Horizon star Aloy is joining Genshin Impact as a free five-star character

Genshin Impact Aloy
(Image credit: MiHoYo / PlayStation)

Horizon Zero Dawn lead Aloy is coming to Genshin Impact as a free five-star character available to all players.

PlayStation and developer MiHoYo revealed the mind-boggling crossover earlier today. Aloy, the "Savior from Another World", will not only be Genshin's first major crossover character, but she will also be the first free five-star character in the game's history. While players could have got enough free Wishes for several five-stars, the game has never outright handed out a specific one before. Not only that, "a free four-star bow that gives Aloy a special buff" will be included too, but per a tweet from PlayStation Europe, it will only be usable on PS4 and PS5.

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Genshin Impact Aloy

(Image credit: MiHoYo / PlayStation)

Aloy will be a timed PlayStation exclusive to start, but only for one patch, as MiHoYo explained in a blog post on the event. PS4 and PS5 Genshin Impact players will be able to claim Aloy just by logging in during update 2.1, which will start on September 1 and run until version 2.2 arrives on October 13.

With Genshin Impact cross-save now available, it would be feasible for PC and mobile players to set up a PlayStation account and claim Aloy early. In an email to GamesRadar+, MiHoYo confirmed that this will work and "players can unlock Aloy on PlayStation first then later enjoy the character on PC or mobile platforms." We also asked if Aloy will receive her own event or story quest, but the studio is keeping details close to its chest for now. 

PC and mobile users will be able to claim Aloy normally by logging in during update 2.2 – sometime between October 13 and the release of update 2.3 on or around November 24. 

Aloy will be available to all players who are Adventure Rank 20 or higher. You can hit AR20 in a matter of days if not hours, so even new players will be able to snag Aloy during the event periods. However, she won't be available on PlayStation after update 2.2 arrives, and likewise for PC and mobile players up until update 2.3, so be sure to claim her while you can. 

We know that Aloy will be a cryo bow user, but we don't know much else about her abilities. The only other five-star cryo archer is Ganyu, who's widely regarded as the strongest damage-dealer in the game, so Aloy's got some big shoes to fill. In an email, MiHoYo said Aloy wields "unique combo skills" and "cryo elemental power skills," which isn't much to go on, but it does suggest she'll deal cryo damage with her normal and/or charged attacks, much like Ganyu and the upcoming archer Yoimiya. 

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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.