It is not essential for you to have a bank account as soon as you arrive. But this can quickly change if you get a job, internship or vocational training position. This is because most employers do not pay wages in cash, but instead demand a bank transfer.
Get someone to accompany you to the bank
If your German is not yet good enough, you should take a trusted person with you who also speaks German well when you set up your bank account. This is important, because the conversation could take some time and you have to answer questions. If you do not know anyone, ask a charitable organisation if someone could accompany you. Not every bank will set up an account for you, however the savings banks (“Sparkasse”) are prepared to open an account for anyone. In this case you need your ID document or corresponding substitute papers.