• "Genshin Impact" has a few hidden mechanics that the game does not explain to players
  • The ICD system dictates the frequency in which elemental auras are applied by attacks
  • This system has a number of rules and exceptions for every character 

The combat system in “Genshin Impact” is easy to understand and even easier to use in practice. However, there are plenty of things happening behind the scenes that the average player may not immediately notice. The ICD mechanic falls under this category.

Exploiting the ICD is important for maximizing damage output in “Genshin Impact.” Much like the Elemental Gauge Theory, the game doesn’t explain this mechanic at all, but members of the “Genshin Impact” community have put it upon themselves to try and discover how ICDs work by themselves.

What Are ICDs?

ICD, or Internal Cooldown, is a hidden mechanic that affects the frequency in which elemental attacks apply elemental auras on the same enemy. Simply put, elemental attacks can only apply elemental auras to enemies depending on their independent internal cooldown timers. Attacks cannot apply elemental auras in quick succession, except for some specific abilities.

There are two rules that determine when an aura can be applied:

  1. Attacks can only apply auras every 2.5 seconds.
  2. Attacks will reapply an aura after three hits.

These rules are independent of each other. For example, if Hu Tao inflicts a Pyro aura on an enemy, she will not be able to inflict another Pyro aura for the next 2.5 seconds or until she hits the same enemy four times in quick succession. If she fails to hit the enemy four times after 2.5 seconds, then her ICD will reset by virtue of the first rule.

Hu Tao, the 77th Director of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor - Genshin Impact Hu Tao, the 77th Director of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor Photo: Genshin Impact

Different attacks have unique ICD tags attached to them. These tags simply serve as indicators that let the game know what type of attack is being used.

Some attacks, such as Ganyu’s charged shots, have no ICD timers and will always apply auras so long as they hit.

How To Exploit ICDs

Knowing a character’s ICDs can help increase the efficiency of element application. This will help players make sure that no attacks go to waste when chaining elemental reactions.

For example, Diona’s constellation passive that makes her aimed shots charge faster will not affect her aimed shot ICD, which means that every other hit on an enemy will not inflict Cryo.

Alternatively, each hit of Diluc’s Elemental Skill will apply Pyro because each strike has a different ICD tag.

Working around ICDs is what makes quick-swap teams very viable. Players will be able to constantly apply and reapply an element so long as they use different attacks from different characters. This can result in big combos filled with elemental reactions if played properly.

Here’s a detailed overview of ICDs provided by TenTen, one of the community’s most helpful content creators for in-depth “Genshin Impact” information: