I Did Over 1,500 Wishes In Genshin Impact — Here’s What I Learned
There are two distinct ways of unlocking characters via Genshin Impact’s gacha system: you can spend one Intertwined or Acquaint Fate on a single Wish, or use ten Fates at a time on what the community calls a “ten-pull”. The odds are the exact same for both of these options, and yet there’s one clear victor when it comes to optimizing — or at least more accurately determining — the amount of 5-star characters you get.
Yesterday, I used up all of the Primogems and Wishes I had earned from completing in-game challenges. It’s worth noting that I also purchased the Genshin Impact Battle Pass last week and am subscribed to Paimon’s Blessing of the Welkin Moon package, which awards you 300 Genesis Crystals instantly and promises 90 Primogems per day for 30 days thereafter. All in all, I had about 2,000 Primogems from various sources, which equates to 12 Wishes and some change.
Here’s a full history of my Wishes up until this point:
- 10 novice Wishes (using the 10 free Fates Genshin Impact gives you at the start)
- 19 character event Wishes (Venti, now Klee, using in-game Wishes and the 10 Intertwined Fates from a Mihoyo appreciation mail)
- 66 permanent Wishes (using 20 Acquaints from Mihoyo and 1470 Primogems from Mihoyo — or nine Wishes. The 37 remaining Wishes come from a mixture of Welkin Moon, Battle Pass, and in-game achievements).
After getting Noelle from the novice pack, I felt it was relatively useless to roll there. When deciding between character event Wishes and permanent Wishes, I played to the advantage Mihoyo had afforded me — if you do nine Wishes in a row and only get shit 3-star weapons, the chance for your tenth roll to be a 4-star or 5-star weapon or character is boosted (4-star minimum is guaranteed). After 89 Wishes, your 90th roll is guaranteed to be a 5-star. If this is not a weapon or character featured on the banner you’re rolling in, then your 180th roll will be guaranteed to be one — for example, the current character event banner features Klee as a poster fighter. If you rolled Keqing at 90, you’re guaranteed to roll Klee at 180.
So, I had rolled 95 Wishes across three different banners, which is kind of stupid in terms of efficiency. I was nowhere near 90 on my character banner, and although 66 is relatively close to the mark, I currently only had 12 to play with. I could easily hit 78 and have to spend over a week grinding another 12 to guarantee my 5-star. So, as a means of avoiding spending any more money than the $25 I pumped into Welkin and the Battle Pass, I decided to do what any normal person would and visit a Genshin Impact summon simulator to play with odds. This was strictly academic — there’s no way to beat the bookie.
However, it did allow me to make some observations that were to my own personal benefit. Not necessarily cheats, mind, or catch-alls for optimally approaching Genshin’s gacha. But definitely results that could help me a) roll regularly, b) avoid spending money I didn’t want to spend, and c) make sure I was being as efficient as possible as per what I, personally, was attempting to do.
The first thing I did in the summon simulator was roll 500 individual Wishes, which was as painstakingly boring as it sounds. The results were as follows:
- 1x Keqing (5-star character)
- 3x Qiqi (5-star character)
- 2x Jean (5-star character)
- 1x Mona (5-star character)
- 3x Beidou (4-star character)
- 4x Noelle (4-star character)
- 2x Sucrose (4-star character)
- 3x Amber (4-star character)
- 3x Kaeya (4-star character)
- 2x Barbara (4-star character)
- 2x Lisa (4-star character)
- 1x Razor (4-star character)
- 2x Xingqiu (4-star character)
- 2x Xiangling (4-star character)
- 1x Fischl (4-star character)
- 2x Ningguang (4-star character)
- 3x 5-star weapon
- 36x 4-star weapons
- 426 3-star weapons
Ten 5-star rolls across 500 is pretty good. It means I got one 5-star for every 50 — despite the fact that pity begins at 90 — and I got 64 of the 4-stars. Granted, 500 Wishes is a relatively small sample size in the grand scheme of things, but when you consider that it’s $5 for 300 Primogems — which is less than two Wishes — 500 begins to seem like quite an unobtainable amount in the first place. The maximum amount you can buy in one go is 6480 Primogems for $100, which is 40.5 Wishes — and Genshin doesn’t do half Wishes.
I then rolled 50 consecutive ten-pulls, twice. The first 50 (which also amounts to 500 Wishes — it’s 50 x 10) yielded five 5-stars, 59 of the 4-stars, and 436 of the 3-stars. Half the amount of 5-stars, slightly less 4-stars, and ten more 3-stars: worse across the board. The second 500 yielded ten 5-stars, 61 more 3-stars, and 429 of the 3-stars. Similar to my individual rolls, but slightly worse in terms of my 4-star yield.
A total of 1,500 Wishes for a gacha system with odds as admittedly miniscule as Genshin Impact’s is not necessarily fit for inclusion in an economic journal. But again, this wasn’t about analyzing odds and seeing if the game’s 0.6% chance for a 5-star pull was, in fact, the same for both single and bulk Wishing (obviously the odds are what Mihoyo says they are, there’s this thing called “the law” that exists).
What this taught me was something completely different. If you, like me, are regularly tempted by the tantalizing promise of ten-pulls — even though the odds are the exact same regardless — then you’ll be glad to know that single Wishes are slightly more desirable in the long run. This means that grinding out 160 Primogems for a gratifying spin of Genshin’s roulette is genuinely worthwhile, allowing you benefit from the innate gratification of doing so without being overly tempted by bulk buying in-game currency using real money.
The reason for this is as follows: if you only want one character — say Diluc, who I got yesterday using the 12 in-game Wishes I mentioned at the beginning of the article — then you can simply stop as soon as you get him. If Diluc is the first character you get in a ten-pull, then you’ve spent an extra nine Wishes on stuff you don’t care about. Sure, it’s useful to have 3-star weapons as upgrade materials. But you can get them in any pack — right now, they’ve gone to waste, unless you’re also trying to pop Jean or want a second Diluc to boost his constellation.
If you’re simply trying to get as many of the characters as possible, it’s in your best interest to single Wish and switch as soon as you land them. This cuts waste, which is more important than it sounds — Genshin’s pity mechanic resets every single time the relevant rewards it affords you are received. If you’re due at least one 4-star weapon every ten rolls, and get one on your fifth, your sixth roll is your first one in a new pity run. Similarly, getting Diluc on the 78th roll — like I did — makes the 79th roll the first entry of a new pity meter. If I had rolled a ten-pull, I would have gone the whole way to 88 — but the nine Wishes after Diluc would be nine Wishes toward a new pity target. Instead, I can pump them into a different banner — such as the recently launched Klee one — and benefit from building pity there instead. This is especially important when you consider limited time banners. Given that Venti’s Ballad of Goblets was replaced by Klee’s Sparkling Steps, there’s currently no way to unlock Venti. As a result, it’s obviously useful to go for characters you want from permanent Wishes, but doing it in singles allows you to prioritize more ephemeral banners to make sure you slowly but surely collect ‘em all.
The only downside to single Wishing is that it takes longer — but you only really notice that if you’re spending a lot of real money on the game. If you, like me, are playing casually but would love at least one good character, single Wishing satisfies the urge to roll the dice while also allowing you to efficiently count your pity build-up in units of one instead of ten. I don’t think my simulations meant that I was guaranteed to get Diluc, but they certainly helped me follow patterns to make sure I optimized my chances of getting a 5-star from permanent Wishes without wasting unnecessary ones I could then spend on the new Klee banner. Ultimately the odds are the same — but if you really care about popping specific characters, you’re better off tracing your pity counts in each banner and single Wishing your way to the right roll without wasting extra ones after landing it.
Read next: I Bought The Genshin Impact Battle Pass So You Don’t Have To (You Really Shouldn’t Buy It)
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Cian Maher is an Associate Editor at TheGamer. He’s also had work published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Verge, Vice, Wired, and more. His favourite game of all time is and always will be The Witcher 3, but he also loves The Last Guardian, NieR: Automata, Dishonored, and pretty much every Pokemon game ever released. You can find him on Twitter @cianmaher0.
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