There are many, many characters since there are so many NPCs, so I’m going to just name the 22 currently playable characters, the upcoming playable characters, as well as Emergency Food, aka Paimon. I’ll keep it short, so I won’t be giving all the details.
Also, please keep in mind that I’m still fairly new to this game, so I may get some misinformation, please bear with me. I haven’t received all characters yet, nor did I complete the storyline (still in the beginning).
The first one is the main MC you receive at the beginning, known as the Traveler. This one represents the player. If you pick one twin (one for male, another for female), the other twin’s true name is revealed. The female twin’s name is Lumine and the male is Aether. Both are referred to as the Traveler by other characters (in voiceovers). As said before, the Traveler is a character you receive from the very beginning. The Traveler is a sword user and receives Anemo (wind element) power in the beginning.
The Traveler(s). Lumine, the female, is on the left, and Aether, the male, is on the right.
The next character introduced is a small being who is called Paimon. Due to some of the Traveler’s dialogue choices, she has been referred to as “Emergency Food” by many GenshinImpact fans.
Paimon. She is also on the icon of the application GenshinImpact, as well as many social platforms for GenshinImpact, such as Twitter and Instagram.
Bottom dialogue choice refers to Paimon as “Emergency Food.”
As you can see above, there’s another character called Amber. She is the next playable character you can unlock as you proceed with the storyline. She is a Pyro (fire element) archer, as well as an Outrider (I’m not entirely sure, but it’s something along the lines of a scout).
Sadly, Amber is bashed by the fandom for not being a very strong character to play when battling. However, she’s an archer, so I recommend you stick with her until you find a better archer (sorry Amber ;-;).
Now, we have Kaeya. He is a Cryo (ice element) sword user, as well as a knight. He will be playable when introduced in the storyline, like Amber.
The next (and last) free character is Lisa. She is a librarian, and the last character you can unlock for free when proceeding with the storyline. She is an Electro (electric element) catalyst user (A catalyst is like an object that converts a certain substance to something else. In this case, something to shoot at enemies, making the catalyst a weapon).
The ones above are the free unlockable characters you can play as (except for Paimon). The next characters are also playable, but you will need to go to Wish (a gacha for getting materials along with characters). Be careful to not spend too much, as the rates are insanely small. Only a few here are characters you can get in some other way.
A singer called Barbara is a playable character. She is a Hydro (water element) catalyst user. I got her for free through the mail. I’m not sure, but it must be a reward for completing trial runs (it’s over now) for three other characters since my sister didn’t get her, nor did she go through the trial runs.
EDIT: Barbara was a reward for reaching AR 20 before the release of version 1.1. Sadly, you can’t get her anymore since version 1.1 is out now.
It’s still possible to get her through the Wish system.
Next is Beidou, the captain of Crux Fleet, according to the fan wiki. She is an Electro claymore user (Claymore is kind of like a sword, but it is bigger. Of course, this is not the actual definition, but if it helps you picture it better, then go with this description).
Bennett is an orphan, who was raised in the Mondsadt’s Adventurers’ Guild after being discovered by an adventurer. He is a Pyro sword user.
Chongyun is an exorcist, with an exceptional amount of positive energy… which means he never saw a spirit because his energy exorcised them the moment he comes near enough. He is a Cryo claymore user.
Diluc is the owner of Dawn Winery, as well as a nobleman in high society. He is a Pyro claymore user. Many players want this guy because of how strong he is.
Next is a mysterious female who is called Fischl. She is an investigator for the Mondstadt Adventurers’ Guild and an Electro archer. Many people want this character too.
She also happens to JoJo pose.
Jean is the Acting Grand Master of the Knights of Favonius. She is an Anemo sword user, and well respected by citizens of Mondstadt.
I also get single mom vibes from her. I don’t know why.
Next is Keqing. I don’t know anything about her, besides the fact that she has a Chinese name. I don’t have her as a character, nor have I met her in the game. Her information is not available in the fan wiki either. It did mention that she is an Electro sword user.
She’s pretty though.
Klee is a Pyro catalyst. She also happens to be part of the knights. She’s a very energetic and childish person, but it’s adorable.
She is small. Only exclusive in the banner right now (”Sparkling Steps”).
EDIT: The banner is now gone, replaced by Childe’s banner.
Mona is an astrologer in Mondstadt. A Hydro catalyst user, and the only character able to run across water apparently. I’m not sure if it’s true, but that’s what they said lol.
EDIT: I have went and confirmed that yes, Mona can run across water. Mona has a unique sprint that allows her to do so, but if you stop it midway, she will resolve to swimming.
Ningguang is the Tianquan of the Liyue Qixing, seven merchants that watch over governmental affairs of Liyue. She is a Geo catalyst.
Noelle is a maid, who dreams of joining the knight ranks. She is a Geo claymore user. You are guaranteed to get her when you use your Wish for the first time in the Beginner Wish discount (pay only 8 acquainted fates for ten Wishes instead of 10 acquainted fates).
Qiqi is a resurrected zombie. She’s a cutie, and surprisingly strong, making her one of the most wanted characters by players. She is a Cryo sword user. Since she’s a zombie, she has no need for food. Sadly, she can’t taste coconut milk anymore, but only knows she likes it because she wrote it in the notebook she carries around with her everywhere, as she often forgets things.
Fun fact, her name means “Seven seven” in Chinese. Seventh day of the seventh month means ghost festival.
Razor sees the wolf pack as his family and is generally good-natured. He is an Electro claymore user.
I know he’s been raised by wolves but he’s cute. I wanna squish his face.
Sucrose is an alchemist, as well as an assistant to Albedo. She is an Anemo catalyst user.
Venti the bard is an Anemo archer, surprisingly powerful. He’s a character wanted by many players as well.
Yeah, I said he. Also, my apologies for the small pic. I couldn’t find a big one. Kinda sad since he’s also one of my favorite characters.
Back to the gender topic, Venti is a male.
Also, you can’t get him anymore. The banner exclusively for him is already over (”Ballad in Goblets”). Don’t worry, I wanted him too :’D.
Xiangling is a major food lover. She’s also a popular chef, known for her unique delicacies. She is a Pyro polearm user.
Last but not least of the currently playable characters, Xingqiu. A Hydro sword user from Liyue.
Oh yeah, he’s also a male if you didn’t know lol.
Onto the upcoming characters! Not much is known about them, unfortunately. They will all soon be obtainable through Wishes as well, in version 1.1.
Tartaglia, also known as Childe, is a Hydro archer. He was described as a character who can switch from a cheery guy to a ruthless killer in a split second. Kinda sucks, since he’s pretty cute.
EDIT: As of right now, 11/10, there is now a special banner for this character, Childe. If you want him, go do it now.
Diona is the bartender in Cat’s Tail. She actually despises alcohol and desperately tries to ruin the business, but the people love her drinks, no matter what she mixes in. She is a Cryo archer.
Zhongli highly respects Liyue’s traditions and culture. He often forgets about Mora, where he would agree to spend large amounts before realizing he doesn’t have any lol. He is a Geo polearm user.
There is currently no card, so take this instead:
Xinyan is a musician, as well as a Pyro claymore user. A bit of a rebel too, as she strongly sticks with rock music.
No card for her either [sigh].
These next ones were previously playable in closed beta tests but were removed. They’re expected to be re-released eventually.
Xiao was a playable character in the second closed beta test but was removed in the third. He is an Anemo polearm user.
Ayaka was also in the closed beta test but removed later on. She’s a Cryo sword user and expected to be re-released with some changes.
No card available either [sigh].
Well, that wraps it up! I hope this answered your question!