The best Genshin Impact characters


Looking for the best Genshin Impact characters? Version 2.3 has finally launched, and so too have the Albedo and Eula banners. The new reruns seem set to become a regular fixture, bringing back two old five-star characters for each new version, with collective Pity, and the same three four-star characters on both, currently: Noelle, Bennett, and Rosaria. If leaks are to be believed, it'll be Xiao and Ganyu coming in version 2.4.

Conquer Inazuma with these Genshin Impact 2.3 guides

A view of Dragonspine in Genshin Impact

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Genshin Impact Tsurumi: Find the Golden Wolflord
Genshin Impact Shenhe: New character
Genshin Impact Slumbering Court: New artifacts
Genshin Impact Salt: Complete Albedo's story quest
Genshin Impact Electroculus: Every location

We're going to have to wait a little longer for the new characters, though, since Arataki Itto and Gorou don't arrive until December 14 and the second half of the update—a shame, really, since I could use some powerful Geo characters to beat that annoying-as-hell Golden Wolflord boss. Still, if you're looking for the strongest Genshin Impact characters, you're in the right place.

Don't get me wrong, every Genshin Impact character is viable—this isn't a PvP game and no one has to be a slave to the meta, you can just pick your favorites and find out what works for you. But the temptation to get the best, and create ever more powerful party combos will always be present, and to do that, you need to know who's inherently the strongest. Before building and Constellations, some characters are stronger that others, and in this list, I'll hopefully be able to explain why I think some characters are strong, and some characters are less strong. 

If you don't care about the meta, though, or just want build your favorites to be the best they can, this list might not be so helpful. Though, I do also talk a bit about new characters, who's coming soon, and also explain how the Pity system works.

Upcoming Genshin Impact characters

Now that Genshin Impact 2.3 is well and truly upon us, we've got two new characters in the works. Both canine commander, Gorou, and Arataki Itto are waiting in the wings, ready to drop in the second half of the new version. Gorou is a four-star Geo archer with some powerful banner-based abilities, boosting Geo damage output based on the number of party members with that element. This should make him ideal for the new Golden Wolflord boss—a strange coincidence, really…

Arataki Itto is a five-star Geo claymore-user, though is a less defensive than most other characters of that element. He can enter a rage-fuelled Oni king state, a little similar to Noelle's sweeping time, though likely a lot stronger. Both Gorou and Itto are part of the Oni's Royale banner, and will release on December 14 or thereabouts.

Here are the best Genshin Impact characters

The best Genshin Impact characters are:

Tier Characters
S Ganyu, Hu Tao, Raiden Shogun, Venti, Bennett, Xingqui, Zhongli, Albedo, Ayaka, Jean
A Thoma, Aloy, Kazuha, Klee, Diluc, Kokomi, Yanfei, Eula, Mona, Tartaglia, Xiao, Diona, Sucrose, Keqing, Ningguang, Razor, Fischl
B Barbara, Sara, Yoimiya, Sayu, Beidou, Chongyun, Kaeya, Noelle, Rosaria, Qiqi, Xiangling, Xinyan
C Lisa, Traveller (Anemo and Geo), Amber

Genshin Impact tier list

S-tier

Genshin Impact Albedo holds out his hand for falling snowflakes.

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Albedo
This Alchemist’s strength lies in his Elemental Skill: Solar Isotoma. This ability provides a consistent source of AoE Geo damage, a fast cooldown, and produces elemental particles to fuel other abilities. It also creates a raised platform that your characters can use for plunge attacks, or to rain destruction from—no wonder Klee likes him so much.

Raiden Shogun
Is anyone truly surprised that the Electro Archon turned out to be the ultimate battery? When other character’s use their elemental bursts, it makes Raiden’s more powerful, but when she uses her own burst, it also recharges everyone elses. Considering that her passives also mean she scales with Energy Recharge, it creates a glorious never-ending cycle of burst feeding into burst.

Ganyu
This Cryo archer is not only one the best DPS characters for that element, but one of the best damage dealers in Genshin. She provides consistent Cryo AoE damage with Trail of the Qilin and Celestial Shower, as well as increased crit rate from her passive, Undivided Heart.

Hu Tao
Wansheng’s polearm-wielding Funeral Director, Hu Tao, hits like a truck on fire. Not only does she deal massive Pyro damage with her Elemental Skill and passive, but her burst, Spirit Soother, inflicts AoE Pyro damage and heals her when it hits.

Venti
This tone-deaf bard is one of the most powerful Anemo character in-game, using his Elemental Burst to summon an AoE damage hurricane that sucks in enemies and absorbs other elements to trigger Swirl. This makes Venti a versatile support for most damage-dealing characters. Also he levitates, which is cool.

Bennett
A happy-go-lucky adventurer with an unlucky past, Bennett is a fantastic four-star support character, using his Elemental Burst for healing, a decent attack buff, and Pyro infusion after unlocking Constellation 6. He is especially well paired with Pyro DPS characters like Diluc or Klee due to that 25% attack boost from Elemental Resonance.

Ayaka

A noble yet lonely princess of the Kamisato clan, Ayaka’s power lies in her ability to move quickly between opponents using Senho sprint, freezing them, and dealing massive Cryo damage. She is especially well paired with Xingqui for constant Freeze reactions. If you’re struggling to find her character ascension matierial, be sure to see this Sakura Bloom locations guide.

Xingqiu
Another excellent support character, this bookish four-star swordsman summons damage-reducing swords that heal, and his Elemental Burst follows up attacks with rain swords that inflict Hydro damage. He pairs well with Electro or Pyro damage dealers, allowing for plenty of Vaporize and Electro-Charged reactions.

Zhongli
As a Geo character, Zhongli is a bit of a rock. His fortifying shields are the best in the game and he gains increased damage based on max HP. His Stone Steles also resonate with other Geo constructs causing damage. A good pairing for Ningguang’s Jade Screen ability, or Albedo’s Solar Isotoma for protection and Geo damage.

Jean
The Dandelion Knight is incredibly versatile, and that’s what makes her such a strong character. Firstly, her healing is based on her attack stat, meaning she can be a good support and sub-DPS rolled into one. Her elemental skill can also be used to to gather enemies together and blast them off ledges, while giving her some hefty energy recharge.

A-tier

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Eula
As the highest physical DPS character in Genshin, Eula is very strong. But where other characters provide elemental AoE damage, Eula’s powerful Icetide Vortex and Glacial Illumination abilities cater more to a one-shot playstyle, as she gathers stacks of Grimhearts to boost her damage output.

Thoma
While this housekeeper for the Kamisato clan can be pushed towards damage, he’s mainly good at one thing: shields. Both Thoma’s elemental skill and burst provide Pyro shields that stack, meaning he can offer some pretty wild damage resistance for your party.

Aloy
For a free five-star, Aloy is a reliable DPS character able to quickly deal Cryo damage with her elemental skill and burst. With her Coil stacks mechanic she can also gain Cryo infusion, making her handy for Freeze reactions. Most important of all, she doesn’t spook birds, so is the perfect Fowl hunter.

Kokomi
The divine priestess of Sangonomiya Temple is a strong healer in a character roster already filled with strong healers. Her Bake-Kurage jellyfish and Nereid’s Ascension help her play a useful support role, providing healing and Hydro-damage, but her Flawless Strategy’s 100% decrease in crit rate for a 25% healing bonus does mean she is better as a healer than a damage-dealer.

Kazuha
As with many Anemo characters, Kazuha is at his best when built towards Elemental Mastery support, strengthening and facilitating Elemental Absorption and Swirl. His only real drawback is that Sucrose, a less rare Anemo character, can already do this extremely well.

Klee
Imagine Little Red Riding Hood with WMDs and you won’t be far off. Klee is one of the best Pyro DPS characters in Genshin due to the high AoE damage her attacks inflict. Her Elemental Burst, Sparks ‘n’ Splash is similar to Xingqiu’s except inflicting Pyro damage, so much so that if you pair them you can trigger almost continuous Vaporize.

Diluc
While Diluc has been somewhat overshadowed by new characters, he’s still one of the best DPS heroes due to his ability to frequently inflict Pyro damage and infuse his claymore with the element. Most of all, Diluc is a straightforward and easy damage-dealer to use.

Yanfei
Known, perhaps unfairly, as a discount Klee, Yanfei can’t match the little red bomber for damage, but she can offer a consistent source of ranged Pyro to pop off those Elemental Reactions. Pair her with Xingqiu’s burst to Vaporize anything.

Mona
This astrologer is a consistent source of Hydro damage, making her useful for hammering Elemental Reactions. Her Mirror Reflection of Doom skill is great at kiting, and her burst, Stellaris Phantasm, is similar to many Anemo abilities in that it allows you to trap and punish enemies. Also she can sprint on water by becoming water.

Tartaglia
This hybrid bow-and-polearm character is a versatile damage-dealer. Foul Legacy: Raging Tide allows him to switch weapons and his Elemental Burst, Havoc: Obliteration, is a strong Hydro AoE that changes depending on weapon stance. His only real drawback is the lengthy cooldown for switching between stances.

Xiao
One of the best Anemo damage-dealers, not only does Xiao have a cool mask, but his burst is especially powerful. It boosts his jumping ability and lets him spam AoE plunging attacks like a demon pogo stick.

Diona
This feline barmaid and archer is a great support character. She uses her Icy Paws skill to provide shields with high Cryo resistance, and her Signature Mix burst for gradual healing and AoE damage.

Keqing
Alongside Razor, Keqing is one of the best Electro damage-dealers in Genshin. Her fast attack pattern and Stellar Restoration skill allow her to move quickly between opponents, but also infuse her blade with Electro for Elemental Reactions.

Sucrose
Since her passives boost Elemental Mastery, Sucrose is a good Anemo support character for facilitating and strengthening Elemental Reactions. Her burst, Forbidden Creation – Isomer 75 / Type II is good at absorbing other elements and causing Swirl.

Ningguang

As a Geo spellcaster, Ningguang constantly creates elemental shields through the Crystalize reaction. Her Jade Screen skill is also very useful, blocking enemy projectiles while allowing your characters to continue to fire through it.

Razor
This wolf boy is Genshin’s go-to Electro damage-dealer due in equal parts to his high Physical damage and his ease of use and playstyle. Also because he’s a four star, you’re far more likely to pull him than you are Keqing.

Fischl
Alongside Oz, her pet raven, Fischl is a very good source of almost constant ranged Electro damage. Like Xiangling’s Guoba, Oz keeps firing even if you switch characters, meaning you can hammer those Elemental Reactions.

B-tier

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Noelle
Alongside Zhongli, this four-star maiden knight is Genshin’s go-to Geo tank. This is because Noelle’s Elemental Skill, Breastplate, provides a healing shield that scales from her defense, and she can gain elemental shields through the Crystalize reaction.

Sara
This Tengu archer can be powerful when you activate her Constellations, and the ambush-based attack buffs from her Tengu Juurai are a very cool concept. Still, in actual play they are far more fiddly to use, and this makes Fischl a more consistent Electro archer for your party.

Yoimiya
This five-star Pyro archer can be amazing with the right build and when paired with the Raiden Shogun or Fischl, due to her Pyro-infused attacks. However, her elemental skill’s long cooldown, her inherent squishiness, and the fact she can’t trigger the Pyro explosion from her burst with her attacks, make her a tough pick. 

Sayu
Genshin Impact’s first pint-sized claymore-user is a fun support character. Fuuin Dash turns her into an elemental chariot, running back and forth over enemies while triggering reactions, and her Muji-Muji Daruma can heal and deal Anemo damage. Still, unless you enjoy her somewhat fiddly playstyle, Sucrose is likely a more solid support pick.

Barbara
Mondstadt’s first and only idol is a great healer, but she lacks the extra utility and damage of Jean and Bennett. Still, she’s very good for a character that Genshin gives you for free after the ‘Song of the Dragon and Freedom’ quest.

Beidou
Though a solid Electro damage-dealer, this pirate captain is generally considered less preferable to Razor due to her primarily defensive Elemental Skill. However, her burst is very powerful, and she does make her a decent tanky sub-DPS.

Chongyun
Chongyun is a great Cryo DPS when paired with characters like Bennett and Xingqui for Melt, Freeze, and Shatter reactions, but can be somewhat overshadowed by Genshin’s other amazing Cryo characters.

Kaeya
As a free character you get for completing early story quests, Kaeya will most likely be your source of early game Cryo. But it’s hard to recommend investing in him when there are so many stronger Cryo characters (unless you think he’s hot, that is).

Rosaria
As you might imagine for a killer nun, Rosaria is all about fast and deadly strikes, buffing crit rate with her passives and attack speed with Constellation 1. She is well paired to further increase the effectiveness of a high damage character like Diluc.

Qiqi
This zombie herbalist is an incredible healer, and as her talisman-based healing scales on damage, like Jean she can be an effective sub-DPS. This healing can often feel excessive, though, and as a four-star Cryo support, Diona is often preferable in both versatility and rarity.

Xiangling
Though this polearm-wielding chef isn’t as strong as some DPS characters, her Pyronado and Guoba Attack abilities form a fantastic Pyro toolkit for enabling Elemental Reactions.

Xinyan
As a four-star Pyro character, Xinyan is easier to pull than Diluc, but she’s actually better as Physical DPS support than her original role of damage-dealer. Her passive ‘… Now That’s Rock ‘N’ Roll’ increases Physical damage by 15% for characters protected by her shield skill. 

C-tier

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Lisa
Though a good source of Electro and useful in some party combos, Lisa’s Elemental Skill doesn’t stick around after she’s switched, making her less effective than other four-stars like Fischl. At least she’s free.

Traveler (Anemo and Geo)
The Traveller is a decent early game character and is relatively strong, but they’re outperformed by Genshin’s other five-stars in terms of both Anemo and Geo. Genshin is a game about trying new characters, so it’s not surprising the first character we get is one of the least-used.

Amber
Though she’s generally considered one of Genshin’s weaker archers, Amber does possess one of the game’s best decoy abilities: Baron Bunny. She’s also a free source of early game Pyro.

Genshin Impact character, Ayaka, unfurls a fan, standing in the street of Inazuma city

(Image credit: miHoYo)

New Genshin Impact characters

The latest new Genshin Impact character is Thoma, a four-star Pyro polearm-wielder you can currently wish for on Hu Tao's 'Moment of Bloom' banner.

On the whole, his greatest strength is his ability to create Pyro shields using his elemental skill and burst. When in his burst state, he can also refresh these shields by attacking, and even stack them, increasing damage resistance and refreshing cooldown. This makes him a powerful support.

Thoma might not be as good as Xingqiu, but he feels quite similar in some ways, with a damage-reducing skill, and a burst that follows up regular attacks with elemental ones in the form of his Scorching Ooyoroi. His most unique feature is his ability to stack shields, and it'll be interesting to see if that becomes the new standard for support characters.

(Image credit: miHoYo)

How to get Genshin Impact characters

To get Genshin Impact characters, you have to use the game's gacha system to 'Wish' on a banner. You use Genshin Impact Primogems to purchase Intertwined Fate or Acquaint Fate that amount to a single wish and can be used individually or in sets of ten for a guaranteed four star hero. 

Different banners feature different characters and boosted pull rates, so if you want a specific character and don't want to spend money, it's better to save up your Primogems and wait for them to be featured. The Genshin Impact pity and soft pity systems are also important to understand:

  • After nine wishes without a four star, the tenth wish is guaranteed to be four star.
  • After 89 wishes without a five star, the 90th is guaranteed to be a five star. From 75 wishes onwards the chance to pull a five-star is increased every wish until it hits 100% on the 90th.
  • After 79 wishes on a weapon banner without a five star, the 80th is guaranteed to be five star. From 65 wishes onwards the chance to pull a five-star is increased every wish until it hits 100% on the 80th.

If you pull someone you already have, they are converted into an item that lets you unlock a Constellation upgrade for your current version of the character. Genshin Impact also gives you five free characters (and one who is technically free):

  • Amber: Story progression
  • Noelle: Use ten of your free starting wishes on the beginner banner
  • Kaeya: Story progression
  • Lisa: Story progression
  • Barbara: Clear ‘Song of the Dragon and Freedom’ quest
  • Xiangling: Clear floor three, chamber three in the Spiral Abyss

You purchase further characters from a rotating pool at Paimon's Bargains with Masterless Starglitter, a resource you accumulate through wishes. It's lesser twin, Masterless Stardust, is also earned through wishes and can be used to buy both kinds of Fate.

Genshin Impact Eula build: Spindrift Knight
Genshin Impact Albedo build: Chief Alchemist
Genshin Impact Thoma build: Pyro retainer
Genshin Impact Hu Tao build: Unusual undertaker

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