During Exploration, players can encounter various puzzles and obstacles, as well as unlock new regions of the Teyvat map via Statues of The Seven. Players can travel between the various unlocked regions using Teleport Waypoints.
The world is governed by its own laws and physics, including Time, Weather, and Climate. Certain character Talents and abilities like Sprinting, Swimming, and Climbing will also aid the player as they traverse the world of Teyvat.
Special objects can be collected while exploring that can unlock new treasures and upgrades for the player:
- Oculi: collect enough and one can upgrade the statue of the seven, increasing one's Stamina
- Sigils: can be exchanged at shops for weapon billets, crystals, Mora and other rewards.
- Shrines of Depths keys: can be used to unlock shrines where players can receive treasures.
During exploration, players will encounter various contraptions, usually as part of puzzles, challenges, and other obstacle courses. They can ride Wind Currents to ascent into the sky or unlock Chests by activating Elemental Monuments or Pressure Plates.
While exploring the world, players will have to battle enemies, which can introduce new systems of mechanics. When walking within the vicinity of an enemy camp, enemies will be aggravated and begin attacking the player. To challenge harder enemies and defeat them more swiftly, players can level up their own Attributes and Constellations, increasing how much Damage they do and unlocking new combat skills such as Elemental Infusions, Shields, and Healing to aid them in battle.
To help with exploration and combat, players can craft various materials via the following systems:
- Alchemy: for potions, character ascension materials, talent ascension materials, weapon ascension materials. Alchemy is performed at Crafting Benches.
- Cooking: for food to heal players in battle or boost their offense and defense
- Creation: a special crafting system within the Serenitea Pot housing system, used to create new furnishings
- Forging: for new weapons. This can be done at blacksmith shops such as Schulz's Blacksmith and Master Zhang's shop
Players will also unlock new domains which provide localized arenas for players to gain access to new artifacts or materials or progress in story quests and complete challenges. Some domains, including the Spiral Abyss, will grant special Auras to enemies or inflict Ley Line Disorders to modify the battlefield. Many Events may also have their own special domains that have unique Ley Line Disorders or challenge restrictions as well.
Some quests will also launch the player in unique gameplay modes like Stealth where the objective is to avoid enemy detection or capture a certain target. Some events will also initiate different gameplay modes, like the Windtrace hide-and-seek game mode, where the player is either the hunter or rebel, or the various minigames featured in the Windblume Festival, including the music simulator and gliding minigames.
At the beginning of the Traveler's journey, they are thrown into a flying simulator gameplay mode: a gliding battle with Dvalin where the objective is to take down the dragon by aiming at its poisoned clot.
The multiplayer mode is called Co-Op Mode, where up to 4 players can be in the same world at a time, where the 4 total number of characters in the party is split between each player.
The following in-game currencies are used:
- Mora: the universal currency of Teyvat, used to purchase items from many shops and level up characters and weapons
- Primogems: this special currency is used to Wish on event, character and weapon banners by purchasing Fates. Players can obtain new characters by spending Primogems. They can also be used to replenish Resin.
- Sigils: found during exploration, as explained above
- Original Resin: a kind of currency used to gain rewards at Ley Line Outcrops and Domains. There is a resin cap, and resin can regenerate over time. There are also different kinds of resin like the Fragile Resin and Transient Resin that can be used and stored over time.
- Realm Currency: used within the Serenitea Pot to purchase more furnishings
Players can also spend real-life money to gain access to things that free-to-play players otherwise cannot. They can spend money on:
- Battle Pass
- Blessing of the Welkin Moon
- Genesis Crystals, which can be used to buy more Primogems to spend on Wishes or buy Character Outfits
There are various progression systems in the game as the player levels up their own characters and gains experience while exploring and progressing in the game's story:
- Adventure Rank: will unlock new features, quests, and systems within the game, gained through completing other quests and domains
- Character EXP: characters will gain experience when defeating enemies and completing domains. As they gain more EXP they will level up, become more powerful and even unlock new skills.
- Adventurer Handbook: by completing special tasks in the overworld, the player can gain access to rewards via chapters in the handbook
- Reputation: by completing bounties in the nations, the player can also gain new treasures and even recipes for gadgets
- Frostbearing Tree: unlocked at Dragonspine, can give rewards and fates too
- Serenitea Pot: system unlocked after completing the Liyue story quest, gives access to the world within, where players can create their own furnishings and realm layouts. The more furnishings and adeptal energy one accumulates, the more rewards one can gain access to (similar to the Adventurer Handbook), including Sanctifying Essence and Sanctifying Unction which can level up artifacts