Many players are interested in obtaining 5-star characters in Genshin Impact due to their sheer power and potential in comparison to 4-star characters. However, luckily, the game doesn’t exactly pressure players into having the best damage or the best team compositions around. In fact, many 4-star characters perform better than some 5-star characters, especially in support roles, and are actually viable in-game regardless of the content level.
They may not be as flashy as 5-star characters, but at least players don’t blow a good chunk of their salary trying to get them. Then again, not all of them are good if math and efficiency are concerned. Knowing which 4-star Genshin Impact characters are worth putting in a party is also incredibly helpful. Here’s how they stack up against one another.
Updated on March 30, 2023, by Elara Leclair: The 3.0 version update of Genshin Impact has introduced the Sumeru region and Dendro Elemental Reactions, along with a fresh batch of characters representing a diverse range of elements. These additions aim to enrich the gaming experience by providing new avenues for play styles. While most of the latest characters serve as utility or support characters, some stand out with their impressive kits and have found a place in many teams since their release.
- Low attack
- Makes up for it with pyro abilities
- Good for lighting up torches
Some things never change, which is quite sad for Amber. She’s been at the bottom of the heap ever since the game began and is crowned as the worst character when it comes to damage. Still, she does have her uses, such as lighting up braziers from afar if players are too lazy to get close.
- Slow electro application
- Abilities and talents reduce enemy defenses
- Has niche usage in a Eula team, but not much outside that
Lisa is great for climbing, and for those who crave a witch-type character (even though she’s a librarian). However, her attacks are simply too slow or too weak.
She does electro damage, which is one of the weakest elements in the game. Her abilities don’t synergize well with her playstyle, since they require her to be in the thick of things.
- Semi-reliable shielder
- C4 variant works well in a Eula team
- Not reliable as a pyro DPS
Despite being the only pyro claymore user aside from Diluc, Xinyan remains as unpopular as ever. It’s most likely due to her abilities, which are all over the place.
She needs to have a high defense for her Elemental Skill, while her Elemental Burst is a split of physical and pyro damage. It’s hard to build her one way without pulling away from the other aspects.
- Excellent melee cryo application
- Makes water traversal easy
- Works well in a Diluc, Hu Tao, or Klee team
- Can be a DPS carry
There have been reports that using Kaeya as the main DPS can produce decent results, but ultimately, he still gets overshadowed by even 4-star characters who are DPS-based. At best, Kaeya acts like the perfect support for a Diluc melt composition. Beyond that, though, other cryo users simply deal better cryo status at longer ranges or larger areas of effect.
- Excellent cryo application and infusion
- Elemental Burst is difficult to aim
- Works well as a cryo support for pyro DPS mains
Speaking of dealing cryo status in a large area, Chongyun is one of the best in the 4-star category. He’s the only cryo claymore user, so he can be a decent DPS. However, his Elemental Burst, while damaging, is too small and can miss a lot. Players mostly include him in the party as support for Melt or Frozen compositions, because his Elemental Skill is superb.
- Both abilities heal
- Decent hydro application
- Can function as a janky DPS, thanks to vaporize reactions
It’s too bad that the only healer players can get if they don’t have any 5-star characters is Barbara. She does heal consistently but does it slower compared to Qiqi or Jean.
Barbara also has no other purpose than being a healer; her attacks are too feeble and she’s too slow on the hydro application to deal Frozen status frequently. Still, any port in a storm is good if free-to-play players need some healing.
- Strong healing, but it’s only single target
- Great battery potential
- Controllable Electro application although it can be difficult to manage.
After Kuki Shinobu’s release, many players were excited to have another option for an Electro healer character. However, it was soon realized that Kuki was a much more convenient option than Dori in many instances. This is primarily because while Dori is great as a universal battery option for many teams, she doesn’t bring as much value to the team as many other characters can.
While she can certainly apply Electro, this is done through a link between her and her summon, which requires positioning that may not be ideal in many situations. Additionally, her damage values are quite low, and as such, she is only best suited for players who enjoy utilizing Elemental Bursts as much as possible while using characters that need high energy generation.
- High physical damage
- Fast attacks, not much CRIT Rate needed
- Claymore user, great for general combat
- Lowered Stamina cost is underrated
No Xiao? No problem. Razor fulfills a similar role, except with physical damage and with better regard for personal safety.
He’s one of the few “selfish” DPS characters in the game, but worth the price of ascension and leveling. Just slap a 4-piece Gladiator’s Finale set on him and let him rip.
- Fills in many roles
- Has a strong shield
- Can heal while attacking
- C6 variant can benefit greatly from poor DEF artifact rolls
- Claymore user, making her great for general combat
For a little bit of everything, one can’t go wrong with Noelle. She’s a tank, a healer, and a DPS; she truly lives up to her title as a dutiful maid should. If given the right defense-centric artifacts at constellation six, Noelle can become one heck of a beast, since her ATK would scale off her DEF. Players shouldn’t be surprised if they see a level 80 or 90 Noelle in the late game.
- High geo damage
- Decent defenses with the Jade Screen
- Generates shield particles fast
- Marks resources on the map
With the most recent buffs to geo damage, Zhongli, Albedo, and Ningguang (heck, even Noelle) are on a roll. This is especially true for Ningguang since she just became a part of the endgame META as a sought-after DPS in domains. She deals tons of geo damage like a Gatling gun and can generate shields to boot.
- Good for Pyro resonance
- Has a shield
- Only viable Burgeon enabler so far.
Thoma fills a niche role as a Pyro character who is not as popular as mainstays like Bennett. His focus is on enhancing shields and providing other characters with plentiful energy, with a slow Pyro application. While his slow Pyro application may not be desirable for many team compositions, it is surprisingly effective for the Burgeon reaction. Additionally, his shield is ideal against the reaction as Burgeon inflicts damage to the active character upon explosion.
- Decent Dendro application for Quicken and Spread Reactions
- Large ranged Elemental Burst AoE
- Off-field application capabilities
Collei was among the first Dendro characters to be introduced to players in the game, and as the first 4-star Dendro character, she is freely given to every player upon completing Spiral Abyss 4-3, if they missed the Graven Innocence event in the 3.0 update. With only Tighnari and Dendro Traveler available as Dendro characters at the time, many players utilized her to experiment with the new reactions.
However, while she initially served her purpose well, she was eventually outclassed by subsequent Dendro characters. Her application is simply not as consistent as that of the ever-increasing number of available options. Despite being outmatched by other Dendro characters, Collei remains an excellent and easily accessible free-to-play option.
- Can buff the teammates
- Can mitigate damage with parry mechanic
- Potential as a sub-DPS.
- Benefits from Hydro Resonance
Candace is a 4-star character whose unique design matches the aesthetics of many 5-star characters. While she is relatively niche and only viable in some team compositions, she can be a formidable character when built correctly, especially when her later constellations are unlocked, since she also has decent Burst DMG scaling. As she is essentially built with HP, she can also benefit from the Hydro Resonance, making her a good option for Bloom teams, particularly with Nilou.
She can also activate hydro infusion to increase the Hydro application for reactions. However, her buff is not as strong as that of some other characters like Sucrose, Bennett, or Yunjin’s. Hence, she may not be as viable in team compositions that aim to maximize buffs.
- Gives out tons of CRIT Rate
- Good cryo application
- Can also work as a DPS
Speaking of a pyro character support, Rosaria is a viable candidate thanks to her persistent off-field Elemental Burst that continuously deals cryo damage. As such, Rosaria is a good sub-DPS to have.
If players want to, they can even make her a fully-fledged DPS. All they need is a reverse-melt setup. She’s a polearm user too, meaning her DPS is competent but not as robust as a claymore user for dealing with shields.
- High damage ceilings
- Needs lots of patience to time her counterattack
- C6 variant can match C0 Eula for DPS
- Requires lots of field time to function as a sub-DPS or DPS
Beidou is an underrated fan favorite. She can function as both a tank and a DPS, which makes her quite a versatile main character. The only issue is that she’s slow on the damage and relies on enemies attacking her before she can actually live up to her potential as a good DPS. If players have that patience, then she can be quite a monster on the field.
- Strong Shield
- Decent Cryo application
- Easy to upkeep Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst
Layla is a Cryo support character with exceptional shielding abilities, much like Diona, though she lacks the ability to heal. Instead, she compensates by providing a more consistent Cryo application. However, her downside is that while her shield may be formidable in most situations, it can falter against powerful opponents, which could cause her to lose her sub-DPS and Cryo application potential since these are tied to her shield. Nevertheless, she is still a viable option for various team compositions, including physical, freeze, and melt teams, even though she doesn’t offer any specific buffs.
- Excellent electro application and support
- Long cooldowns
- C6 variants can become an amazing physical DPS
- Bow user; ranged attacks are always better
Another awesome DPS at constellation six is none other than Fischl. At that point in her progression, her physical attack output is so high she essentially becomes a machine gun. Of course, she doesn’t even have to be C6 in order to shine; she does well as electro support at lower constellations.
- Strong charge attacks
- Pyro element makes her viable as a DPS carry
- Requires hydro or cryo support to function as a fully-fledged DPS
Yanfei is the newest 4-star character on the roster, and she’s proven herself to be quite a capable pyro damage dealer. She’s Klee’s closest 4-star alternative right now. As usual, Yanfei can shine if players provide her with adequate support characters such as Xingqiu or Kaeya.
Yanfei’s charged attacks can make her viable in the Spiral Abyss and other late-game content in Genshin Impact. Granted, most pyro characters (with the exception of Amber and Xinyan) will excel if given a proper reaction setup.
- Anemo healer
- Great for fast traversals & exploration
- Anemo element gives her access to elemental resistance shred
Sayu is an awesome all-around support character that not only provides healing but also a considerable damage buff for teams that rely on elemental damage or elemental reactions. It’s all thanks to her anemo element, which allows her to fully utilize Viridescent Venerer. Moreover, Sayu has a hold variant for her skill which allows her to roll fast over long distances.
- Great for geo resonance
- Provides plenty of defensive buffs for teammates
- Great for ensuring that other characters don’t get interrupted
- Also great for DEF-scaling characters
Gorou has a defensive focus on his abilities and while that might not be needed for some, he’s a great alternative for players who don’t have Zhongli. Because Gorou provides a truckload of defense for the party and this includes resistance to interruption. Apart from that, Gorou can be an excellent teammate for characters like a C6 Noelle, Arataki Itto, or even Albedo as their damage scales with defense.