Genshin Impact 3.4 release time – here's when the Alhaitham banner starts

Genshin Impact
(Image credit: Hoyoverse)

With the Genshin Impact 3.4 release time set for later today, the headlining Alhaitham banner is now just hours away.

Genshin Impact update 3.4 will launch at approximately 7pm PT / 10pm ET / 3am BT today, January 17 (technically tomorrow for you Brits), though we may be able to log in early if maintenance finishes ahead of schedule, which it often does. Alhaitham's banner will be live when the update launches, so have your Primogems ready. You've still got time to knock out the time-saving pre-installation, so get that download going. 

Alhaitham will debut alongside yet another rerun for Xiao, with both of their signature five-star weapons on the accompanying weapon banner. The four-star characters on their banner include Yaoyao, the first-ever Dendro healer; Yun Jin, a normal attack supporter who likely won't play well with Alhaitham; and Xinyan, a notoriously weak unit who's hard to use in almost any team. 

Remember, you can get any of these four-star characters for free, as well as top-tier picks like Xingqiu and Xiangling, from 3.4's Lantern Rite event. Have a look at our full Genshin Impact tier list for more details on how all of them play. The four-star options on the weapon banner are generally weak too, making the update's opening banners pure five-star showcases.  

The good news is those five-stars are pretty solid. Xiao is better than ever after the recent release of Faruzan, and Alhaitham looks mighty fun to play, as evidenced by his newly released character demo which has somehow racked up 1.2 million views and nearly 200,000 likes in 12 hours. It is a bit of a banger, I will admit.

If you're not sold on the characters that update 3.4 has to offer, you'll still have a whole new chunk of desert to explore and a Lantern Rite festival to enjoy. You may also be more interested in the now-confirmed lineup for update 3.5, which will add Dehya and Mika as playable units

More than any character before him, Genshin Impact fans are entirely too horny for Alhaitham. Stop it, get some help. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.