Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition brings the fan-favorite RPG to the Nintendo Switch, and a lot of people are going to be experiencing Shulk’s journey across the Bionis for the very first time. Xenoblade Chronicles has a lot of complex systems and mechanics to learn, and they can be a little overwhelming to newcomers. Still, it’s a fantastic game that any RPG fan should play (check out our glowing review of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition if you have any doubts), so we’ve prepared a list of helpful tips and tricks that will make the game much easier to get into. These tips and tricks range from basic fundamentals that will help you get started in Xenoblade Chronicles to advanced strategies to aid you in battle.
Farm Side Quests For Easy Experience
If there’s one flaw with Xenoblade Chronicles, it’s the many lackluster side quests that the game sends you on. That’s not to say every side quest in Xenoblade Chronicles is a drag, but most of them task you with typical RPG errands like collecting trinkets or slaying monsters. Still, these missions reward a fair amount of experience, and if you pick them up in bulk before heading out to explore, you’ll likely complete a handful of them without even trying. Always pick up as many side quests as you can and go out of your way to defeat monsters or pick up items that are marked on the map with a “!” symbol.
Also, use the new quest tracker to make your side questing experience much more bearable. In the original release of the game, there was no way to track monsters or quest items, leaving you to your own devices to find the required items or foes. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition now lets you set an active side quest which will then have its location marked on the map with a helpful waypoint. Simply press ZR while exploring to bring up the quest menu, swap to the blue quest menu, and press down to open the quest log. Then, you can mark any side quests in your quest log as active by pressing R, marking the location on your map and giving you a dotted line to follow.
Master Status Effects to Dominate the Battlefield
Many Arts in Xenoblade Chronicles do more than just deal damage. Status Effects are a crucial part of Xenoblade’s combat system, and you need to learn how to effectively use them to get very far in battles. There are a few that you might recognize from other RPGs such as Haste, Paralysis, or Poison, but there are a handful of Status Effects that are much more important than the rest. Break, Topple, and Daze are going to be your bread and butter for boss fights and other tough encounters, so you need to learn how to use them.
Break is inflicted by pink Arts, and it sets up an enemy for Topple. Once an enemy is inflicted with Break, you can hit them with a green Art to Topple them. Finally, you can use a yellow Art to inflict Daze on a toppled enemy. Break doesn’t do anything besides opening up an enemy to Topple, but Topple and Daze can render an enemy unable to fight back for a short period of time. Some bosses and large enemies are resistant to Break from normal pink Arts, but Break can almost always be inflicted via a Chain Attack (with a few exceptions such as flying monsters). Make smart use of these Status Effects and make sure you always have at least one party member with Break, Topple, and Daze active at any given time.
Learn to Craft Gems
Gem Crafting allows you to fine-tune your builds, giving you an extra layer of freedom and customizability for your party. Gems can be obtained as quest rewards or through trading with some NPCs, but the primary method of getting new gems is through Gem Crafting. Head to the Gem Man’s Stall in Colony 9 to get started. Later in the game, you’ll unlock the ability to craft gems in more places, but for now, this is your Gem Crafting headquarters. Thankfully, you can fast travel back here at any time.
Gem Crafting requires two people, a Shooter and an Engineer, and certain party members are better suited to certain roles. The Affinity between two characters also affects the outcome of Gem Crafting, so make sure you select a Shooter and Engineer that have a high Affinity level. The gems you craft can be slotted into armor pieces and will improve your characters’ stats. Keep an eye out for ether deposits as you’re exploring new areas, as these will allow you to harvest ether crystals that can be used in gem crafting.
Don’t Neglect the Collectopaedia
Blue orbs are scattered all around the world of Xenoblade Chronicles, and running into them will give you various items. Some of these are required for side quests, but you can also hang onto those that aren’t quest related and trade them with NPCs or register them in the Collectopaedia. In the Collectibles menu, there’s a section titled the Collectopaedia that allows you to record the items found in various areas of the game. Completely filling out a category of items in an area or even an entire page can reward you with gear like gems or armor. If you’re not doing anything with the items you pick up, at least register them in the Collectopaedia. That way you can earn helpful rewards without doing too much work.
Raise Affinity and Set Skill Links
Every character in Xenoblade Chronicles can learn skills from various skill trees as they earn experience, but these skills can actually be shared with other party members through Skill Links. As long as two characters have a high enough Affinity with one another, they can share skills between the two of them. Each skill comes in a certain shape, such as a square or a circle, and skills shared through Skill Links can only be placed into slots with matching shapes. To set Skill Links, go to the Skill Trees menu and press ZR to swap from Skill Branches to Skill Links.
You’ll also need Affinity Coins to link skills. These coins don’t go away when you use them, however, and unlinking a skill will return them right back to your inventory. Affinity Coins can be acquired by leveling up or by defeating unique monsters, and you’ll likely earn a bunch just by playing the game naturally. Feel free to experiment with Skill Links and adjust them to best fit your playstyle and party composition.
- This article was updated on June 10th, 2020