9 beginner’s tips to know before starting Zenless Zone Zero

A Bangboo in an orange neck scarf sits behind the counter at the Random Play video story in Zenless Zone Zero
Image: Hoyoverse

Some advice for players taking their first step into New Eridu

Zenless Zone Zero is Hoyoverse’s latest installment in their line of mobile RPGs, and while the aesthetic diverges notably from its other games, the systems and mechanics will be pretty familiar.

Whether you’re an expert coming over from Honkai Impact 3rd, Genshin Impact, and Honkai: Star Rail, or a newbie who wants to try out their first gacha mobile game, we’ve listed some things to know before diving into ZZZ.

Yes, ZZZ is a gacha game

If you were wondering if Zenless Zone Zero was just a really stylish mobile RPG or if it has the notorious gambling element to it — yes, it has gacha. That means, when it comes to unlocking new powerful characters and weapons, you’ll need spend hard-earned or bought premium currency for a chance to get your desired character.

ZZZ is the same as the other Hoyoverse games — the free, lower-rarity characters are good enough to clear the story with, and you’ll amass an army of higher-rarity characters as you play the game. Just don’t expect to get every character.

A dog sits behind a news stand in Zenless Zone Zero
Image: Hoyoverse via Polygon

ZZZ follows the same gameplay loop as other popular mobile games

The story, combat, and puzzles in Zenless Zone Zero are different from the other games, but the gameplay loop that you’ll follow every day as you do dailies is the same as your average mobile character building RPG.

You collect characters (agents) and weapons (W-engines) via the gacha system. You’ll need to use stamina (battery charge) to farm materials to power up these characters. You will eventually hit a point where you collect sub-equips for each character (drive discs), which have unique passive abilities and gain randomized stats.

There are a few different things, like minigames and specific game modes that sets ZZZ apart from these other games, but at its core, you’ll be doing similar stuff from day-to-day after you complete the game’s story.

Don’t forget about the noodle house and coffee shop

You can get buffs from the coffee shop and noodle house in exchange for money. Additionally, ordering a cup of coffee will let you replenish 60 battery charge per day, so that’s more free materials to farm!

The noodle shop in Zenless Zone Zero, run by a red yokai
Image: Hoyoverse

Use your battery charge (stamina) as soon as you can

Not too long after starting the story, you’ll unlock the HIA Club, a place you can drive to in order to farm materials for your characters. You should start doing this immediately to burn some of your battery charge (what the game calls its stamina system). Since battery charge caps out at 240 with excess getting wasted, you should spend it on farming materials, since you’re just wasting a valuable resource otherwise.

Completing these levels also rewards you with EXP to increase your Inter-Knot level (your account level), which you’ll need to progress through the game.

Test your agents before you commit to building them

The VR device in front of the Hollow Deep Dive System lets you learn how to use different agents in the Agent Academy. You might want to try out the various characters, not just because you get rewards for doing so, but because the characters you might end up liking the kit for may be ones you weren’t planning on building. Koleda sure looks cool, but maybe after testing things out, Lycaon’s kit suits your fancy more.

Early on, your resources will be limited so you can’t build every character you get. Figure out which ones you like best and go from there.

Turn trial mode off if you don’t want to use the story’s characters

There will be instances where Zenless Zone Zero wants you to play as specific characters who are relevant to the story, but you can toggle this in the bottom-left corner of the character select screen. If you want to use your characters instead, turn this off.

A menu screen in Zenless Zone Zero asking if you want to disable “agent trial mode” so you can use your own characters in battle.
Image: Hoyoverse

Don’t use your Polychrome to pull on the standard banner

Polychrome is the premium currency that you’ll get to spend on the gacha system (and some other, less important things, like paying to replenish your battery charge). As you play, you’ll amass a ton of Master Tape, currency you can use to roll on the standard gacha banner. This banner never changes and will likely keep the same S-rank agents and W-engines in it.

You should instead use your Polychrome to buy Encrypted Master Tape, which allows you to roll on whichever event banner is happening. Event banner characters are only obtainable for a certain period of time (though they will return in later updates), so rather than spending your precious premium currency on the standard characters who are bound to get power-crept, you should use your Polychrome on the limited characters.

Every gacha game expert will tell you not to waste your precious currency on permanent banners, as you can still get these characters from event banners anyway.

Get used to dodging and countering

The monsters you fight early on will be easy peasy, and it’ll feel like all you need to do is button mash to take them out. As you progress, things will get tougher, and you’ll want to start utilizing that dodge, making sure to time it right when the enemy shines so you can parry and counter them. You might as well form good habits early on and get used to dodging attacks, even if you feel like you don’t need to.

Lycaon in Zenless Zone Zero executing a perfect dodge against a creature
Image: Hoyoverse

The time of day affects what you can do, but don’t stress about it

Some side quests are only available during certain times of the day, but don’t fret too much about min-maxing your day. There’s no punishment for taking extra days, and you can rest on the sofa to pass the time as needed to access whatever quests you want.

For more Zenless Zone Zero guides, see our list of active codes, and a guide to Officer Mewmew Medal locations.

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