Genshin Impact originally launched with 24 characters to collect and level up, but developer MiHoYo isn't finished adding to the roster. Along with new zones and features like special in-game festivals, updates to Genshin Impact will also gradually expand the number of characters you can recruit either through gambling on loot crates or participating in special events.
While we don't have a complete list, many of these characters appeared in the Chinese closed beta tests or have been confirmed sometime before launch. Others are just rumors, based on their appearance in-game or in trailers—but considering Genshin Impact's Pokemon-esque approach to collecting as many heroes as possible, it's probably a safe bet that all of these will be playable at some point. When that happens exactly is anyone's guess, but if you want a sneak peek at Genshin Impact's new characters, here's the list you should bookmark.
Xiao was a playable character in most of the Chinese beta tests for Genshin Impact but mysteriously disappeared when the game actually released. It's expected that he'll turn up sometime before the big version 1.1 November update, though, because he's already in the game as an NPC that players meet during the main quest. It's likely that an upcoming event will add him to the lootbox rewards, but no one is certain.
It's a shame, too, because Xiao is powerful. His normal attacks are what you'd expect for a polearm character, but his Elemental Skill is a forward dash that inflicts heavy Anemo damage and can even be used in midair. It has two charges, too, giving you a lot of mobility in fights or while exploring. His Elemental Burst transforms him into the terrifying Yaksha, which continuously drains his HP but massively extends his attack range, damage, and jump height. It also converts all the damage he deals into Anemo damage.
Ayaka was first available during the initial Chinese closed beta test but disappeared shortly after and hasn't been seen since. This is likely because she comes from the Inazuma region that serves as the main setting for chapter 3 of the main story, which won't be added until a future update sometime next year. Rumors have suggested that Ayaka will be available for free to players who reach Adventure Rank 42—but that's partially based on data from the beta servers and could very well change by the time she's actually released.
What we do know is that Ayaka is a Cryo sword-wielder with a special dodge ability that makes her become invisible—similarly to how Mona turns into water when she dodges. Her Elemental Skill deals Cryo damage to all enemies in a small area around her, while her Elemental Burst fires a wave of slashing ice swords that slowly fans outwards.
Players who have completed all the available story quests will already have met Zhongli, but he's rumored to become a playable character in the upcoming November 23 update, which will finish up the rest of the Liyue regional storyline. Like most characters, Zhongli appears to only be available from lootboxes, and he's a five-star character, so your odds of getting him will be extremely slim.
If you do, though, you'll be lucky since there's a lack of polearm users right now and Zhongli seems powerful. His regular attacks are what you'd expect, but his Elemental Skill is extremely useful—especially if you're hunting for ore. Pressing the Elemental Skill does Geo damage to enemies around him, but if you hold it he'll charge it up and unleash a burst that shatters any Geo objects, like stone shields, and ore deposits. His Elemental Burst calls down a meteor that turns enemies to stone, an effect that looks pretty similar to freezing enemies solid with Cryo magic.
Weapon: Bow, daggers
Childe is another character who is already in the game as an NPC but, like Zhongli, is rumored to become playable in the November update. You'll meet him during the first chapter shortly after you arrive in Liyue, and though he technically works for the big villains of Genshin Impact, he seems like a chill dude.
What makes Childe so fascinating, however, is how he is the only character to be able to swap between ranged and melee attacks. He uses a bow that has your standard normal and charged attacks that deal Hydro damage, but his Elemental Skill lets him swap to daggers and a polearm for some up-close action. There's no cooldown on this skill, either, so you can swap whenever the situation warrants it. His Elemental Burst changes based on which weapons you're actively using. If you have the bow, it'll fire a big Hydro-enhanced shot that debuffs enemies, and if you have his daggers out he performs a big slash. If you're able to hit enemies with the first Elemental Burst and then follow up with the second, you'll do even more damage.
Xinyan is the third character rumored to be coming in November, which makes sense considering she is also from Liyue, the main setting of the current chapter. She's only a four-star character, so your chances of getting her from Genshin Impact's lootboxes are much higher. Other than that, we don't know much about Xinyan other than she's a local musician and fights with her guitar.
Her normal attacks look pretty standard for most claymore users, but her Elemental Skill swings her guitar-axe-thing in a wide circle. For each enemy it hits, Xinyan gets an increasingly stronger Pyro shield. For her Elemental Burst, she plays a rockin' guitar riff that knocks enemies back and sets the ground around her on fire.
The last of the characters predicted to be coming in the November update, Diona is a wee little archer who first appeared back during the initial closed beta tests in China. We don't really know much else, other than she's a waitress at a bar in Mondstadt.
According to redditor Polonoid75, who has gathered a lot of helpful details from the test servers, Diona's Elemental Burst smashes a special cocktail on the ground that damages enemies and heals allies who stand within its area of effect. We don't know what her Elemental Skill is yet, however.
At this point we're getting to characters that are confirmed to be coming but no one knows when—it could be years! My guess is Baizhu will be coming sooner rather than later, however, as he hails from the Liyue region that is currently available in the game. He was first glimpsed during the Chinese closed beta as an NPC but has disappeared from the game since then. We don't know anything about him, other than he has a talking pet snake named Changsheng and is supposedly aligned with the Dendro element, which controls organic matter like plants. Since there are no other Dendro characters in Genshin Impact at the moment, Baizhu could very well be the first.
Like Baizhu, Ganyu is a character from Liyue who was seen during the closed beta tests as an NPC but was removed from the game for launch. It's been rumored she'll be added to the game in a future update and will be made playable—though no one knows when. We don't know much else other than that.
…And plenty more
All of the characters listed above have appeared in the game during its closed beta tests or as NPCs, but this is still just a small selection of the total roster that MiHoYo plans to add. In a trailer released back in September, MiHoYo teased the storylines for six new regions and showed off several new characters that players will meet and presumably recruit during these adventures. Because all we have is just a name for each character, it's not worth listing them out individually just yet, but if you want a quick peek at what they look like you can watch the video above.