Looking for some great Genshin Impact characters? Version 2.4 has arrived and with it, more character reruns that any of us could have likely predicted. We’ve got the five-star demon hunter and Anemo polearm-user, Xiao, in the first half. Then from January 25, to tie in with the returning Lantern Rite event, we’ve got two of the most popular Genshin Impact characters ever: Ganyu and Zhongli.
Genshin Impact Key Sigils: Enter the depths
Genshin Impact 2.4: What’s coming next
Genshin Impact Shenhe build: Icy exorcist
Genshin Impact Yun Jin build: Prestigious performer
Genshin Impact Xiao build: Demon hunter
That’s not even mentioning the characters who are actually new. We’ve already witnessed what Shenhe’s Cryo support and Icy Quills can do, and her character quest is one of the best I’ve seen so far. Spear-wielding opera singer, Yun Jin, has also arrived, though since you can actually claim her for free as part of the Lantern Rite event coming later, it might be worth saving your wishes if you aren’t interested in Shenhe or Xiao.
That said, if you’re looking for a Genshin Impact tier list, we might just be able to help you out. Every character is viable in Genshin with investment and the right build, meaning you can lavish attention on your favorites and create a party that’s unique to you without even giving the meta a second thought. With constellations, talent levels, substats and weapons, it can be tough to tell which characters are inherently better than others at very the top.
Still, if you want a general appreciation of how strong characters are relative to their usual role, and what value they can bring to your party, this tier list should come in handy. If you just want to play who you like, that’s also great—Genshin isn’t a PvP game and no one should ever feel they have to cast aside characters in favor of the meta.
Upcoming Genshin Impact characters
In terms of banner characters, Shenhe, Yun Jin, and Xiao are currently available. We’re getting a lot of support characters right now, since first we had Geo support Gorou, and now we have Cryo support, Shenhe, and normal attack support, Yun Jin. You can wish for Shenhe or Xiao on their own banners, and still have the chance of getting Yun Jin, since she’s a boosted four-star featured on both. However, you may want to wait and get her for free as part of the Lantern Rite event from January 25 instead.
Ganyu and Zhongli also return for reruns. Zhongli is Genshin Impact’s best shielder and adds a lot of support if you don’t have him. Along with Ayaka, Ganyu is the best Cryo damage-dealer in Genshin, and will pair particularly well with Shenhe if you’re interested in running a predominantly Cryo team. Looking even further into the future, Yae Miko was finally previewed on Twitter, so that should mean she’ll arrive in Genshin Impact 2.5 if the trend remains the same.
Here are the best Genshin Impact characters
The best Genshin Impact characters are:
|S||Ganyu, Hu Tao, Raiden Shogun, Venti, Arataki Itto, Bennett, Xingqiu, Zhongli, Albedo, Ayaka, Jean, Eula, Kazuha|
|A||Shenhe, Yun Jin, Gorou, Klee, Diluc, Kokomi, Yoimiya, Aloy, Yanfei, Mona, Tartaglia, Xiao, Diona, Sucrose, Keqing, Ningguang, Razor, Fischl, Noelle, Xiangling|
|B||Thoma, Aloy, Barbara, Sara, Sayu, Beidou, Chongyun, Kaeya, Rosaria, Qiqi, Xinyan|
|C||Lisa, Traveller (Anemo and Geo), Amber|
Genshin Impact tier list
Itto is a defense-scaling damage-dealer who gains stacks of Superlative Superstrength that he uses to perform powerful Arataki Kesagiri charged attacks. The Raging Oni King state from his burst strengthens these even further, and grants him Geo infusion similar to Noelle’s Sweeping Time.
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.
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.
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 powerful charged shots, and consistent Cryo AoE damage with Trail of the Qilin and Celestial Shower, as well as increased crit rate from her passive, Undivided Heart.
Wansheng’s polearm-wielding Funeral Director, Hu Tao, hits like a truck on fire. She deals massive Pyro damage with her Elemental Skill and passive, but her burst, Spirit Soother, also inflicts AoE Pyro damage and heals her when it hits.
This tone-deaf bard is one of the most powerful Anemo characters 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.
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.
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.
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.
As the Geo Archon, Zhongli is understandably 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.
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.
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.
As with many Anemo characters, Kazuha is at his best when built towards Elemental Mastery, strengthening and facilitating Elemental Absorption and Swirl. Like Xiao he also has an extremely fun playstyle with his Midare Ranzan plunging attacks.
The five-star Cryo exorcist and master of adeptal arts is a useful enabler of mono-Cryo parties, boosting Cryo damage with her Icy Quills. Her main downside is that she isn’t especially beginner-friendly, and with a limited number of Icy Quill boosts per character, it can get complicated, especially when stacking AoE Cryo bursts and skills.
Director of the Yun-Han Opera Troupe, Yun Jin, boosts normal attack damage with her burst, making her a useful support for a variety of parties. She can also deal some parry damage with her skill, similar to Beidou, once you unlock her True to Oneself passive.
This canine general is extremely good at what he does—offering strong banner-based buffs to parties composed primarily of Geo characters. While he’s still usable without a Geo party, it’s where he really shines as a support character.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. She may be a little squishy, but she adds some unique possibilities in terms of ranged Pyro-reaction damage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Genshin Impact characters
The two new Genshin Impact characters are Shenhe and Yun Jin. As with Gorou, both are specialist support characters, and it’ll be interesting going forward to see if we get mono-Electro or mono-Hydro party enablers in the future as well.
Shenhe is a five-star Cryo character who is ideally used as a Cryo support, but can also be a sub-DPS due to the fact her Cryo damage boosting burst scales with attack. The burst creates Icy Quills for each character, giving them a limited number of damage-boosted Cryo attacks, including Shenhe. Once she unlocks her Spirit Communion Seal passive, she can also increase burst and skill damage, or normal, charged, and plunging attack damage, depending on how she activates it.
By comparison, Yun Jin’s support is more general, as she uses her burst to boost normal attack damage scaling from her defense. Similar to Beidou, she can also produce a stationary shield that she charges before unleashing a Geo attack, though this also has a parry functionality if you unlock her ‘True to Oneself’ passive and activate it when hit.
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 guide: Beginner tips
Genshin Impact code: Redeem for free rewards
Genshin Impact build: Best of the bunch
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