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Tartaglia Guide: Farewell of Snezhnaya

Updated for v2.7

Original artwork by Monettea

Preface

Welcome to your first step into a comprehensive Childe guide, brought to you by Risuke#6743! This guide has been peer-reviewed by fellow theorycrafters of Childe Mains.

This guide will hopefully cover everything from the basics to the complexities of our beloved, yet commonly misunderstood Snezhnayan Harbinger. There has been an abundance of outdated misinformation that has circulated throughout the community since the release of his first banner that this guide hopes to fix. Childe is a very complicated character. His role can change drastically depending on the team comp, levels of investment, and constellation. I hope that this guide will give you a better understanding on how to use and build around his nuance and intricacies. 

But before we get into the guide, I want to give a big shout out to the Childe Mains community for having so many helpful people coordinating together to make this guide possible. Without the community asking so many different questions about Childe and his team comps, and forcing us theorycrafters to explore and search for the answers, most of this information wouldn’t even exist. A big thanks to you all!

Introduction

Let’s start with what Childe isn’t. Childe is NOT a solo, hypercarry DPS who is the majority of the team’s DPS. Childe IS a highly technical enabler who increases his team’s damage. He has a learning curve that’s completely different from any other existing characters. He heavily relies on team synergy and works together with his team to output high amounts of DPS. By design, his individual output will be lower than other 5* characters because Childe increases the damage dealt from his teammates. 

What does being a technical character mean? A technical character is one which requires high executions or has many layers of strategies they can use. Childe falls under the second category. He has a wide range of creative freedom and flexibility while being able to pair with nearly every character and work in both short and long rotations. Childe has significantly more diverse variations in playstyle and team synergy compared to other characters. 

Due to the highly technical nature of Childe’s playstyle, Childe’s baseline team damage can be very low, but with high skill expression and proper rotation management, the damage ceiling is very high. This is often why many players think Childe isn’t very strong. Most players do not know how to optimally play around Childe.

Pros

  • Strong multi-target damage
  • Low energy requirement (Ranged Burst only)
  • Fast Hydro application that enables supports
  • High burst damage
  • Flexible team comps
  • Not constellation reliant (Doesn’t need constellations to perform well)
  • Complicated team synergy (Allows many comps to work)
  • Creative rotation flexibility (Can create a rotation for almost any situation)

Cons

  • Lower individual output compared to other 5* DPS
  • Very team centric
  • Weak constellations (Does not offer a significant DPS increase)
  • Highly technical learning curve
  • Challenging cooldown management
  • Forced rotation management
  • Fast Hydro application prevents supports from enabling him
  • Different team building compared to other Main DPSs
  • Unable to plunge attack in melee stance

Childe’s role on the team

Childe excels at multiple roles depending on the circumstances. He can be a Main DPS, an Enabler, a Burst DPS, a Sub-Carry, and sometimes a Support.

Let’s start off by defining what all these roles are as well as some other roles that will be used throughout this guide.

TermDefinition
AAAuto Attack. An umbrella term for all abilities that are under the character’s first talent.
N/NANormal attack. An attack string that consists of up to six hits. 
C/CACharged Attack. An attack that consumes stamina and usually does more damage than a normal attack. In Childe’s case, CA usually refers to Charged Attacks done in melee, but can refer to Charged or Aimed shots done in ranged stance. 
ASA weaker but faster form of Charged Shots, Aimed Shots do not fully charge the arrow and instead do physical damage, but the arrow can be released earlier. Aimed Shots count as Charged Attacks for DMG%.
r and mThe letter before a string, r or m (i.e. mN3C) dictates if the string is in melee (m) or ranged (r) stance. This is also used for bursts (rQ/mQ) and any ability which varies depending on the stance.
EElemental Skill, E is the default shortcut on PC.
QElemental Burst, Q is the default shortcut on PC.
D/DCDash Cancel. Indicates that an ability is followed up by a dash at the earliest possible moment whilst maintaining the damage of the ability before it. This can often be faster than waiting through the animation after a hit is registered.
J/JCJump Cancel. Indicates that an ability is followed up by a jump at the earliest possible moment whilst maintaining the damage of the ability before it. This can often be faster than waiting through the animation after a hit is registered.
CDCooldown. Refers to the time period where you cannot use an ability again after used.
TermDefinition
SupportA character who provides utility to the team through buffing, debuffing, crowd control, and other forms of utility.
BatteryA character that provides energy to fund another character’s Burst through either Elemental Particles or Flat Energy regeneration.
DPSA unit who deals a large portion of damage in the team.
On-field DPSA unit who deals damage whilst being the active character.
Off-field DPSA unit who deals damage whilst not being the active character.
Quickswap DPSA unit who deals damage in short bursts with small intervals where they are not the active character.
HypercarryA unit who deals the majority of damage from the team whilst also taking up the majority of the field time in a rotation.
Burst SupportA character that swaps onto the field to deal considerable damage with their burst. Can also be referred to as Burst DPS.
QuickswapA team centered around low cooldown abilities being used close to or off of cooldown.
EnablerA character that applies elemental auras to increase the damage of other units.
BufferA character that provides a buff or debuff for the team.
DriverAn on-field character who uses Normal and Charged Attacks to proc the Bursts or Passives of characters like Beidou, Fischl, and Xingqiu.
CCCrowd Control. A character that prevents enemies from acting or displaces them by either grouping, debuffing, staggering, or stunning them.
TermDefinition
BiSBest in Slot. The best choice for a given situation or need.
AoEArea of Effect. Used to describe attacks that can hit multiple enemies in an area.
Quadratic ScalingWhen the total damage scales quadratically to the number of targets hit, such as Childe’s riptide i.e. Total damage = (single target damage) × (number of targets)2
ICDInternal Cooldown, a hidden timer that starts when an Elemental source applies an Aura or Trigger to an enemy. For more details, see our page on ICDs.
Dynamic and SnapshotDynamic is when the damage that an attack will deal is dependent on a character’s stats at the moment said attack hits the opponent, rather than at the time the attack was cast. Snapshot is when a skill that deals damage over time always uses the stats from when it was first cast.
TermDefinition
EREnergy Recharge
EMElemental Mastery
CRCrit Rate
CDMG/CDCrit Damage
ATKAttack
DMGDamage

Childe FAQ

No and sometimes, in that order. Generally he is not recommended as a Support because he has only two supporting aspects in his kit. His passive gives all team members +1 to AA Talents and at C4 where Riptide Mark will apply Hydro every 4s through Riptide. If you need either more AA damage or need to utilize an occasional Hydro application, Childe can satisfy the role of a support. Currently, Ganyu is the only character who wants both of these support aspects but there are better Hydro options than Childe for Freeze Ganyu.

Childe is both a Main DPS and a Burst DPS. Childe has a good Enabling Main DPS window and a very good Elemental Burst. How strong your Childe is determines what his main role is. Generally, you should use your Bursts at the start of the Abyss floor (because your skills start off full). This means your initial damage will be Burst DPS, followed by a sustain DPS. If your burst damage takes away the majority of the enemies’ HP, Childe can be considered a Burst DPS. If it doesn’t, Childe will follow up with melee and team rotation and become an Enabling Main DPS. 

This means the more invested and geared your Childe is, the more he will gravitate towards the Burst DPS role. However, this doesn’t mean you still can’t play him as a Main DPS once you’ve reached his damage ceiling. It just means at his damage ceiling, he will be more optimally played as a Burst DPS rather than a Main DPS. To optimize Childe as a Burst DPS requires a different set of weapons and artifacts compared to using Childe as a Main DPS, which may not appeal to everyone.

The main difference between Enabler and Support is how they help their team. A Support usually helps the team in the form of a buff or debuff such as 4-Set Noblesse Oblige (NO) ATK buff or Ascension 4 ( A4 ) Lisa’s Elemental Burst DEF debuff. An Enabler increases the team’s damage through elemental applications. A character can be both a Support and an Enabler, as well as just a Support or just an Enabler. 

Some examples of Enablers include: 

  • Xingqiu applying Hydro aura for a Pyro Main DPS to vaporize their attacks
  • Sucrose swirling Electro-Charge to maintain Hydro aura for Electro Sub-DPS.
  • Childe / Mona / Barbara applying Hydro aura for their Sub-DPS

Mona, Barbara, Xingqiu, and Kokomi all can apply Hydro fairly quickly, so can they replace Childe in his team comps?  Yes, but they won’t perform nearly as well as Childe. Barbara, Mona, Xingqiu, and Kokomi all are able to apply Hydro, but they are limited by internal cooldowns (ICD) of their Hydro and the limited range of said Hydro. All four of these options have, for the most part, mostly single target Hydro applications. 

Without going too deeply into details with ICD theory, the TLDR is that Childe has significantly more sources of Hydro application and AoE compared to the other Hydro alternatives. The other Hydros are mostly limited to applying their Hydro to only one enemy at a time. To further cement the gap, Childe’s personal DPS is higher than the other four Hydros. C6 Xingqiu will have higher single target damage, but in any content with more than 2 enemies, Childe will out DPS Xingqiu. 

For those looking for more details on the ICD comparisons, look at the various Hydro applications done by the other characters here.

While it is true that investing in a single Hypercarry is more resin-efficient than spreading investment across 2+ characters in order to 36 star abyss ASAP, not everyone is aiming for the minimum investment to clear the Spiral Abyss. This “hypercarry” mindset is better suited for newer players who want to be able to clear Abyss ASAP. For the casual playerbase or for players who have already cleared Abyss, having a more flexible character roster is more important than having an extremely cost-efficient team. Genshin Impact is a game where you don’t need to min-max or have super cost-efficient teams in order to clear the hardest content of the game. As such, there should be no obligation to enforce this “efficient” mindset onto other players. For some players, it is more enjoyable for them to play out inefficient teams and squeeze the most out of their limited roster. That being said, this does not mean you shouldn’t be efficient with your resin usage. It just means that players have the right to utilize their resin however they wish as long as they know what they want to accomplish and the time it will take to accomplish those goals. 

Yes it’s true that Childe’s team comps are more expensive than other team comps because you want to invest into both Childe and his Sub-DPSs. However, investing into your Sub-DPS is not inherently a resin sink. You are investing resin for better team flexibility. This means you are investing into these same Sub-DPSs who can be utilized in other team comps aside from Childe’s. If you wanted to use these Sub DPS in other team comps, you would’ve invested into them regardless of Childe. So looking at team costs in the long-term, Childe’s team costs are about the same as other teams. 

More importantly because Childe’s teams want to spread out the resources, you can get a stronger team with less stats than a team that funnels all the resources into one character. This means that Childe’s teams have an inherently high damage ceiling by virtue of being ABLE to high-invest all the team’s damage sources. You aren’t limited by one character dealing the majority of the DPS. You have multiple sources of damage which can be appropriately scaled up with investment. 

For a Hypercarry comp, the damage distribution will be about 70 / 30 : Hypercarry / Sub-DPS, while Childe teams are closer to 50 / 50 : Childe / Sub-DPS or 40 / 40 / 20 : Childe / Sub-DPS 1 / Sub-DPS 2

This means you can get by with “mediocre” stats of 50% CRIT Rate / 100% CRIT DMG on everyone in your team and perform better than a 70% CRIT Rate / 150% CRIT DMG Hypercarry. It’s entirely up to RNG if you can get 70% / 200% on one character before getting 50% / 100% on two or three characters, so it is difficult to objectively say which team is actually cheaper in the grand scheme of things. But the likelihood of getting multiple 50% / 100% is much more likely than obtaining one 70% / 150%. 

Any optimized Childe rotations will have very little time for a second DPS to take the field. Almost all of the downtime will be spent batterying your Sub DPS and setting up for the next rotation. 

Including a second DPS into the team comp creates a number of problems that can only be resolved by spending more resin than what’s necessary. By adding a second DPS, you’ll create a Double Carry team comp that inherently cannot be fully optimized because your supports are forced to prioritize either Childe or your second DPS. One of the two will suffer in DPS and create both a lower damage floor and ceiling. Double Carry comps will always underperform team comps without a second carry at the same levels of resin investment. 

Slowing Water affects Childe as much as it does for any other character. In fact, due to Childe’s front-loaded damage and strong synergy with Bennett, Slowing Water can be said to affect Childe the least. Slowing Water’s debuff applies if your cooldowns start with the debuff active. The debuff will not apply on a cooldown that has not started yet. Childe’s E cooldown starts at the end of its duration. This means if you can cleanse Slowing Water before you end your melee duration, it will not elongate your E cooldown. For other characters in your team, you will need to cleanse prior to using their skills or bursts if you do not want to be affected with the cooldown debuff. 

Video showcasing Bennett cleansing Childe by EdisonsMathClub#6469

If you do not own a character who can cleanse or have them on your other team, here are a few options to working around Slowing Water. The easiest way to get around Slowing Water is to “one rotation” the floor, bypassing the mechanic entirely. This is content dependent and will most reliably work with only one wave of enemies per floor. If there are two or more waves, “one rotation” may not work as well. In this situation you can choose to stagger Childe’s enabling durations. By this, I mean off-set each duration ability so Childe can either enable through melee or charged shots. Childe is better at enabling Electro with melee and Pyro with charged shots. 

The next best option would be to ignore the mechanic entirely and use Childe’s Charged Shots while waiting for your cooldowns. With good animation cancels, non-vape Charged Shots can reach up to 60% of his melee DPS. This is still a considerable amount of single target damage. 

Another option is to utilize a Sub-Carry (Secondary DPS). While this is not recommended from a DPS perspective, it will still work if you do not enjoy using Charged Shots. However, your Sub-Carry will be equally affected by Slowing Water so it is recommended you build them for Physical damage (or Elemental if they are a Catalyst character) to maximize their normal attack damage. 

The final option is to build Childe for Physical and use his normal bow attacks. This is not recommended because with good animation cancels, it does about the same damage as Charged Shots. On top of this, it is mechanically intensive and tiring for the fingers to sustain long periods of animation canceling on his normal bow shots. More details on how to animation cancel with normal bow attacks here.

Character Breakdown

Talents

Normal Attack

Normal Attack | Cutting Torrent

Normal Attack: Perform up to 6 consecutive shots with a bow.
Charged Attack: Perform a more precise Aimed Shot with increased DMG. While aiming, the power of Hydro will accumulate on the arrowhead. An arrow fully charged with the torrent will deal Hydro DMG and apply the Riptide status.

Riptide: Opponents affected by Riptide will suffer from AoE Hydro DMG effects when attacked by Tartaglia in various ways. DMG dealt in this way is considered Normal Attack dmg.
Riptide Flash: A fully-charged Aimed Shot that hits an opponent affected by Riptide deals consecutive bouts of AoE DMG. Can occur once every 0.7s.
Riptide Burst: Defeating an opponent affected by Riptide creates a Hydro burst that inflicts the Riptide status on nearby opponents hit.

Plunging Attack: Fires off a shower of arrows in mid-air before falling and striking the ground, dealing AoE DMG upon impact.

Cutting TorrentDamage TypeDamage ModifierElemental Gauge
Normal AttackPhysicalNormal Attack 
Aimed ShotPhysicalCharged Attack
Charged ShotHydroCharged Attack1U
Plunging AttackPhysicalPlunging Attack
Riptide FlashHydroNormal Attack1U
Riptide BurstHydroNormal Attack1U

Ranged Stance: Bow Attacks

It is not recommended to use normal ranged attacks at all because they’ll only do decent damage if you use a Physical% goblet, which will neuter the other 80% of the damage in Childe’s Kit. With a Physical% goblet and near perfect animation cancels, at best the normal attacks will deal the same amount of damage as Hydro% goblet Charged Shots. With that being said, if you adamantly want to use normal bow attacks or want to build Physical Childe, here is the optimal way to go about it.

Normal Attacks Optimization:

  • N# – Number of Normal Attacks
  • AS – Aimed Shot

N2 AS has the highest MV/s out of all the possible normal attack strings. There are short animations for the first two normal attacks and a fairly quick animation cancel into an aimed shot. 

Inputs for 2 NA, AS are as follows: 
1. Click (1st Hit)
2. Wait (once around 50% of the animation is done)
3. Click (buffer the 2nd hit)
4. Immediately click + hold to buffer aim shot
5. Release

Credits to AppliedPhilosopher#2421

Video of animation cancel.

Ranged Stance: Charged Shots

Charged Shots are the preferred method to gapfill any remaining duration on your E’s cooldown. Charge shots can also be utilized to apply Riptide Mark, apply Hydro, set up Hydro VV, or provide additional DPS. 

With animation cancels, non-vape Charge Shots can deal up to 60% of melee stance’s DPS to a single target. With vape Charged Shots, you can deal between 60-80% of melee stance damage. And with a C4 Bennett or off-field Pyro applier, you can deal up to 110% of melee DPS! Charge Shots are NOT a useless part of his kit and should be used if you want to utilize Childe to his full potential.

Animation Cancels

  • R – Aim Shot Mode (R button for PC)
  • M1 – Left Mouse Button (Attack button)

M1 Cancels – (Good for 3+ Consecutive Charged Shots) Enter Aimed Mode using M1. Release by releasing M1. Upon release, re-enter Aimed Mode with M1.

M1 – R Cancels – (Good for 2 Consecutive Charge Shots) Enter Aimed Mode using M1. Release by releasing M1. Upon release, re-enter Aimed Mode with R. Must dash cancel after the second shot to exit Aimed Mode.

R-Cancels – (Fastest but most difficult. General impractical) Enter Aimed Mode using R, hold M1 and then release arrow with M1. Immediately press R at almost the same time as releasing M1. This tricks the game into “exiting” aimed mode. Then press R to re-enter aimed mode ASAP.

Credits to MCT#9017 and LTeq#1978


Video by IWinToLose providing more visual instructions. He labels “R – Cancels” as “ARCC”.

Credits to IWinToLose#9619

Can I use another character instead of Charged Shots?

Yes, you can use another character instead of using Childe’s Charge shots, but there should be a sufficiently good reason to do so.

The two primary reasons why you would use another character is energy or better playability. Both are subjective priorities and changes from player to player. 

Energy Examples:

  • Utilizing Bennett as a gapfill to promote Tap E spam to generate more Pyro particles for Xiangling is a valid reason to not Charge Shot with Childe. 
  • Perfect Parrying with Beidou to generate more Electro particles so she can have a lower ER requirement.

Playability Example:

  • Utilizing Xingqiu’s Q as a gapfill and normal attacking with characters other than Childe. It is a more intuitive playstyle that is similar to quickswaps which some players may prefer over a rotational playstyle.

Downsides of Gapfilling with Another Character

  • Utilizing a Sub-Carry (Secondary Carry/DPS) is usually sub-optimal. By reserving one team slot specifically for a Sub-Carry, you will lose team synergy, and therefore, you will also lose team DPS in favor of playability. 
  • Utilizing an existing Sub-DPS (Off-Field DPS) instead of a Sub-Carry to gapfill requires very high resin investments in order to make your Sub-DPS deal more damage than Childe’s Charge Shots. This playstyle trades damage for playability.

There are situations where gapfilling with another character is a net DPS gain. However, those are niche scenarios where you either have highly invested characters and they exceed the damage ceiling of the replaced character (such as using Ganyu replacing Sucrose in Childe, Xiangling, Bennett) or you are utilizing another character for high energy generation so you can lower the ER requirements of your Sub DPS (such as 4 TF Bennett in Childe, Beidou, Fischl).

Elemental Skill

Elemental Skill | Foul Legacy: Raging Tide

Unleashes a set of weaponry made of pure water, dealing Hydro DMG to surrounding opponents and entering Melee Stance.
In this Stance, Tartaglia’s Normal and Charged Attacks are converted to Hydro DMG that cannot be overridden by any other elemental infusion and change as follows:

Normal Attack: Perform up to 6 consecutive Hydro strikes.

Charged Attack: Consumes a certain amount of Stamina to unleash a cross slash, dealing Hydro DMG.

Riptide Slash: Hitting an opponent affected by Riptide with a melee attack unleashes a Riptide Slash that deals AoE Hydro DMG. DMG dealt in this way is considered Elemental Skill DMG, and can only occur once every 1.5s.

After 30s, or when the ability is unleashed again, this skill will end. Tartaglia will return to his Ranged Stance and this ability will enter CD. The longer Tartaglia stays in his Melee Stance, the longer the CD. If the return to a ranged stance occurs automatically after 30s, the CD is even longer.

Foul Legacy: Raging TideDamage TypeDamage ModifierElemental Gauge
Stance ChangeHydroElemental Skill2U
Normal AttackHydroNormal Attack1U
Charged AttackHydroCharged Attack1U
Riptide SlashHydroElemental Skill1U

For how long should I melee with Childe?

There are A LOT of little variables involved in determining how long you should stay in melee. For those who just want a quick, short answer, below are two tables with different melee durations and their respective  rotation cycle duration (melee duration + cooldown) depending on Childe’s constellations.

C0 Melee Duration CooldownRotation Cycle
7 s12 s19 s
9 s15 s24 s
12 s18 s30 s
C1 Melee DurationCooldownRotation Cycle
9 s12 s21 s
10 – 11 s12.8 – 13.6 s22.8 – 24.6 s
14 s16 s30 s

The bolded texts are the ideal, optimal rotation cycle durations balancing Sub DPS uptimes with Childe’s melee and syncing up cooldowns effectively. The other melee durations can be used for specific rotation sequences that either focus more on Sub DPS cooldowns or less optimal gameplay to reduce ER requirements on your Sub DPS. 

Below is the full chart of the entirety of Childe’s rotation cycles per second in melee. The highlighted values are the recommended melee durations. 


For those who want to know what melee string to use and how many will fit within that duration, you can use this sheet below to find that out. 

Melee Duration Calculator

For those a bit curious about what variables that affect Childe’s melee, here is a brief summary describing them. 

There is a mechanic called “hitlag” that halts your animation, tricking your brain into thinking your attacks have an impact as they would in reality. Every melee hit has hitlag and each one of these micro-freeze animations also freezes the duration of Childe’s melee timer. What this means is that your real-time melee duration isn’t the same as what the game thinks your melee duration is. Effectively this means you can melee for a slightly longer period of time than what you would otherwise be able to do. Your cooldown will match what the game thinks what your cooldown is and is slightly shortened as well. 

Overall, this allows you to melee about half a second longer than normal. Or alternatively, give you a half second longer margin of error. This effectively means that the hitlag interaction is just a nuanced micro mechanic that doesn’t change anything.

How do I count my melee duration?

Instead of worrying about how long your melee durations are, you should use markers or visual cues to let you know when you should exit melee stance. Knowing how long another ability is is a more practical way to count your melee duration.

Common markers to use are Childe’s Q cooldown, Bennett’s Q buff, Oz’s duration, Beidou’s / Xingqiu’s duration, or your stamina bar. Here are a few examples of how to use markers with a C0 Childe:

  • Use your burst’s cooldown as your timer. Childe’s burst has a 15s cooldown, so if you’re at 6s, you’ve been meleeing for 9s.
  • Sub-C6 (C0 – C5) Fischl’s Oz has a duration of 10s. This means you can align your melee duration with Oz’s duration to create a 25s rotation cycle.

With Beidou on the team, you can create a 20s rotation cycle by doing:

Oz > Beidou EQ (1.5s of animation) > Childe Melee 8.5s

This make’s Oz’s duration to be a little over 8 seconds, so you can end your melee when you see Oz disappear. 

Bennett’s Q has a 12s duration, you can create a 24s rotation with:

Bennett Q > Beidou EQ (1.5s of animation) > Oz (1s swap cooldown) > Childe Melee 9.5s

or

Bennett Q > Childe ranged Q (1s swap cooldown) > Xiangling EQ (2s of animation) > Childe Melee 9s

The marker is when Bennett’s Q field disappears. You can also use the buff as a marker since it lingers an additional 2s after the last buff refresh tick.

Knowing you have a max stamina of 240, you can use the stamina bar as your indicator to stop meleeing. Dashing requires 18 stamina and a melee CA requires 20. Performing six cycles of 12 CA DC requires 228 stamina (basically all your stamina since you cannot perform another CA) Doing six cycles of this melee string is about 9s of Melee.

What are considered the most optimal melee strings for Childe?

There are two primary factors that will determine the optimal melee string: Your stamina management and your weapon.

How well you rotate with your team comp and manage your stamina will favor different attack strings. Good stamina management can utilize the higher DPS strings, while poor stamina management should use the more stamina-forgiving  melee strings. 

Currently, only Rust and Thundering Pulse prefer longer melee strings. This is because of the high NA% that they both offer. A longer melee string better utilizes their passives. These weapons prefer the N5C string over all other strings. Just because they have high NA% modifiers doesn’t mean you don’t use CA. CAs are a significant percentage of your melee damage and should be used if possible. 

Stamina Consumption
Melee String Dash Cancel Jump Cancel
N1C Negative Negative
N2C Negative Negative
N3C Negative Neutral
N4C Negative Positive
N5C Negative Positive
N6 Positive Positive

The highlighted melee strings are recommended to use depending on your stamina concerns based on the MV/s table below.

Frame Perfect T6 MV/s With Riptide Slash
Melee String Dash Cancel Jump Cancel
N1C 304.12% 258.30%
N2C 292.02% 255.52%
N3C 268.33% 243.31%
N4C 247.05% 229.96%
N5C 252.66% 237.22%
N6 214.55% 200.78%

What to do during E cooldown?

The main 3 goals are setting up reactions, energy generation and to use all skills and bursts. You want to cycle through your team’s skills and bursts and start generating as much energy as you can for the characters that need energy during this short period of time. Secondary goals are refreshing buffs for downtime DPS and setting up buffs for the next melee rotation.

Here are some general guidelines that should always be followed:

  • Vaporize Childe’s Ranged Burst (if you have Pyro in team)
  • Funnel energy particles to energy hungry characters
    –  Summoning Oz for Beidou
    –  E with Beidou and allow particles to be funneled to her (not swapping)
    –  E with Bennett and swapping to Xiangling to funnel Pyro particles
  • Snapshot all buffs on your Sub-DPS before meleeing
  • Viridescent Venerer (VV) Hydro before Childe’s Ranged Burst to maximize damage
  • VV Hydro before meleeing with Childe (often done as a result of VVing for burst)
  • VV Sub-DPS’s element (if possible)
Elemental Burst

Elemental Burst | Havoc: Obliteration

Performs different attacks based on what stance Tartaglia is in when casting.

Ranged Stance: Flash of Havoc: Swiftly fires a Hydro-imbued magic arrow, dealing AoE Hydro DMG and applying the Riptide status. Returns a portion of its Energy Cost after use.

Melee Stance: Light of Obliteration: Performs a slash with a large AoE, dealing massive Hydro DMG to all surrounding opponents, which triggers Riptide Blast.

Riptide Blast: When the obliterating waters hit an opponent affected by Riptide, it clears their Riptide status and triggers a Hydro Explosion that deals AoE Hydro DMG. DMG dealt in this way is considered Elemental Burst DMG.

Havoc: ObliterationDamage TypeDamage ModifierElemental Gauge
Ranged BurstHydroElemental Burst2U
Melee BurstHydroElemental Burst2U
Riptide BlastHydroElemental Burst2U

Ranged Burst or Melee Burst?

Objectively Melee Burst deals more damage, but more damage doesn’t always mean better DPS. Below is a table showing the pros and cons of the two bursts.

Ranged BurstMelee Burst
+ Low ER requirement ( 100-110 ER )
+ One second animation
+ Can be used during downtime
+ Easier to Vaporize
+ Consistent usage in rotations
+ Higher damage
+ Riptide Blast has quadratic scaling
+ Good for speedruns
– Lower damage– High ER requirement ( 150-170 ER )
– More difficult to Vaporize due to Stance Change
– Wastes two seconds of melee duration

The biggest problem with Melee Burst is the ER requirement. To be able to burst again on the second rotation, you’ll need a lot of ER (around 150 – 170 ER). The opportunity costs of replacing those ER substats with useful Crit or Atk% subs makes Ranged Burst perform better by around 15 – 20%. Not only that, Melee Burst will eat up 2 seconds of your melee duration, further reducing Melee Burst’s effective DPS by replacing what could’ve been another two seconds of melee attacks and hydro applications.

Ranged Burst has a one second animation that simultaneously gapfills during his downtime. Additionally, Ranged Burst allows for better flexibility and ease in setting up and executing a vaporized hit. With Melee Burst there is a chance that the Stance Change will take the vape and leave you with a weak unvaporized burst. Additionally, there are more problems if you own a C4 Childe. With C4 Childe you will have a riptide proc every 4 seconds. With a 2 second animation plus Pyro aura setup, you’ll have a less than 50% chance to successfully land a vaporized burst otherwise C4 will consume the vape. Because of all this, it’s generally recommended to use Ranged Burst instead. 

When should you Melee Burst?

All the aforementioned problems only exist in 2+ rotations. By ignoring the ER problem, Melee Burst has a niche that it can occupy. Here are the most common scenarios where using a Melee Burst is practical:

FinisherUsing a Melee Burst on the last rotation of the final floor of Abyss can help increase your DPS by up to 5%. 
SpeedrunningSpeedrunning is all about getting the fastest possible times. Generally players who speedrun will have an invested enough team to one rotation the content they are trying to speedrun thereby ignoring the ER requirement needed for a second burst.
With a Hydro BatteryHaving a Hydro Battery provides Childe additional sources of Hydro particles to heavily reduce his ER requirement. But having another Hydro character often means you are significantly reducing your team’s damage potential. Utilizing a Hydro Battery is not recommended.
Ascension 1 Passive

Ascension 1 Passive | Never Ending

Extends Riptide duration by 8s.

A small quality of life (QoL) ascension. Doesn’t change much of Childe’s kit. It just allows more forgiveness with Riptide in longer fights where you need to dodge a lot and forget to reapply the mark.

Ascension 4 Passive

Ascension 4 Passive | Swords of Torrent

When Tartaglia is in Foul Legacy: Raging Tide’s Melee stance, on dealing a CRIT hit, Normal and Charged Attacks apply the Riptide status effects to opponents.

A massive quality of life (QoL) for melee Childe. You no longer need to use a Charged Shot or a Ranged Burst to apply a mark prior to entering melee stance. This is when Childe feels complete as a Main DPS.

Utility Passive

Utility Passive | Mastery of Weaponry

Increases your own party members’ Normal Attack Level by 1.

Useful, but not that helpful. Normal Attack Talents only help Childe’s Charged Shots and Riptide Flash (Charged Shots) / Burst (On-kill). All of which aren’t a significant percentage of Childe’s total damage. Generally you don’t normal attack with your team, so the +1 to your team’s Normal Attack Talents is somewhat wasted.

Energy Generation

Childe generates his energy through triggering Riptides. There is an internal cooldown (ICD) for energy generation. You cannot generate energy faster than once every 3 seconds regardless of which Riptide is triggered. It is almost impossible to generate energy every 3 seconds due to attack animations and hitlag. It’s more realistic to generate energy every 3.5 – 4 seconds.

Considering that it takes 1.5s to charge up a Charged Shot and 1.5s for every Riptide Slash, you will generate a particle every other Riptide (once every two Riptides).

His C2 generates flat energy and is unaffected by ER and only affects Childe.

Energy GainedRiptide Cooldown
Riptide Flash1 Hydro particle1.5s
Riptide Slash1 Hydro particle1.5s 
C2 Riptide Burst4 Flat EnergyEnemy death
C4 Riptide Flash / Slash1 Hydro particle4s

Hydro ICD

Childe has THE MOST amount of Hydro application per second of any existing Hydro characters. It’s why it’s nearly impossible to overtake Childe’s Hydro application with off-field Pyro damage (due to Pyro’s ICD), making it impractical to vaporize Childe’s melee (ignoring the fact only 1 in 3 hits will be vaporized). For these reasons, it’s more practical to build around what Hydro applications can do for other characters.

Below is a table comparing Childe’s ICD with other Hydro characters.

CharacterHydro ApplicationICD Details
ChildeCharged Shots
Riptide Flash ( from Charged Shots on Mark )
Riptide Burst ( on death )
Melee NA / Stance Change (shares ICD with NA)
Melee CA
Riptide Slash ( from Melee hits )
Ranged Burst / Melee Burst
Riptide Blast ( from Melee Burst on Mark )
No ICD
3 Hits or 2.5s
No ICD
3 Hits or 2.5s
3 Hits or 2.5s
No ICD
No ICD
No ICD
XingqiuElemental Skill
Elemental Burst
No ICD
3 Hits or 2.5s
BarbaraNormal Attack
Charged Attack
Elemental Skill
3 Hits or 2.5s
No ICD
3 Hits or 2.5s
MonaNormal Attack
Charged Attack
Elemental Skill
Elemental Burst
3 Hits or 2.5s
No ICD
3 Hits or 2.5s
3 Hits or 2.5s
KokomiNormal Attack
C1
Charged Attack
Elemental Skill
Elemental Burst
3 Hits or 2.5s
3 Hits or 2.5s
No ICD
No ICD
No ICD

Constellations

Childe’s constellations are some of the least directly impactful constellations in Genshin. Meaning his constellations don’t give you a direct increase in damage numbers. 

The only unique (not C3 or C5) constellation that gives Childe an increase in direct damage is his C4, increasing his damage by ~8% in a 24s rotation. This appears to be quite small compared to other 5* characters who gain X% increase ATK or -X Res on their constellations. Childe’s other constellations increase his damage indirectly through utility.

It is recommended to stop at C0 for F2P/L2P players.

Below is a table that generalizes the DPS gain over the previous constellations. 

Constellation 1

Constellation 1 | Foul Legacy: Tide Withholder

Decreases the CD of Foul Legacy: Raging Tide by 20%

It can increase Childe’s damage through utility. Depending on the melee string used, it can allow an additional melee string before rotating with your team’s skills and bursts. This can increase Childe’s total damage by up to 9% in a 24s rotation. The recommended melee duration increases from 9s to 11s. This aligns and optimizes the melee duration with higher constellation Off-Field DPS such as C4 Xiangling and C6 Fischl. However, this is the most basic usage of C1. It’s real strength lies in flexibility. You can use shorter melee strings to recycle your buffs (VV or Petra) and maintain higher buff uptimes. Or utilize melee stance change as a Hydro applier. You can also have the same C0 melee rotation with a tighter, more optimized rotation timing for your team. This constellation allows his rotations to become as versatile as your creativity allows it to be. 

DPS Gain: 0-9%

Constellation 2

Constellation 2 | Foul Legacy: Understream

When opponents affected by Riptide are defeated, Tartaglia regenerates 4 Elemental Energy.

This constellation doesn’t help that much against low enemy counts  (due to not killing any enemies with riptide) and doesn’t help much against high enemy counts (due to clear particles from HP thresholds and over-capping your energy). Occasionally, it does help reduce his already low ER requirement on his ranged burst and moderate ER requirement on his melee burst (still not recommended to use), but do not expect consistent energy generation from this constellation. This is mainly a QoL energy generation constellation for the overworld where there are small, spaced-out quantities of easily killable enemies.

Not recommended to pull specifically for this constellation.

DPS Gain: 0%

Constellation 3

Constellation 3 | Abyssal Mayhem: Vortex of Turmoil

Increases the Level of Foul Legacy: Raging Tide by 3.
Maximum upgrade level is 15.

It gives a 25% increase to his melee’s damage. Over a 24s rotation, it increases his total damage by up to 18%.

Recommended to stop here for Main DPS Childe.

DPS Gain: 18%

Constellation 4

Constellation 4 | Abyssal Mayhem: Hydrospout

Applying a mark will cause a Riptide trigger every 4 seconds. It will apply Riptide Flash if Childe is in ranged stance and Riptide Slash if Childe is in melee stance. Riptide Slashes and Riptide Flashes triggered by this Constellation effect are not subject to the time intervals that would typically apply to these two Riptide effects, nor do they have any effect on those time intervals.

The first Riptide will be triggered 4 seconds after the mark is applied. Over a 24s rotation, it increases Main DPS Childe’s damage by up to 8%. For Burst DPS Childe, it increases his damage by up to 15% for ranged Burst and 0% for melee burst. If all enemies die soon after the burst, it is a 0% DPS gain. 

This constellation allows Childe to be used as a Freeze support for Ganyu by occasionally applying Hydro every 4 seconds.

Unfortunately, C4 can be harmful to Main DPS Childe. It reduces your likelihood to successfully vaporize his Burst. The window for a successful vape burst is around 50% with the standard Pyro aura setups. 

Swapping into a Pyro, clearing any residual auras, setting up a Pyro aura, swapping to Childe, and then using a Ranged Burst takes about 2.5s to accomplish. If a C4 riptide procs anytime during that 2.5s window of setting up, it will consume your Pyro aura and prevent you from being able to vaporize Childe’s burst, greatly reducing his damage. Melee Burst has an even smaller window of success as the Melee Burst has a 2s animation, creating a 3.5s window of setting up. Without multiple Pyro sources, successfully vaporizing a Melee Burst while an enemy has the Riptide Mark is very VERY difficult. 

Although C4 has the potential to lower Childe’s damage, it also has the potential to increase your Team DPS. It lets Childe trigger more reactions during the downtime without utilizing Charged Shots or help apply off-field Hydro to reduce the number of swaps needed to reapply Hydro VV. This can be helpful depending on the team comp. It is also important to note that if you don’t use a Pyro in your team, C4 can only improve Childe’s damage, but it will never be recommended to use Childe without Bennett. You will lower Childe’s DPS by 50-60% by not including Bennett.

Upgrade with great caution.

DPS Gain: (-2 )-8%

Constellation 5

Constellation 5 | Havoc: Formless Blade

Increases the Level of Havoc: Obliteration by 3.
Maximum upgrade level is 15.

It increases Burst damage by 21%. For Main DPS Childe, this constellation increases his total damage by ~5%. For Burst DPS Childe, it increases total damage by ~17%. 

Recommended to stop here for Burst DPS Childe.

DPS Gain: 5%

Constellation 6

Constellation 6 | Annihilation

When Havoc: Obliteration is cast in Melee Stance, the CD of Foul Legacy: Raging Tide is reset. This effect will only take place once Tartaglia returns to his Ranged Stance.

It allows you to use Melee Burst as an opener and allow more room for errors for melee duration. It can allow for pure melee Childe gameplay, but this is never recommended due to the lack of team support and damage (overall decrease in damage if not rotating with his team). This is mainly a QoL constellation with no significant increase in damage. There are several reasons for why this is the case.

First, it is not sustainable. Melee Burst has a significantly higher ER requirement compared to Ranged Burst. It is possible to alternate melee and ranged, but that would mean a normal team rotation would be functionally the same. 

Second, if you’ve obtained a C6 Childe, it generally means you adore Childe enough to invest him to his damage ceiling in terms of artifacts and weapons. The more damage you can deal, the more likely you want to switch from a Sustain DPS to a Burst DPS playstyle.  And for Childe, this means a vaporized burst. When you are able to one rotation an Abyss floor, it starts to become faster to use a vaporize burst instead of meleeing for a few seconds. This means that he suffers the same problems as a highly-invested Hu Tao’s face; they start to perform better as Burst DPS rather than a Sustain DPS. 

Because of these two reasons, this constellation’s main purpose is for co-op or overworld QoL. It does not offer anything significant in terms of damage nor does it offer a significant change in playstyle aside from being able to use Melee Burst at the start of your melee.

Most importantly, this constellation only changes Childe’s gameplay if you use more than one rotation. If you kill everything in one rotation, this constellation changes absolutely nothing.

SHOULD you get C6 Childe?

For most players the answer is easy, you shouldn’t. Childe has one of the least useful C6 out of all the available 5* characters. It doesn’t provide team support, it doesn’t debuff enemies, nor does it increase Childe’s damage numbers. It purely changes how Childe rotates with his team and how long he can rotate for. For a C6, this is incredibly underwhelming. To make matters worse, this constellation only affects Childe if he’s a Main DPS. If you use Childe as a Burst DPS, C6 will not change how you use Childe nor will it increase his damage. The closer your Childe gets to his damage ceiling, the less likely C6 will change your gameplay. If you choose to play an “end-game” (speed-running) Childe, he will almost always be used as a Burst DPS instead of a Main DPS.  

However, there are a few interesting points of development towards Childe’s C6. While you still have to deal with the ER problems that come with Melee Bursts, you can create some new team rotations that otherwise aren’t possible. You can extend your melee duration to 15s, matching it with longer duration Off-Field DPS like Xingqiu or Beidou. You can also play quickswap with melee Bursts or staggering Off-Field DPS durations. You can do more than what a C0 or C1 Childe can do. 

Yet, the biggest question remains:  Is this a DPS gain? The unfortunate answer is that it’s likely not. As mentioned earlier, the more invested your Childe is, the more likely he’ll be utilized as a Burst DPS. In a 24s rotation, about 30 – 40% of Childe’s damage comes from a vaporized Burst that occurs in the first few seconds, before taking about 20 seconds for the remaining damage to be dealt. It does optimize some comps like Beidou Fischl Xingqiu with near 100% melee uptime, but these team comps are inherently weaker than comps with Bennett due to the lack of buffs. So at this point in time, C6 Childe is unfortunately only a QoL constellation.

DPS Gain: ?%

ConstellationDPS Gained
C10 – 9 %
C20 %
C318 %
C4( -2 ) – 8 %
C55 %
C6? %

*This assumes the enemy lives through the entirety of the Riptide Mark duration. If the enemy dies instantly or very quickly, this effectively is a 0% increase in damage. Melee Burst will still offer more damage than the Ranged Burst

Talent Priority

It is recommended to stop leveling talents at Talent 8 (T8). Past T8, it will require a lot of resin in order to farm the resources for T9 and T10. So if you enjoy playing Childe enough, you can upgrade his talents to T9 or T10, but it will never be necessary to have T9 or T10 for Childe to perform well.

Melee Focus

From a DPS perspective, you should alternate upgrading E and Q before focusing on AA. AA is an unnecessary upgrade because realistically it will only increase your Charged Shot damage and Riptide Burst (on-kill riptide), both of which contribute to a very small percentage of your total damage.

From a resource perspective, upgrading to T6 is a fairly cheap DPS gain, resin-wise.  It is recommended to bring all talents to T6 before alternating your E and Q talents to optimize your DPS gain accordingly with your limited weekly talent materials.

Burst Focus

Due to the natural course of overinvestment, Melee Focus Childe will eventually gravitate towards Burst Focus due to how frontloaded Childe’s damage distributions are. Eventually you’ll reach the point where enemies will die in a single burst. E Talents can be ignored if you can one-shot content.

Bow Focus

Bow Focus is more of a fun build rather than a practical one. It can clear Abyss, but will require much more skillful execution and rotation management. 

It is recommended to get AA and Q talents to T6 before alternating them to T8. Upgrade E talent accordingly based on your usage of the skill.

Artifacts

Overview

This section will only cover the two most commonly applicable Childe playstyles, Main DPS and Burst DPS. There are still Quickswap, Freeze, Electro-Charged, Physical, and Charge-Shot playstyles that all have small nuance differences in artifact/substat optimizations. 

1st Rotation (Burst DPS) One-Shot / Nuke
NO HoD/WT * > HoD Glad/SR > HoD > SR
1st Rotation (Main DPS) Full Melee Duration **
SR ≥ HoD > HoD Glad/SR > HoD NO
2nd Rotation Onwards
* WT is a viable option for Burst DPS if you aren’t using Stringless
** Full melee duration does not mean to overly extend your melee. You should still use the recommended 9 to 11 seconds melee duration.

Main DPS

There are two different artifact recommendations for Main DPS Childe depending on whether you use Bennett in your team or not. The below recommendation is for 2+ rotations and have 4-set SR performing the worst due to ER requirements.

With Bennett 4 HoD > 2 HoD 2 Glad / SR > 2 HoD 2 NO > 4 SR
Without Bennett 4 HoD = 2 HoD 2 Glad / SR > 2 HoD 2 NO > 4 SR
Main DPS Sands Goblet Circlet
Mainstats ATK% Hydro DMG% CRIT Rate / DMG
Substats CRIT Rate / CRIT DMG > ATK% > EM > ER
Prioritize Mainstats > Substats > Set bonus

Substats priority depends on the weapon, but generally CRIT weapons want slightly more ATK% in subs and weapons that give ATK% want more CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG in subs. Balanced stats volumes generally offer the highest amount of DPS gain.

Set bonuses are exactly as the name implies, a bonus. Using off-set artifacts with better stats will usually be better than using a bad on-set to complete the bonus.
Always prioritize better substats over completing a set bonus.

Burst DPS

Burst DPS refers to either one-shots or eliminating content very early in the melee duration. If it requires you to fully complete the melee duration, it’s better to use a Main DPS artifact recommendation.

With Bennett NO HoD / WT > HoD Glad / SR > HoD > SR
Without Bennett NO HoD / WT > HoD Glad / SR > HoD > SR
Main DPS Sands Goblet Circlet
Mainstats ATK% or EM Hydro DMG% CRIT Rate / DMG
Substats CRIT Rate / CRIT DMG > ATK% ≥ EM * > ER
It is recommended to use EM Sands on non-EM weapons and ATK% Sands on EM weapons.

* EM substats have equal or greater priority if your Sands is ATK%. Likewise, ATK% substats will have equal or greater priority if your Sands is EM.

Heart of Depth (HoD)

2-Set: Hydro DMG Bonus +15%

4-Set: After using an Elemental Skill, increase Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 30% for 15s.

A set created specifically for Childe. However, it doesn’t have the same level of synergy as 4-set Crimson Witch of Flames does with Diluc.  Normal and Charged Attacks only make up about 50% of Childe’s damage in a full rotation. 4-Set HoD is heavily melee focused. This means your damage will only show the longer you melee. 

This makes 4-Set HoD best for players who require an entire rotation to kill content. The faster you can kill content, the less powerful this set becomes to the point where using another 2-Set will offer you faster clear times if you can clear content before your melee duration ends.

But for any content that requires the entirety of the melee duration or multiple rotations, HoD will be Childe’s strongest set. But despite being the “best” set in this situation, it will only be stronger than the next best set by about 4%, which is the equivalent of 2 substats.

Notable Interactions / Bugs:

4-Set Heart of Depth bonus activates on both entering and exiting melee stance, but WILL NOT activate if you swap to another character to end melee stance. This means if you want to keep the 4-Set passive, you should manually exit melee stance by pressing E before swapping. Exiting melee stance is dash cancelable, so you should try to dash while exiting melee stance to keep the animation to a minimum.

Strongly recommended to farm for 2-set. From here you can decide to continue farming for the 4-set, use 2-set Glad / SR / NO, or use good off-set artifacts.

Shimenawa’s Reminiscence (SR)

2-Set: ATK +18%

4-Set: When casting an Elemental Skill, if the character has 15 or more Energy, they lose 15 Energy and Normal/Charged/Plunging Attack DMG is increased by 50% for 10s.

Another melee focus set that’s a solid competitor against HoD. SR’s performance is quite similar to HoD’s, but due to the energy draining mechanic on the 4-Set, SR will perform weaker than HoD on 2+ rotations purely due to substat optimizations. You require about 5 – 7 more ER substats (totaling to about 140 ER) more than HoD to have enough ER to be able to use Ranged Burst again. 

However for the first rotation, SR will outperform HoD by about 5% by the end of the melee duration. This means SR will only be practical for content that can be cleared within one rotation. Anything that requires more than one rotation will drain your energy and prevent you from using vaped bursts as often, lowering your DPS.

Additionally, when you’ve reached high-invest Childe, the 4-Set does little for Burst DPS Childe. But the 2-Set is VERY USEFUL. It functionally is a more farmable Glad set, and HoD Glad / SR is the most balanced set for both Main DPS and Burst DPS Childe, scaling well from low-invest to high-invest. It ranks as the second strongest set for both roles. 

Notable Interactions / Bugs:

You can avoid the 15 Energy tax by activating your burst fast enough. The higher your ping, the more time you have before the Energy tax takes away your energy. Unfortunately, the two scenarios:

  • Enter melee stance > Melee Burst
  • Exiting melee stance > Ranged Burst

Both aren’t that practical for most team comps or rotations. It limits your ability to vape the burst. The only scenario where it might be practical is for Forward Vape comps where you want to vape Stance Change, Melee Burst, and Riptide Blast. But in this scenario, SR isn’t the optimal artifact set for a high front-loaded damage team comp. 

Recommended to farm only if you don’t have a good HoD set or if farming the 2-set as an alternative Glad.

HoD + Gladiator’s Finale (Glad) / SR

2-Set: Hydro DMG Bonus +15%

2-Set: ATK +18%

The most balanced artifact set. It equally favors both melee damage and burst damage. This makes this set the most flexible of all the artifact sets. It works well from low investment to high investment for both melee focus and burst focus. 

Notable Interactions / Bugs:

Glad’s 4-Set bonus WILL NOT work on Childe. The 4-Set bonus specifically works on Sword, Claymore, or Polearm characters. Childe is a Bow character.

Recommended to use if you have good Gladiator artifacts or no longer wish to farm for 4-Set HoD.

HoD + Noblesse Oblige (NO)

2-Set: Hydro DMG Bonus +15%

2-Set: Elemental Burst DMG +20%

A burst focus set. This set emphasizes a front-loaded damage and is only recommended for players with high-invest Childes who can clear content early in their melee duration. In context of the Abyss, this is Childe’s strongest high-investment set due to how strong a vaporized burst can be.

But for any content that can’t be essentially one-shotted, this will be one of Childe’s weaker sets. It heavily relies on being able to eliminate enemies before getting into your melee. 

Notable Interactions / Bugs:

4-Set NO is not an efficient use of the set if Childe’s your Main DPS. There are niche, nonoptimal scenarios where you’ll have 4-Set on Childe, but generally speaking it will reduce Childe’s DPS.

Recommended to use if you have good Noblesse artifacts or no longer wish to farm for 4-Set HoD.

Thundersoother (TS)

2-Set: Electro RES increased by 40%.

4-Set: Increases DMG against opponents affected by Electro by 35%.

An alternative set that Childe can use with an Electro-Charged comp. With Bennett, this set is weaker than Heart of Depth, but without Bennett, it is one of  Childe’s strongest sets but not by very much. It is about 1 substat stronger than 4-set Heart of Depth. So it will perform about as well as an equal stat 4 HoD set assuming you hit enemies with Electro. 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use Bennett with Electro-Charged comps. Bennett will still offer the highest DPS gain for these comps because Bennett will allow Electro characters to snapshot his buff, and offer Childe the ability to vaporize his burst.

This set is not transferable to burst focus Childe. You’ll need to farm an entirely new set if you want to transition.

Notable Interactions / Bugs:

When enemies are affected by the Electro-Charged reaction, they are considered to have both Hydro and Electro on them. This means that the 4-Set effect will apply on these enemies. Realistically, you’ll have around a 80-90% uptime with TS’s passive on enemies affected by Electro-Charged. 

Only recommended to use if you have a strong set lying around after farming for Thundering Fury artifacts. Not recommended to farm specifically for this set.

Blizzard Strayer

2-Set: Cryo DMG Bonus +15%

4-Set: When a character attacks an opponent affected by Cryo, their CRIT Rate is increased by 20%. If the opponent is Frozen, CRIT Rate is increased by an additional 20%.

On paper this is Childe’s strongest artifact set, assuming you are hitting a frozen enemy. This is 100% Childe’s highest DPS set in a freeze comp, but the reality is that this artifact set is limited by the team comp. Freeze comps generally have the lowest team damage ceiling so you will usually deal less total team damage than a non-freeze comp. Dealing less team damage is the trade-off for allowing Childe to deal higher individual damage. 

Notable Interactions / Bugs:

None.

Recommended only if you wish to use Childe in a Freeze comp. Can co-farm while farming for HoD pieces.

Weapons

Overview

Generalized Main DPS Weapon Ranking
Best Polar Star ≥ Thundering Pulse = Aqua Simulacra ≥ Skyward Harp
Great Viridescent Hunt ( Multiple Enemies or Fall Damage ) ≥ Amos’ Bow
Good Viridescent Hunt ≥ Blackcliff Warbow ≥ Mouun’s Moon = Prototype Crescent * ≥ Rust ≥ Stringless**
Average Hamayumi > Alley Hunter *** > Prototype Crescent ( No Passive )
Weak Windblume Ode > Slingshot
* With moderate uptime on passive. Passive is active for vaped burst and one melee string.
** Assumes vaped Burst
*** Assumes usage of Charged-Shots
Generalized Burst DPS Weapon Ranking
Best Aqua Simulacra > Thundering Pulse = R5 Mouun’s Moon > R5 Stringless ≥ Polar Star ≥ Skyward Harp
Great Prototype Crescent * ≥ Alley Hunter ( 10 Stacks ) ≥ Viridescent Hunt ≥ Amos’ Bow
Good Windblume Ode > Blackcliff Warbow ( 0 Stacks ) **
Average Slingshot > Prototype Crescent ( No Passive ) = Rust
Weak Hamayumi
* It’s not comfortable to hit a weak spot before using Burst
**It’s not realistic to have Blackcliff stacks for Burst. If your Burst is strong enough to kill enemies, it’s very likely that the rotation won’t last longer than 1 rotation where you will not be able to use a second Burst with the stacks active.

More specifics on weapon rankings with refinements can be found here:
Main DPS Weapons by Mystathi#9705
Burst DPS Weapons by Mystathi#9705

Thundering Pulse

Base ATK – 608
CRIT DMG – 66.2%

Increases ATK by 20 – 40% and grants the might of the Thunder Emblem. At stack levels 1/2/3, the Thunder Emblem increases Normal Attack DMG by 12/24/40 – 24/48/80%. The character will obtain 1 stack of Thunder Emblem in each of the following scenarios: Normal Attack deals DMG (stack lasts 5s), casting Elemental Skill (stack lasts 10s); Energy is less than 100% (stack disappears when Energy is full). Each stack’s duration is calculated independently.

Preferred Melee String:  N5C  >  N3C  >  N2C

One of Childe’s strongest bows that is conditionally better than Skyward Harp. The main difference between Pulse and Harp is that Pulse has a more scalable passive. The longer your rotations are, the further Pulse pulls ahead of Harp. For every full melee duration, Pulse offers about 3 – 5%  more DPS than Harp. At the start of melee, both Pulse and Harp have similar DPS. This means they’ll perform similarly enough for most players so if you already own a Harp, it won’t be worthwhile to switch to Pulse to marginally increase your DPS.

Pulse has high volumes of CRIT DMG so if your artifacts aren’t optimized for CRIT Rate, this bow might not offer you the highest DPS due to crit ratio optimizations. If you want to use Pulse, make sure your artifacts have high enough CRIT Rate.

Polar Star

Base ATK – 608
CRIT Rate – 33.1%

Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst DMG increased by 12 – 24%. After a Normal Attack, Charged Attack, Elemental Skill or Elemental Burst hits an opponent, 1 stack will be gained for 12s. When 1/2/3/4 stacks of Ashen Nightstar are present, ATK is increased by 10/20/30/48 – 20/40/60/96%.  Each stack will be counted independently of the others.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

A 5* bow catered towards Childe kit. Polar is one of Childe’s strongest bows that is conditionally better than both Thundering Pulse and  Skyward Harp at 3 stacks before burst. At 2 stacks before burst, Polar will be comparable to Pulse. The more enemies there are, the more Polar pulls ahead of the other 5* bows due to Polar’s passive affecting Riptide Slash’s quadratic scaling. If you already own Pulse or Harp, it will not be very Primo efficient to get Polar because despite being an upgrade, it will only be about a 6% upgrade over Pulse, which is not a very substantial upgrade.

Polar has high volumes of CRIT Rate so if your artifacts aren’t optimized for CRIT DMG, this bow might not offer you the biggest DPS due to crit ratio optimizations. If you want to use Polar, make sure your artifacts have high enough CRIT DMG and your rotations are optimized to build up 3 stacks before your burst. It is important to note that on your 2nd rotation onwards, unless you have a highly optimized 24s rotation or an extended 30s rotation, you’ll only be able to build 2 stacks before using your burst again, making Polar comparable to Pulse.

Skyward Harp

Base ATK – 674
CRIT Rate – 22.1%

Increases CRIT DMG by 20~40%. Hits have a 60 – 100% chance to inflict a small AoE attack, dealing 125% Physical ATK DMG. Can only occur once every 4 – 2s.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

One of Childe’s strongest bows. Skyward Harp is an amazing general bow that can be used on any bow character. It offers a balanced CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG, high base attack, and another instance of damage in the form of Physical damage. This Physical proc from Harp is what allows Harp marginally out-DPS Pulse early in the melee duration. 

Harp is a balanced weapon that equally benefits from all substats. There is no specific substat optimization required to use Harp. Always recommended to use. 

Aqua Simulacra

Base ATK – 542
CRIT DMG – 88.2%

HP increased by 16 – 32%. When opponents are nearby, the DMG dealt by the wielder of this weapon is increased by 20 – 40%. This will take effect whether the character is on-field or not.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

Aqua is one of the best bows for Childe as a Burst DPS, and is still a great option for other builds, with almost unconditional DMG% from the passive. Aqua’s low Base ATK and high CRIT DMG can make builds unbalanced, so make sure to prioritize ATK and CRIT Rate.

Note: Aqua Simulacra’s passive may not always be active, as Childe can still hit with his Burst and Ranged Charged Shots when the passive is not active.

Aqua has high volumes of CRIT DMG so if your artifacts aren’t optimized for CRIT Rate, this bow might not offer you the highest DPS due to crit ratio optimizations. If you want to use Aqua, make sure your artifacts have high enough CRIT Rate.

Amos’ Bow

Base ATK – 608
ATK% – 49.6%

Increases Normal Attack and Charged Attack DMG by 12 – 24%. After a Normal or Charged Attack is fired, DMG dealt increases by a further 8 – 16% every 0.1 seconds the arrow is in the air for up to 5 times.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

An often underappreciated 5* weapon. By virtue of having 5* stats, it is Childe’s fourth best bow. The first part of Amos’ passive with Normal Attacks and Charged Attacks affect both Childe’s ranged and melee. But the second half of Amos’ passive only affects Childe’s ranged stance because it specifically says “arrow in the air” and melee has no arrows. 

Due to high amounts of attack volumes from Bennett buff, ATK% Sands, and Amos itself, you’ll want to avoid getting more ATK% substats and prioritize getting as much CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG substats as RNG allows.

Viridescent Hunt

Base ATK – 510
CRIT Rate- 27.6%

Upon hit, Normal and Aimed Shot Attacks have a 50% chance to generate a Cyclone, which will continuously attract surrounding opponents, dealing 40 – 80% of ATK as DMG to these opponents every 0.5s for 4s. This effect can only occur once every 14 – 10s.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

The best 4* bow available for Childe. Hunt’s passive gives Childe the ability to group up enemies that otherwise wouldn’t be grouped up. This better utilizes the quadratic scaling from Childe’s riptides. Additionally, that same grouping passive deals Physical damage, which further increases your DPS. On top of all this, using Charged Attacks while the vortex is active allows you to get fall damage on some enemies that can be lifted, significantly increasing your DPS.

Hunt has high volumes of CRIT Rate so you’ll want to prioritize getting more CRIT DMG as RNG allows. It is not recommended to get higher refinements on Hunt due to how little DPS increases per refinement.

Blackcliff Warbow

Base ATK – 565
CRIT DMG – 36.8%

After defeating an opponent, ATK is increased by 12 – 24% for 30s. This effect has a maximum of 3 stacks, and the duration of each stack is independent of the others.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

A solid “Free-2-Play” ( F2P ) that can be bought through Paimon’s Starglitter Shop. It performs slightly better than Rust. There will be inconsistencies with gaining stacks due to the damage distribution of Childe’s teams. Childe’s damage contribution can be anywhere between 40-60% of the team’s total damage. This on top of the hardest content in the game often having 2-3 enemies at most means that you’ll be at 0 stacks for most difficult fights. You can only gain stacks if Childe is both on-field and gets the kill. If your Sub DPS gets the kill, Childe will not gain a stack. 

Blackcliff has high volumes of CRIT DMG so you’ll want to prioritize getting more CRIT Rate as RNG allows. Blackcliff often performs worse than other 4* bows with higher refinements due to the inconsistency of gaining stacks. It’s only recommended to use this weapon if you’ve already invested into it.

Mouun’s Moon

Base ATK – 565
ATK% – 27.6%

For every point of the entire party’s combined maximum energy capacity, the Elemental Burst DMG of the character equipping this weapon is increased by 0.12-0.24%. A maximum of 40-80% increased Elemental Burst DMG can be achieved this way.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

One of the best gacha 4* weapons for Childe. Mouun’s Moon buffs burst damage by a portion of the team’s total energy cost, and Childe teams generally have high energy requirements. This buffing Childe’s burst, which makes up between 30-40% of his total DPS per rotation, and having ATK% as its main stat allows Mouun to be slightly ahead of every non-CRIT 4* bow.

Similar to other ATK% bows, you’ll want to focus on getting as much CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG as RNG allows.

Rust

Base ATK – 510
ATK% – 41.3%

Increases Normal Attack DMG by 40 – 80% but decreases Charged Attack DMG by 10%.

Preferred Melee String:  N5C  >  N3C  >  N2C

Childe’s advertised signature bow. Despite how amazing its passive looks, in reality it performs fairly average. 40 – 80% more Normal Attack damage seems a lot until you realize that Normal Attacks are not the majority of Childe’s damage. Charged Attacks make up about half of the melee DPS and not using Charged Attacks at all decreases your overall melee DPS by about 30%. For this reason, you’ll still want to use Charged Attacks even with the -10% to it. To gain the most benefits from Rust’s passive, you should aim to use N5C with N# being the number of Normal Attacks used and C being a Charged Attack.

Similar to Amos, Rust has high attack volumes. You’ll want to prioritize getting as much CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG substats as RNG allows.

Hamayumi

Base ATK – 454
ATK% – 55.1%

Increases Normal Attack DMG by 16 – 32% and Charged Attack DMG by 12 – 24%. When the equipping character’s Energy reaches 100%, this effect is increased by 100%.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

A craftable F2P bow. Hamayumi functionally acts like a weaker Rust. While Hamayumi’s passive to double the NA and CA Dmg% seems amazing, realistically it will rarely be active. This is because most Childe rotations use his burst before melee. In other words, your energy is not 100%. Higher refinements won’t shift this bow’s DPS with respect to the other bows.

Similar to other ATK% bows, you’ll want to focus on getting as much CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG as RNG allows.

Prototype Crescent

Base ATK – 510
ATK% – 41.3%

Charged Attack hits on weak points increase Movement SPD by 10% and ATK by 36 – 72% for 10s.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

The golden standard of free-2-play ( F2P ) bows. Crescent can perform anywhere between slightly worse than Rust without using its passive to being at R1 Amos’s level of DPS at R5 with passive active. Crescent is just a solid bow with a great passive that allows it to compete with all other top 4* bows on Childe.

Due to high attack volumes, you’ll want to prioritize getting as much CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG as RNG allows.

Stringless

Base ATK – 510
EM- 165

Increases Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst DMG by 24 – 48%.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

For Main DPS Childe, the Normal and Charged Attacks don’t even compare to the 4* bows. But because Stringless has both EM and a passive that increases Burst damage, it will massively increase the damage of his Burst. Childe’s burst usually makes up between 30-40% of his total DPS every rotation. This ranks Stringless to deal slightly below Crecent’s level of DPS for melee focus Childe. But for burst focus Childe, an R5 Stringless ranks alongside the strongest bows in terms of damage dealt.

You’ll want to prioritize getting as much CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG as RNG allows.

Alley Hunter

Base ATK – 565
ATK%- 27.6%

While the character equipped with this weapon is in the party but not on the field, their DMG increases by 2 – 4% every second up to a max of 20 – 40%. When the character is on the field for more than 4s, the aforementioned DMG buff decreases by 4 – 8% per second until it reaches 0%.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

Alley Hunter is a strange bow to use on Childe. For Main DPS the passive is near useless due to the passive requiring off-field time in order to build up the stacks. You can regain some stacks when melee is on cooldown, but if you use any Charged Shots, you won’t be able to gain very many stacks. The main selling point of the bow is the initial damage will be high before dropping down to being less than Stringless DPS once you hit zero stacks. 

Similar to other ATK% bows, you’ll want to focus on getting as much CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG as RNG allows.

Windblume Ode

Base ATK – 510
EM- 165

After using an Elemental Skill, receive a boon from the ancient wish of the Windblume, increasing ATK by 16~32% for 6s.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

An event exclusive bow. Windblume’s passive activates when you both enter and exit melee stance. Windblume increases ATK% for 6s which has limited usages. The largest gain in DPS comes from the EM that the bow offers. It greatly increases the damage of Childe’s Burst if you vaporize it. Overall it performs slightly worse than a zero stack Alley Hunter only if you perform a vaporized Burst within 6s after you exit melee stance. Otherwise this bow underperforms the other 4* bows.

For Burst DPS Childe, Windblume is ranked near the top of viable bows. 

You’ll want to prioritize getting as much CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG as RNG allows.

Slingshot

Base ATK – 354
CRIT Rate – 31.2%

If a Normal or Charged Attack hits a target within 0.3s of being fired, increases DMG by 36~60%. Otherwise, decreases DMG by 10%.

Preferred Melee String:  N2C  >  N3C  >  N5C

The budget bow. This 3* bow will out DPS all of the ER bows and Compound Bow. While it is never recommended to level this bow up, if you are truly unfortunate and don’t have access to any other bow, Slingshot will offer your Childe the most DPS. Slingshot’s passive will only affect Childe’s arrow shots and not his melee.

Slingshot has high volumes of CRIT Rate so you’ll want to prioritize getting more CRIT DMG as RNG allows.

Every Other Bow

They will not be worth using. They either offer stats that Childe doesn’t need or are impractical to use in most scenarios. They generally relegate Childe as a support character who doesn’t deal that much damage or doesn’t scale well with Childe’s damage distribution.

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