Genshin Impact Is Still Missing My Favorite Gacha Mechanic, PVP

It’s reset day for arena ranks, and I am meticulously combing through my gear and character roster in Epic Seven. I’ve taken more beatings than I can count, and I’m tired of embarrassingly admitting my rank to my friends. I’m competitive in this PVP stuff, and it’s my favorite thing to do in just about every gacha game I’ve had any long stint with. If I’m not hooked on the PVP, I’ll usually drop a mobile gacha pretty quick, but so far, Epic Seven, War of the Visions, King’s Raid, and Langrisser have all satisfied that itch. When I look at my new favorite, Genshin Impact, I realize I’m mostly happy with the experience, but something is still missing. It’s hard to articulate what that is, too – Mihoyo has done an incredible job creating a satisfying gameplay loop I’m usually at peace with while playing alone.

And then I realize that’s just it – I mostly play alone. I want to challenge people. It’s PVP that’s missing – I want Genshin Impact to give me player versus player content.

I’ve written about it at length before. I think Genshin Impact has some problems with its co-op systems, and I really long for ways to interact with folks in some sort of guild system that feels meaningful. Right now, co-op mode still feels a bit messy, and I don’t have much incentive to invite strangers into my world. I think I can eventually make peace with that, because what I really long for is PVP.

It’s a bit funny for me – outside of mobile RPGs, I’m not really that competitive. I don’t play Call of Duty or Street Fighter. I’m not pressed when friends beat me in party games. I have accepted my life of losing in Mario Kart. But when it comes to an RPG, with the types of stat min-maxing you see in gacha games, I’m ruthless. I spend ages farming the best weapons, reading novel-length guides from eager Redditors, collecting and hoarding premium currency for only the most broken of banner characters.

Genshin Impact has a lot of those elements that hook me, minus the actual PVP. I farm domains as soon as my Resin regenerates, I watch endless YouTube guides for understanding stat priorities, and I save my precious Primogems until a character comes out that I know I have to have – then I blow them all. I make my characters as beefy as possible, and watching a boss’ HP bar widdle away faster and faster brings me more satisfaction than progressing the story.

There’s an itch I can’t seem to scratch though, and I realize that’s because I can’t really show anyone how strong my precious Diluc is. I want to parade him into battle only for someone’s Mona to come in and wipe the floor with him because, let’s face it, even though I love PVP, I’m pretty damn bad at it in every game I play. I don’t care though, when I’m finally able to make a strategy I’ve been planning for ages work – I’m over the moon about it.

Just think about it. We could have small arenas where you can show off that Ganyu you have worked so hard to build. Or something even more satisfying, I love building my free characters that high rollers often dismiss. Please, let me show someone who bought a $50 Primogem package how good my free Kaeya can be and then reward me for it – because PVP often comes with impressive treats for good performance.

And I realize that’s a rush I really miss when it comes to Genshin Impact. Am I saying Mihoyo has to check every single one of my ridiculous boxes? Of course not! But, I am saying I love Genshin Impact’s battle system, I love experimenting with builds, and I think I would love pitting characters against each other. I realize Genshin Impact is a whole different beast on its own, far more complex than any mobile game I’ve played yet, but if Mihoyo could throw me a bone and just add in a little competition – I’ll be here to stay.

Next: I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Stop Playing Genshin Impact

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Andrea Shearon is a news editor at TheGamer who loves RPGs and anything horror related. Find her on Twitter via @Maajora.

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