Can you play Genshin Impact Offline?

As I write this, my internet is currently down. Dunno when it’s gonna get restored, hopefully before the end of the day. Thankfully, I keep a cache of games installed on my PC for just such an occasion, so I have no shortage of things to do, but there are some games that simply cannot be played offline, for one reason or another. This brings us to today’s question: can you play Genshin Impact offline?

No connection, no login, no service

If the fact that the game makes you log in every time you boot it up wasn’t a clear indication, allow me to make it plain: no, you cannot play Genshin Impact offline. “But why?” you may ask. “I’m not playing with anyone else; I’m playing single-player! Why do I need a connection if I’m not playing with anyone?”

Well, there’s a multitude of reasons, but if you’re looking for someone to blame, you can blame Paimon. Since Genshin Impact is free-to-play, the game needs to always be incentivizing you to buy stuff from Paimon’s Bargains. If you were offline, you wouldn’t be able to access the store, and that’s potential money for miHoYo down the drain.

Additionally, a lot of the game’s mechanics, such as daily quests and resin limits, rely on a steady connection to keep the server updated on your progress. Without that connection, you could run rampant around the game claiming whatever you want as much as you want, and that’s a no-no.

To give you an example, let’s say you find an Anemoculos floating around in the wild. When you pick that thing up, the game tells the server “they picked it up, it’s gone now.” If that server connection didn’t occur, the Anemoculos would just reappear, and you could keep grabbing it over and over. It is unfortunate that the game is always online, but I guess that’s just the price of entry in lieu of a literal price.