The Ultimate Guide to Artifacts in Genshin Impact

Did you just start playing Genshin Impact and you’re looking for a guide to understand how artifacts work in the game?

In this post, we covered artifact rarity, main stats, sub-stats, set bonuses and how to upgrade them.

It contains pretty much everything you need to know about artifacts in Genshin Impact.

If you need a quick list of all artifacts you can get in the game, check out our artifact list post.

What Are Artifacts in Genshin Impact?

Artifacts are equipable items in Genshin Impact. They can boost your character’s overall stats and can also be upgraded to improve your character’s strength even more.

There are five types of artifacts:

  • Flower
  • Plume
  • Hourglass
  • Goblet
  • Circlet

Each artifact will have one primary stat and can have up to 4 sub-stats depending on its rarity.

Artifacts Rarity

Side by side comparison of 4-star and 5-star rarity artifacts.

Artifacts are ranked from 1-Star to 5-Star rarity. As you might guess, it is more challenging to obtain 5-star artifacts compared to their less rare counterparts.

And of course, 5-star artifacts will have advantages over other artifacts with lower rarity.

These advantages are:

  • Higher maximum upgrade level.
  • Greater main stat boost due to the maximum upgrade level.
  • Higher number of initial sub-stats
  • Greater sub-stat boost per upgrade

And here’s a table describing the actual differences of each rarity regarding the maxim upgrade level and the initial number of sub-stats:

RarityNumber of Initial
Sub Stats
Maximum Upgrade
 TIP: 5-star artifacts are very difficult to obtain at lower adventure levels. However, you will start getting 5-star artifacts from Weekly Bosses starting at Adventure Rank 30.
 You will also start getting 5-star artifacts from domains and elite bosses starting at AR 40. And at AR 45, you are guaranteed to get 5-star artifacts from domains and elite bosses.

Check out my other article to learn the different ways to level up your adventure level fast. 

How to Upgrade Artifacts

Interface showing a sample of upgrading an article to +8.

As mentioned earlier, you can upgrade your artifacts to increase their main stat and sub-stat boost.

Here are the step in enhancing your artifacts:

  1. Open your inventory menu by pressing the bag icon on the upper right side of your screen.

    Alternatively, you can press the “B” button on your keyboard.

  2. Press on the artifact icon to switch the view list. It’s the 2nd icon from the left and is next to the weapons tab.

  3. From there, select the artifact you want to upgrade. Doing this will highlight that specific artifact.

  4. Once you’ve highlighted the artifact you want to upgrade, press the Details button found on the lower right side of your screen.

    This button will open a new user interface.

  5. On the left side, there should be an “Enhance” option from the selection.

    Select it and then press the “+” icon found at the lower right side of your screen.

  6. Select up to 6 artifacts that will be used as enhancement materials.

    Alternatively, you can press the “Auto Add” button and it will automatically select artifacts based on the filter.

    The filter options are:

    -1-star materials
    -2-star materials and under
    -3-star materials and under
    -4-star materials and under

    Note that any artifact you selected here will be gone forever.

  7. Press the enhance button and the artifact will be upgraded.

    Keep in mind that artifacts with higher rarity will give more experience points to the artifact you are currently upgrading.

    You can see the experience points on the upper right side of your screen.

The main stat of your artifact will increase for every enhancement. On the other hand, sub-stat increases with every 4th upgrade and are selected randomly from the four existing sub-stats.

Possible Main Stats for Each Artifact Slot

All artifacts can only have one main stat. And the main stat you can get depends on its slot.

Here are the possible main stats you can get for each artifact slot:

Possible Main
Stat Bonus
Flower artifact piece icon in genshin impact
-HP Only
Plume artifact piece icon in genshin impact
-Attack Only
Hourglass artifact piece icon in genshin impact
-Energy Recharge
-Attack Percentage
-Flat Attack
-Defense Percentage
-Flat Defense
-HP Percentage
-Flat HP
-Elemental Mastery
Goblet artifact piece icon in genshin impact
-Elemental Damage Bonus (All Elements)
-Physical Damage Bonus
-Attack Percentage
-Defense Percentage
-HP Percentage
-Elemental Mastery
Circlet artifact piece icon in genshin impact
-Critical Rate
-Critical Damage
-Healing Bonus
-Elemental Mastery
-Attack Percentage
-Defense Percentage

As you can see, there are a couple of main stats you can get randomly on some artifact slots.

So, you might want to hunt a specific main stat for a particular artifact set, depending on your character’s build.

Getting a matching Elemental Damage bonus that matches your character’s element is the hardest thing to hunt here.

Main Stat Upgrade Scaling

When you upgrade your artifacts, the main stat also scales up with every enhancement.

Some stats scale higher with every upgrade and the maximum main stat boost depends on the artifact’s rarity.

However, there is no difference in the main stats between a +10 4-star item and a +10 5-star item.

The real difference lies within the actual maximum enhancement. 4-star artifacts can only be upgraded up to +16, while a 5-star artifact maxes out at +20.

Here’s a comparison between a 4-star and 5-star artifact on each main stat:

Main StatMax Stat Boost
Max Stat Boost
Flat HP4,780 HP3,571 HPFlower
Flat Attack311 Attack232 AttackPlume
Critical Rate31.10%23.20%Circlet
Critical Damage62.20%46.40%Circlet
Healing Bonus35.90%26.80%Circlet
Elemental Damage Bonus
(All Elements)
Physical Damage Bonus58.30%43.50%Goblet
Elemental Mastery187139Hourglass
Attack Percentage46.60%34.80%Hourglass
HP Percentage46.60%34.80%Hourglass
Defense Percentage58.30%43.50%Hourglass

Possible Sub-Stats You Can Get

In-game interface showing the sub-stats of a 5-star noblesse obliged goblet artifact.

As stated earlier, an artifact can get up to 4 sub-stats depending on the rarity. Additionally, the pool of possible sub-stat you can get will always be the same, no matter the rarity or slot.

Here are the possible sub-stats you can get on any artifact:

  • Critical Rate
  • Critical Damage
  • Energy Recharged
  • Elemental Mastery
  • Attack Percentage
  • Flat Attack
  • HP Percentage
  • Flat HP
  • Defense Percentage
  • Flat Defense

One thing to note here is that you cannot get the same sub stat as the main stat of your artifact.

Sub-Stat Upgrade Scaling

In terms of upgrade scaling, sub-stats are a little less straightforward and a lot more random.

First off, every 4th upgrade will add a new random sub-stat to your artifact. This trend will continue until your artifact gets a total of 4 lines of stats.

But if your artifact already has four stats, it will instead increase one of the four sub-stats randomly.

Moreover, each sub-stat iteration is also generated within a specific range depending on the rarity.

Here is the range of stat increase you can expect from a 3-star to 5-star artifact:

3-Star Stat
4-Star Stat
5-Star Stat
Critical Rate1.6% – 2.3%2.2% – 3.1%2.7% – 3.9%
Critical Damage3.3% – 4.7%4.4% – 6.2%5.4% – 7.8%
Energy Recharged2.7% – 3.9%3.6% – 5.2%4.5% – 6.5%
Elemental Mastery10 – 1413 – 1916 – 23
Attack Percentage2.5% – 3.5%3.3% – 4.7%4.1% – 5.8%
Flat Attack7 – 911 – 1614 – 19
HP Percentage2.5% – 3.5%3.3% – 4.7%4.1% – 5.8%
Flat HP100 – 143167 – 239209 – 299
Defense Percentage3.1% – 4.4%4.1% – 5.8%5.1% – 7.3%
Flat Defense8 – 1113 – 1916 – 23

Due to its randomness, it is tough to get an upgraded artifact with a perfect sub-stat set.

If you’re just starting, I suggest focusing on getting the matching main stat for your character, then move on with building your support characters.

Focusing on main stats will allow you to raise your team’s DPS more than spending a lot of time and resin trying to get a decent artifact that may not come even if you spend months hunting them.

Artifacts Set Bonus

Menu screen showing the set bonus effect of the noblesse obliged artifact.

Having your characters wear the same series of artifacts will also give bonus effects that usually raise your character’s overall damage or effectiveness.

I would have you prioritize equipping your characters with artifacts that have decent primary stat and sub-stats over set bonuses.

But still, set bonuses are the cheapest way to gain a significant boost for your character without needing to upgrade. So I would recommend grinding on domains that drop certain artifacts matching the set effect fit for your character.

For example, if you’re hunting for a Goblet artifact with Pyro Elemental bonus, why not grind on the domain that drops the Crimson Witch of Flames?

Check out my other article that lists all artifacts you can get in the game if you want to know more about which artifact you should be hunting for your specific character.


Artifacts play a significant role in raising your character’s damage, survivability and effectiveness.

Choosing the right main stat and set bonuses that fit your character, upgrading and optimizing your artifact’s sub-stats can go a long way toward making your characters overpowered.

I hope this post helped in your Genshin Impact gaming experience. Do not hesitate to leave a comment if you got some questions or a request for the articles you want us to cover.

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