As the local Genshin Impact scholar at Kotaku, it is my solemn responsibility to compile a list of most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes on this most sacred Feast of Saint Valentine.
This is not a favorite five-star character list. It’s a sad fact of life that people with fascinating backstories or interesting personalities are often poor dates. So while I adore Alhaitham and Kokomi with every fiber of my being, I’d have to pass on meeting them at the Angel’s Share tavern on Valentine’s Day. But at least I’d tell you why trying to date them would be in poor taste.
Of course, whether or not a date would be enjoyable is highly subjective. So this list can be seen as a ranking of “most risky dates” to “least risky dates.” Some of the lower characters can be fun in niche circumstances. The “better” dates can show you a good time, irregardless of rain or shine. The order goes from “nightmare” to “sublime.”
Forget having a bad date with Xiao. You’re lucky to get any date with Xiao.
The demon-slayer Xiao took two whole in-game years to come to the biggest holiday celebration in the country. This man loves skipping out on social functions—what makes you think that you could easily persuade him to come to dinner? He has a good reason for being so standoffish, but it’s a cold comfort to anyone who watched him leave abruptly every single year.
This is embarrassing because Alhaitham is my favorite Genshin character. But holy shit, he would be an awful date. If you suggest somewhere he doesn’t want to go, he’ll criticize your decision and walk off. But he ranks higher than Xiao because he will at least give you an opportunity to make your case. This man has a very narrow idea of what a good time looks like for him, and he won’t accept your invitation out of politeness.
It can be an amazing ego boost when he agrees with your date idea. But failure comes with disastrous consequences. Don’t risk it.
This immortal puppet character was formerly one of the biggest antagonists in the game. Aside from his prickly personality, his past incarnation committed a lot of crimes in order to become a god. There’s only one reason why he’s here: The goddess of wisdom told him to come with you. That’s right: Nahida was too busy to keep you company on Singles Appreciation Day, and she sent Wanderer in her stead.
Your relationship with him was already awkward, but it doesn’t help that Wanderer doesn’t try to repair it. He’s cynical and unaccustomed to companionship. So maybe he ends up thawing over time. But in the meantime, he struggles to hear you when you say that you don’t hate him.
I know that Eula isn’t being serious when she threatens to exact retribution on people that she’s close to. But it doesn’t make being the recipient of these cutting words any easier to deal with. It’s also hard to be particularly sympathetic about how people look down on her for having a noble background. Your ancestors did actively oppress people, Eula. Sure, she didn’t have the easiest life. But I can’t imagine having a two-way conversation with her over an expensive Valentine’s steak that doesn’t devolve into arguments.
22. Yae Miko
Normally, I think that people who won’t date smart women are cowards. In the case of the head shrine maiden, I can’t help but feel that avoiding her might be self preservation. Yae Miko is much older and cleverer than you are, and she’s willing to use her talents to trick you. Even worse: She knows the two of you aren’t anywhere near to being equals.
If you can hold your own against her, then your evening could be fun. If not, then run far, far away.
I’m wary of Ayato for similar reasons as Yae Miko—he feels shameless about deceiving people for his own ends. But unlike the shrine maiden, the commissioner doesn’t seem to enjoy scheming for its own sake. Good luck getting into his schedule, though—he remains overworked despite being more capable of delegating tasks than Jean or Ganyu.
Some people enjoy talking about interrogation techniques and horrible crimes that have happened a few blocks from where you live. I’m not one of those people. Yelan should develop some non-work related hobbies if she wants to be a hot commodity on the dating market.
Whether or not you’d enjoy spending time with Diluc depends entirely on whether or not you’d be willing to date fantasy Batman. The man is normie-passing most of the time, but then he might say something really dramatic that throws off the mood. No, I don’t want to talk about petty crimes! I want to talk about how things are going at the winery! And please save your complaints about your adoptive brother for someone who actually dislikes him, okay?
The knight captain is far too serious and seems to be overworked all the time. I can’t tell if her problem is an inability to delegate, or masochistic self-sacrifice. Jean’s actual personality is fine. The real problem is trying to fit into her busy week. Don’t be too surprised if you have to reschedule multiple times in a row.
Let’s be honest for a second: Everything fun that happens around the leader of the Arataki Gang happens by sheer accident. This man has never had anything go according to his plans, and he’s too prideful to admit that this is the case. He can show you a great time if you’re exceptionally lucky, but it’s all still a roll of the dice. But Itto manages to redeem himself somewhat by having a positive attitude and a willingness to see his mistakes out to the end.
Shenhe was raised by gods in the mountains, and it shows in her complete lack of knowledge about society or living as a human. Forget taking her to a three-course dinner. This woman eats flowers as her main sustenance.
Most isolated characters prefer to live and let live. Not Shenhe. If she suspects anyone of threatening your safety, she prefers to take immediate violent action instead of talking it out. It’s a fun quality to observe in cutscenes, but it’s less fun when you’re trying to pull her off an over-eager store owner.
15. Raiden Shogun
Raiden Shogun is the earthly avatar of a centuries-old god who now resides in her sword. Except they’re two separate people. So you would actually be spending time with two people—only one of which you can interact with at any given time.
If your date is friendly instead of romantic, it becomes significantly less awkward. Whether it’s Raiden Shogun or Raiden Ei at the wheel, their centuries of life experiences would provide hours of entertainment. Just make sure that someone else is cooking dinner.
The priestess-general doesn’t even want to be here. She wants to be curled up at home with a good book, which is perfectly valid. She’s saying the right things and playing the gracious host, but things are a little awkward when your date is present out of a feeling of obligation rather than sincerity. I penalized Alhaitham for being too forward, but it’s also unfortunate when someone struggles to admit that they’re not enjoying themselves.
The head alchemist has lots of attractive qualities. He’s reasonable, he’s patient, and he’s good with children. He also has some of the most concerning lines in all of Genshin. Albedo, are you okay? Do you need a hug? How am I supposed to enjoy myself while I’m worrying about how much emotional damage your creator inflicted on you?
Albedo has shrewd and poignant observations about the world, but his genius is balanced by extreme introversion. Like Kokomi, he doesn’t enjoy maintaining relationships with other people. He always seems in a hurry to return to his laboratory. Unless your date involves helping him in an experiment, you’re probably better off picking someone else.
The astrologer is capable of telling fortunes, which makes her one of the most fun characters to spend time with, period. Unfortunately, she’s also one of the most impoverished characters in the game. She would absolutely show up to Valentine’s dinner for the free meal, and then admit that she doesn’t have enough money for the ride home. Make sure to bring a big wallet.
The general is probably the least work-obsessed character among all the work-obsessed characters. He has friends outside of work. He also likes to play Genshin’s trading card game as a hobby, which means you might already have something in common with him. The main drawback is that he likes to explain his jokes in detail. Leave that to the bloggers, Cyno.
The god of freedom is so cheerful and carefree that it’s hard to believe he’s secretly traumatized by all the past wars. Venti likes to scheme and play practical jokes, but he’s never truly deceptive about it. Besides, his end goal is usually to bring the greatest benefit to the person he’s pranking. It’s much easier to go along with his schemes when you trust that his intentions are coming from a gentle place. Besides, the man is thousands of years old. I trust that he knows exactly what he’s doing.
The forest ranger is who you pick for a date if you were originally eyeing Albedo, but wanted to talk to someone with stronger social skills. And you know what, that’s valid. Tighnari is a responsible, caring individual whom you don’t have to actively worry about. He’s interested in biology and other natural sciences, but he would get the hint if your eyes start to glaze over in the middle of your conversation. I know your heart wants the mysterious Albedo. But pragmatically, you should be picking Tighnari. Trust me on this.
There are very few normal characters on this list, and I would consider the dancer Nilou to be one of them. She’s a friendly girl-next-door type who is easy to relate to. Sometimes you don’t want to spend time with an ancient god or a soldier who upholds the fate of an entire nation. Sometimes you just want to talk to a girl who has normal concerns about her future—not one in a constant state of existential crisis.
Absolutely nothing bothers this wandering swordsman, but he manages to be kind and decent despite his laid back attitude. It’s little wonder that he’s one of the top heartthrobs of the Genshin community. Kazuha is thoughtful and humble, but belies surprising personal depths.
The noblewoman from Inazuma is kind and considerate like Kazuha, but she has one key advantage over him: She hasn’t had her home seized on political grounds and she was never a political fugitive. If you want to put on a fancy event, Ayaka can probably make something happen with her family money. Despite her aristocratic background, she’s not above commoner activities such as *checks notes* going to festivals and eating at restaurants. Okay, so the writers pushed the whole “people’s princess” thing a little too aggressively. But at least you can have a nice, albeit unremarkable time.
The secretary of the Liyue government has planned every detail of your Valentines’ date. She has accounted for mishaps and deviations that you might not have even thought of. You have a stress-free evening because Ganyu has taken all the responsibility on herself. She picks out the wine, and it pairs perfectly with your fish. If she has a fault, it’s that she manages to be so self-deprecating about her abilities. I just want to shake her and say: “Your insecurity makes every conversation really awkward, please have more faith in yourself.”
See the previous entry, except she can handle dates with much more confidence. It’s very hard to hurt her feelings, and Keqing isn’t inclined to passively accept things that she dislikes. The main thing that hurts her on this list is that she’s just as busy as Ganyu. But if you express interest in going to Valentine’s dinner with her far enough in advance, she will move mountains and rivers for you.
The daughter of the fireworks shop owner had one of the most memorable quests in the Japan-based region, and it wasn’t for any deep lore reason. Yoimiya was living in a time of political turmoil, but she was resisting in her own way: By celebrating the transience of her mortal existence rather than trying to overcome it. Yoimiya is aggressively optimistic about human relationships and the importance of spending time with people she loves. She doesn’t hide how she feels, and she doesn’t project her insecurity on others. It’s not just Valentine’s Day—I’d spend time with Yoimiya at any time of the year.
There are many reasons why you should go on a date with Tartaglia “Childe” Ajax, and many reasons why you shouldn’t. But what ultimately should outweigh all your concerns (including his war crimes) is his willingness to pay the bill. I’ve seen the size of his pockets, and I want them. Even if you have an absolutely miserable time speaking to him, you can at least rack up the most luxurious dinner bill known to man. That cancels out all of the “Childe is a villain” risk for me. Daddy, please be the guarantor for my mortgage next.
The god of contracts may be one of the oldest characters in all of Genshin, but he remains one of the most interesting people in the game. He knows the best restaurants, the best views from the mountains, and the best performers in his city. Best of all: He never settles for mediocrity. Whether you’re dining out or shopping for new clothes, Zhongli’s input helps maximize the enjoyment that you get out of your excursion. Second best of all: He’s retired, so you’re not pulling him away from anything involving national security. Thank goodness for that.