launch, it was clear that mobile was the game’s primary focus, as the controls on console often felt clumsy. The game’s design clearly prioritized touch screens, as evidenced by the multiple screens required to access the map, the confusing menu structure, and the inability to map the controls (at least on console). Fans are anticipating the Nintendo Switch release because it has the potential to add touch screen controls and even gyro support.
Is Genshin Impact multiplayer?
In a nutshell, online co-op multiplayer is supported in Genshin Impact (again, across PS4, PS5, PC, and mobile devices). It supports four-player squads, so you can play with as many pals as you like. The vast open world can be explored, quests can be taken on, and dungeons can be entered in this game. In many zones, you’ll encounter formidable monsters that are much simpler to take down with a group.
However, reaching Adventure Rank 16 is required for multiplayer, which can be a bit of a slog if you don’t play very often. After that, you can invite three other people to play or start your own game with them. However, teams of fewer than four players can compete successfully. Story quests, chests, and collectibles are off-limits during co-op play, with only the host having access to them. Therefore, it is not without defects.
What’s the gameplay like?
Genshin Impact’s moment-to-moment gameplay involves a wide variety of quests that send you scouring the expansive world map, completing dungeons, and, of course, fighting enemies. With the ability to instantly swap between party members, players have access to a wide variety of attacks with which to dispatch their foes. While some heroes shine in close quarters fights, others shine at longer ranges.
As you progress through the game, you’ll gain access to new areas of the map, new pieces of equipment, new collectibles, and even the dungeons themselves. When you clear one of these dungeons, you’ll be rewarded with rare loot. There are usually prerequisites to enter a dungeon, and once inside, you’ll find a wide variety of enemies and simple puzzles to solve.
The ability to chain elemental attacks (called Elemental Reactions in-game) to create a unique effect is one of the game’s more intriguing mechanics. Use Hydro and Cryo together, for instance, and your opponent will be frozen in place. You could also try using the fire-based elements Pyro and Dendro. It is encouraged that players try out various combinations of these components to see what happens.
Crafting equipment that will help you in your quests is strongly encouraged as you amass resources. You can also shop for a wide variety of necessities and conveniences, including food, crafting materials, weapons, and equipment. It has everything a player would want in a massive open-world role-playing game.
There are numerous traditional JRPG elements present, including a party system, elemental combat, and a vast world to explore. You’ll need to practice quickly switching between party members so that you can unleash devastating combos on your enemies. This is true whether you’re preparing for a dungeon or a story mission in the open world; knowing the types of enemies you’ll face will help you select the best party members.
Is Genshin Impact free?
We brought up the gacha mechanics, which are similar to loot boxes and would normally be a cause for concern, but given that Genshin Impact is free to play, players have been understanding of this method of monetization. In fact, you can have a great time playing the whole way through without spending a dime. Genshin Impact does a great job of providing in-game purchases as an option without making you feel like you have to spend real money, in contrast to many free-to-play titles.
So when players say it’s free-to-play, they’re not kidding around, which is more than can be said for many other games.
Does Genshin Impact have DLC?
Genshin Impact has a wealth of downloadable content, including a variety of currencies, playable characters, and weapons and armor. Again, none of this content is mandatory or even suggested unless explicitly requested. However, as a GAS, it receives free, consistent content updates on a regular basis. This includes special events that only last a short time, new areas to explore, and more missions. Offering both free and premium content, it has everything needed to be a successful service-based game.
Every five or six weeks, new content appears on Genshin Impact. The community is preparing for the release of Genshin Impact Version 2.3 at the end of November. If you’re thinking about diving in, now is a great time because it coincides with the release of fresh content like new characters, weapons, and events.
What is the Battle Pass?
Finally, since the battle pass is such an integral part of Genshin Impact’s loot system, we’ll discuss it. Anyone who has played games like Fortnite or Call of Duty: Warzone should have a general idea of how a battle pass functions. In essence, it’s a seasonal ranking system that resets at the start of each season and confers benefits at higher levels. As you progress through the battle pass, you’ll unlock new rewards, such as skins, weapons, and more.
There are two distinct varieties of battle passes in Genshin. The free and rewarding Sojourner’s Battle Pass is one example. The Gnostic Hymn Battle Pass costs $10 but offers better rewards than the Sojourner’s Battle Pass, such as additional upgrade materials, Hero’s Wit, Mora, and Mystic Enchantment Ores. By providing both a free and a paid version of the battle pass, miHoYo once again demonstrates its dedication to customer satisfaction. Players have praised Genshin for providing free battle passes, a rarity in games as a service.
You’ll need to level up your character to Adventure Rank 20 before you can use the battle passes in Genshin. But the payoff is substantial afterward. The season in which you earn levels in a given battle pass is the only time during which you will receive those levels (though you will retain any rewards you have earned). Given the game’s relative youth, it stands to reason that the seasonal content will develop over time, as it does in many other games of this type.
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Genshin Impact is focused on the player’s experience alone. The cooperative play is reminiscent of that of Dark Souls. In contrast to most massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), each player in this one has their very own open world, to which they can invite other players.
However, this won’t happen without your effort.
Like the majority of the game’s features, co-op is accessible only after a certain amount of time has been invested. Reaching Adventure Rank 16 is a prerequisite for playing with a friend. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Adventure Ranks if you’re unfamiliar with the concept.
In a nutshell, your Adventure Rank corresponds to your account level. Even though you can quickly advance through the Adventure ranks in the beginning of the game, you will still need to speedrun the tutorial or play the game alone for at least two days before you can invite your friends to play with you or hop into their worlds.
What Can You Loot In Genshin Impact Co-op?
Genshin Impact’s treasure chests are an integral part of the game’s appeal. However, unless you’re the host in a co-op game, you won’t be able to loot everything.
Let’s take a look at the loot you will and will not find in Genshin Impact’s co-op mode.
Chests – No
In Genshin Impact, treasure chests do not randomly respawn. The designers have strategically hidden each one so that you can find and acquire it. Although there are many of them, their total count is finite. If you play long enough, you will eventually exhaust your supply of chests.
This is why the host of a co-op game is the only one who can open chests in their own world.
This works wonderfully as a safeguard against avaricious (or naive) veterans plundering the supplies of newer players. However, as a new player, it can be extremely disheartening to discover that in order to obtain the same loot in your own open world, you will have to retrace all of your steps.
Oculi – No
Since increasing your characters’ maximum stamina requires collecting Oculi, they are among the most valuable items in the game, especially for newer players. If a player steals oculi from another player’s world, that player will never be able to increase their stamina limit unless they steal oculi from other players’ worlds as well.
This is why farming them in co-op is impossible (unless you happen to be the host). All non-respawning collectibles work the same way.
Domains – Yes
The most fun you can have grinding the best artifacts for every character in Genshin Impact is by challenging different domains with your friends. This will make the enemies stronger, but also add more variety to the combat.
The best part is that everyone gets their own share of the Domain loot. You’ll still need a good supply of resin for this, but if you’ve been craving a challenge, this is the way to go about experiencing it. This is one of the more enjoyable cooperative tasks, so it’s a shame that resin runs out so quickly.
Equally applicable to weekly and global overlords, as well as Ley Lines. Whether you’re playing solo or with a group, if an action costs resin, you can perform it.
Local Specialties – Yes, But…
It can take days for certain regional specialties to regenerate, such as dandelion seeds, glaze lilies, sakura blossoms, etc. These resources are essential for leveling up your character. If you are having trouble locating the Genshin Impact, we suggest consulting the organization’s official interactive map.
After all, there’s only so much of the map you can look at once and find them all. When you’ve gathered as many as you can in your world, you can always travel to one of your friends’ and start the process over.
Unless you have the host’s permission, farming them will be impossible until they respawn. Having their valuable resources farmed by an unknown player is another reason many players avoid cooperative play.
Ore – Yes
Ironically, farming regional delicacies has more in common with ore mining than mining itself. When the ore is broken, it will provide loot for both the host and the visitor. There is no way to exploit this system because players only see the loot that is available to them.
Please keep in mind that this only applies to regular ore. Local specialties in Liyue include the ores Cor Lapis and Noctilucous Jade. However, these resources are still considered local specialties, and only one player is allowed to loot them after they have been mined.
Enemy Drops – Yes
Both players can pick up whatever is dropped by enemies they kill in the open world. You can farm slime condensate and other common items to your heart’s content in any game mode, whether you’re playing solo or with friends.
Things You Can’t Do In Co-op
Genshin Impact doesn’t allow you to fully enjoy all of its aspects in co-op, despite the fact that doing things like exploring the open world or grinding for artifacts with friends can be a lot of fun.
All the story quests and character quests, for instance, must be completed independently. Furthermore, once you begin these quests, you cannot return to co-op play until they are completed. It makes sense from a narrative standpoint that you can’t play through the story with friends, but that’s not the worst part.
The Spiral Abyss is the worst and most disappointing part of the Genshin Impact co-op mode.
Fun as it may be to grind for artifacts, you have only so much resin to work with. All players can max out their resin at 160 and still use up all 5 concentrated resin in the bank in about half an hour.
Genshin Impact’s most difficult dungeon, the Spiral Abyss (which, incidentally, uses no resin), is not available for co-op play. Fixing this would be a huge step forward for gamers looking for a serious challenge with their friends, so we hope the miHoYo team will get to it soon.
Many people have strong feelings about different characters in Genshin Impact. It takes time and effort to level up a character, so most players will gravitate toward the same few. If you look at our list of character tiers, for instance, you’ll see that it’s not uncommon for players to be using S-Tier and A-Tier characters in co-op.
Is it a problem, then, if another player also wants to take on the role of the same character?
Both, actually. It all depends on the setting.
There are no technical restrictions on having multiple people explore the open world as the same character. Is it a problem if four Zhonglis attack the Geo Hypostasis at once? The game’s AI says no way. Who would win, Oceanid or four Barbaras? They can try as many times as they like, but they won’t succeed.
However, you won’t be able to use duplicate characters in co-op Domains. Therefore, it won’t work if both you and another player want to brag about your Ganyu skills. Until a team is selected in which no members are repeated, the domain cannot begin.
Genshin Impact has zero player vs. player content.
There is also essentially zero chance of it being implemented.
Patch 1.5 introduced a time-limited event called Windtrace, which was the closest we got to true PvP. Windtrace is essentially a game of hide-and-seek in which characters’ Elemental Skills and Bursts have been swapped out for abilities that are only available during the course of an event. In this manner, there was absolutely no advantage to having a certain character or a certain level of that character over another.
And I had a great time doing it!
In the future, player-versus-player events based on miniature games are possible. For instance, the Theatre Mechanicus Tower Defense minigame could be repurposed as a PvP competition, where both free-to-play and premium account holders would be on equal footing. Scoreboards for such competitions would be nice at the very least, so the top finishers would have something to brag about.
However, we don’t foresee Genshin Impact ever adding the traditional style of PvP where players fight to the death. It would be counterproductive in a game where paying players would have an unfair advantage over free-to-play players.
When it comes to having fun with other players in Genshin Impact, limited-time events are hands down the best option.
Every update adds a ton of new content, the vast majority of which is designed for two-player cooperative play. We’ve already talked about the 1.5 patch’s co-op-only minigame event inspired by hide-and-seek, but in reality, most events allowed players to choose between playing alone and with a friend.
We recommend that players who are looking for some light co-op fun with friends in Genshin Impact stay on top of these time-sensitive occurrences.
Finally, crossplay is an issue that needs to be considered.
Genshin Impact can be played on PC, Mobile, and PlayStation right now. The game supports crossplay between all of its platforms without any hassle. This means that you and your friends who prefer PlayStation can still enjoy Genshin Impact together even if you’re a PC gamer.
To sum up, Genshin Impact is primarily a solo experience. The majority of the content cannot be completed in cooperative mode.
You need to reach AR16 in order to activate the cooperative mode. Only items that respawn in other players’ worlds can be looted during cooperative play. Considering that some resources can take up to three days to respawn, keep in mind that many players would rather not have theirs farmed by other players. Due to this, it can be challenging to enter a random player’s world.
Participating in time-sensitive events is the best way to have fun in co-op mode in Genshin Impact unless you have specific people you want to play with. In the meantime, maybe one of these games will satisfy your need for cooperative play.