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Genshin Impact character tier list: the best Genshin Impact characters

Genshin Impact update 2.6
(Image credit: Hoyoverse)

While we wait to see if Yelan and Kuki Shinobu join the ranks of the best Genshin Impact characters in update 2.7, there are already dozens of fun and powerful units to collect and build in update 2.6, the latest version of Hoyoverse's ever-expanding open-world JRPG. One of Genshin Impact's biggest draws is that it can be completed with virtually any combination of characters as long as you play and build them well, so while ease of use and raw numbers do favor some of the all-time greatest Genshin Impact characters, you're always free to play your favorites. If all else fails, you can use top-tier support characters to make any character shine. That being said, here are the best Genshin Impact characters available today. 

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Best Genshin Impact characters

Kaedehara Kazuha 

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Kazuha provides a massive damage bonus to every character that doesn't rely on geo, anemo, or physical damage, and he can deal considerable damage through the Swirl reaction while supporting his team and grouping enemies together. If you're running a pyro, cryo, electro, or hydro DPS, odds are you want Kazuha in your team. It can be tough to get elemental mastery artifacts for Kazuha, but even with a weak Viridescent Venerer artifact set and decent EM, he can dramatically buff your entire team.

Raiden Shogun

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Raiden's elemental skill provides free off-field damage, increased burst damage, and energy particles, but her burst is her true claim to fame. It only lasts a few seconds, but that's more than enough time for Raiden to deal immense electro damage and regenerate a significant portion of your entire team's energy. Raiden can smooth out your team's rotations while boosting your DPS, making her an indispensable part of many compositions. 

Bennett

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Jokingly referred to as a hidden five-star, Bennett can empower virtually any team with his elemental burst, which not only gives a huge attack boost to anyone standing inside, but also heals them incredibly quickly. The short cooldown on his elemental skill also allows him to generate a ton of pyro energy for your team. This makes him a great unit in virtually all cases, but especially in pyro teams. You can get Bennett and his constellations (his C1 is especially valuable) through the in-game starglitter shop, so keep your eyes peeled for when he pops up. 

Xingqiu 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Xingqiu has almost single-handedly carried the entire pyro element since Genshin Impact's release. His elemental burst summons hydro swords that attack alongside your on-field character's normal attacks, dealing high damage over time and applying hydro for elemental reactions, especially Vaporize. Xingqiu is irreplaceable in many teams, and a borderline mandatory support for characters like Hu Tao.  

Zhongli 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Zhongli is the ultimate defense unit. His elemental skill places a geo pillar that deals AoE damage in a small area (or a big area when paired with characters who can chain this damage to other geo constructs), and you can hold this skill down to create an incredibly tanky shield that makes nearby enemies take more damage from all sources. His elemental burst, meanwhile, deals solid damage and petrifies enemies in place for a few seconds. The so-called CEO of geo is a potent mix of offense and defense that makes almost any fight considerably easier.   

Ganyu

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

The sheer power of Ganyu's cryo charged shots makes her one of the strongest and safest attackers in the game. Her skill is a handy taunt and her burst deals cryo damage in a huge area, but charged shots are her bread and butter. You don't even need to land headshots to deal heavy damage since her charged arrows explode on contact. If you're looking for a true ranged fighter, look no further.  

Kamisato Ayaka 

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Ayaka is one of the most consistent DPS characters around since her cryo infusion is tied to her dodge rather than a cooldown-based ability, and she has arguably the strongest elemental burst in the entire game. Her normal attacks and elemental skill are basic but reliable, and her burst will tear through just about anything. Ayaka gets a ton of free crit rate from the Blizzard Strayer artifact set and her best teams focus on freezing enemies to set up for AoE.  

Hu Tao 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Hu Tao rewards aggressive play. Most of her damage revolves around her elemental skill buffing her charged attacks, plus she deals more damage when she's below half health, so she excels at short windows of incredibly high damage. She's a fun, characterful, and powerful pyro DPS option, and her attacks can land some huge hits if you set up Melt or Vaporize reactions with support units like Xingqiu and Rosaria. Plus her elemental burst heals her considerably, making her one of the safer picks for a no-healer team.  

Xiao

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Xiao is similar to Hu Tao in that his damage output is explicitly tied to an ability that sacrifices his health, but he feels very different in practice. His burst converts all of his damage to anemo, boosts his jump height, and allows you to spam powerful plunge attacks, albeit while taking mild damage over time. Even compared to the power of pyro reactions, Xiao still shines as one of Genshin's strongest AoE attackers, though he is pretty dependent on supports like Bennett and Zhongli, and he always needs an anemo support to give him energy particles.  

Arataki Itto 

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Itto is the first five-star geo DPS we've seen, and his charged attack play style allows for huge cleave damage backed by a powerful elemental skill. Itto is considerably stronger when paired with Gorou, who's a bit further down this list, and his high-cost burst can require additional geo supports as well, but he rewards careful team-building with high damage that doesn't rely on elemental reactions.  

Eula  

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Eula is one of Genshin Impact's few dedicated physical damage dealers, but what she lacks in elemental reactions she makes up for in raw power and fluid attacks. Her elemental skill can reduce enemy physical defense, priming them for her immensely powerful burst attack, which summons a floating sword that detonates after charging for a few seconds, dealing more damage based on how many hits you land while it's charging. Eula is reliant on physical resistance shred against several enemies, but her damage ceiling is incredibly high. 

Venti 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Venti's elemental burst is iconic. It summons a small black hole that clumps enemies together for juicy AoE damage while causing countless Swirl reactions. His burst is less effective on large enemies, and not all characters can effectively attack targets caught floating in his burst, but when Venti is good, he's all but unbeatable. 

Xiangling 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Everyone can get Xiangling just by clearing the early Spiral Abyss floors, and she's easily the best free unit in the game. Her elemental skill, the summoned bear Guoba, is average at best, but her pyronado burst is devastating. Even without her fourth constellation, which greatly extends her pyronado's duration, Xiangling is capable of dealing huge pyro damage entirely off-field, freeing you up to layer in reactive elements with your active character. Xiangling also pops up in the starglitter shop, and up to C4, her constellations are extremely valuable. 

Good Genshin Impact characters

Yae Miko

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: Hoyoverse)

Yae Miko plays like a souped-up Fischl with a much stronger burst. She lays down a web of three auto-targeting electro turrets which can be detonated for a huge chunk of damage and then swiftly replaced. Yae provides consistent off-field electro damage and she's pretty simple to build thanks to her flexible weapon and artifact choices. 

Kamisato Ayato

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: Hoyoverse)

The latest Kamisato sibling uses hydro damage to cut through groups of enemies, often while enabling tons of electro-charge reactions with characters like Yae Miko, Beidou, and Fischl. Kamisato Ayato uses normal attacks for most of his damage (though this damage is determined by his skill, so you don't actually need to level his normal attack talent), so one of his best support units is Yun Jin. That said, his wide-reaching and persistent elemental burst also gives him some off-field utility, letting Ayato fit into a lot of teams. 

Tartaglia 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Like Hu Tao, Tartaglia's normal attacks totally change once you use his elemental skill, swapping his bow for powerful short-range water swords that deal heavy hydro damage – and exponentially higher damage against groups thanks to stacking AoE. The longer you use this skill in one go, the longer the cooldown will be when you toggle it off, so to play Tartaglia effectively, you'll want to pair him with sub-DPS characters to cycle through while his skill is recharging. His best supports are characters like Xiangling and Beidou, who can use Tartaglia's heavy hydro damage to trigger tons of reactions.  

Albedo 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

One of the most underrated five-stars, Albedo can fit onto virtually any team. His elemental skill adds free geo damage to your attacks, and his talents give your whole team a nice bump in elemental mastery. Albedo can also make good use of all those defense artifacts you've likely stockpiled since his skill damage scales with defense. Depending on how you build him, his burst can be devastating as well. Albedo's a true jack of all trades that shouldn't be overlooked, especially if you received the free weapon Cinnabar Spindle, which is among Albedo's best options.  

Mona 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

You've probably seen Mona in some highlight reels flashing giant damage numbers, and there's a reason for that. Her elemental burst not only makes enemies take way more damage for a short period, it also hits extremely hard on its own, making Mona a wombo-combo machine. She's particularly good with cryo characters like Ganyu, since the freeze status effect can extend the damage boost provided by her hydro burst, or pyro characters who can Vaporize her burst. The taunt provided by her elemental skill is handy, too.  

Jean 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

The de facto leader of Mondstadt is one of the most flexible characters in Genshin Impact. Jean's skill can clump enemies together and send smaller ones flying for heavy fall damage, her burst can heal your entire team while taking a chunk out of enemies, and her anemo abilities can be combined with the Viridescent Venerer artifact set to make enemies take more elemental damage. She's not quite on Zhongli's level, but Jean is a good pick for nearly any party. She also has incredibly strong constellations, so don't be disappointed if you end up pulling multiple copies of her in the long run. 

Sucrose 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Sucrose is used like a four-star Kazuha. She's capable of shredding resistances with the Viridescent Venerer artifact set while boosting your team's elemental mastery. Her grouping and damage boosts are less potent than Kazuha's, but Sucrose's shared EM can compete in many situations, and she's an excellent anemo support in several teams.  

Beidou 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Pound for pound, Beidou's elemental burst is among the strongest in the game against multiple targets. Her skill is a unique and satisfying parry, but it's the off-field electro damage from her burst that really elevates her. Combined with hydro or electro supports, plus an auto-attacker to trigger the hits, Beidou's burst can provide enough damage to clear basically anything. Beidou gets a huge damage spike with her second constellation, so watch for her in the starglitter exchange.  

Sangonomiya Kokomi  

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Kokomi's kit is fairly simple, and her inability to deal critical hits limits her personal damage considerably, but she provides so much utility that she still earns a spot in many teams. Her skill applies hydro off-field, her burst can over-heal your entire team (and deal decent damage with the new Ocean-Hued Clam artifact set), and she's a great user of support gear like the Tenacity of the Millelith artifact set and the Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers catalyst.  

Shenhe 

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

The newest five-star on this list, Shenhe is a damage-boosting support who only benefits cryo characters, but she really benefits cryo characters. Ayaka, Ganyu, Chongyun, Rosaria, Kaeya, and even Diona all get a massive damage bonus from Shenhe's abilities, so if you can spare the slot in your team, Shenhe will take your cryo damage to the next level.  

Diona 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Just as Albedo scales with defense, Diona can make good use of all your HP artifacts since the tankiness of her shield and the power of her healing both scale with HP. Even if she deals virtually no damage, Diona can add a lot to your party by generating tons of energy, protecting you from most attacks, and healing you up when you do get hit.

Yoimiya  

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Yoimiya can struggle against groups of enemies, but she excels against single targets. Her pyro-infused normal attacks are fast and powerful, and she's a great partner for supports like Beidou since she can shred enemies at range. Bennett is Yoimiya's best friend, and Kazuha isn't far behind since she's reliant on raw damage due to her limited elemental reactions, but she's also great with Yun Jin, who makes Yoimiya teams much stronger.  

Fischl 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Fischl is sort of like an electro version of Albedo. Her entire kit revolves around her summon, Oz, who provides free electro damage over time. Her damage skyrockets with her final constellation, especially in Electro-Charge teams, but she always delivers a nice bump of off-field damage. 

Rosaria 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Rosaria is one of the few characters who can boost your team's critical rate, and her backstabbing elemental skill is a handy gap-closer too. Her elemental burst provides decent cryo AoE for pyro and cryo carries, and combined with her crit bonus, this makes her a good all-rounder.  

Sayu 

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Sayu is essentially a weaker, four-star version of Jean. She's a healer who can use the Viridescent Venerer artifact set, and that's more than enough for a spot on many teams. She also comes with the considerable advantage of rolling around at the speed of sound, which shouldn't be overlooked.  

Diluc 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Diluc is one of the old guard DPS characters, and even after all this time, he's still a solid pick. His burst has a short cooldown and huge AoE, his skill is easy to spam to trigger the Crimson Witch of Flames artifact set, and his innate critical rate boost makes him easy to build.  

Klee 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Klee is a tiny little monster who can match or even exceed Diluc's pyro damage output with proper play. She's a unique catalyst user who lobs short-range bombs with her auto attacks and elemental skill, while her elemental burst zaps enemies with orbiting pyro lasers. MiHoYo packed a lot of power into Klee's tiny frame, making her a fabulously flashy character.   

Keqing 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

With access to fast physical and electro damage, Keqing is relatively easy to build and always fun to play. You can use her skill to perform a teleporting slash that converts your damage to electro, or you can detonate her thrown stiletto with a charged attack for an electro explosion, usually to trigger superconduct and lower enemy physical resistance. Electro reactions are a bit niche compared to things like melt and vaporize, but no matter how you build her, Keqing is a respectable choice.  

Ningguang 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Plenty of four-star characters are viable for a main DPS role, and Ningguang is an old favorite. With a fast burst, a skill with surprising utility, and powerful ranged attacks, Ningguang excels when paired with geo characters like Albedo or Zhongli. Running two geo characters enables the powerful geo party resonance, and geo is a pretty neutral element, so you can fill the rest of your team with staple characters like Bennett without fussing over elemental reactions. 

Yanfei 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Yanfei's charged attack-focused catalyst play style is very similar to Ningguang's, and the way her skill and burst fuel her charged attacks has also drawn apt comparisons to Klee. Yanfei's abilities feel great to use and her charged attacks hit like a truck when you time them right, so if you're looking for a pyro attacker but haven't rolled any of the five-stars, Yanfei is a fantastic choice. And if you unlock her fourth constellation, you can even build her with HP for an underrated shielder. 

Gorou  

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Gorou's personal damage output is incredibly low, even at high investment, but he adds so much damage to defense-scaling geo characters like Itto and Albedo that you won't care. Load him up with energy recharge and defense and you'll have an essential support unit for many geo teams.  

Yun Jin 

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Yun Jin is another extremely niche support unit eking out a living in the shadow of Bennett – who is so overpowered that new support units have to be balanced around him through specificity – but if you want to buff your normal attacks, she's quite good. Yun Jin is simple to build as a support since she just needs defense, and her elemental burst buffs the pants off normal attacks.  

Kaeya 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Kaeya's cryo element and high basic attack damage make him a decent physical carry, while the short cooldowns on his abilities suit a support role. He's great when paired with pyro or hydro units since his skill and burst can apply cryo pretty well while dealing respectable damage. Kaeya is one of the better units from the initial freebies you get through the story, so don't hesitate to invest in him.  

Qiqi 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

The Ocean-Hued Clam artifact set was a big boost for her Qiqi because it turns her excessive healing into decent passive damage. Qiqi provides more healing than anyone else, so she's sure to keep you alive even in the most punishing content. She still has energy issues and doesn't deal much damage with her abilities, but Qiqi is a much more reasonable pick nowadays.  

Not bad Genshin Impact Characters

Noelle 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Noelle can deal damage, heal your team, and provide a decent shield, but she doesn't excel in any of these roles. Her damage is far behind Itto's, her shield is weaker than Diona's, and her healing is both inconsistent and relatively low. That said, she's a guaranteed unit, and she'll get you through some tough situations.  

Electro Traveler 

The Traveler gained electro abilities when they reached Inazuma, allowing them to effectively fuel the elemental bursts of their teammates by sharing energy recharge and flat energy. The Traveler's electro kit doesn't deal much damage and is far less effective than Raiden for energy recovery, but for a free character available to everyone, they're a decent battery. 

Geo Traveler 

The Traveler is among the weakest five-star characters in the game, but their geo abilities are pretty solid overall. Their skill has a very short cooldown and hits reasonably hard, and their burst has huge range and provides a critical rate boost to everyone nearby. These abilities make the geo Traveler pretty strong in geo comps, not to mention teams looking to spam low-cooldown abilities while cycling characters. 

Chongyun 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Paired with a few select characters like Shenhe or Bennett, Chongyun is actually pretty good. The thing is, he's actively bad in a lot of other teams. See, his elemental skill puts down a field that converts the melee attacks of everyone inside to cryo damage (with a few exceptions), and this can really throw off your build. Chongyun unlocks some fun cryo synergies and his burst packs a punch, but he's tougher to use than someone like Kaeya.  

Kujou Sara 

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Like Bennett, Sara can increase the attack of your other characters, but she's much tougher to use and usually needs an electro battery to fuel her (actually pretty decent) elemental burst. She's also pretty constellation-dependent, with her C2 making her less clunky and her C6 making her buff more valuable for electro characters. 

Razor 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

DPS doesn't get much simpler than Razor, a physical damage carry whose elemental burst increases his attack speed. Razor's electro abilities can trigger the ever-important superconduct reaction to lower physical resistance, so his entire kit was clearly built for physical damage. If you just want to swing a big sword and hit really hard – and summon a giant lightning wolf – Razor might be for you, though he can peter out since he doesn't have the power or AoE to punch through the limits of physical damage. 

Barbara 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Barbara is essentially a weaker Qiqi. Her skill and burst don't do any damage and provide less healing overall, so while she is usable with the Ocean-Hued Clam artifact set, she's a low-value healer. At the very least, she can use the Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers catalyst to boost the attack of your main carry.  

Lisa 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Lisa's ability to reduce the defense of enemies caught in her burst is actually pretty powerful, but her utility is limited otherwise. Her elemental mastery ascension stat is often useless, her skill requires a lot of setup, and apart from defense shred, her burst can be tough to get use out of. 

Anemo Traveler 

The Traveler's starting anemo kit isn't as useful as their geo or electro trees. Their elemental skill deals decent anemo and swirl damage, but their burst is very awkward to use, often pushing small enemies out of your range while totally whiffing on larger enemies. The anemo Traveler has some use thanks to the Viridescent Venerer artifact set, but any other anemo character will surpass them.  

Thoma 

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Thoma's burst grants a minor shield every time your current character attacks, but while this is good for shrugging off attacks, it doesn't offer much in the way of damage mitigation. Thoma also has surprisingly low HP for an HP-scaling shielder, so his overall utility is limited.  

Xinyan 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Xinyan's skill creates a pyro shield that can protect all your characters, while her burst deals a chunk of physical damage in a small area. She can be played as a main DPS or a burst support character with some shield utility, but without constellations, she's tough to fit into most teams. Her shield is weak, and her burst doesn't scale very well. And even with constellations, she never really excels at any one role.  

Aloy 

Genshin Impact aloy

(Image credit: Epic)

Sadly, Aloy left most of her gadgets back in Horizon Zero Dawn, leaving her with little to work with in Teyvat. Her elemental skill is clunky and has a long cooldown, and while her burst deals a respectable chunk of cryo damage, she's worse than even Chongyun in basically every scenario.  

Amber 

Genshin Impact character tier list

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Amber is generally regarded as the weakest character in Genshin Impact, which is no surprise since she's a free character given out almost immediately. The taunt dummy placed by her elemental skill doesn't last long or deal much damage, and the same is true of her burst. She has some niche roles as a pyro applier, but Amber loses to every other pyro unit in almost every conceivable way.  

Austin Wood
Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.