The free to play ARPG, Genshin Impact, has now been out for a while. As a gacha game, some of the frequently asked questions are about characters. Whether it’s about how to build them, how to team them up together, and more importantly, how they rank up compared to each other. Or in other words, Character Tier lists. The importance of tier lists in gacha games come from the limited access to characters. By merely playing the game daily, you are guaranteed some premium currency called Primogems to pull or to use on Wishes on banners.
But that’s it, the Primogems are a finite amount if you are a free-to-play player, so it’s important to do some decision making and think carefully before spending them. Even for those who decide to invest a little, it’s good to know which characters to go after and have a plan. At the very least, you want to spend them on characters that matter, or ones that will be beneficial to your team. We will help you answer these questions, with our Fextralife Genshin Impact Character Tier List Crystallize.
Genshin Impact Character Tier List: Crystallize (Geo)
Genshin Impact offers a big world to explore, with a huge roster of 31 characters at the time of the creation of this character tier list (version 1.5), the latest being Yanfei and upcoming Eula being added soon making that 32 playable characters in total (33 if you count the main character).
To properly give every Character a fair chance of representation, I’ve decided to split characters by the roles they can play in a party, the most unique aspect of every character, and the elemental reaction they are capable of causing. Since most enemies in-game are either immune, resistant, or weak against certain elemental reactions, that would be the main focal point for our version of tier lists. Tier Lists can be slightly subjective at times, due to personal preference when it comes to playstyle, but we will way up the good and the bad in our rankings so you have a better understanding of how we got there.
We will take into consideration the amount of damage a character can inflict, the frequency of applying said element, and the accessibility of the character. So for five-star characters, we judge characters based on their Zero Constellation (C Zero). Any five-star characters that require more constellations to function will be ranked lower than characters that give their whole kit from the get-go. For four-star characters however, since they frequently appear in different banners with an up-rate, and are easier to obtain, they will be judged accordingly. This is why I’m ranking four-star characters based on what they can achieve with C1, C2, or C4, sometimes even on C6 performance in certain cases.
So while you navigate our tier list, note that it doesn’t represent the maximum potential of each character, but rather a sum of different factors including accessibility. Each of our tier lists may vary slightly due to their purpose to others so read on for our Crystallized list. With that settled, let’s get going.
What to use the Geo Element for and How Crystallize Works
Geo is the element of earth, rocks, and the entire theme of Liyue. It’s an element meant for defense, protection, and order. So the sole elemental reaction it does is “Crystallize”, which creates small crystals on the ground. Said Crystals can be picked up to form a Crystallized Shield around characters. So Geo’s main purpose is protection, and while its protection is active, it will enchant the team’s offensive capabilities.
Prior to 1.3 patch, Geo was probably the most underwhelming element due to the fact that most of its encounters in Genshin Impact are designed around offense. The general concept is that you don’t need much defense, if you can quickly dispatch enemies. MiHoYo had to consider the design of Geo, and gave it a huge buff in patch 1.3 that helped it become more competitive. Currently the main strength of Geo comes from Geo Resonance: Enduring Rock. It Increases shield strength by 15%. and characters protected by a shield will have their DMG output increased by 15% as well as decrease enemies Geo RES by 20% for 15s. With every patch, they introduce harder content that’s more capable of killing you, so defense becomes more and more relevant.
Geo resonance is massive because it gives a straight multiplier to total damage, not just a small buff to attack stat. So it’s common for some parties to use two Geo support characters to increase entire party damage. Geo’s main DPS character can also benefit from the Geo resistance debuff. It’s so good that even four-star Geo DPS can compete with five-star hyper carries when maximized.
The Unique Mechanics Geo Character Can Offer
On top of the standard Crystallized Shield, each Geo character has their own way of creating an additional shield. These shields are the strongest in-game, and they can take a hard beating without breaking. It also works well with how Geo characters scale with either Def or HP stat, to create a more tanky playstyle and maintain Geo buffs.
They also have the unique ability to create Geo constructs such as the Main Character’s Geo ability Starfell Sword or Zhongli‘s Dominus Lapadis. A special rock, pillar, elevator, or wall, that can block incoming projectiles, and offer various benefits. Construct is unlike Turrets from other elements, so they are vulnerable, and can be broken from enemy attacks. There are several strategies involving constructs, especially in Tower Defense floors inside the Spiral Abyss.
Both shields and constructs also play a good role in defeating some of the newest weekly and world bosses in Genshin Impact. So I’ll take the shield protection into consideration while ranking characters in this Geo tier list, while giving overall damage output a priority, because that’s how Genshin Impact scales most encounters. With that said, let’s get into the actual tier list, starting with Ningguang.
Ningguang (SS Rank)
It’s may surprise you that a four-star character makes it so high on a character tier list, but Ningguang truly deserves recognition. The Geo mommy specializes in single target damage, and she does it very very well. Her damage comes from charged attacks, elemental skill, and elemental damage, all at the same time.
She scales very well with Constellations, and her C6 is one of the best Constellations in the entire game. So it’s easy to recommend going all the way for C6 if you intend to play Ningguang as your main. Not that her C1 or C2 performance is bad, it’s far from that. But C6 being a major upgrade, it becomes very desirable. I mean, it has the potential to triple Ningguang‘s burst damage, which is a major portion of her overall damage.
Also, Ningguang is better supported by one of the five-star Geo supports, such as Albedo or Zhongli. Both of them are very capable of dealing good damage on their own, so putting them in a team with Ningguang means dealing a lot of damage as a team. I wouldn’t consider a Geo team to be comparable to the damage dealt by a proper Vaporize or Melt team, but still higher than all (S) tier characters. In all cases, Ningguang teams have better survivability, as they can spend less time dodging and more time dealing damage.
In situations where stamina is drained (Cryo weather in Abyss and Domains), Ningguang can still use her charged attacks. Which is a huge advantage over other charged attack-based characters like (Hu Tao, Klee, and Yanfei). However, if the weather is increasing cooldown instead, Ningguang will struggle. Her elemental skill and elemental burst deals so much damage, and she will be missing them. Energy Recharge Reduction weather on the other hand is bad, but manageable because Geo supports generate Geo particles while off-field.
Before 1.3 update, Ningguang was already good, then came the Geo Resonance buff to make her even better. But the major change she has seen was due to the bug fixes along with patch 1.4 that prevents the projectiles from her Elemental Burst from missing. This ultimately made her charged attack animation much smoother. So where she could have been ranked at (S) tier before, she’s definitely (SS) now.
Even though she is a four-star character, miHoYo has given players limited access to Ningguang so far. Compared to other characters, she has shown up fewer times in banners with an up-rate, and only with five star characters with average power in my opinion. It made the decision for ranking her Constellations not an easy task, in fear of wasting the five-star pity. But if she ever gets release in future banners with a top-tier five-star character, feel free to drop your saved Primogems on such a banner.
For gearing Ningguang, there is a limited set of choices due to the nature of her having different damage sources. You can’t use any artifact set that specializes in giving a bonus to normal attacks, charged attacks, elemental skill, or elemental burst. But rather you need to boost them all, and that’s only achievable through general Attack and Geo Damage stats.
On the other hand, choosing a weapon for Ningguang is an easier job, as she benefits from a lot of different Catalysts. All five-star weapons are a good match, but probably among the four-star weapons, the best choice would be the Battle Pass Catalyst .
Ideal Ningguang Geo Team
For absolute maximum damage, you might want to go with a Tri-Geo team consisting of Ningguang, Albedo, and Zhongli. Why three you ask? Well that way you can generate energy at a much faster rate, and build all three of them into damage dealing. Surely the best healer to pair with this lineup would be Bennett as he can buff their damage even further.
However, in certain situations, raw damage alone might not be the smartest solution. Examples of this would be the Fatui enemies, slimes, and Abyss mages, in the Abyss and Domains. All these enemies have shields that take a much longer time to be taken down, unless specific elements are used in conjuction. Geo can perform moderately better than the “wrong element” against all shields, but using the “right element” to break said shields is much more efficient. So you might want to lean on two Geo characters, and two other elements, such as Diona and Xiangling. Or even Xingqiu and Bennett, or Fischl and Bennett depending on what content you are facing. Ningguang is strong enough without relying on elemental reactions, so she’s one of the most flexible characters when it comes to team building. To say the least you’re spoilt for choice.
Zhongli (S Rank)
Zhongli is one of the best supports in the game, if not the best. He’s capable of doing everything, crowd control, burst damage dealing, shielding, buffing allies, and debuffing enemies. What more can be said? However he’s still a support, and he can’t play as a good Geo carry because how his damage is split between physical and Geo. With his Normal Attacks doing physical damage, and his Elemental Skills dealing only Geo Damage. Luckily though, his elemental burst has really good numbers when built for DPS, he also needs a few seconds on the field to do his combos before he can be switched out.
Being a Geo support means he can pretty much fit into most teams, whether they are transformative or amplifying reactions teams. His shield is so strong that he enable any other carry to hold his or her ground, and focus on dealing more DPS. He also causes all enemies to take more damage but his Energy Regeneration is RNG based though, so he will fit better in a high energy regeneration team for consistency.
The Geo daddy has multiple ways to scale his damage, between Attack, Geo Damage, or HP stat. With HP being more favorable if you use him for shielding. But he can also invest in the Elemental Burst Damage stat. With access to one of the strongest weapons in the game, Staff of Homa, his damage starts to ramp up greatly. However, it stays as burst damage which is not suitable to play the Geo hyper carry role. You can play him as a physical carry though, and he will not disappoint. We will cover such a team in a future Physical Tier List.
Zhongli is a five-star character and has had his own up-rate banner. He’s one of the few limited characters we’ve seen, and so far has only had his banner twice. That’s due to the major buff miHoYo gave him after his banner ended. Generally, Zhongli is a very good pull if you want a universal support character. He’s pretty much a must pull for most accounts, due to his wide usage. Five-star support characters tend to become invaluable, and hard to be replaced or power-crept, in the long run. As of 1.5 update, Zhongli‘s banner is running from April 28, 2021 to May 18, 2021, so in case you want to pull for him, he’s available for a limited time only.
With focus on the HP stat, Zhongli is one of the easiest characters to build. This is due to HP having a higher chance to appear as a main and sub-stat on Artifacts, and also there’s no competition for it from other damage dealers. He’s one of few characters that works perfectly fine with three-star weapons, so his entry level is very cheap. But don’t expect his damage to blow your mind if you are investing so low on him, as burst damage build need proper investment. But at least you can play him as good shield-bot with such minimum investment.
The new artifact “Tenacity of the Millelith” that came put recently in 1.5 update is a natural fit for Zhongli, so consider farming the new domain for it.
Ideal Zhongli Geo Team
Playing Zhongli as a burst DPS, he is better played in a quick swap team. Ideally you need a team with short cooldowns so you can switch quickly between them, and drop elemental skills and elemental bursts. In the mean time, you want high-energy recharge characters to gain an ultimate back faster, when the rotation is done. These characteristic fit with Ningguang, another Geo character you can build as a burst DPS, not just to carry the team. Ningguang has a good Geo elemental particle generation, so Energy recharge will be less of a problem with her around. Then your third spot can go to the Geo traveler if you prefer, for burst style damage.
Otherwise, there are many directions you can go with Zhongli teams. You might go with Xinyan being another burst type, along with Bennett for Pyro resonance and for good physical DPS. Lisa, Venti, and Xiangling are surprisingly a good team with Zhongli, because they can keep doing overload while enemies are gathered by Venti and petrified by Zhongli. Also Zhongli is one of the very few supports that can buff Venti’s damage, by reducing Anemo resistance, which is harder to bring down by any other way. Lisa is usually hard to play as a serious damage dealer because she keeps knocking enemies back, Zhongli and Venti or Sucrose resolve such an issue. The same goes for Anemo resistance, Zhongli goes well with Xiao teams. Here you have a pretty wide selection of possibilities, just a few of the combinations that work well with Zhongli.
Noelle (S Rank)
MiHoYo managed to bring Noelle more into the meta with every patch since Genshin Impact’s release. One reason is the Geo buff that gave her a huge advantage, but another reason is all the Geo bosses that were introduced to the game. Geovishap type enemies are much easier to take down when you have a Geo character to carry your team. They have higher a HP level compared to most, they have stun attacks, and they continue to throw everything at your characters relentlessly unless countered by a shield. Noelle is a carry who brings her own strong shield, and said shield scales the same way as her DPS (with a Def stat). So she’s less reliant on Zhongli as a support for shielding. She’s also a very potent healer, so she frees up the healer spot in the team, letting you build another DPS.
Overall, to achieve the (S) Tier listed here, Noelle requires to be at C6, and nothing less. Her C6 gives her a huge buff to Elemental Burst, and enables her to scale purely on Def. The issue about said scaling is that it ramps up damage only during the Elemental Burst duration. At the same time, Noelle can’t generate energy particles for herself, so she needs another Geo character on the team to play as a “battery” for her. It’s a unique playstyle but very rewarding if executed properly. We can see this in update 1.5’s new event Domain, where Noelle is one of the few characters who can reach a maximum score and handle the hardest modifiers like no other.
Another quality Noelle has is the fact that her Elemental Burst can be re-activated the moment her current elemental burst ends, after 15 seconds. It effectively gives her an 100% uptime, and she doesn’t lose her burst after being switched out, so players can be less worried about specific timing and rotations. You should also put into consideration that Noelle has the biggest AoE among all melee characters, so she’s good against larger groups of enemies and spends less time moving from one enemy to the next. At the same time, she has one of the highest shield breaking capabilities, aside from the specific counter elements.
Unlike Ningguang who is strong at C0 and ramps up her damage with every Constellation added, Noelle‘s entry level is C6 and is not easy to achieve. However, Noelle is a guaranteed character for every account, and has been the most consistent character to appear in limited banners with an up-rate. So many people might have her at C6 already, without intentionally trying to hunt her down.
For her weapons, Noelle can enjoy a huge benefit with the free-to-play crafted Claymore Whiteblind. It’s insanely strong and very competitive against all five-star options. As she scales with Def stat, it’s also much easier to equip her with good artifacts.
Ideal Noelle Geo Team
Among the Geo roster, Noelle is the most demanding for the Geo elemental particle generation, so she really loves Geo supports. Going with three Geo characters is typical for Noelle, unless you have other supports with two or three uses of their Elemental Skill (such as Xingqiu with an R5 Sacrificial Sword). Or you can build a roster with a high Crit rate and a Favonius weapon to generate more particles. You might prefer going out of the way to equip a support with The Exile set in full, for more energy, but that would lower said support DPS.
Overall, Noelle prefers Albedo over Zhongli for support and she can take Ningguang or any Geo Main character for the third spot. Then you are free to pick DPS characters from any element of your choice for the last spot. Just beware that Noelle doesn’t synergize well with characters who drop small AOE fields on the ground, because Noelle tends to knock back enemies a lot, making AOE attacks a little less useful.
Albedo (A Rank)
Albedo is an interesting character as his DPS is potentially exactly the same as his support capabilities. His playstyle is very simple, he uses his Elemental skill to place his Geo constructs and then is switched out, done. You can then forget about him for another 30 seconds, because his construct will just keep doing damage when you hit enemies. The Geo Construct also generates energy particles, and causes a Crystallized reaction, creating a Crystallized shield pretty much all over the battle field.
Said Elemental Skill scales with Def stat, and his best weapon is actually a simple three-star sword. So Albedo is a very “plug and play” style of character. You pick him up, with a three-star weapon and some quickly put-together artifacts, and you’ve yourself an off-field DPS.
The only other trick up his sleeve is increasing party Elemental Mastery for 10 seconds after using an Elemental Burst. He really does increase it a lot, much more than Venti or even Sucrose. Meaning he can work on teams helping to boost Amplifying Reactions, especially if you pair him with Zhongli for Geo Resonance and shielding. It might sound pretty expensive to use two five-star characters as supports on the same team, but if you put these two together you can make any team strong. Using Albedo as a carry is usually a bad idea, and a waste of his potential. So stick to building Def and Crit stats, and he will do his job.
Being a five-star support that’s slightly worse than Zhongli, as a massive hindrance for Albedo is Acceptability. This really showed when his limited character banner was available as Genshin Impact saw the lowest sales in its lifespan for a character debut. This is because the best way to utilize Albedo is to pair him with Zhongli. My suggestion is to pull him after Zhongli and after at least two other good main carry characters, either a five-star or C6 four-star. The only reason you would pull Albedo before Zhongli, is playing Ningguang as a main, because she works better with him over Zhongli. (which is very funny if you pay attention to the lore!)
Building Albedo is the cheapest thing you can ever do in Genshin Impact. The three-star weapon Harbinger of Dawn is not just good on him, it’s BiS (best in slot). Then building Def stats is also cheap, and you might not need to care much about artifact set bonuses as well, just random Def pieces would suffice. The only cost you endure is spending your pity on his banner which is down to your preference.
Ideal Albedo Geo Team
Geo Traveler (A Rank)
The main character or also known as The Traveler, as he or she is called in-game is a unique, flexible character who can switch elements and skill set. So far, we only have access to either Geo or Anemo versions of the traveler, with both having a similar power ceiling. The Geo traveler’s most distinguished strength is the amount of Geo constructs he/she can summon. Three main boulders with Elemental Skill, and a huge Geo field with Elemental Burst, with all being capable of resonating with Zhongli‘s construct. Ranged characters can also climb them for elevation, or you can hide behind them to block incoming attacks.
Geo MC is not an impressive damage dealer, and only earns their rank because of the utility they provide. Certain Tower defense floors in the Abyss can be much easier with the massive constructs blocking the way. Also, being the main character you are guaranteed the whole 6 constellations for free, by just playing the game, which gives players a good head start until they pull a better character and gear it.
Playing Geo MC provides a CRIT Rate buff and increased resistance against interruptions to the party. This could be minor because Zhongli‘s shield is just better in my opinion, but with an increasing number of enemies who tend to interrupt, stun, and knock you back, it can be quite useful.
As you start the game with this character, whether male or female depending which you decided to choose, this character is a given, making it a guaranteed character to have in your possession. You have to play all the early stages with the Anemo version until you reach Liyue, then you can change the element Geo at the Geo Statue of the Seven. By the time you finish the storyline you will have already unlocked C6 already. If you are free to play and tend to not wish on every single banner, you will find you have a limited roster at your disposal. This means the traveler will become a must use when it comes to the Abyss end content.
Building the Geo traveler for damage is possible, but they are better suited for Energy Recharge builds, to spam their utility on cooldown. If you are determined for the DPS approach, the three-star weapon Harbinger of Dawn is a good burst weapon, paired with a Geo artifact set it’s pretty decent.
Ideal Geo traveler Team
They can fit in any of the Geo teams mentioned above, work as a support for Noelle, or as a burst DPS with Zhongli. They can also be used as a utility support on any Abyss team, making the Geo traveller quite the jack of all trades.
You’ve reached the end of our Genshin Impact Geo Tier List, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you’ve stayed this long, you might be interested in our Genshin Impact Guides. Be sure to check out even more info on our Genshin Impact Wiki. You can also keep an eye out for more Tier lists for Genshin Impact 1.5, as we will be releasing them regularly. Before you go, be sure to check out our Genshin Impact Character Tier List: Reverse Melt (Cryo) and Genshin Impact Pyro Vaporize Tier List (Pyro) for the ranking of highest DPS in the game.