Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Battle System [Explained]

Battle System of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is complicated. But once you get a hang of it, it feels like a piece of cake.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the latest game of Xenoblade Chronicles. The game follows certain roots set by predecessor games. Some of these roots follow the battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. This guide will give a detailed look at the battle system.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has an interesting story. The game is approximately five times bigger than the last installation. And it takes anywhere from 70 to 100 hours to complete the game. Worry not if it’s taking too long for you to end the game and want to know about its ending. We have already ended it and explained the Ending of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Read it at your risk.

If you’re a new player to the Xenoblade Chronicles series, you might be wondering if you need to play earlier installments. It might be important for some players to know what happened before, or they won’t get a good night’s sleep (like most of us here at eXputer). If this question has been eating you, then we have answered it in our ‘Do I need to play Xenoblade 2 before Xenoblade Chronicles 3‘ guide.

Buying a new game is a hurdle for everyone. If we are ready to invest ourselves in the game, we can’t decide if we should buy a standard edition or something special. If you are asking yourself that, you might want to know about the difference between the Special and Standard editions of Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Most players love to know who is the voice behind their favorite characters from the game. Are you one of those curious players? You might want to read through the Voice Actors & Cast List of Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Battle System

The battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is easy to understand. But to get a good grip on it, you need to know the mechanics. Battles have six main mechanics. These mechanics are Art, Combos, Canceling Attacks, Interlinking, Party Management, and Chain Attacks.

These six mechanics aren’t the only thing to Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s battle system. But we can assure you that once you master these, you will be able to face any challenges the game throws you.

Once mastered, whatever character you use, you won’t have a problem defeating enemies. We have prepared complete guides on the main protagonists of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. We have guides for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Best build guide for Noah, Sena, and Nia, with more on the way.

If you’re interested in Battle Mechanics of different games, then you would like to read our DNF Duel Conversion guide. In this guide, we’ve explained the different mechanics and systems of the game. Also, check out the DNF Duel Ranking System to get better at increasing your rank.

Basics Of Battle System

Before we get into those, you should know a bit about the basics of how the battles work. They are Auto-attacks, Movement, and Aggro. The battles in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 are real-time battles, so you’re free to move on the battlefield. Auto-attack will make sure that your character attacks the targeted enemies when they’re in range.

But your character won’t attack while it’s moving. So in battles, you’ll have to choose between attacking or mobility. And this can be hard when fighting bosses as you’ll struggle between hitting them or trying to save yourself.

For that, we recommend that you find yourself an ideal spot and hold onto it. From that spot, slice enemies to ribbons, and only move when you have to. That is a great strategy if you can’t decide between movement or damage output.

While fighting enemies, you’ll note arching lines between party members and enemy combatants. These lines are known as Aggro in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. They represent the attention of enemy fighters, on which party member the enemy is focusing on. The defender class in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 needs to draw the Aggro towards themselves to keep part members safe.

Aggro management is the key to survival in battles in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. If you aren’t playing with the Defender class, and have the Aggro line, move to the Defender so that Aggro goes to them. That way, your party will benefit from the defensive buffs of the Defender.

Arts

Each character in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has special moves that are known as Arts. These Arts are the bread and butter of the combat system in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. They are located on the bottom right corner of the screen. Different face buttons on the controller are assigned to different Arts.

Arts are of various types, such as dealing damage to healing or debuff moves. These Arts are different from one class of character to another. You can read what a particular art does in the art’s description in the main menu.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s Battle System has four Art Types: Standard Arts, Talent Arts, Master Arts, and Fusion Arts.

Standard Arts

Standard Arts are special attacks that are stronger than auto-attacks. When you press its designated button when it is charged, the character will perform the art, and it will go into a cooldown period. During this period, it is unusable until it recharges.

Recharging the standard arts is different for characters. Noah, Eunie, and Lanze’s arts recharge after a specific time. As for Mio, Taion, and Sena’s Arts, they recharge as the characters perform auto attacks.

Talent Arts

Talent Arts are the class-specific moves that are executed by pressing the A button. They have higher damage and some special properties. Overclock Buster, Noah’s Talent Art will damage Dazed enemies more.

They, too, need to be ‘recharged’. But these arts recharge when a character performs their class actions. That is, doing what that specific class is good at. For example, when the attacker attacks enemies, the Defender defends, and the Healer heals the teammates.

If used at the right spot, they can turn the tide of the battle, so we advise that you use them in dire situations.

Master Arts

For the extra juicy damages, the game has Master Arts. They become available later on when a character maxes out in a class. Typically they should be available once you can change different classes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Fusion Arts

Fusion Arts, as the name suggests, is the fusion of different Arts in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. It uses regular arts and Master Arts. Use it to hold down ZR when one of your Master Arts and one of the Normal Arts are recharged. If they’re available, your character will have both of the arts in one swing.

One last thing, using Fusion Arts allows for some nifty effects. They also increase your Chain Attack gauge and interlink level, more on that in a while.

If you want to maximize the utility of arts, you’ll need to know about Combos and canceling.

Combos’ Battle System

Combos in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 are another important aspect of the battle system. They work as they used to in the previous installments. So if you mastered them, then you don’t have to learn them again. If not, now is your time to master them.

Most of the Arts in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 have special statuses. These special statuses initiate power combos to deal massive damage. The special statuses are Break, Burst, Daze, Launch, Topple, and Smash.

You should maximize these arts by inflicting the effects in a certain order. If you are successful, the enemies will be rendered helpless. One example of this is Noah’s Sword Strike Art, which inflicts Break onto an enemy and staggering them. This leaves them susceptible to moves that have the Topple effect.

As for the combos, there are two main combo sequences that you need to inflict. These combos are

  • Break > Topple > Daze > Burst
  • Break > Topple > Launch > Smash

This seems like an easy task, but you need to consider the battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. You’ll have to swap between different characters during the battle. So you’ll have to rely on your AI teammates to continue the combo chains started. This won’t be that much of an issue as the teammates’ AI in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is fairly smart. They use the right Arts when needed.

Canceling

Canceling Attacks in the battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is as important as it was in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. To ‘Cancel’ your attacks, as soon as you finish an auto-attack, use an art. If you time it correctly, you’ll get ‘Canceling’. You’ll know that you were successful if you see a purple circle on the screen.

canceling attack in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
Successfully canceling attack.

To Cancel an attack successfully, you’ll need to practice it on smaller monsters found roaming around the world. Practice it on them, and when you feel that you are getting better at canceling, then you should go into boss fights and try it.

In Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s battle system, Canceling provides two main benefits. First of all, you’ll transition into the selected Art more smoothly and deal more damage to the enemy. Second, performing a successful cancel attack helps you build up the Chain Attack gauge, more on that in a while.

Party Management Battle System

Party Management is the key in any JRPG. It is as important as choosing the right class for a specific mission. There are three classes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s battle system. These classes are Attacker, Defender, and Healer.

To survive in a battle, you’ll need to have a balance of all three classes. For a balanced team, we suggest that you have 2 Attackers, 2 Defenders, and 2 Healers. Here’s how each of these classes works.

Attackers

Attackers deal the most damage to a party. They are the main DPS machine in your party. Their goal is to deal heavy damage to the enemy from the flanks and rear to deal pressure on them. Because of the Attacker class’s high offensive power, they are often targeted by enemies. That’s where the defender class comes in.

Noah and Sena are the main Attackers in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Attacker class of xenoblade chronicles 3 battle system.
Attacker class in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Defenders

Defenders come in handy as the meat shield for your party. They are vital to draw attention from vulnerable party members in a battle, such as an attacker. That way, the ‘meat shield’ will take all the damage instead of the weaker classes. Their abilities help them take extra damage without losing much health.

Lanz and Mio are of the Defender’s Class in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Defenders in Xenoblade.
Defenders class in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Healers

Healers heal other party members and revive allies. If the defender is low on health from taking all the damage, the healers can top up their health. On the other hand, if the attackers take damage from powerful enemies, the healers come in handy.

Healers is the only class that can revive fallen teammates. To revive a party member, long press the A button. Healers should be protected at all costs to ensure that they are alive till the end.

In the Healer Class, we have Eunie and Taion.

Healers class in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Battle System.
Healer Class in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

After playing the game for a while, when the story progresses, you’ll be able to change the classes of your party members. It will let you switch characters mid-battle, meaning it’ll let you change between characters whom you’re controlling. Both of these systems are vital to character progression and to winning battles in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

If you want to learn more about the classes, consider reading our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes explained guide.

Interlinking 

You’ll be familiarized with the Interlinking battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 early on in the game. Interlinking allows your party members to fuse together into Ouroboros. Ouroboros is a powerful form of character.

Noah and Mio interlink and form an Ouroboros. Eunie and Taion form their own Ouroboros. And last but not least, Sena and Lanz make their own Ouroboros. You can get different Ouroboros depending on which character of the pair is controlling it.

Ouroboros in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
Up to down, Noah controlled, Mio controlled, Lanz controlled, Sena controlled, Taion controlled, and Eunie controlled Ouroboros.

When they are in the Ouroboros form, the characters will deal more damage than they would have combined. You’ll have a limited time with the Ouroboros as they will eventually overheat and end the interlink. So use your time wisely.

Although You can interlink party members at any point in the battle, we advise using Fusion Arts and increasing the interlink level. So that once you fuse characters, the Ouroboros will be able to have more powerful effects from the attacks. 

Chain Attacks Battle System

The chain Attack gauge can be found on the top right-hand corner of the screen. To fill this gauge, you’ll have to use Fusion Arts. Once the Chain Attack gauge gets full, you can press the ‘+’ button and initiate it.

Once initiated, the real-time combat will pause, and you can select the party members to initiate some individual attacks. Each party member will only get one attack as standard, s you need to choose characters wisely. Before each round of attacks in the battle, you’ll need to pick a chain order that will apply a buff.

All characters have a different unique chain order. So whether it’s Noah or Sara, everyone has their unique chain of attacks. Read thoroughly about each one of them to better utilize the Chain Order.

In the Chain Attack state, each of the attacks will generate Tactical Points, or TP for short. If the TP exceeds 100%, you’ll carry out the order, and it will spend a chunk out of the Chain Attack gauge. When it exceeds 150% or 200%, you’ll get an extra damage bonus and extra attacks.

If the gauge runs out, the chain attacks will stop. Once the round ends, you’ll get to recover one party member. It’ll increase to two party members if TP exceeds 150%. And it will get to three members if you get over 200% TP.

Different classes and orders in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 affect Chain Attacks differently. The Attackers will get a TP bonus if they attack first. In contrast, the healers cap the gauge at 99%. As for the Defenders, they ensure that the attacker with the highest TP is alive when the round ends.

So as long as you can finish the round with their attack. All you have to do is perform Master Chain Attacks and watch those damage numbers soar through the sky.

Summary

That’s all for the battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Reading this guide will help you understand how battles in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 work and how you can fully utilize your characters in them. If you have had problems remembering them, here’s what we have told you so far.

You’ll have to make decisions between moving or attacking, so plan your battles ahead of time. Arts are your main damage source; always keep an eye on their cooldowns. Canceling and Combos help increase the total damage output of your characters.

Party Management is an important aspect of the Battle System in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Make sure to have 2 of each class. They will come in handy when you have to interlink characters to get Ouroboros.

In the end, keep an eye on Chain Attacks. Because if you utilize them properly, boss fights will end in mere seconds.

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Zohaib Abdullah


From a young age, Zohaib immersed himself in FPS and RPG games. Now, at eXputer, he uses that experience to write Game Guides. Once he finishes writing the latest guide, he hops back on his latest Skyrim save to continue Dragonborn’s Journey.

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