Genshin Impact is arguably the most popular gacha game for a reason: it’s really good! As a new player, what should you wish for? Kristen has the rundown on what you need for your account going into the Sumeru 3.0 update.

Genshin Impact’s Best Characters

As a new player, understanding the Usagi Sensei CN Genshin tier list is a bit of a challenge—not least because it’s in Chinese. If you really want to make sense of it, then it roughly translates with the leftmost column being on-field DPS, the second as Sub-DPS/off-field damage, the third as Support/Amplifier, and the final as Healer.

Really, though, it’s only useful to endgame players. As a new player joining for Sumeru and the 3.0 Anniversary, you’re better off just enjoying the game and knowing in advance who to pull for to really boost your account. So, without further ado, here’s the Top 10 Genshin Impact characters that your account needs!

10. Dendro Traveler

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

Dendro Traveler is the best iteration of the Traveler to date, and one of the best Dendro units available as of the release of Version 3.0—especially because they’re the most free-to-play friendly option. While you can pick up a Collei in the 3.0 event quest, Collei doesn’t have as reliable Dendro application as Traveller.

In order to try out some of the exciting new team comps available with the addition of the Dendro element, you’re going to want a solid Dendro unit in your account. Unlike Inazuma, you can access Sumeru without having fully completed the Archon Quest, allowing you to resonate with Dendro and begin to collect level up materials. Just head to the Chasm once you reach Adventure Rank 28, having completed Archon Quest: Chapter I: Act III – A New Star Approaches, and find the tunnel on the western side near the teleport point.

9. Xiangling

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

Xiangling is one of the best off-field damage dealers in the game, and one of the first characters you’ll meet as you begin your adventure into Liyue. You can get her for free by reaching Floor 3, Room 3 of the Spiral Abyss. Her Pyronado deals substantial AoE damage, and can be “snapshot”—which means if you drop it in a Bennett burst, for example, the damage boost will apply to the full duration of Pyronado, not just while you’re stood in Bennett’s field.

What’s also key is that Pyronado has no internal cooldown on Elemental application, which basically means that you’ll be able to consistently cause elemental reactions with every swing. If you end up with her Constellation 4: Slowbake, you can increase Pyronado duration by 40%.  Xiangling excels with free-to-play friendly free weapon The Catch, which can be earned through fishing.

8. Fischl

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

Fischl is the character you want if you’re a Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure fan; she exudes chaos and charisma, all while having a relatable vulnerability. When it comes to combat, she can be built in two main ways. You can use the Pale Flame set to build a Physical Damage Fischl who excels alongside the likes of Yunjin and Diona, where even a 3-star weapon like Slingshot can do respectable damage. You can—and probably should—also build her as an off-field Electro unit with the Thundering Fury artifact set.

Fischl is a versatile damage dealer, especially when it comes to the new Dendro reactions. Fischl’s A4 passive Thundering Retribution deals 80% of Fischl’s ATK as Electro damage when the active character triggers an Electro-elemental reaction. When you add this to Dendro, which can co-exist alongside Electro application… you get a lot of damage, especially with units like Keqing that can apply Electro rapidly.

7. Bennett

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

Bennett is often referred to as a 6-star unit, and it’s easy to see why. His healing field massively buffs attack once you’re healed over 70%, and with his Constellation 1: Grand Expectation, you’ll get the attack buff even while healing. Bennett’s healing is so good that it’ll allow you to tank huge hits for most of the game, in situations you’d ordinarily be hard pressed to survive through. The attack buff makes even your weaker units deal considerably more damage, and makes your strongest units into real content-clearing machines.

Use the Noblesse Oblige artifact set to enjoy the 4-piece bonus, which grants even more Attack bonus to the team when you use your burst, and an Energy Recharge weapon, preferably with high Attack. Pro-tip: players rarely activate his Constellation 6: Fire Ventures With Me passive, because it can override elemental infusions of your DPS characters. Be sure you’re all in on your favorite Pyro character if you feel like activating this Constellation, as there’s no turning back!

6. Xingqiu

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

Xingqiu and Bennett are arguably as useful as each other, but what pips Xingqiu up a spot is his ability to grant stagger resistance. Genshin Impact is all about chaining powerful abilities and attacks in rotation, and being knocked off of your feet during a rotation can really screw things up, especially when managing cooldowns. Xingqiu’s Guhua Sword: Fatal Rainscreen deals Hydro damage while also generating Rain Swords around the active character. These swords shatter when you take damage, reducing the amount of damage taken, and they also increase your resistance to interruption. Xingqiu’s burst Guhua Sword: Raincutter deals high amounts of Hydro damage when the active character attacks, which is perfect for triggering reactions.

Once you get Xingqiu’s A1 Passive: Hydropathic, Rain Swords will even heal a small amount when they shatter or their duration expires. Xingqiu excels in Vaporize teams—try him out with Xiangling and Bennett to form the core of one of the strongest team comps in the game, or to back up Diluc or Hu Tao. Equip him with the Emblem of Severed Fate artifact set and a Sacrificial Sword.

The units we’ve covered so far are all 4-star units, and are arguably the best  4-stars in the game. From here on out, we’re looking at 5-star units—you’ll want to save all of your Intertwined Fate to wish for these when they come around.

5. Yelan

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

If you liked Xingqiu, you’re going to love Yelan. Yelan is in many ways a 5-star version of Xingqiu when it comes to damage. Her Depth-Clarion Dice deal off field Hydro damage, but instead of offering damage reduction, Yelan offers a damage increase to the active character of 3.5% a second, all the way up to 50% while her ultimate ability is active. What makes Yelan so attractive to build is her relatively free-to-play friendly requirements. She scales off of HP, one of the least desirable substats on artifacts, meaning you can give her all of the suboptimal artifacts you get while farming for precious Crit stats. She can also use the Favonius Warbow to feed her energy requirements, which you get for free by completing Archon Quest: A Long Shot.

Played alongside Hu Tao, Zhongli and Xingqiu, you have a top tier team comp. Hydro resonance increases party Max HP, which all but Xingqiu scale off of—making a truly powerful synergy.

Yelan’s damage is high, she’s easy to build, and she’s so. damn. cool.

4. Sangonomiya Kokomi

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

Kokomi is probably the best dedicated healer in the game. Unlike Bennett, she doesn’t have to have full energy to heal, instead relying on a deployable jellyfish, Kurage’s Oath, that has a healing zone which applies Hydro to enemies every two seconds. Because Kokomi’s Hydro application is so reliable and so regular, and requires no energy, she’s at the heart of many powerful team comps. Freeze comps enjoy the consistent Hydro application, so she fits right in with two of the strongest DPS in the game: Ganyu and Kamisato Ayaka, who both happen to be Cryo units.

She’s also at the heart of the new Hyperbloom comps that use Dendro and Hydro. When she activates her burst, Nereid’s Ascension, she deals more damage, gains resistance to interruption, and heals allies. Kokomi’s healing is more than enough to deal with anything Genshin Impact can throw at you, including the Corrosion from Rifthounds. She’s the definition of a future-proof unit that’ll make things easier for you and unlock some exciting team comps.

3. Zhongli

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

Zhongli, the Geo Archon, is one of the coolest characters in Genshin Impact. He’s smooth, stylish, and has effortless charisma. He’s also how you activate easy mode. Zhongli’s Elemental Skill provides the strongest shield in the game. It scales off of his HP, providing 150% damage absorption against all elemental and physical damage. It also gives “shred”: characters protected by the shield can enjoy the fact nearby enemies have their resistance to elemental and physical damage reduced by 20%.

Zhongli enables some of the strongest DPS in the game because he removes the risk of being staggered. Yoimiya needs to finish her 5-attack string to reach her damage ceiling; Ganyu needs time to perform charged shots; Hu Tao deals increased damage at low HP. Zhongli makes everything comfy, and that’s always going to be valuable. And when you need breathing space? He can call down a meteor that petrifies opponents, dealing decent damage and immobilizing them while you find your footing.

2. Raiden Shogun

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

From one Archon to another: Raiden Shogun, the Electro Archon. Genshin Impact is a game where the quality of your support units is often more important than whatever DPS character you choose. Though there are stronger units, any unit is viable with the right team comp and well built supports. If we’re talking pure damage, though? Raiden Shogun is nuts. You can easily hit for over 400k damage with the initial slash of her Elemental Burst. Sure, it’ll cost you some constellations, her signature weapon Engulfing Lightning, and a well built Bennett and/or Kujou Sara, but she doesn’t need all of that to still deal overwhelming damage.

If it wasn’t enough that Raiden is one of the best DPS in the game—who also acts as a great driver for Xiangling, Xingqiu and Bennett in the Raiden National team comp—she also carries your team as a support. Her Elemental Skill Transcendence: Baleful Omen buffs the burst damage of your other characters will applying electro damage as a coordinated attack, and her burst Secret Art: Musou Shinsetsu restores massive amounts of energy to your whole team.

Raiden excels at both dealing damage and supporting the team. She’s a must pull.

1. Kaedehara Kazuha

Art Courtesy of Hoyoverse

Speaking of must pulls, we reach the number one character to pull for in Genshin Impact: Kaedehara Kazuha! Kazuha is a wandering Samurai with a gorgeous aesthetic and a voice actor that makes you feel at ease. He’s also invaluable.

Anemo is a support element in Genshin Impact, and it’s partly because of the excellent Viridescent Venerer artifact set. The 4-piece set bonus increases swirl damage by 60%, and shreds opponent’s elemental resistance to the element infused in the swirl by a massive 40%. When you combine this with a cracked unit like Kazuha, you’re cooking with gas. If you stack Elemental Mastery on Kazuha, opting for it as main stat on the Sands, Goblet and Headpiece, and get him to level 90, it’s possible to get up to 1000 EM with ease. Kazuha can use the free-to-play friendly craftable Iron Sting weapon, which adds a sizeable chunk of Elemental Mastery on its own.

Kazuha’s skill sucks in enemies, and he then plunges down again, swirling on the way up and when he reconnects. His burst, Kazuha Slash, absorbs an element and reapplies it with regular ticks in a huge AoE. Combined with his passive Poetics of Fuubutsu, which grants all party members additional Elemental Damage bonus based on Kazuha’s elemental mastery when he swirls? You’re looking at not only a way to increase your main DPS damage, but a big source of damage too.

Oh, and his elemental skill makes exploration super easy and fun. You don’t need to worry about climbing when you can leap on up, or use his skill to extend your glides.

Genshin Impact is available on PC, PS5, PS4, iOS and Android. It’s completely free to play and has optional microtransactions. The author would describe it less as pay to win, and more pay to waifu. Version 3.0 is available now.

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