If you’re not active in the game streaming universe, you’d be forgiven for not knowing a damn thing about Genshin Impact at all. And if you’re not looking for the game, you haven’t experience these absolutely abysmal Genshin Impact slow download speeds.
Developed my MiHoYo, it’s a nontraditional gacha game where randomized hero collection meets… Breath of the Wild style gameplay. Even stranger are the title’s supported platforms. You can play it on either PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, or PC. That’s a pretty specific variety that makes sense given MiHoYo’s success with Honkai Impact 3rd on mobile devices. If you want the best graphics you’re going to want to go with the PS4 or PC, and trust me, the graphics are great to look at so you’ll want to prioritize that if possible.
The problem for PC players? The game isn’t available on Steam or any other clients. Nope! You need the dedicated Genshin Impact launcher. Then you can download the game itself from there. And right now? Boy, oh boy, are the download times long…
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How Long Is a Long Download?
We’re talking upwards of five hours here on even the best internet plan. The problem is that the title is only 12GB. However, the download speeds through the launcher are laughably low, capping out at about one, single megabyte per second. MiHoYo’s servers are presumably getting destroyed by demand for the title — like many popular games in the last few years. But it doesn’t have the benefit of storefronts like Steam to foot the traffic.
The game has been simmering in the background, popular with plenty of streamers, and now that it’s finally released out of limited beta, many of those people and their fans want to give it a shot. Its free-to-play nature makes the title even more tempting (not to mention accessible).
As it stands, I’ve been downloading for over three hours… My own speed peaks out at the aforementioned megabyte per second. Using that math, and being more than halfway done, it’ll just be about another four hours before I can finally play — and start writing guides for you all, of course.
Can I Do Anything to Speed It Up?
You might be able to speed up the download. Some users have reported faster speeds after pausing the process and then continuing it again. Others have closed out the client entirely and then started it back up to some success. This is similar to some suggestions for increasingly PlayStation Network download speeds, as some users theorize it helps you hit different servers.
I tried pausing and continuing my own download, however, and the speed was actually cut in half… Just be careful. If you’re already downloading at a megabyte per second, I say take that as a win and don’t mess with anything. Thankfully, when closing and reopening the launcher, I was at least able to revert back to my original slow download speed.
Until the Genshin Impact servers aren’t hammered quite as hard, your download is likely to take all day even on the fastest internet speeds. So if you have any plans to play it, start that process far, far in advance if you can.
What’s a Gacha Game?
To put things simply, gacha games are titles where one of the main mechanics is summoning heroes or items via thinly veiled loot boxes. Think Granblue Fantasy and Fate/Grand Order. The genre is named as such after gachapon vending machines in Japan — the ones that dispense random toys in plastic capsules for collectors. Maybe you’ve seen the (often much chintzier) versions in U.S. supermarkets, or the Japanese originals in Barnes and Noble.
Gacha games normally release new heroes periodically. This incentivizes players to either drop money on new summons or spend their free in-game currency. The rate at which the best-rated characters drop is, usually, incredibly low… Many many have between just one and five percent chance to drop at a given rarity, with specific characters far lower than that. In Genshin Impact, drop rates are around 1.5 percent, so be ready to do lots of “pulls” and save up that currency so you can reach the pity timer.