There are plenty of aspects to Genshin Impact, but one of the most important is combat. The majority of the game’s exploration and missions will involve combat of some kind, so it’s important to have a basic understanding of how it works. Here is a rundown of the combat and elemental types in Genshin Impact.

The basics

Beidou, an electric claymore user
Beidou, an electric claymore user

The basic act of combat is relatively simple on the surface, but every single character has a slight variation to how they attack and their attack speed. One of the most important things to know upfront is what type of weapon each character in your party uses, the range of that weapon, and the speed at which that character attacks. There are five types of weapons in the game. Catalysts and bows work best at long-range, claymores and polearms are well-suited to mid-range, and swords are ideal for close-range fights.

Each weapon has a rapid attack pattern, which can be used by repeatedly pressing the attack button, as well as a charged attack. The charged attack for all weapons, except for the bow, can be used by holding the attack button, which will consume a portion of the stamina meter. The charge attack for bows can be used by aiming down sights and holding the attack button. Attack patterns and charge attacks vary from character to character, so it’s important to be familiar with the speed and movement of each character in your party.

Each character has their own set of talents, which provide special abilities that are unique to the character. Each character has two active talents that can be used in battle: the elemental skill and elemental burst. The elemental skill is on a set cooldown and the elemental burst needs to be charged by engaging in combat. While the exact purpose of these abilities can be anything from dealing damage to providing a buff to healing, all of them have some purpose in combat, so it’s important to learn them.

Elemental types and combos

The Traveler causing the Swirl effect with Anemo and Hydro
The Traveler causing the Swirl effect with Anemo and Hydro

One of the most important factors in combat is elemental types. There are seven elemental types: Anemo, Geo, Electro, Dendro, Hydro, Pyro, and Cryo. Each character has an elemental type they specialize in, except for The Traveler, who has access to multiple, although they can only have one equipped at a time. Each character’s elemental type is involved in combat, although the frequency depends on the character’s talents and weapon type. For example, catalyst users’ basic attacks always deal elemental damage, but physical weapons like polearms, claymores, and swords don’t. Bows deal elemental damage with charged attacks but not rapid-fire attacks.

Some elements apply status effects when used by themselves.

  • Pyro — burns the target for a few seconds, applying damage
  • Cryo — reduces the target’s movement speed temporarily
  • Geo — apply the crystallization status, which reduces damage against all elemental types except for Geo
  • Hydro — target becomes wet and primed for an elemental reaction
  • Electro — target becomes electrified and primed for an elemental reaction

There are also several elemental reactions that occur when two elements are applied to a target at the same time

  • Overloaded: Pyro and Electro — deals pyro damage in an AoE around the target
  • Electro-Charged: Hydro and Electro — Electrifies the enemy, dealing damage to the target over time and spreading to over wet enemies
  • Superconductor: Cryo and Electro — does Cryo damage in an AoE around the target
  • Swirl: Anemo combined with Pyro, Cryo, Electro, or Hydro — the wind attack spreads the other element effect to all nearby enemies
  • Burning: Dendro and Pyro — sets the target on fire, dealing high damage over time
  • Frozen: Hydro and Cryo — freezes target, making them immobile and primed for shattering with a charged attacked
  • Melt: Cryo and Pyro — the target “melts,” losing both status effects and taking additional damage from the attack that triggered it
  • Vaporized: Hydro and Pyro — the target “vaporizes,” losing both status effects and taking additional damage from the attack that triggered it

Special enemies

A Hydro Abyss Mage
A Hydro Abyss Mage

There are plenty of low-level fodder enemies in Genshin Impact that can be beaten just by spamming attacks, but some special enemies or more powerful ones will require elemental attacks to defeat in a timely manner. For example, some Hilichurls have shields, which can be quickly destroyed using Pyro attacks. Abyss Mages start combat encounters with shields made from their elemental type, so using an element that causes a reaction will destroy the shield faster. Many of the bosses in the game you need to fight in order to gain Ascension material have specific elements, which can be exploited. It’s important to have leveled-up characters of each element type so you can swap between them depending on the situation.

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