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The 5 best Genshin Impact characters released in 2023 that shook up the meta

From the one that changed the metagame to another that brought an element back to relevancy, here are our picks for the best Genshin Impact characters released in 2023.

From the one that changed the metagame to another that brought an element back to relevancy, here are our picks for the best Genshin Impact characters released in 2023. Pictured: Neuvillette, Furina, Navia. (Photos: HoYoverse)
From the one that changed the metagame to another that brought an element back to relevancy, here are our picks for the best Genshin Impact characters released in 2023. Pictured: Neuvillette, Furina, Navia. (Photos: HoYoverse)

Genshin Impact saw quite the eventful year in 2023, including the release of the new region of Fontaine as well as the colourful additions to the game's expansive cast of playable characters!

But out of the 14 new characters we got, we chose five who truly shone bright this year and have made an indelible mark in Genshin Impact's gameplay and story.

From rejuvenating an element we once thought to have lost all relevancy, to basically rewriting the whole Genshin Impact metagame, here's our list for the top 5 Genshin Impact characters released in 2023:

Furina

Furina may seem like a kooky airhead to some, but her benevolent and tragic sacrifice to save Fontaine has definitely left its mark in the hearts of Genshin Impact players worldwide. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that Furina is the best Archon in all of Teyvat.

But besides being the most beloved celebrity and former Archon of Fontaine, Furina has also single-handedly reworked the Genshin Impact metagame with her arrival as a playable character. When before it was the Dendro element that reigned supreme, now Furina sits at the top as arguably the best character and support for every kind of team composition, reaction-based or not.

Although not as free-to-play friendly as her fellow Archons, Furina is well worth the investments you put into her, because you're bound to make a great show with her in your team!

Neuvillette

Neuvillette, the Iudex of Fontaine and the venerable Hydro Dragon, has dominated the Genshin Impact metagame as one of the most powerful DPS to have ever been released in the game's ongoing 3-year run.

Not only does he judge the guilty in court, he also wipes the floor with the bodies of whoever crosses his path, both in the overworld and in Spiral Abyss! With pure Hydro DMG as Neuvillette's forte, you only need to hose down the arena with his enhanced Charged Attack and watch as your enemies crumble to dust.

Neuvillette is also particularly easy to build, not needing free-to-play (F2P) players to swipe their cards to unlock his powerful potential. If you don't have him in your team, you're definitely missing out.

Don't believe me? Well, here's a player who was able to clear Spiral Abyss with just Neuvillette alone (equipped with the craftable Prototype Amber, no less!).

Navia

Geo as an element seemed to have been left in the back burner by the developers after our journey in Liyue concluded. The last Geo-aligned character to be released before Navia was the 4-star support Yunjin way back in 2022! And with the metagame now solely focused on elemental reactions, it seemed to us that Geo may have all but crumbled into dust.

But then, Navia made her explosive debut, and with her came a revitalization of the Geo element and newfound relevance for the Crystallize reaction. With her guns and cannons firing at full salvo, Navia made her mark a powerful Geo DPS, giving us variety and more importantly a new fun way to utterly decimate enemies!

Navia is also one of the easier characters to build in this list, with a traditional DPS build with no need for the HP manipulation mechanics most other Fontaine characters use. She also has plenty of free-to-play and low-spender options available to her, but given enough investment she will literally blow any foe away!

Alhaitham

Don't believe Alhaitham when he tells you he's only "just a feeble scholar", because he is undoubtedly the strongest Dendro DPS to have ever graced Genshin Impact's playable roster.

Alhaitham specialises in ultra-fast Dendro-infused attacks that, with the right rotation, has an almost 100% up-time, giving way to barrage after barrage of Dendro-related damage when paired with teams that focus on reactions like Bloom and Hyperbloom (hey, if you're into Burgeon we're not clocking you for it!), or Dendro-only DMG like Spread.

Alhaitham also doesn't need much investment to get that sweet, sweet DMG numbers on your screen, making him a casual player-friendly experience when building. Deck him out with the 3-star Harbinger of Dawn and you can still expect to utterly decimate enemies in the overworld and the Spiral Abyss!

Yaoyao - 4-star Dendro

The only 4-star to make it into this list, Yaoyao definitely has made her mark as the only Dendro 4-star healer in the game, making her all the more deserving of recognition. And although Baizhu has both shields and healing, Yaoyao's easier availability and flexibility has made taking on Spiral Abyss a breeze for Dendro mains.

Yaoyao also takes little investment to get to her full potential as a healer, and considering that she's an off-field character, she gives more room for on-field characters like Alhaitham and Tighnari to take the reins. As a Dendro support, she's all you need!


Genshin Impact is currently in the first half of version 4.3, which features the debut of Navia and a rerun for Kamisato Ayaka. The second half will feature the debut of the 4-star Pyro Polearm character Chevreuse as well as reruns for the 5-star characters Raiden Shogun and Yoimiya.

Version 4.4 in late January 2024 will feature two more new characters in Xianyun, aka Cloud Retainer, and Gaming.

Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.

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