In this Genshin Impact Guide I’m going to be showing you my Driving Thunder Build for Keqing, which uses her Electro element in conjunction with Pyro element from team mates to cause massive Overload explosions. Such explosions are able to stun and knock back enemies, as well as destroying Abyss mages shields in the deeper levels of the Spiral Abyss.
Composing a party for each situation in Genshin Impact can be a bit of a challenge to say the least, especially with the limited options for those focusing on free-to-play. So in this Free to Play Build Guide I’ll explain just how to make Keqing a premium damage dealer, including what Weapons to use, what Artifacts to upgrade and which companions to pick up. If you’ve been looking for a free to play Melee Electro Build then check this one out! More Guides on our Genshin Impact Guide Section, including Klee The Short Fuse.
Genshin Impact Build: Keqing The Driving Thunder
Keqing is a five star character, who is currently available through all Wish banners. Without a rate up banner, it’s very difficult to pull for her. But with all free account rerolling done before patch 1.1, there are many players who had a chance to get her. If that’s the case for you, she might be your sole five star character in game, and that’s why you want to build a good team around her. This build focuses on a free-to-play, meaning players who are looking to build Keqing with minimal or no constellations, can still create a viable build without relying on dupes, but purely on items you can gain in game, and four star characters to accompany her.
This Keqing The Driving Thunder uses a combination of pure Electro and Pyro, to setup enemies up for massive Overload explosions. Because the Elemental Resonance gained from the two Pyro and two Electro characters are increased Attack, and massive energy recharge. Keqing’s ascension passive is Critical Damage Bonus, while her passives gives Crit Rate. On top of that, she have very fast normal attack combo, which she convert to Electro damage. All of that, makes her one of greatest damage damage dealers in the entire game.
All of Electro reactions, including Overload are considered “transformative reactions”. These scale only with Elemental mastery, and character level, and o they don’t scale with character damage. So ideally, we want the Keqing to provide the “Aura Element”, and the Pyro support characters to proc the reaction. This way we build our supports towards Elemental Mastery, and damage dealer towards direct damage. We can use Xiangling and Bennett on the Pyro side, and we get can Fischl as a second Electro character.
Keqing is the best character in game for exploration, due to her ability to teleport up in the air, and forward. She can climb all mountains, and bypass most obstacles easier than everyone else. Playing Keqing is like enabling easy mode for exploration, so you you want her in your exploration team. It doesn’t matter who you take with her, because Keqing elemental skill doesn’t consume stamina.
Keqing The Driving Thunder Attributes
Among our team, Keqing is the best Carry, so we want to build her for sustained DPS. We want to focus on Electro Damage Bonus, and Critical rate, then comes % Attack and Crit Damage. At level 80, she have 88.4% Crit Damage without any investment from Weapon or Artifacts. To optimize her damage, we need to get her Critical Rate over 45% before trying to pump Crit Damage any further. That mean as much Critical Rate in main stats and sub-stats everywhere.
Keqing The Driving Thunder Weapon
This Driving Thunder build uses a short sword, a fast weapon with lightning speed combos. Picking up a weapon for Keqing is a tough path to walk, because none of the crafted weapons are really best in slot for an Electro Keqing build. That limits our options for free to play, but does not unachievable.
At the bare minimum, we need to craft four star weapon, Iron Sting for Electro Keqing. It’s generally an easy to use weapon that requires no special conditions to work. However, Keqing truly shines with the more rare weapons with Crit Rate stat, like Aquila Favonia (five star), Lion’s Roar, or The Flute. These are very good weapons if you could get your hands on them, or else, we can resort to one of the guaranteed swords.
Blackcliff Longsword is one of the weapons which you can buy with 24 Masterless Starglitter from Paimon’s Bargains currently. It gives more Critical Damage and require even more investment in Crit Rate to balance the scale. But if you have to choose between Iron Sting and Blackcliff Longsword and nothing else, there is strong evidence that Blackcliff Longsword is much better, especially with more than one stack of weapon passive.
The Ultimate Weapon
The Black Sword can be acquired from the monthly Battle Pass, is the best in slot weapon for Keqing. It has everything she will ever need, huge Crit Rate, increased damage multiplier, and a good heal upon attacking enemies. The good thing is, this weapon is guaranteed, and you don’t have to gamble for it. The draw back is Battle Pass costing some real cash, though it has benefits such as ascension materials and Mora.
Keqing The Driving Thunder Artifacts
Figuring out how to customize your Artifact sets is one of, if not the hardest part of making a Build in Genshin Impact as there are a lot of components to consider, and generally takes a try or two before getting it right. In this section, I want to show you how I’ve set this up for an overall good performance with this build.
As we are building Keqing to provide Electro aura, it’s very easy to equip her with Thundersoother Set. This provides a massive damage multiplier against all enemies affected by Electro. Even after Overload reaction occurs, and it consumes Electro debuff, you will apply Electro again and again and again. It’s also a good defensive set to take less damage from all Electro reactions enemies can deal you. Overall, it’s the best set for our build, but beware that you need to farm this Set from Domains after AR 35. It doesn’t give good rewards until AR 40 or 45, so it’s more of an Endgame goal.
This set has very good damage, dealing a 15% Electro damage bonus, and massive 40% damage bonus for Electro reactions. Also, it reduces elemental skill cooldown. It’s overall a good Set for Keqing, but she needs to be the character proccing the reactions all the time to benefit from the damage bonus. Keqing still proccs some reactions, but she applies Electro much faster than most other characters can apply other elements. We also are not building Keqing with Elemental Mastery, because Electro reactions doesn’t scale with her damage, nor Critical hits. So Thundering Fury is a nice alternative Set if you don’t get good Thundersoother pieces.
Flower of Life & Plume of Death
The main stat on these Artifacts is predetermined. The Flower artifact always gives a flat HP stat, and the Plume always gives a flat Attack stat. This makes it easier to get an Artifact with perfect stats on these two slots, because you have less variables to worry about. We want Critical rate on sub-stats here, along with any combination of % Attack, Flat Attack, , and Critical Damage.
Give priority to leveling up the Plume piece, it’s important on the main damage dealer of the team. However, the Flower piece has less priority, unless it has absolute perfect stats.
During early game you can use pieces from Sets with attack bonus on two pieces, such as Brave Heart, Resolution of Sojourner, or Gladiator’s Finale. It’s easy to pick flower or plume pieces from these sets, as leveling them will not be wasted, but passed down to other characters after you replace them with Thundersoother Set later in game.
Sands of Eon
The Sands of Eon timepiece is a more flexible Artifact, with the focus being on the main stat. It can roll different stats as a main, and that’s why it’s harder to acquire the perfect pieces, but it also has a higher ceiling. We seek % Attack main stat, then seek a couple of good sub-stats. These are Flat Attack, Crit Rate and Crit Damage.
Goblet of Enotherm
We need Electro Damage Bonus, as the main stat here. It’s harder to get the right bonus because Goblets can roll every elemental damage bonus, so the pool of modifiers is large. So Goblets don’t have to belong to your 4 piece set. You can have the four piece set on the other slots, and roll the Goblet with best stats possible, without being part of any Set. Make sure to seek couple good sub-stats, such as % Attack, Flat Attack, Crit Rate and Crit Damage.
Circlet of Logos
Headpiece is as important as Goblet, if not more, because it can roll Critical stats. Get Critical rate or Critical damage, and try to keep 1:2 Crit Rate: Crit damage ratio at all times. So if you have 100% Critical Damage from the default stat, you’re better off investing in Critical Rate to push it to 50%.
Get some of good sub-stats on Circlet if applicable, these are % Attack, Crit Rate, and Crit damage.
Keqing The Driving Thunder Talent Skills
Normal Attacks are fairly quick, stylish, and involve a lot of movement around using this talent. They can chain in 5 attacks combo, and any of attacks can turn into charged attack very quickly. So you get to avoid most enemy attacks by just going all offensive with Keqing, and you can knock back small enemies with charged attack at any stage of the combo.
The Charged attack does two hits, has a huge damage modifier, and performs quicker than most other characters. The power of combining normal and charged attacks is very high, and it’s even better when you infuse Keqing with power of lightning, making all attacks deal Electro damage. With Overload, this combo can be very effective against enemy shields as well. It’s overall a delightful effective talent that defines how good Keqing is.
On 7.5 seconds cooldown, Keqing‘s Elemental Skill is pretty much spammable. The talent has two stages, in the first act Keqing throws a Stiletto made of pure lightning. If it hits enemies, it deals Electro damage, and you can press for quick throwing, or hold to aim where the Stiletto launch. The Stiletto stays on its place for few seconds, allowing you to perform other actions while it’s still there.
Afterwards, you have a choice of how to proceed with a second stage. You can use a charged attack which are performed in Keqing‘s location, and some deal some thundering cuts, performed in the Stiletto’s mark location. Or otherwise, use the Elemental Skill again, so Keqing teleports to the Stiletto, dealing a wide lightning slash. This talent makes her very versatile, and very mobile, and can be performed in and out of combat. It also doesn’t require an enemy target, and can be used to climb, or jump in air to perform Plunging attack. You can also aim for aerial enemies weak spots, to bring them down. Or you can hide behind tanky team mates in Co-op and slash at enemies from range.
There are many uses for this Elemental Skill, but the game changer here is Thundering Penance passive that Keqing gets after Ascension. It gives her a 5 seconds buff, converting all her normal and charged attacks to Electro after she teleport with Stellar Restoration second cast. That behavior differentiates between Electro and Physical Keqing builds. With Physical builds using charged attacks to keep her attacks physical, and Electro builds using Stellar Restoration twice to convert her damage. We are aiming for an Electro build here for Keqing as this is far more accessible, and has better mobility.
Keqing‘s Elemental Burst and signature move is the Starward Sword. Utilizing lightning speed, she performs so many slashes from all directions, in a wide area of effect for a duration. The Talent has a very low 40 Energy cost, which makes it very spammable, and she is invulnerable during this duration. So Keqing is a character that can be built as a glass canon without worrying about her survivability. In dangerous situations, you can also use her Elemental Skill the first time to throw a Stiletto mark, using her Elemental Burst for massive damage and invulnerability, then quickly uses the Elemental Skill for a second time, to teleport away if danger is still present. That way, you can keep dealing damage against most aggressive enemies (e.g against Ruin Guard whirlwind), and stay safe.
The better part of her Elemental Burst is again the passive Aristocratic Dignity. This buffs Keqing with CRIT Rate and Energy recharge by 15% for 8 seconds after using her Elemental Burst. Very potent buff that have very good uptime.
Keqing The Driving Thunder Party Composition
Genshin Impact has a unique playstyle that requires you to switch characters while performing attacks, and chaining combos across these characters. So a solid part of this Keqing build, is knowing which characters will best work with her, and what roles they will play. In this section, I’ll fill you in on some of the best characters that synergise well with this build. I’ll only use Four Star characters here, to make sure it’s achievable for free to play players.
You had a Fischl as a guarantee reward from completing Unreconciled Stars Event during November. She had the better drop rates in Venti’s Wish banner during October. So most free-to-play players will have her, and probably some of her Constellations unlocked. She’s a very good damage support for any build, but more importantly for any Electro DPS carry like Keqing or Razor. The reason is that Elemental Resonance you get from having two Electro characters in team is Energy recharge. Each time an Electro reaction occurs, you get to regenerate Energy from that reaction, which is very good. Fischl is specially proficient at dealing Electro in a highly consistent rate. She can also build damage while playing a Support role, and she’s very friendly to free-to-play.
On the field, we switch to her and use either her Elemental Skill or Elemental Burst, then switch her out, focusing on other characters.
Electro Damage Bonus is a very nice damage boost, always get it wherever applicable. Then Build some Crit Rate, Crit Damage, and some Percentage and flat Attack. As Fischl‘s Elemental Skill can score critical hits, and it stays on field long enough to score many of these.
But for a Critical build, I recommend buying Royal Bow from with 24 Masterless Starglitter from Paimon’s Bargains. It has the same damage numbers as Rust, but has a Critical Rate on top of that. So the Royal Bow is one of best weapons for characters without an inner Critical rate modifier. What this bow does is gives you a stacking Crit Rate modifier, that goes up until you score a critical hit, then rest. It’s not ideal for high critical rate characters who score critical more often than not. But for characters with a moderate 25%~30% critical rate, it will make them score one additional Crit hit out of four hits.
If you buy this bow, you can swap your Critical Rate Headpiece for a critical damage bonus one. Also beware that you will not have enough Masterless Starglitter for buying two weapons from the shop. So only get this bow if you are not using a weapon from the shop for your main, Keqing.
We use 2 pieces from Thundering Fury Set, and two pieces Gambler Set. This way, we get two permanent damage multipliers for Elemental Skill. The hybrid build allow picking only best items you have from both sets.
For Main stats, get Electro Damage Bonus on Goblet, % Attack on Timepiece, and then Crit Rate or Crit Damage on Headpiece. Then Attack, and Crit rate on sub stats. This way we get a bit of every modifier, and have a strong elemental skill that keep dealing damage after we switch from Fischl to Keqing.
We had an increased chance to get Xiangling by using wishes on the “Venti Ballad” banner, while it lasted. We also have a guaranteed chance to get her by beating floor 3 in the Spiral Abyssal Event after reaching AR 20. So if you are a new player, you are guaranteed to have her. If you started earlier back in October or September, you will not only have her, but probably have unlocked several constellations for her.
In this party, we will build Xiangling for support, and for proccing elemental reactions, namely Overload. Overload deals Pyro damage, and is the strongest of “transformative reactions”. It can’t score critical hits, and scales only with character level, and Elemental Mastery, so we will be leveling Xiangling and not leave her behind. This also prompts us to use a secondary Pyro character, for a good 25% Attack bonus for all party members from Elemental Resonance.
We go straight with Pyro damage bonus, and Elemental mastery, then fill Attack stats where applicable. We can use Energy recharge on sub-stats for better uptime of her Elemental Burst.
Xiangling inflicts Pyro on enemies slower than our Electro characters (Keqing and Fischl), so she will proc the Elemental reactions, rather than being an Aura. This way, she will benefit most from Elemental mastery. When it comes to Polearms, Dragon’s Bane is the best weapon for Elemental Mastery scaling. At level 80, it entertains a massive 201 Elemental mastery, which is like a 60~80% damage multiplier depending on how much EM you already have.
The Crimson Witch of Flames Set is a very appealing choice for Xiangling, it boosts both her direct Pyro damage, and Overload damage. However, it does not benefit the party as a whole, and the main damage dealer for this build is Keqing. So an alternative option is to use the Instructor Set, which gives a nice Elemental Mastery bonus, for the entire party. Instructor has a lower ceiling though, being four star Set that can’t be leveled beyond +16. So consider Instructor as a leveling Set, and aim for Crimson Witch of Flames for endgame goal.
Get Pyro Damage as a main stat on Goblet, and Elemental Mastery and/or Energy Recharge on other pieces. For sub-stats, get Elemental mastery, %Attack, and Energy Recharge.
We use him as both a healer and a secondary Pyro character for Elemental Resonance. So we build him towards spamming his Elemental Burst at cooldown, first and foremost. His Elemental Burst provides some nice Attack buff for any party member inside the Inspiration Aura created by Elemental Burst. However, it’s more important to have a higher uptime for his Elemental Burst, than having more potent buffs or heal. So we aim to have the most Energy Recharge on Bennett.
We build Bennett with Percentage HP, to scale his healing, and Energy Recharge to maximize uptime of his Elemental Burst. Bennett‘s Attack buff scales with his Base Attack, which comes from leveling and Ascending him, and his weapon, and is not affected by Attack stat on Artifacts.
We need an Energy recharge weapon for Bennett. Both four stars, Favonius Sword and Sacrificial Sword are great for the job. It grants more damage and healing for the entire party if his Elemental Burst is up on cooldown, and Energy Recharge is great for this. If you can’t find four stars weapon, just use the three star weapon Skyrider Sword, as it has Energy Recharge as well, and better than any pure damage sword.
Use either Noblesse Oblige or The Exile Artifact Set. the first buff Attack, and the second buff Energy Recharge for the entire team. Noblesse Oblige is a five star Set, so it will have better scaling and higher main and sub-stats so it will also result in a better healing. Stick with HP main stat as much as possible, and get Energy Recharge on sub-stats.
Genshin Impact is available to play on PC, iOS, Android PS4 and PS5 through backwards compatability. If you enjoyed this Genshin Impact Guide be sure to check out more on our Genshin Impact Wiki. You can also keep an eye out for more guides for Genshin Impact, and be sure to not miss our Genshin Impact Getting Started Guide, as well as our Razor The Incredible Wolf Guide – Free To Play Guide.