Genshin Impact tier list (January 2023) - Best characters for 3.4

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Tighnari in Genshin Impact
January 25, 2023: We've added the new additions to the Genshin lineup in this list.

Wondering who the best Genshin Impact characters are, this Genshin Impact tier list will do just that. While there’s no such thing as a bad character in Genshin Impact, some are certainly more useful than others, especially depending on who you already have, and whether you have any constellations unlocked.

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As a PvE game, you can easily play through Genshin Impact with the free characters you unlock through normal progression, and even build them to be powerful in their own right, considering so much depends on artifacts and weapons, too.

But if you want to complete end-game content like the Spiral Abyss, you'll need a couple of decent teams, and that's why it's useful to know which characters are worth investing in for potential roles and utility. The best weapons can make all the difference as well.

Genshin Impact tier list for January 2023 - best characters for 3.4

Tier Character
SYelan, Klee, Arataki Itto, Hu Tao, Zhongli, Xiao, Bennett, Ayato, Ayaka, Raiden Shogun, Xingqiu, Ganyu, Kazuha, Diluc, Keqing, Nahida, Alhaitham
AAlbedo, Shenhe, Shikanoin Heizou, Yae Miko, Eula, Venti, Sangonomiya Kokomi, Childe, Fischl, Jean, Mona, Barbara, Yanfei, Xiangling, Noelle, Yoimiya, Qiqi, Tighnari, Cyno, Wanderer
BKaeya, Razor, Thoma, Ningguang, Chongyun, Kujou Sara, Traveler (Dendro), Traveler (Anemo), Kuki Shinobu, Beidou, Collei, Candace, Dori, Rosaria, Sucrose, Nilou, Layla, Yaoyao
CLisa, Gorou, Sayu, Traveler (Electro), Xinyan, Yun Jin, Diona, Faruzan
FAloy, Amber, Traveler (Geo)

S-tier Genshin characters

Nahida

Nahida, Lesser Lord Kusanali, the Dendro Archon, is the star of the 3.x updates. She's quickly become a favourite thanks to her huge AoE, and super quick Dendro application as a Catalyst. She slots into many team comps, and works on the overworld and in Spiral Abyss.

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On top of her combat skills, she also has a really helpful skill - her elemental attack can be used to collect materials!

  • Rarity: 5-Star
  • Weapon: Catalyst
  • Element: Dendro

Yelan

Allegedly working for the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Yelan runs a Liyue teahouse where her operations take place. She is a master of disguise and lives sporadically, so no one can pin her down.

Noted for her skill as a sub-DPS, Yelan's attacks hit hard with a Hydro punch. Hyrdo reactions are key here, with Cryo and Pyro users to inflict Freeze or Vaporise.

  • Rarity: 5-Star
  • Weapon: Bow
  • Element: Hydro

Klee

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The youngest Knight of Favonius, and somewhat of a troublemaker, is Klee. She's obsessed with making bombs (and hunting fish), and often incites the wrath of Acting Grandmaster Jean. She's a fantastic catalyst and provides some of the heftiest damage in the game.

  • Rarity: 5-Star
  • Weapon: Catalyst
  • Element: Pyro

Arataki Itto

An Oni troublemaker and head of the Arataki gang, Itto is a strong Geo damage-dealer who can utilise special charged Arataki Kesagiri slashes and his Raging Oni-king state to infuse his weapon with Geo and blaze away at enemies.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Claymore
  • Element: Geo

Hu Tao

This young girl is the director of Wangsheng Funeral Parlor. Her fighting style is all about trading HP, as her elemental skill consumes health to grant Pyro infusion and an attack boost, while her elemental burst regenerates HP with a Pyro AoE attack.

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  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Polearm
  • Element: Pyro

Zhongli

The Geo Archon, Rex Lapis, is one of Genshin Impact's tankiest characters, using his Dominus Lapidis skill to create shields that scale on his max HP. But Zhongli is also good at inflicting AoE Geo damage with his stone stele, as well as his burst, Planet Befall.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Polearm
  • Element: Geo

Xiao

This Adepti known as 'The Conqueror of Demons' is a great Anemo damage-dealer who is all about mobility. Xiao's Lemiscatic Wind Cycling skill lets him dash through enemies, even in midair, while his burst, Bane of All Evil, increases his jump height and AoE damage, letting him spam plunging attacks.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Polearm
  • Element: Anemo

Bennett

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Despite his catastrophic bad luck, Bennett is a cheerful adventurer and one of Genshin Impact's best support characters. This is mainly due to his burst, Fantastic Voyage, which provides AoE healing and a hefty attack boost, meaning he can keep characters topped off while also letting them strike back at enemies.

  • Rarity: 4-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Pyro

Ayaka

This daughter of Inazuma's Kamisato clan is a strong Cryo damage-dealer. Like Mona, she has an alternate sprint that infuses her sword with Cryo every time she uses it, meaning she can easily activate Freeze reactions when paired with a Hydro character. Her burst, Soumetsu, is also extremely strong against slow-moving single entities, creating an icy vortex that deals continuous damage.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Cryo

Raiden Shogun

As the Electro archon of Inazuma, the Raiden Shogun is the ultimate battery. As other characters use their elemental bursts, Raiden's Chakra Desiderata gains Resolve stacks that strengthen her own burst, Musou Shinetsu. When using this burst, she grants energy to other members of the party, allowing her to fuel other characters' bursts, which in turn strengthens hers.

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  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Polearm
  • Element: Electro

Xingqiu

Another great four-star support character, Xingqiu likes reading more than fighting, but when he does fight, his abilities are especially powerful. His skill, Fatal Rainscreen, surrounds your character with damage-reducing rain swords that heal when you're hit, while his burst, Raincutter, follows up attacks with bolts of Hydro – perfect for activating elemental reactions.

  • Rarity: 4-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Hydro

Ganyu

Often considered to be Genshin's best damage-dealer, Ganyu's strength lies in her suite of abilities that deal AoE Cryo damage. Her Trail of the Qilin skill spawns an Ice Lotus that draws enemy aggro, causing Cryo damage, while also allowing Ganyu to punish these enemies at range with her charged AoE Frostflake Arrows.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Bow
  • Element: Cryo

Keqing

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As Yuheng of the Liyue Qixing, Keqing has a hand in many of the goings on in the city. She wasn't originally a fan of her Vision, but has come to appreciate it, and makes for a fantastic DPS, thanks to her speed and high damage. Her Electro element creates reactions with every other element.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Electro

Kazuha

Like Xiao, this ronin is another Anemo character who enjoys plunging attacks. Kazuha's skill, Chihayaburu, lifts him into the air, allowing him to perform a powerful falling AoE attack. As with Venti's whirlwind, his burst, Kazuha Slash, is also great for elemental absorption and causing powerful reactions.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Anemo

Diluc

The brooding, quiet owner of the Dawn Winery may butt heads with his adopted brother Kaeya, but he works wonders in a team setting. Diluc is a Pyro Claymore user, with a phoenix as his ultimate move. Need we say more?

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  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Claymore
  • Element: Pyro

Kamisato Ayato

Older brother of Kamisato Ayaka, we don't meed Ayato in the main quest - but trust us, his talents are incredible. Recently available in the Tablet Analytics quest, Ayato has a super quick moveset that deals plenty of damage at the same time.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Hydro

Alhaitam

Skilled in both scribing and fighting, Alhaitham is the newest addition to the S-tier lineup. With insane and consistent Dendro damage, Alhaitham will be a force to be reckoned with.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Dendro

Free Genshin Impact characters

There are a number of characters who you can get in Genshin Impact for free by completing progress milestones. Here's who you can definitely collect in Genshin Impact:

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  • Amber: Joins your party as you reach Mondstadt for the first time
  • Noelle: Use your free starting wishes on the beginner banner for her guaranteed drop
  • Kaeya: Finish prologue quest 'Crash Course'
  • Lisa: Finish prologue quest 'Sparks Amongst the Pages'
  • Barbara: Finish 'Song of the Dragon and Freedom' quest
  • Xiangling: Finish floor three, chamber three in the Spiral Abyss

Don't forget, you can swap your Traveler's Vision element, too - at present, we have a choice of Anemo, Geo, Electro, and Dendro. You can do this by visiting the Statues of the Seven in Monstadt, Liyue, Inazuma, and Sumeru respectively.

There's also some free units given away as rewards for certain events; recently Fischl could be earned in the Summertime Odyssey event, and Collei will be available in Version 3.0.

How to get Genshin Impact characters

Genshin Impact is, first and foremost, a gacha game. You want to obtain Genshin Impact characters to get access to different strategies and more team combinations, and all that involves premium currency, a bit of luck, and a pity system that will act as an aid for unlucky players.

The gacha system that comes in the form of Wishes presents various banners that can be chosen to pull for different characters. You have a standard banner called Wanderlust Invocation, and two Event Banners that rotate with new characters and weapons every two or three weeks. Here's how the pity system works for those banners:

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  • After nine wishes without a four-star item, the tenth wish is guaranteed to award a four-star.
  • If you pulled 89 wishes without a five-star item, the 90th wish is guaranteed to award a five-star. From the 75th wish, the chance of pulling a five-star will increase progressively until the 90th wish.
  • On the weapon Event Banner, after 79 wishes without a five-star weapon, the 80th wish is guaranteed to award a five-star. From the 65th wish, the chance of pulling a five-star will increase progressively until the 80th wish.

If you want to check the drop rates and see a deeper explanation of the factors behind those drop rates, you can check out our Genshin Impact Wishes guide.

And that's it for our Genshin Impact characters tier list. Now you can decide which characters to prioritise when building the best possible party. While you're here, why not give some of our other Genshin guides a look? We have lists for both Zhongli materials and Ganyu materials so you can prep for their rerun.