There are a lot of combat elements to keep track of in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, but one of the most important is mastering the Chain Attacks that the player gains access to partway through the game’s second chapter. The attacks cause the players to work together and deal massive damage which comes especially in handy when taking on the game’s various bosses and Unique monsters.
While the in-game tutorial does a good job at teaching the player how to pull off Chain Attacks, it helps to hear everything again in a new way to fully understand how exactly they work and what types of moves you’re able to pull off with them. Take a look at the guide below to see everything you need to know about Xenoblade Chronicles 3‘s Chain Attacks.
More Xenoblade Chronicles 3 guides:
The Chain Attack Gauge
In order to perform a Chain Attack, you’ll need to fill up the Chain Attack gauge that sits on the right side of the screen appearing midway through chapter two. There are many ways to fill the gauge up including performing combos, using fusion arts, performing attack cancels, performing role actions, and equipping items that increase the charge speed. Once the gauge is completely full, you’ll be able to perform a Chain Attack whenever you see fit by hitting the Plus button.
The first thing that happens when you start a Chain Attack (other than the cool animation) is you’ll be asked to select a Chain Order. Chain Orders are bonus attacks that are carried out at the end of every successful round of the attack. The selected character will perform the attack using the weapons assigned to their current class and the Completion Bonus listed for them will be applied to it.
Once a Completion Bonus is applied by finishing a round of attack, it will be applied to all other rounds of attack. This means that if a Bonus says that the attacks can never miss or deal additional damage, every subsequent attack will have those bonuses applied. It’s for this reason that you want to take your Chain Attacks as far as they can go because the damage modifiers will stack and you’ll begin doing exponential damage.
When executing a Chain Order, take notice of the Chain Attack gauge that’s now been moved to the bottom right corner of the screen. Each completed order depletes the gauge by one-third meaning that you can attack three times regularly before the attack is over. While that’s the general rule of thumb, there are two exceptions that you’ll be able to find in the sections below named “Using Heroes in Chain Attacks” and “Ouroboros Chain Attacks.”:
Choose an order and you’ll be moved into the next part of the attack.
After picking a Chain Order, the attack will start. You’ll be able to switch through your entire roster of characters (special heroes included) to deal damage. Their pictures will be displayed at the bottom of the screen with numbers above them. The numbers showcase the base number of Tactical Points each of their attacks will do. In order to move on to the next round of the Chain Attack, you’ll need to fill the Tactical Point gauge in the top right corner of the screen to 100%.
Tactical Points stay consistent with every character through the entire game meaning as you do more and more Chain Attacks and begin experimenting with new combinations, you’ll start to see exactly how each character should be used to best aid your attacks. It’s also worth pointing out that characters often get bonus Tactical Points for their attacks depending on which Art is selected. For example, an attack that hits multiple times, does additional position damage (all positional attacks deal the max damage as if they’re being done to whatever area they’re meant to attack,) and is a Fusion Art will net more Tactical Points than one that simply fires off regularly. It’s hard to gauge exactly which attacks will be getting bonus Tactical Points, so always rely on the base number associated with the character.
While knowing exactly what bonus Tactical Points any given move will get is tough, there are a few things that are guaranteed when performing Chain Attacks based on the class of the selected character.
- When using an attacking character (signified with a red sword) for your very first attack of each round, their Tactical Points will be multiplied by 125%.
- When using a support character (signified with a green symbol,) the Tactical Point gauge will not go over 99%. While the goal of chain attacks is to reach 100%, if you’re able to increase the gauge to 150%, you’ll be given a “bravo” rating and then be given two characters back at the end of the round through reactivation (covered below.) If you can break 200%, you’ll be given an “amazing” rating and three characters back.
- When using a tank character (signified with the blue shield) to finish the round of the attack by going over 100%, you’ll be guaranteed to get back the character with the highest Tactical Point rating during reactivation at the end of the round. This is helpful to deal the most amount of damage possible in the next round.
- When using a character of the same class as the character associated with the Chain Order you chose, you’ll get a bonus number of Tactical Points.
Once a character does an attack, they will no longer be able to attack again during the Chain Attack (unless they get reactivated which is covered below.)
At the end of each round of a Chain Attack, you’ll automatically be given one character back that’s already attacked. There are a few ways to manipulate this in your favor. When finishing a round with an attack character, you’ll be given a random character to be reactivated, however, as mentioned above, finishing the round with a tank will give you back the character with the highest Tactical Point rating.
It’s possible to reactivate more than one character as mentioned above by greatly exceeding the 100% points of the Tactical Point gauge. If you exceed 150% you’ll reactivate two characters and if you exceed 200% you’ll get three back. This is tricky to do and is much easier when you have an additional hero character on your team.
The damage multiplier is located in the bottom right corner of the screen. It starts at 150% and increases by 50% with each successful round of a Chain Attack. It’s simple to understand, it multiplies the damage output of each attack so that you’re dealing much more damage than usual. You can increase it even further by overfilling the Tactical Points gauge.
Using Heroes in Chain Attacks
When you eventually get access to Heroes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the one in your party will join in for all Chain Attacks. They essentially work the exact same as the rest of the characters in your party in terms of their TP and activation, however, they also have unique benefits. One of the most important things is that selecting them for a Chain Order doesn’t reduce the Chain Attack gauge in the bottom right corner at all. This means that if you select a Hero for a Chain Order, you’ll be able to get a fourth attack in before the order ends.
In addition to having unique Chain Order Completion Bonuses for each Hero, Heros will also have unique battle effects that activate upon their use in the Chain Attack. Their benefits all vary but can be extremely useful for dealing massive damage and supporting the rest of the party for the entirety of the attack.
The last thing to know about using Heroes in Chain Attacks is that they don’t get any of the bonuses associated with their assigned class. For example, healer Heroes like Valdi won’t cap the TP gauge out at 99 percent and attackers like Gray won’t get the attack bonus for going first.
When performing a Chain Attack, make sure that all of your party members are alive because if someone is down, they won’t be able to participate in the move, severely limiting the number of attacks you can perform and greatly reducing your damage output. Additionally, if you can start a Chain Attack when your enemy is under a status effect like Daze or Launch, you’ll be able to increase your damage output drastically as it will see the same damage bonuses that you’d see on regular attacks.
Ouroboros Chain Orders
To learn how to deal massive damage using Ouroboros Chain Orders, check out our guide right here.