Ningguang is a playable character in Genshin Impact. She isn’t the toughest character running around. However, she can do a lot of Geo elemental damage. As a result, it isn’t hard to see why someone would want to put Ningguang on their team. Story-wise, she is an important character, not least because she is effectively the ruler of the Liyue region.
1. Her Name Has a Celestial Theme
The names of Liyue’s rulership have celestial themes. In Ningguang’s case, her name means something along the lines of “Frozen Light” or “Solidified Light.” There is speculation that her name comes from a turn of phrase in a Chinese poem, but without confirmation, that speculation remains speculation.
2. Her Element Is Geo
Elements are important in Genshin Impact. This can be seen in how every single playable character has an element. Similarly, this can be seen in how every single main region has an element. Ningguang’s element is Geo, which would be Genshin Impact’s version of an earth element. As such, she is a Geo character presiding over the Geo region because Liyue is the land of the Geo Archon.
3. Her Choice of Weapon Is the Catalyst
Speaking of which, Ningguang’s choice of weapon is the catalyst. That can be a bit confusing because that isn’t standard weapon terminology even in fantasy media. However, Genshin Impact’s catalyst users are pretty much the same as stereotypical spell-casters from other fantasy media, which is why its catalysts include emblems, spell-books, and other items that are often associated with such characters. In any case, catalyst users do elemental damage even with their normal attacks. Something that makes them quite different from other characters using other weapons. Ningguang is no exception to this rule.
4. She Is a Four-Star Character
It is normal for gacha games to have multiple tiers of characters. Essentially, higher-tier characters tend to be both more popular and more powerful, meaning that players receive extra encouragement to roll for them. Genshin Impact has two tiers of characters, which would be four-star characters and five-star characters. Getting four-star characters is much easier than five-star characters. However, getting a specific four-star character can still be very frustrating because there is no way to guarantee it. Fortunately, Ningguang isn’t just a four-star character but also one of the four-star characters who can be purchased from the shop, so there is always that as a fallback option.
5. Her Constellation Is Opus Aequilibrium
Ningguang’s constellation is called Opus Aequilibrium in the English version. A name that translates to something along the lines of “The Balancing Creation.” However, it is important to note that her constellation is an armillary sphere, which is one of those things that were once important but are now much less so. For those who are unfamiliar, these devices are models of objects that can be seen in the sky. Something that explains why they consist of multiple rings centered upon a representation of either the Earth or the Sun. Armillary spheres have a strong connection with navigation, which is why there is one on the Portuguese flag.
6. She Fights in a Time-Honored Manner
Amusingly, Ningguang fights in a time-honored manner. Yes, she is using magic to cast jewels at her targets. However, that means that she is effectively throwing rocks at her targets, which is something that our ancestors started doing before the emergence of modern humans. For that matter, people continued using rocks as weapons well into historical times. Lots of people see slings as very primitive weapons. There is some truth to this, but even so, the fact of the matter is that a hard lump moving with sufficient speed does horrible things to human bodies with or without armor. Indeed, the Anabasis makes it clear that slings could outrange bows.
7. Best When Alternating Between Normal Attacks and Charged Attacks
The charged attacks of Genshin Impact characters don’t necessarily see a lot of use. As such, Ningguang is a bit unusual in that she is best when the player alternates between normal attacks and charged attacks. This is because each of her normal attacks generates a Star Jade, which provides an extra projectile when she uses her charged attack. Due to this, the best way to use Ningguang is to use normal attacks until she has generated the maximum number of Star Jades, use a charged attack to unleash those Star Jades, and then repeat.
8. Her Jade Screen Is Useful For Doing More Damage
Ningguang has a skill that summons a construct called a Jade Screen. Theoretically speaking, it is meant for protecting the player. In practice, the Jade Screen is much more useful for doing damage by dropping it on enemies. This is true even when the player uses it on enemies that cause it to shatter upon impact. After all, Ningguang’s second Constellation resets the Jade Screen cooldown if the first one gets destroyed. As a result, the player can drop a Jade Screen, let it shatter, and then drop another Jade Screen for double the damage. The reset is available once every six seconds. Otherwise, the player would be able to drop Jade Screen after Jade Screen without so much as a single pause.
9. The Jade Screen Can Buff Geo Damage
One can make a good argument that protection isn’t even a secondary use for the Jade Screen. Instead, its Geo damage buff has a better claim to that title. In short, the player can put down a Jade Screen before walking through it for a short-lived Geo damage buff, which is very useful because every single one of Ningguang’s attacks do Geo damage.
10. The Jade Screen Is Excellent For Setting Up Her Elemental Burst
Having said that, there is one more important use for the Jade Screen. For those who are curious, the best way to use Jade Screens would be dropping the first Jade Screen on the enemy, deploying the second Jade Screen somewhere else, passing through the second Jade Screen for the Geo damage buff, and then unleashing the elemental burst. By default, Ningguang’s elemental burst fires six projectiles. However, if there is a Jade Screen in the vicinity, her elemental burst will consume it in exchange for launching another six projectiles. If players don’t have the second constellation, they should make sure to drop their Jade Screen away from an enemy that causes it to shatter on impact so that they can take advantage of these benefits.
11. She Is a Bad Choice For Fighting in Cramped, Closed-In Spaces
By this point, it should be clear that Ningguang is a very damage-focused character. However, it is important to note that she isn’t well-suited for fighting in every single kind of environment. This is because even her projectiles can slam into the environment rather than the enemies. As a result, if Ningguang is fighting in cramped, closed-in spaces, she can lose a lot of her potential damage.
12. She Is Great For Mining
Other than doing a lot of damage, Ningguang is also surprisingly useful for exploration purposes. This is because she reveals the locations of ore veins on the mini-map, thus making it much easier for people to find them. Over time, most people will memorize some of these locations so that they can return to them again and again. Ningguang will be very useful for kickstarting this process by telling them where they need to go.
13. She Is a Member of the Liyue Qixing
The mortal rulers of Liyue are the Liyue Qixing, a group of seven merchants who were responsible for implementing the policies of the Geo Archon but have since taken on a more independent role by necessity. The seven positions aren’t hereditary in nature. However, it seems safe to say that belonging to the right families can be very beneficial for securing one of them. In any case, Ningguang is one of the Liyue Qixing.
14. She Seems to Be the Primus Inter Pares of the Liyue Qixing
It is interesting to note that Ningguang seems to be the primus inter pares of the Liyue Qixing. Each of the seven seems to be equal in standing to the others. Even so, there can be no doubt about the fact that some of them are more important than others because of either official or unofficial reasons. The story that has been shown so far suggests that Ningguang is the primus inter pares, which is a Latin term that translates to “first among equals.”
15. She Is the Tianquan
The Liyue Qixing means the Seven Stars of Liyue, which is a clear reference to the seven stars that make up the Big Dipper. This is made clear by how the seven members use the Chinese names of those stars as titles. In Ningguang’s case, she is the Tianquan, which means “Celestial Balance.” This is the star that might be more familiar to interested individuals as either Megrez or Delta Ursae Majoris. Said star isn’t particularly notable other than its membership in a notable asterism. For example, it is bright but very bright. Similarly, its location isn’t particularly interesting because it is just one of the four stars that make up the bowl of the Big Dipper.
16. Grew Up Poor
Ningguang seems to have been very poor as a child. Zhongli outright says that she used to walk barefoot from Yaoguang Shoal to Liyue Harbor while trying to sell her goods along the way. It isn’t clear how Ningguang managed to become rich, particularly since pre-modern states tended to have low social mobility.
17. Good At Making Street Food
It is interesting to note that Ningguang is good at making street food. Her special food item makes it clear that she is very good at making Mora Meat, which is Genshin Impact’s version of roujiamo. For those who are curious, roujiamo means “meat sandwiched in bread,” so it should come as no surprise to learn that this would be a kind of Chinese sandwich that originated in Northwest China. It is very much street food, meaning that it is very unusual to see someone with Ningguang’s social status being so good at making it.
18. Dislikes Luxurious Food
In any case, food isn’t one of Ningguang’s vices. She outright dislikes luxurious food, so much so that she would prefer being given the money spent on such food rather than being served such food. This attitude is very much in line with Ningguang’s great love of making money. Having said that, it isn’t quite accurate to say that Ningguang is Spartan when it comes to food. Her favorite food is apparently something simple such as soup made using leftover chicken and pork bones with some cabbage leaves tossed in. Still, meat was a much rarer thing in the past than in the present. For that matter, the Spartans themselves weren’t very Spartan in this regard, seeing as how they ate meat every single day. Indeed, those who became incapable of paying their mess fees lost their citizenship and were incapable of ever reclaiming it.
19. Does a Lot of Information-Gathering
Curiously, Ningguang does a lot of information-gathering using a wide range of sources. For example, the couple who run Wangshu Inn are answerable to her. Similarly, she gives snacks to children in exchange for the information that the latter hear. Of course, Ningguang does a great deal of cross-referencing to actually make use of everything that she comes upon.
20. Was Annoyed By Her Vision
Visions are seen as a huge deal in the Genshin Impact setting because they make a Vision-bearer special by enabling them to use elemental super-powers. Ningguang was very annoyed when she managed to activate a dead Vision that had once belonged to someone else. This is because she had been planning to auction it off for a handsome profit, which obviously became impossible when it activated in her hands. Considering that Ningguang does so much damage, it is entertaining to note that she prefers solving problems through her money rather than through her Vision.