Genshin Impact 3.0 has arrived, which means the best Genshin Impact characters have been reshuffled once again. The addition of the Dendro element, not to mention several new 3.0 characters like Tighnari, has shaken the meta by unlocking powerful new playstyles, giving old characters some new tricks, and doubling down on rapid elemental reactions. Things will likely continue to change as more characters arrive in the coming updates, but for now, here are the best Genshin Impact characters you can play (and Wish for).
Best Genshin Impact characters
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, there's a good chance 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'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.
Yelan is similar to Xingqui in that she deals Hydro damage off-field whenever your active character attacks, but she deals considerably more damage at the cost of applying less Hydro overall. Yelan's burst also grants a ramping damage buff to your active character, substantially increasing their own DPS. Her skill can also be used as a long-distance dash for tagging enemies or sprinting out in the world, which is super fun and valuable.
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 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, namely Vaporize. Xingqiu is irreplaceable in many teams, and a borderline mandatory support for characters like Hu Tao.
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.
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.
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 critical rate from the Blizzard Strayer artifact set and her best teams focus on freezing enemies to set up for AoE bursts.
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, Yelan, and Rosaria. Plus her elemental burst heals her considerably, making her one of the safer picks for a no-healer team.
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 can be pretty dependent on supports like Bennett and Zhongli, and he always wants at least one Anemo support to give him energy particles.
Itto is the first and only 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 demands additional Geo support characters as well, but he rewards careful team-building with high damage that doesn't rely on elemental reactions. This obviously limits who you can run him with since Geo is comparable to physical damage in how little it plays with other elements, but it also makes him useful in a variety of situations, and Itto is strong enough to propel an all-Geo team.
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.
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 whirling burst is devastating. Even without her fourth Constellation, which greatly extends her burst'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.
Sucrose is generally treated like a four-star Kazuha, but she has unique strengths of her own. She's capable of shredding resistances with the Viridescent Venerer artifact set while dramatically boosting your team's elemental mastery. Her grouping and personal damage are less potent than Kazuha's, but Sucrose's shared EM can compete and even surpass him in some situations, making her an excellent Anemo support in several teams. Sucrose is especially valuable in Dendro teams since the element's reactions are so dependent on elemental mastery.
As a four-star who's repeatedly been given out for free and offered in the Starglitter shop, Fischl has always been one of the best sub-DPS characters in Genshin Impact. The release of Dendro, and particularly the Aggravate reaction, has simply pushed her over the top. Fischl applies so much Electro, even without Constellations, that she can trigger and fuel countless elemental reactions. She's the core of many Dendro, physical, and Electro-Charged teams, and her personal damage and energy generation are high enough to earn a spot almost anywhere.
Good Genshin Impact characters
Yae Miko plays like a souped-up Fischl with a much stronger burst, though her energy generation and Electro application are much lower. 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, but she's also a bit more demanding than Fischl thanks to her staggering 90-cost burst.
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.
Like Hu Tao, Tartaglia's normal attacks totally change once you use his elemental skill, swapping his bow for twin 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.
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.
Tighnari is Genshin Impact's first Dendro five-star (Traveler excluded), but as a character who's also being added to the standard banner (as of update 3.1), his power level is balanced between a unit meant to show off a new element and one meant as a permanent addition to the game. Tighnari isn't on Ganyu or Hu Tao's level, but the rapid attacks from his Dendro charged shots and 12-hit, low-cost burst make him a solid choice in quick-swap and Quicken teams. His skill also gives you three near-instantaneous charged shots, which front-loads his damage and makes him very fluid to play.
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 strong 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.
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 own burst. The taunt provided by her elemental skill is handy, too.
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.
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 alone can provide enough damage to clear most targets. Beidou gets a huge damage spike with her second constellation, so watch for her in the Starglitter exchange.
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 a lot of Hydro off-field, her burst can 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. Kokomi is also vital to many Dendro teams since she combines off-field Hydro and healing, which are in high demand right now.
Shenhe is a damage-boosting support who only benefits Cryo characters, but she really benefits Cryo characters. Ayaka (especially 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.
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 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, Xingqiu, and Yelan since she can shred enemies at range. Bennett is often Yoimiya's best friend, and Kazuha isn't far behind since she's reliant on raw damage due to her limited elemental reactions. That said, she's also great with Yun Jin, who makes Yoimiya's normal attacks much stronger, and Zhongli, who prevents enemy attacks from interrupting her attack string. Yoimiya doesn't need any particular support, which makes her teams pretty flexible.
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 Hydro carries to play off, and combined with her crit bonus, this makes her a good all-rounder.
Sayu is essentially a weaker, four-star version of Jean, but she's still 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. Sayu's rolling skill can be infused with Electro or Hydro to trigger a lot of Dendro reactions, and it's a fast and easy way to get around the open world.
Kuki was a bit underwhelming at launch, but the release of Dendro has made her unique role as an Electro healer extremely valuable. Kuki can trigger support artifacts like Tenacity of the Millelith and Noblesse Oblige very regularly, her constant Electro skill ticks make reactions like Quicken and Electro-Charged easy to maintain, and her healing is generally enough to keep up with incoming damage. Her personal damage is low, but like Diona, she brings a lot of utility to your team.
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 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.
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 got a huge buff with the release of Dendro and Aggravate, and Keqing's rapid small attacks are perfect for spamming Aggravate.
The main character's Dendro kit is by far their best one yet, totally outclassing Anemo, Geo, and Electro. Their skill offers a quick chunk of damage and decent energy generation, and their long-lasting burst is currently the best source of off-field Dendro application. It deals decent damage, especially when infused with Hydro or Electro, and it's essential for maintaining Dendro reactions in several team comps. New Dendro characters will inevitably outshine the Traveler in specific situations, but as a general Dendro sub-DPS, the Traveler will be valuable for a long time, and may even become the core of double Dendro teams.
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 other 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'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.
Heizou is the first male catalyst user in Genshin Impact, and his unique melee play style makes him stand out from the many spellcasters in the game. Heizou can rapidly apply Anemo with his normal attacks to trigger reactions like Electro-Charged, his skill can be charged to deal burst-level damage, and his actual burst gives him some ranged damage and light grouping. As an Anemo unit, he's more damage-focused than the likes of Sucrose and Kazuha, but he's still able to boost his team while dealing respectable damage. He can't co
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 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 a bunch of defense and energy recharge, and her elemental burst buffs the pants off normal attacks.
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 off-field 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.
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 Cryo abilities, but Qiqi is a much more reasonable pick nowadays.
Not bad Genshin Impact Characters
Collie was released alongside Tighnari, and perhaps because she and Amber are best friends, her abilities and power level aren't that far off of Amber's. Her boomerang skill deals two hits of Dendro damage and her burst creates a relatively small Dendro AoE. These skills aren't bad in a vacuum, but due to unique restrictions on her abilities, Collie can't actually apply Dendro that frequently, which limits her usefulness since Dendro is so reliant on triggering rapid reactions. Collie isn't bad, and she's a decent second pick for a double Dendro team, but she's generally a weaker pick than the Traveler.
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.
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.
The Traveler is among the weaker characters in the game, but their Geo abilities are decent. Their skill has a very short cooldown and hits reasonably hard, and their burst has good range and provides a critical rate boost to everyone in its range. These abilities make the Geo Traveler pretty strong in geo comps, not to mention teams looking to spam low-cooldown abilities while cycling characters.
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 infusion 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.
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 much more valuable for Electro characters.
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 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'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. That said, Dendro was a huge boon for her as well, not only because it meaningfully repurposes her elemental mastery ascension, but because it turns the rapid hits of her burst into solid Aggravate triggers.
The Traveler's starting Anemo kit isn't as useful as their other variants. 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'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 actual damage mitigation. Thoma also has surprisingly low HP for an HP-scaling shielder, so his overall utility is limited. However, Dendro has given him a unique role as a Burgeon enabler which lets his Pyro burst shine, though building him for elemental mastery makes his already fragile shield even flimsier.
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, her burst doesn't scale very well, and even with Constellations she never really excels at any one role due to her split scaling.
Sadly, Aloy left most of her gadgets back in Horizon Forbidden West, 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 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.