genshin impact character list tier

Genshin Impact tier list – Ranking the best characters in Genshin Impact

Here you will find a Genshin Impact tier list, an overview of every available Genshin Impact character and how they compare to one another. Genshin Impact continues to bring new updates, zones, and characters. We are now at patch 1.3.
Getting new characters is difficult and even pricey in gacha games, so knowing which characters are top-tier will be essential, especially for endgame dungeons like the Spiral Abyss. So, I decided to post this Genshin Impact tier list both for myself and others. I did not compile this list, though.
This is a simplified version of the tier list, but I will add my own comments as I progress into the game.

Genshin Impact tier list: Who are the best Genshin Impact characters?

usagi sensei genshin impact character tier list

This is quite a different list, although both tier lists agree on some characters. I will consider myself quite lucky as I got Noelle and Sucrose in my first 2×10 summons. I hope Noelle is a T1 – Tier-A character rather than a T3-Tier C one.

  • S-tier characters: Venti, Diluc, Fischl, Qiqi, Klee, Tartaglia (Childe),
  • A-tier characters: Mona, Keqing, Jean, Bennett, Barbara, Razor, Xiangling, Diona, Sucrose, Xinyan, Albedo
  • B-tier characters: Xinqiu, Traveller (Anemo), Chongyun
  • C-tier characters: Kaeya, Lisa, Traveller (Geo), Beidou, Ningguang, Noelle,
  • Poo-tier characters: Amber, Zhongli

Why Genshin Impact tier lists don't make much sense

Constellations

Genshin Impact has a lot of good characters. However, the reason it's hard to evaluate them is Constellations.

In Genshin Impact, every character has their own Constellation, which acts as a kind of skill tree. When you unlock part of that character's Constellation, you'll earn a new effect, which impacts an existing skill or offers a completely new perk.

For characters other than the traveler, the only way to level up their constellations is to obtain Stella Fortuna's. A Stella Fortuna is an item players receive after acquiring a duplicate of a character they already possess.

Once you max out a character, you get extra stardust which is enough for you to basically get a free wish if you pull an already maxed character.

So, Constellations are awesome, because, in essence, they make your characters much better every time you get a duplicate character for wishes, because you can unlock up to 6 passive skills (at Constellation level 6 – C6).

So the question here is how do we evaluate characters in Genshin Impact?

Do we do it at C0, C1, … etc.?

I would say that typically you want a tier list at C0 because that's what the majority of the players will have, at least initially.

Elemental Synergies and Elemental Debuffs and Elemental Resonance

Elemental Debuffs

Each element in Genshin Impact has a different negative effect on your enemies, but also on your characters

DebuffElementEffect
Engulfing StormElectroContinuously drains Energy Recharge.
Smoldering FlamesPyroContinuously inflicts damage over time.
Slowing WaterHydroIncreases skill CD duration.
Condensed IceCryoIncreases stamina consumption.
Genshin Impact – Table of Elemental Debuffs

To understand the importance of elemental debuffs we need to talk about Elemental Reactions first.

Elemental Reactions

Combining different elements in combat is the key to success in Genshin Impact. Elemental reactions or synergies maximize your damage output, help you crowd-control (CC), or produce shields that will defend you from a specific element.

Elemental ReactionElemental CombinationEffect
BurningDendro + PyroDeals Pyro damage over time (DoT)
CrystalizeHydro/Pyro/Electro/Cryo + GeoCreates a crystal that will provide a shield when picked up.
Note: The enemy needs to be affected by Hydro/Pyro/Electro/Cryo first and then be inflicted geo damage to produce a crystal.
Electro-ChargedElectro + Hydro/Hydro + ElectroDeals Electro DoT
FrozenCyro + Hydro/Hydro + CryoFreezes the target
MeltPyro + Cryo/Cryo + PyroDeals extra damage (2x)
OverloadedElectro + Pyro/Pyro + ElectroDeals AoE Pyro damage
SuperconductElectro + Cryo/Cryo + ElectroDeals AoE Cryo damage
SwirlHydro/Pyro/Electro/Cryo + AnemoDeals extra elemental damage and spreads the elemental (hydro/pyro/electro/cryo) effect.
Note: The enemy needs to be affected by the
VaporizeHydro + Pyro/Pyro + HydroDeals extra damage (2x)

What is noteworthy in terms of elemental reactions, is that not all of them are equal. Melt and Vaporize are considered the ones standing on top due to the 2x damage they inflict.

So, for instance in Spiral Abyss, on floors where there are a lot of Cryo enemies such as slimes, Pyro characters like Bennet and Diluc will thrive.

However, there is another aspect of this that makes a character's value skyrocket.

Elemental debuffs affect your characters too, with slowing water and condensed ice considered the worst debuffs.

To remove those debuffs you must trigger an elemental reaction on your character(s).

So for instance, Bennett's elemental burst – Fantastic Voyage – will trigger an elemental reaction for every character affected by an elemental debuff you put within its radius. This is one of the reasons Bennett is among the best characters in the game.

Characters that can cleanse themselves or others

Characters who can cleanse – i.e., generate and elemental reaction to reduce elemental debuffs are split into to two categories. Self-cleansing ones and party-cleansing.

The party-cleansing characters and their skills are:

  • Barbara‘s elemental skill Let the Show Begin momentarily applies Wet to the active character when it heals, once every ~4.75 seconds.
  • Bennett‘s elemental burst Fantastic Voyage continuously imbues Pyro's active character when standing within its created Inspiration Field.
  • Jean‘s elemental burst Dandelion Breeze continuously imbues the active character with Anemo when standing within its created Dandelion Breeze.
  • Xinyan‘s elemental skill Sweeping Fervor creates a persistent shield. Upon activation, it imbues Xinyan with Pyro. Additionally, and not mentioned in its description, it also imbues the new character with Pyro when switching characters.

The self-cleansing characters and skills are:

  • Beidou‘s elemental skill Tidecaller, when held, creates a shield. Activating this shield imbues Beidou with Electro.
  • Diona‘s elemental skill Icy Paws creates a shield on-hit; when the shield is created, it momentarily imbues Diona with Cryo. However, if Diona is Wet, she will not self-inflict Freeze.
  • Xingqiu‘s elemental skill Guhua Sword: Fatal Rainscreen applies Wet to Xingqiu.

I hope this gives you an idea of why characters like Bennett are invaluable even if they are 4-star.

A special mention to Anemo characters

I think Anemo characters like Sucrose and Traveller are a bit undervalued. And here is why. When you cast the elemental bursts on top of Fiery ground (e.g. from Bennett's elemental burst, or on grass set on fire from his elemental skill, or from Diona's elemental burst), these elemental bursts turn to a combination of pyro/cryo and anemo. Try the following combo for instance. Use Surrose's elemental burst and immediately switch to Bennett and use his elemental skill on it to set it on fire. Then switch to Diona and watch Swirls on top of Pyro applications and a mix of melts.

Elemental reaction order

When triggering an elemental reaction such as melt the order of the element application does not matter for the melt reaction to be triggered. However, you want your stronger element to be the second one. As an example, when I use Diona first to apply the cryo debuff and then Xynguan to trigger the melt reaction, Xynguan crits for 2k damage. If I choose the reverse order Diona crits for 350 damage. Order matters to maximize your damage output.

Elemental Resonance

When you have a full party, you will receive buffs that correspond to the elemental types of the chraracters present in the party. This won't necessarily affect the character you wish for. But combined with the characters' passives you can create some really nice team compositions.

As an example, I'm still early in the game (AR 25) and I use Bennett, Xinguan, Sucrose and Anemo Traveller for exploration because I get the effect of Fervent Flames and Impetuous Winds. That's +25% ATK, -15% STAM consumption and +10% movement speed.

NameRequirementBuff effect
Enduring Rock2 x Geo Characters in partyIncreases resistance to interruption. When protected by a shield, increases Attack DMG by 15%.
Fervent Flames2 x Pyro Characters in the partyAffected by Cryo for 40% less time. Increases ATK by 25%.
Soothing Waters2 x Hydro Characters in partyAffected by Pyro for 40% less time. Increases incoming healing by 30%.
Impetuous Winds2 x Anemo Characters in partyDecreases Stamina Consumption by 15%. Increases Movement SPD by 10%. Shortens Skill CD by 5%.
High Voltage2 x Electro Characters in the party (and listening to AC/DC while playing the game, lol)Affected by Hydro for 40% less time. Superconduct, Overloaded, and Electro-Charged have a 100% chance to generate an Electro Elemental Particle (CD: 5s).
Shattering Ice2 x Cryo Characters in partyAffected by Electro for 40% less time. Increases CRIT Rate against enemies that are Frozen or affected by Cryo by 15%.
Protective Canopy
Any 4 Unique ElementsAll Elemental RES by 15%.
Genshin Impact elemental resonance buffs

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