Characters in Genesys are pretty straight forward. Characters seem to have enough depth mechanically without being overloaded with complexity. While the story elements the system tries to add with motivations feels really flimsy. But I would imagine it'll make more sense in the setting books. A setting specific motivation will make more sense than a generic one.
Characters have Six characteristics and four derived or secondary characteristics. The characteristics are your pool of dice that are rolled to attempt actions, while the secondary characteristics are mostly combat based akin to hit points, endurance, armor, and defense. Nothing really special here or customizable here. Abilities are mostly set based on a few choices.
Next is a list of skills separated into 6 catagories, with room to add more. Skills are where Genesys is different from most dice pool systems. Skills don't always add to the number of dice rolled but instead upgrade the dice rolled where they overlap with characteristics. Each upgrades one die per rank. So two in a Characteristic and three skill is rolling 3 die with two of them upgraded. Same the other way, two in a skill with a Characteristic of three is also rolling 3 dice with two upgraded. This to me is the biggest departure from most dice pool systems. This an aspect I have mixed feelings about. I think it's great that it keeps dice pools down. But really seems to throw things in the players favor making challenging them harder. As rolling many proficiency dice is pretty common, but they are most commonly opposed by difficulty dice alone. While the proficiency dices counter part, the challenge die is only situational. Meaning at least for my reading rolling a triumph should be way easier than despair. Not to mention more advantage and success rolls per player roll.
Another level of character customization is talents. Talents are tiered from one through 5. Starting talents are assigned by those few choices at start, additional talents are purchased with experience, cost ascending with each Tier. To purchase each higher tier you must have more of the lower tier. So for example you can't but a tier 2 talent until you have at least 2 tier 1 talents. Some talents can be ranked by paying experience, so they expand taking up the next tier as well for more effect.
Talents seem pretty well balanced, but as with any game with edges/feats some will seem more useful than others. More than anything other aspect of Genesys characters I like talents. It's one of the few really customizable parts of Genesys. Many aspects of characters like Characteristics can only be raised with talents.
The next two aspects of Genesys characters is gear and magic. I plan to make separate post for those.