Characters are the bread and butter of Genshin Impact, and with an ever-expanding roster and constant influx of new weapons and artifacts, their power levels can easily fluctuate. But the game doesn’t give you enough resources to get them all to high levels.
This means you need to commit to gearing and leveling only a few characters. This tier list will let you know which characters serve as more worthwhile investments so that you can satisfy all your optimization and/or min-maxing needs without any regrets.
A few disclaimers before we start:
- This tier list will take into account not just how powerful characters can be, but also how easy to use they are. It will also assume every character is at constellation 0. We will mention several impactful constellations and how they affect characters, but they won’t play any role in the overall ranking.
- Team composition is more important than the strength of any individual character. A team of synergistic 4* characters can easily outperform a team of randomly thrown together 5* characters. So just because a character ranks low on this list, doesn’t mean it can’t be great under the right circumstances.
- As a follow-up to the last point, even E-Tier characters can be used to great effect if you build your team around them. It’s just that, for most players, they aren’t worth building a whole team around. But if you want to challenge yourself or you really like their design/personality, go for it.
- To get the most out of any character, it’s not enough to just level them up. Which artifacts and weapons you equip to your character will play a huge role in how effective they are. Check out these guides to learn what the best artifacts are for each character in the game and read our comprehensive weapon tier list.
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These characters are the cream of the crop.
Zhongli is the most universally useful character in the game. Every team composition is made better by having Zhongli in it.
The God of Geo is most often used as a support, due to his immensely powerful shield that also reduces nearby enemies’ resistances. His Burst does massive damage and petrifies enemies, letting your DPS characters whale on them without any worries.
Due to his HP scaling, he can also function as one of the better DPS characters, if that’s more your style, although he’s more of an A-tier DPS.
Many characters have fallen off with time, but not Venti. With his insane Elemental Burst, he is still the undisputed King of Crown Control.
Slap on a 4-Piece Viridescent Venerer set and you can even empower your DPS to do more damage against the poor immobile enemies.
Using his Burst is a bit more difficult against large enemies, where you have to skillfully position it for continuous damage rather than crowd control. Still, when it comes to trivializing content, few characters are as powerful as the God of Anemo.
Ganyu is easily the most powerful bow user in the game. As a damage dealer, she can dish out some of the biggest numbers in all of Genshin Impact. And thanks to her talents, the 4-Piece Blizzard Strayer set bonus, and Cryo Resonance, you can get insane Crit Rate on her without any weapons or artifacts that grant Crit Rate. Alternatively, the 4-Piece Wanderer’s Troupe set bonus will make her Charged Attacks even more overpowered.
If you don’t enjoy aiming with a Bow, you can also use her as an off-field DPS thanks to her incredible Elemental Burst with 100% uptime. This Burst is also the best way to enable many PermaFreeze line-ups.
Xiao is another insanely good DPS with a unique gameplay style. Not only does his Elemental Burst grant his polearm an Anemo infusion, it also allows him to jump way higher than any other character in the game, such that he can spam Plunging Attacks all day long.
This Elemental Burst does drain his HP, so it’s advised to run a healer alongside Xiao. His Elemental Skill is a dash that can even be performed mid-air, giving Xiao unmatched maneuverability. So not only is he strong but also more engaging to use.
If Ganyu is the most powerful ranged DPS in the game, Ayaka is the most powerful melee DPS. Everything about her kit – from her Cryo infusion and self-granting weapon attack buffs to her passive talents and even constellations – is tailor made to ensure she does the most DMG possible with each swing of her sword. She works amazingly well in Freeze compositions. Just beware that her Elemental Burst costs a ton of energy, so you will likely have to run a Cryo battery alongside her.
The only thing to watch out for is her Alternate Sprint. Some players simply find it to be a hindrance in the heat of combat, especially while dodging. Her DMG potential is definitely there, but because of the Alternate Sprint you should make sure to try her out first before committing your Fates to Ayaka’s banner.
Like all Anemo, Kazuha is simply a joy to play. The soft-spoken ronin can spread around Elemental Statuses with ease, allowing you to gracefully chain multiple Elemental Reactions. He also deals deceptively large amounts of DMG with his Swirls, to the points where he can outdamage some DPS units as a support.
His Elemental Skill can also be used to dodge enemy attacks along the Y-axis, conserving stamina and setting you up for a powerful Plunge Attack. Plus he is one of the few characters that want to stack Elemental Mastery, finally letting you use some of those artifacts that no other character wants.
Bennett is a 4* character like no other, all thanks to his Elemental Burst, which not only heals characters standing in its radius but also buffs their damage.
The healing scales with his HP, while the bonus damage scales with his base ATK, which is only determined by character level and weapon. This makes him super easy to build.
So long as he has enough Energy Recharge to spam his Burst, you can give him any HP artifacts, although the 4-Piece Noblesse Oblige is often the best choice to provide even more buffs for your team.
Xingqiu is another 4* character that you’ll want in most team compositions, again thanks to his incredible Elemental Burst.
When activated, his Burst will fire off several Hydro projectiles at your enemies over a lengthy period. At first glance, this doesn’t seem all that impactful, but it’s the best engine for setting up the best Elemental Reactions in the game: Melt, Vaporize, and Freeze.
There’s no shortage of excellent Pyro or Cryo characters in the game, and Xingqiu brings out the best in all of them.
Xiangling is an excellent off-field DPS thanks to both her Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst not requiring her to be on the field at all.
Her Elemental Skill “Gouba” summons a small Panda that breathes fire on enemies and leaves a chili pepper on the field that increases the damage of the character who picks it up. One downside is that Gouba can miss enemies.
Her Elemental Burst is more reliable though, doing continuous Pyro DMG to enemies around you for a long time. All in all, she is an off-field DPS that can end up dishing more DMG than your main DPS in many line-ups. You do need to build your team around her Burst to maximize its potential, but with Melt and Vaporize in the game that’s not difficult to do.
These are incredible characters that you can use without any drawbacks. They just aren’t as broken as the S-Tier ones.
This may be the most controversial placement in the tier list so let us explain:
Hu Tao is one of the best DPS characters in the game. She can even pump up bigger numbers than Xiao.
But, all of her damage is single-target. And the most difficult content in the game almost exclusively stacks you up against multiple beefy enemies. If the floors of the Spiral Abyss should once again be plagued with enemies that come at you one by one, Hu Tao will immediately jump into the S-Tier.
Her playstyle is more interesting than Ganyu’s or Xiao’s, as you have to keep your HP low to maximize her damage instead of just spamming Charged or Plunging Attacks.
Eula is the best Physical DMG carry in the game. Her Elemental Burst can reach some insane numbers and her graceful Claymore swings pack quite a punch. With another Electro character in the team, she can proc Superconduct, lowering the enemy’s Physical Resistance to do even more damage.
The only thing keeping her away from the S-Tier is her reliance on Physical DMG. Although she hits like a truck, Physical DMG is generally worse than Elemental DMG, especially against enemies with Elemental Shields. They can deal S-Tier DMG, but unlike Ganyu and Xiao, she requires supports to do this.
Jean is not only a jack-of-all-trades, she is the best jack-of-all-trades in the game. She can heal, she’s got good crowd-control capabilities, and she can be relied upon to dish out some serious damage. Now that healing is becoming necessary, Jean is proving to be one of the most useful 5* characters you can lose the 50/50 to.
What’s most interesting is how she does damage. Generally speaking, Jean’s attacks aren’t impressive, but she can use her Elemental Skill to ragdoll most enemies.
You can throw them in the air and they will take serious Fall DMG (which scales with the enemies’ maximum HP) or throw them in deep water to instantly kill them. You can even rapidly move them in and out of the area of her Burst for some hilarious yet deadly Anemo DMG.
The Electro Archon is one of the most mechanically unique characters in the game. On its own, her kit is incredibly strong, with 100% uptime on her off-field DMG and an overpowered Elemental Burst. She’s also a great support, capable to buffing the DMG of other characters’ Bursts and generating Energy for the entire team.
The only thing that holds her back from being S-Tier is that she doesn’t synergize with many of the current characters all that well. It’s highly possible that Raiden Shogun will only get better and stronger as new characters get introduced into the game.
Albedo is the most consistent off-field damage dealer in the game thanks to his Elemental Skill which has 100% uptime and causes all attacks to deal extra Geo damage on a short cooldown.
He’s also very easy to build, thanks to the DEF scaling on his Elemental Skill. So you can finally put those DEF% artifacts to good use with him. Not only that, you also don’t need to worry about the damage of the weapon you equip him.
In fact, his BiS (Best-in-Slot) weapon is the 4*, and his second best weapon is a 3* item, making it easy for all players to reach maximum DMG potential.
Klee is a victim of power creep. Along with Diluc, she was the best DPS character in the game, but then Ganyu, Xiao, and Hu Tao came and left her in the dust.
She can still do serious damage with her explosions, just not the biggest damage. Also, to maximize her damage you will have to learn how to animation-cancel her Normal Attacks for the quickest firing rate.
Diluc is in the same boat as Klee. Once the undisputed King of Damage, he has fallen off not just because more powerful DPS characters got released, but also because Pyro isn’t so far ahead of all the other elements as it was when the game was initially released.
He can still be relied on to do some serious damage, especially in a Melt-Vaporize team with the 4-Piece Crimson Witch of Flames set bonus. But don’t expect great things if you’re running him without Xingqiu.
Mona is one of the best supports in the game. Her Elemental Skill is a taunt that can group up enemies, whereas her Elemental Burst can be used to root most enemies, apply the Wet status to set up some of the best Elemental Reactions in the game, and seriously Buff the damage of the entire team against afflicted enemies.
The only reason she isn’t S-Tier is because of Bennett and Xingqiu. Bennett can also increase the team’s damage while healing at the same time, whereas Xingqiu can set up Elemental Reactions better than anyone.
Despite all of this, she is a serious asset in every team, and her Alternate Sprint eliminates the need for the most annoying part of exploration – swimming.
The Fatui Harbinger better known as Childe is first character in the game in that can switch between multiple weapons. Nominally, he is a Bow user, but his Elemental Skill summons Hydro melee weapons that have some of the fastest attack animations of all characters.
What keeps Childe so low is the fact that most of his damage is locked behind the Melee stance, which has a long cooldown. Whales can swap between Ranged and Melee stances at will, but this Tier List looks at characters as they are without any additional constellations.
Diona does everything you could want a support character to do. She can shield you, she can heal you, and she can even cleanse you of unwanted Elemental Statuses. Slap on a 4-Piece Noblesse Oblige set and she will even buff your team’s damage.
Unlike Bennett and Xingqiu, she isn’t needed to enable other characters to operate at their best, but you will never feel bad putting her as a support in any team composition.
In terms of fun gameplay, Sucrose is a bit dull compared to other Anemo characters, but she is still very powerful.
Her Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst can be relied on not just for crowd control, but also to set up various Elemental Reactions. Sucrose is also able to increase the Elemental Mastery of other team members.
This sounds amazing, but Elemental Mastery isn’t all that important for most characters. Melt and Vaporize scale with Crits, so it’s more important to focus on that. Other Reactions did get buffed in 1.6, but they scale with Elemental Mastery and Levels, and most players don’t want to level up supports to Level 90 for maximum value.
If Elemental Mastery ever gets some serious buffs, it could easily propel her from A-Tier directly into the S-Tier.
Beidou may not be the most powerful character, but she is without a doubt one of the most unique ones.
Holding her Elemental Damage absorbs some incoming damage, reflects it at the enemy, and creates an Electro Shield. But tapping the Skill at the exact moment you get hit allows you to parry, negating all DMG and dishing it back stronger than ever. You don’t get a shield this way, but you get maximum satisfaction.
Even if you don’t want to test your reflexes, you can get superb value just by using her Elemental Burst. It’s one of the best sources of off-field Electro damage, especially when facing off against at least two enemies. She’d be as good as Xiangling if Electro were as good as Pyro. But even without reactions, the raw numbers she can dish out while off-field are just bonkers.
These are amazing characters that can offer A-Tier value in certain situations/team compositions.
Keqing has all the makings of an S-Tier DPS character – great multipliers on her attacks, especially her Charged Attack, the ability to infuse her attacks with Electro almost 100% of the time, and even a strong Elemental Burst that increases her Crit Rate in addition to doing good damage.
What prevents her from reaching S-Tier or even A-Tier is her element. Electro is considered by many players to be a joke. Again, there’s an argument to be made for at least A-Tier, but at the end of the day she is a DPS character who can’t scale as well as any of the other 5* DPS characters.
Nevertheless, she has one of the most fun kits in the entire game, with an Elemental Skill that can be used to teleport her in any direction. These rankings pertain to the endgame, but while exploring the map and completing Archon Quests you will get much better value out of her. If Electro ever gets buffed, her stock will rise tremendously.
Yoimiya is the first and only Bow user who can infuse Normal Attacks with an Element. She offers solid single-target DMG, but you will need to build a team around her lack of AoE DMG to get the most use out of her.
What’s also unique about her is that she can’t be relied on to do amazing on-field DMG at all times. Instead, she functions a lot like Childe, where she’s amazing while the buff from her Elemental Skill lasts, but then becomes much less useful while her Skill is on cooldown.
Like Keqing, she’s one of the weaker 5* DPS characters, but still perfectly capable of carrying your team through the Spiral Abyss if you build her right. Just be aware that you will need to pick her teammates carefully to bump her into the A-Tier, so consider checking out this guide.
Kokomi is another character who brings dubious value to the team. She is a good healer with some off-field presence. This along with her HP scaling and 4-piece Tenacity of the Millelith set bonus is enough to give her some utility that other healers like Qiqi and Barbara lack.
However, even now that Bleeding and Corrosion mechanics have necessitated the use of healers of the hardest endgame content, she’s still outclassed by characters like Bennett and Jean who don’t need to stay on-fiend in order to heal others.
You can build a strong team around Kokomi, there’s no doubt about that. But the fact that you have to build the entire team around your healer just diminishes her value in most circumstances.
Fischl is an incredible off-field DPS thanks to Oz, the raven that can be summoned using her Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst. Oz remains on the field, hitting nearby enemies with ranged Electro attacks. And by carefully managing her Energy and using her Elemental Burst as soon as Oz disappears you can get 100% uptime on the bird.
While Electro may be weak as a primary element, it’s still needed to proc Superconduct in line-ups that focus on Physical DMG, and no character does this better than Fischl. Furthermore, she can act as an incredibly battery. As mentioned, Oz can have 100% uptime if you play your cards right, and he has a chance to generate Electro particles with every hit.
Razor is a Physical DMG DPS that fares incredibly well against most A-Tier DPS characters. The main reason for this is his Elemental Burst, which increases his attack speed in addition to adding some Electro DMG on top.
Claymore characters typically have massive attack multipliers that are balanced around their slow attack speed, but Razor doesn’t care for such limitations. As an Electro character, he is one step away from Superconduct to increase his damage even further. At c4 and beyond he becomes an A-Tier damage dealer.
Ningguang can do some serious Geo DMG while keeping herself safe from ranged attacks thanks to her Elemental Skill: Jade Screen.
At c6, she can become one of the best single-target damage dealers in the game, placing her firmly in the A-Tier.
Yanfei a catalyst DPS whose playstyle is reliant on a mix of Normal and Charged Attacks, just like Ningguang.
But unlike Ningguag, who can be used as a Burst Support, Yanfei needs to stay on-field do her thing. She’s a solid full-time DPS though, especially if you have Dodoco Tales.
The Electro Traveler is easily the strongest version of the Traveler. If you’ve got any character that needs a lot of energy to fire off their Elemental Burst, Electro Traveler will fill them up in no time. Best of all, you pick the energy he/she produces by walking over it, so you’ll never accidentally feed it to the wrong character. His value drops significantly if you don’t need the extra energy, but there are many F2P teams that rely on him to function optimally.
As the first promotional crossover character, Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn does not disappoint. She can’t exactly measure up to the top DPS characters in the game, but with a Cryo infusion on her Normal Attacks and an insanely good Elemental Burst, she’s a simple yet effective free 5* character that can carry beginner players though all of the game’s content. As soon as you get a different 5* DPS character, though, she drops of significantly.
Rosaria is a good off-field DPS/support. Her Elemental Burst has a relatively short cooldown and offers maneuverability in addition to damage.
Her Elemental Burst acts as a steady source of Cryo DMG, an engine for consistently setting up Elemental Reactions, and it also buffs up the team by increasing the Crit Rate of all other party members.
You can run her as a DPS to great effect, but she shines the most as a Burst support.
Everything about Sayu screams fun. And in terms of the fun-factor, she’s definitely S-Tier due to how unique her kit is.
Her Elemental Bursts can heal and do some decent Anemo DMG. Meanwhile, her Elemental Skill looks like it was made to abuse the DMG potential of abilities like Pyronado. And she only gets better with constellations.
Only time will tell whether Sayu will become the next A-Tier 4* support, but she still easily lands in B-Tier for how universally useful she is in any team.
At c0 Geo Traveler doesn’t belong in B-Tier, but we’re not evaluating them at c0. Why? Simply because everyone can get them to c6 just by playing the game!
With constellations, Geo Traveler becomes an incredible Burst Support. His Elemental Skill has a very short cooldown and a massive damage multiplier. And in addition to doing some nice DMG, his Elemental Burst also increases the Crit Rate of all characters standing inside its radius.
These characters have very narrow applications. They’re great at what they do, but aside from that one thing, they don’t offer much else.
Qiqi is the 5* character that players dread getting the most when rolling on Banners.
And here’s why: She’s just a healer.
Now you could argue that she is the best healer! That’s the only thing keeping her from being E-Tier. She will keep your characters alive like no other character in the game.
But that just doesn’t hold up when even 4* characters like Bennett and Diona can heal well in addition to providing other benefits like shields and damage buffs. And to top it all off her constellations are just the worst.
Sara is an ATK buffing character who can also dish out loads of Electro DMG with her Burst if built properly. Unfortunately, it’s clear that the devs didn’t want another Bennett in the game, so they gimped her kit quite a bit.
As it stands, getting her ATK buff to proc without constellations can be a real chore, but that’s not even the worst of it. What holds her back is that the buff she does provide only lasts 6 seconds.
If built and used properly, Sara can bring immense value to the team. At C6, she’s an S-Tier support for Electro character. But at C0, she may not be worth the resources.
Noelle isn’t a bad character. Just search “Solo Noelle Abyss Floor 12” and you’ll see how amazing she can be as a damage dealer. Her BiS weapon is even the craftable 4* Whiteblind, which can outdamage 5* weapons at high refinements.
But this potential is locked behind her constellation. Sure, she’s at least an A-Tier DPS at c6, but at c0 she offers very little in terms of damage, along with negligible and inconsistent healing, and an admittedly great Geo shield.
Barbara heals like a truck. Now that healing has finally become a requirement in the game, she’s way more valuable than she used to be. That being said, she’s still problematic in some cases. The main issue is that running Barbara can be downright detrimental in many cases since her Elemental Skill constantly applies the Wet status to your character.
This means Pyro and Electro attacks will deal more damage to you and worst of all Cryo attacks will Freeze you! The healing this Skill gives passively is also rather minimal. You can increase it by attacking with Barbara, but Barbara is the worse character in the game to attack with.
Her Elemental Burst does offer substantial healing to the entire party though. With the Noblesse Oblige and Thrilling Tales of the Dragonslayer, she can be used to both heal and buff up your DPS. But overall, she’s an easy pass mainly due to applying the Wet status. Her C6 is incredibly valuable if you’re struggling with content, so if you have that, she goes up to at least B-Tier.
Chongyun has the potential for greatness, even at c0. Both his Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst deal admirable damage. And what’s more, he is at the heart of many PermaFreeze team compositions and is great at setting up Elemental Reactions.
If you know what you’re doing, he is at least B-Tier. If you don’t, he’s very well an F-Tier character that can and will gimp the DMG output of your main DPS.
Ease of use plays a role in these rankings, and Chongyun is a character you have to constantly play around if your main DPS needs to do Physical or Non-Cryo Elemental DMG.
Most players write off Kaeya because he is one of the free characters you get at the very beginning of the game, but he has a surprisingly coherent kit.
His Elemental Burst has a super short cooldown, so you can spam it to set up Elemental Reactions. His Elemental Burst does the same thing, but even more effortlessly as it can be used off-field.
With constellations, he gets way better, but his constellations are incredibly hard to come by.
Lisa isn’t as bad as most players think. On the contrary, she has a lot to offer to most teams.
Her Elemental Burst doesn’t just apply constant Electro, it also reduces the DEF of enemies it hits. Unlike Elemental or Physical Reduction which quickly yields diminishing returns, DEF reduction is incredibly rare and highly effective.
Furthermore, her Elemental Skill has one of the highest damage multipliers in the game, only eclipsed by Zhongli’s Burst. She’s very cumbersome to run as a DPS, but as a support she is great at debuffing enemies and setting up Elemental Reactions.
If you care about optimization, these are characters that you’ll want to avoid running.
Just like with the Geo Traveler, you can get c6 on Anemo Traveler very easily. This adds some cool perks to his kit, but it doesn’t change the fact that the kit is overall lackluster.
His Elemental Skill isn’t bad, it can proc several Swirl reactions in quick succession, but his Burst is another story. It’s hard to aim, and when you do catch enemies in it you will have a hard time doing follow-up damage as they get repositioned away from you.
Amber is the first character here with a wholly disjointed kit.
As a Bow user, she wants to maintain distance from her enemies, but all her abilities have a short range. Her Elemental Skill is basically an exploding piñata that taunts, but you can’t manually detonate it. Not only that, the more HP you have, the longer it takes to explode! And her Burst is just some AoE Pyro DMG.
Like Amber, Xinyan is also all over the place with her design. Some of her abilities scale with ATK, some with DEF, so she can only ever excel at some of the things she does.
The more enemies there are clustered around her as she casts her Elemental Skill, the stronger the shield she creates will be. But her kit does nothing to cluster enemies together – worse yet, she excels at pushing enemies away.
Her most useful asset is the ability to reduce Physical Resistances (locked behind constellations), but you can also do this by relying on Superconduct.