Do I Need To Play Xenoblade 2 Before 3? [Answered]

The new Xenoblade 3 has been released. New players have 1 question on mind, "Do I need to play Xenoblade 2 before 3?" and we're here to help.

Xenoblade 3 is the all-new entry in the Xenoblade series. Xenoblade series is a Nintendo exclusive that has been around since the Wii. It is a fan-favorite game, and everyone loves it for what it is. Xenoblade fans have been eagerly waiting for the latest, 3rd entry in the series, and almost everyone loves the trailers.

One thing that the trailers did do was impress others as well. People who have not even touched any of the Xenoblade games are now genuinely interested. They all want to play the game. So, everyone is asking, “Do I need to play Xenoblade 2 before 3?” and this guide explains exactly that. 

Key Highlights
  • Xenoblade is a Lore-heavy series, with connections between the worlds and lore in all entries.
  • The covers of Xenoblade 2 and 3 show the same titan, with a subtle detail of a sword on its back in 3.
  • Monado III is a reference to the original Xenoblade 1 and has a connection to the lore and story in Xenoblade 3.
  • Rex from Xenoblade 2 is mentioned in the game and has a part in the ending, with other references to the cast of Xenoblade 2.
  • While the main story in each Xenoblade game is unique and different, playing the prior entries allows for full understanding of references and lore.
  • Developers Monolith Soft have stated that it is not necessary to play the prior entries, but recommended for full enjoyment.

Why You Should Play Xenoblade 2 Before 3

On to the question, Should you play Xenoblade 2 before 3? Well, if you ask us, then yes. You should play not only Xenoblade 2 but also Xenoblade 1, including all the DLCs of the previous 2 entries of the game. There are quite a few reasons you should, but the following are the main reasons.

The Lore and World Building

Xenoblade is a very Lore-heavy series. Even though the main story is not connected to the previous entries, the lore of the series is connected. The world building is also connected as well. If you didn’t notice then look at the covers of Xenoblade 2 and 3. Both have the same titan on them, with the only difference being the sword on its back in 3. 

This is a subtle detail of how the worlds and the lore of the Xenoblade series are connected. Xenoblade games have also not changed the way different abilities work in the story. A lot of references are used in Xenoblade 3. It is very easy to miss them if you haven’t played the previous two entries.

Monado III

Shulk’s Monado

In Xenoblade 3, you can use Monado as a skin for a special weapon in the game. It is a reference to the original Xenoblade 1. It is only skin in the game at first. But once you progress through the story, some of the lore and story aspects connect to the sword. Some people even speculate that the sword will be used somewhere in the ending.

Rex from Xenoblade 2

rex and pyra
Rex and Pyra in Xenoblade 2

One of the main reasons why you should play Xenoblade 2 is Rex. There is actually a significant mention of Rex in the game. Some of the quests actually do need you to have prior knowledge of the series. Some of them even have slight spoilers for Xenoblade 2.

Not only that, but Rex has a part in the ending of the game as well. Some of these are actually a closure to his story arc as well. There are other mentions of the rest of the cast as well, but they aren’t as important as Rex. Rex is a great character in Xenoblade 2, so it is highly recommended you play it.

Why You Should Skip Xenoblade 2 

Xenoblade is an extremely lengthy series. And because we know that we’ll explain why it also isn’t necessary for you to play the prior 2. As mentioned earlier, all Xenoblade games have a completely different story. Each and every one of them is different. The main story is always unique from the rest.

There is a connection between lore and world-building. But the setting is always different. Even the cast of characters is entirely different. All the characters are always different. Each has its own origin. Their motives are always changing. They always have something new to provide. 

Even the developers, Monolith Soft, have said that there is no need for new players to start from the beginning. You can start from 3 without any form of hesitation. The main story is completely free of connections and is easily understandable by any new players.

However, they have also stated to play the prior Xenoblade 2 as well. If the players want to enjoy the references and lore fully, then it is a must. So whether you are new or have only played 1, you should give Xenoblade 2 a try. The developers don’t mind either way.


In the end, it all depends on what you want to do. If you love world-building and the lore of the series, then it is a must. You should definitely play all 3 in the release order. But if you don’t want to, then no one is forcing you. You can easily play Xenoblade 3’s main story without worrying much about the lore.

About Xenoblade Franchise

All Xenoblade games on Switch

Xenoblade is a game series developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo. Tetsuya Takahashi is the mastermind behind this game. He is also the founder of Monolith Soft. The game is a very popular action RPG game that is loved by a lot of Nintendo fans.

Xenoblade uses most aspects of a typical action RPG. The player controls the leader of the party while the rest of the party auto attacks the enemies. The simple input attacks are called Arts. Character-specific Arts are called Talent arts. Each character has their own unique Talent Arts. The overall combat system is very simple and much like your typical Action RPG.

All Xenoblade games have a unique setting that separates them from each other. The World and characters are always new. Furthermore, the story is also completely unique. Xenoblade 1’s world is set up on 2 colossal titans called Bionis and Mechonis. While Xenoblade 2 is set up in a world with many different titans and is called Alrest.

Xenoblade 3, however, doesn’t take place on titans. Instead, we have the world of Aionios, where two nations, Keves and Agnus, are constantly at War. The characters are completely different. In One, we have Shulk. In Two, we have Rex. And finally, in Three, we have Noah. All of them are completely different characters with no apparent connection. The same goes for the story.

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Irfan Ansari

Irfan Ansari is a Senior Editor and Guides Writer on eXputer. He has seven years of Video Game Journalism experience and a tremendous love for gaming. Over his editorial career, he has gained experience at multiple sites. Along with his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering Irfan has also earned a degree in Writing and Editing from the University of Michigan. Experience: 7+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering || Worked for TheGamer and VeryAli Gaming || Published 1000+ Guides

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