Genshin Impact 2.8 is just around the corner, and the summertime update is taking us back to the Golden Apple Archipelago for some sun, sea, and sand. It's been a year since we were last there, but Klee and Kazuha are returning back for their reruns. It's pretty fitting that the queen of the summer festival, Yoimiya, also joins them with a rerun banner.
There are no new five-star characters this time, but four-star Sherlock Holmes wannabe, Shikanoin Heizou, is joining the roster as the very first melee Anemo catalyst-user. "What's an Anemo melee catalyst-user?" you ask. It just means he kicks and punches enemies with the power of the wind, and yes, it does look as cool as it sounds.
On top of that, there are new events, outfits, and there was even a little trailer that gave us our first look at the Sumeru region near the end of the livestream. Speaking of Sumeru, miHoYo also gave us a look at Collei, Tighnari, and Dori, the three new characters who'll be arriving alongside the new region. That said, here's what you need to know about Genshin Impact 2.8, including when it releases.
When is the Genshin Impact 2.8 release date?
The Genshin Impact 2.8 release date is July 13. The first phase will feature rerun banners for the five-star characters, Kazuha and Klee, with Heizou as a boosted four-star on both. The second phase of 2.8 should start around August 4 with Yoimiya returning for her first rerun banner.
Maintenance downtime will begin at 6am UTC+8 according to the miHoYo update post, which is 11pm BST (12am CEST), while for the US it's 3pm PT or 6pm ET. All of the maintenances should conclude five hours later and then you can start playing.
Who are the Genshin Impact 2.8 characters?
There is one new Genshin Impact character in version 2.8, as well as three reruns:
- Shikanoin Heizou: This four-star Anemo detective from the Tenryou Commission is the first melee-catalyst user in Genshin Impact. This means that he kicks and punches enemies with elemental attacks, using Heartstopper Strikes to deal damage, and his Windmuster Kick to absorb other elements and create explosions. You'll be able to grab Heizou as part of either the Klee or Kazuha banner from July 13.
- Kazuha: After a year, this five-star ronin is finally getting a rerun. Kazuha is pretty popular since he's one of the best Anemo characters in the game, and while other five-stars like Xiao have already had two reruns, this is Kazuha's first. You'll be able to wish for him on the "Leaves in the Wind" banner from July 13 onwards.
- Klee: Another popular character who's gone a while without a rerun, Klee is a unique five-star Pyro catalyst-user who chucks bombs at enemies. Though she has a very particular playstyle, hurling endless explosives at monsters is a lot of fun. Klee will be available on the "Sparkling Steps" banner alongside Kazuha.
- Yoimiya: Though not the greatest archer around, this five-star firework-maker is still pretty strong. She can infuse her arrows with Pyro so she makes a powerful reaction combo with characters like Fischl (who also happens to be free in the new headlining event). Yoimiya will be available on the "Tapestry of Golden Flames" banner that launches in the second half of version 2.8, around August 3.
Genshin Impact 2.8 events
The headlining event for Genshin Impact 2.8 is Summertime Odyssey, featuring a number of different challenges and trials located in a revamped version of the Golden Apple Archipelago. The main challenge is delving into a "Phantom Realm" styled after each of Summertime Odyssey's featured characters, solving puzzles and fighting enemies. It looks like there will also be some boat-based time trials, too. If you gather enough event currency, you can invite Fischl to join your party.
Expect more boaty action in Reminiscent Regimen, though this event will also be co-op. Challenges like Convoy and Raid will see you protecting rafts, platforming, and sailing the Waverider alongside pals for Primogem rewards. The Echoing Conches from last year are also back in Resonating Visions, and you'll be scouring the islands in search of them to piece together different stories. Collect enough and you can get the new Fischl outfit for free.
The Hidden Strife event is a combat challenge that shows off Diluc's new five-star Red Dead of Night outfit. This is the first five-star outfit, which means it adds new idle and attack animations for Diluc. The event itself is pretty basic: complete in-battle objectives to receive buffs in subsequent battles. Evermotion Mechanical Painting will add some component-based puzzles, as you use cogs and gears to make machines work.
Finally, there is a new story quest for Kazuha, and a hangout event for Heizou.
We finally got to see Sumeru for the first time
The Golden Apple Archipelago is back for version 2.8 and it looks like we're going to get special locations with each of the Phantom Realms, such as Fischl's castle and Mona's observatory. But we also got a look at the new Sumeru region in a brand new teaser trailer. Skip to 32:05 to get a peek.