Kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) thin-film solar cells have drawn worldwide attention because of outstanding performance and earth-abundant constituents. However, problems such as coexistence of complex secondary phases, the band tailing issue, short minority lifetime, bulk defects, and undesirable band alignment at p–n interfaces need to be addressed for further efficiency improvement. In this regard, Cd alloying shows promise for dealing with some of these problems. In this work, a beyond 11% efficient Cd-alloyed CZTS solar cell is achieved, and the effects of Cd-alloying and mechanism underpinning the performance improvement have been investigated. The introduction of Cd can significantly reduce the band tailing issue, which is confirmed by the reduction in the difference between the photoluminescence peak and optical band gap (Eg) as well as decreased Urbach energy. The microstructure, minority lifetime, and electrical properties of CZTS absorber are greatly improved by Cd alloying. Further XPS analyses show that the partial Cd alloying slightly reduces the band gap of CZTS via elevating the valence band maximum of CZTS. This suggests that there are opportunities for further efficiency improvement by engineering the absorber and the associated interface with the buffer.