The newest free-to-play RPG is Genshin Impact, from Chinese gaming studio miHoYo. The game is currently available on mobile, PC, and PlayStation 4, with plans to bring it to the Nintendo Switch and next-gen consoles in the future. Genshin Impact feels like a mixture of Breath of the Wild and Ni No Kuni, and the fact that it\’s a free-to-play RPG is another huge draw. But just how \”free\” is Genshin Impact, really?
Set in the fantasy world of Teyvat, Genshin Impact is an open-world online RPG with twenty-four unlockable, playable characters. Players can choose to control one of seven elements, and the game features an in-depth cooking mechanic that feels heavily influenced by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In fact, the comparisons between the two games have led to angry Zelda fans protesting its release. But for anyone looking for a free-to-play online RPG with multiplayer functions, Genshin Impact is a lot of fun.
For anyone playing on the PS4, there\’s an exclusive Genshin Impact Starter Pack, which costs $9.99. The starter pack comes with in-game currency, items to boost experience gains, and food items and special materials. In-app purchases are prevalent in the mobile version of the game, which is to be expected. Prices range from $0.99 to $99.99 for in-game crystals. This was missing from the PC and PS4 betas earlier this year. The in-game crystals can be used for RNG-based weapon pulls, among other things. People who are used to mobile gatcha games should find all of this very familiar.
There are also Genshin Impact bundles that can be purchased, which give players access to weapons, food, and gear. There are also monthly battle passes, ranging from $9.99 to $19.99. Genshin Impact\’s battle passes unlock special missions and content, and completing these quests will grant players special rewards. At launch, however, none of these are required to play and enjoy Genshin Impact\’s main story.
For now, this means Genshin Impact is a fairly true \”free\” game. As more content is added, it may be more important to pay for certain upgrades. However, in its current state, Genshin Impact is a far cry from the pay-to-win free online RPGs out there.