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Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Tips and tricks for beginners

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 characters Mio and Noah
(Image credit: Monolith Soft)

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one of the most ambitious JRPGs to come to Nintendo Switch. It offers a vast world, a complex combat system, and plenty of ways to make your characters stronger. If you play it smart, you'll be able to take down more enemies and level up your characters more efficiently. Whether you're new to Xenoblade Chronicles games or it's been a while, here are the most crucial things you should know. 

Strategic battling with classes and Combat Roles

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes menu

(Image credit: Monolith Soft)

When in battle, your teammates can have one of three different Combat Roles. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses is important so you can use them effectively. Remember, if everyone in your team falls in battle, you'll get a game over.

Combat Roles
RoleDescription
AttackerInflicts more damage than the other two roles, especially if the character is placed at the front or back side of the enemy. However, enemies are likely to target them, so you'll want to protect them with your other teammates.
DefenderSkilled in guarding and evading. They target enemy Aggro to attract enemy focus and help protect their teammates.
HealerCan heal or revive allies. Their skills also allow them to provide offensive and defensive support.

How to fight effectively with the Aggro System

Aggro is basically a measurement for how angry you make an enemy. The Aggro system also allows you to see who an enemy is targeting. You want to get an enemy to focus on your toughest Defender characters who can take several hits while your Healers focus on healing or raising the stats of your teammates and your Attacker focuses on hitting the enemy hard.  

This way, your team can work together to defeat strong enemies. But you'll need to use the proper attacks to fight effectively.

Automatic combat and how to use Arts

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 combat

(Image credit: Monolith Soft)

One of the more unique elements of Xenoblade Chronicles games is that the playable characters attack automatically when in range of an enemy. That way, you don't have to mash any buttons when in combat. However, you can get characters to do special high-powered attacks called Arts by pressing specific buttons when an Arts gauge is full. 

Figure out what the best placement for your characters is and then let them attack on their own. When you have enough energy in an Art gauge, unleash the Art that will strategically make the most sense. There are four types of Arts:

Combat Arts: Attacks and skills that focus on offensive moves. They might increase your stats or might even let you push enemies over. 

Talent Arts: After filling the charge gauge by performing specific moves like dodging or landing specific attacks, you can unleash these powerful moves. 

Master Arts: These extra-powerful moves can only be unlocked when a character maxes out a class. 

Fusion Arts: Mixing two Arts together, allowing the effects to stack on top of each other. For instance, combining a stat-raising Art with a Combat Art. 

Ouroboros Arts: New to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the ability for characters to merge together to create a powerful creature called an Ouroboros. Ouroboros Arts deal a lot more damage than normal to several enemies but must be charged up first like Talent Arts.

How to use Nopon Coins vs. money

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 crafting menu

(Image credit: Monolith Soft)

Money is the main currency in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and you use it to purchase items from shops. However, there's another important currency in the game called Nopon Coins. 

You're going to want to start earning Nopon Coins quickly as these are needed to unlock classes, cook food, and craft gems. Basically, Nopon Coins allow you to upgrade and level up your teammates to make them stronger. 

Earn money and Nopon Coins by taking on quests and exploring the world around you. Talk to every NPC you see and explore every nook and cranny of any given area for hidden monetary rewards. 

Work on your Affinity to unlock new opportunities

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Party June

(Image credit: Monolith Soft)

As you travel around the massive world in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, your party will make a reputation for itself with the NPCs you meet. This is known as your team's Affinity. The higher your Affinity, the better deals you'll get at shops and the more quests you'll receive. Here are two tips for boosting your team's Affinity:

1. Get friendly: Talk to every NPC you meet in order to make more relationships. This will open you up to more quest opportunities. 

2. Complete quests: Your Affinity will usually grow each time you complete a quest in an area. However, you should be aware that some quests can also negatively impact your Affinity. Be careful when undertaking quests and do your best to complete them properly. Additionally, some quests require you to start them at a specific time of day, so just manually change the time in-game to start a quest. 

3. Send off husks with your flute: Whenever you come across a fallen soldier, play your flute to send them off. This will raise your Affinity with the colonies the soldiers come from. 

As you can imagine from the game's massive world, this is one of the larger Switch games with a file size of 15 GB. That being the case, you'll want to make sure you have enough room on your best microSD card to hold it. 

Take advantage of Rest Spots

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 rest spot characters sitting around a fire.

(Image credit: Monolith Soft)

There are places in the game known as Rest Spots where your team can prepare themselves before continuing on your journey. Here's what you can do at these locations:

Cooking: If you provide specific ingredients and Nopon Coins to your Nopon friends, they will cook meals for you that boost your team member's stats temporarily. Choose the right meals to help you complete hard quests or defeat difficult bosses.

Craft Gems: Increase the power of your characters' abilities by providing the materials and Nopon Coins needed to craft Gems. 

Discuss info for quests: Sometimes your team will uncover information while wandering around colonies and the larger world. However, some quests are only unlocked if you take the time to discuss them around the campfire. 

Make sure to take advantage of Rest Spots frequently to keep your team as strong and on top of things as possible.

Get cool stuff with amiibo

Shulk amiibo from Super Smash Bros. Series

(Image credit: iMore)

A fun part of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is that players can scan any amiibo in order to gain helpful items while on their adventure. However, the Shulk Super Smash Bros. Series amiibo gives off the coolest cosmetic reward of them all. It makes Noah's sword look like the Monado from the first Xenoblade Chronicles game as long as Noah is in the Swordfigher class. 

Get on out there and fight!

With these tips and tricks, you won't just be making your way through the main story, you'll be doing it more effectively. Remember that every character has a part to play. Be aware of each class or character's weaknesses and strengths so you can employ them in combat to their best advantage. 

Additionally, make sure you take time to earn plenty of Nopon Coins, craft helpful items, and level up your characters to make your team stronger. There are plenty of leveling-up menus including one specific to Ouroboros, so make sure to check them regularly and make your characters more powerful whenever you can. 

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An emotional tale in a vast world

People from two opposing nations come together when they realize something isn't quite right with their war-torn world. Wander through a huge adventure filled with new characters and secrets to uncover.

Buy from: Amazon (opens in new tab) | Best Buy (opens in new tab) | Walmart (opens in new tab)

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Get Shulk's Monado

Shulk was the protagonist from the first Xenoblade Chronicles game. Scanning this amiibo turns Noah's sword into Shulks sword, the Monado.  He's been out of print for a while, so he will be expensive at some retailers.

Buy from: Amazon (opens in new tab) | Walmart (opens in new tab)

Rebecca Spear
Rebecca Spear

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.