How to play Genshin Impact Theater Mechanicus

How to beat the Theater Mechanicus challenge and win Peace Talismans

Incoming enemies are frozen by Cryo turrets in Genshin Impact

Want to know how to beat Genshin Impact’s Theater Mechanicus? Liyue’s Lantern Rite festival is here, and with it comes all manner of festivities – including Ruijin’s new tabletop game, Theater Mechanicus. By playing the Theater Mechanicus minigame, you can earn yourself some sought after Peace Talismans, and eventually trade in 1,000 of them for the four-star Liyue character of your choice – here’s our Genshin Impact tier list for a little inspiration.

In order to access the Lantern Rite festival, you must be at least Adventure Rank 23 or above – we’ve got a Genshin Impact leveling guide if you need it – and have completed Chapter 1, Act 1, and Genshin Impact Xiao’s story quest. To play the Theater Mechanicus minigame itself, level up your Festive Fever and complete “The Origin of the Lanterns” and “Liyue: Theater Mechanicus” quests.

This will allow you to play Theater Mechanicus stages 1, 2, and 3 – to unlock stages 4 and 5, your Festive Fever level must be at “Guests Flock From Afar”, and when it reaches “Glow of a Thousand Lanterns”, you gain access to Theater Mechanicus stage 6. Each of these levels increase in difficulty, and have increasing reward multipliers – full details are available in a blog post. Here’s everything you need to know in order to beat the Theater Mechanicus challenge.

How to play Genshin Impact Theater Mechanicus

To play Theater Mechanicus, you need to speak to Ruijin – she’ll take one Xiao Lantern per attempt. These are crafted at a Crafting Bench from a Lantern Fiber, Wick Material, and Plaustrite Shard. If you’re looking for Xiao Lantern materials, Plaustride Shards drop from breaking ores, Wick Material drops from hilichurls, and Lantern Fiber comes from harvesting plants.

A map on the left shows where to start the event' - on the left, the NPC Ruijin stands in Liyue Harbour

Theater Mechanicus is essentially a tower defense game, and can be played solo or in co-op mode with another player. Each stage consists of several waves of enemies; enemies enter through the purple portal and move through the stage toward the blue portal, which they escape through if they make it all the way there without being defeated.

To stop monsters escaping, you construct towers, known as Mechanici, during the timed construction phase before each wave. You can see the paths that the incoming wave of enemies will take, marked by a glowing trail, plan your tower placement accordingly. Building Mechanici will cost Veneficus points, which are earned by defeating enemies and using Mystic Arts.

You can refund your Mechanici for part of their Venificus point cost, or reconstruct them into a different type, for a fee. Completing challenges will grant you Veneficus Sigils, which you use to unlock and upgrade your Mechanici in the armory after each stage, which enables you to take on more difficult challenges.

Theater Mechanicus is available to play until February 28, at 03:59 server time.

A character prepares to construct a tower, called a Mechanicus, in Genshin Impact

Theater Mechanicus Mechanici

There are several kinds of towers that you can build to fend off the incoming swarm of beasties. Each tower has different attack effects based on its current level, gaining new abilities at levels three and five. Higher level towers are also more expensive to build.

  • Tidal Flats – Hydro AoE damage; applies Wet
  • Spark – Fireballs with Pyro damage
  • Thin Ice – Cryo bullets
  • Thunderstrike – Electro damage
  • Recovery Mechanicus – Generates bonus Veneficus Points for each opponent defeated in an AoE around it.
  • Gust – Knocks back enemies with Anemo. Unlocks on February 11
  • Longbow – Shoots arrows that deal Physical damage. Unlocks after reaching Guests From Afar
  • Desire – Buffs towers. Unlocks after reaching Guests From Afar
  • Ambush Mine – Deals massive Pyro AoE damage. Unlocks on February 12
  • Portal of Wonders – Allows you to teleport between portals. Unlocks after reaching Glow of a Thousand Lanterns

Theater Mechanicus Mystic Arts

After each wave, you can choose a Mystic Art to apply to the stage. These Mystic Arts apply various effects, such as granting extra Veneficus Points, enhancing Mechanici, buffing certain Genshin Impact elements, or even increasing the wave’s difficulty level, allowing you to earn more Veneficus Sigils. Some of them – marked with Fickle – will give you negative effects; you won’t see the precise nature of this debuff after you select it, so be very careful when picking Fickle – you might get in a pickle.

Enemies emerging from, and escaping into, portals in Genshin Impact

Theater Mechanicus tips

  • Check the stage features to see the oncoming monster types as well as the available challenges each round.
  • Construct Mechanici during the round as you acquire points – you don’t have to wait for the building stage.
  • Enemies can spawn from multiple portals; make sure you build towers to cover the intersection of lanes and not just directly in front of the portal.
  • Stages have special features you can activate for a fee – and on a cooldown – to destroy monsters.
  • Try not to stack elemental effects; avoid placing towers of the same elemental type equidistant from the wave, as this will result in the towers applying their effects simultaneously.

Two Genshin Impact players stand ready to face a wave of enemies in Theater Mechanicus

The best Theater Mechanicus party composition

You can’t deal damage to monsters yourself directly, but you can use Elemental Skills to apply elemental effects to them. You can also use charged attacks to knock them over and push them back toward your towers.

Cryo and Hydro heroes are particularly useful in this mode – with the right team composition, you can constantly freeze enemies, though as of the most recent patch, you can no longer deal shatter damage directly to foes.

  • Geo Traveller’s elemental skill and Genshin Impact Zhongli’s pillars can block the path, preventing enemies from getting past.
  • Zhongli’s elemental bursts are also incredibly strong.
  • Jean’s E can throw enemies over the edge into the central pit and kill them instantly.
  • Sucrose’s AoE gathering skill is also useful.
  • Ningguang can stagger enemies, forcing them to stand still.
  • Ganyu or Kaeya combined with Mona or Barbara can keep enemies permanently frozen.

That’s everything you need to know about the Genshin Impact Theater Mechanicus minigame. We’ll let you know if we find any powerful strategies to deal with later difficulties – until then, keep gathering those Peace Talismans and enjoy the Lantern Rite festival.

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