Magic-laden tomes and mystical orbs make up the catalyst weapon family in Genshin Impact. Serving to augment their users’ elemental abilities, catalysts are the weapons of choice for the ever-popular caster characters. With the ability to proc their user’s element with every normal and charged attack, catalysts are the easiest way to trigger elemental reactions. On top of that, catalysts also cover the largest variety of roles between damage, set-up, and healing. With such a selection, it can be hard to decide which catalyst to use.
But what are the best catalysts in Genshin Impact? In this article, we’ve listed our picks for Genshin Impact’s best catalyst, covering what you can expect from each weapon, where to obtain them, and which characters get the most mileage from them.
Let’s get started!
Related reading: Best Claymores in Genshin Impact
Our rankings largely assume you only have a single copy of each weapon. Only common three-star and free weapons obtained via events/forging are expected to have been refined with multiple copies. Control yourself and roll responsibly. Don’t go broke trying to get refinement Level 5 on a five-star weapon.
There are also specific character builds out there that may change the ranking of a weapon (even more so with catalysts). Make sure to do your research!
Genshin Impact Catalyst Tier List (2.x)
Here are our picks for the seventeen best catalysts in Genshin Impact. Keep reading for our breakdown on the best of the best and a few strategies on how to use them effectively.
The 9 Best Catalysts in Genshin Impact, Ranked Good to Best
We’ve ranked our top nine catalysts, hitting on what makes them great and how to make the most of each when you have them equipped. If a specific weapon is considered the best overall for a character, we’ll have (BiS) next to their name for “Best in Slot.” For catalysts in particular, there may be multiple BiS depending on what role you’re having your character fill.
Prototype Amber (4* Rarity)
Source: Forging | Good On: Barbara (BiS), Kokomi (BiS)
First on our list is the earliest catalyst you can forge. However, despite being the lowest ranked entry, it is arguably the best one for healers due to its effect. Plus, it’s completely F2P-friendly!
While it has a respectable base attack of 510 at max level, its secondary stat offers nothing in terms of damage with a 41.3% bonus to health. However, given the two catalyst healers (Barbara and Kokomi) have their heals scale with HP, this becomes fantastic for them. On top of that, the weapon’s special effect provides 12 energy and 12% health to everyone in your party! This effect makes both Barbara and Kokomi’s bursts more readily available and better at keeping your team alive.
Each refinement copy you add to the weapon boosts the energy gain by 1.5 and the total healing by 1.5%. At max refinement, you regain 18 energy and receive 18% health to your entire party.
As it’s a forgeable item, it is incredibly feasible to max refine this weapon. If you’re struggling to stay alive in harder fights, this is the best catalyst in Genshin Impact for staying alive.
Mappa Mare (4* Rarity)
Source: Forging | Good On: Sucrose, Lisa
This is another forgeable catalyst, and one that’s incredibly well-suited for those who can trigger elemental reactions rapidly in succession. It’s also the best F2P option if you’re trying to have a character focus on elemental mastery.
With a base attack of 565 and 110 bonus to elemental mastery at max level, it works extremely well for catalyst users due to all their attacks being infused with an element. Triggering an elemental reaction will grant the user 8% more elemental damage for 10s and can stack twice! Each refinement copy you add to the weapon increases the elemental damage boost by 2%. At max refinement, each stack gives 16% extra elemental damage.
However, it can be a bit difficult to fully proc the weapon’s effect due to most elemental status falling off after one reaction. Thankfully, anemo users avoid this issue entirely, as swirl reactions will reapply the element they combine with.
Of course, there’s only one anemo catalyst user in the game right now — Sucrose. If you have her at constellation Level 1, you can easily gain both of the weapon’s stacks and activate her burst for massive damage.
Sacrificial Fragments (4* Rarity)
Source: Standard Banner | Good On: Sucrose (BiS), Lisa
Sacrificial Segments is essentially an upgrade to the Mappa Mare and the catalyst with the highest elemental mastery bonus in the game. It’s a fantastic catalyst for those with long elemental skill cooldowns (Sucrose and Lisa), as it has a chance of immediately resetting the cooldown on use.
With a base attack of 454 and 221 bonus to elemental mastery at max level, this catalyst is designed for characters that you swap in mainly for their elemental skill. Each time you deal damage with your skill, it has a 40% chance to immediately end the cooldown, but it is limited by a thirty-second cooldown. Each refinement copy you add to the weapon increases the chance of a reset by 10% and lowers the cooldown by 4s. At max refinement, you have an 80% chance of triggering the reset with only a sixteen-second cooldown.
At base refinement, the cooldown prevents it from being amazing. If you manage to get it to at least refinement Level 3, its value shoots up drastically. Sucrose especially benefits from it, as she can chain swirl reactions back to back more frequently.
Dodoco Tales (4* Rarity)
Source: Summer Event | Good On: Klee, Yanfei, Ningguang
This loving tale about Klee’s favorite toy was rewarded to players who partook in the Golden Apple Archipelago summer event. As befitting a catalyst designed around Klee and her love for bombs, it encourages you to cycle between normal and charged attacks.
With a base attack of 454 and 55.1% bonus to attack at max level, this catalyst hits hard for a free four-star. The weapon’s effect increases your charged attack damage by 16% for 6s after landing a normal hit, and increases your total attack by 8% for 6s after landing a charged attack.
Basically, hit them with a normal attack, combo into a charged attack, and finish them off with a skill or burst. Repeat. It’s deceptively effective and takes advantage of your entire tool kit. Plus, it works for pretty much every catalyst wielder.
Each refinement copy you add to the weapon increases the charge attack damage by 4% and attack bonus by 2%. At max refinement, your charged attack damage increases by 32% and total attack by 16%. Since it was a weapon event, most of you will be running max refinement already, making it incredibly strong. While it won’t be any one’s top pick, it is the best four-star weapon for a lot of characters.
Lost Prayer to the Sacred Winds (5* Rarity)
Source: Standard Banner | Good On: Yanfei, Klee, Lisa, Mona, Ningguang
This is a strong five-star weapon that encourages remaining on the field longer and one of the few ways to gain movement speed. While it falls short of the remaining five-star weapons on our list, it’s still a strong pick for nearly every character.
With a base attack of 608 and 33.1% bonus to crit rate at max level, it can hit very hard if you build around crit damage. Helping this is its unique effect of increasing the wielder’s elemental damage by 8% every 4s for up to four stacks. Oh, and you also move 10% faster at all times.
Do note that the wielder needs to remain on the field or the stacks will be lost. If you have a catalyst user as your team’s main DPS, then this is a fantastic weapon.
Each refinement copy you add to the weapon increases the elemental damage on each stack by 2%. At max refinement, each stack provides 16% elemental damage. Thankfully, even at base refinement level, it still outpaces most other catalysts.
The Widsith (4* Weapon)
Source: Standard Banner | Good On: Mona (BiS), Lisa, Yanfei
An oddball of a weapon, as it provides one of three random buffs upon switching to the wielder. A fantastic choice for when you want to nuke the enemy with a massive burst of damage.
With a base attack of 510 and 55.1% bonus to crit damage, this weapon is perfect for wiping out the enemy in a single hit. Even more so if the wielder’s burst is on standby when swapping to them due to the weapon’s effect.
There are three possible buffs that you can obtain for 10s when swapping to the user, with the type of buff signaled by the number of notes appearing over your head. The first one boosts attack by 60% (a single note). The second one boosts elemental damage by 48%. The third one increases elemental mastery by 240.
Regardless of which one you obtain, to maximize your damage, you’ll want to make sure the enemy is already afflicted by an element that will react strongly when you hit them with the wielder’s element. Vaporize and Overload are your two most likely candidates.
Each refinement copy you add to the weapon increases the attack one by 15%, the elemental damage one by 12%, and the mastery one by 60. At max rank you can get a 120% attack bonus, 96% elemental damage bonus, or 480 extra mastery.
We strongly recommend equipping this to Mona if you have her, as her burst nuke potential is absolutely insane if set up properly.
Memory of Dust (5* Rarity)
Source: Limited-Time Weapon Banner | Good On: Ningguang (BiS), Klee (BiS), Yanfei (BiS)
This weapon and the next one on our list are neck-to-neck on performance. The playstyles differ slightly, though — this one revolves more around maintaining shields and staying on the field to continue the assault.
With a base attack of 608 and 49.6% bonus attack at max level, it becomes clear why this is arguably the hardest hitting catalyst in the game. Compounding this is the weapon’s effect of granting 4% more attack for 8s with each hit up to five stacks. If you have a shield, the bonus attack effect is doubled! To encourage this, your shield strength is increased by 20%. Each refinement copy you add to the weapon increases the attack bonus by 1% and the shield strength bonus by 5%. At max refinement, each stack grants 8% attack and 40% shield strength.
If you have reliable shield granting characters like Diona or Zhongli, it becomes extremely easy to maintain this bonus. You can also rely on Crystalize shields if you can reliably proc them.
Unsurprisingly, this is best suited for Ningguang, who is one of the best on-field DPS and can easily proc Crystalize to maintain a shield.
Skyward Atlas (5* Rarity)
Source: Standard Banner | Good On: Lisa (BiS), Ningguang (BiS), Klee (BiS), Yanfei (BiS)
As mentioned earlier, this weapon is practically tied with Memory of Dust. We’ve placed it higher on our list due to more characters synergizing with it (namely Lisa) and for being easier to obtain as a permanent banner weapon.
With a base attack of 674 and a 33.1% bonus to attack at max level, its raw damage output is equivalent to Memory of Dust. However, it differs in that it spreads its damage out over time with a cooldown effect.
The weapon’s effect passively increases elemental damage by 12% at all times. Additionally, your normal attacks have a 50% chance of spawning a cloud that zaps your enemy for 15s and dealing 160% attack damage. However, this cloud can only spawn once every thirty seconds, so you’ll have some downtime.
Each refinement copy you add to the weapon increases the elemental damage bonus by 3% and the cloud’s damage by 40%. At max refinement, you have 24% more elemental damage and the cloud deals 320% attack damage.
As it’s a part of the permanent banner, there’s a decent chance you can obtain multiple copies of it. It’s a very solid all around catalyst that can work with any DPS catalyst user.
Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers (3* Rarity)
Source: Permanent Weapon Banner | Good On: Barbara (BiS), Kokomi (BiS), Sucrose
Our final entry on the list may come as a surprise to some of you, as it’s a three-star rarity and support catalyst. However, this may be the best catalyst in Genshin Impact due to the sheer setup potential it provides.
With a base attack of 401 and 35.2% bonus to health, this catalyst definitely will not be doing much damage on its own. However, its special effect is why it’s so powerful and widely used. When swapping from the character holding this catalyst to a different character, the new character will have their attack increased by 24% for 10s. This effect can only occur every twenty seconds, but in proper team comps, you only need the effect once.
Given that it’s a three-star weapon, you’re almost guaranteed to get enough copies for refinement Level 5 just from rolling with the free in-game primogems. Each refinement copy you add to the weapon increases the attack bonus by 6%. At max refinement, the swapped to character receives a 48% attack bonus (which is kind of insane).
Whoever you swap to should have their burst combo on standby to take full advantage of this weapon’s effect. Particular good units to swap to tend to be the high DPS characters like Mona, Childe, and Ganyu.
Mona in particular can reach ridiculous numbers (over one million) if this weapon’s buff is applied to her before she goes through the Mona + Bennett + Sucrose combo. If you have all the members required, we strongly recommend you look up the combo or stay tuned for our future best team comps article to learn more.
Join the High Ground
With that, we’re done with our list of the best catalysts in Genshin Impact! We hope it’s been useful in helping you decide which ones to roll for and use. If you feel that we should mention another catalyst or re-arrange our rankings, then subscribe and leave a comment below.