Zenless Zone Zero tier list: The best agents for each speciality and attribute

Putting together a Zenless Zone Zero tier list is more challenging than with any game miHoYo has previously made, and that’s because all of the characters are pretty strong. It’s always good advice to find someone that you like in these games, because honestly, most characters are viable in 90% of content provided you build them.

If you want to get the most out of your ZZZ characters, however, you’ll want to specialise in either a faction or a specific attribute—such as fire, ice, or electric—as this will unlock your agents’ additional ability. Enemy factions are also weak to specific attributes, which encourages you to create teams focused on fighting each of them in the endgame.

The starting roster of agents is a little unbalanced in terms of specialities and attributes. For example, there’s only one attack character for fire, ether, and electric, and the electric one is A-tier—what ZZZ calls a four-star. Ben is also the only defense character, and the ether attribute only has two agents available right now. Moreso than any other miHoYo game, though, all characters are viable, hence why my list doesn’t include a C tier. 

miHoYo will definitely flesh out the roster, but it’s worth considering what’s up for grabs if you’re specialising a team towards an attribute. If you’re confused about what attributes or specialities are, check the section lower down the page explaining them. Otherwise, here’s my tier list of the best ZZZ characters with info about their roles and playstyles.

Zenless Zone Zero tier list

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Tier Characters
S Ellen, Nekomata, Koleda/Ben, Nicole, Zhu Yuan
A Soldier 11, Lycaon, Grace, Piper, Koleda, Lucy, Rina, Corin, Soukaku
B Billy, Anton, Anby


(Image credit: miHoYo)


(Image credit: miHoYo)


(Image credit: miHoYo)

How to get new characters in ZZZ

Since Zenless Zone Zero is a gacha game, you’ll acquire most characters by pulling on banners. Here it’s called Signal Search and the currency used to pull is called Master Tapes. You can acquire these whole, but you’ll generally earn Polychrome via playing the game, which you can then spend to purchase them. 

Besides the three free characters you get at the start of the game—Billy, Anby, and Nicole—plus Corin if you pre-registered, it’s likely that you’ll be able to get more free characters via in-game events. If ZZZ is anything like Genshin Impact or Honkai: Star Rail, there’ll be at least one free character available for reaching a certain stage in its endgame, most likely the Hollow Zero activity in this case.

ZZZ also has an S-tier agent selector—what the game calls five-star characters—which lets you recruit an S-tier character from the starting roster once you’ve used 300 Master Tapes, similar to what they did in Honkai: Star Rail early on. 

What are specialities and attributes?

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Your team composition in Zenless Zone Zero is mostly determined by both agent specialities and attributes. Specialities are the roles that each character takes in a team, and like Honkai: Star Rail, it also changes the selection of W-Engines—essentially weapons—that they can use. The specialities are:

  • Attack characters function as your damage-dealers
  • Stun characters focus on building daze on opponents to stun them, allowing your team to deal extra damage. Most effective against bosses and tough single targets.
  • Support characters buff the effectiveness of the whole squad and often provide attribute-specific buffs, like how Nicole boosts ether damage
  • Anomaly characters centre around building attribute anomalies such as Assault and Shock. There are only two of these in the game at launch in Grace and Piper.
  • Defense characters are tanky and have shielding abilities that let them counterattack. Ben is the only defense character at launch.

Agents also have an attribute; either fire, electric, ice, physical, or ether. Having a balanced team in terms of specialities is important—usually an attack, a stun, and a support—but the reason attributes are so vital is because enemies in ZZZ have specific attribute weaknesses and bringing specialised teams provides a big advantage.

Characters that share attributes—or are from the same faction—also unlock passive additional abilities in combat and these are pretty powerful. If you run Soukaku with another ice attribute character for instance, she can provide a 20% ice damage buff to the whole squad. 

Playing into attributes won’t feel as necessary early on, but if you want to bring the strongest team to an activity, you should definitely specialise your attribute and focus on building teams that provide each for the endgame.

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