Genshin Impact update 2.2 teasers confirm a surprise playable character

Genshin Impact update 2.2
(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Genshin Impact update 2.2 teasers are already rolling in ahead of the release of update 2.1, and the first snippet confirms that Thoma will be playable in the next update. 

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Developer MiHoYo released some details on Thoma earlier today. Thoma appears throughout the introductory story quests for the new Inazuma region, so we already knew that he was a pyro vision holder and likely a polearm user, but it's nice to have confirmation on both of those points. 

Since update 2.0, MiHoYo has released brief profiles for upcoming characters several weeks before their release. The studio teased Raiden Shogun, Sangonomiya Kokomi, and Kujou Sara more than a month before update 2.1 was even officially announced, for instance. We've also never seen these sorts of early character reveals staggered, so for now we can assume that Thoma will be the only new character in update 2.2, meaning the new banners are finally slowing down. 

It seems unlikely that Thoma is a five-star character given his role in the story, and if he does turn out to be a four-star, we can expect two rerun banners for existing characters in update 2.2, not unlike the banners that accompanied the release of Rosaria. Genshin Impact players have been asking for reruns of the Liyue trio of Ganyu, Hu Tao, and Xiao since their original banners ended, so perhaps we'll see some of them make a comeback. We haven't heard from Albedo in a while either, come to think of it. 

With Thoma confirmed, there are now only a few major Inazuma characters unaccounted for. The rebel general Gorou and the shrine maiden Yae both seem like playable characters, so maybe we'll see them in update 2.3 or beyond. Gorou has ties to Kokomi, and Yae has been positioned as a major figurehead, so it's a bit surprising to see Thoma arrive before both of them, though I suppose he is connected to Ayaka, who's already available. There's also a chance we'll meet more new characters in upcoming story quests, and I'm still holding out hope for an appearance from at least one of the characters in Raiden's story trailer. 

Genshin Impact Thunder Sojourn | Genshin Impact 2.0 | Genshin Impact Inazuma region | Genshin Impact Memento Lens | Genshin Impact Sakura Bloom | Genshin Impact Destroy Barriers | Genshin Impact Aloy character

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.