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Are Primogems Worth It? Evaluating Genshin Impact's Primogem Cost Efficiency

Hilary is a self-proclaimed game connoisseur and addict. Her favorite games include League of Legends, Stardew Valley, and Monster Hunter.

Overview

Genshin Impact is a newly released free-to-play game by miHoYo available on the mobile, PC, and Playstation. It features an open-world map, gorgeous graphics, punchy combat, and adorable anime-style characters. Though some of these characters are unlocked simply through gameplay progression, most are randomly obtained through a lottery-style loot system commonly known as gacha.

Players can spend a premium currency known as “primogems” to randomly draw (or as the game calls it, wish) for weapons and characters. Though primogems can be obtained in-game, some users purchase them with money for a chance of obtaining a rare, coveted character. Due to the low chance of obtaining rare characters and high price of each draw, players have begun questioning the cost efficiency of primogems.

Cost of Primogems

According to Genshin Impact’s website, a pack of 8080 primogems costs around $100, resulting in 50 wishes per pull and a little more than $0.01 per primogem. Each pull has an average cost of $2.00. Smaller amounts of primogems can be purchased at a lower monetary cost with the consequence of a higher price per pull. Below is a table containing an overview of each primogem package.

Primogem PackPrice (in dollars)Extra PrimogemsTotal PrimogemsPrice Per Primogem (in dollars)

60 Primogems

$0.99

0

60

$0.0165

300 Primogems

$4.99

30

330

$0.0151

980 Primogems

$14.99

110

1080

$0.0138

1980 Primogems

$29.99

260

2240

$0.0139

3280 Primogems

$49.99

600

3880

$0.0129

6480 Primogems

$99.99

1600

8080

$0.0123

Obtaining Free Primogems

Primogems can also be obtained for free through regular gameplay. By completing the daily Commissions, players can earn up to 60 primogems every day. Furthermore, they can obtain 200-400 Primogems per week by clearing a dungeon known as the Spiral Abyss. This equates to a weekly income of 820 primogems, which equates to around 10 pulls every 2 weeks. Players can also earn small amounts of primogems from in-game events, opening chests, completing quests, and discovering shrines through exploration.

Finding Primogems from a chest

Finding Primogems from a chest

Rewards from Pulls

The possible rewards for the draw are 5* (star) characters at 0.6% chance, 5* weapons at 0.7% chance, 4* characters at 5.1% chance, 4* weapons at 6.0% chance, and 3* weapons as a consolation prize. Players can draw copies of the same weapon or character.

Pity Pull Mechanism

To prevent excessive bad luck and provide a tangible incentive to pull for rewards, Genshin Impact has incorporated a pity pull mechanism that enables players to reliably draw 4* and 5* once they reach a certain number of pulls. For every 10th pull without a 4* or higher, the player is guaranteed a 4* or higher reward on the 10th pull. For every 90 pulls without a 5*, the player is guaranteed a 5* on the 90th pull.

Cost of Rare Characters

Based on the price per pull and the pity pull mechanism, the cost of 4* and 5* rewards (either a weapon or character) can be calculated. If a player only earns the rare rewards through the pity pull mechanism, they will be spending roughly $20 for every 4*. A 5* reward will cost $180.

Keqing, a coveted five-star character

Keqing, a coveted five-star character

Player Reception

The reception to this game has been overwhelmingly positive, even excessively so. Genshin Impact earned $245 million dollars in the first month from mobile platforms alone, making more than other popular games such as PUBG ($195 million) and Pokémon Go ($122 million). The game’s success can be attributed to its almost predatory gacha lottery mechanic. While some players spend little to no money on primogems, there have been records of streamers spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on primogems. For example, a streamer named Lacari spent around $2000 to obtain a specific 5* character of his preference. Another streamer known as Mtashed blew over $7000 on this free-to-play game.

Verdict

As tempting as it is to draw one extra set of 10 wishes, primogems are not worth spending excessive amounts of money on. 4* characters/weapons can be earned with 3 hours of minimum-wage labor ($7.25 an hour) or maximum 2 weeks of regular gameplay. 5* characters/weapons require 26 hours of minimum-wage labor or primogems from 18 weeks of regular gameplay. However, Genshin Impact frequently gifts players with primogems through events and provides ample opportunities within the game for earning primogems, thus greatly reducing the time and play required for obtaining rare rewards. In fact, miHoYo gifted all registered players 600 primogems on November 11, 2020 as compensation for the server maintenance occurring the night before. Genshin Impact also provides ample support for the free-to-play userbase, not only providing opportunities for primogem collection, but also granting free characters and weapons through storyline completion and linear gameplay. These rewards are diverse and powerful enough to complete the game without too much difficulty. Rather than falling prey to the addictive mindset of “this next draw could be the one!”, players should practice patience and self-control, rather than wasting money on unwanted characters that will be unused, relegated to a decorative collection of pixels.