The Best Characters – Genshin Impact Tier List [July 2021]
Who are the best playable characters in Genshin Impact? It depends on who you ask. Often, the most powerful characters – those that rate well in terms of base stats, elemental skills, and how well they are suited to their role – aren’t necessarily player favorites.
Sometimes lower-tier characters are still great. They just need the right situation/team to make them “shine.”
Read on to find out how the current 33 characters rank on a tier list, why they’re considered powerful, and how to get your hands on the most coveted ones.
Genshin Impact Tier List Summary
Tier lists can change with each update as new characters are introduced to the game and developers make changes to balance it. But any character can become “powerful” if they’re leveled up the right way and given the right gear.
Here’s how the most popular characters of Genshin Impact currently rate.
SS Tier characters are the crème de la crème of a game, star athletes that seemingly blow through any confrontation they engage in. They’re the most coveted – and hardest to obtain – playable characters.
Here are some of the characters that should be at the top of your Genshin Impact dream team list:
This reserved Cryo archer tops most Genshin Impact tier lists. Her base damage can give the popular Diluc a run for his money. In addition to consecutive arrow shots, though, her attack can be charged for a Level 1 icy arrow or a Level 2 Frostflake arrow, both dealing devastating Cryo damage.
Ganyu’s Elemental Talents are a great way to stop an enemy cold. Her skill, “Trail of the Qilin” emanates a lotus that deals AoE Cryo damage while her burst skill, “Celestial Shower,” rains down icy shards.
Hu Tao can be a powerful ally if you build her up the right way. Armed with a polearm, her Pyro attacks deal enormous damage one-on-one. However, her AoE attacks may leave something to be desired compared to other characters like Ganyu or Diluc.
Diluc has been the reigning champion of the SS Tier since his induction into the Genshin Impact line-up. He has one the highest base attack stats and crit rates. A swing of his claymore can wreak havoc on the battlefield.
Diluc’s Elemental Talents deal incredible damage and are perfect for setting up elemental chains. Combined with a low cooldown and energy cost, it’s no wonder he still tops any tier list.
Sub-DPS characters aren’t main damage characters, but they do a great job of setting up enemies for the main event.
Albedo may not have the base attack damage stats of many “main” DPS characters, but these alchemist’s Geo skills are formidable. Send him in to lay down his Elemental Skill “Solar Isotoma,” a Geo construct that not only deals Geo AoE but gives others a platform for plunging and aerial attacks. His ultra-short cooldown makes him necessary for any party.
Zhongli got a bad rep when first introduced, but since then, miHoYo has buffed his abilities, making him more worthy of his high character rating. As another Geo character, you may be tempted to go with Albedo instead. However, check out Zhongli’s Jade Shield ability. Not many characters can play a DPS and Support role quite the way that Zhongli can.
Support or Utility characters’ help keep the battle moving in your favor. They often have abilities that buff or heal other party members, but these versatile characters also pack a two-for-one punch on the battlefield when you include them in your party.
Ah, happy, perky, and sometimes, annoying Bennet. Players have a love/hate relationship with this four-star support character. Although he has a Pyro attack of his own, he’s best suited as support for your Hydro “main” DPS character. His 25% attack boost can make a difference on the battlefield, and his healing Elemental Burst can turn the tide in a challenging fight.
This tone-deaf bard may not be Paimon’s favorite person, but he may be one of the most powerful Anemo characters in the game – so far. Keep him to help with crowd control with his “Storm Eye” Elemental Burst to draw in enemies into one place and inflict absorbed elemental damage.
Xingqui is someone that pairs well with the Pyro or Electro damage dealers in your party. His Hydro Elemental Burst attacks rain Hydro-charged swords, with plenty of potential for Electro-Charged and Vaporize reactions.
Xingqui is also one of those rare playable characters that can reduce damage taken by the active character. His “Fatal Rainscreen” doesn’t necessarily heal (at least without 1st Ascension), but he can deflect potential damage a maximum of three times with his base Elemental Skill. Upgrading his Constellation levels gives you more “swords” to protect you during battle.
S Tier characters may not be game-changers the way that SS Tier characters are, but they can make a difference in a tough fight.
This Claymore-wielding Cryo character is a relatively recent addition to the Genshin Impact line-up and included at the top of many tier lists. Her high physical damage stats make her one to watch, yet her Cryo AoE skills are more for a one-shot “wow” factor and not lengthy engagements.
Don’t let Klee’s charming looks fool you. This girl is a Pyro DPS powerhouse. From her normal attacks to her Elemental Skill and Burst, she can set the battlefield aflame and is the perfect complement to Hydro characters.
Anemo characters aren’t just for support as the introduction of Xiao has proven. His plunging attacks are devastating and his Anemo skill can easily trigger elemental reactions set up by other characters.
Ranged weapon or melee? Tartaglia can switch from bow to Hydro daggers with a simple trigger of his Elemental Skill. He can hold his own in the AoE department and can easily set up elemental reactions for other players.
Mona may not deal the same damage as her DPS counterparts, but she can stop enemies in their tracks, especially when paired with a Cryo member. Also, her “Phantom” Elemental Skill can attract enemy fire, taking heat off your character while dealing a modest amount of Hydro AoE damage in the process.
You need to upgrade Kazuha’s Elemental Mastery to take full advantage of his Anemo Elemental Talents, like “Chihayaburu” and “Kazuha Slash.” Both deal a tremendous amount of AoE damage but are more effective when paired with another element.
Diona can use her Cryo Talents to control a battlefield, but that’s not why players seek her out. Her “Icy Paws” Elemental Skill creates a shield as well as doing elemental damage to nearby enemies. In addition, her “Signature Mix” Burst skill can heal allies, making her one of the most sought-after healers.
Jean is a great healer, but her skill is based on her attack stats. Each release of “Dandelion Breeze,” her Elemental Burst Talent, can regenerate HP for every party member instantly. However, the amount of HP restored scales off her attack so it’s a good idea to upgrade her early.
Qiqi does double duty as a support and a sub-DPS character. Like Jean, her healing ability is directly tied to her attack stats. Unlike Jean, though, both of Qiqi’s Elemental Talents (Skill and Burst) can regenerate HP.
If you prefer to get your HP from food items, Sucrose is a good support option to have around. She has passive talents that can help boost Elemental Mastery and strengthen Elemental chain reactions.
“A Tier” characters may not be the biggest DPS dealers, but they can hold their own in combat. Plus, they’re easier to obtain than coveted SS Tier characters. Odds are you probably have an A Tier character or two already in your roster.
- Keqing – An answer to the short supply of electro damage dealers. Blade can be infused with Electro damage to trigger Elemental chain reactions or can deliver blows with “Starward Sword’ Burst skill.
- Ningguang – Her Geo skills provide great support, with her “Jade Screen” Elemental Skill shielding players from projectiles and her “Starshatter” Burst skill dealing Geo damage. A great small-skirmish option.
- Noelle – May have also gotten a bad rep as an underpowered Geo fighter, but her defense skills (shield and healing buffs) are key early in the game.
- Rosaria – A hybrid character, Rosaria can be built as a main DPS character or support. Her AoE attacks aren’t necessarily on par with higher Tier characters but do well in a pinch.
- Razor – May be your saving grace in battle. This four-star Electro character is armed with a claymore for sweeping physical damage.
- Yanfei – Often considered a “Klee Lite” character. As a Pyro element character, she can offer ranged damage, though not quite the same type and scope of AoE damage as Klee.
- Beidou – Not enough tricks to be considered a main DPS character. Compared to Razor, many of her skills are defensive.
- Fischl – Her pet raven is the main draw, as it provides near-constant Electro damage, even after character switching
- Barbara – A fan favorite as a healer and occasional Hydro damage dealer. Useful to create an Elemental reaction, but better utilized for healing Burst skill.
- Chongyun – Can be a Cryo DPS powerhouse, especially when paired with others to create an Elemental chain reaction.
B Tier characters are not the most sought-after ones in the community, but they’re good for the average player in ordinary skirmishes. Take care bringing them into dungeons or challenges; at the very least, Ascend them first.
- Xinyan – A lower-tier substitute for Diluc. Pyro attacks and base claymore attacks deal a decent amount of AoE damage.
- Kaeya – A sword-wielding Cryo “freebie” character obtained after his quest completion. Not very powerful unless Ascended. Keep him around for nostalgia’s sake.
- Traveler (Geo) – Stronger than Anemo counterpart, but still not as strong as other playable characters.
- Lisa – Another “freebie” character after quest completion. Electro damage good for setting up reactions, otherwise replaceable.
C Tier (often called “D Tier” on some lists) is the bottom of the barrel. Not many useful characters lurking on this list and you can probably guess one of them already. There are no main DPS or Support Characters in this Tier.
- Amber – Your first party member and guide, relatively useless through mid to late gameplay.
- Traveler (Anemo) – Your starting character, easily replaceable once you start building your playable character roster.
Who is the best 5-star in Genshin Impact?
If you asked this question last year, the answer would undoubtedly be Diluc, whose reign at the top of the five-star list is threatened by newer characters like Ganyu.
Who is the strongest character in Genshin Impact?
Diluc is one of the strongest characters in Genshin Impact, but Ganyu is gaining more support for the title.
How do I get more Genshin Impact characters?
A handful of characters – like Kaeya and Lisa – you can receive by completing their quests. Amber follows you around without a quest requirement. If you want higher-tier characters, you’re going to have to use the Wish system.
When will there be new Genshin Impact characters?
New characters are usually released with each update and have a corresponding Wish banner to “up” your chances of winning the new character.
Who’s on Your Dream Team?
In Genshin Impact, many players are lucky to have even one five-star character and a handful of four-star characters. You can plan for the best characters, but don’t let your pursuit of party perfection stop you from the point of the game – exploring Teyvat.
Who do you use regularly in your party roster? Who have you set your sights on? Tell us about it in the comments section below.