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Genshin Impact Version 4.0 Update: New Gameplay features revealed in the livestream

Fontaine will finally let players dive under water!


Genshin Impact Version 4.0 Update livestream was aired on the 4th August 2023. This livestream gave us the first official glimpse of our next destination, Fontaine, the nation of Hydro ruled by the Goddess of Justice, Focalors. The live stream went over many things that will be introduced in Fontaine. This article will provide a summary of all the new gameplay features to be introduced in Genshin Impact with the version 4.0 Update.

Genshin Impact: New Gameplay features in Version 4.0

1. Underwater Swimming

In Fontaine, there will be special areas where you can dive underwater. Swimming underwater works very differently from swimming in regular water. First of all, there is no such thing as an oxygen meter. Most games that feature underwater exploration feature an oxygen bar. The developers of Genshin Impact decided that an oxygen bar would make exploration feel restrictive so they chose not to implement it.

Genshin Impact Version 4.0 Gameplay Features underwater
Image by HoYoverse

There is, however a mechanic called Aquatic Stamina. It functions the same way as regular stamina, it can be used to dash forward. There is no way to upgrade this stamina. Approaching certain schools of fish can restore Aquatic Stamina, as well as HP since there are no Statues of the Seven underwater.

While swimming underwater, you can interact with water currents that will propel you forward. This functions similarly to the rings that give a boost while gliding.

On land, the camera perspective is free. You can move the camera around to see the surroundings. However, underwater, the camera has a fixed perspective behind the character. This is implemented to avoid motion sickness. There will be the option to toggle the normal camera perspective in order to get your bearings and look around.

2. Underwater combat

There will be combat encounters underwater, but it will work very differently from regular combat. For starters, everything will always be wet, giving an unfair advantage to Hydro reactions. To remedy this, the developers have decided to create a new combat system.

Image by HoYoverse

There will be no elemental reactions underwater. You can absorb different abilities from Fontemer Aberrants and use them against opponents. For example, absorbing the ability of an Armored Crab will let the character use a shield.

3. Technology and traversal methods

Both Inazuma and Sumeru introduced new ways of traversing the open world. Inazuma introduced Thunder Spheres that are suspended in the air. While carrying an Electrograna, you can move swiftly in the direction of the Thunder Sphere. Inazuma also introduced the Waverider, a boat that can be used to traverse the waters instead of swimming. Sumeru introduced Four-Leaf Clovers, which is an improved version of Thunder Spheres and does not require carrying any Dendrograna.

Technology and traversal methods
Image by HoYoverse

Fontaine will introduce the Aquabus. This is different from the Waverider since you do not have any control over its movement. It is like a train that runs on canals. There are three lines all over Fontaine that can take you from one area to another, there will be a main station for switching lines too.

Fontaine is pretty technologically advanced, as evident from the patrolling Mekas in the trailer. Fontaine even has Teyvat’s version of nuclear energy called Pneuma-Ousia annihilation reactions which generate energy by annihilating each other. These are the top gameplay features revealed with the Genshin Impact Version 4.0 update.

4. Exploration and combat

The aforementioned Pneuma-Ousia annihilation reaction is called the Arkhe system. Every Fontaine character has an Arkhe alignment which they can use to solve puzzles. Some Clockwork Meka enemies also have an Arkhe alignment which they use in combat. Using Fontaine characters against these enemies can help neutralize their special Arkhe abilities.

The Arkhe system is not as integral as the elemental reaction system because it is only exclusive to Fontaine characters. The developers did not want to force players to use Fontaine characters while exploring Fontaine.

Exploration and combat Genshin Impact Version 4.0 Gameplay Features
Image by HoYoverse

Above ground, in mid-air, there are suspended water bodies that can be entered from any angle. Inside these water bodies, you will be swimming underwater just like how it works in regular diving zones. On the other hand, there will be land areas underwater that can be entered and explored just like how it works above ground. The developers have declared that the total amount of land and underwater areas will have a 50:50 ratio. This means that by the time all of Fontaine is released over the 4.x patch cycle, half of the Fontaine map will be land, and half of the map will be underwater areas.

5. Easy access to Fontaine

Genshin Impact’s nations have a linear progression. The story takes the Traveller from Mondstadt to Liyue to Inazuma to Sumeru. Out of these, only access to Inazuma is locked behind story progression. All the other nations can be visited right after starting the game.

Easy access to Fontaine
Image by HoYoverse

However, Fontain is pretty far from Mondstadt. If players want to visit Fontaine, they will have to take a long walk. This is why the developers have decided to unlock a teleport waypoint in Sumeru near the entrance of Fontaine when players complete the Mondstadt chapter of the Archon Quest.

Final Thoughts

Fontaine is the fifth nation in Genshin Impact that players will explore. We are all excited to interact with the new mechanics and meet the new characters. Developers have made it easier for even new players to reach this nation. To find out what we know about Fontaine so far, check out this article.

What are your thoughts on our Genshin Impact new gameplay features revealed in the Version 4.0 Livestream? Let us know in the comments below!

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