There are only five weapon types in Genshin Impact, and given that the playable character roster extends to nearly 50, a few new weapon types would go a long way toward further differentiating them. The five weapon types are used in combination with the six currently playable elements, with each character being a combination of one weapon and one element. Further split by 4-star or 5-star characters, this means that not every single combination is currently present in the game, but even with events that offer free Genshin Impact 4-star characters of their choice, miHoYo will need to introduce more weapon types in order to keep combat fresh.
Each of Genshin Impact\’s weapon types are useful in their own ways. Swords are the middle ground between spears and claymores, tied with bow users in being the most common. Swords\’ attack speed is almost as fast as spears but with stronger hits and shorter range. Claymores are the slowest, but each hit is impactful and can damage multiple enemies at once, making claymores ideal for large groups. Bows and catalysts are the current non-melee type weapons, a bit more challenging to use, but they provide different benefits like breaking elemental shields and exposing weak points versus their melee counterparts.
Spears/polearms are considered top-tier weapons in Genshin Impact, and are somewhat their own thing. They have the fastest attack speed with a longer range and excel in single target damage, but have the weakest hits. After Genshin Impact\’s release, Xiangling was the only spear user for over three months. After the newly introduced Zhongli, Xiao, and Hu Tao (all considered top-tier 5-star characters) were released, spears are now the most popular choice amongst players. The skewed weapon preference indicates a need for changes, and another new set of weapon types might also help to balance the scales.
Why Genshin Impact Needs More Weapon Types
Excluding all weapons of the Dendro element type, which has yet to release, there are only a few combinations that are not playable in Genshin Impact. With the recent additions of Gorou, who is a Geo Bow user, Sayu, an Anemo claymore user, and Raiden Shogun who fulfills the spot of the missing Electro spear/polearm user, the only remaining nonexistent combinations are: Cryo catalyst, Hydro claymore, and Hydro spear. However, it is only a matter of time that these will combinations will be added, and miHoYo will be left with no new combinations to create. There is already some repetition with current characters. For example, Hydro characters are the least common – only five of the current playable characters are of the Hydro element, and three of those use catalysts. Although all Genshin Impact Hydro characters are worth building, the abundance of Hydro catalysts has been a contentious point with many players.
There is a somewhat formulaic or predictable release of weapon and elemental combinations for new Genshin Impact characters. If there is a 4-star character of that combo, then there will usually be a 5-star character of that combination and vice versa. For example, Rosaria was the only Cryo Spear user for a long while, but newly released Shenhe in Genshin Impact 2.4 fills the missing 5-star spot of Cryo spear. Likewise, Chongyun, a Cryo user, and Noelle, a Geo user, are both 4-star claymore wielding characters available since the beginning of Genshin Impact\’s release. Recent additions of Eula and Arataki Ito provided 5-star options of Cryo claymore and Geo claymore, and so it has gone with Klee and claymore and Diluc, then Yanfei and Xinyan. This predictability has made new character releases a bit less exciting than they might have been.
Furthermore, characters who share the same element but different weapon type can still be too similar to be considered entirely unique, which might also be less problematic if new weapon types were introduced. Pyro is the most common element, tied with Cryo. Genshin Impact\’s Thoma, 4-star Pyro spear user, was underwhelming because he was too similar to many other Pyro units, especially Xinyan, a 4-star Pyro claymore user. Both of their elemental skills provide a shield with enhances Pyro absorption, and in creating one, applies Pyro to themselves. There is a difference in how the shield scales and stacks, but the general usage of their skills is not especially different.
Genshin Impact\’s elemental reactions play a huge part in both the open world and combat. Different elements and their reactions to one another in are needed to clear pathways and provide walking space. Likewise, elemental reactions are the keys to breaking enemy shields and huge damage. Although physical damage is good, as seen in characters like Eula and Razor, there is an obvious bias towards elemental damage. Most characters\’ normal/auto attacks that deal physical damage have low scaling. Elemental Mastery is seen everywhere, and physical damage tends to rely on many of Genshin Impact\’s different elemental reactions first. Because of this, there should be more weapon types that are a hybrid of physical and elemental damage or focus more on physical damage.
Potential Weapon Types That Could Come To Genshin Impact
A ranged melee weapon sounds contradictory, but there should be some sort of melee weapon that can attack both close and from afar. A variety might either be a whip or a mace. This would allow for more combat options and less frustration in having to change the party to include a bow user. The attack speed could be slow, in order to keep it balanced, but the versatility of having a ranged melee weapon might add a huge boost for the party. Similarly, something like daggers or throwing daggers can also be introduced. Daggers would provide quick melee attacks but could be used as charged attacks to aim for more accurate hits.
Catalysts are the only weapon types that can apply elemental damage during auto attacks, without using an elemental skill or burst. There are currently eight catalyst-wielding characters in Genshin Impact. Because of this, their charged attacks cost up to 50 stamina. A similar weapon could be a wand or a staff that deals physical damage during normal attacks, but charged attacks for elemental damage. A wand or staff might provide a good hybrid between physical and elemental damage, but will still differ from catalysts.
Iansan\’s splash art, as seen in Genshin Impact\’s official game trailer, suggests a new hand-to-hand combat class. Three of the current five weapon types are all melee, so another melee class might be redundant. However, a possible difference would be that hand-to-hand combat could be the fastest and make use of multiple hits, but also be the weakest and most vulnerable character type, since they must get up close to the enemy. Therefore, they could be paired with healers or shields, keeping the class balanced and making Genshin Impact healers viable again.
Bows are the only weapons to not consume stamina during charged attacks. But, in order to deal maximum damage with charged attacks, a bit more time is needed to fully charge the arrow. Bows have the furthest range, even as far as the eye can see, and deal hits to weak points very easily, with proper aim. Their normal/auto attacks have average speed and can miss easily. Another class to compete with bows could be pistols or guns, which might leave the charged mechanic the same, in which players must aim, but reducing or eliminating the charging time, and making both auto or charged hits deal physical damage.
The current five weapon types in Genshin Impact are meant to be well-balanced and different in what they can offer during combat, but as more and more characters are released, the lack of weapon variety will eventually become a problem. Rifthounds introduced in Genshin Impact 2.2 were meant to spice things up because they deal Corrosion, which in turn allowed healers to be useful again, but such measures only serve as temporary solutions as players end up figuring out different means to defeat new enemies.
New characters are always highly anticipated by the Genshin Impact community, but having so few weapon types could be problematic for future character designs. Repeats will make characters less and less desirable, and older characters can become increasingly irrelevant. Instead of working well with each other, there may be some competition over who is the better user of that element and weapon type. Thus, introducing more weapon types would add new playstyles and combat options, and offer more opportunities for using characters that are usually on the back burner.