Elements serve as one of the many fundamental characteristics that all characters of Genshin Impact have. From a gameplay perspective to their personality and lore, a character’s element plays a huge role in defining these playable characters.
Capable of being both soothing and destructive, the Hydro Element is intertwined with everything related to water. And as players will be reminded time and time again, the power of water is its ability to take any shape.
We’ll be taking a dip through all the forms the Hydro element can take in this Genshin Impact guide as well as explaining some key things to know along the way.
What Is the Hydro Element in Genshin Impact?
Depicted with the symbol of a wave, Hydro is one of the seven elements in Genshin Impact’s dynamic elemental system. It is usually regarded as a defensive element that can empower other elements further through reactions or healing.
In Genshin Impact, the general ideology behind Hydro is the concept of justice. That is why Fontaine, often called the Nation of Hydro, is also the nation of justice with its elaborate court system. This idea also permeates in its playable characters, as all Hydro vision holders have a strong sense of justice.
None embodies this more than the archon of this element, Focalors, whom the Traveler gets to battle in a trial of wits at the courtroom in a scene reminiscent of the popular Ace Attorney games. Focalors is shown to have a penchant for theatrics, but do not mistake her flamboyance with incompetence. Players will get to know her soon enough as Fontaine’s Archon Quest continues. Judging by how powerful some of these hydro characters are already, its archon will surely not disappoint.
How Does Hydro Work in Genshin Impact?
Water equals wet, and in Genshin Impact’s case, literally, so getting any application of Hydro grants the target the Wet status. Much like in real life, this status makes them extremely vulnerable to elements like Electro and Cryo. Using Hydro on Pyro will snuff out fires as well.
It’s also one of the easiest elements to be affected by in-game as it can be applied through the environment as well. You’ll constantly be applied with Hydro if you’re exploring the overworld while it’s raining, and even stepping on the smallest of puddles will give you the Wet status, too.
While there’s no true water physics implemented into the game, the Fontaine region introduced a whole underwater area for the Traveler to explore. Although you can swim without worrying about your stamina like in other regions, you’ll still be affected by Hydro the same way, so players will do well to be mindful of that.
Hydro Elemental Reactions
Applying Hydro to a target, whether through the use of talents, infusion, or environmental hazards, opens the possibility of elemental reactions when combined with other elements.
- Vaporize (when combined with Pyro) – Deals 2.0x Hydro DMG if triggered by Hydro.
- Electrocharge (when combined with Electro) – Deals Electro DMG and high Poise Damage over time to all nearby targets applied with Hydro.
- Freeze (when combined with Cryo) – Applying Hydro to an enemy affected with Cryo fully immobilizes the target and applies a Freeze Aura.
- Bloom (when combined with Dendro) – This reaction creates a Dendro Core that lingers on the field for 6 seconds before exploding and dealing AoE Dendro DMG.
The Hydro element has always been a staple to many team compositions due to all the powerful reactions it enables. Vaporize is still the go-to reaction of any Pyro DPS, and the ability to immobilize huge enemies with Freeze allowed Cryo characters to shine. With the addition of Dendro and the popularity of Bloom teams and its subsequent variations of Hyperbloom, Aggravate, and Burgeon, this flexibility ensures that there will always be a spot for a Hydro character on any team.
Hydro Elemental Resonance
Another aspect that comes into play for team building is the different Elemental Resonances. These activate whenever you put two characters of the same element on the same team.
- Soothing Water: Affected by Pyro for 40% less time. Increases Max HP by 25%.
The Hydro Elemental Resonance originally gave a bonus to incoming healing instead and was considered to be so underwhelming that it actually got reworked to its current effect sometime later. This change made it one of the most useful resonances to have and further made Hydro support characters extremely powerful.
Hydro Artifact Set
For the longest time, the only artifact set that focused on boosting Hydro DMG was the Heart of Depth set, which became a must for Hydro DPS characters like Tartaglia. The Nymph’s Dream artifact set was added later on to give more build variation that will fit other Hydro characters like Nilou and Candace.
Players can farm for the Heart of Depth set from the Peak of Vindagnyr domain located in the snowy mountains of Dragonspine. On the other hand, venture towards the Molten Iron Fortress domain in Sumeru to get ahold of the Nymph’s Dream set. For those who want to see the difference between the two sets, we’ve listed them below:
The Heart of Depth set grants the following effects:
- 2-Piece: Hydro DMG Bonus +15%
- 4-Piece: After using an Elemental Skill, increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 30% for 15s.
Nymph’s Dream gives the wearer these bonuses:
- 2-Piece: Hydro DMG Bonus +15%
- 4-Piece: After Normal, Charged, and Plunging Attacks, Elemental Skills and Elemental Bursts hit opponents. 1 stack of Mirrored Nymph will be triggered, lasting 8s. When under the effect of 1, 2, or 3 or more Mirrored Nymph stacks, ATK will be increased by 7%/16%/25%, and Hydro DMG will be increased by 4%/9%/15% Mirrored Nymph created by Normal, Charged, and Plunging Attacks, Elemental Skills, and Elemental Bursts exist independently.
Hydro Characters in Genshin Impact
There are currently nine playable Hydro characters in Genshin Impact. With the release of Fontaine, two more characters – Focalors/Furina and Neuvillette are more or less confirmed to be wielding the Hydro element, with Neuvillette coming in Version 4.1.
5-Star Hydro Characters
Mona (5-Star, Catalyst)
The famed astrologist Mona Megistus is the first 5-Star Hydro character that was made playable from the very start as part of the 5-Star Standard Pool. With the powerful Omen buff provided by her Elemental Burst, she became a staple of damage showcases in the early days of Genshin Impact.
Tartaglia (5-Star, Bow)
Tartaglia, the Fatui Harbinger that’s also known as Childe, was the first limited 5-Star Hydro character that was released in the first-ever version update of the game. He has remained one of the most popular DPS picks for Abyss as part of meta teams like International.
Sangonomiya Kokomi (5-Star, Catalyst)
The divine priestess of Watatsumi was initially received poorly during her debut banner, but over time, people’s opinions of her have changed for the better. When it comes to being an amazing support with incredible role compression, the master tactician Sangonomiya Kokomi is second to none.
Kamisato Ayato (5-Star, Sword)
Kamisato Ayato is considered to be a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ type of character due to him being a Main DPS that has a good off-field presence with his ult. Overall, he’s a solid character who can function in whatever role you need him to fulfill, and Ayato will always perform.
Yelan (5-Star, Bow)
This gambler had some stiff competition when she was released due to the similarities between her and Xingqiu, but as it turns out, Yelan didn’t need to compete with him at all. She easily became one of the best support characters in the game with her amazing damage and off-field utility. Her addition solidified Hydro’s reputation of being one of the best elements in Genshin Impact.
Nilou (5-Star, Sword)
Nilou can be considered a niche pick, but there’s no other Hydro character that can work in Bloom teams as well as she does. Whether she’s your on-field DPS or application support, her consistent application of Hydro makes her desirable for reaction-based teams.
4-Star Hydro Characters
Barbara (4-Star, Catalyst)
Many players have used Barbara to tide them over the early game as a Hydro healer. This idol nun does have dedicated fans who run her as a Hydro DPS.
Xingqiu (4-Star, Sword)
Xingqiu is an insanely good 4-Star character, as he enables a lot of your favorite DPS characters in all kinds of teams. Alongside his partner in Spiral Abyss clears, Xiangling, Xingqiu sits at the top of many Genshin Impact tier lists.
Candace (4-Star, Polearm)
Candace is able to make any character into a Hydro character with her elemental infusion. She needs some investment, but this shieldmaiden can offer players a lot of creative options.