clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
a still from a teaser video showing the 3.0 sumeru region in genshin impact. Image: Hoyoverse/YouTube

Filed under:

Here’s why the next big update for Genshin Impact is such a big deal

And everything we know, so far, about the impending 3.0 Sumeru update

Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Genshin Impact is the open-world adventure that just keeps getting bigger. With the 3.0 Sumeru update looming, the game’s size and scope will only continue to grow. Developer Hoyoverse will add a new region for the protagonist, colloquially known as the “Traveler,” and our floating companion Paimon, to visit, along with new characters and quests.

While Hoyoverse released a number of significant patches in the past year, the 3.0 update will be the largest update since the 2.0 Inazuma update launched last summer. Now that players have wrapped up their stint in the Japanese-inspired region of Inazuma, and have explored the deep dark gooey depths of The Chasm, it’s time to move onto the next big challenge. Here’s why the 3.0 update matters so much, and what we know about it so far.

Players will explore the new Sumeru region

an image of one the regions you can explore in genshin impact’s upcoming 3.0 sumeru update Image: Hoyoverse/YouTube

A teaser shared during the 2.8 patch livestream showed a region filled with lush forests and decked out with whimsically large plants, beach-island areas, and ornate jungle temples. Gameplay footage showed that using different elemental powers on environmental features, like giant mushrooms, will transform them, and thus change how players can interact with the world around them. For example, electro-charging a mushroom can make it extra springy, giving players more of a boost when jumping off of it. We also know from the in-game descriptions of Sumeru that there will be desert areas as well. Judging from the environments and Arabic-inspired names of some of the characters, fans believe this region is inspired by South Asia and North Africa. We don’t know much about the enemies yet, but the region will add an Electro Regisvine boss for collecting ascension materials.

The 3.0 update will introduce a new element called Dendro

In addition to getting a new region to explore, this update will introduce a new element with which you can fight: Dendro. Dendro is the Genshin Impact equivalent to grass-type powers, for those familiar with typical RPG elemental matchups. In addition to introducing a bunch of new characters, the presence of this new element should shake up combat and exploration strategies in the game. In a video from the developers, the team described Dendro as being the “last piece in Genshin Impact’s element system.”

In the video, developers also said that there are three concepts that drive Dendro: catalysis, wisdom, and life. The developers aim to reflect these concepts with elemental reactions in battle, in the level design, and environmental mechanics. Battle reactions include Bloom and Catalyze: Bloom happens when a Hydro-focused character uses a water attack with a Dendro enemy or teammate, and Catalyze occurs when Electro is applied after Dendro (it appears to be a sort of buff). From previous fights with other Dendro slime, we’ve also seen the Burning reaction, which occurs after a character uses a Pyro attack on it.

Collei in a teaser trailer in Genshin Impact Image: Hoyoverse/YouTube

The update will kick off a new storyline with new characters

Hoyoverse released another trailer that didn’t reveal all that much of Sumeru, but showed the entirety of the Fatui Harbingers for the first time. In the world of Teyvat, the Fatui Harbingers are set up as a council of super-powered baddies who have historically caused political unrest, challenging the Traveler as they continue their quest. The trailer revealed that the council is up to something, but we don’t know what they’re scheming about yet. In terms of additional new characters, the trailer also showed off Collei, a new Dendro character who will be released as a playable character at some point in 3.0.

What is the 3.0 update release date?

Genshin Impact regularly receives a patch every six weeks. Hoyoverse hasn’t announced the patch release date yet, but has stuck to this release cadence in the past. That means that if the developer follows their regular schedule, we can expect 3.0 to launch on, or close to, Aug. 24.

If maintenance follows the regular schedule, it would start at 5:00 p.m. EST/2:00 p.m. PST. Maintenance historically has taken a few hours and Hoyoverse will compensate players with a maintenance bonus and give players Primogems based on how long the service takes.

Which banners will run throughout the update?

The Genshin Impact Twitter account has announced a solid handful of characters. So far, we’ve gotten basic information about the Electro merchant Dori, the Dendro archer Collei, and the Dendro ranger Tighnari. Other characters have been leaked, but Hoyoverse has yet to confirm them officially. We don’t know when each character will get their banner, but it’s very likely that these three will come before other leaked characters, since Hoyoverse already released official information about them.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for Sumeru, so we’ll update this article as we get more information on what 3.0 will add to the game.