Genshin Impact Tier List Updated for Patch 1.5 – May 2021 Best Characters

From Amber to Zhongli and everyone in between.

Much to the delight of Genshin Impact players everywhere, miHoYo has added many new characters to the world of Teyvat. Naturally, all these new Waifus and Husbandos deserve a spot on our updated Genshin Impact 1.5 Tier List. Is your new favorite an S-Tier, or will they be joining Amber? Again. Let’s find out!

Genshin Impact Character Tier List

More characters means more competition, so you might find some characters ranking lower than before. Furthermore, a lower rank doesn’t necessarily mean that the character is bad, as their value greatly depends on their build and team composition. This tier list is based on the characters’ overall usefulness, unique assets, how they compare to others, and how easy or difficult it is to make them effective.

But most importantly: keep playing with the characters you like, rather than the ones someone else considers S+ Tier. If you want Lisa to lead your team, don’t let anyone stop you! Pretty much every character is viable. This is just about determining which characters will make things quicker and easier for you.

S+ Tier Genshin Characters

These characters are the best of the best. If you have one, you’d be smart to build your entire team around them.

Character Reasoning

Venti
Sub-DPS / Support

This Anemo god and part-time bard is one of the most useful Elemental damage characters in Genshin Impact. Although not bad with a bow either, Venti’s Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst are great for crowd control and combine perfectly with most other Elements. Use his Burst together with a teammate’s Pyro, Cryo, Electro, or Hydro attacks to trigger Elemental Absorption and deal massive damage.

Ganyu
DPS / Sub-DPS

Blessed with one of the highest base attack stats and an amazing Cryo Charged Attack, Ganyu is a really strong main DPS. With just one fully charged shot, you can hit a single enemy twice before spreading AoE Cryo damage to all surrounding enemies. Her Elemental Skill damage is less exceptional, but has a useful taunting ability to distract your foes while you charge up. Her Elemental Burst, though? That thing is ridiculous. It has a massive AoE that continuously hits enemies with ice shards (dealing almost 100 percent damage per shard). Meanwhile you’re free to hit them with Charged Attacks again. Set Ganyu up with a compatible support (I’d suggest an Anemo Swirl) and there will be no survivors.

Klee
DPS / Sub-DPS

This Pyro character is definitely the best bomb thrower in Genshin Impact. What’s more, she’s super easy to build: she uses a Catalyst while Ascending increases her Pyro damage, so you can go full Pyro Elemental with her. Since all Klee attacks are AoE, she can easily take down several enemies at once and trigger Elemental Reactions in the process. The only downside is the need to manage her timing and range correctly. Klee’s bomb-throwing can be a bit slow, giving enemies the chance to attack her.

Xiao
DPS

Anemo character Xiao is currently taking first place when it comes to highest base attack power in Genshin Impact. Thanks to his fast Polearm weapon, high critical rate, and highly damaging Elemental Skill dashes, Xiao is already a great DPS. However, he becomes truly amazing when using his Elemental Burst, allowing him to jump up and continuously perform highly damaging plunging strikes. You may notice two obvious downsides to Xiao, though. The first is his high Burst Energy Cost. The second is his health drain when using said Burst. Both problems are easily solved if you team him up with great supports (Bennett, for example).

Diluc
DPS

Thanks to his extremely high base attack and Claymore weapon, this fiery gentleman is the perfect main DPS in almost any party composition. There’s no trade-off between his physical damage and Elemental damage either; Diluc’s Skill and Burst (both setting his sword on fire) work really well in combination with his Normal Attack. There’s no shield (especially wooden ones) he can’t get through. Of course, the large Elemental Burst range makes Diluc perfect for Elemental Reactions as well.

 

S Tier Genshin Characters

Extremely capable Genshin Impact characters who are also easily capable of carrying a team, but aren’t as broken as those above them in the S+ tier.

Character Reasoning

Hu Tao
DPS

The new Pyro character Hu Tao has the lowest base attack of all characters in Genshin Impact. She’s still one of the best (and most complicated) DPS fighters regardless. Hu Tao’s Elemental Burst can deal massive Pyro damage if her HP is equal to or below 50 percent. Then, after casting it, her HP will regenerate while her attack damage loses its buff. If you then use her Elemental Skill, Hu Tao consumes part of her own HP, gets bonus Pyro damage based on her max HP, increases her resistance, and finally casts damage over time on her enemies. When this effect ends, she will even increase her allies’ critical rates. The only downside (and the reason she’s not on the highest Tier) is that this cycle can be quite difficult to manage.

Keqing
DPS

Electro Keqing is a very evasive and fast damage dealer. Her Charged Attack combo, her high base attack, and her increased Critical Damage make this Sword character a powerful main DPS. On top of all that, her Elemental Skill grants the unique ability to teleport during combat. That makes Keqing especially useful against large and slow opponents. She can easily hit them several times before fleeing. Her Elemental Skill also allows her to deal damage against weak spots. No ruin guard will stand a chance!

Qiqi
Support / Sub-DPS

Cryo Sword character Qiqi is one of the more unique Genshin Impact characters due to her high DPS and healing potential. Now you don’t need to choose between the two, because Qiqi’s healing ability scales with her attack power. Once you reach Constellation level six, she can even revive fallen party members and restore half their HP. Naturally, as a Cryo character, Qiqi also offers team support by freezing enemies.

Mona
Sub-DPS / Support

Hydro Astrologist Mona is one of the most mobile characters in Genshin Impact. Although she may not be used as much by those who got fellow-Hydro Tartaglia on their team. Mona still remains the master of applying the Wet condition. She can target individual enemies thanks to her Catalyst weapon, or she can target large groups of enemies with her Elemental Skill and Burst. Although she mainly excels as an Elemental Reaction sub-DPS as a result, Mona’s taunting ability (using a Phantom decoy) makes her a handy support, too. Oh, and she can walk on water. That’s handy.

Tartaglia
DPS / Sub-DPS

Hydro character Tartaglia, also known as Childe, is a serious contender for the position of favorite main DPS. Although not as good at setting up big AoE Elemental Reactions as Mona, he is a much stronger fighter on his own. Tartaglia’s biggest strength is his Elemental Skill ability, which swaps his bow for dual blades (going from ranged to melee), and deals continuous Hydro damage. The downside, however, is that he’s not as strong when in ranged mode. As his Elemental Skill cooldown will increase the longer you use it, bad time management can also seriously mess up your combat.

Zhongli
Support / Sub-DPS

Ah, Zhongli. The five-star character who initially left many Genshin Impact players so disappointed. Since then, however, miHoYo has turned Zhongli into a great support and sub-DPS by scaling his shielding ability and damage output (fourth Ascension) with his max HP. Zhongli’s Elemental Skill can shield party members and deal Geo damage at the same time, while his Elemental Burst has the unique ability to petrify your enemies. Zhongli can basically do the same as any Hydro/Cryo combo. Only he can do it on his own.

Albedo
Sub-DPS / Support

When Albedo arrived, he was criticized for being “just like Zhongli.” Although he has the same Element, Geo Ascension bonus, and very similar base stats, he’s actually a lot more focused on Geo damage output. This is mostly because his Elemental Burst (which is initially lower than Zhongli’s) creates seven Fatal Blossoms which deal additional Geo damage. On top of that, his Elemental Skill creates a Geo damage AoE (with only a four-second cooldown) allowing you to recharge your Burst and, if you prefer, swap to your main DPS.

 

A Tier Genshin Characters

Have room to fill in your team? These are the folks you’re going to want to turn to. Everyone thus far has been a 5-Star character and this is when we can start highlighting the best available 4-Star units.

Character Reasoning

Jean
Support / Sub-DPS

If Genshin Impact only allowed you to play with one character, our knightly Jean might be the best choice. She deals decent melee damage with her sword, she can limit enemy movement, and she can heal. So why isn’t she ranking higher? While Jean is good at everything, she’s just never among the best. Her base attack power is very low for a five-star and her healing ability is outshined by others. Her crowd control ability and Elemental absorption (using her Elemental Skill & Burst) will remain useful if you don’t have Venti or an upgraded Sucrose.

Bennett
Support

Bennett’s Elemental Skill and Normal/Charged Attacks are negligible. That’s the bad news: Bennett’s only good asset is his Elemental Burst. The good news? It’s a pretty great Burst! Bennett will cast an AoE Pyro field which heals any character inside when their HP falls below 70 percent (rising based on his max HP). If it’s higher, the Pyro field will increase their attack power (based on Bennett’s base attack). Thanks to his high energy recharge and relatively low cooldowns, this makes Bennett a great support.

Razor
DPS

For someone who was allegedly raised by wolves, Razor sure knows how to handle a Claymore. Thanks to his high base attack and physical damage boost, he is by far the best main DPS in Genshin Impact… if you don’t have any five-star characters. Unfortunately, his Electro ability is only useful to Razor himself (giving his Normal/Charged Attacks a great boost as long as he stays on the battlefield), so he’s not a great choice for Elemental Reactions involving Electro.

Fischl
Sub-DPS

Electro Prinzessin Fischl is often used as a melee (yes, with a bow) by beginning players, but her true value lies in her ability to trigger highly damaging Elemental Reactions. Her Elemental Skill is very easy to us! Just point and drop the Electro familiar. Meanwhile, her Elemental Burst can electrocute many enemies at once while also transporting Fischl across the battlefield. Furthermore, familiar Oz will stay on the battlefield after you swap characters, so you can slash away with your main DPS while Fischl continues to deal passive damage.

Yanfei
DPS

What’s with Genshin Impact and its love of Pyro characters? Yanfei is the eighth Pyro to be added to the game since launch, so she faces tough competition. Her Catalyst and Pyro Ascension bonus do make her a good and easy-to-build Elemental damage dealer, though. Especially for a four-star character. Her strongest asset is the “Scarlet Seal” system which increases her Charged Attack damage. By continuously using the Charged Attack with maximum Scarlet Seals, Yanfei can deal consistent AoE Pyro damage.

Barbara
Support

Hydro Catalyst-wielder Barbara is a highly specialized healer. Her healing scales with her HP, meaning that she will be your savior many times over once built well. However, Barbara isn’t the best option if you want a Hydro character to apply the “Wet” condition on your enemies. Also, she wets herself (I’m serious) when she uses her Elemental Skill, making her and her teammates vulnerable to freezing. So, as long as she doesn’t face Cryo opponents, Barbara is an amazing healer.

Diona
Support

She may be part cat, but Bow master Diona is not to be underestimated. While her attack power is nothing special, she is a valuable four-star Cryo support who can freeze enemies, heal, and shield party members. Unfortunately, her Elemental Burst healing ability only becomes truly strong when Diona reaches constellation level six. Her Elemental Skill damage absorption can make up for that if you focus on increasing her max HP, though.

B Tier Genshin Characters

Now we start to get into the average territory. B-Tier characters are just fine when you’re first starting out and can function as okay filler units, but they will likely be replaced as you get more characters.

Character Reasoning

Xiangling
Sub-DPS

Pyro chef Xiangling used to rank much higher. Due to the arrival of many new (and even better) Pyro characters, though, she’s become easily replaceable. Nonetheless, her Elemental Skill and Burst, which remain active when Xiangling leaves combat, are great for triggering Elemental Reactions. If you’re surrounded by a large number of enemies, Xiangling’s Elemental Burst can quickly take care of that while you swap to your main DPS. Build her for maximum Elemental damage (her Ascension stat grants increased Elemental Mastery) and you’ve got yourself a strong Pyro sub-DPS.

Rosaria
Sub-DPS / Support

Thanks to her fast Polearm attacks, high attack power, and critical rate buff (after landing her Elemental skill), Rosaria is a pretty good four-star Cryo DPS. Naturally, Rosaria’s Elemental Burst is extra powerful if you use it when the critical rate bonus is active. Once you do so, another critical rate bonus will trigger. Except this one applies to her allies. If you build up her critical rate and stick to this attack order, Rosaria will be a useful Elemental sub-DPS and support in one.

Sucrose
Support / Sub-DPS

This shy Anemo character is able to continuously trigger swirl reactions thanks to her Catalyst weapon. It’s easy to build her for maximum Anemo damage, and her Elemental abilities (using Elemental Absorption) will fit in any team. The only downside is that both Elementals have a long cooldown. Not to mention the Burst has a high energy cost. She’s a great Anemo character, but others (here’s looking at you, Venti) are just a lot better. If you’re in need of a good crowd control character though, Sucrose is worthy of building.

Xingqiu
Support / Sub-DPS

Bookworm Xingqiu is a surprisingly useful Hydro support character. His Elemental abilities can summon three “Rain Swords” that circulate around him or the character he swaps places with. Rain Swords can reduce damage taken, deal additional Hydro damage, and even heal the active character based on Xingqiu’s max HP. Unfortunately, Xingqiu’s healing ability falls a bit short compared to other characters. Then his long cooldowns and high Energy cost keep him from being among the top supports.

Chongyun
Support / Sub-DPS / DPS

Although he doesn’t really stand out, Cryo Claymore character Chongyun is a very capable support and sub-DPS. His long-lasting AoE Cryo abilities make it easy to freeze several enemies at once in combination with a Hydro teammate. As a Claymore character whose attack power increases while Ascending, Chongyun is also a great early-game DPS for those who lack five-star characters and Razor.

C Tier Genshin Characters

These characters are largely passable unless you’re investing a whole lot into them or building a team completely around their movesets. For example, it’s possible to make a pretty darn good Noelle or Ningguang comp, but you need the right weapons, artifacts, and team around them. For that reason, they fall lower on the list.

Character Reasoning

Xinyan
DPS / Sub-DPS / Support

This Pyro Claymore character currently has the highest base attack of all four-star Genshin Impact characters, making her a decent main DPS in early game. Her Elemental Burst is a pretty damaging combination of physical and Pyro damage, while her Elemental Skill can create a shield (based on her defense, which is already pretty good). However, that is not really enough to make her a comparatively great support. Neither is her DPS high enough to make her especially great as a main. She’s definitely not the best character for Elemental reactions, so she loses her value when you get more characters.

Noelle
Support / DPS

This Geo Claymore character is a pretty good tank with a useful shielding ability. However, Genshin Impact’s fast-paced combat doesn’t really require a tank. Especially not when you can have healers instead. And while Noelle’s defense-based shield offers pretty good support for teammates, it’s pretty much her only use. Her healing is decent, but it only triggers if she continues to fight, which costs time and doesn’t result in high damage (unless you’re constellation level six).

Ningguang
Support / Sub-DPS

Like Noelle, Ningguang is a defensive Geo character. Her Geo damage is good compared to others, but her Element is not the best for Elemental Reactions. Her main asset seems to be the ability to conjure up a massive Geo shield, dealing damage to enemies and protecting you from incoming attacks. Unfortunately for Ningguang, even ranged characters are usually highly mobile. Staying in one place to pick off enemies just seems at odds with the Genshin Impact character-swapping combat style.

Beidou
DPS

While somewhat lacking in physical attack power, Electro Beidou has a decent Elemental damage output. However, Beidou’s Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst are not useful to the rest of the team. That makes her unfit for the role of sub-DPS. Her best asset is her ability to take a lot of damage using her Elemental Skill as a shield, and then reflect that damage back to the enemy. It’s hard to pull this off, but it can make her good against single, large enemies!

Traveler
Sub-DPS

The Traveler is always a bit different from the rest, thanks to the ability to change Elements (Anemo or Geo), and the fact that constellation upgrades do not require Wishes. Unfortunately, due to a low attack power, they do not stand out from the crowd in combat. Geo Traveler deals mediocre Elemental damage and can create Geo Constructs that aren’t especially helpful. If you lack better Anemo characters though, Anemo Traveler can be a valuable party member for quite some time. Both the Elemental Skill and Burst use Elemental Absorption, making Anemo Traveler a great fit to most beginner teams.

D Tier Genshin Characters

Bottom of the barrel. You need a whole hell of a lot to make these characters work. While Kaeya can be good in certain comps, unless you have him up to constellation six (which means pulling from the non-event banner), you’re almost always better off focusing your efforts elsewhere.

Character Reasoning

Kaeya
Sub-DPS

Kaeya is great as a freely available starting character. He has a very quick energy recharge and relatively short cooldowns. While not that impressive at the start, his constellation improves his Elemental Burst a lot. However, due to his low damage output and limited Cryo range, you’re not going to wait for that; just swap to better alternatives as soon as you get them.

Lisa
Sub-DPS

This Catalyst-using librarian is perfect for early-game Elemental Reactions. The Elemental abilities’ large AoE are definitely Lisa’s strong suit. However, you’ll soon find that her Electro damage is low compared to others, and her Elemental Skill needs too much charging time. There’s no shortage of great Electro characters in this game, so Lisa will soon be replaced.

Amber
Sub-DPS / Support

Poor Amber… Usually considered the worst character in Genshin Impact, this Pyro Outrider always finds herself on the lowest Tier. Her base attack is low, her Elemental Skill and Burst deal very little Pyro damage, and her cooldowns take forever. The taunting ability is not nearly enough to make Amber a good support, while the Burst (which lasts for two seconds) is mainly an easy way to set the grass on fire. On the bright side though; Amber is great at setting things on fire from a distance.

 

And that concludes our Genshin Impact Tier List for update 1.5. Remember that this list is not the ultimate truth and you are free to disagree. Please share your opinion & ideas for builds/teams (especially the secret to making Amber an S-Tier) in the comments below!

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Marloes Valentina Stella

Marloes is a freelance writer who still thinks Skyrim is the best game ever. Fantasy RPG’s are her life but she also likes to just shoot things up. She has previously written for Games Radar, Game Rant, and PCGamesN.

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