Genshin Impact’s made a big splash in the weeks since its release, living up to the incredible hype it built up pre-release as a game that plays something like a F2P Breath of the Wild meets Spellbreak — becoming a nine-figure IP with ease. Not only does this success give hope to the free-to-play solo RPG space and pave the way for further innovation, the popularity that comes with it means more eyes on the game, more brains tweaking every performance metric to the max to find god-like endgame power.
As footage of six-figure damage counters have started popping up around the internet, many a Genshin Impact gamer finds one word ricocheting across the forefront of their mind: HOW!
Part of the answer to that question is Elemental Mastery (albeit with one important caveat).
What is Elemental Mastery in Genshin Impact?
Elemental Mastery is an attribute in Genshin Impact that can play a major role in upping your party’s damage. Alongside Attack, Elemental Mastery is a key stat used to calculate bonuses to the power of Elemental Reactions that your characters create and is especially important for catalyst wielders.
This is because it increases the overall damage dealt by Elemental Reactions by a flat multiplier, as well as the strength of Geo-shields. For example, having 175 Elemental Mastery increases the damage dealt by Vaporize and Melt by 30.9% — and Overloaded, Supercharged, Shattered and Swirl by 74%! That means some serious damage in a battlefield flush with elemental effects.
It sounds simple enough, but getting Elemental Mastery to really work for you takes some planning. Down below we’ll talk about how to raise your Elemental Mastery, and other attributes that need to go along with it.
How to Raise Elemental Mastery
Weapons and Artifacts
Unfortunately, for most characters, you need to do more than simply raise character level to increase your elemental mastery. Unlike other attributes like HP and Attack, Elemental Mastery doesn’t grow automatically with your character level and depends heavily on your Weapons and Artifacts — as well as set bonuses.
As you’re setting out on your journey across Teyvat, keep a lookout for quality artifacts that have good stats, especially damage-oriented stats like Attack, Crit Rate, or, in this case, Elemental Mastery. When leveling up an Artifact, every four levels you’re going to get either a new stat or a bonus to an existing stat.
Related: 20 Top Genshin Impact Meme
Keep in mind that if you get a subpar stat, that could be the one that gets buffed instead of one of the other stats. To get some excellent artifacts that can seriously empower you, even when they’re 3 or 4 stars, be prudent about disbanding all artifacts that have a subpar stat. Even if the other stats are good.
You get most of the experience back and eventually you can have a killer blue or purple that outperforms a five star with great bonuses but for stats you don’t need as much.
One of the best ways to add a bundle of Elemental Mastery to not only one character but the whole party is to enhance your character’s Elemental Mastery is first by acquiring an Instructor’s Set. The 2-Piece Bonus boosts your Elemental Mastery by 80, and the 4-Piece bonus increases the Elemental Mastery of all members of the party by 120 for 8 seconds whenever you create an Elemental Reaction.
Sucrose, aside from being a type of sugar, is an excellent character for boosting Elemental Mastery. This is because of Sucrose’s passive talent, Catalyst Conversion, which boosts every member of the party’s Elemental Mastery by 8 seconds every time Sucrose triggers a Swirl effect.
On top of that, party members get another Elemental Mastery buff of 20% of Sucrose’s own Elemental Mastery whenever her second or third skill successfully hits an enemy. There are plenty of other effects that integrate with one another, but Sucrose is the simplest to implement.
But Just How Important is Elemental Mastery, Really?
Ever since that video of Diluc hitting the utterly godlike 115K combo started doing the rounds, everybody’s been going nuts over Elemental Mastery like it’s the elixir of life itself. And higher Elemental Mastery certainly helps. But it’s certainly not the be-all-and-end-all of damage in Genshin Impact. Not at all.
Let’s take a look at Attack real quick. Attack figures into the multipliers of pretty much everything. That means your basic attacks, talents, elemental reactions — all of it — get upped by boosting your Attack. While maxing Elemental Mastery is what can turn well-coordinated combos into nuclear strikes, you don’t get any of that juicy damage if you have a pellet gun for offense.
That’s because Elemental Mastery increases the multiplier. So if you’re hitting for 50, but have a ton of Elemental Mastery upping that damage by 100%, you’re going to be hitting for 100; a character with more attack that naturally hits for 150 and gets their attack boosted by 30% is going to hit for 200. And so on and so forth.
If a machine is invented that will double your money, you better bring as much money as possible because how much you get, depends on how much you give. If Elemental Mastery is the return on your investment, Attack is the currency.
The second caveat is that Elemental Mastery only affects the power of Elemental Reactions. Huge amounts of Elemental Mastery will mean nothing if you’re not proccing the effect in the first place.
Thus Elemental Mastery is best on characters who can be putting out elemental effects consistently, like Xingliang or Fischl, and keep on proccing those Elemental Reactions rather than more physical attack oriented characters tapping into it with a one-off nuke whenever they cast their ultimate.
Just make sure whoever they are, that they have some attack too so that bonus actually means something.
And that’s about it. Elemental Mastery is certainly a useful tool, but it shouldn’t be the only one in your toolbelt when looking for sky-high damage. Make sure to check out our plethora of other Genshin Impact guides, walkthroughs, and other content!