Combat in Genshin Impact revolves around the idea of Elements. Normal Attacks from anyone but Catalyst users deals non-elemental damage by default, but by utilizing each character’s innate Elemental Skills and Bursts, they can deal Element damage, apply elemental effects, or imbue their weapons with elemental power, allowing their normal attacks to do finally get in on the action.
Elemental Reactions occur when two elements come into contact with each other. With 6 character elements and 7 elements existing in some form on the monsters of Teyvat, there are a lot of reactions that can take place, creating a complex and oftentimes confusing combat loop. Having a good grasp of the Elemental Weakness Chart can drastically speed up fights, prevent embarrassing deaths and, best of all, cause massive damage.
Throughout Teyvat, 5 Elements rule the roost; Pyro, Cyro, Electro, Hydro, and Anemo, and Geo representing Fire, Ice, Electric, Water, Wind, and Earth respectively. A sixth, Dendro, represents Nature, but is only found obstacles like shields and structures made of wood, as opposed to on characters and enemies.
The first four can be considered primary elements, reacting with each other in various ways. Anemo and Geo, meanwhile, react with all elements in one (or two) ways, making them secondary elements.
Elemental Reaction Effects
Before learning how to effectively trigger elemental reactions, it’s important to know what each can do. From crowd-control to damage over time, the elements can work in many ways:
- Deals periodic Electro damage
- Deals Cyro AoE damage and reduces the target’s Physical DEF
- Explodes, dealing Pyro AoE DMG and breaking Geo-based Shields.
- Deals damage of the Element that caused the reaction
- Deals Elemental AoE damage and removes Wet or Burning
- Freezes the target in place for a time – Geo can then induce Shatter for massive damage
- Reacts with the first element it connects with, causing damage of that type and spreading its effects
- Generates a crystal that, when picked up, creates a shield based on the element that caused it, absorbing a set amount of damage. Damage of the opposite or same element is absorbed less or more efficiently.
How to Trigger Elemental Reactions
In battle, it’s essential to know how the elements can work both in your favor and against you. It starts by applying an Affliction, then combining it with another element to cause a reaction. For example:
Using a Hydro-based attack or stepping in water will inflict “Wet” on the target. A Cryo attack would then cause the Freeze chain reaction, rendering them immobile for a time. In this one case, using a Geo attack on a Frozen target would react and cause Shatter, dealing considerable damage and ending the chain.
Some targets, however, could be immune to this exact reaction – a Slime naturally encased in Cryo would resist the initial Hydro attack, stopping Wet from ever applying. Instead, a Pyro attack could be used to inflict “Melt”, eventually removing their ice armor, or a Geo attack could be used to inflict Shatter similar to the end of the original reaction.
Elements can react together in a number of ways for different effects. Being inflicted with Wet could cause your own Electro attacks to trigger Electro-Charge, dealing damage to your own character over time, giving you a reason to take Pyro damage to trigger Vaporize, removing the Wet condition and regaining balance on the battlefield.
Here’s how each element reacts to another in battle:
- Electro +
- Pyro = Overload
- Hydro = Electro-Charge
- Ice = Superconduct
- Pyro +
- Electro = Overload
- Ice = Melt
- Hydro = Vaporize
- Cryo +
- Hydro = Freeze
- Pyro = Melt
- Electro = Superconduct
- Hydro +
- Cryo = Freeze
- Pyro = Vaporize
- Electro = Electro-Charge
Anemo and Geo can react with any element, causing the Swirl or Crystallize effect respectively. Swirl deals damage matching the type of element it first comes into contact with and spreads its effects to other targets as an AoE, making it great for quickly applying the same effect to multiple enemies.
Geo, on the other hand, reacts with an element to create crystals of that type on the floor. Pick them up to gain an elemental shield – like Pryo. It will take increased damage from negatively-reacting elements like Hydro, but absorb extra damage from positively-reacting elements like Cryo.