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Genshin Impact update 1.2: Everything we know

genshin impact 1.2 release date
(Image credit: miHoYo)

Following on from getting its first substantial update in November, developer miHoYo is adding new features thick and fast, with the Genshin Impact 1.2 update arriving hot on its heels in December. There’s new characters, a new region to explore, new storylines, and much, much more. 

It’s a significantly bigger addition to the game than the previous update, and is the best indicator yet as to what miHoYo's ambitions are, and how big the game will be once fully complete. So, here's everything you need to know about Genshin Impact update 1.2.

Genshin Impact 1.2 release date: When does it launch?

I’ll get into all the juicy details soon, but as with any update ever, the big question is 'when can I play it?'

The update will go live on December 23, or Christmas Eve Eve, if you’re in the holiday spirit. There’s nothing especially Christmassy in the update; There's no Santa hat for your Traveler, no reindeer skin for Paimon, but it is very wintry. It unlocks a new, snow-covered region, and a lot of what we’ve seen so far puts a big emphasis on Cryo power. So while it’s not especially festive, it still seems suited for a winter release date.

What’s the new region in Genshin Impact 1.2?

Right now, if you zoom out on your map, you’ll be able to see every region in Genshin Impact. Well, not right now, because you’re reading this. But if you open the game and zoom out? Yep, then you can see it.

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(Image credit: MiHoYo)

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Anyway, you can see every region, but only Mondstadt and Liyue will be filled in. If you try to venture to any of the others, you’ll either hit a red wall, or Paimon will force you to turn around. The plan is that miHoYo will eventually add more updates to fill out the entire map, and 1.2 sees that plan come to fruition for the first time.

In the update you’ll gain access to the snowy Dragonspine region. In the artwork we’ve seen of this new region so far, miHoYo has revealed wintry tundras, icy caverns, snowy mountains, and frosty walkways over a cold abyss. This new region's chilliness isn’t just aesthetic, though: We're getting a new Freeze mechanic too.

On the world map, this region is directly south of Mondstadt’s city, between Dadaupa Gorge and Sal Terrace.

What’s with the new Freeze mechanic?

As Breath Of The Wild evidently hasn't been imitated enough, Genshin Impact has now added a Freeze mechanic. You should note that this is not the same as the Frozen mechanic, which can happen if you are hit by Cryo attacks in battle. This is something which effects you while exploring cold lands, and if the Freeze meter drops too low, your health will start to drop.

It seems like there will be some new items added to the game designed to counteract the cold, so Freeze will not be there to close off areas, only to make you prepare for your journeys. Pyro moves and braziers will probably provide shelter from the cold, too.

genshin impact 1.2 characters

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Are there any new characters?

Yep, two. It has become traditional for Genshin Impact when adding new characters to give a five star and a four star together. We’ve just had it with Zhongli and Xinyan, before that it was Childe/Tartaglia and Diona. This time though, Albedo and Ganyu are both five stars.

First, Albedo. He’s like the most recent five-star addition Zhongli, he’s of the Geo element. Zhongli arrived with high hopes, and the unique ability of improving other Geo fighters in action. In reality though, he didn’t really add very much to the game, and was a disappointment overall. With few Geo characters in the game, Zhongli misfiring only made things worse, but hopefully Albedo can steady the ship.

He is a sword-wielder, and is a gentle soul who is the teacher of previously introduced character Sucrose.

Ganyu is more fitting of the update’s theme, as she is a Cryo fighter. Cryo has far more good options than Geo, but you can never have too much of a good thing. She fights with a bow, and is an emissary for the Liyue Qixing.

Genshin Impact update 1.2 events

There are a range of different types of event coming in 1.2, explained below, although Frostbearing Tree seems to be a new type of event. They'll be playable in any order:

Genshin impact builds

Genshin Impact Venti build: Optimise the archer
Genshin Impact Diluc build: Boost the DPS stalwart
Genshin Impact Fischl build: Kit out the DPS princess
Genshin Impact Klee build: Set up the excellent fighter
Genshin Impact Razor build: Strengthen the wolf lord
Genshin Impact Diona build: Purr-fect setups
Genshin Impact Childe build: The best Tartaglia setup
Genshin Impact Zhongli build: Outfit the Geo fighter
Genshin Impact Xinyan build: Get rockin' in Teyvat

Hypostatic Symphony
Hypostatic Symphony features the Hypostatic cubes, as you might guess. Electro, Geo and Anemo Hypostasis cubes will feature, and they will come with some new abilities not before seen in the Hypostatic cubes. Once you’re used to the cubes, they can be a useful boss to farm in the game, but it seems like this event will bring the toughest cubes yet.

Lost Riches
This event seems like it will be a pretty standard treasure-hunting event, requiring you to hit up different locations and complete straightforward puzzles or defeat enemies to make your way through it. On the surface, it seems like a basic event designed at letting you grab some rare materials. However, once you complete all the steps, you get a pet Seelie.

It comes in three different colors, and will follow you as Paimon does. Forget Albedo, this is the must-have headliner in the 1.2 update.

The Chalk Prince And The Dragon
This is set to be similar to Genshin Impact Unreconciled Stars, in that it will have a few different stages which must be completed in order, will involve some combat and some resource collection. It will probably be the meatiest event coming with the 1.2 update, and rewards the four-star sword, Festering Desire, upon completion, with other rewards along the way.

Marvellous Merchandise
We don’t know much about this event at all, other than that it seems to be a limited-time store. Might be that you trade items rather than Coins.

In The Mountains
This seems to involve a new plant found in Dragonspine. You will likely have to collect resources from these plants, which may be guarded by enemies.

Frostbearing Tree
This looks to be a completely new type of event, with almost no details revealed or highlighted in the update’s trailer. It seems like we will need to give the tree special materials, and in return it will grow. The higher it grows, the more rewards? Or the better rewards we get once the event ends? All we really know is that the tree can reward a new four-star Catalyst Weapon, Frostbearer, a new glider skin, a Crown of Sagehood and Acquainted and Intertwined Fate. Whatever needs to be done, seems like it’ll probably be worth it.

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Are there any new enemies?

Yes and no to this one. It seems like most of Dragonspine is inhabited by the same enemies as the rest of the game, but with Cryo abilities, immunities, or weapons. We don’t know exactly how these enemies will change up combat, but they clearly have a new icy look.

There’s also a Ruin Monster we’ve not seen before. This one does not seem to have a Cryo design, but instead comes with what look like pneumatic arms. From that, we can guess this Ruin Monster packs one hell of a punch.

How about new equipment?

Oh, you betcha. As well as Frostbearer from Frostbearing Tree and Festering Desire from The Chalk And The Dragon, there are two more weapons. One, the Dragonspine Spear, can be crafted from materials found exclusively in Dragonspine. The final weapon is an icy blue Claymore, but the name or how you get it is currently unknown.

Similarly, there are two new artifact sets, but all we know right now is that one is Hydro, and the other is Cryo.