Xenoblade Chronicles – Expert Mode Explained

Cap your party's level for an extra challenge.

by Diego Perez
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition Expert Mode

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition adds a new difficulty level called Expert Mode, but it’s not a traditional hard mode like you’d see in any other game. Xenoblade’s Expert Mode raises the difficulty in a unique way, allowing you to grind as much as you want and complete every available side quest without making yourself overleveled for story encounters. It’s a mode designed for players who are already familiar with Xenoblade Chronicles, and as such, new players who are going in blind should not enable Expert Mode unless they really want a challenge. This is an overview of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition’s Expert Mode.

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What is Expert Mode in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition?

Expert Mode limits your party’s experience and level to make the game much more challenging. A common complaint with the original game was that it became way too easy if you spent time completing side quests, discovering locations and landmarks, or taking on unique monsters because your party would become drastically overleveled as a result. Expert Mode is available from the start of the game, and it allows you to have complete control over every character’s level in order to fine-tune your difficulty level.

When you enable expert mode, you can reduce a character’s level as much as you want, even bringing them down to level 1 if you wish. This will scale back that character’s stats, including their HP and attack strength, making high-level enemies more difficult to defeat. When you lower a character’s level, any extra experience becomes reserve experience, and you can reapply it to the character whenever you want. There’s no penalty to reducing a character’s level, and you can bring them back up to their actual level whenever you like.

Why Should I Use Expert Mode?

Alongside an added challenge, Expert Mode has a few uses that can make your Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition playthrough much easier. Contrary to what you might expect, Expert Mode actually makes grinding easier and allows you to earn much more experience out of basic encounters. Experience awarded from battles is based on your characters’ levels in relation to the enemies’ levels, so if you reduce your party’s level through Expert Mode, they’ll get more experience from fighting high-level enemies. For example, your party will get much more experience defeating a level 20 enemy if they’re capped at level 18 with Expert Mode instead of being at their natural level of 25. It’s a great way to grind experience without working on sidequests.

For more on Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, check out our Heart-to-Heart guide, which contains every location and answer, or our weather guide, which details how to manually adjust the weather in order to get unique monsters to spawn.

- This article was updated on June 3rd, 2020

About The Author

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Currently serving as an Associate Editor at Attack of the Fanboy, Diego Perez has been writing about video games since 2018, specializing in live service games like Destiny and Final Fantasy XIV. His work is featured at publications like Game Rant and The Outerhaven, but Attack of the Fanboy is home to his best work. When he's not editing or writing guides, he's yelling about Ape Escape or grinding Lost Sectors in Destiny. Plus, he has a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Media Studies for Texas A&M University.