Since Shenhe arrived in Genshin Impact and Ganyu returned, Cryo is looking better than ever. Though it may not match the super-powered parties that Gorou and Yun Jin have brought to Geo, Shenhe certainly adds some element-specific support, and with the right party members, Cryo can still chill things up.
Though he didn't quite make this list of the best Cryo characters, you can currently grab Chongyun as a free character in the Genshin Impact Lantern Rite event, and he can be a decent companion for Shenhe since he provides Cryo infusion to other characters. Xingqiu is also available for free, and he's an excellent source of Hydro if you're looking to run a Freeze team.
That said, if you got your mitts on Shenhe and are thinking about building your own mono-Cryo party, it's still one of the strongest elements in the game in terms of character choice. In this Genshin Impact Cryo characters list, I'll go through my picks for the very best, and explain a little about their strengths and weaknesses.
The 6 best Genshin Impact Cryo characters
Here we'll run through the best characters that Cryo has to offer:
This zombie herbalist is really good at one thing: healing. Her Herald of Frost skill regenerates HP for the party when she attacks, in a similar style to Barbara's Melody Loop, and her Preserver of Fortune burst allows characters to regenerate HP by damaging marked enemies. However, Qiqi's greatest strength is also her weakness, since her healing is a little too powerful. Few provide the same level of healing as Qiqi, but they do provide other abilities besides just that. Still, though she doesn't offer much else, if you're looking for the best Cryo healer in the game, that title undoubtedly belongs to this pint-sized member of the undead.
Similar to Gorou for Geo, Shenhe is the ideal support character if you're looking to run a mono-Cryo party, since the Icy Quills she gets from her skill buff Cryo damage for every character. As the damage boost she offers scales with her attack, Shenhe can be built as a decent sub-DPS character, while also lowering Physical and Cryo damage resistance with her AoE burst. That said, Shenhe's buff only provides a certain number of boosted attacks, and it can be a little tricky to apply them right, especially if you're also using AoE bursts that deal damage at the same time. Still, if you can adapt to her playstyle, she offers plenty of damage support to a Cryo team.
In terms of applying Cryo and freezing enemies, Ayaka is next to none. Like Mona, she has an alternate sprint where she transforms into an icy mist, and as she exits this state, applies Cryo to nearby enemies and infuses it into her sword. This creates a super fun playstyle as you dash between foes, freezing them in place and dealing damage. Her burst is extremely powerful, unleashing a Frostflake Seki no To snowstorm that moves in the direction of enemies. Ayaka's only disadvantage is she can't sprint or dodge when fighting Cryo enemies, otherwise, she'll infuse her sword and deal no damage.
This feline bartender may want to destroy Mondstadt's wine industry, but at least she's one of the best support characters in the game. Though Qiqi is a powerful healer, Diona outmatches her in terms of versatility, firing Cryo missiles and creating a shield with her Icy Paws skill, and healing and dealing damage with her Signature Mix burst. She's also an archer, so if you build towards crits and give her the Favonius Warbow, she'll be able to generate lots of energy for the party while staying at a safe distance and firing off Icy Paws.
It's weird to call the Spindrift Knight a Cryo character since she's actually all about Physical damage. If you're looking for someone to do Cryo DPS, Eula isn't a good pick, truth be told. However, as a Physical damage-dealer who just happens to be under the Cryo banner, she is unrivaled. Her playstyle is all about one-shotting enemies with the Lightfall Sword she gets from her burst, and the numbers can get pretty insane when you build her towards Physical damage, and use abilities like Raiden's 'Eye of Stormy Judgment' to push it further.
Part-Adeptus, part-human, all Cryo, Ganyu is undoubtedly one of the most powerful DPS characters in Genshin Impact. Her charged Frostflake Arrows explode with AoE Cryo damage, allowing her to easily freeze enemies and deal critical hits by striking weak points, while her 'Undivided Heart' passive buffs the critical rate of every subsequent arrow she fires by 20 percent. When you also take into account her skill that summons a taunting Ice Lotus that explodes and her AoE burst that boosts Cryo damage, Ganyu is a pretty versatile damage-dealer.
And those are our picks for the best Genshin Impact Cryo characters. If you're a Chongyun, Rosaria, Aloy, or Kaeya main, may they always be S-tier in your heart.