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Wuthering Waves tier list and suggested team comps [Version 1]

A run-down of the best DPS, sub-DPS, and support characters in Wuthering Waves V1, plus our advice on how to put together the best team compositions.

Three Wuthering Waves characters are shown in promotional artwork for the game. From left to right: Jianxin,  Rover (F), and Chixia
Image credit: Kuro Game

Wuthering Waves is the latest gacha game to capture the imaginations of RPG fans, so naturally, there are loads and loads of characters to choose from even at launch. While the lootboxy nature of WuWa's monetisation means you can't guarantee access to all of your favourite characters straight away, the launch rewards are surprisingly generous, and it's not too hard to fill out your roster quite quickly from early on in the game.

Wuthering Waves characters, known as "Resonators" in-game, each come with a rarity, elemental affinity, and weapon of choice, but what the game won't explicitly tell you is what role each is best suited to in combat. So we've put together a ranked run-down of our favourite Resonators in this Wuthering Waves tier list, as well some tips on how to put together the best team compositions to tackle the challenges Wuthering Waves throws at you.

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Wuthering Waves character tier list

Before we get into a run-down of the best characters in Wuthering Waves Version 1, a few words on how we constructed this tier list.

First off, a general rule to bear in mind: Wuthering Waves is a gacha game, and as such, the "best" character for each role will usually be the most recently-released 5-star unit, at least if your main concern is with watching big numbers go up fast in combat. It's called power creep and it's how the developers keep you paying for yet another expensive premium character when you already have more than enough options to get you through the very endgame with no problems. It also results in pretty boring tier lists if you just list every character by their potential damage output. This is one of the reasons why we've broken our tier list down into three parts: best DPS, best sub-DPS, and best support, with characters ranked only under the category they're best suited for.

Another factor to take into consideration is that there's no way to be entirely objective about this. For one thing, how you build a character in Wuthering Waves makes a huge difference to their utility in whatever role you have them playing — which by no means has to be their ideal role, either. On that subject, your choice of team composition can radically alter the utility of a given character, which is why we've done an overview on how to build the best teams further down the page.

The gacha adds a further wrinkle by granting special skills and bonuses (called Sequences) the first six times you pull a duplicate of any given character from the gacha. Sequences can be complete game changers: to pick just one example, Mortefi at Sequence-0 is just one of many pretty-good 4-star characters, while Mortefi at Sequence-6 is an unstoppable one-hit killing machine and arguably the best sub-DPS in the game. Comparative scaling on Sequences isn't always fair and it's hard to write one-size-fits-all advice when there are seven basic variants on each character even before individual players' builds and playstyles enter the mix.

So to construct this tier list, we've used a mix of our own experiences playing the game, early preferences we've seen emerging among the game's community, and a kind of literature review of V1.0 tier lists from respected WuWa specialists such as Prydwen.gg and Gacha Gamer on YouTube.

Best DPS in Wuthering Waves V1

Jiyan

5-star Aero/Broadblade

Wuthering Waves' Jiyan in his official banner art

Remember what we were saying earlier about how event-exclusive 5-star characters tend to perform the best? Well, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the banner star WuWa chose to lead with is the best DPS in the game at launch — to be honest, I'd be more shocked if it had been any other way.

Jiyan quite simply has the highest damage potential in the game right now, mostly thanks to his powerful ultimate. He combines AoE attacks with crowd control, giving him a great deal of potential to round up enemies and hit them all in one strike. He's also a comparatively easy character to play and performs well even if you don't have the resources to optimise his build straight away — speaking of which, you can check out our Wuthering Waves best Jiyan build for more information.

Calcharo

5-star Electro/Broadblade

Key artwork for Wuthering Waves' Calcharo is shown
Image credit: Kuro Games

It'd be too simplistic to say that Calcharo is a replacement for Jiyan if you skipped the debut banner or lost your first 50/50, since their playstyles really couldn't be more different. Calcharo is as exacting as Jiyan is forgiving, requiring precise time management if you really want to make the most of him as your DPS. But skilled players — or just those who want to experiment with a hectic combo-heavy playstyle even if it means playing with a (shudder) non-optimised damage output — will find that Calcharo has perhaps the highest damage potential of any permanent character in the game at launch. Read our Wuthering Waves best Calcharo build guide for more info!

Havoc Rover

5-star Havoc/Sword

Rover, Wuthering Waves' main character, is shown staring at the camera
Image credit: VG247/Kuro Games

Unlike most characters in Wuthering Waves, you have to work a bit to unlock the Havoc Rover, but you don't need to touch the gacha in order to get them. Instead, they become available once you beat Chapter 6 of the main storyline — which means that, in Version 1.0, you can't build them beyond their second Sequence, although that will undoubtedly come later. It's a testament to their impressive DPS potential, then, that they're still up there with our top picks even with this temporary handicap.

Unlike most DPS candidates in WuWa, the Havoc Rover isn't reliant on their ultimate to deal big damage, although their ult is a very good feature of their kit. But since Havoc Rover can do a lot of damage just by consuming a full Forte Gauge, you have a solid option to play with while you're waiting for that ult to kick back in. It's much better than you might expect for a completely F2P DPS option, even if you do have to invest some time into unlocking them. Take a look at our Wuthering Waves best Havoc Rover build if you want to know more!

Encore

5-star Fusion/Rectifier

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Encore is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

She might look as cute and fluffy as her plushie sheep companions, but Encore follows the proud gacha RPG tradition of having one of the game's biggest bruisers take the form of a tiny little girl. While Encore's kit is largely focussed around ranged combat, her ultimate switches her into melee mode for its duration. She's equally tough in both forms meaning that Encore is the best DPS option in the game if you favour a flexible playstyle, although there's a small caveat in that she becomes rather vulnerable if you don't remove her to a safe ranged distance again before her ult timer ends. See our Wuthering Waves best Encore build for more information.

Danjin

4-star Havoc/Sword

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Danjin is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

Are you one of those show-offs who actually learns how to dodge and parry in video games? If you enjoy fast-paced ducking-and-weaving the way the developers presumably intended, then Danjin could be the party leader for you — especially if you're an F2P player, since by our reckoning she's the best 4-star DPS in Wuthering Waves at launch. While her footwork might be fancy, Danjin's attacks are very straightforward, meaning you can hit hard and regularly without waiting for ultimate cooldowns to make her damage output worthwhile.

The downside is that Danjin consumes her own HP to unleash her skills, making her something of a proverbial glass cannon — extremely rewarding to play as if you're quick with your parries and counters, but liable to go down fast even with a good healer on the team if your reflexes aren't up to the task.

Chixia

4-star Fusion/Pistols

Wuthering Waves' Chixia making a salute sign near her head

The DPS of choice for no-pull accounts, Chixia is the second party member to join Rover in the game's opening, and as such it'd be expecting a bit too much for her to be better than the premium candidates for the role. However, she's still pretty good, with an easy-to-use kit that's focussed on quickly dashing around firing her pistols from a distance, and a surprisingly high damage output for a free starter character. As with most starting party members, the main downside is that she's slow to activate her skills and ult, and she's further slightly limited by her kit's focus on single-target attacks. See our Wuthering Waves best Chixia build for more on how to make the most of Rover's loyal outrider pal.

Lingyang

5-star Glacio/Gauntlets

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Lingyang is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

As his whimsical design might lead you to expect, Lingyang's role in the game is one of sheer fun factor. If you want a DPS with a wholly unique playstyle, Lingyang is your catboy, and while it's early days, I feel quite confident asserting that WuWa won't see too many other flying characters joining the playable roster. The trade-off for this experimental take on combat is that his damage output isn't all that impressive, meaning that the time you invest in learning his tricky manoeuvres won't translate to big numbers even once you've mastered the art of aerial attacks; putting him at a disadvantage when compared to, say, Calcharo. Still, unlike Calcharo, he's a combo-heavy DPS who's pretty easy to pick-up-and-play even if you're a beginner.

Best Sub-DPS in Wuthering Waves V1

Sanhua

4-star Glacio/Sword

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Sanhua is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

In our estimation, despite her average rarity, Sanhua has the potential to be amongst the best sub-DPS' in Wuthering Waves at launch, beating out even the 5-star competition. Her low energy cost means that she requires the shortest on-field time of any sub-DPS to dole out her best damage — she's a menace with those ice attacks, and can chain hits from her various skills extremely fast. Therefore, she's especially ideal to pair with more time-intensive DPSes like Encore or the Havoc Rover (the latter making her a particularly strong candidate for F2P teams). See our Wuthering Waves best Sanhua build for more info!

Mortefi

4-star Fusion/Pistols

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Mortefi is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

While 4-stars tend to be easily overshadowed by their 5-star counterparts, Mortefi bucks this trend as one of the best overall characters in Version 1.0. It helps that he makes an excellent sub-DPS for the two strongest DPS characters in the game at launch, thanks to his kit's focus on buffing and following up Heavy Attacks, which makes him a solid second for either Jiyan or Calcharo. Pair him with either DPS and together the duo can deal some eye-watering damage, especially if you have at least one of Mortefi's absurdly powerful Sequences. See our Wuthering Waves best Mortefi build for more!

Yinlin

5-star Electro/Rectifier

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Yinlin is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

The newest character in the game at the time of writing, Yinlin is WuWa's first premium 5-star whose kit is ideal to fill the sub-DPS role. While her high damage output might make her seem like a more obvious DPS candidate, she can be swapped out extremely quickly without sacrificing any of her damage potential, meaning that she plays sub-DPS incredibly well against characters like Calcharo who require very specific conditions to maximise their damage and who also benefit from being rotated off-field frequently. As with Calcharo, though, the precise timing required can make her tricky to play most effectively, and comes with the added downside that her outro skill actually isn't optimised for the kind of quick swapping that works best for most of the rest of her kit.

We've got a Wuthering Waves best Yinlin build on its way soon, so watch this space!

Spectro Rover

5-star Spectro/Sword

The Spectro Rover is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from Wuthering Waves' starting playable character: a quick and easy-to-play lead who comes out swinging early on thanks to their Sequences being obtained for free at regular story beats, but falls behind many of the premium units once you start really engaging with the gacha. Still, they're a great character to help you learn the game, since they neatly showcase some of WuWa's more unique features while being suitable for just about any role.

They're a decent damage dealer and can even be pressed into service as a support, but their bullet time-y outro skill makes them perfectly positioned as a sub-DPS. Indeed, your first team comp will ideally see them playing this role against Chixia's DPS and Yangyang's support. The other two starting characters are likely to get rotated out early on, though, so it's fortunate that Spectro Rover can sub-DPS equally well for just about any main in the game. See our Wuthering Waves best Spectro Rover build for our suggestion on the most effective choices to make when building them.

Aalto

4-star Aero/Pistols

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Aalto is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

Despite residing on the lower end of our sub-DPS tier list, it's worth noting that Aalto is a lot of fun to play as. Not only is he a delightful character who really seems to be having fun in battle (if his making pew-pew-pew noises while he fires is anything to go by), but his playful attitude is reflected in his kit, which contains unique skills that allow him to taunt and distract enemies while greatly amplifying his own attack power. His outro skill grants a solid Aero damage buff to the incoming DPS, too.

The downside to Aalto really lies in the fact that his damage amplifiers rely on some very specific positioning, which can be difficult to maintain depending on what exactly you're up against. He also requires quite a lot of on-field time to get the most out of his kit. Like Yuanwu just below him, he's not quite powerful enough to make him an ideal DPS, but a bit too needy to really shine as a sub-DPS; so while he's by no means a bad character, it can be hard to find a team composition that really makes the most of him as it stands.

Yuanwu

4-star Electro/Gauntlets

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Yuanwu is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

It's relatively easy to realise Yuanwu's full damage potential as a sub-DPS, but unfortunately this comes at the cost of that potential being significantly lower than that of other characters in this category. However, Yuanwu has some very specific utilities as a sub-DPS, since his kit features a very quick cooldown on his damage-dealing skills, combined with an ability to shield the whole team from interruptions that's near-unique in the launch version of the game.

Like many characters we've ranked lower here it's not that Yuanwu is in any way bad, just that he has many minor talents — decent enough damage, short cooldown times, a unique shield buff — combined with some curious shortcomings (like the fact that his damage-dealing abilities scale off of his defence stat, making it hard to equip him with an optimised set of damage-enhancing Echoes).

Best Support in Wuthering Waves V1

Verina

5-star Spectro/Rectifier

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Verina is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

Of the two healing-focussed supports in the game at launch, Verina is easily the best, and you want her as part of any team if you're lucky enough to have her. In addition to providing powerful heals, she can also buff her whole team for big damage boosts — really, there are simply few if any downsides to using her. Her support capabilities can be triggered without her spending a lot of active time in combat, too, meaning that she's ironically easier to build and play than her 4-star equivalent; see our Wuthering Waves best Verina build for more information.

Baizhi

4-star Glacio/Rectifier

Wuthering Waves' Baizhi with her summoned pet

Though very much second fiddle to Verina, Baizhi is far from a bad choice of support character due to her strengths as a healer, and indeed is our pick for the second best overall support character in the game at launch. Her kit is essentially a less impressive version of Verina's, meaning that she gets a watered-down but still very serviceable set of healing and buffing abilities, and if you don't have Verina then Baizhi is the obvious substitute. Take a look at our Wuthering Waves best Baizhi build for advice on how to make the most of having her on your team.

Jianxin

5-star Aero/Gauntlets

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Jianxin is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

The first of two generalist support characters available in the game at launch, Jianxin is a top choice of character for exploration, but suffers slightly during boss fights and end game content due to her Jill-of-all-trades kit. Like most Aero characters she excels at crowd control, plus she has great shields and good healing potential with the right equipment, and can even pull an extra shift as a decent tertiary damage dealer if your DPS and sub-DPS both need a cooldown.

She hits her limits in the late- and end-game's more intense battles, though, since she struggles to control boss and elite enemies as easily as she does crowds of mooks. She's also a surprisingly sedentary fighter, with long animations that mean her skills aren't always practical to use in fast-paced combat situations. See our Wuthering Waves best Jianxin build guide to learn more.

Yangyang

4-star Aero/Sword

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Yangyang is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

As the very first companion to join Rover's party in Wuthering Waves, it should come as no surprise that Yangyang is a support character who tries to do a bit of everything — she's a bit like a 4-star Jianxin, in fact. The difference is that while Jianxin is largely able to pull off covering multiple bases at once, Yangyang suffers the fate of so many starter characters in gacha games: she's decent, but there's always someone better.

As a support character, her core focus is energy regeneration for the rest of the team, but if you equip her with a healing weapon or Echoes she makes for a surprisingly effective medic as well. On the downside, though, she's not an inherently strong damage dealer in her own right, and the trade-off for her energy regeneration buff is that she doesn't increase the damage of her teammates on her outro skill, which is unusual for a support character in WuWa. Take a look at our Wuthering Waves best Yangyang build for a more in-depth look at her kit.

Taoqi

4-star Havoc/Broadblade

A character card for Wuthering Waves' Taoqi is shown
Image credit: Kuro Game

Taoqi is a shield specialist with a sideline in healing, and while there are no bad characters in WuWa Version 1.0, it's fair to say that she hasn't found her place yet when it comes to pairing up with a DPS who can make the most of her kit, since her Outro targets Resonance Skill DMG. Most of her Sequences revolve around improving her own skill performance, and she can become a particularly useful shield/healer double-threat at higher levels if you like the idea of a support character who can do it all; but this comes at the cost of lacking buffs that can be applied to the rest of the team.

Wuthering Waves best team compositions

Wuthering Waves allows you to bring just three characters with you as part of your active team, which is on the small side for an RPG; but since there are broadly three roles to fill, it makes establishing the basic outline pretty straightforward. You'll almost definitely want a DPS, a sub-DPS, and a support character for the most balanced and effective team line-up.

When building a team in WuWa, your best approach is to choose your DPS and then pick a sub-DPS whose skills complement theirs. We've already mentioned that Verina is the best support character for almost any team composition, and we'd recommend using her or Baizhi as your support in almost any of the team comps we're about to outline.

The two best premium DPS/sub-DPS pairs in Version 1.0 are Jiyan/Mortefi and Calcharo/Yinlin — we've outlined their complementary skill sets in the tier list above, but in short, Mortefi's brief field time allows Jiyan to spend longer as the active character, while Calcharo and Yinlin both favour swapping out rapidly and frequently. Playing either duo allows you to maximise the damage potential of both characters.

For F2P players, early-game team building can actually go in reverse, thanks to the Spectro Rover being a suitable sub-DPS for any of the main DPS characters in the game. This will often mean pairing them with Chixia as DPS, at least initially, since most free characters in the game are better suited to either sub-DPS or support roles.

However, once you can switch Rover to their Havoc form, they become easily the best free DPS in the game, pairing ideally with Sanhua (also a free unlockable) as their sub-DPS. Or, if you're interested in running a co-DPS duo rather than a DPS/sub-DPS pair, Havoc Rover and Danjin have some of the best synergy in the game for pure damage output thanks to their shared element and Danjin's Deepen outro skill.

As a general rule, Sanhua is the best sub-DPS to pair with any DPS if you're not sure who to use or don't yet have an ideal partner for them. She requires only very short bursts of on-field time and her outro skill buffs basic attack damage, meaning that you can't really go wrong with her as your go-to sub-DPS, especially if you're F2P or otherwise don't expect to pull every premium character.


If you want to know how you might go about getting your hands on the various characters ranked above, take a look at our Wuthering Waves microtransactions explainer, where we break down the inner workings of the gacha. Be sure to also check out our Wuthering Waves codes list to make the most of any free pulls Kuro Games are giving away right now.

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