The combat featured in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is extremely complex. While the game does do a good job at easing the player into the many systems that make up the game’s combat mechanics, it’s hard to remember everything all at once. Additionally, since there are so many things thrown at you in the opening hours, it’s tough to know which mechanics are crucial to succeeding at the game’s combat and which are systems that are reserved for deeper levels of play.
The group Tactics menu that’s introduced early on is one such mechanic that has a somewhat confusing place in the game. Many players might not engage with it at all and still find success while others may find managing their teammates crucial to winning fights. If you’re struggling during the tougher sections of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, it might be a good idea to take a look at the guide below to refresh yourself on how to use the Tactics menu.
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How to Use Xenoblade Chronicles 3‘s Tactics Menu
Despite how complicated the rest of Xenoblade Chronicles 3‘s combat can be, the Tactics menu is relatively straightforward as long as you know what each option does. Take a look below for a breakdown of each option available to the player:
Focusing attacks instructs your entire party to target a single enemy when in combat. This is done by selecting the desired enemy by cycling through those engaged in combat using the R or L button and then holding down ZL and hitting up on the D-pad. This will place your entire party’s focus on one enemy instead of taking care of the others scattered across the field. This is a great tactic to use when fighting tougher enemies that have other, smaller enemies joining the fray. That way you can focus everyone’s attention on the smaller enemies, taking them out instantly, so that you can refocus on the boss at hand.
This command has the party instantly run to wherever your current controlled character is, dropping whatever they’re doing in favor of rushing to your position. It can be extremely helpful if you need to heal a handful of party members scattered across the battlefield. Because so much of the game’s healing is done through area of effect, having everyone rush together makes things much easier. The command can also be used to get everyone out of range of an enemy’s AoE attack as well so if you can see one coming, group everyone together and bolt. It’s important to make sure to turn the effect off, however, as characters tend to be a little more passive when it’s enacted meaning that you may be on your own to fight if it’s left on without you knowing.
Fusion Arts combine Master Arts and Combat Arts to deal devastating attacks. Unfortunately, they take a while to charge up and can be interrupted if you’re using the Combat Art needed to fuse. If you select “Fusion First” in the Tactics menu, your party will prioritize charging up their Fusion Arts attacks. This means that they might be a little less aggressive as they don’t have as many Combat Arts available to them as they charge, so only use this Tactic if you know that you’ll have some downtime.
The player has three choices when it comes to giving Combo instructions: Any Combo, Smash Combo, or Burst Combo. Smash Combos prioritize using smash moves at the end of a combo meaning that the chain of intended attacks will go Break-Topple-Launch-Smash while Burst Combos will go Break-Topple-Daze-Burst. These do massive damage and immobilize the enemy making them vulnerable to more attacks. When Any Combo is selected, your party will simply do whichever combos they want until otherwise instructed.