Genshin Impact gives players access to a number of characters for free. Sometimes this comes as part of the story, as is the case with the Traveler, Amber, Kaeya, and Lisa, and other times they come as events, like Xiangling. While these characters are strong enough to get players through the story and most everything the game has to offer, those wanting to get the best characters are likely going to have to shell out some cash. That much is clear to fans of the game by now, but just how much money is required to get certain characters is something that a lot of people are still unsure about.

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Genshin Impact\’s Gacha system is easily one of its most divisive features (right next to the resin system), but it\’s also core to everything the game is. Players theoretically have a chance to get some powerful characters and items just by collecting things, but the odds of getting any of the 5-star weapons or characters are incredibly low. Thankfully, Genshin Impact has a pity system designed to ensure that players get 5-star rewards after a specific number of wishes. For weapons, this is 80 wishes, but for characters it is 90. This, combined with the rules about featured characters, means that it costs about $444 to guarantee a specific 5-star character. Here\’s the breakdown of that math.

Genshin Impact Pity System

The pity system in Genshin Impact is designed so that with enough wishes, players will always get something rare from a banner. This doesn\’t necessarily mean they\’ll get what they want, but a five star character or weapon is guaranteed depending on the banner. In the case of weapon specific banners, players are guaranteed a 5-star weapon after every 80 wishes they make on that banner, whereas with character specific banners, they\’re guaranteed a 5-star character after 90 wishes. This counters are separate for each banner, so it\’s best to pick one place and focus when trying to get a certain character.

If the player gets a 5-star character, there is a 50% chance it will be that featured character instead of another 5-star. This still doesn\’t guarantee that the player will get the right character, though. The second 5-star character the player gets from a wish on a specific banner will always be the featured character, and this is the only way to guarantee a specific character. This, in conjunction with the pity system, allows players to strongarm their way through Genshin Impact\’s incredibly low 5-star rates, but it requires them to spend quite a bit of money in the process.

Genshin Impact Microtransactions

In order to get that many wishes, players are going to have to shell out some cash. Genesis Crystals can be purchased at a rate of 6,480 crystals per $100, and each genesis crystal converts directly into one Primogem. The method here is to purchase enough Intertwined Fates to make 180 wishes on the banner with the desired featured character. With this many wishes, even if the featured character doesn\’t come from the first 5-star pity system, it is guaranteed to arrive from the second 5-star pity system. Each Intertwined Fate costs 160 Primogems, though.

Assuming the player is buying the most expensive bundle, they can get about 64.8 Genesis Crystals per dollar they spend. In order to make 180 wishes, they\’ll need a total of 28,800 crystals from the store. That comes out to the player spending approximately $444.44 in order to guarantee that they get a specific featured character from a wish. This is the only way currently available for players to do this, and it\’s very expensive, even by mobile game standards. Nonetheless, that hasn\’t stopped Genshin Impact from being the highest grossing mobile app of October, and that\’s not even including the purchases players made on PS4 or PC versions of the game.

Getting Lucky in Genshin Impact

It should be said that this is the absolute worst case scenario. This scenario assumes that the player doesn\’t get lucky and pull the 5-star character they want before the pity system kicks in, and also assumes that they pull a different 5-star than the featured character the first time it does. From here, there\’s another 90 chances to get the desired character before the second pity system takes over and guarantees the character. It\’s very possible, although still not very likely, that the player will get the character they\’re looking for before having to spend 28,800 crystals/primogems.

It\’s also possible to earn wishes in the game simply through exploration and questing. Intertwined fates and primogems are often given out as log in rewards or for various events, so some of this money can be supplemented by just playing the game. All that said, the most amount of money a player should spend on getting a specific 5-star featured character is $444.44, though even this can be increased if they opt to spend some of these wishes on other banners instead. Looking at these numbers, it\’s not hard to see why some fans are upset about Genshin Impact\’s Gacha system, likening it to gambling or calling it predatory. Even so, spending money is technically entirely optional.

Genshin Impact is available now on Mobile, PC, and PS4, and later on Switch.