One of the best aspects of Genshin Impact is collecting its many unique and interesting characters. Since most characters in Genshin require time, effort, and luck to obtain, it’s important to know which ones are worth spending your hard-earned Primogems on.
Here is a list of every character in Genshin, ranked based on my experience with them, followed by my reasoning for their ranking.
Genshin Impact Version 4.2 tier list
The best of the best are, as expected, all five-star characters. These are ones with a special “wow” factor that far exceed players’ expectations.
The formidable Electro Archon buffs the entire team by regenerating their energy quickly and increasing their elemental burst damage. Additionally, the Raiden Shogun excels at dealing damage remarkably quickly.
The Raiden Shogun is arguably Genshin’s best character yet. She is incredibly versatile and functions flawlessly regardless of what role you use her for.
The Dendro Archon may be small, but she is a mighty force to be reckoned with. Her biggest strength is her immense versatility, as she can be a phenomenal damage dealer and an excellent support character who truly shines in any team composition.
The Hydro Sword character is one of Teyvat’s best. Furina is the only character who can freely swap between both Pneuma and Ousia and her skillset drastically changes when she does which makes it feel like she has bonsu abilities.
She’s incredibly flexible, highly powerful, can walk on water, heal, and has three allies who fight alongside her. Overall, she’s one of the best recruits you can unlock.
The wandering samurai warrior plagued by a traumatic past boasts powerful and versatile Anemo abilities. Kazuha has excellent crowd-control capabilities, comes with a powerful double jump, and excels at dishing out high damage, which makes him an excellent recruit for any roster.
The Hydro Bow character is one of the few characters that function well in any role. Yelan works best as your secondary damage dealer, but she’s also a solid support or primary damage dealer. Her unique look and mysterious backstory go hand-in-hand with her impressive targeted movement and swift skillset.
The Geo Archon lives up to his status as a god in Teyvat and is a powerful damage dealer and protector. Zhongli’s shield is nearly impenetrable, and he deals damage in a large area of effect, and excels as both a damage dealer and support character overall.
The Inazuman princess deals effective damage and easily applies the Cryo effect whenever needed. Kamisato Ayaka also has a special cloaking sprint that allows her to move faster, evade enemies, and glide over any body of water, which lets her move and attack swiftly and precisely.
The powerful Cryo character continues to stun players as an impressive damage dealer despite being a Bow character. The fact that Ganyu is a Bow character is part of what makes her one of the best characters in Genshin, as she is one of the few that can deal devastating damage at any range.
The five-star Hydro Catalyst character has a passive ability that reduces her critical rate by 100 percent, meaning it starts in the negative. Despite this drawback, Kokomi shines in so many ways that players generally won’t miss the crits. Kokomi’s healing and Hydro abilities are immensely powerful, and overall she’s a solid character that becomes very capable when built right. Many players feel Kokomi is one of Genshin’s best healing and support units so far.
The precarious balance Hu Tao requires to be effective does take a while to perfect, but once you master her unique mechanics, you’ll find that she’s a Pyro powerhouse. Her immense damage output that costs health points over time is well-balanced with her high base health and defense.
Genshin’s first-ever Dendro sword character is a brutal primary damage-dealing force to be reckoned with. Alhaitham is a strong choice for players seeking a powerful damage dealer, but he does lack versatility outside of this role.
S-tier characters are still among the very best, but they might not be quite as impressive as those who made it to the SS-tier. These characters are still phenomenal and incredibly powerful, but they may have a few drawbacks that dim their shine.
Teyvat’s first playable Dragon character is the Chief Justice of Fontaine, Neuvillette. He is an incredible DPS unit capable of dishing out immense damage through his charged attack.
His one major drawback is that his team compositions are fairly limited, and he lacks the support he needs to become truly unstoppable, but this could all change in the future. If it does, Neuvillette may move up to the highest tier.
The Anemo Archon is an all-around excellent character that shines in many areas. Venti’s Anemo abilities make exploration a breeze. He’s great at rounding up many enemies at once, and he’s effective yet agile on the battlefield.
As powerful as Venti is, he is also easily the weakest playable Archon that has been released so far.
Similar to Hu Tao, Xiao has a steep learning curve due to his unique mechanics. Once you get used to the Adeptus, you’ll find he can deal massive amounts of Anemo damage and plunge attack opponents relentlessly.
The Cryo Polearm character excels at buffing the rest of the party and weakening opponents. However, Shenhe’s skillset is specifically suited to bolstering other Cryo characters or those that rely on physical damage, which means that she only shines within specific team compositions.
Fontaine’s resident prison administrator Wriothesley is a strong Cryo DPS unit who primarily deals damage through his basic attack moves which means you don’t have to rely too heavily on his elemental burst or skills. He’s a very flexible character who has a wide variety of powerful team builds and excels at using the Frozen or Melt elemental reactions.
The leader of the Kamisato clan is a quick and effective damage dealer. Kamisato Ayato functions excellently as a main damage dealer and makes Hydro look like the strongest element of all.
The five-star Cryo Claymore queen stunned fans when she was introduced to Genshin in May 2021. Eula’s quickness and agility are unprecedented when it comes to Claymore characters. Her balance between damage output and swiftness makes her a force to be reckoned with.
Five-star Claymore characters are nearly unbeatable in terms of damage output, and Arataki Itto is a solid choice on the battlefield. He does require a specific team composition, but the Geo founder of the Arataki Gang is still a top-tier choice thanks to his strong damage-dealing capabilities.
The reborn version of the once notorious Fatui Harbinger Scaramouche is Wanderer, a five-star Anemo Catalyst-user who wreaks havoc on all who cross his path. His unique hover ability makes him one of the most fun and effective characters to play both in battle and general exploration.
Wanderer’s storyline is probably the most compelling of any playable character so far, as players have witnessed his astonishing transformation over the years. That said, he can only function as a primary damage dealer, so he lacks the versatility of other characters and is often outperformed.
Genshin’s A-tier characters are all five-star, and they’re stellar, but they don’t shine quite as brightly as those in the S and SS-tiers. These characters are generally what you’d expect from a five-star: No more and no less.
The Dendro doctor is one of Genshin’s best healers and will ensure any party stays alive and healthy. Baizhu has decent shields and is one of the most effective support characters available, but his movement is rather slow, his shields can be a bit delicate, and his Dendro application isn’t great, so he doesn’t rank any higher.
The Geo alchemist excels at dealing area-of-effect damage and has an elemental skill cooldown of only four seconds, meaning you can use it very consistently. He is an overall solid recruit for any Genshin team.
One of the best aspects of Bow characters is that they can deal damage from a distance, and this is definitely one of Yoimiya’s strong suits. The firework-loving Pyro character also has an elemental burst that buffs the attack of her party members.
The five-star Pyro Bow character has one of the coolest-looking skillsets in all of Teyvat, and it’s a close battle between him and Yoimiya as they both have the same Vision and weapon type. Ultimately, I find Yoimiya to be stronger and more versatile, as Lyney only performs to his maximum capacity in Pyro-oriented teams—but he is still an impressive unit.
The walking Pyro bundle of chaos is great at causing explosions that damage enemies. However, she only really functions as a primary damage dealer and isn’t the best at dealing damage quickly. With the right Constellations unlocked, Klee can be a support character for the rest of the party, which unlocks more of her potential.
Indisputably one of the best support characters, Mona’s ability to apply Hydro to enemies and use her cloaking sprint to flee the scene makes her a great pick. Her special cloaking sprint type, which is an exclusive ability only she and Kamisato Ayaka possess, makes exploration and battle a breeze. She can also distract enemies with her elemental skill, so she or her team can then easily take them out.
While often overlooked in favor of other characters, the Grand Master of the Knights of Favonius is one of the best and most versatile characters in all of Genshin Impact. Not only is Jean arguably one of the strongest healers in the game, she also makes Anemo elemental reactions like Swirl easy, and consistently deals solid damage while healing with every hit.
While the overseer of the Grand Narukami Shrine can deal excellent Electro damage, Yae Miko’s abilities require immense precision and she oftentimes falls short due to her overly complex mechanics.
The broody owner of Dawn Winery stands the test of time because although he was among the first five-star characters released in Genshin Impact, the Pyro Claymore character is still one of the most reliable damage dealers. When angled right, Diluc’s elemental burst swoops down on enemies and can take out anything in his path. His elemental skill also allows for consistent yet powerful Pyro damage.
The first five-star Dendro character to join the world of Teyvat is still among Genshin’s top characters. Tighnari’s Dendro Bow abilities are very effective in battle and he makes an impressive all-around damage dealer.
Although Tighnari was beloved by players when he was first released, he has since fallen down the ranks as he’s no longer the only five-star Dendro character, and now players can compare him to others. Regardless, he is still a solid recruit.
The little Cryo zombie excels most with the healing she provides for her team. Her Cryo application isn’t as good as other Cryo characters higher up on this list, but her healing combined with her icy abilities still make her a great character.
Although the Hydro dancer can be an effective character in battle, Nilou has a few constraints that make her quite restrictive and difficult to build a team around. Players hoping to maximize her potential must include a Dendro character and will likely also want a Hydro healer. These restraints are tricky to navigate, and Nilou is a difficult character to handle.
A divisive character also known as “Childe,” Tartaglia has long cooldowns and isn’t great at dealing damage. He functions best as a primary or secondary damage dealer, but most other characters function better in these roles than he does.
The independent and brave Electro Sword wielder isn’t the best damage dealer, but her unique teleportation ability is great for battle and exploration, making her an overall solid pick.
While Dehya was once one of the most anticipated five-star characters in the Genshin community, her eventual release disappointed fans. She is easily one of the worst five-star characters in the game, but she does have some versatility as she can be a supporting character, a secondary damage dealer, or a primary damage dealer.
Dehya is weak overall and has a confusing Pyro skillset that doesn’t seem to play well with most other characters. When more characters release in the future, it’s possible that her skillset and status as a playable character could improve, but for now, she’s quite disappointing.
When it comes to dealing damage, Cyno is a decent Electro character capable of dishing out heavy hits at a fast pace. But while he’s a solid choice, he just isn’t as impressive as the only other Electro Polearm character in Genshin, the Raiden Shogun. On top of this, Cyno also lacks versatility.
Those that fall into the B-tier are mostly four-star characters, with the exception of one unique five-star recruit that disappoints. While the four-star characters in this category are surprisingly effective given their four-star status, the one B-tier five-star character falls far below what is expected for a character that rare.
Most players will find some level of success with these characters, but they’ll easily be outshined by by those ranked higher on this list.
Many in the Genshin community call Bennett a “secret five-star” because of his strong Pyro abilities and decent healing capability. He is one of the best support characters available, as he heals and buffs the team while dealing a solid amount of Pyro damage.
The bookworm Xingqiu moves rapidly, has an elemental burst that provides consistent Hydro damage and has an elemental skill that reduces damage taken, making him a strong secondary damage dealer.
The free crossover character from Horizon: Zero Dawn is somewhat disappointing for a supposed five-star unit. Aloy is solid for applying Cryo damage wherever needed, but she lacks Constellations and can be overly complex due to her coil stacks.
The Electro Bow character deals decent damage and functions well as a secondary damage dealer. Fischl applies the Electro effect easily, and her abilities remain on the battlefield even when you change character, which makes her a great addition to any roster.
The stellar chef moves and attacks at a fast pace while consistently dealing decent Pyro damage. Xiangling’s elemental burst is one of the most effective and efficient forms of Pyro application in all of Genshin. Her bear friend (and elemental skill) Gouba is less consistent, though, which ranks her a bit lower on the list than other more consistent characters.
Arataki Itto’s right-hand woman Kuki Shinobu is excellent at healing her party and dealing damage. The Electro Sword character functions well as both a secondary damage dealer and a support character, which makes her a solid recruit for any Genshin Impact team.
The Anemo Bow-user is an incredible support unit for characters like Wanderer and is certainly among the better four-star recruits. Faruzan can buff Anemo damage and decrease enemies’ Anemo resistance, which is a decent skillset worth considering.
The part-cat bartender who hates alcohol provides healing and shields for her team, making her a solid support character whose main drawbacks are her low health and damage output.
The four-star Cryo Polearm character is a surprisingly decent support unit. Mika can effectively heal a specific character on the field and the entire party, buffs physical damage, and efficiently generates elemental particles to recharge energy.
The adorable feline-themed Kirara is a decent shielder and Dendro applier that is better than many other four-star units. She’s not great at applying Dendro when off-field and many of her buffs are locked behind Constellations, but she is still a solid recruit with one of the most useful exploration abilities in all of Teyvat.
If you’re looking for a superb four-star Dendro support character, Yaoyao is the recruit for you. She is excellent at applying Dendro even when off the battlefield, can decrease foes’ resistance to the Dendro element, and is even capable healing her teammates.
The first four-star Dendro character to be added to Genshin was Collei. The Bow character is solid on the battlefield, but as more Dendro characters continue to release, her skillset has become increasingly lackluster by comparison.
More playable characters fit into the C-tier than any other. They’re not the best and not the worst, and with the right composition, they can still be decent choices.
The Cryo Catalyst character Charlotte supplies decent Cryo support and has a fun-looking skillset since she uses her camera for combat. However, she does have rather high energy requirements which can be annoying to deal with.
The adorable Sayu, notably voiced by streaming star and singer LilyPichu, is a highly effective Anemo Sword character. Sayu has a unique spinning Swirl ability that helps her traverse the environment, apply Anemo effects very quickly, and heal.
The Anemo Sword character’s best feature is her swift and efficient movement on the battlefield. Besides this, Lynette has a few drawbacks that prevent her from ranking any higher. She isn’t great for crowd control unless you get her C1, she consumes a lot of her own health points in battle, and her buffing ability seems a bit lackluster.
This Cryo Claymore character is a solid and flexible DPS who hits hard and meshes well with most recruits, but nothing about Freminet’s skillset is particularly remarkable and he is easily overshadowed by many other characters.
While players love Kaveh for his personality and were excited in the lead-up to his debut, his skillset isn’t quite as powerful as they hoped. Every other Dendro character is a better choice than him, and he lacks versatility overall.
Candace’s impressive versatility and unique ability to create a shield that mitigates damage easily make her one of Genshin’s better four-star characters.
The Anemo detective boasts one of the most unique skillsets in Genshin. Although Heizou wields a catalyst, he pushes it aside in combat in favor of direct hits. Overall, he makes a solid primary damage dealer and a decent secondary one.
The icy Polearm character deals decent damage against regular enemies and applies Cryo fairly well but is far less effective against larger bosses.
While a bit slow to attack, Chongyun’s elemental abilities are effective in battle, and he is a decent secondary damage dealer or support character.
This Hydro Catalyst character excels at healing but has a long cooldown period. Additionally, Barbara deals very little damage as her elemental abilities are entirely dedicated to healing.
The talented Geo dancer and singer is a great support character who consistently generates elemental particles, boosts normal attack damage, and has a decently low cost for her elemental skills.
The Geo Catalyst character has an effective shield ability and deals decent damage, but moves fairly slowly and isn’t great at targeting many enemies at once.
The Anemo alchemist functions well as a support character by increasing the party’s elemental mastery and grouping large amounts of enemies together to deal efficient damage.
While Razor can deal solid amounts of Electro damage, he can only do so at close range and overall doesn’t excel as much as other Claymore characters.
The Pyro legal adviser deals impressive damage and has relatively short cooldowns, making her a solid choice but nothing special.
The captain of The Crux is a decent Electro damage dealer, but she’s ultimately dragged down by the high energy cost of her elemental burst and her surprisingly complex mechanics. Beidou is still a solid character, but many others are far better choices.
The Geo general of the Watatsumi Army offers decent support by boosting defense and resistance to interruption, but not much more than that.
This sleepy student is a fairly mediocre secondary damage dealer or support unit. Layla isn’t bad, and her nearly impenetrable shields are perhaps her strongest asset, but she’s easily outperformed by many other four-star units.
Although she can be a decent support character, Dori is easily outshined by other characters who perform well as supports as well as functioning effectively in other roles.
While he can function decently in a support role, Thoma’s overall damage output is disappointing, and his elemental skill has a long cooldown.
The rock and roll Pyro musician is fun to play and has a helpful shield ability, but is somewhat disappointing due to her lackluster damage output overall.
The kind Geo maid has a high starting defense and can use her elemental skill to heal the entire party, but doesn’t deal much damage overall.
D-tier characters can potentially be viable when they’re built right, with a few Constellations unlocked, but they require far more work than other characters and still won’t perform as well. Ultimately, no Genshin character is truly bad, but this tier is easily the least impressive overall and the most difficult to build for, with results that will ultimately still be lackluster.
While the protagonist of Genshin Impact is the only character who can switch between elements, they still pale in comparison to most other characters in the game. Unfortunately, because you sometimes need to play as the Traveler in story quests, you really have no choice but to build the Traveler so that when you do use them, they perform effectively.
Depending on which element you choose for the Traveler, they can be better or worse, but they still consistently fall at the top of the D-tier. Overall, I’d rank them as follows:
- Dendro Traveler
- Electro Traveler
- Geo Traveler
- Hydro Traveler
- Anemo Traveler
While Kaeya isn’t necessarily a bad character, even with full Constellations and an excellent build, he simply will never outperform other characters ranked higher on this list due to his weak damage output.
Often described by those in the Genshin community as “a worse Fischl,” Kujou Sara’s Electro Bow abilities fall short in spite of the fact she was released far after Fischl.
Because Lisa is another free character given to early Genshin Impact players, it isn’t too surprising that the Electro Catalyst character is lackluster.
Arguably the worst character in all of Genshin Impact, Amber’s Pyro Bow abilities are phenomenally unimpressive, especially when compared with those of fellow Pyro Bow characters Yoimiya and Lyney. Amber is so pitiful that she almost deserves to be in another lower tier made just for her.
Genshin is always expanding its roster of playable characters, so we will continually update this list as new characters are added and if existing characters’ abilities are changed.
We gathered this information by playing Genshin Impact Version 4.2 “Masquerade of the Guilty” on PC.