genshin impact guide

Genshin Impact: Basic Terms for Understanding Build Guides

For gaming veterans, most of the terms that Genshin build guides will use are quite familiar. However, for new players (or even an avid gamer dealing with the stray word or two), it can be challenging to grasp the kind of language casually used when speaking about the Genshin Impact game, especially when you’re looking to apply that knowledge to your own gaming experience. So here’s a small compilation of some common words used in those videos and their definitions!


F2P (ie. Free-to-Play): Someone who does not spend money on the game. A weapon that is listed as “F2P-friendly” will be something accessible or easier to obtain without reliance on luck.

Whales: Someone who does spend money on the game, which in Genshin Impact is mainly through buying Genesis crystals, turning them into Primogems and then buying more Wishes. (Thus, they often have better characters and/or weapons.) Something listed as “Whale-only” is often something that is only available through these wishes, so a F2P player with not nearly as many pulls may struggle to attain it.


DPS (Damage-per-Second): The main damage dealer on your team of four, which you will usually have out on the field for more time than your other characters.

Sub-DPS: The secondary damage dealer one step behind your DPS.

Support: Characters that either have great synergies with your DPS, or great elemental bursts in general. Used to create elemental reactions with/buff the other characters’ skills that will create massive additional damage during fights.

Healer: A character dedicated to healing your other characters if their health bars get too low. This will usually be obvious, as healers will have healing somewhere in their talents.

Balanced team: A team that can cover each others’ weaknesses, work well together and can be successful during all kinds of fights. Often will have a DPS, Support, Healer and another Sub-DPS/Support. 

[Note: although some characters are more suited to a role than others, there are multiple ways that you can assign roles and build balanced teams, hence why there are so many build guides out there]

STATS (or Character Statistics):


Physical DMG: A kind of damage that does not inflict elemental debuffs/statuses. Usually the damage dealt in normal attacks (except Catalyst users). Different from Elemental DMG. (Stat boost name: Physical DMG Bonus.)

Elemental DMG: A kind of damage that does inflict elemental debuffs/statuses. Attacks with this kind of damage may react with other elements. Usually the damage dealt in elemental bursts and elemental skills of a character. Different from Physical DMG. (Stat boost name: Elemental Mastery.)

Attack: Raw overall damage. Attack boosts will apply to both Elemental DMG and Physical DMG attacks. (Stat boost name: Attack/Attack%.)

Crit Rate: Rare instances where your character will deal more damage than usual. As Crit Rate is increased, the likelihood of that rare additional damage is increased (Stat boost name:  Crit Rate.)

Crit DMG: The amount of damage your character will deal when landing a Crit. (Stat boost name: Crit DMG/Crit DMG bonus.)


Defense: The amount of mitigation against attacks that deal Physical DMG. (Stat boost name: Defense.)

Elemental RES (eg. Cryo RES, Pyro RES etc.): The amount of mitigation against attacks that deal that specific kind of Elemental DMG. If listed as all Elemental RES, then it applies to any elemental DMG as a whole. (Stat boost name: [name of element] RES.)

HP: The amount of raw hitpoints a character can take. Increasing HP will increase survivability against all types of attacks, however fall damage (aka. When you accidentally jump off a tall cliff from the sky without using Gliders) will not be decreased because it works by HP%. (Stat boost name: HP.)


Gatcha: A system that uses RNG (random number generator) to determine what a player receives. The Wishing aspect is exactly this, and many players develop a love-hate relationship with it.

[Dear RNG god, please give me the Diluc I’ve been pulling for with my 3 months’ worth of wishes.]

Kiting: A form of movement in which a ranged character alternates between dashing away and turning to hit the enemy, in order to minimize damage received. Highly applicable for bow and catalyst users.

Rerolling: Completely starting the game over from the beginning, in order to have a better chance of attaining 5*characters/weapons with early newbie benefits. This allows people to not invest in a bad team and completely refresh their potential to attain a better one.

Timmie’s Pigeons: free fowl. (I’m sorry Timmie, daily massacres are the way to go)

Good luck Travelers, and stay tuned for the December Genshin Impact update!

genshin impact guide illustration
via. Genshin Impact in-game

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