Sub-DPS Characters in Genshin Impact

In Genshin Impact, the central aspect of gameplay is the characters you collect and explore the world with. The metagame for Genshin Impact typically has a 4 character team filled with one Genshin Impact Main DPS, two Sub-DPS, and one Support. In this guide, we are going to take a scloser look at the Sub-DPS role for Characters in Genshin Impact.

To provide the Main DPS with as much opportunity for damage from their Elemental Burst, Genshin Impact Sub-DPS characters provide opportunity through extra damage and energy particles. Sub-DPS Characters also create a balance to help the Main DPS get through resistances they normally couldn’t. Here, will be a guide going over all things Sub-DPS, how to find them, and general use and builds.

For more details on Genshin Impact Characters and how to improve them, check out our Genshin Impact Characters Guide.

Features of a Sub-DPS Character in Genshin Impact

The primary aspect to look out for in a Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Character is the Elemental Skill. For the most part, the Elemental Skill generally has a fast cooldown and provides opportunities for multiple instances for elemental particles.

Another aspect of a Sub-DPS Character to look out for is the capability to provide their element to further assist the Main-DPS. This is important for the particles, as well as giving elemental resonance effects, and elemental reactions. Either of these mechanics provides additional damage or helps improve the Support.

Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Elemental Skills

The elemental skills of Sub-DPS characters can vary greatly in their utility and execution. Ultimately, however, they all produce some amount of particles. The method in which these particles are gathered will suit different Main DPS Characters.

Generally, you should pick a Sub-DPS character that will compliment the Main DPS element or fighting style. A Sub-DPS character with the same element as the Main DPS will gain the Main DPS more energy per particle. On the other hand, there are Sub-DPS characters that provide an ultimately fast method of gaining particles.

Elemental Skill Cooldowns

Typically, all Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Characters will have a fast cooldown for their Elemental Skill. With little exception, the cooldown for an Elemental Skill among the more popular Sub-DPS characters ranges from 4 to 12 seconds.

Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Elemental Skill Cooldown

These fast cooldowns allow the characters to pop in, get their Elemental Skill set up, move back to the Main DPS, and always be ready for the next rotation.

The one exception among the top Sub-DPS cooldowns is Xingqiu who is more valued for his constant Hydro application on his burst (discussed further below). However, Xingqiu’s skill is still great for gaining a large number of particles quickly. In addition, with the Sacrificial Sword, there is a chance of getting more particles right away.

How Many Particles Gathered

When determining how effective a Sub-DPS is at gathering Elemental PArticles, there are 2 things you should look out for:

  • Bursts that gather a large number of particles in one hit.
  • Those which gather particles consistently over time.
Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Particle Gathering

Many of the Sub-DPS characters that have large single moments of particle gathering also end up requiring either holding the skill, or some sort of stack mechanic. A great example is Beidou, just pressing her Skill will produce 2 particles, but if you hold her skill and counter at the right time it’ll be 4 instead.

As for the particles over time Sub-DPS, these tend to fall into two further camps. Either the Skill triggers overtime on its own, or it requires the Main-DPS to attack to gather particles.

For the former, Xiangling is a perfect example. After dropping Guoba onto the field, the little bear attacks nearby enemies with its breath gaining particles once per breath, independent of player control.

The latter example can be shown with Albedo. He drops a blossom onto the ground, and so long as the Main-DPS attacks within the field, they’ll gather particles as well as deal additional damage.

Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Elemental Reactions

In the meta of Genshin Impact, most team builds tend to have a focus on the Main-DPS Characters element and combine it with another to cause a particular Elemental reaction. All these reactions are fantastic in their own right. They either do some form of damage or deter the enemy. A list of these different Elemental Reactions can be seen below:

  • Vaporize (Hydro + Pyro) – Increases the Damage of the Attack that Triggered Reaction
  • Melt (Cryo + Pyro) – Increases the Damage of the Attack that Triggered Reaction
  • Overloaded (Pyro + Electro) – Causes an Explosion that Knockbacks
  • Frozen (Cryo + Hydro) – Immobilizes the Enemy, can then Shatter for Damage
  • Electro-Charged (Electro + Hydro) – Causes Electro Damage Over Time
  • Superconduct (Electro + Cryo) – Deals AoE Damage and Lowers Physical Resistance
  • Swirl (Anemo + Pyro/Hydro/Electro/Cryo) – Deals Damage and Spreads Element Swirled
  • Crystallize (Geo + Pyro/Hydro/Electro/Cryo) – Generates a Shard to give an Elemental Shield to the player

Depending on what Main-DPS you are using, and the reaction you are aiming for, your Sub-DPS will differ. For example, Ganyu is a fantastic Cryo Main-DPS who can be the leader of a good Melt or Freeze team depending on the team.

  • Ganyu Melt Sub-DPS: Xiangling, Bennet (also serves Support)
  • Ganyu Freeze Sub-DPS: Mona, Venti

Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Elemental Resonances

In a few cases, the Main-DPS Character cares less about causing elemental reactions, and more about pure damage to their respective element. This is most common with a Main-DPS that is either Anemo or Geo such as Xiao and Itto.

In this case, the Sub-DPS can help in providing Elemental Resonance with either the Main-DPS or whichever Support to better improve the Main-DPS Characters’ gameplay. Indeed, if your Main DPS is Pyro, having just one Sub-DPS or Support that is also Pyro gives the party increased Attack.

Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Elemental Resonance

A perfect example of this is Xiao, his top team has Zhongli as a Support for the shield and resistance to interruption. Putting Albedo as a Sub-DPS gives the team a Geo Resonance increasing the Shield Strength of Xiao.

Weapons and Artifacts for Sub-DPS Characters

Sub-DPS weapons and artifacts are important for improving stats for faster energy production and higher damage. One simple way to build a Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Character is to focus on increasing their Energy Recharge. Increasing this attribute as much as possible guarantees that each particle gathered provides a ton of energy.

Weapons for Genshin Impact Sub-DPS

Energy Recharge weapons are plentiful in Genshin Impact and there are two cycles that provide this. The Favonius cycle of 4-star weapons is available for all five weapon types. It provides energy recharge as a 2nd stat type and allows critical hits to provide more particles.

The Sacrificial weapon cycle is also notable, there is no polearm version, but the Bow, Greatsword, and Sword all have energy recharge as the 2nd stat type. They also all, including the Catalyst, have a chance to reset the cooldown of the Elemental Skill after it hits an opponent.

Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Polearm - The Catch

For polearm Sub-DPS characters in particular, like Xiangling, there is a free weapon that requires some effort to get. However, it is well worth the fishing. The Catch is a fantastic polearm that provides Energy Recharge and also increases burst damage and crit rate on the character.

Artifacts for Genshin Impact Sub-DPS

Exactly similar to weapons, there is one artifact set that is a go-to for pretty much every Sub-DPS for its energy recharge. Emblem of Severed Fates gives an increase to Energy Recharge with its 2 piece as well as an increase to Elemental Burst damage based off of said Energy Recharge and is one of the Best Artifact Sets in Genshin Impact.

Genshin Impact Sub-DPS Artifacts - Emblem of Severed Fate

For the primary stats of the artifacts, Energy Recharge for the Sand, whatever Element Damage the character is for the Goblet, and Critical Damage for the Circlet. This will help provide more energy and more great damage with their respective elemental skills.

There are currently three distinct exceptions to this formula, for both the set and the stats. The common thread of these exceptions is their element, two of them Anemo and one Geo. This is because there are better sets for both these elements for a Sub-DPS to utilize.

Venti and Heizou are both anemo characters that have some amount of crowd control and swirl capabilities to assist the Main-DPS. For them Viridescent Venerer is a better set, giving enemies decreased resistances to an infused swirl. In addition, both of them prefer having their Elemental Mastery as high as possible for more damage from the swirl.

Albedo is the premium choice for a Geo Sub-DPS unit. While he follows the need for his respective element damage and critical stat, increasing his defense is the best way to take advantage. The chief alchemist also takes full advantage of the Husk of Opulent Dreams, which increases defense and provides bonus defense and geo damage to him. Both of these provide his Elemental Skill with increased damage.

Genshin Impact Sub-DPS in Perspective

Throughout this article, I have mentioned what a Sub-DPS Character’s role is within the party. They aim to provide elemental particles, reactions, and resonance to better the team’s output.

I’ve also mentioned a few of the more prominent Sub-DPS Genshin Impact Characters throughout the article, all of them fantastic in their own right. Ultimately, when it comes to the game, any character with a fast skill cooldown can be viable as a Sub-DPS.

Never be afraid to experiment with character builds either, you might discover a fantastic combination of characters that are fun and exciting. Also, be sure to take a look at our article on Main-DPS Genshin Impact Characters for advice on what to look out for in a Main-DPS character.

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