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How to get new characters in Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact can be quite fun if you’re into open-world role-playing games like Breath of the Wild. That said, there comes the point where the game gets dull if you’re limited to a few characters. If you’re finding yourself in this situation, you may want to look into acquiring new ones. Let’s go over how you get new characters in Genshin Impact.
THE SHORT ANSWER
To get characters in Genshin Impact, you must Wish for them, acquire them from the Starglitter Exchange, or unlock them as free characters.
How to get new characters in Genshin Impact
There are three primary ways you can unlock characters in Genshin Impact: the Wish system, the Starglitter Exchange, and getting them through the story, quests, or events as free characters.
The main way to get new characters in Genshin Impact is to “Wish” for them using Acquaint Fates and Intertwined Fates. Fates are part of the game’s premium currency lineup, alongside Primogems and Genesis Crystals.
We call this the main way because you can pull an unlimited number of characters from Wishes, while you can only get a limited amount as free characters or via the Starglitter Exchange. In the same breath, you can also spend unlimited money on Genesis Crystals, which you convert into Primogems, and then into Fates (which cost 160 Primogems each). You can only get new five-star characters by Wishing for them.
There is a “pity rate” involved, though. To learn more about how many rolls it takes to get a character, as well as the rates, check out our article on Genshin Impact’s Wish system.
Whenever you use the Wish system, you can get Starglitter and Stardust at the end of your pulls. These are their own currency, which you can use in the Shop.
To access the Shop, all you have to do is open the Paimon Menu by pressing Esc on your keyboard. If you’re on mobile, you tap the Paimon icon in the top left corner.
From the Shop, you can select the Paimon’s Bargains tab to check out the Starglitter Exchange, Stardust Exchange, and Purchase With Primogems tabs. Within Starglitter Exchange, you can use Starglitter to access two different four-star characters a month. They cost 34 Starglitter each.
There are five characters you can unlock for free in Genshin Impact: Amber, Kaeya, Lisa, Barbara, and Xiangling. Players often consider Noelle a free character, but you still need to Wish for her through the Beginners’ wish banner. We also don’t consider the player character, Traveler, as a free unlockable character, as they are forced upon you at the game’s outset.
To unlock Amber, you need to progress through the early stages of the story. Upon completing the Wind-Riding Knight quest, you will unlock Amber and add her to your permanent roster.
To unlock Kaeya, you need to complete the Crash Course quest. This is part of the main storyline, or “Archon Quests.”
To unlock Lisa, you have to complete the Sparks Amongst the Pages quest. This is part of the main storyline, or “Archon Quests.”
To unlock Barbara, you must complete the Baptism of Song event, which is permanently available. To get Barbara this way, you must be Adventure Rank 18 and have already completed the A Long Shot quest.
Unlocking Xiangling requires a little skill, as you will need to clear Floor 3, Chamber 3 of the Spiral Abyss.
Premium currencies in Genshin Impact
Gacha games typically have different kinds of currencies. For example, in Fate/Grand Order, there is a free currency called Friend Points (FP) and a premium currency called Saint Quartz (SQ).
Genshin Impact is a little bit complex in that the currency you use to Wish for characters is not what you purchase with real money. You are forced to purchase Genesis Crystals, which you then exchange for Primogems, which you then exchange for Intertwined Fates or Acquaint Fates. Let’s go over these four different premium currencies individually.
Genesis Crystals are the premium currency you obtain by spending real-world money. You add your credit card or PayPal to your account, then pay money to get these crystals.
Genesis Crystals can be swapped in-game for Character Outfits, Bundles, and, most commonly, Primogems.
Primogems are attainable in three ways: via Genesis Crystal exchange (1:1), redeeming codes, or by playing the game.
A common misconception is that you have to pursue characters by “whaling,” or spending real-world money on Genshin’s premium currency. This is not the case; in fact, you can earn Primogems for free in-game and don’t have to spend anything.
Many of the chests you find around the world contain a small number of Primogems, and many quests reward Primogems. Now, you don’t get very many this way because the developer wants you to get frustrated at the slow income and purchase them. If you’re patient, however, you can steadily accumulate a significant stash of Primogems.
Intertwined Fates are a premium currency used to summon weapons and characters from Character Event Wishes and Weapon Event Wishes. Each Intertwined Fate costs 160 Primogems.
When considering how to use your Primogems, you should only ever use them on Intertwined Fates. Unless you’re a whale and are playing all day, every day, you shouldn’t be using Primogems on stamina refills. You also shouldn’t waste them on Acquaint Fates, as those are used on the Standard Wish, which has only permanent characters and no rate up.
Acquaint Fates can be acquired through a few different means. They are often rewarded in-game as quest rewards, simply because they aren’t as valuable. They are used to summon on the Standard Wish banner, which only has permanent characters and weapons—and features no rate-up.
If you want to, you can exchange 160 Primogems per Acquaint Fate. However, in our opinion, using Primogems on Acquaint Fates would be a huge waste, especially when you can use them on Intertwined Fates.
There are currently five free characters: Amber, Kaeya, Lisa, Barbara, and Xiangling. You unlock them by progressing through the story, doing Barbara’s permanent event, and getting further in the Spiral Abyss.
Including the Traveler’s different element modes, there are 53 characters in Genshin Impact.
Amber, Kaeya, Lisa, Barbara, Xiangling, Traveler, and Aloy. If you count the Beginners’ wish, then Noelle as well.