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Do I Need PlayStation Plus to Play Genshin Impact?


The short answer is no, you do not need a PlayStation Plus subscription to enjoy Genshin Impact on PS4 or PS5. The game is completely free-to-play with full access to all content and multiplayer modes without PS Plus.

As an open-world action RPG with a huge map to explore, engaging combat mechanics, an immersive story and gacha-style character collection, Genshin Impact has become massively popular since its release in 2020. But as a free-to-play game, many wonder if PlayStation Plus is required to play.

Genshin Impact is 100% Free-to-Play on PlayStation

While PlayStation Plus gives members free games every month and enables online multiplayer in most PS4/PS5 titles, it is not needed at all for Genshin Impact.

You can download and play through the entire Genshin Impact experience solo or cooperatively with others, including:

  • Single-player open world exploration and questing
  • Co-op multiplayer for up to 4 players
  • Special events like Windtrace and Misty Dungeon
  • Spiral Abyss challenge mode
  • Wish gacha system to unlock new characters
  • Cross-platform progression and play with PC and mobile

No content or game modes are locked behind the PS Plus paywall. You get the full Genshin Impact package free-of-charge.

The Reasons Behind Genshin‘s Free Online Play

As a free-to-play game, Genshin Impact is able to provide unlimited multiplayer access to attract players and drive in-game spending. According to data from SensorTower, the game generated $2 billion in revenue in its first year with the majority coming from mobile platforms.

Other successful free-to-play titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends and Warzone also allow unfettered online multiplayer without subscriptions. For competitive and collaborative online games, minimizing barriers to entry is key to building an engaged player base.

Genshin still incentivizes spending through its gacha wish system and battle pass. But the core gameplay experience is 100% free.

PlayStation Plus Provides Other Benefits

While unnecessary for Genshin Impact itself, a PlayStation Plus membership can provide other nice perks:

  • 24 free games per year – 2 monthly PS4/PS5 games included in all subscription tiers
  • Exclusive discounts – PS Plus members save up to 75% on games and add-ons
  • Cloud storage – 100GB to store game saves and profiles online
  • Online multiplayer – Enables online play in 90% of PS4 and PS5 games

According to a 2021 survey from BudgetDirect, 54% of PS4/PS5 gamers subscribe to PlayStation Plus. While optional for Genshin Impact, many find value in the services and free games provided.

PlayStation Plus Subscription Options

For gamers interested in a PS Plus membership, there are now three subscription tiers available:

PlayStation Plus Essential – $9.99/month

  • Online multiplayer access
  • 2 monthly downloadable games
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Cloud storage for saved games

This tier provides the core benefits that PS Plus has traditionally offered. It‘s required for online play in non-free-to-play games.

PlayStation Plus Extra – $14.99/month

  • All Essential tier benefits
  • Catalog of 400+ PS4 and PS5 downloadable games

This middle tier adds a huge catalog of games available for download. It‘s similar to Xbox Game Pass with a library of titles to play.

PlayStation Plus Premium – $17.99/month

  • All Extra tier benefits
  • 340+ additional PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games
  • Time-limited game trials
  • Game streaming with PS1, PS2, PSP and PS4 titles

The Premium tier is the full package with 700+ game downloads, classic game access, trials and game streaming. It‘s ideal for hardcore PlayStation fans.

While the Extra and Premium tiers are enticing, you won‘t miss out on anything in Genshin Impact without them. The base Essential tier provides the key online play access that Genshin doesn‘t even require.

Try 7 Days of PlayStation Plus for Free

For new PlayStation Network members, Sony offers a 7-day free trial of PlayStation Plus to experience the benefits first-hand. Just be sure to cancel before the trial ends to avoid being charged.

This gives you a chance to sample the monthly games, discounts, cloud saves and other features. There‘s no credit card required to activate the free trial.

But ultimately, PlayStation Plus is not needed to enjoy the full Genshin Impact experience on PS4 and PS5. You can play through all the content solo or cooperatively online without paying a dime. Genshin truly delivers an AAA-quality open world RPG completely free-to-play.