Genshin Impact‘s combat system relies on the effective utilization of different elemental status effects. By mastering these techniques, including swapping to the right character/element, you create combo chains that can decimate your foes. Here’s our combat guide to help you out.
Note: For more information, check out our Genshin Impact guides and features hub.
Genshin Impact: Elemental combat guide
While each character does have their own skill sets, they conform to specific elemental damage types with the exception of the Traveler (the main character). As mentioned in our beginner’s guide, the Traveler is able to switch between Anemo and Geo spells when visiting a Statue of the Seven in particular regions.
In any case, here are the elements you’ll find in Genshin Impact and the characters that use them:
- Anemo (Wind) – Traveler (starts with Anemo), Jean, Venti, Sucrose, Xiao
- Geo (Earth) – Traveler (can switch to Geo by interacting with Statues of the Seven in Liyue region), Noelle, Ningguang
- Pyro (Fire) – Amber, Diluc, Xiangling, Bennett, Klee
- Cryo (Ice) – Kaeya, Chongyun, Qiqi
- Electro (Lightning) – Lisa, Fischl, Razor, Beidou, Keqing
- Hydro (Water) – Barbara, Mona, Xingqiu
- Dendro (Nature) – N/A
The above image comes from Genshin Impact‘s “Wanderlust Invocation” Wish. This is one of the game’s many purchasable microtransactions.
Although you will have four party members early in the game (Traveler, Amber, Kaeya, and Lisa), the rest can only be recruited if you were lucky enough to obtain them from Wish microtransactions. You can learn more in our microtransactions and Wishes guide.
Elemental status effects and combos
Some enemies will also have their own elemental affixes or elemental shields. Others, meanwhile, can be affected by an elemental status when you use certain skills or due to changes in the environment. For instance, enemies that wade into bodies of water become “wet” (Hydro element effect), allowing you to combo with efficiency.
There are also particular features of the landscape that can only be activated by a specific element. For instance, some switches and receptacles have an elemental symbol and you need to use skills to activate these. You might get juicy rewards in return.
Below, you’ll see a list of combos depending on the elemental status effects that are active on a target:
|Electro + Pyro
|AoE fire damage
|Electro + Cryo
|AoE ice damage; defense reduction
|Cryo + Hydro
|Freezes the target
|Cryo + Pyro
|x2 damage if triggered by Pyro; x1.5 damage if triggered by Cryo
|Hydro + Pyro
|x2 damage if triggered by Hydro; x1.5 damage if triggered by Pyro
|Pyro + Dendro (i.e., wood)
|Deals a fire DOT effect; used to burn wooden shields of enemies
|Electro + Hydro
|Deals lightning DOT
|Anemo + Pyro, Cryo, Electro, and/or Hydro
|Deals bonus elemental damage; spreads the elemental status effect to other nearby enemies
|Geo + Pyro, Cryo, Electro, and/or Hydro
|Spawns a small crystal that gives you a resistance boost against a particular element
That sounds like a lot to take in, and, yes, it can be. However, in simplest terms, you just need to remember that having a party with characters using different element types is beneficial due to all the combos you can create. In my experience, though, a select few can be highly beneficial no matter the situation.
You’ll often encounter baddies who have wooden shields. Causing the burning effect gets rid of their makeshift defenses.
Note: Using Pyro spells on thorny vines also causes them to burn to a crisp. They might reveal hidden treasures.
Try to lure enemies towards bodies of water, or striking small altars that can cause rain to pour down. By making enemies wet with Hydro effects, you can then switch to someone who uses Cryo spells to freeze them. This is especially useful when fighting larger enemies that hit hard as it nullifies their offensive capabilities.
Note: Cryo is also useful if you’re trying to cross rivers and lakes. Since swimming depletes stamina, you can safely cross bodies of water by walking on the frozen patch.
Overload and Superconduct
I usually pop a Cryo or Pyro skill to debuff targets, and then I’ll switch to Electro to trigger either Overload or Superconduct. The AoE damage is an absolute killer for packs of mobs.
Even better, if you have someone who uses Anemo skills, you can combine all the above elemental effects and then pop their ability. This will spread that effect and cause even more damage to your foes. Long story short, pop skills that can cause Overload or Superconduct first, then quickly switch to someone who uses Anemo-based attacks. Use their skill and spread that “mini-nuke” damage everywhere.
Anyway, now that you know the basics of Genshin Impact‘s elemental combat, it’s time to find out which characters are best suited for your party. Head over to our character ratings guide.