Some of the most important parts of Genshin Impact are the seven Elements of Teyvat. They’re found everywhere, and those with particularly strong ambitions may be rewarded with a Vision that grants them Elemental power. Figuring out those seven Elements can be tricky, though. In today’s article, we’re going over everything you need to know about the best Elements in Genshin Impact!
All Elements are good in their own way, and there are a number of factors that go into determining which ones are more effective in which situations. New content can change up the Elemental hierarchy, which we saw in action when Dendro was introduced to the game. Certain elements are also better in certain regions of Teyvat. Geo is incredibly helpful for solving puzzles and fighting regional enemies in Liyue, for instance, but you’ll want Electro on your team by the time you make it to Inazuma.
To help you out, we’ve also ranked all the elements in Genshin Impact as part of our overall Element guide. Let’s get started!
Best Elements in Genshin Impact, Ranked
Our ranks are generally based on each Element’s Elemental Reactions, their usefulness while exploring, and their utility in combat. While characters of each Element are taken into account, the strongest characters do not necessarily correspond to the strongest Elements. That being said, it doesn’t exactly hurt the rankings for an Element to have strong characters.
One last thing to keep in mind before we get into the Elements — even though this is a ranking list, Hoyoverse has done a very good job of keeping the Elements pretty well balanced. Some Elements may be better than others, but it’s usually only slightly. How useful an Element is is very situational, too. Environment, enemy types, and specific puzzle mechanisms can all change how useful any given Element is.
To help you understand how each Element earned its rank, we’ll go over their Elemental Reactions, what each Element is generally good for, and we’ll also cover some of the strongest characters who wield that Element.
Now, let’s get into the rankings of the best Elements in Genshin Impact!
Kicking off our list of the best Elements in Genshin Impact is the earth/rock Element, Geo. While Geo is a strong Element in its own right, it is one of the least reactive Elements in the world of Teyvat. It also lacks the utility many of the other Elements have, hence its low ranking on our list.
While this may change later in the game, it will probably be a while before Geo takes center stage again. We’ve already been through Liyue and dealt with the Geo Archon. We’ve even explored the Chasm, so unless another Geo-centric region is added to the game, Hoyoverse will likely be focusing on the other Elements first.
Geo Elemental Reactions
Geo Reactions are among the simplest in the game. For the most part, they don’t deal DMG, regardless of which Element Geo is interacting with.
- Geo x Pyro = Crystallize (Deals no DMG, creates a Pyro Shard)
- Geo x Electro = Crystallize (Deals no DMG, creates an Electro Shard)
- Geo x Cryo = Crystallize (Deals no DMG, creates a CryoShard)
- Geo x Hydro = Crystallize (Deals no DMG, creates a Hydro Shard)
- Geo x Frozen = Shatter (Deals Physical DMG)
As a result of Crystallize Reactions, an Elemental Shard is created. Elemental Shards will match the Element type of whatever the non-Geo Element is. This shard, when picked up by allied characters, will create an Elemental Shield of that Element type.
Elemental Shields created by Crystallize Reactions will have their strength determined by the level of the Geo character which triggered the Reaction. The Elemental Mastery of this Geo character can also increase shield strength, too. That means a Level 90 character will create a much stronger shield than a Level 20 character.
Aside from Crystallize Reactions, Geo can also trigger Shatter Reactions. These Reactions occur when Geo or Blunt Attacks — Claymore or Plunging Attacks — are made against Frozen Enemies. This is the only Elemental Reaction that causes Physical DMG rather than Elemental DMG.
Geo does not react with Anemo or Dendro.
What Is Geo Good for?
Geo’s Elemental Resonance, Enduring Rock, increases the party’s shield strength by 15%. Characters protected by a shield will also have their DMG increased by 15% while decreasing enemies’ Geo RES by 20% for 15 seconds after dealing DMG.
While that does mean a team needs two Geo characters to gain this Elemental Resonance, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some Geo characters need other Geo characters in order to make the most of their abilities.
In general, though, Geo is very good for defense. Many Geo characters rely on having high DEF stats, and most Geo Elemental Reactions will produce shields. That comes in pretty handy if you’re short on healers or can’t access food.
The Element itself is about being strong and unyielding, only able to be eroded by the forces of time.
Best Geo Characters
Geo may not be the strongest Element in the game, but it does still have some incredibly strong characters.
The Geo Archon Zhongli has one of the strongest shields in the game, which can even take hits from Trounce Domain bosses. His low ATK DMG can be forgiven thanks to his high Elemental Burst DMG and its unique ability to Petrify enemies.
Along with Zhongli is the formidable Arataki Itto. While Itto may seem like nothing more than a silly goofball, he still made our Top 10 DPS list and is one of the few DPS characters who can taunt enemies. His attacks may take some setup, but once Itto gets going, he is nearly unstoppable.
Another fantastic Geo character is the Chief Alchemist of the Knights of Favonius. It’s tough to beat Albedo’s Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst, which both apply Geo over multiple enemies at once. He’s a very strong Sub-DPS character who’s perfect for backing up almost any team.
The Element of Freedom and wind is next on our list of the best Elements in Genshin Impact. Anemo is a great Element for triggering Elemental Reactions and is the first Element players are introduced to when they begin the game.
It can deal a fair amount of damage, but ends up taking a back seat to other Elements. It’s a very supportive Element that can struggle to stand out unless players purposefully cater to it.
Anemo Elemental Reactions
Like Geo, Anemo’s Elemental Reactions look more or less the same. One one hand, it does make them very easy to understand and keep track of on a busy battlefield. On the other hand, that does mean there isn’t as much variation as some of the other Elements and their Elemental Reactions.
- Anemo x Pyro = Swirl (Deals AOE Pyro DMG)
- Anemo x Hydro = Swirl (Deals Hydro DMG)
- Anemo x Electro = Swirl (Deals AOE Electro DMG)
- Anemo x Cryo = Swirl (Deals AOE Cryo DMG)
Every Anemo Elemental Reaction is called Swirl and will deal AOE DMG of whatever the non-Anemo Elemental type is. The only Reactive Element to not do this is Hydro. Hydro Swirl Reactions only deal DMG to the target that the Reaction was triggered on.
All Swirl Reactions will additionally apply the non-Anemo Element to enemies within an AOE, excluding the one the reaction was triggered on. Since Swirl Reactions can apply non-Anemo Elements to enemies, this means they can also trigger non-Anemo Elemental Reactions.
Triggering other Elemental Reactions as secondary Reactions is where a lot of Anemo characters’ DMG comes from. It’s also why having high Elemental Mastery is so important, since Elemental Mastery is the determining factor when it comes to Swirl DMG.
Anemo does not react with Geo or Dendro.
What Is Anemo Good for?
Anemo’s Elemental Resonance, Impetuous Winds, is fantastic for exploring and incredibly helpful for parties that rely on their Elemental Skills to deal damage. When in effect, this Elemental Resonance decreases Stamina Consumption by 15% while also increasing Movement SPD by 10%. On top of that, Elemental Skill Cooldowns are decreased by 5%.
Basically, your whole party will go further, faster, and can use their skills more often with this bonus.
Aside from the Elemental Resonance ability, Anemo is generally pretty good at taking out large numbers of enemies. Swirl Reactions are able to spread Elemental statuses over entire enemy mobs, and many Anemo characters have skills that excel in crowd control.
Anemo attacks tend to have wide radiuses that can even bunch up enemies into densely packed areas. This makes them great for setting up a strong Elemental Burst attack.
Best Anemo Characters
Just because Anemo is lower on the list doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some pretty amazing characters.
Kaedehara Kazuha is easily one of the best Sub-DPS characters in the game. His Elemental Burst allows for wide spread Swirl Reactions over time, which is hard to match. Not to mention his Talent, which increases the Elemental DMG of his party members whenever he triggers a Swirl Reaction.
A later addition to the Anemo character roster is the Wanderer (also known as Teyvat’s most emo runaway child). Unlike many other Anemo characters, the Wanderer works incredibly well as a DPS unit, and can either deal pure Anemo DMG or work with his party members for high Swirl DMG.
Another fantastic Anemo character who is a little more easily added to your party is Sucrose. She may be a 4-star character, but her Talents are incredibly effective at crowd control since she’s able to gather up large numbers of enemies into tight clusters. She’s also easy to level up early game, and it never hurts to have a Catalyst on your team.
The Element of ice and snow takes our next spot on the list of the best Elements in Genshin Impact. Cryo characters may not be the most expressive, but they’re fiercely loyal to their friends. Even if a few of them have eccentric personalities.
Cryo Elemental Reactions
Unlike the previous two Elements on our list, Cryo’s Elemental Reactions start to get a little more complex and varied. Each Element it reacts with creates a unique Reaction with differing effects.
- Cryo x Pyro = Melt/Reverse Melt (Increases DMG of Trigger Attack)
- Cryo x Hydro = Frozen (Deals no DMG, Immobilizes target)
- Frozen x Geo = Shatter (Deals Physical DMG)
- Cryo x Geo = Crystallize (Deals no DMG, creates a Cryo Shard)
- Cryo x Anemo = Swirl (Deals AOE Cryo DMG)
- Cryo x Electro = Superconduct (Deals AOE Cryo DMG, Decreases Physical RES)
Normally when two Elements React, it doesn’t matter that much which Element was applied first or second. This isn’t the case with the Melt reaction, though. Melt occurs specifically when Pyro is applied to a target already affected by Cryo. When Cryo is applied to a target affected by Pyro, the Reverse Melt Reaction occurs.
While both Reactions are simply called “Melt” in game, there is a difference between the two. A Cryo attack triggering Reverse Melt will have its DMG increased by 1.5 times. A Pyro attack triggering Melt will have its DMG increased by 2 times.
The difference between Melt and Reverse Melt is somewhat minimal, but can make a difference in combat.
Another unique Elemental Reaction is the Superconduct Reaction. Not only does it deal AOE Cryo DMG, it also decreases all enemies’ Physical RES by 40% within a small AOE. This debuff is even applied to characters who were not afflicted with the Superconduct reaction themselves.
While Cryo is a more reactive Element than Geo or Anemo, it does not react with Dendro.
What Is Cryo Good for?
The most immediate benefit to Cryo is its Elemental Resonance. Shattering Ice increases your party’s CRIT Rate against enemies that are affected by Cryo or Frozen by 15%. Your party is also affected by Electro for 40% less time. Having an increased CRIT Rate at all times is incredibly helpful, since that is one of the most crucial stats for most DPS characters.
More generally, Cryo is good for slowing enemies down and reducing their Physical RES. It can also work as effective crowd control when combined with Hydro, since the Freeze Reaction will immobilize enemies for a short time, allowing you to set up Elemental Burst attacks or heavy hitting Physical Attacks. All of this means that Cryo is an incredibly helpful Element to have in combat.
It can also be used while exploring to freeze water and walk across without needing to swim. Characters capable of creating consistent ice bridges aren’t very common, though. Many Cryo characters have long Elemental Skill cooldowns that don’t allow them to apply Cryo frequently enough to form a bridge.
Best Cryo Characters
While Cryo may not be the best Element in Genshin Impact, it still has some very powerful characters.
Ganyu, who is arguably the strongest DPS character in the game, is one such Cryo character. Her Charged Attacks can shred through nearly any opponent’s HP in a matter of seconds, while her Elemental Skill taunts them toward an icy explosion.
Another powerful Cryo character is the youngest member of the Kamisato Clan. Kamisato Ayaka is easily one of the strongest characters in the game, with a wide range of abilities that make her perfect for close-range combat. She is one of just a few characters who have an Alternate Sprint that also allows her to apply Cryo to her enemies without using her Elemental Skill or Elemental Burst.
The Ice Queen of Monstadt is another fantastic Cryo character and strong DPS. Eula of the Lawrence Clan embodies her Element as if it were made for her. Her unique Claymore attacks and powerful Elemental Burst are perfect for taking advantage of Superconduct Reactions.
It may surprise you to see Pyro at just fourth place on our list of the best Elements in Genshin Impact. Early on in the game, Pyro is most certainly one of the best Elements and is a necessity for Exploring Teyvat. It can be a bit tricky to manage, though, and later updates to the game really switched things up.
Pyro Elemental Reactions
Unlike the previous Elements we’ve covered, Pyro is an Element that reacts with every other Element. Even Dendro and Pyro can react together. This makes it incredibly handy to have on your team, since you’ll be able to handle any Elemental Shield you come across (except of course Pyro).
- Pyro x Hydro = Vaporize/Reverse Vaporize (Increases DMG of Trigger Attack)
- Pyro x Electro = Over-loaded (Deals AOE Pyro DMG, causes knockback)
- Pyro x Cryo = Melt/Reverse Melt (Increases DMG of Trigger Attack)
- Pyro x Dendro = Burning (Deals Pyro DMG)
- Pyro x Bloom = Burgeon (Deals Dendro DMG)
- Pyro x Anemo = Swirl (Deals AOE Pyro DMG)
- Pyro x Geo = Crystallize (Deals no DMG, creates a Pyro Shard)
Just like Cryo, Pyro also has a couple of Elemental Reactions that change depending on which Element is applied first. We’ve already covered Melt, but let’s quickly go over Vaporize too.
When Hydro is applied to a target already affected by Pyro, the Vaporize Reaction occurs. It increases the triggering Hydro attack DMG by 2 times. When Pyro is the triggering attack, Reverse Vaporize occurs and the Attack DMG is increased by just 1.5 times. Both Vaporize and Reverse Vaporize will appear as just Vaporize Reactions in game, even if they have differing DMG multipliers.
Another complicated Pyro Reaction is the Burgeon Reaction, which can only occur when Pyro is applied to a Bloom Reaction, which we’ll go over later. The Burgeon Reaction is pretty strong, though, and even ignores nearby enemies’ DEF.
What Is Pyro Good for?
Pyro has one of the simplest Elemental Resonances out of all the Elements. When Fervent Flames is active, the party’s ATK is increased by 25%. They will also be affected by Cryo for 40% less time.
In general, though, Pyro is an essential Element to exploring Teyvat. Every region thus far has included Torch puzzles. There are also tons of pieces of environment that require Pyro to burn away in order to unlock treasure chests. Pyro is also required to ignite cooking fires, which can be found throughout the wilds of each region.
Additionally, in earlier parts of Genshin Impact, Pyro is one of the most useful Elements. Even over our first and second best Elements. It makes for incredibly explosive hits and has some of the best characters in the game, too.
Best Pyro Characters
Pyro may have lost out to some other Elements when it comes to overall best, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some great characters.
The Director of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor, for instance, is in our top five DPS characters in the game. Hu Tao may seem creepy and a little off-putting, but her strength as a playable character is second to (almost) none.
Another phenomenal Pyro character is Bennett. He may be a 4-star character, but his Support abilities are absolutely essential for serious players. His Elemental Burst is able to grant an ATK buff that few other characters can match. It also heals your team!
Newer players wanting a decent Pyro character don’t need to look any further than Xiangling of Liyue. She’s available to everyone who clears the third floor of the Spiral Abyss, and is an incredibly formidable Sub-DPS character. Her Elemental Burst creates a spinning fiery spear that encircles your active character. It’s fantastic for triggering Elemental Reactions and applying Pyro to swarms of enemies.
Beginning our top three best Elements in Genshin Impact is the Element of water and change. Hydro is usually the most overlooked Element, but when you start to really look at its effect in-game and how important it can be in combat, you’ll begin to realize why it’s made the top three on our list.
Hydro Elemental Reactions
Most Hydro Reactions are fairly simple, though things get a bit more complicated when Dendro is involved.
- Hydro x Electro = Electro-Charged (Deals Electro DMG)
- Hydro x Pyro = Vaporize/Reverse Vaporize (Increases DMG of Trigger Attack)
- Hydro x Anemo = Swirl (Deals Hydro DMG)
- Hydro x Geo = Crystallize (Deals no DMG, creates a Hydro Shard)
- Hydro x Dendro = Bloom (Deals Dendro DMG)
- Bloom x Electro = Hyperbloom (Deals Dendro DMG)
- Bloom x Pyro = Burgeon (Deals Dendro DMG)
- Hydro x Cryo = Frozen (Deals no DMG)
- Frozen x Geo = Shatter (Deals Physical DMG)
When Hydro and Dendro meet, the Bloom Reaction occurs. This Reaction creates a Dendro Core, which will linger on the field for up to six seconds. When a Dendro Core’s duration is up, it will explode and deal AOE Dendro DMG.
When Pyro is applied to a Dendro Core, the Burgeon Reaction will occur. This will immediately cause the Dendro Core to explode and deal more AOE Dendro DMG than the Bloom Reaction would have alone. Alternatively, if Electro is applied to a Dendro Core rather than Pyro, a similar Reaction will occur called Hyperbloom.
Exploding Dendro Cores will deal DMG to both Enemies and Allies alike, so be careful if you’re standing near one! Allies will take DMG from Burgeon and Hyperbloom Reactions, too.
Just like Pyro, Hydro is also an Element that reacts with all other Elements.
What Is Hydro Good for?
Hydro’s Elemental Resonance, Soothing Water, is also very similar to Pyro. Rather than increasing your party’s ATK by 25%, the Soothing Water effect increases the party’s HP by 25%. They will also be affected by Pyro for 40% less time.
Broadly speaking, Hydro is associated with healing properties and high HP characters. Players looking for Tanks who can take a hit and keep going will definitely want a Hydro character. There are more than a few who rely on having high HP to deal high amounts of damage.
Even outside of characters, though, many of Genshin Impact’s strongest Elemental Reactions would be impossible to trigger without Hydro. Which is the biggest reason why it’s so high on our list. It’s an underrated yet essential part of the game and one we hope gets more attention in the future.
Best Hydro Characters
When it comes to Hydro characters, it’s hard to beat the Yashiro Commissioner from the land of Inazuma. Kamisato Ayato had to take the weight of the world onto his shoulders from a young age to rebuild his family and protect his younger sister. His Elemental Skill deals some of the highest damage over time of any Genshin Impact character, and his Elemental Burst is pretty much the best way to apply Hydro to a wide field of enemies.
Another powerful Hydro character is the mysterious Yelan of Liyue. Her abilities make her very versatile and able to stand out on your team no matter her role. You won’t have to worry about her going down either, since she’s most effective with as much HP as possible.
The mage Mona Magistus also comes to mind when talking about powerful Hydro characters. Her support abilities make her a fantastic fit for most teams, and her Elemental Burst is able to immobilize huge areas of enemies with a single move. As a character with an Alternate Sprint, she’s also great for exploring, since she can run on water without needing to slow down to swim.
Taking our second top spot on the list of the best Elements in Genshin Impact is also the newest Element! Dendro was a late addition to the game. While it was always present throughout Teyvat, only a single NPC was even shown to have a Dendro Vision.
It wasn’t until Update 3.0 that playable Dendro characters were added to the roster and Dendro Elemental Reactions were finally refined.
Dendro Elemental Reactions
The Elemental Reactions for Dendro get a little more tricky than most other Elemental Reactions. In addition to initial Reactions that happen when Dendro comes into contact with certain Elements, there are some secondary Reactions if another Element is applied on top of those Elemental Reactions.
- Dendro x Hydro = Bloom (Deals Dendro DMG)
- Bloom x Electro = Hyperbloom (Deals Dendro DMG)
- Bloom x Pyro = Burgeon (Deals Dendro DMG)
- Dendro x Pyro = Burning (Deals Pyro DMG)
- Dendro x Electro = Quicken (Deals no DMG)
- Quicken x Electro = Aggravate (Deals Electro DMG)
- Quicken x Dendro = Spread (Deals Dendro DMG)
The Quicken Reaction is one of the few Elemental Reactions that does not deal any damage. Instead, it allows players to trigger secondary Reactions like Aggravate and Spread without needing to reapply Dendro or Electro. Additionally, the only Dendro Reactions that can CRIT are the Aggravate and Spread Reactions.
Dendro does not react with Anemo, Geo, or Cryo.
What Is Dendro Good for?
Dendro’s Elemental Reactions are some of the most complex in the game, but they’re also some of the strongest. They’re great for triggering Supportive Reactions to deal damage alongside your team’s DPS.
Before Version 3.0, Elemental Reactions were much more straightforward and overall simpler to understand. The addition of Dendro to the game completely upended the Elemental Reaction strategy of most meta players.
With the new complexity of Dendro Reactions, Hoyoverse gave players a lot more opportunity to strategize their Elemental Reaction DMG.
Dendro’s Elemental Resonance, Sprawling Greenery, increases the party’s Elemental Mastery by 50. Elemental Mastery is further increased by 30 for 6 seconds after triggering Burning, Quicken, or Bloom Reactions. Triggering Aggravate, Spear, Hyperbloom, or Burgeon Reactions increase Elemental Mastery by 20 for the same amount of time. Elemental Mastery can be increased by more than one Elemental Reaction at a time.
Best Dendro Characters
With a high level of intelligence, cunning, and power that’s growing by the day, you can’t talk about powerful Dendro characters without mentioning the Dendro archon Nahida. Nahida is the queen of Dendro application and Elemental Mastery. She’s also incredibly effective at triggering Elemental Reactions, even from long distances.
Another character that is great at triggering Elemental Reactions is actually the Dendro Traveler. Their strength lies in their Elemental Burst, which creates a field that constantly applies Dendro to enemies within it. When paired with Hydro and Electro characters, it’s only a matter of seconds before even the strongest of enemies are taken down.
Players wanting a more traditional DPS unit who isn’t as focused on Elemental Reactions can’t go wrong with Tighnari. He was the first 5-star Dendro character added to the game. Both his Charged Attacks and Elemental Burst act as tracking missiles that seek out nearby enemies. So even if your attacks aren’t spot on, he’ll never miss his shots.
We’re finally down to the best of the best Elements in Genshin Impact! It may come as a surprise that we put Electro at the top of our list. It shouldn’t, though — Electro is a very strong Element that has loads of potential and a lot of utility.
Electro Elemental Reactions
The great thing about most Electro Reactions is that they have a wide area of effect. They’re also incredibly powerful with a range of different effects on enemies. Some Reactions simply deal Electro DMG, others decrease enemies’ Physical RES, while others are among the few Elemental Reactions that can actually CRIT.
- Electro x Pyro = Overloaded (Deals AOE Pyro DMG)
- Electro x Hydro = Electro-Charged (Deals Electro DMG)
- Electro x Cryo = Superconduct (Deals AOE Cryo DMG, decreases Physical RES)
- Electro x Anemo = Swirl (Deals AOE Electro DMG)
- Electro x Geo = Crystallize (Deals no DMG, creates a Electro Shard)
- Electro x Dendro = Quicken (Deals no DMG)
- Electro x Quicken = Aggravate (Deals Electro DMG)
- Electro x Bloom = Hyperbloom (Deals Dendro DMG)
Electro is one of the few Elements that React with every other Element.
What Is Electro Good for?
Electro’s Elemental Resonance, High Voltage, generates Electro Elemental Particles after triggering an Electro Elemental Reaction. (Particles will not be generated from Swirl or Crystallize Reactions, though). The High Voltage bonus will also decrease the amount of time affected by Hydro by 40%.
The addition of Electro’s Reactions with Dendro made it a very highly competitive Element. Electro Reactions are powerful, varied, and useful in just about any situation. Electro is most effective against Hydro, but also works pretty well against Cryo and Pyro.
Along with its powerful Elemental Reactions, Electro is also helpful for exploring. It becomes increasingly important to have an Electro character on your team once you reach Inazuma and beyond.
Best Electro Characters
The Electro Archon has taken the top spot on many of our ranking list,s so it should come as no surprise to see her here when we’re talking about the best Electro characters. The Raiden Shogun’s strength is nearly unparalleled in all of Teyvat. Her unique skills also allow her to fill any role on your team with ease. Between her Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst, players have access to both easy Elemental DMG application and insanely powerful attacks.
Another Electro powerhouse is the foxy Priestess of the Grand Narukami Shrine Yae Miko. Her Elemental Skill makes applying Electro to enemies a breeze, since she can do it over a period of time even while off field. Her Elemental Burst also makes for a powerful Electro attack.
The last character we’ll talk about here is another phenomenal 4-star. Fischl may like pretending to be the Prinzessin der Verurteilung, but at least she’s got the power to back up her grandiose fantasy. Along with her companion, Oz, she makes for an invaluable ally and one who can make it incredibly easy to trigger Elemental Reactions too.
Join the High Ground
There you have our list of the best Elements in Genshin Impact! Do you agree with our top picks or would you switch things up? Let us know in the comments below! For our other Genshin Impact rankings, check out our list of the best 5-star characters here.
Check back soon for more guides, rankings, and tips! Until next time, ad astra abyssosque and happy gaming.