When trying to build a team in Genshin Impact, it can be tough picking from the over fifty playable characters available. That’s why we decided to make things a bit easier and rank them! Welcome to our best Hydro characters in Genshin Impact ranking. This guide will help you build a fantastic team and make your gaming experience even better.
We ranked our characters from worst to best, and even threw in some tips on the best artifacts for each! Having the right artifact set is one of the easiest ways to make a character really shine. No matter your experience level or playstyle, you’re sure to find at least one character who will fit your team.
Let’s get started!
7 Best Hydro Characters, Ranked Worst to Best
To start off with, there are no “bad” characters on this list. They all have their own unique uses and some will mesh with your playstyle much more than others, so your own personal ranking may look different than ours.
Overall, this list ranks characters in terms of general usefulness and how much they can add to a team. We do take into account the rarity of each character and how much their constellations add to their abilities, but those are minor factors in determining ranks.
We mostly considered three factors for our ranks: how fun they are to play, how easy they are to use, and how well they can fit into non-specialized teams.
With all that being said, let’s get into the list!
7) Barbara: Support
The deaconess of the Church of Favonius is a 4-star Hydro Catalyst user who is starting off our list at spot number seven. Monstadt’s wannabe idol, Barbara, is a beloved figure throughout the City of Freedom. She is well known for her kindness, generosity, and her sister complex.
Barbara is one of the few characters who can be obtained through quests and not via wishing. She was first introduced to Genshin Impact in Version 1.0 along with the game’s release.
Why Barbara is so good
As a Catalyst wielder, Barbara can apply Hydro at a moment’s notice, which is incredibly helpful for triggering Elemental Reactions. Not only that, but Barbara is also the only healer character players can obtain without wishing.
Barbara’s Elemental Skill, Let the Show Begin, summons watery musical notes that encircle and periodically heal active characters. The notes also deal Hydro DMG to nearby opponents and apply Hydro to them as well. Enemies who have Hydro applied take on the Wet status effect.
While the Melody Loop created by the hydro music notes is active, Barbara can heal her party members by hitting enemies with Normal Attacks and Charged Attacks.
Barbara’s Elemental Burst, Shining Miracle, also heals large amounts of HP for her entire party. The amount of HP healed by both her Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst scale with Barbara’s max HP.
Barbara is a great healer, but that’s about all she is. Her Elemental Skill doesn’t do a whole lot of damage, and her Elemental Burst does none at all.
Even as a healer, she has some drawbacks. The biggest of which is that she not only consistently applies the Wet status effect to enemies, she also applies it to active characters as well. Constantly having Wet applied to active characters puts them in danger of being Frozen when going up against Cryo enemies. It also makes facing Electro enemies tough, since the Electro-Charged reaction will interrupt attacks and temporarily stop movement too.
After the status effect complications of Barbara’s Elemental Skill, it also has a long cooldown. She will still keep your party up and running for the most part, but if you’re facing off against enemies with strong attacks, keep her cooldown in mind.
Since Barbara is a healer, the best artifacts will have stats that boost her healing ability. Prioritize artifacts with the following stats:
- Healing Bonus
There are two primary artifact sets that Barbara can use well. The first, Maiden Beloved, is a 5-star artifact set that increases both healing effectiveness and party members’ received healing.
For players wanting to deal some damage with Barbara, they can try out the Ocean-Hued Clam artifact set. It is a 5-star artifact set that also increases Barbara’s healing effectiveness. Rather than increasing received healing, though, it converts accumulated healed HP into Physical DMG.
A good 4-star alternative artifact set is the Instructor set, which increases Elemental Mastery for both Barbara and her party members.
6) Tartaglia “Childe”: DPS
Our sixth spot on the best Hydro characters in Genshin Impact goes to the eleventh Fatui Harbinger, Tartaglia, codenamed “Childe.”
The 5-star Hydro character Childe, born as Ajax, is the first playable character from Snezhnaya, as well as the first playable member of the Fatui. He was one of the first limited-run 5-star characters and was introduced in Version 1.1 of the game. Not only is his play style unique, he is also one of the few characters who can change their weapon type.
Why Childe is so good
While he is primarily a Bow user, Childe is able to swap his Bow out for a watery Sword. Players can swap to his Sword when using his Elemental Skill, Foul Legacy: Raging Tide. When using this Sword, Childe switches into Melee Stance, and his attack DMG is converted into Hydro DMG.
In his normal Ranged Stance, Childe is able to use Charged Attacks to apply a Riptide status to his enemies. Enemies affected by Riptide will be hit by extra AOE Hydro DMG when attacked by Childe.
Childe’s Elemental Burst, Havoc: Obliteration, has differing effects depending on his Stance. While in his Melee Stance, he will slash at nearby enemies with his watery Sword and deal massive Hydro DMG and trigger a Riptide Blast. Enemies caught in a Riptide Blast will be hit by a Hydro Explosion. Anything caught in the explosion will be dealt AOE Hydro DMG, which clears any Riptide status.
In his Ranged Stance, Childe fires off a Hydro imbued arrow that deals AOE Hydro DMG. It also applies the Riptide status to enemies within the AOE.
Childe is phenomenal at dealing huge amounts of Hydro DMG through his talents, and being able to change his fighting style makes him a very adaptable character for any team.
Unfortunately, despite his high DMG potential, Childe is a pretty difficult character for most new players. His unusual move set is tough to use effectively, which is why we can’t put him higher on the list of the best Hydro characters. Without taking the time to read his talent descriptions, it’s easy to get thrown off by the sudden Stance changes.
Even if you do understand what his talents do, the long Elemental Skill cooldown can throttle his DMG output. There are a few ways to manage his Elemental Skill cooldown to avoid it, but it takes some time and practice.
If you want to avoid that all together, you’ll probably have to get out your wallet and spend some real money to unlock his constellation.
The best artifact stats for Childe will be the following:
- Hydro DMG Bonus
- CRIT Rate/ DMG
One way to help compensate for long Elemental Skill cooldowns is through artifact set effects. For Childe, we recommend the Heart of Depth 5-star artifact set. It not only increases Hydro DMG, but also Normal and Charged Attack DMG after using an Elemental Skill.
For players wanting a 4-star alternative, the Martial Artist artifact set also increases Normal and Charged Attack DMG.
5) Xingqiu: Sub-DPS
At number five on our list of the best Hydro characters in Genshin Impact is a famed author and the young master of the Feiyun Commerce Guild.
Xingqiu is a 4-star Hydro Sword wielder who was released in Version 1.0 as one of the first characters from Liyue. Don’t let his 4-star status fool you, though — Xingqiu is a serious asset to any team in need of a sub-DPS.
Why Xingqiu is so good
Xingqiu may seem like an unassuming character, but he’s one of the best sub-DPS characters in the game.
His Elemental Skill, Guhua Sword: Fatal Rainscreen, creates a number of Rain Swords that encircle the active character. These Rain Swords both increase resistance to interruption and decrease the amount of DMG taken. On top of that, Xingqiu’s Elemental Skill generates big numbers of Elemental Particles that help his party members recover their Energy. This translates to more Elemental Bursts for the player.
His Elemental Burst, Guhua Sword: Raincutter, also creates a number of Rain Swords that encircle the active character. Unlike his Elemental Skill, though, they remain for a short duration and do not shatter. For 15 seconds after triggering his Elemental Burst, Normal Attacks will set off Rain Sword attacks. These attacks deal Hydro DMG to enemies.
Xingqiu offers some good protection to allies and consistent Hydro application to enemies while also giving some healing, too.
His first Ascension Passive skill, Hydropathic, generates 6% of Xingqiu’s Max HP when a Rain Sword is shattered. HP is also generated when a Rain Sword’s duration ends. It’s not the best healing ability by any means, but it still can come in very handy.
Xingqiu relies pretty heavily on his Elemental Skill, which unfortunately has a pretty long cooldown. In the long spans of time between being able to use his Elemental Skill, he has to rely on his Normal Attacks. That wouldn’t be such a problem if his Normal Attacks didn’t typically deal such low DMG.
On top of that, you need to unlock his constellation in order to really get the most out of his Elemental Skill. Being a 4-star character makes it somewhat easier to unlock constellations, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a pain.
Xingqiu is a decent character who can do a little bit of everything. This is what makes him a good sub-DPS character and earns him his spot as number five in our list of the best Hydro characters.
You should prioritize the following artifact stats for Xingqiu:
- Energy Recharge
- Hydro DMG Bonus
- CRIT Rate or DMG
The best artifact set for Xingqiu is the 5-star Emblem of Severed Fate set. If you choose this set, you’ll want to prioritize Energy Recharge first and foremost to get the most out of it.
The Exile 4-star artifact set is a decent alternative that also focuses on Xingqiu’s Elemental Burst and Energy Recharge.
4) Sangonomiya Kokomi: Support
The Divine Priestess of Watatsumi Island is a brilliant strategist as well as number four on our list of the best Hydro characters in Genshin Impact. She may look delicate, but she showed players she isn’t one to take lightly as the head of the resistance against the Sakoku Decree in Inazuma.
Kokimi is a powerful 5-star Hydro Catalyst user who was introduced as a playable character in Version 2.1. Her banner closely followed the Electro Archo herself.
Why Kokomi is so good
Similarly to Barbara, Kokomi is a fantastic healer. Also like Barbara, she can easily apply Hydro to enemies for quick Elemental Reactions.
Unlike Barbara, though, Kokomi’s primary healing ability doesn’t come at the cost of constantly applying the Wet condition to active characters. Her Elemental Skill, Kurage’s Oath, summons a Bake-Kurage (basically a giant jellyfish made of water), which heals allies in the vicinity. While using her Elemental Skill does apply Wet to Kokomi, the status effect is quickly cleared and is not applied to any other character.
The Bake-Kurage’s healing ability scales with Kokomi’s Max HP and also deals some Hydro DMG to nearby opponents.
Kokomi’s Elemental Burst, Nereid’s Ascension, summons the might of Watatsumi and deals Hydro DMG to nearby enemies. Kokomi is then robed in a watery ceremonial garment that increases her attacks based on her Max HP.
While in her Ceremonial Garment, Kokomi’s resistance to interruption is increased. She is also able to walk on water (the only character to do so without an alternate sprint talent).
Any player who knows much about Kokomi will know her biggest drawback is that she can’t CRIT. This is due to her Passive Talent, Flawless Strategy, which increases her Healing Bonus by 25% at the cost of a 100% decrease in CRIT Rate.
Not being able to CRIT means it’s nigh impossible to deal much damage with her Normal Attacks. Though you can overcome the 100% decrease in CRIT Rate, most players don’t find it worth the time and resources.
Aside from her negative CRIT Rate, Kokomi’s Elemental Burst comes at a high energy cost, too. This means the one way she can deal damage can’t actually be used frequently. It also means her other unique ability, walking on water, can’t be used often either.
She is one of the best healers in the game, but her inability to deal consistent damage keeps her lower on our list of the best Hydro characters in the game.
Depending on how you want to play Kokomi, there are a few different stats to prioritize. In general, though, the best stats to focus on are these:
- Healing Bonus
- Energy Recharge
Either the Ocean-Hued Clam artifact set or the Tenacity of the Millelith artifact set are great for Kokomi. They both increase her healing ability and provide some support to the rest of your party. Players wanting to compensate for the loss of CRITs will probably want the Ocean-Hued Clam set in order to get the extra damage.
As a Catalyst wielder, the best 4-star artifact set will be the Instructor set to increase Elemental Mastery. The increased Elemental Mastery will also help increase Kokomi’s DMG via increased Elemental Reaction damage.
3) Mona: Support
Coming in at number three on our list of the best Hydro characters in Genshin Impact is the genius Astrologist herself! (She’s also the final Hydro Catalyst character on our list, we promise).
Mona Magistus is a 5-star Hydro Catalyst character who was introduced to the game in Version 1.0 along with its release. Her knowledge of the stars is unparalleled, and her readings have saved the Traveler from more than one tricky situation.
Why Mona is so good
Mona is one of just two characters (as of Version 3.0) who has an alternate sprint. This sprint, Illusory Torrent, allows her to run over water as well as apply the Wet status to nearby enemies when she ends it. This is incredibly helpful for combat, since enemies can be afflicted with Hydro much more quickly than by hitting them even with Normal Attacks.
Mona’s Elemental Skill, Mirror Reflection of Doom, creates a Phantom of Fate that taunts nearby enemies, drawing aggro and dealing continuous Hydro DMG. At the end of its duration, it explodes and deals AOE Hydro DMG.
While her Elemental Skill is pretty good, Mona’s Elemental Burst is what is most important here. Stellaris Phantasm applies an Illusory Bubble status to enemies caught within its large AOE. Opponents caught in an Illusory Bubble will have the Wet status effect applied and weaker opponents will be rendered immobile.
Enemies who take damage while affected by the Illusory Bubble will have an Omen applied to them. Omens give a DMG Bonus to attacks made against afflicted enemies and increase the DMG of the attack which triggered the Omen as well.
For players wanting to showcase their best DPS builds, having a strong Mona Support is absolutely essential. Her Elemental Burst is phenomenal at increasing DMG dealt to enemies. This, added to her ability to easily apply Hydro, makes her perfect for teams that trigger tons of Elemental Reactions.
Despite all the great Mona can do, she can’t actually do a lot on her own. She isn’t made to be a DPS character and her Hydro DMG is pretty weak. She can make enemies Wet easily, but being Wet alone doesn’t actually deal any damage. Her base stats are also kind of low, especially her HP and DEF.
Mona is a very good Support character, but without other characters to support, she’s not that great. In order to use her most effectively, she needs other characters of different elements to buff.
Despite being a Support character, the artifact stats you’ll want to prioritize for Mona are fairly similar to DPS characters. In general, look for the following artifact stats:
- Energy Recharge
- Hydro DMG Bonus
- CRIT Rate or DMG
The best artifact set for Mona is definitely the 5-star Noblesse Oblige set. Not only does it increase her Elemental Burst, it also increases the ATK of Mona’s party members for a short time after using her Elemental Burst.
A good 4-star alternative for Mona is The Exile artifact set. Its increased Energy Recharge and Energy generation are great for increasing how often Mona and other characters can use their Elemental Bursts.
2) Yelan: Sub-DPS
Taking our number two spot on the best Hydro Characters list is the Liyue woman of mystery herself. She handles only the most confidential work for the Liyue Qixing, and if she told you any more than that, she would probably have to kill you.
Yelan is a 5-star Hydro Bow wielder who was introduced to the game in Version 2.7. She also happens to be the most recently released Hydro character on our list.
Why Yelan is so good
Yelan is one of the few characters on our list that will do very well in pretty much any role given to her. With the right build she can be a powerful DPS, a fantastic sub-DPS, or even a Support to be reckoned with. She does best as a sub-DPS, but that won’t stop her from taking out the Abyss as a DPS or a Support.
Yelan’s Normal Attack Talent allows her to enter a Breakthrough state. This state decreases the charge time of her next Charged Attack and will fire a Breakthrough Barb that deals AOE Hydro DMG. The Hydro DMG of her Breakthrough Barb is based on her Max HP.
While her Breakthrough state is great for DPS roles, her Elemental Skill, Lingering Lifeline, is not to be ignored. When using her Elemental Skill, Yelan sprints forward and leaves a trailing Lifeline behind her that entangles enemies in her path. When she stops sprinting, the Lifeline explodes and deals Hydro DMG to all entangled opponents.
Holding her Elemental Skill prolongs the amount of time she sprints and allows her to entangle more enemies in her Lifeline. Holding her skill also increases her resistance to interruption too.
We saved the best part of Yelan’s kit for last — her Elemental Burst, Depth-Clarion Dice. This is what really allows her to take on any role in your team. When using her Elemental Burst, Yelan deals AOE Hydro DMG and creates an Exquisite Throw. This floating blue die follows active characters around for the duration and deals Hydro DMG to enemies. This DMG occurs when the active character hits opponents with their Normal Attacks.
There really aren’t many drawbacks to Yelan. The biggest thing is that her Elemental Burst has a high energy cost. She also isn’t very good on teams with characters of the same element, since she gets an HP bonus from each Element present in the party.
Players can decrease the downsides mentioned above by unlocking her constellation, but that is difficult due to her rarity as a limited-run 5-star character.
There are a number of artifact sets that work well with Yelan. Depending on her role in your team, some are definitely better than others, but in general, you will want the following stats for her artifacts:
- Hydro DMG Bonus
- CRIT Rate or DMG
The best artifact sets for her are the 5-star Emblem of Severed Fate set and the 5-star Noblesse Oblige set. Both are geared more towards Burst Support, but still work well in increasing her DMG on their own.
The 4-star artifact sets The Exile or the Scholar are good alternative artifacts. They both increase energy Recharge and generate Energy for Yelan’s party members. We only recommend the Scholar set if your team uses mainly Bow and Catalyst users, though.
1) Kamisato Ayato: DPS
Taking our number one spot on the best Hydro characters in Genshin Impact list is the Yashiro Commissioner, Kamisato Ayato! The Kamisatos are no strangers to our Genshin Impact rankings. His sister Ayaka was featured pretty highly on our list of the best Cryo characters, too!
Ayato was introduced in Version 2.6 as the head of the Kamisato Clan just days after his in-game birthday.
Why Ayato is so good
While not quite as much of an all-arounder as Yelan, Ayato is still a serious force to be reckoned with. He is able to deal high DMG to both single targets and enemy mobs easily. If you need a Hydro character to clear a domain, we definitely recommend Ayato.
His Elemental Skill, Kamisato Art: Kyouka, causes him to enter the Takimeguri Kanka state. This state creates a watery illusion that explodes and deals AOE Hydro DMG. While in the Takimeguri Kanka state, Ayato can deal extremely swift attacks that convert Normal Attack DMG into AOE Hydro DMG. Hitting opponents in this state also grants Ayato Namisen stacks, which increase his DMG output depending on his Max HP.
In his Takimeguri Kanka state, Ayato can deal up to 15 attacks without any ATK SPD buffs. That translates to a lot of damage.
Ayato’s Elemental Burst, Kamisato Art: Suiyuu, creates an AOE field that rains Bloomwater Blades down on enemies within it constantly. Allies within the field will also have their Normal Attack DMG increased too. This attack makes Ayato one of the few Hydro characters who can deal widespread AOE attacks.
His high damage over time and unique move sets are what help him earn his top spot in the best Hydro characters in Genshin Impact.
If you’re looking for high-damage, single-strike attacks, you unfortunately won’t find them with Ayato. While he definitely does deal high damage, it’s typically spread out over the duration of his talents. Even with food and party buffs, his single attacks won’t deal as much damage as some of the other characters on this list.
In addition to not being able to deal single strike high damage attacks, Ayato’s abilities as a sub-DPS are somewhat limited. His Elemental Burst makes him useful in that role, but the high energy cost limits his abilities. Without enough Energy Recharge, he won’t be able to take the field to actually use his Elemental Burst very often.
Regardless of which artifact set you choose for Ayato, the best artifacts will have the following stats:
- Hydro DMG Bonus
- CRIT Rate or DMG
The best artifact sets for Ayato will either be the 5-star Echoes of an Offering artifact set or the 5-star Heart of Depth artifact set. Both will maximize his DMG output, though in slightly different ways.
The Echoes of an Offering artifact set will focus more on his Normal Attack DMG and grant a higher, if more inconsistent Normal Attack DMG buff. On the other hand, the Heart of Depth set will increase his Hydro DMG and give him a slightly lower but more consistent Normal Attack DMG boost.
Ayato’s best 4-star alternative artifact set is the Martial Artist artifact set. This set also increases his Normal and Charged Attack DMG, though not by as much as the Heart of Depth or Echoes of an Offering sets.
Join the High Ground
That’s it for our best Hydro characters in Genshin Impact list! Do you think we nailed it or would you switch some characters around? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check back soon as we add more Genshin guides and keep you up to date with all things Teyvat.