Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the best version of Xenoblade Chronicles and it brings one of Nintendo’s best games to Nintendo Switch. While the main story remains the same, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition adds a lot of quality of life improvements and enhancements to allow newcomers and veterans to have the best experience possible on Shulk’s grand adventure. Whether you are a veteran player who enjoyed Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii or New 3DS or a newcomer to the series, hopefully these tips help you make the most out of your time.

Explore and understand new areas in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a massive open world JRPG with huge gorgeous areas. When you reach a new area, it helps a lot if you slowly explore and learn about it so you unlock more fast travel points, learn about the enemies, and know where you will need to go next. Just make sure you don’t run into high level enemies.

How to progress the story in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

If you ever tire of exploring, you can press ZR and use the d-pad to cycle between a side-quest or the main story quest. Once this is done, a dotted line on the map will tell you where to go next to progress the story.

Enemy levels explained in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Levels in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition aren’t like other JRPGs. Over here, the difference in level is not just about stats but also in buffs and debuffs. Enemies above your level get boosts to their own skills and stats like higher agility and you get penalties like a lower hit rate and lower evade rate. These ranges vary depending on level ranges. Enemies with a red name tag are six or more levels above you and they are considered very dangerous and should only be taken on if you understand the combat system and are confident. If you see an area full of enemies with red tags, avoid it. Enemies at three to five levels above you are stronger and have yellow tags. These are worth fighting. Enemies of equal strength have brown tags. Blue tag enemies are considered weaker than you. Black enemies are considered very weak and will not initiate combat with you. 

What are Unique Monsters in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Each area has specific enemies that have special names. These are Unique Monsters and they are considerably more difficult than other enemies in the area. They take much longer to defeat (more so than bosses sometimes) but drop great loot. Farming Unique Monsters is a great way to gain experience and good loot quickly once you can become efficient at it.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition skill trees and skills explained

Skills in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition don’t mean the same thing they do in other JRPGs. Over here, skill trees are full of traits that grant stat bonuses and buffs. These range from allowing you to equip heavier armor to boosts to one of the character’s stats. The way this system works is, SP gained unlocks traits in a character’s skill tree. There are three branches by default with some hidden behind story or side quest progress. You obtain SP by defeating monsters. The traits range from those that affect a single character at all times, party members, or the full party. Skill links let you take advantage of another character’s skill tree traits through linking. This is possible when the two characters in question are linked by affinity. To do this, you need Affinity Coins that are earned by leveling up or defeating unique monsters.

How to level up fast in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Initially, doing side-quests helps you gain experience in a safe and easy manner. The experience you get isn’t a ton but it’s good early on. Once you are confident in the combat system, you can start taking on enemies a few levels above you. Once you have that nailed down, start taking on Unique Monsters (with special name tags) around your level. This is the best way to get experience and good loot.

How to earn gold quickly in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Doing side-quests is the best way to earn gold quickly in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Selling loot is another good way to earn gold quickly if you don’t feel like doing side-quests. If you have a save file from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, you get 100k gold as a bonus as well.

How to fast travel in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Press Y and select a landmark you have been to or press B to go out one level to another area and then press A to fast travel. Exploring new areas usually results in you discovering new landmarks which are fast travel points.

How to finish side-quests easily in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has multiple enhancements to side-quests. This includes having points of interest marked on the map with blue or red exclamation marks and giving you a clear path to a point of interest on the map. Press ZR to switch between a side-quest and main story quest. You can also press down on the d-pad to check the new quest log and set any quest as active to track it.

What to do when you are lost in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Press ZR to set a quest as active or continue the story. Fast travel to another location with a quest indicator if you can’t find anything to do in the area you are in right now.

Fill up the collectopaedia in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

While exploring, you end up picking up a lot of collectables that are represented by shining blue orbs on the field. You use these in some quests but can also use them to fill up the collectopaedia. Filling up this by using collectables nets you good gems and other rewards so check it after you have explored a new area and collected a lot.

How to upgrade arts in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

The symbols on the combat menu at the bottom of the screen are called arts. Each character has their own arts. There’s an arts menu you can check to rearrange arts, level up arts, and set arts for other characters. To level up arts, you need to use AP or Arts Points. AP is earned through combat. Go into the arts menu and press ZR to level up arts. Once you hit a limit for upgrades, you need to buy an arts manual from an NPC or earn one through a quest or defeating a unique monster. Some arts are restricted by story progress.

How to earn experience without combat in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

If you aren’t a fan of grinding for levels, you can explore the map and find new points of interest. These include landmarks (fast travel points) or secret areas. Secret areas net you a very large amount of experience but they often have high level enemies or are very well hidden so keep that in mind.

How to unlock more side-quests in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

When you see an NPC with an exclamation mark on their head, talk to them to take on a side-quest. Once you complete these basic side-quests early on, you will unlock more side-quests in a region.

Lure monsters from groups in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

If you are taking on enemies around your level, it is best to deal with them one by one and not have a group of them attacking your party. To do this, press L or R and then press down on the d-pad. Once an enemy is within luring range, press A to lure the enemy. Deal with the enemy before luring another one. This doesn’t work in every situation but will save your skin multiple times.

Positioning matters in combat in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

At the beginning, you play as Shulk. Shulk has a few arts that do more damage and are designed for specific enemy positions. Your aim initially should be to have Reyn be a tank and you attack the enemies from the side or back. When an art can do more damage, it will have a blue exclamation mark on the arts symbol in the combat menu at the bottom of the screen. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition combat seems complicated at first but it is actually very intuitive and easy to follow.

Combat combos are worth your time in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Inflicting Break then topple then daze is something you should get used to in the beginning of the game. Some arts inflict break which results in the enemy being in a break state for a few seconds. Your AI partner will usually follow up with a topple art. Once toppled, try and inflict daze using a daze art (learned a bit into the game). This is when your attacks will do the maximum damage.

Equipment explained in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

You unlock new equipment through defeating enemies, buying from shops, or as rewards for quests. Equipment with a grey background on the symbol is normal equipment. Blue background equipment with an S icon is slot equipment. You use gems in slots for more buffs and stat bonuses. Pink equipment with a U symbol is unique equipment. Unique equipment has preset gems.

How to get new gems in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

You get gems from quests or from crafting at the Gem Man’s Stall in Colony 9. To craft gems, you need crystals. You get crystals by mining or from rare drops from enemies. You also get gems as rewards from the collectopaedia.

How to change time in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Press X and then go into the Change Time menu. From here use the left analog stick or d-pad to change time and then press A.

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