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How to get Polychrome in Zenless Zone Zero

Including what Polychrome is used for.

Image credit: HoYoVerse

Polychrome is the premium currency in Zenless Zone Zero. You'll most likely find yourself using it to purchase Master Tapes and Encrypted Master Tape, which themselves are used to pull characters from the Banners.

When it comes to special currencies and obtaining new characters, Zenless Zone Zero follows the standard set up in previous HoYoverse games. This means, while you can purchase Polychrome using real world money, there are a variety of ways to earn free Polychromes.

So read on to learn how to get free Polychromes in Zenless Zone Zero and what else Polychrome can be used for.

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How to get free Polychrome in Zenless Zone Zero

There's a variety of ways you can get Polychromes in Zenless Zone Zero, including a number of ways you can earn Polychromes for free.

Here's some methods for earning free Polychromes in Zenless Zone Zero:

  • Redeem codes - Every so often HoYoverse will release a new Zenless Zone Zero code and, amongst its rewards, you might find some Polychromes. For this reason, keeping up with the latest Zenless Zone Zero codes is always worth your time.
  • From in-game events - Like every good MMO, Zenless Zone Zero has a variety of special and seasonal in-game events. For partaking in these events, you might find yourself rewarded with a stash of Polychromes.
  • Exchange Monochrome - At certain points in Zenless Zone Zero, you'll find yourself earning Monochrome. This can be exchanged for Polychrome if you so wish.
  • Complete Story Commissions - Zenless Zone Zero has a story campaign divided up into a series of commissions and you'll earn a set of rewards for every one you complete. The '[Investigation] Escape from Certain Doom' Story Commission, for example, rewards you with 60 Polychromes. The story campaign will be expanded as Zenless Zone Zero updates, so more Polychrome rewards will become available.
  • Complete Combat Commissions - Combat Commissions are, as the name suggests, fully focused around combat, so no story progression or Hollow exploration. Instead, you're tasked with defeating a set of monsters and, if you so, you may be rewarded with some Polychromes.
Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse
  • Collect Observation Data - A side mission you can complete during Story and Exploration Commissions is collecting Observation Data when travelling through the Hollow as a Bangboo. Observation Data is represented by a black circle encompassing a sphere on an orange background and each Commission has three sets of data hidden within it. Find them all and you'll be rewarded with some Polychromes!
  • Complete Trials in the Compendium - Polychromes are one of the many rewards you'll earn from completing Trial sets in the Compendium. These trials often match where you are in the storyline, such as completing a specific Story Commission, or your progress with the game, like upgrading an Agent (the playable characters of Zenless Zone Zero) to a certain Level. Once you've completed a set of Trials, you'll be able to earn your Polychromes!
  • Completing Errands in the Compendium - Errands are the name for the daily tasks in Zenless Zone Zero. These can range from simple tasks like having a coffee or opening the video store to lengthier tasks like spending a certain of Battery Charge. There are four sets of rewards you can earn from finishing Errands and they can all reward Polychromes.
  • Increase Inter-Knot Level - As you play Zenless Zone Zero, you'll quickly find yourself gathering up Inter-Knot Credit (also known as Inter-Knot XP) and, in turn, increasing your Inter-Knot Level. While not a regular reward, you will find yourself earning Polychromes from these level increases once in a while.
Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse
  • From Officer Mewmew Challenges - Within every city district hides Officer Mewmew, ready to give you a set of challenges. While being civic-minded, Officer Mewmew understands the importance of rewards and will hand out some Polychromes for every challenge you complete.
  • Achievements - Just like in Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail, you'll receive Polychromes for every achievement you unlock. If you're in need of Polychromes, then it's a good idea to go through the Achievement list and pick one you're able to complete.The amount of Polychromes you earn also depends on the difficulty of the achievement - Bronze is five, Silver is 10 and Gold will net you 20 Polychromes.
  • Tutorials - Again just like in other HoYoverse gacha games, you'll be rewarded with a small amount of Polychromes for every tutorial you read. A new tutorial will appear every time you encounter a new mechanic or feature within Zenless Zone Zero and they don't take long to read at all. Since Zenless Zone Zero is an MMO, we're all guaranteed to get new tutorials at some point when a new mechanic is introduced.
  • Chests - Opening chests, well cargo trucks, won't just reward you with the item (or items if you're lucky) inside, but some Polychromes. There are chests hidden around Zenless Zone Zero's overworld, but you can also destory crates in the combat sections of Hollows for rewards. Though these crates might not contain Polychromes.
Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse
  • Complete S-Rank Character Audtions - Audtions are what Zenless Zone Zero calls characters trails. There will be a selection available for the permanent Banners and the changing of the limited-time Banners begins a new selection of S-Rank character trails for you to complete. These don't just help you decide whether you want to try pulling for the character by giving you the chance to experience their playstyle, but will offer a selection of rewards once completed. Since they're included in this list, you've probably already realised that Polychromes can be one of those rewards! You can get 20 Polychromes for completing the permanent Banner character trails.
  • Shiyu Defense challenges - Shiyu Defense offers two types of challenges: Stable Nodes and Critical Nodes. Both require you to complete a set of monsters within a time limit and can be quite difficult. There are different rewards for different time tiers, which can include Polychrome.
  • Do Bounty Commissions in Hollow Zero - Bounty Commissions basically sees you fighting strong monsters, often bosses, in Zenless Zone Zero and winning the fight can reward you with Polychromes.

None of these methods guarantees you'll earn a large amount of Polychromes, but, if you complete them all on a daily or at least regular basis, you'll gradually find yourself building up a nice Polychrome stockpile. They're also all free which is always nice.

What is Polychrome used for in Zenless Zone Zero?

Polychrome has four main uses in Zenless Zone Zero, which are:

  • Purchase Master Tape (160 Polychrome for one)
  • Purchase Encrypted Master Tape (160 Polychrome for one)
  • Purchase New Eridu City Fund levels
  • Replenish Battery Charge
Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse

When it comes to spending your Polychromes, we recommend focusing on Encrypted Master Tapes. Since these are used on the limited S-Rank character and W-Engine Banners, Encrypted Master Tapes are one of the best ways to get the powerful assets in Zenless Zone Zero. The downside, however, is that Encrypted Master Tapes are a lot harder to get a hold of hence why we recommend using Polychromes to purchase them. In fact, using Polychromes is one of the most reliable methods of earning Encrypted Master Tapes in Zenless Zone Zero.

It will cost you 160 Polychromes per Encrypted Master Tape from the Signal Shop in the Master Tape Exchange section. It's a good idea to hoard both your Polychromes and Encrypted Master Tapes until there's either a character or W-Engine Banner which has a reward you really want to ensure you're not wasting them.

You can, of course, spend your Polychromes on Master Tapes, which are for pulling characters from the permanent Banners. Master Tapes are, however, far easier to get ahold of when compared to Encrypted Master Tapes. Alongside being purchasable, you may find yourself earning a Master Tape from an in-game event, completing a specific quest or even from redeeming a Zenless Zone Zero code. Due to this, it just makes more economical sense to save your Polychromes for Encrypted Master Tapes.

If you do want to purchase a Master Tape, then it will cost you 160 Polychrome for one.

Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse

Meanwhile, replenishing your Battery Charge using Polychrome really isn't worth it as Battery Charge naturally replenishes itself over time. The more you play Zenless Zone Zero, the more likely you are to fall into a habit of using your Battery Charge straight away so, as you complete other in-game activities, it will replenish to the point you can use it again and, in doing so, increase the amount of playtime you have with Zenless Zone Zero.

The only time you may find yourself tempted to use Polychromes for Battery Charge is when you're close to unlocking a new activity and just want to push through. Still, we recommend not doing so as it's far better to use it for Encrypted Master Tapes.

Image credit: Eurogamer/HoYoverse

The same goes for using Polychrome to earn additional New Eridu City Fund level. New Eridu City Fund is the name for Zenless Zone Zero's battle pass and you'll gradually gain its XP by completing daily, weekly and monthly tasks. While this battle pass does supply a useful selection of items, it is not worth spending your hard earned Polychromes especially since it, like all battle passes, will reset eventually.

Finally, it's important to note that you can not use Polychromes to purchase the premium track of New Eridu City Fund. That track can only be purchased using real world money.

Good luck collecting Polychromes!

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