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The Untold Truth Of Genshin Impact's Xiangling

Anyone who has played Genshin Impact and followed the story quests has run into Xiangling, the playful Pyro character from Liyue who takes loving food to a new extreme. Whether you meet her in the story, unlock her in the Abyss, or pull her with primogems, you have probably gotten to know her pretty well.


Despite being known by most players, she's still quite an enigma in the community. Players can actually get her for free during the Player's Choice event by clearing Floor 3 in Chamber 3 of the Abyss. There hasn't been much lore around her since she stays out of the main storyline for the most part, and there's not a lot that Mihoyo, the studio behind Genshin Impact, has released about her personal story. However, there are some interesting tidbits about her that you wouldn't know unless you've delved deep into her character and her namesake.

Xiangling is in the middle of a food war

It's no secret that Xiangling loves cooking (and food in general). Players that meet her through the story quests help her in a food competition using rare boar meat in Mondstadt that she can't' get in Liyue (you can see her quests here from a playthrough by Frokenok3 on Youtube). She's a well-known chef in both Mondstadt and Liyue, but her story is a bit deeper than that.


Liyue, the part of the map that Xiangling is from, is actually involved in a food war of sorts, according to the news release for her character on Mihoyo's website. The two sides are actually Li and Yue, representing two different ways of cooking. People in the region support one style or the other, and Xiangling takes a firm stance right in the middle.

Mihoyo's website mentions that her mantra of "Good food is good food, period!" is a reference to her beliefs about the fight back in her home. In game, players can get more of a feel for Xiangling's opinion on the Li and Yue styles of cooking in a dialogue recording called "More About Xiangling – 3." She says that she enjoys both sides, but has her own way of cooking...with chili peppers.


Xiangling has been nerfed a lot

Xiangling has been in Genshin Impact since the game's release, but her stats have been nerfed over time. Youtuber Teyvat Historia, a Genshin Impact specialist, posts videos on character breakdowns, Teyvat lore, and analyzes the raw potential of characters in the game. According to Teyvat Histoiria, Xiangling has had her overall attack power lessened by the developers since the game's launch, leading her to be in the weak place that she's currently in. 


In a video analyzing Xiangling, Teyvat Historia notes that she's got the lowest base attack damage per second out of every other character in the game. Despite having low stats, fans still think she's one of the most useful Pyro characters you can have on your team. 

A comment on Teyvat Historia's video from Dionius talks about how she's the only character who can apply Pyro effects to the field, and her attack speed and mobility make her a viable option for a beginning DPS build. This commenter calls her the top Pyro support character as well.

Xiangling shares her name with a famous literary character

Xiangling's namesake is a bit of a mystery. Whereas fans have plenty of theories regarding Paimon's origins, there aren't as many guesses about Xiangling's background. Since her character's name is Chinese, the meaning of the symbols used for her name are "perfume" and "water chestnut," according to Oxford Languages. This can almost be combined to sound like someone who enjoys the smell of food, which is pretty accurate.


Xiangling, traditionally a male name, is actually the name of another female character in Chinese culture. This character is in the book Dream of the Red Chamber, which The Guardian calls "China's greatest novel." In the book, Xiangling is a maid in the main household who suffers a great deal of misfortune. She's not a main character, but there are some significant events that happen because of her. The game character doesn't have much in common with the Xiangling of the book, so it could simply be a coincidence that they share a name. However, Xiangling's own lore could go deeper as Genshin Impact receives more updates to the story in the future.