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Gacha games; you love to play ‘em, you tend to spend on ‘em (just see how much Genshin Impact players spend). Either way, we see a 5-star, we want to get ‘em. Assuming, of course, 5-star is the highest tier in the game.
The concept of gacha games originate from Japan, with the term "Gacha" coming from the popular toy-vending machine Gashapon, where you spend coins on capsule vending machines to get a random toy inspired from a TV show or Anime.
But unlike the toy-vending machines that leave everything purely to chance and/or circumstance, some gacha games have what we call a Pity System to give you more of a bang for your buck.
A pity system gives a player a guarantee: in a certain number of pulls you can enter “soft pity”, which gives you an increasing chance to receive the rate-up limited 5-star character/item, and “hard pity”, which is a guaranteed 5-star in a preset number of pulls.
Genshin Impact also employs a pity system, one of the rare gacha games to do so. The hit RPG open-world game has three types of banners to pull from, so let's break down the pity system for each one!
How the Rate-Up Limited Event Banner works
The Limited Event Banner always features a rate-up 5-star character, either in a solo banner or dual banner with another limited 5-star, that you can only get for a limited amount of time.
Using the Limited Event Banner requires Intertwined Fates, which can be purchased using in-game currency such as Primogems, Masterless Starglitter, and Masterless Stardust. Intertwined Fates cost 160 Primogems, 5 Masterless Starglitter, or 75 Masterless Stardust.
Intertwined Fates can also be acquired through the Battle Pass as well as in-game quests and events.
The 5-star character in the Rate-Up Limited Event Banner is always accompanied by three 4-star characters that also have their probability rate increased.
This means that in a single 10 pull, you are more likely to get a rate-up 4-star character than any other character or weapon that is included in the pool of available weapons or characters to the banner. You can even get multiple copies of either of the rate-up 4 stars in a single 10 pull.
You can also hit “early pity”, where you get a 5-star in less than 70 pulls. You can get lucky and get a 5-star in even just 1 pull after getting a previous 5-star.
“Soft pity” is when you start hitting 70 to 80 pulls. The rate of getting a 5-star increases more and more as you reach 80, and is when you usually get a 5-star character.
But if you’re unlucky, you hit “hard pity”; which guarantees you a 5-star on your 90th pull.
Genshin Impact's pity system for the Rate-Up Limited Event Banner doesn’t end at that however, as there is also the “50/50” mechanic.
The 50/50 gives you a 1-in-2 chance of getting the limited event character every time you get a 5-star character. This means that you can “win” the 50/50 by getting the limited character or “lose” by getting a standard 5-star character (currently Diluc, Jean, Mona, Qiqi and Keqing).
Getting a standard 5-star character may seem like a downside, but receiving one means that your next 5-star character pull will be guaranteed to be the limited event banner character you’re pulling for.
The guarantee also carries over to future limited event banners until you get your guarantee. Let’s just hope you don’t end up hitting hard pity.
How Genshin Impact's Weapon Banner works
The Weapon Banner works with a different mechanic to the Limited Event Banner, though it also requires Intertwined Fates.
Instead of having just one rate-up weapon like the Rate-Up Limited Event Banner, the Weapon Banner always has two rate-up weapons available alongside a mechanic called the “Epitomized Path”.
Utilizing an Epitomized Path, you can choose to set a path between the two rate up 5-star weapons. Choosing a weapon means you can guarantee getting the weapon you chose within two cycles of losing to other 5-star weapons included in the banner, including the other rate-up weapon as well as Standard weapons.
The two cycles give you “Fate Points” — with the second point guaranteeing you will get your weapon of choice.
The guarantee however, does not carry over into a new Weapon Banner. This means the Epitomized Path will be reset and the Fate Points you collect will be nulled.
You will have to set your course to a new rate up 5-star weapon in the pool, hope to get the weapon you chose, or end up begrudgingly racking up Fate Points just to get your guarantee.
However, there’s also a Pity System in play when it comes to the number of pulls you do in the Weapon Banner.
As opposed to the 90 pulls in the Limited Banner, there are 80 pulls to get a 5-star weapon. The Soft Pity and Hard Pity mechanic is also employed; 60-70 pulls being Soft Pity, and 70-80 being your Hard Pity.
How the Standard Banner works in Genshin Impact
The Standard Banner doesn’t have the luxury of an Epitomized Path or Rate-Up. Being as it’s a perpetual banner, it has its pool of chosen standard 5-star characters and weapons — all of which have an equal rate of probability.
This means that whatever 5-star you get, it can either be one of the standard characters, or one of the standard weapons.
You can’t choose which one you can get in a certain number of pulls, and you can’t rely on a guarantee either as there isn’t one.
The one good thing about the Standard Banner however is that it employs the same Pity system as the Limited Event banner, where you can get a 5-star in up to 90 pulls. 90 being hard pity, and again, 70-80 being soft pity.
The Standard Banner also requires Acquaint Fate instead of the Intertwined Fates used for the Rate-Up Limited Event or Weapon Banners.
Acquaint Fates are also relatively easier to get compared to their counterparts.
Much like Intertwined Fates, you can get Acquaint Fates for 160 Primogems, 5 Masterless Starglitter, or 75 Masterless Stardust, they are also available as Battle Pass rewards.
However, they can be acquired by ascending characters, reaching higher Adventure Ranks, completing Adventure Rank ascension quests, and reaching other in-game milestones. Realistically, you should never be spending your hard-earned primogems on Acquaint Fates unless you can bring money like Morax.
Here's a list of the 5-star characters and weapons available in the Standard Banner:
Keqing (Electro sword)
Diluc (Pyro claymore)
Jean (Anemo sword)
Mona (Hydro catalyst)
Qiqi (Cryo sword)
Amos' Bow (bow)
Skyward Harp (bow)
Lost Prayer to the Sacred Winds (catalyst)
Skyward Atlas (catalyst)
Skyward Pride (claymore)
Wolf's Gravestone (claymore)
Primordial Jade Winged-Spear (polearm)
Skyward Spine (polearm)
Aquila Favonia (sword)
Skyward Blade (sword)
Gacha for the F2P Genshin Impact player
Okay but first of all, if you’re a gacha gamer and have not spent a single dime on your gacha game(s), then I commend your amazing sense of self-control.
You'd tend to think that since gacha is a game more designed towards getting you to swipe your magic card to get your 5-star, free-to-play players would tend to avoid money-grabbing games like this like the plague. That said, there are many instances of F2P gamers in Genshin Impact.
And a part of that is the great thing about the gacha system in Genshin Impact — the 90 pull guarantee.
You may think 90 is a lot, but when you get into other gacha games, well, oh boy will you be in for a surprise.
The other games that HoYoverse has made, like Honkai Impact 3rd and Tears of Themis, have a 100 pull guarantee.
It’s a lot of pulls to make, and sometimes farming for the in-game currency can be difficult in the late game, so free-to-play players tend to skip months and months of banners and rely heavily on events to save up for pulls.
And although both games are way more generous at giving out free in-game currency than Genshin Impact, some supply banners in Honkai Impact 3rd (like the EXPA supply) only last for a week.
In Tears of Themis, on the other hand, you tend to save up for newer, event-centred cards so there’s no real downside to playing the game (unless you’re not into playing Otome games).
And there are games out there that may have a different gacha system, but have hellish guarantee.
The 330 pull guarantee system that Fate: Grand Order implemented only at the beginning of 2022 is an example (our co-worker blew all his carefully-saved Saint Quartz to get a Castoria), as well as Azur Lane’s 200 pity guarantee.
Sure, they may not be gated behind (the hated) 50/50 RNG of Genshin Impact, but if you’re F2P, it can get really difficult, as Fate: Grand Order doesn’t carry over pity in banners.
Genshin Impact’s gacha system tends to be a little bit easier on F2P players because skipping a version can almost guarantee you enough pulls to get a 5-star character.
If you fail to get the 5-star when you’re guaranteed to get the limited version character, your pity still carries over in the next event banner, so none of your saving is wasted.
You can just wait for another event character you’d like to get.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.
If you like Genshin Impact and would like to know more about the game, the characters, the mechanics, and even the lore, check our our Genshin Impact page. From character builds and weapon recommendations, to how the pity system works, to diving deep into the story of the Genshin Impact universe, we've got you covered.