Kaeya is a 5* Cryo Sword character most commonly used as a sub-DPS thanks to his competent off-field Cryo DMG output.
Kaeya is also one of the free characters that all players are given near the very beginning of the story. Among the roster of free characters, Kaeya stands somewhere in the middle.
While he is nowhere near as powerful as Xiangling—a free 4* character that maintains an S-Tier ranking in our Genshin Impact Tier List—he is nonetheless a perfectly capable unit that stands head and shoulders above the likes of Amber and Barbara.
This is to say that you can expect positive returns on your resource investments if you decide to focus on leveling up and using him throughout your Genshin journey.
In this Kaeya build guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to optimize his DMG output.
To do this, we’ll need to look at his:
- Talent priority
- Weapon choices
- Artifact set bonuses
- Team synergies
Table of ContentsShow
Kaeya’s Talent Priority
|Normal Attack |
|Normal Attack |
Perform up to 5 rapid strikes.
Consumes a certain amount of Stamina to unleash 2 rapid sword strikes.
Plunges from mid-air to strike the ground below, damaging opponents along the path and dealing AoE DMG upon impact.
|Since Kaeya usually functions as a sub-DPS who’s only used for his abilities, he doesn’t really get a chance to perform Normal Attacks. That’s why this is his least important talent. |
That being said, Kaeya has some amazing Normal Attack DMG multipliers. You could very well play him as a main DPS, in which case you’d treat this as his most important talent.
|Elemental Skill |
|Unleashes a frigid blast, dealing Cryo DMG to opponents in front of Kaeya.||Kaeya’s Elemental Skill deals decent DMG on a very short 6-second cooldown. It also Freezes water for 9 seconds, allowing you to avoid swimming altogether. All things considered, this is Kaeya’s second-priority talent. |
For main DPS Kaeya, this is the least important talent, but it should still be leveled up.
|Elemental Burst |
|Coalescing the frost in the air, Kaeya summons 3 icicles that revolve around him. |
These icicles will follow the character around and deal Cryo DMG to opponents in their path for the ability’s duration.
|Kaeya’s Elemental Burst provides steady off-field Cryo DMG that follows the on-field character. |
As his main source of off-field DMG, this is Kaeya’s most important talent.
For main DPS Kaeya, this is the second-priority talent.
Kaeya’s Passive Talents
|Hidden Strength||Decreases sprinting Stamina consumption for your own party members by 20%. Not stackable with Passive Talents that provide the exact same effects.||This is easily one of the best utility talents in the game thanks to Stamina management being one of the more important facets of endgame combat.|
|Turn Control||Every hit with Frostgnaw regenerates HP for Kaeya equal to 15% of his ATK.||For sub-DPS Kaeya—particularly in the endgame—this talent doesn’t do much. However, for main DPS Kaeya—and especially in the early game—this talent is quite useful.|
|Adapt With Ease||Opponents Frozen by Frostgnaw will drop additional Elemental Particles. |
Frostgnaw may only produce a maximum of 2 additional Elemental Particles per use.
|Another common utility that sub-DPS Kaeya brings to many teams is Energy Generation. His Elemental Skill generates 2 or 3 Energy particles every 6 seconds and this talent almost doubles the ceiling on his Energy generation. All in all, this talent is great.|
Most of the free units in Genshin Impact are plagued by incoherent kits, but Kaeya’s kit is quite coherent.
He deals DMG, generates Energy, and uses said Energy to increase the consistency of his Elemental Burst uptime. The game even gives him a niche, making him especially functional in teams focused on the Freeze Elemental Reaction.
Due to Freeze teams being some of the best and most powerful in the entire game, with main DPS Cryo units in these teams requiring a lot of Energy to power their Elemental Bursts, Kaeya can be used in quite a variety of team compositions.
And, as mentioned, he can function as a serviceable main DPS who not only deals nice DMG but also sustains himself with small but consistent healing.
Moreover, Kaeya has some incredible constellations to his name.
|Excellent Blood||The CRIT Rate of Kaeya’s Normal and Charge Attacks against opponents affected by Cryo is increased by 15%.||For sub-DPS Kaeya, this constellation is worthless. |
For main DPS Kaeya, this constellation is simply incredible.
|Never-Ending Performance||Every time Glacial Waltz defeats an opponent during its duration, its duration is increased by 2.5s, up to a maximum of 15s.||In the best-case scenario—defeating 3 enemies while his Burst is active—C2 makes it so that Kaeya’s Elemental Burst has no downtime whatsoever. |
In the worst-case scenario—fighting a single boss—it’s effectively useless.
However, the good far outweighs the bad, if we take into consideration the number of enemies you’ll be facing in an average encounter.
With that in mind, this constellation is amazing.
|Dance of Frost||Increases the Level of Frostgnaw by 3. Maximum upgrade level is 15.||With how short the cooldown on Kaeya’s Elemental Skill is, the extra DMG provided by this constellation starts to add up quickly. |
This constellation is good.
|Frozen Kiss||Triggers automatically when Kaeya’s HP falls below 20%: |
Creates a shield that absorbs damage equal to 30% of Kaeya’s Max HP. Lasts for 20s.
This shield absorbs Cryo DMG with 250% efficiency.
Can only occur once every 60s.
|Here’s the thing: Kaeya’s C4 only triggers when he is the active character. It can’t be used to protect other characters. For main DPS Kaeya it’s alright, but nothing special. |
For sub-DPS Kaeya, C4 is useless.
|Frostbiting Embrace||Increases the Level of Glacial Waltz by 3. |
Maximum upgrade level is 15.
|Kaeya’s C5 offers an amazing DMG boost. |
C5 is a great constellation, regardless of which role you play Kaeya in.
|Glacial Whirlwind||Glacial Waltz will generate 1 additional icicle, and will regenerate 15 Energy when cast.||Kaeya’s C6 increases the DMG ceiling of his Burst by 25% and ensures that he can cast the Burst consistently by refunding 25% of its cost upon casting. |
This constellation is amazing.
So yeah, Kaeya has some pretty incredible constellations.
His C2, C5, and C6 all increase the DMG ceiling on his Elemental Burst by a ton. C3 is a less substantial DPS increase, but still helpful. And C1 is also incredible on main DPS Kaeya—it’s not useful for his sub-DPS playstyle, but we can’t call it a bad constellation.
The only constellation of dubious value is C4.
Unfortunately, in addition to never having been featured on a banner, Kaeya seems to have drastically reduced chances of being obtained through the gacha system compared to all other 4* characters. In all seriousness, obtaining 5* characters is way easier than getting Kaeya’s constellations, which is ridiculous. This means that players are highly unlikely to even unlock his constellations.
The best thing Kaeya fans can do is make sure they snag one of his constellations from the Starglitter Shop once every six months.
Overall, Kaeya has some amazing constellations. We’d say going all the way to C6 is well worth it. But most players will never get the chance to do so.
Best Weapons For Kaeya
|Mistsplitter Reforged |
|Mistsplitter Reforged is Kaeya’s BiS 5* weapon thanks to its massive base ATK and high CRIT DMG substat. Furthermore, |
Kaeya can make good use of its passive to increase his Cryo DMG even further. Paired with Chongyun, he can even get optimal value from the passive.
|Aquila Favonia |
|Aquila Favonia is another great 5* option for Kaeya, however, only main DPS Kaeya can make optimal use of its Physical DMG substat. |
Nevertheless, the high base ATK and extra ATK% provided by the passive still ensure that Kaeya packs a wallop with this weapon.
|Amenoma Kageuchi |
|The craftable Anemoma Kageuchi provides a lot of ATK, increasing the DMG of Kaeya’s entire kit. The passive also ensures that Kaeya can replenish a huge portion of his Energy when he casts his Burst.|
|Prototype Rancour |
|Yet another craftable weapon, Prototype Rancour will deal immense DMG in the hands of a main DPS Kaeya thanks to its high base ATK, Physical DMG substat, and ATK boosting passive.|
|Blackcliff Longsword |
|The Blackcliff Longsword is a great 4* stat stick for Kaeya, featuring a high base ATK and lots of CRIT DMG. The passive, while great when facing many enemies, is useless against a single boss monster. But even if we ignore the passive, the Blackcliff Longsword offers a lot of DMG.|
|The Black Sword |
|In Freeze teams, CRIT Rate weapons like The Black Sword may be overkill for Kaeya, as he’ll innately get high CRIT Rate with the Cryo Resonance, 4-piece Blizzard Strayer set bonus, and possibly his C1. |
But in other non-Freeze teams, this weapon can help round out his CRIT stats. It’s even better on main DPS Kaeya due to the Normal Attack boosting passive, but you can ignore this part and still get good value from the weapon.
|Favonius Sword |
|As we’ve already mentioned, Kaeya doesn’t need extra Energy Recharge for himself, due to his higher-than-average base Energy Recharge and plentiful Energy generation. |
But, if you find that you want to have sub-DPS Kaeya provide even more Energy to your main DPS, this is the weapon you should go for.
Best Artifacts For Kaeya – 4-Blizzard Strayer
The best artifact set to give to Kaeya if you want to maximize his DMG is the 4-piece Blizzard Strayer.
This not only buffs his Cryo DMG, but also greatly increases his CRIT Rate, especially in a Freeze team.
The main stats you should aim to get are:
- ATK% on the Sands
- Cryo DMG on the Goblet
- CRIT DMG on the Logos (the goal is to bring the CRIT stat ratio as close to 1:2)
And as for substats, you’d ideally want:
- CRIT DMG
- CRIT Rate
- Energy Recharge
- Elemental Mastery (only in Melt teams)
If you don’t have a 4-piece Blizzard Strayer set or you want to increase Kaeya’s supporting utility, you can use the 4-piece Noblesse Oblige instead. This will increase his Burst DMG and give the whole team extra ATK whenever Kaeya casts his Burst.
Alternatively, if you don’t have these full 4-piece sets, you can use any combination of the following 2-piece set bonuses:
- Blizzard Strayer
- Noblesse Oblige
- Gladiator’s Finale (or any other ATK +18% set bonus)
Don’t use the 4-piece Emblem of Severed Fate on Kaeya. Unlike most other characters who derive most of their DMG from their Elemental Burst, Kaeya can’t make optimal use of this set bonus. He already gets extra Energy Recharge just from leveling and doesn’t need a ton of Energy Recharge in the first place.
Best Team Composition For Kaeya
F2P Melt Kaeya
Kaeya serves as the team’s source of off-field Cryo DMG needed to proc Melt Reactions.
Xiangling serves as the team’s source of off-field Pyro DMG needed to proc Melt Reactions.
Bennett serves as the team’s ATK buffer and healer. As the second Pyro character, he also grants access to the Pyro Resonance which passively raises everyone’s ATK. This Resonance is so powerful that it’s worth running another Pyro character like Amber, Thoma, or Xinyan just to get it.
Rosaria serves as the team’s second source of off-field Cryo DMG whose goal is to cover Kaeya’s downtime. If you don’t have Bennett, we suggest using Diona here instead to serve as the team healer. You can use other healers like Barbara and Sayu as well. Rolling around with Sayu while Kaeya’s and Xiangling’s Bursts are active is a lot of fun. Plus, she can reduce the enemies’ Elemental Resistances.
F2P Freeze Kaeya
Kaeya is the team’s main DPS, staying on-field most of the time and using Normal Attacks while his abilities are on cooldown.
Chongyun is the team’s Support and sub-DPS. While his Cryo DMG output is welcome, the most important utility he brings to the table is his Cryo infusion. While standing within the field created by Chongyun, Kaeya’s Normal Attacks will deal Cryo DMG. Plus, as the second Cryo character, he’ll unlock the Cryo Resonance for extra CRIT Rate. With this Resonance and the 4-piece Blizzard Strayer set bonus, Kaeya will have a baseline CRIT Rate of 60% against Frozen enemies without any equipment. Rosaria and Diona are both solid replacements, but only Chonyun can make it so Kaeya’s Normal Attacks do Cryo DMG.
Xingqiu is the team’s source of Hydro application needed to keep enemies Frozen. The fact that his DMG output is massive is just the cherry on top. If you don’t have Xingqiu, you can use Barbara instead. Her Elemental Skill will apply Hydro to enemies the on-field character comes into contact with—it’s not ideal, but it can work.
Sayu is the team’s healer and Cryo Resistance shredder thanks to the 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set bonus. You can use Sucrose or Anemo Traveler instead if you don’t have her. The team won’t have a healer, but it’s not like enemies can fight back when they’re Frozen anyway.
Whale Main DPS Kaeya
Frankly, Kaeya is used as a F2P alternative for better characters. Therefore, any so-called whale team with him would be better off using other Cryo Supports who do what Kaeya does, only better.
But if we make him the main DPS, he becomes an indispensable part of the team.
Kaeya and Chongyun are the core of any team where Kaeya is supposed to act as the on-field Cryo DPS. And Kaeya needs to deal Cryo DMG with his Normal Attacks to maximize the effectiveness of Shenhe’s buffs. For a more Freeze oriented team, use Yelan instead of Chongyun.
Shenheis the Cryo DMG buffer. She will increase everyone’s Cryo DMG for a set number of instances. Thanks to Chongyun, all characters will be able to deal Cryo DMG even with their Normal Attacks, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of this buff.
Kazuha is the team’s source of crowd control and Elemental Resistance shredding. What’s more, since his Elemental Skill and Burst can both deal Cryo DMG, he can benefit from Shenhe’s buffs as well, despite being an Anemo character.
Is Kaeya Worth It?
The best thing we can say about Kaeya is that he is a serviceable character.
His kit doesn’t have any glaring holes in it and he can perform his role competently.
At the same time, there are many characters who can perform the same role better.
Even Rosaria, another 4* character with a strikingly similar playstyle, is preferable in most teams.
We’d say his constellations could rectify this, but his constellations are almost impossible to get.
So the verdict is this:
Objectively, leveling Kaeya up is not worth it. In a game of limited resources like Genshin Impact, leveling up other characters will bring more overall value to your account.
However, this shouldn’t stop for leveling him up if you’re a huge Kaeya fan. He is a competent character who can be used in a variety of teams. So if you like him, go for it!