Genshin Impact The Four Combat Roles Guide

by joeyoungfitz

Hello fellow Travelers, and welcome to joeyoungfitz’s guide on the four combat roles in Genshin Impact! This guide aims to categorize characters based on their roles in team compositions. Whether it is creating tier lists or character guides, assigning each character roles will be the foundation for understanding what they do and why they excel in that role. Without further ado, let’s dive into the four combat roles in Genshin Impact: Carry, Burst, Enabler, and Support.


Characters that deal the most consistent damage and excel at being out on the field at any given moment. They are characters that bring above-average DPS numbers with either their high scaling normal attacks, low elemental skills and bursts cooldowns, or both. Carries are the team’s primary source of damage and are a staple in almost every team.


Characters that shine in short usages by dumping their high-scaling damaging elemental skills and bursts, but lack long-term reliable DPS. They are utilized for their hard-hitting abilities and then swap out of the field when their kit is on cooldown. 


While weak by themselves, these characters are the backbone of the team. They excel at enabling your Carry and Burst characters to do even more damage through their elemental skills and burst that remains active on the field even when swapping characters. They consistently apply elements statues to set up Carry and Burst characters for elemental reactions. 


Through their elemental skills and burst, these characters provide invaluable utility for the team. Whenever it is from creating shields, healing your allies, or drawing aggro, they will ensure their allies won’t fall so easily.

Every character will be given one of four combat roles as their primary role—and if they meet the criteria, a secondary role. Yes, a character can potentially be effective in areas outside of their primary role. However, they are chosen in team comps for their primary role, not for their secondary role. 

Example of Using the Combat Role Terms

I wanted to give a quick example of using this categorization system when talking about why x and y characters are really strong

So instead of saying: 

A. Chongyun is one of the strongest characters in the game because his elemental skill creates an aoe field where all character’s basic attacks are converted to cyro, and from that you can constantly proc cryo-related reactions…


B. Chongyun is one of the strongest cryo enablers in the game with his elemental skill alone

In example A, I had to explain his elemental skill and why this is one of the most powerful tools in the game. In example B, I can just say Chongyun’s elemental skill is one of the strongest enabler tools in the game and people will understand that it means Chongyun can create consistent cryo related reactions.

Building Your Ideal Team Comps and Guidelines

Here I’ll run through on what are some ideal team compositions and how to best utilize the primary and secondary combat roles in building teams. 

From my experiences playing past betas, the most common and ideal team composition consists of one of each role: Carry, Burst, Enabler, and Support. Having one of each combat role will almost guarantee a well-balanced team of DPS, elemental reactions (if all party members have a unique element), and survivability. However, this should only be treated as a general rule of thumb. I encourage you to mix and match characters with different primary and secondary roles. 

You can run a viable and strong team comps with a wide range of different primary role combinations because most characters have secondary roles. Remember, a character’s primary role is their main appeal and strength in team comps, but that does not stop you from taking advantage of their secondary role. For example, I can run a composition of Lisa (Burst), Barbara (Support), Klee (Carry), and Xingqiu (None) that can create consistent elemental reactions without one primary Enabler character, because Lisa’s and Xingqiu’s secondary role is Enabler. Both Xingqiu’s and Lisa’s elemental bursts are great enabler tools that empower the Carry, Klee, in doing more damage through proccing pyro reactions with hydro and electro. Although their respective elemental bursts have high energy activation costs, you can bypass that by alternating between the two’s elemental bursts to get a good uptime on Enabler tools for Klee. 

The only exception to this rule for 90% of the time is you must include one primary Carry character because of how Abyss progression is strictly tied to how fast you clear floors. The Carry role is essential in maintaining the best DPS numbers to get those three stars in each chamber. Unless you can run a specific team comp that can keep those high DPS numbers without one primary Carry, it is critical to include a Carry character in each team. 

The second most important role in the Abyss worth mentioning is the primary Support role. With restrictions on food items in the Abyss, outside of cards giving back health to the team, the only way you can heal up your team is if you are using a Support character that can heal. The fastest clear times (referring to leaderboard rankings, any viable team comp properly geared can get all three stars for the chamber) will purposely exclude the Support role in favor of another Carry, Burst, or Enabler. However, that is with the caveat that the average team level matches or exceeds the enemy’s levels. For most players, they will be attempting to clear floors with enemies beyond their levels. Because of the increased danger of quickly dying to higher-level enemies, it is vital to have a Primary Support character. Healing is the safest and easiest way to keep your team alive, but it is possible to run Abyss without it, granted if you can consistently dodge enemy attacks with iframes. Utilizing tools like shields to take the brute force of attacks you can’t avoid and projectile blocking abilities goes a long way in keeping your team alive and completing the whole floor in one go. Still, it is always recommended to have a way to heal, even if it is tied to a secondary role. 

Elaboration and Value of Carry Characters

The following paragraph was added as u/newamor on Reddit asked me a very good question on why there were so few Carries in the game according to my categorization. Here is my edited response to add further elaboration on the explanation and value of Carry Characters: 

As for your second question, the Carry role isn’t so much it is the most important role, but rather, it is the most valuable role in the game. I’m a huge fan of the combat in this game because of its uniqueness in encouraging swapping characters to rotate cooldowns and elemental reactions. So you have combat built in a way that once you go through a character’s kit, it is usually best to swap to another character to maintain the highest DPS your team can bring. The reason Carry characters are so few, but very valuable is because they can ignore that system. Having a character that doesn’t need to rely on rotating CD’s or creating elemental reactions to maintain DPS is extremely valuable. Your team comp does not suffer from not having a Carry character; you can still have amazing, consistent damage output by rotating through all your elemental bursts and skills. Having a primary Carry on your team brings stability and less franticness in combat because they become your team’s core. That is why primary Carries are seen as some of the most valuable characters in the game, hence why they are always an A tier, or above, character.

Hopefully, these explanations help in understanding how to apply the four combat roles in Genshin Impact. At the end of the day, as long as you have a healthy balance team of high DPS numbers (Carry and Burst), elemental reactions (Enabler), and defense and utility (Support), you can utilize that team to overcome the most difficult challenges. As a rule of thumb, most of the strongest characters and team comps in the game will have some form of usage of strong secondary roles (except for Primary Carry characters), which will be a major deciding factor on a character’s overall tier.

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