Genshin Impact, the free-to-play open-world RPG developed by miHoYo, remains one of the most popular games on any system. With miHoYo tricking new content into the game at a steady pace and several more continents yet to be added, now is a great time to jump into the world of Teyvat. Unless you own a Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo's hybrid console/handheld continues to sell like hotcakes, yet there is still no sign of Genshin Impact on the eShop. It's been over a year now since miHoYo teased a Switch version as “coming soon”. Since then, news has kind of dried up. So what gives, miHoYo? The reason for the Switch-release delay is likely due to several things.
Is Genshin Impact on Switch?
Unfortunately, no. And miHoYo has been silent about any difficulties porting Genshin Impact to Switch, so we can only speculate as to why. Perhaps there are some complications with the in-app purchases. While the game is free to download and play, the game entices to spend real money on Primogems. You then use these to “wish” for new characters and weapons. It certainly wouldn't be the first Switch game to offer in-app purchases, but maybe there are some legal obstacles to navigate.
There is also the matter of the online play. Genshin Impact is primarily single-player, but players unlock co-op online play when they reach Adventure Rank 16. Many limited-time events also encourage interacting with others online, though they are strictly optional. Anyone who has owned a Nintendo device in the last decade knows how strict the company can be with anything online. Making matters more difficult, miHoYo imposes its own strict regulations for network-related activity, so negotiations could be tense.
What About Nintendo Switch Cross-Play?
And on top of that, there's the issue of cross-play. As it currently stands, all of the versions of Genshin Impact are cross-play compatible. Except for the PlayStation 4 and 5 versions, you can log in on your iPhone to do a few quests and then immediately log onto your PC and start from that spot immediately, and then you can pop onto your Android tablet for some dungeoneering. All progress and unlocks carry over.
Unfortunately, Sony is keeping the PlayStation as its own Genshin ecosystem (with some fun exclusives like Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn as a playable character, at least), where nothing carries over to the other platforms. And because of Nintendo's history of online shenanigans, many wonder if the Switch is going to be an isolated platform like PlayStation.
The problem is that we just don't know enough at this point to say for sure. But we are absolutely, 100% rooting for Nintendo Switch cross-platform play.
Where Is Genshin Impact Currently Available?
Genshin Impact is currently available on PC, Android, iOS, PS4, and PS5. The PC version has the most scalability, with some truly amazing graphics if you have a capable system. The PlayStation 5 version is no slouch either, with HDR graphics and a much better framerate than its PS4 counterpart.
The mobile version generally looks the weakest, though a powerful enough device can improve things. It also relies on touch controls by default, though playing with a Backbone controller might just make you scratch the Switch port off your wish list. Whichever version you choose right now (except PS5 or PS5), you can link to a miHoYo account for potential Nintendo Switch cross-play.
Note from Beej: I play it on an iPhone 12 Pro Max, and it runs almost as smoothly on it as it does on my PC. That said, it plays a lot more smoothly on my PS5. But…cross-play and being handheld means my iPhone with a Backbone controller is my go-to.
That's Great, but WHEN Will Genshin Impact Release on Switch?
If a year of silence following “Coming Soon” concerns you… it should. That being said, don't assume that miHoYo is changing their mind about a Switch port. The Switch continues to sell like crazy. Nintendo released the OLED update in 2021, and there are rumors circulating of Switch Pro upgradesfor 2022. Whatever difficulties the devs are encountering, you can bet that they want the port done right. We have seen already that miHoYo puts enough love into Genshin Impact that is pretty much guaranteed.
Teyvat's cell-shaded world would like gorgeous on that Switch OLED screen, so I'm alright with waiting a little while longer. If you're curious about the game and want to dip your toes into the water without spending any real money, check out our guide for free Genshin Impact players, too. We'll also be posting more guides and character spotlights in the future. So keep an eye out, Traveler, and may the Archon bless you.
What are you hoping for the most when it comes to a Nintendo Switch version of Genshin Impact?