In Genshin Impact, there is power according to gameplay and there is also power according to the story. Those two aspects of power in the title often don't agree with each other's tier lists, just like in real life. As a result, we have mere funeral parlor pranksters more powerful than literal gods and elves deadlier than an actual army of knights when it comes to practicality.
The lore, however, tends to disagree and the quests, as well as the narratives themselves, paint a different picture— a clearer hierarchy of power as intended by the story. Needless to say, the game's lore has its own designation of who's who when it comes to being powerful. Some are at the top as a result of a divine mandate while others just got there through sheer riches and aptitude. Here's how they rank up according to the game's story.
Updated June 27, 2021 by Sid Natividad: As Genshin Impact's lore unravels more after each successive update, new character information gets introduced. As a result, the Genshin Impact lore power hierarchy is also changing quite a lot much like how the gameplay viability of each and every character is also fickle in a Genshin Impact tier list.
The latest update and event, for example, has shed some light on one of the most powerful and unstable Genshin Impact characters. Likewise, certain characters who are unplayable but have a great presence in the story deserve to be included. So, more of the strongest characters in Genshin Impact have also been added.
It's fair to assume that the Traveler (Aether/Lumine) would have been at the top if the supposed main antagonist of the story didn't mess with them. The twins were essentially gods of their own realm before they got sent to Teyvat and neutered.
That isn't to say the Traveler is incapable. Despite the poor gameplay tier list ranking for them, they're actually highly capable. No other character in Teyvat can control more than one element. Sure they only have geo and anemo for now but they're about to get buffed in the future both lore-wise and gameplay-wise.
As the current acting Grandmaster of the Knights of Favonius, Jean has her hands full. However, she deserves her rank well as the second-best member of the group before the actual Grandmaster stepped down.
She's practically the elite of the elite in the Knights of Favonius. Moreover, being Grandmaster means she has an army at her disposal. That somehow makes her the effective ruler of Mondstadt since the Knights of Favonius are the city's military power. Besides, having a Vision-controller as your general is already impressive enough.
Then again, the Knights of Favonius are "inefficient" at least according to one man. Diluc himself is a former member of the Knights of Favonius but quit after a fiasco involving his father. Now he operates on his own and practically controls Mondstadt through his wine business and riches.
Back in his Knights of Favonius days though, Diluc was considered as the best among them. He probably would have been Grandmaster by now instead of Jean if only he stayed. That would have made him even more powerful.
Perhaps it was written as a joke that Klee is the strongest member of the Knights of Favonius but we dare not risk assuming that. According to the lore, Klee was apparently, powerful enough to level the Stormbearer Mountains.
So far there haven't been any characters capable of doing that in the game, at least according to the story. One that comes rather close is a certain absentee god from Liyue though the best he could do was create a rocky beach island after getting angry.
Being half-Adeptus, Ganyu is also a candidate to be a deity and presumably has an unnaturally long life. She works for the Liyue Qixing as well as Rex Lapis/Morax/Zhongli, the leader of the Adeptus.
Though she's very much capable as a fighter, she mostly keeps to herself in doing Liyue's paperwork and keeping administrative matters in order. She's also notably weaker compared to other more accomplished Adepti like Xiao.
It is not Childe Tartaglia who possesses the most wealth in Teyvat but rather, Ningguang who is the Tianquan of the Liyue Qixing. Thus, her domain in Liyue is law and order and her wealth is said to be unsurpassed by anyone in Teyvat.
That makes Ningguang even more economically powerful than Diluc. Ningguang is also Ganyu's boss and also the one responsible for the majestic and powerful Jade Chamber in Liyue. Her only weakness is that she's a mortal and thus has a limited lifespan compared to Adepti.
Alice has yet to physically appear within the game. She is Klee's mother and based on Albedo's words, she's a powerful sorceress capable of impressive feats such as discovering hidden island chains on her own and even putting enchantments on those islands. That's practically what happened during the latest event.
She's not exactly stable though since her personality is somewhat diabolical and she doesn't seem to care much for the dignity of her enemies. Even someone like Jean fears her so that's probably why she looks after Klee, to prevent the kid from taking after her mother.
Albedo is a unique individual in Mondstadt whom Klee's mother adopted. If Alice found something special in Albedo, then that must mean he's quite capable himself. His experiments and intelligence are proof enough of his capabilities.
What makes him quite a worrying figure in Mondstadt is how he kept hinting that someday, he might destroy the whole city. He's definitely not human and is likely more powerful but those hints are a little too extreme and he's not known to joke much.
Venti or Barbatos is likely the weakest among all the seven gods or archons in Teyvat who each have their own nation. That's all thanks to Signora snatching up his gnosis, effectively making Venti less than an archon in terms of power.
Truth be told, it seems that Venti is losing his touch after failing to subdue Dvalin by himself and then losing to a Fatui Harbinger. However, he's still an archon in all respects and was certainly influential back in his heyday.
Tartaglia or Childe is a bit of a wildcard since his powers seem to be all over the place but there's no doubt he's not your average Vision-wielder. Canonically, he has unlocked his Delusion powers, which puts him at a higher level than most mortals in the game lore.
He's also the 11th among the 11 Fatui Harbingers, all of whom command vast authority for Snezhnaya. Tartaglia, for that matter, has an army behind his back and dizzying amounts of wealth. Moreover, he's also one of the most difficult bosses to fight in the game, never mind his playable version (though that one's also a top DPS).
5 La Signora
La Signora is the de facto leader of the Fatui Harbingers and is thus also the strongest member out of Snezhnaya's elite. Given their meddling in most of Teyvat, it's clear that they're more ferocious and efficient than the Knights of Favonius or even the leaders of Liyue.
There's also the fact that La Signora was able to steal Venti's Gnosis like taking candy from a baby. That's no easy feat and is a testament to an inkling of her prowess as a Vision user. Besides, being feared or respected among the Fatui Harbingers is proof enough.
Being more than 2,000 years old, Xiao has had the luxury of time and appropriately used that to become one of the strongest Adepti in existence. Out of the five Adepti Rex Lapis appointed to become Yakshas or specialized demon slayers, Xiao is the only one who remains alive or sane.
That alone is proof of his power. There's also the fact that he managed to live for thousands of years despite having the most dangerous job in Liyue. He does seem to know only a few things despite his long life but one of them, which is fighting, is as natural as breathing to him.
Venessa is Mondstadt royalty and at one point was the country's finest. She led the rebellion against the tyrant Decarabian and for her legendary feats, she was chosen as a candidate for godhood. Thus, Venessa is now presumably undergoing a trial in Celestia.
For a mortal to be chosen for such an ascension, they would have to be both powerful and decorated. Venessa managed to catch the attention of the gods of Celestia, enough to be invited over. That's the highest honor and most impressive achievement a mortal can attain in Teyvat.
Osial is an unplayable character and one of the mightiest godly beings in Teyvat. Like Morax, he's lived since time immemorial and is actually one of the Geo Archon's fiercest enemies. He cannot be killed so Morax just imprisoned him after he was defeated.
When he was released again, however, it took all the riches and power in Liyue to put him back in chains. No Adepti— not even Xiao, was powerful enough to defeat him in fair combat. Only one person in Teyvat has been able to do that...
Finally, the most current most powerful playable character in Genshin Impact lore-wise is the Geo Archon himself, Zhongli. No one can kill him or is powerful enough to do so so he had to fake his own death to get out of responsibility.
During his tenure though, he was one heck of a beast, imprisoning gargantuan apocalyptic beasts and forming new landmasses with a gesture of his hands. Venti ought to learn a thing or two from him about being a god.