Genshin Impact Elements: elemental combos, reactions, burst and their effects

Despite being a free-to-play title, Genshin Impact  is clearly keen to show its fully-fledged role-playing game chops - and with that comes a need for some strong RPG mechanics. A classic of the genre is Elements - and Genshin Impact features an elemental system that lets players trigger special combos if they approach things the right way. 

Elements are tied right into the world of Genshin Impact, with the seven elements that are featured in the game split among the various characters in the game. The short version of how elements work is that every character in the game has an element, and you mix-and-match character abilities in order to make elemental combos from elemental reactions, in turn dealing massive damage. It all gets rather complicated and interlinked, but we've got it all puzzled out. Read on...

If you want more Genshin Impact help, check out some of our other guides! We cover things like the Wish system & gacha rates, full Anemoculus location and Geoculus location lists, a cooking & recipes list, and even some guides to specific quests, like choosing gifts for Lisa in the Troublesome Work quest. Neat!


Elements in Genshin Impact

The elements in Genshin Impact are as follows. They all have more specific names in this game - some more unique than others - but all correspond to a pretty typical role-playing element that RPG fans will be well used to, be your background Pokemon, Dungeons and Dragons or something else entirely.

There are seven elements total, and each is represented in the world of Teyvat by a region of the world that is tied to a specific element. Every character in the game is also linked to a specific element, which plays into party composition. The elements are as follows:

  • Anemo (Wind Element)
  • Cryo (Frost Element)
  • Dendro (Nature Element)
  • Electro (Lightning Element)
  • Geo (Earth Element)
  • Hydro (Water Element)
  • Pyro (Fire Element)

Elemental Resonance and Party Composition

In Genshin Impact, Elemental Resonance is the concept of the elemental affinities of party member characters working towards an elemental bonus. For instance, if you have two characters linked to the fire/pyro element in the party, it'll significantly dim the power of the cryo/ice element, while also boosting attack stats.

Cross-reference this Elemental Resonance list with your Genshin Impact Character Tier List, which ranks all of the characters in the game.

Here's the full list of Elemental Resonance bonuses, well worth your consideration when working out party composition:

  • 2 Anemo Characters: Movement Speed up (+10%), Skill Cooldown reduced (+5%), Stamina Drain reduced (-15%).
  • 2 Cryo Characters: Electro status effect duration reduced (-40%). Critical attack rate vs Frozen or Cryo status enemies increased (+15%). 
  • 2 Electro Characters: Hydro status effect duration reduced (-40%). Higher chance of Electro-Charged, Overloaded and Superconduct combos dropping Electro particles.
  • 2 Geo Characters: Lowers your chance to be interrupted. Increases Attack Damage when you have a shield (+15%).
  • 2 Hydro Characters: Pyro status effect duration reduced (-40%). Friendly healing buffed (+30%)
  • 2 Pyro Characters: Cryo status effect duration reduced (-40%). Attack stat buffed (+25%)
  • 4 Different Element Characters: Resistance vs all Elements buffed (+15%).

It's also worth noting that these bonuses apply and stack further in co-op mode, so it's well worth communicating with your friends about your load-out!


Elemental Reactions List: all elemental combos 

As mentioned above, creating 'elemental combos' of certain elements can inflict a shocking (sometimes literally) impact, with the reaction generally being an element-appropriate buff to your attacks. A lot of this is obvious - so as Ice, the Cryo element can of course be melted by the fiery Pyro element. But also, Cryo can freeze the watery element of Hydro. These connections can combine to create powerful attacks, however.

As previously mentioned, every character in Genshin Impact has an elemental affinity, and they'll have special attacks that can afflict that element upon enemies. These attacks, usually a character's Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst - that will allow you to deal damage with that element and afflict it upon a character. A Hydro element attack might make an enemy wet, for instance, or a Pyro attack might set them on fire. But what happens when you cast Electro's lightning effects on a wet enemy, or feed the flames of a Pyro-lit enemy with Anemo's wind? That's where elemental reactions come in, helping to create elemental combos.

The system is designed for experimentation, and a skilled player will be able to string together reactions to their advantage. Here's all of the Elemental Combos in Genshin Impact thus far:

  • Burning: hits an target with a Pyro damage-over-time effect for a limited time.
    • To trigger it, first inflict the Dendro effect on an enemy, then hit them with Pyro damage.
  • Crystallization: afflicts targets with a debuff to elemental damage dealt and an increase to elemental damage recieved. 
    • Caused when Geo element reacts to Pyro, Hydro, Cryo or Electro.
  • Electro-Charged: electrifies the target, dealing Electro damage over time for a period.
    • To trigger, combine the effects of Electro and Hyrdo damage on an enemy - in either order.
  • Frozen: freezes tha target so they can't act for a brief period.
    • First use Hydro, then follow up by inflicting Cryo damage to freeze that water!
  • Melt: cancels out the two elemental effects involved, but deals out critical damage in the process.
    • Use Pyro to melt away the Cryo effect, or Cryo to dull Pyro. The effect is more potent if Pyro is the second skill used.
  • Shattered: breaks a frozen enemy out and deals large damage in the process.
    • Freeze an enemy with the Frozen Elemental Reaction, then hit them with a Heavy Attack to break the ice.
  • Overloaded: dishes out Pyro damage in an area-of-effect.
    • Combine Pyro and Electro damage - the order doesn't matter, either way around works.
  • Superconduct: AOE Cryo damage, plus a debuff that makes the enemy more vulnerable to physical attacks.
    • Combine the Cryo and Electro elements. The order doesn't matter - the effect is the same.
  • Swirl: this one is unique; it 'spreads' the elemental effect already applied to an enemy with an Anemo skill. For instance:
    • Pyro + Anemo = fire effect spreading
    • Electro + Anemo = lightning effect spreading
    • Hydro + Anemo = water effect spreading
    • Cryo + Anemo = ice effect spreading
  • Vaporize: cancels out the elemental effects, but deals out critical damage first.
    • Use Hydro to put out Pyro, or the reverse. The effect is slightly more potent if Hydro is the second skill used.