Genshin Impact 4.4 release date and time - When the Xianyun and Gaming banner starts

 Genshin Impact Xianyun pose.
Genshin Impact Xianyun pose.

The Genshin Impact 4.4 release time is approaching, with new characters Xianyun and Gaming headlining the new update.

Genshin Impact version 4.4 is scheduled to release on Wednesday, January 31, but thanks to timezone gaps in the maintenance schedule of Chinese developer Hoyoverse, it's actually going to arrive the night of Tuesday, January 30. The official launch time is 7pm PT / 10pm ET / 3am GMT (taking us back to January 31), but new versions often arrive up to 30 minutes early.

The stars of update 4.4 are new five-star character Xianyun and four-star character Gaming (read Gah-ming), who'll debut in the first half of the update. Xianyun will appear alongside a rerun for the Dendro Archon Nahida, with their shared banner's four-stars being Gaming, Faruzan, and Noel.

Xianyun is a new Anemo healer with a unique elemental burst that lets anyone in your party jump high enough to perform plunging attacks. She also buffs plunge attack damage and heals your entire team, allowing for exciting combinations with characters like Xiao (the premier plunge attacker), Furina (who wants team-wide healers), Diluc (who has a famously high plunge attack value), and many others. Her Anemo typing also lets her use the Viridescent Venerer artifact set and buff any Pyro, Hydro, Electro, or Cryo damage dealers.

Gaming, meanwhile, is a Pyro DPS character with unique plunge attacks tied to his skill and burst, so he's a natural pairing for Xianyun. Note that Gaming will be one of the characters available in the free four-star invite included with the Lantern Rite event coming in update 4.4, so assuming you don't want any of the other characters, you will have a way to obtain him even if you don't pull him while rolling for Xianyun or Nahida.

The second half of the update will see reruns for Xiao – again, a great fit for Xianyun teams – and Yae Miko, who pairs well with Nahida for off-field Quicken damage. Just today, Hoyoverse revealed that update 4.5 will feature new Geo character Chiori, who's believed to be a five-star unit based on her role within Fontaine's story and the fact that seemingly no other new characters will be coming in the game's next patch.

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