21 Oct 2021 10:55 AM +00:00

Genshin Impact Characters Tier List - Every Character Ranked

Wondering who the best Genshin Impact characters are? This open-world RPG presents a myriad of potential character options, each with a variety of skills and capabilities. But 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.

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.

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In this Genshin Impact tier list, we'll do just that, walking you through the many options available in this open-world RPG. While you're here, be sure to also check out our guide to the recent Hydro Hypostasis boss, Genshin Impact fishing, and our build guide for new character Kokomi. Without further ado, here are the best Genshin Impact characters.

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Genshin Impact Characters Tier List

Tier Character
SRaiden Shogun, Hu Tao, Zhongli, Xiao, Ganyu, Venti, Bennett, Xingqiu, Ayaka, Eula, Kazuha
AKokomi, Diluc, Tartaglia, Jean, Albedo, Klee, Mona, Fischl, Sara, Qiqi, Diona, Barbara, Yanfei, Sucrose, Xiangling
BNingguang, Beidou, Chongyun, Sara, Noelle, Razor, Rosaria, Keqing, Sayu, Yoimiya, Traveler (Electro)
CKaeya, Lisa, Xinyan, Amber, Traveler (Anemo) Traveler (Geo)
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Genshin Impact character's Albedo, Paimon, and the Traveler, standing in front of Dragonspine mountain.
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S-Tier Characters

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.

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

This bard may look harmless, but Venti is actually the Anemo archon, Barbatos, and is one of the best enablers of elemental reactions in the game. Their burst, Grand Wind's Ode, sucks enemies into an AoE Anemo vortex that absorbs any other element to create powerful reactions. Venti's skill, Skyward Sonnet, is also a great tool for exploration, as the wind lifts them into the air.

  • Rarity: 5-star
  • Weapon: Bow
  • Element: Anemo
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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
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Bennett

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: Four-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Pyro
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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: Five-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Cryo
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Eula

The Spindrift Knight is the strongest Physical damage-dealer in Genshin Impact. Eula's burst, Glacial Illumination, summons a Lightfall Sword that charges based on how many enemies she damages, and then explodes, dealing Physical damage. As a Cryo claymore character, Eula is also a decent pick for causing Shattered reactions.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Claymore
  • Element: Cryo
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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.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Polearm
  • Element: Electro
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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: Four-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Hydro
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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: Five-star
  • Weapon: Bow
  • Element: Cryo
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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.

Genshin Impact character, Kokomi, with her Bake-Kurage jellyfish
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A-Tier Characters

Kokomi

As the high priestess of Watatsumi island, Kokomi is a powerful Hydro healer who can also summon damage-dealing Bake-Kurage jellyfish in order to combo elemental reactions with other party members.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Catalyst
  • Element: Hydro
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Diluc

As Genshin's original damage-dealer, Diluc is still a great Pyro character who benefits from a three-hit elemental skill and a powerful Pyro AoE burst. He also owns a vineyard.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Claymore
  • Element: Pyro
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Tartaglia

This Fatui Harbinger is one of Genshin's more unique characters and uses his elemental skill to switch from a default ranged stance to melee, as he summons two Hydro swords. This stance changes his entire moveset and even alters the effect of his elemental burst.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Bow
  • Element: Hydro
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Jean

Along with Diona, the Dandelion Knight is one of Genshin's most versatile healers. This is because the amount she heals from her burst, and from attacking enemies, scales with her attack, allowing her to deal some damage and still offer decent healing.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Anemo
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Albedo

The Chief Alchemist of the Knights Favonius is a decent source of AoE Geo damage and can even create a Geo construct that raises characters above enemies. Like Ningguang, this ability to summon a construct makes him a good pairing for Zhongli.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Geo
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Klee

Though just a little girl, Klee is an explosives expert who is great at using her bombs to trigger Pyro elemental reactions. Her charged attacks, in particular, are very powerful.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Catalyst
  • Element: Pyro
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Mona

As with Ayaka, this astrologer has an alternate sprint where she turns into water and can inflict Hydro status on enemies. Her Mirror Reflection of Doom also kites enemies, making it useful for elemental reactions, while her burst applies Omens that massively increase her damage.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Catalyst
  • Element: Hydro
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Fischl

Though her burst is a little tricky to use, Fischl's Nightrider skill makes her one of the best characters for causing Electro elemental reactions, as she summons her night raven, Oz, to fire electric bolts at enemies.

  • Rarity: Four-star
  • Weapon: Bow
  • Element: Electro
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Qiqi

This young zombie is on a quest to find coconut milk, but in the meantime, she seems more than happy to help out in battle. Qiqi isn't hugely versatile, but she is one of the game's best healers, regenerating HP as she deals damage.

  • Rarity: Five-star
  • Weapon: Sword
  • Element: Cryo
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Diona

This feline barmaid is a versatile support character, offering both healing and a shield with excellent Cryo damage absorption. As she's an archer, she can also keep her distance from enemies, peppering them with charged Cryo arrows.

  • Rarity: Four-star
  • Weapon: Bow
  • Element: Cryo
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Barbara

Mondstadt's idol is the go-to Genshin healer. She may be free, but she's really good at what she does, offering a healing burst, and an elemental skill that heals when she hits enemies. Her C6 is also one of the most useful healer constellations, allowing her to revive a character to full health, and as she's a four-star, you actually have a chance of getting it.

  • Rarity: Four-star
  • Weapon: Catalyst
  • Element: Hydro
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Yanfei

Many consider this Liyue lawyer to be a discount version of Klee. This is because of her Pyro catalyst, and her Scarlet Seals that strengthen charged attacks, meaning she benefits from a lot of the same kit that Klee does.

  • Rarity: Four-star
  • Weapon: Catalyst
  • Element: Pyro
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Sucrose

Like Venti, this alchemist's apprentice is ideally used as a support character, facilitating elemental damage using the Swirl reaction and her strong Anemo abilities that suck in enemies and objects.

  • Rarity: Four-star
  • Weapon: Catalyst
  • Element: Anemo
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Xiangling

Considering she's a free character, Xiangling is an excellent sub-DPS. Her Guoba Attack and Pyronado both remain active when she's not the character on the field, meaning she's the perfect toolkit for causing Pyro elemental reactions.

  • Rarity: Four-star
  • Weapon: Polearm
  • Element: Pyro
Genshin Impact character, Keqing, standing outside of Liyue Harbor
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New Genshin Impact Characters

The latest character to arrive in Genshin Impact is five-star Hydro catalyst-user Kokomi. In many ways, she is a stronger version of Barbara, offering powerful healing, but also some damage in the form of her Bake-Kurage jellyfish. Her banner, Drifting Luminescence, also features Electro claymore-wielder Beidou, Hydro sword-user Xingqiu, and Cyro polearm-character Rosaria.

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:

  • 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.
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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.

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 collect:

  • 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
Genshin Impact characters, Xiao, Ganyu, Keqing, Ningguang, Traveler, and Paimon fighting Osial, overlord of the vortex
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You can also earn characters through seasonal events, as with the Thunder Sojourn event for Beidou in Genshin Impact 2.0, so it's worth keeping an eye on what character events are coming up in each version.

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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? Here's the best Baal build, as well as some info on what we know so far about La Signora, Scaramouche, Thoma, and Aloy. Enjoy!

An earlier version of this guide was written by Santiago Leguiza.