With a game like Genshin Impact that prides itself on collecting 4-star and 5-star waifus and husbandos, it’s no surprise that Genshin Impact tier lists are so popular. Knowing which characters are better than others can help make your journey in Teyvat easier and more fun. Getting a character that’s on the top of a tier list can be especially exhilarating too.
Of course, the tier list will always be controversial since the community will never agree 100% on every character’s ranking. Still, tier lists can be valuable, especially for those starting in the game, to provide some understanding of which characters can be worth investing in. Every character indeed has their own merit, but some are just ridiculously overpowered.
Genshin Impact tier list
Here’s how we’ve ranked the following Genshin Impact characters (as of 1.6) from SS-Tier to C-Tier.
Zhongli is an absolute must-pull for anyone, especially since he received huge buffs in the 1.3 update that made him an overpowered tank, shielder, and sub DPS. Aside from protecting you, his Geo shield shreds the enemy’s resistance. His polearm attacks deal extra damage based on a percentage of his HP. He also offers great crowd control with his burst that petrifies a large radius. Zhongli is arguably the best support character, truly living up to everyone’s expectations of the Geo Archon.
Ganyu was announced as a Cryo support at first. But when she finally dropped, we were shocked to see that her most optimal role was a main DPS. This is because her charged attack, which first hits then does area-of-effect damage, scales at an insanely high percentage. She can also taunt enemies while she destroys them with her charged attack and off-the-field Cryo burst damage. Everyone’s favorite half-adeptus waifu is both cute and deadly.
Physical damage didn’t get much love and attention until the Physical Cryo queen Eula arrived. With a kit that revolves around shredding her enemies’ Physical resistance and dealing damage with quick, flowing, dance-like claymore attacks, Eula can destroy enemies in the blink of an eye—literally. Her burst can do a mind-blowing amount of damage in one hit the more you stack its effects. Oh, she’s also got great thighs—what more could you ask?
Venti was the first limited 5-star character in Genshin that set a high standard with his top-tier sub DPS and support potential. His burst is extremely useful for crowd control with small mobs since he can vacuum everyone easily. He’s particularly useful for elemental team comps since Venti infuses his burst with an element and helps reduce the enemy’s elemental resistance with a 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set. Thanks to the new Elemental Master buffs, Venti’s swirl can do more damage now too.
Kazuha is the latest Anemo sword character, and he’s creating quite the buzz with an EM build focus. What’s unique about Kazuha is that he seems to combine the best features of other Anemo characters—Venti’s crowd control support, Sucrose’s EM stacking, and Xiao’s plunge mechanics. He’s an excellent addition in any elemental team comp because he helps give the team elemental damage depending on what elements he swirls. His burst and skill are geared around spreading as much elemental damage in the field, which is perfect for setting up reactions.
Bennett is well-beloved in the Genshin community for having such hilariously tragic character lore. However, his value in team comps is unparalleled. This is thanks to his burst, which heals and adds a massive attack bonus to his team. There’s a reason why damage showcases almost always have Bennett in the rotation. To do big damage numbers, you’d do well to have Bennett in your team.
This Geo sword user is another top-tier support that provides constant off-the-field damage and crystallize reactions with his skill. His burst can do large area-of-effect damage, but his passive talent also adds EM to his team. Many underestimated his utility but quickly saw the solid value he added in any team comp. The bloom elevator also helps you get some elevation fast—perfect for attacking floating enemies or exploration.
Many players have long awaited the Anemo polearm user Xiao since the Closed Beta Test of Genshin Impact. Xiao is a pretty simple character to use with a plunging attack mechanic unique to him. When he uses his burst to jump high and plunge, he deals massive Anemo area-of-effect damage that can quickly wipe out his enemies. What makes him top tier is that his fun mechanic and DPS power is matched only by a few.
The Wangsheng Funeral Parlor Director easily sends her enemies to the afterlife with a fast Pyro polearm DPS playstyle. Her most unique feature is how she uses low HP to buff her attacks and damage. With Hu Tao, you’ll want to constantly stay below 50% HP to get the maximum buffs. She then infuses her attacks with Pyro and uses a burst that allows her to self-heal. This simultaneously damage-dealing and self-sustaining kit makes her a formidable character.
The Fatui Harbinger Tartaglia, codenamed Childe, is a Hydro bow user that switches between a ranged a melee playstyle. His skill creates Hydro daggers that let you engage in close combat. He can easily decimate crowds of enemies thanks to his Riptide effect, which constantly deals AoE damage whenever he crits, and his burst, which also deals huge AoE damage. Tartaglia is a deadly DPS who, like his character’s motivation, is dedicated to eradicating his foes as quickly as possible.
Don’t be fooled by this cutie’s appearance. Klee is notorious for her pyromaniac antics and explosive playstyle. As a Pyro catalyst DPS, she focuses on dealing huge amounts of damage with her charged attack, skill, and burst. Klee’s skill makes her throw Jumpty Dumpty, a bomb that explodes to place more dangerous mines. Her entire talent kit scales very high, meaning that she’ll do a lot of damage whatever she’s doing.
Jean specializes in being an Anemo sword user DPS who can heal your entire team in an instant. Her normal attack heals your entire team and her burst summons an Anemo whirlwind that will constantly deal Anemo damage and swirl whoever is unlucky enough to be caught in it. She also has a fun skill mechanic that sucks in enemies and propels them with Anemo damage—perfect for hurling them off cliffs. It’s easy to fit in Jean in any team comp that needs either a DPS or healer.
The astrologer Mona is a Hydro catalyst user who’s perfect for a sub DPS role on your team. Her damage largely comes from her burst and EM, which is tricky to master since you need to plan and time your reactions to get maximum damage. But when you do it perfectly, you can easily see 6-digit damage numbers. She’s also the only character (until Ayaka comes along) who has a unique sprinting animation—it’s also the fastest.
Keqing is a lightning-fast Electro sword user that excels in being your main DPS. She has two possible builds, a Physical DPS or Electro DPS–both equally viable in damage output. She can reposition herself in the battlefield quickly with her skill, and deal damage over a large area with her burst. It’s fun to see her zip around the battlefield eradicating enemies either one by one or all together.
By now, many players should know that Sucrose is a top-tier Anemo support because of how she buffs your team. Her kit revolves around stacking as much EM as possible and transferring a portion of it to her team. This means that any reaction-based team comp will deal additional damage. Character damage showcases often use Sucrose for this reason. She also excels at crowd control since her skill and burst lets her vacuum and incapacitate her enemies.
Diona is a support-healer bow user who you can rely on to protect your team. Diona’s shield skill and healing burst scale with her HP. Giving her tons of HP is beneficial while making her very difficult to defeat. She can also set up powerful melt reactions since her kit is about applying Cryo on her enemies. This feisty cat bartender is very dependable on the battlefield to help keep your characters alive.
Fischl’s quite a versatile Electro bow-user who can either be your main or sub DPS. Her damage potential comes from her raven companion, Oz. Putting Oz on the battlefield lets Fischl do constant Electro damage even when she’s not in use. That’s why she’s considered as a solid off-the-field sub DPS that can help set up Electro reaction. Alternatively, you can build her as a Physical DPS with a superconduct team since her normal attacks scale quite well and deal very lightning-fast damage.
The Tianquan of the Liyue Qixing, Ningguang, is a Geo catalyst user who excels at dealing a large amount of single target damage. Her charged attacks and burst fires multiple Geo projectiles, all of which, when added up, results in an insane amount of damage. Imagine one target taking all of her projectiles. She also creates a jade shield that provides 15% increased Geo damage and blocks enemy projectiles. Ningguang lives up to her role as a fierce protector of Liyue.
Rosaria is a very flexible Cryo polearm user that can assume either a Physical DPS or Cryo support role. With a superconduct team to reduce your opponents’ Physical resistance, Rosaria can destroy enemies with ease. Thanks to her talent that adds Crit Rate to herself and your team, you’re certain to deal critical strikes more often. As a support, she can unleash her burst to deal recurring Cryo damage to her enemies and set them up for melt or frozen reactions. Rosaria’s playstyle is very precise and deadly.
The Pyro polearm user Xiangling focuses on triggering Pyro-related reactions to deal massive elemental damage to your enemies. With Guoba by your side, you can ensure that someone is always ready to apply Pyro on your enemies. But her most useful ability is her Pyro tornado burst. Pair Xiangling up with a Cryo or Hydro character and watch the melt and vaporize reactions obliterate your enemies.
Xingqiu is a passionate bookworm and Hydro sword user whose goal is to deal constant Hydro damage while he’s off the field. This is done by summoning floating swords around him that deal Hydro damage at intervals. The swords also boost your active character’s resistance and heal you when their duration ends. Reaction team comps benefit greatly from this since Xingqiu always prepares the opponent for Hydro-based reactions, dealing consistent massive elemental damage.
Qiqi is very much like Jean in that she can DPS and heal at the same time. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have as much of the utility that Jean can provide. Her damage comes mainly from her normal and charged attacks, while her skill and burst are primarily for healing. Her biggest drawback is her slow energy recharge and long skill cooldown. But if there’s no other healer, this little zombie can keep the team alive quite well.
This rock n’ roll Pyro claymore user functions as a Physical DPS and shielder. She synergizes her Pyro and Physical damage quite well, actually. Her shield provides decent protection, and her burst can deal a lot of physical damage. However, other stronger characters can better fulfill either role.
Yanfei is the other half-adeptus on our list, though she’s not as powerful as Ganyu. She has a kit that also revolves around dishing out huge charged attack damage. Her seal stacking mechanic helps add damage to her charged attack and reduce stamina costs. Everything else about her, skill and burst, is built around adding these seals to buff charged attacks. It’s a one-trick pony playstyle, but it can still be quite strong with the right build.
Noelle is a great character who can fulfill the role of DPS, healer, and shielder all at once. Although she doesn’t excel in any of those aspects, the fact that she can perform all functions reliably makes her a character still worth building. That is, if you don’t have anyone else who can take those roles.
Chongyun is a solid Cryo claymore sub DPS whose skill infuses your active melee character’s normal attacks with Cryo. This allows them to apply Cryo all the time and prepare your enemies for melt, frozen, or superconduct reactions. He’s not particularly strong with his damage output unless you focus on building him as a DPS, but Chongyun fits in well with reaction-based team comps.
Before Eula, Razor was the original Physical damage claymore user. While he can deal a decent amount of Physical damage if you build him for it, he has one fatal flaw that limits his team synergy. When you enter his burst mode, you can’t switch into another character, or else you’ll lose the burst buffs. This earned him the title of a “selfish DPS,” and rightly so.
Out of your starting characters, Kaeya could be the strongest one of them. He’s a dependable Cryo character who can help give sub DPS capabilities to your team. His burst summons icicles around him that can melt or freeze enemies. It’s also very easy to cast again since he recharges your energy very quickly.
Barbar’s kit is all about healing, healing, healing. That’s pretty much all she’s good for. At least you’re guaranteed a free Barbara to fulfill the healer role in your team. As soon as you get another healer with a more interesting kit, say goodbye to Barbara.
As a starter character, Lisa isn’t meant to be the best Electro character out there. Along with Kaeya and Amber, her constellations are rare, locking her full potential away from interested players. Still, she can provide consistent off-the-field Electro damage, albeit not that high, for your DPS characters to react to.
Everyone starts with an Amber, but you’d do well to replace her as soon as possible with another Pyro character. Her playstyle which revolves around taunting and dealing AoE Pyro damage is only… okay. She can get the job done if you decide to build her. But why would you stick with her when you’ll eventually have better options, like the free Xiangling.
The Traveler isn’t a bad character in any regard. They are the only character who can switch elements (currently only Geo and Anemo), and you can get all six Constellations for free. However, their kit is out shadowed by other 4 or 5 star characters who have stronger damage output and more useful constellations.