Genshin Impact: Yelan vs. Xingqiu (Who’s Better?)

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Yelan and Xingqiu are both off-field Hydro DPS units. Yelan is a limited 5-star character, while Xingqiu is a 4-star character.

Their kits are very much alike, and they fill the exact same roles in all their teams. At baseline, they even deal the same amount of total DPS.

But still, Xingqiu is better than Yelan.

Aside from his strong personal damage, he provides valuable utilities that Yelan doesn’t – like micro-healing, resistance to interruption, damage reduction, and many more.

Yelan is a great unit, but she does lose pull value because of Xingqiu.

There isn’t a need to pull for her when Xingqiu is a 4-star character that does the same thing but better.

Plus she’s generally outperformed by fellow 5-star Hydro units in their respective teams – like Kokomi for freeze teams and Tartaglia for Xiangling teams.

To better explain, let’s compare their power levels and how they perform in the two modes of Genshin Impact: Overworld (Exploration & Co-op) and Spiral Abyss (Meta).

Note: All comparisons made are between a C0 Yelan and C6 Xingqiu unless stated otherwise.


In The Overworld


Exploration (Single-Player)

Yelan outperforms Xingqiu in exploration.

They’re both great in battle content, but Yelan has extra perks in her kit that are very useful in the overworld – namely, her elemental skill and special charged attack.

Yelan’s elemental skill / Genshin Impact
Yelan’s elemental skill

Yelan’s skill lets her move swiftly across a certain distance for up to 3s.

It’s a very useful ability for both combat and exploration.

  • Her skill is the fastest form of transportation in-game – and it benefits from movement speed buffs.
  • It doesn’t consume stamina. Instead, it can effectively regenerate stamina during its period.
  • Her Lifeline knocks opponents toward Yelan upon exploding. This gives a bit of crowd control that lets you reposition smaller opponents.
(1) Yelan’s special charged attack (2) Many, many fowl / Genshin Impact
(1) Yelan’s special charged attack (2) Many, many fowl

After spending 5s out of combat, Yelan gains a special charged attack (CA).

This has decreased charging time and increased damage and AOE. Leveling her normal attack talent is not recommended, but this CA’s large AOE is notable.

It’s basically very effective in farming fowls – great for farming Timmie’s pigeons!


Co-op (Multiplayer)

Yelan’s elemental burst animation / Genshin Impact
Yelan’s elemental burst animation

Most of Yelan and Xingqiu’s value comes from their off-field abilities.

Since Co-op only lets you use 1-2 characters, they do lose value when used alone. Still, they deal enough damage to make them good in Co-op.

They have different abilities that basically even out their performance.

Xingqiu’s defensive abilities – like micro-healing, resistance to interruption, and damage reduction – greatly increase his survivability.

Whereas Yelan focuses more on her offensive abilities. Her ascension passive gradually buffs the active character’s damage during her burst.

When used alone, she buffs herself. When used with another character, she buffs her teammate.


Spiral Abyss (Meta)


Team Compositions

Both Yelan and Xingqiu are top meta characters.

They can easily slot into any team that needs a Hydro unit – which are basically most top meta teams. Still, there are instances when one can outperform the other.

For a better comparison, here’s a summary of who performs better in their best teams and why.

Team Who’s Better? Why?
Double Hydro Neither They’re used together in this team.
Raiden National Xingqiu Xingqiu contributes more damage because he benefits from the team’s ATK buffs.
Freeze Teams Neither Both of them are great options with different pros and cons.
Taser Teams Xingqiu Xingqiu’s defensive abilities greatly increase this team’s survivability – especially since it doesn’t have a dedicated healer.
Double Hydro
Double Hydro: Funerational team with Hu Tao and Xiangling / Genshin Impact
Double Hydro: Funerational team with Hu Tao and Xiangling

Double Hydro is easily one of Yelan’s top teams.

This team is composed of:

  • Yelan
  • Xingqiu
  • 2 other units

This is a very flexible team that can basically fit any other two characters.

The Double Hydro team comp was initially made to solve Yelan’s kit issues by pairing her with Xingqiu – namely, for energy generation and Hydro application.

Since Xingqiu generates a lot of Hydro particles, he reduces Yelan’s energy requirements.

And although Yelan’s burst can keep up with most Pyro units, it’s quite inconsistent. Xingqiu’s additional Hydro application completely solves this issue.

Plus, Yelan and Xingqiu both deal high personal damage.

One of the most popular Double Hydro variations uses double Pyro units – like Hu Tao with Xiangling.

This team is called Funerational.

Hu Tao is the on-field DPS performing normal and charged attacks to proc Xingqiu’s and Yelan’s bursts – thus applying a significant amount of Hydro.

This lets both Hu Tao and Xiangling consistently trigger vaporize reactions.

Raiden National or Rational
Raiden National with Xingqiu / Genshin Impact
Raiden National with Xingqiu

This team is composed of:

  • Yelan/Xingqiu
  • Raiden
  • Bennett
  • Xiangling

Yelan and Xingqiu are both great units for this team.

Since Yelan scales entirely from HP, she won’t benefit from the team’s ATK buffs. Because of this, Xingqiu will very often outperform her.

But Yelan is still an effective replacement. Plus, using her here lets you use Xingqiu for another team.

Freeze Teams
Ayaka freeze team with Yelan / Genshin Impact
Ayaka freeze team with Yelan

Freeze teams are composed of:

  • 2 Cryo units
  • 1 Hydro unit
  • 1 Anemo unit

Yelan and Xingqiu perform similarly in these teams – so just use whichever you prefer.

In some cases, Xingqiu’s defensive abilities can be more valuable.

If you don’t need a dedicated healer, using Xingqiu lets you run another Cryo DPS for more damage. He’ll increase the team’s survivability without decreasing your damage.

But if you don’t need a dedicated healer or Xingqiu’s defensive abilities, then Yelan’s just the better option damage-wise.

This is because her passive gives a bit more damage by buffing teammates.

Taser Teams
Beidou Taser with Xingqiu / Genshin Impact
Beidou Taser with Xingqiu

These teams are composed of:

  • 2 Electro units
  • 1 Hydro unit
  • 1 Anemo unit

Taser teams often don’t run any dedicated healers.

Instead, they heavily rely on the defensive abilities of Beidou and Xingqiu – thus making Xingqiu especially valuable here.

Without him, this team loses a lot of survivability.

Yelan can’t effectively replace Xingqiu here. She’ll perform fine but noticeably worse.

What about her damage bonus passive? It’s irrelevant in this team.

Since Sucrose spends the most field time, she’ll end up receiving most of the damage bonus buff – she doesn’t benefit from this at all.

Sucrose deals damage through swirl reactions, and swirl doesn’t scale off damage bonus.


Who Should You Build?

Xingqiu’s elemental skill / Genshin Impact
Xingqiu’s elemental skill

If you intend to play any of the teams mentioned above, then build the unit that performs best for that team.

But generally, Xingqiu is the better unit to build.

He performs well in every team that needs a Hydro unit. And unlike Yelan, he doesn’t need another unit to work consistently in vaporize teams – him alone is enough.

There’s never a need to pull or build Yelan if you’re already satisfied with Xingqiu.

Instead, it’s best to think of her as a sidegrade to your account. She’s never needed, but she’s perfectly viable if you have her.

Otherwise, Xingqiu is more than enough for your teams.

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Maeri Mgdrg

Maeri is an avid gacha player currently in the clutches of Genshin Impact. She mainly focuses on character analyses, underlying game mechanics, and occasionally reading game code. She also yearns for the day that Dainsleif is finally playable.