Genshin Impact Character Exploration Tier List and Rankings
Welcome to our Genshin Impact exploration character tier list and rankings for version 1.2 The Chalk Prince and the Dragon! This guide will list and go into detail all the current characters and their role in helping you get the most out of exploring the world of Teyvat.
This tier list will be updated every new patch and characters are released for Genshin Impact. If you have any feedback, please leave a comment below so we can revise it as soon as possible!
Tier List Methodology
This tier list will show you all the strengths and weaknesses of a particular character as you explore the world. Our primary aim is to explain what each character can do for you and utilize their full potential. No character is truly a must-have and will be mostly for convenience, though you can of course use it to min-max your team and help guide in what character you may want to wish for. If a situation arises at some point in the game that you need a certain character, chances are the you will already have them as free-to-play such as the Traveler, Amber and Kaeya.
We also recognize that swapping between different characters in the current game system is cumbersome, so having a party that can cover all the important bases would be ideal. Our goal is to help you find the right team with the perfect balance as your Adventure Rank increases and your character pool increases.
Although the ranking is largely opinion-based and mostly for fun, here we try to be systematic and provide a detailed reasoning on how we came to the final conclusion. We calculate the rankings based on the following character traits:
- Talents, both active and passive
- Elemental alignment
- Weapon-type that they can wield
- Other miscellaneous factors, such as a character’s height
Most characters have a passive talent (or two) that give a slight boost for your party when exploring the world, reducing the Stamina consumption when sprinting, swimming, or gliding. Some characters detect item nodes on the mini-map as well, which are of huge convenience.
We also take into account talents that give additional bonuses when crafting and cooking certain items, and reduce time on expeditions. These characters do not have to be in your active party, but they can save you a lot of materials (and time) over time so they are highly valued.
While most active talents are designed for combat, some have applications outside of this as well. For example, Venti can fly using his ability; Diona and Barbara’s Elemental Skills grant a temporary Stamina consumption decrease; Geo characters like the Traveler, Albedo and Zhongli can summon Geo Constructs to climb and grab things normally out of reach; Kaeya and freeze the water in front of him to walk across it.
Each character has an Element they are aligned to and many objects in the world require specific ones to activate. The Altars that help solve puzzles are the most obvious ones you will come across, and some are even timed so you may need characters that have short cooldowns on their skills or that can infuse their attacks with their Element.
Having two Anemo characters in your party activates the Elemental Resonance Impetuous Winds. It decreases Stamina Consumption by 15%, increases Movement Speed by 10% and shortens Skill Cooldown by 5%. This is one of the best exploration bonuses you can have and increases the value of your subsequent Anemo characters, as the main character (Anemo Traveler) is already available to everyone. Though other character talents also give a 20% Stamina buff for sprinting and swimming, they do not stack.
Some items require certain Elements to harvest. Some examples that you will find include:
- Flaming Flower Stamen: Requires Cryo or Hydro attacks to extinguish
- Electro Crystal: Requires Pyro attacks to break
- Mist Flower Corolla: Requires Pyro attacks to melt
- Dandelion Seed: Requires Anemo attacks to release
There are mainly two weapons relevant for the open world: Claymores and Bows. Claymore attacks are the best at mining ore veins around the world, generally only requiring a few attacks to break. Plunging Attacks or Geo infused attacks are also decent alternatives.
Ranged attacks also come handy from time to time, as you may need to shoot down targets for various challenges. Bow users also infuse their Element with their aimed shots with no cooldown. In Dragonspine, you can even infuse your weapon with the Scarlet Quartz to shoot down ice from afar.
Other than their innate abilities, characters may also have other traits that make them useful for exploration. For example, each character’s height is taken into consideration when running and climbing. This makes the “male adult” characters such as Diluc, Kaeya , Tartaglia and Zhongli the best to walk around the world in, as opposed to the “female child” characters such as Klee and Diona.
Tier List and Rankings
Characters that provide you with abilities that are very useful most of the time if left in your active party.
Characters that have some useful niche exploration abilities including their Elemental alignment and weapon-type. Usually relies on other members of the party to realize their full potential.
Venti is considered top tier for combat, and is also for exploration! The Skyward Sonnet talent allows him to ride the wind into the air by creating an upcurrent that lasts for 20 seconds. This allows you to grab stuff from the sky, overcome many obstacles and gives you freedom to explore things more efficiently.
As a Bow user, his ranged attacks may also come handy from time to time.
Venti also helps activate the Elemental Resonance Impetuous Winds for having two Anemo characters in your party.
If that wasn’t enough, Venti also has the Windrider passive talent, which decreases all party member’s gliding Stamina Consumption by 20%. All that combined should help you roam around the world without having to stop for a break too often!
Kaeya is one of the best characters to have in your party for exploring purposes, and the best part is that you get him for free! First, his Hidden Strength passive talent decreases all party member’s sprinting Stamina consumption by 20%.
He is also a tall character (adult male), making his sprinting and climbing speed considerably more efficient than others compared to say, female children such as Klee or Diona.
Kaeya’s Frostgnaw ability has a short cooldown to activate Cryo puzzles in quick succession but also has an important bonus that many may forget that exists and comes in handy at some point. You can use it to freeze the water in front of you to practically walk across any distance you desire. Of course, this method is slower but has a 100% success rate if you are not confident in your swimming Stamina.
There are two major benefits of having Razor in your exploration team. First is the valuable passive talent Wolvensprint, which decreases all party member’s sprinting Stamina Consumption by 20%. The second is his ability to wield the Claymore weapon type, combined with his Elemental Skill Claw and Thunder will make quick work of mining ores.
Mona can activate the Illusory Torrent talent, giving her a burst of increased movement speed. It costs 10 Stamina to activate and drains 15 per second, so it is more useful during battle as intended and not as efficient over longer distances. However, the real perk of this ability is moving across water much more quickly.
Zhongli’s Dominus Lapidis comes in handy in various points of the game. When he summons (Press) the Stone Stele the Geo Construct, you can use it to climb higher and solve puzzles involving pressure plates that you need in Liyue. Unlike the Geo Traveler which everybody has access to, Zhongli can only summon one of these (as opposed to two) without the first Constellation level Rock, the Backbone of Earth.
The real juicy part comes from jade shield (Hold) part of the ability, which can blast nearby ore veins in one shot. While this is can be convenient, as long as you have a Claymore-type character handy mining should not be a huge chore.
Zhongli, like Kaeya or Diluc, is considered an adult male and his traveling speed when sprinting or climbing is the best in the game. Combined with the Geo Construct, Zhongli is a decent partner for exploration.
As a bonus, the passive talent Arcanum of Crystal also refunds 15% of the ores used when crafting Polearm-type weapons.
Albedo’s Solar Isotoma talent floats the character into the air, similar to the other Geo Constructs that Zhongli and the Traveler summons. From there, you can use a Plunging Attack to deal more damage to ore veins if you do not have a Claymore wielder handy in your current party.
The passive talent Flash of Genius gives you a 10% chance to receive double the amount of Weapon Ascension Materials crafted via Alchemy, saving you a lot of potential farming time and most importantly, Resin!
Keqing’s exceptional mobility in combat is also useful in exploration due to her Stellar Restoration Elemental Skill. You can Hold to release the Lightning Stiletto into the air to blink to its location, allowing her to fly up. This can go pretty high, more so than the Geo Constructs formed by Zhongli or the Traveler and comparable to Venti’s upcurrents. The biggest upside of the ability is its flexibility on its positioning.
The passive talent Land’s Overseer reduces the time consumed on an expedition in Liyue by 25%.
Ningguang’s Trove of Marvelous Treasure passive talent displays the location of nearby ore veins (Iron Ore, White Iron Ore, Crystal Ore, Magical Crystal Ore, and Starsilver) on the mini-map. If you do not have a Claymore user in your party, her Geo-infused attacks are also just as good at mining.
Ningguang’s Jade Screen can also be used to place on pressure plates to solve puzzles, which the default Geo Traveler can also do. It is more useful for Geo altars that need to be activated in quick succession, that are harder for the Traveler or Noelle as their abilities have longer cooldowns.
Klee’s passive talent All Of My Treasures! displays the location of nearby resources unique to Mondstadt on the mini-map if she is your party and does not have to be the active character. They are not differentiated with each other, and are indicated by a generic hand icon. They are:
- Calla Lily
- Dandelion Seed
- Philanemo Mushroom
- Small Lamp Glass
- Windwheel Aster
Klee is classified as a female child, which means her small stature would not be suitable for sprinting and climbing, though it can be useful for dodging abilities in combat and in some cases sneaking under obstacles.
Qiqi’s passive talent Former Life Memories displays the location of nearby resources unique to Liyue on the mini-map if she is in your party and does not have to be the active character. Just like Klee’s ability, they are indicated by a generic hand icon. They are:
- Cor Lapis
- Glaze Lily
- Jueyun Chili
- Noctilucous Jade
- Silk Flower
Also like Klee, Qiqi is classified as a female child, and her small stature is not the best for sprinting and climbing, though it can be useful for dodging abilities in combat and in some cases sneaking under obstacles.
The Geo aligned Traveler’s Starfell Sword ability will likely be your essential exploration tool in Liyue, as it allows you to climb to higher places to grab things in the air (mainly Geoculus) and place it on pressure plates to solve puzzles. You can summon up to two of these Geo Constructs at a time, as opposed to Zhongli who requires his first Constellation level to achieve.
Jean’s Elemental Skill Gale Blade can blast enemies into the air, give them fall damage and can even kill them instantly if you manage to blast them in water. This can be useful as your World Level goes up and enemies get stronger. Her healing prowess also plays a factor here, allowing your team to power on without having to go back to the Statue of The Seven.
Jean helps activate the Elemental Resonance Impetuous Winds for having two Anemo characters in your party.
The passive talent Guiding Breeze gives you a 12% chance to obtain double the amount of food with restorative effects when Perfect Cooking is achieved.
Sucrose is also a Catalyst user, and her normal attacks are infused with Anemo energy that allows you to activate objects that require Anemo and even collect Dandelion Seeds with ease.
Sucrose helps activate the Elemental Resonance Impetuous Winds for having two Anemo characters in your party.
The passive talent Astable Invention gives you a 10% chance to receive double the amount of Character and Weapon Enhancement Materials crafted via Alchemy. This is Sucrose’s most sought after ability, as it can save you a lot of potential farming time.
Similar to Jean our main character has the Elemental Skill Palm Vortex. which can can throw enemies off edges and kill them instantly if you throw them in water.
The Traveler in their original Anemo form helps activate the Elemental Resonance Impetuous Winds for having two Anemo characters in your party.
As with other Anemo characters, you should find plenty of use for the Traveler, especially during your first exploration in Mondstadt.
The passive talent Flash of Genius gives you a 25% chance to refund a portion of Character Talent Materials crafted via Alchemy. While this ability does not help you move around the world more quickly, in reality it is extremely useful as the extra books can save you a lot of Domain farming and Resin over time – one of the most valuable resources in the game!
As one of the first characters that you obtain in Genshim Impact, Amber is not particularly known for her default combat prowess but she is at the very least useful for your exploration party. As the only ranged Pyro character, she can activate puzzles with ease and strike them from a distance.
The Baron Bunny summoned from Explosive Puppet can also activate the smaller pressure plates in Liyue, though the Geo Traveler can do this job much better.
She also has the Gliding Champion passive talent, decreasing all party members’ gliding Stamina Consumption by 20%.
Beidou’s Conqueror of Tides passive talent decreases all party member’s swimming Stamina consumption by 20% and as a Claymore user she is good for mining, combined with her Elemental Skill Tidecaller.
Diona’s passive talent Cat’s Tail Secret Menu is unlocked at the first Ascension and grants characters shielded by Icy Paws a 10% Movement Speed increase and a 10% Stamina Consumption decrease. This can last up to 9 seconds with the Hold part of the ability with a 15 second cooldown.
Like Klee and Qiqi, Diona’s small size makes running and climbing speed less efficient so be sure to swap her with a taller character when exploring. As a Bow user, Diona’s ranged Cryo attacks will also come in handy at various points of the game.
The passive talent Complimentary Bar Food gives you a 12% chance to obtain double the amount of food with restorative effects when Perfect Cooking is achieved.
Barbara’s passive talent Glorious Season is unlocked at the first Ascension and grants characters affected by Let the Show Begin a 12% Stamina Consumption decrease. This can last up to 15 seconds but with a long 32 second cooldown.
The passive talent With My Whole Heart gives you a 12% chance to obtain double the amount of food with restorative effects when Perfect Cooking is achieved.
Diluc is one of the best DPS characters in the game, also in the best Element so that should be enough for you to keep him in your party! Like Kaeya and Zhongli, he is classified as a tall character that is also best suited for sprinting and climbing and as a Claymore user he is an effective miner.
As a bonus, the passive talent Tradition of the Dawn Knight also refund 15% of the ores used when crafting Claymore-type weapons.
Chongyun’s Spirit Blade – Chonghua’s Layered Frost infuses your weapon with Cryo for several seconds, allowing you to freeze the water in front of you. This is similar to Kaeya’s ability, and the difference is minor. As a Claymore user he is also an effective miner at the same time.
The passive talent Gallant Journey reduces the time consumed on an expedition in Liyue by 25%.
Lisa is a Catalyst user, meaning her normal attacks are infused with Electro energy that allows you to activate objects that require this element.
The real value comes from the passive talent General Pharmaceutics gives you a 20% chance to refund a portion of materials used for Potions crafted via Alchemy. If you are crafting lots of potions, this can save you a lot of farming time!
Fischl is more known for her combat abilities, but does not provide too much utility for exploration other than being the only Electro Bow character.
The passive talent Mein Hausgarten reduces the time consumed on an expedition in Mondstadt by 25%.
Tartaglia is a tall character for more efficient sprinting and climbing, similar to Zhongli and Diluc. Other than that, he does not offer too much extra for your exploration needs though that as your main DPS that could be all your party requires.
Xinyan’s exploration utility is limited, but she can at the very least offer her Claymore for mining purposes.
The passive talent A Rad Recipe gives you a 12% chance to obtain double the amount of food with defensive effects when Perfect Cooking is achieved.
Noelle, as a starter character does not offer too much in her kit but she is a Claymore user if you need one for mining. Her defensive abilities and the Devotion passive ability is good for sustaining your party members.
The passive talent Maid’s Knighthood gives you a 12% chance to obtain double the amount of food with defensive effects when Perfect Cooking is achieved.
Bennett is not the best in our exploration rankings, where he does not offer too much other than his Pyro attacks with a low cooldown. However, it should be enough that he is one of the best support characters in the game especially in the Spiral Abyss, where no exploration is required!
The passive talent It Should Be Safe… reduces the time consumed on an expedition in Mondstadt by 25%.
Xiangling’s Gouba can also activate the smaller pressure plates in Liyue, though the Geo Traveler can do this job much better. As a free-to-play character she still excels in DPS and will be an integral part of your team.
The passive talent Chef de Cuisine gives you a 12% chance to obtain double the amount of food with offensive effects when Perfect Cooking is achieved.