As someone that entered the world of Genshin Impact about three years after the starting pistol was fired into the sky, I know more than most how daunting Teyvat can be. When I began my adventure, I didn’t just have Mondstadt to contend with; I had Liyue, Inazuma, The Chasm, and Sumeru wasn’t too far away at the time either.
The arduous task of becoming a force to be reckoned with lay before me, and although there have been hardships, mostly tied to the fact that I refuse to waiver from my Free to Play status, I have come out the other side with a strong team, all Archon Quests handled, and thirty-six stars in the Spiral Abyss.
I know for many, that’s not much, but I’m pretty proud of myself.
Nothing could bring me down, right? Well, that might have been true if I had not come across Genshin Challenge runs.
A series of phenomenal feats involving some truly talented Genshin players that take the incredibly dense and challenging world of Teyvat and laugh vehemently as they ease past bosses, clear the Abyss without breaking a sweat, and usually do so with a multitude of self-imposed penalties and handicaps, which only seem to spur them on towards a victorious end result.
Does playing the whole game on mute count as a challenge run? In which case, I should be in the running. God, Paimon is annoying!
My feelings for that floating earache aside, if you don’t know what Genshin Challenge Runs are, you need to get to know. How, you ask? Well, with a little help from your friendly neighborhood traveler, yours truly.
In this guide, we will look at some of the most impressive, most difficult, and some downright silly Genshin Challenge Runs, allowing you to enter this niche little pocket of the community.
You never know; this might inspire you to create your own sadistic Genshin run. All I know is we have a lot to get through, so without further delay, here is our Most Insane Genshin Impact Challenge Runs guide. Enjoy!
Types of Genshin Challenge Runs
To give you a quick introduction to the world of Genshin Impact challenge runs, and showcase just a sample of what sort of twisted and sadistic challenges the player base has decided to take on, I have prepared a little list of popular run types. Hopefully, this will whet your appetite for what’s to come:
- Genshin Nuzloke Runs
- Genshin One-Character Runs
- Genshin Speedruns
- No Wish Runs
- Base stat runs (No Artifacts and/or No Levelling)
- Starting weapons only run
- No food run
- One day challenges
- Terrible team comp challenges
- Abyss randomizer runs
- Traversal runs (No Running/Gliding/Teleporting etc.)
- Character type runs (Only claymore/catalyst/polearm characters)
They can get a lot more zany and creative than those listed above, but hopefully, that gives you an idea of what we are dealing with here!
Before the inevitable chaos ensues, we need to lay down some ground rules. We can’t just have any old challenge run on this list.
Believe it or not, playing with Aloy in your team is not challenge-run worthy, even if she is about as reliable in battle as Zhongli is when the bill comes. So with that in mind, here are the rules we have put in place to ensure only the best of the best get put forward:
- There have to be one or more factors that make the run a genuine challenge for the player
- There have to be some aspects of the run that promise high-stakes moments
- We can only include each type of run once
- All runs included must technically be possible for the average player to attempt. In other words, FTP friendly
Okay, Genshin casuals, this is your chance to peer through the looking glass and see how the hardcore travelers among us play. Here we go!
200 Day Nuzlocke Challenge
- Challenge Type: Nuzlocke/Permadeath
- Creator: Voltyea
- Best Moment: Getting Kokomi (Ignoring the heartbreak that comes after)
Of all the challenges within this niche, I have the most respect for those that take on a Genshin Nuzlocke. For those unaware, a Nuzlocke is a term that originates from the Pokemon community and essentially means that when a character dies, they stay dead forever.
So if you fall off a cliff with your 5* character and hit the dirt, no amount of Teyvat Fried Eggs will bring them back. This is something that Voltyea learns the hard way as he powers through everything that Genshin has to offer, beating Dragonspine, Enkanomiya, and much more.
However, despite his best efforts, he wasn’t able to get through the entire run with his entire team intact.
Despite this, though, the run is really impressive, with a handful of close calls, clutch moments, heartbreaking 50/50s, and so much more.
While it might not feature the Sumeru region, as that wasn’t available at the time, this still serves as proof that permadeath runs within Genshin Impact aren’t just possible, but also really entertaining. Be sure to give this a watch when you get a chance.
The Worst Team to Beat the Abyss Challenge
- Challenge Type: Abyss Challenge
- Creator: Itspaikon
- Best Moment: Building the team of underwhelming characters
Now, full disclosure, this challenge isn’t one that you’ll watch and be left awestruck, because, to spoil things up front, it doesn’t exactly go to plan. The plan was to take the four characters who have been part of the least Abyss-clearing teams, and put them into a team of their own. Then, you guessed it, clear the Abyss.
Conceptually it’s a really fun challenge, and perhaps if Paikon had taken his scouting for Razor, Xinyan, and Lisa mains more seriously, he could have managed it, but sadly they fall short of the mark. That being said, though, the process is so entertaining that you won’t mind seeing them fall at the final hurdle.
This challenge showcases exactly why Aloy, Xinyan, Lisa, and Razor are the least popular Abyss options. Do they have their place individually within certain teams? Perhaps.
However, when you put them all together into this motley crew, you are asking for trouble. Forget three stars; you would be lucky to even clear the floor. Don’t believe me? Well, then, you better take a look for yourself!
AR30 One Day Challenge
- Challenge Type: Speedrun
- Creator: Sekapoko
- Best Moment: His reaction to pulling Bennett. Huge!
I’m a big fan of self-deprecating humor; after all, I’m Irish, and that’s our whole thing. So you’ll probably understand why I really enjoy Sekapoko’s output. His unique brand of sarcasm is always a joy.
However, this is only highlighted further when he decides to put himself through a Genshin Challenge Run, and I have to say, this one is a challenge of great magnitude. In this video, we pay witness to Sekapoko racing to AR30 with twenty-four hours on the clock.
Seeing as it took me about a week to hit AR30, this is a real test of Genshin knowledge, speed, endurance, and skill. All of which Sekapoko has in spades.
The run is packed with fun moments, like pulling Bennett in his Beginner Banner to make the run a breeze, grabbing an Aquilla Favonia for Benny Boy, then pulling Keqing in a single pull too. It’s a pretty insane run, and to cap it all off, he manages to hit AR30 with time to spare, which is a pretty impressive feat within the world of Genshin.
Now, he does list this video as a ‘World Record,’ and it could well be, as Speedrun.com only has AR5, AR7, and AR10 categories. However, there is no way we can know for sure. So let’s just turn a blind eye and let Sekapoko have this one. Well played, my friend!
Only Noelle Challenge
- Challenge Type: One Character
- Creator: Mistahfeet
- Best Moment: The parkour moment within an early domain
I had a few choices when it came to this type of run, and most of them were courtesy of Mistahfeet. Now, I was tempted to choose the Only Amber Run, but I couldn’t bring myself to highlight the torture that he would have to endure, so I went with the sentient Beyblade herself, Noelle.
Now, once again, this run requires the viewer to turn a blind eye to a few things, because, obviously, the player can’t progress very far with just a claymore character alone. You need certain elements to proceed through the story, and you need certain weapon types for particular quests too.
However, when the game doesn’t force Mistahfeet into character changes, he sticks with Noelle every step of the way, and even when he is forced to change to Traveler, he has the fallback of calling them Noelle for continuity.
This run is real laugh-a-minute stuff. It’s edited like an old Youtube Poop video from back in the day, which offered me a zany blast from the past. Although, that reference probably flew right over you young people’s heads. No, I do not need a new hip! Plus, you really get to see just how tanky Noelle is when you invest in her.
However, I did find myself questioning if this run was genuinely legit, due to some questionable editing that cut out the team comps on the side of the screen. I guess you guys can check it out for yourself, but if it is legit, twenty-five hours to complete Inazuma with one character is pretty insane.
Roll for Every Floor Run
- Challenge Type: Randomizer
- Creator: Enviosity
- Best Moment: Getting Aloy and Xinyan on the same team
I have seen quite a few Abyss randomizer runs, but none are quite as twisted and sadistic as Enviosity’s randomizer for every floor run. That’s right. Enviosity takes on floors 9-12 in the Spiral Abyss and spins the wheel for his teams on every single floor.
This means that even if he lucks out and gets a great team comp on one floor, he could get a trash selection on the next, and if you take the time to watch, you’ll find out that RNG is a cruel mistress.
The run starts out pretty promisingly, aside from a Xinyan taking a spot in an otherwise decent line-up. However, by the time he hits Floor 12, he will have, Yun Yin, Yanfei, and a certain Playstation heroine to contend with in the same team.
In the end, the struggle to carry all those weak characters proved to be too much, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Maybe if Envi had taken the time to give them decent artifacts and weapons, it would be a different story, but then again, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as chaotic and funny, so I prefer what we have right here.
This is a really fun run, and the only randomizer run I have seen with this much jeopardy at every turn. Be sure to carve out some time to watch this one!
Catalyst Only Run
- Challenge Type: One Weapon Type
- Creator: SipSipStefan
- Best Moment: Getting Sucrose really early. Phew!
A little something about me, I’ve never really resonated with any catalyst characters. I’m told Sucrose is an unbelievable support character, and maybe my opinion would change if I had a Kokomi or Mona to call upon. However, until that happens, I’ll stick to Polearms, Swords, and Bows; thanks very much.
However, this closed-minded view of mine regarding Catalyst users only makes this run type all the more intriguing. In this run, SipSipStefan tries to complete all the main Archon Questlines with just catalyst characters.
Now, just for scope, other than Lisa, there isn’t any guarantee that Stefan will get another Catalyst user, so he is essentially in the hands of the wishing gods, which is a recipe for a really challenging, fun, and chaotic time.
Now, I tend to try and mix things up and give you readers an entry that you can participate in, instead of just watching after the fact, and this is it. Stefan is currently on Episode two of this run, and it’s taking place right now at the time of writing.
So if you want to join his streams and get behind him as he races from Mondstadt to Sumeru, you can. Don’t say I don’t do anything for you guys! In short, a run that’s custom-built for all you magic users out there!
Geo Only 36* Abyss Run
- Challenge Type: One Element Abyss Run
- Creator: AsianGuyStream
- Best Moment: The Sheer skill on show to take out Maguu Kenki
In the age-old game, ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors,’ rock beats scissors, but does it beat every single floor of the Spiral Abyss with all thirty-six stars? Well, that is a ludicrous and audacious question that AsianGuyStream decided to answer.
Off the back of Enviosity falling at the final hurdle in this run, AsianGuyStream decided to take on the challenge, and with the team of Ningguang, Gorou, Arataki Itto, and Noelle, managed to pummel every single enemy before them to clear the Abyss with only Geo characters on their team.
However, the question remains, did they manage to get through the floors and ace every single one with the maximum number of stars? Well, I’ll leave that a mystery for you to investigate.
All in all, it’s a real showcase of how powerful the Geo element is, and how valuable a good shield can be when facing up against the biggest and baddest that Genshin has to offer. I’m a little sad that my guy Zhongli didn’t get a spot in the final fight to get his share of the glory, but nonetheless, a challenge run well worth watching.
Level One Characters Only Challenge
- Challenge Type: Only Level One Characters
- Creator: Mistahfeet
- Best Moment: Pretty much every struggle after Liyue
Mistahfeet steals another entry on this list, and this time, I can say with some certainty that this run is legit. Why? Well, because you can’t fake damage counters, and unless he had a Levelled up character hidden from us the whole time, then this would have been a genuine struggle to pull off.
In this run, he decides to beat the entire game, this time including Sumeru, without leveling up any characters. Thus turning Genshin from an easy but time-consuming grind, into a Soulslike nightmare.
It starts off pretty chill, but as the world level keeps going up and his level stays the same, you begin to see why this is a challenge only suited for the truly deranged. It’s like Matthew McConaughey’s famous line in Dazed and Confused, but in reverse. Alright, Alright, Alright. Except, it’s not alright; it’s brutal.
It’s genuinely fascinating to see how Mistahfeet problem solves throughout this run. He relied on Ningguang for her shield and ranged attacks; he uses Candace for her defensive shield abilities, and the way he must discard characters just to keep the run going is eye-opening.
It’s really surprising that this run is even possible, but the proof is in the pudding here. Do yourself a favor, and check this one out!
No Element Challenge Run
- Challenge Type: No Elements
- Creator: Noblies
- Best Moment: The glitchy workarounds across the entire video
Of all the challenge runs listed, I think this one has to be the most difficult, time-consuming, and impressive of all. So, when you encounter your first statue of the Seven, you get your Anemo element, and the game changes forever. But what if you didn’t? What if you just left Paimon waiting there for all eternity?
A Genshin account with no Paimon? Sign me up! That’s exactly what Noblies does, and he manages to grind all the way to AR55 on this account with just access to The Traveler with no elements whatsoever.
This leads to a run that requires lots of weapon ascension, talent upgrades, physical damage, and a whole bunch of clever glitches and workarounds.
This video listed is an account summary that talks through all the different aspects of the run, the trials and tribulations faced, and the incredibly clever ways that Noblies managed to keep this run going.
Were there some sketchy moments, like using Elemental skills to dodge attacks in the Spiral Abyss? Sure, but these are just small incidents in what is a monumentally impressive run that was two years in the making. If you love creative challenge runs, they don’t get much better than this!
Genshin Pokemon Challenge
- Challenge Type: Certain Elemental Skills only
- Creator: Moga
- Best Moment: Finishing the final daily through blind luck
Now from the seriously impressive, to the just plain silly. I promised there would be some ridiculous entries, and this one is exactly that. Moga’s question here is, what if you could only use the little Pokemon adjacent creatures as your only form of offense? We’re talking skills like Baron Bunny, Gouba, and Oz’s Midnight Phantasmagoria.
Well, he answers that question by taking on the challenge of completing all of his dailies with just those options and a much less suitable character ability like Sayu’s Helping Hands to deal damage. Then as a little bonus, he decides to take on a boss battle and a floor of the spiral Abyss into the bargain.
As a challenge, I was actually quite surprised at how viable this is as a damage-dealing option, but equally, it doesn’t seem incredibly hard to pull off either.
Honestly, I just really like the concept of the challenge, and maybe as more characters with cute little sidekicks join the roster, we could see a whole run where this rule is in play. However, until then, this is as close as we will get. That being said, it’s still worth a look.
Blindfolded Abyss Floor 12 Challenge
- Challenge Type: Physical Blindfold Challenge
- Creator: Tectone
- Best Moment: His reaction to clearing 12-1
As someone that has struggled to clear the eight standard floors of the Sprial Abyss, I have an undying respect for those that manage to clear everything that the game has to offer. Even more so if you play as an FTP player. However, when you throw a blindfold on and take on the challenge, then you rise to immortal status in my mind.
Does it make me sad that someone can do something that I can’t do with the power of sight blindfolded? Yeah, a little, but equally, it’s so impressive to watch that I will allow it.
Tectone manages to clear 12-1 and 12-2 without so much as looking at the screen, and aside from a few whiffs when taking bow shots, he does so with a surprising amount of skill and grace.
It goes to show just how reliable some characters like Zhongli, Ganyu and Venti, and Albedo are, and how powerful elemental skills and bursts are when compared to charged shots and physical damage. However, take nothing away from Tectone; this is a really special run, so kudos to him!
Wheel of Pain Run
- Challenge Type: Wheel of pain
- Creator: ItsPaikon
- Best Moment: Beating Andrius with no Elemental Skills and one character
Then lastly, we have what I would consider one of the hardest, and also one of the most fun runs on this list. ItsPaikon features once again, and this time, it’s because of his wheel of pain format.
In this run, Paikon loads this wheel up with punishments like No teleporting, no elemental skills, Can’t Dodge, No food, and loads of other horrible mini-challenges, and upon each big event within the run, he must spin the wheel to see what pain the wheel has in store for him.
Sometimes it’s pretty manageable, and at others, it’s just plain cruel. As if there wasn’t enough RNG in genshin.
The run has some amazing moments, like the fight with Andrius, his only Cyro fight against Signora, and his can’t dodge run against Magatsu Mitake Narukami No Mikoto.
The only thing he could have done to make this run even more challenging was to make it a nuzlocke into the bargain, but even the bravest of us have our limits. Again, another terrific concept, and a Genshin player at the top of their game to pull off an incredible feat.
We would love to give a complete and comprehensive list of all the challenge runs out there that we adore. We could have Netflix on its knees by the end of the week. But who has the time? Not us, and certainly not you. So here is a quick list of all the other great options that just missed out on being listed above:
- MC Only Challenge
- Level one Abyss w/ No Artifacts
- Speedrunning All Bosses
- Polearms Only
- Opposite Artifacts Challenge
Switching to Hard Mode
Who knew that the end-game boss wasn’t floating up there in Celestia, but it was, in fact, us all along? No matter how punishing the bosses, domains, and quests Hoyoverse are moving forward, there will always be that select group of Travelers that scoff at these pitiful mountains to climb and proceed to create a series of their own hoops to jump through.
While I don’t ever think I could bring myself to go through these trials and tribulations, I respect the hell out of those that do, and after reading this list of profound and intriguing Genshin challenge runs, I hope you do too. As always, thanks for reading Genshin Chronicle!
Question: What is a Genshin Challenge Run?
Answer: In simple terms, this is when a player decides to take an otherwise normal task within the world of Teyvat, like completing Archon Quests, beating the Spiral Abyss, or beating bosses. Then the player proceeds to add lots of punishing criteria that they must adhere to throughout, leading to a run that is equal parts difficult and impressive.
Question: What’s The Hardest Challenge Type?
Answer: This is a little subjective, as certain players find different aspects of the game harder than others. However, I doubt it would be too controversial to say that the hardest challenge across the board is a permadeath run.
There are constant high stakes, tons of tough moments, and so much as misjudging a long glide could kill your entire run. They may be tough, but they make for great viewing.
Question: What’s the Best Run for a Beginner?
Answer: Well, what I would say is complete the story and get to AR50 at least before you consider trying any specialist runs. However, if you consider yourself an expert and want to try something outlandish, this is what I would urge you to begin with:
• One Element Abyss Runs
• AR Speedruns
• One Weapon type Only Runs
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