Genshin Impact may have accidentally revealed the best banners the game's ever seen

Genshin Impact Hu Tao
(Image credit: Hoyoverse / OnePlus)

Genshin Impact usually doesn't unveil new character and weapon banners until those banners are just about to launch, but in a rare break from tradition, developer Hoyoverse has already confirmed the second round of banners coming in update 3.4, and it might be the best selection the game's ever had.

We've known for a while that Hu Tao and Yelan will be rerunning alongside their signature five-star weapons, and that was already an incredibly strong lineup. Hu Tao is still one of the best single-target DPS characters in the game, and she pairs extremely well with Yelan, who also deals immense single-target damage, and entirely off-field at that. With the reveal of the four-stars accompanying these two powerhouses, the second half of 3.4 is looking hard to resist. 

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Genshin Impact Wenut Tunnels City of the Deceased

(Image credit: HoYoverse)

If you're setting into 3.4 we can help you with  Genshin Impact Sand Grease Pupa and where to find the Genshin Impact Wenut Tunnels and City of the Deceased Domain

Hu Tao and Yelan's banners will feature Xingqiu, Beidou, and Ningguang, all of whom will also be available via the 3.4 Lantern Rite event's one-time freebie. Xingqiu is one of the strongest characters in Genshin and is commonly run with both Hu Tao and Yelan; Beidou is another four-star great who only got stronger with the release of Dendro; and Ningguang is an odd one out here but still a competent character in Geo teams. Taken as a whole, none of the five units on these banners are bad, and four of them are among the highest ranks on our Genshin Impact tier list.

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The Aqua Simulacra and Staff of Homa banner is almost as tempting, especially if you enjoy the vertical progression that strong weapons provide over additional characters. Homa and Aqua are best-in-slot on their respective units, and they're joined by four-star hits like Favonius Sword, a great Xingqiu weapon; Dragon's Bane, another great Hu Tao weapon; and Favonius Codex, which is a solid choice on the likes of Nahida and Mona.

Even the Rust bow is solid, albeit for Yoimiya specifically, and the Lithic Blade claymore is a good option for Beidou. There are really no outright duds here, which is more than I can say for the Alhaitham and Xiao banners coming in the first half of this patch. (Double-check your Genshin Impact 3.4 release time here, folks.) Hell, I don't think we've ever seen such high-power five-star and four-star units and weapons dropped back-to-back like this. 

What's funny is that while an early banner announcement isn't entirely unprecedented – I believe Hoyoverse did something similar last New Year – this reveal may have slipped out prematurely. As a video from Braxophone (opens in new tab) shows, the Genshin Impact Twitter mistakenly published a tweet describing banners from the previous patch but with Hu Tao and Yelan's artwork, though it quickly corrected it with the post above. It's possible this was just a typo, but perhaps Hoyoverse dropped a drafted tweet early and just left the post up because it knew it couldn't get the cat back into the bag. Whatever the case, Genshin players are winning once again. 

Meanwhile, Genshin Impact update 3.5 will see the release of Dehya and Mika. 

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.