Genshin Impact is a massive open-world RPG featuring many playable characters, a combat system that requires mixing and matching various elements, a story deeper than one would initially think, an excellent soundtrack and graphics, and best of all, it’s a free-to-play game. With the most recent 2.0 update, which adds a brand new continent to explore and new story content, it’s a perfect time for new players to join in on the game.
The small catch is that Genshin is a Gacha game, meaning that you have to roll for characters or weapons that you want. However, to make the most out of Genshin and your resources in-game, it’s very important to understand how summoning characters and weapons actually work and how to best utilize your starting resources.
How to Obtain Fates in Genshin Impact
There are two types of “Fates” that you can obtain in-game to summon weapons and characters. Acquaint Fates (the light blue ones) and Intertwined Fates (the one with a pink hue to them) are both used for very different things. Both can be bought for various in-game resources starting after the main story quest where you first meet the Acting Grandmaster of the Knight of Favonius, Jean. You can find the place to buy these Fates from the Shop in the pause menu. While in the shop, you can find both forms of these Fates in the “Paimon’s Bargain” section of the Shop.
While here, you can use three in-game resources to buy Fates: Primogems (which is, by far, the most common way to do so), Stardust, and Starglitter. Both Stardust and Starglitter are obtained via summoning, so your only option at first will be to purchase with Primogems. Primogems can be obtained by opening chests, unlocking waypoints, completing domains, or doing quests. It takes 160 Primogems to buy one Fate, which equates to one summon on a Banner (see next section) of your choice. After summoning enough times, you’ll find yourself in possession of Stardust and Starglitter.
With Stardust, which is far more common than Starglitter, you can only buy a maximum of 5 of each type of Fate per month before the shop resets. With Starglitter, you can buy as much of each Fate as you desire so long as you have the resources. (It should also be noted that some 4-star characters are sold for 34 Starglitter, so depending on your preference and what character is in store, it might be wiser to save them up.) To actually begin summoning, pause the game, and enter the “Wish” section of that menu. Here, you should see the various banners you can summon from.
When you first begin the game, there should be four Banners available for you: The Beginner Banner, a Weapon Banner, the Standard Banner, and a Character Event/ Rate Up Banner. As of this writing, the current Character Event Banner is for Ayaka. You can tell which Banner is the Character Event Banner by two things: There is an exclusive character on it that cannot be pulled from the Standard Banner, and on the top left of the banner’s image, it says “Character Event Wish.”
The Character Event Banner has an increased Summon Rate for the character currently shown (in this case, Ayaka and previously, Kazuha) as well as the 4-star characters it shows on the banner (In the Ayaka Banner, this is Chongyun, Ningguang, and Yanfei), and uses Intertwined Fates to roll on. The best thing about this Banner, however, is that if you roll a 5-star, it’s confirmed to be a character and NOT a 5-star weapon. So, for those searching for a 5-star character, this Banner is your best bet at getting one. It should also be noted that when you pull a 5-star on this banner, there is a 50% chance it’s the Banner Up character and a 50% chance it could be one of the Standard Banner Characters (listed below).
If you lose the 50/50, and end up with a Standard Banner Character, the next 5-star you get will be the Banner Up Character. This carries over from one Character Event Banner to the next. So for example, Player A rolls for Ayaka and loses the 50/50. The next Character Event Banner is Yoimiya, so if Player A rolls a 5-star on the Yoimiya Banner after losing the Ayaka one, it’s confirmed to be Yoimiya. You can take advantage of this to confirm a 5-star character that you want in the future.
The Standard Banner (as of this writing) has Keqing, Mona, and Qiqi in the picture as well as the Skyward Spine Weapon. The Standard Banner is more the mixed bag of summoning and should be rolled on if you’re not rolling for anything specific or if you want a 5-star weapon and do not have the resources to pull on the weapon banner. Just know that you may not even roll a 5-star weapon on this banner as it’s possible to roll 5-star characters as well. Lastly, this should be used when the game provides you with Acquaint Fates.
Even if you’re going for Character Event or Weapon Banner, not using the resources Genshin provides would be a waste. It can also be worth putting Primogems in if you are close to hitting Pity (more on Pity in the next section). The Standard Banner only has five characters that you can obtain that are actually 5-stars. These are Diluc, Keqing, Mona, Qiqi, and Jean. Just like the Character Event Banner, the words “Standard Wish” are on the top left of the Banner itself. Besides those particular 5-star characters, it’s impossible to roll any of the other ones on this banner.
The only way to get the other 5-star characters is to wait for them to get a rerun on a Character Event Banner, which is why the Character Event Banner is so good. Not only do you get a chance at rolling a character that is exclusive and will not be seen again for a long time, but if you fail to roll that exclusive character and still roll a 5-star, it will be one of the characters listed above.
The next Banner is the Weapon Banner. You can tell this banner is the weapon banner because it, well…only shows weapons. This is the best way to get 5-star weapons in general as every 5-star rolled on this banner will be a weapon. If you’re lucky, it may even be an exclusive weapon that will not show up again for quite a while. It’s worth noting that most 4-star weapons, or even Free-to -lay ones that are free to forge, can be used to great abilities on the right characters.
While it can be advantageous to roll for a weapon, it might also be wiser to save for the next Character Event Banner that you like. This Banner uses Intertwined Fates and should only be rolled on if you are 100% sure that you have the money to cover for it or that no characters that you like are releasing soon. It’s also worth noting that the Weapon Banner has a shorter roll count to hit Pity (Which will be covered after the Beginner Banner).
If you’re going to roll on this banner and have either the money to spend or a lot of Fates saved up for a specific weapon, be sure to use the Epitomized Path System which was just added in the latest update. This will allow you to pick one of two weapons, and if you do not get that weapon after rolling two other 5-star weapons, the next 5-star you get will be the weapon you chose for Epitomized Path. This still takes around 230 Fates to guarantee the weapon of choice, so it’s still costly.
The Beginner Banner seems super tempting at first, but if you are gunning for a 5-star character, this banner is an absolute trap. Yes, it is 20% off for 20 rolls, but most of the time you are just going to end up with Noelle (who you are guaranteed to pull from the Beginner Banner anyway) and another 4-star character. Not only this, but those 20 rolls do not go into your Pity count.
You will see why this is abysmal in the next section if your main goal is 5-stars. However, if you’re new to Genshin and just playing to have fun or do not care who you get, this banner is for you. This will save you four Fates and get you started with some other characters you can play as besides the free ones you get in-game (that being the MC, Kaeya, Amber, Lisa, Xiangling, and Barbara).
Pity and How It Works
Pity is a mechanic that helps players roll both 4-stars and 5-stars. A good starting example of this is regardless of which Banner you summon on, after 10 rolls, you are guaranteed to roll a 4-star character or weapon. Once you hit 76 rolls, you enter what the community calls “soft Pity”. From this point on, you have a 1/3 chance to roll a 5-star weapon or character depending on the banner. It’s worth noting that there have been some reports that after the 76th roll, the chances slowly start decreasing, but no worries there.
Even if you are a poor unlucky sap, there is a confirmed “Hard Pity” that guarantees you a 5-star character or weapon on the 90th roll and not before. What this means is that with 90 rolls, you are confirmed a 5-star character or weapon, and with 180 rolls on the Character Event Banner, you are confirmed the Banner Up Character. The second you roll a 5-star, your Pity Count resets back to 0 and you have to roll another 90 to confirm a 5-star. It is, of course, possible to roll a 5-star character or weapon without Pity, but these instances are few and far between as the rate these 5-stars drop is at an abysmally low 0.6%.
This is why it’s so important to not dump those 16 Fates into the Beginner Banner that doesn’t add to your Pity Count. (The 4-star every 10 rolls does not affect the 5-star pity. The two are counted separately.) Another thing is that pity does not carry from, say, Standard Banner to Character Event Banner. Both Banners track Pity separately. The only time your roll count carries over is from one Character Event Banner to the next. For example, Player B rolled 60 times on Ayaka. Those 60 rolls will carry over into Yoimiya’s Character Event Banner and Player B will only need to summon 30 more times to get a confirmed 5-star. If you want to see how many rolls you have on any given Banner, there should be a “History” button that lets you view all your past rolls.
The big takeaway is: Intertwined Fates are much better at getting what you are aiming for than Acquaint Fates. The Character Event Banner guarantees 5-star characters while the Weapon Banner confirms mostly weapons. However, this does not mean the Standard Banner is bad by any means. As you naturally progress in the game, Genshin will provide you with Acquaint Fates which should be spent accordingly, and as that builds up, you’ll eventually get close to hitting Pity on the Standard Banner, and that’s always a good thing.
If you’re aiming to get a specific weapon or character, however, it’s much smarter to spend your Primogems and Stardust/Starglitter on Intertwined Fates as the two banners that use this type of Fates give better guarantees than the Standard or Beginner Banner. This applies to both Free-to-Play players and players that will spend money on rolls in Genshin. I hope this guide helps those beginning their journeys in Teyvat or clarifies the mechanic for those that are fuzzy on how the summoning system works.