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How to Make the Most Out of the Free Characters in Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact Free Characters

Genshin Impact already has a broad list of characters, some even given away for free through completing the story or as specific rewards. People can get along while avoiding the gacha system. I’ll be outlining which characters are available for free from going through the campaign or when conditions are met. I’ll also be providing party suggestions using free characters, helping you maximize your damage potential when taking on the most challenging content Genshin Impact has to offer.

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The free characters in Genshin Impact are:

  • Player Character: This character is your avatar. You will initially begin with the Wind element, but through story progression the Geo element will become available. Elemental switching means that your Player Character can always be relevant to whatever team composition you decide for. You can switch elements at the Statue of the Seven in specific regions.
  • Amber: You immediately get Amber at the start of the game. She is a ranged Pyro element character that provides a neat little skill that can save your team in a pinch.
  • Kaeya: Kaeya is also unlocked through progression. After reaching Mondstadt, you will be able to accept a quest from him. After completing it, he will be added to your party. Kaeya is an Cryo element short sword user. His agility on the battlefield and freezing conal make him an invaluable addition.
  • Lisa: Similar to Kaeya, you can pick up a quest from her when you’ve reached Mondstadt to add her to your party. Lisa has a unique kit, which provides huge Electro element AoEs. When used in combination with Kaeya, they can do incredibly impressive amounts of damage.

Genshin Impact Free Characters

Even Level 1 characters are viable. Or, if you really prefer only using one character, that is perfectly fine too. As long as you’re stacking Elemental reactions, the sky is the limit.

Conditional Free Characters

Conditional free characters are characters that players can receive upon meeting certain conditions. That means if you’re reading this guide beyond a certain date, the characters listed below may no longer be available to grab.

  • Barbara: Barbara is an incredible Hydro element unit. Her primary focus is healing, which she does a stellar job at. Not only is she great for cooperative play, but her healing extends to single-player adventuring as well. With her unique ability, she can even heal characters that you aren’t currently controlling in your select party lineup. This means you can pull a character out of combat, use her heal and then wait for them to regenerate health before throwing them back in. You can read the qualifications for getting Barbara here.
  • Xiangling: Xiangling is another Pyro element character. However, unlike Amber, she is a close ranged spear user that is able to dish out loads of damage in very little time. Her Gouba Attack ability does great AoE Pyro damage.

So, how can one best use these free characters in Genshin Impact? So let’s get into suggested team compositions!

  • Kaeya/Lisa/Player Character (Any)/Amber: This will be your starting combination. Once you’ve gathered these four characters, you can travel through Teyvat and take on any range of content. Yes, I absolutely mean that you can take on anything with only them. Investing in Lisa and Kaeya is a great idea, especially since you can combine their Cryo and Electro elements for devastatingly effective damage and status effects. These two are particularly useful for fighting against the Anemo Hypostasis—if you haven’t found this enemy yet, don’t worry, you will in time with enough map exploration. Additionally, if you ever find yourself in a pinch, you can use Amber’s Explosive Puppet ability. This will draw the attention of any enemy, giving you time to dash out of combat and heal. If you don’t have Barbara it is advised that you always keep food on you. Delicious Sweet Madame and Delicious Chicken and Mushroom Skewer are easy to come by, so I suggest making loads of these until you unlock better recipes.
  • Kaeya/Lisa/Barbara/Any: Naturally, Barbara will go great with Lisa and Kaeya. The Hydro, Cryo, and Electro elements work perfectly in tandem with one another, and Barbara’s healing potency is incredible. This combination is incredibly straightforward, however if you do take Amber with you, you’ll be trading out elemental effects between Cryo and Pyro for critical damage.
  • Xiangling/Amber/Lisa/Player Character (Geo): Having any two of the same element in your party will give you bonuses. In this case, the party’s attack will be boosted by +25%. Combining Pyro and Electro status effects will create the Overloaded effect. This is another great AoE that players will want to take advantage of if they’re fighting large groups of enemies. This is especially effective with Xiangling and Lisa’s own AoE skills. Since the Pyro and Electro element combination will already create an AoE effect, taking the Player Character with the Geo element is ideal. After performing any Pyro or Electro elemental damage, using Geo skills will create the Crystalized effect, which makes enemies take more elemental damage.

Now that characters are out of the way, you’re probably wondering if there are any kind of caveats in going completely free-to-play in Genshin Impact. The answer is no. Even only using weapons found on the field is entirely possible. In fact, you’ll get so many duplicate weapons just from exploring and taking on enemies that it will be relatively easy to completely refine whatever you find. Refining weapons will max out the weapon’s individual passive, which is great. You can check out the comparison image below to see the difference between a completely Refined weapon and a non-Refined weapon.

Genshin Impact Weapon Refinement

However, if you’re gacha hungry and still want to roll for characters, I’ve also written a guide breaking down the currency in Genshin Impact. If you’re confused as to how to redeem your Primogems for Wishes, or even get Wishes from Paimon’s Shop, you can click here to learn more about the currency system.

Genshin Impact is currently available on Android devices, iOS devices, the PlayStation 4, and PCsGenshin Impact also supports cross-play between platforms, but data transfer is unfortunately limited.

Kazuma Hashimoto
About The Author
Senior staff writer, translator and streamer, Kazuma spends his time playing a variety of games ranging from farming simulators to classic CRPGs. Having spent upwards of 6 years in the industry, he has written reviews, features, guides, with work extending within the industry itself. In his spare time he speedruns games from the Resident Evil series, and raids in Final Fantasy XIV. His work, which has included in-depth features focusing on cultural analysis, has been seen on other websites such as Polygon and IGN.