10 best offensive characters in Genshin Impact

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Image: HoYoverse

Looking for the best DPS character Genshin Impact? We’ll break down the top offensive characters in the game so you know who to dedicate your resources to and who you should use your Primogems on. Here are the best offensive characters in Genshin Impact, ranked.

All offensive characters in Genshin Impact ranked

To start this list with a few disclaimers: this list won’t account for high constellations for 5-star characters. We’ll be looking at a character in their base form, as these are the most accessible to all players, as the average player will only really be able to get one copy of a particular 5-star. Sorry to those who own Yelan’s sixth constellation, but she won’t be making an appearance here. (For any 4-star characters that may appear on this list, we will include their respective constellation breakpoint.)

Speaking of Yelan, there are tons of “sub-DPS” characters like Yelan or Xingqiu who are extremely popular but aren’t exactly designed to deal the most damage. We’ll try to stick with characters who are more clearly “main-DPS” characters in this list. You might see a stray sub-DPS character here or there, but we’re trying to keep things consistent.

With that in mind, here are the best offensive characters in Genshin Impact, ranked:

#10: Kamisato Ayaka

Genshin Impact Ayaka Guide Weapons Artifacts Talents Build Mistsplitter Reforged 4
Image: HoYoverse

Cryo characters have a unique history in Genshin Impact, ranging from overpowered, to modestly power-creeped, back to a level of success. Cryo characters, for the most part, have been pigeonholed into Freeze teams, as this powerful reaction allows you to deal high damage while permanently crowd-controlling certain enemies.

As HoYoverse introduces new ways to counter Freeze, Cryo units like Kamisato Ayaka lose value, as that’s where she performs best. Kamisato Ayaka is still the best in her craft, it’s just that her craft has lost a bit of its luster.

#9: Tighnari

Genshin Impact Tighnari Best Team Comps Guide Dendro Quicken Aggravate Spread Bloom Burning 1
Image from Hoyoverse

Tighnari is a surprisingly strong 5-star character. Most veteran players might write off Tighnari due to his status as a “standard 5-star” character, where the likes of Diluc, Keqing, and Dehya reside. I admit, I fell into this trap, but Tighnari is a strong Dendro character who can dish out tons of damage with the right support.

Tighnari has a fun playstyle where he tosses his Elemental Skill at an enemy, which empowers his next three Charged Attacks. These attacks have high multipliers, and when combined with Electro units, allow him to deal tons of burst damage in a short period of time. He’s fluid, fun, and a great 5-star choice for free-to-play players or low-spenders.

#8: Lyney

Genshin Impact Lyney Best Team Comps
Screenshot by PC Invasion

Lyney is a 5-star Bow character and plays like a pumped-up Amber, dealing strong Charged Attack DMG. Lyney is a character who was teased near the start of Genshin Impact, and his long-teased appearance is definitely met with tons of power. However, Lyney has a number of flaws you need to consider when deciding to build him.

For starters, Lyney is not a flexible unit. He is designed to work solely with Pyro units. While you can add an additional support character, Lyney really works best in mono-Pyro situations, which can restrict his team building. As a Bow character reliant on charged attacks, I found Lyney to be very squishy. You need to pair him with a strong defensive unit that can protect him as he sets up his damage, such as Zhongli.

#7: Kamisato Ayato

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Image: HoYoverse

Kamisato Ayato is a powerful 5-star Hydro unit and is one of the most graceful characters in the game. As the older brother to Kamisato Ayaka, Ayato shares some similarities with his sister. This powerful and classy fighter has tons of tricks up his sleeve.

His playstyle is similar to Tartaglia. His Elemental Skill changes his Normal Attacks, entering a stance and allowing him to slash Hydro attacks at enemies rapidly. This allows him to fulfill a similar role to Tartaglia in many of his best teams. He lacks some of the burst damage that Tartaglia has but is admittedly more flexible as a unit.

#6: Wriothesley

Wriothesley Genshin Impact ascension materials
Image: HoYoverse

Wriothesley is a new 5-star Cryo character and broke a few records during his release. He was the first 5-star male Cryo character and the first Cryo Catalyst character. As a Catalyst character, Wriothesley’s Normal and Charged Attacks are permanently infused with Cryo. With a playstyle designed to maximize the damage from his Normal and Charged Attacks, this gives Wriothesley a new and unique playstyle.

For instance, you can use him as an on-field driver for Freeze teams, or use him in a Reverse Melt team with Shenhe. He is fairly squishy, however, as his Elemental Skill drains his HP significantly. While Wriothesley has the ability to recover his own HP with empowered Charged Attacks, I highly recommend pairing this guy with a strong healer.

#5: Tartaglia

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Screenshot: PC Invasion

Tartaglia is a popular 5-star character and is famously known for his strong Hydro application, thanks to his Elemental Skill. His Elemental Skill infuses his Normal Attacsk with a Hydro infusion, allowing him to consistently apply the opposition wet. In one of my personal favorite teams, Tartaglia spearheads the “International” composition which is composed of him, Sucrose or Kazuha, Xiangling, and Bennett.

Tartaglia does require some team support and is weaker as a solo DPS character. If anything, Tartaglia’s main strength is his rapid Hydro application, rather than his personal damage. But overall, he’s flexible and pretty easy to build around for free-to-play players, with good 4-star weapons and an optimal team of early 4-star characters.

#4: Hu Tao

Hu Tao Genshin Impact Team Comps
Screenshot: HoYoverse

Hu Tao is a 5-star Pyro character who absolutely excels at dishing out single-target damage. Hu Tao is almost like a sidegrade to Xiangling, as Hu Tao’s damage is stronger against isolated targets. Hu Tao can infuse her Normal and Charged Attacks with a Pyro infusion, which allows her to pair up nicely with characters like Xingqiu and Yelan.

Hu Tao is lower than Xiangling in our rankings due to her inflexibility, as well as her relatively expensive cost to build. Hu Tao does not have too many free-to-play friendly weapon options, and her optimal teammates are composed of other 5-star characters.

#3: Xiangling

Genshin Impact Xiangling Guide Best Weapons Artifacts
Image: HoYoverse

Xiangling is almost a curse in the Genshin Impact community at this point, home to a horrifyingly relatable copypasta due to how prevalent she is in so many different teams. If you manage to snag Xiangling’s fourth constellation, you’ll be rewarded with an infamous monster who has no business being as strong as she is.

Xiangling is technically more of a “sub-DPS” character. Her Pyronado ability is her main draw, as a vortex of Pyro energy swirls around her. This ability is infamous due to its absurdly high damage and fast Pyro application, meaning it can easily proc reactions such as Vaporize or Melt. Xiangling is a mainstay in popular meta teams, particularly “National” teams which are typically comprised of Xiangling + Bennett as a duo, with a Hydro applicator (Tartaglia, Xingliu, Yelan) and an Anemo unit (Kazuha or Sucrose.)

#2: Alhaitham

Genshin Impact Alhaitham Best Team Comps Guide Spread Hyperbloom Burgeon
Image via Hoyoverse

Alhaitham is a great 5-star Dendro unit hailing from Sumeru. Remember how Tartaglia was so strong thanks to his extremely efficient Hydro infusion? Alhaitham is like the Dendro version of that. And with how absurd Dendro is as an element, it’s easy to see why Alhaitham ranks so highly on different tier lists across the web.

Alhaitham’s main method of dealing damage is through his Dendro infusion. This consistent Dendro application allows him to create different insane Dendro reactions. The most popular pairing with Alhaitham is probably a Hyperbloom team, pairing him with a Hydro unit and an Electro unit to easily create Hyperbloom reactions.

#1: Neuvillette

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Image: HoYoverse

Neuvillette is a Hydro 5-star character released in Fontaine, and he is easily one of the best DPS characters in the game. There are a few reasons why I feel Neuvillette is the best pick for your Primogems and a character you should save up for if you don’t have him already: he’s easy and comfortable to play, he is free-to-play friendly, he’s flexible in many different compositions, and his damage is absurdly high.

Neuvillette uses his Elemental Burst and Elemental Skill to generate these Hydro orbs that will disperse onto the battlefield. You use his Charged Attack to absorb these orbs, which will allow your Charged Attack to fire a huge geyser on enemies that deal insane damage. This gameplay rotation is smooth, simple, easy to wield, and doesn’t require much support. Pair him with an Electro or Dendro unit, and make sure he has a shielder or extra interruption resistance. With that, you’re absolutely golden.

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Joshua Chu
About The Author
Joshua Chu is a Contributing Writer for PC Invasion since June 2021. His undying love for live-service games like Overwatch 2, Valorant, and Honkai: Star Rail (amongst other soul-rending games) has led him to spend hours and hours on his PC. After earning his Print Journalism degree at Pennsylvania State University, he proceeded to freelance for a variety of sites, with other bylines including Gamepur and Kotaku. He is probably sad he demoted in rank in Overwatch.