Trust us - you’ll need it.
Bluntly, Keqing gets complex. There’s a myriad of ways to build, play and synergise her with other characters, and it can get a little overwhelming at times. This guide should help simplify things somewhat.
However, before we go any further, this is by no means the most in-depth Keqing guide on the internet - that honour goes to the 116-page guide put together by a group of very dedicated Keqing mains. That is… a lot, however, and this guide will be significantly more digestible.
Our recommendation? Start here, but if you need the answer to a very nuanced or esoteric situation, go check out that guide. We promise we won’t be too mad.
Genshin Impact Keqing guide
Community consensus is that there are two main ways to build Keqing: prioritise Physical damage (dubbed the “AutoKeq”) or Electro damage (the “ElectroQueen”). This is important, as it affects everything from weapon choice to the way you play her.
The short of it is if you want to prioritise an auto-attack focused, sustained up-time, solo-carry build that is simpler to play, go AutoKeq. If you want to play a high mobility, ability-focused, reaction-heavy build that is more challenging to master, go ElectroQueen.
You can run both as sustained (keep Keqing out for long periods of time) or quick-swap (switch between full roster), but due to the nature of the builds, ElectroQueen tends to favour quick-swap if you’re looking for more reactions and vice-versa for AutoKeq.
So, with the two main build options in mind, here are some of the best weapon choices available to Keqing.
Stats-wise, it’s the best sword for either a Physical build and in contention for best in an Electro focused build, too. That might seem counter-intuitive, but the raw stats really are that good and Falcon’s Defiance doing 200% of ATK as DMG to surrounding enemies when Keqing is hit is just incredibly powerful.
As a bonus, it offers more flexibility to an ElectroQueen build, because your standard autos are innately more potent - useful against Electro enemies.
The Black Sword
The main contender is The Black Sword, with its all 20% DMG increase to all normal and charged attack damage from the Justice ability - that includes both Electro and Physical damage. It’s a great option on Keqing, particularly pre-refinement on Aquila Favonia.
The only downside is its currently only available via the battle pass after you’ve unlocked the Gnostic Hymn. That, unfortunately, means cashing out if you do want to get a hold of this, though it is a guaranteed drop and you won’t have to roll.
Fortunately, The Flute is also very good on Keqing. It works for both build options, but favours a more sustained playstyle to get the most out of the Chord ability.
Other good options include Lion’s Roar, Skyward Blade and the forgeable option Prototype Rancour, which matches up surprisingly well against the other top options, so don’t dismiss it.
Decisions, decisions… (Picture: miHoYo)
Artifacts with Keqing can get… complicated. Best options can vary wildly depending on build preference (aka AutoKeq versus ElectroQueen), enemy types (Boss, Mobs, Elemental etc) location (Abyss, Overworld etc.) and more.
That said, there are a number of builds that are highly prized. Chief among them, 2-piece Thundering Fury with 2-piece Noblesse Oblige or 2-piece Gladiator’s Finale. It’s one of the most consistent options for an ElectroQueen build, and works well across pretty much every encounter-type. Noblesse Oblige favours a more burst-centric build, while Gladiator’s Finale is more auto-focused.
Similarly, 2-piece Bloodstained Chivalry with 2-piece Gladiator’s Finale is the best all-rounder choice for an AutoKeq build. +38% damage split between attack and physical is just generically really good!
Another very strong option for both builds is 4-piece Thundersoother, which offers a huge 35% DMG buff against enemies affected by Electro. The key here is making sure Electro stays on, and that tends to mean while both Physical and Electro builds are great with this choice, it leans more towards a sustained playstyle over a quick-swap option.
If you do want to run a quick-swap comp, consider instead 4-piece Thundering Fury for an aspiring ElectroQueen. Amped Electro DMG coupled with +40% DMG bonus to Electro-based Elemental Reactions make this a truly nasty build - as long as you’re set up for Keqing to trigger reactions reliably!
On the other side of the coin, 4-piece Bloodstained Chivalry turns a Physical-focused Keqing into a weapon of mob destruction. If you have lots of enemies you can kill quickly, the additional 50% charged attack damage on enemy kill will allow Keqing to make short work of most enemy groups. Just don’t run it into bosses - you’ll never use the 4-piece effect.
Largely, you’ll want to keep the same general stat profile across a Physical or Electro build; the big difference is in the Goblet:
- Crit Rate (~85% if possible: it guarantees a Crit on Burst)
- Crit DMG
- Physical DMG Goblet (AutoKeq) or
- Electro DMG Goblet (ElectroQueen)
- ATK (Hourglass)
- Elemental Mastery
- Elemental Recharge
As an aside, some people do advocate for an ATK% Circlet over a Crit Rate Circlet, largely due to an ongoing debate between Black Sword versus Aquila Favonia. If you do get an Aquila, you can consider an ATK% Circlet as a short answer.
The embodiment of “Nothing personal, Kid.” (Picture: miHoYo)
With two major playstyles, we’ll split this section into two accordingly:
ElectroQueen (Electro DMG Priority)
First on the docket, is the ElectroQueen style.
The core of this style revolves around how you use Keqing’s Elemental Skill “Stellar Restoration”. Having cast the skill once, you can reactivate it to teleport the Lightning Stiletto you threw previously to blink to its location (including mid-air!), slashing with Electro DMG, and most importantly converting all her auto-attacks to Electro DMG for 5s thanks to Thundering Penance.
Between this and her Elemental Burst, “Starward Sword,” it’s possible to keep up nearly permanent Electro DMG.
Use this playstyle if you want to blink around like a madman, taking risky gambits and going for the big Elemental Reactions. You can absolutely make this work as a sustained playstyle, but it is the primary way to use her in a quick-swap comp that often wants to proc as many reactions as possible. It also synergises very well with her Constellations, especially at Levels 1 and 6.
Hydro, Pyro and Cryo are great element synergies, as is Anemo to get enemies nicely grouped up for your Elemental Burst.
AutoKeq (Physical DMG Priority)
Now for the Physical DMG build.
AutoKeq works on prioritising the other use of Stellar Restoration. Instead of reactivating the skill, you use a charged attack on the placed stiletto instead which activates Thunderclap Slashes, removing the mark but not converting her following auto-attacks into Electro DMG and allowing Keqing to profit off her Physical DMG bonuses.
After that, you want to be cycling normal auto → charged auto to spam as much Physical DMG as you can. Her autos are some of the fastest in the game making this very viable.
Her damage is also buffed every time you use Starward Sword, which increases your Crit Rate by 15% for 8s after using it thanks to Aristocratic Dignity (hence the desire to hit 85% Crit Rate from Artifacts).
This playstyle shines versus immobile enemies, where your reduced mobility is less problematic and you can spam auto-attacks with abandon. It’s also significantly better versus opponents who are immune to Electro DMG for obvious reasons.
To get the most out of this build, a Cryo teammate is a must for Superconduct. This reaction reduces Physical RES by 40% for 8-9s which is massive for this Physical DMG build. Apply Cryo, switch in Keqing, use her Elemental Skill, hit the Stiletto with a charged attack to proc superconduct, begin wailing on said opponent with amped Physical DMG.
If you’re still with us, we’ve reached the end of this guide. Keqing may be complex, but if you can set her up right nothing will stand in your path - good luck, Traveller.