It’s something of an understatement to say that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a big game. In reality, it’s a massive game packed full of content and systems that can be a little overwhelming if not properly prepared. Because there’s so much to keep straight, some players might miss a thing or two, making the game much harder.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3‘s combat is one of its central mechanics so if you happened to miss some of the smaller details of combat, you may be in for a rough time. Luckily, you can take a look at the guide below to find some tips that could make combat a little bit easier and more fun. A lot of this information can be found in the “Tips” menu under “System” by hitting the X button while in regular gameplay, but because every system in the entire game can be found there, it’s a little tricky to weed out the tips that will be helpful.
Targeting lines appear in every fight you’ll get in throughout the entire duration of the game. Their purpose is to give the player specific information about which characters are being targeted by which enemy. When combat starts, each enemy will have a line connecting them to a character in the player’s party. Not only does the line tell the player who’s being targeted, but it also gives some information on if it’s a good idea for that specific character to be taking the heat from an enemy.
The lines can either be blue or red. Blue lines indicate that the character being targeted is a tank while red lines indicate that the target is a class other than a tank. Tank classes are specifically designed to draw enemy attacks and take the damage dealt to them with their massive health pools. When the targeting line is red, it means that more vulnerable characters are at risk of taking bigger hits from the enemy.
If you see that an enemy has begun targeting a non-tank character, switch to a tank using ZL and the L or R bumper. From there, use an Art that draws enemy aggro to yourself to take the pressure off characters not built to take massive damage.
There are enemies all over the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 that you’ll be engaging with when exploring the open areas. Because they’re so packed together, sometimes it’s hard to tell how many enemies you’re fighting and if you should engage or book it in the other direction from a fight you may not be able to win. Luckily, the game places a convenient number in the top right corner of the screen to tell you just how many enemies are engaging in battle with you.
Keep an eye on it as the fight progresses as sometimes new enemies will join the fray. Usually, when this happens, a character will have a quick voice line noting that new enemies have appeared, so that’s a good reminder to check the number.
If it looks like there are too many enemies in a single area, but you still want to take care of them, you’re able to aggro a single enemy by getting close enough to start engaging in combat, but instead of immediately hitting the A button to draw your weapons, hit up on the D-pad and you’ll lure a single enemy over to you to fight. This way, you can thin out the numbers a little bit before engaging in an all-out attack.
The player is given access to Master Arts part of the way into Xenoblade Chronicle 3‘s second chapter after a cutscene where the characters learn that they can swap classes. Master Arts are another ability slot that each character can equip that stays consistent regardless of class. The player starts off with just one slot but is able to unlock two more through leveling up.
While there’s a lot to keep track of in the game’s combat system, these Arts shouldn’t go unused and fill up in the same way as other Arts in the game. When both a Master Art and a regular Art are ready to be used, the player is able to use a Fusion Art by holding down ZR to deal devastating damage.
Positioning in Battle
Your position in battle can have a major impact on how much damage you’re able to deal. While many combat Arts don’t have positioning requirements that allow you to deal additional damage, some do that should be taken advantage of as frequently as possible.
The game shows which direction the enemy is facing relative to the controlled character using an arrow above the combat Arts UI in the bottom right corner of the screen. You can either be in front of, behind, to the left of, or to the right of any targeted enemy. If you need to be to the side of an enemy for an Art to be used to its fullest, the game will let you know in a small bit of text underneath the name of the Art on the UI. Position your character where they need to be in order to be most effective and you’ll be able to greatly improve your damage output.
Buffing Your Allies
Although it might seem like an obvious move, taking an active role in buffing your allies is extremely important to ensuring victory against tougher enemies. At the start of a battle, it’s not a bad idea to switch over to a support character that can raise crucial stats like Attack of Evasion. Both Attack and Evasion buffs are available as soon as you get full control over the entire party, so they’re always good to buff whenever you get the chance.
Make sure to use buffs when close to as many characters as possible so that they can all reap the benefits of whatever stat increase you’re looking to dish out. Similarly, most healing-based support moves are proximity-driven, so if you’re looking to heal, make sure to do it when surrounded by as many allies as possible.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3‘s combat is a cool-down-based system. Many of the attacks being dealt by the player are done automatically using the game’s auto-attack feature that does basic damaging moves while the player is managing the different cool-down rates of the different equipped combat Arts. If you’re looking to think less about the easier encounters in the game and give it total control to deal with trash mobs, you can turn on Auto-Battle.
Auto-Battle essentially takes the reigns of combat entirely, allowing it to not only auto-attack but also automatically use any and all combat Arts. It can be turned on by hitting the Minus button on your controller and turned off the same way. Auto-Battle doesn’t play the entire game for you so as soon as the fight ends, control is given right back to you. Additionally, Auto-Battle isn’t good for more challenging fights and bosses but is instead meant to give the player a break when they have to fight another small group of low-level enemies.