As with any gacha game, in Genshin Impact it’s important to know which characters you should be pursuing. You have limited resources, especially as a free-to-play player, and sometimes you’re better off not spending those fates in an attempt to get a character who really isn’t all that great. We won’t pretend to be the ultimate authority, sometimes you just like the way a characters looks or acts, and that’s fine! But if you’re only looking to go after the best of the best, we’ve put together this Genshin Impact tier list for you.
Note: Keep in mind that which characters are best for you also depends on which characters you have unlocked!
Here is a rough outline of what each tier means:
- S-Tier: Super powerful. Best of the best.
- A-Tier: A great character who is a good fit on any team.
- B-Tier: Above average. Particularly useful for F2P players who can’t always get the best characters all of the time.
- C-Tier: Just average. They’re fine! If you’re a fan, you can easily get away with running one as long as you build the proper team around them.
- D-Tier: Below average or awful.
Characters inside each tier are not ranked against each other. For example, Diluc and Venti are equal in ranking. I have not ranked Diluc ahead of Venti
More Genshin Impact:
- Genshin Impact Tips Guide – 11 Things the Game Doesn’t Tell You
- How to Change the Language in Genshin Impact – Voice-Over & Text
- Genshin Impact Solve the Mystery Quest Guide – Chest Locations
Genshin Impact S-Tier Characters
Before we can talk about anything, we have to explain why Venti is so good. If you haven’t yet, go try him out in his trial, you’ll get some Primogems in return. Why is he so good? It’s because his two abilities synergize so well. With Skyward Sonnet, his elemental skill, he can summon a large upwards burst of wind which launches and holds enemies in the air. You can combine this with Wind’s Grand Ode, his ultimate, that fires a very powerful arrow that sucking enemies in and dealing continuous air damage. The darn thing lasts a whole eight seconds. Venti alone can easily deal with upwards of ten enemies with one combo of his two moves.
Diluc is the ultimate combo with Venti. His Searing Onslaught is good, a simple forward slash that deals pyro damage and can be used three times consecutively. But it’s his ultimate, Dawn, which really sets him apart. When activated, Diluc knocks enemies back before summoning a phoenix which flies forward, hitting all enemies, and then exploding into a massive pyro area-of-effect (AOE).
As you can guess, the best meta combination at the moment is to launch enemies upwards with Venti before swapping to Diluc and using Phoenix. With the Skyward Sonnet’s ability to keep enemies together, Diluc doesn’t have to worry about knocking enemies away and out of his explosion.
Fischl is great due to her utility. As a bow user, she wants to keep at range, but can use Nightrider to summon Oz, her night raven, to attack nearby enemies. The ability can be cast from a distance by holding the ability button and choosing where to summon Oz. And because you can switch characters at any time, you can simply swap out to someone who does more damage while Oz chips away at nearby foes.
If you’re in a pickle, Fischl also has Midnight Phantasmagoria which turns you into Oz, moving at a high rate of speed, and automatically hitting nearby foes with lightning strikes. You can also use it to reposition yourself in the center of a group of enemies before swapping to a character which requires good positioning.
If you’re in need of a support character, it’s not hard to see why Qiqi is the best available. Her Adeptus Art: Herald of Frost ability not only provides a 15 second AOE which follows the character, but it also causes all of her attacks to heal HP for herself and all party members. The kicker? It scales off of her own attack so you want to build this support for damage.
Her ultimate functions similarly, summoning a seal which marks nearby enemies for 15 seconds. They take cryo damage during this period. In addition, any character that attacks a marked enemy will be healed. Talk about usefulness in a pinch!
It’s a bit hard to place Mona. I think she falls somewhere between S-Tier and A-Tier because she doesn’t have any game breaking abilities. Rather, everything she does have is above average including a unique feature that few, if any other characters have.
While other characters do have taunts as their main abilities, Mona’s displays the radius and does hydro damage throughout the duration, and then it explodes. A lot of other taunts just do one or the other, few do both. In addition, if you hold down the ability, Mona will summon the taunt on her location and then teleport back away from it, helping you get clear from foes.
Stellaris Phantasm, her ultimate, summons a massive AOE which suspends weaker enemies in bubbles, immobilizing them. This makes all enemies wet and applies an omen on each, giving you a damage bonus against them. Attacking the enemies, removes the bubble, but deals a burst of hydro damage.
Also she goes underground when sprinting which seems to make enemies unable to hit her. It also lets her “walk” on water.
Genshin Impact A-Tier Characters
It’s good that Barbara is a free character, because she’s quite great at what she does. We’d argue that Qiqi is slightly more useful in that her basic attacks feel better, but Barbara has similar healing skills up her sleeve. For one, her Let the Show Begin causes it to rain in the nearby area, making enemies WET for further elemental combinations. It also has an added affect of causing her basic attacks to heal. Her ultimate, Shining Miracle, on the other hand it just a tremendous HP burst for everyone in your party. It provides nearly 20 percent of maximum HP to all four members and only costs 80 energy.
I feel like Jean is literally built as a crowd control character. Her basic attack can be charged to launch enemies into the air using the wing. Her ability? Releases a miniature storm, launching enemies into the air and dealing air damage. She can even move the whirlwind around by holding down the ability button. Her ultimate? You got it. Launches enemies into the air. It also heals herself and party members for 25 percent of Jean’s attack. Is this the most damaging kit? No. But it does offer some of the highest amounts of crowd control out there which makes her super useful, especially if you don’t have Venti.
Keqing is one of the better sword users available right now. While her basic attacks are super simple, her regular ability has a few different effects. When activated, she throws a lightning stiletto (yep) which deals AOE electric damage. After throwing the stiletto, Keqing can activate her ability again. A simple tap will cause her to blink to the location with a slashing attack. If held and charged, however, she will unleash multiple cuts while remaining at range. The ability to attack up close or from range is one of her strengths. Her ultimate on the other hand is just a giant AOE electric attack where she strikes all nearby enemies before sending out an explosion of damage.
Razor is one of those characters where you need to micromanage your resources a bit. With each activation of his Claw and Thunder ability, Razor generates an Electro Sigil. These float around him and are a visible indication of how charged up he is. Each increases his energy recharge rate, making his ultimate available faster. If you hold his ability, he slams the ground creating a small AOE which deals roughly double the damage of the press version and converts those sigils into energy.
Once you have his ultimate up, you’re going to want to get those sigils back before you activate as it too is buffed further for each sigil you have. Lightning Fang causes an electric wolf to hover over Razor as it matches each and every attack he makes. While you do standard damage, the wolf will do electric as it increases your attack speed and makes you immune to any damage caused as a result of being electro-charged. You can earn up to ten energy back from your ultimate.
He’s honestly just a pretty good character that’s a good fit for any team that needs some DPS.
I was lucky enough to get Xiangling in one of my first pulls. If you haven’t been so lucky, in the long run you may be more lucky as she’s available for free via one of the in-game events that is set to never expire. Honestly she’s just a great all-around character. Her spear attacks are fast and fun, her panda summon deals continuous fire damage to any targets around, and her ultimate is a Pyronado that circles you, dealing increasing fire damage the more it hits a specific target. This all makes her remarkably good at dealing with shielded enemies.
The only other spear user in the game, Xiao is equally as adept. He functions as a great DPS with significant maneuverability thanks to his Wind Cycling ability that allows him to dash twice, including in midair. It’s Bane of All Evil that really ups the amount of damage he can do, however. With it active, his range is increased and all attacks deal Anemo damage. You’ll get about 70 percent more damage out of Xiao while this is active for up to 15 seconds, but at the cost of three percent of his HP per second. That means a full activation will consume almost half of Xiao’s HP.
The idea here is to deal as much damage as possible despite the health ramifications and then swap to other characters, hopefully including a healer that can top Xiao back up so you can cycle back again.
Genshin Impact B-Tier Characters
Chongyun falls somewhere on the line between above average and great. His cryo explosions from his main ability are only on a 15 second cooldown and the frost field which causes all basic attacks to deal cryo damage lasts for 10 seconds of that. His ultimate is nice and cheap at only 40 energy and summons three spirit blades which crash one by one, launching enemies into the air. He’s not bad by any means, I’m just not sure if he’s as great as the characters above.
Most other tier lists have rated Klee higher than this and I get why. As a Mage, having bombs as your attack is certainly a plus considering how lackluster their basic attacks can be. Her regular ability is a bomb which explodes into mines, a great way of protecting yourself from enemies. Sparks ‘n’ Splash, her ultimate, causes a trio of lasers to sporadically fire at nearby enemies over ten seconds. Swapping characters releases an explosion. It’s certainly useful, but is it something you need in every party? I don’t think so.
I think the default version of our Traveler would honestly be seen as a better character if it wasn’t for the existence of Venti. They have pretty similar abilities including a knockback tornado which rounds up enemies. Honestly don’t have a ton to say about this one other than the fact that it’s immediately available to everyone which makes building your first team much easier.
You don’t unlock this element until later on in the game’s story, but the Geo version of the Traveler can call down meteorites to deal Geo damage and provide cover. This can be super useful when it comes to any kind of challenges where you’re stuck in a flat ring with no cover to speak of and is the primary reason we’re including the Geo version this high on our list. The ultimate provides cover to a lesser extent, but it does fire off shockwaves around you, knocking foes up and back.
Genshin Impact C-Tier Characters
Beidou is just…lackluster. Her main ability requires you to block enemies with a shield in order to get stronger which is something most players are never going to want to do. Her Stormbreaker ultimate is cool in theory, causing her attacks to chain lightning, but compared to the strength of the others we’ve covered so far, Beidou is not up to snuff.
You’ll notice a continuing trend here. Bennett’s main ability, Passion Overload, is a simple charge move which causes him to strike multiple times. Compared to Diluc, who doesn’t need to charge, there’s just not reason to use Bennett. Fantastic Voyage, his ultimate, is a quick lunge which deals pyro damage and summons an inspiration field that heals characters below 70 percent health. When it come to damage and support, Bennett falls short on both fronts.
One thing I will say about Kaeya is he’s free and useful when you’re first starting out. His abilities are super straightforward. He has a regular attack which when charged unleashes a few strikes at once. His elemental skill throws out three cryo balls which explode on impact and his ultimate summons spikey icicles which rotate around him, dealing damage whenever they impact a foe. It’s straightforward at the very least and almost always easy to access, there are just better characters out there.
Lisa is passable. I’m not a huge fan of her basic attacks. Her ability can either release a homing lightning orb or call down lightning in an AOE around her. And her ultimate, Lightning Rose, is essentially a powered up version of that which lasts for 15 seconds. It’s a good way to control an area around you, but it just doesn’t pack as much of a punch as other character’s do. For that reason we think she’s just okay.
There’s not a ton to say about Ningguang. Her main ability is a simple shield that blocks enemy projectiles. Sure it lasts for so long that you can basically have one up forever, but what does that really accomplish for you? Starshatter, her ultimate, simply fires a bunch of gems at her enemies as homing projectiles with a bonus if there’s a Jade Screen up. Ningguang is remarkably straightforward as a character and lacks a lot of the power others have.
Noelle is essentially a tank. She’s got a two-handed sword, an ability which provides a shield, and an AEO smash. Most of her skills also scale off of her defense, rather than her attack. If you’re struggling to stay alive, maybe give her a shot, but she’s certainly not one of the best heroes in the game.
There are some nodes in her constellation that make her better, but Sucrose as a character is one that wants to use her ultimate as much as possible. Her regular elemental skill is pretty lackluster and has an unforgiving 15 second cooldown, but it does create more energy orbs to further hasten her ultimate’s regen. While her basic ability only shortly knocks up and damages foes, her ultimate has a much larger AOE and persists for a total of six seconds. During that time it’ll absorb the first element it comes in contact with for additional damage.
This whole process of spamming your basic ability as much as possible to get your ultimate back up makes Sucrose relatively unique. She doesn’t fit perfectly in the current style of Genshin Impact, however, where you’re constantly swapping characters during fights. For that reason, we’ve knocked her down to C-Tier.
I could be woefully underestimating Xingqiu here, as I don’t personally have experience playing him. That said, I’ve seen gameplay and read his abilities in depth and I just don’t see how Xingqiu outclasses other characters. He has normal basic attacks, his basic ability is a twin strike with his sword that also gives him maximum Rain Swords. Each of these shatters whenever Xingqiu takes damage, reducing the amount of damage taken, up to a maximum of 24 percent at three swords. His ultimate makes his normal attacks give him max Rain Swords over the 15 second duration and spawn Hydro swords whenever he basic attacks, launching them at enemies. This gives him a little bit of range. But that’s it, that’s all he does, and I find it hard to rank him higher than average at the moment.
Genshin Impact D-Tier Characters
Amber is given to everyone for free and is easily the worst character available at the moment. Most players really only use her to light fire sconces from a distance. Her Explosive Puppet skill is lackluster and her Fiery Rain skill only lasts a measly two seconds. Just put Amber away in storage for now until MiHoYo gives her some more power.
And that’s it! All 23 and a half characters that you can currently play in Genshin Impact. As a reminder, this tier list is just my personal opinion and not a true fact of the universe. You’re free to disagree! In fact, we encourage it. If you have builds which empower some of the less frequently utilized characters, share them in the comments below!